The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
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03-05-2012, 05:59 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
Oh that is simple. Life on this planet was one of several science projects created by some alien kids from another universe.

They may come back in a few thousand years to check on the progress.

I doubt they'll like what humans have done to the planet and thus may start over with a model that precludes humans from emerging.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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03-05-2012, 06:21 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(03-05-2012 05:59 PM)Dom Wrote:  Oh that is simple. Life on this planet was one of several science projects created by some alien kids from another universe.

They may come back in a few thousand years to check on the progress.

I doubt they'll like what humans have done to the planet and thus may start over with a model that precludes humans from emerging.


Exactly. And one of their names was Wendy Sue, (as I said a few pages back).

For the feeble minded ... the ID argument does not lead to YOUR god.

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Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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04-05-2012, 01:09 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(03-05-2012 06:21 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(03-05-2012 05:59 PM)Dom Wrote:  Oh that is simple. Life on this planet was one of several science projects created by some alien kids from another universe.

They may come back in a few thousand years to check on the progress.

I doubt they'll like what humans have done to the planet and thus may start over with a model that precludes humans from emerging.


Exactly. And one of their names was Wendy Sue, (as I said a few pages back).

For the feeble minded ... the ID argument does not lead to YOUR god.
Unfortunately, creationists tend to feel safe in the assumption that, because Christianity is so widespread, once someone accepts the idea of "there must be a designer to the universe", it's a fairly small leap to say "that designer is the God of the Bible". The idea that the universe may have multiple designers throws a giant wrench into that idea, which is why I really want to see one of these creationists get on a talk show with someone that, out of the blue, asks why they don't propose a committee of designers. The whole idea is preposterous, and there's no proof beyond sheer ignorance, so there's also no way to prove that there's only one designer without pointing to the identity of that designer as god.

And once you think about it, and accept the idea that all the designers use the DNA system as a baseline but otherwise the committee doesn't have to agree on everything, you can see quite a few other examples. For instance, monotremes - animals that lay eggs, but in all other respects are mammals. It's like the designer that made them missed part of the meeting when they were laying out the rules for mammals. And variations of the same family of animal (such as wolves, foxes, and household dogs) can also be explained by different individual designers working on their own after the group listed the rules for what a canine must be.
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06-05-2012, 06:26 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2012 06:41 PM by SixForty.)
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(02-05-2012 03:40 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Behe? Guy's a total tool. Dembski? Even worse. Who's left?

Well, if your strategy is to simply call people names, you definitely don't seem open to rational thought on the issue. There's probably no point in listing people like Philip Johnson, Dean Kenyon, Paul Nelson, Stephen Meyer or Jonathan Wells. There's no reason to point out that even an agnostic/atheist like Michael Denton writes about the aspects of design. And it's really doubtful that you'd consider reading things by creationists written from a more general ID standpoint like: In the Beginning Was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt; Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome by Dr. John Sanford; The Biotic Message by Walter James Remine; or By Design by Dr Jonathan Sarfati. You'd probably just call them all tools also. But given that you could only mention 2 IDers, it pretty much proved the point that you haven't really looked into it all that much.
(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  But for some reason you assume that the person with the greatest amount of knowledge must know everything that people with lesser knowledge know. This doesn't make sense.

You misunderstood the application I was making. And that may likely be my fault for the terminology that I was using. I'll try to clear that up. The 'person' with the greatest amount of knowledge doesn't know everything that everyone else knows, they just know a larger amount. The amount of data stored in their 'brain' is larger. I used that only as a way of saying everyone else's is less, so that we can find an upper bound. Then N multiplied by this upper bound must be sufficiently great to have all knowledge, even if there is no overlap at all in each of the member's knowledge. N times K will be at least as large as all the knowledge contained by the group you propose, and such a number is finite by definition.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Even though you have more combined knowledge than any one member, that doesn't make you the ultimate authority on every aspect. Nor should we expect that.

This is true. However, it doesn't preclude the possibility that a single entity could actually have all the same level of knowledge as each individual expert.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  When examining power, just because you can crank out more output than any one team member, that doesn't mean that you can finish the whole project faster than the rest of the team combined.

Who says it needs to be 'faster'?

You see, your comparisons are being made from a group of 'people' to a single 'person', who is by his/her very nature on the same 'level' of ability as the others. This doesn't really give the analogy justice, as we are talking about comparing a committee of 'designers' to a single 'designer' who would be on a higher 'level' of ability. I'm not talking about one designer being able to do the work of 1000 designers similar to him/her. I'm talking about a designer who simply has all the capability of the other 1000 combined. Maybe a better comparison would be a single adult being able to put together a piece of furniture better then a dozen 9 year olds. I'm not conjecturing for just one 9 year old 'designer' being a better explanation than a dozen 9 year old 'designers', I'm conjecturing that one adult 'designer' would be a better explanation than that dozen 9 year old 'designers'.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Now I didn't explain why omniscience or omnipotence would be assumed, so let me explain that now. If one person is in charge of designing the whole universe, that person would have to know every aspect of the universe, correct? And they'd also have to be able to put their design into practice on every aspect of the universe. Omniscience (defined here as knowing everything there is to know) and omnipotence (defined here as being able to do anything possible to do) are natural assumptions if the given is that the universe is the product of one agent.

