Critiques of the ‘design’ argument: Kant

it is useful to consider Kant’s take on design beside the grossly inferior idiocy of selectionist Darwinism. Considering the dangers of skepticism still in his time Kant, to me as my suspicion, is closer to ‘atheism’ than we might think. But he reinvents a handful of new ‘god conceptions’ none of which he takes too seriously. That said, the issue of ‘god’ is so muddled we can hardly entertain the idea. Kant shows with some suggestions however that there is a larger perspective in which the ‘god’ token is relevant but confronted with skepticism. In any case his views on design are fundamental and we take that as its own standard reference, free at the same time to take that critically. Design in nature versus theology is the swamp where most are lost.

The eonic effect shows spectacular design in its historical dynamism. But it does this as a direct critique of theistic historicism and the primitive ‘cargo cult’ of Yahweh in the Old Testament. It is a strange irony: design in historical presides over the demise of the ‘god in history’ concept.

Source: Robert C. Koons: Phl 356 Lecture #16

Is the Human Neck a “Mistake of Evolution”?

Having cited the original article on the human neck we should cite the right on schedule critique from the ID Central site: Evolution News.

I find both arguments unsatisfactory, but the ID folks expose the tendency to defend Darwin by claiming isolated incidents speculatively used as cases of flawed design. It is not a very good way to defend Darwinian fallacies. Between the two sides it is hard to figure out who is right here, but the case for a flawed neck taken in isolation is not very convincing.
We have proposed design arguments here without the term /intelligent unless take in quotation marks.
Despite the attempts to refine the ID argument beyond theism the fact remains that the ID group is entangled in theological legacies while the standard Darwinist view is a kind idiocy that cannot survive statistical critique. But if the Darwinists are such idiots they will survive, as we can see in the endless muddle of evolutionary scientism.

Darwin asserted the “absurdity” of evolution designing a shared opening to the esophagus and trachea (windpipe).

Source: Is the Human Neck a “Mistake of Evolution”? | Evolution News

The human neck is a mistake of evolution 

It may or may not be true that the evolution of the neck shows design flaws but to use this argument to defend ‘evolution by natural selection’ is completely wrong. The influence of the Darwinian obsession a la Richard Dawkins extends to the general public in the vast realm of controlled opinion that has made secular thought seem like a hoard of idiots.
Clearly, the human body shows design, it is possible that this could have produced a design flaw but the reality of holistic body evolution by some process with a larger evolutionary design is inescapable and this has no theological conclusions nor any implication of natural selection.

Source: The human neck is a mistake of evolution –

  Art, evolution and design

A process of interaction so detailed and at such a high level will seem to invoke questions of ‘design’ or even intelligent design. At this point we are ready for that stealth theism: the ID group over a generation has critiqued Darwinism, rightly so. But then the presence of ‘design’ in nature suddenly became ‘intelligent’ in an argument by Dembski et al. His logic is of interest but still remains ‘sub-kantian’ so to speak. On one side we say, we cannot invoke either theism or ‘mind in nature’ using the term ‘intelligent’ unless we can point to something specific. And that we can’t do. Ambiguous crypto-theism does nothing but harm because it is instantly abused for theological partisanship.
To me the question of design in nature is transparent and has nothing to do with theism. It usually points to a teleological issue, but again that cannot be used to promote theism.
The fact is that if you predicate ‘intelligent’ to design you create an ambiguity that sows confusion that can never be clarified until you drop the term and start over. Many good reasons stand there: a planetary AI machine might direct evolution and thence art forms, and it might have bootstrapped in the wake of the onset of earth history. That’s outlandish, and open to objection, but it is less outlandish than vague references to theistic fictions that have no concrete evidence. An AI machine might have different but related exixtences in nature showing how unconscious design factors might exist. Simple doubt here makes confidence in the usual design theism plummet. And we should not a la the Turing argument say that AI machines are conscious in the usual sense. That misses the point. Nature wouldn’t waste conscious energy on hypermechanical machines that boost evolution. Still, as AI nutjobs claim, there is a threshold were ‘intelligent’ mechanical computation ‘seems’ conscious. What is consciousness? It is not the same as ‘intelligence’ in quotation marks. Very little in the above paragraph is proven, so who knows?
Natural selection was taken up to banish all design arguments and thus to buttress atheism. But such things are tactics, not science. The Dawkins fanatics do this but in vain. Design used to raise the hackles of secularists but now the question gets a shrug: design in nature is omnipresent and its existence has no theological implications. The ID folkd have shifted somewhat to say that ‘intelligent could refer to ‘mind’ in nature. A figure like Hegel does so. We have no absolute proof this is wrong, but without direct specification it gets another shrug. The computer revolution has changed all this and now we confront the fact that machines that look ‘intelligent’ might direct evolution, without even specifying how they could bootstrap out of the Big Bang, etc…
The point is that intelligent design could be mechanical in a new sense and thus require quotes, ‘intelligent’. The problems of science are one thing, those of theocracy another. If we speak of intelligent design we confront a political faction of religious maniacs trying to plot against the government.
The fact of the matter is that ‘intelligent’ (now in quotes) design is evident ‘as it seems’ in nature but if religious fanatics persist in plotting against the government we will change terminology, tough luck. Over time people change and the secular mood takes over and we just don’t take ‘intelligent’ design as proof of anything anymore. The example of art, music, and drama as evidence of historical design is especially useful because it passes out the range of what we ascribe to theistic action. God doesn’t tie your shoes in the morning and won’t do your poetry either (notwithstanding the poets superstition about muses) even though we can see that art generation is bound up in macroevolution. It had to be so, and once we think about it we realize or suspect that song emerged in evolution as a characteristic of species man, so we are saying nothing new.

