Category: Complex Specified Information
|August 30, 2016||Posted by DLH under brains and computation vs contemplation, Complex Specified Information, Design inference, Intelligent Design, Mind|
Statistician William M. Briggs reports an amazing medical case where the “skull was filled largely by fluid, leaving just a thin perimeter of actual brain tissue.” Here’s the kicker: And yet the man was a married father of two and a civil servant with an IQ of 75, below-average in his intelligence but not mentally […]
|August 2, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Books of interest, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Intelligent Design, Logic and First Principles of right reason, Mind, Video|
Video: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Blurb at the Amazon page for the book: >>Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding […]
In the current VJT thread on 31 scientists who did not follow methodological naturalism, it has been noteworthy that objectors have studiously avoided addressing the basic warrant for the design inference. Since this is absolutely pivotal but seems to be widely misunderstood or even dismissed without good reason, it seems useful to summarise this for […]
|July 13, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Astronomy, Atheism, Back to Basics of ID, Cosmology, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Fine tuning, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR||
It seems there is now a talking-point agenda to dismiss the fine tuning issue as an illusion. So, in the current thread on the big bang and fine tuning, I have clipped and commented on a recent article by Luke Barnes. However, comments cannot put up images [save through extraordinary steps], so it is first […]
|June 17, 2016||Posted by Eric Anderson under 'Junk DNA', Chemistry, Complex Specified Information, Engineering, Information, Just For Fun|
Over on this thread we’ve had a lively discussion, primarily about common descent. However, one of the key side discussions has focused on the information required to build an organism. Remarkably, some have argued that essentially nothing is required except a parts list on a digital storage medium. Yes, you heard right. Given the right […]
|June 11, 2016||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Intelligent Design, Privileged planet, The Design of Life, Video|
Here: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Let us watch and ponder, then discuss. END Posts
|April 14, 2016||Posted by PaV under Comp. Sci. / Eng., Complex Specified Information, Irreducible Complexity|
For the delight of programmers here at UD, I include this post. Over at the “Reference Frame,” a blog by Lubos Motl, string theorist, and physicist extraordinaire, he has this post on a new game for “gamers” calledQuantum Moves. I don’t have time for any in-depth comment; however, for the programmers among us, here is […]
|February 23, 2016||Posted by johnnyb under Complex Specified Information, Informatics, Intelligent Design, Probability|
Recently a criticism was leveled against Dembski’s 2005 paper Specification: the pattern that signifies intelligence. As is often the case, if you read the criticism carefully, you will realize that, even though he says Dembski is wrong, it turns out that the more exacting answer would favor Dembski’s conclusion more strongly, not less.
|December 22, 2015||Posted by DLH under Biology, Complex Specified Information, Darwinism, Evolution, Genetics, Genomics, Human evolution, Information, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Mind, The Design of Life|
The remarkable “powers” of evolution are now shown to degrade (aka “mutate”) the human genes essential to intelligence. Remarkably, they found that some of the same genes that influence human intelligence in healthy people were also the same genes that cause impaired cognitive ability and epilepsy when mutated, networks which they called M1 and M3.
|December 18, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Origin Of Life, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society|
I ran across a vid of a proposal developed by Martin Marietta to explore Mars, towards settlement (and terraforming?): embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt What I find highly interesting is the motivations given. In addition to the Mars colonisation idea, there seems to be hope that finding “independent” life on Mars would show life must […]
BTB, 4: Evolutionary Materialism as “fact, Fact, FACT” and its self-falsifying self-referential incoherence
|November 13, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, brains and computation vs contemplation, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
One of the challenges commonly met with in re-thinking origins science from a perspective open to design, is that the evolutionary materialist narrative is too often presented as fact (not explanation), and there is also a typical failure to recognise that materialist ideology cannot be properly imposed on science. Likewise, there is a pattern of […]
|November 2, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Intelligent Design||
It does not take a lot of familiarity to know that a common and widely repeated accusation against ID is that it is “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” that it tries to smuggle the strictly verboten “supernatural” into scientific thought on origins, and that it is a god-of-the-gaps appeal to ignorance by way of we […]
BTB, 2: But, do DNA and the living cell contain functionally specific complex organisation and associated information?
