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Designed Or Not Designed...


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#1 Adam Nagy

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

In another thread we were talking about the design of an arch and I have to say that it got me to thinking because there are certainly arches that aren't designed. I believe the question of design is necessarily a contextual issue because there are aspects of everything that are designed but in comparative contexts other things that are not designed. The secret weapon of the naturalist (conscious or sub-conscious) is to throw the opponent into a mismatched context or comparison to declare victory based on a seemingly successful example of confused design.

A simple example would be the aforementioned arch:

Sample one:

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Sample two:

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Now in this context we can easily pick out design versus non-design but how would an evolutionist confuse the issue here relative to how they do it regarding living systems? Simple. While the obvious, is what it is, all the evolutionist must do is pick out some aspect of the Roman Aqueduct that is not designed like a time worn and misshape block or a collapsed section and plead for a state of confusion. This usually throws the conversation into a tailspin and allows the evolutionist to ignore the obvious.

#2 Adam Nagy

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 05:44 PM

This is a good example of what I'm talking about. For convenience, I will cut and paste the entire post:

A Viking would have patiently explained to you that lightening was designed by the god Thor.  Surely you cam tell that just by looking.

Why would items designed by gods look like items made by humans?

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First off. The underling principles of lightning are designed.

Let's get one more thing straight. I'm operating and using my computer but no amount of proficiency and capacity to control on my end ever puts me in the role of its designer, though I can design things on it. There is no statement, that I'm aware of, that says Thor 'designed' lightening. He was the god of thunder which meant he supposedly commanded the thunder (and lightening) but not necessarily its creator. He just controlled it. There is an important distinction here. This shows the shortsightedness and human origin of any polytheistic religions.

It also shows how closely related polytheism is to atheism. They both assume natural beginnings for supernatural entities. Vishnu is the source of Hindu gods and according to atheists themselves, the universe created gods in the minds of men.

To get back on topic I want you to consider a scenario that is not entirely perfect but should shed some light on this obtuse argument of not knowing how to choose what is designed and what isn't.

Setting aside origin for a moment let's take lightening as our example of one condition designed, and one condition not designed. The object of inquiry is going to be the pathways and nothing else. Which pathway is designed?

Condition one: A charge builds up in a cloud and a beautiful lightning pattern appears...

Posted Image

There is a distinct look to the lightening. It had a particular pathway that was taken for highly detailed reasons that are described by us (quite acceptably I might add) as the path of least resistance. Lightning is a product of imbalance finding balance, a violent energy shift that produces an awe inspiring event. So inspiring that it invokes wonderment.




Condition two: A house is wired for electrical service...

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The exact same principles or laws are involved in the wiring of this house. The electricity wants to simply and violently take an imbalance and make a balance by finding it's way to ground. On the way, however, it is harnessed through a pathway to be exploited to do work that was pre-ordained.




Keith, before you try to negotiate this by misunderstanding the context of these examples, let's get a couple of things straight. This is not a discussion about origins but design and specifically realizing how to contemplate things in a similar context.

What I offered above are two distinct pathways using the same laws and same phenomena. Which pathway is arbitrary and simply following natural laws to produce a result based solely on the path of least resistance and which pathway is a deliberate thought out exploitation of known laws to be harnessed in fashion that controls conditions to accomplish a pre-ordained task?

You see, Keith, patterns and conditions don't automatically invoke design even if the Laws and mediums in action are themselves designed. Two more examples and we're done.

Paint is designed, buckets are designed and floors are designed but this paint spill with all the designed components involved is not designed...

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It made a shape and a look that was simply defined by the physics of the paint can being knocked over. There was no intended purpose just stuff taking the path of least resistance based on interactions between forces with no purpose in mind. (Before the conversation has the potential to get foolish, I will acknowledge that the above picture was probably staged but let's be clear that we are talking about an unintended spill...)

However the same designed paint from the same designed bucket can make a painting that is clearly designed in contrast to the spilled paint...

Posted Image

Do you see how important context is here?

All the same forces are involved but the added element of intentionality are clearly seen by the things that are made. (Romans 1:20)

You can't get away from design, it is all around us, but in the proper context we can differentiate between events, occurrences or results that are designed and not designed as long as we're diligent to compare apples to apples.

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#3 Adam Nagy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:17 AM

I want to ask this following question. Is an argument for poor design, which is arguable, an effective argument for non-design?

