Home » Design inference, Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization, ID Foundations » It seems that TSZ objector to design, AF, insists on the long since corrected canard that design is a “default” inference

It seems that TSZ objector to design, AF, insists on the long since corrected canard that design is a “default” inference

UD commenter Joe notes:

Alan [Fox] amuses by not understanding the definition of “default”. He thinks the design inference is the default even though it is reached via research, observations, knowledge and experiences.

To put this ill-founded but longstanding objection to the design inference — it is tantamount to an accusation of question-begging –  to bed permanently, I note:

____________

>> . . . a year after Dr Liddle was repeatedly and specifically corrected that the inference to design is after rejecting not one but TWO defaults, that is still being raised as an objection over at TSZ.

That speaks volumes.

Let’s outline again, for those unable to understand a classic flowchart [even UML preserves a version of this . . .).

{Flowchart of the explanatory filter:

 

1: Step one, we examine an aspect of an object, phenomenon or process (in science we examine relevant aspects, it did not matter what colour they painted the pendulum bob in assessing its oscillations).

2: Observe enough to see whether we have low or high contingency, i.e. high variability on similar initial conditions.

3: Lawlike regularities lead to inference of mechanical necessity expressible in deterministic laws, like Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, or the law of the simple pendulum with small swings. Or, the observation that dropped heavy objects reliably fall under g = 9.8 N/kg near earth’s surface.

4: If an aspect shows high contingency, this is not reasonably explicable on such a law.

5: Thus, we have to look at the two known sources of high contingency, chance and design. For instance, a dropped die that tumbles and settles can be fair and showing a flat distribution across {1, 2, . . . 6} or it can be artfully loaded. (This example has been cited over and over for years, that it has not sunk in yet is utterly telling on closed mindedness.)

6: The presumed default on high contingency, is chance, showing itself in some typical stochastic distribution, as is say typical of the experimental scatter studied under the theory of errors in science. Dice show a flat distribution if they are fair. Wind speed often follows a Weibull distribution, and so forth.

7: Sampling theory tells us that when we observe such a distribution, we tend to reflect the bulk of the population, and that rare, special zones are unlikely to come up in a sample that is too small. This is the root of Fisherian hypothesis testing commonly used in statistical studies. (As in far tails are special rare zones so if you keep on hitting that zone, you are most likely NOT under a chance based sample. Loaded dice being a typical case in point: as you multiply the number of dice, the distribution tends to have a sharp peak in the middle and for instance, you are very unlikely to get 1,1,1, .. or all sixes etc. The flipped coin as a two sided die, is a classic studied under statistical mechanics.)

8: So, once we have a complex enough case that deeply isolates special zones, we are maximally unlikely to see such by chance. But, the likelihood of seeing such under loading or similar manipulation is a different proposition altogether.

9: WLOG, we may consider a long covered tray of 504 coins in a string with a scanner that reports the state when a button is pushed:

)) — || Tray of coins Black Box || –> 504 bit string

10: Under the chance hyp, with all but certainty, on the gamut of the solar system, we would find the coins with near 50:50 distribution H/T, in no particular order.

11: That is an all but certain expectation on the gamut of the solar system.

12: But if instead we found the first 72 ASCII characters of this post in the 504 bits, we would have strong reason to suspect IDOW as the best explanation. There is no good reason otherwise to see the highly contingent outcome in so isolated a functional state.

13: Thus, having rejected the two defaults, coins are highly contingent and chance is maximally unlikely per the relevant distribution to provide such an outcome with FSCO/I, we infer to design.

14: In short, the logic involved is not so difficult or dubious, it is glorified common sense, backed up by billions of examples that ground an inductive generalisation, and by the needle in the haystack analysis that shows why it is eminently reasonable.

15: What needs to be explained is not why inference to design is reasonable, on seeing FSCO/I. Instead, it is why this is so controversial, given the strength of the case.

16: The answer to that is plain: it cuts across a dominant ideology in our day, evolutionary materialism, which likes to dress itself up in the lab coat and to fly the flag of science.

That, it seems, is the real problem . . . >>

____________

Let’s see if this is enough to settle the matter, and if not, why not. END

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938 Responses to It seems that TSZ objector to design, AF, insists on the long since corrected canard that design is a “default” inference

  1. KF:

    It is sad that you have to repeatedly go back to the basics. While any peson with a simple education about scientific methodology should promptly agree with those basics.

    It is sad that it is impossible to discuss simply and constructively with ideological people, even when in good faith and intelligent.

    For what it it worth, I will repeat here with you the obvious: the design inference is completely empirical. It is simple, correct, and cannot be questioned. It holds from all scientific points of views.

    Those who cannot accept those simple facts are obliged to recur to all sorts of follies: they deny the concept of functional complexity (which is simple, true, and unquestionable). They deny scientific methodology, like the basic concepts of empirical inference. They build false logical arguments to invent “circularity” where it does not exist. They change the meaning of words that have always meant only one thing. They deny concepts upon which all science, indeed all human knowledge, is based, susch as “function”. THey affirm probabilistic truths, and deny that it is possible to model them. And so on.

    Why? Because they cannot accept a designer as an empirical explanation. As though design and designers were not part of reality.

    The simple truth is, they cannot accept a designer that is not expected in their world view. And, if there is empirical evidence of that designer, who cares? What is empirical evidence in the face of a vastly shared world view?

    Worlds like ideology and conformism mean nothing to them. After all, a vastly shared error must necessarily be truth…

  2. What Alan sed:

    1) Clarify the logic. There is a set of processes. Some processes can be described as semiotic and some are not. The way to tell the difference is…?
    Perhaps you need to explain what the difference is between a semiotic process and a process that is not semiotic. It would also help if you were to say something along the lines of “when I use the word ‘semiotic’ I mean …

    2) Clarify the biochemistry. You seem to be suggesting that at least part of what goes on in protein synthesis is ‘semiotic’. Without a clarification about what you mean in the context of biochemical processes, it is not informative. You also use the words “symbols” and “protocols” but it is unclear how these map to biochemical processes.

    3) Clarify how 1) and 2) lead to a conclusion of “Intelligent Design”. The suspicion is that 1,2 and 3 boil down to an argument from incredulity similar to Behe’s irreducible complexity and Dembski’s CSI that claim “intelligent design” by default.

    So thorough research and the inability of evolutionists to support their claims = incredulity. And the last inference standing is the default.

    Was it the move to France that turned Alan Fox into a backwards thinker?

  3. gpuccio,

    Because they cannot accept a designer as an empirical explanation.

    Not at all. As has been pointed out many times by people other than myself it is quite common to accept a designer as an empirical explanation in many fields of study. Archaeology for one.

    When you can prove that there was a designer around with the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required then I shall be much more inclined to accept the design inference.

  4. Jerad:

    RE: When you can prove that there was a designer around with the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required then I shall be much more inclined to accept the design inference.

    You have just inadvertently substantiated GP’s point.

    The design inference on FSCO/I is a well-warranted inference on empirically tested reliable sign, and so the FSCO/I in life itself counts as empirical evidence of a designer at the point of the origin of the entity in question, with the capabilities and equipment to do the job. An inference that is of the same pattern as inferences on signs all over the arena of science.

    The alternative, which you artfully do not state but only imply as evolutionary materialist assumed default, is that such FSCO/I came about by blind chance plus necessity in Darwin’s warm little pond or the like. Somehow the lack of actual observation of chance and necessity creating FSCO/I vanishes, as does the evidence that the only and abundantly observed cause of FSCO/I is design. Worse, the evidence of the needle in the haystack analysis, points to the maximal implausibility of chance and necessity originating FSCO/I on the gamut of our observed cosmos, on an analysis linked closely to the statistical grounding of the second law of thermodynamics.

    In short, you have begged some very big questions.

    Your demand for separate proof –notice your shift to a demand for that which is deductive –is tantamount to saying that the sort of empirical evidence that we can see is unacceptable to you. Evidently for exactly the worldview acceptability reasons GP pointed out.

    A more proper response would be to simply provide evidence that chance and/or mechanical necessity, without design, can and do produce FSCO/I. That you do not do that, is strong evidence that you cannot do so. So you revert to a worldview level demand for separate proof.

    In fact, there is no need to show more than that there is a reasonable possibility of design at the origin of cell based life on earth, which is replete with FSCO/I. And, that is manifestly so. Designers are known to exist, they are actual. They are known to create things embedding FSCO/I. There is no good reason to rule a designer at the origin of life on earth to be a self-contradiction. We can see that on the trajectory of the work of Venter et al, a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond where we now are would be enough.

    That is it is reasonable to accept that such a designer is possible.

    (And yes, I am explicitly making no inference to a designer beyond the cosmos as the required designer of life on earth. That has been acknowledged by design thinkers from the first technical book of the modern design theory. Where design theory does point to a designer beyond the cosmos, is the finetuning of the cosmos that fits it for C-Chemistry, Aqueous medium, cell based life; even through a multiverse speculation. And yes, it is then not unreasonable to couple the two levels of design, from intent to carrying out, but that is a different argument, on different evidence.)

  5. Jerad:

    Well, it is probably my fault. I had completed my idea in the following phrase:

    “The simple truth is, they cannot accept a designer that is not expected in their world view.”

    I understand that a materialist reductionist is available to admit that a designer he understands and expects, such as a human being, can design things. Well, that is some broadmindedness indeed!

    What a materialist reductionist, committed to his personal ideology, cannot accept is that some other kind of conscious designer may exist. Strange, because that has been the widespread and widely shared view for centuries, maybe for millennia, so why has it become so completely inadmissible in the last 50-60 years? Has humankind suddenly become extremely smart?

    You say:

    When you can prove that there was a designer around with the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required then I shall be much more inclined to accept the design inference.

    But the “proof” (empirical!) is exactly in the design inference: the existence, the appearance in natural history, of obviously designed artifacts (biological information in all its forms), are strong evidence for the existence of one or more designers with, as you say, “the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required”. If your personal worldview cannot accept that possibility, that is your personal problem. For me, I prefer to stay empirical, and not to be guided by ideology.

    So, in a nutshell:

    a) Design is the act by which conscious intelligent beings, such as humans, represent some intelligent form and purposefully output that form into some material system. We call the conscious intelligent being “designer”, and the act by which the conscious representation “models” the material system “design”. We call the material system, after the design, a “designed object”.

    b) Some designed objects (not all) have a specific property, objectively verifiable, that we call “CSI”: that is, they bear meaningful information (the design), and that meaningful information is complex.

    c) A specific form of CSI is what I call “dFSCI”, that is CSI that is both digital and functionally specified. Let me confine the discourse to this form, for the moment.

    d) For all the objects we can observe in our reality, and whose origin is known, it can be always verified that any object exhibiting dFSCI has been designed by a conscious intelligent being (in practice, some human). No counterexample exists.

    e) Of all the objects we can observe in our reality, except human artifacts, only one category, whose origin is at least controversial, exhibits dFSCI. That category is biological objects.

    f) It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, to hypothesize that biological objects are designed. That naturally brings to the question of what kind of conscious intelligent agent designed them, but that question in no way makes tghe inference less valid.

    g) If you and your similar cannot even accept the above inference as a valid scientific hypothesis, and indeed as the best explanation at present for biological information, I can only say that you have a methodological problem, and that you are in principle committed to a specific world view and ideology, probbaly materilastic reductionism, or scientism (which are more or less the same thing). No problem, anybody is free tio beieve anything. But I cannot count on your scientific objectivity.

  6. When you can prove that there was a designer around with the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required then I shall be much more inclined to accept the design inference.

    Translated:

    Until you show me a designer, I will believe that disorganized molecules can establish the symbol system and information processing machinery fundamentally required to organize themselves.

  7. In all the debates and discussions I’ve ever had with sceptics, they do not ignore the designer because of the evidence but despite the evidence. If you don’t want to accept something as empirical you never will.

  8. FYI, AF:

    >> se·mi·ot·ics also se·mei·ot·ics (sm-tks, sm-, sm-)
    n. (used with a sing. verb)
    The theory and study of signs and symbols, especially as elements of language or other systems of communication, and comprising semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics.
    semi·o·tician (–tshn) n.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. >>

    So, if symbols with meanings are involved, we are dealing with a semiotic context. If chains of brute mechanical necessity or chance stochastic processes are dominant, we are not.

    The relevant case is of course R/DNA as used to construct the working molecules of life in a process of transcription and translation of info into symbolised AA chains, per a step by step process. That is, a physically instantiated algorithm. Which is itself semiotic.

    KF

  9. KF:

    Somehow the lack of actual observation of chance and necessity creating FSCO/I vanishes, as does the evidence that the only and abundantly observed cause of FSCO/I is design.

    I don’t think you wanted to say that the evidence for design vanishes but I won’t misinterpret you intentionally. But I will say that arguing from our observed experience is a rather dangerous tack. I’ve personally never seen quantum tunnelling, not do I expect to but I accept that it can happen despite the fact that it flies in the face of everything I’ve experienced.

    Your demand for separate proof –notice your shift to a demand for that which is deductive –is tantamount to saying that the sort of empirical evidence that we can see is unacceptable to you. Evidently for exactly the worldview acceptability reasons GP pointed out.

    Not at all for those reasons. I just see no evidence for the presence of a designer. Aside from the fact that no one is specifying when and where designs were implemented. And I find the design inference lacks explanatory power. But if there were supportive evidence of a designer then I would give the hypothesis more consideration. It’s just a matter of evidence. One thread of possible evidence isn’t very convincing.

    There is no good reason to rule a designer at the origin of life on earth to be a self-contradiction. We can see that on the trajectory of the work of Venter et al, a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond where we now are would be enough.

    That is it is reasonable to accept that such a designer is possible.

    Of course it’s possible. Many things are possible. There’s just no good evidence.

    gpuccio:

    What a materialist reductionist, committed to his personal ideology, cannot accept is that some other kind of conscious designer may exist. Strange, because that has been the widespread and widely shared view for centuries, maybe for millennia, so why has it become so completely inadmissible in the last 50-60 years? Has humankind suddenly become extremely smart?

    As we find more and more naturalistic and undirected explanations for aspects of the universe it seem like the possible realm of a non-material designer is lessening. Also, science requires definable and measurable forces which rules out many peoples’ notion of what that designer would be like.

    If your personal worldview cannot accept that possibility, that is your personal problem. For me, I prefer to stay empirical, and not to be guided by ideology.

    Fair enough. But I would ask you: are you sure your acceptance of a possible designer who has left no other physical evidence of their presence except for DNA really an empirical view? Where did the notion of a designer come from in the first place?

    f) It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, to hypothesize that biological objects are designed. That naturally brings to the question of what kind of conscious intelligent agent designed them, but that question in no way makes tghe inference less valid.

    g) If you and your similar cannot even accept the above inference as a valid scientific hypothesis, and indeed as the best explanation at present for biological information, I can only say that you have a methodological problem, and that you are in principle committed to a specific world view and ideology, probbaly materilastic reductionism, or scientism (which are more or less the same thing). No problem, anybody is free tio beieve anything. But I cannot count on your scientific objectivity.

    I accept it’s fair to hypothesise a designer. But then you have to find more evidence of the designer’s presence. And there just isn’t any. That’s why the design inference is not the best explanation.

    And even accepting the design inference, as it stands right now, the general ID hypothesis lacks explanatory power. It has not been able to explain why certain things came about. Except to say ‘the designer did it.’. And that’s not really answering the question.

    UB:

    Until you show me a designer, I will believe that disorganized molecules can establish the symbol system and information processing machinery fundamentally required to organize themselves.

    I have considered the design hypothesis. And tried to come up with others as well, there being no reason that there are only two horses in the race. And I’ve settled on the one I think makes the fewest assumptions and has the most explanatory power.

    Andre:

    In all the debates and discussions I’ve ever had with sceptics, they do not ignore the designer because of the evidence but despite the evidence. If you don’t want to accept something as empirical you never will.

    Just because we disagree with you doesn’t mean we haven’t considered your points.

    And I don’t think an argument that rests on lack of experience is really empirical.

  10. Take for example the presence of hind legs in some species of whales. They are under the skin, they don’t seem to be necessary, surely they could have been designed ‘out’.

    The modern evolutionary synthesis gives a reason for them still being there. What is the ID paradigm have to say about it? What is the explanation?

    Or: why do humans lack the ability to synthesise vitamin C? Other mammals can so it’s certainly is possible to incorporate into the human design.

    Those kinds of questions need to be addressed by the ID community in order to compete with modern evolutionary theory.

  11. Jerad:

    Re, 1: I will say that arguing from our observed experience is a rather dangerous tack. I’ve personally never seen quantum tunnelling, not do I expect to but I accept that it can happen despite the fact that it flies in the face of everything I’ve experienced.

    It seems you need to revisit the inductive methodology of science. Quantum tunneling and before that frustrated total internal reflection, are empirically observed.

    Just so, with billions of cases all around us we routinely observe the source of FSCO/I, and we multiply that by the needle in the haystack analysis which makes sense of that evidence.

    You are here in effect wishing to play fast and loose with scientific evidence on observation.

    And BTW, the sudden vanishing of evidence by sleight of objecting rhetoric I spoke to already is just what you are doing again here.

    2: I just see no evidence for the presence of a designer. Aside from the fact that no one is specifying when and where designs were implemented. And I find the design inference lacks explanatory power. But if there were supportive evidence of a designer then I would give the hypothesis more consideration.

    Clapping the telscope to his blinded eye, Nelson said he saw no withdrawal signal. Tha tis essentially what you have done here.

    The evidence is in front of you, as 4repeatedly outlined on the known, empirically and analytically warranted source of FSCO/I, but poof, I put the scope to my blind eye and I see no evidence.

    3: As we find more and more naturalistic and undirected explanations for aspects of the universe it seem like the possible realm of a non-material designer is lessening.

    An assertion of blind faith, a promissory note.

    Let’s go again: what is the evidence on the source of FSCO/I?

    Design.

    What is the analysis?

    That the other main source of high contingency per sampling theory on the gamut of the solar system or the observed cosmos will be maximally unlikely to achieve FSCO/I.

    4: I have considered the design hypothesis. And tried to come up with others as well, there being no reason that there are only two horses in the race. And I’ve settled on the one I think makes the fewest assumptions and has the most explanatory power.

    Again, what are the observed sources of highly contingent outcomes — for thousands of years?

    Ans: chance and choice.

    Has there been an observed or seriously proposed alternative — mechanical necessity not being a credible source?

    Nope, but we can suggest a mysterious fourth option, just to keep things fuzzy.

    This is little more than unsubstantiated metaphysical speculation demanding to be admitted to the tabnle of scientific discussion of empirically warranted causes. Just what Newton, for good reason warned against.

    And of the two sources, wha tis the evidence again that chance distributions can credibly gve rise to 500 or more bits of FSCO/I?

    Again, nil.

    Just, anything but the dreaded inference to design where it is not convenient for evolutionary materialism.

    In short, you are arguing for the inferior explanation because the superior one is not ideologically acceptable.
    ___________

    KF

  12. Jerad:

    Take for example the presence of hind legs in some species of whales.

    Nope, no hind legs in any species of whales. Most likely remnants of hind flippers.

    why do humans lack the ability to synthesise vitamin C?

    Because we can incorporate vitamin C into our diet- epigenetics.

  13. Jerad,

    suppose a whale has a vestigial leg.

    That is reduction in function and loss of info [cf here the victims of thalidomide], not the origin of the info that creates a quadruped body plan that is embryologically viable and ecologically viable. Loss of info, is not origin of info.

    And, on whales, you have not addressed here the origin of the peculiar functional structures that are needed for this adaptation of the mammalian body plan to function as such, and this within the relevant pop genetics constraints. Cf here on, including remarks by Sternberg in a vid.

    So, you have knocked over a strawman, and have not addressed the specific issue.

    KF

  14. Alan responds:

    Apart from the minor issue that nobody, not Dembski even, can show any effective use of the EF procedure, what difference does the number of steps before assuming design as default make?

    1- The expklanatory filter mandates that the user follow Newton’s rules of scientific investigation, ie parsimony. And ALL investigations need to foolow that.

    2- Buy a dictionary Alan. Default means you haven’t done any work to reach the inference

    Then toronto asks for evidence for ID when he has choked on all the evidence for ID so far.

    Do you like to choke toronto, is that it?

    Back to Alan:

    Kairosfocus gives me a dictionary definition confirming that “semiotics” refers to the theory and study of signs and symbols especially language and then makes the leap of faith to assert that the biochemical processes that result in protein synthesis are semiotic.

    No leap of faith required, just observations.

    Interactions between molecules involve their chemical properties; charge, conformation, level of hydrophilic and lipophilic residues etc.

    Then you should have no problem demonstrating blind and undirected chemical processes producing transcription and translation.

    Ya see Alan it is the TOTAL LACK of supporting evidence for your position that has allowed ID in the door. So perhaps you should stifle yourself and get to work.

  15. at to:

    Take for example the presence of hind legs in some species of whales.

    actually:

    An Email Exchange Regarding “Vestigial Legs” Pelvic Bones in Whales by Jim Pamplin
    Excerpt: The pelvic bones (supposed Vestigial Legs) of whales serve as attachments for the musculature associated with the penis in males and its homologue, the clitoris, in females. The muscle involved is known as the ischiocavernosus and is quite a powerful muscle in males. It serves as a retractor muscle for the penis in copulation and probably provides the base for lateral movements of the penis. The mechanisms of penile motion are not well understood in whales. The penis seems to be capable of a lot of independent motion, much like the trunk of an elephant. How much of this is mediated by the ischiocavernosus is not known.
    In females the anatomical parts are smaller and more diffuse. I would imagine that there is something homologous to the perineal muscles in man and tetrapods, which affect the entire pelvic area – the clitoris, vagina and anus.
    The pelvic rudiments also serve as origins for the ischiocaudalis muscle, which is a ventral muscle that inserts on the tips of the chevron bones of the spinal column and acts to flex the tail in normal locomotion.
    http://www.darwinisdead.com/an.....arding.htm

  16. KF:

    You are here in effect wishing to play fast and loose with scientific evidence on observation.

    Not at all. Obviously intelligent agents can (and do) create complex and specified information. But there has to be an agent and, except for the information in question, you haven’t got any evidence of the presence of a designer. And I don’t think one line of reasoning is adequate to establish your hypothesis. And you haven’t even specified when and where design was implemented. Nor has the design inference explained the life forms we see.

    The evidence is in front of you, as 4repeatedly outlined on the known, empirically and analytically warranted source of FSCO/I, but poof, I put the scope to my blind eye and I see no evidence.

    I see what you’re talking about but I just don’t want to assume that if my experience only points to one source then that is the only possible source.

    And of the two sources, wha tis the evidence again that chance distributions can credibly gve rise to 500 or more bits of FSCO/I?

    Again, nil.

    It’s not just chance distributions. That’s a straw man argument.

    Just, anything but the dreaded inference to design where it is not convenient for evolutionary materialism.

    In short, you are arguing for the inferior explanation because the superior one is not ideologically acceptable.

    Well, you seem to think you know what goes on in my head.

    But I would still like to hear the ID paradigm explanation for whales’ hind legs. Or the inefficient route of the laryngial nerve. Why don’t we stick to that.

  17. Joe: It seems that AF is refusing to accept that there is something called the genetic code — semiotic, and that the CCA universal coupler in tRNA has the AA added based on an informational not a chemical constraint. KF

  18. I wonder if it would move the conversation forward if some modest claims were asserted. Specifically, the complexity we see in life (and research continues to discover more complexity) requires the conclusion that life could not have arisen by chance on the earth. Life must have been planted on the earth. There are some evolutionists who think life on earth was seeded. Life is not native to earth.

    There are two possible causes: (1) life arose by chance somewhere else and somehow landed on earth, or (2) life was designed and the earth was prepared to receive that design. Debating these two points would be forward progress.

  19. Joe:

    Nope, no hind legs in any species of whales. Most likely remnants of hind flippers.

    So why are there still vestiges of hind flippers then?

    Because we can incorporate vitamin C into our diet- epigenetics.

    Are you saying that when humans starting eating citrus fruits, etc that we lost the ability to synthesise vitamin C?

  20. Jerad:

    I am busy in a meeting, and have been splitting time.

    I see and will quickly note on one slice of the cake: Not at all. Obviously intelligent agents can (and do) create complex and specified information. But there has to be an agent and, except for the information in question, you haven’t got any evidence of the presence of a designer.

    What you are leaving out, again is that ONLY design has been seen as creating FSCO/I, and further, on the needle in the haystack challenge, the other known source of high contingency is not credibly capable. After thousands of years, no other alternative is in prospect.

    KF

  21. KF:

    That is reduction in function and loss of info [cf here the victims of thalidomide], not the origin of the info that creates a quadruped body plan that is embryologically viable and ecologically viable. Loss of info, is not origin of info.

    So, why are they still there? I assume you’d say the transition from the closest presumed fossil relative is too great for natural processes to bridge so . . . why didn’t the designer get rid of them?

    And, on whales, you have not addressed here the origin of the peculiar functional structures that are needed for this adaptation of the mammalian body plan to function as such, and this within the relevant pop genetics constraints. Cf here on, including remarks by Sternberg in a vid.

    I’m not trying to address that. I’m trying to see what explanations the ID paradigm has for the vestiges of hind legs/flippers to still be present. I’m trying to see if ID has a better explanation or if it’s just saying: your explanation can’t work so ours must be right.

  22. Those kinds of questions need to be addressed by the ID community in order to compete with modern evolutionary theory.

    Perhaps evolutionary theory wouldn’t mind answering a few questions itself so as to qualify as a scientific theory in the first place? Such as how do you develop a robust system of reasoning from Darwinism?

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    Self-Refuting Belief Systems – Cornelius Hunter – September 2012
    Excerpt: Relativism states that there are no absolute truths, but if true then that statement is an absolute truth. Likewise the statement that evolution is a fact, if true, means that we cannot know evolution to be a fact. Why? Because with evolution our minds are nothing more than molecules in motion—an accidental biochemistry experiment which has yielded a set of chemicals in a certain configuration. This leads to what Darwin called “the horrid doubt”:
    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind.” Darwin to Graham, William – 3 July 1881
    Today evolutionists agree that while a random collection of chemicals doesn’t know anything, nonetheless over long time periods and under the action of natural selection, phenomena which we refer to as knowledge, will and consciousness will spontaneously emerge. And how do we know this? Because evolution occurred and we know that it occurred. Therefore evolution must have created the phenomena of knowledge. The proof is left to the student.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....stems.html

    The following interview is sadly comical as a evolutionary psychologist realizes that neo-Darwinism can offer no guarantee that our faculties of reasoning will correspond to the truth, not even for the truth that he is purporting to give in the interview, (which begs the question of how was he able to come to that particular truthful realization, in the first place, if neo-Darwinian evolution were actually true?);

    Evolutionary guru: Don’t believe everything you think – October 2011
    Interviewer: You could be deceiving yourself about that.(?)
    Evolutionary Psychologist: Absolutely.
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....think.html

    Evolutionists Are Now Saying Their Thinking is Flawed (But Evolution is Still a Fact) – Cornelius Hunter – May 2012
    Excerpt: But the point here is that these “researchers” are making an assertion (human reasoning evolved and is flawed) which undermines their very argument. If human reasoning evolved and is flawed, then how can we know that evolution is a fact, much less any particular details of said evolutionary process that they think they understand via their “research”?
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....their.html

    Related note:

    Materialism of the Gaps – Michael Egnor (Neurosurgeon) – January 29, 2009
    Excerpt: The evidence that some aspects of the mind are immaterial is overwhelming. It’s notable that many of the leading neuroscientists — Sherrington, Penfield, Eccles, Libet — were dualists. Dualism of some sort is the most reasonable scientific framework to apply to the mind-brain problem, because, unlike dogmatic materialism, it just follows the evidence.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....15901.html

  23. Perhaps instead of gripping about how you could design life better than God, why don’t you produce evidence of your beloved Darwinian processes producing one single functional protein from scratch? Or is theological arguments all you got?

  24. BA77:

    Why didn’t the designer just design out the attachment points in the last transition before modern whales?

    I want to know what explanatory power ID has for the current body plans! Fish don’t have vestigial hind quarters and yet their muscles have attachment points.

  25. KF:

    Take your time, no rush.

    What you are leaving out, again is that ONLY design has been seen as creating FSCO/I, and further, on the needle in the haystack challenge, the other known source of high contingency is not credibly capable. After thousands of years, no other alternative is in prospect.

    And that forces intelligence to be the only source because . . . the other option is too improbable? Are you sure you want to use that as the basis for your hypothesis?

  26. dgw:

    There are two possible causes: (1) life arose by chance somewhere else and somehow landed on earth, or (2) life was designed and the earth was prepared to receive that design. Debating these two points would be forward progress.

    (1) doesn’t avoid the design vs non-directed problem.

    (2) there is not enough evidence for a designer. According to me. There are other opinions. :-)

  27. Jerad,

    I have considered the design hypothesis … And I’ve settled on the one I think makes the fewest assumptions and has the most explanatory power.

    The number one argument (repeatedly given) in support the unguided/chance hypothesis for the existence of living things is the Darwinian mechanism, which has nothing whatsoever to do with origins. The Darwinian mechanism requires material conditions which it cannot establish itself, making it incapable of explaining the existence of living things. The material conditions required for the Darwinian mechanism include (among other things) a materially-arbitrary relationship to exist between two physical objects which cannot interact if the system is to properly function. The first of those physical objects contains an arrangement which does not exist as a matter of physical law; it exists entirely independent of the rate and exchange of energy. The second physical object establishes a systematic rule (not law) within the system, while in complete spatial and temporal isolation of the first physical object. Alterations to this second object are legitimately catastrophic to the system.

    This is all required JUST to get the system to function; it is required prior to the organization that will result from its functional constraint. Then there is the constraint itself, driven by input of those rate-independent arrangements.

    What assumptions does your hypothesis make?

  28. BA77:

    Perhaps instead of gripping about how you could design life better than God, why don’t you produce evidence of your beloved Darwinian processes producing one single functional protein from scratch? Or is theological arguments all you got?

    I’m not saying that at all. I’m trying to figure out what ID has to say about some cases. I’m trying to point out why evolutionary theory has more explanatory power. The ability of ID to explain things we see is a separate issue from whether or not evolutionary theory is up to the job.

    It’s not a coin that has to be heads or tails. In mathematics you can prove things by contradiction but that doesn’t work in this case. ID has to stand on it’s own as a model with power to explain the life forms we observe. And so far it hasn’t done much explaining. It hasn’t even got to the when and where questions. Or even tried.

  29. UB:

    The number one argument (repeatedly given) in support the unguided/chance hypothesis for the existence of living things is the Darwinian mechanism, which has nothing whatsoever to do with origins.

    I agree.

    The Darwinian mechanism requires material conditions which it cannot establish itself, making it incapable of explaining the existence of living things. The material conditions required for the Darwinian mechanism include (among other things) a materially-arbitrary relationship to exist between two physical objects which cannot interact if the system is to properly function. The first of those physical objects contains an arrangement which does not exist as a matter of physical law; it exists entirely independent of the rate and exchange of energy. The second physical object establishes a systematic rule (not law) within the system, while in complete spatial and temporal isolation of the first physical object. Alterations to this second object are legitimately catastrophic to the system.

    Could be. I’m not adequately knowledgeable to argue on these grounds.

    This is all required JUST to get the system to function; it is required prior to the organization that will result from its functional constraint. Then there is the constraint itself, driven by input of those rate-independent arrangements.

    What assumptions does your hypothesis make?

    I tend to avoid OoL issues because of my lack of knowledge. But if you really want to know I’m sure there are plenty of good books, papers and websites out there.

    I’m much more comfortable discussing the proliferation of life once a certain threshold had been reached which is also something that ID disputes.

    Would you like to address the explanatory power of ID regarding the vestigial hind quarters of modern whales?

  30. Gotta go. I look forward to any and all explanations from the ID point of view!!

  31. Jerad:

    As we find more and more naturalistic and undirected explanations for aspects of the universe it seem like the possible realm of a non-material designer is lessening.

    Not exactly true. Science has found no naturalistic explanation of what consciousness is, and of all consciousness related phenomena, including meaning, purpose and design. That’s exactly what we are discussing. Abd science has found no way to explain the emergence of dFSCI in a “naturalistic” (that is, cosciousness independent) way.

    But I would ask you: are you sure your acceptance of a possible designer who has left no other physical evidence of their presence except for DNA really an empirical view?

    Yes.

    Where did the notion of a designer come from in the first place?

    Obviously, from human design and from the properties of human artifacts, including language and software, wondeful examples of extremely abundant dFSCI. I would like to remind you that biological information has always been considered as designed, up to the raise of modern reductionist, for the simple fact that it has all the appearance and the properties of designed things (a fact that even Dawkins admits).

    I accept it’s fair to hypothesise a designer.

    OK

    But then you have to find more evidence of the designer’s presence. And there just isn’t any. That’s why the design inference is not the best explanation.

    With all respect, that is trivial nonsense. We just have to understand better when and how the design implementation took place, that is exactly a target of the ID scenario. “Evidence of the designer’s presence” would be interesting, and maybe we can find it sooner or later, but at present the evidence is in the designer’s artifacts. That’s why it is called “design inference”, and not “design observation”.

    And even accepting the design inference, as it stands right now, the general ID hypothesis lacks explanatory power. It has not been able to explain why certain things came about. Except to say ‘the designer did it.’. And that’s not really answering the question.

    Wrong. The ID scenario allows for functional analysis of biological information. For instance, the timing of appearance of the fundamental protein domains, which can still be indagated at deeper levels, is a very good pointer at explicit acts of design, localized in time and space. All the problem of OOL can greatly benefit from a design perspective, and many myths, such as the primordial pool and the RNA world could easily be dismissed, leaving room to a serious discussion about the true requirements of first complex life, and the functional planning of it. Whatever you may think, a serious analysis of the functional complexity of proteins and of other systems s fundamental to understand why they work and, sometimes, don’t work. The recent issue of non coding DNA functionality is paramount in understanding how a design perspective can easily bring to truth, while a wrong assumption of unguided evolution is only a delay and a hindrance for scientific knowledge.

    Regarding your points about hind legs and similar, I want to say that they are scrcely relevant, for many reasons:

    a) all macroscopic reasonings are at present not very good for the discussion about the causes of biological information, as we know almost noting of the molecular basis for them, and the molecular level is exactly where either unguided evolution or design take place.

    b) those points are perfectly compatible with design and common descent, which is exactly my view. Please remember that, as stated many times:

    b1: in no way design needs to be perfect design

    b2) in no way design needs to be instant design

    b3) in no way design needs to be special creation, or violation of the laws of physics

    b4) in no way design needs to be always good

    b5) in no way there has to be only one designer

    These points have been debated many times here. Just consider biological design as though it were a gradual software development, aimed at expressing new and more complex functions in time. You will see that all your points are perfectly compatible with that view.


  32. Nope, no hind legs in any species of whales. Most likely remnants of hind flippers.

    So why are there still vestiges of hind flippers then?

    Because there are. Heck accumulations of random mutations can’t even explain the exitence of whales.

    Are you saying that when humans starting eating citrus fruits, etc that we lost the ability to synthesise vitamin C?

    Nope. What I say is the non-functional VC gene is for the future when we cannot get VC epigenetically.

  33. Well Alan Fox is still choking on the word “default” but he does offer:

    The correct answer to a question that we don’t yet know the answer to is we don’t know.

    That is correct, Alan. Yet that is NOT what we teach the kids, is it? No, we teach the kids that blind and undirected chemical processes didit even though there isn’t any evidence to support the claim.

    IDists would LOVE to see schools tell the students that “we don’t know”, but unfortunately teachers lie because that is not what is being taught.

  34. gpuccio:

    As though design and designers were not part of reality.

    BINGO!

    Jerad:

    As has been pointed out many times by people other than myself it is quite common to accept a designer as an empirical explanation in many fields of study.

    Why would you be looking for some designer to offer up as an empirical explanation unless you had some reason to do so?

    Paraphrasing KF:

    A more proper response would be to simply provide evidence that chance and/or mechanical necessity, without design, was responsible.

    gpuccio:

    What a materialist reductionist, committed to his personal ideology, cannot accept is that some other kind of conscious designer may exist.

    They would accept “aliens did it.”

  35. Jerad punts the evidence.

  36. kf:

    Clapping the telescope to his blinded eye, Nelson said he saw no withdrawal signal.

    lol

    Jerad:

    But I would still like to hear the ID paradigm explanation for whales’ hind legs. Or the inefficient route of the laryngial nerve. Why don’t we stick to that.

    Because it’s a Red Herring.

    Let’s talk about the very powerful evidence for ID, which you seem to want to avoid. Why don’t we stick to that?

  37. Jerad:

    It’s not a coin that has to be heads or tails.

    Then why are you presenting your argument on those precise terms?

    Unlike your theory, which tries to explain everything, ID does not try to explain everything.

    I’m much more comfortable discussing the proliferation of life once a certain threshold had been reached which is also something that ID disputes.

    What makes you think it’s either ID or evolution?

    See gpuccio @31.

  38. Alan Fox proves he still doesn’t understand:

    The crux of the process that results in the synthesis of a peptide chain of a particular sequence of amino acid residues is the various aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. Sure, one could say that the origin of the connection between each synthetase and amino acid was arbitrary.

    No Alan, arbitrary refers to the codon (nucleotide triplet) and the amino acid it represents. There isn’t any law that determines which codon corresponds to which amino acid.

    The connection between each aatRNA synthetase and its amino acid residue is physical (material, if you like) and the system of protein synthesis works.

    1- That isn’t the point

    2- All the connections between each aatRNA synthetase and its amino acid residue are the same- no way to tell one tRNA from another just by that connector.

    Well, it doesn’t violate any physical law.

    Neither does my car.

  39. Joe (and Alan Fox):

    Well, just to clarify in greater detail:

    Each aminoacyl tRNA sythetase (there are 20 of them, 10 for each class) recognizes a specific aminoacid and catalyzes its attachment to the tRNA (catalytic domain) and recognizes the correct tRNAs by another unrelated domain, the anticodon binding domain.

    Therefore, the connection between the right aminoacid and the right anticodon is “written” in the specific sequence of each AA tRNA synthetase (very long and very complex multi domain proteins). It is completely arbitrary, and is in no way a consequence of any biochemical law, no more than any protein sequence is. The correct sequence, obviously, implies knowledge of the arbitrary genetic code. IOWs, it is “code aware”, just like the protein coding genes are, in a completely different sense, “code aware”.

  40. Jerad,

    A moment: that forces intelligence to be the only source because . . . the other option is too improbable? Are you sure you want to use that as the basis for your hypothesis?

    Strawman, in the teeth of specific, repeated more than adequate correction.

    Consider, I now have to ask: are you being closed minded, or are you playing rhetorical games that border on outright willful deception.

    One more time, briefly.

    The reason that the second law stands on a statistical foundation is the identical issue of search challenge and sampling of a space of microstates.

    Again FSCO/I is common, and it is only observed to be produced by design. An analysis of the search space of possible configs and of the sampling possibilities on chance — the other known source of high contingency outcomes — on solar system or observed cosmos scale, shows that we have only a right to expect to see the bulk of the distribution coming up, which will predictably be non functional. (We often hear this said as the law of averages, actually, fluctuations.)

    This is not rocket science.

    KF

  41. gpuccio-

    Thanks, I see my mistake:

    2- All the connections between each aatRNA synthetase and its amino acid residue are the same- no way to tell one tRNA from another just by that connector.

    Should read-

    2- All the connections between each tRNA and its amino acid residue are the same- no way to tell one tRNA from another just by that connector.

  42. as to Jerad’s false whale claim:

    Whale Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video – fraudulent fossils revealed
    http://vimeo.com/30921402

    Whale Evolution? – Exposing The Deception – Dr. Terry Mortenson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032568

    The following studies provides solid support for Dr. Terry Mortenson’s critique of ‘imaginary’ whale evolution in the preceding video:

    Of Whale and Feather Evolution: Nature’s Two Macroevolutionary Lumps of Coal (Dismantling Nature’s evolutionary evangelism packet) – Casey Luskin _ November 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37221.html

    How Whales Have (NOT) Changed Over 35 Million Years – May 2010
    Excerpt: We could have found that the main whale lineages over time each experimented with being large, small and medium-sized and that all the dietary forms appeared throughout their evolution, or that whales started out medium-sized and the largest and smallest ones appeared more recently—but the data show none of that. Instead, we find that the differences today were apparent very early on.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-356170

    The following article shows further evidence of how severely misleading some dogmatic Darwinists can be with the supposed evolutionary fossil evidence of whales:

    Meet Pakicetus, the Terrestrial Mammal BioLogos Calls a “Whale” – November 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....39851.html

    This following sites are a bit more detailed in their dismantling of the whale evolution myth:

    Whale Tale Two
    Excerpt: We think that the most logical interpretation of the Pakicetus fossils are that they represent land-dwelling mammals that didn’t even have teeth or ears in common with modern whales. This actually pulls the whale evolution tree out by the roots. Evolutionists are back to the point of not having any clue as to how land mammals could possibly have evolved into whales.
    http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~d...../v6i2f.htm

    Ambulocetus (49 million years ago)
    Excerpt: Of all the supposed whale transitions, ambulocetus is probably the most well known. It is often depicted as an animal that is adapted to living on land and in the water. Of course, just like pakicetus, the artistic reconstructions of ambulocetus go beyond what the fossil findings justify.
    The ambulocetus remains that have been discovered are much more complete than the first findings of pakicetus; however, crucial parts of the animal still have not been discovered. For example, the pelvic girdle has not been found.[7] Without this, there is really no way of telling how the creature moved. This, however, does not stop evolutionists from using artistic manipulations to make ambulocetus look like it is a transitional form.
    Very often, popular science journals, such as National Geographic, have depicted ambulocetus as being very transitional-like by giving the creature webbed feet.[8] This is another place where the reader must be able to distinguish between fact and fiction. Soft tissue rarely ever gets preserved, and the ambulocetus remains are no exception. In other words, all we have are the bones. There is no evidence that the creature had webbed feet other than in the imagination of the evolutionists.
    http://www.trueauthority.com/cvse/whale.htm

    These following video is very good, for it uses the mathematical equations used by leading evolutionists themselves, for population genetics, to show that the evolution of whales, and even of humans, is impossible even by using their own mathematical methods of predicting change:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203

    Evolution And Probabilities: A Response to Jason Rosenhouse – August 2011
    Excerpt: The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years – according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper, that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....osenhouse/

  43. If the impossibility of what Dr. Sternberg outlined in the video was not bad enough for neo-Darwinists, the time frame for the hypothetical transition to whales has now been dramatically shortened:

    A Whale of a Problem for Evolution: Ancient Whale Jawbone Found in Antartica – JonathanM – October 2011
    Excerpt: Argentine paleontologist Marcelo Reguero said the fossilized archaeocete jawbone found in February dates back 49 million years. In evolutionary terms, that’s not far off from the fossils of even older proto-whales from 53 million years ago that have been found,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....antartica/

    Discovery of “Oldest Fully Aquatic Whale” Fossil Throws a Major Bone into Whale Evolution Story – Casey Luskin – October 18, 2011
    Excerpt: In fact, if this find has been correctly identified, then fully aquatic whales might have existed before many of their alleged semi-aquatic evolutionary precursors.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52021.html

    This following video takes a honest look at just what evolutionists are up against to satisfactorily explain whale evolution:

    What Does It take To Change A Cow Into A Whale – David Berlinski – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqdvhL3pgM
    Whale Evolution? Darwinist ‘Trawlers’ Have Every Reason To Be Concerned:
    Excerpt: As one review noted: “The anatomical structure, biological function, and way of life of whales are so distinctly different from those of terrestrial mammals that they cannot possibly have evolved from the latter by small genetic changes; aquatics require the simultaneous presence of all their complex features to survive.”
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....wlers_have

    Here is a cool animated video showing a sperm whale using ‘designed’ echolocation to hunt a giant squid:

    Sperm Whale Vs Giant Squid – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z2Lfxpi710

    It seems the entire argument for inferring the supposed fossil sequence for whale evolution, in the fossil record, is primarily based on the erroneous readings of ‘bone homology’, or bone similarity, between different species. Yet this entire line of reasoning, for establishing scientific certainty for any proposed evolutionary sequence of fossils, is anything but ‘certain’, as this following video and quote clearly point out:

    Investigating Evolution: Homology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXT9sU6y18

    And as pointed out before the supposed “Vestigial Legs” of whales are actually fully functional pelvic bones that enable fully aquatic whales to successfully breed. There is nothing to be found that is ‘rudiment, leftover, or useless’, in the supposed ‘vestigial legs’ of whales save for the useless Darwinian myth that they are vestigial legs!

    An Email Exchange Regarding “Vestigial Legs” Pelvic Bones in Whales by Jim Pamplin
    Excerpt: The pelvic bones (supposed Vestigial Legs) of whales serve as attachments for the musculature associated with the penis in males and its homologue, the clitoris, in females. The muscle involved is known as the ischiocavernosus and is quite a powerful muscle in males. It serves as a retractor muscle for the penis in copulation and probably provides the base for lateral movements of the penis. The mechanisms of penile motion are not well understood in whales. The penis seems to be capable of a lot of independent motion, much like the trunk of an elephant. How much of this is mediated by the ischiocavernosus is not known.
    In females the anatomical parts are smaller and more diffuse. I would imagine that there is something homologous to the perineal muscles in man and tetrapods, which affect the entire pelvic area – the clitoris, vagina and anus.
    The pelvic rudiments also serve as origins for the ischiocaudalis muscle, which is a ventral muscle that inserts on the tips of the chevron bones of the spinal column and acts to flex the tail in normal locomotion.
    http://www.darwinisdead.com/an.....arding.htm

  44. Jerad claims he is not using a theological argument…

    “I’m not saying that at all.”

    when he uses stuff like the vitamin C pseudo-gene argument (i.e. another variation of the argument from evil). Yet that is exactly the argument he is making. God would not have done it that way therefore evolution must be true even though Darwinists have ZERO evidence of even one single novel functional gene or protein arising by neo-Darwinian processes!!! Well much contrary to the atheistic druthers as to how God might design stuff, the bare facts of the supposed vitamin C pseudo-gene are far different that what evolutionists have portrayed them to be to the general public:

    Here is the Vitamin C pseudogene refutation By Jonathan Wells from appendix of ‘The Myth Of Junk DNA’ pages 109-114 by Jonathan Wells
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=18LV9Xp1RJv4k2KRQDOpN3_cjSCwBC_XXb8WGVNP4L8M

    from appendix of ‘The Myth Of Junk DNA’ pages 109-114 by Jonathan Wells

    The Vitamin C Pseudogene

    Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is essential for many biochemical reations in living cells. Yet we are unable to synthesize it in our bodies, so we need supplements in our bodies with it. Guinea pigs, chimpanzees, and several species of monkeys are also unable to synthesize their own Vitamin C; 1-2 so are some (but not all) species of bats., 3-5 some (but not all) species of birds, 3,6-7 and some (but not all) species of fishes. 8-9

    Vitamin C requires four enzymes, of which we have three; our cells also contain a segment of DNA very similar to the gene for the fourth enzyme, L-gulonolactone y-oxidase (abbreviated GULO or GLO), but this segment is not translated into protein. 10-11 In other words, the human genome includes the vitamin C pseudogene GLO.

    As we saw in Chapter 2, Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller and University of Chicago geneticist Jerry A. Coyne have argued that the GLO pseudogene provides evidence for Darwinian evolution-in particular evidence for common ancestry of humnas and other primates-and evidence against intelligent design or creation.

    Ken Miller’s Argument

    “If the designer wanted us to be dependent on vitamin C,” wrote Miller in 2008, “why didn’t he just leave out the GLO gene from the plan for our genome? Why is its corpse still there?” Miller concedes that proponents of intelligent design could argue that the designer originally gave us a functional GLO gene, but that it was later inactivated by mutations; the inactivated pseudogene would then have been inherited by all living humans from their common ancestor. 12

    But in that simple conclusion lies the undoing of any claim for our separate ancestry as a species,” Miller continued, because humans are not the only species in which the GLO gene is broken. A vitamin C pseudogene is also found in “a certain group of primates, the very ones that happen to be our closest evolutionary relatives. Orangutans, gorillas, and chimps require vitamin C, as do some other primates, such as macaques. But more distantly related primates, including those known as prosimians, have fully functional GLO genes. That means that the common ancestor in which the capacity to make vitamin C was originally lost wasn’t human, but a primate-an ancestor that, according to the advocates of intelligent design, we’re not suppose to have.”13

    Yet intelligent design and common ancestry are two different issues. Major ID proponents pointed this out to Miller before he wrote his book.14-18 Indeed, Lehigh University biochemist and prominent ID advocate Michael J. Behe wrote in 1996 that “the simplest design scenario posits a single cell-formed billions of years ago-that already contained all information to produce descendant organisms.”19 As we saw in chapter 1, intelligent design states that we can infer from evidence in nature that some features of the world, and of living things, are better explained by an intelligent cause than by unguided natural processes. Although some ID proponents (including me) question universal common ancestry on empirical grounds (as do some evolutionary biologists),20-21 intelligent design is not necessarily inconsistent with common ancestry.

