The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
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25-04-2012, 05:09 PM
The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
Why not "Intelligent Agents"?

ID theory asks us to look at the complexity of design and draw logical conclusions. Naturally, most of us see complexity as the end result of simple structures that have been built upon over a lot of time --- nobody ever built a skyscraper until after many, many constructions of buildings with fewer floors. But as the building becomes more complex, so does the amount of manpower behind it.

If someone asked me to look at a plant cell and then decide characteristics of the person who made it (assuming that it was made by a person), the first thing that would come to mind is "why only one person"? It's far more probable that there were several minds behind it rather than one. To look at my first analogy, consider the Burj Khalifa, the current tallest building in the world. It required at least 7500 people to build it and over 100 people to design it. Such complexity in design demands complex plans. Why would anyone think it was logical that a complicated design was planned and carried out by one person?

There's a reason that ID theory asks us to look for a single agent, and that's because they have an agenda to have us believe in that agent religiously. However, even if it were true that God was around at the universe's creation, ID theorists have no way of proving that God actually took part in that creation, and furthermore there's little reason to believe that He would have done it alone. Is there a consortium of gods? Skepticism would have us believe in none of them, but we're not being skeptical --- we're under the hypothetical assumption that complexity is the result of intelligence. If the universe was the work of intelligence, it makes much more sense that there was a tremendous amount of intelligence behind it in the form of many, many gods, just as we observe complex designs today to be the result of teams working on them rather than a single mind.

Unfortunately, I wasn't pushed towards this conclusion by ID theorists, even though it makes rational sense if you accept their premise. They have an agenda, and it isn't rational conclusions. Don't expect them to ever offer this conclusion, either.

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25-04-2012, 07:36 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
I like how you think Big Grin

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26-04-2012, 01:22 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
That's a very interesting question. There are two points that you hit on that might provide some insight: intelligence and power.

(25-04-2012 05:09 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  we're under the hypothetical assumption that complexity is the result of intelligence. If the universe was the work of intelligence, it makes much more sense that there was a tremendous amount of intelligence behind it

This is definitely a valid inference to draw. The amount of intelligence that would go into designing a universe like ours would be enormous. You then infer that this makes more sense if it came in the form of many gods. While it's a perfectly valid inference, why is a single god with a vast intelligence also not a valid inference? If it's just a matter of needing a vast amount of intelligence, why is it more likely to be spread around instead of in a single mind? Obviously, our minds are quite finite, and can't come close to being on that level of intelligence, but who's to say that a god might not have ridiculously higher intelligence, high enough to be above the threshold necessary to design the universe?

Sometimes very complex things do require many minds working together, like mathematicians solving complex problems in groups or physicists determining complex theories by teams. But sometime a single mind can come along and do something ridiculously complex, like Newton developing calculus (or Liebniz, if you prefer) or Einstein developing Relativity.

(25-04-2012 05:09 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  But as the building becomes more complex, so does the amount of manpower behind it.

The question of power really involves multiple issues: resources and efficiency fit in there as well. And again the idea of multiple designers is a perfectly valid inference to make. But could a single designer also not be a valid inference? For example, typically a house is built by an entire team of construction workers. But I personally know of someone who built their own home entirely by himself. It took years, but it was done. It's just a question of time - which is a resource. As well, efficiency comes into play with how resources are used best. But if a single person had the time, he could build something much bigger than a house. If he had enough time and resources, he could build huge structures.

Translate that to a god. What if a god had extensive amounts of time, or even an infinite amount? What if he had extensive, or even infinite resources? If so, then the question of efficiency even goes out the window - why would the process of design and creation need to be efficient if the designer/creator had infinite time and resources?

There are also valid reasons to consider a single designer. A single designer would likely use similar design techniques across the design: common DNA structure and language, single source physical laws (i.e., there is only one law of gravity), etc. A host of designers would likely show a number of different design techniques. Consider a painting that was painted by 10 different painters each doing a different part - it would likely look quite different from a painting done by one painter only, and you'd probably be able to detect the different styles, and where one's work stopped and the next started. Some people think the specifics of the design can give good clues about the designer(s).

