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Re: Design & designer: Separate questions

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  • L. K. Appleton
    Hi Stephen, ... From: Stephen E. Jones To: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001 10:43 PM Subject: Re: Design & designer: Separate
    Message 1 of 5 , May 31, 2001
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      Hi Stephen,
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Stephen E. Jones
      To: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, May 28, 2001 10:43 PM
      Subject: Re: Design & designer: Separate questions


      SJ> Group

      SJ> On Wed, 4 Apr 2001 22:20:57 +1000 (EST), Ian wrote:


      SJ> Ian needs to pay careful attention to my words. I did not say that "the
      SJ> 'intelligence' is *not* theistic". I said it was not "*necessarily* ...
      SJ> theistic" (my emphasis). In fact I actually said that the intelligence
      SJ> being "theistic ... is ... a possibility".

      That seems to mean that you envisage most possibilities as being
      *Not* theistic Stephen? Would you provide a few of the "not theistic"
      possibilities for our consideration?


      SJ> If the ID movement succeeds in empirically demonstrating that
      SJ> unintelligent natural causes are insufficient to explain life's
      SJ> complexity,

      In any honest and rational mind that has always been self-evident,
      hasn't it? Long time atheists, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, understood
      this a couple of decades ago and felt compelled to renounce their
      atheism as a result. Curiously they used the same principle as atheist
      Richard (Blind Watchmaker) Dawkins referred to, when he wrote;

      "The more statistically improbable a thing is, the
      less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance.
      Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an
      intelligent Designer. "


      Dawkin's continuation is simply special pleading as well as false,
      since Darwin did NOT "show" and such thing as Dawkins claimes
      he did in his continuation. i.e.;

      "But Charles Darwin showed how it is
      possible for blind physical forces to mimic the effects of
      conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter
      of chance variations, to lead eventually to organised and
      adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans
      and therefore, indirectly, to books and computers."
      (Dawkins R., "The Necessity of Darwinism, New Scientist, 15
      April 1982, p130)

      That being NOT shown at all then Dawkin's is left
      with ID rather than Blind Chance.


      SJ> As Behe points out, an anti-supernaturalist could then simply posit a
      SJ> non-theistic intelligent cause like aliens:

      Wouldn't Space aliens, if such existed at all, be supernatural
      anyway? Our only standard of "natural" must surely be based on
      ourselves, whereas Aliens and UFO's are clearly supernatural
      as compared to us.


      Laurie Appleton
      lappleto@...

      "The missing link between man and the apes, whose absence has comforted religious fundamentalists since the days of Darwin, is merely the most glamorous of a whole
      hierachy of phantom creatures."
      (Newsweek November 1980)



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Stephen E. Jones
      Group On Fri, 1 Jun 2001 11:52:48 +1000, L. K. Appleton wrote: [...] ... LA That seems to mean that you envisage most possibilities as being ... No. Now
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 11, 2001
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        Group

        On Fri, 1 Jun 2001 11:52:48 +1000, L. K. Appleton wrote:

        [...]

        >SJ>Ian needs to pay careful attention to my words. I did not say that "the
        >>'intelligence' is *not* theistic". I said it was not "*necessarily* ...
        >>theistic" (my emphasis). In fact I actually said that the intelligence
        >>being "theistic ... is ... a possibility".

        LA>That seems to mean that you envisage most possibilities as being
        >*Not* theistic Stephen?

        No. Now *Laurie* needs to "pay careful attention to my words". I
        personally don't "envisage" anything other than the designer being the
        Christian God.

        For example, it now appears that Laurie himself believes the designer(s) to
        be "`advanced beings' from elsewhere in the Cosmos"
        (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/515),
        which is one of those "possibilities" which is "*Not* theistic".

        LA>Would you provide a few of the "not theistic"
        >possibilities for our consideration?

        I have already listed these in my response to Ian in this same thread, i.e.
        "aliens", "time travellers", "agnostic" or "unknown ... natural causes. See
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/440

        I reiterate that I do not personally agree with any of these. My point is that
        if design is scientifically detected, *others* are not compelled to believe
        that the designer was the Christian God.

        >SJ>If the ID movement succeeds in empirically demonstrating that
        >>unintelligent natural causes are insufficient to explain life's
        >>complexity,

        LA>In any honest and rational mind that has always been self-evident,
        >hasn't it? Long time atheists, Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, understood
        >this a couple of decades ago and felt compelled to renounce their
        >atheism as a result.

        See my previous post that H&W's "God" is not the same as Christianity's
        infinite personal God, but is either form of pantheism (i.e. the universe is
        God); or finite-godism (i.e. God is part of the universe).

        LA>Curiously they used the same principle as atheist
        >Richard (Blind Watchmaker) Dawkins referred to, when he wrote;
        >
        >"The more statistically improbable a thing is, the
        >less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance.
        >Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an
        >intelligent Designer. "

        Agreed. But that doesn't mean that H&W think the "intelligent Designer" is
        the Christian God.

