ID is False; ID is not Falsifiable: Which is it?

Dickie D, and another fellow discuss evolution in this video.  They start off talking about the eye, and state that it is not designed because it is poorly designed.  In other words, they claim this falsifies ID.  Which is interesting given that Darwinists state that ID is not science and not falsifiable.  Then also interestingly, they claim that the octopus eye does not have these design flaws.  But that’s okay, evolution can explain that too. Then, Dickie’s friend, I assume he’s an MD, tries to lay out how Darwinism informs medical decision making.  I think they both probably think that those who would view things from an ID perspective would not conceptually consider the functions of medical symptoms.  This is basically a teleological view of symptoms, which is not entailed by a Darwinian perspective, and certainly comports with an ID perspective.

Humorously, they continue to use the word Design throughout the video, and engage in the typical anthropomorphism of Darwinists when talking about natural selection.

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15 Responses

  1. “In other words, they claim this falsifies ID.”

    What is your definition of “intelligent design”? The actual design appears to be sub-optimal. But I don’t think that observation really has anything to do with “intelligent design”.

    But the point is that creationists wish to claim that the “eye” cannot be a product of evolution. This claim is clearly false.

    “Which is interesting given that scientists state that ID is not science and not falsifiable.”

    Well, please define “intelligent design”. Who was the designer? What did he do? When did he do it? How do we know he did it in that way? Until you answer these questions in a scientific manner, “intelligent design” is outside of science and not falsifiable.

  2. What is your definition of “intelligent design”? The actual design appears to be sub-optimal.

    So according to observations made with sub-optimal eyes and given a pattern of brain events shaped by the mating habits of ancient worm-like creatures, some conclude that the design “appears” to be sub-optimal. But what is the optimal design that one supposedly ought to compare the eye to and could it exist in the real world? If a supposedly sub-optimal design is evidence against or a falsification of ID then can optimal design be counted as evidence for it?

    But the point is that creationists wish to claim that the “eye” cannot be a product of evolution. This claim is clearly false.

    The eye is a product of a series of events which unfold naturally, this does not mean that it is a product of random mutation and natural selection or any other unguided or blind process of culling. If the eye is a product of blind processes then one has to wonder exactly what it is really seeing, as it is quite unlikely that it is happening by some happenstance to be seeing fundamental “truths” about the whole history of life and the whole evolution of the cosmos in general. If brains which only happen to think they are thinking as the result of natural selection operating on the reproductive organs of ancient ape-like creatures and eyes which only “appear” to themselves to be seeing claim that they see enough to think intelligently about design and that they know what an optimal and intelligent design would be in an imaginary world then we have to go back to the roots of their own claims to intelligence and sight in this one.

    As Jefferson noted, foresight and intelligence is clearly evident in the way that things evolve and does not emerge from evolution by some happenstance:

    And when the atheist descanted on the unceasing motion and circulation of matter thro’ the animal vegetable and mineral kingdoms, never resting, never annihilated, always changing form, and under all forms gifted with the power of reproduction; the Theist pointing `to the heavens above, and to the earth beneath, and to the waters under the earth,’asked if these did not proclaim a first cause, possessing intelligence and power; power in the production, and intelligence in the design and constant preservation of the system; urged the palpable existence of final causes, that the eye was made to see, and the ear to hear, and not that we see because we have eyes, and hear because we have ears; an answer obvious to the senses, as that of walking across the room was to the philosopher demonstrating the nonexistence of motion.
    (The Faiths of Our Fathers: What America’s Founders Really Believed by Alf J. Mapp :14)

    Well, please define “intelligent design”.

    His point was that critics are being disingenuous given that they seem to know plenty about the specification/falsification/verification of “intelligent design” whenever they think they can falsify it but then they also speciously argue that it cannot be verified. It’s a simple matter of logic, if it can be falsified then it can be verified. Their failure to see this is a form of mental incompetence.

    Until you answer these questions in a scientific manner, “intelligent design” is outside of science and not falsifiable.

    If it is not falsifiable as you say then why does Dawkins seem to think that he can falsify it based on observations about the eye?

  3. Well, please define “intelligent design”. Who was the designer? What did he do? When did he do it? How do we know he did it in that way? Until you answer these questions in a scientific manner, “intelligent design” is outside of science and not falsifiable.

    Dude, do you know who designed your refrigerator, when he conceived of the idea, or how he engineered it to operate? After all, if it was intelligently designed, it obviously wouldn’t just be able to make ice, but it should boil water as well. And if it was really was intelligently designed, it should operate in the middle of the desert without electricity. Therefore it must have assembled itself in some freak accident in the hardware department at Sears.

