Debunk Intelligent Design

How life, the universe and everything got here. God? Nature? Both? Chew it over here. This is also the place for discussing any theories or views which run counter to mainstream science.
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lpetrich
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Post by lpetrich » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:40 pm

I'd started some earlier threads on this and other omnimax-god paradoxes:
God Paradoxes - Secular Café
More God paradoxes - omniscience - Secular Café
God Paradox: Infinite Sets and Omniscience - Secular Café

However, some theologians have maintained that God is not quite onmipotent. One of them is Thomas Aquinas, the official philosopher of the Catholic Church. According to him, God cannot:
  • Do anything impossible in itself, like make a contradiction true.
  • Be a body.
  • Change himself.
  • Fail.
  • Be weary, or forget, or repent, or be angry or sad.
  • Make a human being have no soul.
  • Make the sum of a triangle's angles not be two right angles.
  • Undo the past, commit sins, make another God, or make himself not exist.

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Post by Worldtraveller » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:24 pm

[quote=""lpetrich""]I'd started some earlier threads on this and other omnimax-god paradoxes:
God Paradoxes - Secular Café
More God paradoxes - omniscience - Secular Café
God Paradox: Infinite Sets and Omniscience - Secular Café

However, some theologians have maintained that God is not quite onmipotent. One of them is Thomas Aquinas, the official philosopher of the Catholic Church. According to him, God cannot:
  • Do anything impossible in itself, like make a contradiction true.
  • Be a body.
  • Change himself.
  • Fail.
  • Be weary, or forget, or repent, or be angry or sad.
  • Make a human being have no soul.
  • Make the sum of a triangle's angles not be two right angles.
  • Undo the past, commit sins, make another God, or make himself not exist.
[/quote]
This is an odd list. Doesn't the bible specifically give god some emotions (Jealousy is the I remember the most)?

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:06 pm

[quote=""Ozymandias""]
Koyaanisqatsi;681306 wrote:
Michel wrote: the chances for the universe to be in such a way that life can exist, is one in a number so big that it would require 55 digits to write it down. Hence, it can't be the result of a coincidence.
1) In spite of the attempts to make it legitimate, this is an arbitrarily derived number.
2) It’s ultimately nothing more than an argument from incredulity.
That's not quite true. I am not sure where Michel's number is coming from, but the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant (which lpetrich mentioned earlier) is one part in 10^120. If we deviate from that even a little bit, the universe would look completely different (it would curl up on itself).[/quote]

Which has no relevance to the chances of our existing. It merely means that our existence as it is in this universe is dependent upon certain conditions obtaining; not that those conditions cannot obtain or that our existence (in a different form) cannot obtain under different conditions. Which is why it’s ultimately an argument from incredulity.

What IDiots are essentially saying is that if these ten things did not happen in this particular sequence then the result of those ten things happening in that particular sequence would not obtain. Well, no shit.

Further, they assert (and this is out their ass) that the chances of those ten things happening in that particular sequence are really slim, therefore the sequence (and the things happening) were designed to produce that outcome. What’s out their ass—and arbitrarily derived—is the chance of something occurring that was not “designed” (i.e., not purposeful) to occur that way nevertheless occurring that way. It’s a variation on post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

I know you’re not arguing in favor of that, but it’s non sequitur.

It’s like saying while walking on your roof, “If my roof were just one foot to the left, I would fall to my death.” Well, yeah, of course, but the roof isn’t one foot to your left and if it had been then you would have been walking one foot to your left. For IDiots to then respond with something like, “The chances of my roof being exactly in my path as I walked so as not to fall to my death are so slim as to be proof that my house was placed exactly where it was to prevent my death” is too stupid for words.

Iow, the chances of something that has already obtained obtaining is 1:1. That something may be highly unlikely to obtain has no bearing on whether or not it can (or did) obtain.
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Michel
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Post by Michel » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:17 pm

[quote=""Ozymandias""]That's not quite true. I am not sure where Michel's number is coming from, but the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant (which lpetrich mentioned earlier) is one part in 10^120.[/quote]

I don't remember, Ozymandias. I only remember the number 55. There are so many videos about ID on YouTube. This was only an example and, if i remember correctly, the author referred to the "fine-tuned universe" principle.

