Could Intelligent Design be right? *reconstruction*

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Could Intelligent Design be right? *reconstruction*

thinktank
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I have been thinking recently, that the creationist could be right but for all the wrong reasons. Intelligent Design is not all that crazy when you think of it from a purely biological point of view. There are many intelligents in one human or mammal then just what happens in our conscience brain. We really aren’t just one life form, but tens of millions of life forms working together for a common goal. For example your immune system is intelligent, and all of the systems in you body that control homeostasis. So why can’t the reproductive system be intelligent? Any life form that did have and intelligent reproductive system would have a huge advantage. I know it would be hard to find evidence of this, given we just recently got the human genome in the first place and how DNA is sequenced.


I am just not sure that we give our bodies credit for just how smart they really are.
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Submitted by thinktank on December 21, 2007 - 5:32pm. login or register to post comments

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I'm not sure you understand


I'm not sure you understand what the claims of intelligent design actually are.

While there is nothing impossible about what intelligent design says is true, that is, it would certainly be possible for one intelligent entity to design life, the evidence we have suggests that it is not true for life as we know it.

Also, several concepts put forward by intelligent design, such as irreducible complexity, don't hold up to the facts of how biology works on this planet (which, again, isn't to say that something irreducibly complex is impossible, so much as we haven't seen any such thing yet).
December 21, 2007 - 6:10pm login or register to post comments

MattShizzleSilver Member
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Simple answer: NO


Simple answer:


NO

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December 21, 2007 - 6:14pm login or register to post comments

JeremiahSmith
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thinktank wrote: For

thinktank wrote:

For example your immune system is intelligent

No it isn't.

Quote:
and all of the systems in you body that control homeostasis.

No they aren't.

Quote:
So why can’t the reproductive system be intelligent?


Because those organs are too busy reproducing.

Quote:
I am just not sure that we give our bodies credit for just how smart they really are.

That's because our bodies aren't smart. They do what our brains tell them to do and what they've evolved to do automatically and involuntarily.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.
December 21, 2007 - 6:15pm login or register to post comments

thinktank
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What I am trying to say



What I am trying to say is that our own bodies are the Intelligent Designers. As we know it took most of the time that life has existed, for multicellular life to form. And after it did, all sorts of complexity started, not to say that a cell itself isn’t complex.


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December 21, 2007 - 6:21pm login or register to post comments

JeremiahSmith
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thinktank wrote: What I am

thinktank wrote:
What I am trying to say is that our own bodies are the Intelligent Designers. As we know it took most of the time that life has existed, for multicellular life to form. And after it did, all sorts of complexity started, not to say that a cell itself isn’t complex.

But our bodies aren't intelligent, except for the squishy part between your ears. There is no planning, no foresight, no synthesis of information.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.
December 21, 2007 - 6:29pm login or register to post comments

HambydammitHigh Level Donor
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Quote: There are many

Quote:
There are many intelligents in one human or mammal then just what happens in our conscience brain. We really aren’t just one life form, but tens of millions of life forms working together for a common goal.

Are you talking about the various microorganisms that live in us? I don't see what that would have to do with anything. If we grant intelligent design for the sake of argument, we are still left with a staggeringly vast library of evidence that makes evolution virtually as certain as gravity. So, whether or not life began by design or by chemical "accident," the theory of evolution describes perfectly well how symbiosis came to exist.

If you're not talking about that, are you talking about the fact that each cell in our body is a contained unit? If that's what you're saying, it's gibberish.

Quote:
For example your immune system is intelligent, and all of the systems in you body that control homeostasis.

OK. You are talking gibberish. The immune system is not intelligent in the way you think. As various mutations in early animals came to exist, some proved slightly helpful in fighting off invasion by microorganisms. These animals tended to survive more than those without the mutations. Over many, many generations, new mutations added to the original benefit, and these tended to survive. After millions of years, we can see the result of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions of individual improvements, and it looks really "smart." Unfortunately for IDers, it's not intelligence. It's simply cumulative adaptation.

Quote:
So why can’t the reproductive system be intelligent?

Because it doesn't have neurons.

Quote:
Any life form that did have and intelligent reproductive system would have a huge advantage.

What you're suggesting is nonsense. Both intelligent and nonintelligent lifeforms have mechanisms for regulating reproduction. Some work better than others, but all are the result of cumulative adaptation. It may look more intelligent in some, but it's not.

In fact, you might not like what intelligent reproductive systems would look like. There are good examples of very efficient -- and genetically successful -- reproductive practices. Many animals have multiple offspring and then either kill or allow to die all except the strongest one. Still others, like some varieties of shark, have a winner take all battle in the womb!

