This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#101  Postby Sendraks » Aug 18, 2017 6:33 am

Wortfish wrote:
Neolithic tools were not used just to smash roots or cut carcasses. They were made to do much more sophisticated stuff.


You're still ignoring what Theropod said. It is obvious that either you have completely missed the point or are being wilfully obtuse.

Wortfish wrote:That's not what the documentary on the human hand found. It uncovered the fact that they are incredibly dextrous, capable of extremely precise and fine movements such as would be needed to play a musical instrument or thread a needle rather than to beat things with using a crude stone tool


Again, ignoring the point Theropod made about the dexterity required to make such tools and also betraying your huge ignorance of evolutionary biology. It doesn't matter how dextrous our hands are, they are a non-specialised. They are a basal form. Again doing some actual reading and learning would benefit you no end before you engage in discussions of this sort.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#102  Postby Sendraks » Aug 18, 2017 6:41 am

Wortfish wrote:
Firstly, that's an argument from authority you are making.


No it isn't. It was a statement of fact regarding your position vis the actual evidence on this subject.

Wortfish wrote: Secondly, there are indeed thousands of articles describing evidence for natural selection but there are none (for obvious reasons) showing how natural selection can produce design.


That's because nothing in nature is designed. THe evidence cannot show what is not there.

Wortfish wrote:Well, both strategies are employed in human engineering. However, many bottom-up designs themselves are dependent upon top-down architectures.


Do you have an example of a bottom-up designe reliant on to-down architecture, where the top-down architecure wasn't reliant on previous bottoum-up design?

Wortfish wrote:You have to look at matters on a case by case basis and see what is the more plausible explanation.


You should heed your own advice.

Wortfish wrote:If living systems and molecular machines can be shown to be jury-rigged, opportunistically-contrived, shoddily-assembled and imperfect designs, then an argument can be made against purposeful and intelligent design.


The evidence shows them not to be designs. That is what the evidence shows. It is shown.
That you persist in maintaining ignorance of this, says everything about your arguments and nothing about the evidence.

Wortfish wrote:Yes, and that is Paley's argument. We just know design when we see it, precisely because we are familiar with designed things.

And that argument has already been soundly debunked, many times. That you choose to ignore this, simply shows how far you are willing to go to cling to your bias.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#103  Postby Rumraket » Aug 18, 2017 8:24 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
If you don't find the contents of several thousand peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject convincing, this speaks volumes about your prejudices, and nothing about the content of those papers.

Firstly, that's an argument from authority you are making.

Coming from someone making an argument from authority I think that's kind of ironic.

Your argument comes down to "Wallace said so".
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#104  Postby Rumraket » Aug 18, 2017 8:25 am

Wortfish wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
Did god design hands to accommodate his plan for playing cards, or did humans design cards to be fit the hands we have?

Wallace's argument is that our hands have been prepared for engaging in intellectual and physical activities unrelated to survival.

Wallace also argued that evolution explains all other aspects of the diversity of life, but you reject that. So merely having Wallace argue something is clearly not a criterion in the process of truth-detection, even for you.

Things don't become facts just because someone said so, and your cherry-picked authority on a single question, is an authority you'd reject on all other aspects of biological evolution. Hence, cherry picking.

We can find biologists today who argue that Wallace was wrong, so now better-informed authorities are contradicting your old authority. What now?
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#105  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 10:44 am

Rumraket wrote:
Wallace also argued that evolution explains all other aspects of the diversity of life, but you reject that. So merely having Wallace argue something is clearly not a criterion in the process of truth-detection, even for you.

He did indeed. However, he later came to recant his belief in Darwinism in 1911, 2 years before his death when he expressed his view in a seminal work that the diversity of life was the product of a creative intelligence working in tandem with natural selection (The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind, and Ultimate Purpose). It is rumoured that Darwin came to doubt his own theory in his final year and regretted he had ever published it.

Things don't become facts just because someone said so, and your cherry-picked authority on a single question, is an authority you'd reject on all other aspects of biological evolution. Hence, cherry picking.

