"Intelligent Design"(?) - A scientific experiment
A discussion of an experiment on 'intelligent design' and some photographic evidence for the progress of the experiment.
'Intelligent Design' and the 'Wedge' strategy of the Religious RightIn recent years there has been an attempt to manufacture a controversy around the theme of a supposed conflict that is said to exist between 'intelligent design' and 'the theory of evolution.' Actually there is no reason to suppose that evolution could not occur 'by design', and for this reason the alleged controversy is a type of hoax, and an attempt to undermine evolutionary theory. This strategy was spelled out in the now notorious 'wedge document' of the 'Discovery Institute', which is a front organization populated by members of the American religious right, who described an agenda of bringing orthodox creation doctrine into the classroom by avoiding explicit reference to religion, instead creating a controversy on the subject of 'intelligent design', and then insisting that teachers be forced to 'teach the controversy'. Although publically the tactic of this 'wedge strategy' is not to mention any specific religious conception of God, privately the members of the institute explain to religious audiences that the correct perspective is that spelled out in the opening chapters of the Gospel of John, with the Jesus God figure as the 'intelligent designer'. (Most people might be unaware that the statements found in the first chapters of John concerning 'the Logos' - usually translated 'the Word' - were lifted, sometimes verbatim, from the Greek philosopher Hericlitus, and are not in any way an original Christian composition. Rather what we have here is syncretism, the fusion of Greek Stoic philisophers, such as Hericlitus and Plato, with a conservative Christian doctrine.)
The fact that 'intelligent design' is being carpet bagged by the American religious right does not in any way reflect the value or lack thereof of the concept of 'intelligent design'. However the fact that the religious right is involved in this attempted hoax clouds the issue and introduces anthropocentric emotionalism into the discussion, since to oppose the religious right means to oppose 'intelligent design', out of fear that the religious right will use the concept as a 'wedge' to make further inroads against individual liberties.
The question of the validity of religious right doctrine is an issue quite separate from discussion of 'intelligent design'. Assuming that intelligent design is true does not by default indicate that the authoritarian doctrine of the Christian right is therefore validated at the same time, for it could just as easily be true that Krishna or Vishnu or any one of a thousand other gods was the designer.
Evidence for Scientific Bias against 'Intelligent Design'It has been suggested that evolution should be taught in the science classroom, while intelligent design belongs in the philosophy class. It has also been said that 'there is no way to scientifically investigate the question of 'intelligent design' because it involves the question of the existence of 'God', which cannot be investigated by science because that is a question of something usually referred to as 'metaphysics' which consists only of speculations that cannot be subjected to empirical analysis using scientific experimentation.
It has always seemed to me that what we have here is the introduction of a false dichotomy, in that if a thing exists, then it has an objective reality, and for this reason there can be no such thing as 'the supernatural', since if a thing exists then it is by definition 'natural'. Anything that does exist, and thus is 'natural', can be considered an 'objective reality' which means that it can be subjected to the scientific method because it does exist.
To say that questions concerning the existence of God 'cannot be examined by science' is to suggest that the reason why science cannot investigate this matter is that an a priori assumption is being made by scientists that God does not exist, and therefore since it is not possible to prove a negative, science cannot investigate the question of the existence of God (this would involve conclusively proving that God does not exist, and since there would always be the possibility that God does exist, the questions concerning the existence of God must be pushed off into the realm of 'metaphysics', which is a way of stating a belief in the a priori assumption that God does not exist, for if God did exist it would be within the realm of the possible to confirm this experimentally, since all objective reality falls within the purview of the scientific method).
When scientists insist that investigation of the existence of God is 'outside the realm of science', this means is that any statement about the existence of God must be a meaningless abstraction, and therefore a metaphysical statement, because it is not fallible, testable, or provable, in that there is no way of employing an empirical methodology in such a way that could definitively prove the statement to be false. On the other hand if it were true, then a way must exist for it to be proved to be true, and it is only if God does not exist that the question of the existence of God must be pushed off into the realm of something called 'the supernatural' or 'metaphysics', since in that case it would not be possible to prove a negative by definitively proving such a concept to be false. That science regards the question of the existence of God to be a question for 'metaphysics' is therefore evidence for an a priori assumption that God does not exist and is evidence then for the existence of bias on the part of scientists.
