Science Declares Our Universe IS Intelligently Designed
Robert A. Herrmann Ph. D. Professor of Mathematics U. S. Naval Academy 5 AUG 2000. Revised 25 OCT 2011. Slightly revised 23 MAY 2012.
In 1979, I originated the idea that mathematical analysis can be used to investigate the possibility that natural-system behavior is intelligently designed. (In this article, the term "natural" is equivalent to "physical.") This form of intelligent design, General Intelligent Design theory (the GID-model), is an interpretation of the General Grand Unification Model (GGU-model). The GGU-model need not be interpreted in this manner. It can be interpreted as a purely physical model. Indeed, the GGU-model can be considered as a "larger" more complex physical environment in which universes are embedded. The GGU-model uses specific mechanisms to produce, guide, and control or sustain the development of universes, not just our own. The GGU-model operators use primitive specific information and yield all of the natural-systems along with their individual developments. (If needed, a GGU-model glossary of terms can be found at Glossary.)
Each of the operators displays an "intelligent agent" signature. Such a signature is also termed as an ID-signature. The GID-model (GID) is the interpretation of these signatures. For the pure physical GGU-model, these signatures are considered as but modeling artifacts. For the theological interpretation, both the physical and the GID-model aspects are interpreted and related to theological statements. This article is mainly concerned with the GID-model and a theological interpretation.
(1) The GID-model is based entirely upon mathematical analysis.The notions I developed and discuss in this article yield an alternative to a mostly insignificant but well-publicized notion of "restricted intelligent design" or RID. This restricted concept of intelligent design first requires detection of a "design." Then one must also accept that such a design follows the common notions associated with human intelligence. That is, a defined design implies intelligence, intelligence is only surmised. As an example, Behe repeats (2000, p. 156) his definition of design, which is called irreducible complexity. He states that if a natural-system is so designed, then ". . . since intelligent agents are the only entities known to be able to construct such systems, the biochemical systems are better explained as the result of deliberate intelligent design" (2000, p. 156). Since intelligence is not defined but rather surmised, such natural-system design probably yields "indirect" evidence that such a RID agent exists.
(2) Mathematical operators, the "finite consequence operators," and their equivalence "general logic-systems" explicitly model "intelligence."
(3) Aspects of the GID-model hypotheses are "verified" (tested) both directly and indirectly. Indirect verification is the same method used to verify the existence of most entities within quantum theory. There are categories that verify intelligent design at the level of human thought.
(i) (Natural Law.) Obtaining a statement for a "natural law" whether from observed empirical evidence or by other means requires human logic-system procedures. Every natural law is expressible in the form of a general logic-system. Intelligent actions are necessary to express a natural law in general logic-system form. Such a form is necessary when an individual applies a natural law to any natural-system or to any constituents. Further, intelligent actions are required when a natural law is applied. Consequently, the patterns produced by such actions are intelligently designed.
(ii) (Scientific Theories.) An individual using human mental processes constructs a scientific theory that predicts a pattern for natural-system behavior. From the viewpoint of the GID-model such a theory is intelligently designed. Hence, any predicted patterns are intelligently designed.
(iii) (General Applications of Natural Laws and Scientific Theories.) In order to make predictions for the physical behavior of a natural-system, it is easily shown either through computer simulation or directly that the application of human deductive processes are mimicking the step-by-step application of the natural laws and scientific theories that yield the predicted behavior. (For a specific illustration, see the chance.pdf file in chance.zip.) The logic-systems that yield the (i) and (ii) categories are observable in that they can be described in words, symbols, diagrams, illustrations and algorithms. Hence, the categories (i), (ii), verify the GID-model and they also indirectly verify the existence of a higher-intelligence since each of the logic-systems employed can be considered as a restriction of those employed by a higher-intelligence. (For a detailed discussion of the actual evidence, see Evidence.)
(4) The GID-model is also "falsifiable." There is a process that can be used to "logically" deduce natural-system behavior. If it's shown that a natural-system behaves in accordance with this process, then the GID-model is falsified in the sense that the claim that "all natural-system behavior is predicted by the GID-model" is false.
