Sunday, January 28, 2007

Intelligent Design: Dembski > Darwin

With all our technology, our understanding, our progress, our super-computers and lifetimes of work, we cannot even come close to creating anything anywhere near as complex as an earthworm.
Yet these super complex organisms, with more complex parts than any super-computer, supposedly came together by chance, without anything intelligent guiding their way.
When that giant, Charles Darwin roamed the earth so long ago, most “scientists” held the view that the universe was infinite and eternal. However, in the middle of the twentieth century, the universe, according to science, got much cozier.
As evidence mounted for the Big Bang hypothesis, the specter of a beginning of the universe, and thus, a finite universe, the limits of time and space ruled out the possibility for infinite chance events.
Without infinite chance events, the highly improbable events associated with the theory of evolution stretch the boundaries of probability, and the imagination, past the breaking point. In light of a finite universe, in light of the impending collapse of naturalism, how should science come to view life?
Enter, Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design is the philosophical, theological, scientific, and mathematical theory that all biological organisms are far too well ordered, or, too complex to have been created by any simple unintelligent chance event or series of chance events.
The Intelligent Design hypothesis is premised on what is called specified complexity. Specified complexity uses reason, science and math to detect design in highly improbable, complex, independent patterns.
For example, we detect design at the cellular basis for life because cells are so complex and molecules are so independent. “Cells are machines of stunning complexity. A single cell is like an entire assembly line of molecules, operating in perfect harmony.”
Another indicator that the “universe might have some sort of design was the gradual discovery, starting in the 1950’s of dozens of ‘fine-tuned’ parameters in physics and cosmology, that were seemingly arbitrary values; yet, if those values were varied by even the tiniest amount, the universe simply wouldn’t ‘work’ in anything like the way it actually does.
The Big Bang would have been immediately followed by a big crunch or atoms and molecules could not have formed, or galaxies, stars, planets could not have formed; or carbon and other heavier atoms -all necessary for life- could not have formed. There is a long list of such parameters that have been identified, and the probability of getting the “right” values for all these by blind chance so as to enable life on our planet is so astronomically high that is raises some obvious and weighty questions about whether the cosmos bears the mark of design.
Interestingly, in response to this scientific case for cosmic design most working cosmologists have accepted an ad hoc escape valve called the ‘multi-verse.’ The idea is that there must be an infinite number of universes, each with a random set of physical laws, constants, constraints, etc. Supposedly, we just happen to have “won the universe lottery!” We’re sitting in a single one of these infinite universes that just happens to have all the right conditions that makes life possible. Now, doesn’t it take a lot of “faith” to believe in this multi-verse hypothesis?”
Even is trillions of years went by, I don’t believe that any super-computer, or a pencil for that matter, could come into existence without an intelligent designer. Do you?
Intelligent Design is a far more plausible explanation for the universe and life, if one observes nature, if one practices the scientific method.

Ryan Sorba

-All text in quotes was taken from either page 396 or 397, of Senator Rick Santorum’s book “It Takes a Family.”

19 comments:

Jen said...

Hello Ryan:

My question is not about Intelligent design but about homosexuality and morality.

I have a friend whom is a lesbian and always has been. She is of the mind that sexuality and our partners are not a matter of morality but an expression of who we are. If she is lesbian then that is OK because it is not a moral issue.

How do we tie our expression of sexuality to morality beyond what the bible would say?

I would be interested in your thinking on this.

Jennifer Thorne

Mark said...

Ryan,

In the "Gay Gene Hoax" you try to block the argument of those who would draw normative precepts for human behavior from animals by an appeal to "Hume's Fork" or the so-called "naturalistic fallacy" by denying that one can derive an "ought" from an "is."

I don't think this move is available to you since you yourself have a natural law account of morality wherein you draw moral precepts from the natural complementarity of the psycho-social and biological nature of male and female.

Also, what is the reference for the activists' claim that trying to turn a homosexual straight is tantamount to pouring bleach on a black person's skin?

I'm engaged in a project that has affinity with yours. Perhaps we should collaborate on something?

Mark R. Discher

camila said...

Dear Ryan Sorba,

I want to thank you for coming to speak at Smith College on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. It was inspiring to see the power of so many students laughing in your face and cheering in spite of your hatemongering. Your sermon was an amateur’s version of the hate speech associated with lynchings and anti-queer violence. This pseudo-scholarly rhetoric deliberately degrades human beings in a way that does not promote academic discussion, but instead seeks to provoke and preach. I know there are other people in this world who think like you, and so I thank you sincerely for coming right onto our campus and letting us show you what we think about that. You were even polite enough to finish your speech earlier than planned so that we could have the floor.

