It is an interpretation of the evidence found in the observable universe.

*In interpreting evidence, there are three types of causes used by scientists.
1. Law, 2. chance, and 3. intention (or design).

1. Law explains things like the rate of speed an apple will fall to the earth if dropped from 40 feet. Chance and intention to do not enter in.

2. Chance explains the number of dots that will appear face up if a pair of dice are thrown 38 times in a row. Law and intention do not enter in.

3. Intention explains things like a dead man, lying in a forest with three bullet wounds in the head. Law and chance do not enter in.

The conclusion of intelligent design is simply this: the order of the cosmos (small and large) is best explained by this third kind of cause, namely, it is probably the result of some intelligence acting willfully towards a desired end.

All forms of science draw from each of these explanatory causes, but for the sake of context, I’ve provided a brief list of sciences that depend heavily on one of these three.

Branches of study relying on Law: Mathematics, Physics (somewhat), Philosophy (somewhat), etc.
Branches of study relying on Chance: Mathematics, Economics, etc.
Branches of study relying on Design: Forensic Science, Psychology, Literature, Archeology, History, Criminology, etc.

The argument is simply that Physics is one of those sciences wherein intentionality is discovered as a cause. There need be no fear of an unthinking acceptance of any one or the other religious system as a part of acknowledging what is currently the best, most likely hypothesis available for explaining what we see.

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Posted by Keith E. Buhler

11 Comments

  1. The argument is simply that Physics is one of those sciences wherein intentionality is discovered as a cause.

    Physics simply stops at a point where any explanation is either beyond its scope, or beyond the physicist’s abilities to come up with an explanation. A physicist may conclude that he does not have all the variables to reach a conclusion. But physics never accepts “intentionality.” The physicist himself might accept it but he doesn’t do so with physics.

    If you place a ball bearing inside a standing test tube, leave the room, and upon returning find the ball bearing outside the tube. Do you assume that someone moved it? Yes, because physics cannot explain otherwise. Is your conclusion scientific? No, you simply ran out of other explanations. Put another way: your finding has no scientific use. It isn’t reproducible and your hypothesis isn’t falsifiable. It might be the most likely but it is just a belief, just the same.

    Branches of study relying on Law … Philosophy (somewhat)

    I don’t see how philosophy relies on any law. Perhaps “I think therefore I am” but even that is debatable. The premise of philosophy is that of zero assuredness of absolutes.

    3. Intention explains things like a dead man, lying in a forest with three bullet wounds in the head. Law and chance do not enter in.

    Intention doesn’t explain anything, unless you are saying that it is the plan of a supreme being that three bullets end up there. Law and chance certainly do enter in here. By natural law, we know brain matter does not grow bullets (or spontaneous holes). The tell-tale channels cut by the bullets show a path where the bullets were likely introduced. Physics can explain the requisite kinetic energy of the bullets to make the hole, markings on the bullet can be used to match it to a gun using more probability. In the end the explanation comes down to a chain of energy transfer catalyzed by more energy transferred from elsewhere, eventually traced back to the shooter’s neurons which we don’t yet understand fully. At this point the physicist states “I don’t have all the variables.” He certainly believes that someone intended to shoot that man, but the man’s intent is hardly science.

    What this article is saying is that this third kind of cause, called “intention” or “design,” is a scientifically acceptable explanation. That is simply nonsense. Such an explanation is never acceptable and is no different from “unknown.” Since when is “intention” a good scientific explanation for how the bullet achieved sufficient power to penetrate the skull, how the firing pin was able to catalyze the explosive. There are all kinds of physics we are leaving out. Saying that “intention” was the original cause is no more scientific. We don’t know how intention works or even how to define it. Scientifically, and especially in terms of physics, we simply don’t know the original cause.

