Possible experiment to test for a "Divine" intelligent designer

Just to let you know, I have recently restructured my explanation on how to test the Universal common designer hypothesis based on critiques. If the hypothesis is true, this designer would have to exist to create and sustain all possible manifestations of life.

For instance, when the conscious observer chooses a particular set of pre-biotic conditions to experiment on, the observer has to first test and determine whether or not life can be produced within that condition solely without unreasonable interference from using Miller-Urey/Lenski type of experiments .

Then, the observer must perform the same experiment but instead with unrealistic interference the second time around. The combined outcomes of these experiments would produce evidence for the existence of a Universal common designer in biology. If we apply the same procedure to a different pre-biotic condition, it would produce additional evidence for this hypothesis.

This is because even though the experimenter who produces life within each prebiotic condition is finite and contingent, there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged even if its an alien designer that created our form of life. Therefore, this would require the postulation of a Universal common designer to explain the experimental results.

If you want me to show you a chart of what is considered realistic versus unrealistic interference, just ask.

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Please read the entire thing of what I just said before you respond because it is clear here that you did not read the whole thing.

Well, you said “all” possible worlds. You still have no conceivable method of testing in those terms. What you can do is test some set of hypotheticals. And your results will be applicable to the set of hypotheticals you test, but not to other possible scenarios and certainly not to all possible worlds.

I know what you’re talking about. It’s just that it’s not relevant to your experiment. It adds nothing to say that the experimenters ought to be conscious. This isn’t even the sort of thing you’d include in the specification for an experiment unless you were managing a bunch of drunken grad students who were regularly found napping instead of doing their work. What it does do, however, is suggest – as does your link – that you’ve gotten other irrelevant philosophical/cosmological considerations muddled up in your biology, where they do not belong.

That’s the same non sequitur as before.

I think that before you start charting your criteria you probably need a testable hypothesis. You really don’t have one.

So, let’s say I’ve got a notion that there is a Universal Common Rubber-Band Stretcher, which exists by necessity in all possible worlds: a non-classical (or quantum) mind that encompasses rubber-band stretching and consciousness or agent causality according to Orch-OR’s theory of consciousness.

A Conscientious Objector (I like to employ them) first throws a bunch of materials from the nearest hardware store in a bowl with a bunch of rubber bands, and sees whether those materials stretch the rubber band. Then, after we have the result of that experiment, the Conscientious Objector guides the materials in the bowl to see if he can produce a specified degree of rubber-band stretching.

The combined outcomes of these experiments would of course provide evidence for an alien rubber-band stretcher. However, if we do these experiments using many different hardware stores, and shop in multiple departments thereof, it would show how a personal but necessary transcended rubber-band stretcher exists in nature.

Now, yes, that’s ridiculous. But there is nothing wrong with it which is not also wrong with your scenario.

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Sure. I was just pointing out that your claimed theory of intelligent design isn’t.

I don’t think that follows.

That doesn’t follow either. No experiment has attempted to create life, just certain postulated precursors. There’s no reason to suppose that life originated over the amount of time and space amenable to laboratory experiments.

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Surely there’s a possible world in which nothing exists? That would mean there can be no “Universal” entities.

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Yes, exactly. Your analogy here shows the fundamental error in reasoning of @Meerkat_SK5’s proposed hypothesis “test”. It it simply a non-sequitur. The conclusion that there is a “divine intelligent designer” does not follow, and is not even weakly indicated by the structure of the proposed tests.

The test appears to follow a logic like this:
Premise 1: Mixing chemicals under these naturally occurring conditions X fails to produce life.
Premise 2: Mixing chemicals under these naturally occurring conditions X and then synthetically manipulating the conditions in the experiment does succeed at producing life.
Conclusion: Therefore there is a non-classical quantum-mind that encompasses digital information and consciousness and/or agent causality existing in all possible worlds that create and sustain all possible manifestations of life.

I mean… I hope it is obvious to anyone that the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises. It is not even weakly evidence in support of it in any way that I can even conceive of.

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It is to be hoped, surely.