I think we have slightly different concepts of omni here. Yours seems to lead to "knowing everything there is to know about the universe" whereas mine is broader - infinite, as stated in my original post (double check). Even on your definition, you claim I can't postulate a god who has all knowledge and power, and yet you are allowed to postulate a committee that has such? If you accept that the level of knowledge and power required to design and create the universe is finite, and can be contained within a group of designers, why can that same finite level of knowledge and power not be contained within a single, more knowledgable and more powerful individual?

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I think it's very unlikely that someone could wander through the building and point out the aspects of each designer.

Maybe not to the level that you are looking at, to identify who did what. But it might very well be possible to point to two things and say, a different person did this one than the person who did that one. As a brief example, imagine an electrical inspector going around looking at wire splicing - some could be twisted in one direction, and others in the other direction. They may conclude that the first group were done by a left handed person, and the second group by a right handed person. They might not be able to identify "this was done by Paul" and "that was done by Mark", but they may be able to say "this was not done by the same person who did that"

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  In every example you gave, we already know what the design of one person looks like compared to the design of several people. If we're examining a painting for the first time --- and it's the only painting in existence --- are you certain that we'd know what the work of one person looked like compared to the work of two or more?

I'm not entirely sure the point you are trying to make from this paragraph. It seems to imply that, since we only have one universe, we have nothing to compare it to. That's not really the point I am making, since I'm not comparing the universe as a whole to anything. I'm comparing various parts of the universe to various other parts of it, just as you do in the very next paragraph.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  When you bring this back to explaining the natural universe, you compare apples with apples again by comparing consistencies within biology. But how could you know if the same agent who designed DNA is the same agent who designed our atmosphere, or if the agent who designed the structure of an atom is the same agent who designed Saturn?

You can't know for certain based on those aspects alone, which is why I said you bring up valid points and have an interesting way of looking at it. Your ideas are rational, and make sense. However, the interrelatedness of everything you just listed can just as easily speak to the single designer concept as well. Neither one is any more irrational than the other. The way such things work together so well points to a common point of design, which would make sense for a common designer. Is it proof? No. Is it support for the idea. Yes.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Furthermore, even where there's appearance of consistency (such as the structure of a cell) there's variation (such as eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells). Why should we assume that variation comes from one single mind?

Back to the analogy of a painter, they will paint multiple different paintings. Each will likely be of different things (i.e., portraits, still life, abstract, landscapes, etc) but will likely contain similar attributes. That's sort of the whole point - connecting similarities across things that are different. So the issue you mention about eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells isn't really an issue at all - it's actually the crux of the very conclusion for a single designer. Similarities across different things point to a common designer.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Again, I'm going to accuse you of trying to draw a conclusion that's consistent with your worldview, not one that follows logically from the facts.

It follows no more or less logically than the multiple designer theory. So I guess I'm going to have to accuse you of trying to draw a conclusion consistent with your own worldview - (which apparently is that there is no designer, so any way you can discredit that theory you will), not one that follows logically from the facts.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You mention the "lasting power" (stronger and more developed history) of monotheistic religions, and you assume the cause is because they make more sense.

Although you present valid ideas, none of them invalidates the concept of lasting power. The ability for something to survive so long does speak more to its validity than pantheistic religions. Your exact arguments could support them instead, but they didn't last. As for Constantine and the Roman Empire, one of the biggest questions there becomes, why did they adopt it? Possibly because they were close enough to the history of Christ to test it out sufficiently, and found it to be true? I was talking about history with respect to verifiable events. We know Christ was a real person, we know the he walked on this earth, we know that he was crucified, and that on the third day his tomb was found empty. I know you'll likely deny those things ever happened, but they are historical facts with more certainty than almost every other historical fact from antiquity. As such, there is supporting historical evidence which leads to the idea of a single designer. No multiple designer hypothesis has any kind of historical evidence which even comes close to that.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You cited Occam's razor, and you apparently don't understand it.

I understand Occam's razor well enough. The choices we are presented with here in your question are: multiple designers with a large amount of power and knowledge, or one designer with even larger amounts of both. Given that it's easy to conceive a possible way for all that knowledge and power to be in one designer, multiple ones aren't necessary. Therefore, given the two options which can both offer a good explanation, why complicate the issue with multiple designers?

