Monday, January 04, 2010

Salvaging the Darwinian wreckage

Dr Funkenstein offered some more thoughts on Darwinian evolution. He provoked me to check out TalkOrigins some, which is usually a stimulating activity and one I wish I had more time for, b/c it's highly regarded among Darwinists.


in the 1st i'm asking you if things have tell-tale signs of design, yet everything is designed, what is the point of comparison you are using for these tell tale signs if no undesigned thing exists?

On the one hand, I recognise the failure of the atheist worldview, so I conclude that everything is designed - everythg is created by God.
On the other, ToE provides no answer to the problem of information in organisms, specifically the origin of that info. It also fails to provide any mechanism that can be observed to take care of the problem of variety of organisms arising from an allegedly common ancestor. That is, I ask for examples of evol at work and I get mosquitoes evolving into mosquitoes, lizards into lizards, bacteria into bacteria, etc. Or question-begging appeals to "the fossil record".

But getting back to the foundation of this point, it goes like this:
1) ID-ist says he sees design.
2) ToE-ist says oh yeah? This and that are BAD design (aka BEAR 3).
3) ID-ist responds that bad design is...design.
That this is a response to an attempted Darwinian rebuttal is important to remember. It's not really well-suited as a positive argument for ID.


On the 2nd I'm saying that even if we accept everything is designed, how are we deciding what constitutes good and bad design?

I don't see how that's relevant in the slightest.
Besides, YOU are the one who brought up "bad design". Why don't you tell me? Make sure you're providing a consistent logical standard for knowing.


If our point of comparison for design is human designed things (and from the words of the ID crowd it often is - eg Watches, Mt Rushmore etc), then we can quite easily point out things that a human designer would avoid were they designing an organism.

I doubt any ID-ist has ever hypothesised that the Designer always did everything perfectly well and also preserved it perfectly in line with that perfection. (Sin, the Fall, remember?)
Besides, I hate to have to keep saying this, but bad design is still design. And humans have designed quite a few things badly, only to go back later and improve them. I mean, why were computer monitors originally all in green and black? Didn't their designers know that it would be far better just to use plasma flat screens at 1080p resolution and full color?


Apparently very few philosophers are out and out materialists

Good, b/c materialism is beyond ridiculous.


Which Dembski has no consistent description or metric for.

Meyer does, in his Signature In the Cell book. Page 86 says:
"Webster's, for instance, has a second definition that defines information as 'the attribute inherent in and communicated by alternative sequences of arrangements of sthg that produce specific effect.' Info, according to this definition, equals an arrangement or string of characters, specifically one that accomplishes a particular outcome or performs a communication function." I'd recommend his book to you, chapter 4 in particular on that count.



Only if you ignore hundreds of examples from the real world


This article gets it wrong b/c it includes crystals and gasoline explosions as "information". Meyer's, and I'm pretty sure Dembski's, specifies that info is not endlessly repetitive. What do crystals and explosions communicate, exactly?

This article is unintentionally funny.
1) One's inability to find an answer to a question does not imply that the question has no answer.
Are you serious? This is Darwinism of the gaps (aka BEAR 2) Maybe I'll just use that response for the rest of my blogging career.

2) Even if the arrangement consists of shattering a glass into tiny pieces, that means assembling new information.

Really? What info would that be?

3) In abiogenesis, it is observed that complex organic molecules easily form spontaneously due to little more than basic chemistry and energy from the sun or from the earth's interior.

Hilarious.
a. Abiogenesis has not been observed.
b. "Complex organic molecules" are a very, very long way from even the simplest life form.
c. So...if I leave some inanimate object out in the sun long enough, I can expect its information content and its organisation to INCREASE? Like a newspaper...will it tell me a different frontpage story after a couple decades of sun exposure or exposure to heat? Cool! Who did that experiment?

This article gets the following wrong:
1) rejecting chance requires a complete list of all chance processes that might apply to the event.

Darwinism of the gaps, again.

2) Individually, (regularity, chance, and design) were due to chance, but collectively they were governed by laws, and all of this was planned by God (Ruse 2001, 121).

Um, so God designed that scenario, right?


3) And what the filter actually detects is copying, not intelligent agency.

What other process have you observed that copies information?


4) Thus, the design process must have another design process to produce it, which needs a design process of its own, ad infinitum, or somewhere along the way there must be no process at all and design must come out of nowhere.

Now I'm just laughing. All of a sudden, TalkOrigins forgot that the ID-ist thinks there was a Designer, who sort of started everything. Or you might say who designed everything. Crazy!
IOW, don't project your own problem of infinite regress onto ID.



(it seems rather bizarre, since as Paul C pointed out your criteria are self-refuting to start with (eg asking for experimental evidence with the proviso that no experimenter can be involved in the study)

Correct. The big, big problem you're overlooking is that YOU are the one who is trying to leave a designer out of the equation. And then you try to prove it by designing experiments. It's showing the absurdity of your position on its own merits. You can see the self-refuting nature of it, why don't you apply it all the way thru?
Let me try to explain it from another angle. You posit all-natural unguided processes that got life where it is today, w/o an intelligent designer. You attempt to prove the existence and power of these processes by intelligently designing a lab, intelligently designing tools, intelligently designing a hypothesis, intelligently designing a means to test, intelligently, that hypothesis, intelligently manipulating the control and the test groups which you intelligently grouped, intelligently limiting the environment to which the subjects of the test are exposed, and intelligently figuring an intelligent conclusion. Then you come back and say, "Voilà! Unguided processes are proven! No need for an intelligent designer!" No, you've shown nothing of the kind. In reality, you have no hope of ever performing an experiment that could bolster your case for unguided processes. You can thus never observe this unguided process doing what you claim it can do and did do, for which there's some mountain of evidence. The problem is all yours. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency in your claims vs what you can actually deliver, and so it's for that reason that Paul C was correct.
See, it's times like this where we see just what you value, and it's always evolution over truth. Your faith, your religion, is threatened, so you circle the wagons.


the fact that letting an experiment free run to a conclusion that occurs independent of the experimenter's wishes/preferences is about as opposite from ID as you can get

1) Not an experiment that is, to repeat the obvious and beat the dead horse, designed by intelligent agents in a lab that was intelligently designed and constructed and which was launched by intelligent agents.
Any reader should be able to see here the living, beating heart of your presuppositions behind the scenes, clouding your reason and turning you against the obvious. Behold the power of presuppositions, if you doubt them! Dr Funk will not accept anything outside of his materialistic presuppositions, despite the obvious reasons for doing just that.
2) Which would, worst case for me, fit under the ID umbrella as the equivalent of a deistic scenario. But you're dead set against ID. Another problem for your position.


you've assumed something along the lines of "the more uniform and longer a sequence is, the more information it has"

No, I don't think that's Meyer's argument. ISTM the most important element of information is its direction towards function, towards producing a specific effect or communicating so as to create something that functions.


in info theory the complete opposite is true as the more random a sequence it is the more difficult it becomes to compress and a longer sequence can be less complex than a short one

Well, sure. But no one's arguing that length is the only component here. Information can be short.
"I'm out back" contains the same # of characters (incl spaces) as "jffngikd87ff", and fewer than "dfafaiqwu340quefnqelrnqwflnad;f435q345243543", but it communicates sthg.


DNA's high information content is prima facie evidence it resulted, in part, from an essentially random process.

Sorry, I don't see why I should accept that given that my entire experience indicates that intelligent agents and only intelligent agents produce information.



there are mutations that insert bases as well as delete or swap them. this is 1st year level genetics/mol biol knowledge

Yes, I know that, but they're almost never useful or helpful. And even when they are, they are not numerous, and combined with a bunch of other nonhelpful ones, why should anyone think they'd lead to benefit?


duplication of genes/chromosomes (eg polyploidy) isn't unusual either (especially in organisms like plants)

Photocopying a page of a book doesn't increase information at all.

63 comments:

bossmanham said...

I just skimmed this post for the moment and will read it fully later on, so I'm not sure if you mentioned this, but CreationWiki has responses to all of the Talk.Origins baloney here.

Rhology said...

Oh, cool, thanks!

Anonymous said...

CreationWiki is a testament to the stupidity of humankind. No doubt this would lure Rhology to it like a moth to a flame.

bossmanham said...

Mmm, I love ad hominem unbacked assertions. It R making u luk so smrt.

justfinethanks said...

Part 1:

That is, I ask for examples of evol at work and I get mosquitoes evolving into mosquitoes, lizards into lizards, bacteria into bacteria, etc.

This is probably a failure on your part to specify what you mean by "evolution," because it can either mean "change in allelle frequency over time" or it can mean "common descent." If you say "I want evidence for evolution," and someone responds with Lenski's bacteria, or Italian wall lizards, or one our many examples of cladogenesis, or whatever, this it indeed fulfills the first definition and is unquestionably evidence for evolution. Next time, be specific and say "I want evidence for common descent."

Or question-begging appeals to "the fossil record".

It's not question begging to make the observation that the fact that there are no anachoristic fossils is strong evidence for evolution. A good test for the veracity of a scientific theory is if it makes a strong prediction that is very much vulnerable to falsification, but is not falsified. Evolution predicts that there should be no precambrian rabbits, no humans buried next to trilobites, no Devonian dinosaurs. And despite the fact that new fossils are discovered every month, not a single anachronistic fossil has been found. This is a fact that HAS to be true if evolution is true. It doesn't have to be true if special creation is true. And it is a fact that is immune to any half understood appeal to "In Search of Deep Time."

3) ID-ist responds that bad design is...design.

ToE responds that I obviously don't mean design literally. I mean that since evolution doesn't have to result in organisms that are perfectly constructed, just constructed well enough to survive and reproduce ("construction" not being a word that implies design) the glut of features that would get any enginnering student a big fat F makes more sense under evolution than special creation.

Frankly, if life IS designed, we should track down whoever did it and hold them responsible for their actions.