You really empowered Smith students to speak up against your publicity stunt, and join together in solidarity with even greater force. The peaceful dancing and singing that reigned at your talk was evidence of Smith’s community and the power of people who defy your hate speech. I am encouraged by the ease with which we were able to show that hate speech is not acceptable on our campus, so thank you for letting us send that message loud and clear. You gave us an opportunity to come together, regardless of sexual orientation, to celebrate our freedom of expression and ability to act in the face of poor scholarship, hate and injustice. We were lucky that the Smith College Republicans did not think to invite a speaker with valid and coherent arguments; otherwise it might have been harder to laugh you off the microphone.

Remember Ryan, you weren’t born a bigot. You chose this life.

Sincerely,
Camila

Ty Jones said...

Hey Ryan.

Gay guy here. While I pretty much disagree with everything you say, I will defend your right to say it in this country.

Not really keen on all this shouting down that takes place. I really don't feel that need because I am not afraid of what you say. I don't like it but don't fear it either.

Ambivorous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

I find it amazing that those of you who have posted your negative comments regarding the presentation by Mr. Sorba at Smith College say absolutely nothing of meaning. You use name calling and hatefull language to share your differing positions but present no actual arguments that invalidate Mr. Sorba's position.

If Mr. Sorba is so wrong, why don't you counter what he says by discrediting him with actual data.

I also watch a news clip of the Smith college event showing the child like behavior of interruptions made during his presentation.

I thought I was watching a group of 2 year olds have a tantrum. I expect more from my youngest child than what you demonstrated during that presentation.

Being a former lesbian myself, I can testify to Mr. Sorba's position. He is presenting actual information that can be verified by even the most casual observer.

The sad thing is even if you can bully people into silence or bully legislators into making different rules you will never receive the acceptance you desire for you do not even accept who you are.

There is hope for change and healing available for anyone desiring it.

If you weren't so afraid of this truth you would not feel so compelled to shut it down at all costs.

Jen said...

Hello Mr. Ambivorous

Well, if Mr. Sorba's book was a scientific paper based upon a study that he had conducted, that would be one thing, but it is not.

His paper is a research paper regarding the history of the "gay movement" starting in Eurpoe and moving to the US. How it has impacted many different spheres of society.

I believe he does discuss in one of the chapters of his book the scientific evidence available to date.

From all this history and science he does draw a conclusion which gives him the title to his book "The born gay hoax."

Here is a link for you to reveiw that has reviewed all the studies to date. There is not scientific evidence that supports the position ob being born gay.

concludinghttp://www.mercatornet.com/articles/facts_not_flattery_about_same_sex_attraction/

Again, what points does Mr. Sorba make that you don't agree with and with what other factors do you use to support your position?

As for your comment, if you are referring to the fact that I am a woman, that would be correct.

Just as a side note. In 1989 I rode across the US on my bike with several others to raise awareness to the problem of child sexual abuse. At that time we quoted government statistics of CSA as 1 in four girls and 1 in seven boys being sexaully abused by the time they are 18. Another statistic that we shared along the way was that many children who are abused do not end up becoming abusers themselves, however 96% of all those who become sexual abusers of children have also been sexually abused as a child.

I bring this up because there are a great many people who live a gay, lesbain, or other lifestyle that have had great trauma in their childhood that never get this issue addressed. It certainly has negatively impacted them. Once a person moves into the lifestyle they often feel that there is no freedom to go and seek help from those painful childhood moments.

While I was in the life style I asked many other women about this issue and never did I find another women who did not have CSA in her back ground. I would also ask if they ever thought that the CSA could have contributed to their becoming a lesbian. They would often times say, yes, probably. I would then ask why they don't address that stuff from the past. They would share that it was to painful to go and did up again.

That to me is extremely sad.

Ambivorous said...

For God's sake, stop this self-aggrandizing whining and move on. I get it. You're one of the victim classes that have sprung up. Sheesh.

Jen said...

Mr. Ambivorous:

Hardly a victim, and who is whining?

Ambivorous said...

Note to self: Don't Feed the Trolls.

Jen said...

Mr. A:

That was funny. I love that you have a sense of humor.