        LA>Dawkin's continuation is simply special pleading as well as false,
        >since Darwin did NOT "show" and such thing as Dawkins claimes
        >he did in his continuation. i.e.;
        >
        >"But Charles Darwin showed how it is
        >possible for blind physical forces to mimic the effects of
        >conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter
        >of chance variations, to lead eventually to organised and
        >adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans
        >and therefore, indirectly, to books and computers."
        >(Dawkins R., "The Necessity of Darwinism, New Scientist, 15
        >April 1982, p130)

        The key word is "possible". All that Darwin proposed is a *theory* of how
        some "chance variations" might be favourable in a given environment and
        so confer a survival and/or reproductive advantage on those organisms
        possessing them and their descendants.

        But to extrapolate from that mere *possibility* to an *actuality*, that the
        "cumulative filter[ing] of chance variations is what was *solely*
        responsible for "mosquitoes ... mammoths ... [and] "humans" is just
        naturalistic *philosophy*.

        It only works on the *assumption* that there is no God (materialism), or if
        there is a God, He did not intervene in His creation (naturalism).

        Interestingly I bought a secondhand book today by geneticist R.J. Berry
        (who is a Christian Darwinist) citing R.A. Fisher (another Christian
        Darwinist) and they both believe there is a God but make the assumption
        that He does not intervene in His creation:

        "A second class of objections relates to the difficulty of imagining
        functional intermediate stages in the development of a character
        such as the electric organ of a fish, or rather similarly, to the
        acquisition of organs of "extreme perfection" such as the vertebrate
        eye. In general, specific difficulties like these tend to diminish as
        comparative studies progress and advantageous (functional)
        intermediate stages are discovered. Moreover, as Fisher has pointed
        out, evolutionists could not explain the production of complex
        organs except by postulating natural selection, for the probability of
        all the necessary modifications appearing initially in one organism
        (except by special creation) is virtually zero. It is only their gradual
        accumulation as the result of natural selection, which increases
        sufficiently the probability of their appearing in the same individual
        that make it possible for highly integrated systems to be evolved."
        (Berry R.J., "Teach Yourself Genetics," The English Universities
        Press: London, 1965, p.116)

        LA>That being NOT shown at all then Dawkin's is left
        >with ID rather than Blind Chance.

        I agree with Laurie's conclusion but not necessarily his reasoning.
        There is a reverse fallacy here. That Darwin and Dawkins have not
        *proved* that the "cumulative filter[ing of chance variations" (i.e.
        RM&NS), was solely responsible for "mosquitoes ... mammoths ... [and]
        "humans" does not mean that it is *disproved*. Unless it could be
        positively *disproved* (which Dembski might eventually succeed in doing)
        Dawkins and even theistic naturalistic evolutionists (TNEs) like Berry
        will continue, to convert this mere possibility into an actuality:

        "This technique for the conversion of possibilities into probabilities
        and liabilities into assets was the more effective the longer the
        process went on. In the chapter entitled "Difficulties on Theory" the
        solution of each difficulty in turn came more easily to Darwin as he
        triumphed over-not simply disposed of-the preceding one. The
        reader was put under a constantly mounting obligation; if he
        accepted one explanation, he was committed to accept the next.
        Having first agreed to the theory in cases where only some of the
        transitional stages were missing, the reader was expected to
        acquiesce in those cases where most of the stages were missing,
        and finally in those where there was no evidence of stages at all.
        Thus, by the time the problem of the eye was under consideration,
        Darwin was insisting that anyone who had come with him so far
        could not rightly hesitate to go further. In the same spirit, he
        rebuked those naturalists who held that while some reputed species
        were varieties rather than real species, other species were real. Only
        the kindness of preconceived opinion," he held, could make them
        balk at going the whole way-as if it was not precisely the propriety
        of going the whole way that was at issue. As possibilities were
        promoted into probabilities, and probabilities into certainties, so
        itself was raised to a position only once removed from certain
        knowledge. When imagination exhausted itself and Darwin could
        devise no hypothesis to explain away a difficulty, he resorted to the
        blanket assurance that we were too ignorant of the ways of nature
        to know why one event occulted rather than another, and hence
        ignorant of the explanation that would reconcile the facts to his
        theory." (Himmelfarb G., "Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution,"
        [1959], Elephant Paperbacks: Chicago IL, 1996, reprint, pp.334-
        335)

        without realising they are doing it!

        >SJ>As Behe points out, an anti-supernaturalist could then simply posit a
        >>non-theistic intelligent cause like aliens:

        LA>Wouldn't Space aliens, if such existed at all, be supernatural
        >anyway? Our only standard of "natural" must surely be based on
        >ourselves, whereas Aliens and UFO's are clearly supernatural
        >as compared to us.

