1. What do elements of the detected designs in nature tell us about the designer?
-The designs found in nature reflect a very thourough designer.
-Nothing is overlooked.
-The complete ecosystem is intertwined.
-From birth to death to life anew,
-The ability to find and convert food energies.
-There is no niche unfilled, no system unaccounted for.
Welcome rhocam. On the scale that we living out west use, we're practically neighbors. You live in Saskatchewan, and I live in Montana. As the crow flies, you live about 400 miles away. Philosophically, we're much further apart.
You put a lot of energy into your post and I am hoping that others respond too. I chose the above to respond to first because it would be hard to hold anyone's attention by responding to all of it in one fell swoop. If nothing else, I want to find out how serious you are before I respond at length.
First you say "-The designs found in nature reflect a very thourough designer."
This is an opinion. You're allowed to have it, of course, but you seem to be assuming that it is correct. You're allowed to do that too, but don't assume that we see nature in the same way. I, for instance, see that designed appearance of nature to be a by-product of lot of undesigned events. Whether you're saying "Wow, five fingers on both hands, that can't be a coincidence" or you're staring through a microscope at a chain of DNA and being generally astonished (as we all should be) and seeing it as something "designed", it's an opinion. Neither ID or any other alternative approach to biological questions has come up with anything that qualifies as an alternative explanation (other than "god did it"), and most people who espouse such things seem to be in awe rather than curious.
Not counting abiogenesis, which science admittedly cannot yet explain (something we feel time will fix), a good deal of biology can be explained using non-astonished methods. Biologists can look at the similarities in the DNA of humans and fruit flies and plants and yeast and conclude that there is a connection. They can point to specific DNA sequences that are identical and perform similar tasks in very different organisms. We call this evidence. It's something that biology has a lot of, and yet very few biologists are claiming that there is a designer. Hence that evidence doesn't seem to support such an allegation. A designer is not obvious to those studying life the most intently.
Next you say "-Nothing is overlooked. "
I've no idea what your standards are here but if I were in the mood, I could come up with a lot of things that were overlooked. A designer made human backs inherently defective? Thirty percent or more of all humans will have back problems, most caused by the poorly designed spine. Poorly designed when walking upright. I for one am not impressed. I can add to that poorly designed abdominal muscle walls that allow 25% or so of the population to have to deal with hernias. Appendixes. The female susceptibility to vaginal infections. The need for bacteria to properly digest our food and keep our skin clean. That's just for starters, and just for humans. What's with the deer rack I found in the forest 20 years ago where one point of the antler grew into the skull and, if it didn't kill the poor thing, sure made it painful for awhile. Why do catbirds destroy the eggs of other bird species and lay their own eggs in those nests so that other non-catbird birds can raise the catbird young? Or is there something else not overlooked that you were thinking of. I find tons of things pointing to a defective system that works despite it's shortcomings. But I don't find perfection.
Next you said, less controversially, that "-The complete ecosystem is intertwined. "
But again it sounds like you see that fact as a planned component of life, not a byproduct. When you're standing by the edge of a pond, fascinated by the interdependencies between fish and birds and frogs and plants and amoeba and fluke worms and mosquito larvae and such, you are not seeing all the efforts of other species to survive in the same environment, the ones that didn't make it. Perhaps a bird that needed more plankton to eat than the pond could provide. Or the fish that needed cooler water than the shallow water could produce. Or the plant with less robust roots that was crowded out by the cattails. Designers with the stature of a god shouldn't need to experiment, for millions and billions of years, to get it right. Especially since you say they weren't overlooking anything.