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  but doesn't take into account the growing complexity of the "one" compared to the simple makeup of several less complex agents

I'd have to disagree. I think it does take into account the growing complexity of the one. It also takes into account the growing complexity of a committee of agents. Despite what you claim, a committee of individually less complex agents does not by default require less complexity. I would say it would require more complexity, and that's why the concept of Occam's razor would work in this situation. Sure you have allowed the knowledge and power aspects to be spread around, but you have added in more aspects to the entity (the committee) to increase it's complexity multiple fold. For example:

Agreement - With a committee of designers, there exists the need to develop processes to make decisions on aspects of the design. Is it a democratic committee, with majority rules? Is there a minimum threshold for agreement - for example, designs won't be implemented unless at least 75% of the members agree? Is it hierarchical, where some higher level entity has veto power?

Delegation - With a committee of designers, there is the need to delegate different tasks to different designers. How is it done? Randomly? Alphabetically? By expertise, and if so, who decides who is better at what tasks, and how?

Co-operation - With a committee of designers, there is the need to work in harmony. How do the designers interact with each other? Or communicate with each other? How are disagreements handled? If one designer thinks that another is not pulling their weight, what recourse is there?

Progress Tracking - With a committee of designers, there exists the need to collaborate on which tasks are done when, such that further tasks can begin. There needs to be some for of reporting mechanism throughout the committee to pass along such information.

That's just a quick list of additional complexities added in by the multiple designer theory. I think it's likely I could come up with more if I spent the time on it, but these should be sufficient to make the point. None of these things are necessary with a single designer (at least, not on the same level of complexity) and every one of these things increases the complexity significantly, to a point that I would say makes it significantly more complex that the single designer hypothesis.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  And please, the infinite regress argument? Again, like everyone before you, you still stop the regress where you want to stop it. The question still looms: "who designed the first designer", and the answer is still obvious: not everything requires a designer. You posit that God is the one who, despite being complex, doesn't require a designer. We say that it's the singularity that formed the big bang. Restating your position on this matter will never bring us closer to an answer any more than restating my position. Just please stop with the unwarranted assumptions. We have no idea how far back the regress goes, and there's absolutely no evidence that your God, even if he exists, is not the creation of another god or gods.

Stop jumping to unwarranted conclusions yourself. You took what I said and went waaay off track with it. I wasn't making the argument of infinite regress to postulate a designer. As I mentioned, I wasn't arguing to support a designer at all. Your original question asked if design is true, what should we conclude from that, and your hypothesis was multiple designers. I was saying, if design is true, we are justified in concluding a single designer. I was using the concept of infinite regress to compare the single designer hypothesis to the multiple designer hypothesis. So your entire dissatisfaction with the infinite regress concept here is a completely irrelevant thesis for this discussion.

As for how it applies to the single designer vs multiple designer question, both are postulating some 'thing' to end the infinite regress. One side postulates a single designer. The other side postulates multiple designers. The point of bring up infinite regress here is to make the statement that a single designer makes a much more rational and logical termination point than a set of designers. Having a set of anything as a termination point begs the question of "who created the designers" so much more than a single "who created the designer".

In the end, everything you've brought up here are all valid points. And if an IDer wanted to go this road of multiple designers, I could totally understand. And I'd say that they were at least being rational about it. My entire point with all of this was to answer the question that you put forth originally. You postulated that IDers only propose a single designer because they have an agenda, that they don't come to the concept of a single designer by way of a rational conclusion, and that it isn't "logical that a complicated design was planned and carried out by one person" I think I've shown that, if ID is accepted by a person as true, then it's perfectly rational and logical for someone to come to the conclusion of a single designer, without it being for the purpose of pushing an agenda.

(04-05-2012 01:09 AM)Sethala Wrote:  The idea that the universe may have multiple designers throws a giant wrench into that idea, which is why I really want to see one of these creationists get on a talk show with someone that, out of the blue, asks why they don't propose a committee of designers.

I'm pretty sure any of the more prominent creation scientists or philosophers out there wouldn't even miss a beat on a question like that. To be honest, this has been thought about a lot, studied a lot, and answered a lot. Like I said earlier, almost every piece of evidence that an evolutionist could use to point to a common ancestor, a creationist would simply say points to a common designer for almost the exact same reasons. I bet if the question was asked, the answer would come so quickly, smoothly, and intelligently that the person asking the question would be the one left silent in shock, stunned by the fact that a common designer does make more sense than a common ancestor.

(04-05-2012 01:09 AM)Sethala Wrote:  And variations of the same family of animal (such as wolves, foxes, and household dogs) can also be explained by different individual designers working on their own after the group listed the rules for what a canine must be.

