Argument from design

termina
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Argument from design

 hello

 

many people refute the idea of a designer for our Universe by arguing that that designer, being surely complex, would require a designer.

 So, the argument from design seems to explain a mystery by adding more unexplained things.

W.Lane Craig responds that if we follow the logic of those people, we must find the explanation for the designer, and the explanation for the designer of the designer, ect...

the explanation of the explanantion of the explantion ad infinitum, which is impossible.

thus, stating an unexplained designer isn't incorrect to Craig.

 

See his video on youtube which is intilted "who design the designer?"

 

What do you think of this strange Craig's answer?

 

 


StDissonance
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Ad infinitum

 Can you give me an example of origin that is not ad infinitum?


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 An explanation for some

 An explanation for some phenomena accounts for it terms of some combination and/or sequence of simpler elements, which are better understood. If it doesn't do that, it is not a useful explanation, and would be open to Craig's objection.

The whole problem of the 'designer' argument is that it does not analyse the problem ( the apparent 'design' of the Universe ) into elements which do not present essentially the same problem ( what is the origin of a complex and ordered entity or structure with apparent 'purpose' ) . 

Whereas 'natural' explanations for the apparent design show that complexity can and does arise from simpler elements, in many many examples. And that order does not require explicit sentient design. 

In fact, the Darwinian algorithm, ie random search within a constrained 'space' of possible variation, followed by selection for best fit to some criteria (maximum descendents in the case of evolution), repeated indefinitely in mostly small steps, is far more genuinely 'creative' in coming up with solutions to complex problems than conscious design, which tends to be limited to solutions based on rearrangements of existing ideas.

So 'conscious design' is a non-starter as an ultimate explanation for the Universe on both counts. 

I am sorry I do not have the inclination to sit thru another example of what Craig thinks of as serious arguments, which turn out to be a sequence of non-sequiters and naked assertions.

Maybe later.

NOTE: this topic appears to have been posted twice, so I copied my answer here from the other (duplicate) thread and deleted that one.

So this response was not actually made after STDissonance, and I had not actually seen his(?) question when I posted it.

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As with Bob, I have no real

As with Bob, I have no real interest in watching that video. Whatever he has to say really fails to merit dealing with when the argument itself is what you are after.

 

Really, as Bob has already observed, things break down into simpler steps as one goes farther back in time. Eventually, one must come to a starting point though. Whatever Craig has to say on the matter is really irrelevant apart from the basic question of what existed before existence?

 

I am seeing problems here. The big ones being the undefined terms. What does it mean to talk of existence prior to stuff existing? What does it mean to talk of that which happened before everything began?

 

In short, what was it that went bang! In the big bang?

 

Some respectable name in the physics community have speculations on that but until there are real observations coupled with sound reasoning that might account for the data, that stuff still amounts to what some dude is saying.

 

For example, it has been floated that certain features in the WMAP data set could be explained by saying that what we are calling the universe has already collided with other universes. Great, now tell me why that idea must be true and no other idea can account for the date. Past that, it really only says that what we are calling “the universe” is a subset of some other existence. An existence which will also be explainable through further simplifications.

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If everything is designed

If everything is designed then that would make the designer one hell of an incompetent jackass.

If on the other hand "shit happens" then a "what" being a process without a brain that just does what it does, we don't have to falsely project our human qualities on it. We can simply study this shit and determine through our studies what good shit might benefit us vs the bad shit we don't want to affect us.

Design as an argument is nothing but new packaging to make the obvious skunk of anthropomorphism look like it is credible.

Did some magical sky daddy "design" downs syndrome? Did he think to himself one day, "My lab rats don't have enough pain in their life, I'll design cancer. "

I am quite sure the victims of the tsunami loved the "design" of daddy's home he gave us(allegedly as so claim the fans of invisible friends in the sky).

There is no "design" to biology or the universe. There are merely natural processes that go on. We happen to be a tiny and LUCKY fraction of what has emerged. But if anyone wants to claim that this is "designed" , go on a space walk and take your helmet off.

 

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The other thing to remember

The other thing to remember is that a lot of these apologist arguments for the "un-caused cause" or "non-designed designer" are just cases of special pleading.

