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.

  164 Responses to “ID and Interventionism”

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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…

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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).

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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”.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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).

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

  51. Here is a web page about Christians who believe in evolution. Most of them have Ph.D.s in biology, so know what they are talking about. And as they are Christians, I assume they think God created the universe, that the universe and everything in it fulfils God’s purpose, and that, therefore, they believe evolution is teleological. I am not sure this is the same as orthogenesis. But certainly there are plenty of knowledgeable people who believe MET can be teleological.

    Just one example:

    Dr. Colling is a fundamentalist Christian and chair of Biology at a fundamentalist Christian college, and also author of Random Designer: Created From Chaos To Connect With Creator. According to Dr. Colling, “It pains me to suggest that my religious brothers are telling falsehoods” when they say evolutionary theory is “in crisis” and claim that there is widespread skepticism about it among scientists. “Such statements are blatantly untrue,” he argues. “Evolution has stood the test of time and considerable scrutiny… What the designer designed is the random-design process,” or Darwinian evolution, Colling says. “God devised these natural laws, and uses evolution to accomplish his goals.”

  52. Here is a web page about Christians who believe in evolution. Most of them have Ph.D.s in biology, so know what they are talking about. And as they are Christians, I assume they think God created the universe,

    Thank you Pixie for yet another example of your obfuscation. Since when have we changed the topic from ID to Christianity? As far as I can tell everyone on that website are committed Darwinists who reject the theoretical basis for ID. The link is further evidence that your claim of “ID is compatible to MET” is rejected by knowledgeable scientists.

  53. Teleologist

    Thank you Pixie for yet another example of your obfuscation. Since when have we changed the topic from ID to Christianity? The link is further evidence that your claim of “ID is compatible to MET” is rejected by knowledgeable scientists.

    Look back at what Behe said i the OP: “whenever I refer to intelligent design (ID) I mean this stronger sense of design-beyond-laws”. The Christians on the website reject this stronger sense of ID that Behe talks about. But clearly they agree with IDists that teleology is present in evolution (those IDists who believe in common descent, anyway). These are people – people who know what they are talking about – who believe in teleological MET, in purposeful MET.

    Therefore, I believe MET is not necessarily purposeless. Purposeless is not a basic tenet of MET. You may like to refer to your posts 31 (“Pixie, do you actually what the working tenets of MET and ID are?”), 37 (“At the core of MET everything in and the universe itself is a random process without any guiding or preexisting teleology“) and 41 (“MET as accepted in the majority of the scientific community is random and unguided processes”) in the God’s Samurai thread.

    The scenario Behe is talking about is ID in the weaker sense, I am guessing, and this all-encompassing form of ID would seem to include theistic evolution. It would also seem to be compatible with MET (at least in the sense that future findings of evidence for design that point to that scenario could readily be absorbed into MET without changing the core tenets of the theory).

  54. These are people – people who know what they are talking about – who believe in teleological MET, in purposeful MET.

    PROVE IT! I challenged you again, and again, to show a single quote from IDists or Darwinists that say, “ID is compatible with MET” . Do you understand the challenge? As I’ve said, I suspect that every one of those people that you herald to support your claim actually disagrees with your claim. Keith Miller and Edward Babinski, to name a couple that I know, are both ID critics. Why would they say something as silly as “ID is compatible with MET” ? Pixie, you have got to stop making things up or show some proof of what you are saying is true.

    Theistic evolutionists like Keith Miller and Denis Lamoureux, make a very clear distinction between MET and their faith/theology. They do not believe that intelligence is detectable or required in MET. Their belief in teleology is outside of science and MET. Pixie, by bringing these people in as support for this claim, that “ID is compatible with MET” , only deepens the fact that Pixie is either ignorant or deceptive. Pixie is either ignorant in the sense that he does not understand that MET is restricted to evolution through natural cause without teleology, as the wiki entry described. Or Pixie is ignorant about ID as a theoretic, which is different from Creationism and seeks to identify intelligent systems in the diversity of life.

    The other possibility is that Pixie knows these definitions and is being deliberately deceptive and tries to force his definition of Creationism onto ID. Barbara Forrest is adept at spinning this type of distortion. But this still would not help Pixie with his claim. Forrest would exclude intelligence also from MET.

    Barbara Forrest:
    “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    This would again make ID and MET mutually exclusive.

  55. Maybe I should give Pixie an easier challenge. How about posting on Pixie’s ARN thread the definition of ID as expressed by IDists and the definition of MET as expressed in the wiki entry and ask if anyone thinks the two are compatible as Pixie claims. The description of ID as being skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Intelligent design (also known as “ID”) proposes that specific physical phenomena in nature are better explained as being designed by intelligence.

    This is a relatively simple challenge isn’t it Pixie? Why don’t you cut and paste and post this in your thread and ask how many people would agree with you that this “ID is compatible to MET” ?

  56. Let me try to stave off another one of Pixie’s obfuscation. Pixie like to obfuscate the idea that MET and ID are mutually exclusive. Pixie might use some inane sample like this for obfuscation.

    Newtonian physics is compatible with MET, but it is not identical or equivalent to MET. It just means that none of the claims of Newtonian physics contradict any of the claims of MET.

    Let’s compare his statement with Barbara Forrest’s statement.

    Barbara Forrest:
    “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    Now what if you apply Forrest’s definition to Pixie’s claim. “To introduce Newtonian physics within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke Newton’s laws is inadmissible” IOW, you are allow to say whatever you want about physics but it doesn’t belong in science. In the same way, you can say anything and make any claims you want from ID, but it doesn’t belong in science. That sounds exclusive to me. How about another analogy? Murder and the U.S. constitution are compatible. You might be pro-murder or against murder; it doesn’t contradict the constitution because murder is inadmissible as a part of U.S. jurisprudence. Would Pixie still came that murder and U.S. jurisprudence is compatible?

    How about PZ Myers who says ID is equivalent to Creationism?

    Myers: FRANCIS COLLINS??!? WTF? So this is the guy we’re all supposed to be grateful to for showing us how Christianity and evolution can be reconciled, and now he’s going to be a talking head for some creationist propaganda? Thanks, Francis. I guess I’ve been too kind.

    Myers: However, I do think that the processes of science are antithetical to the processes of religion -personal revelation and dogma are not accepted forms of evidence in the sciences- and that people can encompass both clashing ideas is nothing but a testimony to the flexibility of the human mind, which has no problem partitioning and embracing many contradictions.

    Would Pixie consider these – people who know what they are talking about – ? If Pixie wants to continue to claim that “ID is compatible with MET” , his argument is not only with me but with these others also.

  57. Actually, I am willing to concede that the absence of signs of design does say ID is not compatible with MET. What is odd is that it has taken you until now to raise this issue.Why did we have to go though all that business about quote-mining (now shown not to be true, of course, though I doubt you will admit that) and the on-going discuss about whether MET is compatible with teleology?

    I have no idea what signs Behe was imagining might be apparent from his scenario, and to be honest I do not think there can be any. The scenario Behe described is compatible with MET, and would seem to offer no hope for any evidence of the designer’s involvement other than the fine-tuning argument – because that is all the designer did.

    Theistic evolutionists like Keith Miller and Denis Lamoureux, make a very clear distinction between MET and their faith/theology. They do not believe that intelligence is detectable or required in MET. Their belief in teleology is outside of science and MET. Pixie, by bringing these people in as support for this claim, that “ID is compatible with MET” , only deepens the fact that Pixie is either ignorant or deceptive. Pixie is either ignorant in the sense that he does not understand that MET is restricted to evolution through natural cause without teleology, as the wiki entry described.

    How can you claim in the same paragraph that “MET is restricted to evolution through natural cause without teleology” when earlier you were talking about theistic evolutionists? Of course theist evolutionists believe MET is teleological and purposeful! They just say there is no evidence for it.

    Or Pixie is ignorant about ID as a theoretic, which is different from Creationism and seeks to identify intelligent systems in the diversity of life.

    See that is the problem with the scenario Behe tells us is ID. There is no way you can have evidence of the designer in the diversity of life if all the designer did was fine-tune the universe, some 13 billion years before life appeared.

    Intelligent design (also known as “ID” ) proposes that specific physical phenomena in nature are better explained as being designed by intelligence.

    Again, I think the scenario Behe describes cannot be ID according to this definition – unless you count fine-tuning as evidence for design.

    I started all this in part to highlight the inconsistency between your claim that ID and MET are mutually exclusive, and Behe’s claim that the scenario he described was ID – and the wider claim that ID does not need intervention. It seems to me that Behe is wrong; his scenario is not ID, and that leads me to suspect that actually ID necessarily requires intervention because the evidence ID needs can only result from such an intervention. Who would have thought we would be back on-topic?

    What is interesting is that MET is incompatible with ID not because of the core tenet of MET as you claimed (“At the core of MET everything in and the universe itself is a random process without any guiding or preexisting teleology”), but because of the evidence. MET – and indeed all biology really – says there is no sign of intelligent design, ID says there is.

  58. Actually, I am willing to concede that the absence of signs of design does say ID is not compatible with MET. What is odd is that it has taken you until now to raise this issue.

    If you knew this was the claim by MET why were you being misleading? Frankly I am not interesting in your conceding of anything, because that is irrelevant. I am merely documenting the positions from both MET and ID. I will let others with an honest open mind judge your blatant misrepresentation of both these incompatible theories.

    Why did we have to go though all that business about quote-mining (now shown not to be true, of course, though I doubt you will admit that)

    I don’t need to admit to anything, your words speak for themselves. Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with Pixie that ID is compatible with MET.
    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.”

    The scenario Behe described is compatible with MET

    Still no evidence to support your misrepresentation of Behe and MET.

    How can you claim in the same paragraph that “MET is restricted to evolution through natural cause without teleology” when earlier you were talking about theistic evolutionists? Of course theist evolutionists believe MET is teleological and purposeful! They just say there is no evidence for it.

    You really need to take your own advice and understand what those people in you link are talking about. You then need to learn to read what I said more carefully. I said they make a distinction between MET and their faith/theology. Their belief in teleology is outside of science and MET. This is the reason they disagree with your erroneous claim that “ID is compatible with MET” .

    There is no way you can have evidence of the designer

    Ignorance must be bliss. If someone sets out to criticize a theory, you would think that at least they should learn the basics of what that theory actually posits. Any novice to ID knows the theory does not seek evidence of the designer. SIGH!

    I think the scenario Behe describes cannot be ID according to this definition – unless you count fine-tuning as evidence for design.

    Well you think wrongly. Of course fine-tuning is evidence for design.

    I started all this in part to highlight the inconsistency between your claim that ID and MET are mutually exclusive, and Behe’s claim that the scenario he described was ID – and the wider claim that ID does not need intervention.

    1 out of 3 isn’t bad. Behe’s description was indeed an ID scenario. However, instead of highlighting any inconsistency in my claim, you’ve manage to misrepresent ID, Behe, and MET.
    Pixie: MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.
    Barbara Forrest: “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    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)

    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)

    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” .

    What is interesting is that MET is incompatible with ID not because of the core tenet of MET as you claimed

    No, what is interesting is that MET is incompatible with ID is precisely as I’ve claimed, that it is an unguided random process that excludes intelligence a priori. And knowledgeable people like Forrest, Miller, Babinski, Myers, wikipedia and researchintelligentdesign all agree with me, while Pixie is left devoid of any evidence to support his claim.

  59. If you knew this was the claim by MET why were you being misleading?

    My mistake was that I had forgotten the claim by ID that there was evidence.

    I don’t need to admit to anything, your words speak for themselves. Pixie is quote mining from an ID theorist, Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agree with Pixie that ID is compatible with MET.

    I never said he suppports my caim that ID is compatible to MET. I have pointed that out at least three times (posts 19, 23 and 29). When I point it out once and you still do it, I accept you could have missed it. When I point it out again, and still you do it, I start to wonder. When I point it out a third time, and still you continue the falsehood, I come to think it is deliberate.

    I was big enough to admit I was wrong in post 21. It is a sad reflection on you that you cannot. Or alternatively, support your claim, and quote me saying that.

    You really need to take your own advice and understand what those people in you link are talking about. You then need to learn to read what I said more carefully. I said they make a distinction between MET and their faith/theology. Their belief in teleology is outside of science and MET.

    Teleology must be compatible with MET, for these people. Sure, they have a distinction between science and faith. But they believe in teleology in the universe and they believe in MET, so they must believe the two things are compatible. And with all due respect, they know more about biology than you and me.

    Ignorance must be bliss. If someone sets out to criticize a theory, you would think that at least they should learn the basics of what that theory actually posits. Any novice to ID knows the theory does not seek evidence of the designer. SIGH!

    Oops, I had forgotten that “Get out of jail free” card.

    I will try again. The problem with the scenario Behe tells us is ID. There is no way you can have evidence of design in the diversity of life if all the designer did was fine-tune the universe, some 13 billion years before life appeared.

    Well you think wrongly. Of course fine-tuning is evidence for design.

    So the scenario I described for Behe, involving MET is ID afterall, because the evidence of design is in the fine-tuning.

    Given that, I have taken up your challenge (more or less), and started a thread at ARN to see what others think. It includes a poll. I set it up so you do not have to vote to see the results. I have given several options, so I can see what it is people disagree with; clearly I am only looking for the first option.

    Pixie: MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.
    Barbara Forrest: “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    Forrest is not saying there is no supernatural designer, just that you cannot invoke that as an explanation in science. This is how science is done.

    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)

    Have you still not asked anyone about that?

    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)
    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” .

    The quote by me also was clearly a description of a view of ID that puts all the intelligence and information at the beginning of the universe. Personally, I do not label that event intervention because intervention implies intervening, interrupting, affecting something that is already happening (eg you can only intervene in a fight if the fight has already started). Maybe we use the word differently, but it is clear what I meant even so as I said “At this point the designer has loaded into the universe all the information required for the later development of intelligent life,“. And I have pointed that out a few times before. And when Joe G have his description I said he was spot on, when he also described the designer acting at the Big Bang. So now I am wondering if this is another falsehood you are deliberately spreading. Hopefully, Joe G for one will see through it, having given that description.

  60. My mistake was that I had forgotten the claim by ID that there was evidence.

    Don’t you mean that you failed at misrepresenting what ID theorists define as the basis for their theory?

    I never said he suppports my caim that ID is compatible to MET. I have pointed that out at least three times (posts 19, 23 and 29). When I point it out once and you still do it, I accept you could have missed it. When I point it out again, and still you do it, I start to wonder. When I point it out a third time, and still you continue the falsehood, I come to think it is deliberate.

    No. No. No.I am not going to let you weasel out of your hypocrisy and quote mining. I responded to your comments #19 and 29 in comments #20 and 33. I’ve responded with the exact quotes from you that showed you were quote mining Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agrees with you that “ID is compatible with MET” . In comment #20 I’ve even put your quote in blue colored text. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Who should you believe, Pixie or your own truth telling eyes? So let me go through the quotes from Pixie one more time.

    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””

    Please! Any honest person reading these 2 consecutive paragraphs knows that you are making the claim that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive. And to show that you are right, you are tell the reader to check out the quote by Behe, an ID theorist, in support of what you’ve claimed because Behe is expressing the same claim.

    There is no ambiguity to your purpose for quoting Behe, but if there was any, you’ve cleared it up with this statement.

    Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

    You are crystal clear here. You said the scenario Behe described was compatible with MET.

    You also tried to weasel out of your quote mining through equivocation.

    Comment 29 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.

    This is completely illogical. Why would you ask the reader to check out his quote if you think Behe does not believe what he said, is compatible with MET? The fact is you did make the claim that Behe and Dembski believe “ID and MET is compatible” . Again let everyone read what you said with their own eyes.

    Teleologist: It doesn’t matter if you think MET is compatible with ID, (I disputed this on the other thread) but Behe and Dembski does not.

    Notice what I said. I said Behe and Dembski does not think “MET is compatible with ID” . Now, how did you respond? Did you respond by saying I don’t know if Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET? NO! You responded with this, when I said Behe and Dembski does not think “MET is compatible with ID” .

    Pixie: Here is the quote by Behe:

    You pointed to the same Behe quote to rebut my claim. If you don’t think Behe believes “MET is compatible with ID” what would be the logic in pointing to what Behe said. But there is more, you actually admitted that you think Behe thinks “MET is compatible to ID” .

    Comment 11 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.

    You admitted that you assumed Behe believed in the scenario. This is why you are quote mining him to justify your claim that “MET is compatible.

    We all know that you either don’t understand or deliberately misrepresents the Intelligent design theory. You even misrepresent what Darwinist believe about MET. You can believe whatever you want to believe about ID. But please do not claim that ID theorists share in your delusion. I am not being harsh when I say you are being hypocritical and practice quote mining. It is a fact!

    Forrest is not saying there is no supernatural designer, just that you cannot invoke that as an explanation in science. This is how science is done.

    Duh? Actually she also said an “intelligent designer” is also not admissible. Well, ID posits that an intelligent designer can be a part of science. Again, we don’t need you agree with the ID theoretic, but it does make it mutually exclusive with MET. Forrest actually recognizes that why you don’t is beyond me. I can only conclude that you are ignorant or deceptive.

    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)
    Pixie: Have you still not asked anyone about that?

    Oh wow, I didn’t expect such an intelligent retort from you.

    Personally, I do not label that event intervention because intervention implies intervening, interrupting, affecting something that is already happening

    That’s right this is more of your own Pixie world interpretation. How can you have information/teleology loaded at the beginning if there was no intervening intelligence? The whole point with this version of the ID hypothesis is that an intelligence intervene into a non-teleological event and loaded it with information. That is the reason why Behe used the words NO SUBSEQUNENT intervention. The implication is that there was already an intervention event. Otherwise, it would make more sense for him to have just said without intervention or with no intervention.

    No weaseling. The issue is you are the one that is quote mining Behe, an ID theorist, and used his quote to suggest Behe agrees with you that ID is compatible with MET.

  61. No. No. No.I am not going to let you weasel out of your hypocrisy and quote mining. I responded to your comments #19 and 29 in comments #20 and 33. I’ve responded with the exact quotes from you that showed you were quote mining Behe, and using his quote to suggest Behe agrees with you that “ID is compatible with MET” . In comment #20 I’ve even put your quote in blue colored text. You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Who should you believe, Pixie or your own truth telling eyes? So let me go through the quotes from Pixie one more time.

    In your post 20 you quote:

    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?

    How you can twist my specifically denying that Behe agrees with me, to me saying he does?

    Please! Any honest person reading these 2 consecutive paragraphs knows that you are making the claim that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive.

    Fine so far.

    And to show that you are right, you are tell the reader to check out the quote by Behe, an ID theorist, in support of what you’ve claimed because Behe is expressing the same claim.

    Look back towards the top of the thread when I lay this all out in detail. Post 7 I discuss what I think Behe believes. In that post I offer the conclusion that the scenario Behe, Joe G, Marty (at ARN) and I have described is ID. That post does not mention MET at all. In post 8 I discuss whether MET can be teleological, and that post does not mention Behe at all. In post 9 I bring together the claims that the scenario we described is ID and that MET can be teleological to make my claim that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive. I did not say – or imply – that Behe supports my conclusion.

    What you quoted are paragraphs addressing different parts of that argument. I imagined you could work that out. But you seem to prefer to read everything in isolation, so you miss the big picture.

    There is no ambiguity to your purpose for quoting Behe…

    No, I make it very clear in posts 7 and 9.

    Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.
    Tel: You are crystal clear here. You said the scenario Behe described was compatible with MET.

    Exactly. That is what I said in posts 7 and 9.That is different to saying Behe believes MET and ID are compatible!

    You admitted that you assumed Behe believed in the scenario. This is why you are quote mining him to justify your claim that “MET is compatible.

    I have no idea what your logic is here.

    We all know that you either don’t understand or deliberately misrepresents the Intelligent design theory. You even misrepresent what Darwinist believe about MET. You can believe whatever you want to believe about ID. But please do not claim that ID theorists share in your delusion. I am not being harsh when I say you are being hypocritical and practice quote mining. It is a fact!

    The problem seems to be that you do not understand English.

    You consistently confuse “the scenario Behe described was compatible with MET” with “Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET”, no matter how many times I point out the difference.

    You object to my descobing Behe’s scenario as non-interventionist because you do not understand what “intervene” means – even though I make it very explicit that the designer was involved at start-up.

    You claim the Wiki entry for evolution saying it excludes teleology because you do not understand what “not supported by” means.

    That’s right this is more of your own Pixie world interpretation. How can you have information/teleology loaded at the beginning if there was no intervening intelligence? The whole point with this version of the ID hypothesis is that an intelligence intervene into a non-teleological event and loaded it with information. That is the reason why Behe used the words NO SUBSEQUNENT intervention. The implication is that there was already an intervention event. Otherwise, it would make more sense for him to have just said without intervention or with no intervention.

    But that fails to address the important point that I specifically said that the designer loaded that information in, when I described the process. And I put that in bold in my last post. Twice. And you ignored that, prefering to quibble semantics with what I very clearly meant. Now if that is not dishonest debating, I have to wonder what is.

    For anyone else reading this, I recommend you reread my posts 6 to 9 to see what I am really claiming and then try to match that to what Teleologist wants you to think I am claiming.

  62. Is the problem here that I am using logic? I am putting forward a number of premises (in posts 6, 7 and 8), and offering evidence for why I believe they are true. Then, using those premises, I go through a logical chain of reasoning (in post 9). It does not matter if Forrest and Behe agree with me about the conclusions; they could be wrong (or I could be, of course). What is important in logic is that if the premises are true, and the reasonng is valid, then the conclusion must be true.

    One of those premises is that the scenario described by Behe, Joe G, Marty and myself is ID. I think that is established now. Another premises is that MET neither requires nor excludes teleology – and the theistic evolutionists show this is true, despite Tel’s objections. So far no one has tried to dispute the reasoning that gets from these premises to the conclusion that ID and MET are not mutually exclusive.

  63. Well according to Ernst Mayr in “What Evolution Is” teleology is NOT allowed in biology.

    So either a prominent evolutionary biologist doesn’t (didn’t) understand the MET or it is the Pixie who is blowing smoke.

    Does anyone doubt that Richard Dawkins would concur with Mayr? I know Wm Provine and Massimo Pigliucci (sp?) also concur.

    Theistic volutionists opinion will matter when and only when their position is presented in the science classrooms of the public school systems.

    Also I not only disputed your reasoning I told you why it was incorrect. How nice of you to ignore that.

  64. What exactly did Mayr say? Did he say we cannot invoke teleological explanations? Or that there is no evidence of teleology? Either I would agree with. Or did he say evolution excludes teleology, or is not compatible with teleology? The same goes with what get taught. What specifically is allowed and what is not? Unless you can give a direct quote, I cannot comment.

    IDists, and the more outspoken athiests like Dawkins, have a vested interest in trying to convince you that MET is not compatible with teleology/. It is not true. Plenty of Christians believe in teleology and MET. So far no one has been able to should how they can believe both is true if they are not compatible, or disputed the fact that so many Christians accept both. Odd that.

    Also I not only disputed your reasoning I told you why it was incorrect. How nice of you to ignore that.

    Could you repeat the bit where you said my reasoning was incorrect? Specifically, I am talking about points 6 and 7, in post 9. Why do you believe they do not follow necessarily from the points 1 to 5 (regardless of the accuracy of points 1 to 5 in your opinion)?

  65. The Pixie,
    Having admitted above that you were wrong I’m not quite sure what it is you are now contending.
    Saying that, I think you are viewing the claims of MET as ontological fact while ID is merely an opinion/interpretation about those facts, and that this may be where your error (as I see it to be) lies.
    Do you agree/believe that MET is a scientific explanation, or a body of scientific explanations?

  66. Daron

    I thought I was wrong, because the scenario we have been discussing has no evidence of design, as you said. However, Teleologist tells me that fine-tuning is evidence of design, so you are wrong. This scenario is ID, it has both design and evidence of design. So now I think I am right again.

    Saying that, I think you are viewing the claims of MET as ontological fact while ID is merely an opinion/interpretation about those facts, and that this may be where your error (as I see it to be) lies.

    Not sure quite what you mean. Certainly I think there is plenty of evidence for MET. And yes, ID is merely interpreting those facts; what else do you think ID is based on? IDists do not generate any scientific data of their own, they do not propose hypotheses, they do not generate predictions they do not test predictions.

    Do you agree/believe that MET is a scientific explanation, or a body of scientific explanations?

    As I said in post 49, MET is a body of scientific explanations.

    By the way, after less than a day, there are three people at ARN who agree with me (including me) so I am not alone. So far only one perrson disagrees.

  67. The Pixie,
    Unfortunately I must get to work and can not coax this out to its logical conclusion, so will have to hit you quickly with my thoughts.
    Before I do, I looked at your poll and found it unanswerable, so I am not surprised that you might be getting agreement.
    Hopefully you will see why I say this in a minute:

    You agree that MET is science.
    But Forrest, quoted above, stated, and you agreed (that’s just how science is) that MET cannot and does not allow for actual design in biology, even though there is apparent design.
    ID, on the other hand, claims that a theory which detects actual design, and refers then to an actual designer, is science.
    Can a scientific explanation which invokes a designer be compatible with one which says you cannot invoke a designer, and that the facts are explained without one?

    I think, rather, what you are claiming is that it could be an ontological truth (albeit, theoretically) that a designer fine-tuned the universe for life, and that both MET and ID can have explanations compatible with these facts. They could have, but that does not make them compatible with one another.
    In fact, one or both must be wrong.

    A further thought: if MET were only describing the method of evolution after the fact of designer action it would be unable to make any claims to randomness, or lack of purpose. In truth, this is what I believe it should do. But it is still incompatible with the epistemological claims of ID – that the observed biological traits are best explained by reference to intelligence – when it specifically says that the traits are to be described without reference to intelligence (that’s just how science works).

    Furthermore, your claim to compatibility requires an equivocation between ontology and epistemology in either case. If there exists a designer who caused the Big Bang etc. then MET is merely epistemologically limited in what it can claim, and can be compatible with this design without reference to or acknowledgment of it. Whereas MET could be ontologically correct about its claims while ID can still make the epistemological claim that a designer was the first cause.
    But in reality both are making only epistemological claims – ” we can know that the evidence requires a designer” v. “we can know that the evidence obtains without requiring a designer” – which are incompatible with each other, regardless of the fact that they may each, in some limitation, be compatible with a greater ontological truth.

  68. Daron

    But Forrest, quoted above, stated, and you agreed (that’s just how science is) that MET cannot and does not allow for actual design in biology, even though there is apparent design.

    That is not quite what I said. Science does not allow the supernatural (design in biology) as an explanation. That does not mean MET says design is impossible.

    ID, on the other hand, claims that a theory which detects actual design, and refers then to an actual designer, is science.
    Can a scientific explanation which invokes a designer be compatible with one which says you cannot invoke a designer, and that the facts are explained without one?

    Sure. The scenario Behe describes, from the Big Bang to now, invokes a designer, but the facts of evolution – which use the laws of nature without commenting on how they came to be – are explained without invoking that designer, as the design has not actually intervened for that the whole of that process.

    I think, rather, what you are claiming is that it could be an ontological truth (albeit, theoretically) that a designer fine-tuned the universe for life, and that both MET and ID can have explanations compatible with these facts. They could have, but that does not make them compatible with one another.
    In fact, one or both must be wrong.

    That is it exactly (indeed see my post 52 on the God’s Samurai thread). So why are they incompatible? If both MET and ID can explain it, then how can they be incompatible?

    A further thought: if MET were only describing the method of evolution after the fact of designer action it would be unable to make any claims to randomness, or lack of purpose. In truth, this is what I believe it should do. But it is still incompatible with the epistemological claims of ID – that the observed biological traits are best explained by reference to intelligence – when it specifically says that the traits are to be described without reference to intelligence (that’s just how science works).

    MET does not make any claims about lack of purpose. I thought I had mentioned that.

    You say MET is incompatible with the epistemological claims of ID. So what? ID claims there was design, and there are signs of design, and that is all. The scenario Behe talks about fulfil that requirement.

    Or do you think Behe was wrong? That the scenario he described was not ID?

    If there exists a designer who caused the Big Bang etc. then MET is merely epistemologically limited in what it can claim, and can be compatible with this design without reference to or acknowledgment of it. Whereas MET could be ontologically correct about its claims while ID can still make the epistemological claim that a designer was the first cause.

    Yes.