I doubt any ID-ist has ever hypothesised that the Designer always did everything perfectly well and also preserved it perfectly in line with that perfection. (Sin, the Fall, remember?)

Unless you provide a methodology by which we can test for the effects of sin, your invocation of sin is unscientific and irrelevant in a scientific debate.

And humans have designed quite a few things badly, only to go back later and improve them.

Humans aren't omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, so that makes a lot more sense.

Are you serious? This is Darwinism of the gaps

No, it simply exposes the contrived dualism that is at the heart of ID thinking.

"Darwinian evolution cannot explain X, therefore X is best explained by intelligent design."

kind of like

"I don't know who just rang by doorbell, therefore Robert Downey Jr. is at my door."

or

"Modern medicine can't explain why my foot hurts, therefore my foot has been infested with an alien being."

justfinethanks said...

Part 2:

Um, so God designed that scenario, right?

You obviously misunderstand why the "Explanatory filter" actually has no explanatory power. It fails because it only works if "design, law, and chance" are mutually exclusive categories, but they aren't.

Even Dembski admitted this is 2008, saying: "I’ve pretty much dispensed with the EF. It suggests that chance, necessity, and design are mutually exclusive. They are not."

Shortly afterwards he retracted the statement and said that he would in fact use the EF again. However, to date he has yet to yet to explain how the EF survives HIS OWN CRITICISM.

To illustrate this, go down to a shooting range and take a few shots at the bullseye. Even if you are a good marksman, the holes in the target will probably be scattered around the bullseye.

Now here comes the question: Is the placement of the bullet holes best explained by design, chance, or law? The answer: none of the above. There was an element of design (your aim) but there was also an element of chance (small hand twitches that affected your aim). So the EF, which is at the heart of ID, is in actuality a completely lousy and fallacious way to detect whether things are caused by design, chance, or law.

The big, big problem you're overlooking is that YOU are the one who is trying to leave a designer out of the equation. And then you try to prove it by designing experiments.

ALL science involves "designed experiments." The reason this "YOU DID THE TESTS IN A LAB. THAT'S INTELLIGENT DESIGN" objection is so bone-headed is because you are essentially arguing that science is impossible (especially when you consider the observer effect). If that's your position, fine, but don't just apply it to evolution.

For example, I am going to go ahead and assume that you believe that the sun converts hydrogen into helium without the need for a designer. Now, you might believe God designed the sun, and you might believe that he designed the process by which it happens, but I don't believe that you think that each instance of nuclear fusion is really God making a special supernatural act to make it happen.

Now, with that assumption, if you were to run into someone who believed that every single instence of nucular fusion required an intelligent cause, what would you tell them to change their minds?

"Well, we can make hydrogen bombs here on Earth that do the same thing."

No, they say, that's intelligent design.

"Well, they sun emits a stellar wind that can only be generated by fusion."

You got that information from intelligently designed satellites, they say, so that doesn't count.

I suppose you could say "Look, saying that God magically fuses every atom in the sun, and it's not simply the result of natural law, (especially when we HAVE a natural explanation of the energy that comes from the sun already) is untestable and unfalsifiable, so it can't possibly be considered a serious competitor to mainstream scientific findings." But I take it you are still clinging to the dimwitted idea that the falsifiability criterion is applicable to epistemic principles as an ill-conceived means of escaping this objection.

Seriously, what would you say to this person? Or are you ready to say that we have good reason to think that God, as we speak, is busily turning those hydrogen atoms into helium atoms independent of natural law.

justfinethanks said...

Part 3 (Havana Nights):

Dr Funk will not accept anything outside of his materialistic presuppositions, despite the obvious reasons for doing just that.

Are you serioiusly calling OTHER people dogmatic? Even when presented with tree rings, ice cores, geological erosion, starlight, the fact that there are dozens of extinction sized impact craters on Earth, and lots of other evidences for an old earth that are totally independant of chemistry (i.e. radiocarbon dating), you still reject it. And why? Because you have an a priori commitment to a young Earth, despite the fact there are countless reasons to abandon it and zero reasons to maintain it.

Sorry, I don't see why I should accept that given that my entire experience indicates that intelligent agents and only intelligent agents produce information.

When did you become a radical empricist? Out of curiosity, how many times have you (or anyone) experienced an intelligent designer supernaturally designing a complex organism?

And incidentally, Meyer's central argument, that the "information" in DNA and RNA cannot have a naturalistic and chemcial basis was recently demonstrated to be false in a study published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution. (See, what's cool about evolution is that new papers are constantly being published and new studies are always being done, unlike ID, which abandons the journals they start after just three years because they don't do any original research or experiments, and therefore have nothing to publish.)

Here's a rundown by Molecular Biologist AG Hunt. It's a satisfying read for reality proponents.

bossmanham said...

It's not question begging to make the observation that the fact that there are no anachoristic fossils is strong evidence for evolution

How? It could just as well be evidence of a day-age earth creationism (not that I specifically advocate it). Fossilization in general is evidence for a rapidly forming flood. Also, the geological columns are out of place in many places, calling into question using this as a method of determining how old these fossils are.

the glut of features that would get any enginnering student a big fat F makes more sense under evolution than special creation.

Not to mention that this is highly overstated anyway, by who's standard are we judging this? Yours? Who are you to say the biological design in such and such animal is bad? Furthermore, Christians have a reason that biology is messed up in some cases, it's called sin. A naturalistic process hasn't been shown to generate the blueprints needed to form the life we see.

Frankly, if life IS designed, we should track down whoever did it and hold them responsible for their actions.

For what, pray? I'm still not sure what standard you're going by. You think you could design a better life form? Well the most brilliant minds in the field still can't even create a basic life form from scratch. Maybe they haven't consulted random blog commenter justfinethanks. Show us your better designed life form, please.

No, it simply exposes the contrived dualism that is at the heart of ID thinking.

How is this even relevant to the discussion? Dualism hasn't come up here.

Darwinian evolution cannot explain X, therefore X is best explained by intelligent design

That's not what ID does. It's clear that you don't even understand the hypothesis. As Meyer points out, he isn't saying "we don't have an explanation for something so goddidit" but is saying "we see information within biological structures and the only known things capable of producing information are rational minds. Therefore, by inference to the best explanation (which Darwin used in his theory) we can postulate that an intelligence front loaded biological systems with information." Get it straight if you're going to criticize it.

bossmanham said...

" The reason this "YOU DID THE TESTS IN A LAB. THAT'S INTELLIGENT DESIGN" objection is so bone-headed is because you are essentially arguing that science is impossible

No, we're arguing that inferring a naturalistic explanation by observing intelligent experiments is self defeating. You can still do science in a lab. For example, you can test erosion by setting up a scale model of a hillside and pouring water on it. What makes this valid is we can go to a hillside and observe erosion taking place in front of our eyes sans an intelligent water-pourer. We know it rains without us doing anything.

Contrary to that, we don't know that a naturalistic process can, for example, shut down a certain gene that controls the growth of a chicken's descendent's tail over a few million years. Any attempt to do this in a lab is an intelligent agent manipulating genes, which is what most IDers claim the designer did.

So it doesn't destroy science, just your sacred cow of pure naturalism. But that's your real problem with it anyway ;).

"Well, we can make hydrogen bombs here on Earth that do the same thing."

No, they say, that's intelligent design.


Actually this would be the akin to the designer designing the sun and the process by which it formed. Not the individual instances of fusion in the sun. False analogy.

You got that information from intelligently designed satellites, they say, so that doesn't count.

That's irrelevant. A tool used to acquire data isn't the issue.

If I had a video camera filming the earth for a billion years and observed naturalistic evolution of all species from a common ancestor, then I would accept the theses of common descent. The tool used to acquire the data isn't an issue. Leave these straw men in a field.

Seriously, what would you say to this person?

I'll let Rho speak for himself on this. I personally would say, "we can actually observe instances of nuclear fusion and compare them to the activity in the sun." Sadly, we can't do that with the theses of common descent.

bossmanham said...

Are you serioiusly calling OTHER people dogmatic?

You neo-Darwinists are some of the most dogmatic and intolerant people I've ever encountered. Rho is correct.

Even when presented with tree rings, ice cores, geological erosion, starlight, the fact that there are dozens of extinction sized impact craters on Earth, and lots of other evidences for an old earth that are totally independant of chemistry (i.e. radiocarbon dating), you still reject it

Even though I'm agnostic on the age of the earth , creationists do have fairly reasonable responses to all of those. The geological erosion in particular has a lot of support from a massive flood. One interesting theory in particular is the hydroplate theory.

When did you become a radical empricist? Out of curiosity, how many times have you (or anyone) experienced an intelligent designer supernaturally designing a complex organism?

Why is this relevant?

And incidentally, Meyer's central argument, that the "information" in DNA and RNA cannot have a naturalistic and chemcial basis was recently demonstrated to be false in a study published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution.

Is this from your own personal research, or did you just take the blog's word for it? Yes, if it's on a blog it must be true!!!!!!!!!11111!!!oneone

I'm going to bet that said paper is not really the smoking gun you say it is.

justfinethanks said...

Part 1:

How? It could just as well be evidence of a day-age earth creationism (not that I specifically advocate it).

Does day age earth creationism postulate that God created all the creatures in a manner identical to the order in which they must have evolved under Darwinian evolution? Because that's the only way this ad hoc rationalization could conceivably work.

Besides, I don't see how that works. The first creative act of life that God does in my bible is making plants. This contradicts the fossil record, in that for about half of the history of all life, we see nothing but unicellular organisms in the form of "microfossils." After that, there are multicellular organisms, then fungi. We don't even get to plants until the paleozoic era.

Fossilization in general is evidence for a rapidly forming flood.

If there were two strata: one pre flood and one post flood, THAT would evidence for a global flood.

If land animals and sea animals were fossilized in equal proportions, rather than the overwhelming majority of fossils being either sea creatures or creatures who lived near water, THAT would be evidence for a global flood.