Source: macroevolution programs art/music over millennia?…// Is the tragic genre dead? and classical music? Darwinists have totally confused the question of evolution – 1848+: The End(s) of History

Meyer’s regressive ‘god hypothesis’….A Covert Nod to Meyer’s “God Hypothesis”? | Evolution News

Meyer has jumped the gun, it seems. The ID camp has long been plotting the final stage of their intelligent design campaign, a sort of theological time machine to go backwards. Their final coup is premature–in a debate that never ends.
There is no mystery in the return of the ‘god hypothesis’. It is the same mystery as the return of the ‘atheist or no-god’ hypothesis. None of these propaganda peddlers on the right (or left) have the nerve to read or cite Kant (they have read him and he lives in a theological taboo zone of cancel culture). Evidence of design and the issue of god are antinomial issues and have no real solution. The evidence is clear, more or less, but they invite a metaphysical trap, god hypotheses being one. The Kantian take is simple enough, in my version: the debate goes back and forth and never ends. We cannot use evidence of (intelligent) design as proof of the existence of god. Or vice versa. Darwinists created a huge hole through which ID theologicans have been able to drive a huge truck on the way to a conservative revival of Christianity. The natural selection theory, used to replace design arguments is so idiotic that if you claim it as true and/or as a path to atheism you hand victory to the simple question of design in nature and design in cosmology.
You can posit that design, if not ‘intelligent’ design, speaks to a higher level of lawfulness that generates lower-level design, but you can’t really ascribe that to a mind, as far as we know. Mind belongs to that lower level. STill, the argument is compelling for some. In that case you must start over and not use worn-out terms like ‘god’ which are so entangled in antique theologies that generate total muddle.
One of the clearest ways to break through this confusion is to shuffle the deck with Buddhist memes: buddhas reach enlightenment beyond mind. So would a mind behind the universe reach enlightenment beyond mind? In fact, a sort of god hypothesis takes shape in the belief of a god realm, not the one god to be sure, and then the realm of titans,etc, and it is clearly indicated that the buddha’s enlightenment goes beyond the ‘god realm’. So, who knows? The design speculation can as well reach polytheism. (or else a short circuit via all this nonsense).
The mystery behind design eludes our concepts. We can indeed consider that design in nature ‘seems’ ‘intelligent’ but we can’t close the case without entering a swamp of fallacies. And the idea of the ‘existence’ of god is equally flawed because ‘god’ would be beyond existence or else be a pagan zeus of some sort.
The evidence of design might well lead an atheist to reconsider his views, but reconsider to what? He must invent new terminology and be wary not to fall into ancient confusions or empower reactionary religions. If we speak of design we can become entangled in biblical myth, for example. The ID camp on the right wishes to use design arguments to buttress conservative culture politics. But we cannot move into a future of ‘design considered’ and then use that to affirm the god of the old testament. And we can’t any longer cover over the ‘mess of memes’ with faith, that ancient tactic to make the non-beliver first stupid, then a believer. The return of the god hypothesis would be an hypothesis, therefore, and can’t be taken on faith.
All this said, putting ‘god’ on the hypothesis spectrum is a valid gesture,  but you can’t put new wine in old bottles. The world is struggling past Christianity and its ambiguous history. It has turned rancid as a poison. There is no going back, using a design argument.