I agree. But Wallace was Darwin's co-discover of natural selection, and his words do carry weight to this day.

We can find biologists today who argue that Wallace was wrong, so now better-informed authorities are contradicting your old authority. What now?

And we can find biologists and philosophers who broadly agree with him.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#106  Postby Rumraket » Aug 18, 2017 11:00 am

Oh look, the fallacy machine is back.

Wortfish wrote:
Rumraket wrote:
Wallace also argued that evolution explains all other aspects of the diversity of life, but you reject that. So merely having Wallace argue something is clearly not a criterion in the process of truth-detection, even for you.

He did indeed. However, he later came to recant his belief in Darwinism in 1911, 2 years before his death when he expressed his view in a seminal work that the diversity of life was the product of a creative intelligence working in tandem with natural selection (The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind, and Ultimate Purpose).

Aand we are right back to you repeating the appeal to authority fallacy.

Wallace said it =/= it's therefore true.

Wortfish wrote:It is rumoured that Darwin came to doubt his own theory in his final year and regretted he had ever published it.

And you're just the kind of person who believes in rumors that conform to your preconceptions. :coffee:

Btw, his children has vehemently discretied those rumors. It has been so thoroughly debunked that even answersingenesis rejects the story as unbelievable.

Wortfish wrote:
Rumraket wrote:Things don't become facts just because someone said so, and your cherry-picked authority on a single question, is an authority you'd reject on all other aspects of biological evolution. Hence, cherry picking.

I agree. But Wallace was Darwin's co-discover of natural selection, and his words do carry weight to this day.

Do you even understand what the hell an appeal to authority fallacy is? No, his words don't carry any weight. It's the evidence that carry weight.

Wortfish wrote:
Rumraket wrote:We can find biologists today who argue that Wallace was wrong, so now better-informed authorities are contradicting your old authority. What now?

And we can find biologists and philosophers who broadly agree with him.

You missed the question. It is "what now?" You don't substantially answer it by just making a combined appeal to authority and ad populum fallacy. That was the whole goddamn point.

And we can find biologist and philosophers who don't. Again, "Wallace (and some other people) said so" =/= Therefore it's true.

For every authority you can find that agree, I can find one that doesn't. So let's just get the silly namedropping out the way and proceed to actual evidence and arguments.

Wallace stated...
Creationists would say...
Cherrypicked esteemed professor X suspects...

None of those are of any worth here.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#107  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 11:02 am

Sendraks wrote:
That's because nothing in nature is designed. THe evidence cannot show what is not there.

Wrong. The argument goes that natural selection does design living organisms, but blindly and unconsciously. This creates the appearance of purposeful design. However, this is itself a belief, as even Richard Dawkins himself concedes when he refers to it as "a matter of faith on his part" (1:07): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcGvATU4oLQ

Do you have an example of a bottom-up designe reliant on to-down architecture, where the top-down architecure wasn't reliant on previous bottoum-up design?

The platform technology is designed top-down, but later developments are bottom-up.

The evidence shows them not to be designs. That is what the evidence shows. It is shown.
That you persist in maintaining ignorance of this, says everything about your arguments and nothing about the evidence.

It is a matter of debate. Some see exquisite design when others see nothing of the sort. You can't deny people a right to an opinion.

And that argument has already been soundly debunked, many times. That you choose to ignore this, simply shows how far you are willing to go to cling to your bias.

Intelligent design is an argument based on one's own subjective interpretation.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#108  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 18, 2017 11:40 am

Wortfish wrote:...
The evidence shows them not to be designs. That is what the evidence shows. It is shown.
That you persist in maintaining ignorance of this, says everything about your arguments and nothing about the evidence.

It is a matter of debate. Some see exquisite design when others see nothing of the sort. You can't deny people a right to an opinion.

...

I'm sure no-one is denying you the right to an opinion, Wortfish. However, they can point out that said opinion is incorrect.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#109  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 1:22 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
I'm sure no-one is denying you the right to an opinion, Wortfish. However, they can point out that said opinion is incorrect.

