Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
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29-08-2014, 05:00 AM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2014 05:03 AM by phil.a.)
Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
The theist transcendent/immanent perspective is that reality consists of (a) God and (b) everything that God created.

So from the big picture, reality is a God/Stuff system.

Godel's incompleteness theorem is a mathematical theorem which proves mathematically that it is not possible to describe a system in terms of itself. The maths itself is a bit complicated but the premise really isn't that complicated and may be intuited in the following mind experiment:

If I have a container, and I want to store it in another container, that 2nd container will need to be bigger than the container that I want to store. It's not possible to put a box inside another identical box, it simply won't fit.

Swap "container" for "descriptive system" and the same situation exists. If I have a descriptive system, I cannot use that discriptive system to describe (e.g. "contain") itself. A system can itself only be described in terms of a further more complex system.

And yet - this error of describing a system in terms of itself is precisely what "intelligent design" sets out to do, because it is describing the God/Stuff system using no more than what's available in the God/Stuff system.

Godel's theory proves mathematically that it's not possible to do this, therefore "intelligent design" is demonstrably meaningless.

This does not prove god does not exist, just simply that the Intelligent Design argument is meaningless.

Important note: any counter-argument to Intelligent Design that is conducted on it's own terms (e.g. attempting to offer evidence that proves god does not exist) is also meaningless, because the premise itself is meaningless.

So if you debate Intelligent Design on it's own terms, you're making the same mistake as the Intelligent design people. The only winning move is not to play!

Don't waste your time engaging with the argument. Rather, simply dismiss it.

So where does "intelligent design" come from in fact? My view is that it's a result of what Karl Popper might call a theory-laden analysis of the evidence, e.g. it's based on a looking at reality from the axiom that God exists (e.g. the position takes as an axiom the conclusion it attempts to prove). So it's nothing more than a projection of the theist's pre-existing belief.

Phil
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29-08-2014, 05:32 AM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2014 05:43 AM by Free Thought.)
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
Yes... Well...

"I have feels. And they matter!"

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
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29-08-2014, 05:54 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 05:32 AM)Free Thought Wrote:  Yes... Well...

"I have feels. And they matter!"

Yes I agree! What I am trying to do here though is clearly differentiate emotion from reason, because in a sense - the premise for the "intelligent design" argument is that these separate dimensions of human knowing haven't been clearly differentiated.

I've already argued elsewhere that feelings and emotions are fundamental knowings of reality that can't be ignored in a complete model of reality, but that's a separate issue.

Phil
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29-08-2014, 06:31 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 05:00 AM)phil.a Wrote:  ...
Godel's incompleteness theorem
...
e.g. the position takes as an axiom the conclusion it attempts to prove
...

Yabut, the flaw in Godel's reasoning is that maths is axiomatic.

Therefore, god.

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29-08-2014, 06:35 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 05:00 AM)phil.a Wrote:  The theist transcendent/immanent perspective is that reality consists of (a) God and (b) everything that God created.

So from the big picture, reality is a God/Stuff system.

Godel's incompleteness theorem is a mathematical theorem which proves mathematically that it is not possible to describe a system in terms of itself. The maths itself is a bit complicated but the premise really isn't that complicated and may be intuited in the following mind experiment:

If I have a container, and I want to store it in another container, that 2nd container will need to be bigger than the container that I want to store. It's not possible to put a box inside another identical box, it simply won't fit.

Swap "container" for "descriptive system" and the same situation exists. If I have a descriptive system, I cannot use that discriptive system to describe (e.g. "contain") itself. A system can itself only be described in terms of a further more complex system.

And yet - this error of describing a system in terms of itself is precisely what "intelligent design" sets out to do, because it is describing the God/Stuff system using no more than what's available in the God/Stuff system.

Godel's theory proves mathematically that it's not possible to do this, therefore "intelligent design" is demonstrably meaningless.

This does not prove god does not exist, just simply that the Intelligent Design argument is meaningless.