It is worth noting here that science is also subject to 'metaphysics' in that science is based upon axioms, which are also assumptions, which given the limitations of knowledge at any given time, may or may not be valid. The a priori assumption that 'God does not exist' could be considered one of these axiomatic beliefs of scientists, which while, like other axioms, cannot be proven, nevertheless functions as an axiomatic assumption which then becomes one of the foundations for theoretical structures constructed by scientists.
The introduction of another typical false dichotomy can be seen in the statement made by the biologist Richard Dawkins.
To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like 'God was always there', and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say 'DNA was always there', or "Life was always there', and be done with it. --Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker : Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design p. 141
It makes no sense to say 'the universe came from nothing' or 'the universe was always there'. Similarly it makes no sense to say 'God was always there.' Nothing is proven by the introduction of such a false dichotomy, since to ask 'where did the universe come from' or 'where did God come from' is to ask the same question, and to suggest that it makes more sense to ask the former question is to explain 'precisely nothing' (to use Dawkins own words). Where did the universe come from? Did the universe 'always exist'? Where did God come from? What existed before the universe existed? What existed before God existed? Tp pretend that the statement 'God always existed' makes less sense than to say 'the universe always existed' is to introduce a manufactured false dichotomy where none actually exists, since neither one of those statements makes any more sense than the other. They are both equally incomprehensible, and there is no rational argument that could be made to prefer one over the other (in that a supposed dichotomy exists, in that one makes more sense than the other, which is false, since they are both equally ridiculous sounding concepts...Dawkins attempts to introduce a dichotomy where none exists simply because he makes an a priori assumption, so common among scientists, that God does not exist, and the attempt to manufacture such a false dichotomy is only evidence of his own subjective bias and 'explains precisely nothing' - to once again borrow his own words on the subject)
The futility of dogmaI reject 'doctrines' or 'dogmas', which it seems to me are nothing more than celebrated opinions. That such opinions can be traced back to supposed religious authority figures proves nothing, since there is no logical reason to assume that the unsubstantiated opinion of any person is worth even one red cent more than the speculative conjectures of anyone else.
I also have no patience for 'faith', which is worthless as a way of knowing something, a position which can be demonstrated when you consider all the mutually exclusive and contradictory religion in which people place their faith. I also reject the idea that somehow there is a divide that exists between science and religion, in that in the case of religion one deals with matters of 'faith'. I also reject the idea that people need to 'make a decision' to believe in some religion or doctrine, or that it is their 'personal responsibility' to 'choose to believe in Jesus', as just one example of that sort of thinking. It would seem to me that people only need to 'decide' to believe a thing true, or make their own 'personal decision' to accept some belief, only if there is no really good reason to believe it to be true. As an example, no one would need to 'make a decision to believe that the sky is blue.'
Objective reality imposes belief, and there is no question of choice. There is nothing to decide. If a thing is true, if it possesses an objective reality, then it must be accepted as such, and whether or not someone has an opinion one way or the other is of no importance.
It also follows that if a thing is an objective truth, then it must be accepted, and if people assume that they have a choice in the matter, this would be evidence for bias, in that the only reason someone might 'choose' not to believe that something which is objectively real is not real is that they are biased. Such bias changes nothing, and what is real remains real.
There are many people who have a powerful bias against 'belief' in the existence of God. How people 'feel' about a concept bears no relationship to whether or not a thing possesses the quality of being an objective reality. If God exists, then the belief in God imposes itself upon people much in the same way that a blue sky is something that people simply accept as an objective reality. There is no room here for 'faith', since whether or not you believe a thing to be true or not has no effect at all on whether or not a thing does or does not exist.