The fact that some fossils exist AT ALL IS NOT EVIDENCE FOR A GLOBAL FLOOD

And to say otherwise is stupid and wrong, which makes you stupid and wrong.

Also, the geological columns are out of place in many places, calling into question using this as a method of determining how old these fossils are.

Please be more specific so I can gently correct your deep rooted ignorance. But because I have dealt with these arguments enough times, I assume you mean the folding of strata. Strata only fold at the edges of the tectonic plates where there is continential collision. We can verify that this has taken place via mudcracks, ripple marks, cross laminations, and yes, radiometric dating.

Of course, even if I accept that the "strata are out of place" and that "their ages in question" this one hundred percent fails to address the fact that there are ZERO OUT OF PLACE FOSSILS. You are just spewing out creationist arguments that those lying propogandists feed you randomly, without even checking to see if it is applicible to the point I'm making first.

Who are you to say the biological design in such and such animal is bad?

Someone who had his tonsils AND wisdom teeth pulled as a kid, that's who.

Furthermore, Christians have a reason that biology is messed up in some cases, it's called sin.

Yet again, sin isn't a scientifically testable concept, and doesn't deserve to have a place in a scientific discussion.

You think you could design a better life form?

With omnipotence? Of course.

How is this even relevant to the discussion? Dualism hasn't come up here.

Really? REALLY? You don't understand what "dualism" means outside the context of the philosophy of mind? Well let me help you: "The condition of being double; duality." In this particular instance I was using a phrase employed by Judge Jones when we ruled that ID is not science. "Dualism" means that there are two possible options, either Darwinian evolution or intelligent design. And "contrived" means that this this dualism doesn't exist in reality.

justfinethanks said...

Part 2:

we see information within biological structures and the only known things capable of producing information are rational minds.

Two big problems with this: the "DNA MUST COME FROM A MIND" is totally compatible with common descent and even Darwinian evolution. It's just not compatible with naturalistic abiogenesis. Yet people strangely act as if this argument means that they AREN'T cousins with all living things.

Secondly, "information" is defined in a vague way. For example, the sun has a temperature, lumens, velocity, volume, mass, all of which are "information." Do these necessitate a mind?

Thirdly, (I lied about the two problems) to say that the genetic "code" can't have a chemical basis outside of a mind is false.

From the abstract of the paper I referenced:

Using recent sequences for 337 independent binding sites directed to 8 amino acids and containing 18,551 nucleotides in all, we show a highly robust connection between amino acids and cognate coding triplets within their RNA binding sites. The apparent probability (P) that cognate triplets around these sites are unrelated to binding sites is [approximately] 5.3 x 10-45 for codons overall, and P [is approximately] 2.1 x 10-46 for cognate anticodons. Therefore, some triplets are unequivocally localized near their present amino acids. Accordingly, there was likely a stereochemical era during evolution of the genetic code, relying on chemical interactions between amino acids and the tertiary structures of RNA binding sites.

In other words, it's possible to get "code" via simple amino acids, which I don't think even Frankenstein-looking dude like Meyer thinks requires an intelligent designer.

So suck it.

justfinethanks said...

You neo-Darwinists are some of the most dogmatic and intolerant people I've ever encountered.

I'll take being called intolerant. But I'm only intolerant of ignorance and people who want to poison our already shoddy quality of science education.

creationists do have fairly reasonable responses to all of those.

No, they have lies and distrotions to all of those. Especially the tree rings, which the best I have ever got is "appearance of age." And the impact craters, where the best I've got is "No, those aren't impact craters."

I wish I was joking.

Is this from your own personal research, or did you just take the blog's word for it? Yes, if it's on a blog it must be true!!!!!!!!!11111!!!oneone

I'm going to bet that said paper is not really the smoking gun you say it is.


And I'm going to bet that you didn't even follow to freaking link, because if you did, you would learn that this is not based on a blog post. I linked to a summary of a peer reviewed scientific article by a molecular biologist. The article itself, hardly being just a blog post (!!!!!!!!!11111!!!oneone)was published in the highly regarded Journal for Molecular Biology.

I'm also going to bet that you will never see the "smoking gun," even when its blowing right in your face, because you have terrible cognitive biases that force you to violently reject reality.

justfinethanks said...

Correction, it was the Journal for Molecular Evolution, not Molecular Biology.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Although it appear JFT has beaten me to the punch here (some good stuff in what he/she posted I thought), I'll provide my reply too - there's quite a lot and I was copying and pasting as I went along so anything you want me to answer that I've missed, point it out.


He provoked me to check out TalkOrigins some

I don't think I mentioned talk origins, you'd have been better checking out (for example) Mark Chu-Carrol's post that I linked to given that you made many of the same mistakes that just about every creationist/IDer I've ever read has made.

I doubt any ID-ist has ever hypothesised that the Designer always did everything perfectly well and also preserved it perfectly in line with that perfection. (Sin, the Fall, remember?)

I thought ID had nothing to do with religion?

Either way, this was not my point, as I've stated twice - if we accept everything was designed for argument, how do you qualify good design and bad design? If human objects are a point of comparison for at least some design arguments (eg your experiments=ID argument), and we know some human objects are badly designed, why are we prevented from therefore pointing out bad design in biological objects?

On the other, ToE provides no answer to the problem of information in organisms, specifically the origin of that info.

Going by your definition of information that you provide later, mindless processes can 'create' it (see below for example)

Going by the sort of definition used in Kolmogorov information theory, a random process can generate large amounts of information.

That is, I ask for examples of evol at work and I get mosquitoes evolving into mosquitoes, lizards into lizards, bacteria into bacteria, etc.

Because if anyone could show examples of a lizard evolving into a bird within our lifetime, it would show the ToE to be false! In fact, it would lend good support to creationism if anything, since given the state of life post-flood, YEC requires ultra fast evolution to generate the diversity apparent approximately 4,500 years later.

This is one thing I find bizarre about creationism - they don't accept evolution, but at the same time require vast amounts of it to account for their own point of view!

Dr Funkenstein said...

part II

But getting back to the foundation of this point, it goes like this:

I've already said I'm accepting this for argument in order to ask you how you differentiate good and bad design, since as JFT pointed out why is your conclusion 'therefore, good design' reliable, whereas 'therefore, bad design' is not!

Additionally, as has been said several times now, if everything is designed, pointing out things like irreducible complexity is irrelevant since you could point to a cowpat and say that's got all the hallmarks of design, since it would indeed be a designed object too.

And humans have designed quite a few things badly, only to go back later and improve them. I mean, why were computer monitors originally all in green and black? Didn't their designers know that it would be far better just to use plasma flat screens at 1080p resolution and full color?

I know this. But this is yet another disanalogy with ID - when 'flaws' are found, the designer doesn't come back and tune things up to make them more efficient. So if human experiments are support for ID, you really have to then explain why ID is so different to the way humans do things? how would human agency support ID if it is unlike anything found in the actions of the ID designer?

On the other hand, if 'bad design' really is present, this fact is explained very well by a non-teleological process that 'creates' things by working with what's available and isn't perfection directed.

Not an experiment that is, to repeat the obvious and beat the dead horse, designed by intelligent agents in a lab that was intelligently designed and constructed and which was launched by intelligent agents.

So can you please explain how it follows that this provides evidence of a supernatural intelligent agent, when (if we accept your conclusion) all evidence suggests that a natural agent (in this case human(s)) must be involved!

If you are going to make the inductive inference that all human agency in an experiment means that biological evolution requires an intelligt agent, why are you not also making the inductive inference that this agent must be human (since all examples support this fact)?

as bossman says

"No, we're arguing that inferring a naturalistic explanation by observing intelligent experiments is self defeating."

Therefore, if we follow his logic, that must mean appealing to a supernatural explanation by observing naturalistic intelligent agents at work is also self-defeating.

Meyer does, in his Signature In the Cell book. Page 86 says:
"Webster's, for instance, has a second definition that defines information as 'the attribute inherent in and communicated by alternative sequences of arrangements of sthg that produce specific effect.' Info, according to this definition, equals an arrangement or string of characters, specifically one that accomplishes a particular outcome or performs a communication function."


Firstly, there's a difference between the way information is used in information theory and the causal usage that might be provided by a dictionary.

Second, using the above definition, various weather patterns would fulfill this definition since they have specific arrangements and can perform a communication function (ie they tell us if it's winter versus summer, if a hurricane is approaching etc). There's no obvious sign a mind is required to generate that information since blind, mechanical processes generate weather patterns. I'm sure you could think of 1000s of other mindless processes that could comply with this definition.

Dr Funkenstein said...

final part

Correct. The big, big problem you're overlooking is that YOU are the one who is trying to leave a designer out of the equation.

To highlight better the absurdity of what you are saying here, consider this analogy:

When a human boils water in a kettle, it creates steam. Going by what you've said in your post, this would mean the steam is therefore intelligently designed.

Extending your logic further, because to witness steam either requires a human to conduct the 'experiment' to make steam or a human to observe the presence of steam after the fact of its 'creation', this would mean all steam is intelligently designed and cannot arise as a result of natural processes.

If you concede there is naturally occurring steam, and there's no real difference between that and 'designed' steam, surely you'd have to concede that the human is simply mimicking what goes on in nature on a small scale with the kettle, much like the biological experimenter simply mimics nature on a small scale in the lab?

Well, sure. But no one's arguing that length is the only component here. Information can be short.
"I'm out back" contains the same # of characters (incl spaces) as "jffngikd87ff", and fewer than "dfafaiqwu340quefnqelrnqwflnad;f435q345243543", but it communicates sthg.


"I'm out back" doesn't communicate anything to someone or something who has never seen the kind of symbols used in European languages, or that has never learned how to speak English. It happens to mean something to us as we both recognise and understand English.

You've also made the standard mistake of assuming because your two comparison strings are the same length but one of them is 'meaningful' (to you) that therefore this one contains more information, which is not necessarily true. Two strings of the same length can contain different amounts of information depending on how compressible they are - therefore some strings that you would regard as 'meaningful' can contain less information (or be less complex) than a string of the same length that you'd regard as 'meaningless'.


