Abstract

Created: Oct 20, 2022
Modified: Nov 12, 2022
version 1.6

This 'Wiser Designer' argument is an entirely new version of 'the argument from intelligent design.' It is a hypothetical ontology resulting in a new Hegelian dialectic, rather than rhetorical persuasion as to the existence of God. The Wiser Designer argument acknowledges order but also allows for disorder. It starts with the observation that evolution creates unsuccessful species, such as trilobytes. Therefore, the intent of any Creator that exists was NOT a 'perfect' design, but to simplify the task of Creation by using evolution as a tool. It then considers the hypothesis,supposing a Creator exists, then the Creator's nature is directly deductible from evolution's choice as a tool. Rather than trying to force-fit any such Creator's motives into an existing theology, the resulting method makes deductions about what a Creator who uses evolution as a tool would be like.

Some believe intelligent design is a 'proof,' but it can never be more than an argument. Others believe the argument is not valid, but according to formal logic, it is. Putting aside those and other such populist notions, there are currently three main versions of the argument from intelligent design:

  • The existence of order in the universe implies an agent (Aristotle's and Kant's version). These are arguments of inductive reasoning, thus, their truth value can only be assessed from probablistic evaluation. Current issues for evaluation include the following independent arguments.
  • The existence of life at all is too improbable, requiring even at its basis a very specific set of physical constants (the 'fine-tuned universe' perspective).
  • Some organs require codevelopment of independent oganelles that are each useless by themselves but too complex to occur by chance (the perspectives of irreducabile or specified complexity).

The most common complaint about the argument of intelligent design is that there is ALSO disorder, leading to annoyances like wisdom teeth, appendicitis, and hangnails; and at a larger scale, physical pain and disease. There are also numerous misconceptions of inductive reasoning addressed on this blog undedr the topicNew Atheisim (click here).

The deductions in the Wiser Designer argument start by observing that physical mechanics is of limited interest to a conscious being. To make the universe more interesting, a Creator would wish to enable the existence of individuals capable of independent thought and action. Beyond enabling life, little is actually necessary for that. The theory of dialectical materialism states that the evolution of a free society from a tribal culture is fairly automatic. Engels' concept of biological naturalism extended dialectical materialism back to the development of Homo Sapeiens, by adding that the evolution of a free culture only requires some herd species with hands connected to a brain.

Any 'intelligent' Creator thus only needs to intend as much as is necessary and sufficient to enable life, after which the evolution of individuals capable of independent thought and action is fairly automatic. It would not be wise for an intelligent being, using evolution as a tool, to expend further effort on the universe's design.

Hence, how much is actually necessary to enable life? With regard to the periodic table, all that is necessary is the four basic elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) plus some elements to kink organic molecules around. Also, life needs energy input, and some heavier substance to create a water body where the molecules of life can put themselves together. Beyond that, there aren't really any other requirements on the elements to enable life, and therefore, the rest of the periodic table's design could be arbitrary, rather than intended.

Thence, the Theory of Wiser Design becomes a dialectic about whether such a Creator would bother to intercede in the Universe. It may be that life is sufficiently rare that such a Creator would intercede to enable more independent thought and prevent slavery from entirely taking over. On the other hand, by interceding, a Creator would limit free will. Further, any evidence beyond doubt of any such Creator would effectively make us Slaves to God. Therefore, even if a Creator exists and could intercede, interventions would be rather rare and obscure.

Introduction

The WISER DESIGNER argument is the first new argument about 'intelligent design' since the 1970s. There have been atheists who have repeated arguments such as Occam's razor and 'burden of proof, most famously, Dawkins; and there have been 'theistic evolutionists' who consider that evolution and theology are compatible, all starting with a theology, then fitting evolution into it. All theistic evolutionists invariably assume that a Creator intended all the results of evolution down to every detail (such as wisdom teeth, the appendix, and hangnails). Closest to the Wiser Designer argument is Whitehead's 'process theology,' but it's still a theology, rather than making philosophical deductions from known characteristics of the universe and our experience of it. The Wiser Designer argument is philosophical, specifically a hypothetical ontology, and not at all theological. There has been a great deal of misunderstanding on the meaning of point of this article, so here is a quotation to clarify its perpective:

"Myths sometimes graduate to the status of metaphysics when subjected to sustained and rigorous criticism. Metaphysics is the work we do when we carry out comparative analysis of our cosmological myths and theories. It is our drive to eliminate inconsistencies, to broaden the scope of our explanations, and to provide depth of detail. If there are priests of myth who insist on perpetuating the myths without correction or revision, there are others among us who both subject the myths to criticism and offer rival theoretical explanations. Of late, the term metaphysics has been adopted and used to propagate the uncritical and highly anthropomorphic notions of pop culture. This is not the tradition of rigorous metaphysics of which Popper speaks. Far from being meaningless, critical metaphysics and cosmology provide the cognitive background for the growth of scientific theory. Logical positivists failed to see that, without metaphysics to work upon and to refine, science would stagnate."
~ "Karl Popper: philosopher of critical realism.." 1996 American Humanist Association 14 Nov. 2022.
https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Karl+Popper%3a+philosopher+of+critical+realism.-a018501025

The WISER DESIGNER argument differes from existing myths and theologies by making no assumption of any theological belief or necessary biological specifics for our species. Instead, it accepts evolution as a PREMISE and draws conclusions as to what a HYPOTHETICAL Creator would be like, asking 'WHAT IF evolution is a Creator's tool, then what WOULD be the nature of a Creator who lets natural selection operate by itself, without intervention?'

Premise 1: Evolution could be wrong but remain unfalsifiable

Evolution is a reductionist theory with broad yet overly presumptive powers and with only some predictive utility, but which has proven extremely effective in unifying concepts from previously disparate disciplines, for which reason many biologists are only taught vague abstractions about the nature of its certain knowledge, or 'epistemology.' The result is a new cult called 'evolutionism.' The cult starts with the presumption that natural selection, being 'natural,' was not itself intended by a Creator, and is thus permissible as evidence against any possible divine purpose, however obviously irrational that is.

Darwin believed that natural selection is the only selection pressure (properly called 'selection force,' paradigmatically speaking). Many believe natural selection is the only selection force, for a variety of reasons, rarely rational, and there being no necessity for it, the theory assumes natural selection as the only selection force. Even if one agrees with the premise, the process of natural selection itself could be intended, which Darwin himself acknowledged and believed:


Darwin
Darwin

Many find that insufficient, or state I must know little about evolution to make such a statement. Therefore I have been obliged to write the following in response to numerous malformed objections, although it really is ancillary the Wiser Designer argument. But if one intends intends to waste more time on the debate, here is just one route into the nature of certain knowledge, there is a discontinuity in the theory between 'natural selection' and 'selection pressure.'

Evolution must accept as a premise that natural selection is the only selection force causing selection pressure. Objections to that statement invariably state that selective breeding, sexual selection, and genetic drift are alternatives to natural selection, showing how much ignorance there is. Selective breeding and sexual selection are both subtheories of natural selection in the theory of evolution. Genetic drift has been a larger problem, first raised in Mivart's objections to Darwin's gradualism in 'Origin of Species.' Genetic drift is an attempt to restate the problem to avoid Mivart's criticism, so one has to restate Mivart, and indicate that repeated random variations with null selection force would remain random, and not cause species individuation. To enable genetic drift, one has to acceptco-occurrence.

CO-OCCURENCE is the biological explanation for evolutionary change when evolutionary pressure to produce the variation cannot be identified. Co-occurrence states that the gene for the identified difference is close to a hard-selected gene on the same DNA strand. Such 'gene linking' results in its more likely propagation by successful individuals. It's not considered particularly important how long it will take to design gene maps for all cited cases of co-occurrence. Estimates of the necessary gene sequencing of all documented characteristics with no known selection force are in the range of 20,000 years.