You make very good points, and valid inferences. I would think, though, that they wouldn't necessarily preclude the possibility of a single god.

As for ID itself, ultimately I don't see it speaking to the attributes of the designer(s). It doesn't really say much at all about that. ID simply speaks to the fact that a) we are able to detect design; and b) we do detect such design in various forms in the universe. Certain ID proponents will come from different backgrounds and then use other means to argue for certain aspects of the designer(s), but that's the next step. ID itself doesn't go that far. It simply states that there must be a designing agent of some type.

ID is really no more than a scientific application of Theism at it's most basic level - we see enough evidence to know that there is something. People are left to go from that point on their own. If someone accepts the premise of ID, and comes to the conclusion that there must be a designer(s), it's only natural to then try and search for details or information about such a designer(s).
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26-04-2012, 04:43 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(26-04-2012 01:22 AM)SixForty Wrote:  That's a very interesting question. There are two points that you hit on that might provide some insight: intelligence and power.

(25-04-2012 05:09 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  we're under the hypothetical assumption that complexity is the result of intelligence. If the universe was the work of intelligence, it makes much more sense that there was a tremendous amount of intelligence behind it

This is definitely a valid inference to draw. The amount of intelligence that would go into designing a universe like ours would be enormous. You then infer that this makes more sense if it came in the form of many gods. While it's a perfectly valid inference, why is a single god with a vast intelligence also not a valid inference? If it's just a matter of needing a vast amount of intelligence, why is it more likely to be spread around instead of in a single mind? Obviously, our minds are quite finite, and can't come close to being on that level of intelligence, but who's to say that a god might not have ridiculously higher intelligence, high enough to be above the threshold necessary to design the universe?

Sometimes very complex things do require many minds working together, like mathematicians solving complex problems in groups or physicists determining complex theories by teams. But sometime a single mind can come along and do something ridiculously complex, like Newton developing calculus (or Liebniz, if you prefer) or Einstein developing Relativity.

(25-04-2012 05:09 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  But as the building becomes more complex, so does the amount of manpower behind it.

The question of power really involves multiple issues: resources and efficiency fit in there as well. And again the idea of multiple designers is a perfectly valid inference to make. But could a single designer also not be a valid inference? For example, typically a house is built by an entire team of construction workers. But I personally know of someone who built their own home entirely by himself. It took years, but it was done. It's just a question of time - which is a resource. As well, efficiency comes into play with how resources are used best. But if a single person had the time, he could build something much bigger than a house. If he had enough time and resources, he could build huge structures.

Translate that to a god. What if a god had extensive amounts of time, or even an infinite amount? What if he had extensive, or even infinite resources? If so, then the question of efficiency even goes out the window - why would the process of design and creation need to be efficient if the designer/creator had infinite time and resources?

There are also valid reasons to consider a single designer. A single designer would likely use similar design techniques across the design: common DNA structure and language, single source physical laws (i.e., there is only one law of gravity), etc. A host of designers would likely show a number of different design techniques. Consider a painting that was painted by 10 different painters each doing a different part - it would likely look quite different from a painting done by one painter only, and you'd probably be able to detect the different styles, and where one's work stopped and the next started. Some people think the specifics of the design can give good clues about the designer(s).

You make very good points, and valid inferences. I would think, though, that they wouldn't necessarily preclude the possibility of a single god.

As for ID itself, ultimately I don't see it speaking to the attributes of the designer(s). It doesn't really say much at all about that. ID simply speaks to the fact that a) we are able to detect design; and b) we do detect such design in various forms in the universe. Certain ID proponents will come from different backgrounds and then use other means to argue for certain aspects of the designer(s), but that's the next step. ID itself doesn't go that far. It simply states that there must be a designing agent of some type.

