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The Intelligent Designers - who were they?

 
 
Eorl
 
Reply Mon 9 Oct, 2006 06:45 pm
For those in support of a biological theory that includes intelligent design, what conclusions may be drawn about the designers themselves?

For example;

Many creatures have failed, so the designs are certainly not perfect.

Many creatures rely on the deaths of other creatures for their survival, so not a gentle race.

To me, a race of humans that are far further advanced in biological engineering would be the most obvious candidates as the designers.

What do you think?

(Please try to keep in mind that the "Intelligent Design" people are determined to prove that they are being scientific, and not just looking for an excuse to jump straight to theological conclusions of magic that they already had in mind)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 4,526 • Replies: 104
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kiwimac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Oct, 2006 12:58 am
I blame those damn Vulcan's myself!

Kiwimac
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2006 12:08 am
How typical that none of those who support ID have an answer to this, the simplest of questions about the so-called ID theory.
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megamanXplosion
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2006 12:37 am
Yes, this is very typical. I always enjoy watching them squirm whenever they encounter such a question.
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Francis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2006 12:49 am
Re: The Intelligent Designers - who were they?
Eorl wrote:
To me, a race of humans that are far further advanced in biological engineering would be the most obvious candidates as the designers.



Even thought this could be interpreted as changing God to a more pseudo scientific approach, I concede I had this kind of thoughts before.

When looking some documentary about Reef Barrier's fauna, I can't help thinking of an exobiology class, in a far futur, doing experimental works on creating species ex-nihilo...
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 03:30 pm
Re: The Intelligent Designers - who were they?
Eorl wrote:
(Please try to keep in mind that the "Intelligent Design" people are determined to prove that they are being scientific, and not just looking for an excuse to jump straight to theological conclusions of magic that they already had in mind)


Ok, I think I can play the game.

In order to avoid magic, we need to posit an extraterrestrial race with very advanced and subtle biotech knowledge.

Any changes which were made to the biology of this planet would have to be so subtle that they are barely detectable (since we haven't detected any).

For example, to force mammals to branch into a primate so that you could eventually get a human, would require not only a small but well focused change to the genetics (and a means to make sure the genes became commonplace in the population), but also the ability to predict the interaction of the new species with a changing environment over millions of years. Then of course, the genome would have to be repeatedly tweaked to keeping it going along the track you wanted, otherwise the natural pressures of selection and variation would make the result wander.

First problem: How to insert a new gene. This is an easy one, steal an animal, extract a gene and insert the new gene with alien super technology. You do this in the sex cells, and then reproduce a new critter.

Second problem: Get the critter into the population and make sure it reproduces and doesn't get killed by a big nasty predator, or a virus. But, maybe if you do it with a while bunch of critters and watch them closely, you can make it work. You can zap nasty predators with a needle laser from orbit or something.

Big problem: Anticipating the environment and interactions of other natural develpments. But maybe if they've been doing this long enough, the quirks of evolution and natural environments are predictable enough to get your change into the population.

So now the aliens have a population of new critters just slightly different enough from their predecessors that the genetic changes aren't glaringly obvious. The aliens are zapping predators from orbit and giving their critters cold medicine to make sure they live long enough to reproduce.

Next problem: All the changes have to be subtle, so you've got to repeat this process almost constantly to build up enough variation in the population to replicate all the differing sub-species we find in the fossil record and in existing populations.

Ok, that won't work. Let's try this...

Extra Terrestrials use specially designed viruses to alter genetic material in terrestrial organisms.

They periodically seed the planet with viruses designed for a given species which will induce a genetic change over time. They crank out the virus, freeze it into ice pellets and drop the pellets anywhere they like.

Each change still has to be very subtle so that it goes undetected in the history of life on Earth (because we detect no abberations currently), however, lots of little changes can be made over and over again just by modifying your gene-cracking virus.

The big problem here is that in order to target a large change a million years down the line, you have to have an extremely detailed understanding of genetics and of how the new species will tend to evolve, because even though you're tweaking the process, the basic elements of natural selection and variation are still present, and they are always in play. The preassure to maintain a given growth track would be a never ending battle.

How's that? ET's with super genetic knowledge who use repeated exposure to engineered viruses to continually nudge raw evolution onto a desired track. In order to prove the theory, we would need to find evidence of engineered viruses which insert genetic code, and we would need to differentiate those viruses from natural viral behavior which insert non-engineered genes.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 05:21 pm
Eorl wrote:
How typical that none of those who support ID have an answer to this, the simplest of questions about the so-called ID theory.
What would constitute an answer? Would you have us explain why some species have become extinct? Or, why death is anything other than a requirement for ecological equilibrium?
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Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:02 pm
ros, very cool response. At least Cartman's anal probes make sense to me now.

neo, I'd be satisfied with a proper alternate theory. At the moment, the ID proposition is like pointing at a few missing bricks in the Great Wall of China and assuming that proves the thing was built by magic, and then proposing which kind of magic with no link between the magic and the evidence.
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Bawb
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:20 pm
Maybe the God's in all of these ancient books are actually people from other planets, who came to create us. Maybe we are just an experiment, and in 2012 the slate will be wiped clean.