    But in reality both are making only epistemological claims – ” we can know that the evidence requires a designer” v. “we can know that the evidence obtains without requiring a designer” – which are incompatible with each other, regardless of the fact that they may each, in some limitation, be compatible with a greater ontological truth.

    Not so because they are looking at different evidence. MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning.

  69. I will provide what Mayr stated tomorrow (library). I would have figured an evolutionist would be familiar with the theory they support. I would have also figured that in the years you spent over on ARN that you would have learbned something about ID, just by chance. Oh well…

    the Pixie:
    but the facts of evolution – which use the laws of nature without commenting on how they came to be – are explained without invoking that designer, as the design has not actually intervened for that the whole of that process.

    The facts of evolution pay homage to Father Time, Mother Nature and the blind watchmaker. Yes one can explain anything without invoking a designer but if explanations alone counted for anything I would never have missed a deadline, test, anniversary, etc. In fact observations in the lab and in the wild demonstrate nothing but the following (Giuseppe Sermonti, geneticist and editor of a peer-reviewed bio journal):

    Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state– scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

    Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type– the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

    Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

    It is true that species may lose something on the way– the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution– the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.

    the Pixie:
    Science does not allow the supernatural (design in biology) as an explanation.

    Who says? I will also note that ID does not say anything about the supernatural. Nor does ID rely on the supernatural any more than than the MET or any materialistic alternative does.

    And if the MET is truly so narrow visioned perhaps that is part of the problem. I say that because it is clear that is living organisms did not arise from non-living matter via non-telic stochastic processes then there would be no reason to infer those type of processes were/ are solely responsible for its subsequent diversity.

  70. the Pixie:
    IDists do not generate any scientific data of their own, they do not propose hypotheses, they do not generate predictions they do not test predictions.

    You are simply wrong.”The Privileged Planet” was based on the scientific research, peer-reviewed published research, by one of its co-authors. They make several predictions that are open to direct scientific investigation.

    I will also note that Dan Dennett told us, and the PBS series Evolution agrees, that there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time. Which leads me to wonder what, if anything, the mET does predict?

    Then there is IC and CSI. Both testable concepts. And both have been attempted to be refuted.

    Dr Behe:

    The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.

    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.

    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.

    the Pixie:
    IDists, and the more outspoken athiests like Dawkins, have a vested interest in trying to convince you that MET is not compatible with teleology/.

    The only vested interest is that to properly convey reality. Darwin came up with his theory to get rid of teleology.

    the Pixie:
    It is not true. Plenty of Christians believe in teleology and MET.

    I would question their Christianity. Either the Bible is true or it isn’t. If it isn’t there really isn’t reason to be Christian. Every “Christian” that I know who accepts “evolution” says that humans were the intent. IOW that is very contrary to the MET.

  71. Joe G
    I will answer more later, but just had to reply to this:

    I would question their Christianity. Either the Bible is true or it isn’t. If it isn’t there really isn’t reason to be Christian. Every “Christian” that I know who accepts “evolution” says that humans were the intent. IOW that is very contrary to the MET.

    You are starting with the assumption that MET excludes purpose, and are then having to come to the conclusion that anyone professing to be a theistic evolutionist is not a Christian. And that is a lot of people; there are a lot of Christians who accept MET (I would guess that is the majority opinion in Europe, though I have no figures to support that). Is it just possible your intial assumption is wrong? Maybe, just maybe, MET is actually compatible with purpose, that God used MET to produce humans. He does move in mysterious ways, you know…

  72. Hi The Pixie,

    That is not quite what I said. Science does not allow the supernatural (design in biology) as an explanation. That does not mean MET says design is impossible.

    That’s right.
    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

    So why are they incompatible? If both MET and ID can explain it, then how can they be incompatible?

    Because they are theories purporting to explain the phenomenon in completely different ways.
    eg:
    There’s a tree in my yard.
    There is a theory that it was planted by man, and one that it was seeded by a bird.
    Both theories are compatible with the observation and both can explain it.
    Each theory is exclusive of the other.

    MET does not make any claims about lack of purpose. I thought I had mentioned that.

    You did.
    But you were wrong.

    The claim that evolution is purposeful is in conflict with modern day evolutionary theory.

    Wikipedia

    Chapter 2 – Good Design

    Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design. We shall look at a particular example and shall conclude that, when it comes to complexity and beauty of design, Paley hardly even began to state the case.

    Dawkins

    Yet Guttman’s, Biology (1999) tells students that living things have developed “just by chance,” by a roll of the “cosmic dice,” through “the action of random evolutionary forces.” Miller and Levine’s Biology (5th Edition, 2000) asserts that “evolution works without plan or purpose,” so “evolution is random and undirected.” Purves, Sadava, Orians and Heller’s Life: The Science of Biology (6th Edition, 2001) states that “evolution is not directed toward a final goal or state.”

    Wells to NCSE

    And Futuyma’s Evolutionary Biology (3rd Edition, 1998) tells upper division and graduate students: “By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”

    Wells again.

    For example, one of the founders of the neo-Darwinian synthesis, Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, explained the “meaning of evolution” in the following widely quoted language:
    `Although many details remain to be worked out, it is already evident that all the objective phenomena of the history of life can be explained by purely naturalistic or, in a proper sense of the sometimes abused word, materialistic factors. They are readily explicable on the basis of differential reproduction in populations (the main factor in the modern conception of natural selection) and of the mainly random interplay of the known processes of heredity… Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.’

    Johnson on Simpson

    Or do you think Behe was wrong? That the scenario he described was not ID?

    No I don’t.

    Not so because they are looking at different evidence. MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning.

    They are looking at the same evidence. The evidence, for Behe in particular, includes the bacterial flagellum and its irreducible complexity. Behe concludes that the BF is evidence of design, however, he makes no claims about how or when that design was implemented.
    To determine that the scenario that he describes cannot result in evidence for design is to a priori determine the nature of reality. It is to make the same claim you insist that MET is not making, to wit: Biological evolution is blind and purposeless even if there is some first-cause designer of the universe.
    ID says that biological evolution is not blind or purposeless, and that one can determine this by looking at the biological evidence.

  73. The Pixie:

    That does not mean MET says design is impossible.

    MET has nothing to say about what is possible or not. It is a scientific explanation which states, in relevant part, that all of evolutionary change can be explained without reference to a designer.
    It does not determine reality but provides its explanation, and as such, is incompatible with the explanation that says that some biological change is best explained with reference to a designer.

    Sure. The scenario Behe describes, from the Big Bang to now, invokes a designer, but the facts of evolution – which use the laws of nature without commenting on how they came to be – are explained without invoking that designer, as the design has not actually intervened for that the whole of that process.

    No, in ID the facts of evolution indicate the action of a designer and are directly opposed to the MET which claims the facts can be explained without invoking the designer.
    Whether that evidence can be the result of the scenario outlined by Behe is not a matter for a priori assertions, nor is it answered by study of the biological systems in question.
    And yet, Behe can not rule out that scenario.

  74. Welcome to Pixie Land!
    Look away! Look away!
    Look away! Pixie Land.

    Chorus:
    O, I wish I was in Pixie!
    Hooray! Hooray!
    In Pixie Land I’ll take my stand
    To live and die in Pixie
    Away, away,
    Away to irrationality in Pixie!

    I have finally realized that I am in Pixie Land, where you can wish upon a star.
    It makes no difference who you are Pixie can make things to mean anything his heart desires.

    There have been so many good responses by Daron and JoeG to Pixie. There really isn’t much more I could add.

    Nevertheless, I will add my 2¢ worth and hopefully I can escape from Pixie Land.

    How you can twist my specifically denying that Behe agrees with me, to me saying he does?

    You started your denial after I caught you doing ” Pixie Quote mining” .

    Look back towards the top of the thread when I lay this all out in detail.

    I am aware of your equivocation which is why I’ve took the effort to layout the case using your own words to demonstrate that you were quote mining. People don’t have to accept my word or your denial. They just need to click on the link ” Pixie Quote mining” and read what you’ve said and they can make their own judgment.

    You consistently confuse “the scenario Behe described was compatible with MET” with “Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET” , no matter how many times I point out the difference.

    I also addressed this point in ” Pixie Quote mining” . I suspect Pixie might be hoping some readers might not have a clear understanding of what quote mining is. Here is a definition from wiki for quote mining. The insidiousness of the quote miner like Pixie is that he doesn’t have to actually say the words ” I think Behe thinks ID is compatible to MET” . All a quote miner like Pixie have to do is to “falsely suggest” something the author of the quote never meant, like “non-intervention” , “ID has no evidence” . Another tactic a quote miner like Pixie will do is ” merely meaning that a quote is being used to support an idea that the original author rejects” . Does Pixie actually think that Behe supports the idea that “MET is compatible to ID” ? Is that why Behe is touring the country promoting ID and rejecting the MET dogma? Look away! Look away! Pixie Land.

    You object to my descobing Behe’s scenario as non-interventionist because you do not understand what “intervene” means – even though I make it very explicit that the designer was involved at start-up.

    Pixie is right. I do not understand what “intervene” means – in Pixie Land. Words, rationality and the laws of logic break down in Pixie Land. Just consider this last sentence from Pixie; where Pixie said, “the designer was involved at the start-up” . Pixie has referred to this to mean ” non-intervention” . Well for those of us who live in the real world, this means intervention. This is the reason why Behe used the word “subsequent” before the word “intervention” . This means that there was at least one intervention before a referenced event. I’ve been accused of not elaborating on the obvious, so let me see if I can bring some logic into Pixie Land and dispel the fog. If an intelligent agent was involved in creating the Big Bang with all the parameters built in. This is an intervention event because the Big Bang itself is an intervention. Before the Big Bang there was, nothing, and this intelligent agent intervened into this nothingness an event. Another option is that the Big Bang happened through some unknown cause and an intelligent agent intervened to create information at the beginning of the system. In both cases, there could be no “subsequent intervention” , but at least one intervening event has already taken place.

    Is the problem here that I am using logic?

    Maybe but I do not fully understand Pixie Land logic yet.

    One of those premises is that the scenario described by Behe, Joe G, Marty and myself is ID.

    I think I am beginning to understand this Pixie Land logic now. Words like ID, has a different meaning in Pixie Land, like an alternate universe have different physics, right? Are you using ID like the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Celestial Teapot? You see, we live in the real world. In the real world Intelligent design is grounded in empirical data. Look away! Look away! Pixie Land.

    Another premises is that MET neither requires nor excludes teleology

    This is also the difference between our two universes. In our universe people like Forrest, Dawkins, Myers and all MET-heads agree that intelligent causation is not admissible in science. It would be like arriving at a person’s house for a party. They tell you it is inadmissible for you to enter. Do you think that means they don’t know if you can or cannot enter? Or are they excluding you from entering? Forrest is making a positive evaluation of ID and concluded that it may not be admitted into science. Look away! Look away! Pixie Land.

    It is not true. Plenty of Christians believe in teleology and MET.

    None of them believes teleology is a part of MET as natural selection is a part of MET. As far as I know, they all defend MET by excluding teleology as a part of science.

    Not sure quite what you mean. Certainly I think there is plenty of evidence for MET. And yes, ID is merely interpreting those facts; what else do you think ID is based on? IDists do not generate any scientific data of their own, they do not propose hypotheses, they do not generate predictions they do not test predictions.

    Eureka! I understand perfectly now. Pixie is saying ID is compatible to MET, because there is plenty of evidence for ID. And yes, MET is merely interpreting facts; what else do you think MET is based on? MET-heads do not generate any scientific data of their own, they do not propose hypotheses, they do not generate predictions they do not test predictions. In short MET is outside of science and ID cannot evaluate anything that is outside of science, therefore ID is compatible with MET. Isn’t that what you are saying Pixie? Look away! Look away! Pixie Land.

    Conclusion:
    We may never be able to get Pixie to leave Pixie Land. The only thing we can do is to point out the facts.
    No weaseling. Pixie is ” Pixie Quote mining” Behe, an ID theorist, and used his quote to suggest Behe agrees with Pixie that ID is compatible with MET. Pixie misrepresents the Intelligent design theory.

  75. I will provide what Mayr stated tomorrow (library). I would have figured an evolutionist would be familiar with the theory they support. I would have also figured that in the years you spent over on ARN that you would have learbned something about ID, just by chance. Oh well”

    Is it possible I am right about MET and you are wrong? Of course not!

    And what have I got wrong about ID? Or wait, you are saying I have not anytrhing about ID, therefore everything I have said about it must be wrong? Do you honestly think that is true?

    Science does not allow the supernatural (design in biology) as an explanation.
    Who says?

    If you claim an explanation in science, you have to be able to back that claim up. That means making predictions that follow naturaly and necessarily from that explanation, and testing the predictions. How can you predict the supernatural?

    I will also note that ID does not say anything about the supernatural. Nor does ID rely on the supernatural any more than than the MET or any materialistic alternative does

    Dembski gives a succinct definition of ID on a page entitled What is intelligent design at ARN:

    Design theory– also called design or the design argument– is the view that nature shows tangible signs of having been designed by a preexisting intelligence.

    An important point to note is that Dembski is taking about an entity that exists before nature, something external to the universe.

    From the [url=http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1136]IDEA web site[/url]:

    The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.

    Stephen Meyer says (here):

    In contrast, the theory of intelligent design holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it does dispute Darwin’s idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected.

    What does “features of the universe” mean here? A table could be considered a feature of the universe, and no one is debating that tables are designed, so I believe that in this context “features of the universe” means something more basic, such as the laws of nature and the fundamental constants. This again puts the intelligence outside the universe.

    To my mind this means ID requires a supernatiural designer (to be honest, I do not doubt you guys can find quotes by the same people saying that ID does not require a supernatural designer; consistency is not a feature I associate with ID) (hmm, I will probably get accused of qute-mining too).

    I will also note that Dan Dennett told us, and the PBS series Evolution agrees, that there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time. Which leads me to wonder what, if anything, the mET does predict?

    This web site gives some examples of predictions from evolution.

    Then there is IC and CSI. Both testable concepts. And both have been attempted to be refuted.

    I think IC would have been refuted if Behe did not shift the definition so often. Is the definition now something like a system is IC if it could not have evolved? The reasoning then goes, this system is IC, therefore it could not have evolved.

    I am not so clear on the clear on CSI (can you explain it to me; how can the sum of human knowledge be increasing).

  76. I just wrote a reply to Joe G, and it is not showing up. When I reposted, I got a message about duplicate responses, so it is in the system somewhere. Can someone rescue it?

    Hi Daron

    Firstly, can I say thank you for keeping the discussion civil.

    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

    I disagree, because ID says the universe cannot be explained without reference to a designer, and MET says nothing about that. This is the thing about Behe’s scenario. Evolution occurs without the intervention of the designer, therefore all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer. But the universe was nevertheless designed, and fine-tuning is evidence of that (according to Behe’s scenario).

    Because they are theories purporting to explain the phenomenon in completely different ways.
    eg:
    There’s a tree in my yard.
    There is a theory that it was planted by man, and one that it was seeded by a bird.
    Both theories are compatible with the observation and both can explain it.
    Each theory is exclusive of the other.

    There’s a tree in my yard too.
    There is a theory that it was planted by man, and one that it grew naturally from a seed without interference by man.
    Both theories are compatible with the observation and both can explain it.
    Are the theories exclusive of each other?

    But you were wrong.

    It seems a lot of people think MET is necessarily purposeless and many people disagree.

    Or do you think Behe was wrong? That the scenario he described was not ID?
    No I don’t.
    Not so because they are looking at different evidence. MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning.
    They are looking at the same evidence. The evidence, for Behe in particular, includes the bacterial flagellum and its irreducible complexity. Behe concludes that the BF is evidence of design, however, he makes no claims about how or when that design was implemented.

    But I was talking about the scenario Behe described, the one quoted in the OP, the one you had just agreed was ID (I think).

    MET has nothing to say about what is possible or not. It is a scientific explanation which states, in relevant part, that all of evolutionary change can be explained without reference to a designer.

    It states that where exactly?

    No, in ID the facts of evolution indicate the action of a designer and are directly opposed to the MET which claims the facts can be explained without invoking the designer.

    Teleologist says fine-tuning is evidence of ID, and I took that to allow Behe’s scenario to be ID. What you are saying here seems to be arguing that Behe’s scenario (with no intervention subsequent to the Big Bang) is not ID.

  77. the Pixie:
    You are starting with the assumption that MET excludes purpose…

    No. I am starting with the fact that it does. For if it did not exclude purpose then there wouldn’t be any debate- ID vs the theory of evolution.

    What the Pixie is saying is that all anti-IDists should shut up and leave ID alone. So shut up Pixie…

  78. Teleologist

    I have to say I find your posts in stark contrast to Daron’s. They seem to rely on ridicule and, sad to say, misrepresentation. Oh, and a dash of vitriole too. How very Christian of you.

    Pixie is right. I do not understand what “intervene” means…

    I can help there. From Dictionary.com:

    to come between disputing people, groups, etc.; intercede; mediate.
    to occur or be between two things.
    to occur or happen between other events or periods: Nothing important intervened between the meetings.
    (of things) to occur incidentally so as to modify or hinder: We enjoyed the picnic until a thunderstorm intervened.
    to interfere with force or a threat of force: to intervene in the affairs of another country.
    Law. to interpose and become a party to a suit pending between other parties.

    Speaking for myself, I was using intervene with the third meaning, i.e., the designer doing something between two periods to time, as opposed to before time existed.

    What makes this so sad is that I was very explicit that the design was active before the universe started, and I have pointed that out several times and still you choose to misrepresent what I said.

    How many times do you have to do that before I think you are dishonest?

    You started your denial after I caught you doing ” Pixie Quote mining” .

    I used Behe’s quotes to support a part of my claim, that the scenario I described was ID. I did not intend it to sound as though Behe supported my claim that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive and I have told you I am not claiming that numerous times since.

    For reference, post 30 by me, on the God’s Samurai thread:

    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:

    Please note that I start the first paragraph claiming MET and ID are not mutually exclusive. To support that, I end the first paragraph talking about a specific scenario that I claim is ID. Then I go on to support the claim with quotes. What claim? Well, the last one I mentioned, that the scenario I described is ID.

    In hindsight, okay, it was ambiguous. Over the ladt few weeks I have repeatedly claimed that the scenario described was consistent with ID. And I have repeatedly denied that I think Behe believes MET and ID are compatible.

    It is interesting that you had not decided this was quote-mining when you replied to me in post 31 on the other thread. When did you decide that?

    Your post 10 on this thread, your first response to me in this thread, you made the accusation by linking together quotes from different posts that do not even suggest that I am claiming Behe believes MET and ID are compatible. For reference:

    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!

    Somehow out of those two quotes by me, you seem to think you have put it beyond all doubt (“CASE CLOSED”) that I was quote-mining Behe to make it seem be thought MET and ID were compatible. Not only cannot I not see how you came to think that from those quotes, I cannot see how you can possibly imagine it was “case closed”.

    Indeed, I went most of this thread thinking that you believed I was misrepresenting Behe when he described that certain scenario – not least of all because of those comments in post 10, when you quoted me discussing that. This is why I asked other people to say what they thought Behe meant, and started a thread at ARN about it too.

    I am not optimistic you will accept this – I am not too sure you will bother to read it. To be honest, I think the problem is that your faith is telling you I am dishonest because I am an materialist-atheist-Darwinist, ergo I must be misrepresenting Behe. I am never going to convince you, but I am happy to let everyone else read what we have written and decide for themselves.

  79. If this is a re-post my apologies but it sums up this debate rather nicely-

    Wm Provine:

    “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear ” There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’

    What part of that doesn’t the Pixie understand? (It is too bad I am no longer allowed to post on the ARN discussion board.)

  80. JP is another one over on ARN who. even though he has been posting there for years, is still clue-less as to ID reality. Observe:

    JP:
    In DBB, he clearly indicates irreducibly complex structures indicate design because they cannot come about by selectable steps.

    Behe never indicates anything of the kind. It is only if nature is doing the selecting- as in natural selection. That is because NS can only select for what exists. NS does not plan. Therefore until a structure is in place and working NS has no say in the matter.

    Designed to evolve and evolving via RM & NS are very different concepts. The first Behe allows the latter doesn’t have any support.

  81. Hi Joe G

    What part of that doesn’t the Pixie understand?

    It is that bit at the beginning, where he says “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us…”. Does that mean ateleology is a core tenet of MET? Or does it mean he is expressing his personal opinion, he is describing his own personal interpretation of the implication of MET? If you could help me understand…

  82. The Pixie,
    Thanks for your remarks on my style.

    But I was talking about the scenario Behe described, the one quoted in the OP, the one you had just agreed was ID (I think).

    As am I.
    You are still viewing this backward, however.
    In the scenario he offered Behe is still operating from observable facts. In his project it is not a starting fact that the universe was created by a designer at the Big Bang who then left everything to chance, which then culminated in biological artifacts which do not show evidence of design.
    In his project the design is detected in biology, the BF is irreducibly complex and it is possible that among the ways a designer could have done this is the scenario described, where all the information was front-loaded at the Big Bang.
    Please note that he is not imagining a hypothetical universe where the evidence of design has disappeared and he is merely speculating on theology. He is observing the natural facts as they are, and providing one hypothetical situation in which they might have come to be as such. One hypothetical scenario by which the actual observable evidence came to be.

    If you continue to take the starting point (contra Behe) to be a deistic kind of designer and then reason from there to an imagination of observables you can come up with ideas compatible with all sorts of theories. But that is not what Behe is doing, and that is not what he said.

    Does that mean ateleology is a core tenet of MET? Or does it mean he is expressing his personal opinion, he is describing his own personal interpretation of the implication of MET? If you could help me understand”

    Who do you think gets to determine? Do we all get to decide what the MET says?
    Or is it the case, as we are so often told when ID critics want to claim that ID does not have working scientists in their midst, that “science is what science does”?
    So what does science do?
    For one thing, science publishes papers in peer-review publications. Where in such periodicals does it say that evolution is goal-directed and works toward a purpose? In fact, it often says just the opposite.
    If the leading public personalities, Gould, Dawkins, Provine, Mayr, don’t tell us what the theory is about, who does? If the originators, from Darwin, through Simpson, to today’s textbooks don’t, then who does?
    Certainly not some band of furtive creationists who crtics tell me have not published one word about the purposeful design in biology, I would think.

    Behe’s reception by editors of peer-reviewed magazines, such as this one below, are indicative of what mainstream science accepts as as being bounded by MET:

    9 February 2000
    Dear Dr. Behe:

    We are sorry to have been delayed in getting back to you about the possibility of organizing a dialogue on the question of purposeful intelligent design. We have explored the notion with a number of individuals and have had extensive discussion among ourselves over a period of time.

    The editors have concluded that the journal should not undertake this project. The reasons are varied, but primarily they reduce to our general feeling that it is not possible to develop a meaningful discussion when the fundamental assumptions of the arguments are so different: on the one hand, the concept of intelligent design beyond the laws of nature is based on intuitive, philosophical, or religious grounds, while on the other, the study and explanation of all levels of the living world, including the molecular level, is based on scientific fact and inference.

    As you no doubt know, our journal has supported and demonstrated a strong evolutionary position from the very beginning, and believes that evolutionary explanations of all structures and phenomena of life are possible and inevitable. Hence a position such as yours, which opposes this view on other than scientific grounds, cannot be appropriate for our pages.

    Although the editors feel that there has already been extensive response to your position from the academic community, we nevertheless encourage further informed discussion in appropriate forums. Our journal cannot provide that forum, but we trust that other opportunities may become available to you.

    Yours sincerely,
    [name deleted]

    I know you can read into this statement your own position, but if fisk it we must, I am game. Bear in mind that Behe does not make a religious or philosophical claim, as is stated, but does exactly what they claim is science, he observes facts and draws inferences. And yet, his position, “purposeful intelligent design”, is so different that they cannot even discuss it meaningfully.
    Notice they take an “evolutionary” approach, but they ignore the fact that Behe does as well. Any mention of purpose puts him outside MET, in their opinion – so much so that his must be a religious argument.

    Notice also that they say “all structures and phenomena of life” will be explained by evolution, as they see it. This should answer your questioning where MET says such things as I mentioned before:

    It is a scientific explanation which states, in relevant part, that all of evolutionary change can be explained without reference to a designer.

  83. the Pixie:
    It is that bit at the beginning, where he says “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us”” . Does that mean ateleology is a core tenet of MET? Or does it mean he is expressing his personal opinion, he is describing his own personal interpretation of the implication of MET? If you could help me understand”

    He means that ateleology is a core tenet of MET as he is speaking as both an expert and an authority. Goals designed by external agencies are not allowed in the MET- period, end of story. Therefore my presentation of front loading is contrary to what is allowed under the MET.

  84. There is also this statement by the nobel laureates:

    Logically derived from confirmable evidence, evolution is understood to be the result of
    an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection. As the foundation of modern biology, its indispensable role has been further strengthened by the capacity to study DNA.

    There is also the case of theistic evolutionist Ken Miller and his textbooks, which repeatedly refer to evolution as random and unguided.

    Q. Sir, in your 1995 edition of Biology, I believe it’s the Elephant Book?
    A. That’s correct. It’s generally known by that name.
    Q. Did it not state in that book, “It is important to keep this concept in mind. Evolution is random and undirected, and the part “evolution is random and undirected” was in bold print?
    [“]
    A. ” So yes, sir, it does say that.
    (Transcript of Testimony of Kenneth Miller, Day 2 of Kitzmiller Trial (Sept. 27, 2005), pgs. 4-8.)

    ….

    “Evolution is random and undirected” (emphasis in original) appears in all of the first four versions of this textbook! The 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1998 editions all state on page 658 that “Evolution is random and undirected” (emphasis in original), and they also all state on that same page, “evolution works without either plan or purpose.”

  85. The Pixie,
    I forgot to comment on the tree analogy, and your reformulation of it.
    To tell you the truth, I haven’t even considered whether yours outlines two mutually exclusive theories or not, and now can’t remember it.
    The point you appear to have missed was that my analogy was answering a direct question of yours.
    You had asked, to the effect “how can these theories be compatible with the scenario given, and yet be mutually exclusive?”
    The analogy shows just how that is possible even if my many answers here on ID v. MET do not.

  86. I just wrote a reply to Joe G, and it is not showing up. When I reposted, I got a message about duplicate responses, so it is in the system somewhere. Can someone rescue it?

    Sorry about that. I still don’t know why sometimes legitimate comments get filtered out. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  87. This same article with a slightly different formatting for the quotes is on ARN, thanks to Pixie for posting it in Are MET and ID mutually exclusive?

    JP wrote:
    I think the position you have described as being “compatible with ID and MET” is the position of the theistic evolutionist. It is not the position of ID, as any of it’s advocates have described it. The ID position is that natural law alone is not enough to account for biological novelty, instead, outside intervention (design) must be involved. They are not content with the designed simply creating natural law, instead, they claim natural law is inadequate to explain biological complexity. Therefore, I do not think your survey is worded correctly, since it does not take into account the true IDist position.

    Thank you JP for recognizing the flaw in Pixie’s premise. You and I can disagree on the legitimacy of ID as a theory but I can live with that. What I dispute is the blurring of the lines between these obviously opposing theories.

    I have refrained from posting at ARN but since Pixie has made such an effort to rally people to support his argument. I feel compel to present my side of the story. My dispute with Pixie (as I see it) is based on 3 points.
    I said, “ID and MET are mutually exclusive” . Pixie rejects that and said, “ID is compatible MET” . He then quotes Behe to support his claim that “ID is compatible MET” , at which point, I charged him of quote mining.
    Pixie, in his zeal to defend “ID is compatible MET” , he misrepresents ID.
    Not only did he misrepresent ID, he also misrepresented MET.

    Let me go through each one of these one at a time.
    1. Pixie is quote mining.

    Pixie wrote:
    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””

    Any honest person reading these 2 consecutive paragraphs would notice 2 things.
    Pixie is making the claim that “MET and ID are not mutually exclusive” . (Later Pixie defines that as “MET is not incompatible with ID” )
    To prove his claim, Pixie cites a quote from Behe, an ID theorist, implying Behe is expressing the same claim.
    This is what a quote miner does; check the definition.

    There is no ambiguity to Pixie’s purpose for quoting Behe, but if there was any, he cleared it up with this statement.

    Pixie wrote:
    I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.

    Pixie is crystal clear here. Pixie said the scenario Behe described was compatible with MET.

    Pixie also tried to weasel out of his quote mining through equivocation.