Sorry, I don't see why I should accept that given that my entire experience indicates that intelligent agents and only intelligent agents produce information.

You only assume this because you don't understand or know the basics of information theory - seriously, go on some of the websites I linked to which will explain it to you in layman's terms. Peter Pike makes pretty much the same mistakes you've made in this post here,

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2008/08/complex-sleight-of-hand.html

which is very well refuted by Touchstone (twice - see the links at the bottom of the comments section) - again, I would take the time to read these as they highlight perfectly where you have gone wrong. It's also worth reading Idahoev's comments in Pike's post.


Photocopying a page of a book doesn't increase information at all.

Again, you are simply flat wrong on this. eg in Kolmogorov information theory, a string XX has more information than X does.

Dembski, as noted by Jeffrey Shallit in one of the links I gave last time, also makes this basic mistake. Seriously, I can't say this enough - read up on the basics of information theory.

If you want a really long list of examples of Dembski's mistakes, your best bet is to read Shallit and Elsberry's critique here (although it is pretty long, it's about as thorough as you'll find on the web)

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/eandsdembski.pdf

If you want a far simpler critique of Dembski, ask yourself this - why are no computer scientists or mathematicians using Dembski's ideas, yet eg Kolmogorov information theory have widespread use in these fields? If Dembski's work was up to scratch, surely it would have a lot of application? Yet it doesn't. I wonder why that could be...

Rhology said...

bossmanham said:
we're arguing that inferring a naturalistic explanation by observing intelligent experiments is self defeating.

Well, that's close. I'm arguing that inferring an UNGUIDED explanation NOT INVOLVING INTELLIGENCE by observing intelligent experiments is self-defeating.


jft said in his 2nd set of comments:

Does day age earth creationism postulate that God created all the creatures in a manner identical to the order in which they must have evolved under Darwinian evolution?

No. Read Genesis 1-2.


This contradicts the fossil record

You mean it contradicts YOUR INTERP of the fossil record. Read Gee, there's no good reason to accept such flights of fancy w/o a good argument as to why.


If there were two strata: one pre flood and one post flood, THAT would evidence for a global flood.

False dilemma. Other signs could point to a flood as well.
However, I don't see a good reason to consider, um, rocks with the same level of evidentiary value as revelation from God.


I assume you mean the folding of strata.

Polystrate trees is an intriguing example.


We can verify that this has taken place via mudcracks, ripple marks, cross laminations, and yes, radiometric dating.

Haha. "Yes, radiometric dating. That same process that so often gives completely crapped out results and makes massive assumptions to work right. That one."
And of course, none of those other things could possibly be present in a flood topography.


Who are you to say the biological design in such and such animal is bad?

Someone who had his tonsils AND wisdom teeth pulled as a kid, that's who.


I'll just recommend anyone read the BEAR blogpost linked in the OP. Sorry I don't accept "I don't like it" as a good substitute for an argument.


Yet again, sin isn't a scientifically testable concept, and doesn't deserve to have a place in a scientific discussion.

Such out of place snobbery! It DOES Have a place in a HISTORICAL discussion, which is what this is. Try again.


Secondly, "information" is defined in a vague way. For example, the sun has a temperature, lumens, velocity, volume, mass, all of which are "information." Do these necessitate a mind?

Yes, they necessitate a mind. Did you forget whom you're arguing with? Go ahead and answer the question, please.


there was likely a stereochemical era

Likely, eh? I'll be taking bets on how long this "likely" explanation will last under scrutiny. Over/under is 10 years.



5.3 x 10-45

And of course the extreme improbability doesn't bother the Darwinians. They're just happy it's a higher probability than 1 in more than the number of molecules in the universe.



So suck it.

I think jft is Dick Dawk in disguise with a slight improvement in manners.


But I'm only intolerant of ignorance and people who want to poison our already shoddy quality of science education.

So you concede that point. Thanks! QED.




Dr Funk said:
I don't think I mentioned talk origins

I didn't say you "mentioned" it. Reading comprehension.
And I've met many other Darwinists who swear by talk.origins. I could channel jft and say "suck it", but I won't.



I thought ID had nothing to do with religion?

Am I Stephen Meyer or Dembski?

Rhology said...

if we accept everything was designed for argument, how do you qualify good design and bad design?

The question is uninteresting to me and totally irrelevant to this discussion. The question is design vs non-design. The point is, use another argument. If you have one.


Because if anyone could show examples of a lizard evolving into a bird within our lifetime, it would show the ToE to be false!

Boo hoo. That's not MY problem, you know.
And of course, if someone CAN'T observe it, it's ALSO false, or at least definitely not science. That's why I think you should give it up.


creationism - they don't accept evolution, but at the same time require vast amounts of it to account for their own point of view!

??
We don't accept MACROevol. MICRO is accepted by everyone. Now who's guilty of not reading the other side?


pointing out things like irreducible complexity is irrelevant since you could point to a cowpat and say that's got all the hallmarks of design, since it would indeed be a designed object too.

Wrong, I'm happy to make that argument, but I would imagine the IDists think there are more evocative examples than cowpats.
Again, you must've forgotten whom you're arguing with.


But this is yet another disanalogy with ID - when 'flaws' are found, the designer doesn't come back and tune things up to make them more efficient.

1) You don't know that at all. Various IDists posit the Designer's tinkering from time to time. Read Meyer's "Signature".
2) Flaws don't disaffirm a designer.
3) Why should the designer tune things up? To satisfy you? Given your obvious predisposition to stick your fingers in your ears, I'd imagine he'd think he has better things to do.


So if human experiments are support for ID, you really have to then explain why ID is so different to the way humans do things?

Right, b/c humans NEVER screw ANYTHING up, or leave ANYTHING undone. Or leave ANYTHING imperfect. Fail.


So can you please explain how it follows that this provides evidence of a supernatural intelligent agent

The limited point about intelligence makes no move toward proving theism. It's a rebuttal of Darwinism. See what I said to bossmanham: I'm arguing that inferring an UNGUIDED explanation NOT INVOLVING INTELLIGENCE by observing intelligent experiments is self-defeating.


why are you not also making the inductive inference that this agent must be human (since all examples support this fact)?

B/c I'm not using that argument to make a positive case for my position at all; I use other things to do that.


using the above definition, various weather patterns would fulfill this definition since they have specific arrangements and can perform a communication function (ie they tell us if it's winter versus summer, if a hurricane is approaching etc).

"They" don't "tell" us. We, intelligent agents, have learned to discern a pattern. Sounds vaguely familiar, hmm...

Rhology said...

Going by what you've said in your post, this would mean the steam is therefore intelligently designed.

Do you really not know by now that I think EVERYTHING was created by God, a grand Intelligence? Why make all these arguments that bolster my position?
Besides, this is a poor example for you, find another. There's more to this than "hey! Steam!" There's a machine making the steam.


"I'm out back" doesn't communicate anything to someone or something who has never seen the kind of symbols used in European languages

But it does if you have!


Two strings of the same length can contain different amounts of information depending on how compressible they are

Agreed.


therefore some strings that you would regard as 'meaningful' can contain less information (or be less complex) than a string of the same length that you'd regard as 'meaningless'.

So, in your world, "some meaning" can have less meaning than "zero meaning, meaningless"?


very well refuted by Touchstone

Only a committed atheist could make that statement with a straight face.


why are no computer scientists or mathematicians using Dembski's ideas

There are, plenty. Read Meyer's "Signature".

Dr Funkenstein said...

The question is uninteresting to me and totally irrelevant to this discussion. The question is design vs non-design. The point is, use another argument. If you have one.

it's hard to work out what your point in this thread is then, or why you are advocating ID

All the design arguments I can think of off the top of my head at some point make a comparison with human endeavours, as well as with designed vs undesigned objects

eg

Paley's watchmaker (human designed watch vs undesigned rock
your argument re: lab experiments
the ID lot with their references to Mt Rushmore (human design), and the fact that specific things in biology are designed and others are not, as detectable by their methods (if everything is designed, their methods should detect this in every instance in the physical world - the fact they don't therefore suggests their methods are faulty)

if that's the case, why are they allowed to infer things about supernatural design based on what humans do, yet I am not?

On the other hand, if everything is designed then these arguments are a waste of time as no undesigned things exist.

And of course, if someone CAN'T observe it, it's ALSO false, or at least definitely not science. That's why I think you should give it up.

Posting this yet again just makes your arguments seem ridiculous. I've lost count of how many times before I've posted non-evolutionary examples of things that are not directly observed, but that are inferred from other observations that you appear to have no problem accepting the existence of (The Earth's core, exoplanets, electrons, quarks, murder investigations). Really you just want to arbitrarily single out evolutionary theory as a special case, for rather obvious reasons.

Surely you must realise by now that it's observations that are consistent or not consistent with an idea that is what is being referred to when the word observation is used? ie a hypothesis that says there should be hominid fossils found any where is not consistent with the observation that hominid fossils are restricted to fairly specific locations, or a theory that says 'kinds' should exist is not consistent with observations that animals can't be grouped into strict archetypes, for example.

So you know for future reference, I'll probably just ignore this objection in subsequent posts as responding to it is a waste of energy since it appears to have no effect on you simply repeating the same thing over and over.

And of course, if someone CAN'T observe it, it's ALSO false,

How on earth does that conclusion follow from the premise? Guess that means there was no creation, or a great Flood and Jesus never existed, got crucified or ascended to heaven then! Unless you have a time machine handy?

btw appealing to the bible doesn't help, because

a. you can't observe those events first hand to verify them so, from what you've said above, they must be false

b. the historical method relies on some similar processes of inference to science (eg philological techniques are used in biblical studies and are similar to those used to construct ancestry trees in ev. biol. (Likewise for tracing the ancestry of languages))

c. as I've stated too many times to mention, I guess that means electrons, exoplanets, the earth's core etc don't exist?

or at least definitely not science.