Source: A Covert Nod to Meyer’s “God Hypothesis”? | Evolution News

A new critique of selectionist darwinism

I find this book useful but those in the various camps, secular or religious, still take the issue to be theism versus atheism and that is not the case. I praised this book but in reality that’s because I use the critical part but disregard the authors neo-theism, which spoils his argument. Finding design in nature or evolution has nothing to do with ‘god’. The term ‘god’ is so abused it has no meaning anymore. And this author has no sense of Kant and his critiques. Refuting natural selection provokes a metaphysical question mark, but is not evidence of the existence of god. It just means nature is more complex than we thought. How could evolution not show design? It is remarkable but also generates the question, so what?

This is a superb book despite my inability to follow through on an atheist’s passage into theistic considerations. But he faces all the problems with Darwin, gives an invaluable history and a…

Source: But what of the ‘eonic effect’:…/Taking Leave of Darwin: A Longtime Agnostic Discovers the Case for Design  – 1848+: The End(s) of History

But what of the ‘eonic effect’:…/Taking Leave of Darwin: A Longtime Agnostic Discovers the Case for Design 

This is a superb book despite my inability to follow through on an atheist’s passage into theistic considerations. But he faces all the problems with Darwin, gives an invaluable history and acknowledges the failure of Dawkins/Darwin on religion. The issue of Bergson comes up most appropriately. But the  idea of a creative force issues paper money not backed up by semantic anchors.

Let me suggest a reading of Decoding World History. Although we can’t conclude anything much about deep time, we suspect that the evolution of civilizations, which is partly visible gives us a clue to evolution of organisms in deep time.
Bergson is perhaps the only one to even come close to the core issue: some kind of creative power in nature. I don’t endorse his views as such, but he precipitates an irony: as theists posit ‘god’ as a creationist force on a cosmic level, the eonic data can precipitate the idea of a creative force in nature. But we can reach no such conclusion as final.
It is good to follow the data without premature efforts at theory.
One irony is that eonic history shows the emergence of theistic and atheistic religions in parallel, a mysterious warning that the deep source is beyond theism/atheism which are human constructs.
I will comment further on this to follow, but this book confirms my suspicion that the Darwin paradigm is in collapse.

Another point: to bring ‘god’ into nature can’t work: look at the eonic data: a ‘god’ would not act that way. The emergentism of the eonic model shows nature within limits.
The Darwin camp will continue to resist, but it is a losing battle.

Note: Intelligent design and ‘intelligent’ design: we have considered this term many times but in the context of monotheism the term is compromised and almost unusable because it will foreclose thinking on an abtsraction. :You can use the term ‘intelligent’ design far better as an atheist or agnostic. Until you can give up the Old Testament confusions over ‘Yahweh’ you will spoil the term. We must move in search of better terminology. You cannot use the term ‘intelligent design’ for both biological evolution and the Old Testament, which is pretty much what the ID camp wishes to do. The history of Israel in the approprite period shows ‘inteligent design’, but one of the things designed was a new idea of god. !! And Yahweh is a fairly primitive and still barbarous ‘god’.

Marx and Hegel: design arguments

We should note that Barzun critiqued Marx along with Darwin (and also Wagner) and even for a socialist his arguments are interesting. In fact, we have suggested a post marxist interpretation for the left that can absorb criticisms of Marx’s theories. We are in the process of doing that ourselves. Marx ironically once critiqued comes into his own more effectively without his Grand Theory.
But the debate between Hegelians and Marx/marxists is classic and is an obvious earlier version of the design argument current. This was before Darwin but the ‘dialectic’ resembles the recent one because they both enter the terrain carefully marked out by Kant as: Achtung: minefields ahead.