ID is really no more than a scientific application of Theism at it's most basic level - we see enough evidence to know that there is something. People are left to go from that point on their own. If someone accepts the premise of ID, and comes to the conclusion that there must be a designer(s), it's only natural to then try and search for details or information about such a designer(s).
If you accept ID theory, it is certainly possible that design and creation are the work of a single agent... but it's not probable. If we're drawing conclusions based on our experience, then it's fair to say that we see complexity result from teams more often than a single entity. I'm not trying to prove that it can't be a single entity, but that this is the less likely conclusion... and furthermore it's a conclusion that ID theorists have made no attempt to push us towards.

You know why ID was shot down in the Dover trial? It's partly because the judge ruled that it was creationism in disguise, and the establishment clause of the first amendment prohibits the teaching of religion in science class. If ID theorists had been trying to further this principal based on the evidence, we would have conclusions such as this one that is evidence against interest. If they had done this, then the judge probably wouldn't have seen it as an attempt to sneak in religious beliefs. But as you've made clear, ID theorists ultimately want us to believe in a single god.

Just as atheists can't disprove God, you also have no logical basis from disproving the existence of other gods. Why can't you accept that it's possible that several gods are behind the work that you see as coming from one god? It certainly makes more logical sense. But I don't think your beliefs come from evidence; it's upbringing and indoctrination. You were taught that one god has infinite power, and although you've never observed infinite power in your world, you thought it was perfectly reasonable because someone said it was true.

Or, you could come to the conclusion that we skeptics have... that there are natural means behind everything we see, and not a single god is necessary to explain anything.

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26-04-2012, 08:47 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
The IDers can only argue as far as "an intelligence guided evolution" and stay in the scientific realm.
This is easily disproven as evolutions clearly shows how it moves through changes without need of guidence.
Every hurdle that evolution is not supposed to be able to clear it clears.
The argument is over. No god created anything as an end product.
Not the universe, not humans beings, not little green men in spacecrafts.
Game over. Thanks for playing.

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The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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28-04-2012, 10:12 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(26-04-2012 01:22 AM)SixForty Wrote:  ID is really no more than a scientific application of Theism at it's most basic level -

- pimping creationism to schoolchildren when the human animal is most susceptible to indoctrination. Tongue

I see a whole bunch of if leading only to a presupposition of your then. That ain't scientific. That's taking a conclusion and calling it an observation. Everybody forgets the canvas, thinking the pigment is the painting.

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30-04-2012, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 30-04-2012 04:28 PM by SixForty.)
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I'm not trying to prove that it can't be a single entity, but that this is the less likely conclusion.

Given your premise as the only one, I might agree with you. You've made a powerfully valid point. But as I mentioned, there are many other valid reasons that would point to a single designer vs multiple designers. These reasons come from both the scientific realm and the historical realm, and even the philosophical realm. And I think a lot of IDers would accept that they tip the balance.

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  and furthermore it's a conclusion that ID theorists have made no attempt to push us towards.

I would hazard a guess that it's because, once they have come to the conclusion that the theory of design is correct, they go looking for the designer(s). And the ones who consider that question keep coming up with a single designer instead of multiple ones.

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  If they had done this, then the judge probably wouldn't have seen it as an attempt to sneak in religious beliefs. But as you've made clear, ID theorists ultimately want us to believe in a single god.

As I said, once a person accepts the theory of design, then the next step is a search for the designer(s). Would you be more satisfied if they threw up their hands and said "We've proven that the universe and all life is the product of design, but we're tired, and we're going to stop there. The identity of any designer(s) is not really that important". Is that what you would expect from a scientifically inquiring type of mind? Is that what you would do in their shoes?

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Just as atheists can't disprove God, you also have no logical basis from disproving the existence of other gods. Why can't you accept that it's possible that several gods are behind the work that you see as coming from one god? It certainly makes more logical sense. But I don't think your beliefs come from evidence; it's upbringing and indoctrination. You were taught that one god has infinite power, and although you've never observed infinite power in your world, you thought it was perfectly reasonable because someone said it was true.

