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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2009 :  18:47:03  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems like I'm a hot topic over at Panda's Thumb.
People are trying to give me grief over the fact that I have stated that listing examples of "bad design" doesn't make ID any less likely. ID says nothing about the designer, i.e. according to ID we should not expect any sort of design over any other.

Oh, and I've also stated that Dembski et al don't understand the theory they are espousing.

The ensuing discussion is entertaining. Quite a few people have now called me an intelligent design supporter and even ... gasp... a creationist. I'm having a great time. Please don't spoil my fun.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  00:16:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My comment can be found here.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  02:20:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looks like a pretty good one; run then a Poe they won't soon forget!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  02:33:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

Seems like I'm a hot topic over at Panda's Thumb.
People are trying to give me grief over the fact that I have stated that listing examples of "bad design" doesn't make ID any less likely. ID says nothing about the designer, i.e. according to ID we should not expect any sort of design over any other.

Right...
To propose a designer does not in any way automatically assign a level of competense in such a designer.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  13:43:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
People keep assuming that I am an ID supporter. I have given them no reason for this. No one has really tried to justify why they think that ID predicts that there should be no bad designs rather than good ones (or anything else).

My comments are now held in moderation.

It's like trying to engage people at uncommon descent in a discussion.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  14:32:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

People keep assuming that I am an ID supporter. I have given them no reason for this. No one has really tried to justify why they think that ID predicts that there should be no bad designs rather than good ones (or anything else).
Hawks, ID doesn't predict anything because it's not a theory. It's a smokescreen. Legalistic camouflage meant to hide religious violations of the constitution. The leading lights of ID aren't scientists, they're hosts of an infomercial. You can't take their claims at face value, you have to read between the lines to see what they're selling.

ID doesn't predict that designs must be good designs, but it is often an implicit assumption of ID nonetheless. ID proponents talk out of both sides of their mouths. They claim that they "predicted" junk DNA would be functional, since an intelligent designer would have no purpose for including useless junk. When it is pointed out that most junk DNA is useless, then they fall back on the excuse that the designer's intentions are unknowable.

I don't think you can adequately discuss ID without highlighting such blatant flipflopping. Because it isn't that Dembski fails to understand his own theory, it's that the entire enterprise is a religious sham. There is no theory of ID. It's all word games.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  14:59:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
H.H.,

You somehow manage to agree with what I'm saying while at the same time somehow disagreeing.

As you say, and just like I've claimed, ID doesn't predict anything. However, you then go on to say that good designs are an implicit assumption of ID nonetheless. It is NOT!! ID supporters sometimes make that assumption without backing it up with anything whatsoever. They simply make the assumption up because it fits their conclusions.

Hawks, ID doesn't predict anything because it's not a theory.

No. It doesn't predict anything because any assumption that would have to be made about the designer can't be justified. Person A can claim that ID predicts X and person B can claim that ID predicts ~X. ID, then predicts X and ~X. How would you justify either person's choice of assumptions that have to be used in order to make their predictions? Dembski et al don't even try, as far as I know. To them, it is simply "God".

Dembski, who has both managed to claim that ID predicts that there should be no junk DNA has also claimed that ID is not a predictive theory. This is flipflopping - because he doesn't understand what ID says. (well, he could also be lying or simply having changed his mind[or something else]. He has never stated why he would have changed his mind, though).

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  16:01:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
ID says nothing about the designer


This is what the IDers want you to believe. It is what they say when the cameras are on, and when someone challenges the scientific merits of ID. But then they go back to their congregations and praise the designer as the Christian god.

Virtually every one of its supporters believe the Christian god is the designer, and you honestly believe that ID says nothing about it? So it's just a coincidence?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  16:26:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ricky

ID says nothing about the designer


This is what the IDers want you to believe. It is what they say when the cameras are on, and when someone challenges the scientific merits of ID. But then they go back to their congregations and praise the designer as the Christian god.

Virtually every one of its supporters believe the Christian god is the designer, and you honestly believe that ID says nothing about it? So it's just a coincidence?

And if most evolution supporters said, off the record, that evolution predicts that mice should give birth, at some point in time, to lions, I suppose you would believe that that is what evolution predicts?

There is a difference between what ID says and what people claim that it says. I didn't realise that so many people have failed to understand this.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  16:54:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks
And if most evolution supporters said, off the record, that evolution predicts that mice should give birth, at some point in time, to lions, I suppose you would believe that that is what evolution predicts?
No, because evolution is a scientific theory that makes legitimate predictions regardless of what individuals say. ID is not a scientific theory and therefore generates no legitimate predictions to measure against the assertions of its proponents.

There is a difference between what ID says and what people claim that it says.
No, there isn't. Because ID is only what it's supporters want it to be in the moment. ID doesn't "say" anything on its own, Hawks. It's a contradictory mess. You are focusing on a single assertion made by certain ID proponents: that the designer is unknowable. Yet these same individuals later make claims which depend on the designer having certain attributes. Yes, we both agree this is a contradiction. But for some reason you have decided which half of the contradiction is "real" ID theory and which half is "false" ID theory. There is no basis for making that determination. There is no single ID theory.

If supporters of "Leprechaun Theory" said at different times that Leprechauns both require rainbows and do not require rainbows, which is more correct? Who knows! All you have to do is point out the contradiction, not burn yourself out arguing that the rainbow requirement is essential to Leprechaun Theory and proponents who deny it don't fully understand LT.

I didn't realise that so many people have failed to understand this.
Maybe because it's not everyone else who's having the problem?


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 12/03/2009 17:02:35
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  18:22:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert
No, because evolution is a scientific theory that makes legitimate predictions regardless of what individuals say.