 

Scientist:  All we can say for certain is that an event, which we have dubbed (stupidly) the Big Bang, took place over 13 billion years ago which formed the Universe as we know it today.  Our instruments and knowledge currently allow us to shave back further and further in time until we come closer to that event.  At this moment in time it is impossible to see 'before' that event or even determine what, if anything, constitutes as 'before' the event.  Anything we can say about this is purely speculative and bears no relation to fact.  The sensible option as we try to understand our universe is to assume the Big Bang is the moment that defined our universe and thus work to understand that event and all the events after it.

 

Apologist:  So what caused the Big Bang

 

Scientist:  Were you listening?  I said...

 

Apologist:  There's no way it could come from nothing.  Something must have created it.

 

Scientist:  But what created the creator?

 

Apologist: The creator is the uncaused cause.

 

Scientist:  Why can't the universe be an uncaused cause?

 

Apologist:  BECAUSE OK!

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termina wrote:What do you

termina wrote:
What do you think of this strange Craig's answer?

First, the problem of "who designed the designer?" comes up because of the formulation of the "problem" of design. The belief that the universe is "too complex" (with no sufficient definition of complexity, nor a metric by which to judge complexity on a scale) to have been happenstance, and therefore needs a creator, is the source of the paradox.

Assume the universe is too complex, and requires a designer. If the designer were simpler than the universe, then you have to admit simpler things can result in more-complex things. This line of reasoning is self-refuting, as natural simpler things can result in more complex things in series, resulting in our complex universe, with no designer required.

This leaves you with the situation in which the designer must be at least as complex as the universe. However, the original premise is that the universe is too complex, and requires a designer. So, you are in the logical situation of the creator also requiring a creator (as it is the assertion that the complexity of the universe required explanation that led to this mess in the first place). As this second-removed creator cannot be less complex than the first creator (due to the problem of less-complex things giving rise to more complex things given above), you end in an infinite series of creators. This presents an actual first cause problem, as complexity cannot arise from simplicity, by the very assumptions of the initial problem. This problem exists whether the designer is unexplained or not. It's in the very fabric of the assumptions about the complexity of the universe. If you merely hand-wave and say the designer is unexplained, you could simply say the complexity of the universe is unexplained. Craig is abdicating all logic with his claim.

In the end, the argument from design is self-refuting. Its logic is internally inconsistent, and the logical conclusions either admit that more-complex structures can arise from less-complex structures (obviating the need for a creator), or that an infinite regression of creators exists, giving rise to an actual "first cause" problem.

The only logical conclusion is that complexity can arise from simplicity, and there is no "problem of complexity." This does not eliminate the possibility of god, but it certainly obviates the necessity of a god.

 

BTW: has anybody seen this formulation before?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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MichaelMcF wrote:The other

MichaelMcF wrote:
The other thing to remember is that a lot of these apologist arguments for the "un-caused cause" or "non-designed designer" are just cases of special pleading.

 

Scientist: All we can say for certain is that an event, which we have dubbed (stupidly) the Big Bang, took place over 13 billion years ago which formed the Universe as we know it today.

 

Michael, do I remember correctly that you do something in biology as a profession?

 

Not disagreeing with you but the origin of the term “big bang” is rather more humorous than stupid.

 

Back a half century or so ago, we already knew that the universe was clearly expanding but it had yet to be firmly established that it actually had a beginning. Yah, that actually can make sense if you bought into the competing theory that went by the name “steady state”. I would rather not go into the details of that as it is now known to be wrong.

 

Anyway, in a radio debate between the two camps of astronomers, one of the champions of SS theory, Sir Fred Hoyle, referred to the as yet unnamed alternative theory as “This, this theory that the universe started with a big bang!”.

 

Actually, Hoyle was quite the character. He was an atheist who successfully used the anthropic principle to derive the key insight into why there are elements heavier than helium. He was also an anti-evolutionist. In fact, he was the guy who originally came up with the idea of a tornado sweeping through a junk yard and leaving an intact 747 behind.

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MichaelMcF
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Actually I'm a chemist. 

Actually I'm a chemist.  I'm aware of the origin of the term, I just think it's stupid that we've stuck with it Eye-wink

Forget Jesus, the stars died so that you could be here
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