This would pretty much be irrelevant to the issue at hand. Honestly, for those IDers that think evolution is true but initiated and directed by a Designer, they would completely accept that wolves, foxes and household dogs all descended from the same ancestor anyway. It's not the individual species that would be designed as is, but the building blocks of life that would be designed to give life the potential that it has.

And the vast majority of creation scientists wouldn't say that wolves, foxes and household dogs were individually designed. They all descended from the original canine animals that came off the ark with Noah, and the canine family diverged from there through predesigned variation and adaptation, genetic mutation, as well as natural (and artificial) selection.
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06-05-2012, 11:15 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2012 11:22 PM by Starcrash.)
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(06-05-2012 06:26 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(02-05-2012 03:40 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Behe? Guy's a total tool. Dembski? Even worse. Who's left?

Well, if your strategy is to simply call people names, you definitely don't seem open to rational thought on the issue. There's probably no point in listing people like Philip Johnson, Dean Kenyon, Paul Nelson, Stephen Meyer or Jonathan Wells. There's no reason to point out that even an agnostic/atheist like Michael Denton writes about the aspects of design. And it's really doubtful that you'd consider reading things by creationists written from a more general ID standpoint like: In the Beginning Was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt; Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome by Dr. John Sanford; The Biotic Message by Walter James Remine; or By Design by Dr Jonathan Sarfati. You'd probably just call them all tools also. But given that you could only mention 2 IDers, it pretty much proved the point that you haven't really looked into it all that much.
(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  But for some reason you assume that the person with the greatest amount of knowledge must know everything that people with lesser knowledge know. This doesn't make sense.

You misunderstood the application I was making. And that may likely be my fault for the terminology that I was using. I'll try to clear that up. The 'person' with the greatest amount of knowledge doesn't know everything that everyone else knows, they just know a larger amount. The amount of data stored in their 'brain' is larger. I used that only as a way of saying everyone else's is less, so that we can find an upper bound. Then N multiplied by this upper bound must be sufficiently great to have all knowledge, even if there is no overlap at all in each of the member's knowledge. N times K will be at least as large as all the knowledge contained by the group you propose, and such a number is finite by definition.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Even though you have more combined knowledge than any one member, that doesn't make you the ultimate authority on every aspect. Nor should we expect that.

This is true. However, it doesn't preclude the possibility that a single entity could actually have all the same level of knowledge as each individual expert.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  When examining power, just because you can crank out more output than any one team member, that doesn't mean that you can finish the whole project faster than the rest of the team combined.

Who says it needs to be 'faster'?

You see, your comparisons are being made from a group of 'people' to a single 'person', who is by his/her very nature on the same 'level' of ability as the others. This doesn't really give the analogy justice, as we are talking about comparing a committee of 'designers' to a single 'designer' who would be on a higher 'level' of ability. I'm not talking about one designer being able to do the work of 1000 designers similar to him/her. I'm talking about a designer who simply has all the capability of the other 1000 combined. Maybe a better comparison would be a single adult being able to put together a piece of furniture better then a dozen 9 year olds. I'm not conjecturing for just one 9 year old 'designer' being a better explanation than a dozen 9 year old 'designers', I'm conjecturing that one adult 'designer' would be a better explanation than that dozen 9 year old 'designers'.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Now I didn't explain why omniscience or omnipotence would be assumed, so let me explain that now. If one person is in charge of designing the whole universe, that person would have to know every aspect of the universe, correct? And they'd also have to be able to put their design into practice on every aspect of the universe. Omniscience (defined here as knowing everything there is to know) and omnipotence (defined here as being able to do anything possible to do) are natural assumptions if the given is that the universe is the product of one agent.

I think we have slightly different concepts of omni here. Yours seems to lead to "knowing everything there is to know about the universe" whereas mine is broader - infinite, as stated in my original post (double check). Even on your definition, you claim I can't postulate a god who has all knowledge and power, and yet you are allowed to postulate a committee that has such? If you accept that the level of knowledge and power required to design and create the universe is finite, and can be contained within a group of designers, why can that same finite level of knowledge and power not be contained within a single, more knowledgable and more powerful individual?

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I think it's very unlikely that someone could wander through the building and point out the aspects of each designer.

Maybe not to the level that you are looking at, to identify who did what. But it might very well be possible to point to two things and say, a different person did this one than the person who did that one. As a brief example, imagine an electrical inspector going around looking at wire splicing - some could be twisted in one direction, and others in the other direction. They may conclude that the first group were done by a left handed person, and the second group by a right handed person. They might not be able to identify "this was done by Paul" and "that was done by Mark", but they may be able to say "this was not done by the same person who did that"

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  In every example you gave, we already know what the design of one person looks like compared to the design of several people. If we're examining a painting for the first time --- and it's the only painting in existence --- are you certain that we'd know what the work of one person looked like compared to the work of two or more?