    In addition to mischaracterizing ID, Miller went well beyond the published scientific evidence available at the time. For example, as of 2008 (when Miller’s book appeared), there were no published data on the gorilla’s need for dietary vitamin C. 22 Indeed, the most authorative review of the vitamin C requirements of non-human primates, published by the U.S. national Academy of Sciences in 2003, did not even mention gorillas. 23 Furthermore, when Miller publ;ished his book the sequencing of the gorilla genome had not been completed, and no vitamin C pseudogene had been reported.24 It wasn’t until October 2010 that a sequence was published for a gorilla vitamin C pseudogene.5 For Miller, apparently, it was conclusion first and evidence later.

    Jerry Coyne’s Argument

    In 2009, University of Chicago geneticist Jerry A. Coyne also argued that the vitamin C pseudogene provides evidence for common ancestry. He began by pointing out that the GLO pseudogene ‘doesn’t work because a single nucleotide in the gene’s DNA sequence is missing. And it is exactly the same nucleotide that missing in other primates. This shows that the mutation that destroyed our ability to make vitamin C was present in the ancestor of all primates, and was passed on to its descendants. The inactivation of the GLO in guinea pigs happened independently, since it involves different mutations.”35

    Coyne then argued that this is evidence against creation by design. “If you believe that primates and guinea pigs were specially created,” he wrote, “these facts don’t make any sense. Why would a creator put a pathway for making vitamin C in all these species, and then inactivate it? Wouldn’t it be easier simply to omit the whole pathway from the beginning? Why would the same inactivating mechanism be present in all primates, and a different one in guinea pigs? Why would the sequences on the dead gene exactly mirror the pattern of resemblance predicted from the known ancestry of these species?”26

    Yet other aspects of the genome do not mirror the pattern Coyne predicted. For example, the human Y chromosome (which determines male sexual characteristics) contains about 60 million nucleotide sub-units. If humans and chimps were recently descended from a common ancestor, one would expect their Y chromosomes to be very similar. Genome researchers recently reported, however, that the male-specific portions of the human and chimp Y chromosomes “differ radically in sequence structure and gene content.” 27 If similarities in the vitamin C are for common ancestry, then differences in the Y chromosome are presumably evidence against it.

    Furthermore, Coyne’s argument-like Miller’s-went well beyond the scientific evidence. For example, claimed that “all primates” not only need vitamin C in their diets, but also have “the same inactivating mechanism”-namely a single missing nucleotide. Yet prosimians (the lemures and lorises) are primeates that synthesize their own vitamin C, as Miller pointed out. And the need for vitamin C has been established for only nine of the over 260 species of monkeys. 2,23,28 It is quite possible that some-or even many-can make their own vitamin C. After scientists reported in 1976 that 34 of the over 800 known species of bats lacked the ability to make their own vitamin C,4 it was assumed for decades that all bats were alike in this respect-yet scientists recently discovered that some bats (not included in the original study) can make their own vitamin C.5

    So Coyne didn’t have the evidence to justify his claim that all bats need vitamin C in their diets, and was less justified in claiming that they are all missing the same nucleotide in their GLO gene. In fact, the only primates for which the GLO pseudogene sequences have been published are rhesus macaques, orangutans, cimpanzees, humans, and (more recently) gorillas. 5,29 Furthermore, the inactivation of the GLO gene might have due to something other than the deletion of a single nucleotide. The same scientists who first detected in 1999(29) concluded in 2003 that “it is not possible at present to decide what was the primary change responsible for the functional loss of the gene.”30

    Assumptions Masquerading As Evidence?

    In addition to going well beyond the scientific evidence, the vitamin C arguments of Miller and Coyne rely on speculations about the motives of the designer or creator that have no legitimate place in natural science. As we saw in Chapter 10, such speculations are common in Darwin’s writing and the literature defending his theory. But the normal practice in science is to test hypotheses against evidence from nature, not speculations based on theological assumptions.

    Central to the vitamin C arguments of Miller and Coyne is their assumption that the GLO gene is completely nonfunctional. To be sure, there is general agreement that the pseudogene does not produce a functional enzyme, but this does not necessarily mean that it is completely without function. Indeead, as we saw in Chapter 5, there is growing evidence that although pseudogenes don’t code for proteins they produce RNAs that function in various aspects of gene regulation.

    Miller and Coyne have not provided any evidence to justify their assumption that the GLO pseudogene is completely nonfunctional. In fact, they cannot. The strongest statement that could be warranted by the evidence would be that we do not currently know of a function for the vitamin C pseudogene.

    The Vitamin C Pseudogene Argument Is Circular

    If the GLO pseudogene turns out to serve any function at all, then the sequence similarities in humans and chimps on which Miller and Coyne based their arguments could be due to natural selection rather than common ancestry. In fact, as we saw in Chapter 5, Balakirev and Ayala in 2003 and Khachane and Harrison in 2009 argued that similarities in pseudogenes are functional.31-32 Why don’t Miller and Coyne argue likewise that the similarities in the primate vitamin C pseudogenes suggest functionality rather than common ancestry?

    The difference is that the organisms analyzed by Balakirev and Ayala (humans, mice, chickens, and fruit flies) and Khachane and Harrison (humans, monkeys, mice, rats, dogs, and cows)- unlike humans and chimps-are not thought to share a recent common ancestor. In other words, if organisms are not thought to be closely related through common descent, then pseudogene similarity imply function, but if organisms are thought to be closely related through common descent, then pseudogene similarities imply that they are closely related through common descent. The second form (used by Miller and Coyne) is a circular argument, because the conclusion is already stated in the premises.

    To break the circle, Miller and Coyne would either have to establish the recent common ancestry of humans and chimps on other grounds (but then, why bother invoking the vitiman C pseudogene at all?) or they would first have to establish that the vitamin C pseudogene has no function whatsoever (but this is impossible). So their argument not only fails to refute ID, but it also fails to establish that human and chimps have descended from a common ancestor.

    All preceding references for GLO gene are on page 50 of this next website file:

    References for “The Myth Of Junk DNA”

    http://docs.google.com/viewer?.....xHdM_e731g

    further notes:

    All Proposed Elements Of Junk DNA Are Now Found To Show Signs Of Containing High Level Function – List Of Over 100 Studies
    http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc8z67wz_25gqm4zzfd

  45. Jerad claims he is not using a theological argument

    I don’t think Jerad is using a theological argument.

    But I don’t know why we’re encouraging this attempt to side-track the discussion.

  46. Mung states:

    I don’t think Jerad is using a theological argument.

    And yet that is exactly what the vitamin C argument is!:

    i.e.

    Ken Miller’s Argument
    “If the designer wanted us to be dependent on vitamin C,” wrote Miller in 2008, “why didn’t he just leave out the GLO gene from the plan for our genome? Why is its corpse still there?” Miller concedes that proponents of intelligent design could argue that the designer originally gave us a functional GLO gene, but that it was later inactivated by mutations; the inactivated pseudogene would then have been inherited by all living humans from their common ancestor. 1

  47. BA,

    How does quoting Ken Miller make make Jerad’s argument a theological argument? And you were the first to drag God into the argument, not Jerad.

    If I’m looking at some software code and I ask myself gee, why didn’t the designer do x, that doesn’t make my argument theological.

    If I’m looking at some software code and I find a function that is defined but never used and ask myself gee, why didn’t the designer delete that function, that doesn’t make my argument theological.

    Let’s either deal with Jerad’s argument on the merits or label it what it is, a red herring, and ignore it.

    Let’s not erect straw-man and defeat them. It’s a hollow victory and it’s what our opponents do when they don’t have a real argument.

  48. and dr who chimes in with its proudly displayed strawman:

    The first abductive hypothesis that you might have come up with is that humans, as the only established “source” of this dFSCI, are responsible for all of it.

    Heh. In reality it goes like this- If humans are the only established source of dFSCI and it could not have been a human that originally produced it, AND if nature operating freely is still not up to the task, then the inference would be it was some agency other than human as the source of dFSCI.

    But keep humping that strawman…

  49. Mung claims I brought up the vitamin C argument first but::

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-433423

  50. Mung, the point is is that the argument is, at its heart, theological argument. i.e. God (i.e. the designer) wouldn’t do such and such this way or that way thus evolution is true. And that is just plain hogwash whether you agree with me or not! If Darwinists want to establish empirical legitimacy for Darwinism then let them do it by generating a single functional protein or molecular machine by material processes.

  51. Joe (#41):

    Yes, that’s perfectly correct :)

  52. BA77:
    Mung claims I brought up the vitamin C argument first

    Did I?

    Mung:

    And you were the first to drag God into the argument

  53. Wanted to let Upright know his challenge was answered over at Huffington Post (LoL!)> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....81788.html

  54. Joe (#49):

    You are absolutely right!

    The point is not that humans are the only known source of dFSCI (which is empirically true).

    The point is that we are witnesses of the process of design, especially when we ourselves design something. So, we know intuitively that, in the process of design, a mental representation involving meaning and purpose is the true origin of the oordered output that shapes the final physical system. It can be a cognitive representation, or some artistic intuition, or anything else, but the point is always the same: we have to consciously represent what we want to achieve, and how to achieve it, before using our physical body to shape the physical system that will be the “storage tool” of our representations.

    It’s always that way: Meaning and purpose are always the source of design. We have to have a desire, and to know how to satisfy it.

    So, in the end, the simple truth is: any being who can represent, understand and have intent can be a designer. It is not important that it be a human. As the example of aliens clearly shows.

    So the problem is, are humans the only beings who can represent, understand and have intent? Well, the question is at least open to discussion. A very big discussion, I would say.

    Another common objection is that the designer must have access to some physical tool to design. Indeed, we conceive design in our cosnciousness, but we design through our bodies.

    Now, I will happily admit that the designer needs to manipulate matter to design biological information. And yet, if we exclude the hypothesis of aliens, I will also admit that the most likely scenario for the biological designer(s) is that he is not a physical being with a body. So, what about that?

    Again, are we really sure that any cosncious being must have a physical body? I would only say that we know nothing about the final nature of consciousness. If we want to stay empirical, we can only treat it as an objective reality that we perceive subjectively (in ourselves), or infer (quite reasonably) in other beings.

    So, the point is, if it is true (and it is true!) that consciousness cannot be explained in terms of objective aggregations of matter, we must still describe our reality as a continuos interaction between our consciousness and our physical body. That interaction is absolutely real, even if we have no idea of what our consciousness is. Perception and will are the obvious input and output of that interaction.

    So, there is no doubt that our conscious representations do manipulate the physical reality that is our body. (I will not even consider here the squalid view of reductionists, that cosnciousness is only a byproduct of the physical working of the brain, and that no free will exists, and so on. It is a world view that is not only foolish, but completely unsupported by any serious consideration, either scientific or philosophical).

    So, it is a fact that our conscious representations are influenced and do influence our physical body. How does that happen?

    We don’t know, but here we have something very similar to what the biological designer does with living beings: he influences them starting from his conscious representations. What we daily do with our brains, he can do with biological beings.

    Is that so strange? Not to me. It has never been strange for billions of intelligent human beings who have lived and still live on our planet, and who have intelligently, consciously, seriously believed in the existence of some form of spiritual intelligence that can interact with our world, and does exactly that. I do believe that, like them, like many, and I will not accept that my worldview, that I find simple, beautiful and deeply satisfying both for my intellect and for my heart, should be considered less “scientific” than anyone else’s only because it is different from the shared dogma of our generation.

    OK, maybe I have said too much, but sometimes one just needs to state things as they are.

  55. “OK, maybe I have said too much…”

    Not very likely.

    ;)

  56. Mung, since Darwinists have ZERO empirical evidence of purely material processes EVER generating ANY functional information then ALL of the arguments for Darwinism turn out to be theological at there core. This was true of Darwinism at the beginning, and now, 150 years later after thorough search for substantiating evidence, it is still true of Darwinism today!:

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    The role of theology in current evolutionary reasoning
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....037038134/

    From Philosopher to Science Writer: The Dissemination of Evolutionary Thought – May 2011
    Excerpt: The powerful theory of evolution hangs on this framework of thought that mandates naturalism. The science is weak but the metaphysics are strong. This is the key to understanding evolutionary thought. The weak arguments are scientific and the strong arguments, though filled with empirical observation and scientific jargon, are metaphysical. The stronger the argument, the more theological or philosophical.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....riter.html

    “One of the great ironies of the atheist mind is that no-one is more cock-sure of exactly what God is like, exactly what God would think, exactly what God would do, than the committed atheist. Of course he doesn’t believe in God, but if God did exist, he knows precisely what God would be like and how God would behave. Or so he thinks”,,,”
    Eric – UD Blogger

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

  57. To Dr Who:

    Having read your post on TSZ, I amy perhaps add some more specific answer:

    a) You say “Also, all known intelligent designers have that property, and it’s a prerequisite for their existence. That’s an observation, gpuccio and KF, not an ideology. With inductive/abductive reasoning, it’s important to make all the relevant observations that we can.”

    Well, human body certainly has the property of dFSCI. But you cannot so easily equate human body with human cosnciousness. That is ideology. A lot of people believe, have believed and will believe that human cosnciousness is different and separated from the human body, although interacting with it. You could at least accept that there is not only your ideology, and that the question is vastly open to discussion. In the same way, you cannot give as a proven truth that the human body is a prerequisite for the existence of human consciousness. Even if we want to restrict the discussion to purely scientific data, there is at least the vast issue of NDEs to question that. And, of course, a lot of philosophical, psycological, and religious arguments. Which I will not discuss here.

    But I certainly agree with you that “With inductive/abductive reasoning, it’s important to make all the relevant observations that we can.” So, I appreciate your contribution.

    b) You say:

    “The first abductive hypothesis that you might have come up with is that humans, as the only established “source” of this dFSCI, are responsible for all of it. That would be the stronger abduction, but it’s easily falsified.”

    The hypothesis is perfectly correct, but, as you say, it is easily falsified. That’s why I have not discussed it. If you want, I can happily admit that it seems unlikely that human biologists created life on our planet 4 billion years ago, and evolved it thereafter.

    If we agree on that, then waht remains?

    First of all, huamns are certainly the only established “source” of dFSCI, but they are not certainly the only source, because a lot of dFSCI exists which was not reasonably designed by humans: I refer obviously to biological dFSCI.

    So, instead of thinking that humans were around 4 billion years ago (which is unlikely), or that dFSCI was never generated before humans existed (which is wrong, foolish and ridiculous), I make the simple and correct inference, starting qith a question: what is that allows humans to generate dFSCI?

    All our experience of the design process tells us that the original fact that is necessary for design to exist is a conscious intelligent purposeful representation, as I already discussed in my previous post.

    So, instead of losing time with faulty logic like yours, I do the only empirically reasonable thing: I hypothesize that humans are not the only beings who are capable of conscious, meaningful, purposeful representations, and that some other being, capable of that, is the responsible for the dFSCI we observe in living beings.

    c) You say:

    “you’ve forgotten that biological information is an apparent prerequisite for intelligent designers. (Observation, not ideology).”

    No. I have not forgotten. And it is ideology. You are simply making of your ideology an universal truth, that I don’t share. Unless, obviously, you stress the word “apparent”. Well, on that I agree. It is really “apparent”. I don’t believe it is true.

  58. GP:

    There is a very simple challenge that these red herring-strawman objectors have never been able to address. They keep raising such tangents in order to have a talking point, this is a proof that we are not dealing with serious discussion.

    Let’s begin with that FSCO/I is also a product of non-human designers, e.g. beavers, who make gravity and arch dams fitted to stream conditions. In short intelligence is not confined to humans.

    Next, dFSCI is not primarily associated with humanness.

    That’s right.

    If you don’t know JUST what you are doing, you cannot write a machine language program of any serious scale that works. Period.

    It is not being human that counts but being a knowledgeable and skilled designer.

    That is what is material.

    And, the objectors know or should know this.

    What we are seeing here is the meltdown of the objectors.

    We find objectors objecting to inductive reasoning, evidently unwilling to recognise that it is the major part of reasoning that we engage in.

    We see those who want to tell us that an inference to best current explanation per comparison across alternatives, is question-begging.

    And more.

    And now, there are those who want to attach well we see humans making FSCO/I, so that is what it takes. The beavers say no, and when it comes to the kind of machine code that is at work in D/RNA, what we actually know is that it is skilled and knowledgeable designers, that are the critical issue. As in 99.9% of humanity could not do it, so it is not a matter of being human.

    The issue is being a designer with the knowledge and skills to do it.

    And anyone who is willing to try to seriously argue that humans exhaust the set of possible verbalising intelligences, fails the giggle test.

    These are little more than irresponsible rhetorical stunts we are seeing.

    Meltdown.

    KF

    PS: And, we have not even begun to look at the issue of cosmological fine tuning and the sort of intelligent cosmos-building architect it points to.

    PPS: It seems there is someone around who does not know that WLOG, any item of FSCO/I can be reduced informationally to a structured collection of strings of binary digits. As in, a nodes and arcs network can be coded as a string collection. Cf. AutoCAD etc. [PC memories are collections of strings in a memory space.]

  59. Toronto still needs reading lessons:


    “If humans are the only established source of dFSCI and it could not have been a human that originally produced it, ..”

    Toronto:

    But that’s an immediate loss for your side Joe.

    “IF only humans generate X” THEN “before humans, X could not be generated”.

    Heh. I did NOT say “If only humans generate X”, but nice to see that you still don’t undestand science.

    BTW toronto also sez ID is not science because we are not critical of our inference.

    Earth to toronto- your position can’t even be tested so how are evos being critical about that?

  60. looks like I have an evo over on atbc who thinks my use of “epigenetics” is incorrect- comments 12 & 32. So I give you:

    epigenetics and the environment

    EPIGENETICS & THE ENVIRONMENT

    The genome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet, behavior, toxins and other factors activate chemical switches that regulate gene expression.

    In humans, Vitamin D, a hormone, can be produced by getting a sun tan OR you can take a supplement. Either way the amount of VD you have in your system affects gene regulation.

  61. Well, I notice that no one has offered a design paradigm explanation for the existence of vestigial hind limbs in modern whales. As has been noted I’m not saying it’s good or bad design, I’m just asking why they’re there, exactly like Mung points out in his computer code analogy. Nothing to do with theology, just asking what functionally they are doing. I’m not the one that sees arguments as being basically theological, is there a bias in those that do?

    BA77: If you don’t like the mainstream elucidation of whale development then lets hear your explanation of how it was done and when and why we see the vestigial hind limbs.

    You can say questions like this are red herrings but it the kind of explanations that the ID paradigm cannot (or will not) offer which makes it NOT the best explanation for biodiversity and observed body plans. How can the design inference be the best explanation when it doesn’t explain things? You can’t just keep trying to find fault with the modern evolutionary synthesis, you have to provide a viable alternative that does a better job of explaining life as we see it. Someone said above: ID doesn’t try and explain everything. Well, maybe it should try explaining some things at least if it wants to be the best explanation.

  62. Jerad:

    I don’t understand your point. If vestigial limbs are really present in whales (I have no position about that), they are easlily explained as vestigial limbs, in the context of design through common descent. What is your point? Why is ID less capable to explain vestigial limbs than neodarwinian theory? Have you never found “vestigial code” in designed software that undergoes designed evolution? Please, explain.

  63. gpuccio,

    Why would the design of modern whales include vestigial hind limbs? Just saying it was part of a design doesn’t explain why they were included.

    I am assuming that most ID proponents would feel that there is a unjumpable gap between modern whales and their proposed ancestors which means there would have had to been input from the designer to get to modern whales. Which means the limbs were left in intentionally. Why? If it was a conscious decision then there must be a function or reason they are there.

    I have left my own ‘vestigial code’ in software and I had reasons for doing so that I usually noted in comments for anyone who looked at my program later. I’m not asking for designer comments but if ID is going to be a better explanation than the modern evolutionary synthesis then it has to have better explanations of things like whale vestigial hind limbs. So, what is the explanation?

  64. Has it not been discovered that what was once thought to be ‘vestigial limbs’ in whales are vitally important for reproduction, and therefore not necessarily ‘limbs’ at all?

  65. Joe,

    Nope. What I say is the non-functional VC gene is for the future when we cannot get VC epigenetically.

    What kind of scenario are you envisioning and how would the VC gene become functional?

  66. Also, if these were ‘vestigial limbs’ why would there be such a differenced between the structure of those found in males than those of female whales? Legs are, well, legs after all.

    My point is, does the differences point to ‘evolution’, or design?

  67. PeterJ:

    I did miss one of BA77′s links to a discussion of whale’s hind limbs being used as anchor points for some muscles/tissues/organs/etc. Fine. But why not redesign the whale pelvis so that it’s not necessary to have them? Unless, of course, the designer is a tinkerer, just trying minor variations on an existing theme to see what works. Is that the ID consensus? That the designer was able to create the whole DNA information system in its incredible complexity but couldn’t redesign the whale pelvis to leave out hind limbs in one step? Other animals reproduce without the remnants of limbs under their skin so why do whales have them?

    I’m trying to figure out what the ID paradigm’s explanation is for the way things are. This isn’t a red herring. It’s trying to understand what the ‘better explanation’ is.

  68. Dr Who:

    I go on answering your comments on TSZ, because I find them intelligent, simple, to the point and answerable, that is a good basis for constructive discussion.

    So, let’s see. You say:

    “Apparent” is the point. That is how we can distinguish between observation and ideology.

    Well, not only that. But in my phrase, I was just pointing out that when you say: “biological information is an apparent prerequisite for intelligent designers”, the “apparent” is only disguising a lot of assumption on your part. I would say, instead, that some conscious intelligent representation is the certain prerequisite (by definition) for design, and that our usual empirical models of conscious intelligent representations are human representations, and tha human representations are translated into material design through the human physical body, that certainly contains a lot of biological information. As you can see, it is not exactly the same as waht you said. So, your conclusion is “apparent” to you, but not to me: for me, it is a false conclusion based on many unwarranted assumptions, and aimed to show, by false logic, that biological information is the prerequisite for any conscious representation, that IMO is not true even for humans.

    You say:

    Your mechanism, I think we both agree, is one or more non-living intelligent designers.

    Not exactly. I have said that I believe the biological designer(s) has not a physical body. Why are you equating that with “non-living”? How do you define life? Are you declaring that any hypothetichal non physical being who has conscious and intelligent and purposeful representations is “non-living”? That sounds strange, to me.

    You say:

    You cannot reach an induction to the best explanation of the OOL without establishing that the genre exists. If you want to use humans as examples, that’s fine. But you need to base your view that we intelligently design things with non-material minds on observation rather than “ideology” and/or arguments like “lots of people believe it”.

    I am confused here about what you mean. First of all, I am never speaking only of OOL, but of all biological information. That said, my point is only that we design things from our conscious representations, that certainly have never been explained (and reasonably never will be) from a purely material point of view. IMO, that is absolutely true and scientifically and philosophically unquestionable.

    As it is unquestionable that we design things from those conscious representations. What are you questioning of that?

    The fact that lots of peple believe in a worldview that includes spiritual realities was menat only to show that it is a perfectly reasonable worldview, and that you cannot by default consider it unscientific, unless you equate your worldview to absolute science.

    You say:

    Are there any established example of humans continuing to execute intelligent designs in this world after they are brain dead?

    Well, there could be, but you would probably not consider them “established”. The point is, if the usual interface for humans in this world is their physical body, it is perfectly reasonable that human cosnciousness, when separated from the physical body, cannot any more interact, as a rule, with the physical world. NDEs are one interesting exception, in the sense that I will specify.

    You say:

    I agree that things like “NDEs” should be central to I.D. research. Has anyone claimed to have designed something digital during one of these?

    In a sense. For instance, when some person describes in detail very complex experiences he had during the NDE, he is designing (creating a physical report in language) starting from conscious experiences he had while not in the body (if you accept, as I do, that NDEs take place not in the body).
    Even if the design is again effected through the physical body, its origin is in experiences that were not determined by the physical body. So, the form that is being impressed to the physical system (the meaning of the telling of the experience) comes not from a physical experience.

    You say:

    Do you agree with me that the existence of non-living intelligent beings has not yet been established by observation?

    No. First of all, let’s leave out the words “non living”, and let’s say “non physical”. Obviously, if something is “non physical”, it cannot be directly observed, if we mean “observe” in the sense of “perceive something directly through our physical senses”. So, how could the existence of those things ever be “established by observation”? It cannot, by definition.

    Now, that applies to many things that we absolutely use in our map of reality. As KF has nery correctly pointed out, nobody, as far as I know, has ever “observed” an electron. We just observe effect and infer the concept of “electron”. The same is true for concepts like forces, fields, and so on, currently used in physics. IOWs, we infer some rather non “physical” concepts from observable effects. Who has ever observed a quantistic wave function?

    Let’s go to human consciousness. Do we “observe” it?. The answer is: yes, but only in ourselves, and not through the physical senses. We intuit consciousness in ourlseves. That is absolutely an “observation”, but not a physical one.

    Moreover, we usually believe that other human beings (at least) are conscious as we are, that they have subjective experiences, unlike a stone. How do we know that? It is simply an inference, an inference by analogy. We do not “observe” consciousness in others, we just infer it form its outer manifestatons, such as behaviour and design, and from analogy with us and our perceived personal consciousness. So, do you accept that we can infer realities without “observing” them? If not, good luck in your career as a solypsist :)

    I think the following example will show the epistemological error in your position about ID.

    Let’s say that we receive from space, suddenly, some waves that certainly come from a ten billion light years distant object, and that those waves seem to convey some coded message.

    Let’s say that in some way we can understand the code, and that we find that the message is a very long and detailed treatise of mathemathics and astronomy. Correct in all its parts.

    So, what do you think? What can we infer?

    I say that we can safely infer that some conscious intelligent being wrote that message, having sufficient conscious power to understand it and sufficient interaction with matter to manipulate waves to write the message and send it.

    And that’s all. We can, obviously, make other hygpotheses, that aliens did it, that they may be like humans or not, but we have no empirical support for any of those things.

    And, the important point is: we have no reasonable hope to ever (in human terms) “observe” the designers.

    So, what do you say? The only scientifically correct position is to affirm that we cannot say that the treatise of mathematics and astronomy was designed by intelligent entities? Will you go on trying to find some natural explanation? Strange casual arrnagements of wave perturbations, selected by gravitational lens and other environmental fitness functions?

    I state that the design inference is the only reasonable scientific approach in such a case. Even if the designer cannot reasonably be observed ot known.

    What do you think?

    Finally, you say:

    Do you agree with the observation that dFSCI is a prerequisite in all established cases of executed intelligent design? (Examples: humans making cars and, from Kairosfocus, beavers making dams).

    No. That is simply and obviously wrong. dFSCI is the prerequisite for a cerdible design inference. Not for design.

    As stated many times, design can be simple, even extremely simple. If the designed object has been shaped by a cosncious representation, that is design. Even if very simple. A simple “house” designed by a child is a very simple form, that could well arise casually in some physical system. And yet it is designed.

    But, if we cannot observe the process of design, and directly relate the designed thing to a designer (for instance, see the child doing it), then only complex designed objects allow an indirect design inference. Then dFSCI becomes necessary to infer design.

    Is that clear?

  69. PeterJ:

    My point is, does the differences point to ‘evolution’, or design?

    If it was a design then there has to be a reason it was done the way it was done. What is the reason? What is the explanation for why whales are the way they are? Could it have been done differently? If yes then there must be a reason it was done the way it was done.

  70. Jerad:If it was a design then there has to be a reason it was done the way it was done.

    But you can ask yourself the same question concerning evolution.

    Why would there be such a difference between the legs of male and female whales, evolving very differently from each other, when there wouldn’t have been such differences in their previous land dwelling form (whatever that was?)?

    If they are simply a throw back to a previous form, why evolve so differently?

  71. Jerad states:

    I did miss one of BA77?s links to a discussion of whale’s hind limbs being used as anchor points for some muscles/tissues/organs/etc. Fine. But why not redesign the whale pelvis so that it’s not necessary to have them?

    And there you have it, no matter that the ‘vestigial limbs’ are shown to the Darwinist NOT TO BE vestigial limbs but are shown to have essential reproductive purpose for whales, the Darwinist, in his twisted view of theology parading as science, doesn’t miss a beat and proclaims that the bones are still not essential because, of course, he can easily build a better reproductive system for whales without using the bones. And all the while the Darwinists does not even have a clue how just one single novel functional protein came about by neo-Darwinian processes.

  72. PeterJ:

    But you can ask yourself the same question concerning evolution.

    Why would there be such a difference between the legs of male and female whales, evolving very differently from each other, when there wouldn’t have been such differences in their previous land dwelling form (whatever that was?)?

    If they are simply a throw back to a previous form, why evolve so differently?

    I’m not sure about that particular situation . . . I’ll try and have a look though.

    Do you have an explanation from a design point of view?

    BA77:

    And there you have it, no matter that the ‘vestigial limbs’ are shown to the Darwinist NOT TO BE vestigial limbs but are shown to have essential reproductive purpose for whales, the Darwinist, in his twisted view of theology parading as science, doesn’t miss a beat and proclaims that the bones are still not essential because, of course, he can easily build a better reproductive system for whales without using the bones. And all the while the Darwinists does not even have a clue how just one single novel functional protein came about by neo-Darwinian processes.

    I didn’t say I could do a better job. I did say there are probably other ways of designing whales’ pelvises.

    BA, what’s your design explanation for whale morphology? I still haven’t heard it. Why did the designer pick that configuration for whales but not for fish say? You don’t like the evolutionary theory explanation, fair enough. What’s yours then?

    Do you know how functional proteins came about? What’s your explanation if ID is a better explanation?

  73. PeterJ:

    I can’t find a reference to differing ‘legs’ between male and female whales. I can find references to overall size differences though. That kind of sexual dimorphism is quite common and I’m sure you could find discussions of it if you looked.

    Again, what is the design explanation?

  74. Jerad states:

    I didn’t say I could do a better job.

    in regards to:

    the Darwinist believes he can easily build a better reproductive system for whales without using the bones

    And yet Jerad had stated:

    Fine. But why not redesign the whale pelvis so that it’s not necessary to have them?

    who you gonna believe the Darwinist or your own eyes????

  75. Jerad,

    I will see if I can find reference to it for you. I remember reading about some time ago.

  76. BA77:

    I didn’t say designing the pelvis without the ‘limbs’ would be better. I am asking why was it done the way it was? It the current design the optimal design? Why isn’t it always done that way?

    Do you have an explanation or not? You can keep picking on me and my views but do you have a better explanation?

  77. Jerad states,

    I didn’t say designing the pelvis without the ‘limbs’ would be better.

    You certainly implied it!

    in your own words:

    Fine. But why not redesign the whale pelvis so that it’s not necessary to have them?

    Then totally impervious to your

    I am asking why was it done the way it was?

    I don’t know, why don’t you ask God, or go design a better whale reproductive system, yourself, but you designing it yourself would kind of defeat the whole purpose wouldn’t it??? And while you are asking God about that theological concern you have that he may not be up to your particular tastes for designing whale reproductive system, why don’t you alsp ask Him why humans and chimpanzees have drastically different reproductive systems, i.e. men don’t have a bone involved in their reproductive system whereas chimpanzees do???

    Ian Juby’s sex video – (Can sexual reproduction plausibly evolve?) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab1VWQEnnwM

    Further note:

    “Museum of Comparative Anthropogeny” Human Uniqueness Compared to “Great Apes” (Hundreds of differences listed between humans and ‘great apes’ with references for each difference listed)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dx8I5qpsDlsIxTTPgeZc559pIHe_mnYtKehgDqE-_fo/edit

    From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving – May 2012
    Excerpt: “More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren’t found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps.”
    Jerry Coyne – ardent and ‘angry’ neo-Darwinist – professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.

  78. Jerad,

    Evolutionism cannot account for a functional vitamin C gene nor can it account for whales.

    So perhaps YOU should focus on that…

  79. And Jerad, If you have questions about the design, questions pertaining to why was it done this way, then you have to ask the designer as the designer is the only one who would know the answer.

  80. Jerad:

    I still don’t see your point. Maybe vestigial limbs are left for a purpose, maybe not. And so? Vestigial code can be left for a purpose, or just because it is simpler not to modify it.

    The designer works on existing beings. IMO, there is no need of “special creation”. In the same way, the designer reuses the software that is already there: proteins, structures, and so on, and modifies it accordign to the needs of his plans.

    Finally, the designer has heavy restraints. He cannot do anything. He has to act according to laws, and to physcial conditions. So, maybe some redesigns are made “in economy”, just to get a result with the available resources.

    All this is perfectly compatible with design, and well known to human designers.

  81. Jerad:

    Well, I notice that no one has offered a design paradigm explanation for the existence of vestigial hind limbs in modern whales.

    ID does not try to explain everything and it isn’t an explanation for everything.

    [In addition, Joe, Jerad knows that above, I pointed out that vestigial hind limbs (accepting, per argument) would represent LOSS of info. Design theory is about ORIGIN of bio-info. I pointed out the challenge of explaining the origin of the quadruped body plan, in context, and even the challenge of explaining the origin of the whale as well as the closely linked problem of explaining the embryological algorithm for such novel body plans, but it seems Jerad assumes that if he can snip and snipe rhetorically, he can dismiss. That contrast speaks volumes. KF]

  82. 83

    Jerad said “I didn’t say designing the pelvis without the ‘limbs’ would be better. I am asking why was it done the way it was? It the current design the optimal design? Why isn’t it always done that way?

    Do you have an explanation or not? You can keep picking on me and my views but do you have a better explanation?”

    The theory of ID doesn’t attempt to identify the designer, its motivations, or the material and process limitations that might have affected the design implementation. Before anyone can start asking those questions, one must first establish design as best explanation. Afterwards, those are avenues of further investigation someone might pursue, but they are irrelevant to an initial finding.

    The theory of ID, as it stands today, is just about identifying the design in the first place.

    An example of this process would be an investigator whose job it is to determine if a fire was an accident or if it was deliberate. That investigator is not tasked with finding the identity of any arsonist or their motives when investigating the scene; they are only tasked with making a determination of if the fire was arson or not. That finding determines how investigations are pursued afterwards. Other people, generally, are then tasked with either figuring out how to prevent such fires if it was an accidental blaze, or are tasked with finding the arsonist if it was found to be deliberate.

    It is as inappropriate to task ID theorists with finding the identity, motive and abilities of the designer before you will accept a finding of ID as best explanation as it is to task a fire investigator with providing the identity, motive and abilities of any supposed arsonist before accepting their verdict that the fire was arson and not accidental. It’s not their job to identify the arsonist; it’s their job to determine if the fire was deliberately set or not, no matter how good or bad a job the theoretical arsonist did, and no matter what their ultimate motivations were.

  83. gpuccio,

    Please excuse me joining this thread late. I just returned from a long weekend and found this very interesting topic.

    b) Some designed objects (not all) have a specific property, objectively verifiable, that we call “CSI”: that is, they bear meaningful information (the design), and that meaningful information is complex.

    Are you referring to the CSI described by Dembski in Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence?

    c) A specific form of CSI is what I call “dFSCI”, that is CSI that is both digital and functionally specified. Let me confine the discourse to this form, for the moment.

    d) For all the objects we can observe in our reality, and whose origin is known, it can be always verified that any object exhibiting dFSCI has been designed by a conscious intelligent being (in practice, some human). No counterexample exists.

    Can you either describe here an example of calculating CSI for an object, or provide a link to an existing example? The reason I ask is that there is a thread at The Skeptical Zone where it is claimed that CSI, by Dembski’s definition, can be created by evolution. If your method for calculation differs from his, it would be interesting to apply a similar test.
    _________

    [ONLOOKER: For cause of willfully and insistently disruptive behaviour you have been warned not to post in UD threads where I am owner. It is more important to have civil behaviour in threads than to have any given commenter in them. So, kindly either apologise for previous disruptions and indicate an intent to make amends, or else leave this thread. I am sure you and your confederates have ample places to make your views known. I will not repeat the warning. KF]

  84. BA77:

    I don’t know, why don’t you ask God, or go design a better whale reproductive system, yourself, but you designing it yourself would kind of defeat the whole purpose wouldn’t it??? And while you are asking God about that theological concern you have that he may not be up to your particular tastes for designing whale reproductive system, why don’t you alsp ask Him why humans and chimpanzees have drastically different reproductive systems, i.e. men don’t have a bone involved in their reproductive system whereas chimpanzees do???

    I take it you don’t have a design inference explanation then. Have you tried asking God?

    Joe:

    And Jerad, If you have questions about the design, questions pertaining to why was it done this way, then you have to ask the designer as the designer is the only one who would know the answer.

    And you don’t have a design inference explanation either I guess.

    gpuccio:

    I still don’t see your point. Maybe vestigial limbs are left for a purpose, maybe not. And so? Vestigial code can be left for a purpose, or just because it is simpler not to modify it.

    The designer works on existing beings. IMO, there is no need of “special creation”. In the same way, the designer reuses the software that is already there: proteins, structures, and so on, and modifies it accordign to the needs of his plans.

    Finally, the designer has heavy restraints. He cannot do anything. He has to act according to laws, and to physcial conditions. So, maybe some redesigns are made “in economy”, just to get a result with the available resources.

    All this is perfectly compatible with design, and well known to human designers.

    So, the designer is much like us? Limited in ability and time and resources. But able to do work without leaving other physical traces or contraflow.

    What do you think the designer’s plans are? Is there a goal or a purpose? If yes then do all intermediate designs from all species point towards those goals? When the goals are achieved will design tinkering stop?

    KF:

    [In addition, Joe, Jerad knows that above, I pointed out that vestigial hind limbs (accepting, per argument) would represent LOSS of info. Design theory is about ORIGIN of bio-info. I pointed out the challenge of explaining the origin of the quadruped body plan, in context, and even the challenge of explaining the origin of the whale as well as the closely linked problem of explaining the embryological algorithm for such novel body plans, but it seems Jerad assumes that if he can snip and snipe rhetorically, he can dismiss. That contrast speaks volumes. KF]

    All I am asking is: if ID is a better explanation of the origin of life in all its forms is for ID’s explanation of some of the forms. What’s wrong with that? Do you have a design inference explanation of why the designer chose to design modern whales the way they are?

    WJM:

    It is as inappropriate to task ID theorists with finding the identity, motive and abilities of the designer before you will accept a finding of ID as best explanation as it is to task a fire investigator with providing the identity, motive and abilities of any supposed arsonist before accepting their verdict that the fire was arson and not accidental. It’s not their job to identify the arsonist; it’s their job to determine if the fire was deliberately set or not, no matter how good or bad a job the theoretical arsonist did, and no matter what their ultimate motivations were.

    When a fire investigator looks at a burned out building they are trying to figure out what started the blaze and how and why it spread as it did. Hopefully they will be able to infer whether it was set deliberately or not. In the case of arson there are hopefully clues left by the arsonist which show how and where and maybe even when they started the blaze. The inspector is trained to look for those clues and hopefully those clues will give an indication of the abilities required for that method to be used. The abilities required along with the materials used, the timing, etc will be used to help identify a perpetrator. The inspector may not do the actual tracking down of the perp but their work is essential in getting a conviction of a particular individual.

    Evolutionary theory looks at existing and past life forms and explains them as the results of un-directed processes. It can’t explain everything yet but it’s getting more and more detailed. And the goal is to explain as much as possible. ID is supposed to be a better explanation of the same data. It’s proponents say it’s a done deal. Case closed. Life shows signs of design. And so, I would think, like a fire inspector there would now be attempts to use the clues found in the style and timing and locations of past and present life forms to explain some of the reasons why things are the way they are. But I find this isn’t so and it puzzles me. AND it means ID lacks explanatory power. Which is why it’s not yet a better explanation. Or even an explanation at all.

    If ID as it stands now is just about proving design exists then it cannot say it’s a better explanation of life as we know it. There is no consensus in the ID community regarding when or where design implementation took place so there isn’t even agreement on what is designed and what isn’t. It’s not a better explanation. It’s not an explanation at all.

  85. onlooker:

    Can you either describe here an example of calculating CSI for an object, or provide a link to an existing example? The reason I ask is that there is a thread at The Skeptical Zone where it is claimed that CSI, by Dembski’s definition, can be created by evolution.

    Nope, no one has demonstrated that BLIND and UNDIRECTED processes can produce CSI. Lizzie tried to sell that coin toss results could replicate, however replication is the very thing she needs to explain in the first place.

  86. Jerad tries to play games:

    I take it you don’t have a design inference explanation then.

    No I have a completely rational explanation grounded in reality (in fact rationality is not possible without God (Plantinga), it is you who doesn’t have a rational evolutionary inference explanation that is grounded in reality!!!

    You then ask

    Have you tried asking God?

    I’m not the one thinking I can design a better whale reproductive system than God, you are!

  87. onlooker:

    I have debated those points many times here. Well, once more is not a problem.

    a) No, I usually don’t refer to that paper by Dembski. I certainly use many concepts from Dembski, especially from the explanatory filte, with some specific approach that is in part personal, but essentially shared by many here. That will be more clear in the following asnwers.

    b) dFSCI is the form of CSI that I explicitly define. The definition is more or less as follows:

    “Any material object whose arrangement is such that a string of digital values can be read in it according to some code, and for which string of values a conscious observer can objectively define a function, objectively specifying a method to evaluate its presence or absence in any digital string of information, is said to be functionally specified (for that explaicit function).

    The complexity (in bits) of the target space (the set of digital strings of the same or similar length that can effectively convey that function according to the definition), divided by the complexity in bits of the search space (the total nuber of strings of that length) is said to be the functional complexity of that string for that function.

    Any string that exhibits functional complexity higher than some conventional threshold, that can be defined according to the system we are considering (500 bits is an UPB; 150 bits is, IMO, a reliable Biological Probability Bound, for reasons that I have discussed) is said to exhibit dFSCI. It is required also that no deterministic explanation for that string is known.

    Any object whose origin is known that exhibits dFSCI is designed (without exception).

    Inference: any object whose origin is not known, that exhibits dFSCI, warrants a design inference.

    This is just a brief synthesis, probably not well detailed. If you have problems with any of that, please ask.

    c) dFSCI has been approximated for many protein families by Durston:

    http://www.tbiomed.com/content.....2-4-47.pdf

    It can be easily shown that any meaningful string of text can be shown to exhibit dFSCI at some threshold if rteh length of the string increases enough (I have done that in an old discussion with Elizabeth, if you are interested I can look for the link later).

    In practice, any meaningful text of a certain length (let’s say more than one page) certainly exhibits dFSCI beyond the 500 bits threshold.

    Most protein domains above 100 AAs of length almost certainly exhibit dFSCI at the 150 bits threshold, and many of them at the 500 bits threshold (see the Durston paper, in particular table 1).

    d) dFSCI cannot be created by unguided evolution. There is no empirical evidence that such a thing is possible. I am aware of no example of that. There are very strong arguments that show that it is not even possible in principle, not even with the help on partially deterministic algorithms such as the neo darwinian model.

    Well, that is a lot of stuff in a nutshell. Many of those who are there at TSK are well acquainted with these arguments, because we have discussed those topics directly many times.

    Now, please, start the usual objections…

  88. as to Jerad asking:

    Have you tried asking God?

    in regards to asking God about designing a better whale reproductive system than God.

    This scripture comes to mind:

    Job 40
    1The Lord said to Job:

    2“Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

    Let him who accuses God answer him!”

    3Then Job answered the Lord:

    4“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
    I put my hand over my mouth.

    5I spoke once, but I have no answer—
    twice, but I will say no more.”

    6Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:

    7“Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

    8“Would you discredit my justice?
    Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

    9Do you have an arm like God’s,
    and can your voice thunder like his?

    10Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
    and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

    11Unleash the fury of your wrath,
    look at every proud man and bring him low,

    12look at every proud man and humble him,
    crush the wicked where they stand.

    13Bury them all in the dust together;
    shroud their faces in the grave.

    14Then I myself will admit to you
    that your own right hand can save you.

    15“Look at the behemoth,a
    which I made along with you
    and which feeds on grass like an ox.

    16What strength he has in his loins,
    what power in the muscles of his belly!

    17His tailb sways like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are close-knit.

    18His bones are tubes of bronze,
    his limbs like rods of iron.

    19He ranks first among the works of God,
    yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.

    20The hills bring him their produce,
    and all the wild animals play nearby.

    21Under the lotus plants he lies,
    hidden among the reeds in the marsh.

    22The lotuses conceal him in their shadow;
    the poplars by the stream surround him.

    23When the river rages, he is not alarmed;
    he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.

    24Can anyone capture him by the eyes,c
    or trap him and pierce his nose?

    Notes:

    Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sl0Ln3Ptb8

  89. BA77:

    No I have a completely rational explanation grounded in reality (in fact rationality is not possible without God (Plantinga), it is you who doesn’t have a rational evolutionary inference explanation that is grounded in reality!!!

    Great. What is your explanation then? gpuccio seems to think the designer is a bit of a tinkerer that is limited in some ways and therefore gpuccio’s designer’s work end up looking a lot like unguided evolutionary processes . . . I guess. I should have asked for a particular example of something that was designed.

    I’m not the one thinking I can design a better whale reproductive system than God, you are!

    I guess that means you haven’t asked then.

  90. Jerad,

    WRT to whales and hind limbs- ID is perfectly OK with darwinian processes taking stuff out of the design.

  91. Jared:

    So, the designer is much like us?

    Under many aspects, I would say yes. Probably much better than us.

    Limited in ability and time and resources.

    I don’t know about ability. Time and resources are limited by definition, in a limited universe. The designer works in a defined context. All the limitations of the context apply.

    But able to do work without leaving other physical traces or contraflow.

    I am not sure what you mean. Contraflow? And are you worried that millions of years ago the designer did not live traces for you, except for the intelligent information and structures and forms in myriads of living beings? Is that your problem?

    What do you think the designer’s plans are?

    I have not asked him, but many things can be inferred by the design itself. I would say, for instance, that the main reason why complexity increses in time in living beings is so that new functions can be expressed. In humans, I would say that the expression of intelligent consciousness and of further, original designers, is certainly a very remarkable achievement.

    Is there a goal or a purpose?

    Sure. Otherwise it would not be design. Design is always purposeful.

    If yes then do all intermediate designs from all species point towards those goals?

    Each act of design has its goal. If there is only one designer, maybe all the acts of design point to a same goal, or set of goals. But, as I have said, there is no reason that there must be only one designer. So no, there is no reason that all acts of design point to the same goal. The issue should be analyzed empirically, trying to analyze the individual designs.

    When the goals are achieved will design tinkering stop?

    Maybe. Or maybe there will never be a point where all the goals are achieved. New functions and new goals could always be represented and willed by the designer. Who knows?

    Other questions?

  92. Jerad, since you have ZERO examples of unguided evolutionary processes creating any protein or molecular machine and I have examples of both being created by intelligence, then exactly what creative powers of unguided evolutionary processes are you referring to? Imagining these unguided creative powers exist is NOT science Jerad:

    Notes:

    “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation of such a vast subject.”
    James Shapiro – Molecular Biologist

    Hmm Jerad you have no evidence whatsoever but just imagination,,,, Whereas on the other hand I do have evidence:

    (Intelligently-Made) DNA nanorobot – video
    https://vimeo.com/36880067

    As to

    ‘looking a lot like unguided evolutionary processes’

    Jerad this is what unguided evolutionary processes look like:

    Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality – video
    http://vimeo.com/35088933

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.(that is a net ‘fitness gain’ within a ‘stressed’ environment i.e. remove the stress from the environment and the parent strain is always more ‘fit’)
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Michael Behe talks about the preceding paper on this podcast:

    Michael Behe: Challenging Darwin, One Peer-Reviewed Paper at a Time – December 2010
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_46-08_00

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    Now Jerad instead of just pretending you got evidence and we don’t why don’t you face reality honestly and admit you have no evidence??? i.e. why do you play stupid games???

