The Scientific Method of ID

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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#106

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:29 am

It would seem you have changed the topic.
Wall-dog wrote:Sorry - you are right that Dembski focuses primarily on the math. That's kind of what I thought you wanted to see.
No, I wanted to see this.
"there is hard math behind my contention that some things are better explained by intelligence than by chance."
Wall-dog wrote:But try the book Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe. I don't have a copy of the book on hand to quote from but here is from a review at http://www.idurc.org/archive/stearnssedu.htm.

by demonstrating that they are inherently motor-like and that a designer must have helped assemble them in some way.
None of these are experiments why post them here? Also why does a flagellum have to be motor like? Can't a motor be flagellum like? Everything has to operate under the same principals, the laws which govern mechanical action in this universe.
*sigh* Publications are not experiments, infact these are philosophical ideas, not science.
Wall-dog wrote:
Specified complexity is a result of an iterative process interacting with an environment. This is how evolution works. And this is how man's technology has developed. What he has not shown is that specified complexity is a result of intelligence not only iterative processes which have been subjected to specific rules.
Actually, what he has shown a mathmatical equation with which others, such as Behe, determine the probability of different things happening by something other than intelligence. According to Behe the probability of the mechanisms in a single celled organism being produced naturally is roughly the same as the chance of a tornado going through a junkyard and throwing together a fully functional Boeing 747.
You cannot go from his paper to this figure! lol
Wall-dog wrote:
You have shown how man made inventions are designed, you are only making analogies. You have not demonstrated how nature is designed by an intelligence. This is done through experimentation with nature.
Mankind is a part of nature. We are also the most intelligent creatures on the planet. It is only natural that I would look to man-made creations to demonstrate intelligence in design and assembly in real-world scenarios. If I wanted to go to a lower level I might use a bird building a nest.
Again you're only proving that birds make nests, not that an intelligence created the bird! How many times do you have to repeat this error in logic?
Wall-dog wrote:
Now if you could show me yours again maybe we can compare.
I prefer to use empirical evidence from people with more credentials than me. Sometimes I pull them from memory but if you look closely you'll see the mousetrap above coming from a microbiologist.
It's an analogy not an experiment!
Wall-dog wrote:I'm just a cheesy little computer programmer. I wouldn't pretend to be able to go toe-to-toe with you without support from experts.
Don't humble yourself, there is no need. Let's just have a constructive conversation.
Wall-dog wrote:
No to move beyond a hypothesis you need to experimentally show the mechanisms in work in nature.
You're arguments so far have amounted to the following.
I have an aeroplane and it flies using gasoline as fuel.
So all things which fly use gasoline.
Actually, my argument would be that the airplane clearly shows signs of having been designed by intelligence.
You focus on the design aspect even when it has nothing to do with the argument???

Again an airplane being designed doesn't mean a bird is designed.
Just like an airplane using gasoline to fly doesn't mean a bird uses gasoline to fly.

Shouldn't you focus on the fact that they both have wings which provide lift?
Wall-dog wrote:
So how does removing a component of an organism result in the proof of IC? It should only prove that in order to stay alive the cell needed that component.
I'll grant that, however, in his book, Darwin's Black Box, Behe compares the single living cell to a factory, complete with...
Comparisons don't make it an actuality. I can compare the sun to a furnace, but that doesn't mean God is throwing coals into the sun.
...artificial languages and their decoding systems
How can it it artificial??
Wall-dog wrote:, memory banks for information storage and retrieval,
A very rough analogy indeed!
Wall-dog wrote:elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components,
Most of the parts self assemble!
Wall-dog wrote:error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilied for quality control,
Then how do we get mutations!?!
Wall-dog wrote:assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.
Again comparing it one way should allow us to compare the other way.

As in machines are like natural cells. They are a result of evolution.
Wall-dog wrote:Behe incidentally named his book based on the idea that the cell was a 'black box' to Darwin...
could divide, it could move around - but they didn't know how it did anything." The assumption scientists made at the time was that as they learned more about the cell they would marvel at its simplicity.
What's does all this mean?
Wall-dog wrote:Darwin in his "Origin of Species" said the following:
If it could be demonstrated thta any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
I understand this but how does disproving evolution by this method, finding IC, prove ID? Also how does this disprove the mechanisms of evolution which have since the time of Darwins book been confirmed experimentally! lol
Also does the discovery of an IC mechanism leave open the posibility that sometime in the future a pathway can be found?
And if this is so isn't IC just a description for a limitation of knowledge?
Wall-dog wrote:IC is based on the following (again from Behe):
A system or device is irreducibly complex if it has a number of different components that all work together to accomplish the task of the system, and if you were to remove one of the components, the system would no longer function. An irreducibly complex system is highly unlikely to be built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes, because the system has to be fully present in order for it to function.
It must maintain function because, according to Behe, "natural selection chooses systems that are already working."
Let's try this.

Do you know how the super sonic jets of today were developed? Can you trace the steps it took in its development?
Wall-dog wrote:As for indirect routes, Behe says:
You can't absolutely rule out all theoretical possibilities of a gradual, circuitous route, but the more complex the interacting system, the far less likely an indirect route can account for it.
Why? On what basis? What is the alternative mechanism, and what is the method by which it operates?
Wall-dog wrote:And as we discover more and more of these irreducibly complex biological systems, we can be more and more confident we've met Darwin's criterion of failure.
Actually the flagellum, blood clotting mechanism and others have been addresses. And although we don't know the exact path it took to get to its current form, the fact that there are possible pathways negates the irreducible complexity of these systems does it not?
Wall-dog wrote:This is where Dembski comes in. Dembski's math predicts, based on such principals, just how unlikely it is for an indirect gradual, circuitous route to produce something.
Here's the catch! Given that all possibilities are allowed! Meaning that if I have 100 children in this school what are the chances that one will raise their hand in class?
1 in 100.

However in real life this is a boys gym class, and there are only 42 boys in this school. So the real chance is one in 42.

And some of them are sick, so it's one in 40.

And some of them don't take gym so it's one in 31.

And some of them...

Of course we are using various excuses, however in nature the laws of nature themselves preclude certain "possibilities". Thats why the math is great, but the experiment is greater!
Wall-dog wrote:You see, ID does not require IC. But the closer to IC something is, the worse the odds are for Darwinian processes.
Are we talking about odds, or science? How does this show that ID is a science? Is ID just a fancy probability class?
Wall-dog wrote:Behe uses the mousetrap for illustration. I think it is also a great example on a forum such as this one because most of us are not actually scientists. He has other, better examples though.
The evolution of a mouse trap.
http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html
Wall-dog wrote:
Cilia are whiplike hairs on the surface of cells. .. But cilia have another function: if the cell is mobile, the cilia can row it through a fluid. Sperm cells would be an example; they're propelled forward by the rowing action of cilia.
Simple, right?
That's what scientists used to think when they examined cilia under a light microscope. They just looked like little hairs. But now that we have electron microscopes, we've found that cilia are, in fact, quite complicated molecular machines.
Yes they are.
Wall-dog wrote:Think about it: most hairs don't beat back and forth.
lol Sorry your mixing up your hairs.
Wall-dog wrote:What enables cilia to do this? Well, it turns out a cilium is made up of about two hundred protein parts. There are nine pairs of microtubules, which are long, thin, flexible rods, which encircle two single microtubles....sliding motion began. If it weren't for the motor protein, it wouldn't move at all. If it weren't for the rods, there would be nothing to move. So like the mousetrap, the cilium is irreducibly complex.
Again you're basing this on you're personal inability to see how it could have arisen. Don't you see you're looking for things which seem complex and defy explanation and the go ahah! that's irreducibly complex.
That's not science. A scientist would go aha, how did it form? What proteins are involved? How does it work? etc...
Wall-dog wrote:And he even says whey Darwinian processes can't account for it:
You only get the motion of the cilium when you've got everything together. None of the individual parts can do the trick by themselves. You need them all in place. For evolution to account for that, you would have to imagine how this could develop gradually - but nobody has been able to do that.
This will require a discussion of the function and structure of the cilium first. We could start a new thread on this if you wou like.
Wall-dog wrote:As for the notion that the pieces of the cilium had other functions before they adopted their current function:
Creating the cilium inside the cell woudl be counter-productive; it would need to extend from the cell. The necessary components would have to come together at the right place at the right time, even assuming they were all pre-existing in the cell.
If the shape is correct they will come together spontaneously.
Wall-dog wrote:Possible? Dembski's math again (illustrated by Behe - speaking to Lee Strobel for one of Lee Strobel's books - The Case for a Creator):
It's extraordinarily improbable. Let me illustrate it for you. Say there are ten thousand proteins in a cell. Now, imagine you live in a town of ten thousand people, and everyone goes to teh county fair at the same time. Just for fun, everyone is wearing blindfolds and is not allowed to speak. There are two other people named Lee, and your job is to link hands with them. What are the odds that you could go grab two people at random and create a link of Lees? Pretty slim.
That's not what is happening!! The shape of lee will prevent anyone from attaching to him than you. Plus there will be multiple copies of both you and lee!. How dare they take advantage of the lay persons lack of knowledge on molecular biology!
Wall-dog wrote:In fact, it gets worse. In the cell, the mutation rate is extremely low. In our analogy, that would mean you could only change partners at the county fair one time a year. So you link wiht two other people - sorry, they're not the other Lees. Next year, you link wiht two other people. Sorry, no Lees again. How long would it take you to link with the other Lees? A very, very long time - and the same is true in the cell. It would take an enormous amount of time - a prohibitive amount of time - even to get three proteins together.
This analogy is utter nonsence. A protein does not operate this way. Once sequenced it self assembles and interacts with other proteins floating around in the cell.
It is either torn apart, reshaped, bonded, or ecpelled from the cell. If there is a mutation to a protein, it will behave differently because it has a different shape. One change can lead to surprising new feature because of the way proteins can interact. For instance a change to a protein which behaves as an enzyme would cause it to no longer be able to operate in the way it did. Thus leading other proteins to never form because they are a result of enzymatic action and not directly created from DNA. We can start a new thread on proteins if you want.
Wall-dog wrote:To make it even more difficult, a recent study in Science magazine found that half the proteins in a simple yeast cell don't functoin alone, but they function as complexes of half dozen proteins or more. Up to fifty proteins are stuck together like cogs in a machine. Of the other fifty percent, most are in complexes of three or four. Very few work as single, Lone Ranger proteins. So this is a huge problem not only in cilia but in other cells too.
How is this so? If proteins went to the fair only once a year maybe! They cannot hold hands with any arbitrary protein they will not interact with just anyone! lol
Wall-dog wrote:Sorry - I hit submit too early!!

