Author Topic: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design  (Read 846 times)

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Offline Graybeard

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The classic example is as in “The Blind WatchmakerWiki”: a man finds a watch in a field and concludes that it is a manufactured article rather than a natural object. From this he draws the erroneous conclusion that, as a consequence, all objects that are complex must be the product of a manufacturing Being whose powers and invisible celestial factory allow him to make such things because, surely, they could not have arisen naturally…

The man thinks further and considers the universe,

“How wonderful that I am here! If the slightest thing had been different, I would not exist, surely the Universe was designed around my needs!”
 
Well, not only is that a huge piece of arrogance to think that the entire universe is here only to support man, but the reasonable person will see that the conclusion is wrong but may be unsure as to why it is wrong.

In the case of the watch, it was clearly designed but, just because one complex thing is designed, it cannot mean that all complex things are designed.

Imagine an Alien arrives on earth. He has pictures of the creatures of earth. The first dog he sees has only three legs.

Q: Does he think, “This dog has only three legs, therefore the picture I have must be wrong and all dogs must have only three legs.”?

A: No, he does not. He knows that he needs to see more dogs and then reach the correct conclusion that the dog he first saw did not establish a rule. This is “testing the hypothesis.”

So we must ask ourselves why anyone should think that a watch found in a field gives the clue to God’s existence, and thus His Creation of the Universe and all that is in it.

Douglas Adams (of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fame) explained the error thus http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams

Quote
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there's plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that's a very dangerous thing to say.
Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, (1998)

There is an even simpler way of looking at the idea of so-called intelligent design:

A man is staring at a cat. Eventually, he turns to his wife and says,

 “Consider that cat. It is truly wonderful.”

The wife looks at the cat for a while, but the cat seems quite ordinary. She then says,

“In what way is it wonderful?”

“Well is it not obvious? Look at the cat; look at its eyes!”

The wife does so but still does not understand, “What about the cat and its eyes?”

“Well it is amazing, there are holes in the cats fur and skin exactly where its eyes are! One mistake and the cat would have two empty holes and its eyes would be under its skin.”


Of course, the wife is not fooled. People who accept Intelligent Design are the victims of the misuse of logic. Intelligent Design is nothing more than a joke, a trick, a deception. The victim is led one way and, whilst his intelligence is deceived, a false conclusion is drawn.

Here is an old proof that misuses logic to ‘prove’ that 2 = 1

1. Let a and b be equal (but not zero)
a=b

2. Multiply through by a
a2 = ab

3. Subtract b2

a2 -b2  = ab - b2

4. Factor both sides
(a-b)(a+b) = b(a - b)

5. Divide out by (a-b)

a+ b = b

6. Observing that a=b

b+b = b

7. Combine like terms on the left

2b = b

8. Divide by the non-zero b

2=1

(From this I can say that I and the pope are two different people but, as 2=1, I am the pope.)

If you do not think about it, something that is obviously false, will appear to be true.

Can we now never speak of “Intelligent Design”again? It makes people look foolish if they believe it.

Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jetson

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 07:37:41 AM »
I'm afraid it's the age old idea that there is no way anything amazing can happen without a purpose, and a designer.  And with the fine-tuning crowd, it is all too easy to sit back and proclaim that there is simply no way that any of what we observe in our universe could have happened without their god at the helm. 

These people have the most difficult time seeing the simplest explanation.  That being that many of the most amazing things we see are only possible because of the conditions that happen to exist.  At the center of it all, is the religious-based idea that humans are special.  That is the crux of the problem.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 08:34:51 AM by Graybeard »

Offline Poseidon

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 01:10:16 AM »
Your arguement is well done. You know, of course, that the majority of the ID proponents will not understand it at all, not even if they try. The simple math proposition will leave them completely baffled, particularly when you get to the factoring part.  The process of building toward a quadratic from 2+2 and back again is a fun exercise but it aint gonna fly with garden variety jesus folk. More is the pity.

I like the cat story best.