I think what we have here is a very weak philosophical argument, parts of which have not been stated, to which “science” is to be added as a kind of afterthought because it is felt that having science on your side is somehow validating. But where Churchill warned us against “perverted science,” this is a bit more like Dada science, where nothing quite seems real and the proposition under test is about as ill-defined as possible, with the results expected to confirm a conclusion which is likewise ill-defined.

All non sequiturs operate by the same logic, which is to say, they do not operate at all. If I can stack twenty sheep carcasses on top of Hound Tor in a high wind, God exists.

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This does make much sense to me. There is no straightforward way to do this:

Moreover, it doesn’t make sense to think about a single condition. There were likely a sequence of differences conditions.

I don’t really follow the overarching logic if your approach, but this alone makes it unfeasible.

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Welcome to Peaceful Science! :slight_smile:

Designing experiments to test hypotheses is kind of what I do, so let’s see what happens. Fair warning, it this were easy, then somebody else would have figured out how to do this long ago. I appreciate the thought you have put into trying to understand the question though, and you should be congratulated for that. :slight_smile:

I think this is an assumption, rather than a testable hypothesis. You could also have a Designer that exists but chooses not to create and sustain of life. My caution here, before reading the rest; do not assume your conclusion.

My emphasis - if this could be demonstrated then the whole argument is over, because we just demonstrated the random creation of life. It doesn’t show that life actually occurred in this way, of course.

Miller-Urey was a demonstration that certain biotic compounds can form under essentially random conditions. It did not demonstrate the formation of life, and was never intended to. The importance of that experiment was the demonstration that hypotheses about randomly formed biotic compounds are plausible.

GIven preliminary experiments that demonstrate plausibility, it must be possible to guide such a process. It’s now a matter of engineering, not experiment. You can always guide a process towards an outcome that would be unlikely by chance.

If you really want to experiment on unguided processes, then we have a further problem, because the designer could interfere in a way that is indistinguishable from randomness.

I don’t think so. What has been demonstrated is that a human exists who can guide a process. We already knew that humans existed. We cannot generalize to any previously unknown Universal Designer.

What you really need is material evidence of an alien designer.

I do not follow your leap to consciousness, and I see no basis to exclude the possibility of an “unconscious” designer, whatever that might be.

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Great stuff guys. I plan on restructuring the way I convey my argument again later today based on your latest critiques. So stay tuned.:wink:

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Great stuff guys. I plan on restructuring the way I convey my argument again later today based on your latest critiques. So stay tuned.:wink:

I have never known neurosurgery on a Jack O’Lantern to be successful, but who knows?

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INTRODUCTION

[edited by mods to get rid of odd formatting]

Digital information is composed of abstract entities involving discrete mathematics or statements of logic that apply to and exist by necessity. It involves language that humans use to communicate with each other every day, such as phrases, signs, and symbols that are meaningful and personal. Analog information refers to continuous or redundant but orderly complex patterns of information reflected within the laws of nature. DNA possesses these types of information processes where the nucleotide sequence both specifies the digital information of the gene and the higher order architectures of the genome, which have an impact on the expression of the digital information found in the gene.

More importantly, our conscious agency seems to be reflected within both the digital and analog information present in DNA. For example, the genome is virtually identical to computer operating systems (Yan et al. 2010), and the genetic information in DNA is mathematically identical to that in human language (Yockey 1981). Of course, some scientists insist that these comparisons between DNA information and human information are merely used in a metaphorical sense (Pigliucci & Boudry 2011). This contradicts the work done by biotechnologists who store specified information within the nucleotide sequences of DNA or RNA. For instance, Church and Kosuri (2012) were able to create a biotech version of an e-reader, with the highest storage capacity to date.

However, this close relationship between digital and analog information does not necessarily mean that physico-chemical laws of nature produce digital information. This is because the forces of chemical necessity (analog information) produce redundant order or rule-generated repetition that reduces the capacity to convey specified information (Polanyi 1968). For instance, random mixtures of polymers or granite are examples of complex structures generated, but they are not specified. Crystals are typically understood as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules held together in a uniform way. However, neither crystals nor polymer mixtures qualify as living organisms because they do not possess both information forms simultaneously found in DNA, leading to “specified complexity” (Orgel 1973).