    Pixie wrote Comment 29 :
    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.[/quote]This is completely illogical. Why would Pixie ask the reader to check out his quote, if Pixie didn’t think Behe believe what he said is compatible with MET? The fact is Pixie did make the claim through implication, via the quote from Behe, that Behe believes “ID and MET is compatible” . Again let everyone read more of what Pixie said with his or her own eyes.

    Pixie wrote:
    It doesn’t matter if you think MET is compatible with ID, (I disputed this on the other thread) but Behe and Dembski does not.

    First, notice what I said. I said Behe and Dembski does not think “MET is compatible with ID” . Now, how did Pixie respond? Did Pixie respond by saying I don’t know if Behe thinks ID is compatible with MET? NO! Pixie responded with this,

    Pixie wrote :
    Here is the quote by Behe:

    Pixie pointed to the same Behe quote to rebut my claim. If you don’t think Behe believes “MET is compatible with ID” what would be the logic in pointing to what Behe said. But there is more, you actually admitted that you think Behe thinks “MET is compatible to ID” .

    Pixie wrote Comment 29 :
    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.

    Pixie admits that he assumed Behe believed in the scenario. This is why you are quote mining him to justify your claim that “MET is compatible with ID” . There is no doubt about it. Pixie claims ID is compatible with MET and he claimed Behe believes the same. Never mind that everyone knows that Behe rejects MET as a strictly methodological naturalistic system as the sole explanation for the diversity of life. This is what a quote miner does; check the definition.

    2. Pixie misrepresents ID.
    Pixie misrepresents ID by saying that the instance of ID in Behe’s quote is a non-interventionist scenario. Here is the quote in full.

    Behe wrote :
    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.

    Without debating the merit of this scenario described by Behe, how can any logically minded person argue that Behe is describing a non-interventionist event. If information was inserted at the beginning of the universe, then it is intervention. This means that there was at least one intervention before a referenced event. i.e., if an intelligent agent was involved in creating the Big Bang with all the parameters built in. This would make the Big Bang itself an intervention event. Before the Big Bang there was nothing, and this intelligent agent intervened into this nothingness an event. Another option is that the Big Bang happened through some unknown cause and an intelligent agent intervened to create information at the beginning of the system. In both cases, there could be no “subsequent intervention” , but at least one intervening event has already taken place. This is the reason why Behe said “no subsequent intervention” , with the implication that has already been intervention.
    Pixie knows that in order to make his claim that “MET is compatible with ID” is to misrepresent what ID posits. In this particular case information was injected/intervened into the system at the beginning for the subsequent unfolding of all the diversity of life. This is incompatible with MET which states that all the diversity of life is the result of random processes and is not pre-defined goal of some embryonic intelligence.

    Pixie also misrepresents ID by redefining it as fideism rather than science. Pixie does not have to accept ID has any basis as science, but don’t redefine what we say ID is just to support his claim that “MET is compatible with ID” .

    Pixie wrote :
    Sure, no discernable purpose. That is different to no purpose, I would say. The scenario that I believe Behe is proposing involve evolution having a purpose, but that purpose is not discernable

    So far this is fine because this is Pixie’s own personal belief and we can debate the evidences. But this is not how IDists define Intelligent Design. But I think Pixie knows this and he is deliberately using a definition of ID that IDists reject to make his claim that “ID is compatible with MET” . I suspect Pixie is being disingenuous because later he said this.

    Pixie wrote :
    What is interesting is that MET is incompatible with ID not because of the core tenet of MET as you claimed (” At the core of MET everything in and the universe itself is a random process without any guiding or preexisting teleology” ), but because of the evidence. MET – and indeed all biology really – says there is no sign of intelligent design, ID says there is.

    Pixie knows what the hypothesis of ID is. ID does claim that there are empirical data that support the design inference. This is a deliberate misrepresentation of IDists’ position.

    3. Pixie also misrepresent MET.
    Pixie use the wiki link for evolution to support his claim that “ID is compatible with MET” .

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

    Pixie also said this,

    Pixie wrote :
    Yes, teleology is a form of orthogenesis. Further more it is incompatible with MET ” MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.

    Now try to put these together. Pixie said MET (wiki entry) does not exclude ID/teleology. Pixie then agrees with the wiki entry that teleology is incompatible with MET. So he just contradicted himself, but then he tried to cover that by saying MET doesn’t reject ID.

    But is Pixie’s last statement true?

    Pixie wrote :
    MET does not reject teleology, it just says it is not detected.

    Not according to Darwinists that I know.

    Barbara Forrest wrote :
    “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    When Forrest said intelligence is not admissible in science that seems like a rejection to me.

    wiki on evolution :
    Evolution does not act in a linear direction towards a pre-defined “goal” — it only responds to various types of adaptationary changes. The belief in a teleological evolution of this sort is known as orthogenesis, and is not supported by the scientific understanding of evolution.

    I told Pixie this quote from the wiki entry contradicted his claim that “ID is compatible with MET” . He switch to focus on the idea of “reject” instead of “incompatible” .

    Pixie wrote :
    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.

    Even in this new position Pixie is still misrepresenting MET. MET clearly rejects teleology and Pixie is still spinning on semantics. Pixie’s latest position is still gibberish. How can you say Evolution does not act in a teleological fashion, which is a refutation of teleology and then say that it “neither helps prove it, nor refutes it.” .

    The poll question should be phrased like this.
    Is ID compatible with MET where:
    ID is a theory that proposes specific physical phenomena in nature are better explained as being designed by intelligence and this design is detectable through our observation corresponding to empirical data.
    MET is a theory that evolution of biological features does not evolve with intelligence or a pre-defined goal.

  88. Daron

    If you continue to take the starting point (contra Behe) to be a deistic kind of designer and then reason from there to an imagination of observables you can come up with ideas compatible with all sorts of theories. But that is not what Behe is doing, and that is not what he said.

    Sorry, I do not get your point. The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are. Behe is a scientist, so I imagine is used to generating hypotheses, and then considering the implications. A hypothesis in this context is a hypothetical universe. The scenario he described was a hypothetical universe, if you like. One of many, including a YEC one and a multiverse one. Most f the them he thinks are wrong, but the YEC one and the one he described he thinks are ID even though they are wrong.

    Yes, in the hypothetical universe he prefers, the design is detected in biology, the BF is irreducibly complex. But nevertheless, he described another scenario, which he probably thinks is wrong, but nevertheless is ID.

    Who do you think gets to determine? Do we all get to decide what the MET says?

    No we do not. That is why Provine says “Let me summarize my views …” He is clearly talking about his opionion.

    For one thing, science publishes papers in peer-review publications. Where in such periodicals does it say that evolution is goal-directed and works toward a purpose? In fact, it often says just the opposite.

    I would be surprised to see that in a peer reviewed publication. Can you give a couple of references?

    If the leading public personalities, Gould, Dawkins, Provine, Mayr, don’t tell us what the theory is about, who does?

    Personalities tell us their opinions. Hopefully, as in the case of Provine, they are good enough to make this clear, but not always.

    If the originators, from Darwin, through Simpson, to today’s textbooks don’t, then who does?

    I would be surprised to see that in a modern textbook. Can you give a couple of references?

    I know you can read into this statement your own position, but if fisk it we must, I am game. Bear in mind that Behe does not make a religious or philosophical claim, as is stated, but does exactly what they claim is science, he observes facts and draws inferences. And yet, his position, “purposeful intelligent design” , is so different that they cannot even discuss it meaningfully.

    Behe is part of a movement that has a stated aim of overthrowing Darwinism and materialism (see the Wedge document) based on faith, not science. Any claims by Behe are taken in that context. Maybe that is bad, but that is the world IDists have created (hmm, seems an irony there).

  89. Thank you Pixie for posting my comments. Just a small correction, I am not banned. I just can’t remember the email account I used to signup at ARN and I for some reason the password that I have no longer works.

  90. Teleologist, I posted your stuff at ARN. ARN does not support [quote=”person], only [quote]. I went through and deleted the =”person” bits, but it maynot be clear who you are quoting. Just for future reference. I have just edited my reply to note you ere not banned, too.

  91. I have to say I find your posts in stark contrast to Daron’s.

    Huh, in what ways? Why don’t you put our words side by side so I know what you are talking about.

    They seem to rely on ridicule and, sad to say, misrepresentation. Oh, and a dash of vitriole too. How very Christian of you.

    Unfortunately, ridicule is about all I am left with after over a week of you obfuscation and equivocation of ID and MET. What is vitriol about what I’ve been saying? Why did you get the idea that Christians are not allowed to point out when someone is being hypocritical when they are quote mining? How typically atheistic of you.

    What makes this so sad is that I was very explicit that the design was active before the universe started, and I have pointed that out several times and still you choose to misrepresent what I said.

    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)
    Isn’t it sad when one has to run away from his own words? This is why I can’t take you seriously. You obvious referred to the entire process as “non-interventionist” . Second, from an ID POV this is still an interventionist scenario. It just means that no subsequent intervention is needed, which is something you seem to avoid using. In essence the inform was there in the beginning and it is there now and it will be there in the future. In a sense, intervention never stopped, as in the Honda commercial.

    I used Behe’s quotes to support a part of my claim, that the scenario I described was ID. I did not intend it to sound as though Behe supported my claim that MET and ID are not mutually exclusive and I have told you I am not claiming that numerous times since.

    You are a smart guy Pixie. It doesn’t make sense if you didn’t think Behe believe what he was saying was compatible with MET. You knew he was talking about an instance of ID. If you thought Behe was describing a scenario that is incompatible with MET, you would have said so right from the start. It also would not have helped you case. Please Pixie if you want to be taken seriously, you have got to stop this disingenuous line of argument.

    Please note that I start the first paragraph claiming MET and ID are not mutually exclusive. To support that, I end the first paragraph talking about a specific scenario that I claim is ID. Then I go on to support the claim with quotes. What claim? Well, the last one I mentioned, that the scenario I described is ID.

    But the problem is that you used Behe’s quote to support your claim which is not what Behe himself supports (i.e., your claim that “MET is compatible with ID” ).

    Over the ladt few weeks I have repeatedly claimed that the scenario described was consistent with ID. And I have repeatedly denied that I think Behe believes MET and ID are compatible.

    This why it is pointless because you never address the source of the problem. The source of the problem is your own quotes that I’ve documented. You can admit that you were wrong to use the quote from Behe and you were confused to what his quote meant or some other viable explanation. Instead, you chose to parse your quote mining by making an illogical dichotomy between what Behe said and what he believes. It is just not a credible argument against your quote mining.

    It is interesting that you had not decided this was quote-mining when you replied to me in post 31 on the other thread. When did you decide that?

    I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not going to waste my time to trace back and figure what prompted you to say that. As I said, I have no problem for you making the claim that “MET is compatible with ID” in this sense; you would just be misrepresenting ID. You cross the line to quote mining when you quoted Behe to support your claim. It is also hypocritical since you were the one that started criticizing Creationists for quote mining.

    Your post 10 on this thread, your first response to me in this thread, you made the accusation by linking together quotes from different posts that do not even suggest that I am claiming Behe believes MET and ID are compatible. For reference:

    I admit that might be viewed as sloppy prove, but I assume you know in what context I used those quotes. In comment #10 I used your first quote with a link to show that you were making those statements in response to my charge that Behe and Dembski do not believe “MET is compatible with ID” . In that first quote you said “I really cannot understand what he is talking about here unless he means ” to give the rich diversity of life we see today, without any influence from the designer since the Big Bang.” . The point I was making is that you were disputing what I said by saying, see Behe is saying ID is no longer detectable therefore it is compatible with MET. Beyond that the mere fact that you quoted Behe to rebut my claim is quote mining, when you know or should know that Behe has been on record disputing MET as sufficient for the diversity of life. This is the definition of quote mining, look at the wiki link.

    I used the second quote from you as a more direct claim by you that you said Behe’s scenario is compatible with MET. I’ve posted a more detail documentation of your quote mining on comment #60 and #87. Why don’t you look at the whole thing in context?

    Indeed, I went most of this thread thinking that you believed I was misrepresenting Behe when he described that certain scenario – not least of all because of those comments in post 10, when you quoted me discussing that. This is why I asked other people to say what they thought Behe meant, and started a thread at ARN about it too.

    There are really 3 problems as I said. What you are referring to here is really 2 of the 3. Yes, you are misrepresenting Behe and the ID scenario that he described. The other problem, although related, is the fact that you are quoting Behe claiming what he said is compatible with MET is quote mining. You have to know that right? This would be equivalent of me quoting something from PZ Myers, no matter what the quote is, and say that Myers is describing that science is compatible with Christianity. Myers is on record saying that religion and Christianity in specific is irrational and incompatible to science. Behe is on record saying that MET is wrong to exclude ID as one of the explanation for the diversity of life. To use any quote to make this kind of connection is wrong and that is quote mining.

    To be honest, I think the problem is that your faith is telling you I am dishonest because I am an materialist-atheist-Darwinist, ergo I must be misrepresenting Behe.

    Please don’t make this personal. There is no evidence whatsoever that my view of Atheism has anything to do with this. A theist is just a capable of dishonesty as an atheist. No, I am sorry, but I am only going on the facts as I see it.

    I am never going to convince you, but I am happy to let everyone else read what we have written and decide for themselves.

    As am I.

  92. Daron, comment #82 BRAVO.

  93. Hi Teleologist,
    Thanks for the ‘thumbs up’!

    And please tell me my recent comment is merely in the spam filter.

  94. Huh, in what ways? Why don’t you put our words side by side so I know what you are talking about.

    Daron posts with respect, and does not seem to assume I must be dishonest.

    Unfortunately, ridicule is about all I am left with after over a week of you obfuscation and equivocation of ID and MET. What is vitriol about what I’ve been saying? Why did you get the idea that Christians are not allowed to point out when someone is being hypocritical when they are quote mining? How typically atheistic of you.

    You are argumenting against things I am not claiming. From your ARN post: in one case because of a mistake in one of my posts; in another because I was ambiguous, and you refuse to consider the alternative meaning; in other cases where you seem to go out of your way to misread or misunderstand.

    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)
    Isn’t it sad when one has to run away from his own words? This is why I can’t take you seriously. You obvious referred to the entire process as “non-interventionist” . Second, from an ID POV this is still an interventionist scenario. It just means that no subsequent intervention is needed, which is something you seem to avoid using. In essence the inform was there in the beginning and it is there now and it will be there in the future. In a sense, intervention never stopped, as in the Honda commercial.

    If you actually read what you were quoting, you might underrstand that all we are quibbling over is labelling. I keep pointing this out. You keep ignoring it.

    You are a smart guy Pixie. It doesn’t make sense if you didn’t think Behe believe what he was saying was compatible with MET. You knew he was talking about an instance of ID. If you thought Behe was describing a scenario that is incompatible with MET, you would have said so right from the start. It also would not have helped you case. Please Pixie if you want to be taken seriously, you have got to stop this disingenuous line of argument.

    What? Why does it not make sense? There are plenty of things me and Behe disagree on, why not this as well?

    I do not think “Behe was describing a scenario that is incompatible with MET”, so perhaps that is why I did not say that from the start. Quite the reverse, I think Behe was describing a scenario that is compatible with MET. However, I also think Behe was describing a scenario that he thinks is incompatible with MET.

    But the problem is that you used Behe’s quote to support your claim which is not what Behe himself supports (i.e., your claim that “MET is compatible with ID” ).

    No I did not. This is your misunderstanding. I used Behe’s quote to support my claim which is what Behe does indeed supports (i.e., my claim that a designed universe in which the designer loads the information at the Big Bang, and has no subsequent input is an ID scenario).

    This why it is pointless because you never address the source of the problem. The source of the problem is your own quotes that I’ve documented. You can admit that you were wrong to use the quote from Behe and you were confused to what his quote meant or some other viable explanation. Instead, you chose to parse your quote mining by making an illogical dichotomy between what Behe said and what he believes. It is just not a credible argument against your quote mining.

    It took me quite a while to address the problem because it was a long time until I realised what your mistake is. And now, I tell you every post.

    Pix: It is interesting that you had not decided this was quote-mining when you replied to me in post 31 on the other thread. When did you decide that?
    Tel: I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not going to waste my time to trace back and figure what prompted you to say that. As I said, I have no problem for you making the claim that “MET is compatible with ID” in this sense; you would just be misrepresenting ID. You cross the line to quote mining when you quoted Behe to support your claim. It is also hypocritical since you were the one that started criticizing Creationists for quote mining.

    It was in post 30 that I made the two claims you are getting confused about. It was quite some time after that that you decided this was quote-mining. I just wondered why you did not object at the time. No need to figure out what prompted me, just tell us what prompted you. Easy enough to find my post 30 in the other thread. When did you decide that that was quote-mining.

    I admit that might be viewed as sloppy prove, but I assume you know in what context I used those quotes.

    How about you do me the same curtesy about my comments in post 30?

    Why don’t you look at the whole thing in context?

    How about you do me the same curtesy about my comments in post 30 (and elsewhere)?

  95. For everyone:

    In the OP Daron says:

    It is presented as a resource to answer the recurring question “does ID require intervention by the designer?”

    What is the answer, does ID require intervention by the designer?

  96. And please tell me my recent comment is merely in the spam filter.

    I am so sorry for this inconvenience. This is irritating. I don’t know why the filter is doing this. I might have to look for another filter.

  97. Daron posts with respect, and does not seem to assume I must be dishonest.

    I agree Daron is a great guy. So it is just my attitude that is in stark contrast. 😀 This is to be expected when others point out your flaws. However, I hear you and I’ll take your criticism and try to be more like Daron. But you know that goes both ways too, right Pixie? What I will not do is not call a spade a spade. If I think you are quote mining, I will show how you are quote mining.

    You are argumenting against things I am not claiming. From your ARN post: in one case because of a mistake in one of my posts; in another because I was ambiguous, and you refuse to consider the alternative meaning; in other cases where you seem to go out of your way to misread or misunderstand.

    I don’t think so. Can you be more specific?

    If you actually read what you were quoting, you might underrstand that all we are quibbling over is labelling. I keep pointing this out. You keep ignoring it.

    No Pixie it is not mere labeling. You seem to be using non-intervention to imply that intelligence can no longer be detected. That is not what Behe meant and not representative of ID. Daron has tried to point this out to you numerous times. Behe is describing a teleological scenario where the intelligence is built in from the beginning and that information is being played out even today. This is why the diversity of life is possible not by random processes but by teleology. This teleology can be detected in physical phenomenon.

    What? Why does it not make sense? There are plenty of things me and Behe disagree on, why not this as well?

    Certainly you can disagree with Behe. However, you would not use what he disagrees with you on to support what you said. e.g. You said the paper is black and Behe said the paper is white. If you started to debate with me about the color of the paper and I said the paper is white. It wouldn’t make sense for you to quote Behe and say that his view of the paper is white but in reality, he is describing a black paper.

    I do not think “Behe was describing a scenario that is incompatible with MET” , so perhaps that is why I did not say that from the start. Quite the reverse, I think Behe was describing a scenario that is compatible with MET. However, I also think Behe was describing a scenario that he thinks is incompatible with MET.

    This is illogical. You are suggesting that you know more about what Behe is saying than he does. If he doesn’t believe ID is compatible with MET, why would he propose an instance of ID that is compatible with MET?

    No I did not. This is your misunderstanding. I used Behe’s quote to support my claim which is what Behe does indeed supports (i.e., my claim that a designed universe in which the designer loads the information at the Big Bang, and has no subsequent input is an ID scenario).

    Are you still trying to rewrite history? “Pixie: I did not say the scenario Behe described was identical to MET, I said it was compatible with MET.” Let’s just stick to what you actually said, shall we. You are clearly saying that Behe was describing something he does not support, that is his ” scenario is compatible with MET” . You are correct that Behe is describing an instance of ID but that doesn’t mean he thinks that ID is compatible with MET. That is your problem. You are still trying to force a quote by Behe to support a view that you hold when we all know he doesn’t support. This is what it means to quote mine.

    teleologist: you chose to parse your quote mining by making an illogical dichotomy between what Behe said and what he believes. It is just not a credible argument against your quote mining.

    Pixie: It took me quite a while to address the problem because it was a long time until I realised what your mistake is.

    This was true in my case before I realized you were quote mining.

    It is interesting that you had not decided this was quote-mining when you replied to me in post 31 on the other thread. When did you decide that?

    You are wrong. I did not decide that you were not quote mining. I also did not decide that you were quote mining. What I responded in comment #31 was one of incredulity.

    Pixie: 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””

    teleologist: Pixie, do you actually what the working tenets of MET and ID are?

    You are right my first reaction was that you are ignorant about ID and MET. So, what’s the problem?

  98. Hi The Pixie,

    The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are. Behe is a scientist, so I imagine is used to generating hypotheses, and then considering the implications.

    Behe’s discussion of design carried from a front-loaded Big Bang is not a scientific hypothesis. He has clearly stated, as I’ve tried to make you aware, that his scientific hypothesis ends at the detection/inference of design.
    He has no scientific hypothesis regarding the nature of the designer, nor when/how the design was instantiated.

    Yes, in the hypothetical universe he prefers, the design is detected in biology, the BF is irreducibly complex. But nevertheless, he described another scenario, which he probably thinks is wrong, but nevertheless is ID.

    You are still missing the point about Behe’s project: the design is detected in biology and the BF is irreducibly complex in this universe.
    He does not know, and frames no hypothesis as a scientist (in the tradition of Newton on the nature of gravity), how this design was actualized in this universe.
    His scientific hypothesis that design is present and detected can not rule out front-loading, either at first life or at the Big Bang, nor can it rule out controlled quantum events, nor special creation.

    No we do not. That is why Provine says “Let me summarize my views “” He is clearly talking about his opionion.

    He is talking about his opinion as an expert and authority (thanks Joe G) on what MET is.
    It seems incongruouos to place demands such that Behe is supposed to be making scientific hypotheses and predictions when positing the logical possibility of certain scenarios which he doesn’t see ruled out by the evidence, while claiming that these experts and authorities on MET (including The Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, Richard Dawkins – “We are survival machines–robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. …. They are in you and me; they created us, body and mind; … ‘natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind’ “) are just speaking informally about their personal opinions on what evolution is, and not providing us an example of how the science (defined by its method) defines it.

    I would be surprised to see that in a modern textbook. Can you give a couple of references?

    I don’t see anything wrong with the modernity of the textbooks referred earlier, nevertheless, here is another, of slightly fresher vintage:

    “Nothing consciously chooses what is selected. Nature is not a conscious agent who chooses what will be selected. ” There is no long term goal, for nothing is involved that could conceive of a goal.” ( Evolution: An Introduction by Stephen C. Stearns & Rolf F. Hoeckstra, pg. 30 (2nd ed., Oxford University Press, 2005).)

    Are you aware of any new discoveries since the latest books I cited were published which have revolutionized and redefined MET such that its proponents no longer believe that evolution is unguided, undirected and purposeless? I’m not.
    Of course, there have come to prominence certain political ramifications which would make it inadvisable to publicise these claims.

    Behe is part of a movement that has a stated aim of overthrowing Darwinism and materialism (see the Wedge document) based on faith, not science. Any claims by Behe are taken in that context.

    Unfortunately you’ve missed the point.
    Peer-reviewed scientific journals consider, as I continued in my comment immediately following your clip, that Behe’s :

    position, “purposeful intelligent design” , is so different that they cannot even discuss it meaningfully.
    Notice they take an “evolutionary” approach, but they ignore the fact that Behe does as well. Any mention of purpose puts him outside MET, in their opinion – so much so that his must be a religious argument.

    This is the point about peer-review and purpose in evolution.
    They repeat and emphasize that they take the evolutionary stand while ignoring that Behe does as well. Therefore, to a scientific journal, evolution means something other than what Behe accepts. The journal’s bias and possible generic fallacy aside (as per your comment above) what is it that Behe accepts that makes his evolution so different from theirs? Purposeful intelligent design.
    Purposeful intelligent design is so antithetical to MET that it cannot even be discussed in their journals.
    Once again, this was in response to your point that this kind of view is but the personal opinion of some personalities and not that of science, but here we see it is also the policy of those editing peer-reviewed publications as well.
    As well as stating that their jounal “has supported and demonstrated a strong evolutionary position from the very beginning, and believes that evolutionary explanations of all structures and phenomena of life are possible and inevitable” in this brief discussion they determine a few more things that we can know about evolution, as propounded in their scientific journal: it is the scientific view ( MET, as opposed to purposeful ID); it is able to account for (in theory, and in the future) all of life; it is so different from intelligent purposeful design as to be oustide their ability to discuss the two; it is confined to ( presumably already discovered) natural law – demonstrated by juxtaposing it against purposeful design, being from outside natural law.
    Therefore, once again, MET (“evolution” as per this letter) excludes purpose and ID.

  99. Hi Teleologist,
    Thank you for getting my comment out of the filter.
    Unfortunately, I went to edit it and lost it.
    And now that I’ve resubmitted it it’s trapped again.
    Sorry to be a pest.

  100. I don’t think so. Can you be more specific?

    Eg, I am not claiming Behe thinks ID and MET are incompatible.

    Eg, I am not talking about an ID scenario in which the designer did not load information in at the Big Bang.

    No Pixie it is not mere labeling. You seem to be using non-intervention to imply that intelligence can no longer be detected.

    Where do you get that from? And why did you not say this before?

    This is why the diversity of life is possible not by random processes but by teleology.

    Ah, back to: It is random, therefore it cannot be teleological. Here we go again. Even random things can be (but are not always) predictable. Radoactive decay and the second law of thermodynamics are two examples of preditable phenomena, built on random events. Intelligent agents can use use predictable phenomena to achieve some purpose. I know when I get in my car it will be able to take me to work; because it is predictable, I can use it to some purpose. So random processes are no problem for teleology.

    Look at post 32, by Joe G. He descries what he thinks Behe is talking about. He finshes off “Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.” He gets it.

    Certainly you can disagree with Behe. However, you would not use what he disagrees with you on to support what you said. e.g. You said the paper is black and Behe said the paper is white. If you started to debate with me about the color of the paper and I said the paper is white. It wouldn’t make sense for you to quote Behe and say that his view of the paper is white but in reality, he is describing a black paper.

    But if I found a quote where he talks about bleaching paper, I would use that to support my claim that paper was white. I would not say Behe thought paper was white, I would say Behe said paper was bleached, and that therefore paper must be white.

    Are you still trying to rewrite history?

    No I am trying to get you to reread it!

    Now, can you answer the question of the OP? “does ID require intervention by the designer?” A simple question wanting a simple “yes” or “no” answer. But not from you, I am guessing…

  101. First a word from Ernst Mayr, page 121 of “What Evolution Is” (hard copy):

    Another widespread erroneous view of natural selection must also be refuted: Selection is not teleological (goal-directed). Indeed, how can an elimination process be teleological? Selection does not have a long-term goal. It is a process repeated anew in every generation.

    the Pixie:
    Look at post 32, by Joe G. He descries what he thinks Behe is talking about. He finshes off “Evolution proceeds though a process of variation – including random mutations – and selection.” He gets it.

    Look again at comment 32. I end with a quote from Dr Behe. Yes random mustations do exist, but they basically just muck things up.

    the Pixie:
    “does ID require intervention by the designer?”

    No. But that does not exclude intervention by the design. Let me explain-

    Have you ever written a C++ program? C++, as well as other computer languages, conatain statements; if statements; conditions are set and if they are met and only when they are met x happens. The pre-set conditions could have a catalog of selectables just waiting to be implemented.

    In the end ID does not say anything about the designer- intervention or not. ID is the study of patterns in nature best explained by an intelligence.

    And reality tells us that the ONLY possible way to make ANY determination about the designer or the specific design processes used, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    And just for your information, design is a mechanism- For example you can build a house by design, or willy-nilly- like the house that Jack built:

    Main Entry: 1de·sign
    Pronunciation: di-‘zIn
    Function: verb
    Etymology: Middle English, to outline, indicate, mean, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French designer to designate, from Medieval Latin designare, from Latin, to mark out, from de- + signare to mark — more at SIGN
    transitive verb
    1 : to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan : DEVISE, CONTRIVE
    2 a : to conceive and plan out in the mind (he designed the perfect crime) b : to have as a purpose : INTEND (she designed to excel in her studies) c : to devise for a specific function or end mech·a·nism
    Pronunciation: ‘me-k&-“ni-z&m
    Function: noun
    1 a : a piece of machinery b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result
    2 : mechanical operation or action : WORKING 2
    3 : a doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry
    4 : the fundamental processes involved in or responsible for an action, reaction, or other natural phenomenon (mechanisms of organic evolution)

  102. the Pixie:
    Behe is part of a movement that has a stated aim of overthrowing Darwinism and materialism (see the Wedge document) based on faith, not science.