As well, it is not possible that religion can define the nature of thing by imposing opinion in the form of doctrine or dogma. This is turning things upside down, in that a thing simply is what it is, and as for the myriad of speculative doctrines, the fact that such doctrine becomes dogma in no way validates the varied opinions of religious folk. Rather a thing just is what it is and as for people they accept what is just as it is and there is nothing in the world that can ever change the elementary truth of what actually exists.
For this reason religious dogma is a worthless annoying thing in that it must be the case, given its variant forms, that this form of opinionated bigotry is a foolish rebellion against what cannot be changed, but which religion would nevertheless stubbornly persist in attempting to change, for the sake of religion and its dogma. Such a practice can contribute nothing to our understanding of the objective truth, given that it is a form of stubborn obfustication, and in no way does such conduct constitute a sincere, unbiased investigation into the nature of what actually exists.
Unexplained phenomenaAs I mentioned previously, it is one of the unproven 'metaphysical' axioms of science that 'God does not exist' and for this reason science proposes no experiments and instead insists that no such experiments could ever be conducted.
When you do not hold to this axiom, and at the very least hold to an agnostic position on the issue, it then becomes possible to use some imagination in the search for empirical means to investigate the phenomena of God, since in this case God is no longer 'supernatural' or a question 'only for metaphysics', since if we concede that God does possess the quality of being an objective reality, or if we at the very least concede the possibility that this might be the case, we find that we can then begin to consider how one could begin to go about crafting scientific experiments for the purpose of investigating the nature of this aspect of the existing natural world.
This growing desire for knowledge is linked to unexplained experiences I have had. As one example, when I was 12 years old I was overwhelmed by the feeling of a powerful presence entering the room in which I was sitting. I then heard the sound of a voice which said, 'the telephone is going to ring...your grandfather is dead.' I froze with dread, and all my senses became heightened. I could have heard a pin drop at one hundred yards. I waited, and then the phone rang, and as I recall the ringing sounded deafening, because I was in such a hyper alert state. There was a momentary pause, and then the sound of the phone crashing to the floor, and my mother ran up the stair steps crying uncontrollably. About fifteen minutes later she came and knelt down before me so as to tell me that my grandfather had died. I just nodded my head. I already knew. For the next three weeks I was haunted by the overwhelming nature of that experience. The end result was a profound dissatisfaction with my society and all the a priori assumptions tossed about in this culture concerning what is and what is not, which, given what I had just experienced, consisting only of the expression of a bigoted opinion masquerading as some form of 'objective scientific truth.' Over the years I became more and more aware of what I will call the over bearing arrogance which is one of the unfortunate character failings of that social creature known as the scientist, who continually delivered their own biased opinions based upon what I knew to be flawed a priori assumptions as to what the nature of reality was supposed to be, according to the estimates of those scientists, based upon their own unquestioned axioms, which I knew to be false, and which consequently has always rubbed me the wrong the way, and continues to do so to this day.
This was followed by the first appearance of strange luminous flying craft at Banff National Park when I was fifteen. The object was stationary, and then suddenly accelerated and darted into a small cloud, which then dissolved, and there was nothing there. This first appearance of that craft thus resembled a kind of magicians stunt, and these same craft continued to appear more times than I can count in the years that followed, right up to the present day, and were also somehow involved in what I will call 'The Eden Wing' (a strange event which took place during the Summit of the Americas, on Earth Day 2001, involving the creation of a large cloud, thousands of miles long, shaped like a wing, and positioned over the Sahara desert). This was followed by the filming of one of these luminous craft by the camera on NASA's space shuttle outside the space station two days later.
The futility of speculationAs the years have gone by I have been disturbed by a growing impatience with uncertainty and a lack of knowledge concerning various unusual phenomena I have experienced in the past, this combined with a growing desire to conduct experiments so as to begin to discover objective facts concerning the nature of what I have discovered. This has been combined with a intolerance for speculation of all sorts, as well as a thorough disgust with all opinions, including my own opinions, since I have no more tolerance for my own worthless opinion than I have for the equally worthless opinion of anybody else.
