Monday, February 11, 2008

Sum It All Up

To sum up, in light of my case for naturalistic Intelligent Design, there are three options from which we can chose an overall hypothesis (overarching paradigm) for the cause of life in our universe:

1. It is the result of an infinite regress of problem specific information. This suffers from philosophical problems associated with infinite regress.

2. It is the result of a Fortuitous Accident – pure dumb luck -- that just happened to generate problem specific information (consistently better than chance performance), information processors, CSI, and convergent evolution as a result of a truly random assortment of laws. IOW, it is the result of only chance and laws with no previous intelligent input or cause. This suffers from the problems associated with chance of the gaps non-explanations and has never been shown to be a scientific plausibility (because they are so highly improbable that they are, for all practical purposes impossible) and thus belongs in the same category as claims of perpetual motion free energy machines. Furthermore, this is so far not based on any testing and observations and is unfalsifiable. This is the predominant hypothesis being peddled under scientific status today.

3. It is the necessary result of Intelligent Programming (fine tuning) of the laws of physics to converge upon specific targets/functions as potential solutions to problems, thus incorporating problem specific information into the foundation of our universe (as an information processing system). This is based on observation of the Intelligent foresight necessary (so far) to create specific information targeted at future problems (problem specific information/active information) and for the generation and programming of the types of highly improbable systems in question, including CSI. Furthermore, this option is continually testable and able to be refined as a result of continued work on information processing systems, evolutionary algorithms, and information theory. This hypothesis is even falsifiable by demonstrating choice number 2.

So, take your pick. I predict, based on the responses generated here (if there be any), that ID Theory and the naturalistic hypothesis will stand strong as being scientific and the better explanation and that people will not accept it primarily based on their personal wishes and philosophies even though the philosophy of ID is itself logical. So, where to go from here? How about admitting that it is a scientific hypothesis and even if you don’t agree with it, doing what you can to allow it the process of getting published, such as happens with competing scientific hypothesis.


Martin said...

CJY, Here are some very quick comments. They ought to be more carefully prepared, but no great harm if a little error creeps in.

The notion that an infinite regress is problematic is a common misconception. The principles of causality do not require a first cause. Indeed, they require the precise opposite. Any first cause would be an uncaused condition. This is the conflict with causality theory. The notion that we need a first cause is seemingly based on our mental habit of assigning a first cause to common sequences of events. Properly analyzed, there is always some prior condition to any common sequence of events. (See Adolf Grunbaum, The Pseudo-Problem of Creation in Physical Cosmology, in Physical Cosmology and Philosophy, John Leslie, ed.)

Otherwise, the outline of the issue above looks good. Indeed, the solutions can be categorized in terms of a "perfect disjunction." I.e.: Either the universe is the result of an accident or it is the result of a non-accident. The latter category seems to imply some sort of intentional cause (but there is perhaps a logical leap from "non-accident" to "intentional").

More later.

Question: what is the primary debate forum for ID?

Martin said...

Almost forgot: the value of a perfect disjunction is that it is all-inclusive. It assures that you haven't overlooked some third possibility.

CJYman said...

Hello Martin,

Thanks for the info on "infinite regress." I see what you are saying, and I meant moreso that as an option, if infinite regress is the answer then there will be attached the problems associated with infinite regress. Of course, infinite regress of active information is not the only solution and lately I have realized that there is a fourth option ... eternal active information. It "just is." It would seem to me that this is the only viable option to the "Intelligence" as the first cause which "just is." Yet, even then, the presence of active information would show that there is more than just law and chance at work.

Furthermore, if Conservation of Information holds to the extent that the complexity and specificity of a system can not be generated without a previous system of the same specificity and complexity, then since intelligent systems are thought to be the most complex systems -- which are also functionally specified -- in the universe, then barring the discovery of an unintelligent system which is as complex and specified as intelligence and cas also generate further intelligent systems, then a previous intelligence is the best and only viable explanation ... and this is not even touching on consciousness yet.

Answer: The primary debate forums for Intelligent Design are and, both of which I contribute to when I have the time for a more extended debate/discussion.