  4. Therefore I refuse to believe in your fairy-tale refrigerator designer, because it he were real he wouldn’t have cruelly forced us to run our refrigerators on electricity, and deprived us of making ice cubes in the middle of the desert where there are no electrical outlets.

  5. What you’re pointing out here, Mike, is the metaphysical argument that the Darwinian must use to try to explain evolution: “God, if He existed, wouldn’t have done it that way!”

    Check out Darwin’s God: by Cornelius Hunter

  6. “It’s a simple matter of logic, if it can be falsified then it can be verified.”

    I cannot disagree with this statement. However, I note that you failed to actually even try to define “intelligent design”.

    So until you or someone actually tries to define “intelligent design”, there is no way to know if it is or is not falsifiable.

    You must have read the thousand statements on “Opposing Views”. Did any of them actually try to define “intelligent design”?

    If you define “intelligent design” as “the evolution of the eye by natural selection is impossible”, then that silly definition is obviously false.

    If you define “intelligent design” as “this is “irreducibly complex” or has “specified complexity” and thus could not have evolved”, then that silly definition is obviously false.

    If you define “intelligent design” as “I know it when I see it”, then obviously it can never be falsified.

    So, what is your definition?

    “If the eye is a product of blind processes then one has to wonder exactly what it is really seeing”

    Ad hominem response suppressed.

    “As Jefferson noted” …

    “I know nothing about DNA and genetic inheritance that will not be discovered for another 200 years or so.”

    “do you know who designed your refrigerator?”

    It says “General Electric” on the front. Is that a clue?

    “is the metaphysical argument that the Darwinian must use to try to explain evolution: “God, if He existed, wouldn’t have done it that way!””

    You have seriously mixed up your supposedly “metaphysical arguments”. Evolution is easily explained by genetics. Your use of “god” is the use of an undefined noun – rendering that comment scientifically meaningless.

  7. For example, under the title “Is intelligent design science?”, Jay Richards says:

    “Either the universe provides evidence of design or it doesn’t.”

    But this assumes that there is an agreed upon definition of “design” or “intelligent design” such that the statement could be answered. But if there is no such definition, then the above statement is meaningless.

    Again from his comments:

    “you must be willing to focus on the evidence and to allow that evidence for intelligent design is possible”

    But until there is an agreed upon definition of “intelligent design”, how does one agree or disagree whether or not “evidence for intelligent design is possible”?

    From his next paragraph:

    “We’re talking about the publicly available evidence of nature”

    Yes and no. We are really talking about interpreting the “evidence of nature”. If we interpret that evidence as showing evidence of “intelligent design”, then yes. If we interpret that evidence as showing that the apparent design in nature is completely natural, then no – there is no “evidence” for “intelligent design”.

    Bottom line – “I know it when I see it” is not good enough.

  8. @onein6billion – Go read the Uncommon Descent FAQ and then come back. You have some learning to do.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/

  9. one said,

    You have seriously mixed up your supposedly “metaphysical arguments”. Evolution is easily explained by genetics. Your use of “god” is the use of an undefined noun – rendering that comment scientifically meaningless.

    First, this isn’t my argument, although I agree with it, it is the argument of Mr. Hunter! Second, I, nor you, even though you’re totally unaware, live by “scientific meaning” alone. Your ability to reason and deny God is due to the mind that God has given you. Also, at the moment, you may just be an “undefined noun” in His view! Lastly, ONE IN SIX BILLION, your handle would imply a person who is modest, just one of many, but, in reality, you’re just another arrogant one in six billion!

    TA TA

  10. I agree that in general, “poor design” does not mean “no design.”

    But I also think that there’s no way to determine whether or not something is designed without making some assumptions about the nature of the designer. When we determine whether some archeological artifact is designed, or when we engage in SETI-type research, certain assumptions about the designer must be used in order to even know what to look for. In the absence of all assumptions about the nature of the designer — e.g. about its level of intelligence, its needs or interests, its capabilities — we cannot derive any testable claims. Complete agnosticism about the nature of the designer is scientifically useless.

  11. Originally Posted By Carl SachsI agree that in general, “poor design” does not mean “no design.”

    But I also think that there’s no way to determine whether or not something is designed without making some assumptions about the nature of the designer. When we determine whether some archeological artifact is designed, or when we engage in SETI-type research, certain assumptions about the designer must be used in order to even know what to look for. In the absence of all assumptions about the nature of the designer — e.g. about its level of intelligence, its needs or interests, its capabilities — we cannot derive any testable claims. Complete agnosticism about the nature of the designer is scientifically useless.

