I take it he gets called a troll a lot? »« Nice argument for the age of the earth

I get email

It’s a question from Israel, so it was right-aligned. Too bad it wasn’t written from right to left or it would have been more interesting.

sorry for my bad english.

someone gave me a strong evidence for a design

a)we know that all robots need a designer

b)from a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot

a+b=the human need a designer

what you think?

yours…

Ooooh, logic is fun!

a) We know that all robots use batteries or plug into an electrical outlet.

b)from a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot

a+b=the human need a battery or electrical outlet.

So all creationists should go stick a fork in one.

Alternatively, I suppose I could just tell him to read his own question and think about what he is saying.

Designed robots are designed.

Organic self replicator robots organically self replicate.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    Are you sure this is not a Poe?

    BTW Robert J. Sawyer wrote a SF book about an AI spontaneously emerging from Internet. If that happened in real life (AI evolving without a “creator” from damaged packets of information) you could probably expect a lot of weird activity on internet…wait a minute… PZ, you have triggered the emergence of artificial intelligence!!!!!
    .
    Even better, judging by the quality of the AI output there is no risk of getting a “Skynet” situation anytime soon.

  2. says

    Interesting argument. I mean, interesting that the poster would consider it strong “evidence” for design.

    Typical fundamentalist style of argument, though. Smuggle in the concept of a god (here, the designer of the robots), associate it with one term (robots), then expand that term to include something else. This is, ultimately, what most logical arguments for a god do. Hell, William Lane Craig has made a career of it.

    I like my theology a bit more sophisticated, myself. Like, “If an omnibenevolent God made the universe, how do you explain Three’s Company?”

  3. New England Bob says

    Some meat robots, like the letter writer, could have used a designer for a better design of brain usage.

  4. alysonmiers says

    Wow, the cart-before-the-horse is strong in this one.

    We can agree on a definition of “robot” which requires a designer.

    We could possibly agree on a perspective that defines “human” as a type of robot.

    However, the fact that these two highly divergent ideas both involve the word “robot” is merely an example of the flexibility of language.

    (Another example: a programmer can design a “skin” for a web browser or other computer program’s interface. Are we now going to say that web browsers are animals with blood vessels and immune systems because they have skins?)

    If the goal of the argument is to bring “human” into the sphere of “things that need a designer,” then it cannot be the premise.

  5. says

    1) Humans are conceived from a sperm and egg combining.
    2) Androids are basically mechanical humans.
    3) Therefore, androids are conceived from a sperm and egg combining.

  6. Crow says

    Well, he never actually uses the word god. And designer may not necessarily imply supernatural intelligence. In a very loose sense of the term we could apply evolution as a designer of things. So, I guess this argument would qualify as valid. Unsound, but valid.

  7. mpj says

    How about:

    a) we know that all robots made by humans are designed (by humans)
    b) from a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot

    Therefore, nothing.

  8. Crow says

    The Philosophy major in me also feels required to point out that this is the fallacy from False Analogy:

    A has property X
    B is like A
    Therefore, B has property X

    My logic professor would be so proud.

  9. mary lynneschuster says

    I’ve been having Witnesses come to my door since I don’t slam it in their face. I guess it is more fun to argue with an educated ardent atheist than to have dogs sic’ed on you. I spend some time on them because it’s kind of fun to hone arguments and not worry about how to say things to people I care about.

    So I’ve been working on my metaphors, since that’s how they seem to communicate. “See that house there? We know it was built by a builder, so therefore God.”

    My reply: “Imagine you saw a mole digging up dirt and making a molehill. The mole goes away, but you see the little hill and know a mole made it. Then you see a big mountain, Mt. Everest. You decide a great big mole must have made that mountain. You’d be wrong because there are different processes.”

    Witless: “If evolution were true, then we’d see cats giving birth to dogs. But the Bible says like comes from like so it’s true.”

