How do atheists identify something as designed?
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17-11-2013, 05:56 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 01:28 PM)Stevil Wrote:  A reasonable indicator for design is to look for gracefully simple solutions to complex problems.

There are "gracefully simple solutions to complex problems" in nature, e.g. the transcription process that produces mRNA.

Quote: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.

Not all of nature's "designs" lack elegance and precision. The problem is that not all of nature's "designs" are elegant and precise and that creates an explanatory problem for ID. The problem is why the replication process of HIV-I is so precise and elegant yet the human genome shows such a large conserved synteny with mice. It is these incongruities--that can't be explained away with reference to the Fall--that are problematic for exponents of ID.

Quote: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...

All of these issues are accounted for in the Judaeo-Christian account of the Fall. This is supposed to be Fallen world so it is supposed to have problems. Problems per se don't count as evidence against supernaturalism.

Quote: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.

Not necessarily. We see a multitude of human designs for the same problem. Compare electric motors with internal combusion engines; compare all the various bridge designs; consider the entire discipline of architecture.
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17-11-2013, 06:41 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
Design also implies control and cognitive decisions regarding its creation. There are plenty of things I create in which I had neither control, nor did I make a cognitive decision regarding the specifics of its creation. A watchmaker has control over the creation of the watch. The maker decides which cogs and which gears to use.

Let's look at your premise in the "design" of human life. If a woman were to become pregnant, her genes, and the genes of her partner create - if all goes well - a human infant.

However, I am not the designer even though I created the infant. I had no say in the matter. I didn't design blue eyes in my infant, it's DNA did. I did not cognitively decide to make blue eyes. The best I could hope for is to cognitively choose a partner that would give me the greatest possibility of blue eyes.

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17-11-2013, 11:10 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
If you take the view that a universal designer crafted everything, so that nothing is natural, then you have a designer of the designer and so on till infinity




Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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17-11-2013, 11:51 AM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(17-11-2013 05:56 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote: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...

All of these issues are accounted for in the Judaeo-Christian account of the Fall. This is supposed to be Fallen world so it is supposed to have problems. Problems per se don't count as evidence against supernaturalism.
Unless of course we can prove that these "problems" existed before the fall of humans. But I was talking about design rather than supernaturalism.

(17-11-2013 05:56 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
Quote: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.

Not necessarily. We see a multitude of human designs for the same problem. Compare electric motors with internal combusion engines; compare all the various bridge designs; consider the entire discipline of architecture.
Human's aren't perfect and all knowing. We have room for improvement and we have desire to be different and inventive. If we were perfect we would only make perfect designs, there is no need to re-invent the wheel when it was done perfectly the first time.
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17-11-2013, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2013 12:31 PM by closet.atheist.)
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
Attempting to answer the question "how do atheists identify something as designed?", I can say that I do not spend my time questioning whether things in the universe are created by god or not. I spend just about zero time trying to disprove the existence of deities, creationism, ID, etc.

It is my conclusion based on everything I have studied that the universe is not designed by a deity, not because I have eliminated all possible conclusions but mine, but because other possibilities have not proven themselves the most likely. If someone wished to present me with specific claims that some phenomenon was the result of supernatural intervention, and I wished to spend my time on evaluating something I consider very unlikely, I'm open to the remote possibility that such a claim is true.

I have spent a lot of time in my life evaluating whether or not my current conclusions are true. It is not necessary to agonize over those conclusions at this point. There are better things to spend my time and mental energy on.
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17-11-2013, 07:30 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.


Your use of the word "precision" here doesn't even make sense.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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17-11-2013, 07:38 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(16-11-2013 02:03 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(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 convenient. Special Pleading Fallacy.
Quote:[quote]Also the reason men have nipples is because without a nipple a manboob would have no point.....this is obvious.

Consider

Observe: noses were made to support spectacles, hence we have spectacles. Legs, as anyone can plainly see, were made to be breeched, and so we have breeches. -- Candide

Heywood Jahblome <------>TMB
Hobo<---------------------->Laughat

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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17-11-2013, 08:03 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
I think Pandora opened that jar before eve ate the apple. At least Pandora was left with a little hopeBig Grin
Makes you feel less like being outed and or self-pitiful and guilt of being knocked out of some exclusive garden club that they will NEVER get back to because of a flaming sword no less. The greeks had a good run, they were remarkably clean for the time and also such advancements in culture, technology, arts, ideas, and architecture. Why? Because they knew they still had that little hope despite all their troublesSmile Ain't that nice?
(oversimplificationbutstillfun)

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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17-11-2013, 09:04 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(17-11-2013 11:10 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  If you take the view that a universal designer crafted everything, so that nothing is natural, then you have a designer of the designer and so on till infinity




GOLD,,, God is an Atheist.

"lightBulb",,,, Invent a religion around The God of God , keep the original canons intact, (hey it worked for Jesus), It's a sure thing, tax free money from endless pre-indoctrinated sheep.

Oh wait, I have morals that can't be twisted by selective interpretations of a fairy tale book.

Would be a good sales pitch though, why go to normal Heaven when you can skip to Heavens Heaven.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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17-11-2013, 09:14 PM
RE: How do atheists identify something as designed?
(17-11-2013 09:04 PM)sporehux Wrote:  
(17-11-2013 11:10 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  If you take the view that a universal designer crafted everything, so that nothing is natural, then you have a designer of the designer and so on till infinity




GOLD,,, God is an Atheist.

"lightBulb",,,, Invent a religion around The God of God , keep the original canons intact, (hey it worked for Jesus), It's a sure thing, tax free money from endless pre-indoctrinated sheep.

Oh wait, I have morals that can't be twisted by selective interpretations of a fairy tale book.

Would be a good sales pitch though, why go to normal Heaven when you can skip to Heavens Heaven.
This reminds me of two greek philosophers.
Who holds the earth up?
Atlas
Who Holds Atlas up?
Turtles
Turtles?
Yes He stands on giant turtles.
So below that is another turtle? What does that turtle stand on?
Another turtle
And beneath that?
Turtles. Turtles all the way down!

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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