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Does Design Theory Contradict Lds Theology?

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In response to Cdowis claiming that Intelligent Design is incompatible with LDS theology (whatever that is), I have issued a formal CFR.

Please show how anything in The Design Inference, by William A. Dembski, which is the standard reference on design theory, or, if you prefer, Intelligent Design Theory, contradicts any aspect of LDS theology (whatever that is). If you cannot demonstrate that design theory contradicts LDS theology (whatever that is), then I expect you to retract your claim and refrain from repeating it.

Design theory is the science of reliably distinguishing the effects of intelligent action from the effects of any combination of chance and natural law. It helps us find cheaters and insurance fraud, determine whether a fire was arson or not, or whether a death was intentional. It is something we all do, all the time.

Design theory, as promulgated by Dembski, says if the following conditions are met, then an event was due, at least in part, to the action of an intelligent agent:

1. The event is highly improbable based on all known chance hypotheses which might account for it (that is, factoring in all your probabilistic resources on the chance hypotheses, the probability of the event is less than 1/2).

2. The event conforms to a pattern which itself has a highly compressible description (that is, loosely speaking, the pattern is an algorithm; Dembski calls these patterns "specifications").

If these two conditions are met, it is more plausible that an end-directed agent purposefully conformed the event to a specification than the event happened by the interplay of chance and natural law. This mode of reasoning is called "inference to the best explanation," and is how scientific reasoning is performed. My description is something of an oversimplification, but is intended to capture the essence of the theory.

This thread has no other purpose than to get the references upon which Cdowis asserts that design theory is somehow incompatible with LDS theology (whatever that is). Opinions not based on Dembski's book, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, or his follow-up Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence, are off-topic and the moderators should remove the posters/posts.

Dembski's personal theology is irrelevant, as it has no bearing on his work published in these two references. What this means is any dismissal by assocation - "Dembski's theory must be religiously based or motivated because he's an evangelical" ought also to be infracted by the mods.

It is relevant if design theory is false; therefore, if you want to say that design theory has been falsified because an event of known provenance displays small probability on all relevant chance hypotheses and it conforms to a pattern of high compressability, and it is known that no intelligent agent influenced the event, then you'll have to demonstrate this claim with references wherein the calculations showing the probabilites have been done.

Edited by Log

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I don't know what 'Cdowis' had in mind but I can see an interesting point there.

We can break it up into human body and the universe:

If God has a human body of "flesh and bones", then he didn't design the human body.

If the universe has certain laws that describe its behavior and that behavior was necessary for the coming to be of God's body or of its sustaining (if he received his body and didn't always have it), then God didn't 'design' those laws but just copied them or borrowed them.

I didn't come up with the first point (about God's body) but I saw it first mentioned here by a MADB user named Tarski a while ago.

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As an aside, the reasoning Dembski uses to justify his theory is incompatible with creatio ex nihilo.

Here’s the rationale: If we can spot an independently given pattern (i.e., specification)

in some observed outcome and if possible outcomes matching that pattern are, taken jointly,

highly improbable (in other words, the observed outcome exhibits specified complexity), then

it’s more plausible that some end-directed agent or process produced the outcome by

purposefully conforming it to the pattern than that it simply by chance ended up conforming to

the pattern. source

The problem is, if you start with an a-temporal, a-spatial God that is also simple (of one substance and one piece [not parts]) then such a God would not have any of the raw intellectual materials with which to form specifications - patterns - upon which to base creation. Only one thing would exist, that thing being God. Intelligences, in our experience, use components of existing patterns or observed events with which to create new patterns upon which new creations are based. This is straightforward and should be non-controversial. So the God of orthodox theology never gets started creating from nothing, because He knows nothing but Himself, because He's the only thing that exists. No patterns = no creation. So, Dembski's theology precludes him from applying ID theory to infer the existence of the God of orthodox theology.

It ought to be clear that God, as portrayed in LDS thought, does not suffer from this logical limitation. We freely grant that stuff here is "patterned after the old" stuff that came before.

