Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Who Designed the Designer: The argument the IDers must censor

Over at Bill Dembski's blog for loyal sycophants, head lapdog DaveScot vainly tries to justify the censoring of the question of who designed the designer by calling it "trite", and pummeling a straw man:

"There is not enough data to make any determination of who designed the designer. When and if we can identify the designer of organic life on this planet we might have some data to work with in determining the origin of that agency. Until that situation changes, maybe SETI will give us some data someday, there’s no point in asking the question over and over again.

Indeed, there is no point in asking the question over and over again, but that is because it blows the most basic argument of Intelligent Design, or Paleyism if you like, out of the water, not because we lack sufficient data to answer the question.

The question is rhetorical. We who ask it don't expect an answer, because it can't be answered. That's the point. ID argues that specified complexity (SC), a term that still waits in vain for an clear objective definition, requires an intelligence as its source. But since such a source would invariably have a good amount of SC itself, this begs the question of where THAT SC came from, and down the infinite regress we go, turtles, er, gods, er, designers, all the way down. The clear logical answer to where complexity came from is that it came from something simpler, not something even more complex.

Refusing to go there, for they know evolution lies at the end of that path, the IDers find themselves in a trap. They can't answer this challenge without delving into a lot of pseudophilosophical gibberish like this from one of the commenters:

"...the beginning of the universe (science) implies (philosophy) a first cause of the universe that is eternal, infinite, immaterial, and non-spatial. Furthermore (philosophy), since only temporal and finite things require a cause for their existence, an eternal and infinite being like the first cause does not require a cause. He is self-existing."

Aside from the problem of trying to discern exactly what an immaterial, non-spatial being would be like, this brings the 800 pound gorilla into the room, for the being they have in mind when they say things like this clearly is the Christian god. However, they must avoid this at all costs to have any hope of achieving their political agenda to get ID acknowledged as science rather than religion, so their only recourse is to ban discussion of said topic. Thus DaveScot's plea of a lack of data with which to determine who designed the designer, and who the designer is, is clearly disingenuous, since those questions have been, and must be, decreed off limits in principle by the IDers, regardless of the amount of data available. The data has already spoken on who/what the designer was. The IDers simply don't like the answer, so in true religious form, rather than reject their disproven hypothesis, they simply ignore the data, and declare the question that leads to it out of bounds.


scripto said...

The whole concept of ID seems incoherent to me. I don't really see at what level these elimination filters can be applied to detect design. It seems to me that if you are operating according to the rules of methodological naturalism then the best the filter can kick out is "don't know". The analogy is always made to human based design but I see nothing operating on an extra-natural level there either.

Forget identifying the designer, I'd settle for a hypothesis concerning process, or an identified design event, or a timeline.... anything that can be looked at.

ScienceAvenger said...

Exactly. Where are the most rudimentory tests of the design inference, or the explanatory filter. Show us how it identifies, say, a watch, but not a mud puddle, as designed? Where is their assistence with forensic science or archaeology, where the ability to distinguish human design from non-human occurences?

There is a reason the IDers always speak in vague, general terms.