Since there is being, being has always been. Creation requires a creator. Design requires a designer, Laws require a lawmaker. Creating mathematics requires a mathematician.
Fine-tuning requires a fine-tuner, Codes require a code-maker. Codified information comes always from the mind. Life only comes from life. Logic comes from logic.
Consciousness comes only from consciousness, Factories require a factory-maker, Objective moral values come from a moral giver.
Where was somebody saying something about God of the gaps??
1. WE KNOW universe had a beginning, therefore a cause. That cause was God.
2. WE KNOW the universe obeys laws of physics. Therefore, it needs a lawgiver.
3. WE KNOW the universe is finely tuned for life. Therefore, it requires a fine-tuner.
4. WE KNOW that cells are factories in a literal sense. Factories require a designer.
5. WE KNOW that cells are irreducibly complex. They had to emerge ALL AT ONCE.
6. WE KNOW that cells host genetic and epigenetic codes. Codes come from intelligence.
7. WE KNOW that cells host instructional complex information, which must come from a mind.
8. WE KNOW that cells process information like computers. Computers are always designed.
9. WE KNOW that consciousness and intelligence can only come from a pre-existing mind.
10. WE KNOW that the mind and consciousness are separate from the brain. Dualism is true.
11. WE KNOW that organismal form is explained through codified information and signaling.
12. WE KNOW that objective moral laws are ought to be's. Since they exist, they are from God.
13. WE KNOW that historical facts described in the Bible are confirmed by archaeology.
14. WE KNOW that Jesus Christ is a historical figure, confirmed by extrabiblical texts.
15. WE KNOW that Christ resurrected based on several lines of evidence.
16. WE KNOW that prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled.
17. WE KNOW that reported after-life experiences confirm there is life after physical death.
"Incredulous" basically means "I don't believe it". Well, why should someone believe a "just so" story about HOW reality came to exist? That is the THING that we are incredulous about - a *certain scenario* ( naturalism, cosmological, chemical, and biological evolution, abiogenesis, and Neo-Darwinism, and that irreducibly complex biological system, coded, instructed or specified complex information, and entire factory complexes composed of myriads of interconnected factories, full of computers and robotic production lines could emerge naturally ) that's only *imagined* about how various amazing abilities of animals and plants happened all by themselves, defying known and reasonable principles of the limited range of chance, physical necessity, mutations, and Natural selection. There are busy little molecular machines that let it untangle, replicate, and build according to plan. A large cadre of researchers continues to make new discoveries on a regular basis. Our mythology is that it explains life, but the system is far, far too complex to occur by accident, and requires that features to support many processes are required, making a path for its evolution very hard to surmise. DNA isn't the secret to life. It's a whole bunch of puzzles we don't have answers for. The proponent of naturalism is "incredulous" that an intelligent creator/designer could exist, beyond and behind our entire space-time continuum, who is our Creator. But there is nothing ridiculous about that - especially if you can't personally examine reality to that depth - how do you know nature is all that exists? What IS ridiculous (IMO) is trying to imagine a *naturalistic origin* of these things. What we need, is giving a *plausible* account of how it came about to be in the first place, and the " No-God hypothesis" simply doesn't cut the cake.
William Dembski: The problem is that nature has too many options and without design couldn’t sort through all those options. The problem is that natural mechanisms are too unspecific to determine any particular outcome. Natural processes could theoretically form a protein, but also compatible with the formation of a plethora of other molecular assemblages, most of which have no biological significance. Nature allows them full freedom of arrangement. Yet it’s precisely that freedom that makes nature unable to account for specified outcomes of small probability. Nature, in this case, rather than being intent on doing only one thing, is open to doing any number of things. Yet when one of those things is a highly improbable specified event, design becomes the more compelling, better inference. Occam's razor also boils down to an argument from ignorance: in the absence of better information, you use a heuristic to accept one hypothesis over the other.
Eliminative inductions argue for the truth of a proposition by arguing that competitors to that proposition are false. Provided the proposition, together with its competitors, form a mutually exclusive and exhaustive class, eliminating all the competitors entails that the proposition is true. Since either there is a God, or not, either one or the other is true. As Sherlock Holmes's famous dictum says: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however not fully comprehensible, but logically possible, must be the truth. Eliminative inductions, in fact, become deductions.
The claim that intelligent design constitutes the best explanation of origins leads is also based on the fact that competing causal hypotheses will not demonstrate the power to produce these effects—just as they may not have done so to this point.
Matter, space, and time cannot create themselves.
The laws of physics cannot create themselves.
Life cannot create itself.
Languages and codes cannot create themselves
Blueprints, instructional complex information, data, and programs cannot create themselves
Information processing and transmission channels can not create themselves
Computers cannot create themselves
Transistors cannot create themselves
Complex machines, factory production lines, factories, and factory parks producing things with purpose cannot create themselves
Consciousness, nor the mind, cannot create itself
Objective moral duties cannot create themselves.