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ID (aka Creationism) is not necessarily incompatible with LDS doctrine and neither is Evolution. It might get into trouble in two areas that I can think of off the top of my head:

1. Age of the Earth.

a) Not specified in LDS doctrine so as to preclude scientific theories whereas it might be specified by Creationism to the preclusion of scientific theory.

b) LDS doctrine on D&C 77 allows for a time of physical creation before temporal time.

2. Conflict with Science - LDS are commanded to seek out education on these matters such as the workings of the earth and everything thereon. I postulate that something like ID, which isn't science, is unfit to be to considered 'education' in any LDS sense.

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I don't know what 'Cdowis' had in mind but I can see an interesting point there.

We can break it up into human body and the universe:

If God has a human body of "flesh and bones", then he didn't design the human body.

Brilliant.... simple and elegant.

Wonder if our friend is still huffing and puffing.

Stay on topic and refrain from personal jabs. -Ares

Edited by Ares

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Isn't Intelligent Design simply saying there was an intelligence that was the catalyst for putting the elements necessary for creation in motion. I've never understood ID to be contrary to LDS beliefs.

If I'm understanding Design Theory it's merely the method for determining what came about by evolution versus what set evolution in motion. We may believe that life evolved but what was the spark that ignited that process. We can see a fire evolve as the flames grow larger but the fire did not start of it's own. There was human or elemental involvement which made the spark which started the fire. But then I may be way of base because I don't know what the argument is about.

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Isn't Intelligent Design simply saying there was an intelligence that was the catalyst for putting the elements necessary for creation in motion. I've never understood ID to be contrary to LDS beliefs.

If I'm understanding Design Theory it's merely the method for determining what came about by evolution versus what set evolution in motion.

In a practical sense all discussions emphasize "design" and "designer" rather than "catalyst agent". Perhaps someday it will be called "intelligent catalyst agent" which would fit our doctrine, but until then.......

I think advocates of ID would think in terms of creationism, creation by "poof", rather than panspermia (which is closest to the LDS concept).

Edited by cdowis

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It sounds then like a matter of semantics or how we define the term.

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It sounds then like a matter of semantics or how we define the term.

OK, if an "Intelligent Designer" does not design, then..... no problem. But I really don't see them reaching out to embrace the LDS concepts.

"Thanks.... (cough) ..... but no thanks."

Edited by cdowis

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I don't know what 'Cdowis' had in mind but I can see an interesting point there.

We can break it up into human body and the universe:

If God has a human body of "flesh and bones", then he didn't design the human body.

This is decidedly off-topic. But why don't you prove, via logic, that "if God has a human body of 'flesh and bones', then he didn't design the human body." It is not at all obvious to me that such is necessarily the case. "If I have a shirt, then I didn't design the shirt." Doesn't seem to follow.

And, Cdowis, feel free to respond to the specific challenge set forth in the OP. According to the board rules, you must respond to the CFR. Or, retract your claim and refrain from making it again.

Edited by Log

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This is decidedly off-topic. But why don't you prove, via logic, that "if God has a human body of 'flesh and bones', then he didn't design the human body." It is not at all obvious to me that such is necessarily the case. "If I have a shirt, then I didn't design the shirt." Doesn't seem to follow.

Something along the lines of God having a Father might do it.

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Something along the lines of God having a Father might do it.

And it might not. You're off topic too. Where are the mods?

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And it might not. You're off topic too. Where are the mods?

Watching... always watching.

If the thread strays too far and posters cannot get it back on track it will be closed.

More to the point everyone please present your understanding of Intelligent Design and LSD views on the subject. Be open to correction but also be willing to back up your opinions with citations and facts. That will prevent yet another "he said she sniped" thread.

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This is decidedly off-topic. But why don't you prove, via logic, that "if God has a human body of 'flesh and bones', then he didn't design the human body."