(5) The GID-model hypotheses are verified trillions of times a day.
This Behe article is a reply to the notion that what may appear as an irreducibly complex system may actually be what Shanks and Joplin call"redundantly complex," meaning that biochemical pathways overlap so that a loss of one or even several components can be accommodated without complete loss of function" (2000, p. 155).This notion of redundantly complex is attributed to the notion of "self-organization" within complexity theory.
Behe illustrates his concept of restricted design when he writes:Just as I think that a gradual origin by [Darwinian] natural selection is a good explanation for some things, I agree that a discontinuous origin by self-organization explains some things too. Nonetheless, I do not think either explains irreducible complexity.The intelligence being displayed by the Behe design, among others, is one form of human intelligence since basic human intelligence is used to deduce that a design is irreducibly complex. Further, as the above quotation indicates, Behe may not consider "natural selection" or "self-organization" as having any specific design that is attributed to intelligent agency, an intelligent action that's described by scientific means. Recently Behe has apparently stated that he believes that irreducible complexity can evolve but it is exceedingly unlikely (Orr, 2005). Dembski's (1998) filter considers design based upon probabilistic criteria. There are arguments that there are results (i.e. patterns) that exhibit designs based upon Dembski's filter. In particular, using a statistical concept termed "specified complexity," Dembski via the notion of function or purposefulness, claims to detect design that has but one cause - intelligent agency. (There are counter-arguments to this claim. Further, RID has no scientific measurement for intelligence.) On the other hand, Dembski states that not all patterns indicate design in this sense. However, all such RID patters, whether irreducible complex or a specified complex, are actually produced by GID intelligent actions.
In the book "Science Declares Our Universe Is Intelligently Designed" (Xulon Press Aug. 2002), I discuss, in great detail and in the simplest possible terms that are understandable by individuals who have engaged in college-level scientific analysis, a general and what is a more significant alternative to RID. That is, "intelligence agents" that design intelligent actions come first and then the processes yield various designs. (Note: The term "intelligent actions" signifies "intelligently designed actions.") These patterns I term "general design" patterns. In this book, the reductionist approach is assumed. I have recently introduced a model that does not employ this philosophy of science. Details appear on this website and elsewhere.
There are two types of intelligence investigated. It is determined, independent from the patterns produced, whether physical processes are intelligently designed and are physical designs produced by intelligent application of the physical processes. That is, whether the methods, the physical processes themselves, that produce or alter behavior of a natural-system are intelligently designed and is the production of and alterations in the behavior of a natural-system intelligently designed. The "design" being considered for the GID-model is the verb-form "to design" while RID is concerned with the noun-form.
This general alternative begins with a definition for intelligence. One seeks to establish that, even though from the human viewpoint a specific natural-system's behavior may or may not produce a humanly defined "design" such as specified by Behe or Dembski, nevertheless its behavior is produced or guided by a definable intelligence. The products of such intelligence are independent from any restricted definition for design. It's mathematically predicted that there's a general underlying and defined "intelligence" that designs the behavior for each observed natural-system and, hence, the very existence of observed natural-system behavior verifies this prediction and is indirect evidence that such an intelligence exists. Indeed, this intelligence produces or constructs our universe in a special way as fully explained in my book and on this website.
As stated under (3) this method of verification is the exact same method used within quantum physics and is also used in early history cosmology and modern astronomy, where the actual processes that yield the behavior cannot be directly observed. From this viewpoint, these results are fact. The only way to refute scientifically these conclusions is to show explicitly that there is an error in the mathematics from which these conclusions are strictly obtained.
It was in 1979 that I discovered that scientific analysis could be used to show that our universe is designed, and produced or guided by intelligent agency. The first announcement of a particular aspect of this discovery was made in Oct. 1981. (After you read this article, you might consider my priority statement.) The intelligence being considered is a measurable intelligence. For human beings, it corresponds to problem solving, discovering rules, aspects of choice, and the most important, using and choosing hypotheses and deducing conclusions.
Suppose you are the following natural-system.
