Intelligent Design (ID) theory is about information, studying how information originates and increases in the genome of a population resulting in greater complexity. ID Theory offers a scientific theory, scientific hypotheses, and intelligent design is in and of itself a mechanism. Click here for a more expanded and detailed summary of the technical definitions of Intelligent Design Theory.
A problem arises when critics of ID Theory draw an unjustified inference that somehow the definitions require a designer. It is irrelevant what philosophical contemplations are imposed upon the theory by those who oppose Intelligent Design. These antagonists who seek to refute ID Theory are merely reading into the definitions beyond what is given.
The following is a list of a few points to consider when debating the issue as to whether ID Theory is connected to philosophical conjectures pertaining to the nature or identity of a designing agent:
1. ID Theory has nothing to do with creationism or a designer. There is no philosophical contemplation as to a designer any more than the Big Bang theory has anything to say about a banger.
It is impossible to complain about the “designer” of Intelligent Design Theory without resolving the “banger” inferred by the Big Bang Theory. One cannot deny there is a “banger” if they insist there is a designer, and vice versa.
The request is as absurd as requiring cosmologists to explain the nature of the Banger. To assert that Intelligent Design requires a Designer is as ridiculous as demanding it is impossible to have a Big Bang without a Banger. A designer cannot be imposed upon ID Theory without likewise imposing one on the Big Bang theory. The study of the Big Bang has nothing to do with what existed at Time = zero. The same is true with the origin of information. We study how information operates and increases towards greater biological complexity, and assert that an artificial intervention is involved in addition to unguided natural processes.
According to the Big Bang theory, at up to 1 x 10-43 seconds after the Big Bang, the universe expanded and began cooling from the Planck epoch. Gravitation began to separate from the fundamental gauge interactions: electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang. The question is, WHAT EXISTED AT TIME = ZERO, just 1 x 10-43 of a second before? The answer to this question is the answer as to why ID Theory does not require a designer.
Little is known about the Planck epoch, and different theories propose different scenarios. General relativity predicts a gravitational singularity before this time, but under these conditions the theory is expected to break down due to quantum effects. Physicists hope that proposed theories of quantum gravitation, such as string theory, loop quantum gravity, and causal sets, will eventually lead to a better understanding of this epoch.
The reason why no matter or God is required at Time = zero is because according to quantum mechanics and atomic physics, atomic particles zip in and out of existence from dimensions outside our universe. The same is the case for the origin of information that ID Theory studies, http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-scientists-erase-energy.html.
2. We have no data on a designer. We might obtain incoming data on designers in the future, but presently there is no data.
ID Theory has nothing to offer as far as conjectures go with any contemplation to a designer. Sorry. Until data is received, this file remains empty. Inquiring about any designer inferred by Intelligent Design is flawed on its face because it is not a scientific question. Any contemplation re a designer, its nature, how many designers there are, and so forth is entirely philosophical because we have no data on a designer. We only have empirical knowledge of the design information from the intelligent source, but no information concerning the nature of the source.
This is not to be construed that ID Theory asserts there is no designer. ID Theory make no contention regarding the issue of a designer either way, affirmative or negative, because there is no empirical data available to draw an opinion.
There are different means by which design can arise, and we have no empirical data on a designer. ID Theory is not science based upon knowledge of a designer; ID Theory is science based upon knowledge of the design itself, https://dennisdjones.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/proof-as-to-why-id-is-science/.
3. It is very possible extraterrestrial beings are the source of the information that generated the first cell, and the information that was front-loaded into eukarya cells with enough data to produce the diversity of life.
We don’t know whether this information was brought to our planet inadvertently or if it was intentional. Here’s some impressive evidence that extraterrestrial beings were responsible for monuments on planet Mars.
No one will find any fellows of the DI contemplating any ideas as to a designer. There is no empirical information available re a designer, any nature about a designer, the size or quantity of designing agents. We do operate on a very plausible theory that extraterrestrials might be the designers we are looking for. This subject is in the news constantly since NASA and the SETI program study this area of research, with recent articles posted all the time on nearly a daily basis, like this one here. For more information in the interest of Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute in searching for extraterrestrial beings, click here.
There is recent research that confirms the front-loading hypothesis. A University of Texas research team found genes for sodium channels (highly important in the nervous systems of complex animals) in a one-celled animal that has no nervous system. They “discovered the genes for such sodium channels hiding within an organism that isn’t even made of multiple cells, much less any neurons.”
4. The information might have been transported here from another dimension outside our universe.
ID Theory is a study of the origin of information and how that information increases in the genome of a population resulting in greater complexity. The source of this information might very well be the same source as where the matter that was required to explode at the time of the Big Bang. This is what M-Theory is about. This hypothesis could be called simply the “Quantum Biological Hypothesis.” The prediction is simply that information can be transported as per quantum particle physics from dimensions outside our three-dimensional universe. For more observable empirical data in support of this hypothesis, here are some resources to review:
- Scientists show how to erase information without using energy, http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-scientists-erase-energy.html.
