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As I (mis)understand the laws of physics, there is nothing preventing a toaster from suddenly jumping into existence from nothingness. The odds against it are in the fergetaboutit range, but that assumes the universe is only a tad over 14 billion years old. And it assumes there aren't many universes.

Suppose the Big Bang was just a Big Comma, separating what came before from what came after. After a trillion years times a trillion, the toaster's odds of springing into existence improve. The same holds true if there are lots more universes that we don't know about.

Now suppose instead of a toaster, a robot jumps into existence. (Hey, if you believed a toaster could materialize, it's not such a big leap.)  The hypothetical robot is coincidentally hardened against the harsh forces of the universe and capable of surviving almost anything. Its program, created by entirely random forces, tells it to manipulate the building blocks of nature to create life in a way that allowed evolution to occur.

In such a hypothetical situation, would you say Intelligent Design was involved in creating the universe Remember, while the robot might be extraordinarily capable, he has no free will. And his intelligence isn't the sort we generally attribute to a designer. The robot had no reason to create life. It simply followed its program.

What interests me about this hypothetical question is that most people won't be able to answer it with a yes or a no because it smells like a trap.

 
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Nov 14, 2008
What do you mean, "smells like a trap"? It clearly is a trap! Still, I'll try to answer the question in the spirit in which I think it was asked.

No.

If the robot has no free will, then it is not an intelligence as I would define it. (I realize what this probably means about humanity, and I think that's probably true, too.) If the creator of the universe is not intelligent, then this is not an example of intelligent design.

This hypothetical should not be interpreted to mean that I don't believe in intelligent design; I think it's highly likely given the evidence. I am of the belief that if God existed, there would be no evidence of it that I could see, unless God wanted me to. Therefore, the lack of evidence does not prove his non-existence.
 
 
Nov 14, 2008
The answer is yes and no, as you already know. Because as soon as you're willing to back up your perspective everything, in every configuration, is both true and false, as long as you are able to consciously control your personal viewpoint limitations long enough to follow a linear point from here to there.

My question for you is, have you defined an infinitely fascinating universal goal of xyz that you're consciously sending thought experiements out into the "Universal Consciousness" (to steal a term from a Doc named Sheahan) in order to consciously address the barriers to your plan and learn more about the universal frame of reference (my term, maybe)? Or have you gone the focus simply on focusing simply route and enjoying the conscious effort of sending out input and evaluating what comes back? (or are you actually much more structured in your thinking than I think you are?)
 
 
 
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