As mentioned, I personally have plenty of reasons to consider one God only. And I have plenty of reasons to deny other gods. All logical, all rational, all with sufficient support. And contrary to your statement, my beliefs come from evidence from all directions. It wasn't upbringing (I walked away from my upbringing as soon as I could) and it's definitely not indoctrination - I'm the type who often has to learn the hard way by studying and trying things on my own!

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Or, you could come to the conclusion that we skeptics have... that there are natural means behind everything we see, and not a single god is necessary to explain anything.

Personally, I'm just too skeptical of that claim! Smile

(26-04-2012 08:47 PM)Thomas Wrote:  Every hurdle that evolution is not supposed to be able to clear it clears.

Circular reasoning at it's best. If we assume evolution cleared the hurdles, then we can see that evolution cleared the hurdles. Well done! While we're at it, explain to me how evolution developed a multilayered, bidirectional, syntactical information system? Oh wait, that's right. We evolved, therefore evolution did it.

(28-04-2012 10:12 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  - pimping creationism to schoolchildren when the human animal is most susceptible to indoctrination. Tongue

I see a whole bunch of if leading only to a presupposition of your then. That ain't scientific. That's taking a conclusion and calling it an observation. Everybody forgets the canvas, thinking the pigment is the painting.

Are you kidding me? That's all evolution does! It takes data, filters it through a presuppositional philosophy, and presents a belief as if it were fact! And it does it at the very level you claim when the human animal is most susceptible to indoctrination. Just look at the poor state of the education system today - cranking out all these dogmatically indoctrinated graduates who simply swallow the scientifically and philosophically bankrupt theory of evolution while ignoring the house of cards which it is built from as it crashes down around them. It's so sad to watch - I would give anything I could to help people see the truth.
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30-04-2012, 05:17 PM (This post was last modified: 30-04-2012 05:28 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
The universe was designed by the great 3 year old digital alien, playing with her universe toy set.

Her divine ladyship is named Wendy Sue. She is part of the Wendy Trinity. Her supporters state "there are many other valid reasons that would point to a single designer vs multiple designers", then forget to mention one. They they are delusional enough to think these "reasons come from both the scientific realm and the historical realm, and even the philosophical realm", and again conveniently to mention them.

"Would you be more satisfied if they threw up their hands and said "We've proven that the universe and all life is the product of design, but we're tired, and we're going to stop there".

Wendy Sue is happy with that, because you didn't. Wendy Sue teaches that perceiving patterns is evidence for and proof of design, even though it has been proven, they arise spontaneously.

"Why can't you accept that it's possible that several gods are behind the work that you see as coming from one god?"

Finaly someone gets it. There is an entire family of Wendy gods. Wendy Sue, Wendy Lou, and her eternally begotten daughter, Wendy Do. Each one is a generation older, each created the next generation of god-children. Each got a universe-making-set for Christmas.

"I personally have plenty of reasons to consider one God only. And I have plenty of reasons to deny other gods. All logical, all rational, all with sufficient support. And contrary to your statement, my beliefs come from evidence from all directions."

So are Wendy Sue's. Wendy Sue teaches that saying something makes it so. That's why our dear little Wendy god made the moon of green cheese. It bears witness of her great, inifinite Wendy Sue cheesiness.

I don't understand complexity, therefore Wendy Sue must have done it.

Wendy Sue's evil opponents state that theories are strawman "facts".

Praise be to Wendy Sue.



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01-05-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(30-04-2012 04:25 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I'm not trying to prove that it can't be a single entity, but that this is the less likely conclusion.

Given your premise as the only one, I might agree with you. You've made a powerfully valid point. But as I mentioned, there are many other valid reasons that would point to a single designer vs multiple designers. These reasons come from both the scientific realm and the historical realm, and even the philosophical realm. And I think a lot of IDers would accept that they tip the balance.

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  and furthermore it's a conclusion that ID theorists have made no attempt to push us towards.