I like you.

Tell me about your self. I'd like to get to know you better.

Jen : )

Caryl said...

It shouldn't be necessary to quote the discredited Rick Santorum in order to support the Intelligent Design argument. Mr. Santorum is discredited because of his fanatical neoconservatism - which is not the same thing at all as true conservatism. Anyhow, read Robert Sungenis's book "Galileo Was Wrong" for a good examination of the rise of modern science with respect to the heliocentric/geocentric discussion. Sungenis believes that the wrong horse out of the starting gate is the reason for Darwinism and Einsteinism: heliocentrism, Darwinism and the Bib Bang theory he believes are the three rotten apples that have poisoned the barrel of modern science.
Another essential book in the modern science discussion is Owen Barfield's "Saving the Appearances"
--I enjoy your blog.

Paul said...

Ryan,

What you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.

At no point in your rambling, incoherent speech were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.

Everyone in this world is now dumber for having listened to it.

I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Patrick said...

Pretend you won the lotto and became really rich. You would probably think "wow im lucky, God must exist! this is a sign he is watching over me."

Now pretend you are one of the other 6 billion people on this planet. You'd think "wow that was random, but statistically it makes sense that one person out of 6 billion would win the lotto"

you need to stop thinking like a lottery winner & look at things from outside the box

dave said...

Intelligent design isn't a theory. It makes no predictions and isn't testable.

Evolution, on the other hand, is a well-founded, testable theory that has been confirmed and reconfirmed across a variety of disciplines (archeology, molecular biology etc. etc.).

Quinton said...

The use of probability arguments is a clear indication that the user doesn't understand either statistics or the science involved (i.e. it is an argument of incredulity founded in arguments of ignorance). ID is not science and cannot offer any mechanism or predictions. Furthermore, ID cannot distinguish between actual design and apparent design (i.e. it has no applicable value beyond apologetics). ID, positing unpredictable and intermittent divine tinkering, is creationism relabeled and was exposed as such at Kitzmiller vs. Dover.

Tim said...

I'm not sure if you are making these claims in an attempt to create a power base to further your own ends, or are doing it because you really believe the nonsense coming out of your mouth, but either way you can't mask the fundamental logical & scientific errors in your posts by using a bunch of 25-cent words. Science does not support your conclusions, logic does not support your conclusions, and after viewing the CPAC conference it appears that not even your fellow conservatives support your conclusions. I'm all for new ideas and different takes on established ones, but when reality itself is not on your side maybe you should take that as a signal it's time to give it up.

Andy said...

You're clearly an intelligent man, but you still subscribe to the "turtles all the way down" philosophy upon encountering something you consider too complex to understand. When you say the universe was originally considered "infinite" in time before science, you have it entirely backwards; scientific findings extended the universe's known lifetime far beyond the 6000 or so years the then "normal" man accepted as part of religious teachings. Given such a long timeline, along with the endless and prolific cosmic events observable with even a cheap telescope, it becomes hard to deny that complexity can emerge from "simple" events. In computer science this is regarded as "emergent behaviour", observable in even extremely simple simulations such as Conway's Game of Life (excellent Wikipedia article with demonstrations and working examples -- look it up).

It is sad to consider that we have so much information at our fingertips every minute of every day and yet people such as yourself investigate and accept only that which proves what you already know. This is the ultimate in denial, and the end result is the act of barricading yourself against ideas which upset you. This is reflected in a need to aggressively convert others to your thinking by any means necessary.

The most important thing for you to do is ask yourself, "am I improving people's lives?". If you see even a sliver of doubt, then you must re-analyse the root of your intentions. If, as I suspect, you see yourself as one of God's champions, then this will be a million times harder for you, since you have inherited not only your own familial and genetic biases but a plethora of stoic precepts impossible to change.

Peter said...

Mr. Sorba says "Even is (sic) trillions of years went by, I don’t believe that any super-computer, or a pencil for that matter, could come into existence without an intelligent designer. Do you?"

Would Mr. Sorba have us beleive that something else (a super-designer, a god) could come into existence without an intelligent designer?
If yes, then surely something like a super-computer or a pencil, or a material universe, could similarly come into existence. (There is of course the problem of the meaning of time passing in a universe not yet existing.)
If no, then presumably Mr. Sorba would claim that the super-designer/god always existed. But why not simply ascribe that property to the universe, rather than create another entity that needs to be explained?