Category: ID Foundations

Kirk Durston on “God and Science – Is there a Conflict?” . . . food for thought

I think we need to watch a video by Friend of UD, Kirk Durston. But first, a loop-back note: I have been rather busy elsewhere with issues like AS-AD, Kondratiev waves, Hayek’s investment triangle, SD and Schumpeterian creative destruction.(Pardon the resulting absence.) BTW, this line of thought leads me to hold that the oh- so- […] more

UD Commenter (and US Navy veteran), ayearningforpublius, on: “The Challenge of Design in Nature”

UD commenter, ayearningforpublius [AYP], has his own blog where he has many interesting posts informed by a lifetime of varied experiences. He is also an advocate for the idea that nature shows compelling observable signs of design, and in “dialog with folks at and surrounding the National Center for Science Education (NCSE)” has encountered a […] more

ID Basics – Information – Part II – When Does Information Arise?

In my first post I discussed the concept of information, in particular whether information is contained in a physical object by its mere existence.  In this post I would like to consider an additional issue relating to information, namely, the point at which information arises or comes into existence. Information is often closely associated with […] more

Intelligent Design Basics – Information

First of all I want to thank the Uncommon Descent moderators for allowing me to post, with a particular hat tip to StephenB.  As I indicated on a prior thread, I am not sure how often I will take the time to create a new thread, but hopefully I can occasionally post something of interest.  […] more

Don Johnson’s lecture on “Bioinformatics: The Information in Life”

VJT has recently posted on what kind of cosmos God made, remarking on the Don Johnson bioinformatics lecture. He linked but didn’t embed, so here is the lecture: embedded by Embedded Videovimeo Direkt And, here is the handout. No comments — go to VJT’s thread. OOPS, something funny there so I open back up comments […] more

“Intelligent Design is NOT Anti-Evolution” — a guest post

Good day, my name is JoeG and I would like to get something out in the open and hopefully have it become fully understood by everyone. For decades I have been debating against evolutionism and for decades I have been told that my position is “anti-evolution.” I found that strange because my position allows for […] more

ID Foundations 23: Dr Stephen Meyer on The Design Inference on Complex [often, Functionally] Specified Information and the Origin of Cell-based Life (OoL)

This lecture by Dr Stephen Meyer of Discovery Institute, with Q & A may be a good refresher and focus for thought on OoL, HT WK: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt WK — a useful blog to bookmark and monitor to see trends and issues — gives a helpful bullet point outline, in part: intelligent […] more

ID Foundations, 22: What about evolutionary trees of descent and homologies? (An answer to Jaceli123′s presentation of a typical icon of evolution . . . )

As has been noted, sometimes people come to UD looking for answers to questions about what they have been taught regarding “Evolution”; typically in the context of indoctrination under the Lewontinian ideological a priori materialism that he outlined thusly in his infamous 1997 NYRB article: [T]he problem is to get [the general public] to reject […] more

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face . . . ” — headlining a comment by ayearningforpublius to pose the question of origin of a significant case of FSCO/I . . . functionally specific, complex organization and/or associated information

New UD commenter ayearningforpublius has put up a comment on the implications of facial recognition, several times. I think it significant enough as a case of FSCO/I and the challenge of addressing its origin, to headline it. But first, let’s put up the vid clip he links: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt Now, his remarks: […] more

WJM gives us a “typical” conversation between an ID supporter and an objector . . .

On Christmas Day, WJM put the following hypothetical conversation in a comment. Since he has not headlined it himself, as promised yesterday, I now do so: Typical debate with an anti-ID advocate: ID advocate: There are certain things that exist that are best explained by intelligent design. Anti-ID advocate: Whoa! Hold up there, fella. “Explained”, […] more

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or […] more

The famous Feynman Lectures on Physics hosted free for all by Caltech (and taking a peek at entropy . . . )

Christmas is early this year. Here are the famous Feynman Lectures on Physics (Vol II is forthcoming) hosted for free by Caltech. A useful point of reference for one and all. Just for fun, note here on on entropy, irreversibility and the rise of disorder: Where does irreversibility come from? It does not come from […] more

ID Foundations, 20: Caught between the Moon and New York City . . . the Privileged Planet thesis

Yesterday, News put up a post on the mysterious origins of the moon, invoking a classic song on being caught between the Moon and New York City. (Niwrad added a post here on the multiverse that is also worth seeing. Kindly bear in mind this earlier ID Foundations post on fine tuning.) Mahuna aptly comments: […] more

A challenge to strong Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts . . .

For some little while now, RDF/AIGuy has been advocating a strong AI claim here at UD.  In an exchange in the ongoing is ID fatally flawed thread, he has said: 222: Computers are of course not conscious. Computers of course can be creative, and computers are of course intelligent agents. Now before you blow a […] more

Infographic: The science of ID

HT, ENV. Let’s Embed, from here:   Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.   And, let us discuss. END more

FYI-FTR: TSZ post, Sept 12, 2013 describes “creationists” — ENEMIES OF HUMANITY

Sometimes, it is necessary to shine a spotlight on behaviour that is beyond the pale of reasonable civil discourse. Especially if, after repeated attempts to call for correction, we see instead the blog owner — here, EL of TSZ — and others insistently pretending that such falls within the circle of reasonable freedom of expression. […] more

A rough draft, outline composite answer to the UD essay challenge . . .