    Perhaps the Pixie should read that document again, along with the DI’s response to the trolls who have misrepresented it.

    Everything the DI and Behe want to do is based on science. Science confirms their faith:

    Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account Part IV: The “Wedge Document”

  103. I’m afraid to try to edit that comment again, so I will note a correction here – in the last section “generic fallacy” should read “genetic fallacy”.
    Another, but less relevant typo, is “jounal” instead of “journal” in the same section.

  104. Daron

    His scientific hypothesis that design is present and detected can not rule out front-loading, either at first life or at the Big Bang, nor can it rule out controlled quantum events, nor special creation.

    Sorry, I am not getting this. Behe is clearly discussion a possible ID hypothesis in that quote. Do you think it is not a scientific hypothesis? Seems like one to me.

    He is talking about his opinion as an expert and authority (thanks Joe G) on what MET is.

    He is talking about his opinion as an expert and authority on what MET tells us about the universe.

    It seems incongruouos to place demands such that Behe is supposed to be making scientific hypotheses and predictions…

    I am not demanding that Behe is making hypotheses, I am observing that he is.

    … are just speaking informally about their personal opinions on what evolution is…

    They are hypotheses too. It is up to them what they do with these hypotheses; they can use them to generate predictions, and test the predictions if they want, or they can just talk about them in books, but they are still hypotheses.

    I am surprised (I said I would be) by the textbooks.

    Unfortunately you’ve missed the point.
    Peer-reviewed scientific journals consider, as I continued in my comment immediately following your clip, that Behe’s :
    position, “purposeful intelligent design” , is so different that they cannot even discuss it meaningfully.
    Notice they take an “evolutionary” approach, but they ignore the fact that Behe does as well. Any mention of purpose puts him outside MET, in their opinion – so much so that his must be a religious argument.

    I think they assume a religious argument for the reasons I outlined before. It does not matter what Behe puts in the paper, as a major player in the ID movement, he will always be under suspicious for trying to sneak religion into science.

    Maybe you think that is bad, and in a way I agree. It is possible Behe has valid science, and that could be lost. But the fact is that that is the situation that creationism and ID have generated. Creationism sadly has quite a history of being imaginative with the truth, and ID is not immune to that either, so that will not help Behe’s case. The Wedge document has a stated aim of getting religion into science, and let us not forget that this was originally a secret document, literally a hidden agenda.

    Purposeful intelligent design is so antithetical to MET that it cannot even be discussed in their journals.

    The supernatural is antithetical to science. As you say, MET results from natural law. But nothing in MET requires that natural law was not designed in the first place.

  105. Joe G

    Pixie: “does ID require intervention by the designer?”
    No. But that does not exclude intervention by the design.

    Yet again you seem to get it! Now if you can only get Teleologist to agree with us.

    And just for your information, design is a mechanism

    No, “design” is a label or perhaps a way to classify mechanisms.

    Perhaps the Pixie should read that document again, along with the DI’s response to the trolls who have misrepresented it.

    From the introduction:
    “Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.”
    I am not sure how the DI spin that; it seems clear enough to me. It is not just that they had no evidence, but that their plan was to change science so evidence was not required! And clearly getting God into science is the big objective.

  106. the Pixie:
    No, “design” is a label or perhaps a way to classify mechanisms.

    What is your malfunction? Here it is AGAIN. First the definition of DESIGN:

    1 : to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan : DEVISE, CONTRIVE
    2 a : to conceive and plan out in the mind (he designed the perfect crime) b : to have as a purpose : INTEND (she designed to excel in her studies) c : to devise for a specific function or end

    and here is the definition of MECHANISM:

    1 a : a piece of machinery b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result
    2 : mechanical operation or action : WORKING 2
    3 : a doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry
    4 : the fundamental processes involved in or responsible for an action, reaction, or other natural phenomenon (mechanisms of organic evolution)

    IOW organisms could have been designed to evolve as opposed to evolving solely via random muations/ variations culled by natural selection.

    Also your cutting up of the dialog and responding to irrelevant parts of what I said is a well worn tatic. What Dr Behe and the DI say is not because of their faith. It is because of what the scientifc data points to. The scientifc data confirms their faith so why wouldn’t they want to promote that? Especially understanding that the materialistic alternative is nothing more than sheer dumb luck? And on top of that knowing that the greatest scientists in this planet’s history understood that they were uncovering and attempting to understand the handiwork of the designer and that was science, we see no reason to turn our backs on them and only accept their equations.

    ID says nothing at all about “God”. ID does not even require one to believe in “God”. And I say people take to religions because of the overwhelming evidence there was at least at one point a purpose to all of this.

    the Pixie:
    MET results from natural law.

    No the MET resulted from imaginations run amok. There isn’t anything in any natural law that would help the MET.

    As for religion and science:

    Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind. –Albert Einstein

    Perhaps the Pixie is enthralled by lame science, but I choose reality over lame science every time. Clearly the Pixie’s mind is made up and no amount of reality will ever change that. Thanks for the demonstration.

  107. Hi The Pixie,

    Do you think it is not a scientific hypothesis? Seems like one to me.

    Clearly I do not think it is his hypothesis and have said so several times.
    You said it yourself:

    Sorry, I do not get your point. The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are.

    Before you claimed that you thought it seemed like a scientific hypothesis you demonstrated why it didn’t.
    Behe does not propose any design scenario, including the one in question, based upon his observations and makes no predictions based upon the logical possibilities which by his design inference (his actual scientific hypothesis) he cannot rule out.

    Each version he offers as a possibility is suggested as just that – a possibility:

    In doing so I was not being coy, but only limiting my claims to what I think the evidence will support.

    In either case one could hold that the information …

    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. [or, obviously, when that designer acted]

    It is entirely possible, based simply upon an examination of the systems themselves ”
    Suppose that nearly 4 BYA the designer made the first cell …
    (One can postulate that the designs for systems that were to be used later, such as blood-clotting, were present but not “turned on” .

    It may have involved …
    Let’s consider just one possibility.
    Suppose the designer is God, as most people would suspect.

    That seems perfectly possible to me.

    For none of these possibilities, suppositions, and could-haves, does he suggest that his project supports or indicates one over the other. He offers no experiment or observation for any of them, and in fact, demonstrates that he doesn’t think there is any at this time, or that any is possible from the work he is doing.
    His field of molecular biology doesn’t even provide the evidence he would need to suggest that Crick’s ET panspermia is right or wrong.
    What it does provide observational evidence of, in his claim and hypothesis, is intelligent design.

    As Mike Gene just said over on Telic Thoughts on an unrelated matter, when you don’t have a scientific hypothesis the scientific answer is “I don’t know”.
    Behe clearly is saying “I don’t know”.

    I think they assume a religious argument for the reasons I outlined before.

    It doesn’t matter what they assumed, or the errors of logic they may have made. You keep bringing up religion but it is no more relevant to our point than it was to the paper they rejected.
    What matters is what they said to support the fact that evolution as Behe sees it (purposeful) is not evolution as they, representatives of the scientific mainstream opinion on MET, see it (without purpose).
    This exclusion of purpose as an explanation within MET is obviously the opinion of peer-review, as it is obviously the opinion of the textbook authors referenced, as it is the opinion of the nobel laureates referenced earlier (many of whom are biologists). Therefore, it is the opinion of science, defined by its method and as practiced by the majority of the scientific community.

    The supernatural is antithetical to science. As you say, MET results from natural law. But nothing in MET requires that natural law was not designed in the first place.

    Even if we assume that the intelligence in ID is supernatural this is still not the point.
    As you say, MET confines all claims of biological phenomena and systems to results of natural law (designed or no), so any reference to biological design [natural or no] which is not the result of natural law [anything purposeful] is excluded by MET.
    Therefore, MET does not allow for the action of natural designers (ET) either, as laid out in the letter I presented:

    the study and explanation of all levels of the living world, including the molecular level, is based on scientific fact [remember, scientific fact is on the one hand as opposed to purposeful ID outside the laws of nature on the other] and inference.
    As you no doubt know, our journal has supported and demonstrated a strong evolutionary position from the very beginning, and believes that evolutionary explanations [MET] of all structures and phenomena of life are possible and inevitable. Hence a position such as yours, which opposes this view on other than scientific grounds [confined to the effects of natural law], cannot be appropriate for our pages

    (all emphasis are mine).
    Once again, it is not that MET is incompatible with designed laws, but that MET is incompatible with any reference to purpose or design as an explanation for biological features. MET is a group of explanations, not the arbiter of reality. Like ID, it can be compatible with reality, and a specific observation, but that does not mean the two explanations are not mutually exclusive.
    Again, MET is incompatible with ID as it does not allow for intelligent purposeful design as an explanation, whereas ID requires it.

    I am surprised (I said I would be) by the textbooks.

    Your surprise surprises me.
    Not only is this something I would expect one to know when they are stating what MET does or does not require but I had already presented you the bulk of these references to the textbooks before you said you’d be surprised.

    So now we see that MET, as represented by the prominent experts, the textbooks, the nobel laureates, and peer-review, requires all of its claims, which cover all of living systems, to exclude purpose.
    Again, MET and ID are mutually exclusive.

  108. Eg, I am not claiming Behe thinks ID and MET are incompatible.
    Eg, I am not talking about an ID scenario in which the designer did not load information in at the Big Bang.

    I know you are denying that now but I meant specifically which part(s) of my post on ARN do you think is incorrect. I presented my case in blocks of quotes and explanations.

    Where do you get that from? And why did you not say this before?

    Comment #9 “Pixie: Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe.

    Ah, back to: It is random, therefore it cannot be teleological. Here we go again. Even random things can be (but are not always) predictable.

    And I said.

    But if I found a quote where he talks about bleaching paper, I would use that to support my claim that paper was white. I would not say Behe thought paper was white, I would say Behe said paper was bleached, and that therefore paper must be white.

    Huh? This doesn’t address my analogy at all, besides your analogy doesn’t even make sense in the current context. The debate is between you and me and you invoke a third party that agrees with my position to prove your case; that doesn’t make sense.

    No I am trying to get you to reread it!

    I read it many times. Why don’t you help me out and explain to me in the context of the quotes and my reason for what those quotes mean?

    Pixie: Now, can you answer the question of the OP? “does ID require intervention by the designer?” A simple question wanting a simple “yes” or “no” answer. But not from you, I am guessing”

    JoeG:
    Pixie: “does ID require intervention by the designer?”
    No. But that does not exclude intervention by the design.

    Pixie: Yet again you seem to get it! Now if you can only get Teleologist to agree with us.

    This is so funny. You keep trying to drive a wedge between IDers. One reason not to answer your question is that you will just use it to make more misrepresentations I don’t think you will get it. I say that because you don’t seem to be getting what we’ve been telling you so far.

    The 3 of us, Behe and IDists in general, may not agree on everything (don’t read into this that I am saying I have disagreement with JoeG or Daron). One tenet we do agree on, that is certain features of the physical world is better explained by design, an intelligent causation, and design can be detected through scientific methods. We also agree on a negative argument of MET, that empirical science do not support a random, unguided and purposeless process is incapable of producing certain biotic realities.

    I will give you an opportunity to redeem your misrepresentation of ID. When you say, “my claim that a designed universe in which the designer loads the information at the Big Bang, and has no subsequent input is an ID scenario” . Do you mean by this that design can be scientifically detected to this day? Or do you mean that design is outside of science and it is just a matter of faith like what the theistic evolutionists believe?

  109. Here is a quote from Richard Buggs, who holds a DPhil in plant ecology and evolution from the University of Oxford, who actually understands evolution and intelligent design. When a person understands intelligent design and evolution he will be able to articulate it correctly.

    But, whatever the limitations of Darwinism, isn’t the intelligent design alternative an “intellectual dead end”? No. If true, ID is a profound insight into the natural world and a motivator to scientific inquiry. The pioneers of modern science, who were convinced that nature is designed, consequently held that it could be understood by human intellects. This confidence helped to drive the scientific revolution. More recently, proponents of ID predicted that some “junk” DNA must have a function well before this view became mainstream among Darwinists.

    Finally, Randerson claims that ID is “pure religion”. In fact, ID is a logical inference, based on data gathered from the natural world, and hence it is firmly in the realm of science.

  110. The Pixie,
    I have to admit that I have been growing impatient with your comments and your refusal to see how right I am. 🙂
    But it just occurred to me that we actually might be having a miscommunication. I probably should grant this as a possibility more often and more freely in debates.
    We have been discussing ID in the context of biological evolution, and with your direct invocation of Michael Behe, which implies immediately that by “ID” we mean ID as he discusses, formulates, envisions and defends it.
    But there is another way to look at ID, as you and Joe G have mentioned, and that is the cosmological version.

    To discuss Behe is to discuss his case of ID, which is explicitly exclusive of Darwinism ( ToE, Met, what have you).
    As he says in one of the above-cited essays:

    The claim of intelligent design is that “No unintelligent process could produce this system.” The claim of Darwinism is that “Some unintelligent process (involving natural selection and random mutation) could produce this system.”

    To mention Behe is, in my mind, to discuss biological ID and the evidence marshaled in its defence, again, regardless of the scenario by which the designer may have acted.
    When he says “intelligent design”, and most definitely in the essays quoted above, from which your citation has come, he is talking about ID as laid out in his book, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, and, in fact, he is defending that work against critics in the very citations in question. He is not alluding to the case as presented in The Privileged Planet or the evidences contained therein, and no ID proponent I know would think he was.

    However, I now concede that you may have been.
    The case laid out in PP by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards does not touch upon the origin or development of lifeforms whatsoever, and this is not where the evidence for their inference lies. As such, I would not defend a proposition that cosmological ID and MET are mutually exclusive.
    Joe G or Teleologist may want to, but that is not at all what I was responding to here.

    Finally, to emphasize the point once again: when Michael Behe is discussing ID he is not talking about the case in which the evidence for design is found in the fine-tuning of the cosmos, or the laws of physics, etc., but his own project, where the inference is based upon finding evidence of design in biology, contrary to the claims of MET.
    His project tells him nothing about how the designer might have chosen to act in bringing about these biological forms, and as such, allows for the logical possibility of front-loading the necessary information into the events of the Big Bang.
    This is not cosmological ID, and is very distinctly separate from it in that the evidence leading to the inference is of a different nature. He is not discussing cosmological ID when he is defending his case, and his case is mutually exclusive with MET.

  111. Joe G

    No the MET resulted from imaginations run amok.

    I guess against this kind of open-minded reasoning there is not much hope.

    There isn’t anything in any natural law that would help the MET.

    All the ideas in MET work within the natural laws as we understand them. Mutation and selection are things we can observe! It is a shame you feel you can make this sort of blanket assertion without any attempt to support it.

    As for religion and science:
    Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind. –Albert Einstein
    Perhaps the Pixie is enthralled by lame science, but I choose reality over lame science every time. Clearly the Pixie’s mind is made up and no amount of reality will ever change that.

    Looks to me like you chose blind religion.

  112. Daron

    I am not going to respond to your specific points… because I agree with pretty much all you say.

  113. Joe G

    What is your malfunction? Here it is AGAIN. First the definition of DESIGN:

    To be clear, I am using mechanism in the fourth sense, that is a description of the process. Some processes can be classified as design, some cannot, so I suggest “design” is a way of classifying mechanisms. The way you are using it, it clearly is not a mechanism, because there is not description of what might have happened.

    IOW organisms could have been designed to evolve as opposed to evolving solely via random muations/ variations culled by natural selection.

    Okay, but so what? A mechanism would say how they were designed, or at least when they were created, and why. Were they all created 6000 years ago, at irregular intervals over 3 billion years, at one event 3 billion years ago, etc. These are all design, but are different mechanisms.

    What Dr Behe and the DI say is not because of their faith. It is because of what the scientifc data points to. The scientifc data confirms their faith so why wouldn’t they want to promote that?

    I am not exactly sure what you are referring to, but the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective. Real science is tentative. You can never be sure you are right, and you word accordingly. Given the doubtful state of the evidence for ID, how can they be so sure of their hypotheses? Faith!

    Especially understanding that the materialistic alternative is nothing more than sheer dumb luck? And on top of that knowing that the greatest scientists in this planet’s history understood that they were uncovering and attempting to understand the handiwork of the designer and that was science, we see no reason to turn our backs on them and only accept their equations.

    We do not turn our backs on the great Christian scientists, not sure where you get that idea from.

    ID says nothing at all about “God” . ID does not even require one to believe in “God” . And I say people take to religions because of the overwhelming evidence there was at least at one point a purpose to all of this.

    There are the two things here. Pure ID, what ID should be, is looking for design in a scientific and open manner. Pure ID says nothing about God. Then there is the ID movement, which seems to have sprung from creationism, as a way around a court decision, where we have the Wedge document telling us ID is a way to get a “broadly theistic understanding of nature” into science. And sure, you do not have to be believe in God to be an IDist, but I would guess 99% of IDists do, and over 90% are also creationists (less so among the big names, though).

    Clearly I do not think it is his hypothesis and have said so several times.

    He stated it in the quote in the OP! I agree that he does not believe in it, and have also said so several times. But it is still a hypothesis, and as far as we are concerned, he proposed it first, so I will continue to call it his. But read Daron’s last comment, as he explains it well.

    Before you claimed that you thought it seemed like a scientific hypothesis you demonstrated why it didn’t.

    It is a hypothesis – something that might be, as in hypothetical. When you do science, you devise hypotheses, draw predictions and test them, but anyone can devise hypotheses. It is still a hypothesis whether you go on and do the science or not. Behe describes a hypothetical scenario – a hypothesis. He did not do the science, but (1) he does not think it is right, so why bother; and (2) it does not matter to our discuss.

    For none of these possibilities, suppositions, and could-haves, …

    Hypotheses they are called.

    …does he suggest that his project supports or indicates one over the other.

    So it is not science. But they are still hypotheses.

    It is curious how much of the discussion on this thread comes down to language…

    As you say, MET confines all claims of biological phenomena and systems to results of natural law (designed or no), so any reference to biological design [natural or no] which is not the result of natural law [anything purposeful] is excluded by MET.
    Therefore, MET does not allow for the action of natural designers (ET) either, as laid out in the letter I presented:
    the study and explanation of all levels of the living world, including the molecular level, is based on scientific fact [remember, scientific fact is on the one hand as opposed to purposeful ID outside the laws of nature on the other] and inference.
    As you no doubt know, our journal has supported and demonstrated a strong evolutionary position from the very beginning, and believes that evolutionary explanations [MET] of all structures and phenomena of life are possible and inevitable. Hence a position such as yours, which opposes this view on other than scientific grounds [confined to the effects of natural law], cannot be appropriate for our pages

    Curiously, the response in the letter – with your comments – fits with the scenario Behe described (but does not believe in). Behe’s scenario says evolution happens as it was programmed to happen by the natural laws, that is evolution was “confined to the effects of natural law”. And that means also that there must inevitably be evolutionary explanations that follow from those natural laws, just as the letter says.

    What the letter argues against is interventionist ID (or for Tel, subsequent interventionist ID). As Behe says in the OP quotes “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.” Design-beyond-laws is invoking the supernatural (okay, technically it could be ET). Biologists do not care where the natural laws came from – that is for physicists and philosophers. They are what they are. And whatever and whever they are, they created humans.

    Once again, it is not that MET is incompatible with designed laws, but that MET is incompatible with any reference to purpose or design as an explanation for biological features.

    That is right. You cannot invoke the supernatural in an explanation, so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation. But that does not mean design did not happen.

    Suppose Behe is right, and the designer intervened periodically to build those IC structures (and other stuff too). Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do. Gradually interest will wane, I imagine, and eventually people may believe Behe is right, that a designer did it. But that is not a scientific explanation, because it cannot be studied and tested. All we could say was that this ID scenario is compatible with what we know about evolution.

    In the same way, the hypothesis Behe mentions but does not believe in might be right, but cannot be used in a scientific explanation. It is not contradicted by anything we know, so in compatible with science as we know it today, including MET.

    So now we see that MET, as represented by the prominent experts, the textbooks, the nobel laureates, and peer-review, requires all of its claims, which cover all of living systems, to exclude purpose.

    No, we see thar some prominent experts, the textbooks, the nobel laureates, and peer-review exclude purpose. Others do not. I found a web page of theistic evolutionists, remember, who agree with me.

  114. Teleologist

    Comment #9 “Pixie: Once the Big Bang has happened, the designer has no further influence on the universe.”

    Again and again it seems to come down to your reading ability. See the word “further” there, I put it in bold to make sure you see it. No further influence, i.e., no influence besides what he has already done, which is “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”.

    Maybe it would be better to see this in context:

    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.

    Now, what was that about misrepresentation?

    Huh? This doesn’t address my analogy at all, besides your analogy doesn’t even make sense in the current context. The debate is between you and me and you invoke a third party that agrees with my position to prove your case; that doesn’t make sense.

    Well your analogy did not address our situation, so I guess we are even.

    The debate is about me invoking a third party to support my premise (that the designer loading all the information at the Big Bang, and had no subsequent intention – or no interventionat all for the rest of us), and then using that premise to reach a conclusion. Only you misrepresent me as invoking the third party to support the conclusion.

    This is so funny. You keep trying to drive a wedge between IDers. One reason not to answer your question is that I don’t think you will get it. I say that because you don’t seem to be getting what we’ve been telling you so far.

    I think the reason you will not answer is that if you say “no”, you have to admit that I am right about what intervention means, and if you say “yes”, you would be disagreeing with Daron.

    Why do you think Daron did not ask “does ID require subsequent intervention by the designer?” Think about it.

    Check out the first line of post 32, by Joe G: “First I just want to say whether or not intervention occurred is irrelevant to ID. ” For Joe G, it is still ID, even if there is no intervention! Who would have thought that? Well, all of us except you, Teleologist, because we all understand what intervention means.

    I will give you an opportunity to redeem your misrepresentation of ID. When you say, “my claim that a designed universe in which the designer loads the information at the Big Bang, and has no subsequent input is an ID scenario” . Do you mean by this that design can be scientifically detected to this day? Or do you mean that design is outside of science and it is just a matter of faith like what the theistic evolutionists believe?

    Post 9: “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.” Up to 58 I was not sure whether fine-tuning was enough to make it ID, but you assured me it was in that post.
    Post 59: “So the scenario I described for Behe, involving MET is ID afterall, because the evidence of design is in the fine-tuning.”
    Post 68: “Not so because they are looking at different evidence. MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning.”

    So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now, and not misrepresenting ID. On the other hand, it would seem that you are misrepresenting me…

  115. No the MET resulted from imaginations run amok.

    the Pixie:
    I guess against this kind of open-minded reasoning there is not much hope.

    Umm I was an evolutionist. It was the total lack of substantiation for the theory, along with the data that I presented earlier which led me to ID.

    The Pixie:
    All the ideas in MET work within the natural laws as we understand them. Mutation and selection are things we can observe!

    Nothing we have ever observed would lead an objective person to believe in Common Descent. We don’t even know whether or not ANY mutation/ selection process can account for the changes required. That is a fact.

    the Pixie:
    It is a shame you feel you can make this sort of blanket assertion without any attempt to support it.

    Projection at its finest for that is all the Pixie does.

    As for religion and science:

    Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind. –Albert Einstein
    Perhaps the Pixie is enthralled by lame science, but I choose reality over lame science every time. Clearly the Pixie’s mind is made up and no amount of reality will ever change that.

    the Pixie:
    Looks to me like you chose blind religion.

    Why? Because I allow the scientific data to lead?

    the Pixie:
    A mechanism would say how they were designed, or at least when they were created, and why.

    The METs mechanisms don’t do that. IOW the MET can’t point to anything except very vague references to mechanisms. Even if we knew how Stonehenge was designed we wouldn’t know why and we wouldn’t know when. IOW it is obvious you don’t know what you are talking about- as usual.

    the Pixie:
    I am not exactly sure what you are referring to, but the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective.

    That is a lie. But I understand that is your only recourse.

    the Pixie:
    Real science is tentative.

    Except for supoorters of the MET.

    the Pixie:
    Given the doubtful state of the evidence for ID, how can they be so sure of their hypotheses?

    But only the minority of anti-IDists view the evidence for ID as “doubtful”. And given their position I would say they are lunatics.

    the Pixie:
    We do not turn our backs on the great Christian scientists, not sure where you get that idea from.

    You do by not informing students that they understood they were uncovering and attempting to understand the handiwork of the designer. IOW they all understood that science does NOT exclude anything a priori. Something that is oviously lost on you.

    the Pixie:
    Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do.

    Both design and intelligence are natural as both exist in nature. Science is the search for the reality behind our existnce. Period. Anything other than that is science-fiction.

  116. There is an interesting thread at Uncommon Descent that touches on some of these points. A poster called Febble (a fellow Brit, by the way) discusses “random” in post 56, and it is clear she believes in teleological MET. Also, she makes the claim that MET itself could be considered an intelligent design process, given Dembski’s definition! She later got banned for being too polite and reasonable, I think.

  117. Joe G

    Umm I was an evolutionist. It was the total lack of substantiation for the theory, along with the data that I presented earlier which led me to ID.

    And ID is just chock full of substantiation?

    The Pixie: All the ideas in MET work within the natural laws as we understand them. Mutation and selection are things we can observe!
    Nothing we have ever observed would lead an objective person to believe in Common Descent. We don’t even know whether or not ANY mutation/ selection process can account for the changes required. That is a fact.

    Nothing in common descent is at all at odds with the laws of nature.

    As an aside,common descent actually has a huge amount of evidence supporting it (so it is no wonder Behe and Denton accept common descent). I recently started a thread at ARN about the evidence for common descent, and no one there was interested in disputing it.

    Joe: There isn’t anything in any natural law that would help the MET.
    Pix: It is a shame you feel you can make this sort of blanket assertion without any attempt to support it.
    Joe: Projection at its finest for that is all the Pixie does.

    You made a blanket assertion. You did not support it. I noted it. Where is the projection?

    The METs mechanisms don’t do that. IOW the MET can’t point to anything except very vague references to mechanisms. Even if we knew how Stonehenge was designed we wouldn’t know why and we wouldn’t know when. IOW it is obvious you don’t know what you are talking about- as usual.

    Do you feel it helps your case to insult me?

    Here is a web site with an overview of the discusses mechanisms of evolution.

    Pix: I am not exactly sure what you are referring to, but the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective.
    Joe: That is a lie. But I understand that is your only recourse.

    It is not a lie, and I have already quoted the relevant bit of the document to support the claim (twice I think). You might like to check back and see what I said, before calling it a lie.

    Pix: Real science is tentative.
    Joe: Except for supoorters of the MET.

    Another of those unsupported blanket assertions.

    But only the minority of anti-IDists view the evidence for ID as “doubtful” . And given their position I would say they are lunatics.

    The vast majority of biologists – that is, people in the best position to judge all the evidence – accept MET, and view the evidence for ID as “doubtful” at best.

    I am not to sure quite what the point is of arguing with someone who considers everyone who disagrees with him to be “lunatics”. It does rather suggest a closed mind to me.

    You do by not informing students that they understood they were uncovering and attempting to understand the handiwork of the designer. IOW they all understood that science does NOT exclude anything a priori. Something that is oviously lost on you.

    Hey, we do it for all scientists. We just say, this is what they discovered. No comment about why they did, what other crackpot ideas they might have had (thinking here of Newton’s ideas on alchemy). It does not matter to the science if Newton was a Christian and Darwin was an atheist, so it does not get a mention.

    Of course, it does to ID. They make a big deal about it. But ID is not really science, is it?

    Pix: Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do.
    Joe: Both design and intelligence are natural as both exist in nature. Science is the search for the reality behind our existnce. Period. Anything other than that is science-fiction.

    There is a strange disconnect between what I said and your response. Of course intelligence exists in nature, but no one is suggesting human intelligence designed IC structures seen in biology are they? Science will never investigate a supernatural designer of biological IC structures, because it cannot.

  118. I just want to add that I have over 30 years experianec designing things and working on things that were designed. It is with that that I can say that without a doubt design is a mechanism. And given the proposed “mechanims” of the MET, design is a valid mechanism.

    As I said one can build something by design or one can build it willy-nilly. And both are mechanisms.

  119. the Pixie:
    And ID is just chock full of substantiation?

