Powerful evidence for Design?

A completely new dimension of reality is opened up by the view that the universe is the product of Design. It implies that purpose is not a rare phenomenon but fundamental and widespread. Even inanimate objects are valuable and significant because without them life would be impossible. This is where science is entirely uninformative and insignificant because it tells us nothing about the reasons for our existence. To leave people with the impression that science explains everything is to leave them with no authentic purpose at all. It doesn’t tell us how we should behave towards others or even towards ourselves. It doesn’t distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, just and unjust. In other words it leads to a dead end…

One of the saddest features of contemporary society is its loss of moral values and the pursuit of pleasure rather than perfection. A typical secular interpretation of life is given by Clarence Darrow:

All we know is that we were born on this little grain of sand which we call the earth. We know that it is one of the smallest bits of matter that floats in the great shoreless sea of space and we have every reason to believe that it is as inconsequential in every other respect… we are like a body of shipwrecked sailors clutching to a raft and desperately engaged in holding on… The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful towards our friends and fellow passengers clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.

  • A Modern Introduction to Philosophy - edited by Paul Edwards and Arthur Pap, p. 453.

Science is based on the principle that there are explanations for everything - even though they may not be of the type we expect. Science is inadequate because it excludes explanations in terms of **purpose **which are the basis of a rational existence. We all have to work out our own way of life and decide what is more important than anything else. Even if we don’t believe in Design we know it is absurd to live as if we have no reasons for living. So in practice we live **as if **we don’t exist by Chance.

Design implies that we all have a specific vocation and an obligation to develop our potentialities to the best of our ability. We have a definite incentive to persevere in the quest for truth and meaning, inspired by the thought that everything will ultimately fit into an intelligible pattern. In other words we are sustained by faith, hope and love because we don’t regard others as accidental companions with whom we have nothing in common and towards whom we have no obligations.

As we get older and infirm it becomes difficult not to regard our efforts and sufferings as pointless, especially if we think everything is going to be swallowed up in total oblivion. Suicide is often thought to be a solution but it causes problems for others and certainly undermines belief in virtues like courage and fortitude because it implies we are useless and of no value to anyone. It is the thin end of the wedge to base life on how **useful **we think we are to others. According to that criterion euthanasia is justified for a fair proportion of the population! Even when he was blind Milton did not yield to that temptation:

“He also serves who only stands and waits…”

The most convincing evidence for Design is the richness of personal existence with all its opportunities for exploration, creativity, appreciation and enjoyment - like art, music, drama, literature, history, science, technology and - of course - philosophy. :slight_smile: This is not to mention the happiness to be found in family life, friendship, travel and even work - but it is the spiritual life that must surpass everything else because it is our greatest source of inspiration. Many people today cannot understand how monks and nuns can be happy and fulfilled when they are isolated from all that gives others their reasons for living. Yet their closeness to God is the greatest source of joy and peace anyone can have. Just to read what the saints and mystics of different religions - and even no religion - have written about their experiences is to glimpse a higher level of existence.

“By their fruits you shall know them…”

It is the fertility of Design that makes it far superior to its rival.

[LEFT]
[/LEFT]
On rereading my post I thought it was a pity not to quote Milton’s sonnet in full:

[LEFT]When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?
"I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need**
Either man’s work or his own gifts**: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”[/LEFT]

I should have put the title of the sonnet: “On his blindness” - which explains why he asks whether he should be expected to do something useful when he is plunged into permanent darkness. He later wrote poignantly:

“I shall be at once the weakest and the strongest, at the same time blind and most keen in vision. By this infirmity may I be perfected, by this completed Divine law and divine favor have rendered us not only safe from the injuries of men, but almost sacred, nor do these shadows around us seem to have been created so much by the dullness of our eyes as by the shade of angels wings. And divine favor not infrequently is wont to lighten these shadows again, once made, by an inner and far more enduring light.”

He wrote his greatest work after that: Paradise Lost

Wise as ever, Tonyrey.

Thanks. :thumbsup:

**Tony, the scientific evidence for design gets stronger everyday.
**

Epigenetics, Epigenetics and more epigenetics.

