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?"

#81  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 15, 2017 8:38 pm

Meanwhile, I'm still interested to see if an answer is forthcoming to the question I posed here, namely:

Tell me exactly how you propose to differentiate, in a reliable manner, between entities purportedly "designed", and entites "not designed". Only this question cuts to the heart of the entire "designed" assertion, and as a corollary, to the "created" assertion in addition.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#82  Postby theropod » Aug 15, 2017 10:24 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
Item one: just because one person thought it was impossible to provide a testable natural process to explain a given phenomenon, doesn't mean no one ever will.

Item two: Wallace didn't have access to modern data, which as I demonstrated conclusively in my expositions on FOXP2 and ASPM, do point conclusively to strong positive selection acting upon the genes responsible for our increased brain capacity.

Item three: relying on an obsolete article to try and invalidate modern scientific findings unknown to the author of said obsolete article, is exactly the sort of duplicitous tactic creationists routinely resort to, in the hope that their target audience won't notice the shell game being played before them. Unfortunately for said creationists, it doesn't work with people who paid attention in science classes.


In the article, Wallace makes a very good case about the human brain. It uses up a lot of energy, and its size makes childbirth difficult and sometimes dangerous. Modern science has supported Wallace's contentions. The benefit for survival is dubious because Wallace suggests that the brain is twice as big as would be needed for a primitive hunter-gatherer that lived 100,000 years ago. However, it is the right size for a philosopher or scientist who lives today. Wallace also suggests that the human hand is far too dextrous for using only stone implements, the larynx too perfect and attuned to making musical sounds and so on. The basic point is that natural selection can only favour that which we can immediately use for our survival and reproduction. But humans appear to have faculties that go beyond this biological need...hence special creation.


My bold.

You have no idea how much skill and motor control is required to make a fine stone tool. Think it's a breeze? Try it. Take a hunk of bone and use it as a tool to work knappable stone to turn out a projectile capable of both flying true and being deadly. Your opinion will change rapidly. Well, probably not since you already just "know" so much about the subject.

:crazy:

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

#83  Postby theropod » Aug 15, 2017 10:28 pm

Shrunk wrote:One more question, to the general audience: Is it time to bring the Dunsapy Award out of retirement?


Or the key jangling tactic. Maybe cheesy sticks.

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

#84  Postby aliihsanasl » Aug 15, 2017 10:53 pm

After hours of discussion on evolution and explanation of it by a few professors a student asked "if we evolved from monket then why moneky today not becoming human ?"

Professor said "go and ask that to monkeys in the zoo" :lol:
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#85  Postby Wortfish » Aug 16, 2017 2:11 am

theropod wrote:[
You have no idea how much skill and motor control is required to make a fine stone tool. Think it's a breeze? Try it. Take a hunk of bone and use it as a tool to work knappable stone to turn out a projectile capable of both flying true and being deadly. Your opinion will change rapidly. Well, probably not since you already just "know" so much about the subject.

:crazy:

RS


The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern. However, Wallace argued that our dexterity is just too precise since it allows us to handle complex machinery and play delicate musical instruments.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#86  Postby Wortfish » Aug 16, 2017 2:14 am

Calilasseia wrote:Meanwhile, I'm still interested to see if an answer is forthcoming to the question I posed here, namely:

Tell me exactly how you propose to differentiate, in a reliable manner, between entities purportedly "designed", and entites "not designed". Only this question cuts to the heart of the entire "designed" assertion, and as a corollary, to the "created" assertion in addition.

Natural Selection is a blind watchmaker that designs without foresight. So, even if we determined that some biological feature was designed, it could be argued that evolution did it. But are you referring to design evident in Nature beyond biology?
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#87  Postby Rumraket » Aug 16, 2017 8:20 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Meanwhile, I'm still interested to see if an answer is forthcoming to the question I posed here, namely:

Tell me exactly how you propose to differentiate, in a reliable manner, between entities purportedly "designed", and entites "not designed". Only this question cuts to the heart of the entire "designed" assertion, and as a corollary, to the "created" assertion in addition.

So, even if we determined that some biological feature was designed...

How would we do that? You skipped actually aswering the question.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#88  Postby Rumraket » Aug 16, 2017 8:25 am

Wortfish wrote:
theropod wrote:[
You have no idea how much skill and motor control is required to make a fine stone tool. Think it's a breeze? Try it. Take a hunk of bone and use it as a tool to work knappable stone to turn out a projectile capable of both flying true and being deadly. Your opinion will change rapidly. Well, probably not since you already just "know" so much about the subject.

:crazy:

RS


The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern. However, Wallace argued that our dexterity is just too precise since it allows us to handle complex machinery and play delicate musical instruments.

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?"

#89  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 16, 2017 8:37 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Meanwhile, I'm still interested to see if an answer is forthcoming to the question I posed here, namely:

Tell me exactly how you propose to differentiate, in a reliable manner, between entities purportedly "designed", and entites "not designed". Only this question cuts to the heart of the entire "designed" assertion, and as a corollary, to the "created" assertion in addition.