    Saying that there is too much “order” in the cosmos to be explainable by anything except an intention or a design is no different from saying that science will never be able to explain it. This could be true. Perhaps science will never explain the order in the cosmos. If evolution is not a sufficient explanation because unexplainable parts remain, then have textbooks point out evolutionary difficulties. But to say that a theory of an “Intelligent Design” is scientific is just not correct and to have science textbooks claim that it is scientifically acceptable to chalk up any unknown as “intent” or “design” is a bad idea.

    Let’s also have the theory of “We Dunno.” The two are of equal usefulness to science.

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  2. Intelligent Design is as valid a scientific theory as Evolution
    Evolution posits (at least these days) that everything came about by a series of random events. Intelligent Design is the counter theory which posits that everything came about by non-random events. Just as Evolution makes no “falsifiable predictions”, Intelligent Design makes no “falsifiable predictions”. To teach one theory and not teach the counter theory would be negligence.
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  3. To say that evolution posits (these days or any) that everything came about by a series of random events is not accurate. Darwin himself called it “descent by modification with natural selection” and this is still the theory. The modification is now known to be caused by genetic mutation which we still accept as random only because we cannot predict it or detect a pattern to it. Still evolution doesn’t require it to be random. The “filter” that acts on it is still natural selection which is a phenomenon that both I.D. advocates and evolutionists accept. This phenomenon is what evolutionists credit with modern biodiversity. The theory is refined today as we know about genetics and some other things, but Darwin’s version of the theory is remarkably intact.

    Intelligent Design advocates (as far as I know) have simply declared that descent by modification with natural selection is not sufficient to explain the complexity (usually technically referred to as “information”) that we see today.

    To scientists, the problem with Intelligent Design is that it neither defines nor quantifies “information” or “complexity.” And therefore can never make falsifiable predictions. It does seem to make probabilistic predictions, but no one can “understand” the “intelligent force” and “intelligence” seems to be defined simply as a force capable of adding “information.” But if any discovery seems contrary to expectations of the intelligent force, it can simply be said that the intelligent force need not operate within our understanding. In other words, this theory simply states that it wasn’t natural selection, but we don’t know what it was, we’ll call it incomprehensible intelligence. That’s why it as useful as the “We Dunno” theory.

    Evolution does not suffer from this and does make falsifiable predictions. Two or three of the predictions made by evolution stick out in my mind because they would appear to also weigh against the probabilistic predictions I would expect intelligent design to make.

    1. Nested Hierarchy in Phylogeny.

    Phylogeny is basically the evolutionists’ family tree of species. I ignored it when I was an anti-evolutionist because it was simply erroneous in my mind. It occurred to me later that the fact that it can be drawn at all is powerful support of evolution while being quite unexplainable by intelligent design. Descent by modification with natural selection is a very restrictive way of creating species. This restriction should be evident in the diversity of the species it creates. When species B diverges from species A, A can never benefit from the evolution of B. B forms a new branch on the so-called phylogenetic tree. Any new features that emerge after that can only be found in descendents of that branch alone. In designed “species” such as cars, or watches, technology used on one type of car can be used on another type of car. The same is true for watches, robots, buildings etc. And they can be arranged in a “tree” but not a pure nested hierarchy. In other words, evolution predicts that once you detect a divergence of one species from another, new traits evolved by that species or its descendents must never be found on non-descendent species. Confirmation is that such a case has still never been found. Not a single mammal has a beak. (no, the platypus is not a mammal and its bill is not beak-like). And no birds have fur. My favorite comparison is bats and birds. Though bats evolved wings, their wings differ from birds. All the other well-evolved features of birds for flying are not reused as one might expect from an intelligent designer. Bats don’t have feathers or a wishbone or hollow bones, or even a tail wing for instance. Eagles don’t get carnivorous teeth, nor have owls been given echolocation. Intelligent Design does not explain this unless the designer imposed this rule on himself for some unknown reason.

    2. Chronological order in fossils

    In the fossil record, you should A) Never find two fossils coexisting which are of two species which never coexisted. And B) Never find descendants in strata older than the youngest strata containing its ancestors.

