Jun 9, 2010

Design, what does it mean to be designed.

We all know what it means to be designed don't we?

Marshal, from Agnostic Salvation Hour, and I just finished another podcast for, Where the Evidence Leads. In this podcast we discuss the book, A Lawyers Case for God. One of the arguments the author uses is when you see design you recognize it, and uses this argument for proof that the universe shows signs of being designed and thusly created by a designer, namely god.

So how do we determine if something has been designed?
In the poorly written A Lawyer's Case for a God. In this book the argument goes something like this, If you spied a robot lying in the sand you would know it was designed. Then the writer implies the universe shows signs of design so therefor it is designed and that means a designer. The Intelligent Design or ID for short, uses the same poor logic with life on earth.

So how would we know the robot is designed. I mean it seams obvious if you just look at it. Ok, so it does look like something made. What exactly makes it look that way. Well it's made of materials that we recognize as man made, metal, plastic and glass. Next we see it is held together by manufactured fasteners, such as screws, nuts and bolts. What else do we notice? Most every one who makes something from crafts to cars, puts there mark on it. Paintings get signed, buildings have a cornerstones, almost everything will have a mark on it. So we look for a manufactures mark, an icon, symbol or just the made by sticker. Yet there is more evidence, when something is made we can trace it back to the manufacturer, often we can find where, when and even who made the item. Now we know with out a doubt it was made by some one and there for it has a creator or designer.

When we "see" that an item is designed we go off of more information than just the look of the item. Why is this important? We often see things in nature that is seemingly designed. In the American rain-forests, in some areas, the ground does not have very good soil. In these places seeds grow out of decaying plants better than in the ground. This has led to explorers believing the forests were planted. They would see old trees in a straight line or row. This defied explanations until further investigation reveled the answer. When a tree dies and falls, seeds grow from the dead tree. As years go by the old tree rots and falls away leaving behind a straight row of trees. From simple observation the trees looked planted, or designed like a garden. On closer examination the condition as to what causes the appearance, show up. If it had been a garden or planed forest there would be other signs such as left over items like broken forgotten tools. Possibly we would find evidence that the ground was landscaped, like the mound builders. There would be other evidence to be found, to support the supposition that it was designed.

This logic by analogy is often used when the I.D. group make claims like "DNA is a code" and if it is a code then it is designed. This is nothing more than pseudoscience by analogy.

Lets take the false statement apart. "DNA is a code" the actual quote should be DNA is like a code, in that it has some traits that behave like a code. DNA is not a code it is a molecule. The analogy is to help others understand what is going on so we use examples that resemble what we are talking about. So saying that DNA is a code and all other codes have a creator then DNA is created or designed.

Another example we can use is a painting. We know a painting when we see one right? Sure it has some kind of canvas often a would frame, nails to hold the frame together, staples to hold the canvas on the frame plus there will almost always be a signature. What about other paintings or pictures in nature as the one I've shown here... not only does it show a mans face but the model was listening to an ipod. LOL