And that is the danger: use science to prove the existence of an imaginary friend!

Trying to warn the young kids against that fallacy, I used my idea that, if there is a design, why did it end with the first human? Why make a "perfect" human eye (according to ID) and then allow children to be born with cerebral palsy?

If the answer is: "God designed until day six, then stopped," we leave the world of science and join that of wishful thinking and fairy tales.

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lpetrich
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Post by lpetrich » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:35 pm

[quote=""Worldtraveller""]
lpetrich;681310 wrote:...
However, some theologians have maintained that God is not quite onmipotent. One of them is Thomas Aquinas, the official philosopher of the Catholic Church. According to him, God cannot:
  • Do anything impossible in itself, like make a contradiction true.
  • Be a body.
  • Change himself.
  • Fail.
  • Be weary, or forget, or repent, or be angry or sad.
  • Make a human being have no soul.
  • Make the sum of a triangle's angles not be two right angles.
  • Undo the past, commit sins, make another God, or make himself not exist.
This is an odd list. Doesn't the bible specifically give god some emotions (Jealousy is the I remember the most)?[/QUOTE]
Yes indeed, especially in the Old Testament. God is described as experiencing a variety of emotions. Like in Genesis 6:6, where he feels very regretful about having created humanity.

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Post by Worldtraveller » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:37 pm

[quote=""Michel""]
Ozymandias;681309 wrote:That's not quite true. I am not sure where Michel's number is coming from, but the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant (which lpetrich mentioned earlier) is one part in 10^120.
I don't remember, Ozymandias. I only remember the number 55. There are so many videos about ID on YouTube. This was only an example and, if i remember correctly, the author referred to the "fine-tuned universe" principle.

And that is the danger: use science to prove the existence of an imaginary friend!

Trying to warn the young kids against that fallacy, I used my idea that, if there is a design, why did it end with the first human? Why make a "perfect" human eye (according to ID) and then allow children to be born with cerebral palsy?

If the answer is: "God designed until day six, then stopped," we leave the world of science and join that of wishful thinking and fairy tales.[/QUOTE]
Also, if they really want to play the 'the odds against this happening are really huge', it fails from the outset. Because if the odds of a pocket watch spontaneously appearing (Paley's lovely example...), then what are the odds that the watchmaker himself sprung up out of nothing and just happened to be an expert watchmaker?

This always leads to special pleading and appeal to ignorance (aka mysterious ways and infinite 'outside of time' bullshit). :D

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Post by Michel » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:39 pm

[quote=""Worldtraveller""]Because if the odds of a pocket watch spontaneously appearing (Paley's lovely example...), then what are the odds that the watchmaker himself sprung up out of nothing and just happened to be an expert watchmaker?[/quote]

Of course, I agree, Worldtraveller. But, for as long as the ID supporters use the Fine Tune Universe argument, that appears to be a valid scientific observation, we must find a simple debunk that we can used at school.

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Post by Worldtraveller » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:00 pm

[quote=""Michel""]
Worldtraveller;681331 wrote:Because if the odds of a pocket watch spontaneously appearing (Paley's lovely example...), then what are the odds that the watchmaker himself sprung up out of nothing and just happened to be an expert watchmaker?
Of course, I agree, Worldtraveller. But, for as long as the ID supporters use the Fine Tune Universe argument, that appears to be a valid scientific observation, we must find a simple debunk that we can used at school.[/QUOTE]
This is probably the simplest of debunkings. :)

IDiot: The universe has to be created, it can't be random!!
Smartguy: Why?
ID: Because the universe is so complicated!
SG: Why can't something complicated happen on its own?
ID: Well, because complexity requires intelligence. (or a 'designer' if they skip to this)
SG: Ok, but isn't intelligence/designer even more complicated? If not, why not?

