Member # 262
posted 28. September 2002 11:08
The purpose of this thread is to consider three specific criteria which it is, suggested will identify/define the ID alternative to the current TOE. It is specifically proposed that the ID alternative to TOE must satisfy the following criteria:
1. It will address/explain both human design capabilities/processes and evolutionary design capabilities/processes.
2. It will involve, in addition to random variation and natural or phenotype selection, ‘directed design’ and ‘direct selection’ processes and mechanism.
3. The validity of the alternative theory or model will be based on the a)the ability to match or exceed the capacity of biological systems to generate design complexity, b)the ability to match or exceed the ‘design speeds’ of biological systems, c)the ability of the system or survive in the real world, and d)the ability of design processes to create new design processes.
4. It will qualify as a predictive/testable hard science theory.
ID/TOE are sometimes framed as a choice between ‘evolution the result of direct action by an external designer’ and ‘evolution the result of processes and mechanisms defined by the current TOE’. From that perspective, ‘ID alternative’ being considered is a third alternative based on highly restrictive criteria. There are, quite obviously, many other possible alternatives based on different sets of criteria.
1. EXPLAIN BOTH HUMAN AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL DESIGN
ID grew out of the observation that "There appear to be similarities between the designs produced by humans and those produced by biological systems". One interpretation of this observation is ‘we can’t explain human design therefore we can’t explain biological evolution". An alternative interpretation of the design observation is that "Human design and other forms of biological design involve the same type of logical process". Using this alternative interpretation, the ID ‘explanation’ of genetic or biological design is tied to the ID explanation of human design.
On a common sense basis, this requirement might seem to make it more difficult to formulate the ID alternative. In practice, I suggest, the study of human behavior and evolutionary change compliment each other. It is, again I am only suggesting, easier to solve both problems than it is to solve one of the problems by itself.
2. DIRECTED VARIATION AND DIRECT SELECTION
IMO, the basic weakness/flaw in existing TOE theories and models is that they can not simulate/explain either the level of complexity generated by biological systems, nor can they simulate/explain speed at which biological systems generate design. At least one effective method ‘speeding up and increasing the capacity of RM&NS or GA type systems is to’ add in or include directed variation and direct selection mechanisms. The suggestion offered here is that the ID alternative be based on models and theories including these two types of mechanisms. In effect, I am proposing an RM&NS&DM&DS model. Obviously, other forms of the ID alternative are logically possible.
3. VALIDITY CRITERIA
Speed, survivability, evolvability, and capacity to produce complexity are for most part recognized as criteria relevant to both human design and biological evolution. The suggestion here is that the development of an ID alternative will require techniques for quantifying and evaluating each of these criteria for evolutionary and human design processes and for artificial simulations of these two types of systems.
4. PREDICTIVE THEORY CRITERIA
The ID alternative being suggested here is in the form of a testable, materialistic, predictive scientific theory. There are a number of ‘interesting’ technical issues associated with constructing predictive theories of very complex causal relationships. I would, however, prefer delaying discussion of these issues.
Given the above criteria for an "ID alternative" or an "ID theory of design", IMO, the issue of constructing such a theory reduces to a set of technical (how do you do that?).