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April 6th, 2006

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01:48 pm
Here's an interesting little critter -- a transitional species from water to land.

Every time I see something like this, I'm reminded that I haven't argued with ID people in far too long. Who knows what insanity they've dreamt up by now? I wonder if anyone ever came up with an answer to my question about whether or not the intelligent designer is designed.

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[User Picture]
Date:April 6th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
yes, by ctuthulu
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
But wasn't Cthulhu designed by the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
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Date:April 7th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
I think ID people believe that ID is an end-round to get to creationism without actually saying it (ie, in scools). And by using the "intellligent" adjective they try to make it sound like there's more of a scientific backing than there actually is. So, whether or not they would admit that the designer is designed, I think they all believe it.
[User Picture]
Date:April 7th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
Well -- almost. While the amount of agnosticism about creationism varies widely from person to person, they really do have a scientific argument. It just turns out to be very flawed.

A long while ago (right around 2000), I presented a paper at a conference (Design and Its Critics) in Wisconsin, so I got a pretty good view of the science involved.

Most of it boils down to information theory -- a perfectly valid area of study. Information theory suggests that the amount of information required to make something is kinda like trickle-down economics. If I make a watch, it's reasonable to assume that the thing which made the watch was more complex to make than the watch itself.

ID folk take that to mean that there must be a sort of Platonic fount from which all information flows -- an intelligent designer. It's a misappropriation of the theory and its applications, of course, but pointing that out is rarely effective.

On the last day of the conference, I asked a particularly sticky question which froze the presenter. He was arguing that if something shows specified irreducible complexity (something that exists in a given form, but doesn't have any obvious transitional forms. A wing is a good example), then it must have been designed and could not have been arrived at by evolution.

My question was two part. The first was asking whether he felt that this complexity followed information (i.e. is the designer more complex than the designed thing?). He agreed.

The second was asking how we know that the intelligent designer (who must have all sorts of complexity) wasn't designed. They never really had a good answer for that.

What flummoxes me is that people would rather believe by supposing a really complex being which popped out of the ether than a scientifically verified process which has a possibility of arriving in the right place. Of course, that argument's been used against religious nuts since the beginning of time. It doesn't appear to carry a lot of weight in terms of convincing people.

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