Dembski's math also shows that these systems could have been constructed by inteligence. So you get no to the other subsets, but yes to intelligence.
No, you get yes to complexity and specificity when you get no to the other subsets.

Read his thesis again. There is nothing showing that specified complexity is a result of intelligence.

And going back to the original theme of this conversation, did you forget that you're task was to show how ID is a scientific theory? You seem to have back tracked and are now resorting to critics of evolution's perceived short commings, and popular publications concerning philosophical ideas. To even taking a mathmathical proof and trying to stretch the implication's beyong what is logical.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#107

Post by Wall-dog » Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:29 am

BEGood,

I'm out of town for the weekend so I can't make a long post for a few days. I did however want to ask you to expand on self-assembly at the cellular and sub-cellular level. Doesn't that require DNA, or can I just dump some cell pieces into a petri-dish and watch them fall into place?

If self-assembly requires DNA, then wouldn't that qualify as directed assembly rather than self-assembly?

I'll make a longer post after the weekend...

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#108

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:30 am

Wall-dog wrote:BEGood,

I'm out of town for the weekend so I can't make a long post for a few days. I did however want to ask you to expand on self-assembly at the cellular and sub-cellular level. Doesn't that require DNA, or can I just dump some cell pieces into a petri-dish and watch them fall into place?
Yes and no.
http://www.wisc-online.com/objects/inde ... jid=AP1302
Creation of a protein requires several steps,
1. Transcription
2. Translation
3. At this point you have an amino acid chain. This chain folds in on itself without any aids. And interactions with other proteins are not directed but happen because of natural forces. As does all the other steps.

If you want to go into it in more detail let me know.
Wall-dog wrote:If self-assembly requires DNA, then wouldn't that qualify as directed assembly rather than self-assembly?
No, once sequenced DNA is no longer involved.

It is important to note that the action of transcription is also undirected in the sence that it is a chemical reaction just like any other.

All activity in the cell is a result of natural laws.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#109

Post by Wall-dog » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:00 pm

BeGood,

I looked at that link. It assumes the existence of a cell prior to self assembly. I think what Behe would likely counter with is that the first cell would not have been able to utilize that method. Behe wasn't talking about how cells assemble from other cells, but rather how the whole process started in the first place - i.e.: the first cell.

I'll get to the rest of your post a little later.

Sandy - I don't think you said anything that could have been taken as insulting in any way, but I appreciate the apology!

Really I'm not worried about being insulted on this board. We don't really all know each other anyway. What I was concerned with was that someone might read those attacks and infer from them that what I am saying is incorrect based upon those personal attacks. I was pretty good at debate in high school. One of the weaker techniques people used sometimes was the ad-hominum attack. If you can't refute what someone says, you attack the person instead. It's kind of like if I said the sky was blue and someone couldn't refute it so instead they call me a butt-head. There is no relevance to it but it can draw the debate away from relevant topics. Ad hominum attacks are best dealt with by calling them out.
It would seem you have changed the topic.
A good debate should flow. I didn't change the topic. The topic changed slightly as our arguments have progressed but I think we're still very much on topic.
No, I wanted to see this.
"there is hard math behind my contention that some things are better explained by intelligence than by chance."
Well - that's kind of what I meant. Dembski's math is the hard math.
None of these are experiments why post them here? Also why does a flagellum have to be motor like? Can't a motor be flagellum like? Everything has to operate under the same principals, the laws which govern mechanical action in this universe.
*sigh* Publications are not experiments, infact these are philosophical ideas, not science.
Motor-like, flagellum-like. You say toe-MAE-toe and I say toe-MA-toe. Either way I think Behe's examples still have merit.

I'm a little taken back by your refusal to accept Behe's examples as experiments. He utilizes Dembski's math within his area of expertise. There are many scientists doing the same thing but you'll probably say that they are all philisophical ideas rather than legitimate scientific experiments. I know why you are saying that. It's the contention that intelligence was involved. You consider that a call to a supernatural power and consider that unscientific. Anything anyone does to show intelligence in action is going to be dismissed as unscientific because it shows intelligence in action. You are using a definition of science that holds intelligence as being outside the realm of science to show that intelligence is not scientific. That's a circular argument and if you applied the same criteria to other theories they would fall too - as has been stated by Behe, Dembski, and a host of several other scientists.
You cannot go from his paper to this figure! lol
Actually, the probabilities are roughly the same for both so the illustration works. It's not my illustration. It's Behe's.
Again you're only proving that birds make nests, not that an intelligence created the bird! How many times do you have to repeat this error in logic?
I'll keep doing it until you stop missing the point. I wasn't saying that intelligence created the bird. I was saying that the bird, which has a certain level of intelligence, created the nest. Some species of bird are quite intelligent! As is, Behe would say that intelligence was necessary to create the bird, but that wasn't what I was saying. You wouldn't let me use mankind's design and assembly because you said mankind isn't a part of nature. I don't agree with you on that, but rather than argue with you over it I decided to use a bird because I don't think you can tell me that a bird isn't a part of nature either.
It's an analogy not an experiment!
It's an illustration simplifying experiments that have been performed on things such as single-celled organisms.
You focus on the design aspect even when it has nothing to do with the argument???

Again an airplane being designed doesn't mean a bird is designed.
Just like an airplane using gasoline to fly doesn't mean a bird uses gasoline to fly.

Shouldn't you focus on the fact that they both have wings which provide lift?
I don't know if you are not understanding the argument of if you are intentionally mis-representing it when you try to refute it. You did the same thing a moment ago with the bird. I wasn't saying that it took intelligence to create the bird. I was saying that the bird used intelligence to create the nest. With the airplane I was saying that manking used intelligence to create the airplane. Somehow you are turning that into a comparison with birds. I don't know where that comes from. My point is that we can observe intelligence in action in the world around us every day. We can observe intelligence. We can quantify intelligence. Dembski has built mathmatic formulas to show the probability that intelligence was necessary to create something. I've quoted Behe describing experiments he has used based on Dembski's math.
Comparisons don't make it an actuality. I can compare the sun to a furnace, but that doesn't mean God is throwing coals into the sun.
Behe understands that his work is of interest to more than just scientists so he tries to simplify his ideas and experiments such that they are easier to understand. Maybe more scientists should do the same.
Quote:
...artificial languages and their decoding systems
How can it it artificial??
Wall-dog wrote:
, memory banks for information storage and retrieval,
A very rough analogy indeed!
Wall-dog wrote:
elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components,
Most of the parts self assemble!
Wall-dog wrote:
error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilied for quality control,
Then how do we get mutations!?!
Wall-dog wrote:
assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.
Again comparing it one way should allow us to compare the other way.

As in machines are like natural cells. They are a result of evolution.

Wall-dog wrote:
Behe incidentally named his book based on the idea that the cell was a 'black box' to Darwin...
could divide, it could move around - but they didn't know how it did anything." The assumption scientists made at the time was that as they learned more about the cell they would marvel at its simplicity.
What's does all this mean?

