Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What is Intelligent Design?

It is the area of science that studies the signs of intelligence.
Intelligent agents produce artifacts that other intelligent agents can recognize as the products of intelligence.
These artifacts may include:
1. Complex information

AND/OR

2. Multiple parts functioning together which have an irreducible core.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

16/Dec/2010

It is the area of science that studies the signs of intelligence.

One important key word here is "studies".

This suggests to the casual reader that there is somebody, somewhere actually DOING something.
As in somebody STUDYING something.
As in somebody DOING science work STUDYING something.

However, nobody and nothing is being done with "Intelligent Design".
There is nothing to study.
There is no experiment to do.
There are no observations to make.

There's not even a coherent scientific definition of ID.

Search far and wide across the whole fantabulous world of the Intertubes.
There's nothing useful that anybody has said about "ID" that a scientist can march into a lab and do something with it.
Therefore nothing is being done.
There is nothing to do.
No sleeves are being rolled up.
No test-tubes are being dirtied.
No master plan of action.
No research.
ID is something that people talk about in an idle, vague way and sometimes collect money for.
Nobody actually does anything.
There is no study.

Intelligent agents produce artifacts that other intelligent agents can recognize as the products of intelligence.

What is an "intelligent agent"?
A vampire?
How do we recognise an intelligent agent?
How can we know if "intelligent agent A" produced "artifact B"?

In fact, how can you tell if "artifact B" is even an artifact at all?
How could you tell what artifact is produced by a vampire?
How can you tell if vampires produce artifacts at all?
In fact, how do you tell if there are vampires in the first place?

Or...(gasp)...do you know they exist by the artifacts they create?
Hmmm.
The wonder of it all.

;)

These artifacts include:
1. Complex information


So, all "artifacts" have "complex information" (whatever that is)? Are you sure you want to box yourself in like that?
Surely there must be...exceptions?

2. Multiple parts functioning together which have an irreducible core.

So, all "artifacts" have "multiple parts"(???) that function together which have an "irreducible core"(???)
Are you sure you want to box yourself in like that?
Surely there must be...exceptions?
Right?

For example: Is a rock "intelligently designed"?
Or how about Loa loa filariasis?
Or a snowflake?

Can you give a clear and present example of an object that is definitely not "Intelligently Designed" for the sake of comparison?

4:21 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

I said: "ID studies..."
You said "There is no study..."
I say: "There has been and is."

You asked: "What is an intelligent agent."

I say: "Sometimes I think you give glimmers of being one on the evidence of this blog..."
:-)
Do you recognize SETI as scientific?

I should insert "may" between "artifacts" and "include"
and OR between 1 and 2.
so
These artifacts may include complex information OR Irreducible core.

Following this definition I would say that only Loa loa filariasis shows any evidence of ID.

10:41 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

17/Dec/2010

I said: "ID studies..."
You said "There is no study..."
I say: "There has been and is."


What?
Andrew, there's nothing.
Unless something has happened in the last 24 hours, there's been nothing new in the "exciting" world of ID since forever.

All they do is collect money and make promises.

You asked: "What is an intelligent agent."

I say: "Sometimes I think you give glimmers of being one on the evidence of this blog..."


(...Cedric patiently waits for the audience to finish their belly laugh...)

So now that you've had your fun, what is an "intelligent agent"?

A vampire?

Do you recognize SETI as scientific?

Of course.
Yet pointing at SETI does not help you.
They have nothing in common with ID.

I understand that you want to ride on the shirt-tails of real scientists but you must justify your own existence by your own earned merits.
If you want to claim that SETI and ID are blood brothers science-wise then stick your neck out and honestly compare them.
SETI and the rest of the scientific community don't see the resemblence at all.
Handwaving does not cut it.
It may work for the rubes but it won't work for those that take a genuine interest in these things.


These artifacts may include complex information OR Irreducible core.

Um, ok but...what is "complex information" or "Irreducible core"?

Following this definition I would say that only Loa loa filariasis shows any evidence of ID.

Ok...why?
Where's the work?

Can you give a clear and present example of an object that is definitely not "Intelligently Designed" for the sake of comparison?

11:35 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

I said:
“Do you recognize SETI as scientific?”

You said:
“Of course.”
So the idea of non human intelligence in the universe is not something dreamed up only by creationist nutcases.


...what is "complex information" or "Irreducible core"?
Complex information
Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity. [ L.E. Orgel, 1973. The Origins of Life. New York: John Wiley, p. 189.
Dembski’s mathematical definition:
χ = – log2[10^120 •ϕS(T)•P(T|H)]
P(T|H) is the probability of being in a given target zone in a search space, on a relevant chance hypothesis, (E.g. Probability of a hand of 13 spades form a shuffled standard deck of cards)
ϕS(T) is a multiplier based on the number of similarly simply and independently specifiable targets (e.g. having hands that are all Hearts, all Diamonds, all Clubs or all Spades)
10^120 is the Seth Lloyd estimate for the maximum number of elementary bit-based operations possible in our observed universe, serving as a reasonable upper limit on the number of search operations.
– log2 [ . . . ] converts the modified probability into a measure of information in binary digits, i.e. specified bits. When this value is at least + 1, then we may reasonably infer to the presence of design from the evidence of CSI alone. (For the example being discussed, χ = -361, i.e. The odds of 1 in 635 billions are insufficient to confidently infer to design, on the gamut of the universe as a whole. But, on the gamut of a card game here on Earth, that would be a very different story.)
An Irreducible core:
Where you have 2 or more complex proteins which are both required for a particular cellular function. Eg ATP synthase.



