Category: Design inference
Let’s discuss: >> Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by [want of . . . ???] any evidence for the putative designer . . . >>
|May 30, 2015||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations, Science, worldview issues/foundations and society, Selective Hyperskepticism|
In a current UD thread, Mung clips and comments: >> OT: Over at TSZ, fossils of reason occasionally appear, quite by accident. Elizabeth Liddle: I do not think the ID case holds up. I think it is undermined by any evidence for the putative designer – no hypothesis about what the designer was trying to […]
|May 1, 2015||Posted by News under Design inference, News|
Here: The “Hugos” are widely called the most prestigious awards in the world of science fiction and fantasy publishing. They are awarded every year by a vote of the membership of the World Science Fiction Convention, which SF fans have called “Worldcon” since time immemorial. Starting three years ago, Larry Correia, successful science fiction writer, […]
|March 17, 2015||Posted by johnnyb under Darwinism, Design inference, Evolutionary biology, ID Foundations, Informatics, Information, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity|
There are many ID’ers who complain about the AVIDA simulation, and I for the life of me can’t figure out why this is so.
|February 23, 2015||Posted by Eric Anderson under Design inference, Naturalism, Origin Of Life|
Recently I have been thinking a lot about one of the most interesting topics: the origin of life. Specifically, the state of research on abiogenesis, the idea that life arose through purely natural processes without any intelligent guidance or intervention. I have also been thinking about the various viewpoints I have encountered over the years […]
|January 21, 2015||Posted by News under Design inference, Genetics, News|
It was appalling, the way Manhattan sophisticates so easily swallowed something that was so obviously untrue.
|January 19, 2015||Posted by News under Design inference, News|
Wouldn’t that be a party?
|January 19, 2015||Posted by News under Design inference, Multiverse, News|
Hey, we can avoid anything if we are determined, right?
|November 24, 2014||Posted by HeKS under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Intelligent Design, Tree of life|
Last week, one of my comments relating to the KS “bomb” argument was made the subject of an OP, which can be found here. In that comment, I had offered a few preliminary thoughts on Keith’s argument (originally found here, and summarized by him here) and asked a few questions to better understand the assumptions informing […]
|November 19, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Atheism, Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, FYI-FTR|
New Contributor HeKS, has had occasion to comment a few hours ago on KS’ claimed bomb argument (cf. my own headlined for record response here, WJM’s here and here, VJT’s here, BA’s Black Knight Taunt summing up here and other responses at UD . . . KS’s repeated boasts that he has not been answered […]
|November 13, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, FYI-FTR, ID Foundations||
One of the favourite tactics of hyperskepticism is to brazenly dismiss what is objected to as a myth, misconcept or word magic, etc; even while in the real world, one must deal with it day by day as blatant reality. Oops. This has been happening with FSCO/I and linked concepts such as dFSCI. As a […]
One of the saddest aspects of the debates over the design inference on empirically reliable signs such as FSCO/I, is the way evolutionary materialist objectors and fellow travellers routinely insist on distorting the ID view, even after many corrections. (Kindly, note the weak argument correctives, accessible under the UD Resources Tab, which address many of […]
|October 21, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations|
Lego Pile A: Lego “Pile” B: What’s the difference, and why is it there? What does this tell us about functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I), why? So, bearing in mind this needle in haystack search challenge: . . . also, the design inference process flowchart: . . . and the use of […]
|October 18, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Complex Specified Information, Design inference, ID Foundations, Information|
The concept of information is central to intelligent design. In previous discussions, we have examined the basic concept of information, we have considered the question of when information arises, and we have briefly dipped our toes into the waters of Shannon information. In the present post, I put forward an additional discussion regarding the latter, […]
|September 2, 2014||Posted by News under Cosmology, Design inference, Intelligent Design|
Sheldon: You can’t do a random search if you have to have a map before you take your first step.
|August 23, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations|
Sometimes, the very dismissiveness of hyperskeptical objections is their undoing, as in this case from TSZ: Pesky EleP(T|H)ant Posted on June 25, 2014 by Richardthughes Over at Uncommon Descent KirosFocus repeats the same old bignum arguments as always. He seems to enjoy the ‘needle in a haystack’ metaphor, but I’d like to counter by asking […]
Mathematician Kadanoff says people should think about Dembski’s thesis—instead of running the guy out of town
|August 15, 2014||Posted by News under Darwinism, Design inference, Information, Intelligent Design|
Tenure mob did not stop him from speaking.
Debating Darwin and Design A dialogue between two Christians 1. Is Intelligent Design science or ‘creationism in a cheap tuxedo’? 21st July 2014 Joshua Gidney – Fourth Response I wish to begin this response by thanking Francis for his refreshingly substantive and engaging rebuttal. I believe that in his critique of ID, he has stepped up several […]
|July 15, 2014||Posted by News under Darwinism, Design inference, Natural selection|
Did design theorist Michael Behe predict this?
|June 29, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Complex Specified Information, Design inference, ID Foundations, Information|
In this post I want to consider another aspect of information. Specifically, I want to consider the concept of “Shannon information.” First of all, I admit to having ruffled a few feathers when I mentioned in passing in a prior post that “Shannon information is not really information.” As I have also written before in […]
|June 24, 2014||Posted by kairosfocus under Darwinist rhetorical tactics, Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations|
When I was maybe five or six years old, my mother (a distinguished teacher) said to me about problem solving, more or less: if you can draw a picture of a problem-situation, you can understand it well enough to solve it. Over the many years since, that has served me well. Where, after so many […]
Another implicit claim is found in the Darwinist tree of life (here, I use a diagram that comes from the Smithsonian, under fair use):
The tree reveals two things, an implicit claim that there is a smoothly incremental path from an original body plan to all others, and the missing root of the tree of life.
