Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Zuska would be proud!

Zuska would have loved the Dembski Q&A. For this Q, another young lady stepped up to the mic to grill Dembski, and she dun good :) **

Young lady-- Its generally agreed in the scientific community that in order to be considered a scientific theory, as you stated earlier in your lecture, you have to be able to disprove it. You said Darwin said "My theory is wrong if you can find something irreducibly complex." Well, potentially there has to be a way for you to disprove it. How can one potentially disprove ID?

Dembski-- Well I, you know I, I think ehhh, if you look at some of these systems that again I, I, I, ID people have identified, theyre just a backbone. Eh. Eeeeeh. When Richard Dawkins says biologists study these complicated things that give the appearance of being designed with a purpose, he means to deny that there is any actual design there. At best what youre seeing is an APPEARANCE of design. Theres no actual design that exists. So the burden of the Intelligent Design person is not to show that EVERYTHING is designed in biology. Its enough to show that SOME things are designed in biology. So if Michael Behe can show that some structure in one of your cells is designed, then that cell is designed and you are designed! As it applies up.
*rabble rabble*
So, so, so you, this is one of the STRENGTHS of Intelligent Design Theory, is that you can tease apart the effects of design in principle. No Intelligent Design person is denying that Darwins theory has no scope of applicability. What we are denying is that it is a total account of all biological diversity. So what we're doing is finding individual systems which were designed, and argue for them.
What would it take to knock down the biggest icon of Intelligent Design? A detailed, testable, fully articulated, step-by-step pathway to the flagellum. And not just by pointing to a type 2 secretion pathway, show HOW... you dont actually, you dont actually have to reproduce the history... but show how it might have happened. But its gotta be DETAILED. And TESTABLE. I mean that, if you could show a Darwinian path to get there, I think that would be devastating for Intelligent Design.
I mean to say Intelligent Design is not testable, it doesnt ring up at all...

**THE MASKED MAN INTERJECTS**

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN!

to be continued...


This Q&A--
  1. Dembski is full of shit. People have disproved Behes crap over and over and OVER and EVERY time they add a new 'pathetic' level of detail that must be attained before theyll accept evolution. Its a facade for the Creationists-naive-- "Hey, ID is falsifiable, but I guess scientists havent falsified their claims yet..."
  2. But just wait, Dembski screws up fantastically later in the Q&A-- This was just an appetizer turd. There is still a big meal and dessert Q&As where this theme pops up again :)
  3. So if a 'molecular motor' is 'designed', but everything else in the cell looks like it evolved, the cell is designed. Humans carved Mt. Rushmore, therefore, humans made South Dakota. Fantastic. What a lovely bit of slither-logic for Creationists! All they have to do is show that one teensy-tiny something is designed, and all of evolution is falsified! HURRAY! This would work out great for them if they could establish something was designed...







** SERIOUSLY you guys, I didnt notice it being this bad while I was there, but trying to transcribe every stutter and bumble and eeeeeeeeermehehmehem of Dembski is frustrating! He does it for like 30 seconds straight sometimes!! What the hell is his deal????

22 comments:

Jon said...

"SERIOUSLY you guys, I didnt notice it being this bad while I was there, but trying to transcribe every stutter and bumble and eeeeeeeeermehehmehem of Dembski is frustrating!"

The bumbling is the best part of his arguments. At least that part is just meaningless, and not completely and stupidly wrong.

Dan Cardinale said...

I think I know what's coming next, and I can't wait...

I wish I had been able read this a year and a half ago, before he did a date at my school.

quantok said...

ERV,"What the hell is his deal????"

Cut the guy some slack - he is channelling the Lord, and therefore translating off the cuff from the original Hebrew.

Luis said...

"...All they have to do is show that one teensy-tiny something is designed, and all of evolution is falsified! HURRAY"

To some extent, I agree with Dembski. If *they* could show beyond doubt that some part of some organism is designed, then we would have no choice but to reject evolution as we know it now. Darwin , Dawkins, and even the mysterious young lady who asked the questionh have acknowledged that much. Not that I think it is ever going to happen, but you have to accept that Dembski had a point there.

dan said...

Cognitive dissonance makes you ineloquent.

quantok said...

"If *they* could show beyond doubt that some part of some organism is designed, then we would have no choice but to reject evolution as we know it now."

Like putting a snake scale under a microscope and finding the manufacturer's serial number engraved on it?

Seriously, how would that work? First, we'd have to agree how 'design' would be recognisable. Something in biological organisms that appears 'designed' to a Creationist will probably just look 'complex: pending reduction' to us dogmatic materialists. Remember, even the big cosmic puzzle itself - why is there something rather than nothing? - doesn't have us invoking a Designer.

I think the only evidence that could change our naturalistic assumptions would be for the Celestial Tyrell Corporation to show up and positively identify life as their handiwork.

Anonymous said...

Luis, it's not enough to simply prove that our knowledge is incomplete; if you want there to be a designer, you have to find the designer. If we positively identify a designer, know it's nature, creations and capabilities, then we've pretty much torpedoed all of science.

Ironically, finding the designer still leaves ID outside the realm of science, since science itself would be unnecessary.

(ERV: Moooooorre please!)

TomS said...