There is no way you can say whether something has been designed or not unless you have definitive evidence. You can only argue in terms of probability and plausibility.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#110  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 1:25 pm

Rumraket wrote:
Aand we are right back to you repeating the appeal to authority fallacy.

Wallace said it =/= it's therefore true.

I never claimed that Wallace said it, therefore it is true. But it's somewhat interesting that the co-discover of natural selection - who meant to show how the diversity of life came about through a blind and undirected process - later shifted towards a position today that would be more akin with theistic evolution and intelligent design than Darwinian evolution.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#111  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 18, 2017 1:54 pm

Wortfish wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
I'm sure no-one is denying you the right to an opinion, Wortfish. However, they can point out that said opinion is incorrect.

There is no way you can say whether something has been designed or not unless you have definitive evidence. You can only argue in terms of probability and plausibility.

We certainly have definitive evidence that a conscious designer is not necessary to explain biological evolution.
This makes evolution by a designer a much less plausible theory than natural evolution, because the designer is a very complex thing if it can produce all the millions of living species on earth. Natural evolution over humdreds of millions of years is much more plausible.
Last edited by DavidMcC on Aug 18, 2017 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#112  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 1:55 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
We certainly have definitive evidence that a conscious designer is not necessary to explain biological evolution.

Well, your definitive evidence depends on how you define biological evolution.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#113  Postby DavidMcC » Aug 18, 2017 2:01 pm

Wortfish wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
We certainly have definitive evidence that a conscious designer is not necessary to explain biological evolution.

Well, your definitive evidence depends on how you define biological evolution.

It is not open to define however you wish, it is a matter of observation of the entire biota, and linking it together in phyla, classes, etc, of structural and genetic relatedness, along with experiments showing how genes can mutate to form new genotypes, with the associated change in phenotype.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#114  Postby Sendraks » Aug 18, 2017 4:29 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Wrong.


Blindly gainsaying what I write doesn't make it so.

Wortfish wrote:The argument goes that natural selection does design living organisms, but blindly and unconsciously.

WHich argument? Not my argument for sure.
Natural selection does not "design" anything, because it is not "design" process. Design, by its very definition, is about an end goal. Natural selection is not.

Wortfish wrote:This creates the appearance of purposeful design.


Appearance of design =/= design

Wortfish wrote:However, this is itself a belief, as even Richard Dawkins himself concedes when he refers to it as "a matter of faith on his part" (1:07): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcGvATU4oLQ


Oooh, a bit of quote mining now. Considered in the context of what Dawkins said, boy have you gotten the wrong end of the stick and taken that phrase completely out of context. The rest of Dawkins comments demolishes your gibberish about design.

Wortfish wrote:The platform technology is designed top-down, but later developments are bottom-up.

THe what now? Provide links or speak clearly, rather than obfuscate with this vague bollocks.

Wortfish wrote:It is a matter of debate.

Only between the educated and the wilfully and persistantly ignorant. Amongst those who actually studied the requisite classes, there is no debate about what the evidence shows. The pretense, which Theists persist in making, that evolutionary science is somehow "hotly debated" or is a "theory in danger" is only believed by the woefully ignorant or the utter credulous. Those of us who have a clue, know you're talking horseshit.

There's not even a debate happening here, as you refuse to engage with your interlocutors in a rational way and continue being evasive and obtuse in your comments, in order to cling to your biases.

Don't kid yourself that you're debating.

Wortfish wrote: Some see exquisite design when others see nothing of the sort. You can't deny people a right to an opinion.


Having an opinion is fucking meaningless in and of itself. What matters is the evidential basis for the opinion. You have none in support of yours. Don't assume that there is any sort of equivalence in our "opinions" on this matter.

Wortfish wrote: Intelligent design is an argument based on one's own subjective interpretation.