I understand this but how does disproving evolution by this method, finding IC, prove ID? Also how does this disprove the mechanisms of evolution which have since the time of Darwins book been confirmed experimentally! lol
Also does the discovery of an IC mechanism leave open the posibility that sometime in the future a pathway can be found?
And if this is so isn't IC just a description for a limitation of knowledge?
I think you are getting a little past the intent of this thread. We are discussing ID as a theory - you are saying it is not a legitimate theory. I should not have to prove ID to show it as a legitimate theory.
Do you know how the super sonic jets of today were developed? Can you trace the steps it took in its development?
Let us discuss this directly. I'll quote Johathan Wells, who has a doctorate in molecular and cell biology and another doctorate in religious studies.

Dr. Wells was discussing Bera's Blunder.
Phillip Johnson coined that term based on a book that was written by a bilologist named Tim Berra in 1990. Bera compared the fossil record to a series of automobile models, saying that if you compare a 1953 and 1954 Corvette side by side, and then a 1954 and 1955 Corvette and so on, then it becomes obvious that there has been descent with modification. He said this is what paleontologists do with fossils 'and the evidence is so solid and comprehensive that it cannot be denied by reasonable people.'

Far from demonstrating his point, the illustration shows that a designer could have been involved. These successive models of the Corvette are based on plans drawn up by engineers, so there's intelligence at work to guide and implement the process. If you wanted to demonstrate that the similar features resulted from a Darwinian process, you would have to show that once you somehow got an automobile, the natural forces of rust, wind, water, and gravity would turn one model into its successor.
Why? On what basis? What is the alternative mechanism, and what is the method by which it operates?
Dembski's math is what I think he bases that statement on. The more complex an irreducibly complex system gets, the less likely natural causes are as a potential explanation.
Actually the flagellum, blood clotting mechanism and others have been addresses. And although we don't know the exact path it took to get to its current form, the fact that there are possible pathways negates the irreducible complexity of these systems does it not?
There is a big difference between the statement 'it is possible there are pathways' and 'there are possible pathways.' If you find a pathway then you will have negated the irreducible complexity of that system, but you have to find a pathway first. All Behe was saying is that it is impossible to completely rule-out the possibility of a pathway, and then he goes on to say that the more complex an apparently IC system is, the less likely it is that there will be a pathway.
Here's the catch! Given that all possibilities are allowed! Meaning that if I have 100 children in this school what are the chances that one will raise their hand in class?
1 in 100.

However in real life this is a boys gym class, and there are only 42 boys in this school. So the real chance is one in 42.

And some of them are sick, so it's one in 40.

And some of them don't take gym so it's one in 31.

And some of them...

Of course we are using various excuses, however in nature the laws of nature themselves preclude certain "possibilities". Thats why the math is great, but the experiment is greater!
We touch on this in another thread.
I have a possibility with a probability of occurrance of roughly 1 in 9*10^162. If I look just at the probability I might say "no chance." But there's more. It will have roughly 9*10^163 chances. In spite of the odds, this probably will eventually occur. Don't hold your breath, but given time for all chances to expire it's a safe bet. In fact, it should happen about ten times!

If on the other hand I have odds of 1 in 9*10^162 and I only have four chances, while still technically possible I might call that statistically improbable to the point of being practically (though not literally) impossible.
If I told you that the odds of a particular pathway occurring is one in a trillion and that there were 10 opportunities, we'd probably have to agree that the liklihood was remote. Such is Dembski's math...
Are we talking about odds, or science? How does this show that ID is a science? Is ID just a fancy probability class?
Do you not consider math a legitimate part of scientific investigation?
Again you're basing this on you're personal inability to see how it could have arisen. Don't you see you're looking for things which seem complex and defy explanation and the go ahah! that's irreducibly complex.
That's not science. A scientist would go aha, how did it form? What proteins are involved? How does it work? etc...
Actually, I was quoting Dr. Behe so it would have been his personal inability to see how it could have arisen, and his personal inability would have been in conjunction with the rest of the scientific world. And he DID say 'AHA!' but his conclusion was that it intelligence was probably involved...
This will require a discussion of the function and structure of the cilium first. We could start a new thread on this if you wou like.
Since I'm quoting Dr. Behe, I would suggest you take that up with him.
This analogy is utter nonsence. A protein does not operate this way. Once sequenced it self assembles and interacts with other proteins floating around in the cell.
It is either torn apart, reshaped, bonded, or ecpelled from the cell. If there is a mutation to a protein, it will behave differently because it has a different shape. One change can lead to surprising new feature because of the way proteins can interact. For instance a change to a protein which behaves as an enzyme would cause it to no longer be able to operate in the way it did. Thus leading other proteins to never form because they are a result of enzymatic action and not directly created from DNA. We can start a new thread on proteins if you want.
The site you provided a link for to support this assumed the existance of a cell. Since Behe was referring to the creation of the first cell, perhaps you could provide an example of self-assembly that does not?

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#110

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Mon Feb 13, 2006 2:17 pm

Wall-dog wrote:BeGood,

I looked at that link. It assumes the existence of a cell prior to self assembly. I think what Behe would likely counter with is that the first cell would not have been able to utilize that method.
We're not talking about the first cell, we are talking about the origin of irreducibly complex systems. Or are you trying to say that life was created and was created the way they are now from the beginning?
Wall-dog wrote:Behe wasn't talking about how cells assemble from other cells, but rather how the whole process started in the first place - i.e.: the first cell.
No he is talking about how cells producing other cells could not in the process produce irrecucibly complex systems.
Wall-dog wrote:
It would seem you have changed the topic.
A good debate should flow. I didn't change the topic. The topic changed slightly as our arguments have progressed but I think we're still very much on topic.
No, you changed the subject, you are no longer trying to show the scientific method of ID.
Wall-dog wrote:
No, I wanted to see this.
"there is hard math behind my contention that some things are better explained by intelligence than by chance."
Well - that's kind of what I meant. Dembski's math is the hard math.
Hard math yes, but does it show things are better explained by intelligence? NO. So again you did not show me what you set out to show.
Wall-dog wrote:
None of these are experiments why post them here? Also why does a flagellum have to be motor like? Can't a motor be flagellum like? Everything has to operate under the same principals, the laws which govern mechanical action in this universe.
*sigh* Publications are not experiments, infact these are philosophical ideas, not science.
Motor-like, flagellum-like. You say toe-MAE-toe and I say toe-MA-toe.
The point was that if it takes twisting of words, it is not empirical!
Wall-dog wrote:Either way I think Behe's examples still have merit.
Again showing that one thing is like another in one aspect does not prove in any way that it is similar in another.
Wall-dog wrote:I'm a little taken back by your refusal to accept Behe's examples as experiments. He utilizes Dembski's math within his area of expertise. There are many scientists doing the same thing but you'll probably say that they are all philisophical ideas rather than legitimate scientific experiments.
How in the world are these examples scientific experiments? How is there an application of the math? Do you understand the math? If you do, explain how it is related. Yes, this is a challenge.
Wall-dog wrote:I know why you are saying that. It's the contention that intelligence was involved. You consider that a call to a supernatural power and consider that unscientific. Anything anyone does to show intelligence in action is going to be dismissed as unscientific because it shows intelligence in action.
No, how can you not see that it is because there is no experimental way to measure this that it is not considered science? Marveling at the mechanisms of a flagellum and comparing it to an outboard motor is NOT A SCIENTIFIC experiment!
Wall-dog wrote:You are using a definition of science that holds intelligence as being outside the realm of science to show that intelligence is not scientific.
No I am not, as I stated it is accepted that intelligence is required to build a mouse trap. Show me experimentally that intelligence is required to produce produce a yeast cell, then you will have something to work with. All you have now are comparisons, that is far from a scientific experiment.
Wall-dog wrote:That's a circular argument and if you applied the same criteria to other theories they would fall too - as has been stated by Behe, Dembski, and a host of several other scientists.
This is silly, you're building a straw man. There is no circular reasoning involved here. You are failing to understand how an experiment works.

You begin with a premise and develop an experiment in which that premise can be proven wrong. If it fails to disprove the premise then it strengthens the premise.

The only criteria I applied to these experiments is simply,
Is the mechanism of ID definable?
Is it identifiable?
Is it measurable?
Does the experiment test a mechanism or aspect of ID?

The mousetrap example is supposed to show irreduciblle complexity. But it defines IC as a property of something which ceases to work once a component is removed. However this property can be a result of an evolved system as shown many times in this thread. So what is IC? It doesn' appear to be a mechanism of ID.

Show how applying this criteria to other theories would make them fail.
Wall-dog wrote:
You cannot go from his paper to this figure! lol
Actually, the probabilities are roughly the same for both so the illustration works. It's not my illustration. It's Behe's.
Pardon me? Where in Dembski's paper is this?
Wall-dog wrote:
Again you're only proving that birds make nests, not that an intelligence created the bird! How many times do you have to repeat this error in logic?
I'll keep doing it until you stop missing the point. I wasn't saying that intelligence created the bird. I was saying that the bird, which has a certain level of intelligence, created the nest. Some species of bird are quite intelligent! As is, Behe would say that intelligence was necessary to create the bird, but that wasn't what I was saying. You wouldn't let me use mankind's design and assembly because you said mankind isn't a part of nature. I don't agree with you on that, but rather than argue with you over it I decided to use a bird because I don't think you can tell me that a bird isn't a part of nature either.
So a bird requires intelligence to produce a nest, given that what is it you wish to say then? Because a bird created a nest that means that a flagellum was created by an unseen entity using an unknown mechanism? Again an error in logic.
Wall-dog wrote:
It's an analogy not an experiment!
It's an illustration simplifying experiments that have been performed on things such as single-celled organisms.
Such as?
Wall-dog wrote:
You focus on the design aspect even when it has nothing to do with the argument???