Important note: any counter-argument to Intelligent Design that is conducted on it's own terms (e.g. attempting to offer evidence that proves god does not exist) is also meaningless, because the premise itself is meaningless.

So if you debate Intelligent Design on it's own terms, you're making the same mistake as the Intelligent design people. The only winning move is not to play!

Don't waste your time engaging with the argument. Rather, simply dismiss it.

So where does "intelligent design" come from in fact? My view is that it's a result of what Karl Popper might call a theory-laden analysis of the evidence, e.g. it's based on a looking at reality from the axiom that God exists (e.g. the position takes as an axiom the conclusion it attempts to prove). So it's nothing more than a projection of the theist's pre-existing belief.

Phil

You can make the analogy, but Gödel's Theorems don't actually say, or really imply, that.

So, no, one cannot use Gödel's Theorems to disprove ID.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-08-2014, 07:11 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 06:31 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(29-08-2014 05:00 AM)phil.a Wrote:  ...
Godel's incompleteness theorem
...
e.g. the position takes as an axiom the conclusion it attempts to prove
...

Yabut, the flaw in Godel's reasoning is that maths is axiomatic.

Therefore, god.

It does not matter.

It's true that maths is axiomatic, but the axiom is the same as the axiom used in theories of Intelligent Design. Because both use the same axiom, when using one to disprove the other, the axioms cancel out.

Phil
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29-08-2014, 07:15 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 06:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  You can make the analogy, but Gödel's Theorems don't actually say, or really imply, that.

So, no, one cannot use Gödel's Theorems to disprove ID.

You seem to be saying that because you don't find the analogy accurate, this therefore means that my overall claim is false.

If that is what you are saying, I think it contains an error of reasoning.

Phil
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29-08-2014, 07:17 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 07:15 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(29-08-2014 06:35 AM)Chas Wrote:  You can make the analogy, but Gödel's Theorems don't actually say, or really imply, that.

So, no, one cannot use Gödel's Theorems to disprove ID.

You seem to be saying that because you don't find the analogy accurate, this therefore means that my overall claim is false.

If that is what you are saying, I think it contains an error of reasoning.

Phil


No, I am saying that you are welcome to make an analogy, but Gödel's Theorems do not disprove ID. They simply aren't applicable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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29-08-2014, 07:29 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 07:17 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(29-08-2014 07:15 AM)phil.a Wrote:  You seem to be saying that because you don't find the analogy accurate, this therefore means that my overall claim is false.

If that is what you are saying, I think it contains an error of reasoning.

Phil


No, I am saying that you are welcome to make an analogy, but Gödel's Theorems do not disprove ID. They simply aren't applicable.

OK (perhaps this is what you mean but) I am not saying that they disprove ID, but rather that they invalidate ID.

If that is what you mean, can you explain why they aren't applicable?

Phil
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29-08-2014, 11:35 AM
RE: Mathematical proof "intelligent design" is meaningless
(29-08-2014 07:29 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(29-08-2014 07:17 AM)Chas Wrote:  No, I am saying that you are welcome to make an analogy, but Gödel's Theorems do not disprove ID. They simply aren't applicable.

OK (perhaps this is what you mean but) I am not saying that they disprove ID, but rather that they invalidate ID.

If that is what you mean, can you explain why they aren't applicable?

Phil

Chas can probably give you a more detailed answer (if he hasn't gotten weary of this whole argument), but briefly, Gödel's Theorems make very specific statements about formal systems in logic and mathematics, and they don't apply to anything beyond that. In particular, they don't apply to science, theology, metaphysics, or anything in "real life" -- none of these are formal systems. You keep trying to apply Gödel's Theorems to areas that are way beyond their scope, and you just can't do that. It's like saying arithmetic invalidates Moby-Dick. They have nothing to do with each other.

As to the thread title, mathematical proof also doesn't apply to anything outside of mathematics. Science is basically an inductive process -- it doesn't "prove" things in the same way that mathematicians and logicians do. Mathematical theorems are absolutely true (given the axioms on which they are based), and true for all time. Science is always open to revision.
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