 

Offline lomolo

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 06:24:39 PM »
All it takes to fine-tune stuff is to divide by zero? Sign me up as a power plant engineer! :laugh:

Offline Samothec

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 12:32:12 AM »
The other fun thing is "irreducible complexity": if you can't take a part out and still have it work then it must have been designed. Yet that is making the huge (and erroneous) assumption that the equation is symmetrical. If it is not (which it isn't) then going forward and backward are going to have different results. Unfortunately I don't have a good example/analogy for this yet.
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2012, 01:03:47 PM »
The issue is first of all, the people who need to understand why ID is garbage are impervious to reason. The promoters of ID are extrmely disingenuous(like the poster Godexists) who are stating ID is a sceintific notion, but scince it is not a falsifiable theory...therefore cannot in any way shape or form be scientific other than it dressing religion in the language of science. And find me one big player that isn't from a Christian background.

How ID is garbage can be demonstrated easily in a deck of cards. Shuffle a deck seven times, which is the number of times needed to introduce maximum chaos into the deck. Find any Rummy style runs and remove them. Shuffle again and do the same. Order arising from chaos.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2012, 01:29:37 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have a good example/analogy for this yet.

A tower of segments is constructed, one on top of another.  Someon observes that if you take one of the segments away, the tower will fall.  Therefore the tower could not have been constructed one segment at a time.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Online One Above All

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 01:34:38 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have a good example/analogy for this yet.

A tower of segments is constructed, one on top of another.  Someon observes that if you take one of the segments away, the tower will fall.  Therefore the tower could not have been constructed one segment at a time.

JengaWiki?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Zankuu

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2012, 01:42:53 PM »
I bet Azdgari sucks at Jenga.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Online Azdgari

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2012, 01:54:11 PM »
JengaWiki?

Jenga uses 3 sections per layer.  This tower only has one.

I bet Azdgari sucks at Jenga.

You are mistaken.

Anyway, obviously my analogy needs some massaging in order to be effective.  But the basic idea is there.
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Online One Above All

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 02:02:24 PM »
Jenga uses 3 sections per layer.  This tower only has one.

Still, you make a good point/analogy.

Anyway, obviously my analogy needs some massaging in order to be effective.

It's fine as it is, IMO. Whether someone will interpret it as having one section per layer or twenty, the principle is the same.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline dloubet

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 12:10:08 AM »
What I find amusing is that the theist walking on the beach thinks the beach is just as created as the watch. Which begs the question as to how the theist can tell the difference between the beach and the watch. The theist believes he's walking on a beach made of watches under a clockwork sky with an ocean of timepieces ebbing and flowing to the horizon. Somehow we're supposed to believe he looks down and exclaims "Oh look! A watch!"   I don't think so.

I'm betting that if you asked a theist if he considers himself an artificial contraption, he'd say no. Yet his favorite book says he's a dirt golem.
Denis Loubet

Offline Samothec

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 04:30:57 AM »
A tower of segments is constructed, one on top of another.  Someone observes that if you take one of the segments away, the tower will fall.  Therefore the tower could not have been constructed one segment at a time.

Thank you for starting the ball rolling. Unfortunately - and I'm sure you would have seen this yourself soon - most idiots theists would point out that you're using a designed structure so you must believe in "intelligent design". That's part of what is going to make finding a good example/analogy tough. Simple enough for them to understand yet deep enough to educate.


... The theist believes he's walking on a beach made of watches under a clockwork sky with an ocean of timepieces ebbing and flowing to the horizon. ...
I'm betting that if you asked a theist if he considers himself an artificial contraption, he'd say no. Yet his favorite book says he's a dirt golem.

I like the imagery you presented.

Ironically one of the complaints about evolution that the YEC/literal bible crowd makes is that we supposedly claim that "man evolved from a rock" yet they ignore the fact that their holy book says almost that exact same thing. (Dirt/clay instead of rock - not a big difference.)
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline kcrady

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Re: Fine Tuning the Universe -> the Garbage of Intelligent Design
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2012, 09:47:01 PM »
Quote
If watches could but tiny watchlings breed
Their offspring on minutest clocksprings feed
And win their loves by telling truest time
Of watchmakers then we would have no need

--Blake Stacey

In other words, the cdesign proponentsists fail to comprehend that living entities that reproduce, and can thus be involved in a process of evolution by natural selection, are not the same as manufactured artifacts.
"The question of whether atheists are, you know, right, typically gets sidestepped in favor of what is apparently the much more compelling question of whether atheists are jerks."

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