A new low for ID argument? January 28, 2007Posted by Evil Bender in Origins, Science, wingnuts.
Well, probably not. After all, they’ve hit more than a few valleys along the way, but as luaphacim points out, there is some particularly stupid stuff over at the “peer-reviewed” (by ID loyalists, so far as I can tell) “American Chronicle.” The relevant information is in two places. The first is this deeply irrational and logically flawed essay, and the second in the editorial endorsing it as testible proof of Intelligent Design.
Since the editorial’s only real claim is that the essay constitutes testable claims, I will focus only on the original argument. It’s really exceptionally stupid. To give you a preview of where we are headed, let me just say that he’s going to argue that human intelligence created the universe. But he’s going to have to go through a mess of logical mistakes to get us there. The ride’s below the fold.
Our author, Kazmer Ujarosy, starts by explaining the difference between science (“Darwinists”) and ID. He’s trying to seem fair and balanced, but the gibberish and Bible-verse quoting later on undermine that even for anyone silly enough not to have picked it up from his terminology in the first place. Eventually, though, he does get around to making some actual claims.
Fine, let’s start with the statement, “ID does not infer supernatural intelligence,” and let’s keep in mind that by definition “supernatural” simply means intelligence beyond and above nature, in other words intelligence beyond and above the universe. The term “supernatural,” however, must be distinguished from the term “superhuman.” By definition “superhuman” simply means intelligence beyond and above human intelligence. This distinction between supernatural and superhuman is necessary because irrespective of what scientists believe, the supernatural cause of the universe is indubitably and demonstrably accessible to us for scientific study, as opposed to a superhuman intelligence. [emphasis added]
Hooray for gibberish! He wants us to believe that we can study supernatural (outside of nature) causes, but not causes beyond human intelligence. We can already see the logical contortion he must go through to make this work–he must make the case that as humans, we are supernatural. Otherwise, no “supernatural” intelligence would be open to study even under his own definitions.
At least he doesn’t try to obfuscate this fact:
The stark fact is that the only intelligence that qualifies to cause design in nature, and is accessible to scientific study, is our own intelligence. But if we have to exclude supernatural intelligence, then our own intelligence has to go, because human intelligence is supernatural.
Okay, then. And how does he intend to demonstrate this?
The only unquestionably existing intelligence that qualifies to be the designer, observer and measurer of nature is human intelligence. Design by human intelligence is evident from nuclear engineering to genetic engineering, and for us the universe is observable and measurable.
We can’t have an intelligence beyond our own, remember, or that wouldn’t be testable–though somehow he’s going to claim that his hypothesis is. So humans are capable of design (check). Of course, at this point the argument falls apart already because we are not the only creatures capable of design. Now, he would undoubtedly argue that we can create better, more sophisticated designs than other animals. But that doesn’t demonstrate that we are the most sophisticated designers possible; it assumes it, simply because his argument requires it.
And he claims that naturalism is a stupid method.
As we go further, keep this in mind. Naturalism, to his way of thinking, is flawed because it will not discuss supernatural, untestable causes. But presuming that human beings are the be-all and end-all of the universe, that’s perfectly logical.
We have models of the universe based on our observations, we measured its parameters, and we calculated the proportions of its content. The fact that we are the observers and measurers of the universe constitutes evidence that our intelligence exists beyond the bounds of the universe.
In other news, a fish can swim around its bowl and figure out what the boundaries of it are. This does not mean the fish is beyond the bowl. And this “argument” about measuring is the extent of his evidence that we are outside the universe.
But if human intelligence exists beyond the bounds of nature, then by definition it is not only supernatural, but eternal as well.
At this point let me note that Anana, the chief scribe to Seti II, wrote the following in an Egyptian papyrus: “Our religion teaches us that we live eternally. Now eternity, having no end, can have no beginning, it is a circle. Therefore if the one be true, namely that we live on, it would seem that the other must be true, namely that we have always lived.”