I'm not entirely sure the point you are trying to make from this paragraph. It seems to imply that, since we only have one universe, we have nothing to compare it to. That's not really the point I am making, since I'm not comparing the universe as a whole to anything. I'm comparing various parts of the universe to various other parts of it, just as you do in the very next paragraph.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  When you bring this back to explaining the natural universe, you compare apples with apples again by comparing consistencies within biology. But how could you know if the same agent who designed DNA is the same agent who designed our atmosphere, or if the agent who designed the structure of an atom is the same agent who designed Saturn?

You can't know for certain based on those aspects alone, which is why I said you bring up valid points and have an interesting way of looking at it. Your ideas are rational, and make sense. However, the interrelatedness of everything you just listed can just as easily speak to the single designer concept as well. Neither one is any more irrational than the other. The way such things work together so well points to a common point of design, which would make sense for a common designer. Is it proof? No. Is it support for the idea. Yes.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Furthermore, even where there's appearance of consistency (such as the structure of a cell) there's variation (such as eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells). Why should we assume that variation comes from one single mind?

Back to the analogy of a painter, they will paint multiple different paintings. Each will likely be of different things (i.e., portraits, still life, abstract, landscapes, etc) but will likely contain similar attributes. That's sort of the whole point - connecting similarities across things that are different. So the issue you mention about eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells isn't really an issue at all - it's actually the crux of the very conclusion for a single designer. Similarities across different things point to a common designer.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Again, I'm going to accuse you of trying to draw a conclusion that's consistent with your worldview, not one that follows logically from the facts.

It follows no more or less logically than the multiple designer theory. So I guess I'm going to have to accuse you of trying to draw a conclusion consistent with your own worldview - (which apparently is that there is no designer, so any way you can discredit that theory you will), not one that follows logically from the facts.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You mention the "lasting power" (stronger and more developed history) of monotheistic religions, and you assume the cause is because they make more sense.

Although you present valid ideas, none of them invalidates the concept of lasting power. The ability for something to survive so long does speak more to its validity than pantheistic religions. Your exact arguments could support them instead, but they didn't last. As for Constantine and the Roman Empire, one of the biggest questions there becomes, why did they adopt it? Possibly because they were close enough to the history of Christ to test it out sufficiently, and found it to be true? I was talking about history with respect to verifiable events. We know Christ was a real person, we know the he walked on this earth, we know that he was crucified, and that on the third day his tomb was found empty. I know you'll likely deny those things ever happened, but they are historical facts with more certainty than almost every other historical fact from antiquity. As such, there is supporting historical evidence which leads to the idea of a single designer. No multiple designer hypothesis has any kind of historical evidence which even comes close to that.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  You cited Occam's razor, and you apparently don't understand it.

I understand Occam's razor well enough. The choices we are presented with here in your question are: multiple designers with a large amount of power and knowledge, or one designer with even larger amounts of both. Given that it's easy to conceive a possible way for all that knowledge and power to be in one designer, multiple ones aren't necessary. Therefore, given the two options which can both offer a good explanation, why complicate the issue with multiple designers?

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  but doesn't take into account the growing complexity of the "one" compared to the simple makeup of several less complex agents

I'd have to disagree. I think it does take into account the growing complexity of the one. It also takes into account the growing complexity of a committee of agents. Despite what you claim, a committee of individually less complex agents does not by default require less complexity. I would say it would require more complexity, and that's why the concept of Occam's razor would work in this situation. Sure you have allowed the knowledge and power aspects to be spread around, but you have added in more aspects to the entity (the committee) to increase it's complexity multiple fold. For example:

Agreement - With a committee of designers, there exists the need to develop processes to make decisions on aspects of the design. Is it a democratic committee, with majority rules? Is there a minimum threshold for agreement - for example, designs won't be implemented unless at least 75% of the members agree? Is it hierarchical, where some higher level entity has veto power?

Delegation - With a committee of designers, there is the need to delegate different tasks to different designers. How is it done? Randomly? Alphabetically? By expertise, and if so, who decides who is better at what tasks, and how?

Co-operation - With a committee of designers, there is the need to work in harmony. How do the designers interact with each other? Or communicate with each other? How are disagreements handled? If one designer thinks that another is not pulling their weight, what recourse is there?

Progress Tracking - With a committee of designers, there exists the need to collaborate on which tasks are done when, such that further tasks can begin. There needs to be some for of reporting mechanism throughout the committee to pass along such information.

That's just a quick list of additional complexities added in by the multiple designer theory. I think it's likely I could come up with more if I spent the time on it, but these should be sufficient to make the point. None of these things are necessary with a single designer (at least, not on the same level of complexity) and every one of these things increases the complexity significantly, to a point that I would say makes it significantly more complex that the single designer hypothesis.