I.e. not anything remotely evidence based or logical. Basically an argument no reasonable person would consider is worth a damn,
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#115  Postby Sendraks » Aug 18, 2017 4:31 pm

Wortfish wrote:But it's somewhat interesting that the co-discover of natural selection - who meant to show how the diversity of life came about through a blind and undirected process - later shifted towards a position today that would be more akin with theistic evolution and intelligent design than Darwinian evolution.


No, its not really interesting. That Wallace changed his mind has no bearing on the evidence.

I couild decide on my deathbed that the earth was actually a) flat and b) expanding. It wouldn't change the fact that neither of these things is remotely evidentially true.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#116  Postby proudfootz » Aug 18, 2017 4:43 pm

Wortfish wrote:
proudfootz wrote:
Did god design hands to accommodate his plan for playing cards, or did humans design cards to be fit the hands we have?

Wallace's argument is that our hands have been prepared for engaging in intellectual and physical activities unrelated to survival.


That would be a very odd thing to say.

It rather seems to create more mysteries than it solves.

I wonder if Wallace had any clue what these 'activities' were? Piano playing? Using a typewriter?

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Like playing cards, these things were designed by humans to accommodate the hands we have, not the other way around.

It reminds me of Ray Comfort's Banana Hypothesis.

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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#117  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 18, 2017 6:41 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
If you don't find the contents of several thousand peer reviewed scientific papers on the subject convincing, this speaks volumes about your prejudices, and nothing about the content of those papers.


Firstly, that's an argument from authority you are making.


Wrong. Do you know how peer review actually works, at least when done properly?

What happens, is that other knowledgeable scientists are called upon, to determine whether or not the data in the paper in question supports the conclusions. If it doesn't, the paper is rejected. Your attempt to draw a false equivalence between this process, and the sort of argument from authority that litters apologetics, is not only pathetic, but duplicitous.

Wortfish wrote:Secondly, there are indeed thousands of articles describing evidence for natural selection but there are none (for obvious reasons) showing how natural selection can produce design.


When a process generates working functions, in a manner that at least superficially resembles our own attempts to do the same via intent, then it's natural, if slightly misleading, to couch this in terms of "design", as part of the analogy drawing process. Once again, an essential aspect of the concept of "design", centres upon the presence of a goal, and an intent upon the part of some entity to achieve that goal. But if a process can generate working functions without intent or a goal being present, then this inexorably points to "design" being superfluous to requirements and irrelevant with respect to the functions thus generated, which is actually a worse scenario for your apologetics. Especially if those working functions couple together with a high degree of integration. But I'm aware of how the literature points to solutions to that particular problem.

Wortfish wrote:
Even without my experience in software development, I can see that your view of human design activity is woefully simplistic, to the point of being misleading. Most software development I've encountered in my long association therewith, has been a sometimes labyrinthine mix of the two approaches, frequently out of necessity. Plus, modern software projects have a habit of running into what is termed "unexpected use cases", that render any vision of a top-down approach useful only for strategic guidance, with the understanding that specification assertions arising therefrom, may have to be thrown out of the window altogether if the development process demands it.


Well, both strategies are employed in human engineering. However, many bottom-up designs themselves are dependent upon top-down architectures.


I'll let you have fun reading all about the "fragile base class" problem, and how that impacts the exemplar of top-down design I presented.

Wortfish wrote:
In short, trial and error still looms large, even in so-called "mature" technologies, and even more so in infant ones. The latter being beautifullyexemplified by this hilarious collection of film footage, documenting the early history of human attempts to build working aircraft:


I think you are confusing the failures experienced in prototyping, and the corrections made, with mindless trial and error.


Er, no. You see, that's the problem with an infant technology - the knowledge required to produce a robustly working product has yet to be acquired. This is the case by definition. As a consequence, trial and error is frequently the only method available to fill the knowledge gaps. Indeed, this principle played out to an almost embarrassing degree in the history of watchmaking, the very craft that Paley tried to press into apologetic service to conjure his magic man into existence.