Since we’re outside nature (apparently) we must be eternal into the future, for some reason. And since we’ll exist forever, we must also have existed forever. His entire essay rests on this chain of logic. And this is the man IDists are touting at being on the verge of discovering the “theory of everything.”
He goes on:
At this time what we know for certain is that human intelligence exists, and based on our uniform experience the existing highest form of intelligence is human intelligence.
Interesting, in light of ID’s argument that we can see design in nature (which must be designed because it is so complex) by comparing it to things that we’ve designed.
We have no verifiable evidence that at one time no human intelligence existed, that non-human intelligence superior to human intelligence exists, or that human intelligence is the product of a lower form of non-human intelligence.
Now the hand-waving really begins. He claims we can’t prove we never existed (since you can’t prove a negative) and tries to go from there to “we have no verifiable evidence.” Yup, nothing in the fossil record indicates a time before humans existed. Neither does all that DNA evidence that links us to our nearest relatives and then, further back, to every living thing.
All he’s doing is claiming there is no evidence for evolution, ignoring the mountain of evidence that exists, and then saying “see, we don’t know when humans came into being, so they must have always been.” Weee! This is ID’s supposed “testable” theory of the designer, remember (though I suspect the Discovery Institute won’t be pleased with his model, since it seems to preclude the
God “unnamed designer” that they are truly trying to promote.
In the absence of verifiable evidence that human intelligence cannot exist prior to the universe there is no reason to believe in the origin of the universe and human intelligence from anything inferior to human intelligence. Put simply, the immortality of human intelligence has never been falsified, and the principle of its immortality remains valid until human intelligence exists.
Yup, we can’t prove that human intelligence didn’t exist in the time before the universe, so it must have. In related news, he won’t let other IDists posit a God because that would be “superhuman.” But positing human intelligence from before we existed as a species is apparently perfectly reasonable.
Based on the unique qualities of human intelligence we posit that it is the inferred “designer” of the universe because it constitutes the seed of the universe, i.e. the genotype of the phenotype universe, or the cosmic system’s input and output. When it feels an inner urge to produce human beings in its own image, it brings order out of chaos, and progressively develops the structure of the universe for the reproduction of itself, similarly as a seed creates a mighty tree for the production of seeds in its own image.
“Based on a claim we pulled out of our ass and non-existent evidence” we’ve decided that humans created the universe and (apparently) will do so again. Ain’t that exciting, folks? I wonder how this will play with all those Creationists out there who think it’s evolution which artificially distorts the place of humanity in the universe.
Thus the act of creation starts with a brief top-down fission phase, followed by the laborious and lengthy bottom-up fusion phase, and it is this phase that creates the illusion of cosmic and biological evolution from a simple beginning, when in fact it is cosmic and biological development from the parent seed of the universe.
Wha? Your guess is as good as mine. I think he’s saying that the universal human intelligence “seeds” the universe to eventually get around to creating humans, and so that seed creates the illusions of a simple beginning.
But wait, you’re probably thinking, if human intelligence created the universe to look like evolution was happening, how is this theory distinguishable from evolutionary theory or testable in any way?
In light of the theory that human intelligence caused the generation of the universe for the production of human beings in its own image now we know that we live in a world that was created for the purpose of our production. The theory of creation by human intelligence also explains why our universe is so ingeniously bio-friendly. Just as an apple tree is an incredibly fine-tuned system for the production of apples because a single apple seed constitutes the genotype of that phenotype, so is our universe an incredibly fine-tuned system for the production of human beings because a single human being constitutes the genotype of the phenotype cosmos.
This is a new low even for the “fine-tuning” argument: the universe is a perfect fit for humans (cough hurricanes asteroids disease cough) because it was created to be that way. Note how circular his “evidence” is. Apple trees don’t produce apples because they’ve been “fine-tuned . . . for the production of apples.” They produce apples because if they produced peaches we wouldn’t call them apple trees. I’m not being glib, here: defining something by its product and then claiming its been “fine-tuned” to produce its product is begging the question. If it had no product, we couldn’t use it as an example and if it had another product, we could argue (just as accurately and vacuously) that it was “fine-tuned” for that.