Evolution is a scientific theory because it can AND has to justify it's assumptions (at a minimum).

ID is not a scientific theory and therefore generates no legitimate predictions to measure against the assertions of its proponents.

Because it can't justify any assumptions about the designer.

No, there isn't. Because ID is only what it's supporters want it to be in the moment.

This is ID in a nut shell:

Some features in nature are best explained as the product of intelligence. ID can detect this. (Whether or not those methods are flawed is irrelevant for this discussion.)

From a bayesian point of view, ID is a probability argument (a posterior probability, to be more precise). It says that given an observation (O) of something, it was intelligently designed if, for example, it has heaps of CSI(hypothesis H). This is often expressed as Pr(H,O). So, Pr (Intelligent design, CSI=999 bits) is, as Dembski would argue, 1. Pr (intelligent design, CSI=12 bits) is considerably less than 1. Again, forget the fact that CSI hasn't ever (can't ever, probably) be measured for anything biological. This doesn't require you to say anything about the designer more than that it is intelligent (Since, as ID also claims, only intelligence can design certain things).

Where ID supportes such as Dembski and ID opponents go wrong is when they treat ID as a bayesian likelihood argument. A likelihood argument is one where, given a hypothesis (H), we can expect an observation (O) (often expressed as Pr(O,H)). Pr(CSI=999 bits, an intelligent designer), or in clear speak, saying that we expect a designer would design something having 999 bits doesn't work - unless we make an assumption about designer. Neither can we even try to calculate Pr(junk DNA, an intelligent designer). Pr(junk DNA, a super smart designer who doesn't like a mess) can however, be estimated. But then, that is not a hypothesis that ID makes any sort of claim for. Since ID makes no claim regarding the designer, it CAN'T make likelihood arguments.

What you have to do, H.H., is to take ID for what ID actually is - a probability argument. The fact that ID used for completely other things is not really the point.

--------------------------
Just to explain further about the difference between probabilities and likelihoods, I offer this:

The philosopher Elliott Sober did a very good example to show why a
probability does not equal a likelihood:
Observation O: there is a noise coming from the attic.
Hypothesis H: There are gremlins bowling in the attic.

The likelihood (Pr(O,H)) of this argument is very high. After all, if you have gremlins bowling up in the attic, you will probably have noises come from there. It's probability (Pr(H,O)), however, is very low. It is highly unlikely that the noises emanating from the attic are because of gremlins bowling up there.
------------------------------------------------------

If my writing seems like a complete mess, I apologise. It's just one of those days (or weeks or lives[i.e. me]).

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  18:57:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks
This is ID in a nut shell:

Some features in nature are best explained as the product of intelligence. ID can detect this. (Whether or not those methods are flawed is irrelevant for this discussion.)

[...]

What you have to do, H.H., is to take ID for what ID actually is - a probability argument. The fact that ID used for completely other things is not really the point.
But, Hawks, how are you determining what ID "actually" is? ID has be invoked as a probability argument in some instances, and not in others. If we aren't allowed to cite what ID proponents have to say about ID, then whom or what are you citing for your definition of ID?


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  19:59:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by H. Humbert

Originally posted by Hawks
This is ID in a nut shell:

Some features in nature are best explained as the product of intelligence. ID can detect this. (Whether or not those methods are flawed is irrelevant for this discussion.)

[...]

What you have to do, H.H., is to take ID for what ID actually is - a probability argument. The fact that ID used for completely other things is not really the point.
But, Hawks, how are you determining what ID "actually" is? ID has be invoked as a probability argument in some instances, and not in others. If we aren't allowed to cite what ID proponents have to say about ID, then whom or what are you citing for your definition of ID?



From wikipedia:
Intelligent design is the assertion 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."[1][2] It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer.

From creationkid.org:
Intelligent Design is a scientific tool that is used to determine whether a variable in the natural world was created by an form of intelligence or not.

From arn.org (referring to Dembski's book "Intelligent Design"):
Rather than trying to infer Godís 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."

I'm pretty sure that it was Dembski who, in his book "Intgelligent Design" first said that ID is about design detection, i.e. a probability argument.


We could always frame ID as a likelihood argument, but that hardly makes the situation any better. Now you are in the situation where you have to say something about the designer in order to form any hypotheses. The problem here is, why would you assume Y rather than ~Y?

What we can say for sure is that ID, as a probability argument (or a likelihood argument), is not a political or religious tool. The fact that it seems that it can only be used as such a tool, and that it MOST likely was created to be such a tool doesn't take away from the fact that ID, by it's nature, isn't necessarily said tool(s).

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2009 :  20:15:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks

And if most evolution supporters said, off the record, that evolution predicts that mice should give birth, at some point in time, to lions, I suppose you would believe that that is what evolution predicts?


This isn't about "most", it's "virtually all". And if virtually all the scientists who supported evolution believed this, then yes.

Edit: I didn't read carefully enough. I don't believe (from your post) that "predicts" is the right word. I find "holds to be true" a better replacement.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 12/03/2009 20:21:01
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2009 :  12:29:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ricky
This isn't about "most", it's "virtually all". And if virtually all the scientists who supported evolution believed this, then yes.

Even if there was no actual research to back that claim up? Even if there was no reason to believe that mice should give birth to lions any more than they should give birth to goats?

This is essentially the situation where ID and it's supporters are.


METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/04/2009 :  13:01:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hawks
What we can say for sure is that ID, as a probability argument (or a likelihood argument), is not a political or religious tool.
We could truthfully say that, I just don't think that would tell the whole story. What should be said is that ID is a political and religious movement that uses bogus probability arguments as one part of a larger subterfuge.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 12/04/2009 13:04:27
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