- Foxes zero in on prey via Earth’s magnetic field, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19945-foxes-zero-in-on-prey-via-earths-magnetic-field.html
- Navigational “Magic” of Sea Turtles Explained, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/turtle-navigation/
- Magnetoreception has been linked to chemical reactions inside birds’ eyes. The mechanism works very similar to quantum physics, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20927963.000-quantum-states-last-longer-in-birds-eyes.html and http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-quantum-robins.html
String Theory Entangled:
A Romp Through Theories on Origins of Life,
Brian Greene: The Universe On A String:
This issue is about the inference we draw from atomic physics that there are other dimensions outside our universe. It’s the entire basis as to why Stephen Hawkin so adamantly declares such things as there is no God required to cause the Big Bang, and that even though our universe had a beginning, that is not to say that time and other dimensions did not exist before our universe. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7976594/Stephen-Hawking-God-was-not-needed-to-create-the-Universe.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZoHEVYbIq4].
According to the understanding of many concerning the Big Bang Theory, NOTHING suddenly exploded and expanded. As such, we run into a paradox with the suggestion that SOMETHING arose from NOTHING. If one says “nothing” in the context of original design, then no choice remains other than to express the Big Bang Theory in terms that nothing exploded and expanded.
Now, is the something-from-nothing position really held by physicists? No!! And, neither is the something-from-nothing view maintained by ID advocates, the Discovery Institute, or myself. One conjecture offered by ID proponents is that amino acids and DNA were guided by processes related to quantum mechanics and atomic particle physics. Atomic particles zip in and out of existence. One second there in our universe and one second later they vanish into another dimension, only to once again reappear again. This is what super string theory and M-Theory are based upon. Based upon the given that the matter required for the Big Bang was provided from a dimension outside our own universe, this solves the riddle for explaining how nothing could explode. It likewise also explains how original information could be introduced into our universe as well, http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-scientists-erase-energy.html.
ID Theory seeks to prove that Darwinian mechanisms require assistance of an artificial intervention in order to produce the diversity of life. ID Theory seeks to prove that information requires intelligence, and that it does not materialize on its own without guidance, https://dennisdjones.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/artificial-intervention/.
5. Any contemplation about a designer is entirely philosophical, and as such has nothing to do with science.
The information is genetic, and referred to by ID proponents as Complex Specified Information (CSI), which requires intelligence to be produced and infers design. Although design infers a designer, ID Theory does not study the inferences, but its focus is on the product of design, the information itself. In biology, that would be the phenotype (visible information) and genotype (the genetic code). Therefore, it is IRRELEVANT whether design infers a designer because even if that were true, which is a philosophical issue as opposed to a scientific one, ID has no use for contemplating about the nature of the designing agency. Moreover, as per the quantum theory conjecture, the design could have occurred with a designing agent. Either way, designers remain irrelevant to ID Theory.
6. While designers are of no study interest or concern to ID Theory, it is only the opponents of ID Theory who raise the issue of designers. This is entirely a PHILOSOPHICAL subject that has nothing to do with science. The only incentive in the world why anyone would raise this issue is to attack ID Theory by accusing it as not scientific but theistic in attempt to impose a designer to ID Theory, and tag that designer to be the Christian god of the Bible.
7. One of the core problems with this debate is ID critics often do nothing to support their contention that ID Theory is inseparable from designers other than appealing to an abstract philosophical argument. For those who disfavor ID Theory, and desire to argue ID Theory involves studying designers, then they own the burden to show empirical proof that ID advocates are guilty of this charge. This allegation should be very simple to resolve. If it is true that ID Theory is a research field that involves the study of designers, then the person who alleges this contention owns the burden of documenting instances of this atrocity actually occurring.
In defense of the allegation, I simply appeal to what the Discovery Institute actually physically does in the real world, and the actual research activity of what ID Theory actually has done historically since Darwin’s Black Box (1996), and real research and activity that ID Theory has engaged in ever since to the present time. I appeal to hard, empirical, tangible, physical evidence and documented history.
In contrast, critics who charge ID Theory involves designers ignore what is real, and assert an entirely abstract philosophical argument. Setting forth an abstract argument is not very scientific because it is entirely philosophical in nature, which is committing the very same violation being accused of ID Theory. Abstract claims are nearly indefensible to challenge because the one alleging the claim often refuses upon demand to offer as a reference any example for discussion and review. Those who argue abstract concepts often disallow any attempt on their debating opponents part to review actual evidence of what ID Theory does in actual practice.
If a critic of ID intends to accuse ID Theory as being associated with designers, then they have the burden to document some evidence. If the allegation is true, then there should be ID Advocates somewhere in the real world who are appealing to designers in their arguments that attempt to support ID Theory. Please let me know if you find any such instances. Here’s some ID friendly research papers, https://dennisdjones.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/id-peer-reviewed-research-published-in-science-journals/. Please let me know if anyone finds any references to designers involved in any of this research.