    More so than its materialistic alternative of sheer dumb luck.

    the Pixie:
    Nothing in common descent is at all at odds with the laws of nature.

    Nothing in the laws of nature helps Common Descent. And if I was allowed to post on ARN I would have shredded your thread to pieces.

    Umm I know what the proposed mechanisms are. I also know what they have been demonstrated to do.

    the Pixie:
    The vast majority of biologists – that is, people in the best position to judge all the evidence – accept MET, and view the evidence for ID as “doubtful” at best.

    Yet not one of that majority of biologists can demonstrate that a population of single-celled organisms can “evolve” into something other than single-celled organisms! And not one can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans!

    And one more time- Dr Behe and the DI support ID because of the scientific data. Faith does not enter into it.

    Pix: Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do.

    Joe: Both design and intelligence are natural as both exist in nature. Science is the search for the reality behind our existnce. Period. Anything other than that is science-fiction.

    the Pixie:
    There is a strange disconnect between what I said and your response.

    Yeah you keep trying to interject irrelevant nonsense.

    the Pixie:
    Of course intelligence exists in nature, but no one is suggesting human intelligence designed IC structures seen in biology are they?

    Umm we don’t know. But we may be able to find out but only by studying the design in question.

    the Pixie:
    Science will never investigate a supernatural designer of biological IC structures, because it cannot.

    ID is about the design and the design only. And guess what? That design exists in this physical world! IOW the design is very open to scientific investigation.

  120. The Pixie,

    Me:If you continue to take the starting point (contra Behe) to be a deistic kind of designer and then reason from there to an imagination of observables you can come up with ideas compatible with all sorts of theories. But that is not what Behe is doing, and that is not what he said.

    You:
    Sorry, I do not get your point. The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are. Behe is a scientist, so I imagine is used to generating hypotheses, and then considering the implications.

    Me:
    Behe’s discussion of design carried from a front-loaded Big Bang is not a scientific hypothesis. He has clearly stated, as I’ve tried to make you aware, that his scientific hypothesis ends at the detection/inference of design.
    He has no scientific hypothesis regarding the nature of the designer, nor when/how the design was instantiated.

    Me:
    His scientific hypothesis that design is present and detected can not rule out front-loading, either at first life or at the Big Bang, nor can it rule out controlled quantum events, nor special creation.

    You:
    Sorry, I am not getting this. Behe is clearly discussion a possible ID hypothesis in that quote. Do you think it is not a scientific hypothesis? Seems like one to me.

    Me:
    Clearly I do not think it is his hypothesis and have said so several times.

    Subsequently:

    Me:
    Clearly I do not think it is his hypothesis and have said so several times.

    You:
    He stated it in the quote in the OP! I agree that he does not believe in it, and have also said so several times. But it is still a hypothesis, and as far as we are concerned, he proposed it first, so I will continue to call it his. But read Daron’s last comment, as he explains it well.

    Daron did?
    I’m not sure that you have read him properly then , because he also explained the point above.
    You see, you are responding to my point here, I am Daron.
    Once again, we are talking about Behe, we are talking about biological ID, and when he talks about a front-loaded, Big Bang, ID scenario, he is talking about one where the evidence for ID is in biology.

    It is a hypothesis – something that might be, as in hypothetical. When you do science, you devise hypotheses, draw predictions and test them, but anyone can devise hypotheses. It is still a hypothesis whether you go on and do the science or not. Behe describes a hypothetical scenario – a hypothesis. He did not do the science, but (1) he does not think it is right, so why bother; and (2) it does not matter to our discuss.

    You said it was Behe’s scientific hypothesis and asked if I agreed (“Do you think it is not a scientific hypothesis? Seems like one to me.“) I said it was not his scientific hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis and a hypothetical logical possibility are not the same thing.

    He stated it in the quote in the OP!

    You truly are not paying attention or are ignoring plain facts.

    But look, you admit again yourself that it is not a scientific hypothesis. Just what you had asked, and I had detailed in my answer:

    Me:
    For none of these possibilities, suppositions, and could-haves, ”

    You:
    Hypotheses they are called.

    Me:
    “does he suggest that his project supports or indicates one over the other.

    You:
    So it is not science. But they are still hypotheses.

    Now you are sarcastically throwing the word “hypothesis” and “hypothetical” around as though their etymological similarity addresses the point. It doesn’t. Please reread why we are discussing “scientific hypotheses” at the top of this comment.

    It is curious how much of the discussion on this thread comes down to language”

    Very true. Language is a blunt tool and I believe you are trying to use that to your advantage. See above for just one example.

    Behe’s scenario says evolution happens as it was programmed to happen by the natural laws, that is evolution was “confined to the effects of natural law” . And that means also that there must inevitably be evolutionary explanations that follow from those natural laws, just as the letter says.

    Behe’s scenario depends upon the fact that the evidence of purposeful intelligent design is found in the structures and phenomena of life. His scenario demands that this be explained via reference to purposeful intelligent design, and the journal states that it cannot be, that it will inevitably be explained without such reference, and that such reference does not belong in the journal.

    Biologists do not care where the natural laws came from – that is for physicists and philosophers. They are what they are. And whatever and whever they are, they created humans.

    But what they do care about, when they are editing peer-review journals, is that your explanation make no reference to purpose in biology, as this is MET. This purpose, inferred from the study of current biological structures, is what ID (the ID we are talking about when we are talking about Behe) is about.
    Again, regardless of what the input of the design may have looked like this is now what the result is, and what the ID explanation must entail.

    Suppose Behe is right, and the designer intervened periodically to build those IC structures (and other stuff too). Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do.

    But “science” as demonstrated, believes that all these phenomena can be, and inevitably will be explained via purposeless evolution (as per the journal, as before).
    This is the point.
    “Science”, as represented by what science does -publish in peer-reviewed journals – determines what MET is, and MET excludes purpose (remember, MET does not say what is, it says what explanations will be accepted). It doesn’t just exclude purpose in the explanations it has offered thus far, but excludes purpose for explanations not yet offered as it already knows that all of life will inevitably succumb to purposeless explanation.

    In the same way, the hypothesis Behe mentions but does not believe in might be right, but cannot be used in a scientific explanation. It is not contradicted by anything we know, so in compatible with science as we know it today, including MET.

    Once again, the hypothesis which Behe mentions, which is not his scientific hypothesis only because he makes no claims about how the designer acted, entails that evidence of design be found first in biology and that any explanation, in biology, must refer to purposeful intelligent design.
    This is contradicted, and forbidden outright, by MET.

    Me:
    So now we see that MET, as represented by the prominent experts, the textbooks, the nobel laureates, and peer-review, requires all of its claims, which cover all of living systems, to exclude purpose.

    You:
    No, we see thar some prominent experts, the textbooks, the nobel laureates, and peer-review exclude purpose. Others do not. I found a web page of theistic evolutionists, remember, who agree with me.

    No you did not.
    Theistic evolutionists agree that science qua science (encompassing MET) excludes purposeful design in biology.
    They find their evidences and explanations of design outside of science, and at least certainly outside of a scientific exploration of biology.
    As we are told, science is what science does.
    I have demonstrated what it is that science, so defined (and as it pertains to the mainstream theories, and as it delineates MET), does – namely, exclude purpose as an explanation.
    Again, ID demands purpose as an explanation.
    ID and MET are mutually exclusive.
    Let me reinforce one more time that the ID we are talking about when we are talking about Behe, any proposal he is discussing in defence of his project, biological peer-reviewed journals, textbooks etc., is biological ID ( you agreed to this just a few comments ago, by the way).

  121. And just so that I am clear- I do not think that everyone who disagrees with me is a lunatic.

    IMHO the lunatics are the people who deny the scientific validity of the design inference while insisting (knowingly or not) that sheer dumb luck is (scientifically valid).

    Theistic evolutionists are really closet IDists, with what Daron stated above also applying.

    Are ID and the MET mutually exclusive? Dr Behe explains:

    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.

    Also there is a difference between Common Descent and common descent. The former being that all of the diversity of living organisms owe their collective common ancestry to some unknown population(s) of single-celled organisms. With the latter being that I am a descendant of my father who is a descendant of his and so on. Data supporting the latter should never be confalted for evidence supporting the former.

  122. Joe G

    More so than its materialistic alternative of sheer dumb luck.

    What exactly do you mean by substantiation? Are you thinking about spiritiual substance maybe?

    Nothing in the laws of nature helps Common Descent.

    I know. Nothing in the laws of nature proves man exists. But we still think he does, and we believe that the existence of man is compatible with the laws of nature.

    And if I was allowed to post on ARN I would have shredded your thread to pieces.

    Big talk! See if you can get Tel to start a thread here.

    Pix: A mechanism would say how they were designed, or at least when they were created, and why.
    Joe: The METs mechanisms don’t do that. IOW the MET can’t point to anything except very vague references to mechanisms. Even if we knew how Stonehenge was designed we wouldn’t know why and we wouldn’t know when. IOW it is obvious you don’t know what you are talking about- as usual.
    Pix: Here is a web site with an overview of the discusses mechanisms of evolution.
    Joe: Umm I know what the proposed mechanisms are. I also know what they have been demonstrated to do.

    Good! So what was your point again? You are objecting that the mechanisms of MET do not say how they were designed?

    Yet not one of that majority of biologists can demonstrate that a population of single-celled organisms can “evolve” into something other than single-celled organisms! And not one can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans!

    And not one IDist can show us how single-celled organisms were created, etc. Oh, no, wait, they define ID so those questions can be avoided. I remember now. And they claim this is science?

    Here is a web page about volvox, a single-celled organism them is only a short step from being a multicelular one. This blog site give more information on the transition from single-celled organisms to multicellua organisms.

    And one more time- Dr Behe and the DI support ID because of the scientific data. Faith does not enter into it.

    Yeah, right.

    Oh, and does Dr Behe support common descent because of the scientific data?

    ID is about the design and the design only. And guess what? That design exists in this physical world! IOW the design is very open to scientific investigation.

    No, because science is about explaining, and ID is about avoiding explanation. MET offers us explanations (or perhaps only the hope of explanations) of why a giraffe has a long neck, why the appendix is redundant, why bacteria develop resistance to antibodies, etc. ID offers us labelling; this is labelled “Designed”, that is labelled “Designed”, etc.

  123. Daron

    Daron did?

    Sorry. I was referring to you in post 110, and was thinking I was talking to Joe G for some reason.

    I have to admit to bewilderment about what the deal is with “hypotheses”. Can you say what the difference is between a hypothesis and a scientific hypothesis? I will get back to your comments when I understand better.

    Behe’s scenario depends upon the fact that the evidence of purposeful intelligent design is found in the structures and phenomena of life. His scenario demands that this be explained via reference to purposeful intelligent design, and the journal states that it cannot be, that it will inevitably be explained without such reference, and that such reference does not belong in the journal.

    Do you think this scenario requires intervention? I appreciate this seems like avoiding the issue, but bear with me. This scenario requires the designer to intervene at the very least to front-load at first life, and more likely intervene numerous times subsequently. How can there be this sort of evidence in biology, if the designer had not actually had a hand in how biology is, and indeed had not been on the scene for 13 billion years before biology even started?

    And yet, you quoted Behe to support your claim that ID does not require intervention! How can that be?

    I suggest that Behe is talking about two different scenarios. In one, there is intervention, and this is what he believes. In the other, the design keeps out of it after the Big Bang; he does not believe in it, but still counts it as ID. It is the latter scenario that you used to support your claim. Same here.

    But “science” as demonstrated, believes that all these phenomena can be, and inevitably will be explained via purposeless evolution (as per the journal, as before).

    Science does that because it has to. Science cannot investigate the supernatral, so is obliged to assume there is none.

    Once again, the hypothesis which Behe mentions, which is not his scientific hypothesis only because he makes no claims about how the designer acted, entails that evidence of design be found first in biology and that any explanation, in biology, must refer to purposeful intelligent design.

    No, the evidence is in the fine-tuning of the natural laws, not in biology, in this scenario. Teleologist assured me it still counts as ID.

    Theistic evolutionists agree that science qua science (encompassing MET) excludes purposeful design in biology.
    They find their evidences and explanations of design outside of science, and at least certainly outside of a scientific exploration of biology.

    So what? They believe in teleology, but that it is not a part of science. They accept in MET. Ergo, they believe in teleology AND accept MET. Ergo, teleology and MET are not incompatible.

  124. but the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective.

    Care to show evidence to back this statement up?

    Then there is the ID movement, which seems to have sprung from creationism, as a way around a court decision, where we have the Wedge document telling us ID is a way to get a “broadly theistic understanding of nature” into science.

    Care to show evidence to back this statement up?

    you do not have to be believe in God to be an IDist, but I would guess 99% of IDists do, and over 90% are also creationists

    Is your name Sam Harris? So let’s now apply Harris’ logic. Would we thus suggest that “there are few modes of thinking less congenial to women than science is?”

    That is right. You cannot invoke the supernatural in an explanation, so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation. But that does not mean design did not happen.

    Can you tell me what we are talking about here? Are we debating if “MET is compatible with Intelligent Design” or “MET is compatible with supernatural Design” ? As you said much of it comes down to language.

    Science will continue to investigate natural routes to IC structures, just because that is all science can do.

    ID is not opposed to this. It is good science to continue investigating and testing of IC structures. We are still testing the theory of relativity even though it is one of the most well tested theories in science. Science holds all conclusions as provisional and is open to be modified by new data. With all the empirical data that we have today, intelligence not MET is the best explanation for certain biotic realities. I know you may want to rely on ignorance and say that we will find a materialistic cause for certain biotic realities but not today. Do Darwinists want to tell us that just because evidence does not support spontaneous generation that doesn’t mean it can’t happen?

    In the same way, the hypothesis Behe mentions but does not believe in might be right, but cannot be used in a scientific explanation. It is not contradicted by anything we know, so in compatible with science as we know it today, including MET.

    Can you explain what exactly is it that he said cannot be used in a scientific explanation?

    I found a web page of theistic evolutionists, remember, who agree with me.

    Does scientific methods currently exclude purpose as a possible factor in evolution according to Darwinists?

    Again and again it seems to come down to your reading ability. See the word “further” there, I put it in bold to make sure you see it. No further influence

    If I have a problem with reading then you have a problem with comprehension and memory. The quote was in direct answer to your challenge of where I got “that” from. The that is this “You seem to be using non-intervention to imply that intelligence can no longer be detected.” I take the further in your quote to mean that you think that “intelligence/design” can no longer be detected. Is this not true?

    Now, what was that about misrepresentation?

    In light of my answer above, what was that about obfuscation?

    The debate is about me invoking a third party to support my premise (that the designer loading all the information at the Big Bang, and had no subsequent intention – or no interventionat all for the rest of us), and then using that premise to reach a conclusion. Only you misrepresent me as invoking the third party to support the conclusion.

    I still can’t understand how your analogy is applicable. In any event, yes the issue is that you were quote mining Behe to support your claim. I’ve documented that endlessly and you still have not been able to give detail rebuttal to any of my evidence. All I ever get from you is “I am not claiming that” . As I’ve said, the evidence speaks for itself.

    I think the reason you will not answer is that if you say “no” , you have to admit that I am right about what intervention means, and if you say “yes” , you would be disagreeing with Daron.

    Actually I agree with Daron. Unfortunately I am right about you labeling that Behe’s scenario as NON-INTERVENTION. You didn’t say that was an interventionist scenario. Would you like to amend and revise what you actually said? 😀

    Why do you think Daron did not ask “does ID require subsequent intervention by the designer?” Think about it.

    I am thinking”. Hmm” Why do you think Daron did not ask “does ID means non-intervention by the designer?” Think about it.

    Who would have thought that? Well, all of us except you, Teleologist, because we all understand what intervention means.

    Post 9: “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.” Up to 58 I was not sure whether fine-tuning was enough to make it ID, but you assured me it was in that post.
    Post 59: “So the scenario I described for Behe, involving MET is ID afterall, because the evidence of design is in the fine-tuning.”
    Post 68: “Not so because they are looking at different evidence. MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning.”

    So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now, and not misrepresenting ID. On the other hand, it would seem that you are misrepresenting me”

    I want to make sure I get this quote in full. Now tell me where in any of those posts did you say “design can be scientifically detected” ? You must realize being a person who parses words so carefully that there is a difference between sayings “design is in the fine-tuning” and “design can be scientifically detected” . I have to be careful because you keep telling me I do not understand so many things. I was also probably confused by what you said on comment #30 in the Dec. 7th thread In this comment you cited this same quote from Behe and you also said this.

    There is no way that ID is a scientific theory. ID could be conducted as scientific research. You could propose a hypothesis for the origins of life and/or the universe that is consistent with ID, and show that it is well supported, and make that a scientific theory. Oh, no, you cannot, because ID by definition has no hypotheses, so any hypothesis for the origins of life and/or the universe must necessarily not be ID.

    Once ID is willing to entertain the idea of hypothesis for the origins of life and/or the universe, and you have such a hypothesis, and you can show it is well supported (by drawing logical predictions, and showing they are accurate), then you have a scientific theory (and if good enough, you would probably find it become subsumed in MET eventually). And it does not matter a jot why you want to do that.

    But ID is not at that stage. There is no scientific theory of ID, and ID states that there cannot be. And yet, people want to get ID taught as science. Why is that? Why are so many people convinced ID is right, when there is so little factual evidence for it? Faith, is my guess.

    However, I do not want to diminish this momentous occasion. Pixie said “design can be scientifically detected to this day” Would someone please post this news on ARN or Pixie, would you like to post this on ARN for your Darwinists friends to see. Pixie has come over to the side of ID. Pixie said ID can be scientifically detected. Let’s call NSF and get some funding for research into detecting design. Pixie will support that now. Let’s bring ID into the classrooms because ID can be scientifically detected now, so it is science. I am sorry if I misrepresented you Pixie. I just didn’t know what you were saying.

  125. Hi the pixie,
    I think I will just quote myself for a bit here:

    You just asked:

    Do you think this scenario requires intervention? I appreciate this seems like avoiding the issue, but bear with me. This scenario requires the designer to intervene at the very least to front-load at first life, and more likely intervene numerous times subsequently. How can there be this sort of evidence in biology, if the designer had not actually had a hand in how biology is, and indeed had not been on the scene for 13 billion years before biology even started?

    Which I had answered long ago:

    #3
    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.

    Whether that evidence can be the result of the scenario outlined by Behe is not a matter for a priori assertions, nor is it answered by study of the biological systems in question.
    And yet, Behe can not rule out that scenario.

    This was also answered here:

    #72They are looking at the same evidence. The evidence, for Behe in particular, includes the bacterial flagellum and its irreducible complexity. Behe concludes that the BF is evidence of design, however, he makes no claims about how or when that design was implemented.
    To determine that the scenario that he describes cannot result in evidence for design is to a priori determine the nature of reality. It is to make the same claim you insist that MET is not making, to wit: Biological evolution is blind and purposeless even if there is some first-cause designer of the universe.
    ID says that biological evolution is not blind or purposeless, and that one can determine this by looking at the biological evidence.

    You say

    I suggest that Behe is talking about two different scenarios. In one, there is intervention, and this is what he believes. In the other, the design keeps out of it after the Big Bang; he does not believe in it, but still counts it as ID. It is the latter scenario that you used to support your claim.

    But you had already agreed with everything I said in #110:

    Finally, to emphasize the point once again: when Michael Behe is discussing ID he is not talking about the case in which the evidence for design is found in the fine-tuning of the cosmos, or the laws of physics, etc., but his own project, where the inference is based upon finding evidence of design in biology, contrary to the claims of MET.
    His project tells him nothing about how the designer might have chosen to act in bringing about these biological forms, and as such, allows for the logical possibility of front-loading the necessary information into the events of the Big Bang.
    This is not cosmological ID, and is very distinctly separate from it in that the evidence leading to the inference is of a different nature. He is not discussing cosmological ID when he is defending his case, and his case is mutually exclusive with MET.

    Also you now say:

    No, the evidence is in the fine-tuning of the natural laws, not in biology, in this scenario. Teleologist assured me it still counts as ID.

    But you do so ignoring all that has come before and which I quote here.
    You do not get to make up the conditions of Behe’s scenario.
    The evidence is where I said it is, in the biological systems and structures.
    If you think you are discussing cosmological ID and its evidences then you have no business invoking Behe.

    More on that, from earlier, of course:

    #37
    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.


    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.

    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.

    Part of this started us on a discussion of hyptheses, and you now ask:

    I have to admit to bewilderment about what the deal is with “hypotheses” . Can you say what the difference is between a hypothesis and a scientific hypothesis? I will get back to your comments when I understand better.

    But you made the matter clear yourself in response to my #82:

    Sorry, I do not get your point. The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are. Behe is a scientist, so I imagine is used to generating hypotheses, and then considering the implications.

    You told us the way that science works, and how it uses a hypothesis. Obviously this is not what Behe was doing when he said “it is possible” and “one could hold” etc.

    I told you: #107

    For none of these possibilities, suppositions, and could-haves, does he suggest that his project supports or indicates one over the other. He offers no experiment or observation for any of them, and in fact, demonstrates that he doesn’t think there is any at this time, or that any is possible from the work he is doing.
    His field of molecular biology doesn’t even provide the evidence he would need to suggest that Crick’s ET panspermia is right or wrong.
    What it does provide observational evidence of, in his claim and hypothesis, is intelligent design.

    As Mike Gene just said over on Telic Thoughts on an unrelated matter, when you don’t have a scientific hypothesis the scientific answer is “I don’t know” .
    Behe clearly is saying “I don’t know” .

    But later you tried to equate “could have”, “it’s possible”, “perhaps” statements of Behe’s to his scientific hypothesis by chain-linking “hypothesis – hypothetical – maybe”.
    You do so ignoring me on this point as well:

    # 98
    Behe’s discussion of design carried from a front-loaded Big Bang is not a scientific hypothesis. He has clearly stated, as I’ve tried to make you aware, that his scientific hypothesis ends at the detection/inference of design.
    He has no scientific hypothesis regarding the nature of the designer, nor when/how the design was instantiated.

    You are still missing the point about Behe’s project: the design is detected in biology and the BF is irreducibly complex in this universe.
    He does not know, and frames no hypothesis as a scientist (in the tradition of Newton on the nature of gravity), how this design was actualized in this universe.
    His scientific hypothesis that design is present and detected can not rule out front-loading, either at first life or at the Big Bang, nor can it rule out controlled quantum events, nor special creation.

    On theistic evolutionists you finish with:

    So what? They believe in teleology, but that it is not a part of science. They accept in MET. Ergo, they believe in teleology AND accept MET. Ergo, teleology and MET are not incompatible.

    So what? indeed.
    You are correct, teleology and MET are not incompatible. But why have you equivocated?
    ID and MET are incompatible because they are mutually exclusive explanations of the same thing – remember the tree.

    That’s right.
    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

    #67
    Furthermore, your claim to compatibility requires an equivocation between ontology and epistemology in either case. If there exists a designer who caused the Big Bang etc. then MET is merely epistemologically limited in what it can claim, and can be compatible with this design without reference to or acknowledgment of it. Whereas MET could be ontologically correct about its claims while ID can still make the epistemological claim that a designer was the first cause.
    But in reality both are making only epistemological claims – ” we can know that the evidence requires a designer” v. “we can know that the evidence obtains without requiring a designer” – which are incompatible with each other, regardless of the fact that they may each, in some limitation, be compatible with a greater ontological truth.

    On both incompatibility and the scenario as described, I have previously said:

    #73
    No, in ID the facts of evolution indicate the action of a designer and are directly opposed to the MET which claims the facts can be explained without invoking the designer.
    Whether that evidence can be the result of the scenario outlined by Behe is not a matter for a priori assertions, nor is it answered by study of the biological systems in question.
    And yet, Behe can not rule out that scenario.

    #82
    You are still viewing this backward, however.
    In the scenario he offered Behe is still operating from observable facts. In his project it is not a starting fact that the universe was created by a designer at the Big Bang who then left everything to chance, which then culminated in biological artifacts which do not show evidence of design.
    In his project the design is detected in biology, the BF is irreducibly complex and it is possible that among the ways a designer could have done this is the scenario described, where all the information was front-loaded at the Big Bang.
    Please note that he is not imagining a hypothetical universe where the evidence of design has disappeared and he is merely speculating on theology. He is observing the natural facts as they are, and providing one hypothetical situation in which they might have come to be as such. One hypothetical scenario by which the actual observable evidence came to be.

    If you continue to take the starting point (contra Behe) to be a deistic kind of designer and then reason from there to an imagination of observables you can come up with ideas compatible with all sorts of theories. But that is not what Behe is doing, and that is not what he said.

    ps.
    I expect to have to edit this for redundancy and blockquote errors, so if you respond and it gets changed a little be forewarned I am not nefariously trying to change history.

  126. More so than its materialistic alternative of sheer dumb luck.

    the Pixie:
    What exactly do you mean by substantiation?

    Scientific data that supports the claims made.

    the Pixie:
    I know. Nothing in the laws of nature proves man exists. But we still think he does, and we believe that the existence of man is compatible with the laws of nature.

    We know that we exist and we also know there is a very limited number of options as to the reality behind that existence.

    The Volvox- exactly what evolved?

    And again it is sad that you have spent so much time on the ARN discussion board and still cannot grasp ID.

    Did we have to know how Stonehenge was designed BEFORE we inferred it was?
    Did we have to know who designed it BEFORE we inferred it was designed?

    What part about the following don’t you understand?:

    Reality demonstrates the ONLY way to make ANY determination about the designer or the specific design processes involved, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, is by studying the design in question.

    And guess what?

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

    And yes the design inference does force us to ask other questions. ID is not preventing anyone from looking into them. However that also demonstrates that ID is NOT a scientific dead-end plus gives us the impetus to drive the research.

    The MET can only offer speculations based on the assumption- that is specualtions as to how something evolved based on the assumption it did evolve. And without any way to objectively test either.

  127. Teleologist

    Care to show evidence to back this statement up?

    Look at the bit I quoted from the Wedge document, and at the findings of the Dover trial.

    Pix: That is right. You cannot invoke the supernatural in an explanation, so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation. But that does not mean design did not happen.
    Tel: Can you tell me what we are talking about here? Are we debating if “MET is compatible with Intelligent Design” or “MET is compatible with supernatural Design” ? As you said much of it comes down to language.

    Science does not allow supernatural explanations. However, that does not mean supernatural explanations are necessarily wrong. So MET is compatible with ID and with a supernatural dsigner, in that it is possible both are true, but MET (and all science) is not compatible with design as a scientific explanation.

    I know you may want to rely on ignorance and say that we will find a materialistic cause for certain biotic realities but not today. Do Darwinists want to tell us that just because evidence does not support spontaneous generation that doesn’t mean it can’t happen?

    Scientists are not relying on ignorance, they are using the best knowledge they have available, and are actively working to learn more. And that includes for abiogenesis.

    Can you explain what exactly is it that he said cannot be used in a scientific explanation?

    It is the supernatural explanation bit again.

    Does scientific methods currently exclude purpose as a possible factor in evolution according to Darwinists?

    No. Not according to all of them, anyway. They just say no purpose has ever been detected. How can they say anything else?

    If I have a problem with reading then you have a problem with comprehension and memory. The quote was in direct answer to your challenge of where I got “that” from. The that is this “You seem to be using non-intervention to imply that intelligence can no longer be detected.” I take the further in your quote to mean that you think that “intelligence/design” can no longer be detected. Is this not true?

    But I have said several times that design can be detected in the fine-tuning of the universe!

    I am thinking”. Hmm” Why do you think Daron did not ask “does ID means non-intervention by the designer?” Think about it.

    That question would be asking if ID is necessarily non-interventist, which it obviously is not, because ID scenarios allow intervention. That would be a stupid question to ask. Instead he asked if ID is necessarily interventionist. “does ID require intervention by the designer?”

    According to you, he must have meant: “Does ID require that the designer is involved at all?” Well, yes, of course the designer has to be involved at some point, otherwise there will be no design, and no evidence of design. Stupid question.

    According to me, he meant: “Does ID require that the designer is involved after the start of the universe?” Now this is an interesting and possibly contentious question, that it is well-worth starting a blog thread about about.

    Perhaps Daron could clarify here.

    I want to make sure I get this quote in full. Now tell me where in any of those posts did you say “design can be scientifically detected” ? You must realize being a person who parses words so carefully that there is a difference between sayings “design is in the fine-tuning” and “design can be scientifically detected” . I have to be careful because you keep telling me I do not understand so many things. I was also probably confused by what you said on comment #30 in the Dec. 7th thread In this comment you cited this same quote from Behe and you also said this.