    Confirmation:

    A) Despite the ongoing excavation of fossils, no strata have been uncovered which contain both elephants and dinosaurs, for instance. Such an occurrence would be powerful evidence against evolution. The Paluxy Riverbed tracks for instance (since discredited many times over by both sides) had ostensibly placed human and dinosaur footprints in the same stratagraphic rock and so was very significant.

    B) The chronological order is so preserved that the layers of the geological column can be named according to what fossils they contain. They are always found in that order. Not a single layer of strata has been found which is out of order. In fact, rarely, tectonic folding can cause strata to be found upside-down, but it is still in perfect reverse order.

    Intelligent Design does not explain this. What’s even more powerful confirmation is that 1 and 2B corroborate each other. In fact, we could add a third point here since due to technology we can draw (and have drawn) genetic-based phylogenetic trees. They are also nested hierarchies. They match the morphological phylogenetic trees nearly perfectly.

    Those are just two (three really) of many falsifiable predictions that the theory of Evolution makes. To teach Intelligent Design as a valid alternative is wrong because they are not on the same level. Evolution does not rule out intelligent design. But Intelligent Design simply claims that evolution alone cannot accomplish modern biodiversity. The problem is that it doesn’t say why in definable terms and it doesn’t give a testable reason for selecting intelligence as the replacement.

    Intelligent Design boils down to the counter theory to evolution. There are two premises: 1) It posits that modern evolutionary theory is insufficient as an explanation. 2) It then posits that some kind of intelligence must therefore be responsible.

    If it were just the first, it would not be a theory but an anti-theory. This is fine in textbooks. I’m all for showing evolutionary difficulties, such as irreducible complexity, in textbooks. However, the second part (that intelligence is the necessary alternative) is not a scientific hypothesis.

    And then to call them both “theories” is also scientifically irresponsible. In science, a “theory” is a well established law of nature. Gravity is only a theory in the same sense. There is a huge amount of evidence including falsifiable predictions and confirmations which support evolution.

    It is not negligence to teach evolution without teaching intelligent design. On the contrary, it would be irresponsible to teach that science accepts the proposition of crediting an unnamed, undefined intelligent designer without some kind of positive evidence for crediting intelligence for what evolution supposedly cannot explain fully.

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  4. Warren,

    I do not understand the basis for you presuming that simply because the philosophy of intelligent design (or the idea, or the notion or the guess… whatever) that simply because it is not technically science, therefore it should not be taught in science class. And this is where I think the judge shows his wisdom.

    I understand not wanting the classroom to be the forum for a particular religious group to parade their ideas. I do not understand keeping every other type of good idea out of the science classroom just because it does not technically qualify as science, and even if it applies to a particular question that science has undertaken to answer.

    I do not think that your reason for objecting to philosophy being taught in science class is a matter of keeping subjects organized and in their proper places. I think I can argue persuasively for there being a place for intelligent design in science class, just like I could argue persuasively for there being a place for music appreciation in english class, even european music from non-english speaking countries.

    Rather, the reason you object to anything other than strict science in the science classroom (I am under the impression) is because you believe that science has the monopoly on knowledge claims.

    Just like I would object to music in the english classroom if I thought that english was the only real road to expressing human passions and that music only mudled things up.

    It seems fair then to ask what your grounds are for practicing science, not non-chalantly, but as though science knows better than everything else. And I would dare to guess that probably you won’t be able to demonstrate your philosophy of science entirely scientificaly. so, now we see that actually there is something other than strict science being brought into the classroom. there are two things in the classroom: 1) a philosophy of science that says all we need and all we should allow is science, and 2) science, as king.

    so, why not let a third or fourth thing in as long as it has something to say of pertinence about a topic science itself is concerned with? you can go on and on about how intelligent design doesn’t actually meet the specifications of a scientific hypothesis, but it remains a pretty cool idea with good unscientific reasons to recommend a good portion of it.

    why not keep science class a little more innocent by continuing to study science but then also bringing in other disciplines when they have things to add to science’s conversation.