Because you selected a bad piece of fruit, an intelligent action causes this natural-system to be attacked by a stomach virus. The model shows, although you may not like the fact, that it can be rationally assumed that this intelligent agency helped produce
But, don't worry, there's also an intelligent agent that puts its "mind" to work and shortly produces
This illustrates one of the processes. You start with an actual natural-system, intelligent actions begin their "work," and the result corresponds to a new or changed natural-system. The results of these processes are said to be designed, guided or produced by an intelligence actions. (But, how is it possible to obtain these results by mathematical prediction? Well, although no mathematical proofs appear in my book, you'll learn all of the intuitive ideas that do, indeed, lead to these results, when mathematically modeled. What's a mathematical model? This is also completely explained and illustrated in the book.)
There's a natural process that was classified as not of an intelligent design. This has to do with so-called random behavior. Indeed, the basic claim is that all natural laws or processes are probabilistic in character and previously known laws must be modified and expressed probabilistically. There is another behavior that scientists claim cannot be predicted in any manner, behavior that is absolutely random in character. Now, it's a trivial exercise to show that intelligent agency can deliberately cause natural-system behavioral patterns to appear in either of these random modes. In fact, you can do it as shown on the first few pages of Chapter 1 of the book. But, for non-human produced patterns there is a converse.
There are intelligently designed mechanisms that yield all such assumed random behavior, probabilistic or not, for every appropriate natural-system. In addition, the mechanisms have signatures that imply that intelligent actions produce the results. Consequently, such random behavior assumed by a science-community is in all respects designed, guided or produced by an intelligent agent. (I really don't believe this is possible. This must be just philosophic 'hand-waving.' I'm sorry but this isn't the case. It's established scientifically and fully explained in the book.)
A major assault against the notion of intelligent design is the claim that physical perturbations in behavior imply that such perturbed behavior is not intelligently designed. The meaning of "to perturb" is to disturb or interfere with or modify, the usual or expected or predicted behavior of a natural-system. Often perturbations are not predicted by means of scientific analysis.
But after many years of effort, its been shown that all physical perturbations are intelligently designed. It was assumed, within science, that absolutely random processes yield perturbed behavior. This assumption need not be accepted. Intelligently designed mechanisms solve this perturbation problem. Its been shown that for many natural-systems apparent perturbations are produced by our absolute inability to describe all of the laws or processes that actually sustain natural-system behavior. The model specifically states that ultranatural theories and laws exist and, if these "laws" could be known by science, then there would be no such perturbations for many natural-systems. (Yes, I discuss, in the book, the mathematical predicted properties of these ultranatural theories and laws. Indeed, I show that natural laws as we perceive them are not what comes first, so to speak. Something else exists distinct from "natural law" and, from the information presented, we then describe perceived or even imagined "natural laws.")
On the other hand, when dealing with certain biological entities, there's another category of perturbations. For example, there is a general intelligently designed mechanism that allows my cat Garth, for no apparent reason, to become suddenly "perturbed" and start running about as you see here.
Then, he suddenly stops, just as fast as this animation stops if you click the stop button. Each of his real-life movements is designed, and his behavior is guided or produced by applications of a powerful intelligence that is denoted by the symbol *S. So, an intelligently designed mechanism yields the correct perturbed behavior for every appropriate natural-system. What do I mean here by "powerful"?
The *S is capable of producing, from a "super-compact store of specific information" w', an entire universe in a step-by-step manner. This includes the one in which we dwell as well as many different ones. It produces an absolutely perfect collection of images for how a universe will "appear" at any moment during its development. These images correspond, in the usual manner, to the objects they represent in objective reality. For example, at a particular moment in the development of our universe, we have that
is contained in *S (w')
Importantly, for our comprehension, successive moments in the development of any natural-system are correlated in a remarkable manner so as to satisfy designed natural and ultranatural laws. The natural laws are what we describe and allow us to predict behavior and, hence, build our man made universe.