    It’s not scientifically useless. There is no absolute need to make assumptions about the nature of the designer. However, inferences about the designer can be made based on the evidence. In other words, what level of sophistication would be needed to design a life form? When you get to the level of the Universe, of course the inference obviously becomes more restricted to an extreme level of power and intelligence. These are inferences though, and are not necessary assumptions for the scientific study of intelligent design. You don’t need to know anything about a bird to know that a bird nest is indeed designed.

  12. On the contrary — I think you need to have a great deal of information — including, of course, direct observations of birds building nests — in order to recognize that, for any particular nest, it was build by a bird.

    If we knew of nest-building animals, but knew nothing at all about birds, we might be able to hypothesize something about the animals that built these particular nests, e.g. “hmm, they might have been somewhat like alligators, only a lot smaller.” But even that hypothesis rests upon a great deal of background information that needs to be taken on board — such as, information about alligators, information about where nests are found (e.g. on tree branches), etc.

    If we knew nothing of birds at all, nor of any other nest-building animals, I’m not sure we could tell that nests were built by animals at all. And that’s the position that official design theory puts us in — it asks us to infer that something is designed, in light of total ignorance of the properties of the supposed designer.

    Now, creationism is in somewhat better shape, epistemologically speaking, on this point, since the creationist can employ a complex body of assumptions about the identity of the designer, His intentions and abilities, and so on. But these assumptions are already at work in the very identification of things as designed in the first place.

    So, my criticism is somewhat different than the “standard” one — my criticism is that intelligent design is not testable at all — whereas creationism is eminently testable — and it has thus far flunked all tests proposed.

    I have no gripes, I should emphasize, with those who insist on holding onto creationism in light of this failure — all I wish to insist upon is that those who do, openly and freely acknowledge that they don’t care what the evidence says and that they don’t care what fallible human reason says — they begin with the authority of the Bible, and that’s that. I have no problem with that stance at all — I have a problem only when people wish to have that stance taught as science in science classrooms. But, so far as I can tell, no one here is advocating that creationism be taught in science classrooms, so it’s perhaps a moot point.

  13. From that so-called “FAQ”

    “For a long time, Intelligent Design (ID) proponents, enlightened by current scientific knowledge and faithful to its methods, have been making specific and objective arguments about the origin of biological information.”

    I think that’s a lie.

    “Intelligent Design is . . . a scientific investigation into how patterns exhibited by finite arrangements of matter can signify intelligence.”

    But that’s a lie. There is no “scientific investigation” because there’s no definition of “intelligent design”.

    Note the “weasel” word “CAN” signify intelligence. In other words, “if I think it does then it does”. But there’s no science.

    “just a moment’s reflection is enough to conclude that it is untrue true that science must necessarily be limited to the investigation of material causes only”

    Which is it? Untrue or true? This seems to be a silly appeal to “common sense”, not science. Specifically which non-material causes do you want science to investigate? Specifically how? Poltergeists? Ghosts? Demons? Bah!

    “1. It is based on empirical data: the empirical observation of the process of human design, and specific properties common to human design and biological information (CSI).”

    Nope. That’s a lie. There are no such specific properties and CSI is am undefined nonsense buzzword.

    “2. It is a quantitative and internally consistent model.”

    Nope. That’s a lie.

    “3. It is falsifiable: any positive demonstration that CSI can easily be generated by non design mechanisms is a potential falsification of the ID theory.”

    Well, if there really was a proper definition of the so-called CSI, then maybe this “theory” could be falsified. But since there isn’t…

    “4. It makes empirically testable and fruitful predictions (see point 4)”

    It’s a lie.

    “predictions of functionality of “junk DNA” were made based on teleological bases”

    This useless guess is not worth anything.

    “A similar, but more general and long term prediction of ID is that the real complexity of living beings will be shown to be much higher than currently thought.”

    Ditto.

    “they are now known to be high-tech information processing systems, with superbly functionally integrated machinery, error-correction-and-repair systems, and much more that surpasses the most sophisticated efforts of the best human mathematicians, mechanical, electrical, chemical, and software engineers”

    Completely irrelevant.

    No, the DI spinmasters so-called FAQ is nonsense.

  14. “Your ability to reason and deny God is due to the mind that God has given you.”

    That is your conjecture – it would seem that you are assuming your conclusion. If a supernatural entity gave me a mind, then I’m using it. If not, I can’t reason??? Stupid.

  15. That is your conjecture – it would seem that you are assuming your conclusion. If a supernatural entity gave me a mind, then I’m using it. If not, I can’t reason??? Stupid.

    In fairness, onein6billion, DB is not trying to prove that God exists on the basis of theologically neutral premises. From what I can tell, there’s a distinction between presuppositional apologetics and evidential apologetics; I would say that DB is certainly closer to the presuppositional side, though I’m not sure he’d want to label himself this way.

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