If your defintion of science is what's apparently called Baconianism (ie meaning you have to see it happen right in front of your nose for it to be science), then no it isn't. But then noone in the modern era uses that type of definition (apart from you it would seem).

Either way, why would calling it something different change its true/false status? History isn't science either, but I don't doubt the 2nd world war happened or that Abe Lincoln was a real person.

Dr Funkenstein said...

We don't accept MACROevol. MICRO is accepted by everyone. Now who's guilty of not reading the other side?

You're well aware I know the creationist position

a. this doesn't answer the objection - you still require this so-called microevolution (and migration from the ark) to occur at a far more rapid pace than is known to be physically possible. If it did happen like this, why is there no historical documentation showing that people had seen this (since they could have observed it happening)?

b. this same 'microevolution' you advocate has created greater genetic diversity within 'kinds' (eg cats) than it has between humans and chimps, therefore, human and chimp commmon ancestry is feasible under this scheme since if the process can generate greater diversity than is present between chimps and humans, there's no longer any obvious barrier to it happening. Therefore, your position again undermines itself

c. at least some macroevolution would have had to occur since macroevolution is by definition ev. above the species level, and there are numerous animals grouped within a kind (going on the sort of groups creationists usually say constitute a kind) that are separate species from each other.


1) You don't know that at all. Various IDists posit the Designer's tinkering from time to time. Read Meyer's "Signature".

Great - so can we suggest some experiments to catch the designer in the act, so to speak, then?

Right, b/c humans NEVER screw ANYTHING up, or leave ANYTHING undone. Or leave ANYTHING imperfect. Fail.

of course they do - but this is again irrelevant

If some biological structure contains a defect, a human designer can point out 'that's a flaw' and attempt to do something about it. Can you give examples of when the designer has come back to improve on flawed designs and how you supported this idea?

The limited point about intelligence makes no move toward proving theism. It's a rebuttal of Darwinism.

So let's see

On the one hand you can infer that the presence of an intelligent agent in experiments entirely rules out natural causes capable of doing the same thing as what happens in the experiment

but

The presence of only natural intellgence in those same experiments doesn't rule out supernaturalism?

There's no consistency in what you're claiming here.

B/c I'm not using that argument to make a positive case for my position at all; I use other things to do that.

despite the fact the post promotes the position that 'evidence for evolution is actually evidence for ID' - that sounds like making a positive case to me if you think you have evidential support for an idea!

"They" don't "tell" us. We, intelligent agents, have learned to discern a pattern. Sounds vaguely familiar, hmm...

But your claim was that information could not be generated by mindless processes, not that intelligent agents couldn't understand it - clearly, it is in this case as it fulfills your definition of what constitutes information. Unless you can show that the weather is not a mindless process?

Additionally, to use my language example then, you'd have to concede that sometimes there is no information content in language (on your definition of information) since some people and most (if not all) intelligent animals don't understand various human languages.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Do you really not know by now that I think EVERYTHING was created by God...

You've missed the point (yet again...), and you seem to keep switching positions throughout your arguments. Sometimes you say there are natural processes, sometimes you say there aren't. it's really not obvious what you're actually arguing for any more.

I'll spell it out as simply as I can

your argument

P1. if a human conducts an experiment, it is evidence for ID
P2. some experiments generate new features/functions in organisms
C. therefore, evolution cannot happen via mindless processes


versus mine

P1. if a human conducts an experiment, it is evidence for ID
P2 some human activities generate steam
C therefore, steam cannot result from mindless processes

clearly, it's rather absurd to suggest that all steam is the result of intelligent agency, or that steam from a kettle is markedly different from steam from a naturally occurring geyser. But this is essentially exactly what you are saying in your argument.

But it does if you have!

rather obviously, but not everyone has seen the English language, or understands it, do they? The same way Mandarin Chinese or Russian will mean a lot to someone from China or Russia but absolutely nothing to me None of these languages would convey meaning to an intelligent non-human animal either.

So, in your world, "some meaning" can have less meaning than "zero meaning, meaningless"?

Your claim is that a meaningful phrase in English will have more information content than a string of equal length of gibberish will. This is not true, if the string of gibberish is less compressible than the string of English phrasing.

Contrary to what you are saying, maximal randomness will actually produce the maximal amount of information. This is a simple fact of information theory, no matter how much you'd like it to be otherwise.

Only a committed atheist could make that statement with a straight face.

there's a small problem here though - in this particular instance he's right and Pike is wrong, and by extension so are you since you agree with Pike.

If the fact it's written by Touchstone bothers you (and it shouldn't, because what he's saying is correct, regardless of anything else he might have posted), read Mark Chu-Carroll's post (who is not an atheist, but also shows that you and Pike are wrong).

There are, plenty. Read Meyer's "Signature".

OK, can you give some names and show some examples?

this post suggests the contrary, although it is referring to an incident in 2001

http://recursed.blogspot.com/2009/07/stephen-meyers-honesty-problem.html

"Meyer had written in 2000 that "Systems that are characterized by both specificity and complexity (what information theorists call "specified complexity'') have "information content''."

The only problem is, information theorists don't use the term "specified complexity" and they don't refer to "specificity" when discussing information. At the time, there was precisely one mathematician who was pushing the term "specified complexity", and that was William Dembski, who tried (but failed) to create a new, mathematically-rigorous definition at information which (were it coherent) would be at odds with how information is defined by other mathematicians and computer scientists.

I went up to Meyer at the conference and asked him, "You wrote that 'information theorists' (plural) talk about specified complexity. Who are they?" He then admitted that he knew no one but Dembski (and Dembski himself is not much of an information theorist, having published exactly 0 papers so far on the topic in the peer-reviewed scientific literature)."

Dr Funkenstein said...

I missed this first time round

"I thought ID had nothing to do with religion?"

Am I Stephen Meyer or Dembski?

you stated

"I doubt any ID-ist has ever hypothesised that the Designer always did everything perfectly well and also preserved it perfectly in line with that perfection. (Sin, the Fall, remember?)"

Again, what is the relevance of sin or the Fall to ID arguments if it is a non-religious theory?

Interesting as well when people point out the evidence showing it to be primarily a Christian religious/political tool (eg cdesignproponentists, wedge doc etc) this is hotly denied by ID advocates, yet its fine to link it to Christian theism when the need arises.

Human Ape said...

Alan, I checked out your profile and I found this.

Interests - Jesus Christian apologetics/theology comparative religion debate foreign language translation and interpretation mission work foreign food coffee ping pong college football ATP (men's tennis) basketball badminton

I used to play ping pong and badminton. What great sports. So we have at least something in common. Since this thread is about science (it would be more accurate to say this thread is anti-science) I thought I would find "science" in your list of interests but I didn't find it.

I shouldn't be surprised. It's obvious you don't even know what science is.

It's interesting that you use code words like design and designer when you really mean "magic" and "magic man". Disguising a childish idea like magic to look scientific by calling it another name only shows that you're a dishonest person.

Scientists, including competent religious scientists, do not invoke your magic man to solve scientific problems. You need to understand that when you invoke a magic man (which you dishonestly call a designer), you are not doing science. Instead you are invoking your childish anti-science religious beliefs.

http://darwin-killed-god.blogspot.com/

Human Ape said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Human Ape said...

It also fails to provide any mechanism that can be observed to take care of the problem of variety of organisms arising from an allegedly common ancestor.

Alan, you're a waste of my precious time, but I will at least try to answer this one.

The mechanisms of evolution include natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift. That's how the world works and these mechanisms are why the world now has millions of species, thanks to the branching process of evolution.

For evidence there are countless fossils of transitional species which are still being discovered every year, but the most powerful evidence comes from molecular biology which of course you know absolutely nothing about. Why don't you educate yourself instead of hiding behind your imaginary Jeebus. You will find out the real world is thousands of times more interesting than your childish everything-is-magic fantasy world.

bossmanham said...

Does day age earth creationism postulate that God created all the creatures in a manner identical to the order in which they must have evolved under Darwinian evolution?

First off, that's not what is seen in the fossil record. Second, the contention was we don't see rabbits along with trilobites. It is conceivable that God designed different animals over a period of time, if you are correct about the strata indicating the age of the fossils within said strata, and if you are correct about the age.

Please be more specific so I can gently correct your deep rooted ignorance

I was specific. The strata are out of order in places. This isn't to mention that the geological column is based on the presupposition of neo-Darwinism. This isn't ignorance, it's an observation of documented facts that demand an answer. I am not making any claims, I am pointing out inconsistencies in what you seem to think is an airtight theory. Your reaction to my questions betrays your deep-rooted insecurity.

ZERO OUT OF PLACE FOSSILS

That is actually blatantly false.

Someone who had his tonsils AND wisdom teeth pulled as a kid, that's who.

And who determined this is bad design?

And "contrived" means that this this dualism doesn't exist in reality.

Ah. My bad.

It's just not compatible with naturalistic abiogenesis.

Fine, and some IDers accept common descent. I don't, because the evidence used to support it doesn't begin to go there. This isn't relevant, however.

For example, the sun has a temperature, lumens, velocity, volume, mass, all of which are "information.

You clearly haven't ever interacted with Meyer's writing. All of those things are properties of the sun that we can extrapolate information from. They don't become information without rational minds interpreting information from those properties. DNA is an instruction set that tells biological systems how to form and operate, much like a computer program tells hardware how to operate. It's information. I know you don't like the implications, but try to get past your stubborn dogmatism ;).

In other words, it's possible to get "code" via simple amino acids, which I don't think even Frankenstein-looking dude like Meyer thinks requires an intelligent designer.

I notice that this is an intelligently designed and guided experiment.

And again, it isn't the smoking gun you paint it out to be. I'll wait for Meyer's response, as I'm far from being a biologist.

I'll take being called intolerant. But I'm only intolerant of ignorance and people who want to poison our already shoddy quality of science education.