I would hazard a guess that it's because, once they have come to the conclusion that the theory of design is correct, they go looking for the designer(s). And the ones who consider that question keep coming up with a single designer instead of multiple ones.

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  If they had done this, then the judge probably wouldn't have seen it as an attempt to sneak in religious beliefs. But as you've made clear, ID theorists ultimately want us to believe in a single god.

As I said, once a person accepts the theory of design, then the next step is a search for the designer(s). Would you be more satisfied if they threw up their hands and said "We've proven that the universe and all life is the product of design, but we're tired, and we're going to stop there. The identity of any designer(s) is not really that important". Is that what you would expect from a scientifically inquiring type of mind? Is that what you would do in their shoes?

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Just as atheists can't disprove God, you also have no logical basis from disproving the existence of other gods. Why can't you accept that it's possible that several gods are behind the work that you see as coming from one god? It certainly makes more logical sense. But I don't think your beliefs come from evidence; it's upbringing and indoctrination. You were taught that one god has infinite power, and although you've never observed infinite power in your world, you thought it was perfectly reasonable because someone said it was true.

As mentioned, I personally have plenty of reasons to consider one God only. And I have plenty of reasons to deny other gods. All logical, all rational, all with sufficient support. And contrary to your statement, my beliefs come from evidence from all directions. It wasn't upbringing (I walked away from my upbringing as soon as I could) and it's definitely not indoctrination - I'm the type who often has to learn the hard way by studying and trying things on my own!

(26-04-2012 04:43 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  Or, you could come to the conclusion that we skeptics have... that there are natural means behind everything we see, and not a single god is necessary to explain anything.

Personally, I'm just too skeptical of that claim! Smile

You said several times that there is reasoning behind a single creator rather than several --- "I personally have several reasons to believe in one God only" --- but you didn't support it with evidence. You claim to have several reasons and you didn't even provide one. What am I supposed to do with that? Do you assume that I'll just take you at your word?

I explained why a complex design leads us to believe in several designers and engineers... that's what we personally observe. A comparatively simple design like a sundial could very well be designed and created by the same one person. A wristwatch is not. The more complex the design, the more people that are required to design and build.

Belief in a single entity that is omniscient or omnipotent in order to carry out these tasks alone is not observed, because we have zero examples of omniscience or omnipotence (unless you want to cite "God", in which case you are begging the question by assuming the conclusion as a premise).

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02-05-2012, 12:29 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(01-05-2012 07:22 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You said several times that there is reasoning behind a single creator rather than several --- "I personally have several reasons to believe in one God only" --- but you didn't support it with evidence. You claim to have several reasons and you didn't even provide one. What am I supposed to do with that? Do you assume that I'll just take you at your word?

Well, quite frankly, I did. Back in my first post (it was post #3 in this thread) I'll quote it again here for you:

SixForty Wrote:There are also valid reasons to consider a single designer. A single designer would likely use similar design techniques across the design: common DNA structure and language, single source physical laws (i.e., there is only one law of gravity), etc. A host of designers would likely show a number of different design techniques. Consider a painting that was painted by 10 different painters each doing a different part - it would likely look quite different from a painting done by one painter only, and you'd probably be able to detect the different styles, and where one's work stopped and the next started. Some people think the specifics of the design can give good clues about the designer(s).

I provided valid examples on the same level of thought and depth as your initial reasoning for multiple designers. If you had wanted a more thorough discussion, you would probably have been more likely to get it had you provided a more thorough initial premise.

As for my second post (#7), I didn't provide reasons or examples because you weren't discussing the topic, you were attacking me personally. You claimed I didn't accept that the premise of several gods was possible, when in my first post I clearly did not dismiss your premise. Everything I said in that post left it open as a possibility. You also attacked my upbringing, claiming indoctrination. You assumed that I was taught certain things and accepted them with blind faith. So when someone makes a claim like that, I don't really feel the need to answer them with complete detailed refutations.

