Intelligent Design - why not?

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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 2nd, 2017, 3:03 am 


The odds of us being in a universe that allows life to evolve are 100%. I think there is sometimes a misunderstanding of the Anthropic Principle. No one is making such observations in a universe that won't support life. So finding "ourselves" here, where a living thing can exist, is a certainty, in a way that's really sort of tautological. Saying that the odds are unlikely would be logically equivalent to a fish saying, "How amazing it is that I find myself to be in water, a substance that so perfectly supports my continued existence!"

Or, put another way, we may say that consciousness has a selection bias, since it can only observe universes that happen to allow complex neural networks to develop.


But once again, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe we find ourselves in strongly suggests that it is highly improbable that it was purely due to chance events. There is a clear design involved in the laws that apply in the way our universe is composed and the possibilities of non-life supporting universes are so overwhelming that the chances we find ourselves in a benign universe are vanishingly small.

When scientists conduct scientific experiments involving quantum objects they find nothing is 'set in stone' and it will depend how an experiment is arranged as to its outcome.

So, it is a false argument to assert that our universe was already fully formed prior to conscious beings, like us, making observations. How can you prove the universe as we model it today was always there from the beginning? There is no way to prove it and to assume it was is simply an assumption.

If you accept that 'reality' is a participatory process involving mind and matter then the argument against the Anthropic Principle fails.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Eclogite on May 2nd, 2017, 5:38 am 

hyksos » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:51 pm wrote:Inside this forum we object to the claim of intelligent design, because this is an internet forum and not a scientific journal at Oxford. Outside this forum, we have hypothesese, theories, and evidence. In that sphere of human activity, Intelligent Design was not objected to. It was put under the rigors of scientific testing and failed to produce a theory for the evidence measured.

We assume the participants of this forum already know this before logging in: and that is the basis of our objections here.

Do speak for yourself. Please do not speak for all others.

I make a distinction between Intelligent Design (the poorly concealed creationist cover-up) and intelligent design (an acceptance of the possibility that the universe, or some components, or some of its "direction" were determined by an active intelligence).

The former, with its presumptuous capitals, has been refuted. The latter receives little or no serious attention. Why? At least in part this is out of a fear that paying it attention will give comfort to the creationists and in part because the static of ID drowns out any id signal that may be there.

Thus, to answer Graeme's question, why not indeed? The possibility should not, in my opinion, be discarded.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Graeme M on May 2nd, 2017, 8:39 am 

Hmmm... plenty of grist for the mill here. And thanks Dave_C for your positive feedback. I have hardly had the chance to do much more reading and thinking about consciousness since we last talked in depth, so I seem to have forgotten a lot of the detail and clarity I had formerly teased out!

Neuro, thank you for coming closest to seeing what I was driving at. My angle is not so much to tackle the question of how much the universe might reflect some designer or intelligence, but more why it is that we think WE do. I rather like your angle on this in observing that human beings actually plan and design things. That is, we can do stuff that is founded upon an intelligent and directed process of creation.

This still worries me though. To say that we CAN design and plan kind of presumes that "we" exist in some way that we can use raw physical processes to escape the mechanistic constraints of the laws that underpin those processes. How can this be? Why would we think of planning as more than the seeding of highly complex neural patterns such that they generate particular behaviours? Other than complexity, why is that different from the simpler behaviours of a bacterium? Or for that matter, the apparently undirected processes of nature.

I often wonder whether natural processes really are undirected. Because it might be possible to see that natural processes happen the way they do because there are only so many solutions to any given arrangement. In other words, aren't all natural processes, whether that of brains or that of rivers, really architectural responses to environmental conditions? Perhaps "directiveness" is really something more akin to the narrowing of a solution space as processes unfold.

I'll try to draw a somewhat clumsy analogy. Consider a buildup of lava under a mountain. As the pressure rises, the lava forces its way into all manner of seams and faults. We could consider these fault-lines as "choices". Eventually, the combination of pressure, geological weaknesses, and other factors besides, will lead to the lava finding its way to the surface. It explodes into the world decisively. The lava has made a choice and in an act of creation formed a volcano.

Now, most of us would scoff at the idea that this illustrates any kind of design or intelligence or even choice. Yet where is the difference? Physical processes, obeying physical laws, resulted in a volcanic eruption. Whether this was a simple mechanistic sequence or a voluntary choice depends a little on our point of view, doesn't it?