    Me: “That’s called a strawman argument. No, evolution does not predict that, and by saying so you are showing your ignorance. Imagine I said that the Bible has giants in it, and since there are no giants today, that proves the Bible isn’t true.” I underestimated the stupid, though – he started arguing that there really are giants today and that proves the Bible! “Andre the Giant proves that there is giant blood in mankind.”

    I wonder if I can come up with such an outlandish enough example of strawman that a Christian wouldn’t be able to reconcile it?

    My favorite: Witless: “Look at that wasp nest! How do they know how to build such a complex structure?”

    Me: “Natural selection of traits based on environmental pressures . . .”

    Witless: “Well, what about those ants then?” I wonder if he was going to go through all the animals until he found a God made one.

  10. Dick the Damned says

    PZ, should we all send our (metal) forks directly to you, for you to distribute them?

  11. michaelstone-richard says

    a)we know that all creationists need a credulous audience

    b)from a material prespective, the creationist is an organic self replicator baby mill

    a+b=the creationist need birth control

    what you think?

  12. VegeBrain says

    Wow, this sure is fun:

    a)we know that all robots have no religion

    b)from a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot

    a+b=the humans have no need for religion

    what you think?

  13. Sastra says

    This argument reminded me of a science philosopher’s answer to the question “Is there a soul?”

    “Yes — but it’s made of lots of tiny robots.”

  14. klatu says

    Problem with logic (for creationists) is, you can never actually acquire any information from a purely logical argument that is not contained in its premises.

    a)we know that all robots have no religion

    Cylons would disagree. If they were real, that is.

  15. says

    my previous comments disappeared under my account “pharmskep”?

    did I do something wrong or is that a glitch?

    Anyway…the email is sad to me…sad that there are so many people that are not dye in the wool, but are apparently not learning evolution…shame on our educational system….I finished high school and a pharmacy degree and never really understood the evedence for evolution until the last 1-2 years or so…its changed my life…I hope pz you put this person in the right direction…toward skepticism and critical thinking :D

  16. supermental says

    It would not work PZ. Some one “gave him” “a strong evidence for a design”.

    What a nincompoop.

  17. DLC says

    Right. . . Robots exist.
    Ergo Androids exist.
    Androids dream of electric sheep.
    Creationists exist, ergo creationists dream of electric sheep ?

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    Ohh, what fun! I think I’ll have a go…

    a) Science fiction tells us that all robots eventually develop intelligence and go on genocidal killing sprees.

    b) from a material prespective, the creationists are organic self replicator robots

    a+b= Creationists will eventually develop intelligence (unlikely I know, but bear with me) and go on a genocidal killing spree.

  19. Gregory Greenwood says

    DLC;

    Right. . . Robots exist.
    Ergo Androids exist.
    Androids dream of electric sheep.
    Creationists exist, ergo creationists dream of electric sheep ?

    Does that make PZ a rhetorical Blade Runner?

  20. ogremeister says

    a) Robots have no “free will” and can only do what they are programmed to do.

    b) From a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot.

    a+b=Humans can only do what their Designer programmed them to do.

    So much for the ability to “choose” good or evil.

  21. Crow says

    a) Organic food is healthier and safer than food produced conventionally.

    b) From a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot.

    a+b=We should eat people.

  22. Big Boppa says

    Apes eat bananas.

    Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron like bananas.

    Ergo, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are apes.

  23. Big Boppa says

    Bananas are carbon-based life forms.

    Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are carbon-based life forms.

    a+b=Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are bananas.

  24. ogremeister says

    Come to think of it, isn’t this the same basic “logic” that was originally behind Ray Comfort’s banana example?

  25. says

    from a material prespective, the human is an organic self replicator robot

    No, it isn’t. It’s a human, with consciousness and a mind that has been shaped by evolution to, for instance, self-replicate. At most, a robot is an attempt to give a machine some of the attributes of a human, hardly all. After all, we’d probably rather not give them consciousness even if we could.

    Funny, we point out that self-replicators (at least the living kind) have the ability to evolve, and both IDiots and idiots still stupidly say “Design.”