For the first, while that may be a requisite for Darwinist-type models to work, there is little or no good empirical evidence to back it up; and it is wise not to leave too many questions a-begging. In fact, it is easy to show that whereas maybe 100 – 1,000 kbits of genomic information may account for a first cell based life form, to get to basic body plans we are looking at 10 – 100+ mn bits each, dozens of times over.
Further to this, there is in fact only one actually observed cause of FSCO/I beyond that 500 – 1,000 bit threshold, design. Design by an intelligence. Which dovetails neatly with the implications of the needle in haystack blind search challenge. And, it meets the requisites of the vera causa test for causally explaining what we do not observe directly in light of causes uniquely known to be capable of causing the like effect.
So, perhaps, we need to listen again to the distinguished, Nobel-equivalent prize holding astrophysicist and lifelong agnostic — so much for “Creationists in cheap tuxedos” — Sir Fred Hoyle:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]
And again, in his famous Caltech talk:
The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [–> ~ 10^80] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .
I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .
Now imagine yourself as a superintellect [–> this shows a clear and widely understood concept of intelligence] working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.
I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]
No wonder, in that same period, the same distinguished scientist went on record on January 12th, 1982, in the Omni Lecture at the Royal Institution, London, entitled “Evolution from Space”:
The difference between an intelligent ordering, whether of words, fruit boxes, amino acids, or the Rubik cube, and merely random shufflings can be fantastically large, even as large as a number that would fill the whole volume of Shakespeare’s plays with its zeros. So if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure or order must be the outcome of intelligent design. No other possibility I have been able to think of in pondering this issue over quite a long time seems to me to have anything like as high a possibility of being true. [This appeared in a book of the same title, pp. 27-28. Emphases added.]
Perhaps, the time has come to think again. END
PS: Let me add an update June 28, by first highlighting the design inference explanatory filter, in the per aspect flowchart form I prefer to use:
Here, we see that the design inference pivots on seeing a logical/contrastive relationship between three familiar classes of causal factors. For instance, natural regularities tracing to mechanical necessity (e.g. F = m*a, a form of Newton’s Second Law) give rise to low contingency outcomes. That is, reliably, a sufficiently similar initial state will lead to a closely similar outcome.
By contrast, there are circumstances where outcomes will vary significantly under quite similar initial conditions. For example, take a fair, common die and arrange to drop it repeatedly under very similar initial conditions. It will predictably not consistently land, tumble and settle with any particular face uppermost. Similarly, in a population of apparently similar radioactive atoms, there will be a stochastic pattern of decay that shows a chance based probability distribution tracing to a relevant decay constant. So, we speak of chance, randomness, sampling of populations of possible outcomes and even of probabilities.
But that is not the only form of high contingency outcome.
Design can also give rise to high contingency, e.g. in the production of text.
And, ever since Thaxton et al, 1984, in The Mystery of Life’s Origin, Ch 8, design thinkers have made text string contrasts that illustrate the three typical patterns:
1. [Class 1:] An ordered (periodic) and therefore specified arrangement:
THE END THE END THE END THE END
Example: Nylon, or a crystal . . . .
2. [Class 2:] A complex (aperiodic) unspecified arrangement:
AGDCBFE GBCAFED ACEDFBG
Example: Random polymers (polypeptides).
3. [Class 3:] A complex (aperiodic) specified arrangement:
THIS SEQUENCE OF LETTERS CONTAINS A MESSAGE!
Example: DNA, protein.
Of course, class 3 exhibits functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I.
As the main post shows, this is an empirically reliable, analytically plausible sign of design. It is also one that in principle can quite easily be overthrown. Show credible cases where cases of FSCO/I beyond a reasonable threshold are observed to be produced by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.
Absent that, we are epistemically entitled to note that per the vera causa test, it is reliably seen that design causes FSCO/I. So, it is a reliable sign of design, even as deer-tracks are reliable signs of deer:
Consequently, while it is in-principle possible for chance to toss up any outcome from a configuration space, we must reckon with available search resources and the plausibility that feasible blind samples would be reasonably expected to catch needles in the haystack.
As a threshold, we can infer for solar system scale resources that, using:
Chi_500 = Ip*S – 500, bits beyond the solar system threshold,
we can be safely confident that if Chi_500 is at least 1, the FSCO/I observed is not a plausible product of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. Where, Ip is a relevant information-content metric in bits, and S is a dummy variable that defaults to zero, save in cases of positive reason to accept that observed patterns are relevantly specific, coming from a zone T in the space of possibilities. If we have such reason, S switches to 1.
That is, it is default that first, something is minimally informational. the result of mechanical necessity, which would show as a low Ip value. Next, it is default that chance accounts for high contingency so that while there may be a high information-carrying capacity, the configurations observed do not come from T-zones.
Only when something is specific and highly informational (especially functionally specific) will Ip*S rise beyond the confident detection threshold that puts Chi_500 to at least 1.
And, if one wishes for a threshold relevant to the observed cosmos as scope of search resources, we can use 1,000 bits as threshold.
That is, the eqn summarises what the flowchart does.
And, the pivotal test is to find cases where the filter would vote designed, but we actually observe blind chance and mechanical necessity as credible cause. Actually observe . . . the remote past of origins or the like is not actually observed. We only observe traces which are often interpreted in certain ways.
But, the vera causa test does require that before using cause-factor X in explaining traces from the unobserved past, P, we should first verify in the present through observation that X can and does credibly produce materially similar effects, P’.
If this test is consistently applied, it will be evident that many features of the observed cosmos, especially the world of cell based life forms, exhibit FSCO/I in copious quantities and are best understood as designed.
IF . . .