Hey, it happened with the dinosaurs.
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blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:25 pm
Plumbing the depths of the mysteries, using my mighty psychic powers I've divined a picture of these Great Designers. I share it with you now. Behold their awesome personages!

http://everyoneloveslucy.tripod.com/images/Ethel_Fred/seance.jpg
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:28 pm
Eorl, keep in mind that I don't put myself in any one's camp; evolutionist, creationist or IDer. But, I do believe that we exist as a result of God's will and that our purpose is apart from that of animals.

It seems reasonable that animals live and die as a part of an ecological process necessary for the order and equilibrium of earth. Regardless of the fault many find with the bible, I don't think the overall bible account contradicts this assertion.

But then along came man: Where does he fit in?

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that humans, under Edenic conditions, could indeed live forever and not upset the balance of nature.

None of this is rock solid proof, of course. I merely offer this as a point from which to step off.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:30 pm
Eorl wrote:
ros, very cool response. At least Cartman's anal probes make sense to me now.


I forgot to add that your question implies a very good point; even if we can posit a non-magical designer, the fact that we see no abberations in the biological history of this planet implies that the designer must have been intentionally hiding their activities by simulating natual processes. And the implication of that stretches credulity beyond bounds. We would also have to posit a conspiracy theory on top of super-genetic technology.

The simple fact is, that life on this planet is completely natural. All the processes required to make it work are there, and there isn't any indication of anything artificial anywhere. And this includes multi-disciplinary layers of evidence as well as timelines in the billions of years.

The reality is that we already know evolution is a fact. And we already know ID isn't science. Now we see that even if we give ID a little bit of rope to play with, all it does is hang itself.

Anyone who posits a non-magical designer has to assume a technology which can tweak as well as predict, and which leaves no artificial trail, while warding off the effects of selective feedback on any natural system. Obviously in such a scenario, entities are being multiplied beyond necessity, and Occam would not be pleased.

The other alternative is that the system really is exactly as it appears; completely natural. Granted the interactions are complex, but the system is self regulating and logical. Evolution is the obvious ane inescapable answer.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:35 pm
blacksmithn wrote:
Plumbing the depths of the mysteries, using my mighty psychic powers I've divined a picture of these Great Designers. I share it with you now. Behold their awesome personages!

Here is Blacksmithn's image, without the blockage from stupid Tripod...
http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/2633/seancejm2.jpg
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:35 pm
Yeah, but Ros, if the creator is indeed the author of natural law, one would expect the appearance of species to be free of aberrations.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:44 pm
neologist wrote:
It seems reasonable that animals live and die as a part of an ecological process necessary for the order and equilibrium of earth. Regardless of the fault many find with the bible, I don't think the overall bible account contradicts this assertion.


Of course it does. Unless you treat the bible purely as allegory and don't attach any physical reality to it, it's in complete conflict with everything we see in every day life. The bible assumes the involvement of magic in the world. We can stop right there; it's in conflict.

neologist wrote:
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that humans, under Edenic conditions, could indeed live forever and not upset the balance of nature.


What are you talking about?

Edenic conditions?

Living forever?

You think a population of peole who live forever wouldn't 'upset' the balance of nature? It's not even natural to suggest such a thing.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:46 pm
neologist wrote:
Yeah, but Ros, if the creator is indeed the author of natural law, one would expect the appearance of species to be free of aberrations.


That's different. You're not talking about a 'tweaking' creator. You're suggesting a creator who created nature and let it run its course. That's deific, I have no problem with that, except that there's no indication of it, and it 'multiplies elements unecessarily'.

That's not ID. Let's keep on track here. Or at least acknowledge that you're suggesting a supernatural designer, not a natural one, and that it's a spiritual designer at that, not a 'tweaking' designer.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:53 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
neologist wrote:
It seems reasonable that animals live and die as a part of an ecological process necessary for the order and equilibrium of earth. Regardless of the fault many find with the bible, I don't think the overall bible account contradicts this assertion.


Of course it does. Unless you treat the bible purely as allegory and don't attach any physical reality to it, it's in complete conflict with everything we see in every day life. The bible assumes the involvement of magic in the world. We can stop right there; it's in conflict.

neologist wrote:
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that humans, under Edenic conditions, could indeed live forever and not upset the balance of nature.


What are you talking about?

Edenic conditions?

Living forever?

You think a population of peole who live forever wouldn't 'upset' the balance of nature? It's not even natural to suggest such a thing.
And the reason is? . . .
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:55 pm
rosborne979 wrote:
neologist wrote:
Yeah, but Ros, if the creator is indeed the author of natural law, one would expect the appearance of species to be free of aberrations.


That's different. You're not talking about a 'tweaking' creator. You're suggesting a creator who created nature and let it run its course. That's deific, I have no problem with that, except that there's no indication of it, and it 'multiplies elements unecessarily'.

That's not ID. Let's keep on track here. Or at least acknowledge that you're suggesting a supernatural designer, not a natural one, and that it's a spiritual designer at that, not a 'tweaking' designer.
Though it may seem to multiply elements, it may perhaps be the quintessential explanation in favor of free will.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 07:56 pm
I'll be pretty much gone for a day or so; but I'm bookmarking here.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 09:24 pm
neologist wrote:
rosborne979 wrote:
You think a population of peole who live forever wouldn't 'upset' the balance of nature? It's not even natural to suggest such a thing.
And the reason is? . . .


Putting aside the fact that it's un-natural for organisms to live forever. An endless population of humans would simply grow unchecked until they exceeded their resources, at which point starvation and stress would begin to kill them. And while that would be 'natural', it wouldn't be much of a balance.
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