    Glen Davidson

  26. Rey Fox says

    Reminds me of how the fact that we haven’t been able to recreate self-replicating life is proof that a divine designer is required, and then in the future when we do create life, then it will be proof that a divine designer was needed to create us.

  27. Moggie says

    a) We know that androids can’t pass the Voight-Kampff test.
    b) From a material perspective, the human is a an especially organic android.
    a+b=Let me tell you about my mother.

  28. says

    This is either a troll or an incredibly incompetent individual. I’ve exchanged a lot of emails with people from Hebrew or Arabic speaking areas where the default justification goes the other way. When writing an email in English they always switch the justification.

  29. JdRock says

    Must admit that I lost it at “So all creationists should go stick a fork in one.” and scared the hell out of my gf’s bird.

  30. Ichthyic says

    Reminds me of how the fact that we haven’t been able to recreate self-replicating life

    Hasn’t Venter got his synthetic cells to replicate yet?

    gotta be a matter of months if he hasn’t done it already.

  31. ericpaulsen says

    I don’t know. I’ve never seen a toaster evolve into a robot and if they had then why are there still toasters? I believe that manufacturing created all tech as we know it.

  32. says

    @mary lynneschuster – your mistake here is that there actually ARE giants in the bible, so it’s not an example of a strawman. Perhaps next time try “talking donkeys”. Oh wait…

    +1 internetz to so many people in this thread that I don’t know where we’re going to put them all.

  33. says

    If humans are born out of a birth canal
    And chickens are born
    Does that mean that chickens are born out of a birth canal?

    Take that, chicken & egg problem!

  34. says

    For the benefit of the original emailer, the argument contains an unjustified inductive step. That there is conscious design doesn’t mean that all instances of design are instances of conscious design. A watch does indeed have a watchmaker, but a watchmaker-maker is a very different process from how it is a watchmaker goes about making a watch. Just think about what it means for parents to choose to bring a child into this world – they have sex and the sex cells that carry the genetic material do the ordering. A watchmaker wouldn’t exist without the act of sex, with the order given to a watchmaker nothing like the way in which a watchmaker gives order to get a watch.

    In other words, that we are like robots in some ways doesn’t mean that in all ways we are like robots. How a robot gets its order and how we get our order are vastly distant; how a robot comes into existence and how we come into existence, likewise, is vastly different.

  35. says

    So all creationists should go stick a fork in one.

    If you’re going to stick something in an electrical outlet and want energy to flow as a result, I know from personal experience that a pair of tweezers works much better than a fork. The two ends fit right into the holes; it’s almost like the outlet was designed to receive the tweezers, they make such a perfect fit.

  36. David Marjanović says

    This argument reminded me of a science philosopher’s answer to the question “Is there a soul?”

    “Yes — but it’s made of lots of tiny robots.”

    “Sì, abbiamo un’anima. Ma è fatta di tanti piccoli roboti”
    – Giulio Giorello

    The two ends fit right into the holes; it’s almost like the outlet was designed to receive the tweezers, they make such a perfect fit.

    Are you talking about American sockets? European ones are designed for knitting needles.

  37. dust says

    mary lynneschuster says:

    I underestimated the stupid, though – he started arguing that there really are giants today and that proves the Bible! “Andre the Giant proves that there is giant blood in mankind.”

    Wow, their answer kinda pisses me off as Andre suffered from acromegaly, a pituitary disease. He didn’t have ‘giant blood’ but a endocrine disorder which caused him to grow to ‘giant’ size. Ignorant fucks.

  38. robro says

    @ Kel — so pleased to know that after all these years, sex is still more fun than logic. thank you, and say goodnight to auntie alma.

  39. =8)-DX says

    Everyone watch out! The organic self-replicating robots have taken over the world!
    Love the meme possibility here:
    a)we know that all robots X.
    b)humans are self-replicating organic robots
    c)humans X.
    Except because I fail at humour I would tend to replace X with things like “like the smell of lavender” or “enjoy a good shrubbery”.