(01-05-2012 07:22 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Belief in a single entity that is omniscient or omnipotent in order to carry out these tasks alone is not observed, because we have zero examples of omniscience or omnipotence (unless you want to cite "God", in which case you are begging the question by assuming the conclusion as a premise).


If you look back at my first post again, my initial comment didn't even consider omniscience. I simply referred to a higher intelligence that was above the threshold necessary to design the universe. The same would be true for omnipotence - it wouldn't necessarily be needed. If we look at it, the universe is a finite entity. Therefore, it seems logical that there is a finite level of knowledge that went into the design, and a finite level of power that went into it's creation. What's to stop us from postulating a designer who has a finite amount of knowledge and power that are simply above those levels?

Or let's look at it another way. I'm going to assume that you don't think there was an infinite number of designers here. If you want to postulate that there was, let me know. So for now let's say that there were N designers. Now let's find the most intelligent one. We'll label his level of knowledge K, and all others have a knowledge level less than K. Next, we find the most powerful designer. We'll label his level of power P, and all others have a power level less than P. Now, it seems to me that the cumulative total of knowledge and power for the set of designers you've postulated would be less than {N*K, N*P}. The question then becomes, can we simply postulate a single designer whose level of knowledge is N*K and level of power is N*P? Such a designer would be sufficient to do the job, but is definitely neither omniscient nor omnipotent. Would you agree?


Now, we could start slinging accusations back and forth of logical fallacies and such, but since you and I have had thoughtful and productive conversations before, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. And I'll give you the reasoning and evidence that you are looking for.

First of all, I'm not going to bother trying to defend the concept of ID here. From this point, we'll assume ID is true and points to a designer or designers. I think this is fair, given your initial post. Your question is mainly, "Why come to the conclusion of a single designer instead of multiple designers?" So the choice is one vs multiple. I hope you will accept this as a fair starting point to discuss the question you've brought up.

So if we accept the fact that we can determine if something has been designed, we want to know if it is possible to determine with a sufficient level of certainty whether or not two separate things were designed by the same designer, or by different designers. I believe that it is possible, through careful study of the things in question. (I'm going to use the word "things" here loosely, but you will see why as we go along.) I'll give you 3 examples of circumstances where we as humans use our ability to determine a common designer or a different designer.

The first example is paintings. A highly educated art critic can often look at a painting and tell you "that was painted by X". They can determine who the painter was without any hints, just by looking at it. Often a painter will use certain style, composition, brush strokes and colours which form a unique combination that becomes a type of signature. These elements of the painting are observable and testable by the art critic, and form a basis for their opinion. The similarity of highly complex features is strong evidence that they come from the same source. The chance combination of the same features by another painter would be highly unlikely. That same art critic can also look at a second painting and tell you "that was NOT painted by X". They can describe the various elements of the painting which differ from the painter's style, and why they come to the conclusion for a different painter for the second painting than the first. And this is not just something that I am making up on a whim - big money and big business is based on these concepts. The field of art restoration uses such concepts to ensure that restored paintings retain the look, feel, and style of the original painter as much as possible. Also, these concepts are used in the area of art forgery - first by the forger to make the best product they can, and second by investigators, to determine if a painting is a forgery or is authentic.

The second example is computer software. Like painters, programmers will often have their own style. Whether it be variable naming conventions, syntax, or use of specific favoured constructs or subroutines, programmers can leave a type of signature (over and above any intentional signature that may be left!) The project manager for a software development team can sometimes tell which one of the programmers wrote a specific section of code just by looking at the code itself. Again, the similarity of highly complex features implies the same source. This concept is used in the real world when tracking computer crimes. For example, programmers who write software viruses often leave behind a specific signature (explicit or implied) which can be used to tie a virus down to a certain programmer.

