Posted: Jan 21, 2011 2:14 am
by hotshoe
Spearthrower wrote:Is inferring design scientific or even rational? Let's just recap what Царь has to say about design, and how we can rationally infer it:

Царь Славян wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:When a system has components that inhibit its supposed purpose, or directly hamper its utility, that would not infer design. Quite the opposite.

What if an object was designed that way, or was degraded over time?

An object 'designed' to inhibit its own purpose. How then can we falsify presumed design of an object if it can be entirely non functional and still be deemed design? How do we even infer design in the first place if it is non-functioning?

Царь Славян wrote:Okay, but just to make it clear, I claim that you can't infer design from intentionality. Because you can't infer intentionality from an object.

You can't infer intentionality? Design IS intentionality. If you can't infer intentionality from an object, you can't infer design from an object.

Царь Славян wrote:Maybe somebody wanted to break it, maybe it was made broken, maybe it broke down over time.

Even an object that infers no design could still have been designed and its apparent design is lost due to being broken or worn down. Can you spell 'unfalsifiable'?

Царь Славян wrote:If it's functional it works. And even if it doesn't, that doesn't mean that it wasn't designed in the first place. Because you don't know the intention of teh designer. Maybe it was designed just that way. Maybe it serves some other purpose.

Non-functioning objects can still be designed. The reason design can be inferred is because you don't know the intention of the designer so it's possible that the designer intended it that way, yet in the last sentence you said that you can't use intention as an inferrence of the design in an object.

If you cannot infer intention, you cannot infer design. If no possible intention can be inferred for the purpose of the object, then it is not rational to infer to design, nor is it falsifiable.

Maybe it was just designed to not function. Non-falsifiable and not even remotely rational to infer design from it then. Again, inferring intent, which you said you couldn't do - seems like you want to infer intent when it is convenient, but reject it when it's not.

Maybe it serves some other purpose - inferring intent again, which you said is not inferrable from an object.

So, to recap this section. If you can infer intent from an object, it is plausible it is designed. If you cannot infer intent from an object, it is still plausible that it is designed. Ergo, inferring design by your metric is not scientific as there's never a means to falsify it. It's not rational, because your premise is your conclusion.

Царь Славян wrote:Things that are non-functional can also be designed. If someone made a computer that doesn't work, he made it just like that. And that non-functional computer is designed.

A designer that intentionally (there goes that intent that can't be inferred again) designs a non-functioning object? How then would you infer design if it is intentionally designed to look like it is not designed? Again, you are relying on the intent of the designer to make your claim about design, something you said was not your claim. Second, it's unfalsifiable - an object that has no appearance of design whatsoever can suddenly have design inferred because of the plausibility of a designer intending their design to look undesigned. You have gone way too far down the rabbit hole for this to remain even remotely rational.

Царь Славян wrote:No, that just means that YOUR „method“ is useless. It's your method that can't infer design not mine. I told you from the start that your method is useless, because design can be non-functional. And in order to infer design by your „method“ we would have to first infer intentions of the designer, which we can't do. Therefore, your „method“ is useless and should be discarded.

We can't infer intent from design, yet that's precisely what you have done throughout to reject my points. Ergo, the design hypothesis is a failure on 3 fronts. 1) It's non-falsifiable and therefore unscientific. Under your claims, anything could be designed and we cannot reject the proposal of anything being designed because there's no means of inferring their design. 2) As there's no means of inferring their design, there's no reason to forward it as a valid hypothesis. 3) As the only way that the hypothesis works is to insert the conclusion into the premise, it's rationally inept.

Like I said Царь, you have single-handedly shown why a design hypothesis fails. You can't even maintain the appearance of a logical argument because the hypothesis is flawed and simply begs the question.

Thanks, Spearthrower. Great post.

I really do think we're done here. Anything after this is just shooting the zombies.