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Could intelligent design be legitimate?


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My question is, could intelligent design be legitimate if it actually did some science? For example, a laptop has the signiture of intelligent design, no one would say that a laptop is the product of natural forces, it quite clearly has an intelligent agent(s) behind it.

Surely it is legitimate to ask where the line between natural forces and intelligence is?

I don't think intelligence design proponents do any science regarding where this line is, but there must be a limit to natural processes after which something becomes the product of intelligence.

I am not an intelligent design proponent, I am just curious. A lot of stuff I read about disparaging intelligent design doesn't seem to mention this, even though it seems a legitimate question to ask.

So would intelligent design become legitimate if studies they did clearly defined that line so it could be applied to real world examples to see if they are the product of natural causes or intelligence?

 

Edited by PrimalMinister
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5 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Because there is no line.

So natural processes (excluding us, intelligent agents) can create laptops?

What combination of the wind blowing, lightening striking or other natural processes are going to create a laptop.

I don't believe in any God nonsense but intelligent agents exist, we are intelligent agents.

Edited by PrimalMinister
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Just now, PrimalMinister said:

So natural processes (excluding us, intelligent agents) can create laptops?

That's such a naive argument; termites can create an air conditioned living environment; are you suggesting a termite is an intelligent agent (like us)?

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9 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

That's such a naive argument; termites can create an air conditioned living environment; are you suggesting a termite is an intelligent agent (like us)?

No, I am saying surely a laptop cannot be created by natural processess, which means there is a line which natural processes (excluding life)  cant go beyond. You say the line doesn't exist when it clearly does, the universe is not creative enough to create a laptop by itself, so a laptop crosses the line. The line is there.

 

Edited by PrimalMinister
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2 hours ago, PrimalMinister said:

My question is, could intelligent design be legitimate if it actually did some science?

I guess so. If you could work out a way of finding evidence for a designer (although, if there is, it is not particularly intelligent).

And "it looks designed" is not evidence.

Without evidence, it fails the Occam's Razor test.

1 minute ago, PrimalMinister said:

No, I am saying surely a laptop cannot be created by natural processess, which means there is a line which natural processes (excluding life)  cant go beyond. You say the line doesn't exist when it clearly does, the universe is not creative enough to create a laptop by itself, so a laptop crosses the line. The line is there.

I don't think there is any such line. This is nothing to do with complexity. For example, the human brain, even a human cell, is more complex than a laptop. That doesn't require it to be designed.

We know a laptop is designed because we can observe the design process. We can talk to designers and watch the manufacturing process. 

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4 minutes ago, Strange said:

If you could work out a way of finding evidence for a designe

I am not interested in a designer, that is not the point of my question. My question is, is it legitimate to ask where that line is, because there is a line.

Intelligent designers exist, we are intelligent designers, my evidence for intelligent designers existing is us. Whether there is a God or not, there isn't, is irrelevant.

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14 minutes ago, PrimalMinister said:

The line is there.

Human intelligence isn't a linear phenomenon. It's layered and nuanced and affected by a myriad of experiences and chemistries. Think of all the separate aspects that led to our being able to develop beyond hunting and gathering like any other animal. There are so many, and if any one of them failed to happen, we'd be very different, and most likely not as successful.

Take away any single aspect, like animal husbandry, or our rich languages, or even eating cooked food, and you lose a lot of what we think of as human intelligence. There is no line.

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1 minute ago, PrimalMinister said:

But that implies natural processes can create laptops.

I fail to see why.

Are you saying humans (who are part of nature), designing laptops, implies somehow that nature designed them? Do you also think "nature" designed a beaver dam? Or was it the beavers?

Surely it's much easier to assume that, like all animals evolving, we take advantage of the opportunities circumstances afford us? As I said, take away any part of why we're as intelligent as we are, and you have a very different outcome. By your reasoning, we could say that dogs were responsible for designing laptops, since we'd never have formed the societies we did without them.

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Look, I am not saying there is anything supernatural, there isn't. But if you exclude life, and just look at the actions of the universe, there is no combination of natural forces that could create a laptop, natural forces are just not that creative. That means there is a threshold, a line above which, the universe cannot create. A laptop is evidence of that, it crosses that line.

 

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31 minutes ago, PrimalMinister said:

I am not interested in a designer, that is not the point of my question. My question is, is it legitimate to ask where that line is, because there is a line.

If you are not interested in a designer, that makes the whole question rather pointless. 

But if you want to abstract away from the actual designer, then you need to provide evidence that a specific artefact was designed. There is no magic line dividing designed things from non-designed things. (Like there is no simple dividing line between living and non-living.) That is why the Creationist/ID argument that "it looks designed" or "it is so complex it must be designed" are just stupid. 

The only way of establishing if something was designed, is to have evidence of that design process.

But as we have evidence that all the things that Creationists like to claim "must be designed" can arise by natural means, there is no real need for design. As such, any evidence has a very high barrier to acceptance.

27 minutes ago, PrimalMinister said:

But that implies natural processes can create laptops.

Why?

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1 minute ago, PrimalMinister said:

Look, I am not saying there is anything supernatural, there isn't.

I don't think anyone has been claiming you have. You mentioned early on that you weren't talking about a designer.

3 minutes ago, PrimalMinister said:

But if you exclude life, and just look at the actions of the universe, there is no combination of natural forces that could create a laptop, natural forces are just not that creative. That means there is a threshold, a line above which, the universe cannot create. A laptop is evidence of that, it crosses that line.

If you exclude life?! Aren't you moving the goalposts a tad here? If you exclude life (which is more efficient at using and dissipating heat from the sun), you limit any movement to what inorganic matter can accomplish. I'm not impressed with your arguments at all.

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27 minutes ago, PrimalMinister said:

Look, I am not saying there is anything supernatural, there isn't. But if you exclude life, and just look at the actions of the universe, there is no combination of natural forces that could create a laptop, natural forces are just not that creative. That means there is a threshold, a line above which, the universe cannot create. A laptop is evidence of that, it crosses that line.

What is the nature of this line? 

What differentiates the things above it from below it? The materials they are made of? Their function? Their size?

Your line seems to be completely ad-hoc: on one side are things that arise naturally, on the other are things designed by humans. How does that help answer your question?

There isn't a line which will tell you if something is designed or not. Just a line you have invented where you will put on one side things that you have evidence for design.

Of course, if you could actually define this line, then it might answer your question.

 

22 minutes ago, koti said:

Where do you draw the line between something natural and not natural? 

Quite. Laptops are a result of purely natural events, materials and forces.

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35 minutes ago, Strange said:

 

Quite. Laptops are a result of purely natural events, materials and forces.

Exactly. I was hoping PrimalMinister can come to this conlusion on his own. Its worh noting that many people tend to make (wrong) distinctions between people and nature. 

Edited by koti
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