Sunday, August 4, 2013

A special for ID creationist Floyd A. Lee

A lesson on how not to do “research”.

Scare quotes because Floyd A. Lee, instead of researching his subject just search for arguments to use in creating his preferred view of how evolution works: God, Yahweh, performing magic on Earth over billions of years, creating the appearance of a natural evolution while in fact it all is an illusion. He sees God’s finger as the agent of biological evolution. I suspect he at the same time is a YEC and firm believer in a literal reading of the Bible as the only source of reliable information. All because of a desire to preserve unbounded faith in a literal reading of the Bible.

A critique of Floyd A. Lee’s arguments for Intelligent Design.

Instead of pretending that my words are reliable arguments, I try to provide links to relevant sources. Creationists often reject Wikipedia, claiming it is unreliable. That is a cheap excuse for avoiding uncomfortable questions. My experienced is that Wiki uses lots of links to sources. If there is a will to research a subject, it can be done. I never have any problems researching a subject. I always find more stuff both from evolutionary as well as ID/creationistic quarters than I could possibly use.

But I always look for alternatives to Wikipedia. Well, here we go:

Mr. Lee’s text in blue + italics to differentiate from my interspersed comments.

Sometimes, when I'm discussing or debating issues with online atheists, agnostics, and evolutionists, the huge topic of Intelligent Design comes up, and they ask me to explain the Intelligent Design hypothesis to them.

They ask, "What is the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and why should the ID hypothesis be considered science?" 

That's no small question. Many people -- including young people -- are seriously asking about the ID hypothesis, even today. They already know that the ID hypothesis, if true, would chop and drop the theory of evolution.

After all, YOU are the biggest confirmation of the ID hypothesis; YOU are the biggest disproof of the theory of evolution. So here's my answer, in my own words, based on the writings of ID advocates such as mathematician Dr. William Dembski and biochemist Dr. Michael Behe.

To begin with, Mr. Lee is using too much rhetoric in the above introduction to his argument for the scope and validity of the “ID hypothesis.” Rhetoric is not informative, it is hype. If you have good information, all you need is that information expressed in clear, understandable terms. Bolding of text goes in the same box, it is superfluous. If arguments are god enough, they stand on their own. If not, no icing on the cake makes it tasty. Let us examine his basic premise:

The ID hypothesis involves two simple concepts and three simple points. Check this out. The two simple concepts are:

1. Specified Complexity -- the best way to describe SC, is like the sentences and paragraphs you're reading here. Each sentence and paragraph is way too specific and at the same time way too complex, to have originated from natural causes.

A strange and irrelevant comparison. Below is link to a professional appraisal of
 Dembski's specified complexity

(Your own DNA is like a complex language communication system or a very complicated computer algorithm, isn't it?  Better start asking how all that complex specified programming popped up inside you!)

No, it isn't. Just more ID suggestive, irrelevant rhetoric. Why don't you tell your audience how it started, and evolved, respective where, how and when the designer aka Yahweh did it?

2. Irreducible Complexity -- it's a special case of specified complexity (Dembski), and the best way to describe IC is like those cheap mousetraps you buy at Wal-Mart. As Behe suggests, all parts of a mousetrap system MUST be present and work together all at the same time, in order for that system to fulfill its purpose. Mousetraps don't appear via natural causes. Each part must be in its proper place all at once, AND all the pieces must work together correctly all at once, or else the system doesn't catch mice, doesn't fulfill its purpose. So when you see a working mousetrap, you're seeing an object that displays Irreducible Complexity.

(By the way, multiple and compelling examples of Irreducible Complexity, can be found inside your own two eyes, right here and now. Go figure!)

Here we are faced with the mousetrap analogy, presented as a strong, incontrovertible argument for the concept that a structure that may be made useless – or made less useful by the removal of one of its parts, must default to be the product of an “Intelligent Designer”.

It is a problem with all of Mr. Lee’s arguments that he completely ignores all the science that constitute a massive body of critical analysis of the arguments used by Dembski and Behe. From the huge amount of scientific responses to claims of irreducibility, I chose at random
The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity".