  93. ONLOOKER: Kindly observe the warning in 83 above. I will not repeat the warning. KF

  94. [REMOVED FOR CIVILITY VIOLATION PER WARNING AT 93. KF]

  95. kairosfocus,

    I am having a discussion with gpuccio, not with you. I am quite willing to not respond to your comments, but surely you don’t want to shut down open and mutually consensual communication between other participants.

    [ALLOWED TO STAND TO DOCUMENT WILLFUL CIVILITY VIOLATION. ONLOOKER KNOWS WHAT HE DID, AND WHY I HAVE INSTRUCTED THAT HE EITHER APOLOGISES FOR DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR, OR ELSE CEASES FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY THREAD I AM OWNER OF. MAYBE, AN ANALOGY WILL HELP. YOU INVADE MY LIVING ROOM, AND IN A BELLIGERENT TONE DEMAND AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION, WHICH YOU COULD EASILY ENOUGH FIND THE ANSWER ELSEWHERE FROM A MORE APPROPRIATE PERSON. I GIVE YOU IN OUTLINE ANYWAY AND ASK YOU TO CALM DOWN. YOU DEMAND MORE MAKING IT CLEAR YOU ARE THERE TO PICK A QUARREL. I ASK YOU TO CALM DOWN AND APOLOGISE OR LEAVE. YOU LEAVE. AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS, YOU INVADE AGAIN, AND WHEN I REMIND YOU OF YOUR CIVILITY PROBLEM, YOU WANT TO TELL ME THAT YOU ARE HERE TO DISCUSS WITH ANOTHER GUEST SO BUTT OUT. SORRY KIDDO, IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. AND I WILL BOOKMARK THIS IN CASE THIS IS TWISTED INTO THE USUAL SMEARS. KF]

  96. Jerad:

    gpuccio seems to think the designer is a bit of a tinkerer that is limited in some ways

    correct…

    and therefore gpuccio’s designer’s work end up looking a lot like unguided evolutionary processes . . .

    Completely wrong. Please don’t put in my mouth things that I have never said. If it’s just you saying it, you are simply wrong. A functional protein domain is the wondeful work of a designer, although “limited in some way” by physical laws. And yet in no way it looks “a lot like unguided evolutionary processes”. That’s exactly the point. If you understood ID (and, if you are sincere, you don’t), that would be clear to you.

  97. Joe,

    WRT to whales and hind limbs- ID is perfectly OK with darwinian processes taking stuff out of the design.

    Are you saying modern whales were not designed then? At what stage in whale development was design implemented?

    gpuccio:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to give me some clearly thoughtful answers. It helps me understand some aspects of ID.

    I am not sure what you mean. Contraflow? And are you worried that millions of years ago the designer did not live traces for you, except for the intelligent information and structures and forms in myriads of living beings? Is that your problem?

    I was thinking of inanimate physical remains of labs, tools, etc. Thinking about the way we do genetic manipulation . . . it takes lots of stuff.

    I have not asked him, but many things can be inferred by the design itself. I would say, for instance, that the main reason why complexity increses in time in living beings is so that new functions can be expressed. In humans, I would say that the expression of intelligent consciousness and of further, original designers, is certainly a very remarkable achievement.

    Interesting. I see what you’re getting at.

    Sure. Otherwise it would not be design. Design is always purposeful.

    :-) I guess that was a DUH question.

    Other questions?

    Well, there is something that puzzles me . . . I don’t get how some Christians can believe completely and fully in evolution as an unguided process but still believe in a loving and caring personal God. But I think it’s a question best left for other threads or even other forums.

    Instead I’ll ask: what do you think the next step for the ID community should be? What kind of research should it be pursuing? How can it best move its cause along?

    BA77:

    Now Jerad instead of just pretending you got evidence and we don’t why don’t you face reality honestly and admit you have no evidence??? i.e. why do you play stupid games???

    I’m just trying to figure out what the design paradigm explanation is for some life forms. Just saying it was designed doesn’t explain why it was designed the way it was. Without explanations ID lacks explanatory power. It doesn’t help us understand how things came to be. Or why. Or even when.

    Science is about finding answers yeah? I’m just trying to figure out what ID’s answers are. Or if it has any. gpuccio gave me some very thoughtful answers and I appreciate that very much. I think he(?) realises that there is still a lot of work to be done but at least isn’t afraid to speculate a bit.

  98. onlooker:

    I am having a discussion…

    That’s a stretch


  99. WRT to whales and hind limbs- ID is perfectly OK with darwinian processes taking stuff out of the design.

    Jerad:

    Are you saying modern whales were not designed then?

    How does that question follow what I said? Just because darwinian processes can take away a whale’s hind flippers does not mean darwinian processes can explain the whale.

  100. gpuccio,

    Completely wrong. Please don’t put in my mouth things that I have never said. If it’s just you saying it, you are simply wrong. A functional protein domain is the wondeful work of a designer, although “limited in some way” by physical laws. And yet in no way it looks “a lot like unguided evolutionary processes”. That’s exactly the point. If you understood ID (and, if you are sincere, you don’t), that would be clear to you.

    I do apologise. That was just me saying it. I’m here all on my lonesome. Obviously I don’t understand ID well or I wouldn’t be asking questions!!

    I guess I don’t quite get at what level you think design was implemented. Or how often. Do you think it was happening pretty much continuously? And is still going on?

  101. Joe,

    How does that question follow what I said? Just because darwinian processes can take away a whale’s hind flippers does not mean darwinian processes can explain the whale.

    Well Joe what are you saying exactly? At what level and how often was design implemented in the development of whales? Put me straight if I got it wrong. In the past you’ve implied that there might be some additional ‘programming’ or information in the cell. Which sounds much different from gpuccio’s way of looking at ID. Or maybe not. Do you think your view is compatible with his?

    If you could elaborate a bit that would be very helpful.

  102. Jerad, of what possible use is it for you to understand the design paradigm more deeply when you still have not even got past thinking Darwinism is true? gpuccio may trust you, but until I see some reasonable concession on your part that Darwinism is completely dead as a explanation then I will keep hammering on the same ole same ole, functional proteins and molecular machines!

  103. Jerad:

    Well Joe what are you saying exactly?

    That darwinian processes are good at breaking stuff and not any good at constructing stuff.

    But yes I say there is information guiding the processes that go on inside of cells. I, and others, call it programming.

  104. BA77:

    Jerad, of what possible use is it for you to understand the design paradigm more deeply when you still have not even got past thinking Darwinism is true? gpuccio may trust you, but until I see some reasonable concession on your part that Darwinism is completely dead as a explanation then I will keep hammering on the same ole same ole, functional proteins and molecular machines!

    I feel that understanding leads to more cooperation and respect. I actually would like to see a time when an evolutionary biologist and an ID proponent do joint research in order to settle differences. I’d like to think that anything we can do to see all viewpoints clearly can help bring that about. I’m not PZ Myers!

    I happen to like the music of Joseph Haydn very much whereas I find Wagner overblown, pompous and, frankly, dull. But that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in hearing about why someone else likes Wagner. Nor am I interested in banning Wagner’s music. Nor would I expect someone to forswear Wagner before I tell them about Haydn.

    I don’t understand your reluctance to discuss your conception of ID with me. I suppose if you’ve been burned before or are just tired of hashing it all out again that could be part of it. I just feel that if I want to understand ID then it’s better to ask proponents rather than those who are opposed to it.

  105. onlooker:

    Could you please explain what you mean by “read in it”? Do you mean that the material object can be described by a string of digital values, according to some encoding? Wouldn’t that be everything?

    Absolutely not. I mean that a conscious observer can read a string of values in the arrangement of the object. Take a DNA coding gene, for instance. We can read a sequence of nucleotides that can be decoded by the genetic code and bear the information for a functional protein. Is it more clear now?

    This sounds similar to Dembski’s CSI, if I remember it correctly.

    Absolutely. The main difference s in how I define the specification.

    Okay, so dFSCI is a true/false value based on the calculated functional complexity.

    Functional complexity is calculated. A categorical binary value (true/false) is derived through a threshold. That is useful to exclude a reasonable probability of random emergence of that functional information in a specific system.

    Now this is problematic. You seem to be defining dFSCI as a measure of ignorance. If you calculate the functional complexity of a string of unknown provenance and conclude that it meets the threshold for dFSCI, why would that calculation suddenly be moot if you learn how the string was created?

    There is absolutely no problem. We are talking of empirical science, and best explanation. If a dterministic explanation is found, a credible explanation, that becomes obviously the best explanation, and the design inference is no more warranted. That’s exactly how science works. Science is not about absolute truth, but about reasonable empirical explanations. It’s called epistemology, do you know?

    Further, if a person designs an object deterministically, does it not have dFSCI?

    I have already said that a designed object need not have dFSCI. It is not clear to me what you mean with “if a person designs an object deterministically”. However, a person can certainly design a simple object, that in pronciple could arise deterministically. In that case, the object is designed, but it does not exhibit dFSCI. What’s the problem?

    Maybe I need to understand what you mean by “deterministic” better.

    I just mean that. If the information is improbable as the result of a random system, but still it can be explained by known physical laws, then it does not exhibit dFSCI. For instance, a series of 500 heads tossing a coin is specified (in Dembski’s sense, not necessarily functionally), but it could be explained by some mechanism, for instance if there is a magnetic field and the coin is attracted only on the head size. That is a deterministic explanation, by law, of an unlikely specified result.

    Are your concepts of functional complexity and dFSCI intended to be used to identify design where it is not known to have taken place or merely to tag design where it is known to have happened?

    Obviously the first option.

  106. Joe,

    But yes I say there is information guiding the processes that go on inside of cells. I, and others, call it programming.

    Do you disagree with gpuccio’s view of ID then? Or am I missing a subtlety?

    Is your view a front-loading kind of approach then? If yes then did that occur once when life began or have there been occasional injections of code? What medium does the non-DNA information exist in? How is it . . . recorded? How does it kick in when a zygote develops into a fetus?

    If there was a single incident of front loading (which allows complete common descent) then how did the multitude of species come about? From sections of the coding deteriorating? What was the initial life form like?

    Tell me more . . .

  107. Jerad,

    I cannot tell you more because I don’t know. Venter’s experiment in which he replaced the DNA of a cell with synthesized DNA tells me the information isn’t in the DNA. It could be in the cytoplasm or membrane.

  108. Joe,

    I cannot tell you more because I don’t know. Venter’s experiment in which he replaced the DNA of a cell with synthesized DNA tells me the information isn’t in the DNA. It could be in the cytoplasm or membrane.

    Well, I hope I’m around if/when you find out!

    Do you think your view of ID is compatible with gpuccio’s?

    If it was a front-loading kind of thing then why are the earliest fossils ‘simpler’ than later life forms? And how come genome sizes are so varied?

    Where do you think the ID community could best spend it’s resources? What research ends should it pursue? What is the first big thing it should work on?

    I know you’ve said before that ID is refutable. What do you think is the biggest . . . ‘threat’ to ID from mainstream biology?

  109. [REMOVED FOR CIVILITY VIOLATION PER WARNING AT 93, AND WILLFUL CONTINUATION IN THE TEETH OF A KNOWN REQUIREMENT. ONLOOKER KNOWS THE WRONG HE DID AND THE APOLOGY REQUIRED TO COMMENT IN ANY THREAD I AM OWNER OF. I WILL NOT PERMIT DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOUR, ON ANY EXCUSE. KF]

  110. Well, onlooker, it looks like you need to find a different thread.

  111. What would an intelligent designer do?

  112. Joe:

    WRT to whales and hind limbs- ID is perfectly OK with darwinian processes taking stuff out of the design.

    But why would an intelligent designer create a design that could be changed by darwinian processes?

  113. Jerad:

    I don’t understand your reluctance to discuss your conception of ID with me.

    Because you sound just like Elizabeth Liddle. It’s as if you went back and found some old posts of hers and just regurgitated them.

    I’m here all on my lonesome. Obviously I don’t understand ID well or I wouldn’t be asking questions!!

    Oh please.

    You’ve been very careful to control the agenda of what you will talk about. That’s not a sign of serious inquiry.

    Let’s go back to your first post, @3:

    …it is quite common to accept a designer as an empirical explanation in many fields of study.

    Why attribute anything at all to a designer? Why can’t they just attribute it to darwinian processes?

    Archaeology for one.

    So archaeologists go about trying to discover the motivations of the designer and the presence of the designer and the reasons why the designers did what they did and ask why the designers didn’t do it some other way before they will accept design as an explanation?

    Why would they do that, unless they thought the artifact was designed?

    When you can prove that there was a designer around with the necessary capacities and equipment at the time required then I shall be much more inclined to accept the design inference.

    Displaying a fundamental ignorance about the scientific method in general and ID in particular.

    So why don’t you correct that first?

    ME:

    Let’s talk about the very powerful evidence for ID, which you seem to want to avoid. Why don’t we stick to that?

    Well? If you’re actually serious about wanting to know about ID.

  114. gpuccio:

    We are talking of empirical science, and best explanation. If a deterministic explanation is found, a credible explanation, that becomes obviously the best explanation, and the design inference is no more warranted. That’s exactly how science works. Science is not about absolute truth, but about reasonable empirical explanations. It’s called epistemology, do you know?

    It’s absolutely amazing how many times we have to repeat this.

    ID is tentative. Just like any other true science. Inferences can be changed by new information.

    a person can certainly design a simple object, that in principle could arise deterministically. In that case, the object is designed, but it does not exhibit dFSCI. What’s the problem?

    You mean I can design something that looks like a pebble, drop it on a beach, and someone could come along some day and just happen to pick it up, and they might legitimately infer that it’s not designed, even though though really was (e.g., it was designed to look like a pebble)?

    But aren’t FALSE NEGATIVES a BAD thing for ID?

    I mean, what good is a system of design detection that can’t tell us whether or not EVERY SINGLE THING was designed?

  115. oh, and isn’t DESIGN the DEFAULT?

    So shouldn’t we say the pebble is designed by default?

  116. View and learn:

    So?

  117. But why would an intelligent designer create a design that could be changed by darwinian processes?

    Because she can. Ya see she foresaw darwin’s coming and said “Let there be destructive processes and let these destructive processes have a name- darwinian”

  118. 119
    critical rationalist

    Joe: But yes I say there is information guiding the processes that go on inside of cells. I, and others, call it programming.

    I would say there is knowledge in the genome. The question is, what is the origin of that knowledge? how was that knowledge created?

  119. critical rationalist:

    I would say there is knowledge in the genome. The question is, what is the origin of that knowledge? how was that knowledge created?

    The question is, what is that knowledge about?

    And how does Darwinism explain the origin of aboutness?

  120. information:
    1- Knowledge derived from study, experience, or instruction.

    2- Knowledge of specific events or situations that has been gathered or received by communication; intelligence or news. See Synonyms at knowledge.

  121. … there is a thread at The Skeptical Zone where it is claimed that CSI, by Dembski’s definition, can be created by evolution.

    That same claim was made here at UD and refuted.

  122. Does anyone else recall how Dembski’s definition of CSI was claimed to be no definition at all?

    And then it was claimed that CSI could be generated by a computer program.

    Putting the lie to the earlier claim.

    And now we have Onlooker, asserting that “evolution can do it” when a simple visit to the linked page shows that it’s a computer program written in MatLab.

    Have these people no shame?

  123. Mung, it seems that it has yet to soak in that we are speaking of increments of 500 bits that create novel function. And, that those who want to suggest that you can create 500+ bits of novel function, by functional increments all the way, need to realise they have implied starting in an island of function, begging the question. Not to mention, let’s see a real live case that is not explicitly or implicitly a targetted search from the beginning, as in GA’s etc need not apply. KF

  124. PS: To be extra sure that when it rules positively, the design inference is perfectly happy to accept false negatives, ruling not reliably explained on design and defaulting to chance (high contingency having had to be first shown). That is two defaults, to necessity and chance. Just look at the two diamonds in the flowchart in the OP, those who have to wonder. Something buried two decision nodes deep is NOT a default.

  125. 126
    critical rationalist

    Mung,

    As I’ve pointed out elsewhere…

    For example, it’s logically possible one or more designers intentionally went out of its way to obscure its role in designing biological organisms. Even if this was the case, Darwinism would still be the best explanation because it encompasses the theory that the biosphere appears *as if* adaptations of organisms were created by conjectured genetic variation that was random to any specific problem which and refuted by natural selection. IOW, the theory encompasses a specific means by which the designer set out to obscure it’s role, which could also be found false as compared to some other specific means of obscuring its role. As such, this too represents a better theory than merely an abstract designer with no defined limitations.

    What Jerad seems to be trying to say is that we need not merely be limited to just “some abstract designer with no defined limitations”. We can make progress using deduction because we can derive any statement from X and NOT-x.

    It’s as if the current crop of ID is purposely formulated itself to prevent progress from being made via criticism.

  126. Mung:

    False negatives are not a bad thing for ID. The reason we can have many false negatives is that we need to exclude false positives. It is a simple rule that, if you want to reduce false positives, you get more false negatives.

    That comes, obviously, from taking a very high threshold of complexity to infer design. The higher the threshold, the safer the inference specificity. I believe that, with the thresholds we use in ID, the specioficity of the inference is 100% (no false positives at all.

    Let’s make an example. Dembski sets the threshold at 500 bits, that is really high (all the computing power of the quantistic universe, and so on). That is extremely safe, but would give too many false negatives in the biological world.

    For example, take Durston’s calculations of the functional information in 35 protein families. Only 12 of them have a functional complexity of more than 500 bits. Well, it’s something, but the fact is, I do believe that practically all protein families have been designed, so the other 23 are, IMO, false negatives. Why? because the UPB is a threshold really too high for the context.

    The context, here, is not the whole quantistic universe. The probabilistic resources we are dealing with are much lower: essentially, the possible number of mutations in the whole genome of all living beings on our planet since life started on it. Quite different!

    So, I have tried humbly to calculate a reasonable, very safe threshold of improbability for the biological context, and I have found that 150 bits should be enough for all aspects of it. That is still a very high threshold, corresponding to the complexity of about 35 unique coordinated aminoacid mutations.

    Now, in real life we know (Behe docet) that even two or three coordinated unique mutations are realli the empirical edge of evolution. OK, let’s say that, with billions of years at your disposal, 5-7 aminoacids could be safer as an empirical threshold. So, my calculated theorical threshold is still at least 28 AAs too big. But that’s the idea, we really want to be safe, and we want no false positives at all.

    So, let’s go back to Durston. With my threshold, the majority of protein families (28/35) exhibits dFSCI. So, even if all those families have been designed (which I do believe), our false negatives are “only” 7/35. I think that is a good result, just to start.

    False negatives are not really a problem. A false negative does not mean that we affirm that something is not designed. We just say that our method cannot warrant a safe design inference. It’s a question of method.

    We have 2000-4000 basic protein domains according to SCOP. With those nubers, we could probably safely infer design for at least 1600-3200 of them. Don’t you believe it’s enough, just to start?

  127. Jerad:

    I guess I don’t quite get at what level you think design was implemented. Or how often. Do you think it was happening pretty much continuously? And is still going on?

    It has been happening thorughout natural history. But not necessarily continuously.

    That is a simple answer that comes not from me, but from known facts.

    That design input has been happening throughout natural history is shown by the fact that new protein domains and superfamilies have appeared at all moments of natural history. You can check the following papers to verify that:

    http://www.plosone.org/article.....ne.0008378

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....-12-13.pdf

    So, design has been happening all the time. But continuously? I am not sure. Even without referring to Gould and his punctuated equilibrium, it is rather obvious that there have been times in natural history where huge quantities of new design have appeared in relatively short times.

    OOL or the Ediacara and Cambrian explosions are only some of the examples.

    But beyond that, even the appearance of new protein superfamilies and families seems in some way sudden. The whole evoutionary darwinian research has not been able, in decades, to find even a simple credible gradual path of evolution for any of them. That’s something, I believe.

    Finally, is design still going on? Why not? I do believe it is. But obviously, it’s not easy for us, given our time frames and limited powers of observation, to directly detect it. In the future, maybe…

  128. cr,

    My questions were very pointed and you failed to address them in any meaningful way. If you don’t understand them, please ask for clarification.

    You claim that there is knowledge in the genome.

    Let me quote you and provide the link so there is no ambiguity on this point:

    I would say there is knowledge in the genome.

    here

    I didn’t misquote you. I didn’t take you out of context.

    I ask two questions:

    1. What is that knowledge about.

    2. How does Darwinism explain the origin of aboutness?

  129. Mung:

    Because you sound just like Elizabeth Liddle. It’s as if you went back and found some old posts of hers and just regurgitated them.

    I’d rather not be treated as a ‘type’ if it’s all the same to you.

    You’ve been very careful to control the agenda of what you will talk about. That’s not a sign of serious inquiry.

    Do you think my questions have been unfair? Do you think my behaviour has been uncivil? Do you think I’ve asked questions that are not significant?

    Why attribute anything at all to a designer? Why can’t they just attribute it to darwinian processes?

    Uh, because inference to a designer is a fair and reasonable cause?

    So archaeologists go about trying to discover the motivations of the designer and the presence of the designer and the reasons why the designers did what they did and ask why the designers didn’t do it some other way before they will accept design as an explanation?

    Why would they do that, unless they thought the artifact was designed?

    Absolutely they do. All the time. I should know, I’m married to one. Archaeologist are always asking why and how and when. All the questions I think ID proponents should be asking, archaeologists ask all the time.

    What’s the point otherwise? If you want to explain things you have to ask those questions. And I notice that BA77 has refrained from answering.and Joe and gpuccio have stopped participating. Maybe they’re busy. But it would be nice to hear their answers. That’s how science progresses isn’t it? People make guesses, stick their necks out, do some testing, take some criticism, work towards the truth. It’s not for the weak of heart or will.

    Well? If you’re actually serious about wanting to know about ID.

    I am. So, can you you give me the design paradigm explanation for the modern whale body plan? Or for the circuitous route of the laryngial nerve? Or why men have nipples? Will you, can you, help make ID a stronger explanatory model? Can you help me see why ID is supposed to be a better explanation for life as we see it? Can you shed some light, from a design perspective on the hows and why and whens?

    I want to know the truth. And I’m going to want a model that explains things. One that answers my questions. Do you have that?

  130. gpuccio,

    Yeah! You’re still here! :-)

    So, design has been happening all the time. But continuously? I am not sure. Even without referring to Gould and his punctuated equilibrium, it is rather obvious that there have been times in natural history where huge quantities of new design have appeared in relatively short times.

    It is an issue. One that deserves attention AND explanation.

    But beyond that, even the appearance of new protein superfamilies and families seems in some way sudden. The whole evoutionary darwinian research has not been able, in decades, to find even a simple credible gradual path of evolution for any of them. That’s something, I believe.

    I think they would love to be able to elucidate such a path. But, even if they did, it would only be a potential path. We can’t ever really know what actually happened.

    Finally, is design still going on? Why not? I do believe it is. But obviously, it’s not easy for us, given our time frames and limited powers of observation, to directly detect it. In the future, maybe…

    A sensible approach I think. And again, I really appreciate your taking the time to educate me regarding your view of ID. I think you know that I have a completely different view but I really, really appreciate your willingness to tell me how you see things and I respect your faith and conviction, especially when you can elucidate them publicly. We are not on separate sides, we both want to work towards a greater and deeper understanding. We might not always agree, but we can talk. And that is good.

  131. Jerad:

    And I notice that BA77 has refrained from answering.and Joe and gpuccio have stopped participating.

    ???? I believed I had written two posts (127 to Mung and 128 to you) in the last hour… I must be old and confused :)

  132. Jerad:

    Yeah! You’re still here!

    I am glad you realized it! :)

    It is an issue. One that deserves attention AND explanation.

    Sure!

    I think they would love to be able to elucidate such a path.

    But it seems they can’t…

    But, even if they did, it would only be a potential path.

    That would be something, at least. A credible, realisitc path, even if potentisl, is much better than mere myth.

    We can’t ever really know what actually happened.

    I am not so pessimist. I would say that we certainly can never know anything worthwhile if we insist on a wrong dogmatic approach. But the ID scenario is full of potentialities to understand.

    A sensible approach I think. And again, I really appreciate your taking the time to educate me regarding your view of ID. I think you know that I have a completely different view but I really, really appreciate your willingness to tell me how you see things and I respect your faith and conviction, especially when you can elucidate them publicly. We are not on separate sides, we both want to work towards a greater and deeper understanding. We might not always agree, but we can talk. And that is good.

    Thank you for the kind words. I fully agree with all that you have said (in this paragraph! :) )

  133. gpuccio:

    So, I have tried humbly to calculate a reasonable, very safe threshold of improbability for the biological context, and I have found that 150 bits should be enough for all aspects of it.

    Yes, even that number of bits is immense.

    Take the game of twenty questions. One reason it is at all playable is because 20 questions can obtain information to the tune of 2^20. And I don’t know that the average person grasps even the difference between 2^20 and 2^50, much less 2^150 or 2^500.

    How can we better communicate the size of the search space, the available resources for search, and the size of the target space? And how does prior information fit in?

    For example, if we are playing a game where I have 8 boxes with a coin hidden in one of the boxes and the choice of the box to contain the coin was equally likely and only one can contain the coin, and your task is to find out which box, you can find it in a certain number of guesses depending on the strategy you employ.

    You are allowed to ask questions about where the coin is and I can respond only with a binary answer. yes/no true/false

    But to employ an effective strategy requires that you:

    1. know the coin can be in any one of the 8
    2. know that the coin can only be in one of the 8
    3. know that each of the 8 is equally likely
    4. be able to label (partition) the boxes

    e.g., is the coin in an even-numbered box?

    This is where “the search for a search” comes in to play.

    How do you develop the most effective strategy and where does that information come from?

    Else your simply left asking, is the coin in box 1, is the coin in box 2, is the coin in box 3 …

    Essentially the same as a random search.

    Using a random search, on average you can guess the location of the coin in r guesses.

    Using the best strategy you can guess the location in y guesses where y = log N (log 8 = 3 because 2*2*2 = 2^3 = 8)

    So as Jerad asks where should ID go next, and my answer is to make ID more understandable through improved analogies, simple computer simulations with progression to more difficult cases, so that people can follow along.

    :)

    Make them do the math. If they can’t do the make make them understand the math until they can or develop computer programs to do it for them that they can understand.

    The other side of that coin is to do the same with the darwinian mechanism. what makes it so improbable as a mechanism?

  134. To Petruska (on TSZ):

    Hi, old friend… Please, be fair! You know well that I have discussed those points extensively. Certainly, not in my brief post # 127, which is on a very specific question.

    I nwould appreciate some honesty from you. You certainly do not agree with my conclusions, but how can you say that I have not debated and motivated them in detail?

  135. Jerad:

    I’d rather not be treated as a ‘type’ if it’s all the same to you.

    Then stop acting according to type.

    My favorite programming language is Ruby, which is not a statically typed language. It uses what’s called duck typing.

    When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.

  136. gpuccio:

    But it seems they can’t…

    True. I think they will do someday. And, as you say, it would be something that would help establish the likelihood,. A lot more research must be done.

    I am not so pessimist. I would say that we certainly can never know anything worthwhile if we insist on a wrong dogmatic approach. But the ID scenario is full of potentialities to understand.

    I think we both want to see more research being done. More potential paths being explored. This is why I think . . . hope there is a future when evolution and ID can have common research agendas.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to take me seriously. I shall endeavour to reciprocate.

    Mung:

    So as Jerad asks where should ID go next, and my answer is to make ID more understandable through improved analogies, simple computer simulations with progression to more difficult cases, so that people can follow along.

    Make them do the math. If they can’t do the make make them understand the math until they can or develop computer programs to do it for them that they can understand.

    The other side of that coin is to do the same with the darwinian mechanism. what makes it so improbable as a mechanism?

    Thank you for addressing my question. I’m sure you’d agree that it’s not all just down to the mathematics but that it is a significant aspect of the argument for design.

    I’d still like to hear more design explanations of modern body plans though!!

  137. Mung:

    Thank you for your contribution. I agree on all. In the end, you say:

    “The other side of that coin is to do the same with the darwinian mechanism. what makes it so improbable as a mechanism?”

    That’s more my approach. That’s why I am not terribly intersted in the universal mathemathical side (that is certainly important), or the search for a search, or genetic algorithms.

    The simple truth is: for biological information, the only games in town are neo darwinism and ID. All the rest is smoke.

    ID can explain biologcial information. Sure, there is a lot to do, and our adversaries are right when they say that we should try to give more detailed answers about the design process. The design inference is only the first step to a whole new paradign of science and knowledge.

    Neo darwinism, instead, can explain nothing.

    One point that I have always stressed is that we must treat neo darwinism seriously, and falsify it for what it really is. That implies modeling neo darwinism (something that neo darwinists strictly avoid doing), to show that it cannot work.

    Now, all ID calculations are fine, but they can apply only to the random component of neo darwinism, RV. NS must be trated separately, and deterministically, because it is a deterministic explanation.

    In discussing with Elizabeth, some time ago, when I still believed that she could be engaged in a serious discussion about these things, I have tried an explicit mathematical modeling of neo darwinism, including the deterministic effects of NS. You can find that here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....selection/

    starting more or less at post 62 and going on to the end.

    My conclusions are that NS can certainly lower the probabilistic walls that make random appearance of protein domains possible, but only if the information there could be realistically deconstructed into much simpler functional blocks, each of them fully selectable.

    The failure of neo darwinism is complete, because that cannot be done:

    a) It is against any logic that such a thing is generally possible for complex functional information

    b) There is no empirical example of that, neither in the biological world nor anywhere else.

    So, neo darwinism is a myth. And ID remains the only game in town. Which is not good, because I do believe that no scientific theory should be the only game in town. It is bad in science as it is bad in politics.

    So, please, darwinist friends, become more credible! Try to reason something new out of your, certainly vast, imagination. We need your contribution, but let’s say it, your repeated arguments are frankly boring :)

  138. Jerad:

    Do you think my questions have been unfair?

    No, just off-topic and misguided.

    Do you think my behaviour has been uncivil?

    Yes.

    I would not go to a muslim web site and claim I just wanted to learn about Islam and behave the way you have here towards ID and then expect them to think I’d been ‘civil’ about it.

    Do you think I’ve asked questions that are not significant?

    Yes. I let you know that very early on:

    here

    You consistently mischaracterize ID.

    You keep trying to make it about “the designer.”

    And where have we seen that before? IOW, so far you’re staying true to type.

    I’m perfectly willing to engage in civil discussion with you, but why can’t it be about something of real relevance to ID or evolution?

  139. To all:

    Ehm, errata corrige.

    “My conclusions are that NS can certainly lower the probabilistic walls that make random appearance of protein domains possible, ”

    should be:

    “My conclusions are that NS can certainly lower the probabilistic walls that make random appearance of protein domains impossible.

    I sincerely apologize.

  140. Jerad:

    This is why I think . . . hope there is a future when evolution and ID can have common research agendas.

    That would really be wonderful. But let’s be realistic, absolutely unlikely at present. And I think we know why.

  141. Mung:

    Then stop acting according to type.

    Perhaps you could take me seriously as an interested party rather than just assuming I’m some programmed droid. Yeah?

    Perhaps you could even spare the time to address some of the issues and questions I’ve raised about ID. Here’s one:

    Why do some ID proponents make a probabalistic argument that assumes that an entire search space has to be sampled at random? Biological systems do not, and have never been proposed, to work like that. Biological systems do not search for the optimal solution. When they find one (starting from an existing functional base) that works they head down that path. And maybe more paths. At the same time. Standing on the shoulders of what has come before.

  142. Jerad:

    Uh, because inference to a designer is a fair and reasonable cause?

    I can’t say I even know what “inference to a designer” means. Perhaps you could ask your spouse.

    The inference is that some artifact was in fact designed.

    IOW, first there is a design inference.

    From that design inference it logically follows that there must have been a designer. By definition.

    Archaeologist are always asking why and how and when. All the questions I think ID proponents should be asking, archaeologists ask all the time.

    Of course they do. That’s what is expected of them. But ID is not archaeology.

    You may think ID ought to be like archaeology, but that doesn’t make it so. You need to treat ID according to what ID is.

    So here’s a question to ask your spouse:

    Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria:

    1. You don’t know what it is for.
    2. You don’t know why it was made.
    3. You don’t know how it was made.
    4. You don’t know who made it.
    5. You don’t know who the designer was.
    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

  143. Mung:

    I would not go to a muslim web site and claim I just wanted to learn about Islam and behave the way you have here towards ID and then expect them to think I’d been ‘civil’ about it.

    Okay,

    You consistently mischaracterize ID.

    You keep trying to make it about “the designer.”

    And where have we seen that before? IOW, so far you’re staying true to type.

    I’m perfectly willing to engage in civil discussion with you, but why can’t it be about something of real relevance to ID or evolution?

    I think that the current design paradigm does not have real explanatory power. It does not address how, why and when. To answer those issues requires addressing aspects of the designer apparently. Whatever. I’d just like someone to give me a reason for some biological structures from a design point of view.

    I think my questions are relevant to ID if it’s going to claim to be a ‘better’ explanation of life. ‘Better’ means addressing questions and issues that I see ID proponents shying away from. I’d rather not guess why those questions are not being addressed. I’d rather hear from the ID proponents themselves. But mostly what I get is claims that I’m missing the point. I get people not offering their opinions or views. They clam up, they stop talking. Are they ashamed of their viewpoint? Are they afraid to disagree with others in the ID camp? Are they trying to present a unified view when one doesn’t exist?

    gpuccio gave me some insight into his view. As did Joe. BA77 refused. Why are you reluctant to do the same? Are you afraid? Unsure? Unwilling to break rank? Reluctant to acknowledge some weak points in the ID paradigm?

    If you want ID to become accepted as a viable, explanatory model of biology then you’re going to have to give it some teeth. Help it explain things. Otherwise it’s just pontificating.

  144. gpuccio @ 141

    Jerad: This is why I think . . . hope there is a future when evolution and ID can have common research agendas.

    gpuccio: That would really be wonderful. But let’s be realistic, absolutely unlikely at present. And I think we know why.

    Why?

    Cheers

  145. ‘I’m perfectly willing to engage in civil discussion with you, but why can’t it be about something of real relevance to ID or evolution?’

    Because ‘little fish are sweet’, Mung. All poor Jerad’s got are his ‘designer’ and whale’s vestigial zummits. He’s ‘punching above his weight’, and if he can hit your knee-cap, he will – with clinical ruthlessness. You can be sure of that.

  146. Mung:

    Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria:

    1. You don’t know what it is for.
    2. You don’t know why it was made.
    3. You don’t know how it was made.
    4. You don’t know who made it.
    5. You don’t know who the designer was.
    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

    :-) The point IS: it’s always, ALWAYS fair to ask the who, why, how and when questions!! Just saying it’s designed doesn’t explain the artefact. That’s step 1. That doesn’t EXPLAIN the artefact.

    But ID proponents keep telling me it’s not fair to ask who, when, why, where and how. I keep being told to stop asking questions. ID doesn’t answer those questions. Which is why it lacks explanatory power. It doesn’t answer reasonable questions.

    I can walk down the street and point to objects and declare them designed. That mailbox is designed. That automobile is designed. That football field is designed. So? Why was is designed? What purpose does it fulfil? How was it implemented? When? By whom?

    An explanation with explanatory power has to explain things. ID, as it stands, doesn’t explain things. It just says: Ooo, that’s looks designed. So what? Why? For what reason? Why that particular configuration? When?

    Why is it so hard for the ID community to put some teeth to it’s proposal? Why not explain things?

  147. Jerad:

    So soon as a system is biological, it is already on a shore of complex, specific function. ID is about getting to such shores of function, by blind chance & necessity vs by design.

    In the OOL case, you start from a Darwin warm pond or similar scenario with monomers and need to plausibly and with empirical warrant account for gated, encapsulated, metabolising nanotech automata that embed a code based self replication facility. And that in a cosmos that does not come near to having the resources to sample any large fraction of the config space for 500 – 1,000 bits, much less the actual genome space for 100,000 or more bits. (Config space, 9.99 * 10^30,102. You work put the power set for that to get an idea of what search for search would be like.))

    Sampling theory tells us that you can only expect to pick up the bulk of the distribution under such circumstances, without any need for precise probability calcs.

    Also, you are looking at polymer chains where there are no known laws forcing coded sequences. Indeed such would be contrary to what coding requires.

    so, you are looking at a tiny, blindly framed sample of a vast config space, with search for a search compounding the challenge. You probably missed where this came up previously: a space of 1,000 bits has 2^1,000 possible configs. The number of sample frames is the power set, less the empty set. 2 ^ [2^1,000]. The LOG of that number is astonishingly large, 3.226*10^300; the actual number could not be fully written out with the solar system’s atomic resources.

    Search for search gets you.

    In short, sampling a sub space does not explain the functional space being sampled. Absent begging he real question.

    Then, for origin of novel body plans, we are now dealing with 10 – 100+ mn new base pairs worth of functional info. Dozens of times over and on earth.

    Same story, needing to get to shores of function.

    And as for the un-evidenced assertion that biofunction comes in a large continent with incremental connexions, the evidence starting from isolation of protein fold domains, is against that. Same, for the inherent nature of multipart specific function depending on parts fitting together. Not to mention being able to originate embryologically in a self assembly process.

    There are reasons why FSCO/I is routinely and reliably seen to be a signature of design.

    KF

  148. Jerad:

    Perhaps you could even spare the time to address some of the issues and questions I’ve raised about ID. Here’s one:

    Why do some ID proponents make a probabalistic argument that assumes that an entire search space has to be sampled at random?

    Where did you first raise this issue/question. Was it even in this thread? A quick search indicates this is the first time you’ve even mentioned it.

    Also, I have addressed some of your questions and even defended your right to ask them, as have many others. So I resent the insinuation that I haven’t.

    The clear implication of your statement is that you have previously asked a question which has not been addressed. That is simply false.

    Again, you are proceeding according to type.

    But to answer your question, I do not even know for a fact that “some” ID proponents do make that argument, much less why “some” ID proponents make that argument. Perhaps you should ask them.

    Could you give me a specific example? Who has made that argument and where? Richard Dawkins does not count as an ID proponent.

    Have I made that argument? Then why are you asking me?

    This is yet another example of the “uncivil” nature of your questions. You want me to accept as given a premise that you have failed to establish as true, and then defend or explain that which I have not granted in the first place.

    And yet I’ll go one step further:

    Suppose that you have no knowledge of the characteristics of a search space. Then how do you propose to develop a search strategy that will perform any better than a random search?

    Given your answer, do you understand why “some” ID proponents might think your chances of finding the target are no better than a random search?

  149. Axel:

    Because ‘little fish are sweet’, Mung. All poor Jerad’s got are his ‘designer’ and whale’s vestigial zummits. He’s ‘punching above his weight’, and if he can hit your knee-cap, he will – with clinical ruthlessness. You can be sure of that.

    I’ve got lots of other questions Axel as you will have noticed if you’ve read the entire thread. Here’s one:

    Why is the ID community reluctant to address queries regarding when design was implemented?

    If ID is a better explanation of life then it should be able to answer that question at least. gpuccio made an attempt. Joe offered some thoughts. What do you think Axel? At what level did the designer intervene?

  150. Axel:

    Because ‘little fish are sweet’, Mung.

    But I’m allergic to fish (and shrimp). (But for some strange reason I can eat canned tuna and canned salmon, and I actually like them.)

    Are tuna and salmon just not little fish?

  151. Jerad:

    The point IS: it’s always, ALWAYS fair to ask the who, why, how and when questions!! Just saying it’s designed doesn’t explain the artefact. That’s step 1. That doesn’t EXPLAIN the artefact.

    No one is saying those questions aren’t fair if you’re an archeologist!

    But like I said before, ID is not archaeology. Your wishing that it was is not going to change the facts.

    And here’s another question for your spouse:

    If an artifact does in fact exist which meets the previously stated criteria, does that mean that there is no explanation for that artifact?

    I can only hope that your spouse will appreciate the renewed interest.

    :)

  152. KF:

    Yes, we’ve gone around these points before. And I still do not understand why you think the entire sample space has to be searched, at random. You seem to thing there is a target to be hit. As if there is only one functional state in the entire sample space. Since most biological theorists are at great pains to point out evolution does not only find optimal solutions to survival issues why do you think that it’s fair to argue as if there is only one solution in a sea of possibilities? Do you think there is a purpose and plan to life on earth? That human beings are the goal and target?

    Mung:

    Also, I have addressed some of your questions and even defended your right to ask them, as have many others. So I resent the insinuation that I haven’t.

    I apologise if I’ve misrepresented you and your view. I screw up at times.

    The clear implication of your statement is that you have previously asked a question which has not been addressed. That is simply false.

    Again, you are proceeding according to type.

    I do throw in new questions all the time. Just to show that I’m not a one-trick pony. I want to convey the point that there are lots of issues that ID needs to address. In my view.

    But to answer your question, I do not even know for a fact that “some” ID proponents do make that argument, much less why “some” ID proponents make that argument. Perhaps you should ask them.

    Could you give me a specific example? Who has made that argument and where? Richard Dawkins does not count as an ID proponent.

    Look at KF’s response, number 148. That’s the kind of thing I was thinking of.

    This is yet another example of the “uncivil” nature of your questions. You want me to accept as given a premise that you have failed to establish as true, and then defend or explain that which I have not granted in the first place.

    What I’d really like is for you to give me your explanation based on your understanding of the design paradigm of the reasons for the modern whale morphology. To start. I’ve got lots and lots of questions.

    Suppose that you have no knowledge of the characteristics of a search space. Then how do you propose to develop a search strategy that will perform any better than a random search?

    Hang on. Is there a target? What are the criteria for a ‘success’? How many searches are going on simultaneously? What are the feedback mechanisms?

    Given your answer, do you understand why “some” ID proponents might think your chances of finding the target are no better than a random search?

    If the ID proponents think there is only a single solution (i.e. viable answer) in the whole solution space then I’d see their point. But there isn’t. Biological systems just have to survive long enough to reproduce. There is no target. There is no goal.

  153. Jerad:

    But ID proponents keep telling me it’s not fair to ask who, when, why, where and how.

    From the fish’s mouth.

    So why have you ignored them and come here and proposed the exact same questions expecting different answers?

    Yet more evidence of bad faith.

  154. Jerad:

    Why are you insistent on demanding answers to other questions before addressing the answer to the central question ID does set out to address?

    Does this not look like a rhetorical strategy of red herrings intended to distract attention from a well answered question with an inconvenient answer?

    Let’s look at the ID core issue: whether there are reliable empirically warranted signs of cause for objects that for one reason or another we did not observe the origin of. As in, the same basic issue that has to be addressed by various sciences that try to address the past of origins or remote reaches of space. But, instead of imposing an ideological a priori materialism, ID is willing to entertain the possibility of design, especially because certain traces of the past of interest — FSCO/I especially digital coded strings, resemble known artifacts of design.

    But, is there more than resemblance out there?

    Yes, there is inference to best explanation on tested and inductively warranted sign. In this case, also backed up by the needle in the haystack analysis already just addressed. (As in S4S runs into power set trouble.)

    So, we have in hand something that seems simple but is so revolutionary that it has attracted every species of desperate objections. Including trying to dismiss inductive reasoning.

    The simple, well-warranted finding that is so desperately resented is this: FSCO/I is — among others — a well tested and reliable sign of design as relevant cause. One, we are entitled to apply to explaining the source of certain traces from the past of origins. So, on the same methods and approaches used over the past 200 years, we are entitled to conclude design.

    Now, as for timelines, you need to reflect on the Russell paradox: the empirical evidence is incapable of telling the difference between the world we think we inhabit, and one created complete in an instant five seconds, minutes, days or years ago.

    To reject such, we make a worldviews level choice, that absent good direct reason to doubt the general testimony of our senses and the best explanations they invite, we reject assertions that undercut the reliability of senses and reasoning.

    So, on timeline, we are left with a standard timeline acceptable to many ID supporters, but which is open to fairly serious challenges on the merits, cf. here on in context just as a reference, not for a further side track.

    Not even convergent isochrons are anywhere nearly so empirically reliable as the design inference. But because geochronology is fitted into the Darwinian narrative — in fact the empirically validated and pop genetics viable mechanisms to do what it takes are even more missing in action [cf the already linked on the whale evo story] — it is widely accepted on far weaker evidence.

    So, there is a bit of selective hyperskepticism at work here on the part of objectors to design.

    KF

  155. Jerad

    Do you understand what a power set is?

    Do you see that by posing this, I have laid out the set of all subsets of the pace of say 1,000 bits?

    Thus, I have implied that sampling frames could come from any subset? Which immediately implies that I have NOT said that we search the whole space, just that the sample we can take from it is reliably going to reflect the bulk — non functional, if blind.

    Which then ends up in greatly multiplying the scope of the search challenge, through the problem of framing in the face of the power set space of S4S?

    Do you not see that you are looking at conveniently begging the question of getting to shores of function in a config space, where there is no good reason to infer that the laws of nature programme cell based life to emerge? And, if they did, this would itself be strong proof of fine tuning that is purposeful?

    That, the onward search for an embryologically and ecologically viable body plan is much worse?

    And do you not see that the chaining chemistry does not force wither proteins or D/RNA to take up specific coded patterns relevant to life?

    The bottomline is that you are clinging to any straw that you hope can deflect the well warranted conclusion: since FSCO/I is a reliable index of design, then the best explanation for life based on it is design.

    And I have spent enough time this evening answering reiterated already cogently answered objections.

    KF

  156. Mung:

    But like I said before, ID is not archaeology. Your wishing that it was is not going to change the facts.

    Why should ID be granted special status where it doesn’t have to answer those questions? Why does it have an opt out?

    If an artifact does in fact exist which meets the previously stated criteria, does that mean that there is no explanation for that artifact?

    I’m assuming you mean the series of questions you posed earlier. I.E. an object has no provenance but it’s clearly designed.

    Firstly it is still fair to ask the questions: what’s it for, who designed it, when was it designed, how was it made. You can’t duck those. They are always acceptable.

    If an object was designed then it was designed for a reason. So it has an explanation. And that’s not from me. That’s from gpuccio earlier in this thread. But I concur. So no you can’t say: a designed object has no explanation.

    We may not have an explanation for some artefacts but we should always strive to find an explanation. We should never, ever be happy with just saying: it was designed, end of story.

    C’mon Mung. Do you really think that archaeologist ever just sit on their hands and stop asking questions? Do you honestly, really think that asking ID the same questions isn’t fair? Do you truly think that it’s okay to give ID a pass in this regard? To exempt it from the how, when and why queries? Really?

    What kind of science is ID? What kind of explanatory power do you want it to have?

  157. Jerad:

    I can walk down the street and point to objects and declare them designed.

    Ah, you’re an experienced practitioner of design detection! Welcome to the community! So why do you come off as an adversary? Or do you just walk down the street and declare any old thing as designed?

    As you’re walking down the street, pointing out designed objects, how do you decide which objects are not designed?

    To bring it back to the topic of the OP, if you’re unsure about whether some object is designed or not, do you by default say it’s designed?

  158. Mung:

    So why have you ignored them and come here and proposed the exact same questions expecting different answers?

    Yet more evidence of bad faith.

    Because I think the ID community must address those issues. And I think individual in the ID community have thought about those issues. And some of those individuals have arrived at answers to those issues. And I’d like to hear those answers so I can better understand what people in the ID community are thinking.

    What about you Mung? When, how often do you think the designer implemented design? You’re an intelligent person. You’ve thought about this.

  159. Jared:

    What I’d really like is for you to give me your explanation based on your understanding of the design paradigm of the reasons for the modern whale morphology. To start.

    I understand this is the internet, and at times it truly is difficult to keep track, so I forgive you.

    I’ve twice pointed out to you that I think the whole “whales have legs” issue is a red herring. Others seem willing to engage you on that, I don’t see it as even remotely relevant.

    Let’s look at what you are asserting.

    1. Whales evolved from some four legged terrestrial mammalian ancestor.

    2. Since whales don’t have four legs, what we see in whales are “vestigial” legs.

    Since you’ve given no reason whatsoever to establish the truth of your first premise, why should anyone accept your second premise?