The point is not to show it "via logic" alone but through the fact that in Mormonism God didn't always had a body and he acquired his existence as a God with a body. God is NOT the designer of the plan, either, since he is following something that has been going on forever. God didn't design the body and it is the same with the conditions that make this type of body possible to maintain. Not only do you have to have a body but the conditions that sustain that body (i.e. laws and physical conditions).

It is not at all obvious to me that such is necessarily the case. "If I have a shirt, then I didn't design the shirt." Doesn't seem to follow.

I agree that doesn't follow. The thing is, Log, that the body we have is no one's design since bodies have been going on through eternity.

And, Cdowis, feel free to respond to the specific challenge set forth in the OP. According to the board rules, you must respond to the CFR. Or, retract your claim and refrain from making it again.

I don't think we can answer this with a CFR, though. It is more than likely a reasoning, not something one found written somewhere.

What BCSpace said is right on the point, also. If Heavenly Father (ours) has a father, then he has a body like his son (that is, like our Heavenly Father). The point is that the human form in Mormonism, even male and female, are not the design of someone in Mormonism but constants throughout eternity itself.

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More to the point everyone please present your understanding of Intelligent Design and LSD views on the subject.

I'm looking for my LSD. As soon as I find it I'll post..

Ah there it is..

Now then. We have to decide if Adam is the offspring of the Father, or is he physically unrelated to the Father and transferred here from elsewhere, or is he adopted into the garden from the creation process referred to by the rest of the world at large as the product of evolution.

And if not the latter, where did he get his ERV evidence in his DNA?

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The point is not to show it "via logic" alone [snip]

Ok, it's irredeemably off-topic and irrelevant. Your point, which deserves its own thread, is whether certain "versions" of LDS "theology" are cogent. I agree some "versions" are not. Don't clutter my thread. Thanks.

Edited by Log

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Ok, it's irredeemably off-topic and irrelevant. Your point, which deserves its own thread, is whether certain "versions" of LDS "theology" are cogent. I agree some "versions" are not. Don't clutter my thread. Thanks.

I really don't understand why you say this is off-topic, Log. That God the Father has a body is quite mainstream. That he has a Father is also quite mainstream. That no one designed the human form and, therefore, (the body) doesn't qualify as being "intelligently designed" by anyone does follow. If a body then also the conditions that must be there to support that body. Then, neither this body we have nor its laws are intelligently designed by anyone, they have always been there. God has been doing what other gods have been doing before him forever.

This isn't just another "certain version" of LDS theology... this is what follows from mainstream Mormon teachings about the nature of God's plan and God's attributes.

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I really don't understand why you say this is off-topic, Log.

Read the OP. Goodbye.

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Lots depends on which version of creationism is subscribed to. By far the largest group within the creationism movement is the creation ex nihilo bunch. Which IS against LDS Theology.

Edited by thesometimesaint

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The point is not to show it "via logic" alone but through the fact that in Mormonism God didn't always had a body and he acquired his existence as a God with a body. God is NOT the designer of the plan, either, since he is following something that has been going on forever. God didn't design the body and it is the same with the conditions that make this type of body possible to maintain. Not only do you have to have a body but the conditions that sustain that body (i.e. laws and physical conditions).

I agree that doesn't follow. The thing is, Log, that the body we have is no one's design since bodies have been going on through eternity.

I don't think we can answer this with a CFR, though. It is more than likely a reasoning, not something one found written somewhere.

What BCSpace said is right on the point, also. If Heavenly Father (ours) has a father, then he has a body like his son (that is, like our Heavenly Father). The point is that the human form in Mormonism, even male and female, are not the design of someone in Mormonism but constants throughout eternity itself.

Take it to a new thread. This one is for discussing Intelligent design and LDS doctrine.

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In Genesis 2:24 Adam says the following:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife

Since Adam is the only man at this point we must concede that he had a father..

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In response to Cdowis claiming that Intelligent Design is incompatible with LDS theology (whatever that is), I have issued a formal CFR.