In terms of planning, I'm not sure I see why that qualifies our behaviours as directed in the common sense meaning of the word. I kind of feel that is again a matter of perspective. What if planning is just a process of pruning network complexity until potential solutions (or responses) become sufficiently few that an action can be executed (or put another way, neuronal responses converge on a particular system response). "We" don't plan anything. Much like our volcano, the pressure of competition between network nodes and subnets leads to a point of expression (the solution space narrows). Creativity emerges from the fact we aren't digital - a particular input won't always give the same output. Rather like weather systems.

I haven't said that very well, but when we think of planning I get the feeling we are talking about that ephemeral "I" doing something. My suspicion is that "I" don't do anything at all. I certainly do think and plan and design, but only in the same way that other natural processes unfold. And perhaps not even as complexly as some.

That's kind of the way my thinking has gone. If we consider ourselves to be intelligent agents, then I'm left with the rather uncomfortable thought that so too must the rest of the universe, for the simple fact that "intelligence" or "agency" is really a description for the manner in which the universe functions, given the laws that underpin its operation. I'm not saying that the universe is intelligent, or that God drives the whole show, I'm wondering whether what we think of as intelligent agency is not what we think it is at all...
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Braininvat on May 2nd, 2017, 9:28 am 

webplodder » May 2nd, 2017, 12:03 am wrote:

The odds of us being in a universe that allows life to evolve are 100%. I think there is sometimes a misunderstanding of the Anthropic Principle. No one is making such observations in a universe that won't support life. So finding "ourselves" here, where a living thing can exist, is a certainty, in a way that's really sort of tautological. Saying that the odds are unlikely would be logically equivalent to a fish saying, "How amazing it is that I find myself to be in water, a substance that so perfectly supports my continued existence!"

Or, put another way, we may say that consciousness has a selection bias, since it can only observe universes that happen to allow complex neural networks to develop.


But once again, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe we find ourselves in strongly suggests that it is highly improbable that it was purely due to chance events. There is a clear design involved in the laws that apply in the way our universe is composed and the possibilities of non-life supporting universes are so overwhelming that the chances we find ourselves in a benign universe are vanishingly small.



I've explained twice the problem in your analysis of probability. And you keep making the same assertion. Look at the phrase "we find ourselves," and consider the chances that anyone could exist and use that phrase in any universe that doesn't allow life. Re-read the fish analogy. There is no reason to think that life is not extremely rare. But, wherever that rare life emerges, it will perceive that its environment is well-suited to life. Perhaps it will be tempted to think that a supreme being has made the universe especially for it to thrive in, even as 99.99999 percent of that universe proves quite inimical to life. When you say "there is a clear design" you are already presuming the point at issue. If you are familiar with the field of philosophy, you understand why this doesn't fly.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 2nd, 2017, 9:37 am 

While I am not AGAINST Intelligent Design on philosophical or religious grounds, I haven't seen any solid reason or logic for bringing it into any kind of scientific or "logical" argument. (As much as I have any specific religious beliefs they are more animistic and closest to some Midiwiwin and/or other First Nations beliefs that do include the idea of a creator. But I am cautious here and it is complicated but in conformity with my scientific views.) So:

webplodder wrote:When scientists conduct scientific experiments involving quantum objects they find nothing is 'set in stone' and it will depend how an experiment is arranged as to its outcome.


Indeed. And consequntly (an following the views of some others posted here):

webplodder wrote:But once again, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe we find ourselves in strongly suggests that it is highly improbable that it was purely due to chance events.


I think you might have gotten it backwards. There is no reason why it couldn't have been purely by chance. One of my old analogies is look at the order of cars passing by on a highway during rush hour. The chances of that specific arrangement according to colour, model, make, year, spacing, etc. are infinitely small and absolutely unlikely to ever be repeated. The odds, I woud say are less than the chances of winning a lottery. But that was the way it occurred then and if the pattern happens to mimic some computer algorythm that cures cancer then wow hat are the chances? Wonderful things happened after the universe formed and wonderful things came from the order of cars on the highway in my particular model. Neither requires an Intelligent Designer. The only thing necessary is someone to notice.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby vivian maxine on May 2nd, 2017, 9:51 am 