Eliminative inductions argue for the truth of a proposition by arguing that competitors to that proposition are false. Persistent lack of progress on a scientific problem is exactly what one should expect when a causal puzzle has been fundamentally misconceived, or when the toolkit employed in causal explanation is too limited. ( Contrast this with Popperian falsification, where propositions are corroborated to the degree that they successfully withstand attempts to falsify them ) When the available option forms a dichotomy, just to option, A, or not A, they form a mutually exclusive and exhaustive class, eliminating all the competitors entails that the proposition is true. As Sherlock Holmes's famous dictum says: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. In this case, eliminative inductions, in fact, become deductions.
If there are only two options to account for something, i.e., God and no God, and one of them is negated, then by default the other position is validated.
WE KNOW THAT THE GOD OF THE GAPS ARGUMENT IS INVALID. GOD IS AN INFERENCE OF THE BEST EXPLANATION BASED ON EVIDENCE, NOT IGNORANCE.
The argument that God is a gap filler is really boring, a beaten horse ad nauseam. Its invoked in almost every theist-atheist debate when atheists are unable to successfully refute a theist claim. No, God is NOT a gap filler. God is a logical inference based on the evidence observed in the natural world. If a theist would say, ''We don't know what caused 'x', therefore, God.'', it would be indeed a 'God of the gaps' fallacy. What we say, IMHO is: ''Based on current knowledge, an intelligent creative agency is a better explanation than materialistic naturalism." If one is not arguing from ignorance, but rather reasoning from the available evidence to the best explanation, is it not rather ludicrous to accuse them of launching a 'god of the gaps argument'? Randomness is a hugely overplayed idea in modern science, a desperate attempt to fill a shrinking corner for materialist reductionism, just as the ‘God of the Gaps' is derided by said materialists as the alleged last resort of Intelligent Design proponents.
Claim: Your argument is based on ignorance, gaps, and incredulity.
1. if there is no money in the wallet
2. It's an argument of knowledge to say: There is no money in the wallet after you check.
3. The same happens in biochemistry. Science is doing abiogenesis research, checked, investigated, made falsifiable predictions, and attempts to solve the mystery of life, and investigated if life could have emerged naturally. But rather than solving the problem, the riddle is unraveling how unlikely the emergence of life is by unguided events and merely chemical reactions. DNA stores specified complex information, which is a blueprint, instructing the precise sequence of amino acids to make proteins. Such information has never been observed to emerge by chance, and therefore, we have evidence that something is extremely unlikely (e.g., that chance could inform the correct instructions to make proteins). Indeed, scientists will often debate whether an experiment's result should be considered evidence of absence. Something has proven not to be the result of X ( as chance, for example )
4. Intelligence can have the foresight and know-how to make things with a purpose, act towards achieving specific distant goals, and knows how to create codified language, and use that language to create blueprints, used to make complex machines, production lines, and interconnected factories. It can finely tune and arrange things to work in a precise fashion. it can shape and form parts that perform tasks by interacting like lock and key. None of all this has been observed to be achieved by any alternative non-intelligent mechanism. if anyone wants to propose an alternative to replace intelligence, it should meet the burden of proof, and falsify the claim of intelligent design based on empirical testing and falsification.
5. Hence, the argument of Intelligent Design as the best explanation of origins is based on experiments and observation, gained knowledge and experience. Not from ignorance.
No, Christianity Does Not Teach God Of The Gaps, But Naturalism Does. Here’s Why | IApologia
"Incredulous" basically means "I don't believe it". Well, why should someone believe a "just so" story about HOW consciousness, the mind, and the ability to speak and to use language and logic came to exist? That is the THING that I are incredulous about - a *certain scenario* ( naturalism, cosmological, chemical, and biological evolution, abiogenesis, and Neo-Darwinism could emerge naturally and produce the ability to be conscious, perceive, think, judge, and have memory. To reason and having thoughts. Having the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation, resulting in attitudes and actions. Signals . ) that's only *imagined* about how the brain and firing neurons produced consciousness all by itself, defying known and reasonable principles that each thing is identical to itself. The proponent of naturalism is "incredulous" that an intelligent creator/designer could exist, beyond and behind our entire space-time continuum, who is the superintellect at the bottom of reality. But there is nothing ridiculous about that - especially if you can't personally examine reality to that depth - how do you know nature is all that exists? What IS ridiculous (IMO) is trying to imagine a *naturalistic origin* of the mind. What we need, is giving a *plausible* account of how it came about to be in the first place, and the " No-God hypothesis" simply doesn't cut the cake.
Fine-tuning of the universe
"Incredulous" basically means "I don't believe it". Well, why should someone believe a "just so" story of the amazing capabilities of lucky accidents HOW the universe was finely adjusted to permit a life-permitting universe? That is the THING that i am incredulous about - a *certain scenario* ( natural, unguided lucky accidents precisely adjusted to an unimaginable extreme all laws of physics and cosmological parameters ) that's only *imagined* about how the amazing ability of lucky chaotic accidents defying known and reasonable principles of the limited range of chance, and physical necessity. There are a large number of constants that must be precisely adjusted. Codata lists about 360 different constants, which must precisely be tuned.