Natural Selection is a blind watchmaker that designs without foresight.


In that case, you've just made it even harder to determine what is purportedly "designed" and what isn't. Because you've just admitted that there exists at least one natural process that "designs" entities. And in doing so, made it even harder to answer my question.

But even if we temporarily ignore this tank trap, I can move on and address this:

Wortfish wrote:So, even if we determined that some biological feature was designed


Which, of course, merely reiterates, with a restricted remit, the question I was asking.

Wortfish wrote:it could be argued that evolution did it.


Especially if evidence point to this conclusion. :)

Wortfish wrote:But are you referring to design evident in Nature beyond biology?


Well, the whole point of my question is to demonstrate that "design" is anything but "evident", and indeed is frequently so regardless of the nature of the entities being considered apposite to apply the question to. Which you will discover yourself if you attempt an answer thereto.

It seems you're in need of a little help here. So, to start of, think carefully about a rigorous definition for "design". You will find this exercise to be of great utility value.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#90  Postby Sendraks » Aug 16, 2017 8:53 am

Wortfish wrote:
The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern. However, Wallace argued that our dexterity is just too precise since it allows us to handle complex machinery and play delicate musical instruments.


I see that you've ignored what Theropod said. Well done. /Golfclap

You are confusing and conflating the complexity of the machinery with the manual dexterity required to operate it. Consider the manual dexterity required on the part of a chimpanzee to use a thin stick or similar to get termites out of a mound so it can use them. That is a precision task, requiring practice and dexterity.

The oldest stone tools are known to be about 3million years old, hominids have been working on their tool craft for quite some time. The sort of flint knapped tools Theropod is talking about, date back this far. As has been stated, the creation of these tools requires fine motor control and precision to create a workable tool.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#91  Postby theropod » Aug 16, 2017 1:28 pm

Wortfish wrote:
theropod wrote:[
You have no idea how much skill and motor control is required to make a fine stone tool. Think it's a breeze? Try it. Take a hunk of bone and use it as a tool to work knappable stone to turn out a projectile capable of both flying true and being deadly. Your opinion will change rapidly. Well, probably not since you already just "know" so much about the subject.

:crazy:

RS


The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern. However, Wallace argued that our dexterity is just too precise since it allows us to handle complex machinery and play delicate musical instruments.


Way to avoid the point! Well done.

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

#92  Postby Shrunk » Aug 16, 2017 4:40 pm

Wortfish wrote:The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern.


Yes. Now, are you smart enough to see how that refutes your own argument?
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#93  Postby Wortfish » Aug 17, 2017 2:25 am

Calilasseia wrote:
In that case, you've just made it even harder to determine what is purportedly "designed" and what isn't. Because you've just admitted that there exists at least one natural process that "designs" entities. And in doing so, made it even harder to answer my question.

I only accepted that natural selection is proposed to explain the appearance of design, not that it does. The evidence is not especially convincing. However, natural selection is regarded as a blind watchmaker whose design without foresight is "bottom-up" whereas Paley's watchmaker argument implies a "top-down" design. The two ought to be discernible, but not easily, since bottom-up designs are just assemblies of existing parts , opportunistically constructed without much planning. Top-down design requires envisaging the whole as a system, not just as an assembly, before the design is implemented.

Well, the whole point of my question is to demonstrate that "design" is anything but "evident", and indeed is frequently so regardless of the nature of the entities being considered apposite to apply the question to. Which you will discover yourself if you attempt an answer thereto. It seems you're in need of a little help here. So, to start of, think carefully about a rigorous definition for "design". You will find this exercise to be of great utility value.

I don't think there is a rigorous definition of design. Paley only claimed that it was intuitively obvious. It is a matter of subjective interpretation and not based on any objective criteria. Some see design when others see no design.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#94  Postby Wortfish » Aug 17, 2017 2:35 am

Shrunk wrote:
Wortfish wrote:The Stone Age ended only a few thousand years ago. The stone tools used 5000 years ago are fairly sophisticated compared to 200,000 years ago when humans became anatomically modern.


Yes. Now, are you smart enough to see how that refutes your own argument?


No. The stone tools of the Neolithic period require greater dexterity than the much more primitive tools of the Lower Paleolithic when modern humans first emerged. Our hands are better adapted to dealing cards than chipping away at stones:

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

#95  Postby proudfootz » Aug 17, 2017 3:56 am

The absurdity of 'top down' design - that human hands, for example, are designed to do the things they do because some mysterious intelligence(s) wanted humans to do what they do - soon becomes pretty obvious after only a moment's contemplation.

Our hands are marvellously adapted to dealing cards? So that's what the gods want us to do?

And it's merely a coincidence that humans came up with the size and shape of the cards, the number of cards that fit comfortably in a hand, and came up with 'dealing' portions of cards to players in the game?