Both of the concepts touted by Mr. Lee here have been subjected to so much critical analysis that I find it both short-sighted and irresponsible when he just ignore scientific sources. I understand Mr. Lee’s concern; he is a religious person with the desire to “spread the Gospel” and restore faith in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

So you get the picture.  Specified Complexity and Irreducible Complexity are the markers that signal the presence of Intelligent Design in whatever you're looking at.  So now here's the ID hypothesis:

Aha, Mr. Lee has made his mind up, Dembski and Behe provide all the evidence he need, case shut and closed. But is that really all it takes to scrap 160 years of science? How reasonable is it to assume that a definite conclusion should be drawn without even considering criticism and contrary arguments? After all, the critics are well qualified, professional scientists. Are the biologists and other professionals engaged in evolutionary research less qualified and competent than their colleagues responsible for space flight, exploration of the moon and the solar system, cell phones, LCD television, computers and all the other marvels of the 21st century?  Of course not.

1.  Specified Complexity and/or Irreducible Complexity are well-defined and empirically detectable.

 Really? Please show us how. Despite repeated claims that “Complex Specified Information” can be calculated (because it is claimed that a value beyond a specific limit is not achievable by natural means, ergo that will be evidence of design.) when presented with simple examples of CSI, no ID proponent have risen to the challenge. Nobody have yet calculated any example of CSI. Why? Because they don’t know how. My guess is that it is not doable.

Look at what your friend  Casey Luskin says: Evolutionnews

Can you spot the obvious confusion in Casey’s mind? He just doesn’t’ know what he is talking about, and anyone using his brain can see it! Can you? I’d say you don’t, because you don’t want to know.

2.  Undirected natural causes, like naturalistic evolution, cannot explain Specified Complexity and/or Irreducible Complexity. 

You might be more trustworthy if you'd bother to qualify your statements! Althought you'd be hard pressed to find what you need to make credible arguments.

It already is established that NS need not worry about SC and IC. They are decoys – to lead the faithful to fairyland. Then one might expect that ID proponents can, but can they? Looks doubtful according to Wikipedia, with lots of links!

Still cocksure you know best?

3.  Intelligent causation best explains Specified Complexity and/or Irreducible Complexity.

That's an actual 3-point scientific hypothesis of Intelligent Design.  And yes, it IS scientific, because that hypothesis makes a testable prediction which can be falsified in the real world.  Here's the testable prediction:

"The concept of intelligent design entails a strong prediction that is readily falsifiable.  In particular, the concept of intelligent design predicts that complex information, such as that encoded in a functioning genome, NEVER arises from purely chemical or physical antecedents. Experience will show that only intelligent agency gives rise to functional information. All that is necessary to falsify the hypothesis of intelligent design is to show confirmed instances of purely physical or chemical antecedents producing such information."
-- philosopher of science Dr. Stephen Meyer with Dr. Mark Hartwig, from the textbook "Of Pandas and People", 2nd ed, 1993.

Okay, read that prediction again, it's important.  THAT is how you would kill ID, especially when it comes to Origin-Of-Life.  Like Wikipedia points out, the observed presence of even ONE black swan will falsify the hypothesis "All swans are white."  So you have now been given a genuine, real-world falsification criterion there.

There is no need to “kill ID” since it never was alive. It was designed as a wedge, remember?
It is right up your alley, go read The Wedge strategy. 


So now we can demonstrate that ID is scientifically falsifiable and therefore prove that it's genuine, real science.  Let's pick the "Origin-Of-Life" science arena, because lots of folks are interested in that one.

So how is ID falsifable?  Simple:  You go to your bathroom sink (if you can't afford a fancy science lab), and you scientifically come up with a NATURALISTIC EVOLUTION discovery that accounts for all that "complex language communication system and very complicated computer algorithm" that's found inside your own DNA.  That's it.

Wrong. There is enough evidence for evolution. You falsify ID by showin all that is wrong with it, and by referencing all the nonsense writen by ID-proponents, like Casey Luskin or Stephen Meyer. Add Demski to the rooster as well. Besides, There is no “computer algorithm inside DNA.”