If humans were to reproduce more intelligently, all babies with genetic predispositions towards deadly diseases would be killed. Children of parents with very low intelligence might be, too. One of the hallmarks of intelligence is the ability to ask questions about the effects of reproduction and judge what standard determines good and bad.

Quote:
I know it would be hard to find evidence of this, given we just recently got the human genome in the first place and how DNA is sequenced.

Don't hold your breath. You have a fundamental misconception of what intelligence is.

Quote:
I am just not sure that we give our bodies credit for just how smart they really are.

We're constantly learning how well adapted our bodies are, but many of the posters on this website give us ample evidence that humans aren't particularly smart, on average.


...anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant -- inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write. --Daniel Dennett
December 21, 2007 - 6:31pm login or register to post comments

thinktank
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JeremiahSmith

JeremiahSmith wrote:
thinktank wrote:

For example your immune system is intelligent

No it isn't.

Quote:
and all of the systems in you body that control homeostasis.

No they aren't.

Quote:
So why can’t the reproductive system be intelligent?


Because those organs are too busy reproducing.

Quote:
I am just not sure that we give our bodies credit for just how smart they really are.

That's because our bodies aren't smart. They do what our brains tell them to do and what they've evolved to do automatically and involuntarily.


The immue system is made up of cells. Cells are intelligent.

If you are trying to say there not, at what point in evolution did groups of cells become intelligent? Intellingens is a subjective term. And different life forms have different levels of intellingens


and the immune system can

*remember

*solve problems

*communcate

*carryout very complex tasks

but I know, you told it to do all these things

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December 21, 2007 - 6:47pm login or register to post comments

thinktank
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What is wrong with thinking


What is wrong with thinking all types of life are Intelligent in there own way? And what types of life are qualified to be in the "intelligent" club?

Only humans

Only manmals

Only mulitcellular life

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December 21, 2007 - 6:52pm login or register to post comments

HambydammitHigh Level Donor
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Quote: The immue system is

Quote:
The immue system is made up of cells. Cells are intelligent.

Are you having trouble understanding the replies? Cells are not intelligent. They appear intelligent because they accomplish things that seem very reasonable to us. They are not making decisions based on cognition. They are reacting chemically to their surroundings.

Quote:
If you are trying to say there not, at what point in evolution did groups of cells become intelligent? Intellingens is a subjective term.

No, it's not. Intelligence is a matter of degree -- some creatures are more intelligent than others, but intelligence is well defined, if not completely explained. In other words, we don't have all the answers to how brains work, but we can most certainly define the results of the brain working. That's intelligence.

If you want to learn about how evolution accomplishes things like intelligence, I highly recommend "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. You could also read "Dawkins Dangerous Idea," by Daniel Dennett.

In a nutshell, most evolutionary developments are not like on/off switches. In other words, there wasn't a creature who was unintelligent who gave birth to an intelligent creature. Intelligence gradually developed through a very long chain of events. It's the degree thing again.

In fact, intelligence probably developed many times through different evolutionary paths, much like sight. There simply isn't a clear cut answer to your question.

Quote:

and the immune system can

*remember

*solve problems

*communcate

*carryout very complex tasks

It's not doing these things because it decided to. It's not intelligent. It's simply doing what immune systems do. Immune systems are around because they worked. All the systems that failed to provide adequate protection against microorganisms are gone because the creatures who had them died without reproducing.


...anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant -- inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write. --Daniel Dennett
December 21, 2007 - 6:58pm login or register to post comments

JeremiahSmith
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thinktank wrote: The immue

thinktank wrote:
The immue system is made up of cells. Cells are intelligent.

No they're not. A group of cells, arranged correctly (i.e., the brain) can be intelligent, but that doesn't mean any given group of cells is intelligent, and it certainly doesn't mean an individual cell is intelligent.

Quote:
and the immune system can

*remember

*solve problems

*communcate

*carryout very complex tasks

Rocks can remember, too. I put a rock down on the ground, come back later, and the rock is still there! It remembers where it was!

The immune system does none of those things, not in the way intelligent beings do. It "remembers" diseases only because antibodies that worked against a disease linger in the body. It "communicates" only by basic chemical signaling. It's not intelligent. The immune system has no foresight, no planning, no ability to synthesize new information. It's merely reactionary. It's good at reacting, to be fair, but that's all it does.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.
December 21, 2007 - 7:03pm login or register to post comments

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Quote:

Quote:
What is wrong with thinking all types of life are Intelligent in there own way?