    When I said “evidence is in the fine-tuning of the laws and constants” and “the evidence of design is in the fine-tuning” and then again “MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning”. Each time I said there was evidence for design. The implication is that design can therefore be scientifically detected, would you not say?

    However, I do not want to diminish this momentous occasion. Pixie said “design can be scientifically detected to this day” Would someone please post this news on ARN or Pixie, would you like to post this on ARN for your Darwinists friends to see. Pixie has come over to the side of ID. Pixie said ID can be scientifically detected. Let’s call NSF and get some funding for research into detecting design. Pixie will support that now. Let’s bring ID into the classrooms because ID can be scientifically detected now, so it is science. I am sorry if I misrepresented you Pixie. I just didn’t know what you were saying.

    I was talking about in the hypothetical scenario of Behe’s.

  128. Daron

    Which I had answered long ago:

    But you seem to be talking about the scenario Behe believes in, not the scenario he describes in the OP.

    But you had already agreed with everything I said in #110:

    I thought you had it then.

    But you do so ignoring all that has come before and which I quote here.
    You do not get to make up the conditions of Behe’s scenario.
    The evidence is where I said it is, in the biological systems and structures.
    If you think you are discussing cosmological ID and its evidences then you have no business invoking Behe.

    But Behe brought up cosmological ID first! In the OP, in the bit I keep quoting.

    You told us the way that science works, and how it uses a hypothesis. Obviously this is not what Behe was doing when he said “it is possible” and “one could hold” etc.

    That is how science uses hypotheses, but that is not the totality of what hypotheses are. A hypothesis is a conjecture, a possibility, a might be. Science uses those in one way, but it is still a hypothesis whether it gets used by science or not. And “it is possible” is a great way to start a hypothesis!

    You do so ignoring me on this point as well:

    In the OP, he describes a hypothesis. He does it. You quoite it. He does not do any science with it. He does not think it is right. But it is still a hypothesis.

    You are correct, teleology and MET are not incompatible. But why have you equivocated?
    ID and MET are incompatible because they are mutually exclusive explanations of the same thing – remember the tree.

    Excellent news about MET and teleology, at least.

    No, they explain different – if related – things. MET is only about evolution, ID is about the whole universe. Remember the tree that was planted by a man, and left to grow. The IDist said the tree was the result of the actions of an intelligent agent. The MET guy said the tree grew entirely naturally. Two different explanations. but both right, because they describe slightly different processes.

    I expect to have to edit this for redundancy and blockquote errors, so if you respond and it gets changed a little be forewarned I am not nefariously trying to change history.

    I trust you!

  129. Joe G

    The Volvox- exactly what evolved?

    The volvox is an organism that is part way between being single-celled and multi-cellular. It shows that the barrier between the two is not so great (two smaller barriers instead of one big one if you like).

    Did we have to know how Stonehenge was designed BEFORE we inferred it was?
    Did we have to know who designed it BEFORE we inferred it was designed?

    No, we could do an informal probability calculation, estimating the likelihood of the various scenarios. What are the chances of wind, rain, etc. producing a structure like this, given what we know about rocks, and how they erode? What are the chances of mankind producing a structure like this, given what we know about rocks and mankind.

  130. The Pixie,

    But you seem to be talking about the scenario Behe believes in, not the scenario he describes in the OP.

    No I don’t.
    I said:
    Me:

    #3
    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.

    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.

    Whether that evidence can be the result of the scenario outlined by Behe is not a matter for a priori assertions, nor is it answered by study of the biological systems in question.
    And yet, Behe can not rule out that scenario.

    The Pixie:

    I thought you had it then.

    I do have it.
    Mostly what I have is that you were confused about ID, and I cleared that up.

    But Behe brought up cosmological ID first! In the OP, in the bit I keep quoting.

    Me:

    #110
    Finally, to emphasize the point once again: when Michael Behe is discussing ID he is not talking about the case in which the evidence for design is found in the fine-tuning of the cosmos, or the laws of physics, etc., but his own project, where the inference is based upon finding evidence of design in biology, contrary to the claims of MET.
    His project tells him nothing about how the designer might have chosen to act in bringing about these biological forms, and as such, allows for the logical possibility of front-loading the necessary information into the events of the Big Bang.
    This is not cosmological ID, and is very distinctly separate from it in that the evidence leading to the inference is of a different nature. He is not discussing cosmological ID when he is defending his case, and his case is mutually exclusive with MET.

    The Pixie:

    Daron
    I am not going to respond to your specific points [#110]” because I agree with pretty much all you say.

    The Pixie (now) :

    That is how science uses hypotheses, but that is not the totality of what hypotheses are. A hypothesis is a conjecture, a possibility, a might be. Science uses those in one way, but it is still a hypothesis whether it gets used by science or not.

    Ahh, good. So we are agreed, and this following point was irrelevant:
    The Pixie (then):

    Sorry, I do not get your point. The way science works is to propose hypotheses that fit the observations, and to see what the implications – the predictions – from the hyotheses are. Behe is a scientist, so I imagine is used to generating hypotheses, and then considering the implications.

    So it is meaningless as a challenge to my post #82:

    If you continue to take the starting point (contra Behe) to be a deistic kind of designer and then reason from there to an imagination of observables you can come up with ideas compatible with all sorts of theories. But that is not what Behe is doing, and that is not what he said.

    Nor does it touch this:

    98
    Behe’s discussion of design carried from a front-loaded Big Bang is not a scientific hypothesis. He has clearly stated, as I’ve tried to make you aware, that his scientific hypothesis ends at the detection/inference of design.
    He has no scientific hypothesis regarding the nature of the designer, nor when/how the design was instantiated.

    You are still missing the point about Behe’s project: the design is detected in biology and the BF is irreducibly complex in this universe.
    He does not know, and frames no hypothesis as a scientist (in the tradition of Newton on the nature of gravity), how this design was actualized in this universe.
    His scientific hypothesis that design is present and detected can not rule out front-loading, either at first life or at the Big Bang, nor can it rule out controlled quantum events, nor special creation.

    As well, your new statement answers your own question anyway, which you asked here:

    I have to admit to bewilderment about what the deal is with “hypotheses” . Can you say what the difference is between a hypothesis and a scientific hypothesis? I will get back to your comments when I understand better.

    So it is established that you are aware that there is a difference between a scientific hypothesis and one which is not scientific, and must then agree with me here:

    # 120
    You said it was Behe’s scientific hypothesis and asked if I agreed (” Do you think it is not a scientific hypothesis? Seems like one to me.”) I said it was not his scientific hypothesis. A scientific hypothesis and a hypothetical logical possibility are not the same thing.

    Therefore, the fact that Behe’s utterances of “maybe”, “could have”, “possibly” etc. can be taken as hypotheses of some sort does not make them scientific hypotheses, and, hence, there is no need to hold them to any scientific standard, and nor are they scientific statements.

    The Pixie:

    In the OP, he describes a hypothesis. He does it. You quoite it. He does not do any science with it. He does not think it is right. But it is still a hypothesis.

    And as I said it is not what you want to think it is.
    It is not part of his scientific hypothesis, he has no evidence to prefer one claim over the other, and, since we are talking about Behe and his defence of his position that biology shows evidence of design it is a logically possible BIOLOGICAL ID position.

    The Pixie:
    No, they explain different – if related – things. MET is only about evolution, ID is about the whole universe.
    Biological ID, Behe’s project, is about biological structures and systems.

    # 73
    No, in ID the facts of evolution indicate the action of a designer and are directly opposed to the MET which claims the facts can be explained without invoking the designer.
    Whether that evidence can be the result of the scenario outlined by Behe is not a matter for a priori assertions, nor is it answered by study of the biological systems in question.
    And yet, Behe can not rule out that scenario.

    That’s right.
    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

    I will close with Behe again, from #110

    The claim of intelligent design is that “No unintelligent process could produce this system.” The claim of Darwinism is that “Some unintelligent process (involving natural selection and random mutation) could produce this system.”

  131. Look at the bit I quoted from the Wedge document, and at the findings of the Dover trial.

    I am not aware of any specific quotes you’ve made from the Wedge document. Can you point me to the comment # and may a sentence or 2 that you’ve quoted from the Wedge document. I am specifically interested in the part where you claim the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective. I think everyone would like to know where in the Wedge document that it said “getting God into science is an objective” . I know you wouldn’t want to misrepresenting DI, right?

    Pix: That is right. You cannot invoke the supernatural in an explanation, so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation.

    Thanks for reminding me. Yes, you did say MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation didn’t you. But then you also said,

    Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now

    I am confused or more accurately you are confused. Is design science or not science?

    Science does not allow supernatural explanations. However, that does not mean supernatural explanations are necessarily wrong. So MET is compatible with ID and with a supernatural dsigner, in that it is possible both are true, but MET (and all science) is not compatible with design as a scientific explanation.

    No Pixie, that is not what I am asking. Please read what I said very carefully. I didn’t ask you about science or supernatural explanations. I asked you a very simple and straightforward either or question. Are we debating if “MET is compatible with Intelligent Design” or “MET is compatible with supernatural Design” ? That’s it. Pick one.

    Scientists are not relying on ignorance, they are using the best knowledge they have available, and are actively working to learn more. And that includes for abiogenesis.

    No, no, Pixie, I did not say scientists, I said you or in a more general sense Darwinists, may want to rely on ignorance and say that we will find a materialistic cause for certain biotic realities. No I don’t think scientists or science rely on ignorance at all. Scientists practice empirical science based on testable and reproducible observations. No science is nothing like the current Darwinian model of turning a bacterium into a fish through random mutation and selection. That’s just some hope on ignorance without testable and reproducible experimentations.

    It is the supernatural explanation bit again.

    OK, that’s cool, as long as you are not talking about intelligent design explanation.

    No. Not according to all of them, anyway.

    That’s good to know. Daron gave you some examples of those that do exclude purpose from science. I’ve given you examples like Forrest, your wiki entry, and theistic evolutionists like Keith and Ken Miller who all exclude purpose from science. Can you give an example of a Darwinist who would include purpose as a part of the evolutionary theoretic?

    But I have said several times that design can be detected in the fine-tuning of the universe!

    Actually I don’t think you have ever said “design can be detected in the fine-tuning” . You said things like “evidence of design is in the fine-tuning” . With our history of these last few weeks, I don’t dare to jump to that conclusion.

    According to me, he meant: “Does ID require that the designer is involved after the start of the universe?” Now this is an interesting and possibly contentious question, that it is well-worth starting a blog thread about about.

    You are right maybe mine was a stupid question, but this answer from you is interesting. The interesting question is this does ID require the designer to be involved before or at the start of the universe, according to Behe’s scenario?

    When I said “evidence is in the fine-tuning of the laws and constants” and “the evidence of design is in the fine-tuning” and then again “MET only looks at the evidence in biology, the Behe scenario is in the fine-tuning” . Each time I said there was evidence for design. The implication is that design can therefore be scientifically detected, would you not say?

    Honestly I don’t know what you might mean by that. You could have said evidence of design is in the fine-tuning but it is the result of random design and not intelligent design. You could have also said fine-tuning is outside of science and therefore we can’t detect it. Still, you might have said, Pixie: The problem with the scenario Behe tells us is ID. There is no way you can have evidence of design in the diversity of life if all the designer did was fine-tune the universe, some 13 billion years before life appeared. In this case you are using fine-tuning but not as evidence for design.

    Not to take away your conversion to a proponent of ID, but your answer here still doesn’t show where you have said, “design can be scientifically detected” before #124. But all that doesn’t matter now that you’ve become and IDist who thinks ID is science.

    I was talking about in the hypothetical scenario of Behe’s.

    What do you mean by hypothetical, hypothetical in the working hypothesis sense? You’ve been saying Behe’s scenario is a hypothesis and now it is a scientifically testable hypothesis. To make sure your conversion to the “dark side” is complete, let me see if you agree with these statements. Pixie now believes that MET includes purpose, because purpose/teleology/ID can be detected scientifically. Well if this is the definition of MET then I withdraw my claim that MET is mutually exclusive with ID.

  132. Daron

    I am getting confused…

    When Behe says: “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.” is he talking about:

    * a scenario he thinks is reasonable, that could well be true
    * a scenario that could lead to IC structures and other biological evidence of ID
    * cosmological ID
    * a scenario that requires intervention by the design

    And this has me confused too:

    Pix: In the OP, he describes a hypothesis. He does it. You quoite it. He does not do any science with it. He does not think it is right. But it is still a hypothesis.
    Daron: And as I said it is not what you want to think it is.
    It is not part of his scientific hypothesis, he has no evidence to prefer one claim over the other, and, since we are talking about Behe and his defence of his position that biology shows evidence of design it is a logically possible BIOLOGICAL ID position.

    I call it a hypothesis, you respond by saying it is not a scientific hypothesis, just after saying that a hypothesis is different to a scientific hypothesis. Are they different? If so, then forget about scientific hypotheses. Behe describe a hypothesis in the OP. Not a scientific hypothesis, but a hypothesis.

    Would it help if I called it a conjecture?

  133. Teleologist

    I am not aware of any specific quotes you’ve made from the Wedge document. Can you point me to the comment # and may a sentence or 2 that you’ve quoted from the Wedge document. I am specifically interested in the part where you claim the Wedge document makes it clear that getting God into science is an objective. I think everyone would like to know where in the Wedge document that it said “getting God into science is an objective” . I know you wouldn’t want to misrepresenting DI, right?

    We certainly want to avoid any misrepresentation. This is why I quoted the Wedge in post 105 (and very briefly in post 113). The bit is question is:

    Discovery Institute’s Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature.

    You can view the Wedge here by the way (scroll down to section 5), by the way. It is nearly at the top of page 13, towards the end of the introduction. I am interested to see how you spin this…

    I am confused or more accurately you are confused. Is design science or not science?

    When I say they are compatible, I mean they could both be right, not that they could both be science. That does mean I am making the assumption that fine-tuning could provide evidence for ID. Actually I am making the assumption that Behe is correct in calling that scenario ID, and I am guess fine-tuning is the evidence that he is thinking about. Not scientific evidence – I do not think I ever said that!

    No Pixie, that is not what I am asking. Please read what I said very carefully. I didn’t ask you about science or supernatural explanations. I asked you a very simple and straightforward either or question. Are we debating if “MET is compatible with Intelligent Design” or “MET is compatible with supernatural Design” ? That’s it. Pick one.

    For all the claims, I do not believe there is a difference (assuming supernatural Design, with a capital “D” means design of the universe, etc.). Why not

    No, no, Pixie, I did not say scientists, I said you or in a more general sense Darwinists, may want to rely on ignorance and say that we will find a materialistic cause for certain biotic realities. No I don’t think scientists or science rely on ignorance at all. Scientists practice empirical science based on testable and reproducible observations. No science is nothing like the current Darwinian model of turning a bacterium into a fish through random mutation and selection. That’s just some hope on ignorance without testable and reproducible experimentations.

    As opposed to you relying on ignorance and say we will not?

    One difference is that we have a habit of finding materialistic causes. At one time people attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies. Now we attribute it to physical things. Another difference is that we do have causes in general terms – that is what MET is all about – even if we do not know the specifics. As we are still discovering new species, I think it would be unreasonable to expect science to already by able to explain in specific terms how the undiscovered species came to be.

    That’s good to know. Daron gave you some examples of those that do exclude purpose from science. I’ve given you examples like Forrest, your wiki entry, and theistic evolutionists like Keith and Ken Miller who all exclude purpose from science. Can you give an example of a Darwinist who would include purpose as a part of the evolutionary theoretic?

    No, but there are plenty, such as Keith and Ken Miller who believe teleology is compatible with MET (that is, they can both be true at the same time), even though teleology is excluded from science.

    Tel: I take the further in your quote to mean that you think that “intelligence/design” can no longer be detected. Is this not true?
    Pix: But I have said several times that design can be detected in the fine-tuning of the universe!
    Tel: Actually I don’t think you have ever said “design can be detected in the fine-tuning” . You said things like “evidence of design is in the fine-tuning” . With our history of these last few weeks, I don’t dare to jump to that conclusion.

    You prefered to jump to the opposite conclusion! Might have been best to ask for clarification.

    You are right maybe mine was a stupid question, but this answer from you is interesting. The interesting question is this does ID require the designer to be involved before or at the start of the universe, according to Behe’s scenario?

    We cannot tell what is required from one scenario, only what is allowed. From Behe’s scenario we know that the designer is allowed to be involved before or at the start of the universe, but maybe Behe has other scenarios he considers to be ID where this is not the case.

    Honestly I don’t know what you might mean by that. You could have said evidence of design is in the fine-tuning but it is the result of random design and not intelligent design. You could have also said fine-tuning is outside of science and therefore we can’t detect it. Still, you might have said, Pixie: The problem with the scenario Behe tells us is ID. There is no way you can have evidence of design in the diversity of life if all the designer did was fine-tune the universe, some 13 billion years before life appeared. In this case you are using fine-tuning but not as evidence for design.

    My argument is based on the assumption that Behe is correct, that the scenario he describes is ID and therefore there is evidence of design (fine-tuning I guess). One way to destroy my argument is to prove that assumption wrong.

    By the way, converting to ID; surely that is more like going over to the dark ages rather than the dark side?

  134. The Volvox- exactly what evolved?

    the Pixie:
    The volvox is an organism that is part way between being single-celled and multi-cellular. It shows that the barrier between the two is not so great (two smaller barriers instead of one big one if you like).

    I know what the Volvox is. However you failed to address my question. Exactly what evolved to get the Volvox?

    Ya see Pixie I have in my library (and have read) “Volvox: Molecular-Genetic Origins of Multicellularity and Cellular Differentiation” By Volvox expert David L. Kirk. IOW I forgot more about the Volvox than you ever knew.

    Did we have to know how Stonehenge was designed BEFORE we inferred it was?
    Did we have to know who designed it BEFORE we inferred it was designed?

    the Pixie:
    No, we could do an informal probability calculation, estimating the likelihood of the various scenarios.

    Sounds like the design explanatory filter at work.

    the Pixie:
    What are the chances of wind, rain, etc. producing a structure like this, given what we know about rocks, and how they erode? What are the chances of mankind producing a structure like this, given what we know about rocks and mankind.

    That is the DEF! And you know what? ID is just like that! We take what we know and understand about the capabilities of designing agencies and couple that with our knowledge of what nature, operating freely, is capable of.

    So what is it that prevents tried-n-true design detection techniques from be utilized in biology?

  135. Let me see if I understand what Daron’s purpose is for this thread and Daron, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. It seems to me that certain ID critics have a tendency to misrepresent ID as requiring continuous intervention from an intelligent agent, in the form of miracles for the theory to be viable. This is obviously not a requirement of ID. ID is about certain physical realities that are best explained by an intelligent cause and these intelligent causes can be detected using the scientific methods. As Daron has so laboriously try to get explain and with quotes from Dembski.

    “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.”

    This I believe is the reason for Daron’s title of the thread. ID does not care about the frequency or locality of the intervening intelligence.

    IMO, at this point it might be easy for an ID critic to key in on the Dembski’s sentence, ” It is not an interventionist theory at all.” , and make the claim that since there is no intervention; the only thing we see are natural laws at work there is no need for intelligent design. This would completely disrespect the ID theorist’s thesis i.e., the outcomes are prescribed through front-loading, as Dembski continues from that quote.

    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

    I think IDists are using non-intervention in the sense that information is loaded into the system, the subsequent unfolding of the universe and even the emerging of life is a prescribed-goal oriented or as Dembski puts it a deterministic process. This again I would submit is in stark contrast to MET, which rejects design and purpose, allowing only random and unguided processes in science. This view of MET is held by virtually all Darwinists except for maybe one. The ID critics code word for ID is religion or Creationism.

    Ken Miller:
    ” The existence of a supreme being simply is not a scientific question. A supreme being stands outside of nature. Science is a naturalistic process and can only answer questions about what is inside nature. Beyond that it’s a matter of personal belief.”

    Barbara Forrest:
    “To introduce a supernatural or transcendental cause within science is to depart from naturalistic explanations. On this ground, to invoke an intelligent designer or creator is inadmissible”

    Daniel Dennett:
    If they said that the theory of evolution in no way conflicts with the existence of a divine creator, then I must say that I find that claim to be disingenuous. The theory of evolution demolishes the best reason anyone has ever suggested for believing in a divine creator. This does not demonstrate that there is no divine creator, of course, but only shows that if there is one, it (He?) needn’t have bothered to create anything, since natural selection would have taken care of all that.

    Our new convert or just came out of the closet ID advocate said:

    By the way, converting to ID; surely that is more like going over to the dark ages rather than the dark side?

    You could be right. Now that you are an ID proponent, you will be called much worse than that. You watch your back; Myers and Harris will be coming after you soon with steel-toed boots and brass knuckles. How does it feel to become part of the “lunatics and idiots” ?
    New ID proponent, Pixie said:So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.

  136. Joe G

    Ya see Pixie I have in my library (and have read) “Volvox: Molecular-Genetic Origins of Multicellularity and Cellular Differentiation” By Volvox expert David L. Kirk. IOW I forgot more about the Volvox than you ever knew.

    Well good for you! I only heard about them yesturday. So you can tell me then.

    Failing that, here are a couple of web pages (first is only an abstract, second a discussion about a journal article) about how it evolved.

    Sounds like the design explanatory filter at work.

    At first glance, perhaps. But the EF considers only one probability, and if that is low, goes to a default (and unsupported) conclusion. What I described compares two competing probabilities, and goes for the more likely.

  137. Teleologist

    I think IDists are using non-intervention in the sense that information is loaded into the system, the subsequent unfolding of the universe and even the emerging of life is a prescribed-goal oriented or as Dembski puts it a deterministic process.

    Exactly! At last you see the light and we can put this one to bed.

  138. The Pixie,

    I am getting confused”
    When Behe says: “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.” is he talking about:

    * a scenario he thinks is reasonable, that could well be true
    * a scenario that could lead to IC structures and other biological evidence of ID

    I would pick these two but you’ve clipped the quote just a little so as to be misleading.
    When you cut off the two thoughts at the beginning and the one at the end you lose an important element:
    Behe:

    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.

    Once one identifies IC in a biological structure, and makes an inference to intelligent design one could hold (it is possible, it could be, perhaps, etc.) that the information thus expressed was present at the start of the universe, etc.

    I call it a hypothesis, you respond by saying it is not a scientific hypothesis, just after saying that a hypothesis is different to a scientific hypothesis. Are they different? If so, then forget about scientific hypotheses. Behe describe a hypothesis in the OP. Not a scientific hypothesis, but a hypothesis.

    Would it help if I called it a conjecture?

    You can call it what you like, but do not imply that it should be subject to the same standards of testability and falsifiability as his scientific induction from observation when it is clearly outside of his ID hypothesis.

    Just to be clear, you have our history wrong there. First you told me how science worked, and that Behe, as a scientist, should know the requirements of making an hypothesis.
    Then I responded that this scenario above is not part of his scientific hypotheses, ie. your concerns about what he should or should not know about making a hypothesis were irrelevant to the situation.
    Then you said such things as “it is so an hypothesis” and “what’s the difference between an hypothesis and a scientific hypothesis?”

    At any rate, the point is that Behe does not observe a deistic kind of designer and then work toward IC.
    He observes IC, infers purposeful intelligent design, and cannot tell by the evidence how that design was implemented. He gives a variety of scenarios, without scientific support of testability, etc., and says that they are logical possibilities, but not that they are scientific conclusions on his part.
    Remember, you start with the IC, discovered in this, and not an hypothetical, universe, and take that as evidence for design. That inference itself does not lead to any particular designer, nor to any particular implementation scenario.

    ps.
    You are still making ontological claims in your discussion with teleologist when ID is making epistemological claims.

  139. Like Maxwell who, upon the failure of ether, continued to do science without knowing in what medium light travelled, or Newton, who described and studied gravity without forming an hypothesis about just what gravity is, Behe (et al) can infer intelligence and information and study its effects without knowing how it was carried through, or into, history.

    Just as apples fall, IC structures are observed.
    Like gravity, intelligent purposeful design exists and causes effects.

  140. We certainly want to avoid any misrepresentation. This is why I quoted the Wedge in post 105 (and very briefly in post 113). The bit is question is:

    Yes we do and to that end, I still don’t see the phrase “getting God into science is an objective” in your quote. However, you did highlighted in bold ” a broadly theistic understanding of nature” . Am I to assume you think this is supposed to be equivalent? If this is the case then I think you might be um” misrepresenting misunderstanding what DI is saying. You are someone who parses words very carefully so you should know that “getting God into science” has the connotation of putting God into scientific methodologies. This is very different from the words you’ve highlighted in bold and certainly that can’t be what they meant in context. To have a broadly theistic understanding of nature simply means that DI wants to foster an atmosphere where science is consonant with theistic beliefs. Eugenie Scott thinks that is appropriate; even you have said that Darwinism is compatible with theistic beliefs, right? You need to read what it actually said again, CSC seeks to overthrow MATERIALISM not SCIENCE. Unless you are willing to concede that materialists have fused philosophical materialism into science; you can’t make the logical leap that even if, CSC by replacing materialism with God; that would equate to getting God in science. This kind of mentality is more indicative of the materialist’s mindset more than what CSC is trying to do.

    And in the larger context if you read the 3 paragraphs before the one that you quoted, CSC used it to criticize materialist and materialism NOT SCIENCE. In fact, it was a criticism of materialists’ misuse of science. CSC’s goal is to liberate science from the abuses of materialist and in doing so allow science to be more consonant and not antagonistic with theistic worldview. You can read more about it on Discovery Institute’s “Wedge Document” .

    When I say they are compatible

    Oh, no, no, no, please don’t detract from what you and I said. I didn’t mention about compatible at all. I asked Is design science or not science?. I asked that question because well” why don’t we review what you said.

    Pixie: so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation.

    Pixie: There is no way that ID is a scientific theory.

    Pixie: Each time I said there was evidence for design. The implication is that design can therefore be scientifically detected, would you not say?

    Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.

    To put it crudely, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    For all the claims, I do not believe there is a difference (assuming supernatural Design, with a capital “D” means design of the universe, etc.). Why not

    I thought so. The reason why we’ve been debating for the last 2 weeks on this is that you are ignorant of what ID is. You are not representing ID correctly, even JP over at ARN saw that right off. The alternative to ignorance is deliberate mischaracterization of ID against what IDists have defined. That sort of person is very bad and deceitful, so we won’t go there.

    One difference is that we have a habit of finding materialistic causes. At one time people attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies. Now we attribute it to physical things. Another difference is that we do have causes in general terms

    This is just further demonstration of your ignorance about ID. ID doesn’t attribute everything to intelligence. We also have a habit of finding the materialistic causes to things like weather.

    that is what MET is all about – even if we do not know the specifics. As we are still discovering new species

    Sure if you don’t know the specifics, just fall back to ignorance and fill in the blank with whatever you personally believe is the right answer. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    I think it would be unreasonable to expect science to already by able to explain in specific terms how the undiscovered species came to be.

    I agree. The difference between MET and ID is that when we don’t have empirical data to support our theory we just say we don’t know. We don’t limit our options. When MET don’t know something or don’t have empirical evidence to support their theory, you fill in the blanks with your fairy tale stories. e.g. Is there any empirical evidence to demonstrate how a light spot turned into a vertebrate eye? No. But if we wish upon a star, we can imagine how the spot can change its shape and micron-by-micron, a lens is formed and soon an eye is born.

    e.g. Is there empirical data that demonstrates how a bacterium turned into a fish? No. But we won’t let our ignorance stop us. Let’s imagine a bacterium with a bad case of indigestion. Well that indigestion turned into a new type of cell. And this cell was bumping around one day and gets stuck to another cell. In a little while this colony of cells turns into some simple animal and then a fish. No I do not expect MET to have all the answers but to embrace ignorance as a promise to knowledge? That’s beyond credulity.

    No, but there are plenty, such as Keith and Ken Miller who believe teleology is compatible with MET (that is, they can both be true at the same time), even though teleology is excluded from science.

    Hmm” I think that is what I said, people who exclude purpose from science? Yes, I am sure I said that. This would make MET mutually exclusive with ID.

    You prefered to jump to the opposite conclusion! Might have been best to ask for clarification.