Basically, isn't an evolutionist putting their foot in their mouth when they argue for poor design because design must be acknowledged before the argument for poor design even begins?

#4 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 08:21 PM

Basically, isn't an evolutionist putting their foot in their mouth when they argue for poor design because design must be acknowledged before the argument for poor design even begins?

I think that 'design' is often used with the meaning 'arrangement of parts' rather than meaning 'product of an intelligent designer'.
With the 'arrangement of parts' meaning, there is good and bad designs without any indication that a designer was involved.

Bad design is a problem for creationists because they claim the 'designer' is supernatural, omniscient, infallible and omnipotent.
It does not take any brilliance to work out that many of the problems with our lower backs are due to the re-use of a design for 4-footed animals without sufficient re-design or modification.
This is obviously the result of evolution.

#5 Bruce V.

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 09:47 PM

Posted Image

This is a natural geological formation near Medicine Hat, Alberta.

#6 Adam Nagy

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:27 PM

This is obviously the result of evolution.

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Obviously. ;)

#7 Adam Nagy

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:36 PM

This is a natural geological formation near Medicine Hat, Alberta.

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I did a quick search on Google Earth and couldn't find it with my first attempt. No big deal really, it's obviously just another case of poor design, like our lower backs. A haphazard arrangement of parts. ;)

I found one just like it:

Posted Image

Bruce, it looks like the jig is up. <_<

#8 Adam Nagy

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 11:07 PM

Bad design is a problem for creationists because they claim the 'designer' is supernatural, omniscient, infallible and omnipotent.

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Could what you call bad design actually be a good design missing its key component? An example; If a car engine is drained of oil and breaks down what was the problem? bad design?

Is it possible that our world and Universe was not meant to run on its own but we are witnessing the effects of creation running on its own?

#9 Pwnzerfaust

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:55 AM

Could what you call bad design actually be a good design missing its key component? An example; If a car engine is drained of oil and breaks down what was the problem? bad design?

Is it possible that our world and Universe was not meant to run on its own but we are witnessing the effects of creation running on its own?

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You're sidestepping the problem, here. There are many problems in the "design" (I put that in quotes for a reason; I do not believe humans are designed) which would be easy for even a human engineer to fix. These are fundamental design flaws, like the lower back problem mentioned above, or the blind spot in our eyes. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent god who created everything make such elementary errors?

The conclusion that best fits the evidence is that we evolved that way. Evolution is by no means a perfect process. It basically takes what the species in question already has and, through random mutations and natural selection, "retools" it for a new function. Or, in the case of the eyes, it simply ends up with what is necessary for the creature to survive and leaves it at that. Evolution ends up with animals that are good at surviving in their niche. If there was a designer god, surely it'd do better than simple survival?

#10 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 11:42 AM

Could what you call bad design actually be a good design missing its key component? An example; If a car engine is drained of oil and breaks down what was the problem? bad design?

Is it possible that our world and Universe was not meant to run on its own but we are witnessing the effects of creation running on its own?

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Now we are going from one un-proven assertion (Young Earth Creation) to 2 (Creation + abandonment) with no evidence for either.
And you think the theory of evolution is in trouble!

#11 Pwnzerfaust

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 12:55 PM

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post: vestigial structures. Why would a designer god put vestigial structures in animals? After all, as Antoine de Saint Exupery said, "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". So why would a perfect designer god put in frivolous organs like the appendix, coccyx, and wisdom teeth?

Again, the logical conclusion is that we evolved with them, and they simply lost the functions they had in earlier species.

#12 ikester7579

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:10 PM

You're sidestepping the problem, here. There are many problems in the "design" (I put that in quotes for a reason; I do not believe humans are designed) which would be easy for even a human engineer to fix. These are fundamental design flaws, like the lower back problem mentioned above, or the blind spot in our eyes. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent god who created everything make such elementary errors?


The same reason sin made us imperfect.

The conclusion that best fits the evidence is that we evolved that way. Evolution is by no means a perfect process. It basically takes what the species in question already has and, through random mutations and natural selection, "retools" it for a new function. Or, in the case of the eyes, it simply ends up with what is necessary for the creature to survive and leaves it at that. Evolution ends up with animals that are good at surviving in their niche. If there was a designer god, surely it'd do better than simple survival?

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No one has brought life from dead matter yet. Do you know somthing the rest of us don't?