For some time I have been claiming that epigenetic inheritance is a problem for evolution. Here we have Science Daily agreeing.This rapid ability to produce variation is in agreement with IDvolution.

From the article:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 29, 2012) — The domestication of chickens has given rise to rapid and extensive changes in genome function. A research team at Linköping University in Sweden has established that the changes are heritable, although they do not affect the DNA structure.

…“The results suggest that domestication has led to epigenetic changes. For more than 70 % of the genes, domesticated chickens retained a higher degree of methylation. Since methylation is a much faster process than random mutations, and may occur as a result of stress and other experiences, this may explain how variation within a species can increase so dramatically in just a short time.”

The rapid ability to produce variation is also in agreement with evolution, see Punctuated Equilibrium. During a Punctuation change is rapid.

What you need is to describe something that IDvolution predicts, that evolution does not. And then show us that the IDvolution prediction is correct, while the evolutionary prediction is not.

Merely predicting the same things as evolution will not help you. You need to predict something different and then show that you are correct.

In many cases Newton and Einstein predicted the same thing. Scientists could only test one against the other when they predicted different things.

rossum

If I have any wisdom it is due to my God-given power of reason - and frequent preservation from danger - but daily experience reminds me I’m still capable of folly! :wink:

Design predicts:

  1. The laws of nature will always remain fundamentally constant

  2. Personal activity will never be entirely explained by science

  3. Persons will always be responsible for their behaviour unless there are mitigating circumstances

  4. There will **never **be mitigating circumstances for **all **human behaviour

  5. The power of reason will never be surpassed and replaced by artificial intelligence

  6. Purposeful activity will always be considered superior to purposeless activity

  7. Buddhism will always be considered superior to materialism!

Nice OP.

As you say, science refuses to assign purpose to our lives, and it’s worth pointing out that while there’s a huge appetite for science, marked by all those best-sellers, unfortunately it seems many people were never taught that real science refuses to assign meaning to its findings and instead leaves meaning to metaphysics.

For instance, you can read all the Stephen Hawking books you like but never understand the science (I choose Hawking because he’s especially good at never telling his reader whether he’s explaining fact, or speculating, or pontificating on his personal metaphysics).

One of the saddest features of contemporary society is its loss of moral values and the pursuit of pleasure rather than perfection.

Sounds like nostalgia ain’t what it used to be - I couldn’t help reading it as “One of the saddest features of contemporary society for you is your perception of its loss of your personal moral values and the pursuit of things you find unappealing rather than what you enjoy.” :smiley:

*It is the fertility of Design that makes it far superior to its rival. *

This seems to be an ad for either Catholicism or your personal take on design, not sure which, but if you’re saying the rival is science, imho you are giving science too much power.

Just on that, modern science has shown more than once (quantum mechanics, chaos theory, complexity theory) that there are absolute limits to our knowledge and ability to predict the future, which means that the philosophy of determinism is false (they can’t pretend the world is deterministic when they know that even in principle they can’t determine outcomes).

So it isn’t just your Design argument which predicts free will, science would too if free will wasn’t largely a moral construct outside its domain.

How does this derive from design? Is the designer incapable of changing its design, once done? That would exclude certain omnipotent entities from the role of designer. Many designers come up with a version 2 of their design, what is special about your proposed designer that is is incapable of producing a modified version?

Science also says that the fundamental laws of nature remain constant, so this is not a valid test. Science makes the same prediction.

  1. Personal activity will never be entirely explained by science

How can this be tested in less then infinite time? This is a test, but it is not practical.

  1. Persons will always be responsible for their behaviour unless there are mitigating circumstances

This is outside the realm of science, and so not relevant.

  1. There will **never **be mitigating circumstances for **all **human behaviour

This is outside the realm of science, and so not relevant.

  1. The power of reason will never be surpassed and replaced by artificial intelligence

How can this be tested in less then infinite time? This is a test, but it is not practical.

  1. Purposeful activity will always be considered superior to purposeless activity

By whom? Who makes the “considered” judgement?

  1. Buddhism will always be considered superior to materialism!

Your prediction fails. I suspect that Richard Dawkins considers materialism superior to Buddhism. Thus your “always” fails. A design prediction has been disproven. :slight_smile:

rossum

Yes indeed - hard hat area, beware collapsing arguments! :smiley:

Emphasis mine.