Fundamental Physical Constants --- Complete Listing 2018 CODATA adjustment
But the problem extends further, as John Gribbin and Martin Rees explain:
If we modify the value of one of the fundamental constants, something invariably goes wrong, leading to a universe that is inhospitable to life as we know it. When we adjust a second constant in an attempt to fix the problem(s), the result, generally, is to create three new problems for everyone that we “solve.” The conditions in our universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves, and perhaps even for any form of organic chemistry.
Changes in the relative strengths of gravity and electromagnetism affect not only cosmological processes but also galaxies, stars, and planets. The strong and weak nuclear forces determine the composition of the universe and, thus, the properties of galaxies, stars, and planets. As a result, we ultimately can’t divorce the chemistry of life from planetary geophysics or stellar astrophysics. Although we have only scratched the surface, it should be clear that
there are many examples of “cosmic-scale” fine-tuning in chemistry, particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. Most published discussions of such fine-tuning are limited to the requirements for life, but cosmic finetuning
extends well beyond mere habitability.
A large cadre of researchers continues to make new discoveries of new parameters that have to be just right, at a regular basis. The materialistic mythology is that unguided random events explain why the universe operates based on mathematical principles and is finely adjusted to permit life on planet earth, but the system is far, far too complex to occur by accident, and requires that features to support many processes are required, making a path for its cosmic evolution very hard to surmise. Fine-tuning is the secret to a life-permitting universe. It's a whole bunch of puzzles we don't have answers for. The proponent of naturalism is "incredulous" that an intelligent creator/designer could exist, beyond and behind our entire space-time continuum, who is our Creator. But there is nothing ridiculous about that - especially if you can't personally examine reality to that depth - how do you know nature is all that exists? What IS ridiculous (IMO) is trying to imagine a *naturalistic origin* of this unimaginable precision. What we need, is giving a *plausible* account of how it came about to be in the first place, and the " No-God hypothesis" simply doesn't cut the cake.
While theists hear the claim that inferring God is a gaps argument in almost every debate, are atheists not themselves actually guilty of using it?
We don't know:
- if the universe is eternal, there might be multiverses
- how the Big bang started, maybe virtual particles
- why the universe is finely tuned - maybe bubble universes
- how life started, but the Urey Miller experiment showed that amino acids can emerge in the lab, and what science not yet knows, one day it will find out - and it won't be a God
- how exactly evolution works to produce biodiversity, but its a theory, and there is consensus in science, therefore it must be true.
- how the brain can produce thoughts and conscience, but we don't know of a mind being able to exist outside the brain, therefore, monism must be true.
min. 45:04 - God of the gaps arguments
Common atheist fallacies: exposed !!
Is the inference of design an argument from ignorance & incredulity?
1. You check and find no money in the wallet
2. It is an argument from knowledge, not from ignorance, to say: There is no money in the wallet
3. If we observe that unguided, natural, non-intelligent mechanisms are too unspecific to bring up the effect observed in molecular biology, namely instructional blueprints to build molecular machines and whole cell-factory complexes, it is not an inference based on ignorance to say: Chance is not a compelling explanation for the phenomena observed in the molecular world, but based on our routine experience that only intelligence can make blueprints, machines and factories.
4. Nor is it an argument from incredulity. The contrary would be credulous. I have not enough faith to believe that random unguided events can bring forward what is seen in the biochemical world. The odds are far too big to account for it. Intelligent Design is the only rational inference and the best explanation.
In the case of worldviews, we do have a neat ordering of competitors. There are basically just two. One with a creator God, and one without. And we CAN knock down naturalism with a few straightforward and judicious blows.
My comment: But in regards to God, we have. Either there is a God, or there is no God. When the No-God hypothesis makes no sense, we can stick to the God hypothesis, no matter how counter-intuitive or incomprehensible it is.
Concluding a Creator as best explanation of our origins is not an argument based on gaps of knowledge and ignorance, but based on what we do know.
Creation demands a Creator. Life comes only from life. The physical laws require a lawmaker. Design demands a designer. DNA is a storage medium of complex, instructional information. Languages, codes, blueprints, ciphers, software, morse codes etc. can always be traced back to an intelligent source. From absolutely nothing, nothing comes. If there were no creator, there would still be nothing. The universe had a beginning, and requires therefore a cause. The physical universe and its laws are interdependent. There are over 150 fine tune constants of the universe that must be all just right to the extreme. The expansion rate of the Big bang, the cosmological constant, the four fundamental forces, and the earth, are fine-tuned and require a tuner, complex, codified, specified, instructional information stored in the genome and epigenetic codes to make the first living organism, the genetic Code, fine optimal adjustment for allowing additional information within protein-coding sequences, and robust than 1 million alternative possible codes, over a dozen epigenetic codes, an information transmission system, that is the origin of the genetic code itself, encoding, transmission, decoding and translation, the genetic cipher/translation, from digital ( DNA / mRNA ) to analog ( Protein ), the hardware, that is DNA, RNA, amino acids, and carbohydrates for fuel generation, the replication/duplication machinery of the DNA, the signal recognition particle, the tubulin Code for correct direction to the final destination of proteins, irreducible, interdependent molecular machines and biosynthetic and metabolic pathways and molecular production lines in the cell point to an intelligent creator. And so does conscience, free will, morality, human values, logic, speech, the mind, and beauty. There is the evidence in nature, we know how to recognize design, therefore it makes most sense to conclude that the natural world was created. That is not an argument of ignorance, but based on the knowledge, we have adquired until now.