Wortfish wrote:
Well that's going to kill any attempt to answer my question right from the start, if this assertion is true. Which I doubt strongly, not least because I'm aware of several attempts to provide such a definition. One typical example of the product of such attempts, being to define design as "the manipulation of entities to produce another entity in pursuit of a goal". Of course, whether such manipulation succeeds in producing a new entity, or whether that entity, if produced, successfully attains that goal, are themselves separate questions. I don't propose this as being the last word on the subject, because I'm aware that the taxonomic question is itself fairly involved, but also because I'm aware that the taxonomic problem is only a first step in a proper analysis.


You have to look at matters on a case by case basis and see what is the more plausible explanation.


You think biologists haven't done this? Oh wait, there's getting on for a million peer reviewed papers documenting their efforts.

Wortfish wrote:
Of course, if we take that example definition, the moment a goal is absent from the picture, then "design" fails to apply, as thus defined. Which becomes a serious, possibly even critical, problem for your apologetics. Not least because the entire teleological edifice you're trying to prop up is predicated upon a goal being present.


If living systems and molecular machines can be shown to be jury-rigged, opportunistically-contrived, shoddily-assembled and imperfect designs, then an argument can be made against purposeful and intelligent design.


"Purposeful and intelligent design" is by definition absent if there was no goal involved, nor any intent. Which is manifestly the case with the biosphere. Plus, as the literature exquisitely documents, it's possible for nondirected processes to produce systems with a high degree of integration. Having presented relevant papers here in the past, I'm in a position to be able to state this.

Wortfish wrote:
How can something be "intuitively obvious" if you don't know what the fuck you're talking about or dealing with? Indeed, the very concept of 'intuition' implies a certain minimum knowledge base to draw upon, even if that knowledge was not acquired in a systematic manner. Because, without a certain minimum knowledge base to draw upon, any thoughts in the requisite realm reduce to mere fantasising.


Yes, and that is Paley's argument. We just know design when we see it, precisely because we are familiar with designed things.


Except that his argument is hogwash, because [1] it relies upon noting substantive difference between a watch on a beach, and the other entities present there, and [2] we now have a large database of entities with zero evidence of a goal or intent being involved in their generation.

Wortfish wrote:
Oh wait, didn't a large part of Dembski's output consist of the claim that he had found objective criteria upon which to determine "design"? The subsequent determination by properly trained mathematicians, that his claims were risibly hyperbolic, does not affect the existence of those claims, of course.


I don't know. Design detection is used in radio astronomy and palaeontology


Oh, do please tell us how this is done in the latter discipline. Only I seem to recall we have some actual palaeontologists amongst the membership here.

Wortfish wrote:but there is no universal way of determining design.


Which rather destroys the rigour of the enterprise, doesn't it? And which once again comes back to that question I asked you some time back. Yes, there is a point to this, it's just that you can't see it yet. :)
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#118  Postby Wortfish » Aug 21, 2017 2:08 am

Calilasseia wrote:

Wrong. Do you know how peer review actually works, at least when done properly?

What happens, is that other knowledgeable scientists are called upon, to determine whether or not the data in the paper in question supports the conclusions. If it doesn't, the paper is rejected. Your attempt to draw a false equivalence between this process, and the sort of argument from authority that litters apologetics, is not only pathetic, but duplicitous.

Just because something is reviewed and published, doesn't make it, in any way, correct. It just means that it has been accepted as conforming to editorial and scholarly standards.

When a process generates working functions, in a manner that at least superficially resembles our own attempts to do the same via intent, then it's natural, if slightly misleading, to couch this in terms of "design", as part of the analogy drawing process. Once again, an essential aspect of the concept of "design", centres upon the presence of a goal, and an intent upon the part of some entity to achieve that goal. But if a process can generate working functions without intent or a goal being present, then this inexorably points to "design" being superfluous to requirements and irrelevant with respect to the functions thus generated, which is actually a worse scenario for your apologetics. Especially if those working functions couple together with a high degree of integration. But I'm aware of how the literature points to solutions to that particular problem.

Your grasp of evolutionary theory may be a little wayward. Natural selection does not generate working functions, it merely slightly modifies them. There has to be something to select in the first place.