The third example is criminal investigations. Suppose a there is a run of murders in a city. After a couple of such crimes, police will begin to look for similarities to see if the crimes may be related. Maybe each murder was committed by suffocation. Maybe each victim had similar burn marks from a taser that may have rendered them helpless. Maybe each murder occurred on a Thursday night, each victim was a waitress at a coffee shop, and their bodies were found in a ditch next to the freeway. There are many details which may all align, and as such, the police will come to the belief that a single person is responsible for all the murders. They will then use this same set of common elements to compare the next murder to decide if it too was committed by the same person. But if the next murder has some of the features (i.e., coffee shop waitress, burn marks) but not others, (found stabbed in her apartment on a Sunday) the police may then suspect a different killer. It may be entirely unrelated. If more of the features line up, it may be a copycat. Or maybe enough convinces them that it is the same killer who has changed their pattern for some reason. But ultimately, they are using the concept of similar features to determine a single killer. And this is used in law enforcement all the time. It's even used to charge people with crimes for which there is no direct evidence, but there was direct evidence for similar crimes, so it's likely they committed the one in question also.

So those are 3 strong examples of ways in which we use evidence to make a determination whether a "thing" (painting/software code/murder) is the result of a single "designer" (painter/programmer/murderer). We could go through numerous other examples (i.e., writers, architects, gardeners, etc) but they would all come back to the same process. The thing in question will have certain features or elements to it. Those elements are all based on the designer, and the combination of a large enough number of them is enough to determine uniqueness of a designer.

Now if we take this back to the issue of life, IDers would point to numerous aspects of biology to show such similarities across effectively all living things. For example: the cell as the basic unit of life; carbon as the backbone element of life; DNA as the method of trait inheritance; the language of the genetic code; the expression of the information in DNA as proteins through an RNA intermediary; the exclusive use of left-handed amino acids in proteins; the bi-layered construction of cell membranes; the common use of such biological elements as ATP, riboflavin, vitamins B12 and K, and folic acid across metabolic processes. And these are only on the basic, low level of comparison. It's not to mention high level comparisons such as morphology, behaviour, or ecology. All of such similarities would be good grounds for accepting a single designer. The chance correlation of so many different elements across all life if there were multiple designers seems highly unlikely.

Basically, you can look at it like this: if the concept of ID is accepted, then ANY evidence or reasoning that pointed to a common ancestor under evolution would now point to a common designer under ID. To take it further, some might say that any evidence or reasoning for multiple designers under ID would probably support the idea of multiple original ancestors under evolution. But I'm not sure many evolutionists would like that idea.

So, that's the scientific side of it. I think those would all be good evidence and reasoning for accepting a single designer over multiple designers. Is it conclusive? Not at all. Does it tip the scales to the side of one as opposed to the side of multiple? I think so.

As mentioned, I also think there would be compelling historical and philosophical reasons for accepting a single designer. I won't go into them in too much detail, but I will lay them out for you. Remember, at this point, the premise is that ID had already been accepted, and we are just looking at the question of one designer vs multiple designers.

As for historical reasons, I think you'd likely agree that the history of the monotheistic religions of the world have a much larger and stronger tradition than any polytheistic religions. If we go looking through history for the answer to the question of one designer vs multiple, so much will fall to the side of the one. Whether it's historical support for what's written in various holy books, or simply the foundation and growth of certain belief systems, the monotheistic religions have a significantly stronger and more developed history.

As for philosophical reasons, I'll quickly present two. I think Occam's Razor would lend support to the idea of one designer as opposed to many. If it's possible to envision a single designer that could do it all, why increase plurality without necessity? In addition, the concept of infinite regress termination may be considered. It's the age old question of who designed the designer/designers? If ultimately there is a termination point to avoid an infinite regress, it makes more sense to have such a termination point at a single entity than a group of entities. A group leads to all the same "who designed the designers" question, along with postulating more: what is the structure of the group, how did it come together, etc, etc? Both Occam's Razor and the infinite regress termination would, in my opinion, point to a single designer.

So when you add all that up, the scientific, historical, and philosophical, I think there's a strong case for making the rational determination of a single designer. Is it conclusive? Definitely not. Is there a possibility for multiple designers? Absolutely. As you've shown, there are good reasons for accepting that idea as well.
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