Formulating an opinion is not a way of knowing something, and it because I understand this fundamental principle that I feel myself driven by the desire for scientific investigation. For this reason I consider the only valid expression of what could be called 'the religious impulse' to consist exclusively of what I will call 'scientific Gnosticism' ('knowledge'). Every other form of 'religion'' pales into insignificance in comparison to this form of understanding, in that 'religion' consists only of unsubstantiated speculations, rumor mongering, unproven myths, doctrines and dogmas held up for public veneration based exclusively upon the worthless principle of right wing authoritarianism, which is not a valid way of achieving Gnosis ('knowledge') since it consists only of opinionated bigotry.
The Genesis of a Scientific ExperimentMy growing impatience with a lack of Gnosis has led me to begin the exploration of various methods of employing science in a search for truth. I will accept no doctrine or consider no dogma, rather I will only accept those facts which can be established as objective truth through investigation and experimentation.
Just recently I formulated my first such scientific experiment, this being an investigation into the question of 'intelligent design'.
I began this search looking for a type of experiment which would satisfy both my own desire for a metaphor which encapsulates a symbolic reference to the 'Garden of Eden' (which was the purpose behind what I called at the time 'The Eden Wing') while at the same time encapsulating a scientific experiment such that the results could be verified using the scientific method.
I finally came up with a working idea through the fusion of a line of poetry from the book of Isaiah combined with an empirical observation of my own body I had made in the past. I noticed that my body was programmed with an unusual algorithm. Whenever I suffer a severe injury, an algorithm comes into operation which causes a transparent fluid filled benign cyst to grow over top of the injured position. The algorithm could be described by saying 'if a severe injury occurs, cover the area with a cyst for protection...make the size of the cyst equal in proportion to the severity of the injury.' I have noticed that the more severe the injury, the larger the cyst, and a tiny cyst will grow over a minor injury, with a threshold existing below which no cyst will form in response to an injury.
Therefore I know from personal experience that there does exist what could be described as 'biological algorithms.'
It is also significant that the majority of genetic code in the form of DNA is what is known as 'junk DNA', also referred to as 'non-coding DNA', that has no known function in coding for proteins, and the purpose of which is not currently understood.
It is also significant that in the case of fatal diseases, there is a spontaneous remission rate of about 3 per cent, which is unexplained.
It has also been demonstrated through research, that those people who react to news of a fatal illness with what is referred to as a 'fighting spirit' combined with a conviction that they can beat the illness, live years longer than those who react with fear and a sense of hopeless despair, who have been found to die much more quickly from the illness. This has led some scientists to develop a curiosity about the link that exists between the mind and the body.
I adopted as a theme poem for my web site, a short poem from Isaiah, one of the lines of which reads, 'I will greatly rejoice in YAHWEH and my heart will rejoice in my God, for I have been covered with the robe of righteousness, clothed in the garments of salvation.' One day while I was pondering a way of coming up with another 'Eden Symbol' which would also be a scientific experiment, something clicked in my mind and I came up with the concept of physical change, in particular, the reversal of the aging process, which would symbolically represent the 'return to Eden' while at the same time taking the form of a confirmable scientific experiment.
The HypothesisThe hypothesis I have formulated consists of a synthesis of 'intelligent design' and 'evolution'. According to this theory, what has been called 'junk DNA' is actually both a repository of data for a software program as well as the program itself, in the form of algorithms that allows creatures to change their physical form, which would then be the correct interpretation of the evidence that exists to support the evolution of life on earth.
According to the theory of evolution as it currently exists, which is based upon the axiomatic assumption that God does not exist, evolution is based upon random mutations and natural selection and the formation of DNA was itself the product of random combinations of proteins over an extended period of time. You can compare this theory of the formation of DNA to the idea of having an unintelligent monkey pecking randomly at a keyboard, and composing, as one random permutation of the letters of the alphabet, the text of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The letters 'axqiekf' are one random permutation of a certain number of letters, and therefore we can think of the text of Hamlet as being just one more random permutation of letters, and so given enough time, a moneky, pecking at a keyboard, could type out Hamlet as just one of the many random permutations that could be typed by a monkey, provided that a monkey had enough time (probably billions of years). The fact that the monkey typed Hamlet would not be evidence that the monkey was intelligent, nor could it be said that the manuscript was evidence for 'intelligent design' on the part of that monkey, for Hamlet was just the product of a random permutation of letters of the alphabet. Scientists prefer this explanation for the existence of complex DNA coding, and reject the possibility of intelligent coding, despite the obvious complexity of the resulting code, simply because they begin with the axiomatic assumption that an intelligent coder does not exist.