There are two type of gene map: ones that define splice points during sexual reproduction, and ones that define what genes do. The largest gene map of the first type is from the Human Genome Project. It identified up to 150,000 possible splice points in the 3 billion base pairs making up 92% of the X and Y chromosomes, the remaining 8% not being accessible to current methods of microbiological analysis. The project's specific intent was to identify the gene responsible for diabetes, with the goal of designing a virus capable of fixing the disorder. After 13 years, the original budget of $3 billion was exhausted without finding a gene for diabetes at any of the expected locations. Since the project ended in 2003, an additional $5 billion has been spent, and so far 80 genes, more or less, are found to be involved in Type 2 Diabetes. It's still not known exactly how the genes interact to cause the illness.

For gene maps of the second type, biologists create gene maps by measuring the probability of two variations both occurring in the same individual. This method assumes that most characteristics are actually caused by one gene, and not more complex like diabetes. As gene co-occurrence is measured statistically, rather than deduced from microbiological chemistry, there is no necessary correlation between the resulting gene maps and what the DNA is actually doing. Moreover, it assumes that natural selection is the only force in operation, but that does not stop some people people claming that gene maps 'prove' natural selection, especially in many high-schoool presentations sent to me showing how genes explain biological variation and species individuation. As evolution positions genes on DNA strands to produce observed results, the theory makes its own definition of how DNA strands must be working. That makes the resulting genetic theory impervious to falsification, because it merely proves a premise that might be wrong.

To illustrate the problem, let's hypothesize that animals choose mates based on their own concept of 'beauty' or 'aesthetics.' That would alter the observed statistical probability of genetic propagation. But the gene maps are simply based on statistical likelihoods of different genes occurring together in a new individual. That means the genes could actually be in different places on the DNA strands. The method used to produce the gene maps assumes there are no other influences on the observed statistical relationships.

Besides natural selection, there are many OTHER possible selection forces, called 'teleological explanations,' for genetic selection. These explanations hold there is some purpose, such as animal consciousness, animal awareness of beauty, human consciousness, or even divine influence, causing the genes to appear to be in different places than any actual microbiological mechanisms derived from DNA strands that cause the physical variations. That somewhat dilutes the significance of evolution as a complete explanation of species origination. There could be other teleological forces at work, but the gene maps have included their selection force already. Thus to scientism, alternate explanations have been 'explained away,' with a liberal application of Occam's razor hiding how the gene maps could be wrong.

That said, science does not as yet provide a way to isolate any teleological forces from natural selection. And whatever other teleological forces might be at work, there is no denial that evolution is AT LEAST ONE process in operation, even if knowledge of whether it is the ONLY process in operation might be unattainable, there being about 20,000 years before even complete statistical gene maps are possible. There is no way for science to circumvent the limits of its knowledge, as described at this link,New Atheism (click here), under section 3, SCOPING SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE. Thus, a hypothetical ontology can make far more substantive gains in understanding by assuming that evolution really is as complete an explanation as most now believe. That does not mean we should ignore that evolution does not provide nearly as complete or even necessarily accurate explanation of our existence as many now believe.

However much it is true, evolution is ultimately limited by the nature of science itself: a reductionist doctrine, founded on the ideology of rationalism, enabling paradigmatic explanation of how physical reality functions, which scientism converts into trite claims of minimalist deontology.

Premise 2: 'Intelligent Design' requires too much belief

Strangely, while all evidence now proves genetic theory by necessity, many atheists insist that no evidence of order in the universe at all could prove a Creator's existence. Aristotle was the first to say that the existence of order in the universe implies a divine agent, an induction now referred to as the argument from intelligent design. Yet even though people have been accepting order in the universe as evidence of a Creator for thousands of years, many now say they shouldn't even have bothered considering anything as evidence.

After discussing that paradox with several thousand people at many levels, a pattern emerged. After a little while, atheists will almost invariably sputter in anger about how some specific ''flaws' prove the universe is not intelligently designed,. The strongest objections are not really about whether the universe was rationally intentional, but rather 'so badly designed it could not possibly be made by an intelligent agent. The bizarre paradox is that evolution, by its nature, produces unsuccessful species and characteristics, as well as successful ones, but atheists never say evolution is badly designed. Never. Evolution has gone far beyond what Popper called 'pseudoscience' or 'soft metaphysics' and reached the status of a religion, applied as balm on discontented souls.

In the process, the ACTUAL question which SHOULD be asked never makes it onto the table. If there is a Creator, then why would a Creator wield a tool that creates imperfect results? The only way to answer that is to consider what the objective is for a Creator who chooses to use evolution as a tool. Force fitting reality into presumed expectations from a Creator's intent of 'perfection' will never work. We know that any Creator that may exist does not intend perfection. Evolution proves it.

Hypothesis: A Creator used evolution as a tool

Therefore, in accordance with the scientific method, we start with the hypothesis that a Creator deliberately chose evolution as the method to meet the Creator's goals, rather than judge whether evolution's results prove or eliminate a preconceived notion of the Creator's nature.

Method: Deduce an imagined Creator's nature

  1. If there is a Creator, and the Creator is intelligent, then the Creator would use evolution as a tool.
  2. If there is a Creator, and the Creator is conscious and wise, then:
    • The Creator would not use a tool that does not meet the Creator's goals.
    • Therefore evolution produces results that meet the Creator's goals.
    • Hence, rather than deciding on 'evidence' for a Creator whose intent we've already defined, we should deduce the nature of any conscious Creator from the way evolution works as a tool.

Result: The 'Bored Creator Theory'

If there is a Creator who intentionally used evolution as a tool, then it was 13.8 billion years before we showed up. Before us, there were oodles of stellar phenomena to experience. But the physical laws are rather automated. It would be pretty for a while. But like a baby watching clothes flop around inside a front-loading washing machine, eventually, a Creator would just get 'bored' of the swirling pretty colors around black holes and whatever. Here I put 'bored' in scare quotes, because this does not mean the Creator necessarily experiences boredom in any way we understand. Rather it indicates that consciousness has limited interest in completely predictable events after they have been observed some number of times.

A Creator would therefore want to see the actions of beings capable of making choices that are at least somewhat independent of physical mechanics. WHAT IS ACTUALLY NECESSARY FOR THAT? The creation of life is really the long pole, after which everything is fairly automatic. In 1925, Engels observed that a herd species only needs opposable thumbs connected to a brain for civilization to evolve. According to Marx's theory of dialectical materialism, after the physical evolution of our species, a new selection process starts, 'social evolution.'

dialectical materialism
dialectical materialism

Please note there is a difference between 'dialectical materialism' and 'historical materialism.' I am referring todialectical materialism (see picture) While Marx proposed an entirely new political ideology based on it, and whatever opinions you have of the ideology, history to date compeltely substantiates Marx's dialectic.

If the purpose of a Creator was merely to create a herd species with hands and a brain, then quirks of evolution that otherwise could appear disproof of intelligent design become irrelevant. When one combines evolution with Marx's dialectical materialism and Engel's biological naturalism with evolution, a herd species with hands and a brain becomes all that is necessary and sufficient for a progressive civilization to develop that continually increases the freedom of choice for its individuals. Therefore, it is logical to deduce that the nature of any Creator, whether one exists or not, would be simply to enable that much development: a herd species with hands connected to a brain. There is an additional consideration for a complete dialectic: the social evolution of altruism. However, that introduces issues of what oneought to do. That is much more complicated, because as per Hume's Guillotine and Moore's naturalistic fallacy, there is no necessary connection between the way the universe physically is, and what free individuals should do. That is adeontological issue, and cannot be explored until theontological basis for it.

Before getting to the counter-argument, one may note that the doctrine of intelligent design doesn't entirely approve of 'wise design.' Intelligent Design still lingers in the faint hope that our exact physique was intended in every detail, all the way down to zits. But if the Creator used evolution as a tool, then the purpose was only to result in a species LIKE us, rather than us specifically. The details of the natural world around us, and our specific physiological nature, would only be coincidental.

Counterargument: Of course, one could argue that a Creator would not get 'bored' watching spinning lights in accordance with the laws of physics. That would be contrary to our own experience of consciousness, but that is the counterargument to the 'Bored Creator' argument.

That creates a leading question:how much more enable the development of a herd species with hands and a brain does a Creator need to do, in order to find more of interest in the Universe?

A wise intelligence doesn't do unnecessary work

And here is the crux of the matter. To be of interest to divine consciousness, how much would it matter exactly what life is like on our planet, or how the rest of creation is manifest?

Consider for example, the periodic table. After constructing valences to enable organic molecules and heavy matter, there are some slots left over, and additional energy levels. So maybe a Creator played around with noble gasses so they would have pretty colors when energized, for example, but at some point of adding any such features, the consequences of the rest of the periodic table become arbitrary additions. How much would a 'bored' Creator, seeking something interesting in a universe, actually want to plan its nature? Would it not be more interesting to such a being to leave some parts of the universe not entirely planned, to increase later enjoyment in seeing how the design works out?

Similarly, regarding galactic phenomena, a Creator might enjoy making black holes and nebula, but again, a wise creator wouldn't bother adding too much detail, and let much of it be arbitrary, so the results are actually unexpected, and therefore of more interest.

That would make far more sense in the universe as we know it. After all, wise people use tools so they don't need to do unnecessary work. The amount people credit even a hypothetical Being with the power to create a universe with less intelligence than a chimpanzee and less wisdom than an idiot are truly amazing.

Aside from such idle pastime, what would be the real interest of a Creator? To design life capable of independent choice. For that, we know the periodic table needs to have carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and a variety of bits to kink molecules. So suppose a Creator went through the immense effort of producing the elements necessary for life in the Big Bang. How much does the REST of the periodic table really matter? If the Creator is wise, and therefore doesn't expend unnecessary effort, some combination of elements to permit life is all that's necessary. The rest of the periodic table would be kind of arbitrary to the necessary goal.

The 'Lazy Creator' theory thus states that a Wise Creator would only do as much as is sufficient to enable the creation of life, and the evolution of a herd species with hands (something with 'opposable thumbs') connected to a brain.

There are a few more conditions for the creation of life. For example, the universe needed to provide a PLACE for life to evolve, which as far as I know means an 'Earth analog' at the moment. Some think oceans are not necessary, so there is also thought that a 'Terrestial planet' would be sufficient.

The BEAUTY of this theory is that the normal complaints about 'intelligent design' no longer apply. A Lazy Creator did just enough to create life, plus some arbitrary additions to make the universe more interesting, and threw the switch on the Big Bang....

Conclusion: The 'Wiser Designer' Argument

Hegelian Dialectic advances beyond the dialectical materialism of Marx to define a continual evolution of new conceptual ideas, namednoumena by Kant. In Hegelian dialectics, the synthesis of any idea from a thesis and opposing antithesis creates a new thesis, which again has an antithesis, resulting in a new synthesis, and so on. The 'Lazy Creator' theory combines the antithetical notions of evolution and theism in a new synthesis, where the Creation is deliberately imperfect, with arbitrary characteristics beyond those necessary for the creation of a species capable of at least some choice independent from physical mechanics.

Therefore, the theory produces a new thesis, and a new antithesis, and in the interests of brevity, I am ending this page as an argument, rather than another subsequent theory.

The Wiser Designer theory may produce other alternate theories based on the 'Bored' Designer argument, but the one I consider here is whether the above theory is insufficient, and would really only define a 'less wise' Designer.

The likelihood of life evolving is extremely low, so a Wiser Designer might consider the evolution of life to the stage capable of independent conscious thought 'valuable,' and therefore would intercede in order to:

  1. Enable the development of civilization. For example, the Tyrannosaurus Rex had opposable thumbs, but was a predator, and the power of such creatures was so great, compared to the tiny primates of the time, there could have been no chance of apes evolving into humans. Of course, such evolution could still occur elsewhere, but the premise here is that a Wiser Designer would intercede after the creation of life just as much as necessary to ensure a herd species with hands connected to brains can evolve into a civilization. Thus one could hypothesize that the extinction event which ended the Jurassic Age was a divine intervention, in order that more interesting life could evolve.
  2. Enable unilateral freedom of will in civilization, by ensuring it evolves away from slavery. For example, the Egyptian dynasty was so powerful, a wiser Designer may have interceded by attempting to establish a rational civilization, based on justice, rather than slavery. But if the Judaic civilization was a consequence of that, a wiser Designer may have interceded to stop the Roman Empire from causing similar restrictions to freedom by its slavery too.
  3. Enable Natural Rights guaranteeing the abolition of slavery. Of particular current interest in this respect is Jeffersonian natural rights, which actually are based on a theistic argument from the Western Empiricist John Locke. As few people know of the rational basis underpinning Jefferson's choice of natural rights,there is a separate article on this site about it (CLICK HERE).

That is to say, while Marx and Engels together provide an argument for the development of a free civilization fairly automatically, it is still not totally automatic, and a Wiser Designer might anticipate such interventions would increase the interest of his Creation. MAYBE such a being would lazily throw a gamma ray here and there, to see if zebras with different-width stripes show up for example, perhaps not thinking about it too much or trying to be too accurate. One draws on the implication of the existence of evolution that the Creator is not interested in exact design, so intercessions beyond those necessary for independent thought would probably be deliberately imprecise, making the results more interesting.

ON THE OTHER HAND, such a 'wiser' Designer is beset with two problems:

  1. If the existence of God is undeniably provable, rather than a matter of belief only, then any intercession resulting in such proof would in effect place civilization in a slave condition to God, again preventing the operation of free will.
  2. Any intercession that restricts freedom of will more than the society in which it exists can enable is contrary to the Designer's interest. This is a more advanced consideration, needing further examination, at least from a philosophical perspective.

Thus there are reasons why some may argue that a 'less wise' Designer is the best that a Creator can achieve.

Given our current understanting of the universe's physical mechanics, there are limited avenues for a God to interfere with their operation. It is possible that a God could influence matter at the subatomic level, as our understanding of it remains very paradoxical. Otherwise, it would appear that a God could intercede in the domain of mind, causingDivine Inspiration. For the events which led to Christ starting a new religion, there are rational explanations for all the reported miracles, and even his rising from the tomb, as explained on this site under the blog articlesMiracles (click here) andJesus' Death (click here).

My personal conclusion is that a Creator would be motivated to provide divine inspiration. I can't find any rationale from this position to believe in supernatural events. The next set of articles explore how apparent historical events could be explained without assuming the existence of supernatural events.

That, then, is the Wiser Designer Argument. Although there are similar arguments in the past, they are not based on a Creator ONLY intending enough to enable civilization's development, or possibly, continuing development. Therefore it will reach different conclusions, based on the Wiser Designer Theory.

Of course, this tract is hypothetical, existentially defining a noumenal Creator only, without other transcendental qualities to compensate for our limited understanding of a superconscious Entity.I do also have a working paper restating Kant's transcendentalism in modern philosophy, based on the definition of supersets, either infinite or not, of all properties of all semiotic entities, as per Kripke's amazing identity theory. If you are interested, please let me know. Until that is done, this blog may not provide a complete exposition, but it does at least define a totally new noumenon!

Summary

After exploring the nature of any Creator that might exist who uses evolution as a tool, one discovers some basic aspects of consciousness and natural selection, all by themselves, can provide a necessary and sufficient explanation of the universe as we know it:

As the Wiser Designer argument is HYPOTHETICAL, it assumes no necessity of prior beliefs of any form, but it does require acceptance of scientific knowledge in its entirety, including knowledge from the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, and most importantly, the definition of scientific truth in formal logic. For those unfamiliar with formal logic, a complete statement of all that is knowable by science is in Section 3 of 'New Atheism' on this site, atthis link (click here).

References

I haven't included any links because it's just too easy to copy any word or phrase you want to know more about and paste it into Google, Bing, or the search engine of your preference, but if you can't to find something, please let me know. Instead here is a picture of Michelangelo's Adam, which I discuss in the articleObjectivism: Can Ayn Rand vanquish the Grinch? on this site.

How Wise is the Argument from Intelligent Design?

Wishing you a beautiful day :)