Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Intelligent Design Shows God Was Intelligently Designed, Shock

Intelligent Design is the latest incarnation of Creationism, attempting to gain a patina of scientific integrity by doing sciencey type things, but not quite managing it. I found this document by one of its proponents, William Dembski: Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Design. Running through its attempts to shoehorn some God into science, it's clear that this is an excellent contribution to refuting the existence of God prior to the appearance of homo sapiens. Consider:
Proponents of intelligent design argue that they now have formulated a precise criterion that reliably infers intelligence while also avoiding Kepler’s mistake— the criterion of “specified complexity.” An event exhibits specified complexity if it is contingent in the sense of being one of several live possibilities; if it is complex in the sense of allowing many alternatives and therefore not being easily repeatable by chance; and if it is specified in the sense of exhibiting an independently given pattern. For instance, a repetitive sequence is specified without being complex. A random sequence is complex without being specified. A functional sequence, like DNA that codes for proteins, is both complex and specified, and therefore designed.
"Specified complexity" certainly seems to apply to God; how could he not be complex? His behaviour is functional, therefore, yeah, specified complexity applies.
Life is special, and what makes life special is the arrangement of its matter into very specific forms. In other words, what makes life special is information. Where did the information necessary for life come from? This question cannot be avoided. Life has not always existed.
God must have information; if not, then he has no life? Perhaps he doesn't? Nevertheless, a *being* containing no information is surely non-existent, so we must conclude that God has information. Another tick for ID.
Do any structures in the cell resemble machines designed by humans? How do we account for such structures?
Here ID wants to infer design from the machine like quality of cells. Well, there's certainly a parallel there; God makes lots of things - he's the industrial revolution and then some. An uber-factory. Tick one more up to intelligent design.
What are irreducibly complex systems? Do such systems exist in biology? If so, are those systems evidence for design? If not, why not?
IDers love their irreducible complexity, despite its pretty obvious stupidity. But let's humour them and assume that a thing can really be irreducibly complex. Would it apply to God? It would be a bit of an insult if it didn't, I would think. I suppose they might say, no, God is an extremely simple miasma, and nothing more. Is it this that they want us to worship; something less complex than the bacterial flagellum (but still capable of designing it!)? Surely not. We must all agree that God is irreducibly complex, if irreducible complexity means anything at all.
Reusable parts... By adopting an engineering approach to biological structure, intelligent design explains similar structures in terms of common design.
Excellent! God wrote about this himself, through the Bible:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them - Genesis 1:27
Clearly He has reusable parts; another tick.
To refute intelligent design, it is enough to display specific, fully articulated Darwinian pathways for the complex systems that, according to intelligent design, lie beyond the reach of the Darwinian mechanism (systems like the bacterial flagellum in question 5).
Well, I have to admit I find this impossible for God. Yet another tick for His intelligent design!

But the identity and characteristics of a designer lie outside the scope of intelligent design.
Oh well, if you say so; let's just leave it hanging there. I think we can all guess who designed God, though, can't we?


Post a Comment