Er, no. You see, that's the problem with an infant technology - the knowledge required to produce a robustly working product has yet to be acquired. This is the case by definition. As a consequence, trial and error is frequently the only method available to fill the knowledge gaps. Indeed, this principle played out to an almost embarrassing degree in the history of watchmaking, the very craft that Paley tried to press into apologetic service to conjure his magic man into existence.

Trial and error in engineering does not involve blind experimentation as with the selection of random variation in biology. It means testing multiple designs and seeing which is most suitable.

"Purposeful and intelligent design" is by definition absent if there was no goal involved, nor any intent. Which is manifestly the case with the biosphere. Plus, as the literature exquisitely documents, it's possible for nondirected processes to produce systems with a high degree of integration. Having presented relevant papers here in the past, I'm in a position to be able to state this.

The purpose of eyes can be seen two way. Firstly, it can be seen as a survival advantage. Secondly, it can be seen as something that makes sight possible. It can be plausibly argued that both purposes are served in the "design" of the eye.

Oh, do please tell us how this is done in the latter discipline. Only I seem to recall we have some actual palaeontologists amongst the membership here.

Stones are routinely examined to determine if they bear the signatures of use and design by hominins.

Which rather destroys the rigour of the enterprise, doesn't it? And which once again comes back to that question I asked you some time back. Yes, there is a point to this, it's just that you can't see it yet. :)

What makes it difficult is the possibility of the existence a process devoid of intent and intelligence masquerading as a designing agency and giving the illusion of design. But such deception and subterfuge is uncannily intelligent.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#119  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Aug 21, 2017 7:55 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:

Wrong. Do you know how peer review actually works, at least when done properly?

What happens, is that other knowledgeable scientists are called upon, to determine whether or not the data in the paper in question supports the conclusions. If it doesn't, the paper is rejected. Your attempt to draw a false equivalence between this process, and the sort of argument from authority that litters apologetics, is not only pathetic, but duplicitous.

Just because something is reviewed and published, doesn't make it, in any way, correct.

:picard:

Wortfish wrote: It just means that it has been accepted as conforming to editorial and scholarly standards.

And if you had any clue as to what those standards are you'd not be spouting the bullshit you've just spouted.

Wortfish wrote:
When a process generates working functions, in a manner that at least superficially resembles our own attempts to do the same via intent, then it's natural, if slightly misleading, to couch this in terms of "design", as part of the analogy drawing process. Once again, an essential aspect of the concept of "design", centres upon the presence of a goal, and an intent upon the part of some entity to achieve that goal. But if a process can generate working functions without intent or a goal being present, then this inexorably points to "design" being superfluous to requirements and irrelevant with respect to the functions thus generated, which is actually a worse scenario for your apologetics. Especially if those working functions couple together with a high degree of integration. But I'm aware of how the literature points to solutions to that particular problem.

Your grasp of evolutionary theory may be a little wayward.

Stop making shit up about your interlocutors Wortfish. Especially those who actually know what they're talking about, unlike you.

Wortfish wrote: Natural selection does not generate working functions,

And if you'd actually bothered to read the bit you're quoting, you'll note Cali doesn't mention natural selection anywhere.

Wortfish wrote:
Er, no. You see, that's the problem with an infant technology - the knowledge required to produce a robustly working product has yet to be acquired. This is the case by definition. As a consequence, trial and error is frequently the only method available to fill the knowledge gaps. Indeed, this principle played out to an almost embarrassing degree in the history of watchmaking, the very craft that Paley tried to press into apologetic service to conjure his magic man into existence.

Trial and error in engineering does not involve blind experimentation as with the selection of random variation in biology.

Blind counterfactual assertion.

Wortfish wrote: It means testing multiple designs and seeing which is most suitable.

Exactly the same way it happens in nature, only without involving intent derived from beings.

Wortfish wrote:
"Purposeful and intelligent design" is by definition absent if there was no goal involved, nor any intent. Which is manifestly the case with the biosphere. Plus, as the literature exquisitely documents, it's possible for nondirected processes to produce systems with a high degree of integration. Having presented relevant papers here in the past, I'm in a position to be able to state this.