        No. Laurie is getting ontology (being) mixed up with epistemology
        (knowing). "Supernatural" in its ontological sense means "above nature"
        i.e. not itself a part of nature. A primitive tribesman might *think* that a
        white man arriving on a ship or plane with sticks that can kill instantly at a
        distance is supernatural. But the tribesman is unwittingly making a mistake.
        He only *thinks* (epistemology) that the white man is supernatural. We
        know that the white man was not *really* (ontology) supernatural.

        The Christian God is claimed to be *ontologically* supernatural. That is
        He created the universe, sustains it and can intervene in it. But He is not
        Himself part of the universe. The Christian God is ontologically *ultimate*.
        He was not created - He simply *IS*. The question of who or what created
        the Christian God is therefore meaningless.

        Now that Laurie has `come out' and admitted that he does not believe the
        Christian God created life on Earth but it was sent here by "Intelligent
        beings" which "exist elsewhere in the Cosmos" (who also as are responsible
        for what "Christians now see the activities of God, as recorded in Genesis"
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/510),
        perhaps Laurie will explain:

        1) did these "Beings" create the universe in six literal 24-hour days? and

        2) who or what created these "Beings"?

        [...]

        Steve

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        "Bacteria swim by means of flagella that are completely different from the
        flagella of eucaryotic cells. The bacterial flagellum consists of a helical tube
        formed from a single type of protein subunit, called flagellin. Each
        flagellum is attached by a short flexible hook at its base to a small protein
        disc embedded in the bacterial membrane. Incredible though it may seem,
        this disc is part of a tiny "motor" that uses the energy stored in the
        transmembrane H+ gradient to rotate rapidly and turn the helical flagellum
        (Figure 15-61). ... Figure 15-61 Schematic drawing of the bacterial flagellar
        motor. The flagellum is linked to a flexible hook. The hook is attached to a
        series of protein rings (shown in red), which are embedded in the outer and
        inner (plasma) membranes and rotate with the flagellum at about 150
        revolutions per second. The rotation is thought to be driven by a flow of
        protons through an outer ring of proteins (the stators which also contains
        the proteins responsible for switching the direction of rotation." (Alberts
        B., et al., "Molecular Biology of the Cell," [1983], Garland: New York
        NY, Third Edition, 1994, p.774)
        Stephen E. Jones. sejones@.... http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
        Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
        Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      • L. K. Appleton
        Hi Stephen, ... From: Stephen E. Jones To: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:32 AM Subject: Re: Design & designer:
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 12, 2001
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          Hi Stephen,
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Stephen E. Jones
          To: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 8:32 AM
          Subject: Re: Design & designer: Separate questions


          SJ> Group

          SJ> On Fri, 1 Jun 2001 11:52:48 +1000, L. K. Appleton wrote:

          [...]

          LA>Would you provide a few of the "not theistic"
          >possibilities for our consideration?

          SJ> I have already listed these in my response to Ian in this same
          SJ> thread, i.e. "aliens", "time travellers", "agnostic" or
          SJ> "unknown ... natural causes.

          Thank you for that. Then you see "advanced beings elsewhere
          in the Cosmos" as distinct possibilities eh? So my reference to
          Francis Crick and his "Directed Panspermia" was an acceptable
          "possibility" to discuss after all?

          <snip>

          SJ> Interestingly I bought a secondhand book today by geneticist R.J. Berry
          SJ> (who is a Christian Darwinist) citing R.A. Fisher (another Christian
          SJ> Darwinist) and they both believe there is a God but make the assumption
          SJ> that He does not intervene in His creation:

          Surely you are being "generous" in referring to any Darwinist
          as a Christian, since Darwinism is basically the antithesis of
          christianity. Even Immanuel Velikovsky points out that;


          "The adherents of orthogenesis claim the existence of
          a plan and a goal. But since, in such a theory, Providence
          enters into action, and to make nature independent of it
          was a major objective of the theory of evolution as opposed
          to the teaching of special creation, after some
          deliberation orthogenesis, or creative evolution, met
          largely with rejection".

          (Earth in Upheavel, sequel to "World's in Collision",
          Immanuel Velikovsky, 1956, page 215)


          <SNIP>


          SJ> Now that Laurie has `come out' and admitted that he does not believe the
          SJ> Christian God created life on Earth but it was sent here by "Intelligent
          SJ> beings" which "exist elsewhere in the Cosmos"

          Surely you are taking liberties there Stephen. I did not "admit"
          any such thing and surely you must know that. I was simply
          discussing what you (in other places) choose to call "possibilities"


          Laurie Appleton
          lappleto@...

          "The missing link between man and the apes, whose absence has comforted religious fundamentalists since the days of Darwin, is merely the most glamorous of a whole
          hierachy of phantom creatures."
          (Newsweek November 1980)




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