The day when scientists discovered that the universe most probably a beginning, it was doomsday for naturalism. Even more, when unprecedented evidence elucidated the shocking and incredible fact that the universe, from the quantum to the macro scale, was adjusted in the extreme to make life possible on earth.
When it became clear, that DNA stores codified information, as well. When it became clear, that biological Cells are miniaturized factories, the funeral bells for a worldview without God where ringing. And so, when science became slowly to realize that Darwin's idea was a fluke.
Nonetheless, atheists organize marches for humanism and secularism, celebrate their stars, open temples to express their unbelief, name call who defies them and doing nothing else than expressing their blindness and bad will.
Ironically, when critics make this accusation, they are usually committing a "gaps" fallacy themselves. How so? These very same materialists (1) admit that gaps in the evidence for Darwinian evolution exist, and (2) assume that those gaps can and will be filled by materialist explanations. Otherwise, they wouldn't be attacking ID for purportedly filling those gaps with "god." They can't make a "god of the gaps" accusation without also making a "materialism of the gaps" argument -- one that assumes the truth of their own materialistic outlook.
This is one of the most used refutations used by proponents of naturalism when confronted with a sound inference of design based on POSITIVE evidence. "I don't understand how something could have come about, therefore God!" or "hey, look at this, it's really complex and I can't see how it could have happened naturally" is not the logic of our arguments. God of the gaps is a comfortable way to try to criticize and reject our point and avoid to address actually the issues raised. Opponents of ID resort to it all the time, even when a robust case is made, with clear and detailed science-based observation, prediction, experiment, and logical inference and conclusion. The evidence for intelligent design has not been shrinking in the last two decades. It’s been growing, while the barriers to explain origins through naturalism have grown. This is obvious in regard to all relevant issues: the origin and fine-tuning of the universe, life, and biodiversity.
Strawman arguments of intelligent design
Observation: Intelligent agents act frequently with an end goal in mind, constructing functional irreducibly complex multipart-machines, and make exquisitely integrated circuits that require a blueprint to build the object. Furthermore, Computers integrate software/hardware and store high levels of instructional complex coded information. In our experience, systems that either a)require or b)store large amounts of specified/instructed complex information such as codes and languages, and which are constructed in an interdependence of hard and software invariably originate from an intelligent source. No exception.
Hypothesis (Prediction): Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns, metabolic pathways similar to electronic circuits, and irreducible structures that perform specific functions -- indicating high levels of Information, irreducible complexity, and interdependence, like hard/software.
Experiment: Experimental investigations of DNA, epigenetic codes, and metabolic circuits indicate that biological molecular machines and factories ( Cells ) are full of information-rich, language-based codes and code/blueprint-based structures. Biologists have performed mutational sensitivity tests in proteins and determined that their amino acid sequences, in order to provide function, require highly instructional complex coded information stored in the Genome. Additionally, it has been found out, that cells require and use various epigenetic codes, namely Splicing Codes, Metabolic Codes, Signal Transduction Codes, Signal Integration Codes Histone Codes, Tubulin Codes, Sugar Codes, and The Glycomic Code. Furthermore, all kind of irreducibly complex molecular machines and biosynthesis performing and metabolic pathways have been found, which could not keep their basic functions without a minimum number of parts and complex intertwined and interdependent structures. That indicates these biological machines and pathways had to emerge fully operational, all at once. A stepwise evolutionary manner is not possible. Furthermore, knockout experiments of all components of the flagellum have shown that the flagellum is irreducibly complex.
Conclusion: Unless someone can falsify the prediction, and point out a non-intelligent source of Information as found in the cell, the high levels of instructional complex coded information, irreducible complex and interdependent molecular systems and complex metabolic circuits and biosynthesis pathways, their origin is best explained by the action of an intelligent agent.
Is ID a "god-of-the-gaps" argument?
(1) Biochemical complexity / Laws of the Universe. High information content machine-like irreducibly complex structures are commonly found. The bacterial flagellum is a prime example. Specified complexity found in the laws of the universe may be another.
Prediction of Design Met? (Conclusion)Yes.
(2) Fossil Record Biological complexity (i.e. new species) tend to appear in the fossil record suddenly and without any similar precursors. The Cambrian explosion is a prime example.
Prediction of Design Met? (Conclusion)Yes.
(3) Distribution of Molecular and Morphological Characteristics Similar parts found in different organisms. Many genes and functional parts not distributed in a manner predicted by ancestry, and are often found in clearly unrelated organisms. The "root" of the tree of life is a prime example.