    Yes I did and I am sorry. I didn’t know you were a closet ID proponent. Pixie: Each time I said there was evidence for design. The implication is that design can therefore be scientifically detected, would you not say?

    Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.
    Oh, I am so excited about this aren’t you. BTW, have you told your Darwinian friends on ARN, PT and scienceblogs that you’ve become an ID proponent yet?

    Behe’s scenario we know that the designer is allowed to be involved before or at the start of the universe, but maybe Behe has other scenarios he considers to be ID where this is not the case.

    Agreed, ID is not unidimensional. So do you think given ID’s position, that intelligence was involved at least once — when ID says it is not an interventionist theory, it means there is no built in intervention, intelligence or purpose in the unfolding of the universe? Or to borrow Dembski’s word again, it is “deterministic” or goal driven, implying there is intelligence i.e., not random and unguided?

    (modified on 17:54 for clarity)

  141. Daron

    I would pick these two but you’ve clipped the quote just a little so as to be misleading.
    When you cut off the two thoughts at the beginning and the one at the end you lose an important element:

    It was not deliberate. Can you explain what this important element is? It may be that I already accept it, and thought that as we all agree it was superfluous.

    Once one identifies IC in a biological structure, and makes an inference to intelligent design one could hold (it is possible, it could be, perhaps, etc.) that the information thus expressed was present at the start of the universe, etc.

    I am not convinced that is what Behe is saying.

    Go back to when the Earth was a cooling ball of iron, 4 billion years ago. If you are right, Behe believes that from that point, given the laws of nature and the situation the Earth is in at that point (which is also resulting from the laws of nature), atoms and molecules will come together to form first life, and that life will evolve into the rich diversity of life today because of the way the designer set it. Meanwhile, your mainstream biologist believes that from that point, given the laws of nature and the situation the Earth is in at that point (which is also resulting from the laws of nature), atoms and molecules will come together to form first life, and that life will evolve into the rich diversity of life today. Before 4 billion years ago there was no biology. After that point 4 billion years ago, there was no intervention by the designer. The laws of nature are what they are. So for the entirety of biology (and including the lead-up with abiogenesis), Behe and mainstream biologists agree on all the external factors that can go into biology. And yet Behe is claiming that IC structures can only arise if those external factors can be attributed to God. If those external factors came about by chance, eventhough they are identical, they could not produce IC systems. Canyou understand my point?

    You can call it what you like, but do not imply that it should be subject to the same standards of testability and falsifiability as his scientific induction from observation when it is clearly outside of his ID hypothesis.

    I did not think I had.

    Like Maxwell who, upon the failure of ether, continued to do science without knowing in what medium light travelled, or Newton, who described and studied gravity without forming an hypothesis about just what gravity is, Behe (et al) can infer intelligence and information and study its effects without knowing how it was carried through, or into, history.
    Just as apples fall, IC structures are observed.

    This is an interesting point. Newton observed apples fall, but then went away and did the science, eventually coming up with the inverse square law. IDists observe IC structures, then what?

    Like gravity, intelligent purposeful design exists and causes effects.

    Of course intelligent purposeful design exists and causes effects. I used one to drive to work this morning. Maybe you meant a specific sort of design, but I have seen enough IDists claim that any design detection is ID, even detecting a car is designed, that I would suggest you spell it out if that is the case.

  142. Teleologist

    Yes we do and to that end, I still don’t see the phrase “getting God into science is an objective” in your quote. However, you did highlighted in bold ” a broadly theistic understanding of nature” . Am I to assume you think this is supposed to be equivalent? If this is the case then I think you might be um” misrepresenting misunderstanding what DI is saying. You are someone who parses words very carefully so you should know that “getting God into science” has the connotation of putting God into scientific methodologies. This is very different from the words you’ve highlighted in bold and certainly that can’t be what they meant in context. To have a broadly theistic understanding of nature simply means that DI wants to foster an atmosphere where science is consonant with theistic beliefs.

    Let us keep in mind here that this was a secret document, a document people like me were not meant to see – a hidden agenda. Now that it has been exposed, the DI will naturally want to present it in a good light. For that reason, I will take what the DI say with a pinch of salt.

    I have linked before to a page of Christians who accept MET. For them science is already consonant with theistic beliefs. What is ironic here is that the actions of the DI are helping put people like Dawkins in the limelight, telling people that MET excludes teleology. Of course, that helps the DI with their real agenda of getting creationism in science, but makes it uncomfortable for the theistic evolutionists.

    You need to read what it actually said again, CSC seeks to overthrow MATERIALISM not SCIENCE. Unless you are willing to concede that materialists have fused philosophical materialism into science; you can’t make the logical leap that even if, CSC by replacing materialism with God; that would equate to getting God in science. This kind of mentality is more indicative of the materialist’s mindset more than what CSC is trying to do.

    The problem is that the DI confuse and/or conflate philosophical materialism with methodological materialism. It is not that materialists have fused philosophical materialism into science, but that the DI does its best to convince people this is the case. Christians are against philosophical materialism, the DI convinces them that is the same as methodological materialism (and of course they do not bother to differentiate in the document, so they can spin it either way), so Christians are then coninced methodological materialism is wrong, and the DI get God into science.

    Oh, no, no, no, please don’t detract from what you and I said. I didn’t mention about compatible at all. I asked Is design science or not science?. I asked that question because well” why don’t we review what you said.

    To put it crudely, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    The discussion is about whether MET and ID are mutually exclusive. I claimno, because it is possible to imagine a scenario where both are true. The hypothetical scenario is broadly that described by Behe. In the hypothetical scenario there is evidence for ID, at least sufficient for the scenario to be ID, according to Behe.

    ID in general is not science, but Mike Gene does seem to be an exception. I am not clear on all his work, but from I see, he does have a hypothesis withsubstance, and is using that to generate predictions.

    For all the claims, I do not believe there is a difference (assuming supernatural Design, with a capital “D” means design of the universe, etc.). Why not
    I thought so. The reason why we’ve been debating for the last 2 weeks on this is that you are ignorant of what ID is. You are not representing ID correctly, even JP over at ARN saw that right off. The alternative to ignorance is deliberate mischaracterization of ID against what IDists have defined. That sort of person is very bad and deceitful, so we won’t go there.
    One difference is that we have a habit of finding materialistic causes. At one time people attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies. Now we attribute it to physical things. Another difference is that we do have causes in general terms

    This is just further demonstration of your ignorance about ID. ID doesn’t attribute everything to intelligence.

    Please, I never said anyone has ever attributed everything to intelligence. I never said ID attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies. Perhaps this is just further demonstration of your inability to read?

    We also have a habit of finding the materialistic causes to things like weather.

    Er, yes. That was what I said.

    Sure if you don’t know the specifics, just fall back to ignorance and fill in the blank with whatever you personally believe is the right answer. Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    Sure, just as with particle physicals.

    I agree. The difference between MET and ID is that when we don’t have empirical data to support our theory we just say we don’t know.

    Actually you do not. The EF is an excellent example of not having empirical data, but still concluding design.

    We don’t limit our options. When MET don’t know something or don’t have empirical evidence to support their theory, you fill in the blanks with your fairy tale stories. e.g. Is there any empirical evidence to demonstrate how a light spot turned into a vertebrate eye? No. But if we wish upon a star, we can imagine how the spot can change its shape and micron-by-micron, a lens is formed and soon an eye is born.

    You call it wishing upon a star, scientists call it devising a hypothesis. Either way, the scientist then goes looking for supporting evidence, such as species around today that survive perfectly well with “intermediate” eyes.

    Hmm” I think that is what I said, people who exclude purpose from science? Yes, I am sure I said that. This would make MET mutually exclusive with ID.

    No, because it is still possible to envisage a universe in which MET and teleology are both true. Theistic evolutionists believe both are true, so, at least in their opinion, MET and teleology are not mutually exclusive.

    Yes, they exclude purpose from science, but that is different to saying there is no purpose. Science says MET is true, but, as purpose is excluded, cannot tell us if teleology is true or not.

    So do you think given ID’s position, that intelligence was involved at least once — when ID says it is not an interventionist theory, it means there is no built in intervention, intelligence or purpose in the unfolding of the universe? Or to borrow Dembski’s word again, it is “deterministic” or goal driven, implying there is intelligence i.e., not random and unguided?

    Non-interventionist means that the designer has not intervened. It is really as simple as that. Sure, the designer was active at start-up, because that is not intervention. And sure, what he did at start-up will have an on-going effect as the universe unfolds; again, this happens without him having to intervene. And this means there is purpose, the designer did it for some reason.

    If we suppose that the purpose is human beings, then it is indeed goal-driven, and deterministic. Is it guided? In the same way a runaway train is guided; it has to stay on the existing tracks, but there is no intelligence there as it careers along trying to direct it. Is it random? No. Does it involve random events? Of course, look at quantum mechanics!

    Do I think this actually happened? Maybe.

  143. The Pixie,

    It was not deliberate. Can you explain what this important element is? It may be that I already accept it, and thought that as we all agree it was superfluous.

    When did I agree to any superfluity?

    Here’s the quote again, extended yet another tad:

    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.

    And now, so that you can see the missing element inherent in the clipped portions more clearly, I will remove the middle and join the two posits with their respective requirements regarding information content:

    At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God = the information is present just in general laws.

    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.” = 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.

    Once one identifies IC in a biological structure, and makes an inference to intelligent design one could hold (it is possible, it could be, perhaps, etc.) that the information thus expressed was present at the start of the universe, etc.

    I am not convinced that is what Behe is saying.

    I am.

    Your paragraph on the cooling earth and laws of nature should be answered for you now as well (see the restored Behe quote and the relevant edits).

    The rest of your comment strays off into the usual complaints about ID again and abandons the track we are discussing so I will, again, leave that for others if they are interested.

    EDIT:
    On second thought …
    I said:

    Like Maxwell who, upon the failure of ether, continued to do science without knowing in what medium light travelled, or Newton, who described and studied gravity without forming an hypothesis about just what gravity is, Behe (et al) can infer intelligence and information and study its effects without knowing how it was carried through, or into, history.

    Just as apples fall, IC structures are observed.
    Like gravity, intelligent purposeful design exists and causes effects.

    You responded with a comment about driving your car, and one about Newton continuing on to do more scientific work. You then complained about the science content of ID in relationship.
    So what? I am not going to engage your every scatter-gun complaint about ID, nor a strawman about design detection and commuting.
    If you want to address the comment why don’t you address the point of the comparison?

  144. The Pixie,
    By the way, in your comments to Teleologist you have continued with the same equivocation error regarding teleology/ID and epistemology/ontology as before.

    I said a while ago:
    #67:

    I think, rather, what you are claiming is that it could be an ontological truth (albeit, theoretically) that a designer fine-tuned the universe for life, and that both MET and ID can have explanations compatible with these facts. They could have, but that does not make them compatible with one another.
    In fact, one or both must be wrong.

    and

    Furthermore, your claim to compatibility requires an equivocation between ontology and epistemology in either case. If there exists a designer who caused the Big Bang etc. then MET is merely epistemologically limited in what it can claim, and can be compatible with this design without reference to or acknowledgment of it.
    [On the other hand], MET could be ontologically correct about its claims while ID can still make the epistemological claim that a designer was the first cause.
    But in reality both are making only epistemological claims – ” we can know that the evidence requires a designer” v. “we can know that the evidence obtains without requiring a designer” – which are incompatible with each other, regardless of the fact that they may each, in some limitation, be compatible with a greater ontological truth.

    And later noted:
    #139

    ps.
    You are still making ontological claims in your discussion with teleologist when ID is making epistemological claims.

    And yet you continue to equivocate both here:

    No, because it is still possible to envisage a universe in which MET and teleology are both true. Theistic evolutionists believe both are true, so, at least in their opinion, MET and teleology are not mutually exclusive.
    Yes, they exclude purpose from science, but that is different to saying there is no purpose. Science says MET is true, but, as purpose is excluded, cannot tell us if teleology is true or not.

    And conflate Behe’s project with cosmological ID ( well after agreeing with everything I said in post #110) here:

    The discussion is about whether MET and ID are mutually exclusive. I claimno, because it is possible to imagine a scenario where both are true. The hypothetical scenario is broadly that described by Behe. In the hypothetical scenario there is evidence for ID, at least sufficient for the scenario to be ID, according to Behe.

    Do you not care that your case is built upon fallacious logic?

    Of course you expose your own error (but will never admit it) when you look at the two quotes together anyway:

    The discussion is about whether MET and ID are mutually exclusive.

    Science says MET is true, but, as purpose is excluded, cannot tell us if teleology is true or not.

    One last quote of my own:

    That’s right.
    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

  145. The Pixie,
    It was not deliberate. Can you explain what this important element is? It may be that I already accept it, and thought that as we all agree it was superfluous.

    When did I agree to any superfluity?

    What I meant was that quoting it was superfluous, because we all agreed on it. Sorry, badly worded by me.

    So to reiterate, what is it that you think is so important in the bit I left off. Please do not just quote him again; that gives me no more than I already have. From what you have said, the only bit I disagree on is “in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too”. Behe says, to my reading, that the information maybe present in other factors too

    I am.

    Okay, I have reconsidered, I will agree.

    You responded with a comment about Newton continuing on to do more scientific work and complained about the science content of ID in relationship, and one about driving your car.
    So what? I am not going to engage your every complaint about ID or a strawman about design detection and commuting.
    If you want to address the comment why don’t you address the point of the comparison?

    But that is the point. Newton did not just say things fall, people knew that already. He went on to do real science. He did not know what caused things to fall, but he was able to devise laws about how they fall, laws that make predictions and so are testable and are also useful. Maxwell maynot have know what medium light travelled through, but again he did the science, determining laws that were testable and useful.

    Of course, neither said, we do not know, therefore an intelligent agent is at work.

    With regards to commuting, that was a request that you clarify what you meant.

    And with regards to epistemology/ontology, I continue to think you are wrong because in this hypothetical scenario (the ontological truth), both MET and ID make their own separate epistemological claims, MET that biology happens according to the natural laws without the direct invention of any intelligent agency, and ID that the universe as it is is only possible if the natural laws were designed.

    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained without reference to a designer.
    ID says it cannot be.
    They are mutually exclusive.

    Perhaps you can find an accepted definition of ID that says that. I think you are wrong; I think ID is (or at least can be) about the whle universe, not just biology. But you are the IDist; if you can show me something convincing to support that claim, I will agree.

    MET is an explanation (or group of explanations) which states that all of biology can be explained within the context of the natural laws, without reference to the direct intervention of a designer. Cosmological ID says the universe can only be explained by invoking a designer.

    Think of the tree analogy.

  146. The Pixie,
    My reply to you is in the spam filter.
    I imagine it will need some editing for format after it appears, but I won’t be here to do it.
    Be forewarned.

    [update:
    The second half appears below.
    The full comment and a couple of botched attempts remain in the filter.
    Sorry for the mess, Teleologist.)

  147. The Pixie,

    Okay, I have reconsidered, I will agree.

    I think you ought to.

    Please do not just quote him again; that gives me no more than I already have.

    We can each only read for ourselves.
    If we are discussing what Behe said we must deal with what Behe said.
    I have to quote him again, but I will distill it even further for you:

    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.” …
    [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] addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too.

    The Pixie:

    From what you have said, the only bit I disagree on is “in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too” . Behe says, to my reading, that the information maybe present in other factors too

    You disagree with Behe that this is what Behe said?

    “in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too” .

    “Is” is not “may be”.

    But that is the point. Newton did not just say things fall, people knew that already. He went on to do real science. He did not know what caused things to fall, but he was able to devise laws about how they fall, laws that make predictions and so are testable and are also useful. Maxwell maynot have know what medium light travelled through, but again he did the science, determining laws that were testable and useful.

    Of course, neither said, we do not know, therefore an intelligent agent is at work.

    No, none of which is the point.
    You may disagree or agree about what science is to be done with the inference, but you may not demand, accepting these examples, that knowing the mode by which the design was actualized is necessary to making the inference.
    Newton was not required to make any hypothesis about what gravity was in actuality before doing his work, and neither is Behe required to make any about how design was actualized to detect it and study its effects.
    This is not about what you may consider to be the failings of their project, but the logical foundation of demands made against it.

    And with regards to epistemology/ontology, I continue to think you are wrong because in this hypothetical scenario (the ontological truth), both MET and ID make their own separate epistemological claims, MET that biology happens according to the natural laws without the direct invention of any intelligent agency,

    We are talking about Behe and you have enlisted Behe to support your point.
    To that point, you have agreed with everything I said in #110:

    Finally, to emphasize the point once again: when Michael Behe is discussing ID he is not talking about the case in which the evidence for design is found in the fine-tuning of the cosmos, or the laws of physics, etc., but his own project, where the inference is based upon finding evidence of design in biology, contrary to the claims of MET.
    His project tells him nothing about how the designer might have chosen to act in bringing about these biological forms, and as such, allows for the logical possibility of front-loading the necessary information into the events of the Big Bang.
    This is not cosmological ID, and is very distinctly separate from it in that the evidence leading to the inference is of a different nature. He is not discussing cosmological ID when he is defending his case, and his case is mutually exclusive with MET.

    Behe infers design from biology, not the universe.

    [edit]
    Note:
    The second half of this comment has posted below this so I am cutting it from here, where it originally belonged.
    I will leave the link to Behe’s address as I had to remove it from the subsequent comment. I have shortened the email address to try to avoid the spam filter.
    Wish me luck.

    “When he discusses design in this speech, for instance, he reiterates his case from DBB:

    There is an elephant in the roomful of scientists who are trying to explain the development of life. The elephant is labeled “intelligent design.” To a person who does not feel obliged to restrict his search to unintelligent causes, the straightforward conclusion is that many biochemical systems were designed. They were designed not by the laws of nature, not by chance and necessity. Rather, they were planned. The designer knew what the systems would look like when they were completed; the designer took steps to bring the systems about. Life on earth at its most fundamental level, in its most critical components, is the product of intelligent activity.

    The conclusion of intelligent design flows naturally from the data itself, not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs. Inferring that biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent is a humdrum process that requires no new principles of logic or science. It comes simply from the hard work that biochemistry has done over the past forty years, combined with consideration of the way in which we reach conclusions of design every day.

  148. But you are the IDist; if you can show me something convincing to support that claim, I will agree.

    Read Behe.
    From beginning to end, first sentence to last, page one to page 276 of the appendix, in Darwin’s Black Box he is referring to biochemistry.
    Sentence one:

    This book is about an idea – Darwinian evolution – that is being pushed to its limits by discoveries in biochemistry.

    Last paragraph of final chapter:

    Now it’s the turn of the fundamental science of life, modern biochemistry, to disturb. The simplicity that was once expected to be the foundation of life has proven to be a phantom; instead , systems of horrendous, irreducible complexity inhabit the cell. The resulting realization that life was designed by an intelligence is a shock to us in the twentieth century who have gotten used to thinking of life as the result of simple natural laws.

    Not a word throughout about cosmology or fine tuning.
    When he offers evidence he offers irreducible complexity. When he offers potential falsifications he discusses bacteria cultures.

    When he discusses design in this speech (link removed, you can find the text in DBB anyway) he discusses only biochemical systems :

    There is an elephant in the roomful of scientists who are trying to explain the development of life. The elephant is labeled “intelligent design.” To a person who does not feel obliged to restrict his search to unintelligent causes, the straightforward conclusion is that many biochemical systems were designed. They were designed not by the laws of nature, not by chance and necessity. Rather, they were planned. The designer knew what the systems would look like when they were completed; the designer took steps to bring the systems about. Life on earth at its most fundamental level, in its most critical components, is the product of intelligent activity.

    The conclusion of intelligent design flows naturally from the data itself, not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs. Inferring that biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent is a humdrum process that requires no new principles of logic or science. It comes simply from the hard work that biochemistry has done over the past forty years, combined with consideration of the way in which we reach conclusions of design every day.

    This is what Behe (the co-subject of this thread) means when he describes intelligent design.

    In his chapter entitled Intelligent Design he opens with:

    The impotence of Darwinian theory in accounting for the molecular basis of life is evident not only from the analyses in this book, but also from the complete absence in the professional scientific literature of any detailed models by which complex biochemical systems could have been produced …

    .

    He then confronts endosymbiosis and complexity theory before moving to a description, as seen in the above speech, of ID. He follows by discussing the fact that he need not know the designer to infer design and for the final ten pages follows this mandate “Let’s take a look at a few examples of biochemical design.”
    Again, not a hint of fine tuning or cosmology.

    As I said, if you want to talk about cosmological ID then do so. But then do not invoke Behe.

  149. The Pixie,

    But you are the IDist; if you can show me something convincing to support that claim, I will agree.

    From the same essay, in which Behe describes and defends ID without ever talking about the cosmos, the fine-tuning of the universe, or any physical constants:

    Now, one can’t have it both ways. One can’t say both that ID is unfalsifiable (or untestable) and that there is evidence against it. Either it is unfalsifiable and floats serenely beyond experimental reproach, or it can be criticized on the basis of our observations and is therefore testable. The fact that critical reviewers advance scientific arguments against ID (whether successfully or not) shows that intelligent design is indeed falsifiable.

    A short pause. Here Behe has mentioned the falsifiability of ID/intelligent design. Notice he did not qualify it with any remarks about “the ID I believe in”, “the version of ID I promote” or “biological, not cosmological ID”.
    This is because it is clear what he means when he is discussing ID. Afterall, he’s the man who wrote the book on “the biochemical challenge to evolution”.
    But is it possible that he means ID in some general, cosmological, universal way as well as biological?
    Not if you continue to read. For one thing, whatever could he be offering that would falsify ID on a cosmological scale? Surely he will address that if that is what he means?

    In fact, my argument for intelligent design is open to direct experimental rebuttal. Here is a thought experiment that makes the point clear. In Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) I claimed that the bacterial flagellum was irreducibly complex and so required deliberate intelligent design. The flip side of this claim is that the flagellum can’t be produced by natural selection acting on random mutation, or any other unintelligent process. To falsify such a claim, a scientist could go into the laboratory, place a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)

    Obviously this would falsify biological ID, but not cosmological.
    Ah… he said “my claims”, and “my argument”. So now, perhaps, he has limited his scope by his qualifications?
    Nope, reading on we find:

    How about Professor Coyne’s concern that, if one system were shown to be the result of natural selection, proponents of ID could just claim that some other system was designed? I think the objection has little force. If natural selection were shown to be capable of producing a system of a certain degree of complexity, then the assumption would be that it could produce any other system of an equal or lesser degree of complexity. If Coyne demonstrated that the flagellum (which requires approximately forty gene products) could be produced by selection, I would be rather foolish to then assert that the blood clotting system (which consists of about twenty proteins) required intelligent design.

    He says “proponents of ID”, not just “me” or “proponents of my argument”, but “of ID”. The ID he is discussing throughout this essay, and, in fact, as he does in every situation I can recall reading or hearing him.
    The ID which could be falsified by “[placing] a bacterial species lacking a flagellum under some selective pressure (for mobility, say), grow it for ten thousand generations, and see if a flagellum–or any equally complex system–was produced. If that happened, my claims would be neatly disproven.(1)”

  150. So what of my other references above?
    I’ve already covered Darwin’s Black Box, so let’s take a look at the second essay,
    Blind Evolution or Intelligent Design?
    Address to the American Museum of Natural History

    There Behe wants to address four items:

    first, a sketch of the argument for design; second, common misconceptions about the mode of design; third, misconceptions about biochemical design; and finally, discussion of the future prospects of design. Before I begin, however, I’d like to emphasize that the focus of my argument will not be descent with modification, with which I agree. Rather, the focus will be the mechanism of evolution– how did all this happen, by natural selection or intelligent design? My conclusion will not be that natural selection doesn’t explain anything; Rather, the conclusion will be that natural selection doesn’t explain everything.

    Doesn’t sound like it will be cosmological in nature.

    So, let’s begin with a sketch of the design argument. In the Origin of Species, Darwin emphasized that his was a very gradual theory; natural selection had to work by “numerous, successive, slight modifications” to pre-existing structures. However, “irreducibly complex” systems seem quite difficult to explain in gradual terms. What is irreducible complexity?

    After describing IC he tells us:

    Yet modern science has discovered irreducibly complex systems in the cell. An excellent example is the bacterial flagellum which is literally an outboard motor that bacteria use to swim.

    I have written that not only is the flagellum a problem for Darwinism, but that it is better explained as the result of design — deliberate design by an intelligent agent.

    So once again, evidence for design is in the cell, at the biochemical level.
    So that ends his first part, a sketch for the argument for design. And not a peep about the cosmos.

    So onto the second question:

    Now I will address common misconceptions about the mode of design, that is, how design may have happened.
    My book, Darwin’s Black Box, in which I flesh out the design argument, has been widely discussed in many publications.

    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.

    Not in section two, modes of design.
    Section three, “misconceptions about biochemical design” offers no hope to somebody claiming that when Behe talks about ID he might be talking about a broad, universal, cosmological ID.

    And, as before, as we continue we find he is not merely qualifying his discussion for the moment to biochemical ID but that this is exactly what he means when he uses the terms ID and intelligent design:

    Many other criticisms have been made against intelligent design. I have responded to a number of them at the following locations.

    I will now discuss how I view the future prospects of a theory of intelligent design. I see them as very bright indeed. Why? Because the idea of intelligent design has advanced, not primarily because of anything I or any individual has done. Rather, it’s been the very progress of science itself that has made intelligent design plausible. Fifty years ago much less was known about the cell, and it was much easier then to think that Darwinian evolution was true. But with the discovery of more and more complexity at the foundation of life, the idea of intelligent design has gained strength. That trend is continuing. As science pushes on, the complexity of the cell is not getting any less; on the contrary, it is getting much greater.

    Again, when Behe says “ID” he is talking about cells, life, biochemical systems. He needs no qualifiers because his address is self-explanatory.

    So, in the three sources I have provided, each discussing the fact that holding to the theory of Intelligent Design does not logically commit one to a theory of miraculous interventions after “the very start of the universe”, Behe makes no mention of universal, cosmological ID, and gives no indication that he even feels the need to differentiate between his project and one such as Gonzalez’.
    Nowhere is there any room for any confusion about what he is talking about. Everywhere he mentions ID he is talking about the living cell, the biochemical structures found therein, the failure of MET to explain it, and the requirement of purposeful intelligence at the molecular level.

  151. But perhaps a clincher is in order?
    Back to the first essay, the source of the quote in question:

    Some reviewers of Darwin’s Black Box (Behe 1996) have raised philosophical objections to intelligent design. I will discuss several of these over the next few sections, beginning with the question of falsifiability. To decide whether, or by what evidence, it is falsifiable, one first has to be sure what is meant by “intelligent design.” By that phrase someone might mean that the laws of nature themselves are designed to produce life and the complex systems that undergird it.

    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.

    Follow that with the quote in question:

    I should add that, even if one does think the designer is God, subscribing to a theory of intelligent design [ In my book, and in this essay, whenever I refer to intelligent design (ID) I mean this stronger sense of design-beyond-laws.] does not necessarily commit one to “miracles.” At least no more than thinking that the laws of nature were designed by God … 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.

  152. Let us keep in mind here that this was a secret document, a document people like me were not meant to see – a hidden agenda.

    Isn’t this just more of the materialists’ fearful mindset? You have absolutely no evidence that this is a “secret document” or any “hidden agenda” . It was a memorandum to solicit funds to support the work at CSC. Do you think the mainstream media would promote such a document to help them solicit funds? How about the NSF, would they be inclined to fund CSC? Yes, it was a memo sent to potential supporters, that doesn’t make it secret or hidden. Haven’t you ever heard of the term, targeted marketing? Really, it boggles my mind that materialists would continue to malign others so uncritically. Facts ma’am just the facts.

    I have linked before to a page of Christians who accept MET. For them science is already consonant with theistic beliefs.

    You must be the happiest person on earth, if ignorance is bliss. I know I am probably wasting electrons here but I will try this one more time; ID ≠ Christianity or supernatural. The reason why we’ve been debating for the last 2 weeks on this is that you are ignorant of what ID is. You are not representing ID correctly, even JP over at ARN saw that right off. The alternative to ignorance is deliberate mischaracterization of ID against what IDists have defined. That sort of person is very bad and deceitful, so we won’t go there.

    The problem is that the DI confuse and/or conflate philosophical materialism with methodological materialism.

    Is this similar to the way you conflate ID, Christianity, supernatural and MET? Aren’t you a hypocrite for doing this?

    It is not that materialists have fused philosophical materialism into science, but that the DI does its best to convince people this is the case.