webplodder, why must they be chance events? One event leads to another. A tree dies. You cut it down. If that was the last of its type, there will be no more. Planting a certain (say in rocky soil), the plants die. Planting in fertile soil. Plants thrive. You learn where to plant and plant there again. Plants grow stronger and perhaps evolve into new species along the way. Someone figures out how to cross-breed and we get still more evolution. What fails fails; what succeeds thrives and continues to better itself or to be bettered by thinking, problem-solving man. Where is the "chance"? I am not even sure what we might call chance evolution is truly chance. Something in the growth cycles caused evolution.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 2nd, 2017, 11:03 am 

webplodder » May 2nd, 2017, 2:03 am wrote:But once again, the incredible ...

What's incredible, exactly? That the laws of physics apply? Well, if they didn't, no cohesion of matter would stick around long enough to discern, describe and name the laws that govern it. So, what's your basis for incredulity? Only that you can hypothesize a universe that wasn't so organized. You can hypothesize the possibility of such a disorganized universe, but you can't imagine how it would operate -- because it couldn't operate.
...fine-tuning of the universe...

How do you mean finely tuned? What's the point of Jupiter? What's the purpose of the Horse-head nebula? Why so many galaxies? How come the distance between star systems? Why imploding and exploding suns?
What is the universe tuned to?
... we find ourselves in...

Were we lost? Did we have a choice of universes? Does a hair on your chin wonder at finding itself on just such a perfectly suited skin surface? The one on your back has the exact same sense of awe at being in the perfect location, which was obviously made for it to thrive on.
strongly suggests

To the suggestible and uncritical.
that it is highly improbable

What was the probability? Where does the probability come from and how is it calculated?
that it was purely due to chance events

Why? Because it's good for you, and you are obviously the reason for the whole thing to exist.
I look at the size of the universe. I look at the size of you.
My calculation of probability comes out quite differently.

How can you prove the universe as we model it today was always there from the beginning? There is no way to prove it and to assume it was is simply an assumption.

We don't need to prove anything about the life of the universe. All we need to do is observe and describe the one we can observe and describe, and think about how it works.
We can't observe or test any of the imaginary universes that don't work, in which we don't exist.
How do you prove the existence of all those universes that can't support life, - which, according to your idea of probability must vastly outnumber that ones that do.
How do you test for the meta-intelligence which designed the physical laws?
How - without positing yourself as the ultimate goal of all reality - do you go about discovering the existence of such an intelligence?

If you accept that 'reality' is a participatory process involving mind and matter then the argument against the Anthropic Principle fails.

What should motivate me to accept that idea?
Last edited by Serpent on May 2nd, 2017, 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 2nd, 2017, 11:04 am 

Forest_Dump » Tue May 02, 2017 1:37 pm wrote:While I am not AGAINST Intelligent Design on philosophical or religious grounds, I haven't seen any solid reason or logic for bringing it into any kind of scientific or "logical" argument. (As much as I have any specific religious beliefs they are more animistic and closest to some Midiwiwin and/or other First Nations beliefs that do include the idea of a creator. But I am cautious here and it is complicated but in conformity with my scientific views.) So:

webplodder wrote:When scientists conduct scientific experiments involving quantum objects they find nothing is 'set in stone' and it will depend how an experiment is arranged as to its outcome.


Indeed. And consequntly (an following the views of some others posted here):

webplodder wrote:But once again, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe we find ourselves in strongly suggests that it is highly improbable that it was purely due to chance events.


I think you might have gotten it backwards. There is no reason why it couldn't have been purely by chance. One of my old analogies is look at the order of cars passing by on a highway during rush hour. The chances of that specific arrangement according to colour, model, make, year, spacing, etc. are infinitely small and absolutely unlikely to ever be repeated. The odds, I woud say are less than the chances of winning a lottery. But that was the way it occurred then and if the pattern happens to mimic some computer algorythm that cures cancer then wow hat are the chances? Wonderful things happened after the universe formed and wonderful things came from the order of cars on the highway in my particular model. Neither requires an Intelligent Designer. The only thing necessary is someone to notice.


But the problem here is that you are taking a strictly 'materialist' view.

In other words you are assuming matter has the ability to form complex arrangements by itself without having to be observed and categorized by conscious observers.

Philosophically, this is unsupportable. How can matter be aware of itself? You need some kind of mind component to achieve that.

