How do atheists identify something as designed?
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16-11-2013, 09:51 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
If something serves it's purpose/function with a minimum of add-ons, it's designed. If something has inconsistencies, contradictions or hindrances, it occurs naturally and evolved slowly.

I hope I used the right terminology for all that. Tongue

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16-11-2013, 11:45 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?

Talk to the designer. (Preferably over the phone. Prayer has this nasty flaw of different people getting different messages. It's almost like they're making up what they hear.)
Examine the designer's methodology and blueprints, as well as correspondence and journals. (This, of course, requires verifying that they're the designer's work, rather than just assuming it.)
Examine how possible it is for the thing to have come about through natural forces, versus how difficult it would have been to manufacture.
Talk to the people on the assembly line who made it.
Talk to the person who designed the assembly line.
Talk to the person who ordered the raw materials.

Also, "precision" is hardly a precise term. I doubt you mean precision of measurement, which would make an object more likely to be designed the more powerful a microscope we point at it. You seem to be using it in the sports-car analogy, wherein every part is carefully tooled for exactly its purpose, with as little waste as possible. I have never been able to figure out how this analogy is supposed to support the notion that a universe of billions and billions of stars exist simply so that humans on a meager pale blue dot can play out some sort of existential opera revolving around the Middle East and Mediterranean and ultimately ending in a big kerfuffle on that same pale blue dot. I've got the same questions about DNA (SO much unused information), physiology (why do men have nipples?) and on and on.

(16-11-2013 05:04 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  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.

.... so would "The Eye of Argon" meet your standard for being designed?
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16-11-2013, 01:28 PM
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?
A reasonable indicator for design is to look for gracefully simple solutions to complex problems.

If a builder works without a design they can come to an incredibly precise solution, given enough time and resources. The solution will be overly complex, it will have a piecemeal add-on aspect to it which reveals the historical adaptation process.

If a builder works to a design, the solution will be gracefully simple. It will not reveal the history of adaptation. The solution will be highly cohesive with little to no redundancy.

If nature were designed we would not have tall trees, we wouldn't shove food down the same hole that we breathe out of, we wouldn't have global climate change, we wouldn't have extinction, we wouldn't have cancer, we wouldn't have tooth decay, we wouldn't have decent with modification, we wouldn't have genetic defects, we wouldn't have broken genes (protogenes). Humans wouldn't have an appendix, women wouldn't have such difficult births...

If the designer were perfect and all knowing, we wouldn't see multiple solutions to the same problem such as the eye, or the wing or other areas where we see evolutionary convergence.
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16-11-2013, 01:36 PM
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?

So based on what you look for you can never be sure if something is designed or not...

You should probably use different criteria for determining when something is designed vs when something is not. Adopting Misanthropik's criteria might be a good plan Wink

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16-11-2013, 01:55 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 02:32 PM by kim.)
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
The thing perceived and referred to as precision in design is often predetermined to be as such. It's like Dada and then suddenly, meh. Style is an orange. Drinking Beverage

I frequently delight in the beauty of so called imperfection. I often find it to be the ultimate of perfection. Shy



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16-11-2013, 01:57 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 06:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  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.

There is a big difference between complexity and precision. A complex thing is intricate. A precise thing is exact.
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16-11-2013, 02:03 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 11:45 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Talk to the designer. (Preferably over the phone. Prayer has this nasty flaw of different people getting different messages. It's almost like they're making up what they hear.)
Examine the designer's methodology and blueprints, as well as correspondence and journals. (This, of course, requires verifying that they're the designer's work, rather than just assuming it.)
Examine how possible it is for the thing to have come about through natural forces, versus how difficult it would have been to manufacture.
Talk to the people on the assembly line who made it.
Talk to the person who designed the assembly line.
Talk to the person who ordered the raw materials.

Also, "precision" is hardly a precise term. I doubt you mean precision of measurement, which would make an object more likely to be designed the more powerful a microscope we point at it. You seem to be using it in the sports-car analogy, wherein every part is carefully tooled for exactly its purpose, with as little waste as possible. I have never been able to figure out how this analogy is supposed to support the notion that a universe of billions and billions of stars exist simply so that humans on a meager pale blue dot can play out some sort of existential opera revolving around the Middle East and Mediterranean and ultimately ending in a big kerfuffle on that same pale blue dot. I've got the same questions about DNA (SO much unused information), physiology (why do men have nipples?) and on and on.

What if the designer is hidden from you and you couldn't talk to him/her/it. How do you determine something is designed then?

Also the reason men have nipples is because without a nipple a manboob would have no point.....this is obvious.
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16-11-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
how would you determine perfection?

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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16-11-2013, 02:36 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 01:57 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(16-11-2013 06:36 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  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.

There is a big difference between complexity and precision. A complex thing is intricate. A precise thing is exact.

Still doesn't lead to design unless you assume design ahead of time.
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16-11-2013, 03:00 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 02:03 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  What if the designer is hidden from you...
What if there is no designer?

What would life be expected too look like after 3.5 billion years of decent with modification coupled with natural selection?

Animals would come in groups e.g. fish, reptiles, placental mammals, marsupials, monotremes. Historical animals (fossils) would look different to animals of today's time. Animals of a type would be clustered together e.g. marsupials of Australia, flightless birds of New Zealand. Species would be separated by geological "islands". Animal type disbursement would be consistent with continental shift. We would see shared protogenes in closely related animals e.g. Human, Bonobos, Chimpanzee rather than randomly in less related animals, Human, mushroom, spider but not in Bonobos and Chimpanzee.
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