As long as you admit it. However, since when are competing hypotheses "poison?" You aren't an advocate of science, you're an advocate of the religious dogmatism that is the neo-Darwinian paradigm. You're beginning to sound much like the medieval Catholic church. "Burn the heretics!!!"

No, they have lies and distrotions to all of those.

Something you neo-Darwies need to learn is that a different interpretation of evidence is not necessarily a lie. What makes you so angry that people disagree with you? Does your personal identity rest on a scientific theory?

And I'm going to bet that you didn't even follow to freaking link

I followed both liks one was to here: http://www.iscid.org/pcid.php
(the defunct ID journal)

the other to here: http://aghunt.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/signature-in-the-cell/
(blog discussing Meyer's book and paper you referenced).

You didn't link to the paper until you responded to me.

I'm also going to bet that you will never see the "smoking gun," even when its blowing right in your face, because you have terrible cognitive biases that force you to violently reject reality

Wow, pot calling the kettle black.

bossmanham said...

Therefore, if we follow his logic, that must mean appealing to a supernatural explanation by observing naturalistic intelligent agents at work is also self-defeating.

This is a really silly statement that doesn't begin to make sense, and it assumes naturalism.

Dr Funkenstein said...

This is a really silly statement that doesn't begin to make sense, and it assumes naturalism.

it neither assumes naturalism nor is it difficult to follow - it's simply turning an argument on its head to show that you/Rhology have to accept naturalistically guided evolution if lab experiments prove evolution must be guided

your original statement was something to the effect that intelligent agents being involved in an experiment means that evolution can't be used to support unguided evolution. Rhology also says this and that this therefore proves that evolution must actually be guided by an intelligent agent and cannot happen via mindless processes

This is an inductive inference, namely drawing a general conclusion from a set of specific examples:

ie all known experiments for evolution involve a human agent, therefore new features/functions cannot arise without an intelligent agent present

taking the exact same set of experiments, I simply made another obvious inductive inference:

ie all those experiments feature a human (ie a non-supernatural) designer, therefore guided evolution must require a natural/human designer

So, in short if you wish to employ this argument to show evolution cannot happen unguided you must also accept that evolution is not guided by a non-natural agent. Of course you don't want to accept this conclusion, but then if that's the case you have no objection any more to anyone who says that lab experiments can support unguided evolution.

Dr Funkenstein said...

your original statement was something to the effect that intelligent agents being involved in an experiment means that evolution can't be used to support unguided evolution

sorry, that should read

"your original statement was something to the effect that intelligent agents being involved in an experiment means that lab experiments can't be used to support unguided evolution"

Rhology said...

Hi Human Ape,
I used to play ping pong and badminton. What great sports.

Yes, they are so fun! Could spend hours doing either one, but I'm better at ping pong to be sure.


Since this thread is about science (it would be more accurate to say this thread is anti-science) I thought I would find "science" in your list of interests but I didn't find it.

Yeah, it's probably fair to say that I take an amateur interest in philosophy of science. I just expect that if I'm so ignorant of the real issues, it'd be easy to prove me wrong.



It's obvious you don't even know what science is.

OK, thanks for your opinion.



It's interesting that you use code words like design and designer when you really mean "magic" and "magic man".

Been there, done that already. Try again.



For evidence there are countless fossils of transitional species which are still being discovered every year

Been there, done THAT already. Try again.
You appear to be little more than a troll who doesn't understand the depth of the problems that naturalism has. I urge you to do some more reading; start with the "Posts I refer back to alot" in the top left corner of this blog, the ones that relate to this question.

Rhology said...

(part 1)

Dr Funk said:

why are they allowed to infer things about supernatural design based on what humans do, yet I am not?

Since ID doesn't specify whether the designer is supernatural or not, this question is based on a false premise.
As for me, I do know quite a lot about the Designer, so I don't have to speculate, but I will correct false understandings of God.


if everything is designed then these arguments are a waste of time as no undesigned things exist.

Not at all - they're appealing to Darwinists' common sense to try to better illustrate ID's points.


I've lost count of how many times before I've posted non-evolutionary examples of things that are not directly observed, but that are inferred from other observations that you appear to have no problem accepting the existence of (The Earth's core, exoplanets, electrons, quarks, murder investigations).

That's fine, but then you and others come back and act like ID isn't science b/c it's unobservable or b/c it's not repeatable in the lab, etc. You can't keep your own standards straight, and you're not realising why I make that argument. It's not a positive argument for ID; it's a rebuttal of common Darwinian claims.



Surely you must realise by now that it's observations that are consistent or not consistent with an idea that is what is being referred to when the word observation is used? ie a hypothesis that says there should be hominid fossils found any where is not consistent with the observation that hominid fossils are restricted to fairly specific locations

Fine, but I reserve the right to call out the massive assumptions involved in not only making such a hypothesis but also in interping the facts discovered - that there are rocks in other rocks.


I'll probably just ignore this objection in subsequent posts as responding to it is a waste of energy since it appears to have no effect on you simply repeating the same thing over and over.

It'd be better if you'd act consistently with the position you espouse here and not attack ID on that basis, but as long as you and others do it, I'll respond until I get a decent answer.



And of course, if someone CAN'T observe it, it's ALSO false,

How on earth does that conclusion follow from the premise?


I was being a bit snarkastic. What I should've said, though, was "it's ALSO unscientific", again taking your bad standards and turning them back on you. See, you're saying Darwinian evol is true even though we can't observe it, and you wouldn't expect to be able to observe it. I'm just laughing about that.



Guess that means there was no creation, or a great Flood and Jesus never existed, got crucified or ascended to heaven then! Unless you have a time machine handy?

My statement was an internal critique of your position; this is not an internal critique of MY position. You need to remember what I hold to a high standard of evidential value.

Rhology said...

(part 2)




If your defintion of science is what's apparently called Baconianism (ie meaning you have to see it happen right in front of your nose for it to be science), then no it isn't.

No no no no, it's YOURS, the standards that YOU HAVE BEEN USING.
Perhaps I should revise this, though - it's the standard for "science" I see most often from online Darwinists. I apologise if I've projected their bad views onto you.



History isn't science either, but I don't doubt the 2nd world war happened or that Abe Lincoln was a real person.

EXACTLY. That's Meyer's point in "Signature", actually.



you still require this so-called microevolution (and migration from the ark) to occur at a far more rapid pace than is known to be physically possible.

Why assume uniformitarianism? Make the argument.



If it did happen like this, why is there no historical documentation showing that people had seen this (since they could have observed it happening)?

Why is there no historical documentation of the patterns of any king of Persia's bowel movements?



this same 'microevolution' you advocate has created greater genetic diversity within 'kinds' (eg cats) than it has between humans and chimps

I don't grant the premise of the question.



at least some macroevolution would have had to occur since macroevolution is by definition ev. above the species level, and there are numerous animals grouped within a kind (going on the sort of groups creationists usually say constitute a kind)

I should think that would be by (the creationist's) definition microevol, not macro.



so can we suggest some experiments to catch the designer in the act, so to speak, then?

There you go again. You just complained about the historical science thing and now you're back to the old tricks. So underhanded! Or maybe you don't even realise you're doing it. History isn't science either, but I don't doubt the 2nd world war happened or that Abe Lincoln was a real person.



Can you give examples of when the designer has come back to improve on flawed designs and how you supported this idea?

Why would that be important to me?



On the one hand you can infer that the presence of an intelligent agent in experiments entirely rules out natural causes

No no no, it rules out UNINTELLIGENT causes.



that sounds like making a positive case to me if you think you have evidential support for an idea!

OK, I don't know what else to tell you; to me it's at most a pre-emptive strike on a Darwinian objection.

Rhology said...

(part 3)



But your claim was that information could not be generated by mindless processes, not that intelligent agents couldn't understand it

Those examples you cited aren't information like the info in the cell is. My mind creating a pattern out of non-pattern for the sake of better understanding the phenomenon isn't the same as DNA managing the construction and function of complex and specified mechanisms and structures.



your argument

Wrong. Here it is:
P1 - Darwinism posits an unintelligent mechanism.
P2 - Proponents of Darwinism support their contention with experiments conducted by humans.
P3 - If a human conducts an experiment, it is an intelligent agent conducting it.
C - Said proponents need to find other support for their mechanism.

I'm not trained in formal syllogisms, so this may well be incorrect form, but I'm trying to tell you (again) that I'm rebutting a Darwinian argument.



it's rather absurd to suggest that all steam is the result of intelligent agency

Why? What is absurd about that (since we're talking logic)?
The point is that the very point of contention is intelligence, and to use experiments that insert intelligence at every single point is ridiculous.



maximal randomness will actually produce the maximal amount of information.

adf097fa87df908qayerlqk3erl;qkwerjqdf08979a87df89079&&*)(^*(&%^oiauhsfashdfalsdjfh
Really?



what is the relevance of sin or the Fall to ID arguments if it is a non-religious theory?

B/c it's answering Darwinists' objections.
You could really stand to think about the diffs between positive argumentation in support of one's position and rebuttals to objections. You're losing track alot in this thread.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I was specific. The strata are out of order in places.

Due to upthrusts and suchlike, but then geologists know this since they were the ones that discovered these facts.

This isn't to mention that the geological column is based on the presupposition of neo-Darwinism.

Epic fail, as the internet meme goes.

The idea of the geological column form predates Darwin, and some of the basic ideas underlying it go back centuries before his time.

Additionally the early researchers in what we recognise as modern geology were almost all Christian creationists just like you are.

This isn't ignorance,

What you wrote suggests otherwise

it's an observation of documented facts that demand an answer.

job done then

Rhology said...

The idea of the geological column form predates Darwin,

What he no doubt meant was that the currently popular INTERP of the geo column is based on naturalistic presupps.


the early researchers in what we recognise as modern geology were almost all Christian creationists just like you are.

Doesn't mean they were consistent with the presuppositions they claimed they had. Seen that many, many times.

Dr Funkenstein said...