You are assuming the universe as it is today has pretty well been like that for billions of years. Prove it.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 2nd, 2017, 11:10 am 

Forest_Dump » Tue May 02, 2017 1:37 pm wrote:While I am not AGAINST Intelligent Design on philosophical or religious grounds, I haven't seen any solid reason or logic for bringing it into any kind of scientific or "logical" argument. (As much as I have any specific religious beliefs they are more animistic and closest to some Midiwiwin and/or other First Nations beliefs that do include the idea of a creator. But I am cautious here and it is complicated but in conformity with my scientific views.) So:

webplodder wrote:When scientists conduct scientific experiments involving quantum objects they find nothing is 'set in stone' and it will depend how an experiment is arranged as to its outcome.


Indeed. And consequntly (an following the views of some others posted here):

webplodder wrote:But once again, the incredible fine-tuning of the universe we find ourselves in strongly suggests that it is highly improbable that it was purely due to chance events.


I think you might have gotten it backwards. There is no reason why it couldn't have been purely by chance. One of my old analogies is look at the order of cars passing by on a highway during rush hour. The chances of that specific arrangement according to colour, model, make, year, spacing, etc. are infinitely small and absolutely unlikely to ever be repeated. The odds, I woud say are less than the chances of winning a lottery. But that was the way it occurred then and if the pattern happens to mimic some computer algorythm that cures cancer then wow hat are the chances? Wonderful things happened after the universe formed and wonderful things came from the order of cars on the highway in my particular model. Neither requires an Intelligent Designer. The only thing necessary is someone to notice.


Prove to me that the universe was pretty much as it is now billions of years ago. You can't because for that you would have to go back in time and observe it. But in doing so all you would prove is that a conscious observer is necessary for reality, as we experience it, to exist.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 2nd, 2017, 11:18 am 

vivian maxine » Tue May 02, 2017 1:51 pm wrote:webplodder, why must they be chance events? One event leads to another. A tree dies. You cut it down. If that was the last of its type, there will be no more. Planting a certain (say in rocky soil), the plants die. Planting in fertile soil. Plants thrive. You learn where to plant and plant there again. Plants grow stronger and perhaps evolve into new species along the way. Someone figures out how to cross-breed and we get still more evolution. What fails fails; what succeeds thrives and continues to better itself or to be bettered by thinking, problem-solving man. Where is the "chance"? I am not even sure what we might call chance evolution is truly chance. Something in the growth cycles caused evolution.


vivian maxine, if a tree falls in a forest and there is no-one about to hear it fall does it make a sound?

In other words, events need some kind of 'event sensor' to be real.

Without this nothing really exists.

The various laws we see in operation in our universe also need an event-sensor, ie us, and without us the universe might exist but not as we observe it.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 2nd, 2017, 11:19 am 

Serpent » Tue May 02, 2017 3:03 pm wrote:
webplodder » May 2nd, 2017, 2:03 am wrote:But once again, the incredible ...

What's incredible, exactly? That the laws of physics apply? Well, if they didn't, no cohesion of matter would stick around long enough to discern, describe and name the laws that govern it. So, what's your basis for incredulity? Only that you can hypothesize a universe that wasn't so organized. You can hypothesize the possibility of such a disorganized universe, but you can't imagine how it would operate -- because it couldn't operate.
...fine-tuning of the universe...

How do you mean finely tuned? What's the point of Jupiter? What's the purpose of the Horse-head nebula? Why so many galaxies? How come the distance between star systems? Why imploding and exploding suns?
What is the universe tuned to?
... we find ourselves in...

Were we lost? Did we have a choice of universes? Does a hair on your chin wonder at finding itself on just such a perfectly suited skin surface? The one on your back has the exact same sense of awe at being in the perfect location, which was obviously made for it to thrive on.
strongly suggests

To the suggestible and uncritical.
that it is highly improbable

What was the probability? Where does the probability come from and how is it calculated?
that it was purely due to chance events

Why? Because it's good for you, and you are obviously the reason for the whole thing to exist.
I look at the size of the universe. I look at the size of you.
My calculation of probability comes out quite differently.

How can you prove the universe as we model it today was always there from the beginning? There is no way to prove it and to assume it was is simply an assumption.