In a related argument, I’m going to propose that the universe was created as a cosmic seed for roaches. This at least has the virtue of explaining why other species have been so much more successful than humans, in the long-term. And it’s so elegant: the universe is obviously more generous to the life of roaches than it is to the life of humans.
So what else does this “theory” predict?
This living cosmology provides numerous critical insights. Among others it predicts:
•Human intelligence is everlasting because the universe, being the effect of human intelligence, has no power to act upon the cause of its own origin, just as a tree has no power to act upon its own parent seed.
By this logic, a gun has no power to kill it’s maker, right?
•By virtue of its eternity human intelligence constitutes the cosmological constant.
And we would test this prediction how?
Human intelligence has quantum properties because it exists in both particle and field states. Human intelligence in its potential or seed state is a particle, but in its state of expression takes on field characteristics, and thus provides the morphogenetic field or quantum vacuum of the universe for the development of the creatures it has in mind.
•The cause of human intelligence is neither supernatural nor superhuman because it simply has no cause beyond itself.
•There is no designer of human intelligence because human intelligence itself is the “designer.”
•No origin-of-first-life idea is scientific because life is everlasting, and anything everlasting cannot be first relative to itself.
•The universe is not a closed system as contemporary cosmology assumes, but an open system, because it is open to the creative and guiding activities of human intelligence. Only human intelligence is closed to itself because no intelligence exists beyond and above human intelligence.
And we would test these predictions how?
•Dark energy, that drives the expansion of the universe, is one of the deepest and most exciting puzzles in modern science. We posit that dark energy is the field manifestation of the parent seed of the universe, just as the cosmic vacuum’s zero-point energy. They all originate from the cosmic seed’s biophoton emissions, which blackbody radiation provides a holographic biofield for the generation of the physical universe. Based on the fact that the biophotonic radiation emitted by DNA is coherent, we predict that the cosmic seed’s biophotonic field or “dark energy” is equally coherent.
•The universe is a living system, dynamically managed by the parent seed’s unbounded and conscious holographic biofield, and regulated by the process of information feedback.
•The elusive Higgs boson – so vital to the Standard Model of particle physics that it is dubbed “the God particle” – is identical with the genotype of the phenotype universe, and each human genome is its reproduction. Based on this identification we posit that mass-giving is life-giving because the elementary particles that come into contact with the cosmic seed’s biofield or quantum vacuum receive their mass and property as a result of that interaction.
This sounds like gibberish to me, but I’m no physicist. So I’ll leave it to someone with the relevant training to tell us what a “Higgs boson” that is “identical with the genotype of the phenotype universe” would look like. But I suspect it would look like exactly what it sounds like: a meaningless claim that can’t tell us what a positive result would look like, or how we would distinguish it from a negative result.
You know, like the design inference.
•We’ll be able to read the minds of others, just as Elijah was able to read the mind of the king of Syria, and tell the king of Israel the words Syria’s king spoke in the privacy of his bedchamber (see 2 Kings 6:8-23). This form of ESPionage will make the traditional methods of intelligence gathering obsolete.
•The human yield of this planet is ripe for the harvest. This is indicated by the fact that we have reached the stage of space travel. Those who qualify will be selected for survival, but not by Darwin’s imaginary “natural” selection. Our Creator in person is going to decide who is, or is not, qualified to live for ever. So face-to-face contact with our Creator is at hand.
But I thought the seed was human intelligence, not an outside Creator (since he ruled out that possibility above). But now we’re going to be “selected” by this creator and see it face-to-face?
Oh, that’s right. This man is a complete moron.
Now perhaps Weapon of Mass Instruction–or any ID advocate–would like to swing by and tell us if this is really the kind of “theories” ID is developing. And if it’s now, where are they?
C’mon, IDists. We’re waiting.