Again an airplane being designed doesn't mean a bird is designed.
Just like an airplane using gasoline to fly doesn't mean a bird uses gasoline to fly.

Shouldn't you focus on the fact that they both have wings which provide lift?
I don't know if you are not understanding the argument of if you are intentionally mis-representing it when you try to refute it. You did the same thing a moment ago with the bird. I wasn't saying that it took intelligence to create the bird. I was saying that the bird used intelligence to create the nest. With the airplane I was saying that manking used intelligence to create the airplane. Somehow you are turning that into a comparison with birds. I don't know where that comes from. My point is that we can observe intelligence in action in the world around us every day. We can observe intelligence. We can quantify intelligence. Dembski has built mathmatic formulas to show the probability that intelligence was necessary to create something. I've quoted Behe describing experiments he has used based on Dembski's math.
Show me an example of an experiment Behe performed using Demski's math. I am doubting you understand Dembski's math. Again we know birds make nests, we know men built airplanes. We know yeast cells produce yeast cells. What is it you were trying to say again?
Wall-dog wrote:
Comparisons don't make it an actuality. I can compare the sun to a furnace, but that doesn't mean God is throwing coals into the sun.
Behe understands that his work is of interest to more than just scientists so he tries to simplify his ideas and experiments such that they are easier to understand. Maybe more scientists should do the same.
Could it be possible that certain things are far too complex to water down?
Wall-dog wrote:
Quote:
...artificial languages and their decoding systems
How can it it artificial??
Wall-dog wrote:
...
And if this is so isn't IC just a description for a limitation of knowledge?
I think you are getting a little past the intent of this thread. We are discussing ID as a theory - you are saying it is not a legitimate theory. I should not have to prove ID to show it as a legitimate theory.
A scientific theory get's that status from the fact that the tenets of the theory have passed multiple tests from multiple fields through experimentation. How is ID a theory?
This need's to be clarified once and for all because you are constantly misusing this term!
Are you trying to redefine the term - scientific theory?
or
Are you using the word theory like they do in hollywood movies?
Wall-dog wrote:
Do you know how the super sonic jets of today were developed? Can you trace the steps it took in its development?
Let us discuss this directly. I'll quote Johathan Wells, who has a doctorate in molecular and cell biology and another doctorate in religious studies.

Dr. Wells was discussing Bera's Blunder.
Phillip Johnson coined that term based on a book that was written by a bilologist named Tim Berra in 1990. Bera compared the fossil record to a series of automobile models, saying that if you compare a 1953 and 1954 Corvette side by side, and then a 1954 and 1955 Corvette and so on, then it becomes obvious that there has been descent with modification. He said this is what paleontologists do with fossils 'and the evidence is so solid and comprehensive that it cannot be denied by reasonable people.'

Far from demonstrating his point, the illustration shows that a designer could have been involved.
This is possible
Wall-dog wrote:These successive models of the Corvette are based on plans drawn up by engineers, so there's intelligence at work to guide and implement the process. If you wanted to demonstrate that the similar features resulted from a Darwinian process, you would have to show that once you somehow got an automobile, the natural forces of rust, wind, water, and gravity would turn one model into its successor.
No you don't, you only have to show how subsequent models can arise from current ones. It's called reproduction. It happens everyday or else you would run out of skin.

A cars method of reproduction is in a factory. It is immaterial that human beings are intelligent, what is important here is that there is an iterative series of designs which changes over time.

Are you incapable of removing the noise?
Wall-dog wrote:
Why? On what basis? What is the alternative mechanism, and what is the method by which it operates?
Dembski's math is what I think he bases that statement on. The more complex an irreducibly complex system gets, the less likely natural causes are as a potential explanation.
You are using a math proof to counter experimental results? Do you even understand that the math was only an application of set theory and proves absolutely nothing?
Wall-dog wrote:
Actually the flagellum, blood clotting mechanism and others have been addresses. And although we don't know the exact path it took to get to its current form, the fact that there are possible pathways negates the irreducible complexity of these systems does it not?
There is a big difference between the statement 'it is possible there are pathways' and 'there are possible pathways.' If you find a pathway then you will have negated the irreducible complexity of that system, but you have to find a pathway first. All Behe was saying is that it is impossible to completely rule-out the possibility of a pathway, and then he goes on to say that the more complex an apparently IC system is, the less likely it is that there will be a pathway.
Again what is the alternative then? That an unknown force assembled through an unknown mechanism? How is this a satisfactory explanation?
Wall-dog wrote:
Here's the catch! Given that all possibilities are allowed! Meaning that if I have 100 children in this school what are the chances that one will raise their hand in class?
1 in 100.

However in real life this is a boys gym class, and there are only 42 boys in this school. So the real chance is one in 42.

And some of them are sick, so it's one in 40.

And some of them don't take gym so it's one in 31.

And some of them...

Of course we are using various excuses, however in nature the laws of nature themselves preclude certain "possibilities". Thats why the math is great, but the experiment is greater!
We touch on this in another thread.
I have a possibility with a probability of occurrance of roughly 1 in 9*10^162. If I look just at the probability I might say "no chance." But there's more. It will have roughly 9*10^163 chances. In spite of the odds, this probably will eventually occur. Don't hold your breath, but given time for all chances to expire it's a safe bet. In fact, it should happen about ten times!

If on the other hand I have odds of 1 in 9*10^162 and I only have four chances, while still technically possible I might call that statistically improbable to the point of being practically (though not literally) impossible.
No you are missing the point, how are you to know what the possibilities are? Is it 1 in one million or 1 in 20? How do you know?

What probability are we discussing here? The probability of a flagellum forming?

Also what is the significance of the outcome? Was there an explicit need for a specific outcome?
Wall-dog wrote:If I told you that the odds of a particular pathway occurring is one in a trillion and that there were 10 opportunities, we'd probably have to agree that the liklihood was remote. Such is Dembski's math...
Dembski's math does not address the specific probability of a specific pathway. We do not know what the odds are.
Wall-dog wrote:
Are we talking about odds, or science? How does this show that ID is a science? Is ID just a fancy probability class?
Do you not consider math a legitimate part of scientific investigation?
It certainly cannot be considered empirical evidence untill verified experimentally.
Wall-dog wrote:
Again you're basing this on you're personal inability to see how it could have arisen. Don't you see you're looking for things which seem complex and defy explanation and the go ahah! that's irreducibly complex.
That's not science. A scientist would go aha, how did it form? What proteins are involved? How does it work? etc...
Actually, I was quoting Dr. Behe so it would have been his personal inability to see how it could have arisen, and his personal inability would have been in conjunction with the rest of the scientific world. And he DID say 'AHA!' but his conclusion was that it intelligence was probably involved...
What is the source of this intelligence? What is the mechanism used by this intelligence? In the paradigm of science this is nothing more than personal conjecture.
Wall-dog wrote:
This will require a discussion of the function and structure of the cilium first. We could start a new thread on this if you wou like.
Since I'm quoting Dr. Behe, I would suggest you take that up with him.
You can post other's work here and then pull out in this manor?
Wall-dog wrote:
This analogy is utter nonsence. A protein does not operate this way. Once sequenced it self assembles and interacts with other proteins floating around in the cell.
It is either torn apart, reshaped, bonded, or ecpelled from the cell. If there is a mutation to a protein, it will behave differently because it has a different shape. One change can lead to surprising new feature because of the way proteins can interact. For instance a change to a protein which behaves as an enzyme would cause it to no longer be able to operate in the way it did. Thus leading other proteins to never form because they are a result of enzymatic action and not directly created from DNA. We can start a new thread on proteins if you want.
The site you provided a link for to support this assumed the existance of a cell. Since Behe was referring to the creation of the first cell, perhaps you could provide an example of self-assembly that does not?
So IC is about the origin of life? What about bacteria which do not posses flagellum?

Are you than ignoring the possibility that a flagellum can arise from bacteria which do not posess flagellum because they already contain the machinery of life?

