Does a Watch Prove Design?

From that article:

In this week’s Science Express (, they describe the stepwise creation of a bacterial chromosome and the successful transfer of it into a bacterium, where it replaced the native DNA. Powered by the synthetic genome, that microbial cell began replicating and making a new set of proteins.

I will remind you of what my actual claim was:

That said, I do believe if a group of extraterrestrial biologists arrived on earth and started collecting examples of life to take to their home planet to research, they might not be able to determine that the synthetic organism constructed by Venter’s group was designed as opposed to any other organisms they collected.

So that kind of shoots your whole argument down, doesn’t it? These extraterrestrial biologists would describe Venter’s bacteria as natural, whereas if they also collected human artifacts like watches, they would consider these to be designed.

Uh, yeah. If I saw something on a distant planet that looked in every way exactly like a robot, I would conclude it was a robot. Just as, if I saw something that looked exactly like watch, I would call it a “watch.”

Sorry, just what is your point?

great. so since a walking creature is similar to a walking robot (or even identical if we will made a robot that is identical to a creature) then why not consider it to be a kind of a robot?

Simple: Because it isn’t a robot.

What is your point?


You have a profound problem here.

You think the way something looks is a scientific proof or conclusive evidence.

It isn’t. It’s merely an indication… something that your personal Faith can use to anchor itself.

If the way something looks were conclusive, then looking at a living creature should convince you it is NOT a kind of robot… it doesn’t look or act like a robot.

why not? my point is that it is. and thus need design too.

have you seen a human-like robot? its very similar to a real human and its a robot. so some robots are indeed looks very similar to a real creature.


You need a course on epistemology…

You seem to think that “what something looks like” … or what it “seems like” is a definitive source of information. It isn’t.

"Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas:

(1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth, belief, and justification,[1][2]

(2) various problems of skepticism,

(3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and

(4) the criteria for knowledge and justification. Epistemology addresses such questions as: “What makes justified beliefs justified?”,[3] “What does it mean to say that we know something?”,[4]and fundamentally “How do we know that we know?”[5]

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Yes. No reasonably intelligent person should have any difficulty telling it is a robot an not a human. Especially if they examine its insides.

Once again: Just what point are you trying to make?

Robots don’t reproduce.

I don’t think that is the crucial difference. If someone decided to X-ray or dissect a robot, it’d be pretty clear what it was.

Yes, I have. But only in movies where it was really a human acting the part of the human-like robot.

that a walking creature is a robot (from a physical perspective) and therefore need design too.

A “walking creature”, like a human being or a cat or a giraffe is decidedly NOT a robot. A robot is a non-living machine that is created by a human being. Human beings, cats and giraffes do not qualify.

This is so obvious, I do not even know why we are discussing it.

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The “Terminator” series was fiction. The human-like robots in it were human actors, not actual robots.

so that is you definition of a robot? what “non-living” means? something that cant replicate itself? or something that is made from organic components or what? please be specific.

I think this is a good definition:

The definition of “living” is going to get us into deep waters, and I don’t think it will in the end prove illuminating or productive.

If we can agree that a human being or a dog or a fruitfly or a tree or an E. coli bacteria are all alive, and a watch isn’t, I think that will suffiice for our discussion. Do you disagree with any of that?

ok. so a ccording to your definition from wiki a robot is a machine. and a machine is something that was build by man. so according to this definition if we will see something that is identical to a robot evolve by a natural process- we cant call it a robot since it was not made by man. so basically we are claiming that something that is identical to a robot isnt a robot. see why definitions are problematic?

If it was not made by man, it is not identical to a robot, because a robot is made by man. So your statement is meaningless. It’s like saying “If we see a square that does not have four sides, we can’t call it a square.”

but from a physical perspective they are identical. so we are basically saying that an object that is identical to a robot isnt a robot.