Could there be an intelligent designer?

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Rishaad Moosa

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Could there be an intelligent designer?
« on: 22/10/2008 08:42:24 »
Rishaad Moosa  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi there
 
Well Chris I'm going through an internal personal debate.  Just 1 Question in all your research and studding do you somehow believe in a 'Creator as such' more of an 'intelligent designer'. Please answer honestly as possible, without any spec of doubt. Could there perhaps be a possibility that there is an intelligent designer out there?  Or are we as a result today just as a result of Evolution?
 
regards
 
Rishaad Moosa

What do you think?

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blakestyger

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Could there be an intelligent designer?
« Reply #1 on: 22/10/2008 10:07:00 »
Any philosopher will say that it's logically possible that there is an intelligent designer - but that doesn't mean there is one or that it's even probable.

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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #2 on: 22/10/2008 15:47:32 »
In a word, no.
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Offline that mad man

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« Reply #3 on: 22/10/2008 16:40:32 »
An intelligent designer of the universe or planet, I think not. An intelligent designer of the human, I think possible.

Whatever the case I believe evolution came first.

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #4 on: 22/10/2008 19:37:29 »
There's no evidence for an intelligent designer, in fact, just considering an intelligent designer creates more questions than it answers (who created the creator, why create things like parasites, why create such inefficient systems, if creating at all, why not create the checks and controls that would have stopped humans from ravaging the planet, or failing to have enough food...).  Intelligent design is so fraught with these sorts of pit traps, that when thinking scientifically, one would be forced to reject it even one knew nothing of genetics and evolution.

There's plenty of evidence for evolution, and evolution doesn't kick up a storm of unanswerable questions.

All in all, I would have to reject the designer hypothesis and accept the evolution theory.

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Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #5 on: 22/10/2008 22:09:43 »
I agree with BenV.

To add to that, even if there were a designer, he most certainly would be stupid, lazy, or both. The designer would fail a course in design technology. There are so many basic design flaws in natural systems, including the human body, that any human designer would be ashamed if they were responsible for such errors.
Stefan
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #6 on: 23/10/2008 10:59:03 »
Quite so BenV & Stefan.

There are too many errors in the design of life on this planet. The 'designer' want's sacking along with the bankers...... AND NO SEVERENCE REMUNERATION!!!

If Earth is the only planet which supports life, what is the purpose of all the rest of the universe? We only need our planet, the Sun & Moon; the others are surplus to requirements.

If there is life elsewhere in the universe, why is it not close enough for us to pop round for a cuppa & a chin wag, or borrow a cup of sugar?

If the universe is by design (which it isn't), it was certainly not designed by anyone or anything with intelligence.
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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #7 on: 23/10/2008 19:38:57 »
The designer could be inteligent, but incompetent. Perhaps we are made in the image of a "teenage" God who hasn't really got the hang of it yet. That would explain a lot.
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Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #8 on: 23/10/2008 21:37:45 »
Funny, BC :D
The designer has had about 13.7 billion years to learn from its mistakes in that case... can't be very bright if it hasn't learned how to fix the universe after all that time :p
Stefan
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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #9 on: 24/10/2008 07:12:23 »
I thought it up while watching an old episode of star trek (TOS).
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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #10 on: 24/10/2008 08:48:47 »
A thing that bugs me is the vocabulary used by narrators in, for example, some wildlife programmes - an example of this was from a trip to the forests of (I think) Guyana, South America, were the narrator was disussing how well a particular animal was "designed" to fit its environment, where he in fact meant "evolved". I'm sure that it was unintentional, but this use of language does not, in my opinion, help to distinguish evolution from ID, and if anything, may lend weight to the ID lobby.

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Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #11 on: 24/10/2008 09:58:15 »
I agree, the colloquial use of the word can be misleading to people not familiar with the science. But in some sense organisms have been "designed" - it's just that there was no designer other than Natural Selection.
Stefan
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #12 on: 24/10/2008 17:01:38 »
I agree, the colloquial use of the word can be misleading to people not familiar with the science. But in some sense organisms have been "designed" - it's just that there was no designer other than Natural Selection.