We don't need to prove anything about the life of the universe. All we need to do is observe and describe the one we can observe and describe, and think about how it works.
We can't observe or test any of the imaginary universes that don't work, in which we don't exist.
How do you prove the existence of all those universes that can't support life, - which, according to your idea of probability must vastly outnumber that ones that do.
How do you test for the meta-intelligence which designed the physical laws?
How - without positing yourself as the ultimate goal of all reality - do you go about discovering the existence of such an intelligence?

If you accept that 'reality' is a participatory process involving mind and matter then the argument against the Anthropic Principle fails.

What should motivate me to accept that idea?


Please see my previous replies.

Thank you.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 2nd, 2017, 11:21 am 

webplodder wrote:Prove to me that the universe was pretty much as it is now billions of years ago. You can't because for that you would have to go back in time and observe it. But in doing so all you would prove is that a conscious observer is necessary for reality, as we experience it, to exist.


Interesting little philosophical path to choose but I prefer a more scientific path myself. Or more accurately, several more interesting paths:

1) Prove to me that it wasn't the same in the past? I.e., the best way to test a hypothesis is to try the prove the opposite, preferably better. Also known as falsification. Or in chess "the best way to beat a gambit is to accept it".

2) Actually, I would say we pretty much know that thngs did change over time so I wouldn't say that if you go back into the past things were the same. There has been a lot of entropy since then.

3) And actually we can (and do) go back into the past on this topic. In fact, we know light travels at a certain speed. So, by looking at light originating from extremely far distances, we are getting a bit of a picture of things from far back in time. In fact, I seem to remember that cosmic radiation from the darkest regions of space were interpreted a being the echo of the big bang from a lot of billions of years ago.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby vivian maxine on May 2nd, 2017, 11:27 am 

Surprise, webplodder. We are not the only sensors on our own planet, to say nothing of the universe.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Serpent on May 2nd, 2017, 12:11 pm 

webplodder » May 2nd, 2017, 10:19 am wrote:
Please see my previous replies.

Thank you.

I did. They are perfectly self-consistent, self-contained and self-consuming.
You are entirely welcome to them.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Graeme M on May 2nd, 2017, 5:17 pm 

Webplodder, I haven't read all your comments but I get the impression you are arguing that the universe only exists because there is consciousness to observe it. Or that it is the act of observing and describing the universe that gives it form.

I think to an extent you are right, but only in a somewhat trivial sense. The universe exists and as others have argued, it exists in the way we observe it because we are here to observe it.

But yes, the form and structure we observe depends upon our "consciousness" of it. The universe known to the mind of a modern scientist is a vastly different thing from that of our ancestors' minds of 200,000 years ago.

But it doesn't depend on our awareness to exist. I am strictly materialist on this, I think. For example, you said

"if a tree falls in a forest and there is no-one about to hear it fall does it make a sound? In other words, events need some kind of 'event sensor' to be real."

When a person hears it fall, the sound we hear is not real in an external sense. The sound is how your brain represents the atmospheric vibrations. If a sighted but deaf person and a blind but hearing person observe the same tree fall, whose experience defines reality? A sensor that detects atmospheric vibrations by vibrating in kind is a more sympathetic and perhaps more accurate sensor than either of the human observers. Absent the humans, the sensor will still vibrate in sympathy. We could make it so that it records those vibrations as a plot on some recording media so we can later be assured that the tree did indeed make a "noise".

I think that the universe is real, our awareness of it much less so.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Heavy_Water on May 2nd, 2017, 7:08 pm 

Intelligent Design is just a Creationist attempt to Gussy up their religious Genesis woo with a few dashes of psuedo science.

Shake well and spew at a wary Agnostic or a savvy atheist, and, voila!

You get ID.

Which, btw, is not a theory.

At least not in the scientific sense of the word.

Not even a hypothesis.

It's just the Creationism of the New Millennium.

LOL
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 3:32 am 

Forest_Dump » Tue May 02, 2017 3:21 pm wrote:
webplodder wrote:Prove to me that the universe was pretty much as it is now billions of years ago. You can't because for that you would have to go back in time and observe it. But in doing so all you would prove is that a conscious observer is necessary for reality, as we experience it, to exist.


Interesting little philosophical path to choose but I prefer a more scientific path myself. Or more accurately, several more interesting paths:

1) Prove to me that it wasn't the same in the past? I.e., the best way to test a hypothesis is to try the prove the opposite, preferably better. Also known as falsification. Or in chess "the best way to beat a gambit is to accept it".