(02-05-2012 08:25 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  And please, the infinite regress argument? Again, like everyone before you, you still stop the regress where you want to stop it. The question still looms: "who designed the first designer", and the answer is still obvious: not everything requires a designer. You posit that God is the one who, despite being complex, doesn't require a designer. We say that it's the singularity that formed the big bang. Restating your position on this matter will never bring us closer to an answer any more than restating my position. Just please stop with the unwarranted assumptions. We have no idea how far back the regress goes, and there's absolutely no evidence that your God, even if he exists, is not the creation of another god or gods.

Stop jumping to unwarranted conclusions yourself. You took what I said and went waaay off track with it. I wasn't making the argument of infinite regress to postulate a designer. As I mentioned, I wasn't arguing to support a designer at all. Your original question asked if design is true, what should we conclude from that, and your hypothesis was multiple designers. I was saying, if design is true, we are justified in concluding a single designer. I was using the concept of infinite regress to compare the single designer hypothesis to the multiple designer hypothesis. So your entire dissatisfaction with the infinite regress concept here is a completely irrelevant thesis for this discussion.

As for how it applies to the single designer vs multiple designer question, both are postulating some 'thing' to end the infinite regress. One side postulates a single designer. The other side postulates multiple designers. The point of bring up infinite regress here is to make the statement that a single designer makes a much more rational and logical termination point than a set of designers. Having a set of anything as a termination point begs the question of "who created the designers" so much more than a single "who created the designer".

In the end, everything you've brought up here are all valid points. And if an IDer wanted to go this road of multiple designers, I could totally understand. And I'd say that they were at least being rational about it. My entire point with all of this was to answer the question that you put forth originally. You postulated that IDers only propose a single designer because they have an agenda, that they don't come to the concept of a single designer by way of a rational conclusion, and that it isn't "logical that a complicated design was planned and carried out by one person" I think I've shown that, if ID is accepted by a person as true, then it's perfectly rational and logical for someone to come to the conclusion of a single designer, without it being for the purpose of pushing an agenda.

(04-05-2012 01:09 AM)Sethala Wrote:  The idea that the universe may have multiple designers throws a giant wrench into that idea, which is why I really want to see one of these creationists get on a talk show with someone that, out of the blue, asks why they don't propose a committee of designers.

I'm pretty sure any of the more prominent creation scientists or philosophers out there wouldn't even miss a beat on a question like that. To be honest, this has been thought about a lot, studied a lot, and answered a lot. Like I said earlier, almost every piece of evidence that an evolutionist could use to point to a common ancestor, a creationist would simply say points to a common designer for almost the exact same reasons. I bet if the question was asked, the answer would come so quickly, smoothly, and intelligently that the person asking the question would be the one left silent in shock, stunned by the fact that a common designer does make more sense than a common ancestor.

(04-05-2012 01:09 AM)Sethala Wrote:  And variations of the same family of animal (such as wolves, foxes, and household dogs) can also be explained by different individual designers working on their own after the group listed the rules for what a canine must be.

This would pretty much be irrelevant to the issue at hand. Honestly, for those IDers that think evolution is true but initiated and directed by a Designer, they would completely accept that wolves, foxes and household dogs all descended from the same ancestor anyway. It's not the individual species that would be designed as is, but the building blocks of life that would be designed to give life the potential that it has.

And the vast majority of creation scientists wouldn't say that wolves, foxes and household dogs were individually designed. They all descended from the original canine animals that came off the ark with Noah, and the canine family diverged from there through predesigned variation and adaptation, genetic mutation, as well as natural (and artificial) selection.

I'm tired of your cases for reasonable doubt. I'm always trying to shoot for the explanation that is most likely and has better explanatory power. In defending your examples, you didn't persuade me that a single designer was more probable... you shifted to defending them as "not precluding a single designer".

There is evil on Earth. This is a fact on which you and I both agree. If I were to draw conclusions about the designer of the universe, I'd say that he has to either approve of or enjoy evil, because it's there in his creations. Now you might say that's not a thing that we should draw inferences about the designer from, but if we're accepting the hypothetical of a designed universe, it's evidence for an evil God (as well as your good God if you want to point to the good in the world).

Go ahead and try to explain why evil shouldn't be attributed to the world's designer by way of special pleading. I'm just dying to hear your next rationalization so you can self-justify your predetermined beliefs. Maybe I'll make a point-by-point rebuttal in the future, but I'm just so tired of this debate. I haven't seen any evidence of critical thinking. It's nice that you value logic, but if you're close-minded while expecting me to keep an open mind, it's not a fair fight. It's just wearing me out. Logic isn't enough. I need reason, too.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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06-05-2012, 11:39 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(06-05-2012 06:26 PM)SixForty Wrote:  But given that you could only mention 2 IDers, it pretty much proved the point that you haven't really looked into it all that much.