Prediction of Design Met? (Conclusion)Yes.
(4) DNA Biochemical and Biological Functionality Increased knowledge of genetics has created a strong trend towards functionality for "junk-DNA." Examples include recently discovered functionality in some pseudogenes, microRNAs, introns, LINE and ALU elements. Examples of DNA of unknown function persist, but discovery of function may be expected (or lack of current function still explainable under a design paradigm).
Prediction of Design Met? (Conclusion)Yes.
The proponent of natural mechanisms may use words like "incredulity" to make it seem that we are arguing about these things because we can't believe it. But the main point is that it has never been seen to happen. They are talking about speculation, based on .... guess what .... philosophical dogmatic naturalism. To them, there must be a natural explanation, no matter where the evidence points to.
God of the gaps is a comfortable way to try to criticize and reject an argument and avoid to address actually the issues raised. Opponents of ID resort to it all the time, even when a robust case is made, with clear and detailed science-based observation, prediction, experiment, and logical inference and conclusion. The evidence for intelligent design has not been shrinking in the last two decades. It’s been growing, while the barriers to explain origins through naturalism have grown. This is obvious in regard to all relevant issues: the origin and fine-tuning of the universe, of life, and biodiversity.
A short protein molecule of 150 amino acids, the probability of building a 150 amino acids chain in which all linkages are peptide linkages would be roughly 1 chance in 10^45.
Paul Davies once said;
How did stupid atoms spontaneously write their own software … ? Nobody knows …… there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.
Dembsky : We also know from broad and repeated experience that intelligent agents can and do produce information-rich systems: we have positive experience-based knowledge of a cause that is sufficient to generate new instructing complex information, namely, intelligence. the design inference does not constitute an argument from ignorance. Instead, it constitutes an "inference to the best explanation" based upon our best available knowledge. It asserts the superior explanatory power of a proposed cause based upon its proven—its known—causal adequacy and based upon a lack of demonstrated efficacy among the competing proposed causes. The problem is that nature has too many options and without design couldn’t sort them all out. Natural mechanisms are too unspecific to determine any particular outcome. Mutation and natural selection or luck/chance/probablity could theoretically form a new complex morphological feature like a leg or a limb with the right size and form, and arrange to find out the right body location to grow them , but it could also produce all kinds of other new body forms, and grow and attach them anywhere on the body, most of which have no biological advantage or are most probably deleterious to the organism. Natural mechanisms have no constraints, they could produce any kind of novelty. Its however that kind of freedom that makes it extremely unlikely that mere natural developments provide new specific evolutionary arrangements that are advantageous to the organism. Nature would have to arrange almost an infinite number of trials and errors until getting a new positive arrangement. Since that would become a highly unlikely event, design is a better explanation. This situation becomes even more acentuated when natural selection is not a possible constrained since evolution depends on replication, which did not exist prior dna replication
Today, Darwinists level the same charge against the contemporary theory of intelligent design (ID). They insist that ID is just an argument from ignorance—plugging God into the gaps of our current scientific understanding. Darwinists have made many thoughtful arguments over the years, but this isn’t one of them. The theory of intelligent design holds that many things in nature carry a clear signature of design. The theory isn’t based on what scientists don’t know about nature but on what they do know. It’s built on a host of scientific discoveries in everything from biology to astronomy, and some of them are very recent discoveries.
If you were asked how much change do you have in your pockets. You can put your hand in your pocket, look to see how many coins are there. If there is no loose change, it is NOT an argument from ignorance to state, “Sorry, I don’t have any spare change.” You didn’t guess. You stuck your hands in your pockets and looked, and deduced the quantity to be zero. The same is true with inferences in regard of biology or biochemistry. After the search has taken place, the prediction that biochemical systems are unable to emerge by natural means is confirmed. Hence, there is no argument from ignorance.
In the design revolution, Dembski writes on page 220:
So see that the argument from ignorance objection is not a magic wand for silencing intelligent design, let's begin with a reality check. When is the argument from ignorance objection raised against intelligent design, who exactly is being accused of being ignorant? Its natural to think that the ignorance here is on the part of design theorists, who want to attribute intelligent agency to biological systems. If only those poor design theorists understood biology better, those systems would readily submit to mechanistic explanation. Matter of fact IMHO is, that despite decades of research, the scientific community has been desperately and unsuccessfully tried to discover how such systems could have formed, what mechanism exactly was in charge. Who is ignorant here? The Scientific community as a whole. In fact, its safe to say that the biological community is clueless about the emergence of biological complexity. How so?
Because the material mechanisms to which the biological community looks to explain biological complexity provide no clue for how those systems might realistically have come about. the problem, therefore, is not ignorance or personal incredulity, but global disciplinary failure, and gross theoretical inadequacy of Darwin's theory. James Shapiro, molecular biologist at the University of Chicago, conceded that system that exhibits specified complexity are likely to be designed. Design theorists, in attributing design to systems that exhibit specified complexity (SC), are simply doing what scientists do generally, which is an attempt to formulate a causally adequate explanation for the phenomenon in question. To attribute specified complexity, and thereby design, to a biological system is to engage in an eliminative induction, a form of reasoning, used throughout the sciences.
