Sunday, June 24, 2007

A logical look at Intelligent Design

By Captain Capitalist

Both proponents and opponents of intelligent design have made some serious mis-steps in logic. Intelligent design is the idea that the universe was created by a sentient being. I have not ruled out that possibility. But many have attached to the idea a whole range of assumptions that have no basis in logic.

If we start with the premise that the universe as we know it, was created by a sentient being or beings, it does not logically follow that said being(s) are immortal, all knowing, all wise, benevolent or in any way superior to humans other than in the accumulated knowledge and technology needed to create what they created.

The advancement of human technology didn't take off until we learned to record and share information, with each other and with future generations. We've only been doing so on a grand scale for a number of decades. Imagine a group of sentients who have been around for billions of years. They may have accumulated a huge mass of knowledge and technology. One doesn't have to be supernatural or super-intelligent to make use of and build on the discoveries of previous generations. Individuals within such a society could be relative dolts compared to humans and still be capable of things that seem magical to us.

Human beings will soon be able to essentially transfer our consciousness to remote locations across the solar system and beyond, by using probes outfitted for audio, video and eventually even odor, touch and taste and we don't even know what consciousness really is yet! We can genetically alter living things and will likely soon be able to create new life forms. Note that I'm using the term "we" when in fact these things are accomplished by multiple individuals across many generations. Steve Jobs did not waive his arms and say "Let there be iphone", and he is not supernatural. Humans have only been at the creation game for a millisecond or so in cosmic terms and have already accomplished some amazing things. It demostrates the power of parallel processing. There is no reason to believe the same dynamic didn't take place with respect to the universe.

Fractal geometry demostrates that one can create a relatively simple mathematical program, press start, and get an increasingly complex and boundless result that continues to change and grow over time with no additional input from "the creater". There is no reason to believe that an intelligent designer(s) had any idea how all the details of the universe would work themselves out, evolve and grow.

We are in the process of reverse engineering creation. If we don't blow ourselves up first, we will eventually crack the code of the universe. I think we'd do better and progress faster if we were to lose the mindset that things we don't yet understand and can't explain must therefore be supernatural or magical. If the human race is to survive for billions and billions of years we will have to weather cosmic catastophes like comet or planet collissions, the death of the sun and more. Cracking the code is not optional in terms of our survivability. It's imperative. Step one is to realize that it can be done. Step two, if you are going to go with the premise of intelligent design, don't assume that the designer(s) have your or our best interests at the top of their agenda. That doesn't mean we all can't get along, but we don't subjegate ourselves to those who may have come before us. If they exist, seek peer to peer relations. In fact, I think that would be mighty generous of us, given that any surviving creaters have evidently chosen to remain incommunicado to this point. Not very diplomatic of them.

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