    I think this was the trap that the judge did not want to play into, and why he did not choose to use your grounds (what is and is not science) for rejecting intelligent design from the classroom. If the definition of science is a problem, then let’s just change “biology class” into “where all this crap came from, what’s been happening to it since it came, and where it’s going class.” it can still be mostly science, but then we can allow for other reasonable theorizing as well. heaven forbid that education would produce inquisitive minds as opposed to commitments to doctrines no one has ever invited them to question or shake around a bit.

    Of course, with public education doing such a bang up job of educating these days, maybe we should just leave everything exactly the way it is.

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  5. I said: “Branches of study relying on Law … Philosophy (somewhat)”

    Warren replied: I don’t see how philosophy relies on any law. Perhaps “I think therefore I am” but even that is debatable. The premise of philosophy is that of zero assuredness of absolutes.

    I reply: Perhaps I can help. The law of non-contradiction, most famously, is the support for all analytic propositions (as Kant used the term) one might hope to describe as “true.” The laws of logic, all of which arguably stem from this law, are included in what I meant to reference.

    Do you see how philosophy relies on laws?

    Perhaps you will say that this law is different than, say, the law of gravity. Yes, but it is no less a law, insofar as it is a law — a rule of conduct, an observed or created principle by which we make (accurate) predictions, etc.

    You say “The premise of philosophy is that of zero assuredness of absolutes.” This is a premise of one philosophy, yes.

    You seem to have studied physics more than I have. I would be that I have studied philosophy more than you have. This is a perfect scenario, if you ask me, for us to learn from one another, as I already am doing by reading your prodigious responses to Part I.

    Answer me this, I’m curious? Do you think empirical science is the only way to discover truth?

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  6. Forgive me for not giving the full deserved response to your post… I will get to it, time permitting. I have chosen to respond to a few choice passages with the few moments I do have. Thank you for your thoughtful involvement.

    Now then.

    I said: 3. Intention explains things like a dead man, lying in a forest with three bullet wounds in the head. Law and chance do not enter in.

    Warren replied: Intention doesn’t explain anything, unless you are saying that it is the plan of a supreme being that three bullets end up there…Physics can explain the requisite kinetic energy of the bullets to make the hole, markings on the bullet can be used to match it to a gun using more probability… He certainly believes that someone intended to shoot that man, but the man’s intent is hardly science.

    I have not made myself clear enough:

    I mean to say that forensic scientists, police detectives, and the like go out to the scene of a crime and ask themselves: “How did this man die?” Surely they invoke physics to learn about how the metal of the bullet reached a certain speed and did such and such damage to the brain tissue before flying out the other side of his head. But they invoke another kind of science to learn that it is impossible (or highly unlikely) that the man died of a natural bullet-related death, AND that it is impossible that he killed himself. Therefore, they conclude, entirely from the evidence, that someone else killed this man. If you do not call that science and scientific reasoning, my dear sir, I do not know what we CAN agree on.

    You say: Such an explanation [from intentino] is never acceptable and is no different from “unknown.

    It is not difficult to say, without controversy, that the cause of this man’s death is known. From the evidence, forensic scientists make conclusions about such scenarios every day. If you want to tell them that their work is merely fantasy or a matter of feeling and having nothing to do with knowleget, I will give you the email address of one of them; you can see if they agree.

    In this case, a police detective, for instance, might come to the scene, examine the evidence, and conclude: “He was killed by an autonomous free agent, probably a human being.” It is impossible that he killed himself (three shots is too much), there are no gun machines in the area, and we eventually learn that he had an enemy. The only rational explanation for this man’s death is that an intentional, thoughtful agent brought about this observable state of affairs.