William Dembski: Eliminative inductions argue for the truth of a proposition by arguing that competitors to that proposition are false. ( Contrast this with Popperian falsification, where propositions are corroborated to the degree that they successfully withstand attempts to falsify them ) Provided the proposition, together with its competitors, form a mutually exclusive and exhaustive class, eliminating all the competitors entails that the proposition is true. As Sherlock Holmes famous dictum says: when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. This is the ideal case, in which eliminative inductions, in fact, become deductions. The problem is that in practice we don't have a neat ordering of competitors that can then all be knocked down with a few straightforward and judicious blows.
If naturalistic explanations of the origin of life are not convincing, why not look somewhere else ?
If a certain line of reasoning is not persuasive or convincing, then why do atheists not change their mind because of it? The more evolution papers are published, the less likely the scenario becomes. Some assertions have even been falsified. We should consider the fact that modern biology may have reached its limits on several subjects of biology. All discussions on principal theories and experiments in the field either end in vague suppositions and guesswork, statements of blind faith, made up scenarios, or in a confession of ignorance. Fact is there remains a huge gulf in our understanding… This lack of understanding is not just ignorance about some technical details; it is a big conceptual gap. The reach of the end of the road is evident in the matter of almost all major questions. The major questions of macro change and abiogenesis are very far from being clearly formulated, even understood, and nowhere near being solved, and for most, there is no solution at all at sight. But proponents of evolution firmly believe, one day a solution will be on sight. Isn't that a prima facie of a " evolution of the gap" argument? We don't know yet, therefore evolution and abiogenesis? That way, the God hypothesis remains out of the equation in the beginning, and out at the end, and never receives a serious and honest consideration. If the scientific evidence does not provide satisfactory explanations through naturalism, why should we not change your minds and look somewhere else?
ID is not a substitute for ignorance. If we don’t know the cause of something that does not mean it was designed. When we make design inferences—and all of us make them every day—we do so on the basis of evidence; the more evidence, the more reliable the design inference.
From Stephen Meyers book Signature in the cell :
In an explanatory context, arguments from ignorance have the form:
Premise One: Cause X cannot produce or explain evidence E. Conclusion: Therefore, cause Y produced or explains E.
Critics of intelligent design claim that the argument for intelligent design takes this form as well. As one of my frequent debating partners, Michael Shermer, likes to argue, "Intelligent design argues that life is too specifically complex (complex structures like DNA) to have evolved by natural forces. Therefore, life must have been created by an
intelligent designer." In short, critics claim that ID proponents argue as follows:
Premise One: Material causes cannot produce or explain specified information.
Conclusion: Therefore, an intelligent cause produced specified biological information.
If proponents of intelligent design were arguing in a preceding manner, they would be guilty of arguing from ignorance. But the argument takes the following form:
Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent biological systems.
Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information, irreducible and interdependent systems of all sorts.
Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information and irreducible complexity in the cell, and interdependence of proteins, organelles, and bodyparts, and even of animals and plants, aka moths and flowers, for example.
Or to put it more formally, the case for intelligent design made here has the form:
Premise One: Causes A through X do not produce evidence E. Premise Two: Cause Y can and does produce E.
Conclusion: Y explains E better than A through X.
1. High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design.
2. Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity.
3. Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity.
4. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems.
Michael Behe’s testable predictions regarding Irreducible Complexity.
Molecular biologist Jonathan McLatchie wrote : An irreducibly complex system is one that (a) the removal of a protein renders the molecular machine inoperable, and (b) the biochemical structure has no stepwise evolutionary pathway. Michael Behe further describes the condition:
“An irreducibly complex evolutionary pathway is one that contains one or more unselected steps (that is, one or more necessary-but-unselected mutations). The degree of irreducible complexity is the number of unselected steps in the pathway.” (A Response to Critics of Darwin’s Black Box, by Michael Behe, PCID, Volume 1.1, January February March 2002. Source: http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/840).
In other words, natural selection is not capable of selecting given mutations. But even let's argue that natural selection selects neutral ( not deteriorative mutations ) and fixes them into the population. In the case of the chlorophyll pathway, it had to specify the pathway of 17 intermediate steps, in case of heme 8. Not only had it to select the right highly specific pathway sequence , it had to have the enzymes readily available for recruitment, which in our case would not be possible, until the given enzymes had evolved as well with gene duplication , mutation, and natural selection, but if available, the enzymes had to be available all at the same time. Furthermore, the selected parts had all be made available at the same ‘construction site,’ perhaps not simultaneously but certainly, at the time, they are needed. The enzymes must work in a coordinated, just the right way. One enzyme picking up the product of the previous step at the right place. Like in a factory production line, one worker handles the part, builds in or advances its construction by adding or mounting a part, and afterward handles it over to the next craftsman for the next manufacturing step. In order to do so, it must know where to handle it over and do it in a chronological sequenced way. In the case of your biosynthesis pathway, all this must be previously be programmed in the genome, and happen like in robotics, in an automated way without external intervention, because previously programmed.