You said:
“Can you give a clear and present example of an object that is definitely not "Intelligently Designed" for the sake of comparison?”
I say:
“In the definition given a rock and a snowflake are definitely not intelligently designed… but a sculpture of US presidents and a snowman definitely are. “

10:47 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

18/Dec/2010

So the idea of non human intelligence in the universe is not something dreamed up only by creationist nutcases.

Dreams.
Sweet dreams.

Yet what of the science?
SETI is science.
They have a work schedule.
They have a plan.
They earn their paycheck.

ID is just a con.

If you want to compare the two...then do so.
However, we both know that SETI scientists see nothing similar between themselves and the ID movement.
Neither does anybody else.

When ID frauds try to clutch at the reputation of real scientists and those real scientists treat them as a joke...well....

It doesn't look good.

Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity.

What's "specified complexity"?
Why is that the "distinguishing feature"?

(e.g. having hands that are all Hearts, all Diamonds, all Clubs or all Spades)

Can we move on from the analogies and get to the scientific work please?
I've had enough trite analogies to last me for a while.
It's an old trick.
I'm not falling for it.
Let's focus on the science of ID.

An Irreducible core:
Where you have 2 or more complex proteins...


So when you talked about "irriducible cores" you were just talking about proteins, right?
This is the Axe thing again, right?
The dead end that even Axe didn't bother to waste any more time on, right?
There's no mention of ID there.

...a rock and a snowflake are definitely not intelligently designed...

How can you test that?

...but a sculpture of US presidents and a snowman definitely are.

And the way you know for sure is..'cause we know perfectly well that people make snowmen and sculptures.
That's been...observed.
No Dembski gobbldy-gook maths is needed or even very helpful.

What is an "intelligent agent"?
A vampire?
What would a vampire sculpture look like?

Dembski has discovered nothing.

There's no work going on.

He's got an echo-chamber website, royalties on a few books and a job at a Baptist Seminary where he has to kowtow to dyed-in-the-wool creationist nutcases, as in YEC "Jesus rode on dinosaurs" creationist nutcases.

Speaking of creationism, maybe you could explain how ID defines a "kind" and how is that different from the YEC creationist "kind"?
Decode was kind enough to share that tantalising tidbit about ID.
Yet he doesn't want to talk about it much. Odd.
What's the story there?

12:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What is Intelligent Design? It is the area of science that studies the signs of intelligence."

Unfortunately, I have looked for signs of intelligence on this blog and find none.

10:28 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

None at all???

6:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Respnse to: "Unfortunately, I have looked for signs of intelligence on this blog and find none."


.......We are quite entitled to ask if the author included him/herself in the search for intelligence.

9:25 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

11/Mar/2011

ID in Texas.
All science, all the time.

9:59 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

28/March/2011

When this value is at least + 1, then we may reasonably infer to the presence of design from the evidence of CSI alone.

As luck would have it, Dembski and his CSI have become a hot topic again. Fun for the whole family.

2:48 am  
Anonymous Capt. Haddock said...

Andrew, what predictive hypotheses, testable by observation or experiment, does ID make, and what research has been done to carry out experiments or observations to see if the predictions are borne out?

I think this is Cedric's point - we don't see any. ID must face this or be condemned to the lunatic fringe.

N.B. Setting up a definition of "design" and then merely citing examples that fit the criteria- as I've seen argued elsewhere - is obviously solely dependent on the definition and is thus a trivial exercise that cannot count as a proper predictive hypothesis. I'd expect to see something like when and where you should find "design", and when and where not, for example.

5:33 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

31/May/2011

Dembski puts on his kilt.
Everybody laughs.

9:33 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

I'll read the answers before I laugh.

10:28 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

18/June/2011

Well, PZ is back from Glasgow.
As the comments noted in the previous posting, the "list" can be summed up as not even wrong.
Yet, here's the official take-down anyway.

In other news, it would appear that there is, well, no news from the exciting and "emerging" world of ID in the way of actual work. Yet I'm sure there's a new coffee-table book or two to buy and add to the collection. There's never a shortage of those. Always good for some quick cash.

I’ve just gotten kind of blase about submitting things to journals where you often wait two years to get things into print. And I find I can actually get the turnaround faster by writing a book and getting the ideas expressed there. My books sell well. I get a royalty. And the material gets read more. [Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21, 2001]

3:25 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Dear Andrew,
Hope you are well.
Sadly, (yet predictably) nothing in the way of science had happened in the rather...well...boring world of ID.
However, that has not stopped Paul Nelson from making a fool of himself. This is the standard of honesty and scholarship that you can regularly expect from the silly people at DI.
They are not people you should give your time and money to.
Here's the article...
Even the comments are good and, yes, even Paul Nelson shows up to try and defend himself.

"A Marshall McLuhan moment with creationist Paul Nelson"

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/a-marshall-mcluhan-moment-with-creationist-paul-nelson/

1:31 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Hi Cedric,

Had a brief look see.
Did you read Larry Moran's comments on the thread?

4:05 pm  

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