Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.
Science can only measure physical effects. If it cannot be recorded, it has to be discarded.
As for the possible existece of an intelligence designing life, it simply gets "shaved" by Occam's razor, if I can say: of the possibility that random mutations and genetic movement under natural selection and following al known physical laws, life evolved in what we are seeing now OR that an invisible intelligence that cannot be detected, that acts by unknown and non measurable ways, scientist have to chose the first solution. But find a way to experimentaly show the noodly appendages in action, and then ID will be able to be considered something else than just the divagations of religious nuts.
Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
I needed to add why I saw the Theory Of Intelligent Design as logically possible. Then after having the part below about the Discovery Institute sentence all written up another forum went into what a theory is then I had to answer the critics with it too so it turned into the following. I thought you might find the additional detail helpful, even though none here seem to need all the lecturing. Should help explain why as weird as it seems challenging the theory is the most logical and scientific thing for me to do.
So to experimentaly show the noodly appendages in action:
In as few words as possible "A theory is a coherent statement that explains a phenomena."
Sometimes I add extra detail with the word "works" because you can tell whether something is science by it explaining how something "works" in a way you can experiment with. Can then say "A theory is a coherent statement that explains how a phenomena works."
I already know that saying "God did it" doesn't help game developers make better AI or show anyone how Intelligence Detection "works" as explained in the theory and to programmers in the computer model tutorial available at this link:
Getting back to the theory the Discovery Institute stated quote:
The theory does not need to explain with an undirected process such as Natural Selection like Darwin did. It's never mentioned. Theory also has to focus on nonrandom behavior because without that intelligence is impossible.
Since it is possible to coherently explain that we are emergent from molecular and cellular intelligence there is in fact an "intelligent cause" or cause of human intelligence that is itself intelligent that boils down to being produced by "emergence" that is not "supernatural" and although it is not stated as such in the theory it keeps the search for the Creator alive and well going ever further in science. Which means the theory of ID can be "coherent" and explain how intelligence "works" as I (with help from others) have already done, while the ID movement connects with the science they have been searching for.
None here are in any position to argue that I do not know what I am talking about in regards to intelligence science that thousands do every day that has nothing at all to do with supernatural explanations and all the other insults hurled at those who experiment with "intelligence". And the same theory that made it possible to trash a whole lot of us has a way of putting things back in their proper places. The Discovery Institute wanted a theory, well now they have one. And all here have it too, whether you like it or not because educated people find it useful to know.
Science thrives on new theories and this is like the theory of theories. And supposedly some 99.9% of scientists wrote it off as impossible and all that hoopla. Owe us a Nobel Prize and everything.
As the word "supernatural" itself explains, it is above natural, which in turn means it is above natural sciences. There is no way science can prove the existence of god or any other such supernatural creator. Like I already said:
"The supporters of ID happily rely on god, because that is extremely convenient: they don't have to prove anything"
Then again, if there was some extremely intelligent organism who has simply designed us and placed us here we might have a chance. The situation today just is that they haven't left any evidence on this. In the light of the evidence we have, all points towards evolution and nothing towards creation.
And what comes to pulling out the creationist card - well, typically ID and creationism go hand in hand, that is why the "card" always emerges. Very few real scientists regard ID as a likely explanation for our beginning.
Intelligence, again, is a very abstract term and different definitions exist. I would not regard it even as an exact scientific term as such (although some psychologists might disagree), just something that describes a trait in organism that allows it to make apparently conscious choices to improve its chances to achieve its goal based on its past experience and stimuli it is observing at the moment. I might also add that all forms of today's intelligence require a developed nervous system, with a central nervous system being an integral part.
Thus, in my opinion one cannot use the term intelligence in context with atoms or single cells. Development of AI may change our views of intelligence, but as it currently stands, it's reserved for advanced, multicellular organisms.
You stand behind your work, all credit to you for that.
Well, for example your views of intelligence on atomic and cellular levels are in my opinion unscientific. In my opinion the fact that things work in a certain ways (cellular interactions, atom-scale chemistry and such) do not mean these things are intelligent. But like I said above, intelligence is a porblematic topic, because it can be defined in too many ways.
I think you should consider revising at least the introduction section in your work, at least for me it was very difficult to notice the key points of the text (i.e. what you are actually trying to say with this) - a new version of the intro part might help even us thick ones to understand you!
Anyway, I'm afraid you still have a lot more to do if you want to convince me to put my money on this research ;)
In the Dover, PA case Judge Jones found that the ID theory the Discovery Institute tried to coherently explain could not "separate" itself from religious Creationism. I found that the theory was able to separate by accounting for the fossil evidence and all else without needing to mention Evolutionary Theory or Natural Selection.