What does the origin of life have anything to do with this discussion?
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#111

Post by Wall-dog » Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:26 pm

BeGood,

In my first post on this thread I brought up the creation (or existence - take your pick) of single cell organisms and of living cells as a scientific basis for the theory of ID. The title of the thread is 'The Scientific Method of ID'.
We're not talking about the first cell, we are talking about the origin of irreducibly complex systems. Or are you trying to say that life was created and was created the way they are now from the beginning?
Please tell me how I've suddenly changed the topic?
No he is talking about how cells producing other cells could not in the process produce irrecucibly complex systems.
You are misrepresenting him entirely. Behe is talking about how living cells could not have evolved and how Dembski's formulas show an overwhelming probability for the cell to be designed - not based on reproduction but based on existence i.e.: how the first living cell got here. You may not agree with Behe, and that is your right, but you can at least grant that he said what he said. The quotes I posted were very clear on that.
No, you changed the subject, you are no longer trying to show the scientific method of ID.


Unless the transition from 'trying to show' to 'showing' constitutes changing the subject you are so incredibly far off base on this statement that I can't even venture a response. How does bringing up Behe's use of living cells within Dembski's mathmatic formulas do anything but provide empirical scientific evidence for the inclusion of intelligence in the creation of the first living cell? How is that changing the subject?
Hard math yes, but does it show things are better explained by intelligence? NO. So again you did not show me what you set out to show.

How in the world are these examples scientific experiments? How is there an application of the math? Do you understand the math? If you do, explain how it is related. Yes, this is a challenge.
I have a hard time with Dembski's math. I only went as far as Advanced Trigonometry. I never took Calculus. I tested through Calculus II in college and since I really didn't like math (in spite of having an aptitude for it) that's as far as I went. But I'm good with it and I can follow Dembski. It's painstakingly slow for me to do so and I can't just look at it and understand it without some form of help (such as online descriptions) but I can follow it. So yes - I understand the math.

What I don't always understand is Behe's work. I understand the basis for it but I'm not a micro-biologist. I enjoy reading Behe though because he breaks his work down such that someone other than a micro-biologist can read it.

Explain how it is related. That was the challange. No problem.

There are two pieces to Dembski's Design Inference. The first, which you have essentially agreed to, shows that all subsets must belong to a set. From there he takes the possible subsets that can be used to explain an event - regularity, chance, and design, and then has formulas that will give probabilities for the different subsets. It's a process of elimination. If an event could not have been caused by regularity or chance based on probabilities that are absurdly low, then the only logical choice left is design.

When you say that disproving one thing does not casually infer another, that's not entirely true based on, as Dembski proves, the notion that all subsets must belong to a set.

Unfortunately, I havne't seen Behe's actual mathmatic solutions. They are published but I don't have copies. Not being a mathmatician I really don't care to see them. I'm happy just knowing that they are published and open to scrutiny by others. I've even cited a source, but it's a book I don't have. If you'd like you can go buy a copy.

But let us be fair. I don't have to be able to follow a formula to understand the logical basis of the formula and asking me to do so isn't fair to Dembski. As long as Behe understood the formula when he employed it, that should suffice.
This is silly, you're building a straw man. There is no circular reasoning involved here. You are failing to understand how an experiment works.

You begin with a premise and develop an experiment in which that premise can be proven wrong. If it fails to disprove the premise then it strengthens the premise.

The only criteria I applied to these experiments is simply,
Is the mechanism of ID definable?
Is it identifiable?
Is it measurable?
Does the experiment test a mechanism or aspect of ID?
I'm making no straw-man argument. Let's use your criteria..

Is the mechanism of ID definable? Yes it is. ID can be defined as as the application of intelligence in an event, such as the origin of the living cell.

Is it identifiable? Based on Dembski's math, yes it is. We can define the probability of ID for any event. We can also identify intelligent design empiraclly in the world around us by looking at things built in the world today that employ intelligence.

Is it measurable? Yes - the same way it is identifiable. We can measure the probability. We can also measure intelligence through the use of tests such as IQ tests. We are definitely talking about measurable elements.

Does the experiment test a mechanism or aspect of ID? Well - yes and no. Behe's experiments test an aspect of ID in terms of the probability that intelligence is a necessary component but nothing is known about the source or nature of that intelligence. That is a fair criticism. But yes - Behe's experiment does test at least an aspect of ID.
The mousetrap example is supposed to show irreduciblle complexity. But it defines IC as a property of something which ceases to work once a component is removed. However this property can be a result of an evolved system as shown many times in this thread. So what is IC? It doesn' appear to be a mechanism of ID.
Let us listen to Behe as he addresses this question in relation to his mousetrap...
The point of irreducible complexity is not that one can't make some other system that could work in a different way with fewer parts. The point is that the trap we're considering right now needs all of its parts to function. The challange to Darwinian gradualism is to get to my trap by means of numerous, successive, slight modifications. You can't do it. Besides, you're using intelligence as you try. Remember, the audacious claim of Darwinian evolution is that you can put together complex systems with no intelligence at all.

In my book, I explicitly point out that some of the components of biochemical machines can have other functions. But the issue remains - can you use numerous, slight, successive modifications to get from those other functions to where we are?

Some of this objection seems a bit silly. Could a component of a mousetrap function as a paperweight? Well, what do you need to be a paperweight? You need mass. You need to exist. An elephant, or my computer, or a stick can be a paperweight. But suppose you go buy a paperweight. What would it look like? Most of them are nondescript, roundish things. Besides, look at what he is doing: he's starting from the finished product - the mousetrap - and disassemblign it and moving a few things around to use them for other purposes. Again, that's intelligent design!

The question for evolution is not whether you can take a mouse-trap and use its parts for something else; it's whether you can start with something else and make it into a mousetrap. The problem for evolutionists is to start with a less complex system adn build a more complex system. Even if every component could theoretically have a useful function prior to its assembly into the mousetrap, you'd still have the problem of how the mousetrap becomes assembled. When people put together a mousetrap, they have the disassbmbled components in different drawers or something, and they grab one from each drawer and put it together. But in the cell, there's nobody there to do that.

In molecular machines, components have portions of their shape that are complementary to each other, so they connect with each other in the right way. A positive charge can attract a negative charge, and an oily region can attract another oily region. So if we use the mousetrap as an analogy, one end of the spring would have to have a certain shape or magnetism that just happened to attract and fit with another component of the trap. They'd all have to fit together that way until you had the whole trap assembled by itself.

In other words, if you just had the components themselves without the ability to bring the other pieces into position, you'd be far from having a functioning mousetrap. Nobody ever addresses this problem in the evolutionary litrature. If you do any calculations about how likely this could occur by itself, you find that it's very improbable. Even with small machines, you wouldn't expect them to self-assemble during the entire lifetime of the earth. That's a severe problem that evolutionists don't like to address
The last part of that - the part about probability - is a reference to Dembski.
Show how applying this criteria to other theories would make them fail.
I don't know why I would do that. I personally don't see how these criteria fail to work with ID!! But you are about to tell me why ID doesn't fit and once you do I'll show you why based on whatever you say that evolution doesn't fit either. Fair enough?
Pardon me? Where in Dembski's paper is this?
It's in Behe's book.
So a bird requires intelligence to produce a nest, given that what is it you wish to say then? Because a bird created a nest that means that a flagellum was created by an unseen entity using an unknown mechanism? Again an error in logic.
A bird creating a nest doesn't prove that flagellum was created by an unseen entity, but it does show that intelligence as a component in design and assembly is capable of producing complex things. That is an empirical example of intelligent design. It has nothing directly to do with the flagellum but it does provide a basis for intelligence in design that, along with Dembski's math and experiements designed by people like Behe (utilizing Dembski's math) is enough to theorize that intelligence was a component in the creation of other things, such as the living cell.

You've been twising logic quite a bit. I'm pretty sure you are doing it intentionally. I'm also pretty sure that others reading this thread can see through it.
Such as?


I was not physically present when Behe conducted his experiments. I've described his experiments and I've given you his results. Are you disputing that Behe conducted these experiments, or are you disputing that they were in fact experiments?
Show me an example of an experiment Behe performed using Demski's math. I am doubting you understand Dembski's math. Again we know birds make nests, we know men built airplanes. We know yeast cells produce yeast cells. What is it you were trying to say again?
That's an ad-hominum attack and not an argument. Whether or not I understand Dembski's math isn't even relevant as long as Behe did when he applied it. I've already described Behe's experiements several times. You sound like my two-year old asking for cookies when you keep asking and ignoring whatever I reply with.
Could it be possible that certain things are far too complex to water down?
Yes it is. Behe would include the living cell as one of those things. That's why evolution doesn't explain it... Thank you for illustrating IC!!
A scientific theory get's that status from the fact that the tenets of the theory have passed multiple tests from multiple fields through experimentation. How is ID a theory?
This need's to be clarified once and for all because you are constantly misusing this term!
Are you trying to redefine the term - scientific theory?
or
Are you using the word theory like they do in hollywood movies?
In addition to Behe, similar experiments and others have been performed by Dr. Jonathen Wellls, Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Dr. Willliam Lane Craig, Dr. Robin Collins, Dr. Guillermo Gonzelez, Dr. Jay Wesley Richards, and Dr. J.P. Moreland, among others.