    I agree that this is not a conclusion of phsyics. I do assert that it is a conclusion of science.

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  7. Warren said: In the end the explanation comes down to a chain of energy transfer catalyzed by more energy transferred from elsewhere, eventually traced back to the shooter’s neurons which we don’t yet understand fully. At this point the physicist states “I don’t have all the variables.

    I agree with you that we do not yet fully understand the brain. Do you agree with me that when it comes to human behavior, no one actually throws up their hands and gives up? Can you imagine someone arriving at the scene of a crime and saying, “That’s not for me to decide! I’m a scientist, I’m outta my league. I’m leaving.”?

    Shall we deny that psychology, neuroscience, political science, sociology are sciences?

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  8. Since Nathan posted first, let me respond to him first.

    You are correct that it is not about keeping the subjects separate. If we are presenting Intelligent Design as if it is equal to evolution but an alternative, that’s where I have the problem. Not because of evidence for either, but because one has explanatory value and the other does not, which is what I’ve covered already. It is harmful to teach that the supernatural is acceptable alone as an explanation because such a teaching is a stumbling block to knowledge.

    Likewise, teach expression of language in English class with music? Sure, go ahead. But teach that grammar really isn’t important since communication is possible via melodies and harmonies? Is that the English class you want your child in?

    Some may actually believe that laughter is the best medicine. However, if we train doctors to be comedians as if it is as useful as modern medical science, then I have a problem with that. And it is funny until some religious group wants to teach it as an alternative.

    If you think this is apples and oranges, I invite you to show me why, because what I’ve spent so much time pointing out is that Intelligent Design is not a useful explanation.

    I do not believe that science has the monopoly on knowledge claims, nor do I personify it. Mentioning Intelligent Design in philosophy or history is fine with me. I don’t even mind if it is discussed in science class as long as we don’t pretend that “design” is an explanation on par with evolution, but then it would be useless to its proponents as we both know.

    In summary you seem to have completely ignored what I’ve been saying which is not that alternatives to Evolution ought not be taught in science class. Those that have explanatory value ought to be, as should difficulties in the theory. It is that Intelligent Design is hardly an alternative in the sense that it’s being portrayed.

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  9. The law of non-contradiction, most famously, is the support for all analytic propositions (as Kant used the term) one might hope to describe as “true.” The laws of logic, all of which arguably stem from this law, are included in what I meant to reference.

    Doh. Ok, that is a law in philosophy.

    I’ll skip the rest of what you said on this topic because it was off-topic for me to question it in the first place.

    …law of Gravity…

    Correction: Gravity is a theory, and there’s more than one. The term “theory” is a strong word in science. Saying evolution is not fact because it is “theory” is an indication to most scientists that the speaker is not a scientist. People mean to say that evolution is only a hypothesis, which is not accurate. Even hypothesis is a strong word in that it has to be falsifiable. (Again, I am digressing a little from the topic). The theories used to be called laws which is why the “laws” of thermodynamics are still called that.

    You seem to have studied physics more than I have. I would be that I have studied philosophy more than you have. This is a perfect scenario, if you ask me, for us to learn from one another, as I already am doing by reading your prodigious responses to Part I.

    I admit that if your study of philosophy only surpasses mine, you have accomplished little – you have me there. Indeed, this is a good scenario. In fact, I have already learned something new from you, as I noted above. (in addition to having to look up “prodigious”)

    This has been a pleasant discussion. So far, your intellectual honesty has been refreshing, and I respect it.

    I mean to say that forensic scientists, police detectives, and the like go out to the scene of a crime and ask themselves: “How did this man die?” Surely they invoke physics to learn about how the metal of the bullet reached a certain speed and did such and such damage to the brain tissue before flying out the other side of his head. But they invoke another kind of science to learn that it is impossible (or highly unlikely) that the man died of a natural bullet-related death, AND that it is impossible that he killed himself. Therefore, they conclude, entirely from the evidence, that someone else killed this man. If you do not call that science and scientific reasoning, my dear sir, I do not know what we CAN agree on.