I can agree with that. Certain plants have 'designed' their flowers to be accessible only to certain pollinators. Or vicy vercy. Take your pick.
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Offline rosalind dna

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« Reply #13 on: 25/10/2008 12:01:16 »
I don't believe in Creationism or Intelligent Design for the
basic reasons that the world is too much of a mess to have
ever been DESIGNED by anything.

After all, who would want to DESIGN  war, famine, drought, floods
and so on. No one unless they are completely *****

Yes, Chris I agree with you, there is no proof of this one.
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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #14 on: 25/10/2008 15:35:12 »
I agree, the colloquial use of the word can be misleading to people not familiar with the science. But in some sense organisms have been "designed" - it's just that there was no designer other than Natural Selection.

I can agree with that. Certain plants have 'designed' their flowers to be accessible only to certain pollinators. Or vicy vercy. Take your pick.

No, I don't agree. Design implies that there is a pattern to follow - all that has really happened is that those plants that did not provide access to those pollinators were less successful, and were out-competed by the more successful ones, or evolved into something else. This is a random flux to provide the variation then supported by successful propogation. This is evolution, not design.

How can there be design without a designer? Design in my mind (and off the cuff) is an anthropogenic process with a particular means to an end. Evolution is the process of evolving. Design is a more static, one off methodology. Hence I would say that the word "design" does not fit at all into the natural process of evolution.

Wouldn't you say?
« Last Edit: 25/10/2008 15:45:46 by dentstudent »

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Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #15 on: 25/10/2008 15:53:07 »
Hmm, I think the only sense in which the word design can be applied to organisms is that they have been shaped by nature to produce a "combination of details or features", http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/design?r=75

Beyond that, I agree with you Dentstudent.
Stefan
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #16 on: 25/10/2008 16:16:24 »
I agree, the colloquial use of the word can be misleading to people not familiar with the science. But in some sense organisms have been "designed" - it's just that there was no designer other than Natural Selection.

I can agree with that. Certain plants have 'designed' their flowers to be accessible only to certain pollinators. Or vicy vercy. Take your pick.

No, I don't agree. Design implies that there is a pattern to follow - all that has really happened is that those plants that did not provide access to those pollinators were less successful, and were out-competed by the more successful ones, or evolved into something else. This is a random flux to provide the variation then supported by successful propogation. This is evolution, not design.

How can there be design without a designer? Design in my mind (and off the cuff) is an anthropogenic process with a particular means to an end. Evolution is the process of evolving. Design is a more static, one off methodology. Hence I would say that the word "design" does not fit at all into the natural process of evolution.

Wouldn't you say?

Yes I do totally agree with you. When I said a plant 'designed' it's flower for a particular pollinator, or the pollinator 'designed' itself for the flower, I did, as I have here, put the word in quotation marks. The word 'design' refers to natural selection and adaption of one to the other and was meant to be tounge-in-cheek.
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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #17 on: 25/10/2008 17:19:25 »
OK, I didn't get the tongue-in-cheek bit - obviously way too subtle for me!!!

OK, so no more of this nonsense! Design is for Germans who make very good cars - that's it. Evolution is for, well, pretty much everything else, actually!

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Offline einsteinium252

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« Reply #18 on: 29/10/2008 15:16:44 »
Indeed much evidence supports evolution via natural selection.  However, the evidence also supports ID if one so chooses to agree with the theory.
Calling the debate of evolution and ID closed without even the mention and discussion of problems such as: "why are the fundamental laws of nature the way they are?" or "Where did the information of DNA or even atomic structure come from?"

Both can be explained by ID (an omnipotent creator) and evolution (anthropic principle, natural selection).

ID and Natural Selection are, in the least, at odds.

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Offline BenV

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« Reply #19 on: 29/10/2008 15:49:58 »
Indeed much evidence supports evolution via natural selection.  However, the evidence also supports ID if one so chooses to agree with the theory.
Calling the debate of evolution and ID closed without even the mention and discussion of problems such as: "why are the fundamental laws of nature the way they are?" or "Where did the information of DNA or even atomic structure come from?"

Both can be explained by ID (an omnipotent creator) and evolution (anthropic principle, natural selection).

ID and Natural Selection are, in the least, at odds.