Combining all the above results and others discussed in the book, one can conclude that everything that exists and all natural-system behavior is, at the least, indirect evidence for the existence of these various aspects of intelligence. The fact that different intelligent actions are needed to establish these conclusions does not detract from the significance of these research findings since different "logics" are also used for scientific and philosophic investigations. Moreover, it's shown, in the book, that each intelligent action can be assumed to be restricted behavior that's designed by just one higher-intelligence. (Do these results prove absolutely that objects characterized as behaving like "intelligence actions" exist in objective reality? The answer is, probably, yes. They can be both directly and indirectly verified. Such indirect verification for objective reality is employed in the same sense used to establish "particle" existence within particle physics, as used in early history cosmological and, indeed, used to claim that many astronomical objects exist in reality. However, these results absolutely mean that it's rational to assume that a higher-intelligence exists. Recall, however, that you can choose from three general GGU-model interpretations.)
(I) Although all natural-system behavior is indirect evidence for the existence of intelligent agency that indicates "intelligent design," one can simply assume that the corresponding "intelligent actions" only represent slightly comprehensible physical-like laws or processes that are being applied in a sub-quantum region that's exterior to our "natural" universe.
(II) These intelligent actions can correspond to the behavior patterns one would associate with objects that are designed intelligently, independent from the designs displayed. They can be interpreted as displaying differing levels of intelligence including a fundamental intelligent agent that designs, and sustains or "guides," all natural-system behavior. (It is possible to consider portions of this interpretation as but "apparent intelligence." This notion is part of the "self-reference" concept and is fully discussed in the book.)
(III) A theological interpretation of (II).
Combinations of these interpretations can be used and often yield additional comprehension. You'll need to seek additional evidence in order to determine which of these possibilities is the most likely. (I discuss fully each of these three interpretations in the book.)
The following is a summary of the results obtained as of the date of this article using "higher-intelligence" terminology. They can be rationally assumed to be fact. (Of course, these results can be interpreted in accordance with (I) or combination of (I) and (II). And, yes, all of this is intuitively discussed in the book. You are shown exactly how to apply the predicted results and obtain these interpretations.)
The following descriptive statements 6 - 12 express the specific aspects of what has been discovered through mathematical analysis. From the viewpoint of logical discourse, this is acceptable if our only goal is to generate such statements rationally. One of the major indications of human intelligence is the selection process. There's an accepted set of logic-systems from which human beings choose when they want to present a logical argument or a logical design for something. We then use the specific logic-system chosen. So, a logic-system may be used by the same powerful intelligence to design natural-system behavior. Or, this powerful intelligence can design the behavior required of other actions. With respect to the logical arguments chosen, this powerful intelligence is termed a "higher-intelligence." In what has been discussed thus far, various terms relative to intelligent agency are used. From what has been discussed, certain statements can be written using the term "higher-intelligence." In 6 - 12, the specific phrase "higher-intelligence" can be replaced by the less specific phrase "intelligent agent."
(6) In general, there are processes that produced any universe and each has a special intelligent design-signature. This implies that each is designed by a higher-intelligence.
(7) A higher-intelligence designs ultrawords that contain all of the information for the generation of a universe.
(8) A higher-intelligence has designed an operator that unifies all of the comprehensible natural laws and verified physical theories that govern the behavior for each natural-system within our universe. This operator has the same ID-signature as each of the fundamental operators. This unification coordinates all such physical laws and verified physical theories as well as all perturbed behavior not predicted by these theories.
(9) Specific natural-system behavior that is predicted by physical theories is designed by a higher-intelligence. When this higher-intelligence is restricted to our physical world, it exhibits many of the same properties as exhibited by human intelligence.
(10) A natural-system that appears to behave in a random manner but follows a specific probabilistic model is designed by a higher-intelligence. A higher-intelligence coordinates all physical-systems that follow probabilistic predictions.
(11) In general, a higher-intelligence designs a universe via designed ultrawords. A higher-intelligence designs each universe generating operator. Applications of each operator requires that actions be taken by a higher-intelligence - an intelligently designed action (i.e. intelligent actions). Hence, any pattern that results from intelligent actions is designed by a higher-intelligence.