What he no doubt meant was that the currently popular INTERP of the geo column is based on naturalistic presupps.

That wasn't his claim though was it? It's not based on the assumption of Darwinian evolution, which was Bossman's point, since the idea predates Darwin's theory.

it's a bit like a blog I saw ages ago with a list of famous scientists that didn't accept Darwin's theories, as if this constituted some kind of proof smart people didn't accept evolution. the only problem was a large number on the list had died before the publication of origin of species, and some were even dead before Darwin was even born!


Doesn't mean they were consistent with the presuppositions they claimed they had. Seen that many, many times.

Again, that's not that relevant - a lot of the people who helped develop the geological column concept had creationist assumptions, not Darwinian ones, contrary to what BM claimed.

Dr Funkenstein said...

"maximal randomness will actually produce the maximal amount of information."

adf097fa87df908qayerlqk3erl;qkwerjqdf08979a87df89079&&*)(^*(&%^oiauhsfashdfalsdjfh
Really?


under the Kolmogorov-Solomonoff-Chaitin version, the fact that you can't compress a truly random string means that it is more complex than a non-random string (since a non-random string can be compressed)

in fact, let's hear it from Greg Chaitin himself:

http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/lowell.html

"So this idea of program size has a lot of philosophical resonances, and you can define randomness or maximum entropy as something that cannot be compressed at all. It's an object with the property that basically the only way you can describe it to someone is to say ``this is it'' and show it to them. Because it has no structure or pattern, there is no concise description, and the thing has to be understood as ``a thing in itself'', it's irreducible.

Randomness = Incompressibility

The other extreme is an object that has a very regular pattern so you can just say that it's ``a million 0s'' or ``half a million repetitions of 01'', pairs 01, 01, 01 repeated half a million times. These are very long objects with a very concise description. Another long object with a concise description is an ephemeris, I think it's called that, it's a table giving the positions of the planets as seen in sky, daily, for a year. You can compress all this astronomical information into a small FORTRAN program that uses Newtonian physics to calculate where the planets will be seen in the sky every night.

But if you look at how a roulette wheel behaves, then there is no pattern, the series of outcomes cannot be compressed. Because if there were a pattern, then people could use it to win, and having a casino wouldn't be such a good business! The fact that casinos make lots of money shows that there is no way to predict what a roulette wheel will do, there is no pattern---the casinos make it their job to ensure that!"

as for your layman's version, I've already given an example where information is generated by weather patterns (you tried to shift the goalposts by claiming we create the patterns in our mind therefore it's still ID, but actually we recognise the patterns generated in the weather, which is closer to what you were originally claiming and shows that your version of information does not rely on a mind to be generated)

if you want a biological example, Orchid offspring can undergo tetraploidy, which makes the offspring larger and more robust. this would also satisfy your definition.

Rhology said...

That wasn't his claim though was it?

He can speak for himself, but that's what I thought he was getting at.


famous scientists that didn't accept Darwin's theories

I can see what you mean. Probably would be a better strategy to remind everyone that there were many many big-time scientists who were also creationist Christians.


a lot of the people who helped develop the geological column concept had creationist assumptions, not Darwinian ones, contrary to what BM claimed.

The DATA are not under question. The INTERP of the data is. Presupps come into play there.

Now, as far as the information thing, what did my string of characters communicate?
If nothing, then that's not really the topic of information as ID means it.
If something, then what and how do you know?


roulette wheel

Interestingly, Meyer uses the illustration of a roulette wheel very extensively in "Signature".

bossmanham said...

Dr. Funk,

it neither assumes naturalism nor is it difficult to follow

It does assume naturalism, because on Christian theism, there are no "naturalistic agents." Everything has its source from God, therefore there are no purely naturalistic anythings.

Rhology also says this and that this therefore proves that evolution must actually be guided by an intelligent agent and cannot happen via mindless processes


Actually, that isn't the argument. The argument is you can't use intelligently guided experiments to infer that evolution has been completely unguided. Once you insert intelligence into the equation, even if you evolve a bacteria into a small dog, you have proven nothing but intelligent design.

This is an inductive inference,

It's an unjustified inductive inference, given that the expirimetns performed are done by intelligent agents, not random and unguided processes.

ie all those experiments feature a human (ie a non-supernatural) designer, therefore guided evolution must require a natural/human designer

Which is not hampering ID at all, since the identity of the designer designer is left open. I conclude the designer is Yahweh for many reasons, one being the need for an uncaused cause (another is personal experience).

So, in short if you wish to employ this argument to show evolution cannot happen unguided you must also accept that evolution is not guided by a non-natural agent.

No I don't, since I don't rely soley on evolution experiments to conclude that there is a God.

bossmanham said...

I will get to your further comments later, as I have to go back to work right now.

Paying for your salvation and God bless.

Rhology said...

(I'm gonna guess he meant "Praying".)

Dr Funkenstein said...

The DATA are not under question. The INTERP of the data is. Presupps come into play there.

This is irrelevant - they clearly weren't basing their ideas on darwinian assumptions (because they couldn't as his theory didn't exist), which was basically what BM claimed.

Now, as far as the information thing, what did my string of characters communicate?
If nothing, then that's not really the topic of information as ID means it.
If something, then what and how do you know?


what it communicates meaning wise is irrelevant - read the quote from Greg Chaitin, he developed algorithmic information theory!

it's to do with how easily compressible the string is - a random string is less compressible than a non-random one and thus is less complex under the K-S-C info theory

However

Shannon weaver info theory also does not deal with meaning, but is a robust theory of information

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory

"Note that these concerns have nothing to do with the importance of messages. For example, a platitude such as "Thank you; come again" takes about as long to say or write as the urgent plea, "Call an ambulance!" while clearly the latter is more important and more meaningful. Information theory, however, does not consider message importance or meaning, as these are matters of the quality of data rather than the quantity and readability of data, the latter of which is determined solely by probabilities."

If nothing, then that's not really the topic of information as ID means it.

but this is irrelevant since you provided an example of what they meant and I've provided two examples of information increases that meet this colloquial definition anyway, so you have no argument left on this front


Interestingly, Meyer uses the illustration of a roulette wheel very extensively in "Signature".

I notice you also said he had examples of people using Dembski's ideas in maths and computing, but you didn't respond about that last time

can you cite any of those examples?

bossmanham said...

Dr Funk, (cont.)

Due to upthrusts and suchlike, but then geologists know this since they were the ones that discovered these facts

Are we sure? Has anyone observed these upthrusts ocurring?

Furthermore, which location is the standard for the geo column? Since there are places where the columns are out of order, how do we know the one that is the standard hasn't suffered the same upthrust?

The idea of the geological column form predates Darwin, and some of the basic ideas underlying it go back centuries before his time

I know the coulumn predates Darwin. I believe creationsist had something to do with the formulation, if I remember correctly. I clearly meant the way the column is being used and interpreted today is because of a commitment to Darwinism.

What you wrote suggests otherwise

Asking questions about observations is ignorant?

What you wrote suggests otherwise

No one has answered. That doesn't sound like a job done.

What he no doubt meant was that the currently popular INTERP of the geo column is based on naturalistic presupps.

Correct. Thank you, Rho.

bossmanham said...

Dr. Funk,

It's not based on the assumption of Darwinian evolution, which was Bossman's point, since the idea predates Darwin's theory.

The modern interpretation doesn't predate Darwin.

it's a bit like a blog I saw ages ago with a list of famous scientists that didn't accept Darwin's theories...

Before you go off comparing something to something else, make sure you're correct about what you're comparing. The geo column predates Darwin. The current interpretation doesn't.

Data itself isn't subject to presuppositions. The interpretation of that data is. The context of my statement should have thrown up that red flag for ya ;).

bossmanham said...

Haha. Yeah I meant "praying" for your salvation. I can't even pay for my own salvation, lol.

Dr Funkenstein said...

It does assume naturalism, because on Christian theism, there are no "naturalistic agents."

which renders most (if not all) design arguments, including ID, irrelevant if there are no undesigned things. as I've pointed out about 4 times now, so why are people still bringing up ID?

Actually, that isn't the argument. The argument is you can't use intelligently guided experiments to infer that evolution has been completely unguided.

I'm aware that's what's being said - Rhology is also claiming this is support for ID because inductively it shows that 'creating' new biological features requires an intelligent agent

literally all I've done is this

Rhology's argument

intelligent agent + evolution----> experiments support intelligent design

based on the exact same experiments, my argument

natural intelligent agent + evolution ----> experiments support naturally guided intelligent design

the point being that since Rhology doesn't accept natural ID, even if they don't count as support for Darwinian evolution, these experiments are of no use to supporting his position either

the best he can therefore conclude from this is that he doesn't know if evolution can create new biological features or not.

the problem is both of you are asking 'show me a mindless process that creates information' or 'here's an ID argument' then switching positions to 'no unguided processes actually exist'. Make a choice and stick with it, it's impossible to debate a position that keeps changing its definitions all the time.

It's an unjustified inductive inference, given that the expirimetns performed are done by intelligent agents, not random and unguided processes.

I KNOW! the point is they're done by NON-SUPERNATURAL AGENTS though, so anyone who wants to use them to conclude 'therefore supernatural designer' cannot do so

so if inductively you conclude that evolution requires intelligence because of those experiments, you must also conclude it requires a non-supernatural agent. however, you've now decided 'there aren't any natural agents' (although you're the first person I've ever met who thinks humans are supernatural)

Which is not hampering ID at all, since the identity of the designer designer is left open. I conclude the designer is Yahweh for many reasons,

technically you're right, however

They also appeal to fine tuning of the universe as an argument for ID - this either means

a. it must come from something not bound by space or time that has the causal powers to alter the physical world (ie something outside nature)
b. it comes from something inside nature that fine tuned the universe. this means that if something natural was able to retune the universe, there are other combos of constants that support life, thus undermining the fine tuning argument

so which is it - is the agent supernatural, or is the argument wrong?

one being the need for an uncaused cause

again, as I said on the other thread there's no obvious connection between this and the conclusion 'therefore Jesus'


(another is personal experience).

personal experience can count as evidence for a person, but at the same time it's not much use for proving anything to anyone who isn't you

No I don't, since I don't rely soley on evolution experiments to conclude that there is a God.