Then, apply their reasoning to the original premise. What usually happens at this point, though, is that you get special pleading; i.e. 'That's different'...for reasons.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:33 am

I think I get Michel's argument. Let's see if I can re-state it.

IDist: "The chances of the universe having the basic physical constants we see are 1 in 1055. For such a stupendous improbability to be made real requires an intelligent designer, and pure chance cannot explain it!"

Michel: "So I exist in a stupendously improbable universe. But for me to be sitting here, with precisely the genetic heritage and history that leads up to me existing just as I am, is an even huger improbability than 1 in 1055. So, pure chance is incapable of explaining why I am precisely this way; and so my existence must be the work of an intelligent designer!"

It's an intellectual judo move on ID. I like it! :D

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:46 am

[quote=""Worldtraveller""]I wrote a summary of the case back in early 2006, but I can't access the old 'Freethought Forums' archives. Maybe Jobar could dig that up for me and post it here.[/quote]

I remember it, but right now the II Archives are unavailable anywhere, unless RayJ has put them back up in the past few days. I've poked him up about it, but to no avail so far...

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Post by Michel » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:15 am

[quote=""Jobar""]I think I get Michel's argument. Let's see if I can re-state it.

IDist: "The chances of the universe having the basic physical constants we see are 1 in 1055. For such a stupendous improbability to be made real requires an intelligent designer, and pure chance cannot explain it!"

Michel: "So I exist in a stupendously improbable universe. But for me to be sitting here, with precisely the genetic heritage and history that leads up to me existing just as I am, is an even huger improbability than 1 in 1055. So, pure chance is incapable of explaining why I am precisely this way; and so my existence must be the work of an intelligent designer!"

It's an intellectual judo move on ID. I like it! :D [/quote]

Thank you so much, Jobar! It's good to be understood. :D For me, the fallacy of ID is that, it stops at the alleged moment, the human being was created.

I read about the anthropic principle long before this YouTube video and, for me, if the "design" stopped at a certain time, to allow for free-will (needed to make us feel guilty) then we are back to a story made by men who try to dominate us by explaining our metaphysical fears.

This being said, I don't exclude the possibility of "multiple universes" where, what can happen, does happen. But not, universes like beans in a jar, but rather, a dimension where we can be only at one place.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:55 pm

It's been a long time since I've argued it, but when believers have tried to plead how free will absolves God from being responsible for all the evil in nature and humanity, I immediately ask if they think God is omniscient- and since most will say yes, it's easy to show that Godly omniscience cannot allow free will.

But I think that your argument is a different approach to debunking free will, which doesn't reduce to an argument from omniscience.

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Post by Michel » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:09 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]It's been a long time since I've argued it, but when believers have tried to plead how free will absolves God from being responsible for all the evil in nature and humanity, I immediately ask if they think God is omniscient- and since most will say yes, it's easy to show that Godly omniscience cannot allow free will. [/quote]

isn't what is called https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jansenism, Jobar?

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Post by Jobar » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:13 pm

I'm more familiar with it as Calvinism- sounds very much like it to me. And apparently to the Popes who eventually condemned it as a Catholic heresy. See TULIP.

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Post by Michel » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:54 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]I'm more familiar with it as Calvinism- sounds very much like it to me. And apparently to the Popes who eventually condemned it as a Catholic heresy. See TULIP.[/quote]

Thank you for the link, Jobar. Indeed, it looks like Jansenism is an even stronger interpretation of Calvinism. The funny thing is, if you mean that God already knows if you will die in grace or sin, you could ... do whatever you want, right? And yet, I read that Jansenists like Blaise Pascal, were living a very sober life.
... Perhaps that, at the end of the day, they were' that sure.

But, what is your opinion on the "free-will" concept? I am new to the forum and I don't know if the subject has been discussed thoroughly before but ... what is your opinion?

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Post by Jobar » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:24 pm

The topic of free will has been stampeded over by vast herds of intellectuals. :D

Let's see. There was a debate over it a few years back- and Mithras only knows how many threads, in both Religion and Philosophy.