    I don’t think I got my message across either.

    What is listed as the cause of death for this man? Intent? Intent is not, in itself fatal. Our ficititious man died, I presume, from brain trauma caused by three bullets (or probably just one of them). Intent didn’t put the bullets there either, gunpowder propelled it there etc., etc… Not only is intent not fatal, it doesn’t “do” anything, nor does “design.” So then in Intelligent Design, what is the process that created?

    For the killing of the man, science traces the causes back to intent using physics and perhaps other disciplines. For the most part, this is second nature. But would still be hard to deny that it is how intent is implicated. In other words: Why does a man in the forest with three bullet wounds in his head seem to scream intent? Because we know how bullets and guns work.

    Science stops at intent in a case like this largely because that was the goal. More specifically, whose intent, was most likely to blame. If you find a man in the woods after a hurricane and he is up against a tree trunk, impaled by one of its branches. Fowl play could be to blame or the hurricane – even both, but we don’t know. In this way, the three bullets story is not a perfect analogy because it lacks a potentially natural explanation – that is if we assume that intent is supernatural in some way in the first place. Science cannot rule out such a thing.

    I don’t need the email addresses of the forensic scientists, because they did use science. However, their conclusion of “intent” was not a conclusion that “intent” killed the man. Honestly, the conclusion is not even “intent.” They trace the bullets to a gun and ultimately to someone’s hand, but what was going on in his mind isn’t even their game Even if they testify about premeditation, they look for clues. But no one ever died directly from a case of premeditation. And no world was created by “intent” (or, again, by “design,” for that matter)

    So now to psychology…

    Shall we deny that psychology, neuroscience, political science, sociology are sciences?

    No we shall not deny that – I mean if you were going to, you still can, but I wasn’t going to.

    I agree with you that we do not yet fully understand the brain. Do you agree with me that when it comes to human behavior, no one actually throws up their hands and gives up?

    I want to understand Intelligent Design. Please explain to me the method it uses for creating new species.

    We do try to understand the brain. If I am a brain surgeon and I proposed that we teach brain surgeons my new alternate theory that a man’s problems come from his heart. (Because we have yet been unable to completely explain the brains workings). Would you come to me with a brain tumor? Or what if I answered on my tests in medical school that the brain was designed by a higher intelligence so that it is not possible to undestand. Should I pass? If I do, will you be my patient?

    Can you imagine someone arriving at the scene of a crime and saying, “That’s not for me to decide! I’m a scientist, I’m outta my league. I’m leaving.”?

    What if he said, “Case closed, this man died from intent?”

    The reason I replied to the three bullets story was because it was said that it was “intent” and neither “chance” nor “law” played a part. This is such a perfect example of the error I’m seeking to correct. That is that anyone who blames intent alone for the man’s death is no scientist. The man died from three bullets smashing into his brain at high velocity (presumably). Does that rule out intent in the whole scheme? No, of course not. Could intention and design have played a role in the universe? It is hard for me to even imagine they did not (the tiny philosopher in me). But did it create the universe? No.

    “Intelligent Design” is not about intellegence or design as much as it is about some supernatural, because merely attributing design to the biosphere doesn’t rule out evolution. And in fact the goal is to rule out the natural (hence supernatural).

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  10. Random Evolution Questions
    Warren wrote, “descent by modification…is now known to be caused by genetic mutation which we still accept as random only because we cannot predict it or detect a pattern to it.”

    So, everything that has come to be was predetermined (by laws of physics, natural selection, etc.) since the big bang, which occured due to initial conditions which were random or non-random?

    Warren wrote, “Intelligent Design advocates…have simply declared that descent by modification with natural selection is not sufficient to explain the complexity…that we see today.”