I'm not misusing the term. You are. All of the scientists listed above call ID a theory and it fits all the criteria for a theory.
No you don't, you only have to show how subsequent models can arise from current ones. It's called reproduction. It happens everyday or else you would run out of skin.

A cars method of reproduction is in a factory. It is immaterial that human beings are intelligent, what is important here is that there is an iterative series of designs which changes over time.


Do you really not see the importance of intelligence in that iterative process? In order for ID NOT to be true, you must show how these things could have developed WITHOUT intelligence. Making the process iterative doesn't do the trick. You also have to make the process unintelligent.

So - how was the first living cell assembled again???
You are using a math proof to counter experimental results? Do you even understand that the math was only an application of set theory and proves absolutely nothing?
I understand that there are two parts to Dembski's Design Inference math. The first is set theory. The second builds on that to use the process of elimination to show the odds of intelligence being involved in an event. I think you understand that too, but since you can't argue the implications of that you instead argue the interpretation.
Again what is the alternative then? That an unknown force assembled through an unknown mechanism? How is this a satisfactory explanation?
Is it the role of science to determine what is 'true' or what is 'satisfactory'?

ID shows that intelligence may have been a part of the process. It doesn't go further than that.
No you are missing the point, how are you to know what the possibilities are? Is it 1 in one million or 1 in 20? How do you know?

What probability are we discussing here? The probability of a flagellum forming?

Also what is the significance of the outcome? Was there an explicit need for a specific outcome?
Have you read anything about Dembski? We are discussing the probability of an event occurring either by regularity, chance, or intelligence. If the odds for regularity are 50 zillion to one, and chance is 500 zillion to one, adn the odds for intelligence are 1.5 to one, what would that tell you?
Dembski's math does not address the specific probability of a specific pathway. We do not know what the odds are.
So then you are saying that since we don't have a theory you like we should keep using disproven theories until we find one that you do like? Is that how science works? Which part of the sceintific method is that?
What is the source of this intelligence? What is the mechanism used by this intelligence? In the paradigm of science this is nothing more than personal conjecture.
In whose paradigm? Yours? Not Dr. Behes!
You can post other's work here and then pull out in this manor?
I can do that just as easily as you can say that Dr. Behe doesn't know what he is talking about.
What does the origin of life have anything to do with this discussion?
For starters, it required design.

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#112

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:28 am

Wall-dog wrote:BeGood,

In my first post on this thread I brought up the creation (or existence - take your pick) of single cell organisms and of living cells as a scientific basis for the theory of ID. The title of the thread is 'The Scientific Method of ID'.
In your first post you proposed that if someone were to show how a single cell were to be formed naturalisticaly that ID would be disproven. But this assumes that ID is true, how does this test the mechanisms of ID? How was ID ever tested?
Wall-dog wrote:
We're not talking about the first cell, we are talking about the origin of irreducibly complex systems. Or are you trying to say that life was created and was created the way they are now from the beginning?
Please tell me how I've suddenly changed the topic?
You are trying to use math as empirical evidence. Is this not a discussion on the SCIENTIFIC METHOD?
Wall-dog wrote:
No he is talking about how cells producing other cells could not in the process produce irrecucibly complex systems.
You are misrepresenting him entirely. Behe is talking about how living cells could not have evolved
No, he is talking about how IC systems could not have evolved.
Wall-dog wrote:and how Dembski's formulas show an overwhelming probability for the cell to be designed - not based on reproduction but based on existence i.e.: how the first living cell got here.
I'm sorry I still don't see how the math was applied. It appears more to be confusion tactics than an actual application of the math.
Wall-dog wrote:You may not agree with Behe, and that is your right, but you can at least grant that he said what he said. The quotes I posted were very clear on that.
Again where are the experiments?
Wall-dog wrote:
No, you changed the subject, you are no longer trying to show the scientific method of ID.

Unless the transition from 'trying to show' to 'showing' constitutes changing the subject you are so incredibly far off base on this statement that I can't even venture a response.
Again examples and mathmatics are not examples of the scientific method!
Wall-dog wrote:How does bringing up Behe's use of living cells within Dembski's mathmatic formulas do anything but provide empirical scientific evidence for the inclusion of intelligence in the creation of the first living cell?
Because it is assuming that the entities in Dembski's mathmatical construct exist in the real world without doing any experimentation to prove it!
Wall-dog wrote:How is that changing the subject?
You are misrepresenting the scientific method, and twisting it's meaning to fit your standards. For example how do any of the "experiments" you provided show the mechanism of ID? How do any of the examples identify ID?
Wall-dog wrote:
Hard math yes, but does it show things are better explained by intelligence? NO. So again you did not show me what you set out to show.

How in the world are these examples scientific experiments? How is there an application of the math? Do you understand the math? If you do, explain how it is related. Yes, this is a challenge.
There are two pieces to Dembski's Design Inference. The first, which you have essentially agreed to, shows that all subsets must belong to a set. From there he takes the possible subsets that can be used to explain an event - regularity, chance, and design, and then has formulas that will give probabilities for the different subsets. It's a process of elimination. If an event could not have been caused by regularity or chance based on probabilities that are absurdly low, then the only logical choice left is design.
And do his formulas show that design must be a result of intelligence?
Wall-dog wrote:When you say that disproving one thing does not casually infer another, that's not entirely true based on, as Dembski proves, the notion that all subsets must belong to a set.
Are these abstract subsets true in nature? Has it been shown experimentally?
Wall-dog wrote:Unfortunately, I havne't seen Behe's actual mathmatic solutions. They are published but I don't have copies. Not being a mathmatician I really don't care to see them. I'm happy just knowing that they are published and open to scrutiny by others. I've even cited a source, but it's a book I don't have. If you'd like you can go buy a copy.

But let us be fair. I don't have to be able to follow a formula to understand the logical basis of the formula and asking me to do so isn't fair to Dembski. As long as Behe understood the formula when he employed it, that should suffice.
Obviously what he wanted to do was show that disproving one thing would prove another. Then using this mathematical monstrosity Behe had the ammo to confuse the masses.

Ask him directly and he will admit that disproving one will not prove another.
Wall-dog wrote:
This is silly, you're building a straw man. There is no circular reasoning involved here. You are failing to understand how an experiment works.

You begin with a premise and develop an experiment in which that premise can be proven wrong. If it fails to disprove the premise then it strengthens the premise.

The only criteria I applied to these experiments is simply,
Is the mechanism of ID definable?
Is it identifiable?
Is it measurable?
Does the experiment test a mechanism or aspect of ID?
I'm making no straw-man argument. Let's use your criteria..

Is the mechanism of ID definable? Yes it is. ID can be defined as as the application of intelligence in an event, such as the origin of the living cell.

Is it identifiable? Based on Dembski's math, yes it is.
No, it's not! His math does not even mention intelligence. And it only crudely tries to link specified complexity with intelligence. Using the same logically flawed argument.
A therefore B
so All B is from A.
Wall-dog wrote:We can define the probability of ID for any event. We can also identify intelligent design empiraclly in the world around us by looking at things built in the world today that employ intelligence.
How many times are you going to do this??

Buildings are complex and cells are complex.
Both have to be built.
Intelligence created buildings so all cells are from intelligence.

Worms make holes so all holes in the earth are from worms.
This is faulty logic, and is nowhere close to being science.
Wall-dog wrote:Is it measurable? Yes - the same way it is identifiable. We can measure the probability.
How do you measure probability?
Wall-dog wrote:We can also measure intelligence through the use of tests such as IQ tests.
Whose taking this test?
Wall-dog wrote:We are definitely talking about measurable elements.
If you take things out of context yes, but within context what are you measuring?
Are you messing with me now?

That's like saying you can measure how many 98haj's are in a sealed jar, locked in a safe. We can measure length and weight, we have rulers and scales.
Wall-dog wrote:Does the experiment test a mechanism or aspect of ID? Well - yes and no. Behe's experiments test an aspect of ID in terms of the probability that intelligence is a necessary component but nothing is known about the source or nature of that intelligence.
Again low probability alone does not prove anything.
Wall-dog wrote:That is a fair criticism. But yes - Behe's experiment does test at least an aspect of ID.
Which aspect was this?
Wall-dog wrote:
The mousetrap example is supposed to show irreduciblle complexity. But it defines IC as a property of something which ceases to work once a component is removed. However this property can be a result of an evolved system as shown many times in this thread. So what is IC? It doesn' appear to be a mechanism of ID.
Let us listen to Behe as he addresses this question in relation to his mousetrap...
The point of irreducible complexity is not that one can't make some other system that could work in a different way with fewer parts. The point is that the trap we're considering right now needs all of its parts to function. The challange to Darwinian gradualism is to get to my trap by means of numerous, successive, slight modifications. You can't do it.
Sure we can.
Besides, you're using intelligence as you try.
Lol are you being serious?