Let us note that Hegel is a renegade from Kant, a scandal in itself, and proceeds to sense design in world history abstracted to a ‘concept’ of ‘Geist’, and this is countered by Marx’s attempt to promote the up and coming scientific reductionist scientism that cannot allow design arguments. Ironically Marx’s theory ends up with a materialist design argument in the posit of epochs of history leading inexorably to communism. Hegel’s ‘spirit’ is a handy mystical tidbit indeed, and consider the eonic effect and its model: some intangible something that straddles a planet and explains everything including the emergence of freedom. Result? a generation of post-Hegelians throwing rotten tomatoes at the Hegelian temple. The critique of Hegel is well taken but the attempted opposite of historical materialism is equally flawed.
In fact, the argument is intractable and for good Kantian reasons sets off multiple alarm bells is those who evidently will never learn, poor post-Kantians all.

Source: The ID Deception and the ‘atheist’ advantage in design arguments//Decoding World History and the correct approach to design in history – 1848+: The End(s) of History

 Has Darwinism destroyed trust in science?

The publication of Decoding World History triggered unexpectedly the sudden new strong interest in Descent of Man Revisited (2012) which is getting many downloads every day, several thousand in the last few months, the secular Darwin critic, the nightmare of the Darwinians who expect a regime of propaganda can’t be broken from outside, even as the ID group finds a huge audience, but mostly religious creationists. Decoding is doing well, about ten new readers a day, plus those who simply follow the website, numbering in the tens of thousands, which over time is a lot, given the zero advertising budget, cancel culture times 3: biologists, Judeo-Christians, Marxists, etc…These works are still at the point they can be ignored but times are changing and at some point soon the public will start wondering how the whole science community could have been so wrong for so long. Here figures like Dawkins with their fanatic atheism think the theory of natural selection will be a theology slayer. But that tactic doesn’t work anymore despite the fact that ID has made inroads to the Christian Right. The ID group at sites like Uncommon Descent does good work, up to the point that theology enters. They tried at one point to push back against their own tendencies but it mars what is often better science than anything in the secular Darwin camp who are more or less muzzled house dogs.
This seems to spook biologists who think that enforcing Darwinism will defend against the religious. The opposite has happened. And now even secularists use such sites disregarding the theological mice that scamper across the site.
We have suggested using the term ‘design (in nature)’ without the predicate ‘intelligent’ since the claim that a certain level we find ‘mind’ in nature suffers a lack of real proof. The ID champion Dembski promotes something called the ‘design inference’ but it seems unclear. Design in nature seems indeed ‘intelligent’, sometimes, but there is a ‘feeling about something’ and then there is real proof. But they may be right. Spinoza, Hegel, after all believed in intelligent design, considered to be in the secular sphere.  Ditto for ol’ Isaac Newton, no less. So the ID group might be right, but then they have undermined their own stance: the ID factor is inside nature. So what sort of somewho designs animal forms inside nature. The ID group stranded themselves inside nature though some might claim they can extend the argument to a supernatural divinity. Nope.
A key resource here is Kant whose so-called antinomies are a challenge to theists and atheists both. Furthermore, if you find design nature you cannot include the saga of the Old Testament and combine that with science.
The ID group is attacked but they have performed a service in critiquing Darwin even as they unwittingly sabotage their own biblical theology. To find (intelligent) design in nature is thus a new brand beyond theism, a sort of crypto paganism, Scandal. Three cheers for the Gaian earth goddess.

To see a discussion of design in nature one can recommend Decoding World History and/or Descent of Man Revisited. Decoding WH especially highlights the factor of design in history, ‘intelligent’ in quotation marks, it seems, but without the idea of ‘god in history’ which was a fallacy from the start. The remarkable account in the Old Testament of the emergence of monotheism is really a kind of ‘cargo cult’ discovering the eonic effect.
Strangely the Israelites warned against using the term Yahweh, instead enjoined IHVH. What the original vision was is lost to us.
To see the point here note that in terms of the eonic effect atheist Buddhism emerges in exact synchrony with theistic Israelitism. So we are left with a mystery, what factor in nature stands beyond theism and atheism?
The Darwinist biologists have forced the issue: you can’t trust that science isn’t just propaganda. But as we have noted many times the term science applies to the hard sciences, and ‘evolutionary theory’ is the cutoff: The type of the hard sciences doesn’t apply, as far as we know.
So now we know: scientists indulge in propaganda, conceal it using the science of propaganda, and get a pat on the back from capitalist, nice job, survival of the fittest, competition, hey guys, its science.

Source: Descent of Man Revisited World History: The Hidden Clue to Human Evolution  – 1848+: The End(s) of History