2) Actually, I would say we pretty much know that thngs did change over time so I wouldn't say that if you go back into the past things were the same. There has been a lot of entropy since then.

3) And actually we can (and do) go back into the past on this topic. In fact, we know light travels at a certain speed. So, by looking at light originating from extremely far distances, we are getting a bit of a picture of things from far back in time. In fact, I seem to remember that cosmic radiation from the darkest regions of space were interpreted a being the echo of the big bang from a lot of billions of years ago.


The universe wasn't the same in the past because (as I have argued already) for it to be as we experience it today, somebody would have to be about at the time to 'observe' it. My main point is that the universe does not have an independent, self-conscious' existence aside from 'event-sensors'.

You refer to science but science is essentially man-made and never existed before the rise of civilization. The concepts you talk about are a product of the human mind and before human minds existed were meaningless, unless you contend that the universe was somehow 'self-aware' and recognized the scientific concepts we have today.

The way scientific knowledge comes about is through observation and experimentation, a process which 'disturbs' whatever it is that is being looked at, and in doing so modifies it according to how experiments are set-up.

So what you appear to be overlooking is the participatory nature of reality in the way we interact with it. Therefore, your scientific approach to determining whether the universe was, more or less, as it is today is fundamentally flawed because it does not take into account the way thinking beings have altered it by interfering with the 'raw' state of it.

Think of it this way:

Any scientific experiment that has not been performed before is introducing novelty into the universe and changes it forever, or until another experiment is performed.

Through conducting continuous experiments we keep modifying what was there before, so in this way we introduce a kind of feedback loop into the mix which acts as a modifying agent and keeps changing what we regard as reality. We produce a 'processed' version of the universe via scientific investigation and effectively are masters of our own fate. So nothing as we see it today could have existed in the past because scientific experiments did not occur, leaving things 'undisturbed.'
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 3:35 am 

Serpent » Tue May 02, 2017 4:11 pm wrote:
webplodder » May 2nd, 2017, 10:19 am wrote:
Please see my previous replies.

Thank you.

I did. They are perfectly self-consistent, self-contained and self-consuming.
You are entirely welcome to them.


Oh dear, how disappointing.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 3:39 am 

Heavy_Water » Tue May 02, 2017 11:08 pm wrote:Intelligent Design is just a Creationist attempt to Gussy up their religious Genesis woo with a few dashes of psuedo science.

Shake well and spew at a wary Agnostic or a savvy atheist, and, voila!

You get ID.

Which, btw, is not a theory.

At least not in the scientific sense of the word.

Not even a hypothesis.

It's just the Creationism of the New Millennium.

LOL


It's not a question of religion or otherwise. It is a question of pure reason. Labels like the ones you have used just confuse and mis-direct people.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 3rd, 2017, 7:04 am 

webplodder wrote:It's not a question of religion or otherwise. It is a question of pure reason. Labels like the ones you have used just confuse and mis-direct people.


I think I will put it down as a variety of Cartesian skepticism and move on. Truth be told, since I didn't see you typing this in, I have no reason to believe you exist. Probably some computer algorythm they are trying to get the bugs out of.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Graeme M on May 3rd, 2017, 7:43 am 

I'm curious webplodder. If reality is generated from our interactions with it, why do we all more or less see the same things? I mean, people with some kind of disorder can have hallucinations yet the rest of us don't see the world changing to suit. Is reality subject to some kind of consensus of opinion? Is it only science that changes the world, or the everyday act of observation? Or am I missing your point?

I am seriously asking - just because I like the idea you are proposing. That doesn't mean I am tempted to believe it, I just like it!
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Graeme M on May 3rd, 2017, 7:50 am 

Dave_C, I just reread your last post, and this struck me:

Dave_C » May 1st, 2017, 10:14 pm wrote:People talk about emergence as a possible solution to 'mental stuff' having some sort of causal influence over 'brain stuff'. Some would posit 'downward causation' and that levels of nature constitute divides that produce new causal influences. Psychology for example, can't be described in terms of the lower level sciences such as neuroscience (we can't describe desires, experiences, etc... in terms of neuron interactions). Some will then say (ex: Fodor) that since there can be no bridge laws between levels of science, the higher levels must be causally efficacious.