I'm aware of this, it's strictly relating to the idea that experiments provide proof of supernatural ID

bossmanham said...

Doc Funk,

which renders most (if not all) design arguments, including ID, irrelevant if there are no undesigned things.

You're clearly misunderstanding. By saying "there are no naturalistic agents" I mean naturalistic processes aren't responsible for all things. God can have implemented natural laws that allow things, once created, to take a natural course. However, we as humans can take things, like mud for instance, which is ultimately designed by God, and further its design by forming it into a pot. We can tell when something has been left to its own devices and when something has been fashioned.

the best he can therefore conclude from this is that he doesn't know if evolution can create new biological features or not.

Neither can biologists, since it's never been observed.

the point is they're done by NON-SUPERNATURAL AGENTS though, so anyone who wants to use them to conclude 'therefore supernatural designer'

ID doesn't conclude that. You must pursue other arguments to conclude a supernatural designer.

so if inductively you conclude that evolution requires intelligence because of those experiments, you must also conclude it requires a non-supernatural agent

I'm not concluding from these experiments that evolution requires a supernatural designer. I'm concluding that from a bunch of different arguments. The point we're making is that all these evolution experiments show is intelligent design.

however, you've now decided 'there aren't any natural agents' (although you're the first person I've ever met who thinks humans are supernatural)

I never implied we are supernatural. What I said was there is nothing that has appeared by completely naturalistic processes. If I were you, I'd quit with the red herrings and the misrepresentations of what I'm saying. If you can't deal with our arguments here, just say so.

bossmanham said...

personal experience can count as evidence for a person, but at the same time it's not much use for proving anything to anyone who isn't you

And I wasn't using my personal experience to prove anything to anyone else. That's why I prefaced my statement with "I".

Dr Funkenstein said...

Neither can biologists, since it's never been observed.

except for the orchid example I gave a few posts ago, of course, which meets Rhology's definition of an increase in functional information

I'll answer the rest tomorrow

bossmanham said...

except for the orchid example I gave a few posts ago, of course, which meets Rhology's definition of an increase in functional information

Photocopying genetic information is demonstrably not adding new genetic information. Try again.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Photocopying genetic information is demonstrably not adding new genetic information. Try again.

pity Kolmogorov information theory disagrees with you then. Dembski even concedes that under this version of information theory, going from X--->XX can constitute an increase in information

However, it's apparent that the colloquial definition provided by Rhology from Meyer's book (despite the fact that I gather there is no working version of information theory that actually defines information in this manner) that duplications can fulfill his chosen criteria

since some effects in cells are dose dependent, duplications can alter cellular biochemistry (as more protein can be produced from 2 copies than 1), therefore at the very least, in principle since duplications can have phenotypic effects

in the actual example I gave, tetraploidy means a quadrupling of the chromosome number from parent to daughter given that this also has the effect of making the orchids structurally more robust there is therefore an alteration in phenotype as well. so you have a real world example as well as a logical argument why duplication can constitute an increase in useful information under Rhology's terms

so under the definition that has been provided on this thread, it is not obvious how my example does not fulfill the criteria since it

a. increases genome size
b. has a positive phenotypic effect

I also provided a non-biological example of weather patterns that also fits the criteria. of course, rather than accepting this met the demand, the response to that was to shift the goalposts by changing to a different definition

Dr Funkenstein said...

edit: slight mistake I just noticed on my part - tetraploidy should actually be doubling, not quadrupling as it's going from a diploid to a tetraploid genome

Derrick said...

My favorite example of increasing information in the genome is trichromatic vision in humans. We can actually sequence the genes in question to reconstruct the events described.

Most mammals have dichromatic vision, governed by genes we could call R and B, each of which makes cones sensitive to different wavelengths of light. At some point in our history, one of those was duplicated, leaving those animals with RRB--a functionally neutral mutation.

Secondarily, any change in either R gene would broaden the spectrum the primate would see, increasing contrast and leading to a competitive advantage. Any subsequent mutations would likewise be advantageous, until such time as it would be more appropriate to call the three genes RGB, since they would now be producing trichromatic vision through an increase in information.

As far as transitional fossils go, I fail to see why specimens such as Tiktaalik and Archaeopteryx don't serve as examples of fish/amphibian and dinosaur/avian transitions, respectively.

bossmanham said...

My favorite example of increasing information in the genome is trichromatic vision in humans. We can actually sequence the genes in question to reconstruct the events described.

So, this is a case of an unguided and natural event happening in nature? We've observed this trichromatic vision forming from a parent that doesn't have it to an offspring that does?

Oh...wait...you said "We can actually sequence the genes in question to reconstruct the events described". That sounds like an intelligently guided process.

bossmanham said...

Not to mention that it is assuming that this is how vision developed.

This is not an example of an observed gain in genetic information. It is using the neo-Darwinian paradigm to support the neo-Darwinian paradigm...which sounds a lot like circular reasoning.

Dr Funk (on polyploidy),

Then I guess we're going to argue over equivocations here. I say photocopying genetic info is not introducing new genetic info and is not building on to existing DNA. It's just copying it. If I copy an article and then move letters around, I haven't added information, and I've probably turned something legible into gibberish.

Derrick said...

Oh...wait...you said "We can actually sequence the genes in question to reconstruct the events described". That sounds like an intelligently guided process.

No, as in we can map out the genes as they are now and see the patterns of relatedness. We can identify which dichromat gene was duplicated, and then see what mutations occurred subsequently. Please don't be intentionally dense.

This is not an example of an observed gain in genetic information.

Yes, actually it is. At one point there were two functioning genes, today there are three. That is an increase, occurring only from very common, very plausible mutations. If that isn't an increase in information, you are truly hopeless.

It is using the neo-Darwinian paradigm to support the neo-Darwinian paradigm...which sounds a lot like circular reasoning.

The definition of a strong scientific theory is that you can find corroborating evidence for it. If any evidence supporting evolution is going to be dismissed by you as circular reasoning because it was predicted by evolution and then confirmed, then there is truly no point in arguing with you.

bossmanham said...

No, as in we can map out the genes as they are now and see the patterns of relatedness

Assuming it works as the neo-Darwinian explanation says it does. But that's what's up for debate. Is there an observation that doesn't rely on this blatant question begging?

Please don't be intentionally dense.

Ha, that's pretty funny. Don't intentionally reason in a circle.

At one point there were two functioning genes, today there are three.

Based on assumptions of neo-Darwinism, not observations. This isn't science, it's a blind faith.

you are truly hopeless.

Hee hee. I'm getting a kick out of this.

If any evidence supporting evolution is going to be dismissed by you as circular reasoning because it was predicted by evolution and then confirmed, then there is truly no point in arguing with you.

You're the one who relies on circular reasoning to support his/her worldview. You assume evolution and interpret the data from said experiments using that assumption. Sounds like you're the one with the problem. You come back with an actual observed occurrence of new (see not mutated or copied) genetic information, we'll talk.

Rhology said...

Derrick,

No one in the modern scene thinks archaeopteryx is a transitional form.
And you need to read Henry Gee's _In Search of Deep Time_ since you put so much faith in your interp of the fossil "record".
Here are some relevant excerpts.

Rhology said...

Photocopying genetic information is demonstrably not adding new genetic information. Try again.

pity Kolmogorov information theory disagrees with you


So much the worse for Kolmogorov in terms of actual relevance. To claim that a photocopy INCREASES INFORMATION is ridiculous.


going from X--->XX can constitute an increase in information

A photocopy is going from X--->X.


I also provided a non-biological example of weather patterns that also fits the criteria

Why couldn't the ID-ist simply grant that for the sake of argument, to the tune of "Fine, I grant that weather patterns display a similar sign of design; maybe we could study that later, but right now I'm more interested in the origin of life"?
And of course the creationist (like me) has an even better answer - yes, of course weather patterns are ID-d; EVERYthg was created by God.

Dr Funkenstein said...

So much the worse for Kolmogorov in terms of actual relevance. To claim that a photocopy INCREASES INFORMATION is ridiculous.

Hmm, maybe then you can explain why Kolmogorov theory is a widely used theory of information in maths/computing, but Rhology's version is not?

Bear in mind that Dembski even concedes the point that going from X --> XX constitutes an information increase in Kol. theory.

A photocopy is going from X--->X.

except it isn't, because you now have 2 copies of X rather than the original 1, and as most people know 2 x X = 2X (or XX), not X

look at the gene duplication example - you go from 1 copy to 2, and now you can produce twice as much of that protein, even if both copies are identical

Why couldn't the ID-ist simply grant that for the sake of argument, to the tune of "Fine, I grant that weather patterns display a similar sign of design; maybe we could study that later, but right now I'm more interested in the origin of life"?

Because they claim information as they/you define it can only be 'created' by a mind or intelligence of some description, thus if any mindless process can generate information they must be wrong.

And of course the creationist (like me) has an even better answer - yes, of course weather patterns are ID-d; EVERYthg was created by God.


first, as I've pointed out most ID style design argument are then completely irrelevant to you, because they contrast designed and undesigned objects, and they claim to be able to single out designed objects in nature. But if everything is designed their methods should detect it everywhere. the fact they don't means there must be something wrong with their methods.

second, I wasnt' aware until now there was a theory of 'intelligent weather' too, but I guess you learn something new every day

Anyway, that's me done with this thread

zilch said...

The crux of this non-meeting of minds can be found in this statement of Rho's:

However, I don't see a good reason to consider, um, rocks with the same level of evidentiary value as revelation from God.

In other words, the real world, aka "rocks", is trumped by my religious convictions, aka "revelation from God". Not much we reality-informed types can do with that. Thanks for making it transparent, though, Rho.