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Are We Talking About Intelligent Design?

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on September 22, 2004 13:16:48 UTC

The Mechanisms of Intelligent Design

Discussions of Intelligent Design rarely include the natural mechanisms-and never the supernatural mechanisms- by which nature could be influenced by a cosmic intelligence. As such, a Theory of Intelligent Design does not yet exist; it is as yet just an axiom. This note suggests a mechanism by which a supernatural intelligence could influence natural processes.

The fossil record suggests that almost the entire set of life forms emerged in a 5 million year stratum, the so-called Cambrian explosion. As
a result some scientists(1) have proposed that only a supernatural influence could produce all these many new body designs in such a short
period of time, and furthermore that essentially all new species are produced by this cosmic mechanism.

Well, to make this hypothesis believable to a wider audience, it is necessary to specify the mechanisms by which this design process could
possibly happen. Given the mechanisms, a mathematical theory may be developed and possibly tested. Our approach will be to assume that the
supernatural intelligence is, in short, a mathematician. The current understanding of nature by physicists certainly supports this opinion. The fundamental laws of nature seem to be hidden by the highest forms of math.
So we shall look for the mechanisms of cosmic intervention in mathematics.

Fortunately there already exist mathematics from which mechanisms of supernatural intervention could emerge. An essential ingredient of the
math is that the forms inherent in most any mathematical theory change spontaneously once a threshold of complexity is crossed. That is, in most any system of mathematics based on axioms, there is a level of complexity beyond which new solutions appear in the mathematics that cannot be derived from the axioms. It is assumed that biological processes on the molecular, DNA and cellular level inherently contain such thresholds of complexity. For example, Kauffman (2) has developed a computer model that suggests that stable configurations of molecular structures can
emerge from collections of simple molecules in what is called a self-organizing process. The Incompleteness Theorem of Godel(3) is applicable to the math of self-organization in that it is based on a threshold of mathematical complexity beyond which new solutions, theorems or designs emerge that cannot be derived from the axioms of the mathematical system under consideration.

The idea of subsumed systems of mathematics is important to understand the supernatural mechanism that comes out of this thinking. Consider for example, real number theory versus complex number theory. Mathematicians say that real number theory is subsumed by complex number theory. That is, every solution in real number theory can also be found in complex number theory. But there are solutions of complex number theory that do not exist in real numbers. Real numbers are a subset of complex numbers. Another example is quantum theory where systems of particles are subsumed by systems of wave functions.

Likewise, the new solutions found beyond the threshold of critical complexity in any mathematical theory can be derived from the axioms of a more complex system of mathematics in which the theory is subsumed. So if a solution can be derived from the axioms of the more complicated theory, it may also exist in the subsumed theory once the critical threshold of complexity is exceeded in the subsumed theory.

It is hypothesized that natural phenomena is subsumed by the supernatural(4) Then designs that exist in the supernatural can also exist in the
natural world once any aspect of that world becomes sufficiently complex. This is essentially a transfer of information. In order to adhere to
the natural laws of thermodynamics and conserve entropy, this process will require energy. But energy seems to be more than plentiful, even in

(1) Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories”

(2) Korthof, “Kauffman at home in the Universe.”

(3) Meyer, “The Incompleteness Theorems of Godel”,

(4) Ruquist, “A Dark Matter Model of Consciousness”,

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