It's incorrect. That's what's wrong with it.

Quote:
And what types of life are qualified to be in the "intelligent" club?

Intelligence is the property of a mind that allows for the use of reason. If a creature does not have a mind, it is not intelligent. If it does not use reason, it is not intelligent.

From "Mainstream Science on Intelligence":
a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—"catching on", "making sense" of things, or "figuring out" what to do.

Quote:
Only humans

No.

Quote:
Only manmals

Mammals? no.

Quote:
Only mulitcellular life

Yes.


...anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant -- inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write. --Daniel Dennett
December 21, 2007 - 7:03pm login or register to post comments

JeremiahSmith
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thinktank wrote: What is

thinktank wrote:

What is wrong with thinking all types of life are Intelligent in there own way?

Because it's stupid and untrue.

I'll go the rest of the way. Everything in the universe is intelligent in its own way! How does water know to flow downhill? How do rocks remember to stay in the same place? How does air know where the vacuums and low-pressure areas are?

Quote:
And what types of life are qualified to be in the "intelligent" club?

Only humans

Only manmals

Only mulitcellular life


Life with organs capable of processing information, synthesizing new information, and making and changing goals based on circumstances.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.
December 21, 2007 - 7:12pm login or register to post comments

deludedgodHigh Level Moderator
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I've heard this argument


I've heard this argument before, thinktank, and I work in molecular biology. It's a pile of crap.

Yes, cells have the ability to do these things, fro signal exchange, transduction, synthesis, computation, etc. etc.

But you are making a fallacy of equivocation. By your logic, a computer should be "intelligent". But it is not. Because it has no awareness of its actions. It makes only computations. "Intelligence" denotes awareness. Cellular life is not intelligent. It's creation of complex computation systems is blind, ie the cell is not "aware" that it is folding a protein. DNA exonuclease is not "aware" that it is repairing DNA. All of these things that cells can do can be perfectly explained mechanistically. You are torquing the definition of the word "intelligence" to mean "any system that has a complex input-output" process. Thinktank, that is utterly absurd.

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December 21, 2007 - 7:38pm login or register to post comments

thinktank
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Quote: Life with organs

Quote:

Life with organs capable of processing information, synthesizing new information, and making and changing goals based on circumstances.


All I am trying to say is that, maybe for example your body can see the fact it has more food then it needs. So when producing sperm or eggs it changes the DNA slightly in response. Maybe you would call that an involuntary response. But is that really different then what your immune system does. Sees an new enemy, hopefully destroys it, and logs the information for future reference.

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December 21, 2007 - 7:50pm login or register to post comments

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What part of this is


What part of this is difficult? You don't get to decide what "intelligence" means. It already has a meaning, and that includes having a brain.

Without the ability to reason, there is no intelligence. It is as simple as that. What you are describing are chemical and mechanical changes, not rational thought.



...anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant -- inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write. --Daniel Dennett
December 21, 2007 - 7:59pm login or register to post comments

thinktank
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deludedgod wrote: I've

deludedgod wrote:

I've heard this argument before, thinktank, and I work in molecular biology. It's a pile of crap.

Yes, cells have the ability to do these things, fro signal exchange, transduction, synthesis, computation, etc. etc.

But you are making a fallacy of equivocation. By your logic, a computer should be "intelligent". But it is not. Because it has no awareness of its actions. It makes only computations. "Intelligence" denotes awareness. Cellular life is not intelligent. It's creation of complex computation systems is blind, ie the cell is not "aware" that it is folding a protein. DNA exonuclease is not "aware" that it is repairing DNA. All of these things that cells can do can be perfectly explained mechanistically. You are torquing the definition of the word "intelligence" to mean "any system that has a complex input-output" process. Thinktank, that is utterly absurd.




Thanks this is the kind of response I was looking for. So I take it the DNA in a sperm or egg are identical to the person that produced it, minus the DNA that will be provided by the other person?


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December 21, 2007 - 8:02pm login or register to post comments

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Quote: So I take it the

Quote:

So I take it the DNA in a sperm or egg are identical to the person that produced it, minus the DNA that will be provided by the other person?


I am unsure what this has to do with the topic at hand. It sounds like a fallacy of composition. The DNA contained in a sperm or an egg will always represent one person's contribution to the formation of a diploid organism. This is a fundamental law of genetics. Why?