Neither of those are questions that evolution addresses, so I fail to see how they are relevant.  Also, I know of no evidence whatsoever that supports ID.  It's not, for example, acceptable to claim that examples where we don't have a full understanding of how an individual species, organ or system evolved are evidence for ID - They're not.  Evidence for ID would be evidence for the designer, and as god is a concept, rather than a provable physical entity, this evidence does not, and can not exist.

"If one so chooses to accept the theory"? - well in that case, there's evidence for the tooth fairy, santa, hobbits, goblins, elves, harry potter...

Besides, ID is not a theory in the scientific sense.  It's not even a hypothesis, as it isn't testable.  It's a philosophy.

I've said a few times on this forum that these are examples of considering the world from different paradigms.  There is no sensible debate between ID and evolution.

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #20 on: 29/10/2008 19:23:15 »
"However, the evidence also supports ID if one so chooses to agree with the theory."
The evidence also supports the hypotheses that the universe was created by the fairies at the bottom of my garden or the flying spaghetti monster.
However one of the theories gets round the problem of "Where did the complexity come from?".

Evolution doesn't need an explanation for God but ID does. Evolution is, therefore, a more complete theory.
Theories that explain more are generally though of as better theories.
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lyner

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Could there be an intelligent designer?
« Reply #21 on: 10/11/2008 12:48:42 »
Two different interpretations of the same fact aren't necessarily equally valid.

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Offline dentstudent

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« Reply #22 on: 10/11/2008 13:24:10 »
Indeed much evidence supports evolution via natural selection.  However, the evidence also supports ID if one so chooses to agree with the theory.

Evolution is a Theory.
ID is at best a hypothesis.

A theory is what a hypothesis becomes after extensive testing. It is a well-substantiated explanation of the phenomenon.

A hypothesis is an inchoat explanation which is used as the basis for testing. It is a question that is open and requires investigation.

There is no evidence for ID. It is very unlikely, therefore, to ever become theory.
« Last Edit: 10/11/2008 13:29:05 by dentstudent »

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Offline yor_on

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Could there be an intelligent designer?
« Reply #23 on: 04/12/2008 17:05:36 »
ID is a good joke.
Religion is an even better:)

And if there is a God about He/She gotta have a strange sense of humor.

----------

Thinking about it..
Maybe I should have wrote 'Organized religion is an even better' instead?
As there are good decent people out there that believes in a personal God.
And it's not them I phreak out on:)
« Last Edit: 04/12/2008 17:13:19 by yor_on »
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lyner

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Could there be an intelligent designer?
« Reply #24 on: 06/12/2008 20:51:13 »
Quote
And if there is a God about He/She gotta have a strange sense of humor.
Poor ol' God. Why has 'he' got to have any sex? Will he need to reproduce sexually?

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Offline science_guy

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« Reply #25 on: 13/01/2009 16:19:13 »
Sometimes I wonder...

anyway, one cannot really state that there are several inefficient systems in nature, when he doesn't completely understand everything about nature.  Every little tweak in a single creature's genetic structure would have large and lasting effects in the local ecosystem if it was to be adopted.  How do we know that these inefficient systems are only their to provide a cushion for human error?

That is another important subject on the matter: Human error.  Many of the examples you cited were of inefficient systems that were actually designed, but by humans.

one of the main things of religion is the principle of free will, and that all problems are borne of human error, not of an Intelligent Designer.

I am always open to proof otherwise, yet have never been convinced against it.
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Offline bryan

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« Reply #26 on: 14/01/2009 19:30:23 »
No, but there could be an unintelligent designer.
One who thought food and air should enter the body using the same hole creating a risk of choking. Also that babies' heads and penises should exit or enter the body using the same hole. Oh sorry free will explains the last one doesn't it? The designer is angry because one day a girl ate the wrong piece of fruit. 

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lyner

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« Reply #27 on: 14/01/2009 22:42:44 »
The idea of an intelligent designer is attractive and a lot easier to cope with than the idea of there not being one. There is no intellectual effort required because it puts everything not understood into the care of a superior being (a father figure). I can quite see how such an attitude is the result of the very evolution which the Creationsts reject. It is the ultimate 'instinctive' behaviour which gives a species an excellent chance of surviving.
Evolutionary theories could have only appeared once the scientific attitude was developed.
Of course they are rejected by many people; they are far too hard and the evidence is very tenuous and subtle, compared with many other modern scientific ideas.