  160. Hey, steady on there, Mung! I wasn’t calling you a ‘little fish’. I was referring to Jerad’s fetishes about the Designer and whatever else it is he keeps harping on about.

    Jerad, I’m not sure I know what you mean. What are you talking about… ‘When was design implemented?’ Not a rhetorical question. I dinnae ken what yer on aboot.

  161. Jerad:

    What about you Mung? When, how often do you think the designer implemented design? You’re an intelligent person. You’ve thought about this.

    What designer? Which designer?

    Sure I’ve thought about it, which is why I think your questions are foolish, immature and uninformed.

    Your spouse comes across some artifact. The first question that pops up is “I wonder how often ‘the designer’ implemented design.” REALLY?

    You need to do better.

    Or is it in fact the case that for you there is only one designer, and that designer is God?

    That’s not a tenant of ID.

  162. Axel:

    Hey, steady on there, Mung! I wasn’t calling you a ‘little fish’.

    Aye, so you was just insinuating that I smell like a fish!

    Well, I have knews fer ya laddie. Little fishes don’t smell!

  163. KF:

    Why are you insistent on demanding answers to other questions before addressing the answer to the central question ID does set out to address?

    Does this not look like a rhetorical strategy of red herrings intended to distract attention from a well answered question with an inconvenient answer?

    I ask to try and establish whether or not ID is a better explanation of life on earth than the modern evolutionary synthesis. I say ID lacks explanatory power because it doesn’t answer those questions.

    The simple, well-warranted finding that is so desperately resented is this: FSCO/I is — among others — a well tested and reliable sign of design as relevant cause. One, we are entitled to apply to explaining the source of certain traces from the past of origins. So, on the same methods and approaches used over the past 200 years, we are entitled to conclude design.

    IF there was a designer around at the time with the necessary abilities and resources.

    To reject such, we make a worldviews level choice, that absent good direct reason to doubt the general testimony of our senses and the best explanations they invite, we reject assertions that undercut the reliability of senses and reasoning.

    Well, I find the fossil, morphological, genetic and biogeographic evidence reason enough to accept the evolutionary model. I find the combination of those strands of evidence enough to ‘undercut’ my own limited experience.

    Not even convergent isochrons are anywhere nearly so empirically reliable as the design inference. But because geochronology is fitted into the Darwinian narrative — in fact the empirically validated and pop genetics viable mechanisms to do what it takes are even more missing in action [cf the already linked on the whale evo story] — it is widely accepted on far weaker evidence.

    Um . . . I’m really sorry but your prose is really hard to follow.

    Do you understand what a power set is?

    Yup.

    Do you see that by posing this, I have laid out the set of all subsets of the pace of say 1,000 bits?

    Not sure what you mean by pace but yeah, I know about the set of all subsets of a set containing 1000 elements.

    Thus, I have implied that sampling frames could come from any subset? Which immediately implies that I have NOT said that we search the whole space, just that the sample we can take from it is reliably going to reflect the bulk — non functional, if blind.

    I think you’d better define a sampling frame. Shall I take it to mean a random sample? Why is that only coming from a subset of the whole set? How is the subset determined?

    Which then ends up in greatly multiplying the scope of the search challenge, through the problem of framing in the face of the power set space of S4S?

    What? I’ve got a master’s degree in mathematics and I’ve taught statistics and I have no idea what you’re saying.

    Do you not see that you are looking at conveniently begging the question of getting to shores of function in a config space, where there is no good reason to infer that the laws of nature programme cell based life to emerge? And, if they did, this would itself be strong proof of fine tuning that is purposeful?

    What? You really need to be a bit clearer.

    That, the onward search for an embryologically and ecologically viable body plan is much worse?

    And do you not see that the chaining chemistry does not force wither proteins or D/RNA to take up specific coded patterns relevant to life?

    Chaining chemistry? What does that mean? ‘Does not force wither proteins or D/RNS to take up specific coded pattern relevant to life?’ That doesn’t scan at all.

    Look, KF. I know you’ve thought long and hard about this stuff. But, to be honest, some of what you’re saying here is way too hard to grasp because your grammar and syntax and too convoluted.

    And, again, what explanation does the ID paradigm have for the modern whale morphology?

  164. Jerad:

    I ask to try and establish whether or not ID is a better explanation of life on earth than the modern evolutionary synthesis.

    The MET doesn’t even attempt to explain life on earth. It accepts it as a given.

    So how can it be a better explanation?

  165. Mung:

    Let’s look at what you are asserting.

    1. Whales evolved from some four legged terrestrial mammalian ancestor.

    2. Since whales don’t have four legs, what we see in whales are “vestigial” legs.

    Since you’ve given no reason whatsoever to establish the truth of your first premise, why should anyone accept your second premise?

    Okay. How about you tell me your explanation for the morphology of whales.

    Axel:

    Jerad, I’m not sure I know what you mean. What are you talking about… ‘When was design implemented?’ Not a rhetorical question. I dinnae ken what yer on aboot.

    I’m asking when did the designer impose his designs on life on earth. When did he(?) help things along?

    Do you really think my interest in the designer is a fetish? Who do you think the designer is?

    What designer? Which designer?

    Sure I’ve thought about it, which is why I think your questions are foolish, immature and uninformed.

    So, Mung, what’s your answer? Explain it to me.

    Your spouse comes across some artifact. The first question that pops up is “I wonder how often ‘the designer’ implemented design.” REALLY?

    DUH, no. For each and every item the questions are who, when, where how. Why isn’t ID asking the same questions of life forms? Of each and every life form.

    Or is it in fact the case that for you there is only one designer, and that designer is God?

    I’m asking you that question!! Why won’t you answer it?

    What is the problem here? Why not be specific about when designs were implemented? I’m missing something obviously. I don’t get why some ID proponents won’t address some basic questions. gpuccio had a go. Joe did, sort of anyway. BA77 walked away. Mung is dancing around other issues. KF has his tack. Where’s the explanations? Where’s the ability of ID to explain life on earth? Why is it a better explanation than evolutionary theory if it can’t even address WHEN design was implemented?

    In science you’re allowed to ask lots and lots of questions. And the model with the most explanatory power wins. ID proponents claim it is a better explanation and then, some of them at least, tell me that some questions are not pertinent. Really? That sounds more like dogma.

    I know you guys have thought about this stuff. I know you want to get at the nitty-gritty details. Can you offer a design paradigm explanation for any modern life form?

  166. Mung:

    The MET doesn’t even attempt to explain life on earth. It accepts it as a given.

    So how can it be a better explanation?

    Well, tell me yours then.

  167. Jerad:

    And, again, what explanation does the ID paradigm have for the modern whale morphology?

    It works for the modern whale.

  168. Jerad, when can we expect answers from your spouse?

    Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria:

    1. You don’t know what it is for.

    2. You don’t know why it was made.

    3. You don’t know how it was made.

    4. You don’t know who made it.

    5. You don’t know who the designer was.

    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

    7. If an artifact does in fact exist which meets the previously stated criteria does that mean that there is no explanation for that artifact?

    8. When you encounter an artifact, is the first question that pops up “I wonder how often ‘the designer’ implemented design”?

  169. I ask to try and establish whether or not ID is a better explanation of life on earth than the modern evolutionary synthesis.

    Well Jared, though I hold you to be transparently unfair in your measure of things, let’s see how your preferred materialistic philosophy of Darwinism compares to Theism in general as to explaining how life got on earth:

    Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind – Every transcendent universal constant scientists can measure is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. -

    Anthropic Principle – God Created The Universe – Michael Strauss PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4323661

    “If we modify the value of one of the fundamental constants, something invariably goes wrong, leading to a universe that is inhospitable to life as we know it. When we adjust a second constant in an attempt to fix the problem(s), the result, generally, is to create three new problems for every one that we “solve.” The conditions in our universe really do seem to be uniquely suitable for life forms like ourselves, and perhaps even for any form of organic complexity.” Gribbin and Rees, “Cosmic Coincidences”, p. 269

    Finely Tuned Universe – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guHodt-7Q7A

    Here are a few sites that list the finely tuned universal constants that allow biological life to be possible in the universe:

    Fine-Tuning For Life In The Universe
    http://www.reasons.org/fine-tuning-life-universe

    Evidence for the Fine Tuning of the Universe
    http://www.godandscience.org/a.....ignun.html

    Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe – Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe. -

    Hugh Ross Papers On Extreme Fine Tuning Of Earth
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sl5SCBtcO6xMjwgrkKysBYIOJzjZEcXX68qZ9rwh85s/edit?hl=en_US#

    Link from “Appendix C” in Why the Universe Is the Way It Is:

    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate ? 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate ? 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ? 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere (10^-1054) – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV5zkifLSbc

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    - Jay Richards

  170. Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11) – We find evidence for complex photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks (rocks formed by water) ever found on earth -

    The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4262918

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004E&PSL.217..237R

    Moreover, here is a excerpt from a article on the theistic implications of ‘quantum photosynthesis’ and of light itself:

    Excerpt: Now, I find the preceding to be absolutely fascinating! Light is found in our experiments with special relativity to be ‘eternal’. As well, a photon, in its quantum wave state, is found to be mathematically defined as a ‘infinite-dimensional’ state, which ‘requires an infinite amount of information’ to describe it properly, and can be encoded with information in its ‘infinite dimensional’ state, and this ‘infinite dimensional’ photon is found to collapse, instantaneously, and thus ‘non-locally’, to just a ’1 or 0′ state, out of a infinite number of possibilities that the photon could have collapsed to instead! Moreover, consciousness is found to precede the collapse of the wavefunction of the photon to its particle state. Moreover, a non-local, beyond space and time, cause is needed to explain the ‘harvesting of energy’ in photosynthesis. Energy that all other complex biological life on earth is ultimately dependent on. Now my question to materialistic atheists is this, “Exactly what ’cause’ has been postulated throughout history to be completely independent of any space-time constraints (eternal), as well as possessing infinite knowledge, so as to be the ‘sufficient cause’ to explain what we see in the quantum wave collapse of a photon and in the non-local quantum coherence of photosynthesis???
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uX1w_iUOD3O8F-GvbkfG2GKuAunQuYRssSMb_t5kB8/edit

    Myself, seeing as materialism has no hope whatsoever of explaining how life came to be on earth, I think I would be a little more open to looking to the one who defeated death on the cross as to solving this ‘where does life come from?” question Jared!

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    verse and music:

    John 1:1-5
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

    Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;ob=av2e

  171. corrected link:

    Privileged Planet (Chapter 1 of 12)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    New song

    Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiIvtRg7-Lc

  172. Wow, I haven’t made it all the way through the comments, but you guys have a lot more patience than I do. Kudos for the effort to walk through the basics with Jerad and Co. Hopefully something will stick . . .

  173. Jerad:

    I want to know the truth.

    How can anyone here determine that?

    I think my questions are relevant to ID if it’s going to claim to be a ‘better’ explanation of life. ‘Better’ means addressing questions and issues that I see ID proponents shying away from.

    I see that ‘better’ means whatever you want it to mean.

    Is that what you mean when you say you want to know the truth? The truth means what you want it to mean?

  174. Jerad, caught appealing to modern evolutionary theory as an explanation for life on earth, when confronted with the truth that MET does not explain life on earth but rather accepts it as a given, instead of revisiting and adjusting the mistaken mindset which led to the initial mistake, attempts the following rebuttal:

    Well, tell me yours then.

    Why? Will a failure on my part to put forth an explanation for life on earth make the MET non-explanation a ‘better’ explanation?

  175. Jerad:

    It is hard to believe that the following was not willfully misread, the better to make a strawman and knock it over (never mind an obvious typo, which I admit and correct):

    [KF, 156:] Do you see that by posing this, I have laid out the set of all subsets of the [s]pace of say 1,000 bits?

    [J, 164:] Not sure what you mean by pace but yeah, I know about the set of all subsets of a set containing 1000 elements.

    [KF --> Do you not see the jump from 1,000 bits setting the scope of a config space to a space of 1,000 elements? Have you not seen the repeated discussions over YEARS that deal with config spaces for sets based on 500 or 1,000 bits? Are you so unfamiliar with the core design argument that you could plausibly misread the one for the other? If you are, kindly stop debating and commenting for a few days and read here on to get an idea of what is under discussion.]

    [KF:] Thus, I have implied that sampling frames could come from any subset? Which immediately implies that I have NOT said that we search the whole space, just that the sample we can take from it is reliably going to reflect the bulk — non functional, if blind.

    [J:] I think you’d better define a sampling frame. Shall I take it to mean a random sample? Why is that only coming from a subset of the whole set? How is the subset determined?

    Let’s roll the tape from 156, again with the minor correction:

    [KF:] Do you understand what a power set is?

    Do you see that by posing this, I have laid out the set of all subsets of the [s]pace of say 1,000 bits?

    Thus, I have implied that sampling frames could come from any subset? Which immediately implies that I have NOT said that we search the whole space, just that the sample we can take from it is reliably going to reflect the bulk — non functional, if blind.

    Which then ends up in greatly multiplying the scope of the search challenge, through the problem of framing in the face of the power set space of S4S?

    Do you not see that you are looking at conveniently begging the question of getting to shores of function in a config space, where there is no good reason to infer that the laws of nature programme cell based life to emerge? And, if they did, this would itself be strong proof of fine tuning that is purposeful?

    That, the onward search for an embryologically and ecologically viable body plan is much worse?

    And do you not see that the chaining chemistry does not force wither proteins or D/RNA to take up specific coded patterns relevant to life?

    The bottomline is that you are clinging to any straw that you hope can deflect the well warranted conclusion: since FSCO/I is a reliable index of design, then the best explanation for life based on it is design.

    Now, its context, in 148; also addressed to Jerad — and which would have appeared in the post tracker on UD’s main page:

    So soon as a system is biological, it is already on a shore of complex, specific function. ID is about getting to such shores of function, by blind chance & necessity vs by design.

    In the OOL case, you start from a Darwin warm pond or similar scenario with monomers and need to plausibly and with empirical warrant account for gated, encapsulated, metabolising nanotech automata that embed a code based self replication facility. And that in a cosmos that does not come near to having the resources to sample any large fraction of the config space for 500 – 1,000 bits, much less the actual genome space for 100,000 or more bits. (Config space [i.e. for 1,000 bits], 9.99 * 10^30,102. You work put the power set for that to get an idea of what search for search would be like.))

    Sampling theory tells us that you can only expect to pick up the bulk of the distribution under such circumstances, without any need for precise probability calcs.

    Also, you are looking at polymer chains where there are no known laws forcing coded sequences. Indeed such would be contrary to what coding requires.

    so, you are looking at a tiny, blindly framed sample of a vast config space, with search for a search compounding the challenge. You probably missed where this came up previously: a space of 1,000 bits has 2^1,000 possible configs. The number of sample frames is the power set, less the empty set. 2 ^ [2^1,000]. The LOG of that number is astonishingly large, 3.226*10^300; the actual number could not be fully written out with the solar system’s atomic resources.

    Search for search gets you.

    In short, sampling a sub space does not explain the functional space being sampled. Absent begging [t]he real question.

    Then, for origin of novel body plans, we are now dealing with 10 – 100+ mn new base pairs worth of functional info. Dozens of times over and on earth.

    Same story, needing to get to shores of function.

    And as for the un-evidenced assertion that biofunction comes in a large continent with incremental connexions, the evidence starting from isolation of protein fold domains, is against that. Same, for the inherent nature of multipart specific function depending on parts fitting together. Not to mention being able to originate embryologically in a self assembly process.

    There are reasons why FSCO/I is routinely and reliably seen to be a signature of design.

    In short, this is the snip, strawmannise and snipe rhetorical pattern, either by inexcusable carelessness, or by willful intent. Neither being excusable.

    Notice, just what I meant by [config] space and sampling frame were given, and that use of sampling frame is the conventional one. All I am saying is that the frame from the config space must come from the power set, which puts the S4S challenge into blindly — by definition, you are wanting an unintelligent search — looking at the power set for a config space of 1,000 bits.

    Notice, too how conveniently you jumped from dealing with the space for 1,000 BITS — 2^1,000 members — to that for 1,000 MEMBERS.

    In addition, my focus on strings of 1,000 bits as a threshold is WLOG, as once we see that any complex composite entity can be broken down into a nodes and arcs wireframe, that in turn can be broken down into a structured set of strings. But in fact, we are dealing with strings in the material molecules of life, D/RNA and proteins.

    As for definition games over what sampling frame means — notice the implication that design thinkers are too ignorant or stupid to use a conventional term in its standard way — let Wiki speak:

    In statistics, a sampling frame is the source material or device from which a sample is drawn.[1] It is a list of all those within a population who can be sampled, and may include individuals, households or institutions.

    In our case, the sampling frame is allowed to be any particular subset of the config space, here as a toy example, the space for 1,000 bits from 000 . . . 0 to 111 . . . 1 inclusive. If you want you could subtract the empty set {} but in the spirit of R0bb, I leave it in, it makes no material difference.

    That is, your suggestion that we not sample the whole space, and that the biological world — which already means you are thinking WITHIN islands of function, whereas the issue for design theory is how you get to such islands — does not, makes the problem not easier but far worse, as it leaves unexplained how we arrive at so convenient a frame for searching, in the teeth of the implications of the scale of a power set of a set.

    Anticipating on track record yet another recirculated objection, I note that we have good reason (as was explained above and is clipped in this post) to expect that complex, specific multipart functionality dependent on the right, matched parts in the correct arrangement, will be in isolated zones of the space for possible configs of the relevant parts. You need to work this through for the case of OOL, from a Darwin pond or similar initial condition, forward, with empirical observed support for mechanisms and dynamics. Then also, for OO body plans. DESIGNERS ARE KNOWN TO ROUTINELY CONSTRUCT FSCO/I BASED SYSTEMS BY APPROPRIATELY CONFIGURING ELEMENTS, STARTING WITH SENTENCES IN POSTS IN THIS THREAD, AND RANGING ONWARDS TO SAY YOUR PC OR YOUR PHONE OR CAR, ETC ETC.

    The attempt to suggest searching in a reduced space, actually makes the problem far harder than simply sampling from the state of all configs, in light of an arbitrary initial config that is reasonable for the usual OOL scenarios. Starting from OOL is also significant, as it highlights that in this case, there is no von Neumann kinematic self replication facility to appeal to ahead of time, in fact you have to account for the origin of such a code based representation and replication facility for the gated, encapsulated metabolic nanotech automaton we are talking about, the living cell. In short, until the vNSR is in place — and how did the coded representation make its way blindly into chemistry — there is no reproduction and so no possibility of reasonable appeal to differential reproductive success, aka natural selection, and/or to neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory and extensions thereto, aka modern evolutionary theory aka the modern synthesis etc.

    There is no adequate, empirically observed basis for the inference that spontaneous blind processes in that warm pond or the like threw up the required organised entity. But, there is abundant and easily accessible evidence that FSCO/I is a characteristic product and sign of intelligently directed organising work, IDOW, i.e. design.

    So, using the Newtonian principle that once we have empirical warrant for a causal process yielding a tested characteristic sign, we can infer that per best explanation, like causes like. OOL is then explained on design, and onward, increments in FSCO/I to create body plans are reasonably explained on design.

    Adaptations within body plans (including loss of features) can reasonably be explained on incremental changes within the islands of function so defined, but that is materially different from the claimed explanation of spontaneous origin of body plans through such. Where there is no currently observed evidence that properly warrants that claimed mechanism, gross extrapolations a la climbing Mt Improbable not being a good warrant.

    KF

  176. F/N: To save yet another definitionitis game. Truth, per Aristotle in Metaphysics, 1011b: that which says of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not. Accurate description of reality, in short. Saying it like it is. KF

  177. CLAUDIUS:

    Why?

    Because, obviously, the Academy seems not so enthousiastic of ID as an acceptable scientific paradigm, and even less available to give room and resources to ID research. Have you noticed that? :)

  178. Mung @ 169

    Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria:
    1. You don’t know what it is for.
    2. You don’t know why it was made.
    3. You don’t know how it was made.
    4. You don’t know who made it.
    5. You don’t know who the designer was.
    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

    Interesting question.

    I actually can’t think of anything I’m reasonably certain is an artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how and when it was made.

    Do you have any examples in mind?

    Cheers

  179. gpuccio @

    Jerad: This is why I think . . . hope there is a future when evolution and ID can have common research agendas.

    gpuccio: That would really be wonderful. But let’s be realistic, absolutely unlikely at present. And I think we know why.

    CLAVDIVS: Why?

    gpuccio: Why? Because, obviously, the Academy seems not so enthousiastic of ID as an acceptable scientific paradigm, and even less available to give room and resources to ID research. Have you noticed that?

    Yes, I’ve noticed that. I meant to ask, why do you think that is the case? For example, here’s a statement from the University of New South Wales:

    Proponents of ID assert that some living structures are so complex that they are explicable only by the agency of an imagined and unspecified “intelligent designer”. …

    For a theory to be considered scientific it must be testable – either directly or indirectly – by experiment or observation. …
    Finally, a scientific theory should explain more than what is already known: it should be able to predict outcomes in novel situations.

    The bolded part is what I think Jerad is trying to point out. Why do you think the Academy has this view of ID?

    Cheers

  180. Mung:

    It works for the modern whale.

    Cute but not really an answer. Do you have one?

    Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria:

    1. You don’t know what it is for.

    2. You don’t know why it was made.

    3. You don’t know how it was made.

    4. You don’t know who made it.

    5. You don’t know who the designer was.

    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

    7. If an artifact does in fact exist which meets the previously stated criteria does that mean that there is no explanation for that artifact?

    8. When you encounter an artifact, is the first question that pops up “I wonder how often ‘the designer’ implemented design”?

    1. Yup, lots. But archaeologists try and figure out what they are for. They frequently draw parallels with other objects whose purpose is known.

    2. Yup, lots. Especially ritual objects.

    3. Sometimes. But not that often.

    4. Generally it’s known what group/tribe made it. Most prehistoric groups are defined by their material remains.

    5. Generally the same as the manufacturer.

    6. The hardest things to determine whether they were designed or not are things like simple hand axes. Well, used as hand axes rather than designed. Most stuff is pretty easy to see if it’s natural or not. Nowadays anyway.

    7. Obviously not. If something was designed there was a reason.

    8. Sometimes you do . . . sort of. If something was made/designed multiple times it tells you about the manufacturing process, what the object was used for, how common it was, etc.

    Anyway, the point is that archaeologists study, measure and examine objects that are designed. They do their best to explain how the object was made and what purpose it served. They are always trying to figure out what the designer was thinking.

    I see that ‘better’ means whatever you want it to mean.

    Is that what you mean when you say you want to know the truth? The truth means what you want it to mean?

    I believe there is a single reality where things happened and I’d like to get at the truth of what really happened. Theories that have more explanatory power answer more questions and so are better.

    Why? Will a failure on my part to put forth an explanation for life on earth make the MET non-explanation a ‘better’ explanation?

    Nope. MET has to stand on it’s own. As does ID. I’m trying to figure out what explanatory power ID has. So I’m asking proponents to tell me some of the ID explanations for things.

  181. BA77:

    Well Jared, though I hold you to be transparently unfair in your measure of things, let’s see how your preferred materialistic philosophy of Darwinism compares to Theism in general as to explaining how life got on earth:

    Can you give me an ID explanation for any modern phenotype? Can you show me that ID has explanatory power? I thought that was the topic.

  182. Jerad, when you insist that one must inquire as to the attributes and nature of the designer, it reminds me of someone protesting that a wine tasting event will not be informative as to the taste of orange juice. Or maybe the taste of grapes is even more apt.

    That’s what eating grapes is for. Don’t blame the wine tasting event. It is what it is- by definition.

    In archaeology, the answers to other lines of inquiry (besides design inference) are readily available because of a pre-existing body of knowledge- a mesh of contextual knowledge framework. So of course we should ask who, when, and why. Heck, the when was answered while we were doing the digging (pre-supposing some geology knowledge of course).

    Similarly, your objections bring to mind the notion of the first archaeological dig/discovery on Mars. Not being able to even begin to answer the who, when, why, etc. questions (by nature of being the first find and all- there is no body of knowledge of Martian peoples and geology from which to derive such answers) would the committed philosophical naturalist be left with the only rational conclusion? That the design inference is simply illusory and the artifact is just a product of Mars doing its thing. (being Mars)

    I think what you are looking for is not the ID (Intelligent Design) movement, but the DD (Designer Discovery) movement. Which I for one have never heard of, as it probably does not yet exist.

    You seem to be unsatisfied with questions current ID ideas do not answer, including some they don’t even attempt to answer. I am not sure why this is so. ID should not prevent anyone from going about their material-based discovery efforts. That is, until such time as ID does “prevent” people from going about their material-based discovery efforts by way of providing overwhelming evidence that falsifies neo-Darwinianism with rigorous models manifestly and necessarily applicable to the material world.

    If such rigorous models could demonstrate a falsification of some aspect of NDE such as NDE-OOL, wouldn’t you want to know this? If yes, then why complain about the inquiry’s limited scope? It is that many materialism-types (although you seem pretty even-keeled yourself) seem to be so emotionally engaged in these matters that I find so fascinating. Sincerely seeking to understand you!…

  183. Jerad and others:

    Let’s try to make some clarity.

    Jerad, you say:

    But ID proponents keep telling me it’s not fair to ask who, when, why, where and how. I keep being told to stop asking questions. ID doesn’t answer those questions. Which is why it lacks explanatory power. It doesn’t answer reasonable questions.

    Well, I think I have answered those points. But let’s see them more in detail:

    a) The first, fundamental point is that to infer design for an object from dFSCI we need not know anything about the designer, or the process of design. IOWs, the design inference does not need that information. That must be clear.

    b) Once a design inference is made, it is perfectly correct and necessary to ask all the other questions.

    c) Those question may have answers or not at the present time, and the answers can be more or less detailed, more or less satisfying. That depends essentially on the facts we know, the data, and on how good we are at interpreting them

    So, let’s go to the questions, one by one, and I will state what, IMO, the current possible, reasonable answwers are (please remember that at this point we have already made a reasonable design inference for some set of objects. I will assume here that we have made a design inference for most basic protein domains, as explained in my post #127.

    Well, I have to stop now. I will go on in my next post.

  184. KF:

    Okay, let me see if I get your point by trying to explain the situation myself . . .

    If we have a sequence of 1000 bits each bit can have one of two possible states therefore there are 2^1000 different bit sequences possible.

    If the bits in the sequence can be translated in groups into . . . DNA, letters in the English language, something with potential meaning then some of the bit sequences will represent meaningful/viable/functional code sequences while others will be garbage.

    Of the 2^1000 possible bit sequences most likely most will have no meaning or be functionless. To find a sequence that is viable randomly searching through the sample space would mean that a vast majority of the time the search would find garbage. It might take a very, very long time to find a meaningful sequence using a purely random search. 2^1000 is about 1.27×10^30. If you examined one sequence a second it would take . . . about . . 4×10^22 years to evaluate all the sequences. Which is longer than the universe has existed. Even examining 100 sequences a second doesn’t really help, there’s just too many sequences to search randomly.

    I hope that summarises the main points adequately.

    I agree that if that’s how new body plans were arrived at it would be extremely improbable that any viable body plans were ever found. But I don’t think it works that way.

    Again, not addressing the origination of the first self-replicator (something I have admitted is a big question that has not been answered) life starts with a viable sequence, generates copies, some of which vary from the source sequence. Some of the new sequences are garbage, some are viable. The viable ones make copies of themselves again with some variation. When replicating resources become limited some viable sequences outcompete others and go on to make more copies while the losers make fewer copies or none at all. In this way life spreads out over a vast connected series of viable sequences. There are no sub-islands of function, everything is connected to everything else. There’s no target, no optimal solutions, no gaps between body plans. Sometimes copies of sequences have more bits if sections get duplicated. Sometimes new sub-sequences are introduced from viral infection, etc. Longer sequences lead to more complexity. The essential thing though is: all sequences that survive to replicate are viable/functional. Some exploit the environment ‘better’ and leave more copies than others.

  185. gpuccio,

    I look forward to your exposition. I completely accept that it might not be possible to answer all the questions having only a designed object from which you can glean information. But if you can’t answer the questions then the design inference lacks explanatory power.

  186. Jerad you stated:

    I ask to try and establish whether or not ID is a better explanation of life on earth than the modern evolutionary synthesis.

    And I gave you a outline of the vastly superior explanatory power ID has for why life is on earth, at least when theistic concerns are allowed in play,,,

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-433708

    In fact, to be more specific to ID proper, Dr. Stephen Meyer wrote a book, entitled ‘Signature In The Cell’, which meticulously lays out the case why ID is, by far, the best explanation of life on Earth:

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVkdQhNdzHU

    ,,,Yet Jared, rather than you being reasonable and conceding that ID is, by far, the best explanation for why life is on earth in the first place, and thus making your entire materialistic/atheistic paradigm of Darwinism, for all intents and purposes, a non-starter as a explanation for why life is on earth, you typical Darwinian fashion completely ignore this devastating fact and act as if Darwinism has explanatory power for ‘modern phenotypes’? (which I take you to mean morphology and development). All I can ask after such a non-sequitur in logic is, “Have you lost your marbles???” i.e. Why are you trying to build a ‘castle in the air’ with no foundation in reality sir!!! Well, ignoring your blatant disregard for establishing a credible basis for yourself in science so as to support your subsequent work in the life sciences, the problems for neo-Darwinism, and particularly its ‘reductive materialistic philosophical foundation’, certainly don’t stop with its failure to explain why life is on earth in the first place. The insurmountable problems for neo-Darwinism continue on up to the level of its complete failure to explain body-plan morphogenesis and its failure to explain embryonic developmental pathways. In fact Dr. Stephen Meyer’s next book is going to be on the complete failure of neo-Darwinian processes to explain the body plans of modern phenotypes. Here is a sneak peek at his forthcoming book:

    Dr. Stephen Meyer: Why Are We Still Debating Darwin? pt. 2 – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_22-07_00

    Jerad, despite what you may imagine the ‘explanatory power’ of neo-Darwinism to be to explain ‘modern phenotypes’, there simply isn’t any evidence in the fossil record, or from the laboratory, indicating that single cells ever formed anything other than ‘simple aggregates’:

    “We go from single cell protozoa. which would be ameoba and things like that. Then you get into some that are a little bit bigger, still single cell, and then you get aggregates, they’re still individual cells that aggregate together. They don’t seem to have much in the way of cooperation,,, but when you really talk about a functioning organism, that has more than just one type of cell, you are talking about a sponge and you can have hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of cells. So we don’t really have organisms that function with say two different types of cells, but there is only five total. We don’t have anything like that.”
    – Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin – quote taken from 31:00 minute mark of this following video
    Natural Limits to Biological Change 2/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo3OKSGeFRQ

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    Excerpt: “I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,” said Chen. “Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.” Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: “No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.”
    http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm

    Darwin’s Dilemma – Excellent Cambrian Explosion Movie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWEsW7bO8P4

    Nor does the experimental evidence suggest that such a transition from single cell aggregates to multicellular organisms is even possible:

    More Darwinian Degradation – M. Behe – January 2012
    Excerpt: Recently a paper appeared by Ratcliff et al. (2012) entitled “Experimental evolution of mulitcellularity” and received a fair amount of press attention, including a story in the New York Times.,,, It seems to me that Richard Lenski, who knows how to get the most publicity out of exceedingly modest laboratory results, has taught his student well. In fact, the results can be regarded as the loss of two pre-existing abilities: 1) the loss of the ability to separate from the mother cell during cell division; and 2) the loss of control of apoptosis.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....gradation/

    Indeed the ‘social networks’ of bacteria are very sophisticated and certainly defy any coherent explanation from the simplistic reductive (i.e. bottom up) material narrative of neo-Darwinism:

    Learning from Bacteria about Social Networks – video
    Description: Bacteria do not store genetically all the information required to respond efficiently to all possible environmental conditions. Instead, to solve new encountered problems (challenges) posed by the environment, they first assess the problem via collective sensing, then recall stored information of past experience and finally execute distributed information processing of the 109-12 bacteria in the colony,,, I will show illuminating movies of swarming intelligence of live bacteria in which they solve optimization problems for collective decision making that are beyond what we, human beings, can solve with our most powerful computers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJpi8SnFXHs

    As can somewhat be seen from the preceding, the problem of explaining where the body-plans of the phyla in the Cambrian came from in the first place boils down, much like the origin of life, to explaining where the information came from. In fact there is another whole level of information on a cell’s surface that is scarcely understood,,

    Glycan Carbohydrate Molecules – A Whole New Level Of Scarcely Understood Information on The Surface of Cells
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bO5txsOPde3BEPjOqcUNjL0mllfEc894LkDY5YFpJCA/edit

  187. Jerad:

    Why do you insist on setting up and knocking over strawmen?

    Why have you ducked the answer to your latest talking point, about searching only parts of the config space?

    Namely, that you then face the search for a search challenge in a new config space, the POWER SET of the relevant space, which is vastly larger. Thus, having a very convenient frame in hand is itself even more difficult on chance plus necessity. So, the comparison of the scope of possibilities to the reasonable scope of search is highly reasonable.

    Until you seriously address this, there is no dialogue, only your strawman tactics.

    Why have you also failed to address the observed fact that FSCO/I insofar as we directly observe its cause is consistently the result of intelligence, and then address the needle in haystack challenge in that light?

    Is this not a serious inductive point, which by itself warrants inference to design on best current explanation on the observed evidence and linked analysis, as inference on sign?

    Moreover, you should be aware that the 10^80 or so atoms in our observed cosmos will in 10^25 s [a reasonable estimate of the thermodynamic lifespan, ~ 50 mn times the timeline from the usual date assigned the big bang event] would undergo ~ 10^150 Planck time states, this being the minimum physically meaningful time (where fastest chem rxns are ~ 10^30 P-t’s]. Thus, the maximum number of states in our universe is less than 1 in 10^150 of the 1.07*10^301 possibilities for 1,000 bits.

    On that, sampling theory strongly indicates that a sample of that scope would predictably by overwhelming odds, pick up the bulk of the distribution, which will be meaningless and non-functional bit patterns. Where, WLOG, and scaled up to more realistic numbers of bits — for life, these start at 100,000 — any functionally specific entity can be represented as such a string.

    Why do you then duck the pivotal case of OOL on Darwin’s pond or equivalent pre-life environment? Surely, you must know that the origin of the code based vNSR joined to a gated encapsulated metabolising nanotech automaton is antecedent to any possible evolution on chance genetic variation and differential reproductive success in environments?

    From the outset of modern biological side ID theory in the 1980s, OOL has been pivotal.

    The actual evidence is that FSCO/I can only be reasonably and inductively be explained on design. This indicates strongly that cell based life is designed.

    With that in hand, the mountain out of a molehill of the claimed powers of darwinian mechanisms to evolve new body plans shrink to due proportions.

    There is no observational evidence to support the idea that body plans sit on a vast continent of function traversible by a branching tree incremental pattern. Indeed the diverse suggested trees of life, especially molecular ones, are in sharp mutual contradiction. Instead the actual fossil evidence — the actual traces of the past — is of appearance, stasis, and gaps. Of which the Cambrian life revolution is the most iconic, with dozens of phyla and subphyla appearing on the timeline in a window of 5 – 10 MY about 550 MYA. With no credible antecedents.

    The context for that is that the credible quantum of genetic information for novel body plans is 10 – 100 mn+ bits. The config spaces for that dwarf those we looked at in toy examples. 10 mn bits has a config space of 9.05*10^3,010,299 possibilities.

    10^150 samples — the observable universe’s feasible scope of search — does not even appear on the radar screen as a blip in that context, much less a more realistic scope of what would be possible on earth in 10^17 s [about the suggested age of the solar system or the galaxy], much less in the sort of window that we are being told by the conventional timeline.

    So, with design on the table from OOL on, it is even more reasonable to infer that body plans are designed.

    So far, you are setting up and knocking over strawmen, then reverting to talking points that simply have no serious empirical foundation on the task of creating the requisite scope of FSCO/I.

    And, it is evident you have not paused to read the linked and onward linked, which for just one instance, will show why 10 – 100 mn bits is a reasonable estimate for the info needed for a new body plan for a multicellular organism.

    This is not dialogue in any serious form, it is reiteration of canned talking points, with strawmen set up and knocked aside to open the way to present them as though the talking points were serious.

    Please, do better than this.

    KF

  188. i.e. Glycan information is another whole level of information on the surface of cells that is not even reducible to the reductionism model of neo-Darwinism.

    Cortical Inheritance: The Crushing Critique Against Genetic Reductionism – Arthur Jones – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4187488

    “Live memory” of the cell, the other hereditary memory of living systems – 2005
    Excerpt: To understand this notion of “live memory”, its role and interactions with DNA must be resituated; indeed, operational information belongs as much to the cell body and to its cytoplasmic regulatory protein components and other endogenous or exogenous ligands as it does to the DNA database. We will see in Section 2, using examples from recent experiments in biology, the principal roles of “live memory” in relation to the four aspects of cellular identity, memory of form, hereditary transmission and also working memory.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15888340

    Thus Jerad, on top of the fact that neo-Darwinism cannot explain the origination of functional information in DNA, it is not even possible in principle for the reductive materialistic frameworks of neo-Darwinism to explain the body plans of modern phenotypes!!!

    The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories – Stephen Meyer
    “Neo-Darwinism seeks to explain the origin of new information, form, and structure as a result of selection acting on randomly arising variation at a very low level within the biological hierarchy, mainly, within the genetic text. Yet the major morphological innovations depend on a specificity of arrangement at a much higher level of the organizational hierarchy, a level that DNA alone does not determine. Yet if DNA is not wholly responsible for body plan morphogenesis, then DNA sequences can mutate indefinitely, without regard to realistic probabilistic limits, and still not produce a new body plan. Thus, the mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA cannot in principle generate novel body plans, including those that first arose in the Cambrian explosion.”
    http://eyedesignbook.com/ch6/eyech6-append-d.html

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

    ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ – Stephen Meyer – (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate – 2009)

    Intelligent Design: The ambitious aim of Douglas Axe (Biologic Institute) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnODSjW0bno

    As well Jerad, if we focus on ‘developmental pathways’ for explaining ‘modern phenotypes’ by neo-Darwinian processes well that dog don’t hunt either:

    Mutations early in embryonic development are required, yet highly implausible, as a mechanism for neo-Darwinism – Paul Nelson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

    Understanding Ontogenetic Depth, Part II: Natural Selection Is a Harsh Mistress – Paul Nelson – April 7, 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45581.html

    Gene Regulatory Networks in Embryos Depend on Pre-existing Spatial Coordinates – Jonathan Wells – July 2011
    Excerpt: The development of metazoan embryos requires the precise spatial deployment of specific cellular functions. This deployment depends on gene regulatory networks (GRNs), which operate downstream of initial spatial inputs (E. H. Davidson, Nature 468 [2010]: 911). Those initial inputs depend, in turn, on pre-existing spatial coordinate systems. In Drosophila oocytes, for example, spatial localization of the earliest-acting elements of the maternal GRN depends on the prior establishment of an anteroposterior body axis by antecedent asymmetries in the ovary. Those asymmetries appear to depend on cytoskeletal and membrane patterns rather than on DNA sequences,,,
    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=7751

    Darwin’s Theory – Fruit Flies and Morphology – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZJTIwRY0bs

  189. BA77:

    Well, does Dr Meyer have a design explanation for the route of the laryngeal nerve in giraffes? ID says, at some level at some time, giraffes or their predecessors were designed. Well, why did the designer run the laryngeal nerve along the path it occupies? Designed means things were done intentionally. Can ID explain the design? It could easily be changed from a design point of view. So why was it done that way?

    Can ID explain why human eyes were designed so that we have a blind spot? What’s the purpose of a blind spot? Other animals have eyes without blind spots. There doesn’t seem to be an advantage in having one. Maybe there is. Can ID shed any light on the situation?

    When I say ID lacks explanatory power it’s because I haven’t heard answers for such questions like these and others. Just saying something is designed doesn’t give an insight into the reasons for the design. There’s no explanation, no reasoning.

  190. KF:

    Namely, that you then face the search for a search challenge in a new config space, the POWER SET of the relevant space, which is vastly larger. Thus, having a very convenient frame in hand is itself even more difficult on chance plus necessity. So, the comparison of the scope of possibilities to the reasonable scope of search is highly reasonable.

    Perhaps I’m really stupid but I have no idea what the above means. Perhaps if you gave a worked out example I would get it.

    Why have you also failed to address the observed fact that FSCO/I insofar as we directly observe its cause is consistently the result of intelligence, and then address the needle in haystack challenge in that light?

    Yes, I disagree with you that intelligence is the only possible source of DNA. There’s nothing else for me to say about it.

    Is this not a serious inductive point, which by itself warrants inference to design on best current explanation on the observed evidence and linked analysis, as inference on sign?

    What do you mean by ‘inference on sign’?

    Moreover, you should be aware that the 10^80 or so atoms in our observed cosmos will in 10^25 s [a reasonable estimate of the thermodynamic lifespan, ~ 50 mn times the timeline from the usual date assigned the big bang event] would undergo ~ 10^150 Planck time states, this being the minimum physically meaningful time (where fastest chem rxns are ~ 10^30 P-t’s]. Thus, the maximum number of states in our universe is less than 1 in 10^150 of the 1.07*10^301 possibilities for 1,000 bits.

    I did agree that a random search would be virtually impossible. I don’t see why there would be 1.07×10^301 possibilities for 1,000 bits though. Surely there are only 2^1000 possible configurations of 1000 bits.

    Surely, you must know that the origin of the code based vNSR joined to a gated encapsulated metabolising nanotech automaton is antecedent to any possible evolution on chance genetic variation and differential reproductive success in environments?

    ‘[A] gated encapsulated metabolising nanotech automaton’? Do you just mean a cell like a bacterium?

    There is no observational evidence to support the idea that body plans sit on a vast continent of function traversible by a branching tree incremental pattern.

    Really? That’s what the fossil record, the genetic data, morphology and geodiversity imply when taken together.

    The context for that is that the credible quantum of genetic information for novel body plans is 10 – 100 mn+ bits. The config spaces for that dwarf those we looked at in toy examples. 10 mn bits has a config space of 9.05*10^3,010,299 possibilities.

    Good thing it’s not necessary to do a random search of it then!

    And, it is evident you have not paused to read the linked and onward linked, which for just one instance, will show why 10 – 100 mn bits is a reasonable estimate for the info needed for a new body plan for a multicellular organism.

    I’m not saying that’s an unreasonable estimate. I’m saying that new body plans are not arrived at by searching some vast configuration space. No biologist makes that claim yet you continually seem to use it as a point against evolutionary theory.

    This is not dialogue in any serious form, it is reiteration of canned talking points, with strawmen set up and knocked aside to open the way to present them as though the talking points were serious.

    You don’t have to respond to me. But I wish you would stop claiming that the alternative to design is attempting to find new body plans in an immense configuration space. That’s just not a correct interpretation of evolutionary theory and arguing against that notion isn’t arguing against the modern synthesis.

  191. Hey Jerad-

    Can any other animals hit a 95 mph fastball? Watching atheletes perform it is pretty clear that the blind spot is only there for naysayers to pick on when they are finished with their noses.

    As for the nerve, well you do realize it services more than just one thing, and that the length of a nerve, as well as its diameter helps control the timing of the signals. Then there is the FACT that all animals start out as ONE tiny little cell.

  192. To Clavdivs-

    Evolutionism does NOT meet your criteria for science. Evolutionism cannot be tested and does not make any predictions.

    So why don’t you guys focus on your position?

  193. To Jerad-

    As I have said thousands of times, in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any scientific inference about the who, how, when, why is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    And Intelligent Design pertains only to the detection and study of design in nature. And when ID gets the resources required to answer those questions- which means time, money and lots of people- it will attempt to do so.

  194. Joe @ 192

    CLAVDIVS: Finally, a scientific theory should explain more than what is already known: it should be able to predict outcomes in novel situations.

    The bolded part is what I think Jerad is trying to point out. Why do you think the Academy has this view of ID?

    Joe: Evolutionism does NOT meet your criteria for science. Evolutionism cannot be tested and does not make any predictions.

    So why don’t you guys focus on your position?

    Evolutionism is not my position.

    In any case, this thread is about ID not evolutionism, so your post is not relevant.

    Cheers

  195. Hey Joe,

    Can any other animals hit a 95 mph fastball? Watching atheletes perform it is pretty clear that the blind spot is only there for naysayers to pick on when they are finished with their noses.

    Most humans can’t hit a 95mph fastball. Even Tony Gwynn could only do it about a third of the time. So, no explanation then?

    As for the nerve, well you do realize it services more than just one thing, and that the length of a nerve, as well as its diameter helps control the timing of the signals. Then there is the FACT that all animals start out as ONE tiny little cell.

    So the laryngeal nerve could be shorter but thinner? So no design explanation?

    And Intelligent Design pertains only to the detection and study of design in nature. And when ID gets the resources required to answer those questions- which means time, money and lots of people- it will attempt to do so.

    And until it does it lacks explanatory power so it is NOT a better explanation.

  196. Clavdivs:

    Evolutionism is not my position.

    Evolutionism is mainstream science’s position. So you also disagree with them- cool.

    And my comment is relevant due to the fact that ID is being contrasted with evolutionism. And it also exposes the two-faced nonsense spewed by opponents of ID.

  197. Jerad:

    Most humans can’t hit a 95mph fastball.

    I can. And those who cannot sure as heck don’t blame the blind spot.

    So the laryngeal nerve could be shorter but thinner?

    That doesn’t follow from what I said.


    And Intelligent Design pertains only to the detection and study of design in nature. And when ID gets the resources required to answer those questions- which means time, money and lots of people- it will attempt to do so.

    And until it does it lacks explanatory power…

    Sez who? YOU? Who are you? I say determining design explains quite a bit AND it tells us what direction our investigation is going to take.

    … so it is NOT a better explanation.

    It is because your position still doesn’t explain anything

  198. Jerad in the full theological form of Darwinian argumentation asks:

    Well, does Dr Meyer have a design explanation for the route of the laryngeal nerve in giraffes?

    And therefore because you imagine, in your theologically based argument, that since the route of the laryngeal nerve must not be optimal, (because you presume you are so much smarter than God) then by default Darwinism must be true??? Are you insane??? This is not even science!!! i.e. Even though you have no clue how a single functional protein arrived, much less how functional proteins formed into distinctive body-plans, you are ready to proclaim, to all us IDiots, how God should design life??? Such arrogance!!! Perhaps you would care to go on to a Christian Theology website and debate theology since all you have are theological arguments Jerad???, you have completely left the field of empirical science!!!

    as to the theological argument jerad just made for the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve, it turns out that there are reasons for why it is the way it is that are missed by Darwinists in their headlong rush to proclaim how God should and should not design life on earth:

    Medical Considerations for the Intelligent Design of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve – Casey Luskin – October, 2010 Conclusion: Clearly, the RLN is performing many jobs, not just one. Its “intended function” is much more than simply innervating the larynx; and the larynx is in fact innervated directly, exactly as ID-critics say it should be.,, The argument against intelligent design of the RLN has collapsed. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....39221.html

    Indeed the sudden appearance of the Long-Necked Giraffe, with all its unique functional characteristics, goes firmly in the ID camp:

    the Long-Necked Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis L.) – What do we really know? – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig
    http://www.weloennig.de/Giraff.....nglish.pdf

    Jerad makes another theological argument with

    Can ID explain why human eyes were designed so that we have a blind spot?