Sure I did, like I tole ya, in 2007. Why would I remember names of lesser kooks when I know the captains? Big Grin

Dumbski pissed me off 'cause he's supposed to be a mathematician, neither of 'em address their critics.

But you're alright. Big problem I have in this kinda debate is the stupid brain shows me images of geometry and entropy and evolution, and it's one, two, three, monkey. Trying to explain it is another thing. And trying to find where I got it from using teh netz, that's a zebra of a different frequency... one of these days, though, I'm going to put it together if someone else doesn't. Seems inevitable. Wink

That's my faith anyway. I'm not afraid of that word. Big Grin

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07-05-2012, 02:40 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I'm tired of your cases for reasonable doubt. I'm always trying to shoot for the explanation that is most likely and has better explanatory power. In defending your examples, you didn't persuade me that a single designer was more probable... you shifted to defending them as "not precluding a single designer".

I really wasn't trying to argue simply from a point of reasonable doubt. I was trying to put forward multiple rational and evidential based ideas for accepting a single designer. I was trying to put forth positive reasons, not just arguing against the multiple designer concept. Like you said, I too was trying to present an explanation that had good explanatory power. Although I did use the phrase "not precluding a single designer", I really don't think I rested on that idea.

I tried to put together a rational explanation of how we could identify differential design coming from different agents, and how we could recognize that in the real world, and then provide examples of where we see that. I think those positive examples point more towards the single designer hypothesis.

When I was asked as to why I believed evidence from other areas (history and philosophy) supported the single designer hypothesis instead of the multiple designer hypothesis, I gave the reasons I was asked for. And again, it wasn't simply arguing against the multiple designer hypothesis - some of those reasons were positive reasons for the single designer hypothesis.

Ultimately, it's tough, because I don't think you are arguing from a point of believing what you are putting forth. From other comments you've made, I would be pretty sure you're an atheist, and not a proponent of ID who truly believes the multiple designer hypothesis you are presenting here. So I'm being asked to defend my point of view against a theory that you likely don't even believe in.

Honestly, Starcrash, if this original question was asked by almost anyone else, I would likely have not bothered responding. But we've had decent discussions before, and you had a legitimate and interesting question, so I thought I would tackle it to provide you some insight from the other side of things. If you think I'm wrong, or a lunatic, I can accept that. I don't expect you to agree with me, but ultimately, I wouldn't think you'd just expect me to agree with you all that easily either. We both have way more thought and history invested in our positions than what could be changed too easily in a conversation like that. You have at least given me more things to think about from the design aspect.

(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  There is evil on Earth. This is a fact on which you and I both agree. If I were to draw conclusions about the designer of the universe, I'd say that he has to either approve of or enjoy evil, because it's there in his creations. Now you might say that's not a thing that we should draw inferences about the designer from, but if we're accepting the hypothetical of a designed universe, it's evidence for an evil God (as well as your good God if you want to point to the good in the world).

Again, valid inferences from the ID perspective. I won't deny that. And I'd say that's probably a much stronger argument for the multiple designer hypothesis than anything we'd find it the scientific realm. The moral differences seem way more stark and conflicting. I'd be more than happy to have the discussion of morality and it's implications on a potential deity or deities. I really enjoy that conversation, probably because there are still some things about it that bother me, likely in the same way that it bothers you. But that seems like a different conversation, off topic of this one, and to be honest, I don't really have time for that conversation tonight (and likely won't be back on here for a few days). But if you want to pursue it, I'm willing to do so with you.

(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Go ahead and try to explain why evil shouldn't be attributed to the world's designer by way of special pleading. I'm just dying to hear your next rationalization so you can self-justify your predetermined beliefs. Maybe I'll make a point-by-point rebuttal in the future, but I'm just so tired of this debate. I haven't seen any evidence of critical thinking. It's nice that you value logic, but if you're close-minded while expecting me to keep an open mind, it's not a fair fight. It's just wearing me out. Logic isn't enough. I need reason, too.

Fair enough. That's some pretty heavy language levelled at me, but if that's how you feel about it, okay. Do you actually want to take the discussion down that route, or should we lay off for now, given what you've said here?
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07-05-2012, 04:45 AM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(07-05-2012 02:40 AM)SixForty Wrote:  
(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I'm tired of your cases for reasonable doubt. I'm always trying to shoot for the explanation that is most likely and has better explanatory power. In defending your examples, you didn't persuade me that a single designer was more probable... you shifted to defending them as "not precluding a single designer".