The strategy I recommend is immediately shut down the other side by making it clear from the start that ET or NS are never once mentioned in the theory therefore all arguments either way are irrelevant. With defending ET all the other side really knows how to do well, it is in their best interest to first gain that control.
Invisible or not something either exists or it does not. A Creationist who believes that the Creator could appear to reveal new knowledge to them, would then be able to explain more about how that "supernatural" realm works. With enough information for scientists to be able to repeat and same happens for them they could write an excellent theory. Or maybe the "supernatural" Creator told them to do this then that then "Poof!" a ten dollar bill will come out of thin air. Scientists try it then next thing you know they're driving half million dollar cars so you know they're a believer. So to a theory it doesn't matter whether one calls it "supernatural" or "natural" it only has to explain how the phenomena works.
I doubt any expected a theory that makes a Creator entity appear in the lab. The average person inclined towards ID wanted a "faith-friendly" theory to solve a number of problems they saw needing to be solved. Now instead of only a political solution there is a scientific solution that works much better than wedges. Science classrooms are already heading towards something better that the usual ET so they can at least welcome that change.
The way everything works together the theory is logically possible. Requires science be done to the letter but I make that easy. So with patience the "Theory Of Intelligent Design" should become accepted science. Just have the usual learning curve.
Gary, let me first say that it is obvious that you have put some serious thought into this issue. Among ID theorists, that is unfortunately a very rare quality. That gives me a lot of respect for you, which is a very high complement in my book.
That said, I would like to explain a bit about myself and why I disagree with you. I do believe the universe and everything in it was created by an intelligent designer. I will even go so far as to say that I believe that creator is the Judeao-Christian God. I believe that "fingerprints" of God can be found all over His creation, yet I also believe that He designed the universe to function according to natural laws, including the development of life through evolutionary processes. I am convinced that the bulk of scientific data supports this claim.
If you want to believe that a designer created species instantaneously and without evolutionary ancestry, that is certainly your prerogative. I do not, however, believe that such a claim deserves merit as a scientific theory. I think we can all agree that some invisible force might be behind every natural law that we think controls the universe, yet science cannot (and probably never will) detect such a supernatural entity. Because a supernatural designer by definition lies outside the reach of science to investigate, I believe that any intelligent design theory for the origin of life must also be regarded as fundamentally nonscientific. You are of course free to disagree if you so wish, but until you can present hard scientific evidence that such a being exists and how he/she/it operates, then I will continue to insist on principle that your theories be excluded from mainstream science.
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Thank you very much!
Actually, we are in more agreement than it would seem.
Jon Saboe (created Evolution Is Dead website and forums) worded something for me that I now quote where I can.
The way I see it in the beginning there was already something there that always was, always will be. The forces that make the universe, is the Designer.
The Creator that I explain is what all religions search to better know. Has no gender like we require. As a result of being part forces the Creator is the natural laws.
The theory is not at all saying that evolution is not a real phenomena. It's a single theory that explains what Abiogenesis plus Evolutionary Theory cannot because neither explains the all important "intelligence" that makes living things "alive".
I'm not saying ET has no merit, I just see ET as a lame way to explain how living things work. And I'm not just saying so without offering an alternative explanation, with "design" I was able to cover ET's entire niche in one paragraph:
This is what makes the ID theory a stand-alone alternative. It's explaining what ET and AbioGenesis combined cannot. Has self-assembly and origin of life aquarium experiments with one to be developed using dust/clay that one gives light to make metabolic organelles for an intelligence to control, like right out of Genesis.
Some things happen instantly. But learning takes time, especially for a genome. But since they can live for billions of years, they have plenty of time.
Even where one claims its from the "supernatural" a theory must explain how it works. At one time lightning was thought to be supernatural so when Ben Franklin was trying to figure out how it works you could say he was trying to explain the supernatural. No matter what you call it, the only thing science (through theory) can do is explain how it works.
You'll change your mind.
The theory does not have to make a Creator being pop into the lab to grant wishes, for it to help explain how the Creator works. And it's already doing well in mainstream science. If I do say so myself.
While you no doubt see this as one of ID's greatest strengths, I see it as one of the theory's greatest weaknesses. The problem, in my mind, is that if we can simply explain anything with "the designer made it this way", then the entire process of scientific investigation grinds to a halt. Science, by definition, has to seek natural explanations for natural phenomenon, and that rules out any chance that a designer theory has for being treated as scientific.
