Friday, December 7, 2007

Malevolent Design

Yes mate you've struck a rich vein of cynical consternation. And yet for all the discomfort caused by the truth distortion I begin to turn my scowl into a wicked little grin.

A revelation has come along sliver by tiny sliver into a cloud of one-dimensional razors. Here it is in short form. The longer version will follow suit later.

Even though I submit that Intelligent Design is undoubtedly false and arrogant beyond measure there are people that will leave this earth with their last thought being 'oh goodie, now i get to go to heaven and see my lord...'

That's when their brain shuts down and they get nothing. Or, to be optimistic and pull straight from the fat teat o' knowledge via Kurt Vonnegut it might be purple and there might be a hum. Hmm.

Before this turns into another tirade, unfocused and unkempt I will submit two simple tidbits.

First: Every one has been to a funeral or found out that someone died and felt like shit because words just don't suffice sometimes. It is very sad and on a day like that an Atheist really doesn't have a lot of comforting things to say. (In case there is any doubt never use the term 'worm food' at a funeral, jesus christ)

But so what. Every other day of your life the Atheist has more reason to be hopeful than the believer. Even though no one is watching, and no punishment or reward is to be had once we doff this mortal coil I submit that every day lived for this life is better than a lifetime just dragging your feet through life thinking about the great big ice cream van in the sky.

Second: Intelligence is a really tricky word. According to wikipedia...

Intelligence is a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence. In some cases, intelligence may include traits such as creativity, personality, character, knowledge, or wisdom. However, some psychologists prefer not to include these traits in the definition of intelligence.

Lots of words and the exact means and mechanism remains more or less clear to everyone if the definition isn't just a little hazy. I'll use a simple reduction to simply put that an entity possessing intelligence has the ability to analyze and process information in some format(s) that results in probable gains for that entity.

Simple, clunky, like a rollar skate with a severed foot still in it. Intelligence does not at any point require anything like human consciousness. It is hard to believe or accept but the part of our brain that we consider 'us' isn't really the most important. Think of a novice programmer sitting at a grossly over powered computer cluster. The system executes commands with infinitely greater speed and reliability than the human programmer and yet without those inputs the server cannot process much of anything. Consciousness is the hapless nerd, the rest of the brain is the super cluster.

Now in order for intelligence to make any sort of 'design' it has to carry some benefit or there is no gain and therefore no reason to waste energy on it. So there must be a reason not only for the design itself but the results of it as well. For example you can't design a perfect car that's 6 feet wide to drive on 3 foot wide roads.

Since ID relates to biological evolution we'll stick to that as our yard stick and we'll consider the pre-life universe as the 'road' onto which our 'cars' will be built. Certainly the cars themselves will be important as well as the features but so will the roads. And so will the road maker. THAT is where I hope to direct the most visceral of my arguments. For the road and the car function together and not in isolation.

And that interaction, as well as the individual features of both components, and their functions as whole entities is what I will shed my light upon.

And when I do...well, you'll just have to find out.

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