So because we use intelligence to figure out how an apple came to be under a tree that means an apple falling must require intelligence???
I see where you get your logical errors from.
Remember, the audacious claim of Darwinian evolution is that you can put together complex systems with no intelligence at all.
All one needs is a few simple rules, it has been shown experimentally that it is indeed possible. Has ID done the same?
In my book, I explicitly point out that some of the components of biochemical machines can have other functions. But the issue remains - can you use numerous, slight, successive modifications to get from those other functions to where we are?
So we must assume IC based on the fact that we don't have an alternative? Is there no other way to identify IC?
Some of this objection seems a bit silly. Could a component of a mousetrap function as a paperweight?...Besides, look at what he is doing: he's starting from the finished product - the mousetrap - and disassemblign it and moving a few things around to use them for other purposes. Again, that's intelligent design!
Again is he trying to say that the mousetrap came fully formed into the human world?
The question for evolution is not whether you can take a mouse-trap and use its parts for something else; it's whether you can start with something else and make it into a mousetrap. The problem for evolutionists is to start with a less complex system adn build a more complex system.
http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html
Even if every component could theoretically have a useful function prior to its assembly into the mousetrap, you'd still have the problem of how the mousetrap becomes assembled. When people put together a mousetrap, they have the disassbmbled components in different drawers or something, and they grab one from each drawer and put it together. But in the cell, there's nobody there to do that.
Exactly, yet cells assemble themselves everyday.
In molecular machines, components have portions of their shape that are complementary to each other, so they connect with each other in the right way. A positive charge can attract a negative charge, and an oily region can attract another oily region. So if we use the mousetrap as an analogy, one end of the spring would have to have a certain shape or magnetism that just happened to attract and fit with another component of the trap. They'd all have to fit together that way until you had the whole trap assembled by itself.

In other words, if you just had the components themselves without the ability to bring the other pieces into position, you'd be far from having a functioning mousetrap. Nobody ever addresses this problem in the evolutionary litrature. If you do any calculations about how likely this could occur by itself, you find that it's very improbable. Even with small machines, you wouldn't expect them to self-assemble during the entire lifetime of the earth. That's a severe problem that evolutionists don't like to address
They self assemble using the laws of nature. Is this what he is saying is like a tornado assembling a jetplane?

The problem is that this self assembly occurs everyday! And it is this ability to self assemble that allows evolution to occur. Slight changes in the building blocks causes the final product to be slightly different.
Wall-dog wrote:The last part of that - the part about probability - is a reference to Dembski.
So because man made objects don't self assemble he is incredulous? That's a rediculous argument, scientifically speaking.
Wall-dog wrote:
Show how applying this criteria to other theories would make them fail.
I don't know why I would do that. I personally don't see how these criteria fail to work with ID!! But you are about to tell me why ID doesn't fit and once you do I'll show you why based on whatever you say that evolution doesn't fit either. Fair enough?
Sure.
Wall-dog wrote:
Pardon me? Where in Dembski's paper is this?
It's in Behe's book.
Let's drop Dembski, or address it your choice.
Wall-dog wrote:
So a bird requires intelligence to produce a nest, given that what is it you wish to say then? Because a bird created a nest that means that a flagellum was created by an unseen entity using an unknown mechanism? Again an error in logic.
A bird creating a nest doesn't prove that flagellum was created by an unseen entity, but it does show that intelligence as a component in design and assembly is capable of producing complex things.
Does it show the inverse? Does it show that all complex assebled things must require intelligence? That seems to be what you want it to be saying.
Wall-dog wrote:That is an empirical example of intelligent design. It has nothing directly to do with the flagellum but it does provide a basis for intelligence in design that, along with Dembski's math and experiements designed by people like Behe (utilizing Dembski's math) is enough to theorize that intelligence was a component in the creation of other things, such as the living cell.
Again we can see the mechanism the bird uses to create the nest. We can duplicate the chemical processes that occur in a cell. They do so spontaneously! There is no mechanism other than natural laws. If I take a certain enzymes the processes of life occur in a test tube.
Wall-dog wrote:You've been twising logic quite a bit. I'm pretty sure you are doing it intentionally. I'm also pretty sure that others reading this thread can see through it.
Such as?


I was not physically present when Behe conducted his experiments. I've described his experiments and I've given you his results. Are you disputing that Behe conducted these experiments, or are you disputing that they were in fact experiments?
I am disputing that the "experiment" you described to me are experiments. The only experiment you mentioned is the mousetrap parts being thrown into the air.
Wall-dog wrote:
Show me an example of an experiment Behe performed using Demski's math. I am doubting you understand Dembski's math. Again we know birds make nests, we know men built airplanes. We know yeast cells produce yeast cells. What is it you were trying to say again?
That's an ad-hominum attack and not an argument. Whether or not I understand Dembski's math isn't even relevant as long as Behe did when he applied it.
It is an ad hominum attack, because I doubt that Behe applied the math. And therefore I am doubting your ability to discern this.
Wall-dog wrote:I've already described Behe's experiements several times. You sound like my two-year old asking for cookies when you keep asking and ignoring whatever I reply with.
Please quote it one more time.
=)
Wall-dog wrote:
Could it be possible that certain things are far too complex to water down?
Yes it is. Behe would include the living cell as one of those things. That's why evolution doesn't explain it... Thank you for illustrating IC!!
How is explaining that some things require more than general knowledge prove IC?
Wall-dog wrote:
A scientific theory get's that status from the fact that the tenets of the theory have passed multiple tests from multiple fields through experimentation. How is ID a theory?
This need's to be clarified once and for all because you are constantly misusing this term!
Are you trying to redefine the term - scientific theory?
or
Are you using the word theory like they do in hollywood movies?
In addition to Behe, similar experiments and others have been performed by Dr. Jonathen Wellls, Dr. Stephen C. Meyer, Dr. Willliam Lane Craig, Dr. Robin Collins, Dr. Guillermo Gonzelez, Dr. Jay Wesley Richards, and Dr. J.P. Moreland, among others.
Please provide a link or summary of these experiments.
Wall-dog wrote:I'm not misusing the term. You are. All of the scientists listed above call ID a theory and it fits all the criteria for a theory.
It doesn't matter if they do or not. Does what they are calling a theory fit the accepted definition?
Wall-dog wrote:
No you don't, you only have to show how subsequent models can arise from current ones. It's called reproduction. It happens everyday or else you would run out of skin.

A cars method of reproduction is in a factory. It is immaterial that human beings are intelligent, what is important here is that there is an iterative series of designs which changes over time.


Do you really not see the importance of intelligence in that iterative process? In order for ID NOT to be true, you must show how these things could have developed WITHOUT intelligence.
Natural selection, and genetic drift does the job of selecting designs. Mutations and sexual recombination does the job of creating variations to the design. All of these mechanisms have been experimentally confirmed.
Wall-dog wrote:Making the process iterative doesn't do the trick. You also have to make the process unintelligent.
Again this has been show experimentally, Behe himself admits this.
Wall-dog wrote:So - how was the first living cell assembled again???
Don't know. For the theory of evolution it does not matter.
Wall-dog wrote:
You are using a math proof to counter experimental results? Do you even understand that the math was only an application of set theory and proves absolutely nothing?
I understand that there are two parts to Dembski's Design Inference math. The first is set theory. The second builds on that to use the process of elimination to show the odds of intelligence being involved in an event. I think you understand that too, but since you can't argue the implications of that you instead argue the interpretation.
No, I understand that he never links intelligence with design. And that there is no way to practically use this math.
Wall-dog wrote:
Again what is the alternative then? That an unknown force assembled through an unknown mechanism? How is this a satisfactory explanation?
Is it the role of science to determine what is 'true' or what is 'satisfactory'?
No but it is the role of science to show the mechanisms involved, and not just name mysterious forces. What is gravity without the equations?
Wall-dog wrote:ID shows that intelligence may have been a part of the process. It doesn't go further than that.
Again this seems more like a philosophy than science.
Wall-dog wrote:
No you are missing the point, how are you to know what the possibilities are? Is it 1 in one million or 1 in 20? How do you know?

What probability are we discussing here? The probability of a flagellum forming?

Also what is the significance of the outcome? Was there an explicit need for a specific outcome?
Have you read anything about Dembski? We are discussing the probability of an event occurring either by regularity, chance, or intelligence. If the odds for regularity are 50 zillion to one, and chance is 500 zillion to one, adn the odds for intelligence are 1.5 to one, what would that tell you?
Those are arbitrary numbers though. What are the real figures and how did you arrive at them? And once you have a living system what are the chances that it will change and adapt?

We start with that premise. We think that for an organism to have changed it must be designed because the chances of it occuring otherwise is infinetessimal.

So, lets set up an experiment where we have two bacterial cultures.
In one culture we introduce antibiotics.
We gradually add more and more antibiotics, but at a rate which does not destroy the whole population. After several million bacterial generations we have succeeded in producing a resistant strain.

The resistant strain is genetically different from the control population.