There once was a man from Fisk
Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk
So fast was his action that the Lorentz Contraction
Turned his rapier into a disk

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December 21, 2007 - 8:17pm login or register to post comments

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Quote: So I take it the

Quote:

So I take it the DNA in a sperm or egg are identical to the person that produced it, minus the DNA that will be provided by the other person?


I am unsure what this has to do with the topic at hand. It sounds like a fallacy of composition. The DNA contained in a sperm or an egg will always represent one person's contribution to the formation of a diploid organism. This is a fundamental law of genetics. Why?

There once was a man from Fisk
Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk
So fast was his action that the Lorentz Contraction
Turned his rapier into a disk

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December 21, 2007 - 8:17pm login or register to post comments

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The premise has been


The premise has been addressed better than I could muster, but I'd like to deal with the use of the phrase “Intelligent Design.” The original posts claims, though spurious, are neither a description of what is commonly called “ID,” nor do those words taken on their own describe the premise the poster puts forth. I've been seeing a lot of this lately. For instance, RationalDeist, with his attempt to alter the word 'rational' to include self-delusion; RationalAnswers, and his conceit of equivocating the term “Supreme Being” from adjective-noun into adverb-verb. It just gets in the way of conversation.

"Fanatics are picturesque, and mankind prefers observing poses to listening to reasons."
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December 21, 2007 - 8:20pm login or register to post comments

DeathMunkyGod
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thinktank wrote: I have

thinktank wrote:
I have been thinking recently, that the creationist could be right but for all the wrong reasons. Intelligent Design is not all that crazy when you think of it from a purely biological point of view. There are many intelligents in one human or mammal then just what happens in our conscience brain. We really aren’t just one life form, but tens of millions of life forms working together for a common goal. For example your immune system is intelligent, and all of the systems in you body that control homeostasis. So why can’t the reproductive system be intelligent? Any life form that did have and intelligent reproductive system would have a huge advantage. I know it would be hard to find evidence of this, given we just recently got the human genome in the first place and how DNA is sequenced.

Our immune system is "intelligent" in the same way that magnets are "intelligent". The proteins that coat certain viruses and bacteria attract our white blood cells. When a new virus is introduced that doesn't have this reaction, and if the virus is present with us for a long time, evolution slowly starts to select for mutations to the immune system that allow our white blood cells to be attracted to the new virus. The virus does some mutating of its own, of course, because the versions of the virus that kill the host too quickly are less likely to survive, so the versions of the virus that allow the host to live longer are selected for.

Why would the reproductive system need to be intelligent and just how intelligent would it have to be? It would have to be intelligent enough to read and understand the entire organism's genome. It would also have to be intelligent enough to build new proteins or recognize whhen a new protein caused by random mutation won't function. Or else recognize when the new protein will function better. It would also have to be intelligent enough to very quickly read an incoming sperm for compatibility as not all mutations will work well together, as in the case of the cicle cell mutation. If you inherit it from only one parent you're fine and resistent to malaria, but if you inherit it from both parents...look out.

Also nothing in nature would suggest that such a vastly intelligent reproductive system exists. Since even among humans genetic mutations occur which are devastating to the viability or the quality of life of the child born. Of coure some might see this as confirmation that all mutations are bad. That would be a completely bad selective interpretation of the facts. Why do we look for mutations in genes? One major reason is to determine what is causing an illness. Now here's the crux, we ourselves are not as intelligent as the reproductive system you're proposing, thinktank, as we ourselves have no means by which we can recognize a beneficial mutation even if we were looking right at one. Unless, of course, the benefit is somehow made obvious in the grown organism.
December 21, 2007 - 8:20pm login or register to post comments

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Or, to put it another way,


Or, to put it another way, if molecules had conscious awareness, I would be out of job. My job is to provide coherent mechanistic explanations for the occurances of biological processes which follow natural laws and which are the result of complex but non-conscious interaction. Right now, for example, I'm wrestling with a problem of the organization of nucleosomes into 30nm fiber, one of the trickiest problems in molecular biology. Not only does this research entail finding out how the nucleosomes are organized, but also the mechanism which forces this organization. If molecules were consciously aware of their actions, the entire field of molecular biology would simply disappear.

Also, there are philosophica problems with the assertion. Although the problems in question that I outlined in the link below were of a different nature than that under discussion, my derivations still raise problems for thinktanks proposition:

On the Nature of Causal Structure and Its Implications for the Existence of the Theistic God

I've heard the theory crop up here and there. It seems like an argument from wonder to me.

There once was a man from Fisk
Whose fencing was exceedingly brisk
So fast was his action that the Lorentz Contraction
Turned his rapier into a disk

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