Design is a theory, one of many in natural science. As a theory, it relates to the intelligibility of the universe. As a theory of the way nature works, it is a pretty good one.

However, it needs to be noted that Design cannot serve as an ad for Catholicism because Catholicism pertains to the spiritual domain which is essentially different from the natural science domain.

Hard hats are removable. Hard heads are immovable.

Thanks!

As you say, science refuses to assign purpose to our lives, and it’s worth pointing out that while there’s a huge appetite for science, marked by all those best-sellers, unfortunately it seems many people were never taught that real science refuses to assign meaning to its findings and instead leaves meaning to metaphysics.

Many people don’t even know what metaphysics is - and some visitors to this forum have rejected it as completely useless…

For instance, you can read all the Stephen Hawking books you like but never understand the science (I choose Hawking because he’s especially good at never telling his reader whether he’s explaining fact, or speculating, or pontificating on his personal metaphysics).

A brilliant scientist who exceeds his brief…

Sounds like nostalgia ain’t what it used to be - I couldn’t help reading it as “One of the saddest features of contemporary society for you is your perception of its loss of your personal moral values and the pursuit of things you find unappealing rather than what you enjoy.”

Do you find millions of abortions and one-parent families appealing?

This seems to be an ad for either Catholicism or your personal take on design, not sure which, but if you’re saying the rival is science, imho you are giving science too much power.

My only reference to religion:

Just to read what the saints and mystics of **different religions **- and even no religion - have written about their experiences is to glimpse a higher level of existence.

The only rival to Design is (not surprisingly) non-Design - or any philosophy which dispenses with Design. :wink:

The laws of nature will always remain fundamentally constant because the purpose of Design is to sustain life and a rational existence.

Science also says that the fundamental laws of nature remain constant, so this is not a valid test. Science makes the same prediction.

All scientific propositions are provisional and subject to revision in the light of further evidence whereas Design is not.

[quote]2. Personal activity will never be entirely explained by science

How can this be tested in less then infinite time? This is a test, but it is not practical.
[/quote]

In that case many neuroscientists are already demonstrating their impracticality!

[quote]3. Persons will always be responsible for their behaviour unless there are mitigating circumstances

This is outside the realm of science, and so not relevant.
[/quote]

Is everything outside the realm of science irrelevant to the interpretation of reality?!

[quote]4. There will never be mitigating circumstances for all human behaviour

This is outside the realm of science, and so not relevant.
[/quote]

Is everything outside the realm of science irrelevant to the interpretation of reality?!

[quote]5. The power of reason will never be surpassed and replaced by artificial intelligence

How can this be tested in less then infinite time? This is a test, but it is not practical.
[/quote]

In that case many AI scientists are already demonstrating their impracticality!

[quote]6. Purposeful activity will always be considered superior to purposeless activity

By whom? Who makes the “considered” judgement?
[/quote]

All rational beings!

[quote]7. Buddhism will always be considered superior to materialism!

Your prediction fails. I suspect that Richard Dawkins considers materialism superior to Buddhism. Thus your “always” fails. A design prediction has been disproven.
[/quote]

Hardly - unless your faith in Buddhism is waning! That statement was specifically addressed to you (as you could have inferred by the exclamation mark. )

Humour is also evidence for Design… :slight_smile:

In that case science supports Design if free will isn’t entirely a moral construct. :slight_smile:

rossum, with all due respect, your paradigm is crumbling everyday. Don’t go down with the ship.:smiley: Give up that false idol god, BUC.

:thumbsup: with the proviso that Design is not restricted to natural science…

tonyrey

The only rival to Design is (not surprisingly) non-Design - or any philosophy which dispenses with Design.

The most powerful evidence for intelligent design is that we cannot understand the universe except as something that has been designed. If all nature were not designed, there would no reason for design to come into existence. All would be happenstance and unintelligible. Any scientist goes into his lab not to discover happenstance, but to design an experiment. From his experiment he discovers that nature exists according to laws, not happenstance. The fact that he can do so (intelligently design experiments) is evidence that design exists in the universe of our minds. From our knowledge of what we can intelligently plan in the lab, we can imagine what God can plan in the universe.

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