    Yet it turns out that the only real blind spot is in jerad’s, and other neo-Darwinist’s, ability to reason coherently from what the evidence is actually telling us:

    Seeing Is Believing, or v.v. – April 2011
    Excerpt: The way PhysOrg put it, “What our eyes can’t see, the brain fills in.” And it fills it in from prior experience: “The results show that our brains do not rely solely on what is shown to the eyes in order to ‘see’. Instead the brain constructs a complex prediction” of what it expects to see.”
    One neuroscientist called this “predictive coding.” Dr. Lars Muckli from U of Glasgow explained how this is helpful: “If you are driving a car and a pedestrian is suddenly obscured – say by a pillar box or your rear view mirror – your brain still knows where they are and where they will reappear in your line of vision. Without that ability, we would be lost in everyday life.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20110404a

    The brain performs visual search near optimally
    Excerpt: “Visual search is an important task for the brain. Surprisingly, even in a complex task like detecting an object in a scene with distracters, we find that people’s performance is near optimal. That means that the brain manages to do the best possible job given the available information,” said Dr. Wei Ji Ma
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....mally.html

    Brain’s visual circuits do error correction on the fly
    Excerpt: The brain’s visual neurons continually develop predictions of what they will perceive and then correct erroneous assumptions as they take in additional external information,,,, The data, published Dec. 8 in the Journal of Neuroscience, show that the brain predicts what it will see and edits those predictions in a top-down mechanism, said Egner, who is an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience.,,
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....error.html

    This stunning finding of a ‘top down mechanism’ is very interesting because it leads us to the burning question of “what is the final ‘top down mechanism’ which is ultimately doing the seeing/perceiving in the brain in the first place?” As to that burning question, which have this finding which is certainly completely contrary to the materialistic foundation of neo-Darwinism:

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth.
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    Blind since birth – Woman Can See During Near Death Experience – Pim Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....ommel_nde/

    I guess also, jared, that you conveniently forgot to mention the ‘inverted retina argument’ because it does not suit your atheistic agenda???:

    Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak
    Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010)
    Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482021

    Well I guess you can retire that argument along with the science stopping junk DNA argument (although I’m fairly certain you will not since you are not really concerned about the science at all, but in only furthering you false atheistic beliefs!)!

    “How came the Bodies of Animals to be contrived with so much Art…. Was the Eye contrived without skill in Opticks, and the Ear without Knowledge of Sounds?” -
    Sir Isaac Newton

    Caught in Candid Moment, New York Times Admits “Perfection” of the Human Eye’s “Design Features” – April 2012
    Excerpt: They are not merely exceptionally impressive by the standards of biology, with whatever slop and wiggle room the animate category implies. Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....58301.html

    New Book (Doesn’t) Explain How Eyes Evolved; The Bible Versus Evolution; Evolutionists Say “We See” – December 2011
    Quote: In fact biology’s vision systems display all manner of high-tech gadgetry and creativity. There are telephoto optics, scanning optics, and mirrors. Not surprisingly, evolution over and over fails to explain how these wonders arose spontaneously.,,, do men love darkness rather than light? Given evolutionists unceasing, unswerving, inexplicable attachment to twisting the science, this too seems quite accurate. They won’t even consider the possibility that their bizarre ideas could be wrong. They seem to be dogmatically attached to scientific lies.

  199. Joe,

    I can.

    Very cool indeed. I’m jealous.

    And those who cannot sure as heck don’t blame the blind spot.

    Um, I was just wondering if there was a design explanation for why we have one.

    That doesn’t follow from what I said.

    Okay, just asking a question.

    Sez who? YOU? Who are you? I say determining design explains quite a bit AND it tells us what direction our investigation is going to take.

    Well when the investigating has progressed to the stage where ID can give explanations for why some odd features of body plans are they way they are then it will have some explanatory power. Right now it’s attempting to be able to detect and identify designed life forms. Which is one aspect of a living thing. But it doesn’t give reasons why it was designed that way.

    I can point to my Toyota Yaris and say: it’s designed. That doesn’t explain the design. It doesn’t tell me how and why my Yaris is different from the neighbour’s Mazda 6. The hows and whys can be explained but the design inference itself doesn’t do that. As you say, the design inference may point in a productive direction to explore but so far ID has not yet done that work.

    It is because your position still doesn’t explain anything.

    You may not agree but the modern evolutionary synthesis has explanations for many body plan features that ID has not as yet addressed. Evolutionary theory is also modified and changed to encompass new data and information. If it’s discovered that a part of the synthesis is incorrect or incomplete it’s updated or thrown out.

  200. Jerad:

    Please.

    You HAVE a worked example and have had so from 148, 156 and 176 above; for a 1,000 bit config space.

    The sampling frame is the set of pop members that can be sampled of a given trial. Necessarily this comes from the set of all possible subsets of a set. So, the set of possible sampling frames is the power set of the set.

    if you are blindly sampling a subset the S4S challenge therefore faces the power set scope of search. Minus maybe {}. And that is far harder than simply sampling the space of configs, which is therefore a very reasonable representative.

    What is blocking you is the assumption that search is on biologically functioning organisms. That is why I start from OOL, so you have to face the challenge without your favourite out, incremental natural selection.

    Start from that case, which you have already tried to duck. It is the root of the alleged tree of life. No root, no tree.

    And the rest stands.

    Now I’ve got a parliament sitting to deal with.

    KF

  201. I’m with you kf, until jerad is willing to address this matter honestly at OOL then it is pointless to address his questions. i.e. he is, despite his denial, not being honest to the problem, and as such I refrain.

  202. Jerad,

    Unfortunately the ToE’s “explanations” are akin to a kid’s explanation as why the homework was not completed.

    Also by saying something is designed means we have 1- eliminated chance and necessity and 2- tells us there are now new questions to answer.

    AND you are still forgetting that the design that ID is concerned with is way above anything we can do. Which means it will most likely take us longer to answer those questions than it takes archaeologists to answer their questions pertaining to who, how, why and when-> and they have been working on their questions for decades or onger.

  203. BA77:

    And therefore because you imagine, in your theologically based argument, that since the route of the laryngeal nerve must not be optimal,

    I didn’t say anything about optimal. I just said it could have been done differently.

    There are some design arguments in the Discovery Institute post by Casey Luskin and I thank you for pointing that out to me. That is the kind of thing I’m interested in hearing. Again, not saying anything about optimal, there were other designs that would have been possibilities so it’s not completely clear why one was preferred over another but that post is attempting to find some answers.

    I am quite aware of the brains ability to fill in the gap, there are simple visual tricks you can do to show that this happens. I remember the fuss about the retina but not the particular paper you linked to as only the abstract is visible. I think there were later counter arguments to it but I shall have to investigate. True optimal design certainly would bolster the ID inference although it’s hard to discern why good acuity with a blind spot is optimal over good acuity without a blind spot. But, again, that is the kind of thing I was interested in seeing.

    I really am not making a theological argument as I have not specified anything about the designer. You clearly think the designer is God but if I made that assumption people would jump all over me with scorn. I am merely asking if there are any design arguments that explain why certain designs were implemented. You’ve pointed to some arguments and I’m grateful for that. ID needs lots more of that kind of thing!

  204. F/N: I was abour to lock off this tab when I saw this:

    J: I don’t see why there would be 1.07×10^301 possibilities for 1,000 bits though. Surely there are only 2^1000 possible configurations of 1000 bits.

    Kindly express 2^1,000 in standard form notation AKA scientific notation, to three sig figures. Show us the steps, J.

    KF

  205. KF:

    The sampling frame is the set of pop members that can be sampled of a given trial. Necessarily this comes from the set of all possible subsets of a set. So, the set of possible sampling frames is the power set of the set.

    Agreed, that’s clear.

    if you are blindly sampling a subset the S4S challenge therefore faces the power set scope of search. Minus maybe {}. And that is far harder than simply sampling the space of configs, which is therefore a very reasonable representative.

    Um . . . if you were already given a subset, a sampling frame to search then you would cut down on the extent of the search. Why do you need to search through the sampling frames? Either you’re searching all 2^1000 possible configurations or you’re searching a subset.

    Well, I don’t think life does any searching in that way anyway.

    What is blocking you is the assumption that search is on biologically functioning organisms. That is why I start from OOL, so you have to face the challenge without your favourite out, incremental natural selection.

    Um, I’m not starting from the OoL as I said. I’m talking about how new body plans are formed. I admit the OoL issue is a big question.

    Start from that case, which you have already tried to duck. It is the root of the alleged tree of life. No root, no tree.

    Agreed. It’s something that needs answering.

    Now I’ve got a parliament sitting to deal with.

    I hope it goes well!

  206. KF:

    Kindly express 2^1,000 in standard form notation AKA scientific notation, to three sig figures. Show us the steps, J.

    Ah yes, I screwed up. I took 2^100 power and didn’t think enough. Sigh.

    Anyway, I agree that a random search of a reasonably sized configuration space is prohibitive. But I don’t think that’s how new body plans are formed.

    I think, though, that we have been talking past each other: OoL vs speciation. I’m sorry not to be able to discuss OoL with you but I really do not know enough about it to carry on a meaningful conversation.

  207. Joe @ 196

    CLAVDIVS:
    Evolutionism is not my position.

    Joe:
    Evolutionism is mainstream science’s position. So you also disagree with them- cool.

    No. I agree with the findings of mainstream science. I only disagree with evolutionism as a materialistic philosophy.

    CLAVDIVS: Finally, a scientific theory should explain more than what is already known: it should be able to predict outcomes in novel situations.

    Joe: Evolutionism does NOT meet your criteria for science. Evolutionism cannot be tested and does not make any predictions.

    CLAVDIVS: … this thread is about ID not evolutionism, so your post is not relevant.

    Joe: And my comment is relevant due to the fact that ID is being contrasted with evolutionism. And it also exposes the two-faced nonsense spewed by opponents of ID.

    The criticism is that ID is not explanatory because it doesn’t add to knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations. The reasoning appears simple: predicting outcomes means discovering predictable mechanisms, yet ID posits the mechanism of an unpredictable intelligent agent.

    In the context of this criticism in this thread, the contrast between ID and evolutionism is irrelevant.

    Cheers

  208. Joe:

    Also by saying something is designed means we have 1- eliminated chance and necessity and 2- tells us there are now new questions to answer.

    Agreed. Clearly. The more of those questions ID can answer the more explanatory power it will have.

    AND you are still forgetting that the design that ID is concerned with is way above anything we can do. Which means it will most likely take us longer to answer those questions than it takes archaeologists to answer their questions pertaining to who, how, why and when-> and they have been working on their questions for decades or onger.

    Well I think that is a very fair point. And I have always encouraged ID proponents to support and participate in doing research that bolsters ID. And when ID can answer some of the questions then it might become a better explanation.

    I will not waste anyone’s time attempting to debate OoL. I prefer to remain agnostic to all OoL arguments until I have more and better understanding of the issues. You might say I’m ducking the issue but I don’t want to waste anyone’s time with pointless, ill-considered comments.

  209. clavdivs:

    The criticism is that ID is not explanatory because it doesn’t add to knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations.

    The SAME criticism applies to evolutionism, ie the ToE.

  210. Jerad,

    Evolutionism isn’t an explanation for anything. So yes saying something was designed would be a better explanation for its existence than saying “it just is”.

  211. Joe,

    Evolutionism isn’t an explanation for anything. So yes saying something was designed would be a better explanation for its existence than saying “it just is”.

    I think evolutionary theory does more than just say: it just is. But we can disagree on that as we have done in the past.

    I think I’ve learned some things and cleared up some of what I was thinking so enough for today!!

  212. Joes @ 209

    CLAVDIVS: The criticism is that ID is not explanatory because it doesn’t add to knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations.

    Joe: The SAME criticism applies to evolutionism, ie the ToE.

    So you agree the criticism applies to ID.

    Which is exactly what Jerad has been saying all along.

    Cheers

  213. clavdivs @179:

    I actually can’t think of anything I’m reasonably certain is an artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how and when it was made.

    I’m guessing you’re neither an archaeologist nor married to one. :)

    I didn’t say anything about when.

    Do you have any examples in mind?

    The Smithsonian has numerous such.

  214. gpuccio @183:

    Excellent post.

    I was trying to get Jerad to that point, step by step. :)

    It’s seems we’ve at least reached a).

    “Design” can be a valid scientific inference even in the absence of information about ‘the designer(s)’.

    And maybe even b).

    Once you’ve reached a design inference then you can start asking questions. But until such an inference has been made, such questions are just a tad premature.

    See Jared tacit acknowledgement of such here.

    Now I’m sure you’ll pursue your own path, but my next step would be for any of these biological systems that he wants an explanation for in terms of “the designer,” what leads him to think they are even designed in the first place?

    Because unless and until there’s been a design inference, the rest is rather pointless.

  215. Jared (and others):

    First of all, I am very much surprised that you repeatedly say that ID “lack explanatory power”. That is simply a folly.

    Let’s see. We have a lot of complex information in biological beings. ID states, and shows, that the best explanation for that is a design process. Neo darwinism states, and does not in any way demonstrate, that hypothetical mechainsms can explain that.

    What you call “explanatory power” should just be the answer to a simple question: which is true?

    If biological information was designed, neodarwinism is simply wrong. Indeed, it can explain nothjing, It is simply a fairy tale.

    If biological information was designed, ID is simply stating the truth. Isn’t that “explanatory power”? In name of what foolish ideology stating the truth is not an explanation?

    That said, I go back to the questions and answers issue. One by one. I just change a little the order: Who? Where? When? Why?

    a) Who?

    This is the most crucial point, I suppose. Anyway, any attempt to answer that must come exclusively from empirical considerations. So I would say:

    a1) A conscious, intelligent, purposeful being. That is non negotiable, otherwise, there would be no design. And we have inferred design.

    a2) Possibly, some being that has not a physical body. That is not necessary, obviously. Aliens are a reasonable possibility. My point is, if beings with a physical body has been designeing througout natural history on our planet, why don’t we have some physical trace? So, I stick to my non physical being or beings. That’s interesting, because many believe that non physical beings do not exist, and many others believe the opposite. So, this is a very interesting scientific window to attempt to give some objective answer to that problem.

    a3) A crollary: we are not sure about the number of designers. IMO. many facts seem to point to more than one.

    I am afraid that we cannot say much more about the identity of the designer, at this stage. But ID has only begun its contribution to scientific thinking. You will see.

    b) Where?

    That is easy enough, First of all, on our planet, most likely. And, in particular, wherever a designed object (for example, one of the many basci protein domains for which we have inferred design) appears.

    c) When?

    Rather easy too, and even more interesting. As our designed objects are a few thousands of protein domaiins, we can trace their appearance with some resolution, and that resolution will certainly increase, as we improve our understanding of genomes, proteomes, etc.

    So, the answer is: whenever a new protein domain, or many of them, appears.

    d) Why?

    There are different levels of answer to that. There is a very universal level, such as “Why was life designed at all?”, or “What is the ultimate purpose of the designer”? That is not easy to answer, it becomes a big philosophical question however you deal with it. I would say that the main general puprose that seems to be obvious in biological design is the desire to express functions, complex and varied functions.

    But there are many lower levels of answer. The lowest of all, for our protein domains, is: “Why was this specific protein superfamily needed at this point of time, in this place”? I believe that for many protein domains, the answer would be obvious enough. The function of that protein is usually necessary to the species that exhibits it, and is usually integrated into higher levels of function. Therefore, biological design can be analyzed at various levels of integration exactly like any human design.

    I believe thses are answers, and I believe they open the way to possible more detailed andwers, that must always come from daya, and not from ideology or mere philosophy.

    Finally, I would like to comment about the starnge statement that ID is not science because it does not make predictions. That is not only false, but irritating and, to paraphrase Dawkins, stupid or evil.

    CLAUDIUS quotes a ridiculous statement from, guess who?, the University of New South Wales:

    “For a theory to be considered scientific it must be testable – either directly or indirectly – by experiment or observation. …
    Finally, a scientific theory should explain more than what is already known: it should be able to predict outcomes in novel situations.”

    This is gross and stupid propaganda. A confirmation that darwinist recur to self-created dogmatic authority becasue they have nothing else worthwhile.

    Have you ever heard of Feyerabend? Well, I don’t believe that any universal definition of science or of the scientific method exists. Whoever thinks that he has the right to decide what is science and what is not for anyone else is not credible. Metod? No. Pure propaganda, defense of one’s irrational position.

    In no way I accept those definitions. But the ridiculous thing is that, even if they were acceptable, ID woud perfectly be scientific according to them.

    ID does not make predictions? Ridiculous. First of all, both ID and neo darwinism are scientific theories that deal mainly with what happened in a distant path. They can in principle make predictions about future events: neo darwinism could predict that in a million years the human species will gradually evolve into some new species. ID could predict that at some time in the future a new specied will appear from ours by an observable input of new design. But that kind of prediction is of scarse utility, because we are scarcely able to observe those things in realistic time. That’s why predicitons about future events are not so useful for this kind of theories.

    But there is a different sense in which both theories make predictions. I would say that it is more correct to say that both theories have definite implications.

    So, we have two levels of explanatory power:

    1) Which of the two theories explains better the facts we know at this moment? (I have really no doubt about that)

    2) Which of the two theories has implications that will be confirmed by the new facts we will discover in the future? (you see the disfference, we are not dealing here with future events, but with future knowledge about what happened in the past). That cannot be established now, We must wait for the new facts.

    But, there is no doubt that the two theories have completely different implications about what happened in the past, and therefore about what we will discover in the future about that.

    The simplest of all: I have referred to a design inference for most, if not all, basic protein domains. Well, that inference is based on the evidence of dFSCI in those domains, and on the absolute lack of any support from the facts for the only non purely random mechanism ever proposed to explain them: the neo darwinian algorithm.

    So, the implications are simple: if ID is right, the new compèlex information in eack protein domain emerged by design, in a time frame that we cannot know in detail, but that is certainly incompatible with any neo darwinian explanation. There was never the infinite time necessary for even one of them to emerge in a random system of variation, and there were never functional precursors to be selected and expanded in the pertinent populations.

    Neo darwinism implies, instead, exactly the opposite: as no new intelligent information was ever inputted, each new domain must have been genearted by RV + NS, through a credible pathe of functional and selectable intermediates, each of which has been expanded in the pertinent populations.

    The more we deepen our understanding of natural history, the more our facts will support one or the other. At present, IMHO, all fact support ID, and nothing supports neo darwinism. The progress in the last two decades has brought the neodarwinain theory from a state of impossibility to a state of super impossibility. The quantity of new complex, organized, integrated, completely unexplained functional information that is discovered daily in biology is stunning.

    A very simple personal prediction, just to end: it will go on that way. Forever.

  216. clavdivs-

    The criticism isn’t valid because ID adds to our knowledge in other, more important ways. Not only that but a common design does allow us to make predictions.

  217. To all:

    I would like to paste here, form a previous post to Dr Who, an example made by me that, I believe, can be of help for one of the points discussed here. Any comment will be appreciated:

    “I think the following example will show the epistemological error in your position about ID.

    Let’s say that we receive from space, suddenly, some waves that certainly come from a ten billion light years distant object, and that those waves seem to convey some coded message.

    Let’s say that in some way we can understand the code, and that we find that the message is a very long and detailed treatise of mathemathics and astronomy. Correct in all its parts.

    So, what do you think? What can we infer?

    I say that we can safely infer that some conscious intelligent being wrote that message, having sufficient conscious power to understand it and sufficient interaction with matter to manipulate waves to write the message and send it.

    And that’s all. We can, obviously, make other hygpotheses, that aliens did it, that they may be like humans or not, but we have no empirical support for any of those things.

    And, the important point is: we have no reasonable hope to ever (in human terms) “observe” the designers.

    So, what do you say? The only scientifically correct position is to affirm that we cannot say that the treatise of mathematics and astronomy was designed by intelligent entities? Will you go on trying to find some natural explanation? Strange casual arrnagements of wave perturbations, selected by gravitational lens and other environmental fitness functions?

    I state that the design inference is the only reasonable scientific approach in such a case. Even if the designer cannot reasonably be observed or known.

    What do you think?”

  218. CLAUDIUS:

    Please, look at my posts #215 and #217. They include, I believe, some answers to you too.

  219. gpuccio@217:

    I state that the design inference is the only reasonable scientific approach in such a case. Even if the designer cannot reasonably be observed or known.

    In such a case as you describe, the design inference is actually an author inference. The encoded message is full-fledged language, meeting all the criteria of language. Moreover, we’re talking about written language in your example.

    If something is linguistic and written, then by definition we must presuppose an author, a conscious agent with the technology to make language perceptible in a form outside of the agent’s body. Your author is not merely speaking or signing, but externally documenting the speech of its mind.

    You may say that authorship is a kind of design. If so, the support for that argument would be critical. One could, I imagine, argue as well that design is actually a species of authorship, just not as communicative. In this case, you still have a significant task to show that an apparently designed object must-must-must have been the product of a conscious, technology minded agent.

    I’ve seen arguments that the FSCI metric shows just this, but I don’t know–or I’ve forgotten–to see the metric applied to specifically known designed and un-designed objects in a way that illustrates the metric’s utility.

    The other possible argument is to suggest that a designed this is in its own way linguistic. That it, it encodes the language of someone else thinking coherently about a specific topic. I think it’s a cool argument, if it could be made successfully. Personally, I don’t think it can be made successfully, but I’m willing to have my mind changed!

  220. Jerad:

    True optimal design certainly would bolster the ID inference

    How and why would it do so?

  221. Mung,

    True optimal design certainly would bolster the ID inference

    How and why would it do so?

    Actually, I’m not so sure of that anymore. I’m gonna have a think about it. I’m thinking unguided processes can create optimal design but . . . hmmm . . .

  222. LarTanner:

    In such a case as you describe, the design inference is actually an author inference.

    An author is a designer.

    In this case, you still have a significant task to show that an apparently designed object must-must-must have been the product of a conscious, technology minded agent.

    That is not how science works. If necessity and/ or chance cannot account for it and it meets the design criteria, the design inference is warranted and you proceed acordingly. You can only ignore the white elephant in the room for so long.

  223. Mung,

    I’m thinking that in very limited ways natural processes can arrive at optimal designs.

    Things like: the hexagonal tiling pattern of honeycombs. The fibonacci branching patterns of leaves on some plants.

    Situations where tinkering with some of the parameters will optimise the use of resources.

    This is not well thought out or developed so there will probably be much to criticise. I’m just thinking . . .

  224. Jerad:

    Kindly, humour us and show us the steps. At this point, it is not clear that you understand the basic math being discussed.

    Next, I have already shown why OOL is pivotal, and why OO body plans is an extension of the OOL issue. Without addressing OOL on the merits, no progress is possible.

    And, I have sufficiently identified why the power set is relevant to sampling frame.

    FYI, OOL was the focus of the very first ID technical work, 25 years ago.

    KF

  225. MrMosis,

    I missed your post earlier. I apologise. I’ll try and respond later when I have more time to make sensible replies.

  226. LT:

    Software code of algorithmic character is also observed to be the work of authors, and the relevant config spaces are such that the notion of such arising by blind chance and necessity, is utterly implausible.

    Pardon, I am following a speech in Parliament.

    KF

  227. KF:

    Kindly, humour us and show us the steps. At this point, it is not clear that you understand the basic math being discussed.

    Sorry, I’m not sure which of my posts you are referring to.

    Next, I have already shown why OOL is pivotal, and why OO body plans is an extension of the OOL issue. Without addressing OOL on the merits, no progress is possible.

    I agree OoL issues are significant. But I do not think the development of new body plans is dependent on how life got going as I consider new body plans arising from existing body plans.

    And, I have sufficiently identified why the power set is relevant to sampling frame.

    Perhaps you have and I just don’t get it. It happens. Sometimes I find your prose difficult to scan.

    FYI, OOL was the focus of the very first ID technical work, 25 years ago.

    A good place to start!! I wish I had a better handle on the issues. I was never very good at or interested in chemistry.

  228. Jerad,

    You say OoL is important, but you don’t want to discuss it.

    You say you don’t understand OoL issues and don’t like chemistry, but you ignore a conversation centered on OoL which requires only a clear mind and a few technical points – each of which can easily be verified within one sitting at a Google search engine.

    I think you’ve set up a deliberate cocoon.

  229. BA77:

    You say OoL is important, but you don’t want to discuss it.

    Correct. I have woefully weak knowledge of the issues involved.

    You say you don’t understand OoL issues and don’t like chemistry, but you ignore a conversation centered on OoL which requires only a clear mind and a few technical points – each of which can easily be verified within one sitting at a Google search engine.

    I want to be conversant with the recent research and thinking along the lines of the RNA-world hypothesis (among others). I simply haven’t taken the time to do so as of yet. I wouldn’t consider my opinion on the matter as being valuable or worth listening to. I’d just be offering dogmatic talking points which I do not want to do.

    I think you’ve set up a deliberate cocoon.

    Sort of. I’ll read the thread but I will not comment. I do not know what current research indicates nor do I have sufficient background in the chemistry involved to make meaningful contributions.

  230. KF@227

    Software code of algorithmic character is also observed to be the work of authors, and the relevant config spaces are such that the notion of such arising by blind chance and necessity, is utterly implausible.

    Perhaps, but that’s a separate issue from what gpuccio is talking about in his example.

    I have only limited coding experience, but would you say that codes, especially codes of algorithmic character, exist as themselves by themselves? Code presupposes something else to be encoded, and something else again to do encoding/decoding operations.

    So, with language there is direct presupposition of an author figure. With some code, I think one must presuppose language or some other man-made artifact(s). I can’t say that all things we could viably consider codes necessarily presuppose an author figure–a conscious, tool-using being. I can’t say this because I don’t know.

  231. Jerad:

    Pardon, but you are coming across as evasive. There is a specific calculation on the table that we would like you to set our minds at ease on by showing the steps.

    KF

  232. UprightBiped.

    Gosh, I am really sorry. I answered you but ascribed your statement to BA77.

    I really, really, really am sorry about that. My big bad.

  233. Jerad:

    This is not well thought out or developed so there will probably be much to criticise.

    well, you’re probably thinking of God as “the designer” which is why you expect ‘optimal’ design. But that has nothing to do with a design inference, so I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Whether a design is optimal or not isn’t part of the design detection process.

    If you come across an artifact and you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s designed, asking whether or not the design is ‘optimal’ would be begging the question, wouldn’t it?

  234. KF:

    Pardon, but you are coming across as evasive. There is a specific calculation on the table that we would like you to set our minds at ease on by showing the steps.

    I’ll do my best if you tell me which calculation you are referring to.

    [This is in a context where earlier today, to clarify a key point, you were asked to carry out the steps of a specific calc, to convert 2^1000 into standard form. See why I am saying you are beginning to come across as evasive? KF]

  235. Mung:

    well, you’re probably thinking of God as “the designer” which is why you expect ‘optimal’ design. But that has nothing to do with a design inference, so I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    Whether a design is optimal or not isn’t part of the design detection process.

    If you come across an artifact and you’re trying to decide whether or not it’s designed, asking whether or not the design is ‘optimal’ would be begging the question, wouldn’t it?

    Um . . . I wasn’t thinking of any of those things at all. I was trying to think through whether I thought non-directed processes could generate optimal design in a mathematical sense. And I think yes in very limited cases. Nothing to do with artefacts or ID. I’m not sure what you’re on about to be honest.

  236. LarTanner:

    Very good post.

    My comments:

    First of all, what you call authorship is a form of design. My definition of design process is more or less as follows (see also my post #5):

    a) Design is the act by which conscious intelligent beings, such as humans, represent some intelligent form and purposefully output that form into some material system. We call the conscious intelligent being “designer”, and the act by which the conscious representation “models” the material system “design”. We call the material system, after the design, a “designed object”.

    Therefore, a written book is a designed object, exactly as a storage memory with some functional software written in it is a designed object.

    The book conveys mainly meaning, the software mainly function. Both are forms of authorship, as is confirmed by the existing laws on intellectual property.

    Both meaning and function are conscious representations.

    You say:

    ” In this case, you still have a significant task to show that an apparently designed object must-must-must have been the product of a conscious, technology minded agent.”

    But that’s exactly what ID does!

    You say:

    “I’ve seen arguments that the FSCI metric shows just this, but I don’t know–or I’ve forgotten–to see the metric applied to specifically known designed and un-designed objects in a way that illustrates the metric’s utility.”

    I have written much about that topic, even in this thread. I invite you to read, some of that, for instance my posts #5 and #88 here.

    In the meantime, I would like to apply for you the concept of dFSCI to written language, just to see how it works.

    Let’s imagine that we have a material system where the letters of the alphabet are present (including spaces) as individual units, and they are mixed in a random way and can form strings. Let’s say that the system is truly random, and no specific laws determine the output. Occasionally, however, a cosncious operator can get hold of the system and write a specific output message, with specific meaning.

    Our task is to distinguish between the randomly generated strings and those generated willingly by the operator.

    Now, let’s say that the output strings are 3 characters long. The computation of FSI in that case is easy. The search space is 27^3 (I am assuming a 26 letters alphabet, plus the space symbol). That is more or less 14 bits.

    The target space is the number of three letters combinations that has sense in english. I don’t know how many they are, but it could be easily verified, because these numbers are low. Let’s say, just to discuss, that there are 1024 of them, that would be a 10 bits functional space.

    Let’s say I get the strine “are”. Now I define my specification as “any string having full sense in english language”. The functionally specified information for a meaningful three letter word, then, will be 4 bits. If we take the extreme threshold of 500 bits for dFSCI (Dembski’s UPB), no dFSCI is present in my string, although it is certainly specified. IOWs, the string “are”, in this system, is specified but not complex. I have no way to infer with safety that it was designed, that is written by the operator, and that it did not arise randomly.

    OK with that?

    Now, let’s say we have longer output strings, for instance 14 characters long. And I get the string:

    “I like walking”.

    Now, the search space is 67 bits. How big is the target space?. That is difficult to say, but I could demonstrate here (I omit that for brevity, but if you are interested I can do that later) that, as the string length grows, the search space grows much more than the target space, for a definite function. So, dFSCI must necessarily increase. That is intuitive, but it can be demonstrated.

    So, lets say that the strings of 14 characters that have full sense in english are really many, of the order of 10^15 (50 bits). That is not realistic IMO, it is too much. But we can assume it for discussion. So, now we have 67 – 50 = 17 bits of FSI. Still, no dFSCI, no design inference. THat phrase could still be random, although you will agree that we are already inclined to believe that the operator wrote it.

    Now, let’s say that we have two pages of output, that make complete sense in english and semantically. Calculating exactly the FSI becomes difficult, but as I said it can be shown that the FSI becomes necessarily greater with the growth of the string length. I am absolutely sure that with two pages of writing we are safealy beyond 500 bits of dFSCI, but in any case there is a length (be it two pages or three, or four) that must necessarily overcome that threshold.

    At that point, we can safely infer design (the operator did it), because that kind of result is by far too unlikely in a random system.

    I have applied the same reasoning to protein families, as you can read in my post #127.

    Please note that the only purpose of dFSCI is to make the output completely unlikely as the result of random variation. It tells us nothing about deterministic laws. If you want to see how these concepts can apply to a modeling of the neo darwinian system, you could maybe read my posts here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....selection/

    starting more or less at post 62 and going on to the end (but that is a lot of work :) )

    Finally, a few words about the “linguistic” problem. A protein coding gene is “linguistic”, although in a “simple” sense. It is coded by an abstract symbolic code in base four, a redundant code with 64 values. And it conveys the information for a specific protein, with a specific function.

    I understand that this is not exactly the linguistic level of complexity of Hamlet, but we have anyway a symbolic language and a symbolic meaning. I think it is very much.

    Probably, if and when we will undesrtand how the operating procedures are coded in the genome, the linguistic componente will be much more apparent, like in any complex coded software.

  237. LarTanner:

    I can’t say that all things we could viably consider codes necessarily presuppose an author figure–a conscious, tool-using being. I can’t say this because I don’t know.

    Well, I am not aware of amy example of symbolic code naturally arising without any conscious design.

  238. Jerad, kindly cf 235 above. KF

  239. To onlooker (Alan Fox) on TSZ:

    You say:

    In that case, I think you have a fundamental problem because you are defining dFSCI such that only “non-deterministic” mechanisms can create it. Just so I’m clear, do you consider evolution (random mutations of various types, differential reproductive success, neutral drift, etc.) to be deterministic? If so, dFSCI doesn’t distinguish between “designed” and “non-designed” but between “known to be designed”, “known not to be designed”, and “unknown”. And just to be further painfully clear, would you agree that deterministic mechanisms can create functional complexity of more than 500 bits, by your definition?

    I will try to be more clear. In the definition of dFSCI, the exclusion of deterministic mechanisms is meant to exclude those cases of apparent order or function that can be explained as the result of known physical laws. Indeed, in the field of digital information, that is not a common problem.

    The application of these principles to the neodarwinian algorithm, for example, can clarify the issue. The neo darwinian theory invokes two different components, acting sequencially. New informational arrangements are generated by RV (in all its forms). NS can select, fix and expand those arrangements that give a reproductive advantage, and eliminate the negative results. As we all know.

    Now, if you look at my old debate with Elizabeth that I have linked in my post #237, you can see how I apply those principles to the modeling of neo darwinian theory. But, as those posts are many, long and probably tiring, I will try to sum up here the very general concept:

    a) The concept of dFSCI applies only to the RV part. What I mean is that dFSCI tells us if some step that should happen only by RV is in the range of the probabilistic resources of the system. As I have said, 150 bits (35 AAs) are more than enough to ensure that a single step of that magnitude will never happen. Empirically, as shown by Behe, anything above 3 AAs is already in the field of the exceptional.

    b) NS instead is a special form of determinstic effect, mainly due to the properties of replication itself, and partly to environmental factors that interact with replication. dFSCI has nothing to say about NS. The modeling of the NS effect must be made separately.

    I have written many times, here and in other places, that if each basic protein domain, or at least most of them, could be deconstructed into simpler, fully selectable steps of 2-3 AAs change, or exceptionally some more, then the neo darwinian model could be a reasonable hypothesis for their emergence. Indeed, my calculations in the old thread linked show that NS has good potential to lower the probabilistic walls that make unguided evolution impossible, if and only if that deconstruction can universally take place.

    Unfortunately, as I have said, there is no theorical reason to believe or expect that comples functions are universally deconstrctable in that way. Indeed, they are not, in all our experiences.

    Empirically, it is interesting to reflect on how many possible credible selectable paths have been proposed for the emergence of the 4000 basic protein families: zero.

    So, there is no problem, neither fundamental nor trivial, for my approach. dFSCI is fundamental for the probabilistic modeling of the probabilist effects. Any deterministic effect must be evaluated for what it is, considering what it can or cannot do, when coupled with the probabilistic effect.

    To answer more explicitly some of your points:

    a) Random mutations are described probabilistically. They cannot be described deterministically (obviously, I am using here those two terms only epistemologically. It is perfectly true that random mutations are deterministically determined by the laws of biochemistry, exactly as the tossing of a coin follows the laws of mechanics). So, they are a probabilistic effect.

    b) Differential reproductive success is, definitely, a deterministic effect, and can and must be modeled as suchh, even considering some random modifications of the effect. It is, essentially, the main component of what is called NS.

    c) Neutral drift is probabilistic, just as random mutations.

    d) dFSCI + a serious evaluation of all possible deterministic effects can, together, dostinguish between:

    d1) Objects for which we cannot make a safe design inference

    d2) Objects for which we cannot do that.

    e) Regarding the last question, natural deterministic mechanisms cannot do that. Algorithms too cannot, but some clarification is needed.

    Algorithms, being designed, already contain a lot of complexity and specification. I bewlieve that no existing algorithm can create dFSCI (for example, over 500 bits) for a new specification that was never included, neither in direct or indirect form, in the programming of the algorithm.

    I will make a simple example: a software program can be planned to compute the first n decimal digits of pi. Now, as n can be made very great, the output, say for 500 digits, will have a functional complexity of 10^500 for the function of conveying the first 500 decimal digits of pi.

    Now, let’s say tha the complexity of the softwrae is less than that. It seems that the software has generated, deterministically, a lot of new dFSCI.

    But that’s not the case.

    First of all, the sequence has been geneartes algorithmically, therefore it is not dFSCI. The true dFSCI here is only that in the software, which is at the same time the true Kolmogorov complexity of the output, because the softgwrae here is a way to compress the information in the output (I apologize if my terminology is not always perfect, I am not a mathematician). So, no new dFSCI has been created beyond that in the software. Indeed, the software is designed, while the output is not (at least, not directly).

    Another consideration is of interest. Even if the output grows in complexity (although not in Kolmogorov complexity), it is important to note that the specification remains the same: to output the decimal digits of pi. That can be done with different precision, but the conceptual function is the same.

    If you are aware that an algorithm can output 500 or more bits of functional information for a completely new function, which is in no way related to what is included in the programming of the algorithm, please let me know. But I believe that DEmbski and Marks can deal with these problems better than I can.

    And anyway, GAs are designed, and their analysis in terms of hidden information is difficult. I do believe that no natural deterministic system can create 500 bits of functional information, neither randomly nor deterministically nor by any coupling of the two. Least of all the neo darwinain algorithm.

    On the contrary, intelligent search can create some complex functional information. A very good example is bottom up protein engineering, which is based on:

    a) A previous definition and understanding of the function that has to be found.

    b) Targeted variation, possibly applied to selected starting sequences.

    c) Intelligent selection of the results at each step, based on direct measurement of the function one wants to develop, even at very low and practically ineffective levels.

    That kind of algorithm can, patiently, generate functional information. And it is a deterministic algorithm that uses some random variation. But, as you can see, the function is predefined in the algorithm, and all the parts of the algorithm are deviced intelligently to measure and develop that function.

    IOWs, the situation is similar to that of the pi generating software.

    That illustartes well the power of intelligent design.

  240. Mung @ 214

    CLAVDIVS @ 179:
    I actually can’t think of anything I’m reasonably certain is an artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how and when it was made.

    Do you have any examples in mind?

    Mung @ 214:
    I’m guessing you’re neither an archaeologist nor married to one.

    I didn’t say anything about when.

    The Smithsonian has numerous such.

    Well, why didn’t you say anything about “when”? “When” is a handy thing to know if you’re trying to understand the origin of something, don’t you think?

    According to Wikipedia, the Smithsonian has over 12 miles of cabinets and over 31 million objects. Accordingly your link to their home page is not useful. Can you refer me to a specific artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how it was made?

    Cheers

  241. petrushka is having a hissy-fit:

    Then perhaps Axe or someone could demonstrate the power of intelligent selection by re-doing the Lenski experiment using intelligent selection. It should go much faster.

    The ongoing Lenski bacteria experiment? The one in which he uses artificial, ie intelligent, selection? Guess what? He started with the functional information that requires an explanation in the first place and no new multi-protein, ie irreducibly complex, machinery was constructed even under those conditions.

    Nothing that even defies YEC’s baraminology.

    Definitely desperation time over at the TSZ…

  242. Well, why didn’t you say anything about “when”?

    Because it wasn’t relevant in the context. Go back and read the exchange.

    According to Wikipedia, the Smithsonian has over 12 miles of cabinets and over 31 million objects.

    And it’s inconceivable to you that there should be even one such object among the 31 million?

    Go back and read the posts by Jerad. The point has already been made and granted. I don’t feel at all obligated to go through it again just to please you.

    If you’re really interested I suggest you pose your question to the Smithsonian. It is, after all, a publicly funded institution.

  243. Mung @ 243

    MUNG @ 169: Are there any artifacts that you are aware of that meet the following criteria: …
    3. You don’t know how it was made. …
    6. Yet you’re still reasonably certain it is in fact a designed artifact.

    CLAVDIVS: Interesting question. I actually can’t think of anything I’m reasonably certain is an artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how and when it was made.

    Do you have any examples in mind?

    MUNG: The Smithsonian has numerous such.

    CLAVDIVS: According to Wikipedia, the Smithsonian has over 12 miles of cabinets and over 31 million objects. … Can you refer me to a specific artifact where we don’t have some clues as to how it was made?

    MUNG: And it’s inconceivable to you that there should be even one such object among the 31 million?

    No. I’m just not aware of any such object, and you have not pointed to any examples.

    So the position still stands that in every case where we are reasonably certain an artifact was designed, there are some clues as to how it was made.

    This undercuts your point that archaeologists infer design without knowing how something was made. The true situation is that archaeologists do have clues about how something was made, and those clues are essential to their design inference.

    Cheers

  244. gpuccio @ 216

    Thanks for the response.

    CLAUDIUS quotes a ridiculous statement from, guess who?, the University of New South Wales:
    “For a theory to be considered scientific it must be testable – either directly or indirectly – by experiment or observation. …
    Finally, a scientific theory should explain more than what is already known: it should be able to predict outcomes in novel situations.”

    Well, I live in Sydney, UNSW is one of the top 50 universities in the world, and its statement on ID appears representative of similar statements from “the Academy” which we’ve been discussing.

    This is gross and stupid propaganda. A confirmation that darwinist recur to self-created dogmatic authority becasue they have nothing else worthwhile. …
    In no way I accept those definitions. But the ridiculous thing is that, even if they were acceptable, ID woud perfectly be scientific according to them.

    Whether you, personally, are convinced ID is scientific is irrelevant. The ones who need to be convinved are the hundreds of international, multi-cultural, multi-faith scientific societies and their publishing editors. Currently they’re not convinced, and I’m just pointing out the reason they give.

    The reason is not that the design inference is false or unjustified. False hypotheses can be part of science, after all. The reason is that, even if the design inference is true, doesn’t add to our knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations.

    As I already pointed out, the logic of this is very simple. Predicting an outcome means discovering a predictable mechanism. However, ID’s proposed mechanism is an unpredictable intelligent agent. QED.

    Cheers

  245. KF:

    In comment 207 I admitted I made a mistake in the calculation. I shall go through the correct derivation

    2^1000 = (2^100)^10 = (1.267650 x 10^30)^10 = (1.267650^10) x (10^300)

    = 10.715 x 10^300 = 1.0715 x 10^301

    Although all are actually approximately equals because the first result is rounded.

  246. Claudius:

    The reason is not that the design inference is false or unjustified. False hypotheses can be part of science, after all. The reason is that, even if the design inference is true, doesn’t add to our knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations.

    This is of course being confidently asserted at the very time when a major case of ID prediction is being confirmed. Namely, that the darwinism inspired notion that held sway for decades, the predominance of Junk dna in the genome, is collapsing as we speak.

    Similarly, you seem to think that the collection of august bodies dominated by ideological evolutionary materialism and announcing that they are using that position to denounce as “unscientific” — often on utterly irresponsible strawman tactic and even slanderous distortions — a view that calls that ideological censorship into question, speaks volumes. So does your source, an ideologically dominated encyclopedia speaking in a willfully distorting hatchet job of an article.

    So long as genuine science is concerned to seek the truth about our world as an important value, the question of inference to design on empirically reliable sign will be an inherently scientific one. And that actually holds whether or not there are such signs, as the question raises the context of empirical investigations and associated analysis to test such. And in fact, the routine answer to it — save when evolutionary materialism weighs in with worldview level question-begging demands — is that there are many such signs that are routinely used in pure and applied scientific contexts, even in literally life and death ones. The firewall around the injection of evolutionary materialism in origins studies speaks for itself [notice FIVE examples from science, phil of sci and associated sci edu] as a sorry example of the corruption of science in our day by ideology.

    KF

  247. CLAVDIVS:

    So the position still stands that in every case where we are reasonably certain an artifact was designed, there are some clues as to how it was made.

    This undercuts your point that archaeologists infer design without knowing how something was made. The true situation is that archaeologists do have clues about how something was made, and those clues are essential to their design inference.

    I would go further and say that there are times the design inference is not made UNTIL there is some plausible way AND REASON it would have been manufactured.

    I have been on several digs where I thought I found something that was man-made. I am familiar with some of the criteria used to decided if some item is an actual artefact. Context is by far the most important first issue. That is: what soil level was it found it? You cannot do archaeology without understanding stratigraphy. For example the corpse of a chicken means nothing unless it’s at the base of a posthole or it’s clearly been arranged in a particular configuration.

    I’m not sure you’d call an arranged chicken corpse ‘designed’ but it’s clearly been affected by human beings.

  248. KF:

    Good enough then?

  249. Carl Zimmer has an article on his blog, The Loom, about a new paper published by Dr Lenski’s E. coli research group. They’ve gone back and partly figured out how some of their bacteria developed the ability to digest citrate. Really interesting.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine......he+Loom%29

  250. Jerad:

    Red herring and strawman.

    There are any number of possible and in some cases actual artifacts that we are confident of as artifacts where we have no clue how and why they were made. If I speak into a voice recognition package, or flick banks of switches to form ASCII characters or type with a rod in my mouth or whatever makes little difference to the fact that I have intelligently produced the text of this post.

    But more to the point, the matter is distractively tangential — again — to the matter at stake. It is an evasion, again.

    In brief, we have observed a sign, FSCO/I that is a reliable sign of design as cause, per billions of test cases all around us, or that we make even as we produce posts in this thread. Further, per the search/config space challenge, once we see FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits we can be highly confident that the search resources of our solar system or observed cosmos are grossly inadequate to do more than such a small sample of the space, that we can — per needles and haystacks — only reasonably expect such a sample to pick up the bulk of the possibilities, which will overwhelmingly be non-functional.

    So, when we see FSCO/I, we have good reason to infer to design as cause.

    To counter this, what is needed is to produce a case where on reliable observation, FSCO/I is produced by chance and/or necessity without design. Which obviously is highly missing.

    And BTW, the Lenski case is exactly a case of incremental change within an island of function, and one that is actually questionable given known redundancy and known adaptation mechanisms in life forms. As you have been informed but have obviously ignored, the point of the design inference is how we get TO such islands of function. A relatively minor variation of a bacterium under artificial conditions of selection pressure, is not an answer to the question of how we get from Darwin’s pond or equivalent to bacteria in the first place. Or, onwards from bacteria or the like to the major body plans of multicellular creatures.

    We see, here again the pattern of gross extrapolation to the point of probable hasty generalisation, from minor results. What makes such seem to be substantial evidence is the establishment of a prior assumption that macroevo per Darwin or the like MUST be so, so any little hint is hailed as grand proof of the narrative. Philip Johnson’s rebuke to Lewontin et al is apt:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    It is cases like this which are why I took time yesterday to point you to OOL, as the usual side tracks are not available there. You ducked, showing that you are really here to defend a fixed position rhetorically rather than to warrant it.

    Going further, I have repeatedly asked you to do a simple thing that would assure us that you do understand the mathematics involved in calculating these spaces.

    You have ducked, even now you duck, you are using a calculator result and scaling it up.

    Let me show you in brief:

    lg x^n = n. lg x. = aaa.bbb

    aaa + 0.bbb –> [10^0.bbb] * 10^aaa

    (This allows us to go well beyond the range of hand calculators or computers.)

    I suggest that you look at the three main issues just outlined very carefully, before dismissing the reasoning of those who hold that FSCO/I is a reliable sign of design as material cause, that 500 – 1,000 bits of FSCO/I is a good threshold beyond which it is clear that design is best cause, and that the design inference is a well grounded, empirically based scientific argument.

    KF

  251. KF:

    And BTW, the Lenski case is exactly a case of incremental change within an island of function, and one that is actually questionable given known redundancy and known adaptation mechanisms in life forms.

    Well, it showed that new traits can be generated partly by a process of gene duplication and mutation. So some new information was generated.

    And BTW, the Lenski case is exactly a case of incremental change within an island of function, and one that is actually questionable given known redundancy and known adaptation mechanisms in life forms.

    I’m just trying to address the issues involved with proliferation of life after the arrival of a basic replicator. You don’t have to argue with me if you don’t want to.

    Going further, I have repeatedly asked you to do a simple thing that would assure us that you do understand the mathematics involved in calculating these spaces. You have ducked. That tells us that you duck because you most likely do not have the level of capacity to really address the matters on merits.

    In comment 246 I thought I had carried out the calculation you asked for. I guess if that’s not it you’ll have to be more specific.

    I have already agreed with you that a random search of the configuration space for 1000 bit sequences is extremely unlikely to find viable sequences. But that’s not what the modern evolutionary synthesis is saying so I don’t know why you keep bringing it up. New body plans are not just poofed into existence, they come from gradual modifications of previous life forms. The first life form would have been very, very simple. And it only had to come about once in order for the process to get started.

  252. Jerad:

    Predictably, you have ducked out on a tangent — it is more easy for you to run off on another gross extrapolation game than to address the real case, OOL, and BTW, I was composing in steps, using the edit capacity I have as thread owner (It is considerably easier than the alternative). I do note I saw that you have tried after initial composition, but unfortunately a still inadequate attempt.

    KF

  253. Jerad:

    I’m just trying to address the issues involved with proliferation of life after the arrival of a basic replicator.

    This is exactly a case of massive question-begging, where the arrival of the von Neumann code based replicator facility based on coded stored digital information goes to the heart of the matter. It also allows you to duck the pivotal issue, where does FSCO/I come from.

    That speaks volumes.

    As to the idea that you come into my living room, then decide to take the conversation off the subject set for discussion and suggest that if you do not like derailing then tough, you can butt out and allow the side tracking of an important topic to proceed, that speaks further volumes.