|November 1, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Information||
First, let’s see: And again, here is Crick in his March 19, 1953 letter to his son on his discovery: Notice, how emphatic Crick is: “. . . we believe that the D.N.A. is a code . . . “ Obviously leading scientists agree that DNA reflects coded information that is used in identifiable communication […]
FYI-FTR (& BTB, 1a): A headlined response to LM: “you guys steadfastly refuse to offer any evidence at all for intelligent design or for the existence of an intelligent designer”
|October 27, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, Intelligent Design||
It has now been over a day since I responded to the above, and though LM has further commented in the thread, he has studiously refused to respond to the corrective. It is therefore appropriate to speak here for record, and in so doing it is necessary to point out the implications of LM’s speaking […]
|September 24, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Back to Basics of ID, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society||
It is time to move on from preliminary logical considerations to key foundational issues relevant to design theory. Of these, the challenge of complexity, information and functionally specific organisation is first and foremost. Hence this post. We live in a technological age, and one that increasingly pivots around information. One in which we are surrounded […]
|September 10, 2015||Posted by DLH under Biophysics, Darwinism, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Genomics, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity|
Rockefeller University researchers found that part of a DNA repair protein known as 53BP1 fits over the phosphorylated part of H2AX “like a glove,” says Kleiner. This interaction helps bring 53BP1 to the site of DNA damage, where it mediates the repair of double-stranded breaks in DNA by encouraging the repair machinery to glue the […]
That is, why inferring design on functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, e.g.: and equally: . . . makes good sense. Now, overnight, UD’s Newsdesk posted on a Space dot com article, Is Our Universe a Fake? The article features “Philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University.” I […]
|June 26, 2015||Posted by Eric Anderson under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Evolution, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, Irreducible Complexity, Origin Of Life, Self-Org. Theory|
Yesterday I watched a re-run of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. There. I said it. I love Star Trek. Notwithstanding the many absurd evolution-based plotlines. In this specific episode, Data referred to a particular characteristic of a newly-developing lifeform as an “emergent property.” I’ve looked into the “emergence” ideas in the past, and […]
FYI-FTR: Part 8, an objection — >>nobody has solved the OOL challenge from an ID perspective either. And they never will until ID proposes the nature of the Designer (AKA God) and the mechanisms used (AKA “poof”). >>
|June 6, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, Origin Of Life, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism||
The captioned comment comes by way of an email, from YM: >>nobody has solved the OOL challenge from an ID perspective either. And they never will until ID proposes the nature of the Designer (AKA God) and the mechanisms used (AKA “poof). >> (In addition, I have received a slander-laced remark from one of the […]
FYI-FTR: Part 7, But >>if you want to infer a designer as the cause of an apparent design, then you need to make some hypotheses about how, how, where and with what, otherwise you can’t subject your inference to any kind of test>>
Not so. With all due respect, EL’s error here is a case of failure to think through the inductive logic of abductive inference to best explanation on a tested, reliable sign. (And indeed the statistics of Type I/II error extend that to cases of known percentage reliability, especially when multiple aspects or signs are involved […]
(You may recognise in this an early statement of the school level “scientific method.” Though, in fact, such inductive reasoning is not peculiar to science and philosophers of science commonly warn us that there is no one size fits all method that all and only scientists use.)
I think a graphic will be helpful:
So, we may now take a more balanced view of testing the design inference on signs such as functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information [FSCO/I], especially digitally coded functionally specific information [dFSCI] as we find in, say DNA:
A code is an integral part of a wider information system, so let us note the general layer-cake architecture for such a system . . . which obviously also exhibits an irreducible core of components organised in a particular way in order to carry through the logic of coded communication from context A and point X to obtain the decoded (perhaps noise-degraded) message A* –> B at point Y:
. . . in this light:
But, dFSCI and wider FSCO/I are a commonplace in today’s technological world. And, before that, people were familiar with alphanumeric characters and messages based on strings of such characters, as we may see from — and yes, I insist on hammering home this example — Crick’s famous March 19, 1953 letter to his son Michael which exemplifies such communication even as it extends to recognising the presence of code in DNA:
Now, we have trillions of cases in point where we routinely observe or have reliable report of the causal process that generates dFSCI (and FSCO/I): intelligently directed configuration.
Indeed, as the vera causa/ adequate cause principle demands to make a specific causal conclusion, such is the only actually observed cause.
Therefore, with all due recognition of the limitations of inductive reasoning, we are entitled to infer with some confidence that dFSCI and wider FSCO/I are reliable signs of design as causal process.