Did god design hands to accommodate his plan for playing cards, or did humans design cards to be fit the hands we have?
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#96  Postby Sendraks » Aug 17, 2017 8:53 am

Wortfish wrote:No. The stone tools of the Neolithic period require greater dexterity than the much more primitive tools of the Lower Paleolithic when modern humans first emerged. Our hands are better adapted to dealing cards than chipping away at stones:


AT this point you're just choosing to ignore what Theropod has said about the dexterity required to craft stone tools, even primitive ones from over a million years ago. Its an inconvenient fact that you don't want to engage with and instead you're blundering on with your absurd fantasy.

Also - our hands, are not wonderfully specialised or particularly amazing. They're actually spectacularly unspecialised and un-adapted, They're pretty much a basal form, compared to the far more specialised "hands" of canines and felines.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#97  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 17, 2017 10:44 am

Wortfish wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:
In that case, you've just made it even harder to determine what is purportedly "designed" and what isn't. Because you've just admitted that there exists at least one natural process that "designs" entities. And in doing so, made it even harder to answer my question.


I only accepted that natural selection is proposed to explain the appearance of design, not that it does.


Actually, natural selection is only proposed in the world of science, to explain the emergence of functions that work. Courtesy of the process of filtering out the functions that don't work. That the process provides an excellent mimic of the processes humans themselves engage in when "designing" entities, is merely an artefact common to any trial and error process involving discarding non-working results, and keeping working results as a foundation for further fabrication.

Wortfish wrote:The evidence is not especially convincing.


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.

Wortfish wrote:However, natural selection is regarded as a blind watchmaker whose design without foresight is "bottom-up" whereas Paley's watchmaker argument implies a "top-down" design.


Except of course that Paley's apologetic assertions count for nothing, because at bottom that's all they are. First, his apologetics relies inherently upon noticing a substantive difference between a watch and the other entities on the beach, and also plays a duplicitous bait and switch, jumping from an entity with a known provenance (and much documentation with regard thereto), to entities that in his day, lacked such provenance or documentation. Unfortunately for his apologetics, a large quantity of data is now available, pointing inexorably to the superfluity and irrelevance of a mythological magic man.

Worse still, natural selection is bereft of intent full stop. it's a non-sentient process. In that respect, it's substantively different from human activity, even if its operation happens to provide an excellent simulacrum thereof. As a consequence, trying to apply anthropocentric notions of intent to the process fails at first base.

Wortfish wrote:The two ought to be discernible, but not easily, since bottom-up designs are just assemblies of existing parts , opportunistically constructed without much planning. Top-down design requires envisaging the whole as a system, not just as an assembly, before the design is implemented.


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.

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



Bit difficult to see successful design in some of those artefacts, whether "top-down" or "bottom-up".

Meanwhile, going back to software development, I've recently become aware that one of the major paradigms made popular from the late 1990s through to the present, is seriously flawed. Namely, class-based inheritance in object-oriented programming. Which was presented initially as an example of the finest output of "top-down" design. Trouble is, the resulting framework forces its users to erect ever more rococo taxonomies to accomodate their projects, and forces software entities to conform to that taxonomy, regardless of whether this is useful, or in some cases, even possible. Which probably explains why there's so much bloat in modern software.

Wortfish wrote:
Well, the whole point of my question is to demonstrate that "design" is anything but "evident", and indeed is frequently so regardless of the nature of the entities being considered apposite to apply the question to. Which you will discover yourself if you attempt an answer thereto. It seems you're in need of a little help here. So, to start of, think carefully about a rigorous definition for "design". You will find this exercise to be of great utility value.


I don't think there is a rigorous definition of design.


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.

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.

Wortfish wrote:Paley only claimed that it was intuitively obvious.


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.

Wortfish wrote:It is a matter of subjective interpretation and not based on any objective criteria.


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.

Wortfish wrote:Some see design when others see no design.


Usually, the former arises from insufficient education combined with ideological preference.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#98  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 1:41 am

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. 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.

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.

In short, trial and error still looms large, even in so-called "mature" technologies, and even more so in infant ones. The latter being beautifully exemplified 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 but there is no universal way of determining design.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#99  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 1:52 am

Sendraks wrote:
AT this point you're just choosing to ignore what Theropod has said about the dexterity required to craft stone tools, even primitive ones from over a million years ago. Its an inconvenient fact that you don't want to engage with and instead you're blundering on with your absurd fantasy.

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

Also - our hands, are not wonderfully specialised or particularly amazing. They're actually spectacularly unspecialised and un-adapted, They're pretty much a basal form, compared to the far more specialised "hands" of canines and felines.

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. This is what Wallace stated:
Again, the hand of man contains latent capacities and powers which are unused by savages, and must have been even less used by palæolithic man and his still ruder predecessors. It has all the appearance of an organ prepared for the use of civilized man, and one which was required to render civilization possible.
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Re: This one beats "why is there still monkeys?"

#100  Postby Wortfish » Aug 18, 2017 2:31 am

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.
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