Do you think that we cannot describe dispositions in terms of neurons because dispositions represent a natural level that does not reduce to the level of physical operations in the brain, or because we have not yet learned enough about the operations of neurons? I would claim the latter, and it seems not hard to provide a broad abstract description of how such might be the case. What is your view on this?
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 8:29 am 

Forest_Dump » Wed May 03, 2017 11:04 am wrote:
webplodder wrote:It's not a question of religion or otherwise. It is a question of pure reason. Labels like the ones you have used just confuse and mis-direct people.


I think I will put it down as a variety of Cartesian skepticism and move on. Truth be told, since I didn't see you typing this in, I have no reason to believe you exist. Probably some computer algorythm they are trying to get the bugs out of.


See, you are just happy to give me a label and move on.

Isn't that just refusing to confront the argument?

Yes, you can believe I exist because we both have the ability to act as sensory agents for phenomena that takes place in the environment. This MB is one such phenomenon.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 3rd, 2017, 8:54 am 

webplodder wrote:See, you are just happy to give me a label and move on.

Isn't that just refusing to confront the argument?

Yes, you can believe I exist because we both have the ability to act as sensory agents for phenomena that takes place in the environment. This MB is one such phenomenon.


Actually, since I am not aware of anything about you beyond what little I have read, I have no reason to believe you exist beyond what little I have "created" through my senses. You don't exist as anything beyond what I have labelled. Similarly your argument only exists to the point I have read it and thought about it so I have fully confronted it. I have no proof your arguement exists beyond what I have read and "sensed". And no I have no proof you exist beyond the fraction of your posts that I may have read and am conscious of so the only phenomenon that you call "ME" that exists is that which I am aware of. There is nothing more just as for you, you have no reason to believe I exist beyond what you decide to read and be conscious of. Anything else there might be, you just haven't brought it into existence yet - and you have no need to. Neither you nor I ever need to be empathetic or aware of anything beyond what is in front of our noses. One of the neat things about this is that you never really need to be moral or ethical again beyond what you want for your own selfish purposes.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 8:56 am 

Graeme M » Wed May 03, 2017 11:43 am wrote:I'm curious webplodder. If reality is generated from our interactions with it, why do we all more or less see the same things? I mean, people with some kind of disorder can have hallucinations yet the rest of us don't see the world changing to suit. Is reality subject to some kind of consensus of opinion? Is it only science that changes the world, or the everyday act of observation? Or am I missing your point?

I am seriously asking - just because I like the idea you are proposing. That doesn't mean I am tempted to believe it, I just like it!


I'm glad you like my approach, Graeme M, because it shows you can think for yourself and not feel you have to dance to other people's orthodoxy.

Anyway, you mention consensus but isn't that really saying a lot of people simply share the same belief system? In other words, science makes observations and does experiments resulting in theories and perhaps dogma and then we are told this is how the world really is.

Now, if many people agree on something they tend to believe it is true but it's not that it is true but that it is generally agreed on. So much of science is conducted by people who do the work and then inform the rest of us what things are really like. However, what is really happening is we are being told to look at things in a certain way - 'an orthodoxy' - if you like, and because we are observers in an observers' world and observe one another, we feel compelled to adapt to the observations of others in authority.

For example, belief in God is not scientifically verifiable, yet for many, such a belief is an everyday reality that directly impacts upon their and other people's lives. So what is real and what is not real? If something causes a direct physical and intellectual and emotional causation in the world how can it not be real?

So, whether you are talking about a scientific experiment or a religious belief, the same principle applies that we create our own subjective 'working space' by adopting our mental models of our experiences, both internal and external.

Science is actually a subjective, not objective experience, because we can never directly know what is beyond our filters of perception. Whatever causes firing in neurons, etc. is the end product of a series of events we can never know the origin of. Knowing and discovering our world and universe is really an exercise in discovering ourselves.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby webplodder on May 3rd, 2017, 9:06 am 

Forest_Dump » Wed May 03, 2017 12:54 pm wrote:
webplodder wrote:See, you are just happy to give me a label and move on.

Isn't that just refusing to confront the argument?

Yes, you can believe I exist because we both have the ability to act as sensory agents for phenomena that takes place in the environment. This MB is one such phenomenon.