Signs, that then raise the further challenge posed so aptly by Paley: “[c]ontrivance must have had a contriver; design, a designer . . .”
Can this be tested?
Patently, yes, that is implicit in the vera causa principle: if it can be shown in the here and now that significantly complex cases of FSCO/I and particularly dFSCI can and do — per reliable observation — come about by blind chance and mechanical necessity, then that would force re-evaluation of such as signs of design.
In former years, that was commonly accepted by objectors in and around UD.
But after dozens of attempts consistently turned out to illustrate instead ways that FSCO/I-rich items can come about by intelligently directed configuration (including, someone’s clocks world Youtube vid that failed to realise how much fine tuning is involved, a discussion of sketches of perceived canals on Mars, and of course endless cases of quite intelligently designed loose sense hill climbing genetic algorithms, etc), such attempts seem to have by and large been abandoned.
As just one case of a real world test (which has been pointed out many times here at UD), here is Wiki testifying against interest on random document generation:
>>One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t” The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.
A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulates a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:
- RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r"5j5&?OWTY Z0d…
Due to processing power limitations, the program uses a probabilistic model (by using a random number generator or RNG) instead of actually generating random text and comparing it to Shakespeare. When the simulator “detects a match” (that is, the RNG generates a certain value or a value within a certain range), the simulator simulates the match by generating matched text.>>
Now, notice what they go on to say:
>>More sophisticated methods are used in practice for natural language generation. If instead of simply generating random characters one restricts the generator to a meaningful vocabulary and conservatively following grammar rules, like using a context-free grammar, then a random document generated this way can even fool some humans (at least on a cursory reading) as shown in the experiments with SCIgen, snarXiv, and the Postmodernism Generator.>>
Notice, how injection of active information based on skill and knowledge narrows down the search?
That is tantamount to parking oneself next to an island of function in the sea of possibilities then reaching out with controlled randomness as a part of one’s design method:
Which of course further underscores the point: FSCO/I and especially dFSCI come about reliably by intelligently directed configuration.
That brings me back to some long ago now initial observations for the ID Foundations series:
>>Signs: I observe one or more signs [in a pattern], and infer the signified object, on a warrant:I: [si] –> O, on W
a –> Here, as I will use “sign” [as opposed to “symbol”], the connexion is a more or less causal or natural one; e.g. a pattern of deer tracks on the ground is an index, pointing to a deer.
(NB, 02:28: Sign can be used more broadly in technical semiotics to embrace “symbol” and other complexities, but this is not needed for our purposes. I am using “sign” much as it is used in medicine, at least since Hippocrates of Cos in C5 BC, i.e. to point to a disease on an objective, warranted indicator.)
c –> The warrant for an inference may in key cases require considerable background knowledge or cues from the context.
d –> The act of inference may also be implicit or even intuitive, and I may not be able to articulate but may still be quite well-warranted to trust the inference. Especially, if it traces to senses I have good reason to accept are working well, and are acting in situations that I have no reason to believe will materially distort the inference.
e –> The process of observation may be passive, where I simply respond to effects of the sign-emitting object; or it may involve active emission of signals or interaction with the object. For instance, we may contrast passive and active sonar sensing here, noting that both modes are used by sea-animals as well as technical systems. (NB: “Object” is here used in a very broad sense [u/d 02:17: it includes objects and credibly objective states of affairs].)
f –> A sign can also be iconic, i.e sufficiently resembling [u/d, 02:17: or representing] the object to be recognisable as a representation, as a general class [a rock shaped like a face] or in specific [a sculptural portrait]. [u/d 02:28: In the case of a mace in its rest in Parliament, unless an elaborate form of a former weapon sits there, Parliament is not legitimately in session.]>>
Obviously, even without knowing a detailed method, if I can show that a sign’s claimed reliability fails, that sign has been shown to be less than a unique, credibly 100% reliable indicator of what it signifies, that is it is shown capable of inferring state of affairs S when the actual state is NOT-S, a Type I, false positive error.
(No-one has seriously proposed that the design inference process is immune to Type II false negative errors; in fact the threshold of complexity of 500 – 1,000 bits is deliberately willing to accept false negatives in order to gain high confidence that the positive is reliable. And dismissive sniffing about big numbers is besides the point.)
So, nope, one does not need to have detailed models of howtwerdun etc in order to reason on signs.
In this case: