Re: What does ID mean?

Moorad Alexanian (alexanian@UNCWIL.EDU)
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 16:58:23 -0500 (EST)

At 12:10 AM 4/11/98 -0400, Dennis Feucht wrote:
>Howard Van Till wrote:
>"As I've said many times before, until ID is candidly and publicly defined
>by its proponents, there is no use talking about it. You cannot fruitfully
>argue about the presence or absence of something that has not been clearly
>defined in a way that is uniformly understood by all discussants."
>Your point is right on target. While I am not usually considered an IDer
>(at least Phil Johnson does not regard me as one), I have attempted to
>define this key word in an upcoming paper in _O&D_ (Dec 1997 issue, not out
>yet) titled, "Design in Nature and the Nature of Design." The field of
>study for which design is the distinctive subject-matter is engineering,
>and (being an design engineer) I have approached it from this point of
>To define _design_ requires first a distinction among three kinds of
>theories of physical systems:
>1. structural: what a thing _is_
>2. behavioral: what a thing _does_
>3. functional: what a thing _is for_
>Functional theories are _not_ merely ways of organizing behavior;
>understanding how a component of a system contributes to overall function
>is not made explicit by its behavioral constraints. Rather, an additional
>set of constraints for achieving a goal are essential to the _functional_
>aspect of a system.
>Design is related to theories of function and has three essential aspects
>to its definition:
>1. a _representation_ of the domain of the design
>2. a _non de facto_ state of affairs to be realized - that is, the _goal_.
>3. a method or _plan_ for realizing the goal.
>(The rest of the paper goes into more detail.)
>"I'm still waiting for a candid and public answer to my question, Precisely
>what does it mean to be 'intellinently designed'? Does it require an act of
>"mind," or "hand," or both? That is, is it an act of conceptualization or
>an act of assembly/form-imposing?"
>"Intelligent design" is a redundant expression since design subsumes
>intelligence. It requires, at least, the ability to envision some thing or
>state-of-affairs that does not exist and devise means to realize it. I
>would regard that as a mental act. If you follow M. Polanyi, knowledge from
>doing ("hand") is still an intellectual achievement, though not fully
>rational. We know more than we can tell. In this sense, it is both, plus
>perception, which is also not a fully rational activity.
>Related point: The hard part of artificial intelligence (AI) has turned out
>to be perception, not cognition. Much of our intelligence consists in
>perceiving and acting. Design involves perception, cognition and actuation,
>but is driven by a goal and a plan, expressed in the language of the
>representation of the domain to which the design pertains. In robotics, we
>say it is "model-driven" and not purely "data-driven," though data
>certainly affect design activity.
>Dennis L. Feucht
>Innovatia Laboratories
>American Scientific Affiliation Newsletter Editor
>Great Lakes Rocket Society
>14554 Maplewood Road
>Townville, Pennsylvania 16360

Dear Dennis,

Perhaps I am being too simple minded, but I thought IDer was epitomized by
someone finding a watch and concluding that there is a watchmaker. It is the
notion of a Creator which is usually implied when using the term IDer.

Take care,