Please show how anything in The Design Inference, by William A. Dembski, which is the standard reference on design theory, or, if you prefer, Intelligent Design Theory, contradicts any aspect of LDS theology (whatever that is). If you cannot demonstrate that design theory contradicts LDS theology (whatever that is), then I expect you to retract your claim and refrain from repeating it.

Design theory is the science of reliably distinguishing the effects of intelligent action from the effects of any combination of chance and natural law. It helps us find cheaters and insurance fraud, determine whether a fire was arson or not, or whether a death was intentional. It is something we all do, all the time.

Design theory, as promulgated by Dembski, says if the following conditions are met, then an event was due, at least in part, to the action of an intelligent agent:

1. The event is highly improbable based on all known chance hypotheses which might account for it (that is, factoring in all your probabilistic resources on the chance hypotheses, the probability of the event is less than 1/2).

2. The event conforms to a pattern which itself has a highly compressible description (that is, loosely speaking, the pattern is an algorithm; Dembski calls these patterns "specifications").

If these two conditions are met, it is more plausible that an end-directed agent purposefully conformed the event to a specification than the event happened by the interplay of chance and natural law. This mode of reasoning is called "inference to the best explanation," and is how scientific reasoning is performed. My description is something of an oversimplification, but is intended to capture the essence of the theory.

This thread has no other purpose than to get the references upon which Cdowis asserts that design theory is somehow incompatible with LDS theology (whatever that is). Opinions not based on Dembski's book, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, or his follow-up Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence, are off-topic and the moderators should remove the posters/posts.

Dembski's personal theology is irrelevant, as it has no bearing on his work published in these two references. What this means is any dismissal by assocation - "Dembski's theory must be religiously based or motivated because he's an evangelical" ought also to be infracted by the mods.

It is relevant if design theory is false; therefore, if you want to say that design theory has been falsified because an event of known provenance displays small probability on all relevant chance hypotheses and it conforms to a pattern of high compressability, and it is known that no intelligent agent influenced the event, then you'll have to demonstrate this claim with references wherein the calculations showing the probabilites have been done.

I have not studied Intelligent Design, and the brief description you have given of it isn't sufficient to give me a complete or accurate picture of it; but I know something about LDS theology, and from my understanding of it, it is not incompatible with at least some understanding of Intelligent Design. Here is a scripture from the Book of Mormon that suggest something along those lines:

Alma 30
:

44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea,
and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator
.

If the essence of Intelligent Design is that the order and complexity of the universe suggests the existence of a Creator, then I would say it is compatible with LDS theology.

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ID (aka Creationism)

Just like with the "gay marriage" debate, using the same word to describe things with significant differences is manipulative. You've repeatedly claimed that ID=creationism, but you have repeatedly failed to show that they are the same. Essentially, you're saying, "I think ID is stupid." How about you illustrate that it is stupid instead. From my experience, you run away from discussions about it, and instead, claim other people are being dishonest. Care to prove that ID is creationism? CFR.

Brilliant.... simple and elegant.

Simple and elegant, yet representing a strawman. ID per se, never claims God did it. It only asserts, "The best scientific explanation for the order in the universe is intelligent design." I think that is an accurate hypothesis, whether God created everything or not. Things at least appear designed, so ID appears to be the best scientific explanation. Edited by Minos
Do not comment on the poster, comment on the topic.

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I don't know what 'Cdowis' had in mind but I can see an interesting point there.

We can break it up into human body and the universe:

If God has a human body of "flesh and bones", then he didn't design the human body.

Both the Bible and modern revelation confirm that God created the human body.

If the universe has certain laws that describe its behavior and that behavior was necessary for the coming to be of God's body or of its sustaining (if he received his body and didn't always have it), then God didn't 'design' those laws but just copied them or borrowed them.

Scripture teaches that God gave the laws that govern the universe (D&C 88:13).

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ID (aka Creationism) is not necessarily incompatible with LDS doctrine and neither is Evolution.

I would say LDS theology is definitely incompatible with the Darwinian theory of Evolution; but not with some form of Intelligent Design.

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