On the one side, you have an intelligent agent-based system of irreducible complexity of tight integrated, information-rich functional systems which have ready on hand energy directed for such, that routinely generate the sort of phenomenon being observed. And on the other side imagine a golfer, who has played a golf ball through a 12 hole course. Can you imagine that the ball could also play itself around the course in his absence? Of course, we could not discard, that natural forces, like wind, tornadoes or rains or storms could produce the same result, given enough time. the chances against it however are so immense, that the suggestion implies that the non-living world had an innate desire to get through the 12 hole course.
Evolvability. Evolutionary biology’s preferred research strategy consists in taking distinct biological systems and finding similarities that might be the result of a common evolutionary ancestor. Intelligent design, by contrast, focuses on a different strategy, namely, taking individual biological systems and perturbing them (both intelligently and randomly) to see how much the systems can evolve. Within this latter research strategy, limitations on evolvability by material mechanisms constitute indirect confirmation of design.
The Argument of Ignorance Contention Against Intelligent Design Theory:
ID Theory makes no appeals to the unobservable, supernatural, paranormal, or anything that is metaphysical or outside the scope of science.
To FALSIFY Irreducible Complexity: Show: 1. The molecular machine still functions upon loss of a protein. OR, 2. The biochemical structure DOES have an evolutionary pathway.
According to the definition of irreducible complexity, the hypothesis can be falsified EITHER way, by (a) demonstrating the biochemical system still performs its original function upon the removal any gene that makes up its parts, or (b) showing that there are missing mutations that were skipped, i.e., there is no stepwise evolutionary pathway or precursor. Irreducible complexity can still be falsified even if no evolutionary precursor is found because of the functionality qualifier. In other words, the mere fact that there is no stepwise evolutionary pathway does not automatically mean that the system is irreducibly complex.
Those who object to irreducible complexity often raise the argument that the irreducible complexity hypothesis is based upon there being gaps or negative evidence. Such critics claim that irreducible complexity is not based upon affirmative evidence, but on a lack of evidence, and as such, irreducible complexity is a gap argument, also known as an argument from ignorance. However, this assertion that irreducible complexity is nothing other than a gap argument is false.
The reason why the irreducible complexity hypothesis is logically valid is that there is no attempt to base the prediction that certain biochemical molecular machinery are irreducibly complex based upon the absence of evidence. If this were so, then the critics would be correct. But, this is not the case. Instead, the irreducible complexity hypothesis requires research, such as various procedures in molecular biology as (a) gene knockout, (b) reverse engineering, (c) examining homologous systems, and (d) sequencing the genome of the biochemical structure. The gene knockout procedure was used by Scott Minnich in in 2004-2005 to show that the removal of any of the proteins of a bacterial flagellum will render that bacteria incapable of motility (can’t swim anymore). Michael Behe also mentions (e) yet another way as to how testing irreducible complexity using gene knockout procedure might falsify the hypothesis here.
When the hypothesis of irreducible complexity is tested in the lab using any of the procedures directly noted above, an obviously thorough investigation is conducted that demonstrates evidence of absence. There is a huge difference between absence of evidence and evidence of absence. One is a logical fallacy while the other is an empirically generated result, a scientifically valid quantity that is concluded upon a thorough examination. So, depending upon the analysis, you can prove a negative.
Evidence of Absence
Here’s an excellent example as to why irreducible complexity is a logically valid, and not an argument from ignorance. If I ask you if you have a change for a dollar, you could say, “Sorry, I don’t have any change.” If you make a diligent search in your pockets to discover there are indeed no coins anywhere to be found on your person, then you have affirmatively proven a negative that your pockets were empty of any loose change. Confirming that you had not changed in your pockets was not an argument from ignorance because you conducted a thorough examination and found it to be an affirmatively true statement.
The term, irreducible complexity, was coined by Michael Behe in his book, “Darwin’s Black Box” (1996). In that book, Behe predicted that certain biochemical systems would be found to be irreducibly complex. Those specific systems were (a) the bacterial flagellum, (b) cilium, (c) blood-clotting cascade, and (d) immune system. It’s not 2013 at the time of writing this essay. For 17 years, the research has been conducted, and the flagellum has been shown to be irreducibly complex. It’s been thoroughly researched, reverse engineered, and its genome sequenced. It’s is a scientific fact that the flagellum has no precursor. That’s not a guess. It is not stated as ignorance from taking some wild uneducated guess. It’s not a tossing one’s hands up in the air saying, “I give up.” It is a scientific conclusion based upon a thorough examination.
Again, if you were asked how much change do you have in your pockets. You can put your hand in your pocket, look to see how many coins are there. If there is no loose change, it is NOT an argument from ignorance to state, “Sorry, I don’t have any spare change.” You didn’t guess. You stuck your hands in your pockets and looked, and scientifically deduced the quantity to be zero. The same is true with inferences in regard of biology or biochemistry. After the search has taken place, the prediction that biochemical systems are unable to emerge by natural means is confirmed. Hence, there is no argument from ignorance.