The purpose of eyes can be seen two way.

No, thye can only be seen one way: non-existent.

Wortfish wrote: Firstly, it can be seen as a survival advantage.

That's a result, not a pre-designed function.

Wortfish wrote: Secondly, it can be seen as something that makes sight possible.

:roll:

Wortfish wrote:It can be plausibly argued that both purposes are served in the "design" of the eye.

Except that they can't.

Wortfish wrote:
Oh, do please tell us how this is done in the latter discipline. Only I seem to recall we have some actual palaeontologists amongst the membership here.

Stones are routinely examined to determine if they bear the signatures of use and design by hominins.

And no stone has been found that has actually been created by hominids. Only stones that have been edited.

Wortfish wrote:
Which rather destroys the rigour of the enterprise, doesn't it? And which once again comes back to that question I asked you some time back. Yes, there is a point to this, it's just that you can't see it yet. :)

What makes it difficult is the possibility of the existence a process devoid of intent and intelligence masquerading as a designing agency and giving the illusion of design.

Mope. Made up shit isn't a difficulty for anyone except the people making up said shit.
Evolution does not masquerade as design, only people ignorant of how it works and what the results are, would make such a silly claim.

Wortfish wrote: But such deception and subterfuge is uncannily intelligent.

Nope.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#120  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 21, 2017 10:54 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:

Wrong. Do you know how peer review actually works, at least when done properly?

What happens, is that other knowledgeable scientists are called upon, to determine whether or not the data in the paper in question supports the conclusions. If it doesn't, the paper is rejected. Your attempt to draw a false equivalence between this process, and the sort of argument from authority that litters apologetics, is not only pathetic, but duplicitous.


Just because something is reviewed and published, doesn't make it, in any way, correct. It just means that it has been accepted as conforming to editorial and scholarly standards.


This is such a blatantly duplicitous reply, that it's barely worth dignifying with a response. But in the interests of rigour, I'll provide one.

Quite simply, if the data says that the authors have jumped to incorrect conclusions, then that is the criterion for rejection. Which is an essential part of those scholarly standards you're mendaciously seeking to dismiss, with this egregious misrepresentation of peer review as being in any way "symmetric" with apologetic fabrication.

In case you hadn't worked this out, this is the whole point of presenting scientific papers - so that others familiar with the proper treatment of data can spot and report errors to be corrected. Indeed, examples of reasons for rejection of papers have been documented here on this forum in the past, as written by scientists given the task of peer reviewing material.

Wortfish wrote:
When a process generates working functions, in a manner that at least superficially resembles our own attempts to do the same via intent, then it's natural, if slightly misleading, to couch this in terms of "design", as part of the analogy drawing process. Once again, an essential aspect of the concept of "design", centres upon the presence of a goal, and an intent upon the part of some entity to achieve that goal. But if a process can generate working functions without intent or a goal being present, then this inexorably points to "design" being superfluous to requirements and irrelevant with respect to the functions thus generated, which is actually a worse scenario for your apologetics. Especially if those working functions couple together with a high degree of integration. But I'm aware of how the literature points to solutions to that particular problem.


Your grasp of evolutionary theory may be a little wayward.


Bullshit. I haven't spent time reading several thousand scientific papers over the past decade, without learning something about the subject. The only one with a "wayward" understanding here is you.

Wortfish wrote:Natural selection does not generate working functions, it merely slightly modifies them.


Actually, it doesn't even do that. It simply acts as a high pass filter for the functions that work. But I was, of course, referring to the evolutionary process in its entirety, including mutation and neutral drift, when presenting my remarks, as those who paid attention in science classes readily understand. Indeed, it won't take the diligent long to see me referring in the past here, to natural selection as a high-pass filter. For example, in the following posts:

[1] This post, dated 2016/08/10;

[2] This post, dated 2015/09/30;

[3] RThis post, dated 2015/05/15;

[4] This post, dated 2011/09/15;

[5] This post, dated 2010/09/22;

[6] This post, dated 2010/05/30.