Crick (1958), who was one of the first to elucidate the information properties of the DNA molecule, explained this meaning of information in biological terms in 1958 as “the specification of the amino acid sequence in protein. … the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein.” Shortly thereafter, leading molecular biologists defined biological information to incorporate this notion of specificity of function and complexity (Sakar 1996).

I aim to show how we can test whether or not a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry. Let me be clear, this is going to be about testing for the existence of a Universal common designer or an undiscovered law of nature to potentially explain the origin of digital information within the bounds of biochemistry. However, this is NOT about showing how the origin of life or advanced life emerged whether its our life or another. Finally, I wish to explicitly clarify that my hypothesis does not defend the intelligent design theory proposed by intelligent design theorists. In fact, intelligent design theorists do not actually pioneer or promote a theory of intelligent design that involves a transcendent agent because they do not believe it is a testable scientific model and they do not believe present experiments or observations can lead us to infer or conclude a transcendent agent.

(1) Universal common designer hypothesis

What I mean by “Universal” is existing by necessity where a world could not possibly have been otherwise. What I mean by “common designer” is a human mind that composed of digital information and consciousness or agent causality, which would be us according to Orch-OR’s theory of consciousness (Hameroff, Stuart; Penrose, Roger 2014). Both combined make a Universal mind:

If the Universal common designer hypothesis is true, there could not be a pre-biotic condition that created life without an intelligent designer as the primary cause.

Falsification

In order to falsify this hypothesis, the biochemist needs to make sure his interference is reasonable or consistent with Miller-Urey experiments when he/she chooses a particular set of pre-biotic conditions to work on. If the biochemist applies the procedure to a different pre-biotic condition, it would be another attempt at falsification. If, at some point, someone produces digital information within a pre-biotic condition in nature that does not require a conscious agent, then this would falsify the hypothesis completely.

This is because it would show how a possible condition could have created or developed life before the existence of finite conscious agents. For example, as Kaufman (1995) suggested, “there is no central directing agency” that is necessary for life nor are there irreducibly complex living systems, such as RNA and DNA sequences. Rather, the physico-chemical laws of nature could eventually produce digital information without a mind.

Verification

In order to verify this hypothesis, the biochemist must perform the same experiment with the same set of prebiotic conditions following the previous one but impose unrealistic interference in the second round of experiments. The combined outcomes of these experiments would produce evidence for the hypothesis. If we apply the same procedure to a different pre-biotic condition, it would produce additional evidence for this hypothesis.

This is because even though the experimenter who produces life within each prebiotic condition is finite and contingent, there could not be any conscious life before simple life emerged, hence why we have to include the first experiment to support the “necessary” attribute of this intelligent designer.

ONE MORE THING, its important to note that I am NOT suggesting from these experiments that this hypothesis is proven beyond a reasonable doubt nor am I concluding its true. Instead, I am simply trying to show how these experiments could provide evidence that a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry.

If you want me to show you a chart of what is considered realistic versus unrealistic interference, I will do so next time. But, for now, I just want everybody to focus on the task at hand before we get into particulars or specifics.

Your image is very hard to read, because it requires so much scrolling.

With that meaning of “universal”, the isn’t anything universal other than human abstractions which we declare to be universal. Or, at least, that’s my opinion.

As I see it, human minds are abstractions that we invent to use in our discussions. Since they are abstract inventions, I suppose we could invent them to be anything we want them to be. I’m inclined to think that Hameroff and Penrose are mostly wrong about consciousness.

I’ll leave it at that.

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If the Universal Common Designer is true why could he not have created a pre-biotic condition enabling the origin of life? It is very hard to falsify the Universal Common Designer claim as we do not know the origin of primary matter and space-time even if life could self assemble.

At this point ID (Behe) is a method to detect design in nature. The collection of those detections could support your Universal Common Design hypothesis. @swamidass has asked the question before whether falsification is necessary in all cases and I think this should be examined.

If I understand you correctly your claim is that the information content in biology points to a mind behind Biology. This is consistent with some ID arguments. You are taking the argument beyond the ID argument and specifying the Universal Designer if I understand you correctly.