Actually, since I am not aware of anything about you beyond what little I have read, I have no reason to believe you exist beyond what little I have "created" through my senses. You don't exist as anything beyond what I have labelled. Similarly your argument only exists to the point I have read it and thought about it so I have fully confronted it. I have no proof your arguement exists beyond what I have read and "sensed". And no I have no proof you exist beyond the fraction of your posts that I may have read and am conscious of so the only phenomenon that you call "ME" that exists is that which I am aware of. There is nothing more just as for you, you have no reason to believe I exist beyond what you decide to read and be conscious of. Anything else there might be, you just haven't brought it into existence yet - and you have no need to. Neither you nor I ever need to be empathetic or aware of anything beyond what is in front of our noses. One of the neat things about this is that you never really need to be moral or ethical again beyond what you want for your own selfish purposes.


Yes, you are perfectly correct.

However, what you are illustrating is that we have a choice about what we choose to believe and what not to believe .

If you wish to label me in the way you did then for you that is the reality you live in. On the other hand, if you choose to be skeptical about my views, that is another reality.

Moreover, if you choose to agree with my approach, you have created yet a third possible reality, so you can see in this way we forge our own versions of the alternative worlds we can live in.

Of course, the same applies to me and everyone else.

I also don't understand why that is selfish.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby vivian maxine on May 3rd, 2017, 9:18 am 

Well, I'll agree with webplodder on this one. How often have we read "You have to accept it because it has been 'proven' " (quotes deliberate). No, we do not have to accept it. Many a scientist is famous today because he did not accept what an earlier scientist said.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Braininvat on May 3rd, 2017, 9:23 am 

"You are entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts."
- U.S. Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Forest_Dump on May 3rd, 2017, 11:23 am 

webplodder wrote:Yes, you are perfectly correct.

However, what you are illustrating is that we have a choice about what we choose to believe and what not to believe .

If you wish to label me in the way you did then for you that is the reality you live in. On the other hand, if you choose to be skeptical about my views, that is another reality.

Moreover, if you choose to agree with my approach, you have created yet a third possible reality, so you can see in this way we forge our own versions of the alternative worlds we can live in.

Of course, the same applies to me and everyone else.

I also don't understand why that is selfish.


Without any necessary belief in any kind of objectively external reality except for what I (or you) choose to create, there is only selfish because there is only self. The only rantional choice(s) are those that work for me because I don't see how it would be rational to act for the benefit of anybody or anything that may not (probably not?) even exist.

Of course, I think there is another choice myself. Even if this is all some dream implanted in my mind by some external supernatural force or deity (however I might define it) or a creation of my own mind, I can act according to what I dimly perceive and as though it really does exist external to me. If you find yourself in a game, even though you didn't choose to play and can find no way out, you might as well play by the rules set out before you.
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Re: Intelligent Design - why not?

Postby Heavy_Water on May 3rd, 2017, 12:18 pm 

webplodder » May 3rd, 2017, 2:39 am wrote:
Heavy_Water » Tue May 02, 2017 11:08 pm wrote:Intelligent Design is just a Creationist attempt to Gussy up their religious Genesis woo with a few dashes of psuedo science.

Shake well and spew at a wary Agnostic or a savvy atheist, and, voila!

You get ID.

Which, btw, is not a theory.

At least not in the scientific sense of the word.

Not even a hypothesis.

It's just the Creationism of the New Millennium.

LOL


It's not a question of religion or otherwise. It is a question of pure reason. Labels like the ones you have used just confuse and mis-direct people.



And of course pure reason tells us that there is no such thing as a Designing God or any other sort of Deity. And that the Cosmos were begun by purely natural reasons, all in accordance with known, tangible, non-theistic, proven laws of physics.

The Finely tuned Universe notion has long been a favorite of IDers. It's an old and boring and non-sensical argument. Roundly debunked by the vast majority of Cosmologists.

Listen up...........99.9% of the Cosmos are totally hostile to us. We could not survive there. Our little oasis here on the third rock, and even including all those planets out there that also have conditions favorable to us, are such a small miniscule percentage of the Cosmos that its the equivalent percentage of a non-swimming animal standing on a one-foot square patch of land in the middle of the ocean and saying, "Yep, this land here sure is fine-tuned for me! There must be a God who designed it all!"

LOL

To close..........ID belongs on a Science Forum as much as does fashion talk on an automotive repair site.
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