I'm not joking.  Solve the following science-journal-published problem and you WILL actually fulfill the Meyer-Hartwig Prediction and you WILL KILL ID and you'll win a Nobel Prize and a zillion dollars in grant-money from happy evolutionists and atheists all over the world.

"Peer reviewed life-origin literature presupposes that, given enough time, genetic instructions arose via natural events.  Thus far, no paper has provided a plausible mechanism for natural-process algorithm-writing."

(The full details, and all the astonishing things that are involved in that origin-of-life genetic algorithm-writing process, can be found in, "Chance and Necessity Do Not Explain the Origin of Life," J.T. Trevors and D.L. Abel, Cell Biology International; Vol 28 Iss 11, .  )

So, you merely need to come up with that natural-process algorithm-writing stuff in your own bathroom sink, show how it naturalistically came to exist on Earth when it didn't previously exist, and then you'll knock out the Meyer-Hartwig prediction, kill the ID hypothesis, win the game for Prebiotic Evolution, and collect all the cold cash $$$$.
But at the same time, you'll have proven that the ID hypothesis is a scientific, falsifiable hypothesis.  You'll have proven that ID is science.

That was easy, eh? Beg to differ, because you have shifted the goalposts! Does not speak well for your insight and understanding, if not your integrity and honesty.

All you saying the preceding paragraph(s) refers to the question about the Origins of Life (OOL) on Earth. ID makes no distiction, ID covers everything from before the Big Bang through the 21st century.

Darwin, and evolutioanry theory is somewhat modest by mereley acknowledging the evidence that there is, and have been for a very long time, life on this planet. Darwin (and Wallace) came up with an explanation about how the evidence of an evolution, the clear signs of , like Darwin expressed it:

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”

Science acknowledge the obvious, life has a beginning - on the order of four billion years ago. Whodunit? Not relevant in the context of evolution. Might as well be God, the ToE would still be the same.


So there you go.  Now you know what is the Intelligent Design hypothesis, now you know why it's so powerful and compelling, now you know exactly how the ID hypothesis qualifies as SCIENCE, and now you know that YOU are chock-full of Intelligent Design in every single cell of your body, right this minute. 

Got it? Not just one or a few cells, but every one of them! And right this minute, the minute before, and even the next minute. What a miracle! The mind boggles.

(And don't forget the compelling IC evidence of your own eyes!)

Therefore YOU are the final disproof of Evolution, Atheism, and Agnosticism.  YOU are intelligently designed, by You-Know-Who upstairs.   So send Him an email and talk things over soon!

Not just the eyes, both of them, right this minute, but also your appendix, poor backbone, hernia, hemorrhoids, and the bacteria all both over you outsides and inside- without which you'd not survive.
Don't forget to ask him al thos pertinent questions that FL doesn't mention whn you write. You know he answers all prayers and emails. 

Better believe it, son! FL said it, that clinches it! No science, just religion, no mention of when, where – and how God has been doing it over 4 billion years time? It defaults to God performing magic.

Well, now you have been properly brainwashed. Are loose claims as seen from FL’s eyes all it takes to falsify 160 years of science? Are all the world’s scientists (spiced with a few creationists) complete idiots?

From the bulk of ID-creationist argument it appears that only a handful of scientisits knows what they are doing. Geology, paleontology, biology, genetics, heredity, mathematics, information theory, populations & heredity, radiometric dating, dendrochronoly. There ssesm to be few scientific areas that are totally irrelevant wrt the theory of evolution.

It simply is astonishing; for creationism to be true, there would be thousands of scientists that would be grossly mistaken in their scientific work - but only when it goes against the grain of ID/crationism. Down the drain with research, shut down the laboratories. 

The ID laboratories are all we need? LOL. 

It never ceases to amaze me: Science is trusted with everything, as long as it keeps its hands of biology in a manner that may cast doubt on creationism. They are wizards of physics and molecules, electronics and space flight, computers and cell phones, but in biology they fail miserably against the lawyers of the Discovery Institute?

There is no doubt about it: ID is religion, a companion myth to the two Genesis myths we already have.. 

It is so easy to ridicule all that FL says. The problem is that he is not just a creationist, the problem is that he is grossly ignorant.


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