I made massive changes based on latest critiques. Please read the message at the bottom.

None of your changes are in any way helpful. You have done nothing of substance. Your entire proposal still fundamentally rests upon a rip-roaring non sequitur which tap-dances while singing “non sequiturs are here again.” So, no; neurosurgery on a Jack O’Lantern still doesn’t work.

I think that there is only one possible route of progress here: you need to understand that this is ten million miles away from resembling scientific reasoning of any type, and stop. Restructuring how you express a non sequitur doesn’t help.

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I reposted my introduction, which should address everything in your response here

(Reposting Intro)

INTRODUCTION

Digital information is composed of abstract entities involving discrete mathematics or statements of logic that apply to and exist by necessity. It involves language that humans use to communicate with each other every day, such as phrases, signs, and symbols that are meaningful and personal. Analog information refers to continuous or redundant but orderly complex patterns of information reflected within the laws of nature. DNA possesses these types of information processes where the nucleotide sequence both specifies the digital information of the gene and the higher order architectures of the genome, which have an impact on the expression of the digital information found in the gene.

More importantly, our conscious agency seems to be reflected within both the digital and analog information present in DNA. For example, the genome is virtually identical to computer operating systems (Yan et al. 2010), and the genetic information in DNA is mathematically identical to that in human language (Yockey 1981). Of course, some scientists insist that these comparisons between DNA information and human information are merely used in a metaphorical sense (Pigliucci & Boudry 2011). This contradicts the work done by biotechnologists who store specified information within the nucleotide sequences of DNA or RNA. For instance, Church and Kosuri (2012) were able to create a biotech version of an e-reader, with the highest storage capacity to date.

However, this close relationship between digital and analog information does not necessarily mean that physico-chemical laws of nature produce digital information. This is because the forces of chemical necessity (analog information) produce redundant order or rule-generated repetition that reduces the capacity to convey specified information (Polanyi 1968). For instance, random mixtures of polymers or granite are examples of complex structures generated, but they are not specified. Crystals are typically understood as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules held together in a uniform way. However, neither crystals nor polymer mixtures qualify as living organisms because they do not possess both information forms simultaneously found in DNA, leading to “specified complexity” (Orgel 1973).

Crick (1958), who was one of the first to elucidate the information properties of the DNA molecule, explained this meaning of information in biological terms in 1958 as “the specification of the amino acid sequence in protein. … the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein.” Shortly thereafter, leading molecular biologists defined biological information to incorporate this notion of specificity of function and complexity (Sakar 1996).

I aim to show how we can test whether or not a Universal common designer exists in biochemistry. Let me be clear, this is going to be about testing for the existence of a Universal common designer or an undiscovered law of nature to potentially explain the origin of digital information within the bounds of biochemistry. However, this is NOT about showing how the origin of life or advanced life emerged whether its our life or another. Finally, I wish to explicitly clarify that my hypothesis does not defend the intelligent design theory proposed by intelligent design theorists. In fact, intelligent design theorists do not actually pioneer or promote a theory of intelligent design that involves a transcendent agent because they do not believe it is a testable scientific model and they do not believe present experiments or observations can lead us to infer or conclude a transcendent agent.

I understand your argument is different then the ID argument but I think you can use Behe’s argument as a starting point. Faz references Behe’s work in the recent book he wrote with AJ Roberts.

Here is his discussion with @swamidass at Texas A and M. His design detection method is articulated about 15 minutes in.

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@Meerkat_SK5 I’ll spare you the time it takes to watch that and just state what Behe’s design-detection method is:
Behe looks at something.

Literally he just looks at it with his eyes. Then if his looking at it results in him experiencing the feeling that it was designed, he concludes “that looks designed to me”.

You might wonder what Behe is looking for. What it is that produces this state of mind, this feeling he has. It’s that it somehow resembles a man-made artifact to some unspecified degree. If it sort of looks like a piece of man-made technology, Behe concludes it was designed.

So, look at it. Does it resemble something man made? If yes - then it was designed.

That’s it.

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