    Remember, this thread is about a case of a canard that the design inference is a default assumption, i.e a question-begging.

    After 250 comments, there has been no-one who has successfully justified that claim, just the usual attempts to attack attack attack and distract distract distract, refusing to address matters on merits. That speaks volumes also.

    So does the fact that here you are wanting to beg the question of the origin of a code based self replication facility, as though that is irrelevant to the reason why design thinkers hold that FSCO/I per empirical investigation and linked analysis, is a reliable sign of design as cause.

    And of course, lo and behold, every cell based life form has sitting in its cells: a vNSR.

    So, we have a case of the sign right there in every cell.

    KF

  254. Jerad:

    Carl Zimmer has an article on his blog, The Loom, about a new paper published by Dr Lenski’s E. coli research group. They’ve gone back and partly figured out how some of their bacteria developed the ability to digest citrate. Really interesting.

    Does Carl Zimmer tell his audience that what Lenski found is in line with baraminology and in no way supports evolutionism?

  255. Jerad:

    Well, it showed that new traits can be generated partly by a process of gene duplication and mutation.

    How was it determined that gene duplication followed by function changing mutation is a blind and undirected chemical process?

    Ya see the point of ID and the OoL is that if loving organisms were designed then living organisms were also designed to evolve/ evolved by design. It is only if blind and undirected processes produced life can one say that all genetic change is also via blind and undirected chemical processes.

  256. from Jerad’s link:

    The Birth of the New, The Rewiring of the Old
    Excerpt: As one cell in Lenski’s flask divided, it duplicated its DNA with one fateful mistake. It accidentally copied the citT twice. ,,,

    While citT remained silent in the other bacteria in the flask, in the mutant cell, it switched on. The microbe began sticking citrate transporters on its surface and started drawing in the molecule. This mutation must have occurred by generation 31,500, when Blount found the earliest citrate eaters. The mutation was a crude hack; it produced a microbe that could draw in a little citrate, but not a lot. It still had to feed on glucose to get by.

    ,,,life got better for the feeble citrate eaters. They copied the citT gene, along with its oxygen-switch promoter. Now the bacteria could make even more CitT channels, and thus pull in even more citrate. The bacteria made a third copy, and could pull in even more.,,
    http://blogs.discovermagazine......he+Loom%29

    Well should we call this a successful prediction for ID?

    Multiple Mutations Needed for E. Coli – Michael Behe
    Excerpt: As Lenski put it, “The only known barrier to aerobic growth on citrate is its inability to transport citrate under oxic conditions.” (1) Other workers (cited by Lenski) in the past several decades have also identified mutant E. coli that could use citrate as a food source. In one instance the mutation wasn’t tracked down. (2) In another instance a protein coded by a gene called citT, which normally transports citrate in the absence of oxygen, was overexpressed. (3) The overexpressed protein allowed E. coli to grow on citrate in the presence of oxygen. It seems likely that Lenski’s mutant will turn out to be either this gene or another of the bacterium’s citrate-using genes, tweaked a bit to allow it to transport citrate in the presence of oxygen. (He hasn’t yet tracked down the mutation.),,, If Lenski’s results are about the best we’ve seen evolution do, then there’s no reason to believe evolution could produce many of the complex biological features we see in the cell.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....or-e-coli/

    supplemental note:

    Is gene duplication a viable explanation for the origination of biological information and complexity? – December 2010 –
    Excerpt: The totality of the evidence reveals that, although duplication can and does facilitate important adaptations by tinkering with existing compounds, molecular evolution is nonetheless constrained in each and every case. Therefore, although the process of gene duplication and subsequent random mutation has certainly contributed to the size and diversity of the genome, it is alone insufficient in explaining the origination of the highly complex information pertinent to the essential functioning of living organisms. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2011
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....5/abstract

  257. UB:

    You are spot on!

    This Lenski affair is clearly a (very interesting!) tweaking of regulation of existing funtions, in the presence of extreme environmental stimuli. Moreover, it is probably adaptational in nature (something bacteria are very good at), and therefore probably helped by existing algorithmic information (in line with what has been recently outlined in the thread about “guided evolution”.

    But, obviously, our friends in the other field will acclaim the evolution in action and the dFSCI generation by unguided mechanisms!!!!

  258. CLAUDIUD (#245):

    Whether you, personally, are convinced ID is scientific is irrelevant. The ones who need to be convinved are the hundreds of international, multi-cultural, multi-faith scientific societies and their publishing editors.

    Thank you for this nth statement in favour of conformist thought. However, I beg to disagree with that. You see, the fact that I am personally convinced that ID is scientific is very relevant to me. I am, definitely, a minority guy, and in the ultimate sense I rely only on the opinion of that tiny minority that is myself.

    And I have no need to convince anyone, least of all a crowd of ideologically biased scientists. I can only make arguments for what I believe (good arguments, I hope). Those who are unbiased may well take them into consideration, if they like.

    The best for you.

  259. Alan Fox sez:

    But, gpuccio, do you not see that Lenski was only manipulating the environment? The environment in this case, as in life in general, is the designer. Lenski provided the empty niche. Eventually a lucky mutant ended up and flourished in that niche. Selection is not random.

    How did it show that natural selection is not random seeing he used artificial selection throughout the experiment?

  260. KF:

    In 188 above you calculated 2^1000 and got 1.07*10^301. When I did the calculation (after admittedly screwing up) in 246 I wrote down an answer of 1.0715 x 10^301 which is the same as yours if I round to three significant figures. In fact, because while I wrote down rounded intermediate answers I let my calculator carry more than three significant figures my answer would be more than three significant figures in accuracy.

    In 251 you wrote:

    lg x^n = n. lg x. = aaa.bbb

    aaa + 0.bbb –> [10^0.bbb] * 10^aaa

    Now, lg is not standard mathematical notation for a logarithm. log is used for base 10 logarithms and ln is used for base e logarithms. The power rule you utilise works for both of course but which one you are using isn’t clear. But I’ll use log since you later take a result and raise 10 to that power. Following your procedure for 2^1000:

    log(2^1000) = 1000xlog2 = 301.02999566 (approx)

    301+0.02999566 -> 10^0.02999566×10^301 = 1.0715 x 10^301 (approx)

    Which, again is the same rounded to three significant figures. Which is not surprising since log and 10^ are inverse functions of each other.

    Anyway, I don’t get your point about my way of doing the calculation. I can do it on a slide rule if you’d rather.

    Predictably, you have ducked out on a tangent — it is more easy for you to run off on another gross extrapolation game than to address the real case, OOL, and BTW, I was composing in steps, using the edit capacity I have as thread owner (It is considerably easier than the alternative). I do note I saw that you have tried after initial composition, but unfortunately a still inadequate attempt.

    You can talk about OoL all you want but I shall refrain owning to my lack of understanding of the chemistry. And as my calculation agreed with yours to three significant figures then I don’t understand your last sentence.

    This is exactly a case of massive question-begging, where the arrival of the von Neumann code based replicator facility based on coded stored digital information goes to the heart of the matter. It also allows you to duck the pivotal issue, where does FSCO/I come from.

    I don’t know how the initial replicator came about but it would have been fairly small in the amount of ‘code’ it contained.

    As to the idea that you come into my living room, then decide to take the conversation off the subject set for discussion and suggest that if you do not like derailing then tough, you can butt out and allow the side tracking of an important topic to proceed, that speaks further volumes.

    Fine with me.

  261. Joe,

    Does Carl Zimmer tell his audience that what Lenski found is in line with baraminology and in no way supports evolutionism?

    I rather doubt it.

    How was it determined that gene duplication followed by function changing mutation is a blind and undirected chemical process?

    Well, if you think the mutations are being guided or determined by some other process or information store then it’s up to you to find that process or store of information and show how it affects what appears to be random mutations. But, as it only happened in one line of E.coli even though all initial lines came from the same source I would think that might prove a bit difficult.

    Ya see the point of ID and the OoL is that if loving organisms were designed then living organisms were also designed to evolve/ evolved by design. It is only if blind and undirected processes produced life can one say that all genetic change is also via blind and undirected chemical processes.

    Well, it E.coli was designed to evolved based on some plan or information source then where is it?

  262. To Alan Fox:

    I am afraid you miss the points I made, and misrepresent other points.

    a) The environment is no designer by definition. And it is not even the first cause of the adaptation. The adaptation starts in the bacteria themselves, in the information that allows them to replicate, to have a metabolism, and to exploit the environment for their purposes. Obviously, cahnges in the environment, especially extreme changes as those Lenski implemented, stimulate adaptation.

    b) That adaptaion is a tweaking of the existing regulation of existing function. No new biochemical function is created. We can discuss if the adaptation is only the result of RV + NS (possible), or if it exploits adaptive deterministic mechanisms inherent in the bacterial genome (more likely). However, no new complex information is created.

    c) NS is not random, obviously. It is a deterministic consequence of the properties of the replicator (replication itself, metabolism, and so on) interacting with environmental properties. The environment changes are usually random in regard to the replicator functions (because they are in no way aware of the replicators, except in the case of competition with other replicators). Anyway, the environment has no idea of what functions can or should be developed, so it is random in that sense. The environmental changes made by Lenski are not really random (he certainly had some specific idea of the possible implications), but I can accept that they are practically random for our purposes.

    What we observe in Lenski’s experiment is true RV + NS OR true adaptation. I don’t think we can really distinguish, at present. Anyway, it is not design. And indeed, the result has not the characteristic of new design.

    d) NS is different from IS (intelligent selection, but only in one sense, and in power:

    d1) Intelligent selection (IS) is any form of selection where a conscious intelligent designer defines a function, wants to develop it, and arranges the system to that purpose. RV is used to create new arrangements, where the desired function is measured, with the maximum possible sensitivity, and artificial selection is implemented on the base of the measured function. Intelligent selection is very powerful and flexible (whatever Petruska may think). It can select for any measurable function, and develop it in relatively short times.

    d2) NS is selection based only on fitness/survival advantage of the replicator. The selected function is one and only one, and it cannot be any other. Moreover, the advantage (or disdvantage, in negative selection) must be big enough to result in true expansione of the mutated clone and in true fixation of the acquired variation. IOWs, NS is not flexible (it selects only for a very tiny subset of possible useful functions) and is not poweful at all (it cannot measure its target function if it is too weak).

    Those are the differences. And believe me, they are big differences indeed.

    By the way, just to tease Petrushka a little, it is perfectly possible to implement IS that works exactly like NS: we only need to measure reproductive fitness as our desired function. That’s exactly what Lenski did. Lenski’s experiment is, technically, an example of intelligent selection that aims to imitate, as much as possible, NS (which is perfectly fine).

  263. Jerad:

    I would go further and say that there are times the design inference is not made UNTIL there is some plausible way AND REASON it would have been manufactured.

    So? There’s no reason to believe that is the case for EVERY artifact, which is what clavdis seems to think.

    Mung:

    You don’t know what it is for and you don’t know why it was made.

    Jared:

    Yup, lots.

    Mung:

    You don’t know how it was made.

    Jared:

    Sometimes.

    Jared:

    Well, it E.coli was designed to evolved based on some plan or information source then where is it?

    I suggest you look at instances of E.coli.

  264. Mung:

    I suggest you look at instances of E.coli.

    Nah, I’ll leave that up to Joe, he’s the one who thinks there is some additional programming code/information hidden in cells somewhere.

    the important thing to remember about archaeological artefacts is no one is happy leaving how, why and when questions hanging. Even if there is very little data to work with it’s always fair to ask those questions and to speculate. If we know what we’d find when we dig we wouldn’t have to dig so there’s always lots of speculation. I just can’t figure out why ID proponents seem so reluctant to do the same.

    PS why do you spell my name two different ways? Just curious.

  265. Jerad:

    I’m here all on my lonesome. Obviously I don’t understand ID well or I wouldn’t be asking questions!!

    Oh. So you want to understand ID?

    I hope I’m not the only one here that needed a laugh.

    And I want to understand Islam. But I only want to talk about Muslims killing other Muslims.

    Or about Muslims killing Jews. Yeah, I can talk about that to.

    Or about Muslims killing Christians. Sure, I am willing to talk about that too.

    Oh, and I am not really all that familiar with the Koran and wouldn’t want to display my ignorance, so no, I won’t talk bout that.

  266. Jerad:

    PS why do you spell my name two different ways? Just curious.

    Jared is much more common than Jerad and it’s the natural inclination when typing to type Jared. I’ve tried hard to not make that mistake and as far as I can tell I’ve only done so on two previous occasions. But a quick search on Jared in this thread will show you that I’m not alone.

    It was repeated in that particular post due to copy and paste.

  267. Jerad as programming in e-coli

    a graph comparing the Transcription Regulation network in e-coli to a programming Call Graph for a Linux computer operating system is at the beginning of the following video.

    What Is The Genome? It’s Certainly Not Junk! – Dr. Robert Carter – video – (Notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8905583

  268. GP: Excellent as usual. I just thought I would steal a moment in a seminar on national culture to say that. KF

  269. Jerad:

    I must steal another moment even as a PS speaks.

    lg is not standard mathematical notation for a logarithm. log is used for base 10 logarithms

    Actually, lg IS a standard abbreviation for base ten, Briggsian logs. That is why I specifically used it, as I would have used ln for base e and lb for base 2. (Cf here for ISO on this.)

    KF

  270. Mung,

    I’m not bothered by the mis-spellings really. I just wondered as you used two different ones.

    Oh. So you want to understand ID?

    And the community that finds it a better explanation of life than the modern evolutionary hypothesis. There’s a lot of animosity and it would be good to reduce that I think. I find it easier to talk and work with someone I understand and respect.

    And, as I’ve said before, the amount we have in common gets lost when we let some issues become so divisive. I hear lots of ID people claiming they are scorned and ridiculed by ‘Evos’ and I wanted to avoid that. And I wanted to hear about ID ‘from the horse’s mouth’ so to speak. And then I could ask questions and argue points and see better where the differences lie. It’s pretty simple really.

    Would you rather I trusted Dr Dawkins and Wikipedia to tell me about ID? Or is the real point that you’re doubting my motives?

    I hope I’m not the only one here that needed a laugh.

    Oh, I guess you answered that already.

  271. KF:

    Actually, lg IS a standard abbreviation for base ten, Briggsian logs. That is why I specifically used it, as I would have used ln for base e and lb for base 2. (Cf here for ISO on this.)

    Wow, I’ve never seen those before!! How interesting. Thanks for the heads-up and I certainly stand corrected on that point!!

    I taught undergraduate math in America for over 10 years and I’ve been working with advanced high school kids in England for the past couple of years and I hadn’t seen that notation before. But I have now! And I shall remember!!

  272. And let’s not forget this largely unheralded result from Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations (which is approx. equivalent to a million years in human evolution), which was completely antagonistic to the thought that Darwinian processes could build any novel functional genes/proteins, such as ones with the ability to digest citrate from scratch in the first place:

    Mutations : when benefits level off – June 2011 – (Lenski’s e-coli after 50,000 generations)
    Excerpt: After having identified the first five beneficial mutations combined successively and spontaneously in the bacterial population, the scientists generated, from the ancestral bacterial strain, 32 mutant strains exhibiting all of the possible combinations of each of these five mutations. They then noted that the benefit linked to the simultaneous presence of five mutations was less than the sum of the individual benefits conferred by each mutation individually.
    http://www2.cnrs.fr/en/1867.htm?theme1=7

    New Research on Epistatic Interactions Shows “Overwhelmingly Negative” Fitness Costs and Limits to Evolution – Casey Luskin June 8, 2011
    Excerpt: In essence, these studies found that there is a fitness cost to becoming more fit. As mutations increase, bacteria faced barriers to the amount they could continue to evolve. If this kind of evidence doesn’t run counter to claims that neo-Darwinian evolution can evolve fundamentally new types of organisms and produce the astonishing diversity we observe in life, what does?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47151.html

  273. Mung: So you want to understand ID?

    Jerad:

    And the community that finds it a better explanation of life than the modern evolutionary hypothesis.

    How many times must we say this?

    Modern evolutionary theory does not explain life. It doesn’t even try.

    And the community that finds it (ID) a better explanation of life than the modern evolutionary hypothesis.

    Except you refuse to discuss OOL. And therefore you refuse to discuss what ID has to offer in the way of an explanation for life.

    So in at least one area in which evolution has no answer and ID claims to offer one, you’re not willing to go there.

    Bizarre.

    So your claim rings pretty hollow.

  274. KF:

    Thank you. Your kindness is appreciated :) .

  275. Jerad:

    It’s not that we purposefully want to doubt your real intentions, but certainly your style in the discussion is not always compatible with a sincere desire to understand (even without agreeing or accepting). Just as an example, why haven’t you commented on the many points I make (to you) in my post #216, even if only to refute them? Is it only because I mispelled your name there? Just to know…

  276. gpuccio-

    Alan Fox has an email from Lenski stating it is an example of natural selection because he sez so- even though the selection is totally artificial. Not only that NS requires the mutations be random/ chance events, yet that has not been determined.

  277. Mung:

    How many times must we say this?

    Modern evolutionary theory does not explain life. It doesn’t even try.

    You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. Perhaps it would be good if we learned to accommodate each other?

    Except you refuse to discuss OOL. And therefore you refuse to discuss what ID has to offer in the way of an explanation for life.

    So in at least one area in which evolution has no answer and ID claims to offer one, you’re not willing to go there.

    Bizarre.

    So your claim rings pretty hollow.

    Well, I think many ID proponents who partially accept common descent, like Dr Behe, will find there’s lots to discuss about speciation AFTER the OoL. And that’s the part I feel more qualified to discuss.

    Could we please all just get one thing straight: I’m not trying to prove or disprove ID. I’m trying to understand it. I”m being vilified for not discussing aspects I’m not educated in. Well . . . what do you want? Do you want me to make sweeping statements about things I’m not qualified to discuss? Do you want me to make assertions I cannot sustain? Is that how science progresses?

    I will not tell others about something I am not well versed in. I will not impose my opinion when that opion is based purely on dogma or a predetermined viewpoint. I won’t. And I would have assumed that here I would find people sympathetic to that stance.

  278. gpuccio,

    It’s not that we purposefully want to doubt your real intentions, but certainly your style in the discussion is not always compatible with a sincere desire to understand (even without agreeing or accepting). Just as an example, why haven’t you commented on the many points I make (to you) in my post #216, even if only to refute them? Is it only because I mispelled your name there? Just to know…

    I do apologise if I’ve slighted you. I am constantly aware that I am allowed to participate in this forum on the good graces of the moderators who, in the past (it’s fair to say) have banned commentators for not playing by their perceptions of the rules.

    So, that means that:

    Sometimes I am not going to respond if I think I’ve already made my point clear and to do so again would appear to be aggressive behaviour.

    Sometimes I am not going to respond if I feel that doing so would just reiterate a point that has been made many time in the past.

    And, sometimes, I am not going to respond if I think that I am merely being set up for ridicule and derision.

    I will now go back and reread your post to see if I have any meaningful and original comments to make about it. Please don’t take it personally. I am honestly trying to keep discussions here clean and worthwhile. And not about me.

  279. Jerad,

    Mung: Modern evolutionary theory does not explain life. It doesn’t even try.

    Jerad: You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.

    When faced with discussing the material requirements for OoL, you maintained that you were only comfortable speaking about issues that took place after OoL.

    Apparently you are now comfortable enough to suggest that ToE actually explains OoL.

    So tell us how ToE, which requires recorded information in order to exist, produced the system of recorded information required for its existence.

    Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen?

  280. …or that a fair question to ask?

  281. Jerad:

    I”m being vilified for not discussing aspects I’m not educated in.

    Leaving aside whether you’re being vilified at all, it’s the unwillingness to discuss that’s the issue. It’s a one-way street with you.

    How much did you know about the whale pelvis before you knew nothing about the whale pelvis? But you managed to learn about it by not being willing to discuss it?

    Do you want me to make sweeping statements about things I’m not qualified to discuss? Do you want me to make assertions I cannot sustain? Is that how science progresses?

    Straw-man. straw-man. red herring. That demonstrates a certain lack of intellectual honesty.

    To a lot of folks it probably looked like you didn’t know what you were talking about when you brought up the whale pelvis.

    How much do you really know about giraffe evolution and development?

    What, specifically, are you qualified to discuss?

    Any aspect of evolutionary theory? Only things that you think cause a problem for ID?

    Have you ever heard of the cost of selection?

  282. gpuccio,

    If biological information was designed, ID is simply stating the truth. Isn’t that “explanatory power”? In name of what foolish ideology stating the truth is not an explanation?

    Because it still doesn’t address why the designer picked the existing design over other viable alternatives. What was the criteria for the decision?

    a2) Possibly, some being that has not a physical body. That is not necessary, obviously. Aliens are a reasonable possibility. My point is, if beings with a physical body has been designeing througout natural history on our planet, why don’t we have some physical trace? So, I stick to my non physical being or beings. That’s interesting, because many believe that non physical beings do not exist, and many others believe the opposite. So, this is a very interesting scientific window to attempt to give some objective answer to that problem.

    Okay. Do we have evidence of non-physical beings who can and have influenced events in the past or are doing so in the present? I think we’d need to prove their existence and capabilities before we used them as explanations. Yes?

    b) Where?

    That is easy enough, First of all, on our planet, most likely. And, in particular, wherever a designed object (for example, one of the many basci protein domains for which we have inferred design) appears.

    So, give us an example? A specific example. I’m not being mean here. I’m asking you to take a stand.

    d) Why?

    There are different levels of answer to that. There is a very universal level, such as “Why was life designed at all?”, or “What is the ultimate purpose of the designer”? That is not easy to answer, it becomes a big philosophical question however you deal with it. I would say that the main general puprose that seems to be obvious in biological design is the desire to express functions, complex and varied functions.

    But there are many lower levels of answer. The lowest of all, for our protein domains, is: “Why was this specific protein superfamily needed at this point of time, in this place”? I believe that for many protein domains, the answer would be obvious enough. The function of that protein is usually necessary to the species that exhibits it, and is usually integrated into higher levels of function. Therefore, biological design can be analyzed at various levels of integration exactly like any human design.

    I believe thses are answers, and I believe they open the way to possible more detailed andwers, that must always come from daya, and not from ideology or mere philosophy.

    Well, it would be good to hear what you think those answers are from your perspective.

    1) Which of the two theories explains better the facts we know at this moment? (I have really no doubt about that)

    My question have to do with why certain configurations ended up being dominant. Are you sure design theory answers those questions?

    2) Which of the two theories has implications that will be confirmed by the new facts we will discover in the future? (you see the disfference, we are not dealing here with future events, but with future knowledge about what happened in the past). That cannot be established now, We must wait for the new facts.

    I am not a soothsayer.

    So, the implications are simple: if ID is right, the new compèlex information in eack protein domain emerged by design, in a time frame that we cannot know in detail, but that is certainly incompatible with any neo darwinian explanation. There was never the infinite time necessary for even one of them to emerge in a random system of variation, and there were never functional precursors to be selected and expanded in the pertinent populations.

    ‘We cannot know in detail’. Yet the constant cry from ID proponents is: show us in exact step-by-step detail how all this happened.

    Maybe y’all should decide what your level of proof is and then hold everyone to that same standard? Is that fair?

  283. Jerad,

    sorry, but something does not add up. I learned the different notations lg and ln from Cambridge syllabi I studied 35 or so years ago.

    KF

  284. Kf:

    sorry, but something does not add up. I learned the different notations lg and ln from Cambridge syllabi I studied 35 or so years ago.

    Well, I can only witness to my own experience. And notice that we are not substationally disagreeing on the results. And that’s the important thing surely.

  285. GP: If biological information was designed, ID is simply stating the truth. Isn’t that “explanatory power”?

    Jerad: Because it still doesn’t address why the designer picked the existing design over other viable alternatives. What was the criteria for the decision?

    Nothing embarrasses an ideologue.

  286. To Alan Fox (on TSZ):

    Well, I believe that Lenski is saying more or less what I said. I quote myself:

    “By the way, just to tease Petrushka a little, it is perfectly possible to implement IS that works exactly like NS: we only need to measure reproductive fitness as our desired function. That’s exactly what Lenski did. Lenski’s experiment is, technically, an example of intelligent selection that aims to imitate, as much as possible, NS (which is perfectly fine).”

    and:

    “What we observe in Lenski’s experiment is true RV + NS OR true adaptation.”

    IOWs, Lenski’s experiment is intelligent selection indirectly, because he set the conditions of the experiment in a non natural and non random way, but it imitates NS because differential reproduction is what is selected in the experiment. I agree that NS is the mechanism operating, in the end (that is, selection by reproductive gain).

    I have suggested, hoever, that variation in such a bacterial environment could not be completely random, but algorithmically adaptive, because of adaptive mechanisms already present in the genome. I am not saying that to criticize the experiment, but because that seems to be a recent trend on interpretation in biology.

    The fact remains that Lenski’s experiment has produced nothing that implies a design inference.

    However, thank you for this contribution.

  287. URBP:

    So tell us how ToE, which requires recorded information in order to exist, produced the system of recorded information required for its existence.

    Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen?

    I do not know how life began. I am not conversant enough in the chemical arguments to offer a meaningful reply. Your argument lies with someone else.

    I suspect the answer is a non-directed one. But that is merely an opinion. Which I shall not defend. Because I cannot do so to any kind of scientific rigour.

  288. Upright,

    …or that a fair question to ask?

    I have no idea. I’m not good at philosophy.

  289. Mung:

    Leaving aside whether you’re being vilified at all, it’s the unwillingness to discuss that’s the issue. It’s a one-way street with you.

    You want me to discuss stuff I have no good ability to explain? I can do that. What purpose would that serve? We can all just pontificate.

    At least with the theories surrounding speciation I feel I have a handle on the arguments.

    Why are you criticising me for exhibiting restraint? I would think you’d be pleased I wasn’t just toeing the party line?

    How much did you know about the whale pelvis before you knew nothing about the whale pelvis? But you managed to learn about it by not being willing to discuss it?

    How much did I know before I knew nothing? I managed to learn about it by not being willing to discuss it?

    I have read enough about the development of whales to offer an opinion. I might still be not up to the task but I thought I’d take a chance. But I’m certainly NOT up to the task of discussing OoL.

    To a lot of folks it probably looked like you didn’t know what you were talking about when you brought up the whale pelvis.

    How much do you really know about giraffe evolution and development?

    What, specifically, are you qualified to discuss?

    Any aspect of evolutionary theory? Only things that you think cause a problem for ID?

    Have you ever heard of the cost of selection?

    No one has to take me seriously. I could just be ignored. I am doing my best to be a sincere and honest commentator. Not perfect or complete in any way. I try to only offer opinions where I feel I have a good grasp on the view that I uphold.

    Are you interested in addressing the issues or attacking the messenger? What does any of this have to do with the scientific discussion?

  290. Nothing embarrasses an ideologue.

    Oh, I don’t know. Diogenes seemed perhaps just a tad bit embarrassed.

    Because it still doesn’t address why the designer picked the existing design over other viable alternatives. What was the criteria for the decision?

    And there’s even a bit of a hint in there about why design is a better explanation.

    1. Viable Alternatives.

    2. Decision/Choice among alternatives.

    Yet they will trumpet all day the power of evolution which has so few alternatives to “choose” from and extremely limited options about what qualifies as criteria for a “decision.”

    Design is always a better explanation than evolution because evolution can’t do squat without it.

  291. Jerad,

    So you make statements regardging topics you have claim to have no knowledge of, then when asked about your statements, you immediately run behind the defense that you have no knowledge of the topic.

    And to answer if this seems like odd conduct, one apparently would need to consult a philosopher.

    Great.

  292. Upright:

    Nothing embarrasses an ideologue.

    Or someone who has been completely honest and above board.

    Why are my motives becoming the issue? If I’m wrong I’m wrong. No need to attack me personally. I admit I’m not up to discussing certain scientific issues and I get cut down for it.

    I thought that was the honest and upfront thing to do. To be straight and clear. I guess I got that wrong as well.

  293. Mung:

    And there’s even a bit of a hint in there about why design is a better explanation.

    1. Viable Alternatives.

    2. Decision/Choice among alternatives.

    Yet they will trumpet all day the power of evolution which has so few alternatives to “choose” from and extremely limited options about what qualifies as criteria for a “decision.”

    Design is always a better explanation than evolution because evolution can’t do squat without it.

    Design is better because it offers more choices? More choices for who? And for what? I’m confused.

  294. Upright,

    So you make statements regardging topics you have claim to have no knowledge of, then when asked about your statements, you immediately run behind the defense that you have no knowledge of the topic.

    And to answer if this seems like odd conduct, one apparently would need to consult a philosopher.

    I dont think I have been as capricious as you imply but I’ll leave it up to you to decide and to figure out if you want to continue to talk to me. That’s up to you. If I’m not worth the effort then don’t bother.

    I get damed if I answered, damned if I don’t. I do my best to discuss the things I feel competent discussing. I can only try and be honest.

  295. Jerad:

    So, you are stating that recognizing something that is true (in my example, that the thing was designed), and incorporatin it in my scientific understanding is in no way an improvement in explanation? Is that your position?

    I suppose that going on obstinately saying that a (true) design inference cannot be part of science is helping truth and science itself? That science should be built on methodological lies? It seems strange that you think such a thing.

    (Please, remember my premise here):

    “If biological information was designed, ID is simply stating the truth. Isn’t that “explanatory power”? In name of what foolish ideology stating the truth is not an explanation?”

    Okay. Do we have evidence of non-physical beings who can and have influenced events in the past or are doing so in the present? I think we’d need to prove their existence and capabilities before we used them as explanations. Yes?

    No. The evidence is in the designed biological beings. They are evidence of a designer. Period.

    So, give us an example? A specific example. I’m not being mean here. I’m asking you to take a stand.

    At the places where we find the fossils of the Cambrian explosion, for example. OOL would be a better example, but I don’t believe that anyone at present knows exactly where it took place. Maybe we can say more in the future.

    Well, it would be good to hear what you think those answers are from your perspective.

    What do you mean? I have alredy given my perspective. Do you want me to examine the emergence of single protein domains, and try to locate them at specific times, and reason on their biological functions? You are asking too much of me. That is not my work, but the work of biologists, biochemists, and others. But I believe that my perspective on these things is clear enough.

    My question have to do with why certain configurations ended up being dominant. Are you sure design theory answers those questions?

    Yes. Design can treat the emergence of complexity as a way to express new functions in a plan. Neo darwinism, centered on mere reproductive success, cannot even begin to explain why anything more complex than prokaryotes was necessary, being prokaryotes, still today, the most successful reproducers on our planet.

    I am not a soothsayer.

    Neither am I. I was just commenting on the stupid argument that ID does not make preditions. Perhaps it is better that I quote here again my whole reasoning:

    “But there is a different sense in which both theories make predictions. I would say that it is more correct to say that both theories have definite implications.

    So, we have two levels of explanatory power:

    1) Which of the two theories explains better the facts we know at this moment? (I have really no doubt about that)

    2) Which of the two theories has implications that will be confirmed by the new facts we will discover in the future? (you see the disfference, we are not dealing here with future events, but with future knowledge about what happened in the past). That cannot be established now, We must wait for the new facts.

    But, there is no doubt that the two theories have completely different implications about what happened in the past, and therefore about what we will discover in the future about that.”

    So, what has “being a soothsayer” to do with this argument? Aren’t you evading the discussion?

    ‘We cannot know in detail’. Yet the constant cry from ID proponents is: show us in exact step-by-step detail how all this happened.

    Again, you are misinterpreting. I quote the whole paraghraphs, which follow the previously quoted:

    “But, there is no doubt that the two theories have completely different implications about what happened in the past, and therefore about what we will discover in the future about that.

    The simplest of all: I have referred to a design inference for most, if not all, basic protein domains. Well, that inference is based on the evidence of dFSCI in those domains, and on the absolute lack of any support from the facts for the only non purely random mechanism ever proposed to explain them: the neo darwinian algorithm.

    So, the implications are simple: if ID is right, the new complex information in each protein domain emerged by design, in a time frame that we cannot know in detail, but that is certainly incompatible with any neo darwinian explanation. There was never the infinite time necessary for even one of them to emerge in a random system of variation, and there were never functional precursors to be selected and expanded in the pertinent populations.

    Neo darwinism implies, instead, exactly the opposite: as no new intelligent information was ever inputted, each new domain must have been generated by RV + NS, through a credible pathe of functional and selectable intermediates, each of which has been expanded in the pertinent populations.

    The more we deepen our understanding of natural history, the more our facts will support one or the other. At present, IMHO, all facts support ID, and nothing supports neo darwinism. The progress in the last two decades has brought the neodarwinain theory from a state of impossibility to a state of super impossibility. The quantity of new complex, organized, integrated, completely unexplained functional information that is discovered daily in biology is stunning.”

    Again, I am speaking of the different implications of the two theories, of their “predictions”. The meaning is: the facts we know now are compatible with ID, and not with neodarwinism. But we don’t know many details now. We will certainlt know more in the future.

    The new details can reverse the situation, supprto neo darwinism and falsify ID. For instance, if our expanding knoledge of proteomes shows (at last) a lto of intermediate functional precursors to basic protein families (instead of none at all, as today), that will be a vicotry for neo darwinism.

    If, on the contrary, even with a constntly increasing corpus of proteomes and genomes analyzed, basic protein families continue to stand as new and rather sudden emergences of biological information, that will certainly strngthen ID, and furtherly compromise neo darwinism (if that is even possible!).

    My point is: the two theories have different implications, make different predictions about what we will find as our knowledge increases. They are both valid scientific theories, even in a Popperian sense. Only, one of the two is certainly wrong.

    We will have details, ever more details with time. And details will bring us a better understanding of what is correct, and what is pure imagination.

    Maybe y’all should decide what your level of proof is and then hold everyone to that same standard? Is that fair?

    Fair, but completely out of context here. If you have followed what I have said, your statement is completely irrelevant, and I have never said the things you believe I have said.

    The level of “proof” (not a word I like) is the same for all scientific theories: they have to be able to explain what they say they explain, and they must be supported by facts, both old and new.

    That is the only fair approach, and that is the approach I try to sollow.

  296. Jerad please quit acting as if you’ve been thrown under a bus.

    Do you know what Darwinian evolution is?

    Do you know that evolution involves recorded information in the genome?

    Do you know that it is the information recorded in the genome that evolves?

    Do you think, therefore, that evolution requires this recorded information in order to exist?

    Do you think, therefore, the capacity to record information is important to evolution?

    Do you think this capacity has material conditions that must exist?

    If evolution requires these material conditions be met in order to exist, can it be the source of meeting those conditions?

    Can a thing that does not yet exist cause something to happen?

  297. gpuccio,

    So, you are stating that recognizing something that is true (in my example, that the thing was designed), and incorporatin it in my scientific understanding is in no way an improvement in explanation? Is that your position?

    The theory that is the best explanation doesn’t just say what’s true but offers an explanation about why something came to be. many things could be the product of design or unguided evolutionary processes. Which of those explanations elucidates the back story. That’s the one with more explanatory power.

    I suppose that going on obstinately saying that a (true) design inference cannot be part of science is helping truth and science itself? That science should be built on methodological lies? It seems strange that you think such a thing.

    The design inference has not been established or accepted as a valid scientific assumption. Partly because of the methodology in establishing design. Partly because of the lack of evidence of a designer aside from the inference. Partly because the lack of definitions of the capacities, timing and motivations of the designer.

    To most people, the design inference looks like a way to force theology into science. To overcome that ID needs to establish clear, unambiguous, rigid, empirical evidential lines of argument aside from improbability of the perceived ‘enemy’ theory and a tack other than one derived from an argument from ignorance; i.e. we’ve only experience intelligence creating such things so it’s the only explanation.

    No. The evidence is in the designed biological beings. They are evidence of a designer. Period.

    Arguing that there is a designer because you think some things are designed is not valid. The modern evolutionary theory is built on more than one line of evidence not just a semantic argument. ID needs to get to that level of rigour to hope to compete.

    At the places where we find the fossils of the Cambrian explosion, for example. OOL would be a better example, but I don’t believe that anyone at present knows exactly where it took place. Maybe we can say more in the future.

    Do you really, honestly think that the fossil record is a complete and exhaustive record of all life forms that existed? Have you considered the combination of the fossil, genetic, morphologic and bio-geologic records? Are you really sure you can cover all the evidence?

    What do you mean? I have alredy given my perspective. Do you want me to examine the emergence of single protein domains, and try to locate them at specific times, and reason on their biological functions? You are asking too much of me. That is not my work, but the work of biologists, biochemists, and others. But I believe that my perspective on these things is clear enough.

    Fair enough. We’ll leave it be.

    Neither am I. I was just commenting on the stupid argument that ID does not make preditions. Perhaps it is better that I quote here again my whole reasoning:

    I don’t think I claimed that ID didn’t make predictions.

    So, what has “being a soothsayer” to do with this argument? Aren’t you evading the discussion?

    There was more to the discussion which I’m having trouble remembering at quarter to midnight my time. I apologise.

    The simplest of all: I have referred to a design inference for most, if not all, basic protein domains. Well, that inference is based on the evidence of dFSCI in those domains, and on the absolute lack of any support from the facts for the only non purely random mechanism ever proposed to explain them: the neo darwinian algorithm.

    What I am realising is that most ID proponents say there is no evidence for evolutionary theory meaning that they disagree with the evolutionary interpretation of the data which is the same for everyone. And ID proponents play on their impression of the improbability of the evolutionary model. I think now that the reason for this common assertion is because ID proponents are perfectly willing to accept a manipulative, sometimes non-material intervention in the biological process whereas mainstream science only accepts testable, measurable, definable and therefore limited explanations that are subject to repeated confirmation.

    I’m sure many here will disagree with me. But I do think it comes down to the acceptance of the transcendent that is the difference.

    And, it’s late. It’s been fun. Thanks for indulging me. I hope I haven’t overly offended anyone. Gotta go to bed now.

  298. Upright:

    If evolution requires these material conditions be met in order to exist, can it be the source of meeting those conditions?

    Can a thing that does not yet exist cause something to happen?

    Evolution as Dr Dawkins would define it is a process not a thing that can exist. It can be discerned and its results can be displayed. It is not a cause.

    Replicators replicated, imperfectly at times. They generated offspring with were different. Some of those offspring died. Some survived. Some that survived were better able to cope with the environment. They made more offspring than their siblings and thereby became dominant. No guiding force. No goal, No purpose. Just living things trying to live. Pretty simple really.

  299. Design is better because it offers more choices? More choices for who? And for what? I’m confused.

    So I’ve just come up with an analogy. Of course, the critics will just use it to claim that ID is the default, but let them come.

    We have a simple picture drawn in crayon. You’re given a choice between two explanations. A child drew the picture. An adult drew the picture. Which would you chose, and why? Which is the ‘better’ explanation for the drawing?

    We have a complicated schematic diagram drawn in ink of a recognizable electronic circuit.

    for example

    You’re given a choice between two explanations. A child drew the picture. An adult drew the picture. Which would you chose, and why? Which is the ‘better’ explanation for the drawing?

    The child is like evolution. The adult is like design.

    A child is not likely to have the knowledge and experience of electrical components and their representations. The available options for a child and the ability to make decisions concerning them are much more limited than for an adult.

    Evolution may putter around with crayons, but it ain’t no electrical engineer.

    Jerad,

    Do you at least understand the limited options available to evolution and the restricted choice? How do things evolve?

  300. You have to just love how Jerad is so willing to ask us to pontificate.

    And then complains when the answer isn’t good enough.

    And how does Jerad judge that, one wonders?

  301. Which of those explanations elucidates the back story. That’s the one with more explanatory power.

    Oh my. Jerad wants a story telling contest! The best story wins. Truth? That’s for fairytales.

    At least we now the real problem now. ID sucks at story-telling.

    Here ya go Jerad, some stories for you:

    Darwinian Fairytales

  302. Jerad:

    The design inference has not been established or accepted as a valid scientific assumption.

    Not exactly consistent with your earlier statement
    HERE

    What is a valid scientific assumption? It’s probably a good thing that ID isn’t one. We try to deal in evidence, not assumption.

  303. #300

    Okay. So now evolution is the first material process in the history of the Universe which exist without any material requirements whatsoever. It just is.

    And this profound revelation is then capped off with a reciting of the standard-issue sales pitch, happily provided to wash over yourself and ensure you don’t dare think.

    Great.

    – - – -

    Hey Jerad, no more BS about your sincerity okay? Don’ty even bring it up.

  304. petrushka asks:

    How does the designer intelligently select neutral mutations?

    Through a genetic algorithm/ targeted search, ie a built-in mechanism for responding to environmental cues, just as I told you many, many times.

  305. It is truly remarkable how Jerad is able and willing to pontificate about ID without knowing diddly squat about it.

  306. Jerad:

    Replicators replicated, imperfectly at times. They generated offspring with were different. Some of those offspring died. Some survived. Some that survived were better able to cope with the environment. They made more offspring than their siblings and thereby became dominant. No guiding force. No goal, No purpose. Just living things trying to live. Pretty simple really.

    Oh Jerad, you poor, poor soul.

    What an intellectually impoverished existence you must live.

    And so misguided. What could possibly have gotten into your brain and rotted it so?

    Perfect replication? Where on earth did that idea come from?

    Living things just trying to live? But no goals, no purpose?

    I’m not good at philosophy.

    It’s never too late to start improving.

    Maybe you’re jumping into the science before even getting the philosophy correct.

    But what about your beloved whales?

    Once, not a whale. Once not even aquatic.

    Then along came a non-purposive accidental mutation.

    And the non-whale left more offspring, maybe.

    But assume the non-whale became better adapted to it’s non-aquatic environment. And left more offspring.

    Same non-whale. Same non-aquatic environment.

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    How does that story account for the modern whale?

    Where’s all that beautiful and compelling back story?

    Jerad, what makes you competent in any of the following fields:

    Whale Embryology.
    Whale Genetics.
    Whale Morphology.
    Whale Evolution.

    haha. I love this one:

    explain the function of baleen whale parts.

    http://www.coe.uga.edu/thewhal.....index.html

    No purpose.

  307. Mung:

    Do you at least understand the limited options available to evolution and the restricted choice? How do things evolve?

    I understand that evolution has to work with existing phenotypes and generally only makes small, minor, random changes from one generation to another.

    And how does Jerad judge that, one wonders?

    I could ask you the same thing. I do not make judgements on some things, as I’ve admitted. But it seems to me that evolutionary theory has reasons for why some morphologies exist for which ID has little or no explanation.

    Oh my. Jerad wants a story telling contest! The best story wins. Truth? That’s for fairytales.

    At least we now the real problem now. ID sucks at story-telling.

    Interesting characterisation of my statement that ID lacks the same kind of explanatory power that evolution has.

    Not exactly consistent with your earlier statement

    I should have been more specific. The design inference applied to living things has not been accepted by the vast majority of biological scientists.

    Upright:

    Okay. So now evolution is the first material process in the history of the Universe which exist without any material requirements whatsoever. It just is.

    And this profound revelation is then capped off with a reciting of the standard-issue sales pitch, happily provided to wash over yourself and ensure you don’t dare think.

    Who says evolution has no material requirements? It is limited by the raw materials available.

    I never claimed to have anything original to say about evolutionary theory. People ask me questions, I try and answer them.

    Hey Jerad, no more BS about your sincerity okay? Don’ty even bring it up.

    I don’t see what your disagreeing with me has to do with my sincerity. I know you are utterly convinced you’re right and I’m wrong but it’s a bit rude to assume I’m being disingenuous.

    Mung:

    It is truly remarkable how Jerad is able and willing to pontificate about ID without knowing diddly squat about it.

    Well, I’m trying to find out about ID by asking questions and pointing out things I think it should do. You can help me out by answering questions. Like . . .

    Assuming that life is designed and therefore there is a purpose to the lifeforms we see extant then what is the purpose behind the seriously nasty bacteria (like MRSA) that are getting harder and harder to kill with antibiotics? If they weren’t intended they why were they programmed to be able to morph into people killers? And how can the design paradigm help fight them?

    Oh Jerad, you poor, poor soul.

    What an intellectually impoverished existence you must live.

    And so misguided. What could possibly have gotten into your brain and rotted it so?

    Must be all those Richard Dawkins books I read. There’s no need to be insulting.

    Perfect replication? Where on earth did that idea come from?

    Sometimes mistakes are NOT made when DNA is copied. Sometimes mistakes are made.

    Living things just trying to live? But no goals, no purpose?

    No goals beyond survival and reproduction. Everyone’s just trying to make a living.

    Once, not a whale. Once not even aquatic.

    Then along came a non-purposive accidental mutation.

    And the non-whale left more offspring, maybe.

    But assume the non-whale became better adapted to it’s non-aquatic environment. And left more offspring.

    Same non-whale. Same non-aquatic environment.

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    How does that story account for the modern whale?

    Where’s all that beautiful and compelling back story?

    I can recommend Donald Prothero’s book on fossils if you’re really interested.

    Jerad, what makes you competent in any of the following fields:

    Whale Embryology.
    Whale Genetics.
    Whale Morphology.
    Whale Evolution.

    Nothing really, which is why I tend to trust lots and lots of people who have spent years and years studying such things and come up with a fairly consistent explanation.

  308. gpuccio,

    The level of “proof” (not a word I like) is the same for all scientific theories: they have to be able to explain what they say they explain, and they must be supported by facts, both old and new.

    I agree which is why I’m asking what ID’s explanations for some life forms are. That’s fair isn’t it?

  309. Jerad:

    The theory that is the best explanation doesn’t just say what’s true but offers an explanation about why something came to be. many things could be the product of design or unguided evolutionary processes. Which of those explanations elucidates the back story. That’s the one with more explanatory power.

    This is epistemological folly. I have already answered in detail, and I will not insist any more.

    The design inference has not been established or accepted as a valid scientific assumption. Partly because of the methodology in establishing design. Partly because of the lack of evidence of a designer aside from the inference. Partly because the lack of definitions of the capacities, timing and motivations of the designer.To most people, the design inference looks like a way to force theology into science.

    IOWs, a precious and perfectly valid scientific approach is being forced out of official science and persecuted in the name of ideology. And you agree with that.

    To overcome that ID needs to establish clear, unambiguous, rigid, empirical evidential lines of argument aside from improbability of the perceived ‘enemy’ theory and a tack other than one derived from an argument from ignorance; i.e. we’ve only experience intelligence creating such things so it’s the only explanation.

    No. ID does not need to overcome anything, because ID is stating true things. It’s the others guys that need to overcome their personal and collective biases, if they want to progress.

    Arguing that there is a designer because you think some things are designed is not valid. The modern evolutionary theory is built on more than one line of evidence not just a semantic argument. ID needs to get to that level of rigour to hope to compete.

    Excuse me, but that is really funny. ID argues that there is a designer because it has a detailed and convincing theory that shows that some things are designed, not because “I think it”. Your statement makes no sense. And the moderb evolutionary theory is built on no evidence at all. That’s exactly the problem. If ID did really get to that “level of rigour”, I would immediately stop being and IDist!

    Do you really, honestly think that the fossil record is a complete and exhaustive record of all life forms that existed? Have you considered the combination of the fossil, genetic, morphologic and bio-geologic records? Are you really sure you can cover all the evidence?

    It seems that you have never read what I write here, ang go on in your discussin with stereotypes. I am not interested in the fossil record, and almost never speak of it. I always speak of the molecular levels, proteomes and genomes. That’s where the evidence lies. And, while it is true that at present we have only a sample of esisting protemes and genomes, that sample is rapidly increasing, and will certainly, in reasonable time, become “a complete and exhaustive record” of all existing biological information at present. I am also honestly cpnvinved that existing biological information has all the keys to understand past evolution.

    I don’t think I claimed that ID didn’t make predictions.

    OK. But my post #216 was titled: Jared (sic) (and others), so I was also answering that argument made by others here. And, as you commented on my answers to that without considering the context to those answers, I just reminded why I was saying those things. Moreover, in the hurry of things, I don’t always remember exactly who said what, so if I have given a false impression that you said what you did not say, I apologize. The arguments, however, remain the same.

    So, I understand that you agree that ID makes predicitons! Or did you just mean that you did not say it, but you think it? :)

    There was more to the discussion which I’m having trouble remembering at quarter to midnight my time. I apologise.

    Appreciated. Our time resources are limited, and I often suffer from that. It’s perfectly natural that what we say here is not always pèerfectly lucid, the only important thing is honesty and a want to understand and clarify.