I really wasn't trying to argue simply from a point of reasonable doubt. I was trying to put forward multiple rational and evidential based ideas for accepting a single designer. I was trying to put forth positive reasons, not just arguing against the multiple designer concept. Like you said, I too was trying to present an explanation that had good explanatory power. Although I did use the phrase "not precluding a single designer", I really don't think I rested on that idea.

I tried to put together a rational explanation of how we could identify differential design coming from different agents, and how we could recognize that in the real world, and then provide examples of where we see that. I think those positive examples point more towards the single designer hypothesis.

When I was asked as to why I believed evidence from other areas (history and philosophy) supported the single designer hypothesis instead of the multiple designer hypothesis, I gave the reasons I was asked for. And again, it wasn't simply arguing against the multiple designer hypothesis - some of those reasons were positive reasons for the single designer hypothesis.

Ultimately, it's tough, because I don't think you are arguing from a point of believing what you are putting forth. From other comments you've made, I would be pretty sure you're an atheist, and not a proponent of ID who truly believes the multiple designer hypothesis you are presenting here. So I'm being asked to defend my point of view against a theory that you likely don't even believe in.

Honestly, Starcrash, if this original question was asked by almost anyone else, I would likely have not bothered responding. But we've had decent discussions before, and you had a legitimate and interesting question, so I thought I would tackle it to provide you some insight from the other side of things. If you think I'm wrong, or a lunatic, I can accept that. I don't expect you to agree with me, but ultimately, I wouldn't think you'd just expect me to agree with you all that easily either. We both have way more thought and history invested in our positions than what could be changed too easily in a conversation like that. You have at least given me more things to think about from the design aspect.

(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  There is evil on Earth. This is a fact on which you and I both agree. If I were to draw conclusions about the designer of the universe, I'd say that he has to either approve of or enjoy evil, because it's there in his creations. Now you might say that's not a thing that we should draw inferences about the designer from, but if we're accepting the hypothetical of a designed universe, it's evidence for an evil God (as well as your good God if you want to point to the good in the world).

Again, valid inferences from the ID perspective. I won't deny that. And I'd say that's probably a much stronger argument for the multiple designer hypothesis than anything we'd find it the scientific realm. The moral differences seem way more stark and conflicting. I'd be more than happy to have the discussion of morality and it's implications on a potential deity or deities. I really enjoy that conversation, probably because there are still some things about it that bother me, likely in the same way that it bothers you. But that seems like a different conversation, off topic of this one, and to be honest, I don't really have time for that conversation tonight (and likely won't be back on here for a few days). But if you want to pursue it, I'm willing to do so with you.

(06-05-2012 11:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Go ahead and try to explain why evil shouldn't be attributed to the world's designer by way of special pleading. I'm just dying to hear your next rationalization so you can self-justify your predetermined beliefs. Maybe I'll make a point-by-point rebuttal in the future, but I'm just so tired of this debate. I haven't seen any evidence of critical thinking. It's nice that you value logic, but if you're close-minded while expecting me to keep an open mind, it's not a fair fight. It's just wearing me out. Logic isn't enough. I need reason, too.

Fair enough. That's some pretty heavy language levelled at me, but if that's how you feel about it, okay. Do you actually want to take the discussion down that route, or should we lay off for now, given what you've said here?
I'd rather lay off the discussion. Until I am compelled to believe that your mind can be changed, I don't want to bother trying to change it.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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07-05-2012, 04:37 PM
RE: The Main Problem With "An Intelligent Agent"
(07-05-2012 02:40 AM)SixForty Wrote:  Fair enough. That's some pretty heavy language levelled at me, but if that's how you feel about it, okay. Do you actually want to take the discussion down that route, or should we lay off for now, given what you've said here?
You know, when I first wrote my post, I included the phrase "quit whining" and erased it, then wrote it again and erased it. I was in a pretty pissed-off mood, and it had little to do with you. I'm just getting tired of arguments. At times I enjoy it, because it's something I'm good at, but often it feels like an obligation. When I saw your long replies to my arguments, I thought "I don't have the time for this".

Anyway, I'm sorry for any heavy language I leveled at you. Looking back at it I'm quite glad I didn't leave "quit whining" in there (which is a stupid insult you can use against literally anyone who disagrees with you), but it's still pretty awful.

There's only so far I can go arguing hypotheticals. Could I guess qualities about the designer of some random object I encountered? Maybe, and maybe not. Upon looking at the world, I don't see design, but if it actually had a designer I doubt I could even hazard a good guess. Looking at your posts, I could guess the "designer" of your posts (you) is college-educated because everything's coherent and spelled correctly, but spell-check and grammar-check are actual things, you know? How much of it is you and how much of it is in the tools you're using? I don't know. There's so little I can draw from examination, and it hurts my brain to even think about the designer of a world created using unknowable methods and tools.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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