However if we consider that DNA actually includes a complex software program which includes biological algorithms which dictate a process of directed evolution of life, the random and undirected process preferred by scientists makes less sense, since the coding of a complex piece of software is much less likely to have occurred by nothing more than random chance.
Therefore we would conclude that Darwin's theory of evolution is incorrect, since it would be the case that a theory of purely random mutations is required if we are to also accept the theory of random creation of the initial DNA code itself. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Darwin's theory of evolution is incomplete and only partial, and the error stems from the fact that Darwin built his theory based upon a faulty axiomatic assumption, and for this reason he, and the scientists who followed him, ignored the possibility of directed evolution, which does not rely upon random processes combined with the process of 'natural selection' postulated by Darwin.
So then we could imagine that a bird existed which had a long beak which it inserted into a hole leading into the nest of an insect. If the insect burrowed deeper such that the bird's beak became to short to penetrate the hole, according to Darwin, random mutations in the length of a bird's beak combined with natural selection, would result in the creation of birds with longer beaks while the bird's with shorter beaks would be eliminated by the same process of selection. The theory of directed evolution would hold that the bird carries within itself coding for biological algorithms specifically intended to allow creatures to change their form in dynamic response to their environment, and so therefore a bird would grow a longer beak as feedback from the environment triggered the appropriate response in the biological algorithm. This process could happen with great speed, which would then explain the sudden explosion of life revealed within the fossil record after each great species extinction event (wherein creatures suddenly appear in many forms with no intermediary forms in evidence in the fossil record so as to indicate a process of gradual mutation and random selection).
The preliminary stage of the experimentAfter having arrived at the conviction that the existence of these biological algorithms explained not only the changes I observed in my own body, but also the spontaneous remission of fatal illness, the correlation between mind and body and the survival rate of patients with fatal illnesses, as well as the process of evolution of life on earth and the true purpose of so called 'junk' ( or 'non-coding') DNA, as well as the sudden explosions of life found in the fossil record after major extinction events, combined with a consideration of my own requirement for symbolism encapsulating the concept of 'the return to Eden', I then resolved to conduct a preliminary scientific experiment to test the validity of this theory.
When I was younger I ignored warnings as to how Mr. Sunshine is not your friend, and as a result of this my nose became severely sun damaged. As people get older this sun damage in youth can show itself in the form of a swollen reddened and highly damaged nose. Well this is what happened to me, and as I got older I began to imagine just how large and swollen and red my nose would be by the time I reached the age of 60 and 70 (you can see this swollen damaged nose on some elderly men).
Because my nose was becoming more swollen, and was becoming red and purple and more damaged as I aged, I decided that the ideal place to test my theory of algorithms designed to allow creatures to change their physical bodies would be on my nose, since if there was one part of my body I wished to undergo a physical change it was that horrible looking nose. It has been that way for at least ten years now, and I can recall in the past people making comments such as 'did you see his nose' (when they thought I could not hear them).
The experiment began on December 11th, 2005 (a little over two months ago). All sorts of weird phenomena began to manifest themselves on that nose after that time. I was plagued by tenderness and a burning stinging sensation. At one point my entire nose dried right out and felt crispy. My nose was covered with huge gaping pores, which one by one began to bleed and scab over. As these pores erupted with blood, and formed scabs, the enlarged pores began to shrink and disappear. Then a few weeks ago I began to notice a lessening of the red color in scattered patches, and the first signs of the emergence of normal toned skin. Since that time the normal color has become more pronounced and the red and purple areas have been progressively pushed further back, as the enlarged pores continue shrinking in size.