    What I am realising is that most ID proponents say there is no evidence for evolutionary theory meaning that they disagree with the evolutionary interpretation of the data which is the same for everyone.

    That’s absolutely correct!

    And ID proponents play on their impression of the improbability of the evolutionary model.

    We don’t “play” at all. And you see, we are absolutely convinced that it is not an “impression”, but a sound scientific conclusion. The neodarwinisn model is utterly improbable and inconsistent. That is not an “impression”, but a specific judgement, based on scientific arguments, and we spend our time here giving detailed motivations of that judgement. You8 may agree or not with our arguments, if you can really understand them at a technical level, but calling our argumentss “an impression” is not fair. Just say that they are scientific arguments that, for you, are completely wrong. That is fair.

    I think now that the reason for this common assertion is because ID proponents are perfectly willing to accept a manipulative, sometimes non-material intervention in the biological process whereas mainstream science only accepts testable, measurable, definable and therefore limited explanations that are subject to repeated confirmation.

    This is almost correct. I would say that:

    “I think now that the reason for this common assertion is because ID proponents are perfectly willing to accept a manipulative, sometimes non-material intervention in the biological process as part of their map of reality, if valid scientific evidences warrant that, whereas those who are committed to a scientistic ideology, that is a pre-defined view of reality and has nothing to do with true science, only accept explanations that that are not in contrast with their predefined worldview, and purposefully build biased variations of some supposedly universal definition of science and of the scientific method that are completely ad hoc to defend their personal views, and that, in their opinion, everybody should accept as revealed truth.

    I specially like your concept of “limited explanations”. Well, explanations of the neo darwinian theory are limited indeed, being almost non existent! So, I understand why you like them so much.

    But ID too is a “limited explanation”, obviously, like all human cognition. Strangely, you seem disturbed by the “non explanatory power” of ID. I must miss something in your logic…

  310. Jerad:

    Nothing really, which is why I tend to trust lots and lots of people who have spent years and years studying such things and come up with a fairly consistent explanation.

    Well, certainly some spiritual affinity links you guys in the darwinian field. As I said to CLAUDIUS im my post #259:

    “Thank you for this nth statement in favour of conformist thought.”

  311. Jerad:

    I don’t mean to offend you, there is nothing wrong in not understanding the technical details of some arguments, but the simple question is: if you believe in darwinism only out of faith in “lots and lots of people”, why in the world you come here to “debate” about arguments that you don’t understand? To debate, one must understand, not only have faith. And it should be obvious to anyone, even only from the general context, that if we fools are here debating against neo darwinism, it’s because we do not have, in those lots and lots of people, the same faith you have.

  312. gpuccio,

    IOWs, a precious and perfectly valid scientific approach is being forced out of official science and persecuted in the name of ideology. And you agree with that.

    I think ID hasn’t made its case yet and until it does (and I welcome its proponents to do more research, make it more rigorous) then I expect it not to be taken seriously. Plate tectonics had to prove its point. Lynn Margolis spent years proving her case. ID needs to do some more work. In my opinion.

    No. ID does not need to overcome anything, because ID is stating true things. It’s the others guys that need to overcome their personal and collective biases, if they want to progress.

    I know you think ID is stating true things. I and lots of other people disagree with you. So you need to do more work to prove your point.

    Excuse me, but that is really funny. ID argues that there is a designer because it has a detailed and convincing theory that shows that some things are designed, not because “I think it”. Your statement makes no sense. And the moderb evolutionary theory is built on no evidence at all. That’s exactly the problem. If ID did really get to that “level of rigour”, I would immediately stop being and IDist!

    I would like to see a concrete, worked out example of design detection that doesn’t just end in: and that’s too improbable. I’d like to see Dr Dembski’s explanatory filter applied in a real situation.

    I find it sad that most ID proponents say: evolutionary theory is built on no evidence at all. You might disagree with the interpretation of the evidence but that doesn’t mean the theory is built on nothing. I’m accused of refusing to see the truth and yet when ID proponents make sweeping statements like ‘theres no evidence for evolutionary theory’ or ‘it’s built on smoke and mirrors’ that’s okay. Some gaps in the fossil record mean it’s a useless record or evolution. Not knowing exactly how molecular transitions have occurred and the whole theory is rubbish. Morphology . . . hey, the designer liked what he had done and decided to reuse. Same with genetics. Not sure what ID says about the geographic distribution of species but I’m sure there’s some gap that means it’s all for the bin.

    It seems that you have never read what I write here, ang go on in your discussin with stereotypes. I am not interested in the fossil record, and almost never speak of it. I always speak of the molecular levels, proteomes and genomes. That’s where the evidence lies. And, while it is true that at present we have only a sample of esisting protemes and genomes, that sample is rapidly increasing, and will certainly, in reasonable time, become “a complete and exhaustive record” of all existing biological information at present. I am also honestly cpnvinved that existing biological information has all the keys to understand past evolution.

    Sometimes I don’t respond if I have nothing to add or contribute. I’m sorry if I’ve missed something you wanted to hear my opinion about . . .I’ve been kind of busy trying to respond to everyone and I’ve missed lots of things and made mistakes. I think it’s good for ID to concentrate on the molecular aspects of life. It sounds like that’s where the Biologic Institute is focusing its efforts.

    So, I understand that you agree that ID makes predicitons! Or did you just mean that you did not say it, but you think it?

    I think ID has made some predictions. That there would be less junk in DNA than the amount touted by mainstream biology for one. There was never any clear number or amount spelled out that I recall. And I’m kind of surprised that the ID community didn’t try and beat the ENCODE project to the punch. Surely a group like the Templeton Foundation could have sponsored such work? Or a sympathetic university? Or a combination of groups. I know such work is expensive but why is the ID community working harder to scrape together the funds to do such work?

    Appreciated. Our time resources are limited, and I often suffer from that. It’s perfectly natural that what we say here is not always pèerfectly lucid, the only important thing is honesty and a want to understand and clarify.

    Agreed. And I will make more mistakes in the future. But I’m not being purposefully obtuse or rude.

    We don’t “play” at all. And you see, we are absolutely convinced that it is not an “impression”, but a sound scientific conclusion. The neodarwinisn model is utterly improbable and inconsistent. That is not an “impression”, but a specific judgement, based on scientific arguments, and we spend our time here giving detailed motivations of that judgement. You8 may agree or not with our arguments, if you can really understand them at a technical level, but calling our argumentss “an impression” is not fair. Just say that they are scientific arguments that, for you, are completely wrong. That is fair.

    Fair point. I shall try and use less inflammatory descriptors.

    “I think now that the reason for this common assertion is because ID proponents are perfectly willing to accept a manipulative, sometimes non-material intervention in the biological process as part of their map of reality, if valid scientific evidences warrant that, whereas those who are committed to a scientistic ideology, that is a pre-defined view of reality and has nothing to do with true science, only accept explanations that that are not in contrast with their predefined worldview, and purposefully build biased variations of some supposedly universal definition of science and of the scientific method that are completely ad hoc to defend their personal views, and that, in their opinion, everybody should accept as revealed truth.

    I’d say that mainstream science focuses on things that can be observed, measured, weighed, defined and give consistent repeatable results. But you clearly understand the ID point of view better than me!!

    I specially like your concept of “limited explanations”. Well, explanations of the neo darwinian theory are limited indeed, being almost non existent! So, I understand why you like them so much.

    Evolutionary theory is really pretty simple at its core. I think that’s part of its elegance.

    But ID too is a “limited explanation”, obviously, like all human cognition. Strangely, you seem disturbed by the “non explanatory power” of ID. I must miss something in your logic…

    That is true, ID, at it’s core, is also very simple. I’ll see if I can come up with a ‘reason’ for my thoughts about explanatory power. In some sense it’s just another metric.

    Well, certainly some spiritual affinity links you guys in the darwinian field. As I said to CLAUDIUS im my post #259:

    “Thank you for this nth statement in favour of conformist thought.”

    It’s that damn scientific consensus again!! :-)

    I don’t mean to offend you, there is nothing wrong in not understanding the technical details of some arguments, but the simple question is: if you believe in darwinism only out of faith in “lots and lots of people”, why in the world you come here to “debate” about arguments that you don’t understand? To debate, one must understand, not only have faith. And it should be obvious to anyone, even only from the general context, that if we fools are here debating against neo darwinism, it’s because we do not have, in those lots and lots of people, the same faith you have.

    To be perfectly honest, talking to people on this forum HAS made me question and re-examine my ‘faith’ in evolutionary theory. I have gone back over many of the tenets that I accept and gave them greater scrutiny. In fact, when I’m in the middle of a long thread like this one, every day I find myself saying: are you really sure about that? And I think that’s a good thing. I don’t want to be just a believer. I’ve checked things out again. I’ve reread parts of books again. I’ve tried to make sure my views are solid.

    I’m not here just to test myself by any means. But it’s true that things said here do make me rethink my position. A lot.

  313. HMMM making the case for the explanatory power of ID??? Let’s see here,,,

    ExPASy – Biochemical Pathways – interactive schematic
    http://web.expasy.org/cgi-bin/.....mbnails.pl

    Yep ID will do just fine as a explanation thank you!!!

  314. Jerad:

    ID needs to do some more work. In my opinion.

    I am perfectly happy to respect other’s opinions. And it is certainly true that ID will do a lot of work, not because it “need” to do that to be accepted, but because it’s good to do that.

    I and lots of other people disagree with you. So you need to do more work to prove your point.

    No. You need to change your mind to correct your errors. Let’s say it’s my opinion :)

    I would like to see a concrete, worked out example of design detection that doesn’t just end in: and that’s too improbable. I’d like to see Dr Dembski’s explanatory filter applied in a real situation.

    Easy. This phrase of yours is designed (my inference). Its complexity is 27^200, that is 950 bits. It will never, never arise by chance. And I am sure that no physical laws can explain the emergence of that specific phrase. And it is well specified: it conveys a very specific meaning, indeed a request, so much so that I am answering it, with a much longer written argument for which you can easily infer design.

    See how easy it is? And please note, I know nothing about you. Not even that you are human. Your messages could well be the output of an automatic algorithm on some computer. But I am certain they are not. Because they are originally specified (they are, indeed, answers to my comments, that any algorithn could never understand), and they exhibit the sufficient degree of complexity. So, your phrase exhibits dFSCI and I infer that you are a conscious intelligeny being. Wrong, maybe, but intelligent :)

    I have to stop now. I will answer your other points later. In the meantime, think about this very simple example of design inference.

  315. gpuccio,

    See how easy it is?

    Touche’
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bmyn.....touche.jpg

    soon to follow Darwinian response

    But what are you REALLY trying to say gpuccio??? :)

  316. BA77:

    You link to a hideously complicated diagram of biochemical pathways and, I admit, it’s hard to imagine how that arose in an undirected process but that’s not saying it didn’t.

    Biological systems don’t do random searches in configuration spaces. Complexity arises from a step-by-step racheting up process. Climbing Mt Improbable, as Dr Dawkins has put it, doesn’t have to entail climbing a cliff face.

    gpuccio,

    No. You need to change your mind to correct your errors. Let’s say it’s my opinion :-)

    Fair enough!!

    Easy. This phrase of yours is designed (my inference). Its complexity is 27^200, that is 950 bits. It will never, never arise by chance.

    How do you prove that it will never arise by chance? What are you starting with? What kind of search are you using? Is there a ‘ran/locking’ aspect to the search? Are there any ‘fitness’ filters that screen out non-sensical phrases?

    Clearly, given enough time even, randomly generating text strings of that length and not repeating ones already generated would at some point arrive at that particular one. It might even happen on the first iteration.

    A targeted phrase is not a living thing. Does it mean the same kind of design inference can be applied to strands of DNA? Was there a ‘target’ for DNA? What kind of search was used? What was the starting point? What kind of fitness filters were used? Was the development of life from an initial replicator truly random?

    Your messages could well be the output of an automatic algorithm on some computer

    That’d take some really demented and boring programmer for sure.

    I think you are a real and intelligent person too. We can directly ‘observe’ the creation of clearly designed text.

    I’ll have a think. I’m just not sure the analogy works though.

  317. Ooops, something got lost in the above.

    I meant to say: Is there a ‘latching/locking’ aspect to the search.

  318. Climbing Mt Improbable, as Dr Dawkins has put it, doesn’t have to entail climbing a cliff face.

    But alas even a single novel functional protein of that hideously complicated diagram of biochemical pathways entails a cliff face that Darwinism cannot possible traverse:

    Climbing Mt. Improbable – Evolution vs. Functional Proteins – Doug Axe – Video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018222

    “a very rough but conservative result is that if all the sequences that define a particular (protein) structure or fold-set where gathered into an area 1 square meter in area, the next island would be tens of millions of light years away.”
    Kirk Durston

    Doug Axe Knows His Work Better Than Steve Matheson
    Excerpt: Regardless of how the trials are performed, the answer ends up being at least half of the total number of password possibilities, which is the staggering figure of 10^77 (written out as 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000). Armed with this calculation, you should be very confident in your skepticism, because a 1 in 10^77 chance of success is, for all practical purposes, no chance of success. My experimentally based estimate of the rarity of functional proteins produced that same figure, making these likewise apparently beyond the reach of chance.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....35561.html

    The Universal Plausibility Metric (UPM) & Principle (UPP) – Abel – Dec. 2009
    Excerpt: Mere possibility is not an adequate basis for asserting scientific plausibility. A precisely defined universal bound is needed beyond which the assertion of plausibility, particularly in life-origin models, can be considered operationally falsified. But can something so seemingly relative and subjective as plausibility ever be quantified? Amazingly, the answer is, “Yes.”,,,

    c?u = Universe = 10^13 reactions/sec X 10^17 secs X 10^78 atoms = 10^108

    c?g = Galaxy = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^66 atoms = 10^96

    c?s = Solar System = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^55 atoms = 10^85

    c?e = Earth = 10^13 X 10^17 X 10^40 atoms = 10^70

    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/6/1/27

    New Peer-Reviewed Paper Demolishes Fallacious Objection: “Aren’t There Vast Eons of Time for Evolution?” – Dec. 2009
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....molis.html

    Programming of Life – Probability – Defining Probable, Possible, Feasible etc.. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Pr.....ckv0wVBYpA

    Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on the Empirical Problems with Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin – February 27, 2012
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’” Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) -
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....56771.html

  319. keiths is shooting blanks:

    If he claims that “semiotic states” are proof of design, he’ll be shot down immediately.

    Start shooting because I say you are bluffing.

  320. Jerad:

    I’ll have a think. I’m just not sure the analogy works though.

    Just to help you decide:

    You make a lot of brief questions. Some brief answers:

    How do you prove that it will never arise by chance?

    I don’t “prove” it. This is not a mathemathical, deductive demonstration. This is an empirical inference. Empirically, the theory that your phrase arised by chance is ridiculous.

    What are you starting with? What kind of search are you using?

    You can start with whatever you like, provided it is completely unrelated to the output. The simplest way is to start with a random sequence of letters of the same length, and to go on by random substitutions, or whatever random variation youy like. That would very much resemble the main model for new protein generation. Indeed, all basci protein domains, all 4000 of them, are unrelated at sequence level. So, is new protein domains originated from something that already existed (and they did!), and if that happened by gene duplication and RV (the usual model), then it was similar to what I propose for your phrase.

    Is there a ‘latching/locking’ aspect to the search? Are there any ‘fitness’ filters that screen out non-sensical phrases?

    No. Not in terms of natural laws, certainly. I am aware of no natural laws whose effect is to favour words or phrases that express Jerad’s thoughts. Do you?

    And, even if we think of an algorithm, I can safely say that no algorithm would output that sentence, unless you introduce the sentence itself, or a lot of information about it, in the software. Maybe you could use some program that can filter phrases that mean something in english (although, with that length, it would still be extremely unlikely). But your specific phrase, which is a functional, meaningful answer too my comment, would still be utterly unlikely. Anyway, an algorithm can select only in the measure of the active information that has been put into it.

    Clearly, given enough time even, randomly generating text strings of that length and not repeating ones already generated would at some point arrive at that particular one. It might even happen on the first iteration.

    No. It will never happen in the lifetime of our universe (empirical truthh, 500 bits is Dembski’s UPB). You are again confounding logical truths with empirical truths (no problem, most darwinists do that).

    A targeted phrase is not a living thing.

    True, but irrelevant. Not even a protein coding gene is a living thing.

    Does it mean the same kind of design inference can be applied to strands of DNA?

    Yes. Definitely.

    Was there a ‘target’ for DNA?

    Proteins have functions that we can recognize, define and measure. For instance, enzymes accelerate reactions with incredible efficiency. And those reactions are necessary for metabolism, reproduction, and so on. The target of DNA are obviously necessary and useful biochemical functions.

    What kind of search was used?

    Darwinists state that it was a random search (RV), more specifically a random walk, helped by the deterministic component of NS.

    What was the starting point?

    For a new protein domain, I would say, according to current darwinian models, either a duplicated inactivated gene (unrelated to the new protein) or some non coding DNA (unrelated to the new protein). The “unrelated” property is my specification, because of the starting point were already related at sequence levele, we would already have the new protein domain, or an approximation of it, by miracle.

    What kind of fitness filters were used?

    According to darwinian theory, only NS. Which, to work, needs selectable intermediates. Which have never been shown or found.

    Was the development of life from an initial replicator truly random?

    No, it was an act of design. But I don’t understand what you are thinking of. Do you believe it was a consequence of gravitation or some other law?

    I think you are a real and intelligent person too. We can directly ‘observe’ the creation of clearly designed text.

    But I have never observed you, and you have never observed me. Well, maybe we can meet some day :)

  321. BA:

    Thank you for the funny picture! :)

  322. Jerad:

    Sometimes I don’t respond if I have nothing to add or contribute.

    Perfectly fair.

    I think it’s good for ID to concentrate on the molecular aspects of life.

    Very, very good!

    I know such work is expensive but why is the ID community working harder to scrape together the funds to do such work?

    Well, I have no idea how big are those funds…

    Agreed. And I will make more mistakes in the future. But I’m not being purposefully obtuse or rude.

    Very good! That’s all that is needed.

    Fair point. I shall try and use less inflammatory descriptors.

    Truly appreciated!

    Evolutionary theory is really pretty simple at its core. I think that’s part of its elegance.

    I have no problems with its elegance. I can always keep a copy of The evolutions of species for mere esthetic pleasure (just kidding :) ). I do have problems with its scientific truth.

    That is true, ID, at it’s core, is also very simple. I’ll see if I can come up with a ‘reason’ for my thoughts about explanatory power. In some sense it’s just another metric.

    Very good. Let us know…

    It’s that damn scientific consensus again!!

    Damned indeed!!!!

    But it’s true that things said here do make me rethink my position. A lot.

    That’s really very good!

    You see, we are becomimg friends, after alll :)

  323. BA77:

    But alas even a single novel functional protein of that hideously complicated diagram of biochemical pathways entails a cliff face that Darwinism cannot possible traverse:

    I wish I had the money and the wherewithal to set up a betting pool where ID proponents and evolution supporters could bet on things like this being demonstrated or found in the next however many years.

  324. A no limit bet at 1 in 10^77 in favor of me winning?? I like them odds! :) ,,, But all kidding aside Jerad, in reality, in the overall grand scheme of things, you are already betting something far, far, more valuable than the entire money and riches of the world combined:

    Mark 8:36-37
    What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

    Pascal’s Wager – The Unavoidable Bet Everyone Makes In Life – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4224424/

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    Dr. Jeffery Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs

    Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/29895068

  325. gpuccio,

    The simplest way is to start with a random sequence of letters of the same length, and to go on by random substitutions, or whatever random variation youy like. That would very much resemble the main model for new protein generation. Indeed, all basci protein domains, all 4000 of them, are unrelated at sequence level. So, is new protein domains originated from something that already existed (and they did!), and if that happened by gene duplication and RV (the usual model), then it was similar to what I propose for your phrase.

    Sensible answer.

    No. Not in terms of natural laws, certainly. I am aware of no natural laws whose effect is to favour words or phrases that express Jerad’s thoughts. Do you?

    Hmmm . . . .when baby’s learn to speak we reward them when they say things that makes sense; they start out just making sounds that more and more resemble speech with positive feedback.

    But in this particular example I agree.

    But this is where I think the comparison with biology breaks down. The whole point of natural selection is that some designs/sequences are ‘fitter’ in an environment and so are preferred. The mutations/duplications/etc might be random but their is a selection/fitness filter that intercedes before the next iteration.

    And, even if we think of an algorithm, I can safely say that no algorithm would output that sentence, unless you introduce the sentence itself, or a lot of information about it, in the software. Maybe you could use some program that can filter phrases that mean something in english (although, with that length, it would still be extremely unlikely). But your specific phrase, which is a functional, meaningful answer too my comment, would still be utterly unlikely. Anyway, an algorithm can select only in the measure of the active information that has been put into it.

    Yes, it’s a pretty basic example.

    No. It will never happen in the lifetime of our universe (empirical truthh, 500 bits is Dembski’s UPB). You are again confounding logical truths with empirical truths (no problem, most darwinists do that).

    Well see thats where I disagree with you. If the initial phrase and subsequent generations really are randomly selected then that particular phrase could come up at any time. It could even come up first!! Without cumulative filtering the probability at each iteration is minuscule. But it could happen.

    Think of it this way: there are over 13 million lottery configurations in the UK’s main lottery draw (6 numbers picked out of 1 – 44 . . . I think). Far fewer than 13 million tickets are sold each draw but, even with only one winning configuration there’s a winner fairly often. You don’t have to exhaustively randomly search the config space to greatly increase the chance of success.

    Remember that statistics problem: how many people do you need to collect so that the probability of two of them sharing the same birthday (day and month, not year) is 50%? Surprising the answer is 22 or so if memory serves. A less than 10% sampling gives a 50% chance of a win in that problem.

    I think that if there is a subset of sequences that make sense (are winners/viable) then it will take a lot less time than it first appears to get one.

    Was there a ‘target’ for DNA?

    Proteins have functions that we can recognize, define and measure. For instance, enzymes accelerate reactions with incredible efficiency. And those reactions are necessary for metabolism, reproduction, and so on. The target of DNA are obviously necessary and useful biochemical functions.

    I was thinking more along the lines of an ultimate design target. But I like your take.

    Darwinists state that it was a random search (RV), more specifically a random walk, helped by the deterministic component of NS.

    AND cumulative accumulation of ‘successful’ variations which create the next iteration. Not like a random search at al. There’s a kind of latching/locking going on.

    For a new protein domain, I would say, according to current darwinian models, either a duplicated inactivated gene (unrelated to the new protein) or some non coding DNA (unrelated to the new protein). The “unrelated” property is my specification, because of the starting point were already related at sequence levele, we would already have the new protein domain, or an approximation of it, by miracle.

    Yup, makes sense. Don’t know if it’s correct in the biological world though.

    According to darwinian theory, only NS. Which, to work, needs selectable intermediates. Which have never been shown or found.

    Sometimes mutations are neutral and get passed on even though the don’t affect the fitness of the host which means natural selection can’t favour them. That’s why gene duplication is considered a way that new characteristics can arise.

    No, it was an act of design. But I don’t understand what you are thinking of. Do you believe it was a consequence of gravitation or some other law?

    No . . . never mind. I can’t quite remember why I was asking that in that way.

    But it’s true that things said here do make me rethink my position. A lot.

    That’s really very good!

    You see, we are becomimg friends, after alll

    :-) I am very serious though that I’ve had to re-examine my own views. I think, in some ways, you really don’t know why you think the way you do until you see your views in contrast with other views. You have to learn to be honest with yourself and admit when you’ve just bought into a dogma and when you really have considered the evidence. There was one time in particular I had a real big doubt Someone’s ID argument really threw me . . . I couldn’t toss it aside. I had to really, really think it through. I had to really deal with the issue.

    I also admit that the time I’ve spent here asking questions and being a pain in the behind has taught me that the issues ID brings up are deeper than I had originally thought. There were subtleties that had not occurred to me before. One reason I’m trying not to get sucked into a discussion of the origin of the first self-replicator is that I would look pretty foolish pretty quickly. My knowledge of the proposed models is laughable. When/if I come up to speed on the standard models I’ll be happy to have those discussions too.

  326. BA77:

    A no limit bet at 1 in 10^77 in favor of me winning?? I like them odds!

    I thought you might!! It would be a great thing so set up wouldn’t it?

    But all kidding aside Jerad, in reality, in the overall grand scheme of things, you are already betting something far, far, more valuable than the entire money and riches of the world combined:

    Thanks, I really appreciate the messages. I remember reading CS Lewis’ Surprised by Joy years ago (I loved the pun in the title) and I remember being incredibly touched by the way he described his life and journey. How he noted that at some point happiness only comes like occasional islands in the sea. I hope I’ve got that right. And he found this way of looking at the world, this faith, that made so much sense of it for him. It was like listening to a beautifully symphony that lifted you up. Really something. I’m not without respect and admiration of true, deep, abiding faith. I just don’t seem to be wired that way.

  327. kairosfocus @ 247

    CLAVDIVS: The reason [ID is not regarded as scientific] is not that the design inference is false or unjustified. False hypotheses can be part of science, after all. The reason is that, even if the design inference is true, doesn’t add to our knowledge by predicting outcomes in novel situations.

    As I already pointed out, the logic of this is very simple. Predicting an outcome means discovering a predictable mechanism. However, ID’s proposed mechanism is an unpredictable intelligent agent. QED.

    KAIROSFOCUS: This is of course being confidently asserted at the very time when a major case of ID prediction is being confirmed. Namely, that the darwinism inspired notion that held sway for decades, the predominance of Junk dna in the genome, is collapsing as we speak.

    The problem with this argument is a logical one that you’ve left unaddressed.

    For ID to be predictive it must be based on some kind of regularity. But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    One cannot have it both ways: design cannot exclude regularity and, at the same time, claim predictive ability based on regularity.

    Similarly, you seem to think that the collection of august bodies dominated by ideological evolutionary materialism and announcing that they are using that position to denounce as “unscientific” … speaks volumes.

    Recent research shows only about 34% of scientists are atheists, and of those 12% claim to be “spiritual” – leaving on any reasonable view only 22% of scientists as materialists. Even fewer would be evolutionary materialists.

    So, materialism as an ideological position is in fact a small minority amongst scientists. Ideologically scientists are in fact quite diverse group. Accordingly, their consensus opinion on the scientific status of the design inference cannot be blamed on an ideological bent. On the other hand, the reason given – design’s lack of predictive ability – appears reasonable based on logical considerations.

    So long as genuine science is concerned to seek the truth about our world as an important value, the question of inference to design on empirically reliable sign will be an inherently scientific one.

    I believe discovering truth is the job of philosophers, not scientists.

    Some scientists speak on philosophical issues where they have no expertise, and in those areas one takes their opinions for what they’re worth.

    Cheers

  328. PS I’ve heard Jeffrey Long interviewed on the Skeptiko podcast . . . I think it was Skeptiko. The host of Skeptiko spends a lot of time interviewing people who work with near death experiences.

  329. BA77:

    skeptico looks to have done at least 3 interviews with Dr. Long in the few months after the release of his book

    Wow, that many? I listen to them as they come out but not usually again later.

    Anyway, you might try some of the episodes of Skeptiko. The host’s spiritual views will probably drive you crazy though. He wants to be spiritual but he doesn’t like the church. I think he’s a bit confused. But he has interesting guests on.

  330. jerad about that 1 in 10^77 bet, I just remembered that in order for you to prove your end of the bet you would to #1 have to have a novel functional protein arise by purely neo-Darwinian processes, yet purely neo-Darwinian processes, as is commonly exposed by neo-Darwinists are materialistic. Thus #2 you would also have to prove that the foundation of reality was materialistic in its basis instead of theistic. Yet the foundation of reality as revealed by modern science is theistic in its basis:

    Quantum Evidence for a Theistic Universe
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agaJIWjPWHs5vtMx5SkpaMPbantoP471k0lNBUXg0Xo/edit

    Thus my probability of winning the bet is not 1 in 10^77 but is in fact the probability of 1 !

  331. BA77:

    (I wonder if we’re about the same age . . . it’s gonna be my 52nd birthday tomorrow!)

    #1 have to have a novel functional protein arise by purely neo-Darwinian processes, yet purely neo-Darwinian processes, as is commonly exposed by neo-Darwinists are materialistic.

    Yup, with you so far.

    Thus #2 you would also have to prove that the foundation of reality was materialistic in its basis instead of theistic.

    Umm . . . not sure why I’d have to do that. Wouldn’t just getting the protein be enough?

    I guess we’d have to very, very carefully lay out the bet. It would probably end up like one of these threads! hahahahahhahahahaha

    Quantum stuff . . . that’s something else I feel like a complete moron around.

    Thus my probability of winning the bet is not 1 in 10^77 but is in fact the probability of 1 !

    Maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t set such a bet up then!

    I have to admit, from an evolutionary point of view, it’s kind of depressing to think that in one person’s lifetime they probably won’t ever see some really interesting and wildly dramatic body plan change occur. Everything takes soooooo long. You’ve probably heard me tout two of my ‘natural processes can introduce big morphological changes’ poster children: dogs and brassicas. And they’d be perfect IF they had actually formed different species. If some dog breed could just manage to fuse some chromosomes together . . . .

  332. Oh wow, I just found out about Madeira mice. It seems that, starting with an initial small population imported from Europe the mice on Madeira split into 6 genetically different species in about 500 years.

    Now that is cool!! No big morphological changes though.

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......m-one.html

  333. One cannot have it both ways: design cannot exclude regularity and, at the same time, claim predictive ability based on regularity.

    lol

    Design does not exclude regularity, you silly person.

    Why can’t design claim predictive ability based on irregularity?

    For example, we all know that every snowflake, fingerprint, dna (take your pick) is different, right?

    So we can confidently predict that if we compare two such entities they will in fact turn out to be different.

    And we can regularly repeat that test and achieve regular results.

    So no, design does not preclude regularities and can make predictions based on irregularities.

  334. Jerad @ 3:

    you wrote:
    >When you can prove that there was a
    >designer around with the necessary capacities
    >and equipment at the time required then I
    >shall be much more inclined to accept the
    >design inference.

    the earth blows up today (hit by an asteroid)

    some time later, a ship
    from outside the solar
    system arrives on
    Mars and discovers
    our rover there.

    They inspect the mechanical
    nature.

    The visit every [remaining] planet [no trace of earth,
    certainly no evidence of designers, capacities and
    eqipment]

    in the solar system and
    find no sign of current or
    historical potential designers
    for the rover.

    can they not infer the existence
    of such a designer without
    current evidence of that designer’s
    capacities and equiptment?

  335. Jerad: Oh wow, I just found out about Madeira mice. It seems that, starting with an initial small population imported from Europe the mice on Madeira split into 6 genetically different species in about 500 years.

    Yeh, mice have probably been doing things like that for the last 200my, since the time of the dinosaurs, and they will probably be doing it for another 200myrs to come, and guess what… they will still be mice!

  336. Wouldn’t just getting the protein be enough?

    get your own dirt! :)
    http://mongers.org/jokes/man-making_contest

  337. Mung @ 336

    CLAVDIVS: For ID to be predictive it must be based on some kind of regularity. But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    MUNG: Design does not exclude regularity, you silly person.

    Please refer to the diagram in the OP. It is clear that the design inference can only be reached by eliminating “law-like regularity”.

    But how can one predict anything without reasoning from some kind of law-like regularity?

    MUNG: Why can’t design claim predictive ability based on irregularity?

    Because predictable irregularity is an oxymoron, and therefore illogical.

    So we can confidently predict that if we compare two such entities they will in fact turn out to be different.

    And we can regularly repeat that test and achieve regular results.

    So no, design does not preclude regularities and can make predictions based on irregularities.

    The example of snowflakes doesn’t refute my argument, because it’s not an example of an irregularity. Snowflakes are highly regular. We have thorough understanding of many of the law-like regularities that govern snowflake formation (chemistry of water etc.) and we also have a good understanding of the stochastic (chance) factors that cause their uniqueness (air pressure etc).

    So the reason we can predict that a snowflake will very likely be made of water, have a six-fold symmetry, and not be 6 feet across, is because we understand the regularities exhibited by snowflakes. Without understanding the regularities, we cannot make any predictions. That’s just common sense.

    Cheers

  338. Mung – Apologies: the last quote in my post @ 340 is not the right one. I meant to cut/paste the part where you mention snowflakes. I trust you get the picture all the same.

    Cheers

  339. es58,

    can they not infer the existence of such a designer without current evidence of that designer’s capacities and equiptment?

    Sure. The rover is an inanimate object that cannot self-replicate. No way it could have been the result of eons of self replicators climbing Mt Improbable.

    AND there would be quite a bit that could be inferred about the designer(s). They would have to be able to make steel, plastic, etc. There are clearly transmission and receiving apparatus that operate at certain frequencies and at certain power ranges. There is software . . . not sure if it would be compiled (probably) but even it it was it would probably be possible to ‘read’ it. Certainly the processor could be dissected. I suspect there are logos and snippets of language all over the hardware as well.

    There would be massive amounts of rubble where the earth was. The transmitting abilities of the Rover would strongly suggest an in solar system source for the Rover. Not finding any source it would be fair to assume it was on the now destroyed Earth.

    Also, depending on the time lag, it’s possible the alien ship came through old radio and TV transmissions radiating out from Earth.

    The aliens, being more advanced than us (able to travel between solar systems) could probably make a good guess about how ‘advanced’ the beings who made the Rover were. The age of the solar system would be estimated. The rubble field would be examined for more artefacts and clues. There’d be more than just one Rover on Mars by the way. And if the Moon was still around there’d be stuff there too. Who knows, the Voyagers might even still be transmitting.

    Anyway, lots and lots and lots of questions about the object would be asked and debated. Theories would be furthered and investigated. That kind of behaviour would start immediately upon finding the designed object. Whole books would be written hypothesising about the mysterious missing creators. Lots and lots of who, when and why questions. Just like archaeologists do when they examine the materials left behind by now absent cultures.

    The ID paradigm sees life forms like immensely complicated machines that self replicate. And the contention is: since the components of the machines (at the very basic level) are not alive someone must have made the first machine at least. Gave the system the jump from inanimate to animate. There has to be a first machine and it would be too complicated to have just assembled itself. This is why the OoL issue is an essential one to address. KF knows this. Darwin himself mostly passed on that issue as I do. I think AFTER the first replicator was made/born/came into existence all you need are natural processes. And that’s the bit I feel more competent to discuss.

    OoL stuff is like cosmology and Quantum mechanics. Way above my current level of understanding. The RNA world? Multiverses? Quantum tunnelling? It’s all a mystery to me.

  340. clavdivs:

    Please refer to the diagram in the OP. It is clear that the design inference can only be reached by eliminating “law-like regularity”.

    And yet you claimed:

    But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    On the contrary, the design inference in fact relies on regularity as one of it’s criterion. Your argument is self-refuting.

    And based upon this fact, one can say that ID predicts that design is to be found outside the areas of law-like regularity. And it predicts this will regularly be the case.

    Sorry, but your argument fails.

  341. PeterJ:

    Yeh, mice have probably been doing things like that for the last 200my, since the time of the dinosaurs, and they will probably be doing it for another 200myrs to come, and guess what… they will still be mice!

    Maybe. Maybe not. I’d love to be around long enough to find out.

    BA77:

    get your own dirt!
    http://mongers.org/jokes/man-making_contest

    hahahahahahah I like it. And point taken.

  342. Claudius:

    I will snip out just this in a work pause:

    For ID to be predictive it must be based on some kind of regularity. But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    This is a strawman of astonishing proportions.

    THINK, designers are a regularly observed feature of our world, but they are not a pattern of mechanical necessity leading to law-like low contingency regularity. Nor are they another regularly observed pattern, high contingency stochastically distributed variability.

    Surely, you know this from massive experience and easily accessible observations.

    All that you are convincing me is that the real reason for many objections I have heard as to how the inference to design framework makes no sense is nonsense etc, is that you and others are straining every nerve to erect a strawman and knock it over. That speaks to just how threatening the glorified common sense reasoning that lies behind design theory is to the evolutionary materialist reigning orthodoxy.

    KF

  343. clavdivs:

    Because predictable irregularity is an oxymoron, and therefore illogical.

    And yet it’s a fact of life. So what are you going to do?

  344. Jerad:

    The ID paradigm sees life forms like immensely complicated machines that self replicate.

    Yet more uninformed pontificating.

    No ID proponent I know of thinks of a human as an immensely complicated machine that self-replicate.

  345. Mung:

    Yet more uninformed pontificating.

    No ID proponent I know of thinks of a human as an immensely complicated machine that self-replicate.

    I didn’t like that bit particularly but I was trying to get to the point where I acknowledged the OoL issue.

  346. F/N: Key institutions in science are dominated by atheists, out of proportion to their actual numbers. The same pattern holds in society. Cf Plato in The Laws Bk X on ruthless factionism to see part of why.

  347. F/N: The cell self replicates.

  348. gpuccio- please for clarification, do you hold that a non-material designer also must be devoid of energy? Meaning that a non-material designer is neither matter nor energy?

    My position is a non-MATERIAL designer could still be energy, regardless if one can be converted into the other (matter into energy, energy onto matter). What do you say?

  349. But alas even a single novel functional protein of that hideously complicated diagram of biochemical pathways entails a cliff face that Darwinism cannot possible traverse

    Biochemical Pathways: An Atlas of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  350. Joe,

    Sorry to interrupt/butt in but . . .

    If the designer is energy only then how is the designer . . . sustained?

    I mean that energy doesn’t just exist, out there, with no receptacle. Or container. Or source. There aren’t just blobs of energy floating about. That I’m aware of.

    Just curious. Ignore if you wish.

  351. This one seems interesting:
    Metabolism at a Glance

  352. There aren’t just blobs of energy floating about. That I’m aware of.

    Have you never had children?

    ;)

  353. Mung:

    Have you never had children?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Mine doesn’t float much though. I think he’s permanently attached to the Xbox 360.

  354. Jerad:

    Evolutionary theory is really pretty simple at its core. I think that’s part of its elegance.

    It’s also part of it’s danger. It can be used to “explain” just about anything, regardless of whether the explanation is true or not.

    People substitute the theory for actual observation and research.

    Oh well, just toss in some “random” mutations and a little “natural selection” and we can explain that. Really?

    Based upon what actual facts?

  355. Hi Joe:

    One of the beauties of the cosmological design inference is that it points to mind before matter and as the source of matter (and energy).

    All of the materialist huffing and puffing over mind-brain-body etc interaction is a problem internal to their system projected unto others. Wwe do not have to have an account for the how of mind-brain etc interaction to have reason to accept it as fact. Just as Newton did not need to have a detailed account of why gravitation worked, to have a model for its pattern of behaviour and a recognitition of its influence on the system of the world.

    When it comes to mind-matter interaction, the Smith model, extended offers a good suggestion: quantum level influences on the material network. So, the interaction is informational, both to sense and to influence.

    This has the advantage of pointing to how without running into the shoals of materialist determinism on blind necessity and/or chance processes, we can have genuine mind acting in genuine body to genuine purposes.

    KF

  356. Jerad:

    If the designer is energy only then how is the designer . . . sustained?

    If the designer were matter and energy that issue would be moot? If the designer were matter and energy how would it be sustained? Mayan sacrifies of course :roll:

    My only point is the energy is non-material. Do you agree or disagree that a non-material designer could still consist of energy? Why/ why not?

    Thanks.

  357. Jerad:

    I’m not without respect and admiration of true, deep, abiding faith. I just don’t seem to be wired that way.

    Some of us simply did not have enough faith to remain atheists. Our faith failings were particularly acute with that “ism” supposedly leading to our intellectual fulfillment as atheists.

    So don’t be hard on yourself. You respect and admire true believers? Step in front of the mirror and give yerself a good ol’ pat on the back!

  358. Joe:

    I suppose you are asking becuase of the (IMO rather shallow) debate that has been going on on TSZ (I have read some of the posts there on this subject).

    I will try so sum up my views on the subject, that could be better defined as “how does a non physical designer interact with a physical world”?

    Indeed, I have already expressed my views about that, even recently. I will repat those points, and maybe add something new.

    As you probably know, my approach is centerd on the concept of consciousness as an empirical reality. I state that consciousness exists, and that subjective experiences exist, and that they can described as representations of one single perceiving I, that is the source of the sense of identity and of conscious existence.

    In that sense, consciousness is the primary reality, the first thing we perceive, and that in which we perceive anything else. We intuit ourselves as conscious, intelligent beings. All the rest, even our body, is perceived in that cosnciousness. Solypsists have realized those points, but have, IMO, derived wrong consequences from that.

    Now, that is our personal consciousness, known directly by intuition. What about consciousness in others? As I have said, that is only an inference, an inference by analogy, although a very strong inference indeed, one that is shared by everybody (except maybe solypsists). All those who consider inference by analogy as some weak thing, should really remember that point: all our map of reality about other human beings is based on that kind of onference.

    Now, another empirical point that it is difficult to deny is that our subjective experiences interact constantly with the outer world (what we usually call “matter”, a word I don’t like much). That happens in two directions. The outer world (including our body) is the source of conscious representations, through sensations of all kinds. And conscious representations are continuosly outputted to the outer world, through willful actions.

    Please note that I am only describing what we all observe in ourlseves (directly) and in others (through inference). I am not making any philosophical discourse. These facts are facts (well, I am using the concept of inference, but I hope it is usually accepted by most).

    Now, the problem of design is rooted in these considerations. As you know, I define design as the process thorugh which a conscious intelligent agent manipulates matter starting from his conscious representations, to create a designed object, that can in turn evoke meaning and function in another conscious intelligent observer. One of the byproducts of design is the conferring to the designed object of what I call specification (a meaning or fuctnion that can be recognized by a conscious intelligent observer) and, if the design is complex enough, of CSI. All these things are a consequence of the special, intelligent arrangement given to the object by the manipulating designer.

    Therefore, it is perfectly true that the designer must be able to manipulate matter in order to deign, as our “friend” on the other side love to remind. Why is it so? Because the designed object is a physical objectt, and only physical modifications, that is physical events, can give it the desired form.

    That seems trivial enough, but please follow me. We have at this point two similar, but slightly different, situations:

    1) Human designer:

    Human conscious representations -> human brain -> human body -> object

    2) Biological designer:

    Designer’s conscious representations -> biological beings

    I use this rather gross scheme to show what IMO is the essential point: consciousness interacts with matter with an output of willful representations, and the problem is the same for humans and the biological designer. The only difference is that our consciousness interacts with our brain, while the designer’s cosnciousness, if he has not a physical body (which is my personal option) must interact directly with existing living beings.

    Now, I don’t believe that we have any reason to think that consciousness, in itslef, is a byproduct os some arramgement of matter or energy. A lot of theorical considerations are against that, anb there is no empirical support to that point of view, that we may call here “strong AI theory”.

    So, if strong AI theory is false, as I do believe, the problem of how coansiousness interacts with matter is a fundamental problem for our understanding of reality.

    We see that interaction from the part of the perceiving I in ourselves, but we also see that interaction from the part of matter, through our scientific knowledge.

    So, after that long premise, I would say that a conscious intelligent being is essential a perceiving I, that is neither matter not energy, but pure consciousness, but at the same time interacts with matter and energy in its representations.

    The further problem is that, as I have stated many times, the interface between consciousness and matter can probably be found at quantum level. I can certainly imagine that, at that level, some deeper form of energy may exist, that at present we don’t understand, and that can represent a bridge between consciousness and matter. So, in that sense, I can partially agree with what you say, but is is only a hypothesis form a scientific point of view, because we have not enough data in that sense. I do believe, however, that our understanding of physcial laws is still vastly incomplete.

    But, in the ultimate sense, the perceiver is neither matter nor energy. It is pure consciousness, a transcendental I. The use the word “transcendental” exactly to mean something that is not fully phenomenic, but still can interact with phenomena.

    Well, that was a little bit philosophical maybe, but the question is a deep philosophical one, even if our “friends” at TSZ seem to believe that it can be easily declared as solved.

  359. KF:

    I see you had already posted (more simply than I have done, I believe, and very effectively :) ) on the same points.

  360. Jerad:

    The theory that is the best explanation doesn’t just say what’s true but offers an explanation about why something came to be. Many things could be the product of design or unguided evolutionary processes.

    For you that seems to be a settled issue. For us, it isn’t settled.

    And isn’t the real question that we should be asking not could they be the product of unguided evolutionary processes, but are they the product of unguided evolutionary processes?

    I’d like to also point out the faith-based nature of your comment.

    You perhaps believe the evolutionary process is unguided, but how could you ever hope to establish that as a matter of science?

    For many of us, the very existence of a process argues for something other than accident. As I have pointed out many times here at UD, a non-teleological process is an oxymoron.

  361. gpuccio:

    I am not interested in the fossil record, and almost never speak of it. I always speak of the molecular levels, proteomes and genomes. That’s where the evidence lies. … I am also honestly convinced that existing biological information has all the keys to understand past evolution.

    I wonder if Jerad will catch on that you even allow for a role for evolution. Jerad seems to want to believe so badly that all of us are evolution deniers while at the same time objecting to being cast as a particular ‘type’.

    Now modern evolutionary theory tells us that the engine of evolutionary change is genetic. Pointless Mutations. But that’s not what the modern evidence is beginning to show us.

    But even then, there are only four bases to work with, and a limited amount of DNA. And only so many replicators, and only so much time. That’s part of what I mean by evolution not having as many alternatives and as much choice as design. It’s like a child with a crayon compared to someone with a degree in electrical engineering.

    And then, even if there is some change at the genetic level, chances are it will have absolutely no effect on the organism. But say it does. Now it has to “compete” to spread throughout the population. Even if it helps the organism, it could still fail to be spread. In fact, odds are again against it.

    Then there is the cost issue. There is a cost to spreading a change throughout the population, and the population has to be able to meet that cost.

    Then there has to be enough time for all that to happen, repeatedly.

    So these are the things modern evolutionary theory needs to explain, and fails to do. Instead we get hand-waving and story-telling. But for many, that’s all they want. No real science please.

  362. Mung:

    It’s also part of it’s danger. It can be used to “explain” just about anything, regardless of whether the explanation is true or not.

    People substitute the theory for actual observation and research.

    I don’t know what people you are referring to. Evo-heads? We can’t all replicate all the research and findings. At some point we have to look at other people’s work, use our critical thinking skills, look at other work and research and comments and come to our own conclusion.

    I won’t defend ‘faith heads’ of any persuasion. But I haven’t just adopted my view based on a whim or a sociological persuasion.

    Oh well, just toss in some “random” mutations and a little “natural selection” and we can explain that. Really?

    Based upon what actual facts?

    I’m not sure why you’re asking the question since you know what my response would be. Instead of just parroting that response can I ask you: do you sincerely believe that thousands of scientists all over the world, many of whom have a deep and abiding love of their field of study, are just goose-stepping to the party line to save their pensions? Do you honestly, really think that? And if you don’t then how do you explain that the overwhelming majority of working biologists find evolutionary theory more palatable than ID?

    And isn’t the real question that we should be asking not could they be the product of unguided evolutionary processes, but are they the product of unguided evolutionary processes?

    Of course. But, if we’re going to be philosophical about it, can we ever be 100% sure of ‘the truth’? If we weren’t there then don’t we have to make the best inference based on the data we have?

    I’d like to also point out the faith-based nature of your comment.

    You perhaps believe the evolutionary process is unguided, but how could you ever hope to establish that as a matter of science?

    Are you seriously asking if it’s okay to fall back on a position that says: it could look like natural processes in every way we can measure but what if it’s really directed! That sounds like a non-falsifiable position if I ever heard one. How could you ever hope to establish that it looks undirected but it really is directed? Wouldn’t that be making the assumption of design the default?

    For many of us, the very existence of a process argues for something other than accident. As I have pointed out many times here at UD, a non-teleological process is an oxymoron.

    Asserting that there is no such thing as a non-teleologic process sounds like a presupposition to me. Does that make it your default position? Your axiom?

  363. Jerad @318:

    I’ll have a think. I’m just not sure the analogy works though.

    It wasn’t an analogy.

  364. Joe,

    My only point is the energy is non-material. Do you agree or disagree that a non-material designer could still consist of energy? Why/ why not?

    Thanks.

    I guess my answer is no, I can’t see how a being could be purely energy. But you worded the question oddly, could non-material mean something else?