It seems we can now put together at least a draft outline composite response to the UD pro-darwinism essay challenge of a year ago, based on Jerad’s remarks at 70 in the one-year anniversary thread, and a key concession by EL at 149 in the same. In the interests of moving the discussion on the […] more

UD Pro-Darwinism essay challenge unanswered a year later, I: Let’s get the essence of design theory as a scientific, inductive inference straight

Today marks a full year since I issued an open challenge to Darwinists to ground their theory and its OOL extension and root, in light of actually observed capabilities of blind watchmaker mechanisms of chance and necessity through an essay I would host here at UD. The pivot of the challenge is the modern version […] more

VIDEO: Jon Rittenhouse’s BB ST 450 course lecture on Scientism

Ran across this Biola video lecture (in course BB ST 450) on scientism in a thread from a few months back, HT BA77 as usual. I think it is well worth pondering: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt So, thoughts? END more

They said it: “in the spirit of Carthago delenda est . . . ” — AF issues a strawman fallacy-tainted challenge to design thought

Longtime design objector AF has just issued an inadvertently revealing challenge in the Info by accident thread: AF, 224: >> And in the spirit of Carthago delenda est if anyone has a testable hypothesis of “Intelligent Design”, that would be good, too!>> This is brazen, and utterly revealing. Cato’s “Carthage must fall” was a declaration […] more

{The case of ATP synthetase, a motor-using enzyme that makes the critical ATP molecule:}

ATP Synthetase -- a rotaryu molecular motor that makes the ATP "energy battery" molecules of the living cell (HT: Nobel Foundation)

ATP Synthetase — a rotary molecular motor that makes the ATP “energy battery” molecules of the living cell (HT: Nobel Foundation)


The rotary action of the ATP Synthetase as it makes ATP's (Source: Wiki)

The rotary action of the ATP Synthetase as it makes ATP’s (Source: Wiki)

{For comparison, we can look at computer paper tape and readers:}

Punched paper Tape, as used in older computers and numerically controlled machine tools (Courtesy Wiki & Siemens)

Punched paper Tape, as used in older computers and numerically controlled machine tools (Courtesy Wiki & Siemens)

{. . . and electrical motors:}


A typical electrical motor (HT: Arthur’s free engineering clipart)

{Where, in answer to the common objection that living things reproduce and so are not comparable to technological objects, we call up the requisites for that capacity, shown by the von Neumann self-replicator:}


{Namely: following von Neumann generally (and as previously noted), such a machine uses . . .

(i) an underlying storable code to record the required information to create not only (a) the primary functional machine [[here, for a "clanking replicator" as illustrated, a Turing-type “universal computer”; in a cell this would be the metabolic entity that transforms environmental materials into required components etc.] but also (b) the self-replicating facility; and, that (c) can express step by step finite procedures for using the facility;
(ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with
(iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions; thus controlling:
(iv) position-arm implementing machines with “tool tips” controlled by the tape reader and used to carry out the action-steps for the specified replication (including replication of the constructor itself); backed up by
(v) either:
(1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or
(2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that as a part of their function, can provide required specific materials/parts and forms of energy for the replication facility, by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.
Also, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating machine with an integral von Neumann universal constructor.That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).]This irreducible complexity is compounded by the requirement (i) for codes, requiring organised symbols and rules to specify both steps to take and formats for storing information, and (v) for appropriate material resources and energy sources.

Immediately, we are looking at islands of organised function for both the machinery and the information in the wider sea of possible (but mostly non-functional) configurations.

In short, outside such functionally specific — thus, isolated — information-rich hot (or, “target”) zones, want of correct components and/or of proper organisation and/or co-ordination will block function from emerging or being sustained across time from generation to generation. So, once the set of possible configurations is large enough and the islands of function are credibly sufficiently specific/isolated, it is unreasonable to expect such function to arise from chance, or from chance circumstances driving blind natural forces under the known laws of nature.}

{Where also, Mignea, 2012 — slide show; fair use. Presentation speech is here — highlighted the minimal requisites for a self replicating life form:}



Of course, there have been many attempts [to show creation of FSCO/I by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity] over the years.

Every one of them, from canals perceived on Mars by astronomers 100+ years ago, to the infamously misleading Weasel and genetic algorithms, to a YouTube video of clocks allegedly evolving blindly, have been shown to depend crucially on subtle or blatant injection of active information that narrows the target zone.

Similarly, he full well knows that it is now ten full months since a direct challenge to address warrant for the evolutionary materialist picture of origins for the world of life through a ~ 6,000 word essay [maximum reasonable length for a blog post] with onward links to more and obvious provision for images and videos [as this would be a hosted original post] was put on the table by the undersigned, to address OOL and body plan macro-evolution, including the resolution of the pivotal tree of life icon.

This has been a free shot at goal offer, and it is utterly telling that after ten months, there have been no serious takers.

It is clear then that we are not dealing with reasonable discussion but implacable enmity, which is exactly what [Cato's  --oops]  Carthage must fall [by implication in light of the history of the Punic wars, by any means deemed effective . . . ] catchphrase represented.

So, AF is here repeating a talking point he full well knows is false and misleading, the better to enmesh the naive or unwary. That is sad, but we need to face the reality of the sort of implacable, ruthless ideological enmity we are dealing with.>>

So, now, let us see where the real balance on the merits lies. END