My personal take is that human choices are not totally random, but neither are they totally determinate. But I've been told that unpredictability over time does not free will make. Still, to me, if my choices are not totally predictable, that makes me *feel* like I have free will- at least to some extent.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:59 pm

I know I’ve posted this before, but there is a difference between free will and free agency that almost always gets lost in any such discussions. Free will is a Catholic apologetic designed to spackle over the rather glaring logical hole in the dogma of an Omni-capable magical being that allegedly created us, the universe and everything only to then punish us for not choosing to obey “him” of our own free will (i.e., without being coerced to do so).

Just as “to obey” has been shackled over with “to believe in”, btw. But if you read Genesis, the original sin for which Jesus supposedly sacrifices his life to pay for is Adam & Eve disobeying God’s command to not eat the apple. Although that is not the reason they get kicked out of paradise. They get kicked out so that they don’t eat from the tree of immortality and become “like gods.” But I digress.

This is important because we are punished by choosing not to obey (aka, “believe in&#8221 ;) said god, which is a form of coercion and catch-22 in that it (a) created us to not obey it and (b) knew this would obtain before creating us, so what is the point of any such ludicrous cult nonsense? And (c) in order for us to choose of our own non-coerced will we would necessarily need to be able to fully know and judge this ineffable being’s actions and thoughts, otherwise there is no choice involved, free or other. So cue that cartoon of Jesus at the door.

Free agency is the more boring crap about detminisism and bullshit about not being able to assess multiple courses of action prior to deciding which one to take.
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Post by DrZoidberg » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:18 am

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]I know I’ve posted this before, but there is a difference between free will and free agency that almost always gets lost in any such discussions. Free will is a Catholic apologetic designed to spackle over the rather glaring logical hole in the dogma of an Omni-capable magical being that allegedly created us, the universe and everything only to then punish us for not choosing to obey “him” of our own free will (i.e., without being coerced to do so).

Just as “to obey” has been shackled over with “to believe in”, btw. But if you read Genesis, the original sin for which Jesus supposedly sacrifices his life to pay for is Adam & Eve disobeying God’s command to not eat the apple. Although that is not the reason they get kicked out of paradise. They get kicked out so that they don’t eat from the tree of immortality and become “like gods.” But I digress.

This is important because we are punished by choosing not to obey (aka, “believe in&#8221 ;) said god, which is a form of coercion and catch-22 in that it (a) created us to not obey it and (b) knew this would obtain before creating us, so what is the point of any such ludicrous cult nonsense? And (c) in order for us to choose of our own non-coerced will we would necessarily need to be able to fully know and judge this ineffable being’s actions and thoughts, otherwise there is no choice involved, free or other. So cue that cartoon of Jesus at the door.

Free agency is the more boring crap about detminisism and bullshit about not being able to assess multiple courses of action prior to deciding which one to take.[/quote]

It's broken on an even more fundamental level. Free will is a meaningless term, unless you define what is it that wills stuff, what is it free from, and how is it free. All the terminology in the free will debate are on wheels. It's a debate where all the sides are correct (within their own domain) and are just talking past each other.
Last edited by DrZoidberg on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:16 pm

Hence, Calvinism. The only “logical” derivative sect.
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Post by Michel » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:22 pm

Thank you for the link, Jobar. I had a short look but ... gosh, it is way above what I can understand. ... but I will try.

Dear Koyaanisqatsi and DrZoidberg, I am sure that we do agree. But my humble opinion is that, if i was Hitler of Gandi, I would do what they did. And that causes me a lot of critic from my friends because, in my mind, we are not directly responsible of our actions.

I think that, the role of justice is to protect us, not to revenge us. If I did wrong, I should be prevented to do it again. But I don't understand why I should "pay" something to the society.

And this is where free-will becomes questionable. Can we, really, decide if we are going to be a good or a bad boy? What do you think?

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Post by Hermit » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:47 pm

[quote=""Michel""]I think that, the role of justice is to protect us, not to revenge us. If I did wrong, I should be prevented to do it again. But I don't understand why I should "pay" something to the society.