As I understand it, the question was whether intelligent design could be falsified, and D's response was that it cannot be falsified. D did not dispute that
falsifiability was a sign of science, either. At most, D would allow that there is a way to falsify design in individual cases. I didn't see anything about falsifying design, in general: If not the bacterial flagellum, then the blood-clotting system; if not the blood-clotting system, then the vertebrate eye; ...

386sx said...

And not just by pointing to a type 2 secretion pathway, show HOW.

Yay more "pointing." I guess the flagellum is designed but the Type II system isn't. Maybe they both are. Maybe everything is. Oh yeah I forgot, Dembski already said that.

Well then, who cares if there is a pathway or not. Maybe the pathway was desinged too. :-)

386sx said...

Come to think of it, why don't the IDers just apply their arguments to "pathways"? Heck everybody knows pathways are designed. Instead of trucks and busses they could talk about streets and sidewalks and stuff. What the hell?

Luis said...

Anonymous, please don't think that I'm supporting ID. I was only saying that, if they did, then we would have to accept defeat. But that would hardly be bad, right? If they really could produce solid evidence for a designer, then we wouldn't really have a choice, would we? That far, I think IDers are right I'm also an atheist, but if the sky opened and Odin came down surrounded by walkyrias, I'd be the first to convert. It's the same type of thing overall. Now, the little matter of actually finding real evidence for design (or of Odin paying a visit to my front door)... I think I'll stay on real science's side.

John Phillips said...

Dumbski's argument here is classic IDiotism, prove one of their claims of irreducible complexity wrong and they simply look for another. I.e. the old god of the gaps stance. Unfortunately for Dumbski, he is wrong, we don't have to produce evidence of every single pathway for the development of the flagellum, simply that it is not irreducibly complex. Which, along with every other item they claim irreducible complexity for, has already been done in spades. Hence, all they are left with is misrepresentation of genuine science, conflating gaps in our existing knowledge as proof of design, extremely selective and deceptive quote mining and bumbling answers when cornered. I must say, this series of Q&As, as well as being extremely entertaining, has been very revealing, both about the individual concerned and the utter ridiculousness of IDiotism, not that it needed doing for anyone capable of genuine thought. If this is the best that even one of their most prominent proponents can do when only faced with students how in hades has IDiotism become such a threat to science teaching.

quantock said "Cut the guy some slack - he is channelling the lord, and therefore translating off the cuff from the original Hebrew" ROTFLMAO

quantok said...

luis, "if the sky opened and Odin came down surrounded by walkyrias, I'd be the first to convert."

Whoa! Slow down there, friend. Don't be so quick to genuflect...

First, check out the deal with Odin. Just what are the entry requirements for Valhalla and how much kow-towing would there be in eternity? And apart from the carrot, what's the nature of the stick, if one chooses not to subscribe to the Odin fan club?

I think full-fledged atheism should always entail the possibility that, however great the inducements or terrible the punishments, a free mind might just tell the gods to f*ck off.

I exclude myself, of course: anything more painful than a stubbed toe and I'd be singing Hosannah's like god's bitch.

Luis said...

Ah well, Odin happens to be my favourite mythological character, if only because he looks like he knows how to entertain you for the rest of eternity. I mean, singing Hossanna ad infinitum? You've got to be crazy to pick that instead of partying in Valhalla.

That was a joke, guys, in case you didn't get it. I'm not really waiting for Odin or any other deity to reclaim my soul.

Thor - God Of Thunder said...

Damn you Luis! Now, what the hell am I gonna do now that I'm stuck with this big hammer?

Oh well, I can always find some IDiots or Christians to work over.

Blake Stacey said...

It's "Zuska", ain't it?

ERV said...

Zuska would not be proud of my spelling skills.

:(

The Factician said...

Oh the suspense!

windy said...

"If *they* could show beyond doubt that some part of some organism is designed, then we would have no choice but to reject evolution as we know it now."

Why? Aliens could have visited Earth once and done it for laughs. Isn't that what they always say "ID is not religious, since the designer could have been an alien!" Then this is conveniently forgotten and the Designer is assumed to be omnipresent and capable of designing everything (istian-chray od-gay).

Blake Stacey said...

Hell, you don't even have to invoke aliens. Monsanto could have "designed" that plant.

Torbjörn Larsson said...

Dembski excel in creationisms false choice. An evolutionary explanation that can falsify a particular IDC assumption has of course nothing to do with falsifying IDC. For that we need a predictive mechanism, otherwise the goalposts will move to the next assumption, and the next, and the next...

Not to mention him conceding that he won't accept the science as it is. IIRC Nick Matzke has compiled homologies on all remaining flagullar proteins bar one. So that duck isn't floating anymore.

Dembski isn't just replaying the old and tiresome shell game, he has a rule set that says the bank always wins.

Luis:

In principle, but it is very hard to prove a negative without any form of "no go" theorem. And IDC will for sure never provide that, it is not in their interest to be predictive. Instead we have positive falsifications, such as a precambrian rabbit.

DiscoveredJoys said...

If we discovered in every cell the equivalent of a teeny tiny brass plate bearing the words "ACME Foundry, Mons Olympus, Mars" this would be a strong argument for intelligent design. However even this scenario is not good enough for the 'Intelligent Design' people as it still wouldn't show that 'materialism' was dead. The only designer that would satisfy them is a supernatural one.

If they can come up with a research proposal to investigate how a supernatural being could interact with dross matrter, then I might be more interested in their ideas. Until that day ID is just a cheap con game to confuse the rubes. I'm not holding my breath.