Can we conclude that the resistant strain was designed?
If so by whom?
If you say the experimenters than does that mean that the experimenters are God?
Also is it possible for this scenario to have occurred in the absence of man?
It wouldn't be outside the range of what is plausable for this to occur naturally. Then in that case what occurred?
Wall-dog wrote:
Dembski's math does not address the specific probability of a specific pathway. We do not know what the odds are.
So then you are saying that since we don't have a theory you like we should keep using disproven theories until we find one that you do like? Is that how science works? Which part of the sceintific method is that?
I never said I don't like the "theory". In fact I am sure it is true. However it is not a scientific theory, simply because there have not sufficient experiments to show the validity of the hypothesis.

It is a hypothesis at best. Testable? Who knows.
Wall-dog wrote:
What is the source of this intelligence? What is the mechanism used by this intelligence? In the paradigm of science this is nothing more than personal conjecture.
In whose paradigm? Yours? Not Dr. Behes!
So in Behe's paradigm he knows the source of the intelligence?
Wall-dog wrote:
You can post other's work here and then pull out in this manor?
I can do that just as easily as you can say that Dr. Behe doesn't know what he is talking about.
Have I been incorrect in the analysis? Was there a logical error or a criticism which was incorrect? If so point that out, no need to pull the reference.
Wall-dog wrote:
What does the origin of life have anything to do with this discussion?
For starters, it required design.
lol

Back to square one.

I think we need to condense this discussion we seem to be repeating ourselves. Lets each put together a summary, and if need be continue from there. I won't do a rebuttal for your summary.

Sorry if things got heated, I must admit I was getting slightly frustrated by the logical errors. All in all though I must say it was a good discussion.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#113

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:04 pm

In short summary, we seem to be having a confusion as to what exactly the scientific method is. It is not the use of examples and logic to prove a point, this is philosophy.

The scientific method is using experimentation and the results thereof to disprove or prove a null hypothesis. In the failure to do so the original propositions are thus strengthened.

Many of the arguments posed by Walldog include examples meant to be analogies. For example cars are designed and then assembled by intelligence. Thus he proposes that life is designed and assembled in like manor.

At this point we have a hypothesis, a hunch, or a theory as in the vernacular usage. It is absolutly not a scientific theory.

In order to become a theory one must try to prove or disprove it through multiple experiments. And the various mechanisms of ID must prevail this barage of tests. But can we test it?

The subject of any proposed experiment must be the subject of the hypothetical analysis, namely life. Experimentation on mouse traps only strengthens the source of the hunch. Proving that cars are designed for instance is a form of circular argument. One must prove that life itself is designed.

How does one go about this? That is the question of this thread which has still been unanswered.

Can we point to the fact that man made artifacts are designed and therefore life must have involved the same process? In science we cannot because the mechanism for such design is unidentified. And showing one to be designed does not in itself show that all is designed. One must show a mechanism, not just a set of rules using probability and subjective methods to identify phenemonon.

In otherwords A therefore B
DOES NOT MEAN
B therefore A

So far the only test proposed for irreducible complexity seems to be the challenge of finding the evolutionary pathway for such systems. Irreducible complexity seems to be only defined by lack of explanation.
In other words as soon as an alternative solution is found the term IC no longer applies. What then is the explanative power of IC? Or is it only a construct of our lack of knowledge or imagination?

Finally the mathematics of Dembski only shows that in a set where all possibilities are accounted for eliminating the other possibilities results in the final answer being the correct one.

But none of the answers are actually eliminated in the real world examples. Arbitrary probabilities are all that are presented and an appeal to common sence is used to persuade a reader that certain probabilities lead to impossibility. If there is no designated outcome then any of the probabilities are equally valid. Probabilities are mathematical constructs resulting from the lack of information.

It appears that ID rests on a series of constructs built on a lack of information.

So it comes down to a simple question, besides finding alternative solutions or appealing to common sense how does one test the mechanisms of ID empirically?
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#114

Post by Wall-dog » Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:36 pm

I think BeGood and I agree on one thing - this debate has been brought to its natural conclusion. We are starting to debate in circles and at some point it makes sense to post conclusions and move on.

I've used a number of techniques to illustrate the scientific method of ID. My primary technique was to quote noted experts such as Dr. Michael Behe.

In his book The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel outlines Doctor Behe's credentials:
Doctor Behe has a degree in chemistry with honors from Drexel University and a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. After post-doctorate research at teh University of Pennsylvania and the National Institutes of Health, he joined Lehigh's faculty in 1985. He also has served on the Molecular Biochemistry Review Panel of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation. He has authored forty articles for such scientific journals as DNA Sequence, The Journal of Molecular Biology, Nucleic Acids Research, Bipolymers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Biophysics, and Biochemistry. He has lectured at teh Mayo Clinic and dozens of schools, including Yale, Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Abderdeen, Temple, Colgate, Notre Dame, and Princeton. He is a member of teh American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and other professional organizations. Behe has contributed to several books, including Mere Cretion, Signs of Intelligence, and Creation and Evolution. He was catapulted into the national spotlight, however, by his enigmatically titled and award-winning best-seller, Darwin's Black Box. According to David Berlinski, author of A Tour of the Calculus, Behe's book "makes an overwhelming case against Darwin on the biochemical level" through an argument "of great originality, elegance, and intellectual power." Added Berlinksi: "No one has done this before."
I have not relied on personal conjecture and observations to show the scientific case for ID. Nor have I quoted all of the experts. I focused on just a couple of arguments, such as Doctor Behe's, that clearly use the Scientific Method to support the theory of Intelligent Design.

Naturalism has to cling to failed theories like Evolution not because they are good theories, but because that's all they've got. Not only can't they discredit Intelligent Design, but they can't offer an alternative theory. Instead they poke illusory holes in the theory of Intelligent Design by placing standards for inclusion as a legitimate theory well beyond the standards they use for their own ideas. Why do they do that? Like a card player who only has one card, they play the hand they've got. Never mind that leading scientists show very clearly that recent scientific evidence points to God rather than away.

I'm not asking anyone to take my word for it. I'm quoting some of the leading scientists in their fields. They claim to use the scientific method. I can read and it looks to me like they are telling the truth. I have used their descriptions for some of these experiments and even some illustrations they coined to show how the experiments work.

Is this science? I'll leave that up to the individual reader.

In closing, there are two challenges BeGood and other naturalists fail to meet. One is to maintain the same definitions for such things as 'theory' and 'scientific method' regardless of the idea being given. The other is to offer a viable alternative.

At the end of the day though, ID doesn't need to win this debate. All ID has to do is go toe-to-toe. Doctors such as Michael Behe stand on their own credentials. It is up to naturalists such as BeGood to give a compelling reason not to listen.

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#115

Post by Brigham » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:55 pm

well said.

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#116

Post by Totoro » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:04 pm

Wall-dog wrote: In his book The Case for a Creator, Lee Strobel outlines Doctor Behe's credentials:
Doctor Behe has a degree in chemistry with honors from Drexel University and a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. After post-doctorate research at teh University of Pennsylvania and the National Institutes of Health, he joined Lehigh's faculty in 1985. He also has served on the Molecular Biochemistry Review Panel of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation. He has authored forty articles for such scientific journals as DNA Sequence, The Journal of Molecular Biology, Nucleic Acids Research, Bipolymers, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Biophysics, and Biochemistry. He has lectured at teh Mayo Clinic and dozens of schools, including Yale, Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Abderdeen, Temple, Colgate, Notre Dame, and Princeton. He is a member of teh American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, and other professional organizations. Behe has contributed to several books, including Mere Cretion, Signs of Intelligence, and Creation and Evolution. He was catapulted into the national spotlight, however, by his enigmatically titled and award-winning best-seller, Darwin's Black Box. According to David Berlinski, author of A Tour of the Calculus, Behe's book "makes an overwhelming case against Darwin on the biochemical level" through an argument "of great originality, elegance, and intellectual power." Added Berlinksi: "No one has done this before."
But isn't listing credentials like a reverse ad hominum? It has nothing to do with the argument.

Walldog said "I have not relied on personal conjecture and observations to show the scientific case for ID. Nor have I quoted all of the experts. I focused on just a couple of arguments, such as Doctor Behe's, that clearly use the Scientific Method to support the theory of Intelligent Design."

He did;t use the scientific method. He didn't test anything.

Walldog said "Naturalism has to cling to failed theories like Evolution not because they are good theories, but because that's all they've got. Not only can't they discredit Intelligent Design, but they can't offer an alternative theory. Instead they poke illusory holes in the theory of Intelligent Design by placing standards for inclusion as a legitimate theory well beyond the standards they use for their own ideas."

I don't think it's beyond any other standards. Why do you think that every candidate for human ancestor is ripped apart and left as a side shoot? Because science are so rigeruos.

Why do they do that? Like a card player who only has one card, they play the hand they've got. Never mind that leading scientists show very clearly that recent scientific evidence points to God rather than away.

Walldog says"Is this science? I'll leave that up to the individual reader."

No, it's just a bunch of quotes, and examples. I don't see anything like science.

This seems like marketing more than science. I don't buy it.

Show me something being tested and I'll show you science.

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