8. The mechanical engineer analogy refutes the allegation that ID Theory involves contemplation of designers. A mechanical engineer could study automobiles, and study various car engines for the sake of energy efficiency, economy, marketability, and alternative uses of energy to use other means of fuel than petroleum. The engineer could be an expert on just about every component there is to the car, but might not devote their attention to the interior and upholstery of cars. It would be accurate to describe this person as an expert on cars, specializing in automobile knowledge, and studies cars in general.
But, the ID critic would challenge this contention by claiming it is a flawed description because the engineer must be knowledgeable about car interiors and upholstery in order to state that they study cars in general. My position would be just because the engineer’s expertise is limited to focus on specific electronic, structural, and mechanical engineering aspects of an automobile does not negate the veracity of the general statement that the engineer studies automobiles as a whole.
According to the ID critic argument, it is improper to declare that the mechanical engineer studies cars when their only focus is on machinery, electrical, mechanical, structural engineering and suspension systems because that would imply that the engineer studies automobile interiors and upholstery. To do so, the ID skeptic is imposing their own definition and qualifiers, which are irrelevant.
The ID critic holds that it is impossible to study cars unless the engineers study interiors and upholstery because a transportation vehicle cannot lack an interior. According to those who refute ID, to reference a car automatically infers that there is an interior area equipped with seats, upholstery, safety restraints, controls to operate the vehicle, and lighting for nighttime driving. Therefore, says the ID cynic, if a person is deemed to be one who studies cars, then they must also study interior decor, windshield wiper blades, and window tinting because all this equipment is implied in context with a car. The same holds true for the ID opponent to assert the abstract argument that it is impossible to study design without studying designers.
When examining this contention held by ID cynics, their logic breaks down because although these inferences MIGHT be drawn, and are subject to debate as a matter of philosophy, they have nothing to do with what is implemented in actual physical practice in real life. Just because design might infer a designer does not mean that those who study design are going to research designers. This is not any less true than it is mandatory a mechanical engineer who specializes in automobiles must give attention to the carpeting, audio system, ash tray, and interior accessories inside the car; even though that it could easily be inferred that such automobiles would be so equipped with these properties.
9. We recognize intelligence by its effects, not by directly perceiving it. William Dembski writes the following in his paper on the subject, “The fact is that we infer design repeatedly and reliably without knowing characteristics of the designer or being able to assess what a designer is likely to do.” Dembski continues:
“The fact is that we infer design repeatedly and reliably without knowing characteristics of the designer or being able to assess what a designer is likely to do… Design reasoning is effect-to-cause reasoning: It begins with effects in the physical world that exhibit clear signs of intelligence and from those signs infers to an intelligent cause.
Dembski uses the analogy of an anthropologist discovering an arrowhead remnant from some ancient native tribe of early humans. Dembski then states, “The signs of intelligence that occur in human artifacts and biological systems are not merely analogous. They
are isomorphic, for we find the exact same form of specified complexity in each.”
Read William Dembski’s paper on why design does not require a designer, and why ID does not require knowledge of a designer here, http://tinyurl.com/3e72scc.
10. Conclusions and Applications:
A. Bad Design: Based upon the foregoing, it is a ridiculous argument to challenge Intelligent Design based upon the observance of bad design in nature, https://dennisdjones.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/the-bad-design-argument-against-intelligent-design-theory/.
B. Theism and Morality: The subject of Intelligent Design inferring a designer is often raised for no other reason than to equate ID Theory with religion/philosophy, and then shoot down the strawman from there. Since ID Theory is not about a designer, it is futile to challenge the theory on theological grounds concerning the nature of a “Designer” and raise issues of morality.
Such challenges are based upon a false strawman claim that ID Theory is religious in nature. These accusations would be correct concerning creationism because creationism is admits it is based upon the interpretation of the Bible. In contrast, philosophical conjectures have nothing to do with ID Theory. ID Theory is a study of information, [http://www.designinference.com/; http://www.evoinfo.org/]. Such attempts to equate ID Theory with creationism are in error for multiple reasons, but one in particular is that if it were true that ID Theory = creationism, then there would be no difference between ID Theory and Theistic Evolution. However, ID Theory repudiates all association and philosophical conjectures related to creationism and Theistic Evolution. There are similarities, yes, but ID Theory is strictly a study of information without any trace of supernatural contemplation. ID Theory involves fields like bioinformatics, bioengineering, artificial selection, selective breeding, biomimetics, biotech, and nanotechnology.
C. Replacement Contention: This is a false dichotomy where ID Theory somehow opposes the theory of evolution. ID Theory is compatible with natural selection and Darwinian mechanisms. ID Theory does not replace evolution, but supplements evolutionary theory. Evolution does indeed explain many mysterious phenomena, but what evolution does not seek to understand is how information originates or increases in the genome of a population. No other field of science is further advanced in this area of research than ID.