    You might be right. People like Dawkins, Myers, Dennett, Harris, Provine, Forrest, Kurtz, and too many to name all work for DI. They are fusing philosophical materialism with science just to help DI make its’ point right?

    The discussion is about whether MET and ID are mutually exclusive. I claimno, because it is possible to imagine a scenario where both are true.

    That may have been the broader topic but I was asking you a specific question to clarify some contradictory statements you’ve made before. If I can’t get a straight answer from you then I can’t but don’t be a hypocrite and accuse me of not answering your questions.

    WRT MET and ID are mutually exclusive, the only way they can be compatible is by what you are doing, by willful ignorance of the tenets of ID and MET or deliberately misrepresent both.

    To quote Behe to suggest his scenario is compatible with MET is quote mining. It is hypocritical for you not to admit it. You’ve accused Creationists and IDist for much less than what you are doing.

    ID in general is not science

    Pixie disagrees with you. Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.

    I never said ID attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies.

    I never claim you did, can’t you read? Can’t you tell the difference between me making a statement from you making a statement? Duh.

    Sure, just as with particle physicals.

    Yeah right. MET is a fact like gravity is a fact, right? Duh.

    Actually you do not. The EF is an excellent example of not having empirical data, but still concluding design.

    Huh? Your condition is worst than I thought. EF is a methodology a device to test empirical data; it is not the data itself. Duh. Would you say a centrifuge is an excellent example of not having empirical data? Any device can be misused by Darwinists to give incorrect results, just as bad samples of igneous rocks will give false radiometric dating. Are radiometric dating methods wrong? Duh.

    You call it wishing upon a star, scientists call it devising a hypothesis. Either way, the scientist then goes looking for supporting evidence, such as species around today that survive perfectly well with “intermediate” eyes.

    What’s in a name? That which Darwinists call a hypothesis by any other name would smell as fantasy. Oh sure there are millions, billions of tiny gradual individual “intermediates” , but wait no there isn’t any. Doesn’t matter we can just call it an intermediate and it will suffice. What’s in a name?

    Theistic evolutionists believe both are true, so, at least in their opinion, MET and teleology are not mutually exclusive.

    Pixie, burying your head in the sand and keep repeating things over and over again does not make it true. You need to grow out of that fairy tale stuff. Here, listen again to the words of one of these TE yourself. Think.

    Ken Miller:
    ” The existence of a supreme being simply is not a scientific question. A supreme being stands outside of nature. Science is a naturalistic process and can only answer questions about what is inside nature. Beyond that it’s a matter of personal belief.”

    Remember, Miller is using the supreme being in the same distorted view that you are using it, supreme being = ID.

    Yes, they exclude purpose from science

    “Sokath, his eyes uncovered”. That’s right MET excludes purpose from science. ID ” DOES NOT” exclude purpose from science. Use a tiny bit of logic, and apply the laws of non-contradiction. These two statements cannot both be right.

    Non-interventionist means that the designer has not intervened. It is really as simple as that. Sure, the designer was active at start-up, because that is not intervention. And sure, what he did at start-up will have an on-going effect as the universe unfolds; again, this happens without him having to intervene. And this means there is purpose, the designer did it for some reason.

    How about this, I will meet you half way. Other IDists may not agree with me but let me try this. I will accept your definition here if you will accept my addition to your definition; that the effect of the initial design/preprogramming/determinism is continuing to be manifested today and random, unguided processes have been scientifically shown to be unable to produce certain biotic realities. The best scientific answer for these biotic realities is due to the initial intervention but without any intervention since. How’s that?

    If we suppose that the purpose is human beings, then it is indeed goal-driven, and deterministic. Is it guided? In the same way a runaway train is guided; it has to stay on the existing tracks, but there is no intelligence there as it careers along trying to direct it. Is it random? No. Does it involve random events? Of course, look at quantum mechanics!

    I accept everything you said up until the last 2 sentences. How does a train function in a random fashion? A train’s function is not governed by what happens at the quantum level. The train’s function is governed by the system of wheels, fuel source, chassis, tracks, etc.. The train will reach a very specific destination given that it does not break down or run out of fuel. MET has no such concept.

  153. Daron: Once one identifies IC in a biological structure, and makes an inference to intelligent design one could hold (it is possible, it could be, perhaps, etc.) that the information thus expressed was present at the start of the universe, etc.

    Pixie: I am not convinced that is what Behe is saying.

    Daron: I am.

    I agree with Daron. This has to be what Behe was alluding to, because he referred to it just before he presented the hypothetical. Behe: In either case one could hold that the information for the subsequent unfolding of life was present at the very start of the universe.

  154. Good job Daron, now if only Pixie would read and understand the case that you built. My last post was feeble compared to the details and thought that you’ve put into your post.

    I’ve done my best to sort out the comments you’ve posted. I hope they are the correct ones that you wanted to post. I am truly sorry about the filter and I’ve been too busy today to attend to the blog. I will spend some time tonight and analyze what might be causing the filter to act this way.

  155. Daron

    We can each only read for ourselves.
    If we are discussing what Behe said we must deal with what Behe said.
    I have to quote him again, but I will distill it even further for you:

    The problem is that we read it differently. And everytime you quote him, I will read it the same, so quoting him again does not help. Whereas if you could explain in your own words, I might be able to see how you read it.

    You disagree with Behe that this is what Behe said?
    “in addition to general laws, information is present in other factors too” .
    “Is” is not “may be” .

    But if we see it in context:

    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.
    Two cases, one with the information only in the genberal laws, one with the information present in other factors (like what I wonder). Are you saying Behe actually rejects the former case? Why do you think that is the case?

    You may disagree or agree about what science is to be done with the inference, but you may not demand, accepting these examples, that knowing the mode by which the design was actualized is necessary to making the inference.

    Okay… But just making the inference is not science. It could be a step on the way, I accept, but until you use that inference to make predictiins and test those predictions, it is not science.

    Newton was not required to make any hypothesis about what gravity was in actuality before doing his work, and neither is Behe required to make any about how design was actualized to detect it and study its effects.

    But Newton made inferences about how gravity works and then could use that to generate predictions, and test those predictions to demonstate hs inference was good.

    This is not cosmological ID, and is very distinctly separate from it in that the evidence leading to the inference is of a different nature. He is not discussing cosmological ID when he is defending his case, and his case is mutually exclusive with MET.

    Surely the quote in the ID is cosmological ID? Can you explain how it is not?

    Read Behe.
    From beginning to end, first sentence to last, page one to page 276 of the appendix, in Darwin’s Black Box he is referring to biochemistry.

    Again, surely the quote in the OP is cosmological ID.

    Not a word throughout about cosmology or fine tuning.

    Then what is he talking about in that quote?

    And so on. I appreciate the effort you put in, but can you now explain why Behe was talking about the creation of the universe, and how that quote fits with your claim that ID does not require intervention.

  156. Pix: I have linked before to a page of Christians who accept MET. For them science is already consonant with theistic beliefs.
    Tel: You must be the happiest person on earth, if ignorance is bliss. I know I am probably wasting electrons here but I will try this one more time; ID ≠ Christianity or supernatural. The reason why we’ve been debating for the last 2 weeks on this is that you are ignorant of what ID is. You are not representing ID correctly, even JP over at ARN saw that right off. The alternative to ignorance is deliberate mischaracterization of ID against what IDists have defined. That sort of person is very bad and deceitful, so we won’t go there.

    How dare you accuse me of deceit when you so blatently twist my words? I have just talked about many Christians accepting MET, and you promptly claim that I equate ID with Christianity.

  157. Teleologist

    I am sensing in your recent posts that the amount of real argument is declining, while the ridicule is on the up. Interesting.

    Is this similar to the way you conflate ID, Christianity, supernatural and MET? Aren’t you a hypocrite for doing this?

    So anyway, I have never said any two of those things are identical. I believe there is a degree of overlap, certainly, but that is a little different. Would you claim there is no overlap between the supernatiral and ID, or between Christianity and ID?

    You might be right. People like Dawkins, Myers, Dennett, Harris, Provine, Forrest, Kurtz, and too many to name all work for DI. They are fusing philosophical materialism with science just to help DI make its’ point right?

    They have their own axes to grind.

    That may have been the broader topic but I was asking you a specific question to clarify some contradictory statements you’ve made before. If I can’t get a straight answer from you then I can’t but don’t be a hypocrite and accuse me of not answering your questions.

    I did answer the question. I was putting my statements in context, i.e., the broader topic.

    WRT MET and ID are mutually exclusive, the only way they can be compatible is by what you are doing, by willful ignorance of the tenets of ID and MET or deliberately misrepresent both.

    Logically, if two things are mutually exclusive it is only necessary to misrepresent one, and at that, it need not be deliberate.

    To quote Behe to suggest his scenario is compatible with MET is quote mining. It is hypocritical for you not to admit it. You’ve accused Creationists and IDist for much less than what you are doing.

    In what way is his scenario not compatible with MET? Argue that, and then we can go back to the quote-mining.

    At leat you are not saying that I claim Behe believes ID and MET are compatible, so I guess that is some progress.

    Pix: ID in general is not science
    Tel: Pixie disagrees with you. Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.

    The “So I have been saying ” is refering to the hypothetical situation in which Behe’s scenario is true.

    Pix: One difference is that we have a habit of finding materialistic causes. At one time people attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies. Now we attribute it to physical things. Another difference is that we do have causes in general terms
    Tel: This is just further demonstration of your ignorance about ID. ID doesn’t attribute everything to intelligence.
    Pix: I never said ID attributed the weather to supernatural, intelligent agencies.
    Tel: I never claim you did, can’t you read? Can’t you tell the difference between me making a statement from you making a statement? Duh.

    That bit where you say “This is just further demonstration of your ignorance about ID. ID doesn’t attribute everything to intelligence.” That sounds suspiciously like you are claiming that I am ignorant because I think ID attributes everything to intelligence. But I am sure you can explain that?

    Tel: Sure if you don’t know the specifics, just fall back to ignorance and fill in the blank with whatever you personally believe is the right answer. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
    Pix: Sure, just as with particle physicals.
    Tel: Yeah right. MET is a fact like gravity is a fact, right? Duh.

    Here is a thought. Why not read what I write, and respond to that?

    Tel: I agree. The difference between MET and ID is that when we don’t have empirical data to support our theory we just say we don’t know.
    Pix: Actually you do not. The EF is an excellent example of not having empirical data, but still concluding design.
    Tel: Huh? Your condition is worst than I thought. EF is a methodology a device to test empirical data; it is not the data itself. Duh. Would you say a centrifuge is an excellent example of not having empirical data? Any device can be misused by Darwinists to give incorrect results, just as bad samples of igneous rocks will give false radiometric dating. Are radiometric dating methods wrong? Duh.

    The EF is a methodology that relies on not having empirical data, but still concluding design. The data could be the bacterial flagellum. No empirical data about how it came about, so do we just say we don’t know? No, if there is no empirical data we declare design!

    Duh!

    Pixie, burying your head in the sand and keep repeating things over and over again does not make it true. You need to grow out of that fairy tale stuff. Here, listen again to the words of one of these TE yourself. Think.
    Ken Miller:
    ” The existence of a supreme being simply is not a scientific question. A supreme being stands outside of nature. Science is a naturalistic process and can only answer questions about what is inside nature. Beyond that it’s a matter of personal belief.”

    Hmm, are you confusing ontology and epistemology? Suppose it is ontologically true that God created the universe, with the purpose of it generating human beings in his likeness, but either He was not involved after the Big Bang (cf Behe), or his involvement was not detectable (cf TE). When we study biology, we see no sign of the designer. Epistemologically, we conclude there is no design, no teleology. And that is all science can do. It is not a scientific question. But ontologically, it is true (hypothetically).

    “Sokath, his eyes uncovered” . That’s right MET excludes purpose from science. ID ” DOES NOT” exclude purpose from science. Use a tiny bit of logic, and apply the laws of non-contradiction. These two statements cannot both be right.

    MET excludes purpose from biology – it says nothing about the rest of science. ID demand purpose in the universe.

    How about this, I will meet you half way. Other IDists may not agree with me but let me try this. I will accept your definition here if you will accept my addition to your definition; that the effect of the initial design/preprogramming/determinism is continuing to be manifested today and random, unguided processes have been scientifically shown to be unable to produce certain biotic realities. The best scientific answer for these biotic realities is due to the initial intervention but without any intervention since. How’s that?

    I am just a bit worried about the bit in italics. Surely the point is that the universe was set up so these biotic realities will form? That is the whole point? Apart from that, that is what I have been saying from day one.

    I accept everything you said up until the last 2 sentences. How does a train function in a random fashion? A train’s function is not governed by what happens at the quantum level. The train’s function is governed by the system of wheels, fuel source, chassis, tracks, etc.. The train will reach a very specific destination given that it does not break down or run out of fuel. MET has no such concept.

    I was only using the train to query what you meant by unguided.

    That said, the train goes because of the random distribution of energy. Look up statistical mechanics and the second law of thermodynamics.

  158. The Pixie,

    But Newton made inferences about how gravity works and then could use that to generate predictions, and test those predictions to demonstate hs inference was good.

    This does not address the point. Whatever you think of the science after the inference, science does not demand that it await an explanation of how the designer acted or who/what the designer is.
    Evolutionary biologists can discuss evolution of life without explaining how life got started, Darwin could discuss the development of the eye from a photo-sensitive pigment without offering an explanation of its beginning, and Behe can discuss the effects of design without explaining its origin. This does not make the inference unscientific.

    Okay” But just making the inference is not science. It could be a step on the way, I accept, but until you use that inference to make predictiins and test those predictions, it is not science.

    Okay, so we are agreed that it is not necessary that Behe identify either the designer or the mode of design for ID to be science.
    Your other concerns about the demarcation of science and whether or not ID qualifies are beyond my interest right now. This is not a discussion, as far as I am concerned, about the scientific merits of ID, per se.

    Two cases, one with the information only in the genberal laws, one with the information present in other factors (like what I wonder). Are you saying Behe actually rejects the former case? Why do you think that is the case?

    What do you mean “rejects”?
    Does he give me any reason to think that he doesn’t believe “… that the laws of nature themselves are designed to produce life and the complex systems that undergird it” (the former case)?
    No. In fact, he doesn’t comment on its merits.
    Behe: #151

    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.

    He does reject it as encompassing his idea of ID – as presented in his book and the articles referenced here.

    Again, surely the quote in the OP is cosmological ID.

    Surely not.

    Then what is he talking about in that quote?

    ID as he presents it and defends it, where the inference is made from the empirical study of biochemistry and for which he discusses a method of falsifiability.

    I appreciate the effort you put in, but can you now explain why Behe was talking about the creation of the universe, and how that quote fits with your claim that ID does not require intervention.

    Thank you.
    Behe was talking about irreducible complexity in the cell, not the creation of the universe.
    He mentioned the possibility that the observed IC could have been programmed at the beginning of the universe and that the design information could have been present in natural laws and other factors (unspecified, obviously) and that this would require no subsequent intervention by the designer. He told us how this would be similar to the position discussed by the NAS, in which the theistic evolutionist position is that natural processes created by God resulted in life on earth, and he told us how it would be different.

  159. How dare you accuse me of deceit when you so blatently twist my words? I have just talked about many Christians accepting MET, and you promptly claim that I equate ID with Christianity.

    It would appear that you are guilty of the failure in reading ability that you accuse me of. I never accuse you of deceit. I accuse you of being ignorant about ID. In fact I am saying if you were not ignorant about ID then the other “alternative” would be deceitful and because that is not the case with you so “we won’t go there” . Got it?
    And I did not twist your words; the Christians that you pointed to are theistic evolutionists and they accept MET but not ID because they equate ID with the supernatural and Creationism. You can beat your chest all you want but it will not change the fact that you are misrepresenting what ID and MET posits. If your only point was to deviate from the context of our discussion and point to some theistic evolutionists — whose belief have no relations to ID — acceptance of MET, it would be irrelevant. All I am doing is to point reemphasize my point that ID ≠ Christianity, ergo the reference to TE is irrelevant to our debate that ID is mutually exclusive with MET.

    I am sensing in your recent posts that the amount of real argument is declining, while the ridicule is on the up. Interesting.

    Get some thicker skin Pixie. You are a Brit aren’t you? Brits understand more about sarcasm than anybody I know. Actually, what is interesting to me is that when you seem to be losing an argument, you resort to attacking my style of posting. I’ve tried my best to point out to you what the official position of what ID posits, but you seem to revel in your continual obtuseness and misrepresentation.

    The problem is that we read it differently. And everytime you quote him, I will read it the same, so quoting him again does not help. Whereas if you could explain in your own words, I might be able to see how you read it.

    You see, you have the classic case of refused to be confused by the facts because you’ve made up your mind. It seems to me that Daron has worked very hard to bring in different quotes by Behe to help you recognize your error, but how do you respond? ” Pixie: everytime you quote him, I will read it the same.” You need to open your mind and try to understand what Behe is saying not in isolation but in the larger context of his essays.

    So anyway, I have never said any two of those things are identical.

    I agree, I don’t know if you’ve said any of them are identical, but you’ve come real close to it. I understand this, which is the reason I chose the word “conflate” . You are conflating certain tenets of ID with Christianity, supernatural, and MET. You didn’t say “identical” but you did say “you do not believe there is a difference” .

    teleologist: Are we debating if “MET is compatible with Intelligent Design” or “MET is compatible with supernatural Design” ? That’s it. Pick one.
    Pixie: For all the claims, I do not believe there is a difference (assuming supernatural Design, with a capital “D” means design of the universe, etc.). Why not

    It sure seems like you are saying ID is the same as supernatural Design. You should know by now if you didn’t know then, no matter how “you” define design, big-D or small-D, ID does not posit or infer supernatural designers. The point remains you continue to conflate some combination of these views to make your erroneous claim the ID is compatible with MET.

    I believe there is a degree of overlap, certainly, but that is a little different. Would you claim there is no overlap between the supernatiral and ID, or between Christianity and ID?

    I am not claiming anything. ID as posited by ID theorists does not overlap the supernatural at all. ID is an inference totally based on empirical evidences.

    They have their own axes to grind.

    Well, maybe they might say you have an axe to grind also. Or more accurately, you have your own agenda to promote a certain view of materialism and science. The reality is that these are the most influential and vocal philosophical materialists and scientists in society today. Their view of science and materialism have much more impact and significance than yours (at far as I know who Pixie is).

    I did answer the question. I was putting my statements in context, i.e., the broader topic.

    Huh? What broader context?

    Pixie: so MET is incompatible with design as a scientific explanation.

    Pixie: There is no way that ID is a scientific theory.

    Each time I said there was evidence for design. The implication is that design can therefore be scientifically detected, would you not say?

    Pixie: So I have been saying that design can be scientifically detected to this day for some time now.

    In what context can you explain these contradictory statements?

    Logically, if two things are mutually exclusive it is only necessary to misrepresent one,

    True, but you misrepresented both.

    it need not be deliberate.

    Hence that word OR.

    In what way is his scenario not compatible with MET? Argue that, and then we can go back to the quote-mining.

    Read this thread and the Dec 7th thread.

    At leat you are not saying that I claim Behe believes ID and MET are compatible, so I guess that is some progress.

    I have not given up that claim. Read the post on ARN and here.

    That sounds suspiciously like you are claiming that I am ignorant because I think ID attributes everything to intelligence. But I am sure you can explain that?

    You have a suspicious mind. I am sure if you apply that logical mind of yours to this as you do in parsing other words; you would understand what I am saying.

    The EF is a methodology that relies on not having empirical data, but still concluding design. The data could be the bacterial flagellum.

    Huh? What do you called the 40 different complementary proteins required to build the flagellum? Empirical data is integral for CSI.

    Hmm, are you confusing ontology and epistemology? Suppose it is ontologically true that God created the universe, with the purpose of it generating human beings in his likeness, but either He was not involved after the Big Bang (cf Behe), or his involvement was not detectable (cf TE). When we study biology, we see no sign of the designer. Epistemologically, we conclude there is no design, no teleology. And that is all science can do. It is not a scientific question. But ontologically, it is true (hypothetically).

    There might be hope for you yet, but I don’t want to get my hopes too high. Let me ask you this, is Behe referring to epistemology or ontology? Is TE’s position ontological or epistemological? Now, last question is MET ontological or epistemological?

    MET excludes purpose from biology – it says nothing about the rest of science. ID demand purpose in the universe.

    Oh please let’s not try to weasel out of this with semantics. You forwarded TEs like Miller to support your claim and I gave you a direct quote from him. He makes no distinction between science in general and biology in specific. Furthermore, you never made such a distinction when you made that statement. Even if you wish to equivocate in this way, you still cannot escape the contradiction.
    MET excludes purpose from biology. ID ” DOES NOT” exclude purpose from biology. Use a tiny bit of logic, and apply the laws of non-contradiction. These two statements cannot both be right.

    I am just a bit worried about the bit in italics. Surely the point is that the universe was set up so these biotic realities will form? That is the whole point? Apart from that, that is what I have been saying from day one.

    Let me meet you half way again and put aside what we been saying before. If these 2 questions are the only worries that you have then I think we can come to an agreement. Yes, I think ID as Behe has described it in his quote — and Daron has laboriously pointed out — does include an initial intelligence that was setup to bring forth certain biotic realities.

    You must also realize what the implication of this means in context of what I’ve proposed. It means that certain biotic realities like IC systems are not the product Darwinian evolution but it is scientifically determined that IC systems are the cause of a guiding intelligence.

    That said, the train goes because of the random distribution of energy. Look up statistical mechanics and the second law of thermodynamics.

    You are so wrong here that it doesn’t even rise to the level of science. You are making a logical fallacy, i.e., a category mistake. The train is a functional system of design not random atomic laws. IOW, neither distribution nor entropy has any affect on what a train looks like, or how it functions. Unless you are going to claim, that random distribution and the 2nd law of thermodynamics can create a train and the tracks all by itself.

  160. The Pixie,
    You said to Teleologist:

    ID demand purpose in the universe.

    And also once asked me for a definition of ID which, if I recall correctly, stated that ID denies that the entirety of biology can be explained without reference to purposeful intelligent design.

    I would have thought that the Behe quotation was enough:
    “The claim of intelligent design is that “No unintelligent process could produce this system.” The claim of Darwinism is that “Some unintelligent process (involving natural selection and random mutation) could produce this system.”

    But, as it seems you are not satisfied I will provide a few more.

    “At the same time, intelligent design (ID) offers a promising scientific alternative to materialistic theories of biological and cosmological evolution — an alternative that is finding increasing theoretical and empirical support. Hence, ID needs to be vigorously developed as a scientific, intellectual, and cultural project.” Dembski, Uncommon Descent (that’s the title of his blog, not his book), 2007

    Jay W. Richards, co-author of the book The Privileged Planet with Guillermo Gonzalez, the big name in cosmological ID :
    “So what is ID, really? ID is not a deduction from religious dogma or scripture. It’s simply the argument that certain features of the natural world– from miniature machines and digital information found in living cells, to the fine-tuning of physical constants– are best explained as the result of an intelligent cause. ID is thus a tacit rebuke of an idea inherited from the 19th century, called scientific materialism.”
    ( “are”, not “might be”)

    The following are from Stephen Jones’ CreationEvolutionDesign blog. Thanks again to Stephen for his rigour.

    “Called intelligent design (ID), to distinguish it from earlier versions of design theory … this new approach is more modest than its predecessors. Rather than trying to infer God’s existence or character from the natural world, it simply claims `that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information- rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable.'” (Hartwig M., “What is Intelligent Design?,” Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design, Access Research Network, 2003)

    “The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and are not the result of an undirected, chance-based process such as Darwinian evolution.” (“Primer: Intelligent Design Theory in a Nutshell,” IDEA Center, 2005)

    “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.” (“Intelligent Design,” Intelligent Design Network, Inc.)

    “But what exactly is the theory of intelligent design?
    … the theory of intelligent design holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it does dispute Darwin’s idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected.” (Meyer S.C., “What is Intelligent Design?,” National Post of Canada. December 1, 2005. Discovery Institute News, December 18, 2005) [top]

    “Instead, intelligent design theory is an effort to empirically detect whether the `apparent design’ in nature observed by biologists is genuine design (the product of an organizing intelligence) or is simply the product of chance and mechanical natural laws.” (West J.G., “Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren’t the Same,” Discovery Institute-Center for Science and Culture: Seattle WA, December 1, 2002)

    Here’s a source you’ll appreciate, good old Wiki.

    Intelligent design (ID) is an argument[1] that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”[2][3][4] Its leading proponents, all of whom are affiliated with the Discovery Institute,[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the evolution and origin of life.[12]

    Overview

    Intelligent design is presented as an alternative to natural explanations for the development of life. It stands in opposition to conventional biological science, which relies on the scientific method to explain life through observable processes such as mutation and natural selection.

    Fine-tuned universe
    Intelligent design proponents also raise occasional arguments outside biology, most notably an argument based on the anthropic principle that the universe is “fine-tuned,” an argument that claims that the many features that make life possible cannot be attributed to chance.

    While I’m sure you and I will disagree on the accuracy and the NPOV of this article you will note that they agree with my sources about what ID is.

    I don’t want to be insulting or pedantic about this, but before you respond please let me add a key to my own interpretation here and refer you to the repeated use of the word “and” in the above descriptions, as opposed to such words as “either”, “or”, etc.

    Therefore, even if one were to grant the compatibility of cosmological ID and MET this would not make ID and MET compatible, as cosmological ID does not stand alone in defining ID.
    Saying that if cosmological ID does not exclude MET then MET and ID are compatible is like saying that if I accept the evidence and conclusion of the evolution of the horse (a MET position), a position which does not exclude the divine special creation of man, then MET and special creation are not incompatible.

  161. Guys, I am about ready to call it a day. It was enjoyable at first, but so much of our posts are rehashes of what we have already said that I have lost interest. A few final comments.

    Part of our problem stems from other people’s disagreements. Some definitions of ID – by IDists – imply a supernatural creator, some do not. I might start a thread at ARN about that (or you could here). Some people who accept MET believe in teleology, while others say MET excludes teleology. And it is clear much of the problem is a failure to understand; I still am not clear what you guys think Behe was trying to say in the oft repeated quote.

    I bow out knowing full well Teleologist will think I am weaseling out from the quote-mining accusation. At least he has stopped claiming that I said Behe thinks MET is compatible with ID. As far as I know I was not quote-mining, but as I said, I am not too sure what Behe really meant. I always had this suspicion we actually agreed. Come to that, I am not sure I know what Daron means by “cosmological ID”.

    Daron, thanks for remaining civil throughout. In discussions like this, the chances of persuading the other side are remote, but the real battle is to change the mind of the lurkers. As such, you presented your case well and were a good advert for Christianity (and no, that does not mean I think Christianity and ID are one and the same).

  162. Thanks for the conversation, The Pixie.
    It has been enjoyable but to tell the truth even I am getting a little bored with the sound of my own voice (so to speak).
    I can use a little break as well.
    Take care.

  163. the Pixie:
    Some definitions of ID – by IDists – imply a supernatural creator, some do not.

    The supernatural is irrelevant because even all anti-ID scenarios require either something outside of nature to get things started or they take the metaphysical stance that the universe “just is”.

    the Pixie:
    Some people who accept MET believe in teleology, while others say MET excludes teleology.

    Reality demonstrates that the MET excludes teleology. If it didn’t then why the opposition to ID?

    And the bottom line is ID doesn’t care if intervention happened or not…

    the Pixie:
    The EF is an excellent example of not having empirical data, but still concluding design.

    Umm the EF cannot work without empirical data and no one concludes design by using it. One can reach a design inference with the EF…

  164. It would seem Pixie and I had similar thoughts. I was planning to make a final comment in this thread and be done. I want to thank JoeG and Daron for their postings these last couple of weeks; I actually learn some new things. I also thank Pixie for the conversation and forcing us to find better ways to articulate our arguments. At times, it was contentious, quibbling, bombastic but also informative, illuminating, humorous and I hope even entertaining. A blog should never be boring.

    I know Pixie is probably not happy with me for documenting in detail of his quote mining, an action he criticized the IDists and Creationists of doing. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, but unfortunately, sometimes it is harder to admit a mistake when you’ve just accused your opposition of the same action.

    I also think this thread has serve the purpose of demonstrating how ID theorists describe and scientifically approach their theory as compared to ID critics’ obstinate refusal to use even the definitions and approaches as posited by ID theorists.

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