And this is where free-will becomes questionable. Can we, really, decide if we are going to be a good or a bad boy? What do you think?[/quote]
Assuming there is no free will, "punishment" still plays an important role in regulating behaviour. Think of it as aversion therapy, or at least the threat of it. I wonder how many more people would exceed the speed limit if it were not for the very real possibility of incurring a hefty fine.

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:03 pm

[quote=""Michel""]Thank you for the link, Jobar. I had a short look but ... gosh, it is way above what I can understand. ... but I will try.

Dear Koyaanisqatsi and DrZoidberg, I am sure that we do agree. But my humble opinion is that, if i was Hitler of Gandi, I would do what they did. And that causes me a lot of critic from my friends because, in my mind, we are not directly responsible of our actions.

I think that, the role of justice is to protect us, not to revenge us. If I did wrong, I should be prevented to do it again. But I don't understand why I should "pay" something to the society.

And this is where free-will becomes questionable. Can we, really, decide if we are going to be a good or a bad boy? What do you think?[/quote]

I’m not sure what you’re asking. Are you arguing that what Hitler or Gandhi did was somehow inevitable? That they had no choice but to act the way they did? If you are able to discern actions that are harmful to others and yet still commit them, that is a choice you have made. While there are certainly crimes of passion, there are also crimes of premeditation, but even on minor scales we make choices of actions all the time. For a far simpler example, I have to urinate as I’m typing this sentence. I can either stop typing and go take a piss or wait until I finish this post. The choice of actions are clear and direct and my decision to finish this post instead of stopping mid typing is freely made, but because it is a trivial matter, no one questions my free agency in the matter. Why should it be any different in regard to grander decisions?
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Post by Michel » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:50 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]Assuming there is no free will, "punishment" still plays an important role in regulating behaviour. Think of it as aversion therapy, or at least the threat of it. I wonder how many more people would exceed the speed limit if it were not for the very real possibility of incurring a hefty fine.[/quote]

I wouldn't, Hermit. But then, I may be different. For me, if it is decided that the maximum speed shall be this or that, here or there, I assume that those who decided that know much more than me about safety.
Of course, there will always be people who won't agree.

I remember, I was 16 years old and, with a friend, we sailed our family sailboat in the harbour of Goes, in The Netherlands. We were young, had very little money and wished we could make the holiday to last as long as possible. We moored, went in the clubhouse and there was a sign: "Take a beer or Cola, from the fridge and put some money in this box." ... We could drink for free but ... we didn't manage to be dishonest. Strange, isn't it?

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Post by Michel » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:11 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]I’m not sure what you’re asking. Are you arguing that what Hitler or Gandhi did was somehow inevitable?[/quote]

I am not sure myself, Koyaanisqatsi! :)
I remember when Nicolae Ceaușescu and Saddam Hussein were caught and judged by their own, they were outraged! After everything they did for their country and its people, how could they be treated that way?

I think that we all believe what we do is right. But, is it a "true" truth?" ... sorry, I am not good at explaining myself. I mean, is it a universal truth?

I have been wondering since I was 15 or 16 and now, I m 69 ... that's a long time1 :cool: ... and the more I think, the less I understand!

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Post by Hermit » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:24 pm

[quote=""Michel""]
Hermit;681514 wrote:Assuming there is no free will, "punishment" still plays an important role in regulating behaviour. Think of it as aversion therapy, or at least the threat of it. I wonder how many more people would exceed the speed limit if it were not for the very real possibility of incurring a hefty fine.
I wouldn't, Hermit. But then, I may be different.[/QUOTE]
Yes. You're special. I am pretty confident that the incidence of breaking speed limits would be significantly higher were it not for the perception that the potential offender may well be fined for it. Most drivers feel they can exceed the speed limit without increasing the risk of an accident because they regard themselves as more competent than average. Add to that the fact that signposted speed limits often do not reflect a hard and fast boundary between safe and unsafe, and it's guaranteed that more people would break them in the absence of possible radar traps, unmarked patrol cars at cetera.

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