So, I have demonstrated an understanding of the relevant concept over a seven year period. If the old Richard Dawkins forums were still extant, I could probably find post pre-dating 2010 over there that contain similar comments.

Wortfish wrote:There has to be something to select in the first place.


And you think I didn't already know this? Ha ha ha ha ha. Read the above and weep.

Wortfish wrote:
Er, no. You see, that's the problem with an infant technology - the knowledge required to produce a robustly working product has yet to be acquired. This is the case by definition. As a consequence, trial and error is frequently the only method available to fill the knowledge gaps. Indeed, this principle played out to an almost embarrassing degree in the history of watchmaking, the very craft that Paley tried to press into apologetic service to conjure his magic man into existence.


Trial and error in engineering does not involve blind experimentation as with the selection of random variation in biology. It means testing multiple designs and seeing which is most suitable.


Those early aircraft attempts I posted look a hell of a lot like blind experimentation. Indeed, quite a few of them were the result of efforts by people lacking any specialist understanding of fluid dynamics, even as the subject existed back in the 1900s or earlier. For that matter, the advent of successful aircraft, was one of the developments propelling a more modern understanding of that discipline. Do you think anyone with even a circa 1900s understanding of fluid dynamics, would have tried using exposed paddle wheels as a propulsion system for an aircraft?

However, Otto Lilienthal, who set out from the beginning to understand aerodynamic concepts, enjoyed successes with towed gliders and prototype hang gliders nearly two decades before the Wright Brothers produced a working powered aircraft. His gliders, thankfully thoroughly documented, start to look like an evolutionary series when placed in chronological order. The Otto Lilienthal Museum contains both extensive original documentation from Lilienthal's own pen, and scale model replicas thereof.

Wortfish wrote:
"Purposeful and intelligent design" is by definition absent if there was no goal involved, nor any intent. Which is manifestly the case with the biosphere. Plus, as the literature exquisitely documents, it's possible for nondirected processes to produce systems with a high degree of integration. Having presented relevant papers here in the past, I'm in a position to be able to state this.


The purpose of eyes can be seen two way. Firstly, it can be seen as a survival advantage. Secondly, it can be seen as something that makes sight possible. It can be plausibly argued that both purposes are served in the "design" of the eye.


Ahem, I'll point you at Astyanax mexicanus and other blind cave fishes. Which readily discarded functioning eyes the moment they ceased to be of use. In the case of A. mexicanus, however, eye-loss populations of cave dwelling members of the species, upon finding themselves in a karst window, reacquired functional eyes. I've covered the scientific papers in some detail in the past. In the meantime, you can fire up this scientific paper, go to page 8572, and see the step by step stages of building an eye over time from simpler antecedent structures.

Wortfish wrote:
Oh, do please tell us how this is done in the latter discipline. Only I seem to recall we have some actual palaeontologists amongst the membership here.


Stones are routinely examined to determine if they bear the signatures of use and design by hominins.


And those signatures are what, precisely? Provide in detail, a breakdown of the differences between stones shaped by natural erosion, and stones shaped by human activity. I'll have fun watching the palaeontologists gather round and observe.

Wortfish wrote:
Which rather destroys the rigour of the enterprise, doesn't it? And which once again comes back to that question I asked you some time back. Yes, there is a point to this, it's just that you can't see it yet. :)


What makes it difficult is the possibility of the existence a process devoid of intent and intelligence masquerading as a designing agency and giving the illusion of design.


Well that's the assertion being tested here, isn't it? Namely, that entities pursuing a goal with intent, purportedly produce observational data that are distinguishable from the data generated by natural processes. This is the central creationist assertion that I'm asking you to address. If this assertion is true, then it should be possible to state the nature of those distinguishing features, both by reference to example and via deduction from first principles. Can you do this?

Wortfish wrote:But such deception and subterfuge is uncannily intelligent.


This assumes in advance that the process either possesses goal-oriented sentience, or was produced by one. We have zero data telling us this.
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