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I can agree by saying that a "Designer did it" answer does not explain anything about how said Designer works so there are no experiments or anything for scientists to do then the entire process of scientific investigation grinds to a halt.
The only difference in thinking is that I consider the word "supernatural" to be another word for "unknown" so even where one claims it was supernatural they are still obligated to explain something about how it works in their theory. Otherwise none will have anything they can do with it, even where they try. They need something to put into their science machines or model on the computer, etc..
I keep it a science is for everyone sort of thing. Explaining a theory this way keeps the rules the same for both sides. If one claims the supernatural then fine but the rules are the same as one claiming the natural. So after being welcomed to science, something about how the phenomena they are conceptualizing works must still be in their theory too.
And all great theories in science came from religious minds. Charles Darwin had no scientific credentials at all, just a divinity degree. Big Bang was written by a priest. Einstein was not church-going religious but still saw his theory as explaining some of how the Creator works. The hellion Newton would get upset when clergy did not see scripture like he did. Galileo wanted to be a monk. It's like a search for the Creator in science helps writes the great theories. Are then no limits to what can be explained, even what all call Creator. So an active religious side seems necessary for a really great theory. So please don't mind mine!
I think I see your point a bit better now, Gary. Equating supernatural with unknown, I can accept that. However, is it still not the duty of science to explain the unexplained, to make the unknown known? That said, given that "designer did it" doesn't explain anything, and that we currently have no clue of how such a designer (if it exists) works (unless you want to look to religious scripture, but that's one Pandora's Box science should leave untouched, imho), then how can you advocate that ID be accepted as legitimate science? I'll grant you that there might come a day when we will be able to scientifically examine a designer, but until that day comes, can we really accept ID as real science?
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Glad to hear it! We truly are both saying the same thing.
I think I know what you are trying to say but logically science is always explaining the unexplained. In my case I see virtually no limit.
But leaving it at "designer did it" does not explain how said designer works.
There is already what is in the theory that shows where it is proper to use the word "design" as in the title "Theory Of Intelligent Design" and nowhere in the sentence from the Discovery Institute say "Designer" that is actually like inferring a "Big-Banger" from Big Bang Theory.
I know it's possible, so I can't help myself!
The theory is not one bit obliged to examine a "designer" it is fully obliged to examine "design" which it does. Only thing left is what you (along with others) read into it that was never stated as having to be explained in Heavenly detail. Even going there would detract from and complicate understanding of the "design" it must coherently explain. So expecting a "designer" is here unreasonable, unscientific, unfair, and all that. But I'll forgive you!
There is only one definition I ever found in science that works at all levels of intelligence as quoted in the theory from 1979 book. I boiled the electronic schematics and such down to a 4 requirements that are used to qualify intelligence. That is the best definition there is, and it's very useful. You would now have to find an intelligence that does not possess all four to show the theory is wrong about that.
That was an interesting attempt at a coherent theory! It's like the Wiki entry on intelligence where scientists are all over the map with different definitions. None of them could be modeled from information given. Only evidence of how badly science needs a new theory to explain intelligence!
The 4 part definition that works in all cases of intelligence being explained, unimolecular on up. Being that versatile helps show how looking for 4 requirements greatly simplifies intelligence detection as well as definition. Need that kind of standard so all are on the same page as to how it works.
The simplest known intelligence are the self-replicating RNA World molecules that control their own metabolism. And my definition of cellular intelligence is university level science. From references of theory:
 Guenter Albrecht-Buehler, Robert Laughlin Rea, Cell Intelligence (webpages)
http://www.basic.northwestern.edu/g-bue ... llint0.htm
And cellular intelligence here being discussed by scientists:
The terms I use are what scientists use, or soon will have to. Not because I said so, it's just where science is going.
Thank you too!
The theory never claims intelligence exists at the atomic level. I can't see how there could be at least until the subatomic. But I added something on unimolecular intelligence so the theory states what the simplest known intelligence is. No more excuses for getting that wrong!
Intelligence is detectable by it having the 4 requirements. It's now as simple as that.
That's what theories are for, to explain/define these phenomena in a way it can be experimented with. Intelligence is in turn defined by the theory that explains it.
I'll work on it!
I previously had this starting off a blog that is now dated by the theory having done better than expectated:
I took it out so that the theory would stand out better. But let me know where you see something that should be put back in from the above. It sounds though like you would be saying I need to write something new to better describe what the theory will be explaining why it's useful to know.
That sounds almost kinda serious! But I'll keep working on it until it at least makes more sense to others. It looks like the Cambrian Explosion part is correctly worded so I'll make that my next area to improve. Already have a new idea that will help.
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