The accusation that irreducible complexity is an argument from ignorance essentially suggests a surrender and abandonment of ever attempting to empirically determine whether the prediction is scientifically correct. It’s absurd for anyone to suggest that ID scientists are not interested in finding Darwinian mechanisms responsible for the evolution of an irreducibly complex biochemical structure. If you lost money in your wallet, it would be ridiculous for someone to accuse you of rejecting any interest in recovering your money. That’s essentially what is being claimed when someone draws the argument from ignorance accusation. The fact is you know you did look (you might have turned your house upside down looking), and know for a fact that the money is missing. It doesn’t mean that you might still find it (the premise is still falsifiable). But, a thorough examination took place, and you determined the money is gone.
The Logic Fallacy Has No Bearing On Falsifiability:
Here’s yet another example as to why irreducible complexity is scientifically falsifiable, and therefore not an argument from ignorance logic fallacy. If someone was correct in asserting the argument from incredulity fallacy, then they have eliminated all science. Newton’s law of gravity was an argument from ignorance because he didn’t know anything more than what he had discovered. It was later falsified by Einstein. So, according to this flawed logic, Einstein’s theory of relativity is an argument from ignorance because there might be someone in the future who will falsify it with a Theory of Everything.
Whether a hypothesis passes the Argument of Ignorance logic criterion, or not, the argument is an entirely philosophical one, much like how a mathematical argument might be asserted. If the argument from ignorance were applied in peer-review to all science papers submitted for publication, the science journals would be near empty of any documents to reference. Science is not based upon philosophical objections and arguments. Science is based upon the definition of science, which is observation, falsifiable hypothesis, experimentation, results and conclusion. It is the fact that these methodical elements are in place which makes a science indeed empirical science.
Whether a scientific hypothesis is falsifiable is not affected by philosophical arguments based upon logic fallacies. Irreducible Complexity is very much falsifiable based upon its definition. The argument from ignorance only attacks the significance of the results and conclusion of research in irreducible complexity; it doesn’t deter irreducible complexity from being falsifiable. In fact, the argument from ignorance objection actually emphasizes just the opposite, that irreducible complexity might be falsified tomorrow because it inherently argues the optimism that its just a matter of time that an evolutionary pathway will be discovered in future research. This is not a bad thing; the fact that irreducible complexity is falsifiable is a good thing. That testability and obtainable goalpost is what you want in a scientific hypothesis.
One of the most common objections of atheists is that arguments provided by theists are based on gaps of knowledge and ignorance. Each of following sentences are based on positive premises. Not ignorance.
The mind predates matter. Matter cannot produce consciousness
A Bang needs a Banger
The laws of nature require a Law-giver
Fine tuning needs a Fine-tuner
Life can come only from Life
Only intelligence can build complex factories and machines
Coded Information has always a mental origin
Language is always a mental invention
Logic and reason come only from rational minds
Free will can have its origin only in consciousness
Objective morals exist. Therefore there is a Moral-Giver
There is nothing wrong with having a poor or superficial understanding of a subject. The problem is when someone is not able to recognize its own condition, and understands that its own understanding on subject X is poor, superficial, or even false, and thinks, nonetheless, is able to make valid inferences of complex deeper issues, without recognizing, that his knowledge is not sufficient, or inadequate to come to conclusions with a high probability to be correct. Or many chose what they want to believe in regard to origins, and use inadequate and superficial knowledge to back up their views and fool themselves. Life is complex. Biology is complex in its very essence. To understand what really happens and is going on on a molecular level, much study, knowledge, and understanding are required. Which most people do not have. Scientists dedicate their whole life on specific issues, and the more they advance, the more they recognize how little they know.
Nonetheless, many see themselves in a sufficiently authoritative position, to judge someone else's position which differs with theirs. They often do it based on fallacies like
authority. They think because scientist X holds that position and Y peer-reviewed papers exist, or there is a consensus in scientific circles in regard to a subject, their view is sufficiently backed up, and must be true. Others say, because Z has been claimed to be false by the majority, it must be false, and to adhere to the position held by the majority, grants enough authority and security of being correct.
Others base their security on their own credentials, and believe, because they obtained a degree somewhere, they must hold the more case-adequate views. They only dismiss or do not consider the fact, that like-minded people eventually gave them their degree, and might be wrong, too. Or that their information might be outdated. And are unwilling to recycle or renew their education.
Others ask if the other side of the debate has a degree and if it has not, think their views can be dismissed. Having a degree does not mean that someone is right. And not having one, does not mean that that person has not sufficient knowledge to adequately make logical, case-correct inferences. The internet today gives access to information as never before so anyone can get a consistent knowledge about almost anything that is known, out there.
The only way to gain true knowledge is if you do your own homework. Spend time to actually understand, what you argue about, then you can discuss the subject, and not, what Y, X, or Z say about it.
Last edited by Otangelo on Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:18 am; edited 106 times in total