    No, Intelligent Design advocates simply declare that the complexity that we see came about by a process that was started either randomly (with no intent) or non-randomly (with intent), and experience suggests it is more likely that is started non-randomly.

    Warren wrote, “To scientists, the problem with Intelligent Design is that it neither defines nor quantifies information or complexity.”

    The definition of complexity is not that complex. If you see a pile of twigs in a tree, it’s not hard to guess whether the pile was created by the laws of nature (wind, gravity, rain) or by an intelligent designer (blue jay).

    Warren wrote, “if any discovery seems contrary to expectations of the intelligent force, it can simply be said that the intelligent force need not operate within our understanding.

    True. Same holds for evolution. If any discovery seems contrary to expectations of the evolution, it can simply be said that we now have a new understanding of evolution (e.g. mammals evolving with wings).

    kenny hotpointnews hotpointreligion

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  11. hl said: So, everything that has come to be was predetermined (by laws of physics, natural selection, etc.) since the big bang, which occured due to initial conditions which were random or non-random?

    We were talking about natural selection. Natural selection has nothing to do with cosmology and the big bang is not a factor in the theory of common descent. It is commonly claimed that “evolution” states that something came from nothing. That is not evolution – in fact, that is creation. Evolution has nothing to do with the origins of the universe.

    But if we were talking about cosmology, your question really depends on your definition of random. That definition seems to be demonstrated here:

    hl said: No, Intelligent Design advocates simply declare that the complexity that we see came about by a process that was started either randomly (with no intent) or non-randomly (with intent), and experience suggests it is more likely that is started non-randomly.

    There are two problems in this statement.

    1) It is inaccurate. If I.D. was simply a declaration that modern complexity requires initial intent, (i.e. …process that was started…) then there would be no problem with Theistic Evolutionists who believe the same thing. Evolutionary theory has never ruled out the existence of an initial intention or intelligence. The theory of evolution is that all known modern life descended from a common ancestor. It makes no claims for or against purpose, intent, or intelligence.

    2) What does experience tell you about snowflakes, then? Are they not complex symmetrical structures formed from less complex water droplets by natural forces?

    Keep in mind that evolution has the support of a huge amount of corroborating evidence. If I.D. can prove that an original intelligence is behind the complexity, then it still doesn’t disprove common descent.

    hl said: The definition of complexity is not that complex. If you see a pile of twigs in a tree, it’s not hard to guess whether the pile was created by the laws of nature (wind, gravity, rain) or by an intelligent designer (blue jay).

    I’ve covered before that “obvious” isn’t really a “definition” of complexity. Snowflakes were my example here… I could also ask why salt crystals form such perfect squares. Those are cases where the preverbial sticks continue to land in complex formations without a designer.

    You have illustrated one of the errors of the I.D. argument from ignorance also. The laws of nature that you see here are wind, gravity, rain. I’ll even give you an implied “etc.” but you are assuming that you know all the laws of nature. As I’ve pointed out before, in similar examples: if there were a natural explanation for nests forming, and you had not known blue jays to build nests, you would trust the natural explanation. Nests don’t replicate or compete for survival, so they cannot benefit from modification and natural selection and are therefore a bad example.

    I wrote: if any discovery seems contrary to expectations of the intelligent force, it can simply be said that the intelligent force need not operate within our understanding.

    hl wrote: True. Same holds for evolution. If any discovery seems contrary to expectations of the evolution, it can simply be said that we now have a new understanding of evolution (e.g. mammals evolving with wings).

    No, this is not the “same,” and in fact, you are reinforcing my argument.

    What I said was that I.D. can support any evidence with NO MODIFICATION. This is why it is not falsifiable.

    Then you responded by showing that evidence CAN contradict evolutionary theory and if so evolutionary theory MUST BE MODIFIED. This is the definition of falsifiability.

    In order to get a “new understanding of evolution,” as you put it, we would be creating new theories and discarding falsified ones. I.D. cannot be falsified and modification of it isn’t ever necessary.

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