Claiming that complexity indicates design is circular logic

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Claiming that complexity indicates design is circular logic

Post #1

Post by Justin108 »

A common apologist argument for why the universe needs a god is to claim that complexity requires design. This argument is usually backed by using examples of complex objects (watches, computers, machinery) and then arguing that since they all had a designer, all such complex things need to have designers.

The first flaw in this argument, of course, is making the hasty generalization that since some complex things require design, all complex things must have design.

The problem is, whenever an atheist points out things that are complex without having been designed (DNA, molecules, neural structures), the apologist responds by insisting that those have a designer too (namely God). This, of course, is circular as they already assume there is a designer, so no matter what complex structure we present to the apologist, he would insist it must have a designer because of its complexity.

The atheist is left not being able to point to any example of an undesigned complexity as the apologist would just insist that this undesigned complexity is in fact a designed complexity.

Theist: all complex things have a designer
Atheist: how do you know?
Theist: name one thing that's complex that does not have a designer
Atheist: DNA
Theist: that has a designer as well
Atheist: how do you know?
Theist: because all complex things have a designer

Is the design from complexity argument inherently circular?

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Post #51

Post by Elijah John »

JLB32168 wrote: It annoys you to no end that I act like I’m right. I’m not sure why but it seems as if you loathe the fact that people disagree with you – even when you’re not forced to accept they’re right.
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Re: Claiming that complexity indicates design is circular lo

Post #52

Post by PghPanther »

JLB32168 wrote:
PghPanther wrote:Nonsense..................the same dynamics that drives functionality of an organism in natural selection can be replicated within industry to make superior designs that exceed the best efforts of human engineering........that is a fact.
How are these things done – by computer simulation? The hardware that do these things are created by designers as is the software to mimic, for example, buildings that are being shaken by a 6.5 earthquake that expose design flaws and where things need to be improved and this can be done over and over and all using computer models that were designed by someone.

Your argument might be more persuasive is you threw a bunch of computer parts together, waited four billion years, and got a super-computer and super-software out of it to do the very thing we just described.

No you miss the point..................the process of natural selection must be fed into a computer software program yes that software program must be designed for a computer to replicate the process......and in that observation you are correct....

....but the actual process of natural selection of which the software program replicates for the computer occurs on its own within the our environment and no design of that process is necessary for it to occur.

If you have active properties of matter such as what happens in the broken symmetry of the universe of matter with gravity, electromagnetic radiation and the strong/weak nuclear forces and leave them to interact over time new properties will arise out of that process..............without being engineered or guided by a conscious entity.

Google the computer program "Game of Life" and see how just a few properties assigned to pixels in a computer over time will arise properties and actions the simulate living matter in its movement and replication.

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Re: Claiming that complexity indicates design is circular lo

Post #53

Post by PghPanther »

Goose wrote:
Justin108 wrote:You're arguing semantics. I'm arguing the origin of the universe.
Actually if you go back I think you’ll find you are the one arguing semantics. That was your initial counter argument remember? That assembly is not a form of “coming into existence.� You agree the universe exists though, right? That it has properties and characteristics which allow us to say hey this is the universe.
If you insist that creation and assembly are one and the same thing, then are you suggesting that God, during creation, simply reassembled preexisting matter?
That’s one way of looking at it. I’m not saying that creation and assembly are one in the same. But they are certainly similar. Wouldn’t you agree that assembly can be a form of creation?
That's what humans do in every single instance of design - we reassemble preexisting matter. Is this what God as an intelligent designer does?
Of course if he created matter in the first place this follows. You are overly concerned with who the designer is and his/it’s characteristics. The argument from design says nothing about who the designer is.
Using terms in different schools of thought do not break the law of non-contradiction. In this discussion, when I talk about "create", I am referring not to the layman's term, but to the scientific term - i.e "bring into existence".
Now who’s arguing semantics?
From the scientific perspective, the table already existed as raw material.
Actually, from the scientific perspective you are arguing for the raw material is matter itself. There is no table, there is no tree, there is no wood. There is just matter.

But your statement here is incoherent anyway. So when the raw material was still in the form of a standing tree or a pile of 2x4’s the scientist would say, oh look there’s a table? No, of course not. That’s absurd and he’d probably have a hard time finding gainful employment if he walked around saying things like that.
From the layman's perspective, the table did not exist until it was shaped.
That’s not just the layman’s perspective. That’s the logical perspective. Without that perspective we’d be walking around calling books trees and trees tables. We wouldn’t be able to formulate logical arguments.
This shift in meaning from one perspective to another is not at all uncommon. For example, in gaming, gamers often refer to the computer difficulty as "AI" (Artificial Intelligence). Ask a scientist whether he believes gaming involves actual artificial intelligence and he would obviously dismiss this as ridiculous. So does AI in gaming break the law of non-contradiction? To call a semantic shift like this "breaching the law of non-contradiction" is absurd.
Actually yes, to call a game AI when it is not AI violates the law of non-contradiction. That’s why the scientist would call it absurd. Just like he’d probably call it absurd if you suggested that a pile of 2x4’s (the raw material) was a table.
Whether it's random or not, the point is there is no agency. No one is directly assembling the cells. No one is interacting with it in any way. It is assembling itself into complexity with no agency involved.
Whether it’s random is absolutely important to your position. But it’s not a random assembly of something complex, that’s the point. It’s highly ordered, intentional, and always yielding the expected results. Human sperm and egg give rise to humans, not dogs. It’s what we would expect to see of something designed.

Consider the self replicating machine mentioned earlier. Let’s say the designer were to build one prototype with the programming to self replicate. Let’s further suppose that inherent to the subsequent replicated models is the ability to also self replicate. This logically follows since this is a self replicating machine self replication would be a trait passed on. So several generations into the self replicating process you happen to stumble across one of these machines and say oh look a machine that’s reproducing/assembling itself without any designer or agency involved.
I asked you for support that biological reproduction was designed, and you respond with "there are machines that self replicate". Machines that self replicate is not support for biological reproduction being designed.
Why is that? You asked for “support that the ability to reproduce is a designed trait.� I gave it. What do you have that supports the idea that biological reproduction was not designed? What biological organism can you point to without assuming your conclusion?
A sperm cell is significantly less complex than the eventual life form. Complexity developed when something of a lesser complexity became something of a greater complexity
Sure I would agree that a human is more complex than a sperm. But this isn’t complexity developing in the sense of it just coming into existence through the random forces of nature. The sperm and egg were already very complex containing DNA, all the necessary building data to allow that more complex human to arise instead of a dog. So I don’t think you can rightly argue complexity developed here in the sense you mean it. It would seem the complexity already existed in the DNA.

Think of it this way. You stumble across a flash drive which contains all the necessary data needed to build a human. What would be your reaction? Would you say to yourself golly gee I wonder how this complex data organized itself into existence? Or would you wonder which software company designed it?

Utter failure in your analogy to a flash drive ............a flash drive does not mutate and then replicate on its own...........whereas DNA does.

Why do theist always screw this up?

You can't compare living matter where processes are dynamic within natural selection to inanimate matter that remains stagnant.

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