I appreciate your exposition @12 of the reasons you find evolution theory plausible. I think the arguments against that are so overwhelming that I don’t have anything to say.
Onward and upward.
“We therefore note that if life was designed, it was designed at least to partly, if not wholly, “design” itself, and so the role of any designer must have been to start the thing off, and possibly guide it as it went.”
A perfectly agreeable position to take, and I think it is the one Denton has grown into. Mike Gene, too, among others.
“And still we have no evidence of an actual external designer”
The “no evidence for God/a metaphysical reality” leaves me cold, because there is a lot of evidence and people either take it or leave it. What kind of evidence for God would you expect? They tried find the ether in the 1800′s with 1800′s technology. When that didn’t work, they scrapped this ancient wisdom.
“nor of any mechanism by which an external designer could tweak the process,”
This is something to which I give a lot of thought. I think the problem of the origin of biological life turned out to be a far harder problem than anyone could have imagined at the outset, and it keeps going further down the rabbit hole. So, we just don’t know. I do not envision tweaking. Just doesn’t compute for me. Because I envision a natural unfolding of life. I postulate (vaguely, to myself) that this whole setup by the Divine mind is also infused with, shall I say the energies and forces of said mind, and that there are methods of communicating that we have not yet imagined.
I do hear of some scientific experiments that sound promising. I have high hopes for them, but I would imagine the Darwinian community would be the last to hear of them. Such as DNA containing photons, of DNA causing some patterns to appear in water and the photons behaving for some time in that pattern after the DNA is removed. I like it because I am very interested in the idea that light is the first or nearly the first stepdown of God to the universe. I’m very fond of the gospel of James. Light may carry information.
Keep in mind that in every age we try to understand this cosmos with only the pitiful knowledge at hand, which is never enough.
“To to pursue the ID hypothesis, it is important to ask: how would the postulated designer have implemented the design? What might s/he have had in mind? Did s/he somehow seed the earth with simple life forms, “frontloaded” in some way to evolve in response to environmental trigger? Or does s/he maintain a watching brief, supplying a flagellum here (to help a bug cause human disease!) or help for the malaria parasite there (ditto!) And again, why? What would that tell us about the designer?”
We are all interested in these questions.
“Well, my point is that no, it doesn’t “stand alone”.”
Wait a minute! Above you insisted that we can make a design inference. But now you say there is a powerful alternative. This simply means that for you, in the case of all biology, the design inference is not apparent to YOU. In the case of the moon monolith, it is.
“And, frankly, what fingerprints there are of a designer on life do not look to me like the fingerprints of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient God.”
Well, that is perfectly valid. Most people think the designer was God, and I am very impressed with cosmic fine tuning, but tend not to think of the designer as God, especially if we’re talking tweaking and engineering.
Why do you think the design falls short of the perfection you expect?
How did Elizabeth's Liddles words turn into this? (notice the quote marks starting at no evidence):
"The “no evidence for God/a metaphysical reality” leaves me cold,..."
Did EL say "God/a metaphysical reality"? And what the fuck is a "metaphysical reality"?
"...because there is a lot of evidence and people either take it or leave it."
"What kind of evidence for God would you expect?"
World peace would be a good start. Maybe he could also stop by my place and show me a few miracles.
"...but tend not to think of the designer as God..."
Hey, wait a minute, I thought you said "The “no evidence for God/a metaphysical reality” leaves me cold, because there is a lot of evidence and people either take it or leave it."
If the designer isn't your chosen "God" then who or what is or was it? Make up your mind. Oh wait, you don't have one.
"I’m very fond of the gospel of James."
Yeah, I can tell. I can also tell that you're fucking nuts.