Is the Discovery Institute Against the Idea of Intelligent Design?


The National Institutes of Health are for human health. The National Endowment for the Arts is for the idea of people doing art. The Teamsters Union is behind the idea of people driving trucks.

So is the Discovery Institute behind the idea of intelligent agents designing life? Apparently not.

Interesting. Apparently, an intelligent designer can not safely alter a genome. EVER!! Perhaps Behe’s book should have been “Designer Devolves” because a designer can not safely alter genomes.

(Retired Professor & Minister.) #2

I’ll take a wild guess and assume that the most dedicated ID’ists would make an exception for omniscient, omnipotent intelligent designers.

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(Neil Rickert) #3

It is worse than that.

If we go by all known methods of design, they are materialistic and mechanistic. And the DI strongly against anything that is materialistic and mechanistic.

(T J Runyon) #4

They often argue our everyday experience tells us intelligence do these sort of things. Well our everyday experience also tells us minds are dependent on brains but they are positing a disembodied mind. Our everyday experience tells us that designers need materials to accomplish their design. They can’t just poof into existence. ID violates the inductive logic rule of total evidence. They leave out other evidence that brings their explanation into doubt.

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(Ashwin S) #5

To be fair, they are referring to human designers.

And as of now, human beings don’t know enough to predict the side effects of altering genes.

I would be very wary of any genetic change that effects the germ line. Banning such gene alterations (that can be inherited) would not be a bad idea.

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(T J Runyon) #6

ID proponents make all their inferences to design based on what humans do.

(Ashwin S) #7

how is this relevant to the topic?

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(T J Runyon) #8

Um, how is it not?

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(T J Runyon) #9

T shared something that shows intelligent agents can’t mess with genomes without messing it up. You said they are talking about humans to weaken T’s argument. But ID proponents appeal to human designers to make their arguments. Looks like designers cant do the very thing ID proposes.

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(Ashwin S) #10

They argue that human beings messing with genomes is risky due to unforeseen side effects.Human beings don’t know enough about the genome to manipulate it.

The argument has nothing to do with IDs argument for Intelligent design. ID points to human experience of complex arrangements with function. In every case where the origins of such an arrangement is directly known, the origin is design by an intelligent Agent.

Edit: Since ID scientists don’t claim that human beings made the genome, the ability/lack of ability of human beings to manipulate Genomes doesnt make much of a difference to the argument.

(T J Runyon) #11

You’re totally missing the point. I’m super busy today. I’ll try to respond later


I think we all know what’s behind the fig leaf. :wink:


To be fair, they use humans as their standard for a model designer.

As an aside, we do know what some alterations would do. If we alter one allele to match another existing allele we know what that allele will do. For example, if we alter the cancer causing mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 to match the sequences from healthy alleles we know the person carrying those altered alleles will be healthy, normal, and have a much lower risk of breast cancer. If we could make those changes now, it would be a massive help to the human population.

The problem is that the technology hasn’t matured to the point where we can reliably make large and specific changes, and do so in all cells targeted. On top of that, there is still the risk of off target changes where modifications are made elsewhere in the genome where they are not intended. The changes themselves can be extremely safe with known outcomes, but the technology isn’t quite there.

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