The Design of Tomorrow

Posted: April 10, 2007 in Intelligent Design

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Occasionally I have come upon those who believe that in order to criticise an idea which claims to provide answers to a question, you must provide an alternative answer, otherwise, they consider your criticisms are not valid.I have never understood why this is the case…I’d appreciate any thoughts?Surely I can criticise a theory without needing a viable fully formed alternative?Without the power to criticise, where is the impetuous to refine ideas, how is progress made?

There are many problems with the current theory of how we got to be what we are, the theory of evolution.For instance:

I’m buying a new pc soon; I have had enough of my current one breaking down every three months, the hard drive keeps failing. Its time to get a new one, which, I have decided, will be ‘future proof’ that is it would be compatible with developments and requirements yet to be.My notion of future proof is based on what functions I value and how I see those functions changing over time.Future proofing is I consider an exclusive characteristic of design.

Regarding the theory of evolution and future proofing  E.O.Wilson says:
How did natural selection prepare the mind for civilisation before civilisation ever existed…That is the great mystery of evolution how to account for calculus and Mozart? Natural selection does not anticipate future needs.’

 Natural selection of course does not anticipate anything.Intelligent design does however; allow for future proofing, such as Mike gene’s  idea of front loading as a teleological process:

“Front-loading is the idea that the designer made the first organisms with the future in mind, and that the original design influenced the course of evolution.”

As an example:

‘When you understand the potential utility of something like the G protein, you would have to ask why any designer would use it in only one situation? Clearly, such switches could be useful in a variety of situations and a variety of contexts, controlling the maze of complex interactions that exists within a cell. In other words, an understanding of the G protein’s role inside the cell leads us to predict common design from a teleological perspective. If the cell was designed, it would make no sense to design a completely novel switch every single time a switch is used. Instead, you would seek to use the same basic switch wherever it would function well. And this is exactly what we see in the cell, where G proteins are extensively used to control such things as protein synthesis, signal transduction, vesicle trafficking, cell division, and the reorganization of the cytoskeleton. A variety of different types of G proteins, along with different GEFs and GAPs, are plugged into a variety of circuits’

(for further examples of Frontloading with nature go here.)

We can imagine arranging all the organisms known, in order of increasing complexity, there would,im sure be an impression of relatedness, based on similarities of structure and function. (I can not comment on common descent –the jury’s out for me currently).Frontloading does not necessarily mean common descent.

The trademarks signs of design we see in man made objects are reproduced in nature,the implication being  design rather than accident.

In man made objects there are ideas which are used in different devices –for instance pumps, filters, gears etc are seen in planes ,Hoovers, trains, hospital equipment to name but a few. This is tantamount to conservation as seen in Nature, where structures are copied and used in different organisms, looks like Modular design.Also as mentioned frontloading is used in man made design anticipating future use and allowing for it in current design, my pc in embryo –yet to be delivered, has slots for an additional graphics card, addition memory and another hard drive, my pc is frontloaded in some sense.

So the point of this confused rambling post is that Teleology has hallmarks that ateleology does not,we see those hallmarks in nature-go figure. William Dembski has detailed his hallmark of design; complex specified information, Mike Behe has his irreducible complexity and Mike Gene and the telic thoughts boys have proposed theirs i.e. frontloading and modular design. 

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Comments
  1. Hi Mike. Concerning the quote:

    “Front-loading is the idea that the designer made the first organisms with the future in mind, and that the original design influenced the course of evolution.”

    The first clause is the key point in my view. That a designer made the first organisms is disputed. As long as that is the case the logical consequences of a front loaded position will also be fiercely contested. Since origins is a strong point for ID, it is my view that most of our resources should be focused at that juncture.

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