Next: "-From birth to death to life anew, "
Yes indeed. The various elements and chemicals within each of us are recycled (if given the chance) into other critters. (If we're embalmed and stuck in a metal box, it takes a bit longer. But it presumably still happens). Life is dependent upon the various organic elements and compounds that it is made of, and it has to recycle, because many of those components are unavailable otherwise. Do yo personally know where to get enough carbon to make your next kid if you use any other method then the next item on your list, procreation? Of course not. Nor does anyone else. We have to have ways to get it from living or once living sources, and evolution has made the tools for such recycling available. It gets messy. A dead cow in the desert crawling with millions of larvae is not one of the prettiest sites I've ever seen, but it was memorable. The rotting bodies and bones of deceased critters returns the pieces of their life to the soil and makes it available for later use by other living things. You think that was part of a grand design. I'm thinking it is a rather natural byproduct of a system created ad hoc by life. One that apparently works, or we wouldn't be here.
I already mentioned the next item on your list, "-Procreation". Very nice. Apparently sinful, but very nice. Quite necessary for any species to survive. It doesn't always require human type sex (single celled organisms split in half, flowers at least have the decency to casually distribute pollen rather than get all sweaty, etc) But something has to happen to cause one or more new little critters to be produced by the parent unit, whatever it may be. That ability is one of the basic definitions of life. Something that can move around all day and yet not reproduce isn't alive. By our definition. It may or may not be a sign that there is a designer. I see no reason to think that one is involved.
Then you listed "-The ability to find and convert food energies." The only thing we humans (and other mammals) eat that is not derived from living material is salt. (I'm not counting red dye #7 and other human created additives. I'm sure we all agree those are not necessary.) Now some bacteria can live off of things like sulfur and iron and sunlight. They are the ones that start the food chain. Most of the rest of us are required to eat things that were once alive, be they cows or carrots. This fits in nicely with evolution and life being intertwined, but it doesn't automatically point to a designer. It is easy for me to see this as yet another byproduct of life's little experiment. Something that it is doing on its own quite nicely.
And finally, you said : " -There is no niche unfilled, no system unaccounted for." Hmmm. Why does the species Demodex folliculorum
live hamlessly in only about one third of the human population's eyelashes? Why don't all dogs have dog heartworm? Why aren't all ants infected by the fungus Ophiocordyceps
? Lots of them are, but by no means are all of them. If no niche is unfilled, why don't I have malaria? How can you extirpate an animal from an area? Isn't that a niche unfilled? Amazing niche's are filled. Black smokers at the bottom of oceans, whatever the heck they find alive in that long buried Antarctic lake. But there is still plenty of room for new niches and new critters to fill them. The bacteria growing in jet fuel tanks, for instance. Where the heck did they live before humans invented jet fuel tanks? It is indeed amazing the types of niche's and the critters that live in them, but a guy big on creating the heavens and the earth and then taking the time to create the polio virus. What a sweetheart.
And what does "no system unaccounted for" mean? I haven't the slightest idea, so I can't respond.
You've come up with a nice list, but I've no idea how some of it applies to science as we know it. And I can't figure out how or why a designer is considered necessary. Like the christian god, it sounds like you have to have faith, because there is nothing to show otherwise.
And I have to ask. A god that's big on being anonymous and who requires faith and belief as proof of subservience, etc. isn't going to use some system or method of creating life that leaves tell-tales clues behind. If DNA were shown to be absolute proof that he exists, that little requirement of his would be thrown right out the window.
And please don't' be one of those guys that says ID has nothing to do with gods. I hate it when that happens. You're born again. So that's probably not one of your issues. But correct me if I'm wrong.
Note: I did not get into the issue of abiogenesis, though you discussed it. And of course there were other parts of your post I did not respond to here. But the fact that we don't know how life happened does not mean that there are not facts that can explain it. Facts that we don't have yet. I'd rather give science more time than roll over and play dead. No, we don't know how. But no, that doesn't mean we have to give props to a sky daddy either.
Again, welcome. And you don't need to apologize for the improper quoting problem as long as you take earnest steps to do it right and hence keep the rest of your posts clearer. Magicmiles gave you the right link to learn how to do it right, and when you next post, notice that you have a "Preview" button available to look at your post before it goes live. Very handy, especially when you want to be sure you are quoting clearly.