Why do the most simple creatures have more complicated eyes than the most evolved?

#13 Pwnzerfaust

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 01:08 AM

The same reason sin made us imperfect.


Nice hand-waving. Still doesn't answer the question.

No one has brought life from dead matter yet. Do you know somthing the rest of us don't?


Nope, we do not yet know how life originated. There are several hypotheses, but much work remains to be done. I'm not afraid to admit that we do not yet know, because I'm confident that science will eventually figure it out. It has a good track record of doing so, after all.

Why do the most simple creatures have more complicated eyes than the most evolved?

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Really not sure what you mean here. Could you clarify, with examples if possible?

#14 ikester7579

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:22 AM

So why would a perfect designer god put in frivolous organs like the appendix, coccyx, and wisdom teeth?


1) Appendix? I suggest you research this more before making such a comment.
http://www.abc.net.a.../10/2055374.htm

2) Coccyx? Here again you need to do research. There are nerves that run through this, and muscles that attach to it. Some muscles there help with evacuation. Remove this coccyx and you will have problems.
Posted Image

3) Wisdom teeth are a throw off of giants that used to exist.

Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Those giants also had double row teeth which is why some still get born with them.

Attached File  double_row_teeth.jpg   2.88KB   5 downloadsAttached File  double_row_teeth1.jpg   15.96KB   5 downloads

Posted Image

Giants had bigger jaw bones, which mean they held more teeth. We have smaller jaw bones which means these extra teeth have to come in as wisdom teeth. Also, this would explain why wisdom teeth come in, in later years. For even the giants jaw, as children, was not big enough yet to take them. So coming in the later year (teen to adult years) was encoded into the DNA instead of coming in when all the other teeth did. Which would have caused problems for children and many would have died from infections of the abscess wisdom teeth in times when medical help was not available.

Anymore copy and paste problems from the evolutionist play book?

#15 Bex

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:55 AM

In respect to wisdom teeth? If one reads up on the findings of Dr Weston Price regarding proper natural nutrition, it is highly interesting in finding out what happens in the development of the mouth/jaws/teeth V deterioration in respect to lifestyle and diet. Why do many of us have issues with wisdom teeth? Many of us do not have the room for them to come in without issues! The narrowing of the jaw and crowding of the teeth is a typical problem! Particuarly with westerners.

I would recommend this link http://www.healthban...ston-price.html and to scroll down and view the video as well as the links contained to find out more. The discoveries of the role natural nutrition has to play on proper bone/jaw development!

Here is an example:
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Caption: The photographs of Dr. Weston Price illustrate the difference in facial structure between those on native diets and those whose parents had adopted the "civilized" diets of devitalized processed foods. The "primitive" Seminole girl (above) has a wide, handsome face with plenty of room for the dental arches. The "modernized" Seminole girl (below), born to parents who had abandoned their traditional diets, has a narrowed face, crowded teeth and a reduced immunity to disease

.

Posted Image

To find out more about this, the link below has plenty of links to many more examples of different races, with photographs attached:

Nutrition and Physical deterioration


Price photographed the teeth and dental arches of the people he encountered. He found that as long as these people consumed their native diet, their mouths and jaws developed so that they never experienced crowded teeth, overbites, underbites, or tooth decay. When their wisdom teeth came in, they always had plenty of room. But as his photographs poignantly showed, once they left the wisdom of their native foods for “civilized” foods the results were ruinous. Now all kinds of dental problems that had been previously unknown became rampant.



http://www.vegsource...eston_price.htm

#16 deadlock

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 05:53 AM

You're sidestepping the problem, here. There are many problems in the "design" (I put that in quotes for a reason; I do not believe humans are designed) which would be easy for even a human engineer to fix. These are fundamental design flaws, like the lower back problem mentioned above, or the blind spot in our eyes. Why would an omniscient, omnipotent god who created everything make such elementary errors?

The conclusion that best fits the evidence is that we evolved that way. Evolution is by no means a perfect process. It basically takes what the species in question already has and, through random mutations and natural selection, "retools" it for a new function. Or, in the case of the eyes, it simply ends up with what is necessary for the creature to survive and leaves it at that. Evolution ends up with animals that are good at surviving in their niche. If there was a designer god, surely it'd do better than simple survival?

