How do atheists identify something as designed?
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16-11-2013, 04:21 AM
How do atheists identify something as designed?
As a theists, I look for precision. The more precise a thing, the more likely that thing is to be designed(its never proof because random happenstance could result in something precise). What do atheists look for in determining whether or not something is designed?
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16-11-2013, 04:42 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 04:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  As a theists, I look for precision.

Wow. There's a statement. Angel

So, what you're saying is that you look to confirm your bias. Tongue

I guess I'd go with the old canard, "form follows function."

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16-11-2013, 04:51 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
I look for "Made in China" printed underneath.

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16-11-2013, 05:00 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 04:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  As a theists, I look for precision. The more precise a thing, the more likely that thing is to be designed(its never proof because random happenstance could result in something precise). What do atheists look for in determining whether or not something is designed?

Well, the first question is: does God lack in precision?

I don't think that precision (whatever you mean with that) is enough. A diamond is a very precise disposition of atoms, but I would not say that this represents evidence of design.

I think signs of intentionality, which we might recognize as intentional agencies, are more telling.

But another question is: where do theists look for signs of lack of design? In other words, do you think that there are things in our Universe which have not been designed?

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16-11-2013, 05:04 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 05:07 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 04:42 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  As a theists, I look for precision.

Wow. There's a statement. Angel

So, what you're saying is that you look to confirm your bias. Tongue

I guess I'd go with the old canard, "form follows function."

Let me give you an example. Letters and grammatical symbols can describe both random gibberish or a carefully crafted story. Carefully crafted stories are very precise orderings of letters and grammatical symbols. There are many ways random gibberish can be constructed from the letters and grammatical symbols that make up the story, "Snow White". There are very few configurations which result in a coherent story.

The more choherent or precise the story, the more likely it is that story is a product of design and not result of random happenstance(although it could be).
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16-11-2013, 05:17 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 05:04 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 04:42 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Wow. There's a statement. Angel

So, what you're saying is that you look to confirm your bias. Tongue

I guess I'd go with the old canard, "form follows function."

Let me give you an example. Letters and grammatical symbols can describe both random gibberish or a carefully crafted story. Carefully crafted stories are very precise orderings of letters and grammatical symbols. There are many ways random gibberish can be constructed from the letters and grammatical symbols that make up the story, "Snow White". There are very few configurations which result in a coherent story.

The more choherent or precise the story, the more likely it is that story is a product of design and not result of random happenstance(although it could be).

That's not a design argument, that's an information argument. These glyphs only appear in meaningful quantity in a designed environment.

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16-11-2013, 06:36 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 04:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  As a theists, I look for precision. The more precise a thing, the more likely that thing is to be designed(its never proof because random happenstance could result in something precise). What do atheists look for in determining whether or not something is designed?

I don't think precision is a good metric for this. I look for evidence that there was some intelligent decision behind it. Baring that, I don't assume it was designed; complexity or precision don't necessarily lead to intelligence. There are too many naturally occurring complex things for me to think that it would be the case.
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16-11-2013, 07:10 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 07:13 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
So to you crystals look designed, pulsars look designed, planets following stable orbits look designed, the information content in DNA looks designed, etc, etc. Right?

When I want to know whether something is designed, I look to the process that created the thing. If the process that created it seems entirely natural then I don't find justification for claiming a designer. To find a designer in everything with information content is to anthropomorphise the natural processes that created them. There is no reliable basis for concluding that complexity implies design, or that information content implies design - if there is a credible natural process known to create that kind of complexity and information content... especially when hypothesising that a particular natural process (eg evolution) actually took place leads us to new and surprising predictions that hold up in the real world, confirming our hypotheses.

You're again making a flawed argument:
1. The universe is designed
2. Parts of the universe have information content
3. That therefore, information content is the result of design so the universe has a designer
You're implicitly stating the conclusion within your premise again.

When in fact we find that:
1. Design embeds information content into things
2. Undirected natural processes embed information content into things
3. Therefore, we must seek further evidence before concluding that information content is the product of design

Evolution is a crucial example here, where natural unguided processes are clearly able to produce kilobytes and in some cases much more information in the form of the genome of a species. That information is key to the survival of that species and is by no means random in its own right. If you accept that natural selection can produce information content in genomes without supernatural intervention or direction then you must conclude that information content alone is an entirely unsatisfactory basis on which to claim design or to claim the existence of a designer.

In other examples we must be careful not to confuse complexity with information content. Non-biological processes usually have a low information content even when they are complex and claims of high information content in non-biological systems must be made carefully and backed with good evidence.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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16-11-2013, 08:37 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
1) Function. "What is the function of this thing? Does it seem to exist specifically for this function, or are its functional capabilities incidental? Does it have an apparent function at all?" (A watch is clearly designed to tell time, whereas a rock has no apparent function whatsoever)

2) Category. "Is this thing biological or mechanical? Is it capable of evolving to suit a particular or abstract set of requirements? Or, if left alone, will it remain as it is; partially or completely regardless of environmental factors?" (Animals put on weight to compensate for colder weather, but houses do not grow thicker walls)

3) Comparison. "Are there other things to which I can compare it? If so, how do they compare? Are they similar? Are they different?" (Refer to the aforementioned watch and rock)

4) Likelihood of assembly. "Is it within the realm of probability that this thing came into existence, in its current state, without intelligent guidance or intervention?" (We don't have many examples of landscape paintings coming into being by chance, but we have plenty of examples of rivers, ecosystems, planets and solar systems coming into being through purely natural processes using the laws of physics and biology)





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16-11-2013, 09:29 AM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 09:36 AM by Dom.)
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
When something fits perfectly into it's environment, it is a sign that it has evolved for a good amount of time to fit that niche perfectly.

Design would only screw it up.

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