(12) The model can be truncated in that all references to a "higher intelligence" can be removed. However, this does not eliminate (i) or (ii) aspects of intelligent design. For more details, see Fundamental Universe-Generating Processes.
If you select (III), then you must determine which of the many "deities" is most likely to satisfy the higher-intelligence characteristics. When these intelligently designed results are interpreted theologically, this depends upon how many of a deity's attributes correspond to the model's predictions. There are interesting pieces of pure literary evidence for the choice (III) and the choice of a particular deity. Many features of the intelligence being described by these operators have been described previously. The GGU-model and GID-model rationally describe God's method of creation, "And God said, . . .," Biblical "foreknowledge," God as a higher-intelligence, that God sustains or upholds his creation, that every natural-system must display a higher-intelligence signature and many other attributes that are described in the following: Ge 1 - 4, 6 - 9, De 29:29. 33:26, 2 Sa 22: 14-15, 1 Ki 8:27, 1 Ch 16:26, 2 Ch 2: 5-6, Ne 9:6, Job 9:4, 11:7-8, 12:12, 13, 15:8, 25:2 28:12-13, 28:20-24, 32:8, 33:12, 33:14, 37:23, 38:33, 38:36, Ps 33:6, 33:9, 77:13, 86:8, 92:5, 94:11, 95:3, 96:5, 97:9, 119:34 119:89, 119:100, 136:2-9, 139:2,6,17, 145:3, 147:5, 147:15, Pr 2:6, 3:19, Ec 2:26, 3:11, 8:17, Isa 42:9, 46:9,10, 55:8,9, 65:17, Jer 1:5, 10:10-13, 17:10, 31:10, Da 2:21-22, Am 3:7, Mt 4:5, 10:20, 13:11, Mk 13:12,13, 24:36, Lu 6:8, 21:15, 24:45, Joh 8:47, 10:16, 10:27, 12:40, 14:16, 14:26, 16:8, 11:33, Acts 15:18, Rom 1:20, 11:2, 1 Co 1:10, 2:10, 2:13, 2:16, 2 Co 12:4, Eph 1:17, 3:3-9, Col 2:3,4 1 Th 2:13, 2 Th 2:12, 2 Ti 2:7, Heb 1:3, 3:5 Jas 1:5, 1 Pet 1:2, 1 Jo 2:27, 5:20, Re 10:6, 21:5. Of special significance is that for observed natural-system behavior (III) models exactly Ro 1:20. In the book, it's shown how these predicted results satisfy, at the least, three Genesis interpretations.
As discussed at the beginning of this article, other individuals, lately, consider themselves as "design theorists." Many of these individuals are associated with the Discovery Institute in Seattle WA. It is useful to compare some of the properties of their restricted design theory with properties of general design theory. Any natural-system behavior or pattern produced by such behavior and that is classified as a restricted design is also classified as a general design. Thus, the set of all restricted designs forms a subset of the set of all general designs. A vast number of natural-system behaviors and the patterns produced do not satisfy the criteria for restricted design. Nonetheless, all such behavior does satisfy the requirements for general design. Hence, the set of all restricted designs forms a proper subset of the set of all general designs.
Usually, relative to (II), restricted design theory is not concerned with identifying the "designer." Indeed, many restricted design theorists appear rather proud of this aspect of restricted design theory. Clearly, general design theory gives a strong indication as to a designer under a type III interpretation. Restricted design says nothing about any mechanisms that can actually produce all of the restricted designs. General design theory, employing an operator language that's exactly like that used in quantum logic, can be reinterpreted to yield descriptions for mechanisms that produce each general design.
There are many other startling differences between these two notions but one of the most significant is the concept of the "purposeful design." Such a design is one that has been "guided by a definite humanly comprehensible aim." Restricted design theory appears to require a description for the "definite aim," the outcome, the use, etc. for the design or behavior, and then by comparison restricted design theorists claim that such a restricted design could only come about through the means of an intelligent agent. However, the "aims" refer to only a few materialistic outcomes. All of the identified restricted designs that satisfy such described aims are also general designs. But, are there general designs that do not satisfy such descriptions also purposeful? This depends upon your choice of (I), (II) or (III).