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"Engineers know all designs require optimizing a whole suite of parameters, and so tradeoffs are inevitable to create the best overall result...One illustration that's sometimes given is the laptop...You could look at the screen and say, 'Bad design; it should have been bigger'. You could look at the memory and say, 'Bad design; should have had more capacity'. You could look at the keyboard and say, 'Bad design; should have been easier to use'. But the engineer isn't supposed to be creating the best screen, the best memory, and the best keyboard- he's supposed to be producing the best computer he can given certain size, weight, price, and portability requirements. Could the screen be bigger? Yes, but then portability suffers. Could the computer have more memory? Sure, but then the cost goes too high."


The ID Report

#17 Adam Nagy

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:10 AM

Great quote, Deadlock.

Maybe we can use what you said to corral our evolutionist friends into a more focused idea and not the talking point distractions that they wander towards.

The title of this Thread is "Designed or Not Designed..."

Now Keith was the first to proclaim his desire to stay ambiguous so he could play word games:

I think that 'design' is often used with the meaning 'arrangement of parts' rather than meaning 'product of an intelligent designer'.

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Thanks to; Deadlock, Ikester, Bruce and Bex, hopefully we squelched the foolish 'bad design' argument and the 'all patterns are design' argument to get a little focus here.

I will even use Keith's attempt to stay ambiguous to get some meaningful direction.

Yes, we could look at the pattern on a seashore in terms of design but not intelligently designed and we can look at a painting and see the design and the intelligent input. This is where the rubber meets the road. How can a pattern or a certain arrangement of parts be distinguished as designed cognitively with a purpose versus a pattern or arrangement of parts that followed principles and laws without any intelligent directionality?

That is the purpose of this thread. I want the evolutionists here to consider stepping out of their evolutionary playbook to contemplate other perspectives. I know it can be tough but live a little. :huh:

#18 Ron

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:29 AM

And you think the theory of evolution is in trouble!

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No, we pretty much know that as a fact. But, I couldn't have designed a better question (yours) for a better answer (mine).

#19 Ron

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:37 AM

"Engineers know all designs require optimizing a whole suite of parameters, and so tradeoffs are inevitable to create the best overall result...One illustration that's sometimes given is the laptop...You could look at the screen and say, 'Bad design; it should have been bigger'. You could look at the memory and say, 'Bad design; should have had more capacity'. You could look at the keyboard and say, 'Bad design; should have been easier to use'. But the engineer isn't supposed to be creating the best screen, the best memory, and the best keyboard- he's supposed to be producing the best computer he can given certain size, weight, price, and portability requirements. Could the screen be bigger? Yes, but then portability suffers. Could the computer have more memory? Sure, but then the cost goes too high."
The ID Report

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Excellent point deadlock! I currently use a laptop to follow complex electronic wiring diagrams for design upgrades and troubleshooting purposes. The screen of my laptop is waaaaaay tooooo small for this application. I came up (or started out) with the fold-out application in technical manuals, that easily facilitated this operation. But the laptop facilitates the mobility to remote sites that a large library of paper tech manuals does not. Therefore we have a trade off of designs to best fit the needs.

#20 Guest_Keith C_*

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:59 AM

The same reason sin made us imperfect.
No one has brought life from dead matter yet. Do you know somthing the rest of us don't?

Why do the most simple creatures have more complicated eyes than the most evolved?

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You are using two unproven assertions (Young Earth Creation and Original Sin) to explain the imperfections due to evolution.

What we all know is that there is no evidence for any form of 'elan vital' etc needed to initiate life.

I presume your question about eyes refers to trilobite eyes. There is a simple and obvious explanation which your creationist associates may have forgotten to tell you.

Trilobite eyes use crystals of calcite instead of soft organic tissue as lenses. This makes preservation as fossils much easier. Therefore we have far more information on trilobite eyes than on eyes in any other Cambrian creature.
It seems that many other Cambrian species also had sight, but the evidence has not survived in the fossil record.
"Fortey (2000, p91) used molecular clock theory to trace the origin of eyes into deep time, conjecturing that we may need to go back as far as the divergence time between the Protostome and Deuterostome animals; if valid then eyes may predate the basal trilobites by some 250 to 500 million years ."
http://www.fossilmus...iteArmsRace.htm

NB. Use of terms like 'most evolved' is one of the clues that you really know much less about the theory of evolution than you claim. All present-day species have an ancestry going back to the origin of life on earth. Therefore, all species are equally 'evolved'. It is just that the different species have evolved in different ways.




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