Currently the result is a patch work of reddish purple skin combined with areas of normal toned skin with a large and significant patch of spreading normal toned skin which is clearly visible in the photographic image below.
I have purchased a very poor digital camera, which is all that I can afford, and you cannot expect much for forty dollars. However, even with this poor quality and low resolution it is possible to document the progress of my scientific experiment on my nose. You can see the area where the new normal toned skin is emerging and pushing back the reddish purple skin, and there are also patchy areas of normal skin emerging at various spots, also visible in the image. The result at present is therefore a patch work effect. The first signs of this normal skin emerged only a few weeks ago, and the progress has been quite swift as you can see even in these low quality images. It is for this reason that I am suggesting that the process of directed evolution can result in changes in the form of a creature with astonishing speed. Thousands or even millions of years are not required for these algorithms to effect physical changes in the body, which then explains those sudden explosions of life in the fossil record with no intermediary forms to indicate gradual evolution.
It is at this point, half way through my preliminary experiment on my own nose that I have decided to document the physical changes taking place, now, while the nose is still partly damaged and partly restored, which even in a low resolution image provides some documentation to the claim that I am making here that I am the process of conducting a successful scientific experiment.
TheoryAccording to the Wikipedia page on 'intelligent design',
An overwhelming majority of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.
In response to the above I would like to suggest an experiment. What I plan to do is to contact the Randi Foundation. They have issued a challenge for anyone to come forward and validate what they call a 'paranormal phenomena' by scientific methods. To date, no one has been able to do so, which is the propaganda purpose of issuing such a challenge in the first place (to prove that it cannot be done by demonstrating that no one ever managed to do it). What I propose is that I take a DNA test to establish my identify, and then allow this process which has begun to continue, reversing the aging process, followed by another DNA test in perhaps two or three years so as to confirm my identity (I say two or three years for it has been said that every cell in the human body is replaced every two or three years, so I would assume that would be the longest it should take to perform this experiment on using preprogrammed algorithms to change physical form, although given how rapidly changes have been taking place on that nose it is possible it might not take that long). Even if they refuse to accept this challenge, I have all ten of my finger prints on file with a police agency because of a high security job I had about a decade ago, and using those prints it should still be possible to establish my identity, although I would prefer to have a DNA test done, since I feel that this would satisfy the criteria of a provable (or falsifiable) scientific experiment.
The point here is that this particular theory of 'intelligent design' is testable by experiment, and does in fact propose a new hypothesis, as I outlined above.
As for generating predictions, I offer the following. The bridge of my nose, where it still remains red and damaged, was stinging this weekend. Therefore, given my past experience, I would expect that the area of normal skin will next begin to spread onto the bridge of my nose, since that tender stinging sensation seems to precede such change.
Currently about 3 per cent of fatal illnesses go into spontaneous remission. I would predict that once people understand the potential of their own biological programming, this percentage should increase (hopefully it will be a dramatic increase).
We should expect to see even stranger things that this happen. For example I can think of no reason why it should not be possible for a victim of thalidomide (those who are missing limbs due to birth defects) to grow replacement limbs.
I offer a final prediction, which is that while the understanding of DNA is in its infancy, as time goes on it should be possible for understanding to grow of the nature of the biological algorithms encoded in DNA which are responsible for both directed evolution and spontaneous remission of fatal illness. There is no 'junk DNA'.
The PoemJust for interest sake, I thought I would conclude this brief discussion with the poetry which first inspired this scientific experiment.
You who dwell in the Garden"You who dwell in the Garden, my companions are listening for your voice. Let me hear it. Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle, or a young stag upon the mountains of spices." Song of Solomon
"The Spirit of Yahweh GOD is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of Yahweh's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to give them a garland of roses instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh in glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations ...
"I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall exult in my God; for I have been clothed with the garments of salvation, covered with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so Yahweh GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." (Isaiah chapter 61 verse 1)
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