Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ID and Ignorance

Hugo said: I like this sentence: “Critics also reject applying specified complexity to infer design as an argument from ignorance.”

I’m glad that this wasn’t your thought Hugo because saying that specified complexity is an argument from ignorance shows you don’t understand the fallacy or specified complexity.

Once again, the topic of the series was the question, “What is the origin of the formulated information (specified complexity) needed to build the first living organism?”

I have pointed out where Chance, Chemical Necessity and RNA replication don’t meet the criteria of Best Evidence for explaining the origin of that type of information. They do not meet the criteria for causal adequacy. They are not the best possible answer to that question. On the other hand this lack of material cause does open the door for inferring Intelligent Design.

Here is where what Hugo says about the reference that he likes parts ways with the true definition of argument from ignorance and specified complexity as it’s being used in this series. Knowledge of the absence of evidence (which I just described above), is not the same as the absence of knowledge, which is what an argument from ignorance implies.

. Chance, Chemical Necessity and RNA replication are inadequate as causal adequacy.

That’s a fact but it isn’t the ONLY fact upon which the inference to ID is based. Again, if this was an argument from ignorance, the absence of natural evidence would be the only criteria for inferring ID. But that is not the case. As well as causal inadequacy of the natural hypothesis, what we know is -

. Intelligent Agents are the only known source of large quantities of functional information.

Even if there were no other reasons, this last point on it’s own is reason enough to infer ID as the cause of the specified complexity that is found in DNA, RNA and Proteins.

“The creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”
Quastler, “The Emergence of Biological Organization” 16

We know from experience that when large amounts of specified complexity or functional information is present, Creative Intelligence or Intelligent Design has played a role. Based on our understanding of cause and effect, we know intuitively that when large blocks of intelligent, complex formulated information that is needed for life is present, intelligence has played a role.

Rather than an argument from ignorance, these posts have been an inference to the Best Evidence, or best explanation.

Eliminating Chance, Predestination and RNA replication does not mean that Intelligent Design is the winner by default. That has never been suggested. It does mean however that ID should not be discarded because of philosophical reasons or because your predetermined world-view doesn't allow for such an answer. Because we know of no other means of creating large amounts of specified complexity other than by Intelligent Agents, ID, at the very least, should remain a possible contender as to the Cause of the evidence that we observe.

All along this series has been an inference to the Best Evidence, based upon the best available knowledge.

The fact is:
. No natural causes have been found that demonstrate the ability to produce large amounts of specified information.

. Intelligent Agents HAVE demonstrated the ability to produce large amounts of specified information.

We can conclude from those two premises that “Intelligent Agents” form the best, most causally adequate explanation for the specified complexity that is found in the cell.

There is no way that that is even close to an argument from ignorance as the term is being referred to by Hugo.

2 comments:

Christ Follower (no longer) said...

1) Your god is a supernatural being; it is a spirit, with absolutely no evidence to support its existence.

2) All supernatural beings are created by, and exist only in, human imaginations; there is no natural or supernatural process known to science which can create them or a place for them to exist.

3) Therefore your god was created by, and exists only in, human imaginations.
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1) Physical matter is not created by conscious minds; there is no conscious process known to science that creates physical matter.
2) Therefore the physical universe was not created by a conscious mind.

Makarios said...

it is a spirit, with absolutely no evidence to support its existence."

You mean other than being the best explanation for the information that allows for first life to come into being? No, other than the fact that you exist and are able to write that rubbish, there's no evidence at all. Pfft!
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there is no natural or supernatural process known to science which can create them or a place for them to exist."

Dear child, there are a lot of things that science can't do:

Science can't tell us why kindness is better than cruelty - yet we still believe it to be true

Science can't tell us how the laws of mathematics and logic came to exist or why they came to exist but we still live as though they do exist.

Science can't explain or prove metaphysical truths;
. there are minds other than my own
. the external world is real
. the external world didn't begin to exist ten minutes ago appearing as aged.

Science can't prove or disprove ethical beliefs. For example:
. Whether the Nazis did anything evil

Science can't rule on aesthetic judgments
. Beauty and goodness can't be proven

Science itself can't be justified by the scientific method of inquiry.
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"Physical matter is not created by conscious minds;"

Are you saying that formulated information is something real?