If you choose a combined of (I) and (II), then the GID-model has a major purpose not shared with RID. The GID-designed natural laws and their designed applications allow us to build our useful "man-made universe." However, in the book, I detail how universes are actually pre-designed and how this rationally implies that a universe, such as ours, is designed for various purposes. Moreover, if you choose (III), then specific purposes distinct from any related to restricted design theory can be described.
One purpose under (III) is that general design theory establishes that it's rational to assume that there is an higher-intelligence that yields these general designs and this "intelligence" satisfies many Scriptural statements and purposes. Another purpose is to establish the rationality of the designer's behavior as it is Scripturally described and, hence, to identify the designer. A third purpose is to establish the exact meaning of Hebrews 1:3 that all natural-system behavior and the designs produced are being sustained continuously by the designer. Indeed, the processes that lead to most general designs indicate the almost incomprehensible power of a designer, one who can just "think" an entire universe into existence. The "sustained" portion is modeled by the ultralogic that unifies all physical laws and correct physical theories. A fourth prediction upholds certain Scriptural statements. In particular, that it is the prideful nature of many individuals that prevents them from realizing, as implied by 1 Co. 13:12, that they are not intelligent enough to describe other significant purposes, purposes that can be rationally assumed to exist.
As indicated, if you have doubts about my "intelligent design" statements or questions, they should be answered in the book. If you want to learn intuitively how all of these results are obtained and everything else that can be explained on the intuitive level, you must read my book on this subject.
Please remember that, relative to this the GID-model interpretation, the basic hypotheses are verified trillions of times a day. Further, this model is so highly scientific in character that whenever an individual conducts a scientific experiment and the experiment verifies an inductive or deductive statement, then this also verifies the GID-model. I mention again that for a detailed discussion for the "evidence" for the GID-model interpretation, see Evidence.
All of the mathematical "proofs" and modeling results needed to justify the above remarks are contained in various books, published journal articles or they are stored at the arXiv.org Archives. However, I won't list these references in this short note. I have gathered most of them together into one zip file, bookmath. It's best that you not concern yourself with the actual mathematics itself, due to its difficulty, until you grasp the intuitive basis for general design theory. The mathematical model is constructed from this basis. The book (Herrmann 2002) is the best beginning source for this if you are a reductionist. That is, if you believe our universe is composed of a vast collection of less complex physical-systems and it is these that lead to its general appearance and behavior.
This e-mail address is for significant questions or comments only. I delete e-mail based upon the subject heading. I will only answer e-mail that has the subject heading GID and nothing more. Since my time is very limited, it is necessary that I determine whether an e-mail question or constructive comment is of enough significance that I personally reply via e-mail.
ReferencesBehe, M. J. 2000. Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems: A Reply to Shanks and Joplin, Philosophy of Science, 67:155-162.
Brooks, J and G. Shaw, 1973. "Origin and Development of Living Systems," Academic Press, New York. "These experiments . . .claim abiotic synthesis for what has in fact been produced and designed by highly intelligent and very much biotic man" p. 212.
Cohen, M. R. and E. Nagel, 1934. "An Introduction to Logic and the Scientific Method," Harcourt, Brace and Co., New York.
Herrmann, R. A. 2002. "Science Declares Our Universe IS Intelligently Designed," Xulon Press, Fairfax, VA
Herrmann, R. A. 1991. "Nonstandard Analysis Applied to Advanced Undergraduate Mathematics, Infinitesimal Modeling and Very Elementary Physics," http://www.arxiv.org/abs/math/0312432
Herrmann, R. A. 1986. D-world evidence, CRS Quarterly, 22(2):47-53.
Dembski, W. A. 1998. "The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities," Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Orr, H. A. 2005. Devolution: Why intelligent design isn't New Yorker (2005-05-30).
Patton, C. M and J. A. Wheeler, 1974. "Is Physics Legislated by a Cosmology," in Quantum Gravity, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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