    I just can’t quite figure out how a being with no material aspect could exist. I can’t think of any physics or chemical law which could account for it. Energy is the ability to do work. Energy needs a storage medium when it’s not ‘working’. A storage medium is composed of matter. Or it’s a field (like a magnetic bottle) that requires a material generating source.

    I don’t know Joe. It all sounds kind of sci-fi to me. Perhaps you can offer an explanation or an example.

  365. Actually, the above comment was from Jerad @314.

    Here’s Jerad @318:

    Biological systems don’t do random searches in configuration spaces. Complexity arises from a step-by-step racheting up process. </blockquote

  366. steveO,

    Interesting pseudonym steveO.

    Some of us simply did not have enough faith to remain atheists. Our faith failings were particularly acute with that “ism” supposedly leading to our intellectual fulfillment as atheists.

    So don’t be hard on yourself. You respect and admire true believers? Step in front of the mirror and give yerself a good ol’ pat on the back!

    I think it partly comes down to my wanting to know what’s really real. And some people seem to have figured that out. How nice and lovely that must be, to be sure and satisfied. Whereas I just never seem to be satisfied. Bad wiring most likely. Ah well, so it goes.

  367. Jerad:

    do you sincerely believe that thousands of scientists all over the world, many of whom have a deep and abiding love of their field of study, are just goose-stepping to the party line to save their pensions?

    Straw-Man.

  368. Mung:

    I wonder if Jerad will catch on that you even allow for a role for evolution. Jerad seems to want to believe so badly that all of us are evolution deniers while at the same time objecting to being cast as a particular ‘type’.

    Most ID proponents allow for some role for Darwinian processes. We are just trying to hash out the dividing line I figure.

    But even then, there are only four bases to work with, and a limited amount of DNA. And only so many replicators, and only so much time. That’s part of what I mean by evolution not having as many alternatives and as much choice as design. It’s like a child with a crayon compared to someone with a degree in electrical engineering.

    Yes but probability arguments are tricky and slippery. Note the birthday duplication situation I mentioned above. A result that, even after having gone through all the math, I still find unbelievable.

    And then, even if there is some change at the genetic level, chances are it will have absolutely no effect on the organism. But say it does. Now it has to “compete” to spread throughout the population. Even if it helps the organism, it could still fail to be spread. In fact, odds are again against it.

    This is true but has been addressed by research.

    Then there is the cost issue. There is a cost to spreading a change throughout the population, and the population has to be able to meet that cost.

    This too has been addressed. Especially in that a gain in one area is a loss or liability in another. Look at the problem of increased brain size in hominids. A cheetah that can run faster (and thereby catch more prey) has to consume more energy to actually run faster. All these issues are argued and discussed amongst biologists.

    So these are the things modern evolutionary theory needs to explain, and fails to do. Instead we get hand-waving and story-telling. But for many, that’s all they want. No real science please.

    I completely agree that these are essential and important issues. But I disagree with you that they are not addressed or considered. That’s the kind of thing that is hashed out in research journals and conferences and long term research. You can’t find out that kind of stuff from listening to someone like me pontificating on a blog!! You have to take time to delve into the research. It’s work. But the discussions are there.

  369. Mung,

    Straw-Man.

    Okay, But you left out the part where I said:

    And if you don’t then how do you explain that the overwhelming majority of working biologists find evolutionary theory more palatable than ID?

    So, correct me. Tell me what you really think if I’ve got it wrong. Help me understand.

  370. Jerad:

    Are you seriously asking if it’s okay to fall back on a position that says: it could look like natural processes in every way we can measure but what if it’s really directed! That sounds like a non-falsifiable position if I ever heard one.

    Another faith-based statement.

    You may believe that a process is “unguided.” How do you propose to establish that it is in fact unguided?

    You may believe that a process is “natural.” How do you propose to establish that it is in fact natural?

    Your position is the one that is not falsifiable, lol.

    How could you ever hope to establish that it looks undirected but it really is directed?

    You are the one proposing to establish as fact the proposition that evolutionary processes are unguided. I say your proposition is faith-based and you cannot demonstrate it’s truth.

    You’re the one proposing to establish as fact the proposition that evolution is a natural process. I say your proposition is faith-based and you cannot demonstrate it’s truth.

    I am interested in knowing how you hope to make your case, though.

    Wouldn’t that be making the assumption of design the default?

    Hardly.

  371. Jerad:

    …the overwhelming majority of working biologists find evolutionary theory more palatable than ID?

    So? That’s a complete non-sequitur.

    I know for a fact though that many people are fools. I see no reason why biologists should be immune.

    For example, I don’t think of TSZ as The Skeptical Zone, but rather as The Simpleton Zone.

  372. Mung,

    Another faith-based statement.

    You may believe that a process is “unguided.” How do you propose to establish that it is in fact unguided?

    You may believe that a process is “natural.” How do you propose to establish that it is in fact natural?

    Your position is the one that is not falsifiable, lol.

    Surely a position that does not assume a guiding hand is more parsimonious, more along the lines of Ockhams’ Razor, than one that does? Shouldn’t the null hypothesis be, because of fewer assumptions, unguided?

    And, how do you propose to establish that it is guided?

    I think most things can be explained via limited laws of nature which do not require intervention from an outside source.

    You are the one proposing to establish as fact the proposition that evolutionary processes are unguided. I say your proposition is faith-based and you cannot demonstrate it’s truth.

    I’d say the same for the position that evolutionary processes are guided. I don’t think you can prove that position either. And I would ask you: if they are guided then can you show how that notion explains, i.e. rationalises, the life forms that we see. Why do marsupials exists mostly in a limited area of the world. The existence of ‘super bugs’ like MRSA. Polio. Rickets. Malaria, a bigger killer than Mao, HItler and Stalin combined. Ebola. Dengue Fever. Why can’t humans synthesise vitamin C?

    Does the guided view provide a model in which all of that is a unsurprising consequence? If you think so then please let me hear it. ‘Cause these are the kinds of things it’s important to understand. Give me a better explanation than the evolutionary one. One that fits the data, that doesn’t require too many assumptions, that gives an insight into what else we might discover.

  373. Mung,

    So? That’s a complete non-sequitur.

    I know for a fact though that many people are fools. I see no reason why biologists should be immune.

    For example, I don’t think of TSZ as The Skeptical Zone, but rather as The Simpleton Zone.

    Many people are fools, I agree. Which is why it’s good to have a process of developing understanding that partly depends on repeatability and group scrutiny, i.e. peer review. It’s always good to try and weed out personal bias and dogma. The current system may not be perfect but it’s hard to think of a better one.Given limited resources and time.

    I do not participate in The Skeptic Zone so I won’t comment on that. But I will ask: Are most ID proponents fools? Is there any reason they should be immune?

  374. Jerad:

    I guess my answer is no, I can’t see how a being could be purely energy.

    But you can see random mutations accumulating in such a way as to give rise to the observed diversity of life starting from some simple replicators. :roll:

  375. Jerad:

    Surely a position that does not assume a guiding hand is more parsimonious, more along the lines of Ockhams’ Razor, than one that does? Shouldn’t the null hypothesis be, because of fewer assumptions, unguided?

    But that would be begging the question. So, no.

    Let me see if I have this correct. You’re admitting you have no evidence for your claim that evolutionary processes are unguided, so now you wish to appeal to philosophy/metaphysics, an area in which by your own admission you’re a tad weak?

    Do you even really know what Ockham’s razor is and how and when to properly apply it?

    Ockham’s Razor, in the senses in which it can be found in Ockham himself, never allows us to deny putative entities; at best it allows us to refrain from positing them in the absence of known compelling reasons for doing so. In part, this is because human beings can never be sure they know what is and what is not “beyond necessity”; the necessities are not always clear to us. But even if we did know them, Ockham would still not allow that his Razor allows us to deny entities that are unnecessary. For Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else, the whole of creation, is radically contingent through and through.

    Ockham’s Razor

    And, how do you propose to establish that it is guided?

    I haven’t proposed any such thing, and why would I?

    Have you grasped yet your faith and how it is founded on no evidence?

  376. Guided v. Unguided

    Jerad,

    Since you cannot possibly establish the truth of your claim that evolutionary processes are unguided, may I offer a suggestion? Admit that you can’t and drop it.

    Why should we not take the position that we can say neither that they are guided nor that they are unguided? We don’t know, and we don’t know of a way to settle the matter.

    If you think that from admission on your part that you cannot establish the truth of your claim it follows that evolutionary processes must therefore be guided, please think again.

    If I asserted that evolutionary processes were guided, but could not establish the truth of my claim and therefore retracted it, would it then logically follow that evolutionary processes are unguided?

    What on earth ever happened to:

    1. We don’t know

    2. Science can’t answer that question

  377. Jerad:

    I’d say the same for the position that evolutionary processes are guided. I don’t think you can prove that position either.

    The difference between you and me here, is that you asserted that evolutionary processes are unguided, and I never asserted that they are. So I feel no obligation whatsoever to defend that position.

    To me, it’s an open and unresolved question. You’re the clear ideologue here, not I.

    Do you think science can tell us whether evolutionary processes are guided or not? If so, how?

    Do you think science can tell us whether a process is natural or not? How so?

  378. Jerad @371:

    Most ID proponents allow for some role for Darwinian processes. We are just trying to hash out the dividing line I figure.

    Some ID theorists are actively engaged in exploring what Darwinian processes are capable of, rather than making assumptions about what they can do. I hope you appreciate that. Are you aware of that fact?

    Yes but probability arguments are tricky and slippery.

    I suppose they can be. It doesn’t follow that they must be.

    Population genetics is based upon certain mathematical models. If the models are wrong you can hardly blame the ID crowd, can you? These models were created long before ID came on the scene.

    If the models are wrong, then modern evolutionary theory loses it’s mathematical foundation. If modern evolutionary theory loses it’s mathematical foundation, then it’s claim to be “scientific” will be greatly weakened. It will basically be back to “storytelling.”

    Mung:

    And then, even if there is some change at the genetic level, chances are it will have absolutely no effect on the organism. But say it does. Now it has to “compete” to spread throughout the population. Even if it helps the organism, it could still fail to be spread. In fact, odds are again against it.

    Jerad:

    This is true but has been addressed by research.

    Research has validated the truth of the things I said. Great! How does that help Darwinism?

    Mung:

    Then there is the cost issue. There is a cost to spreading a change throughout the population, and the population has to be able to meet that cost.

    Jerad:

    This too has been addressed. Especially in that a gain in one area is a loss or liability in another.

    How has it been addressed?

    When you say, a gain in one area is a loss or liability in another, what do you mean? In the same organism? In differing organisms? In the population?

    Can you point me to a single paper that calculates the cost for any evolutionary scenario? (e.g., whales evolving from whatever you think they evolved from.)

    You can’t find out that kind of stuff from listening to someone like me pontificating on a blog!!

    Ah, so you do pontificate, and even admit to doing so! I appreciate the honest self evaluation.

    That’s the kind of thing that is hashed out in research journals and conferences and long term research. … You have to take time to delve into the research. It’s work. But the discussions are there.

    Many of us will actually take the time to read papers that are available to the general public. Some of us even have access to papers not generally available.

    Very few of us are not interested in what “the other side” has to say.

    I can recommend Donald Prothero’s book on fossils if you’re really interested.

    I have it. I probably have more pro-evolution/anti-ID books than you do.

    Anything in particular you want to discuss?

  379. Mung (#366):

    It wasn’t an analogy.

    Thank you for pointing out that. I wanted to say the same thing, but I had forgotten… :)

  380. Jerad:

    do you sincerely believe that thousands of scientists all over the world, many of whom have a deep and abiding love of their field of study, are just goose-stepping to the party line to save their pensions?

    Well, I don’t know if it’s only to save their pensions (that would still be un understandable motive :) ), but they are certainly doing exactly that. Maybe most of them have very simple motives. Maybe most of them just accept conformist thinking, like in:

    “how do you explain that the overwhelming majority of working biologists find evolutionary theory more palatable than ID?”

    And anyway, why are you so surprised? Human history is full of whole generations “goose-stepping to the party line”. It’s human nature, be realistic!

  381. Jerad:

    Yes but probability arguments are tricky and slippery.

    It’s strange that you make such a statement. Are you aware that most scientific knowledle is based on “probability arguments”? Just to make an example, in Fisher’s hypothesis testing, that is the base for a lot of biological and medical conclusions, the null hypothesis is rejected because of the improbability of a set of data. The reasoning is extremely similar to that in ID design inference.

    I understand your perplexities about statistics (birthdays, and so on). These are the normal perplexities of someone who has never seriously studied the discipline.

    You could certainly have bigger, and more justified, perplexities regarding more “strange” scientific theories, like for instance quantum mechanics, which is certainly much more distint from usual common sense. Would you therefore say that quantum mechanics is “tricky and slippery”? Just to know.

  382. To Alan Fox (on TSZ):

    Thank you for your kind invitation to take part in The Skeptical Zone. My past experiences in similar contexts have been very satisfying, so I would certainly like to do that.

    Unfortunately, I am also aware of how exactling such a task is for my time, and I don’t believe that at present I can do that, while still posting here at UD.

    So, for the moment I will try to answer the main questions you make there about my statements here, so that they are also visible to UD commenters, who after all are those to whom I feel more committed. I hope you understand. And anyway, it seems that you guys at TSZ are reading UD quite regularly! :)

    I would just point out to Petrushka that it is not a question of “courage”, but of time: I have already done that (discussing things on a darwinist friendly forum) twice, and my courage has not diminished, I believe, since then.

    So, I start:

    Petrushka

    He claims that a non-material designer could insert changes into coding sequences. I’d like to know how that works. How does an entity having no matter or energy interact with matter and energy? Sounds to me like he is saying that A can sometimes equal not A.

    It’s simple. Consciousness, empirically, can interact with matter. I believe (for many objective reasoins, that I have many times tried to express here) that consciousness is a primitive part of reality, and cannot be explained in terms of matter and energy. (Have you a better theory?).

    Therefore, something that cannot be explained in terms of matter and energy does empirically interact with matter and energy. It’s just an observation. See my post #361 here for details.

    He claims that variation is non stochastic and that adaptive adaptations are the result of algorithmic directed mutations. Is that in addition to intervention by non-material designers? How does that work?

    For “adaptive adaptations”, as you call them, I was just referring to the recent debate about the papers in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. It was not my personal argument. And yes, that would be “in addition to intervention by non-material designers”, although obviously the existing algorithms in the genome can be designed.

    What is the evidence that non-stochastic variation exists or that it is even necessary, given the Lenski experiment?

    Well, the Lenski experiment has not generated a new protein domain. It has not outputted new dFSCI. It has just done what is probabilistically doable, even if it was not “assisted” by preexisting adaptive algorithms (which remains a possibility). So, the evidence for ID remains the same.

    What is the evidence that non-stochastic variation exists or that it is even necessary, given the Lenski experiment?

    No, also because I have no reason to believ there were directd mutations in the Lenski experiment (except, I repeat, in the possible sense of adaptive mechanisms).

    Could he explain why gpuccio sees this and Lenski doesn’t?

    If you mean “adaptive mechanisms”, it’s not that I “see” them. I refer you again to the recent papers, especially this one:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.....x/abstract

    The idea that gene duplication and the remixing of regulatory elements can be a facilitated mechanism is not mine, but I find it credible. That Lenski does not see things in this perspective does not mean that it cannot be done.

    I’m particularly interested in how a designer fixes mutations that have no obvious somatic effect, but which become important later.

    By having an intelligent plan, and by interacting with matter to realize it. Like all designers do.

    Alan Fox:

    I confess to many faults, among them reading too fast and typing too slowly. I also don’t have a good memory and don’t recall recently addressing any remarks to you other than this:

    I did not intend to criticize you in any way. I like the way you express things. I only meant that your comment, IMO, seemed not pertinent to what I had said about Lenski. You say: “But, gpuccio, do you not see that Lenski was only manipulating the environment?” But I had never denied that. So I wrote: “I am afraid you miss the points I made”, in the sense that I had said exactly what you were inviting me to “see”.

    And I apologize for the “misrepresent” word: “and misrepresent other points” is not probably a brilliant way to express it, but I was not referring to you misrepresenting me, but to you misrepresenting the role of the environment as designer in the second part of your phrase: “The environment in this case, as in life in general, is the designer.” Which indeed I commented upon. So, I apologize if I gave the impression that I was saying that you were misrepresenting me.

    The environment designs by selecting from what is available.

    Well, im my use of words that is not design. I have given an explicit definition of design, to avoid confusion. And anyway, the environment just interacts with the replicators. My point is that NS is the result of an interaction between replicators, with their biological information, and the environment. I don’t think that this point is really questionable.

    If you are referring to the Lenski experiment, you are flat wrong here.

    Yes, I am referring to the Lenski experiment there. Why am I wrong?

    I think I have to accuse you of reification here. What is “intelligent selection” with regard to evolutionary processes?

    I would invite you to reread what I wrote:

    “d1) Intelligent selection (IS) is any form of selection where a conscious intelligent designer defines a function, wants to develop it, and arranges the system to that purpose. RV is used to create new arrangements, where the desired function is measured, with the maximum possible sensitivity, and artificial selection is implemented on the base of the measured function.”

    I would think that is a clear definition. And, obviously, it has nothing to do with unguided evolutionary processes. It is a form of intelligent design.

    “d2) NS is selection based only on fitness/survival advantage of the replicator. The selected function is one and only one, and it cannot be any other. Moreover, the advantage (or disdvantage, in negative selection) must be big enough to result in true expansione of the mutated clone and in true fixation of the acquired variation.”

    NS has to do with unguided evolutionary processes. What is wrong with that?

    “Those are the differences. And believe me, they are big differences indeed.”

    I maintain that. Where is the reification?

    My response would depend on whether and how you can define or identify the process you call “intelligent selection”.

    I believe I had done exactly that.

  383. @ Jerad
    I’ve been following this lengthy conversation for the past few days, and thus far I haven’t been impressed by your showing. It’s disappointing really. You appeared on this blog with the ostensible goal of understanding ID better, but it appears (at least to me) that you just enjoy tweaking ID proponents with worn-out criticisms and vaccuous appeals to the “explanatory power” of Neo-darwinian mechanisms.

    For instance, your insistence that the presence of FSCI is insufficient to establish the design inference is baffling. Gpuccio more than adequately addressed your criticism in his post @ #5, but you seem to have completely ignored what he wrote. Moreover, I am convinced that in any context unrelated to biology, reasonable persons observing FSCI (by itself, i.e. not supplemented by additional knowledge) would not hesitate to infer intelligent causation. If tomorrow the rover Curiosity climbs over a bluff and discovers FSCI on Mars (whether in the form of pictograms, characters, architectural structures, etc.), the inescapable conclusion would be intelligent causation. Even if there was no other independent evidence of an intelligent presence, the existence of FSCI by itself would amply demonstrate it.
    But you might protest, “That’s merely a hypothetical. I still say that the design inference cannot legitimately be made without knowledge of the designer (motives, means of implementation, time the design was implemented, etc.).” Well, then, how about something a little less hypothetical?

    1. Unsolved murders – police investigators determine that a death was caused by intelligent agency even though they cannot determine who that intelligent agent was.
    2. Unattributed quotations – obviously created by someone even though authorship is unknown. If you want examples, just do a google search.
    3. Computer viruses – designed by an intelligence. However, the identity and motives of the intelligence may never be known.

    All of those are real world examples where the design inference cannot seriously be contested even if attribution (to a specific individual or group) is impossible.
    Having produced those examples (which you will likely oppose frivolously), I think that you probably already recognize this to be the case, namely that the design inference is secure once FSCI has been identified. I conjecture (admittedly) that your insistence on ID proponents specifying the identity and motives of the designer is really a poorly disguised attempt to smear ID as a theological enterprise. You yourself commented earlier that some perceive ID as an attempt to sneak theology into science. When persons persistently pepper ID proponents with questions about the designer, it’s usually because the questioner is trying to link ID theory with theology (esp. Christian theology).

    I also question your understanding of “explanatory power.” You claim that the lack of specificity about the designer constitutes a lack of explanatory power for ID. That is profoundly confused thinking. ID’s reluctance to speculate about a designer is not a function of lack of explanatory power. It is instead the result of reasonable limits of inference. Given certain observable evidence, only so much can be reasonably inferred without crossing into wholesale speculation. In contrast, what you depict as the explanatory power of Darwinian evolution is in reality nothing more than a disturbing supplanting of rigor with hand-waving speculation. The only reason Darwinian evolution seems to explain so much is that it is a story-creating engine. With only precious little data at its disposal it creates endless stories of biological development. Making stuff up is not genuine explanation.
    You also are ignoring a key requirement for a proposed cause to have genuine explanatory power. The proposed cause must be causally adequate. In other words, if one is suggesting that a certain effect is the product of some cause, the cause proposed must be known to be capable of producing the effect in question. This is where ID is leaps and bounds ahead of Neo-Darwinian evolution. Everyday around the world, billions of people are using design detection to distinguish between intelligence and non-intelligence. The ability of intelligent agents to produce FSCI (and mechanical complexity) is confirmed billions of times per day by direct observation. This means that its causal adequacy is beyond dispute. On the other hand, the ability of Neo-Darwinian mechanisms to generate even modest amounts of information is questionable, and absolutely no one has empirical knowledge of such creating anything that could conceivably rival a biological system. This is very important to grasp, because it materially affects those tedious ‘bad-design’ scenarios you keep pestering us about. Since Neo-Darwinism has not been shown to possess causal adequacy, it cannot explain in a rigorous, emprically driven fashion “vestigial leg bones” in whales, the blind spot in human eyes (which has been long since debunked as evidence of bad design), or dangerous viruses.

    If you are indeed sincere (against all odds and appearances), then please take the time to think seriously about all the points that have been raised in this thread.

  384. Mung @ 343

    CLAVDIVS: For ID to be predictive it must be based on some kind of regularity. But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    MUNG: On the contrary, the design inference in fact relies on regularity as one of it’s criterion. Your argument is self-refuting.

    By all means insist that ID relies on regularity – that just means you agree with me that the illustration in the OP is wrong, because it states the design inference is only reached by eliminating regularity.

    Scientific organisations reject the design inference per the OP as science because it eliminates regularity and, hence, lacks predictive ability. Which is what I’ve been saying all along.

    And based upon this fact, one can say that ID predicts that design is to be found outside the areas of law-like regularity.

    Please make up your mind: either the design inference “relies on regularity” or it is “outside the areas of law-like regularity”. It cannot be both.

    In any case your comment is self-contradictary. How can you predict something “outside the areas of law-like regularity”? Prediction requires some regularity that you are basing the prediction on. And if you’re basing your prediction on some regularity, then you are not “outside the areas of law-like regularity”.

    It’s just common sense.

    Cheers

  385. kairosfocus @ 345

    CLAVDIVS: For ID to be predictive it must be based on some kind of regularity. But, per the OP, regularity has been decisively ruled out as part of the design inference.

    KAIROSFOCUS: This is a strawman of astonishing proportions.

    No it isn’t. Please look at the illustration in the OP again. It says, in the first decision diamond, “law-like natural regularity?”, and only the “No” decision leads to design. Thus, the design inference per the OP rules out regularity.

    KAIROSFOCUS: THINK, designers are a regularly observed feature of our world, but they are not a pattern of mechanical necessity leading to law-like low contingency regularity. Nor are they another regularly observed pattern, high contingency stochastically distributed variability.

    If designers are not a pattern of mechanical necessity, nor stochastic, then how can one predict anything about them? The hallmark of design is the ability to make genuine choices that cannot be predicted on the basis of mechanistic laws. I agree with this; that is after all how conscious beings like humans appear to operate.

    But the very unpredictability that is the hallmark of design is precisely what puts the design inference outside the aegis of science – as all those scientific organisations have been saying.

    The reason we can predict things – albeit imperfectly – about conscious agents like humans is that we know about the constraints that apply to their ability to do things (anatomical limitations, materials available etc.) The existence of such constraints are regularities that we can base our predictions on.

    No such constraints or regularities appear in the illustration in the OP. Accordingly, the design inference per the OP lacks predictive ability. QED.

    Cheers

  386. Mung @ 346

    CLAVDIVS: Because predictable irregularity is an oxymoron, and therefore illogical.

    MUNG: And yet it’s a fact of life. So what are you going to do?

    What I am going to do is point out that an oxymoron cannot be a “fact of life” because it is a logical contradiction, and therefore impossible.

    Cheers

  387. kairosfocus @ 349

    F/N: Key institutions in science are dominated by atheists, out of proportion to their actual numbers. The same pattern holds in society. Cf Plato in The Laws Bk X on ruthless factionism to see part of why.

    We were talking about “evolutionary materialists” dominating science, not “atheists”.

    In any case, your claim above that atheists dominate science is a mere assertion without evidence or reasons. On the other hand I cited recent research published by OUP that both atheists and materialists are a minority ideological position in science. Here it is again:

    CLAVDIVS @ 329: Recent research shows only about 34% of scientists are atheists, and of those 12% claim to be “spiritual” – leaving on any reasonable view only 22% of scientists as materialists. Even fewer would be evolutionary materialists.

    So, materialism as an ideological position is in fact a small minority amongst scientists. Ideologically scientists are in fact quite diverse group. Accordingly, their consensus opinion on the scientific status of the design inference cannot be blamed on an ideological bent.

    Cheers

  388. CLAUDIUS:

    “The question of religious belief among US scientists has been debated since early in the century. Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.”

    Here:

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org.....le002.html

  389. Optimus (#386):

    Wonderful post (Optimus indeed!). Thank you.

  390. For Toronto (on TSZ=:

    From Wikipedia (list of particles).

    Photon: Charge: 0 Mass: 0 Confirmed

    Gluon: Charge: 0 Mass: 0 Confirmed

    Graviton: Charge: 0 Mass: 0 Unconfirmed

  391. Claudius:

    The species of atheism in question is obviously, predominantly evolutionary materialist.

    And, GP has summed up the pattern of institutional dominance that I mentioned.

    KF

  392. Claudius:

    I see the same red herring- strawman problem resurfaces, in another guise of phrasing:

    If designers are not a pattern of mechanical necessity, nor stochastic, then how can one predict anything about them? The hallmark of design is the ability to make genuine choices that cannot be predicted on the basis of mechanistic laws. I agree with this; that is after all how conscious beings like humans appear to operate.

    But the very unpredictability that is the hallmark of design is precisely what puts the design inference outside the aegis of science

    I notice, how you then try to justify the censorship on inference to best empirically grounded explanation, by this means: as all those scientific organisations have been saying.

    Your remarks are tantamount to suggesting that design is chaotic, irrational, illogical. Lewontin’s caricature of the imagined demonically chaotic supernatural lurks.

    As one who has had to design electronic systems embedding digital processing, that is a clanger. It should even be obvious to you if you design nothing more technological than a paragraph.

    Design is both rational and purposeful.

    It is based on rationally constraining and configuring the materials and forces of nature, intelligently, towards a goal. It often leaves characteristic marks behind, such as functionally specific, complex organisation and information that would be utterly implausible on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. That implausibility can be backed up by sampling theory and the needle in the haystack analysis.

    So, if science is concerned to seek the true empirically based explanation of objects in our world, it has to reckon with the empirically obvious and massively present reality of design in our world. Indeed, in doing science itself, design is embedded from bottom to top.

    So, what is irrational, illogical and patently driven by an irrational ideology, is the refusal to examine the evidence that leads to the conclusion that there are reliable signs of design that are observable, and that indicate that there are some features of our world and of the observable cosmos that may well evince such signs.

    Besides, there IS a science of technological design, TRIZ — notice how delicately Wiki simply speaks of a “theory” not admitting the implications of there being a scientific theory of design; a science, rooted in the empirical study of patterns of designs and yielding principles and patterns in a coherent empirically based framework that is actually used by multi-billion dollar technology firms in their work.

    KF

  393. gpuccio @ 391

    “The question of religious belief among US scientists has been debated since early in the century. Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.”

    We were discussing (@ 247) whether scientific organisations are “dominated by ideological evolutionary materialism”.

    That Nature survey you cite is barely connected with this issue. They asked whether scientists believed in a “God in intellectual and effective communication with humankind” who answers prayers. That is an extremely parochial religious question that does not tell us how many scientists are philosophical materialists.

    The more recent research I cited shows that about 66% of scientists are believers in a personal God or agnostic, plus 12% of the atheists self-described as “spiritual”, making at least 78% open to some degree to a non-materialist philosophy of science.

    Thus, the best evidence contradicts the notion that scientific organisations are dominated by ideological materialism.

    Cheers

  394. Come on toronto- how much mass in in radio waves? Your refusal to answer exposes your cowardice and ignorance.

  395. from the horse’s mouth:

    e=mc²: Einstein explains his famous formula – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC7Sg41Bp-U

    of related note:

    e=mc2 – Einstein and the World’s Most Famous Equation (The history behind each piece of the equation) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDr9j1cJxPQ

  396. kairosfocus @ 395

    CLAVDIVS: If designers are not a pattern of mechanical necessity, nor stochastic, then how can one predict anything about them? The hallmark of design is the ability to make genuine choices that cannot be predicted on the basis of mechanistic laws. I agree with this; that is after all how conscious beings like humans appear to operate.

    But the very unpredictability that is the hallmark of design is precisely what puts the design inference outside the aegis of science.

    KAIROSFOCUS: I notice, how you then try to justify the censorship on inference to best empirically grounded explanation, by this means: as all those scientific organisations have been saying.

    Nobody is censoring anything, kairosfocus.

    And you are entirely mistaken about the justification I raised for saying design is not science. The justification – as I noted here and here and elsewhere – is that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations.

    Your counterargument was that scientists are just biased due to a predominance of ideological materialism. I’ve shown that counterargument to be unsupported by the best evidence. Therefore, the justification still stands for why ID is not seen as science.

    Your remarks are tanamount to suggesting that design is chaotic, irrational, illogical.

    No. The examples of intelligent design that we can observe clearly show regularities, as I pointed out @ 388.

    However, the type of designer that is inferred in the OP cannot show any kind of regularity, because all regularities are claimed to be eliminated at an earlier stage in the inference. Thus, the inference in the OP does not correspond to the empirical evidence of design that we can observe.

    Plus, in a logical sense, if we grant (just for the sake of discussion) the truth of the inference in the OP, one cannot make predictions about a designer that does not exhibit any regularities. As I said to Mung, predictable irregularity is an oxymoron.

    For these reasons, the design inference in the OP is not seen as scientific.

    Cheers

  397. Jerad:

    but probability arguments are tricky and slippery.

    That does not imply that they are always suspect.

    More to the point, the needle in the haystack issue is not a probability argument that pivots on having just right estimates.

    It is a well understood, easily shown pattern that if we have a blind sample of a large pop that is tiny in proportion, we have no reasonable right to see tiny, unusual zones coming up, but instead will overwhelmingly sample the bulk. That is the root of the layman law of averages, more properly of fluctuations. Which BTW is the base for the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    And the relevant config spaces are so big so fast that they dwarf the sampling resources of our solar system and the cosmos.

    That is why getting to islands of complex specific function on blind chance and mechanical necessity is a serious and central issue, starting with OOL and going on to origin of body plans.

    Where of course, intelligence routinely surmounts such barriers as posts in this thread demonstrate.

    KF

  398. Optimus:

    Go, Curiosity!

    KF

    PS: And I am sure that a Martian princess out on a morning stroll coming across the explorer would immediately and correctly infer from its FSCO/I that it is designed.

  399. C:

    You are wrong on censorship and manifestly wrong beyond that. Cf here on. The remarks by NSTA are particularly revealing and they have had consequences on the ground that include holding children studying in school hostage through an ugly threatening letter from the NAS and NSTA.

    Let me clip Johnson’s on-target rebuke to Lewontin’s a priori materialism:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    Now you try to insist that design is excluded from empirically based investigation under the rubric science, through again suggesting:

    you are entirely mistaken about the justification I raised for saying design is not science. The justification – as I noted here and here and elsewhere – is that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations.

    Red herring and strawman again.

    You know and/or should know that the aspects studied scientifically are regularities of design such as FSCO/I.

    Information theory, similarly, scientifically studies regularities of designed systems.

    So does TRIZ, which — remember this is by definition the study of inventive problem solving — studies INVENTIONS.

    You seem desperate to deflect the fact that intelligent, purposeful design based behaviour is subject to study linked to its empirically evident characteristics.

    Repeating a core error in endless variations will not transmute it into being correct.

    As for insistently twisting the flowchart in the OP into pretzels to infer that regularities of any type are eliminated at decision node 1, kindly observe what the decision is: law-like natural regularity [i.e. as you know or should know, we are here looking at mechanical necessity and its low-contingency signature like, heavy unsupported objects near earth's surface fall at 9.8 N/kg]. The second node goes on to a distinguishing feature between chance and choice contingency.

    The only thing the first node asks, as you know or should know from the reference to LAW-like natural regularity, is whether we are seeing a mechanically necessary law of nature in action, of the very familiar type F = ma or F = G Mm/r^2.

    Observe the block to its right on going on to characterise the law and put it into the body of theory. Also, you are reminded of the following remarks:

    3: Lawlike regularities lead to inference of mechanical necessity expressible in deterministic laws, like Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, or the law of the simple pendulum with small swings. Or, the observation that dropped heavy objects reliably fall under g = 9.8 N/kg near earth’s surface.

    4: If an aspect shows high contingency, this is not reasonably explicable on such a law.

    5: Thus, we have to look at the two known sources of high contingency, chance and design. For instance, a dropped die that tumbles and settles can be fair and showing a flat distribution across {1, 2, . . . 6} or it can be artfully loaded. (This example has been cited over and over for years, that it has not sunk in yet is utterly telling on closed mindedness.)

    6: The presumed default on high contingency, is chance, showing itself in some typical stochastic distribution, as is say typical of the experimental scatter studied under the theory of errors in science. Dice show a flat distribution if they are fair. Wind speed often follows a Weibull distribution, and so forth.

    7: Sampling theory tells us that when we observe such a distribution, we tend to reflect the bulk of the population, and that rare, special zones are unlikely to come up in a sample that is too small. This is the root of Fisherian hypothesis testing commonly used in statistical studies. (As in far tails are special rare zones so if you keep on hitting that zone, you are most likely NOT under a chance based sample. Loaded dice being a typical case in point: as you multiply the number of dice, the distribution tends to have a sharp peak in the middle and for instance, you are very unlikely to get 1,1,1, .. or all sixes etc. The flipped coin as a two sided die, is a classic studied under statistical mechanics.)

    8: So, once we have a complex enough case that deeply isolates special zones, we are maximally unlikely to see such by chance. But, the likelihood of seeing such under loading or similar manipulation is a different proposition altogether.

    You wrenched what was said in the teeth of very explicit statements to the contrary.

    You come across as playing willfully manipulative and insistent word twisting games to suit a rhetorical agenda; in the teeth of your manifest duties of care to accuracy and fairness. This is not a high school debate.

    Cho man, do betta dan dat!

    KF

  400. kairosfocus @ 402

    You are wrong on censorship and manifestly wrong beyond that. Cf here on. The remarks by NSTA are particularly revealing and they have had consequences on the ground that include holding children studying in school hostage through an ugly threatening letter from the NAS and NSTA.

    There appears to be nothing in those links that supports your claim of “censorship”. Censorship means suppressing speech. Speech about ID is not suppressed; rather it is vigorous, as we can see on this very message board and on Amazon.

    Let me clip Johnson’s on-target rebuke to Lewontin’s a priori materialism …

    Citing one out of the 22% of scientists who are philosophical materialists does not change the fact that 78% of them are not. Therefore the claim that science is dominated by materialism is still unsupported by the evidence.

    KAIROSFOCUS: Now you try to insist that design is excluded from empirically based investigation under the rubric science, through again suggesting:

    you are entirely mistaken about the justification I raised for saying design is not science. The justification – as I noted here and here and elsewhere – is that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations.

    Red herring and strawman again.

    You know and/or should know that the aspects studied scientifically are regularities of design such as FSCO/I.

    Fine, if there are regularities in design (which I agree is true) then the design inference presented in the OP is not valid.

    Here’s the reason step-by-step. The OP first excludes from consideration all ontological objects (“key aspects” of “an object or event”) that exhibit regularity. The remaining objects are further analysed, and in cases of a certain complexity, an intelligent designer is inferred. Logic does not then allow you to claim that any of those designed objects exhibit regularity. Why? Because that contradicts the first premise which is that designed objects do not exhibit regularity.

    If the designed objects identified by the inference in the OP do not exhibit any regularity, then one cannot reason from them to make any subsequent inferences or predictions about the nature of designed objects, their designer, or anything else for that matter. This is because a predictable irregularity is an oxymoron.

    Cheers

  401. kairosfocus @ 402

    You come across as playing willfully manipulative and insistent word twisting games to suit a rhetorical agenda; in the teeth of your manifest duties of care to accuracy and fairness. This is not a high school debate.

    So do you.

    Cheers

  402. kairosfocus @ 402

    Sorry kairosfocus but when I got to your comment that I was playing games, and somewhat piqued I overreacted and resorted to a cheap retort.

    I take it back and apologise. I hope we can continue this discussion productively.

    Cheers
    _____

    OKAY, KF

  403. O makes a false accusation of censorship — probably being amplified all across the slander laced fever swamps as we speak — when O knows full well he was asked to apologise and cease from derail attempts or leave. He chose to leave then tried to return and suggest that he could — with an unresolved matter of uncivil behaviour on his part on the table — hold a separate conversation ignoring the thread owner. Sorry, it does not work that way. Comment removed for cause. KF

  404. kairosfocus @ 402

    Lawlike regularities lead to inference of mechanical necessity expressible in deterministic laws …
    4: If an aspect shows high contingency, this is not reasonably explicable on such a law.
    5: Thus, we have to look at the two known sources of high contingency, chance and design. For instance, a dropped die that tumbles and settles can be fair and showing a flat distribution across {1, 2, . . . 6} or it can be artfully loaded.

    Here’s how I see it. Both the fair die and the loaded die exhibit regularities. One can predict with 100% certainty various behaviours of a fair die (e.g. that P(1) = 1/6) and more behaviours can be predicted with high probability over sufficiently large numbers of runs. Given enough testing, the same predictions can be made for a crooked die, and thus it can be distinguished from a fair one.

    On what basis, then, does one decide that the behaviour of a die does not exhibit law-like regularity? Whilst indeed it shows high contingency, its behaviour can nevertheless be predicted to conform to law-like probability parameters that are known with great precision. Thus its behaviour is reasonably explicable on the basis of a law-like regularity.

    So I don’t believe the dice are good examples.

    Cheers

  405. onlooker @ 406

    What do you mean?

    Cheers

  406. onlooker is confused. It mistakes its continued belligerence with an actual discussion.

  407. onlooker on TSZ:

    This still sounds like you are explicitly defining dFSCI such that it cannot be created by any known process.

    No, design is a known process that can generate dFSCI. What YOU cannot do is demonstrate that blind and undirected processes can generate what he dfines as dFSCI.

    And seeing that you cannot do that all you have is to play cowardly semantic games.

    Do you want to know why IDists avoid the TSZ? Because it has been proven that the regulars there do NOT post in good faith.

    Heck they believe that because E=MC^2 that means energy is matter. They are NOT the same. As Einstein said the equation tells us they are DIFFERENT manifistations of the same thing.

  408. Comment removed for cause, cf above. KF

  409. bornagain77 @398-

    Thank you- “diiferent manifestations of the same thing” which means they are not the same thing.

  410. gpuccio:

    Thank you for pointing out that. I wanted to say the same thing, but I had forgotten

    I can be such a sticker for details some times =p.

    Jerad asked for an example and you gave him one. I didn’t want it dismissed as ‘mere’ analogy.

    Sorry if I’m hogging the thread. I’ll try to be more restrained. Probably won’t work out too well though ;).

  411. Hi Jerad, when you get a chance, take a look at the following two comments:

    Upright BiPed @6

    Upright BiPed @27

    Did you ever respond to them? If not, please consider doing so.

    Thanks

    p.s. Happy Birthday!

  412. gpuccio:

    Are you aware that most scientific knowledge is based on “probability arguments”?

    Excellent point!

  413. Alan Fox:

    The environment designs by selecting from what is available.

    Whatever survies is “selected”.

    New genotypes arise by mutation, duplication, recombination etc, etc.

    And as Dr Spetner said in 1997, there is no justification in calling all genetic change “random” / chance events.

    Natural selection still doesn’t do anything. It does not design. It does not construct. And it does not produce dFSCI.

  414. gpuccio:

    By having an intelligent plan, and by interacting with matter to realize it. Like all designers do.

    lol. simply too good.

  415. Optimus @386

    well said!

  416. clavdivs,

    I was just toying with you. You have a higher opinion of your argument than is warranted.

    When attempting to apply the deign inference to some artifact or event, the first step in the explanatory filter is to rule out some regular function (e.g., a natural law) as a possible explanation.

    Therefore, you reason, ID cannot make predictions.

    It’s an absolutely asinine argument.

    Next time I guess I should be more direct up front.

  417. The clavdivs objection to ID

    We know by observation and experience that lawlike regularities exist

    ID rules out lawlike regularities (see step one of the explanatory filter)

    Therefore, ID is in conflict with our observation and experience

    And that’s why I reject ID.

    Someone needs to put that into the objections against ID, lol.

  418. CLAVDIVS: Because predictable irregularity is an oxymoron, and therefore illogical.

    MUNG: And yet it’s a fact of life. So what are you going to do?

    CLAVDIVS: What I am going to do is point out that an oxymoron cannot be a “fact of life” because it is a logical contradiction, and therefore impossible.

    Since it is a fact of life it cannot be impossible.

    We see logical contradictions all the time.

    Logical contradictions are not impossible.

    Therefore you cannot appeal to logical contradiction to falsify a fact of life.

  419. clavdivs:

    The justification – as I noted here and here and elsewhere – is that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations.

    And yet your actual argument is that design cannot, even in principle, predict outcomes.

    Your argument is that ID is prohibited from making predictions by it’s own methodology.

    So just to clarify for anyone who may still be following along, is your argument that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations because it logically cannot do so because it’s prohibited from doing so by it’s methodology?

    Or do you have some other argument in defense of your claim?

  420. Claudius:

    With all due respect, it seems you have a serious problem with reading accurately in context.

    I cited a particular case where because people in a state of the USA advocated the traditional school level definition of science, they were threatened — by NAS and NSTA jointly — with holding their children hostage under the official disapproval of the top level institutional bodies of science and science edu in the US. The result of this was the imposition of a one-sided radical redefinition of science and its methods, one that imposes a prior restraint on freedom of thought and expression, under penalty of administrative or legal measures.

    That is censorship in favour of a domineering reigning orthodoxy, by any reasonable understanding.

    Thank you for letting us know that you support such censorship, by enabling behaviour for it.

    As for the next issue, you plainly wish to further twist into pretzels, which raises the issue that you are now speaking in disregard to duties of care to the truth and to fairness:

    The OP first excludes from consideration all ontological objects (“key aspects” of “an object or event”) that exhibit regularity. The remaining objects are further analysed, and in cases of a certain complexity, an intelligent designer is inferred. Logic does not then allow you to claim that any of those designed objects exhibit regularity. Why? Because that contradicts the first premise which is that designed objects do not exhibit regularity.

    You have chosen to twist what you read. You have been explicitly shown that the regularities in question are those usually described as natural laws that manifest themselves in mechanically necessary, low contingeny regularities. SO, YOU HAVE WILLFULLY TWISTED THE EXPLICIT TERMS THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT OR FOR LAWS SIMILAR TO F = ma, ETC. Despite being given specific cases in point and explicit words of discussion from the OP on this.

    next the aspects of an object that would exhibit high contingency are analysed on chance or choice, with the threshold of functional specificity being used to infer to choice, otherwise chance is the default. never mind that this will miss low complexity cases; we are not looking for all cases, only for the ones that are so beyond reasonable doubt.

    Nor is such a novelty, it has been presented by design thinkers for years, and at UD in particular for years.

    That you have chosen to insistently wrench diagrams and words that clearly do not mean what you have tried to force-fit into them, is now going to character.

    I suggest you take a pause, and think again about what you are revealinfg about yourself and your ilk, if this is the sort of “strong horse” argument you have to resort to.

    KF

    PS: I see that someone who has been abusive, and has been asked to leave threads that I own on account of willful rudeness is choosing to pop up to try top pretend that he is the subject of improper suppression i.e censorship. Sorry, incivility is cause for exclusion from this forum, you are not even banned from the rest of UD. And you know how you may freely comment in threads I own in future, i.e resolve your misbehaviour. So, yes I am about to remove the posts in question for cause of incivility. You don’t go into someone’s living room and then behave rudely, then on being asked to apologise or leave — and to cease from trying to derail discussion — then return and suggest that you can carry on a conversation and ignore the host int he same living room. Now, you return again. (BTW, to be asked to be civil or leave is NOT censorship by any reasonable definition.) This is a measure of the gross disrespect, boorishness, arrogance and abusiveness of too many objectors to design theory.

  421. To onlooker (on TSZ):

    No, dFSCI can be used to infer design. Our empirical experience says that dFSCI is always associated to design.
    Eliminating known necessity explanations is simply dutiful: if someone can provide a credible necessity explanation, the concept itself of dFSCI in that object is falsified, and the necessity explanation becomes by default the “best explanation”. But if no credible necessity explanation is available, design becomes the best explanation, not by any logical ptinciple, but because of the known empirical association between dFSCI and design.

    That is not an “argument from ignorance” as you darwinists love to say. You are simply wrong. The argument is empirical: a credible empirical explanation is always the best explanation, if its only competitor is an abstract hope that maybe some day some necessity explanation could be found. You seem worried that, if such an explanation is ever found, the design inference would be falsified. But there is nothing to worry about: the design inference is a lawful scientific theory, and as such itmcan always, in principle, be falsified by new data. There is nothing wrong with that, indeed it is one of the merits of ID.

    What you seem to be saying here is that dFSCI is present if a single mutation generates more than 150 bits of functional complexity. Is that the case? Would you consider a gene duplication event of more than 75 bases to be such a mutation?

    No. Wrong. First of all, there is no need that “a single mutation” generates more than 150 bits of functional complexity. The only requirement is that 150 bits of functional complexity are generated, without any deterministic explanation for that. It can happen in one mutation, in 150 or in 150000. It does not matter.

    And, obviously, a gene duplication does not create any new dFSCI. The information is only copied. The same functional information was already there. You can copy it 1000 times, no new information is generated that is tied to that function. I am really surprised that you miss such a basic point. Accoridng to your reasoning, each genome duplication would generate tons of new dFSCI!

    If you do consider such (observed) duplication mutations to constitute dFSCI, then it is obvious that evolution can generate it. If you, for whatever reason, exclude such mutations, it suggests to me that dFSCI is defined deliberately to exclude any evolutionary process because evolution overwhelmingly tends to only explore regions of genotype space very close to points known to be viable.

    dFSCI is defined empirically, from the experience we have we complex objects designed by humans. It is not defined “deliberately” to exclude evolutionary processes, it is defined “deliberately” to distinguish designed objects from objects generated by unguided evolutionary processes. I would like to remind you that the fact that dFSCI, as defined by me, is hugely present in biological objects, and in human artifacts, and in nothing else, is not my responsibility. I have defined a property. Its distribution in nature is not my fault.

    Before I make way too many assumptions about your position, let me close with a question: Does dFSCI only exist when a single change of more than 150 bits of functional complexity takes place or does it exist if that change takes place in multiple steps?

    Definitely, as I have already said, it can take place in as many steps you like. In a random system. If determiniostic effect, credible and demonstrable, intervene, they “split” the probabilistic modelling, as shown in my (long!) analysis here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....selection/

    starting more or less at post 62 and going on to the end.

  422. clavdivs @399:

    However, the type of designer that is inferred in the OP cannot show any kind of regularity, because all regularities are claimed to be eliminated at an earlier stage in the inference.

    The OP doesn’t refer to any type of designer that I can see.

    What type of designer do you think is inferred in the OP?

  423. To Alan Fox (on TSZ):

    No, that was my definition of Intelligent Selection. My definition is in post #5. I paste it here, but if you read the original post you will find other brief, useful definitions of mine:

    a) Design is the act by which conscious intelligent beings, such as humans, represent some intelligent form and purposefully output that form into some material system. We call the conscious intelligent being “designer”, and the act by which the conscious representation “models” the material system “design”. We call the material system, after the design, a “designed object”.

  424. F/N: Claudius, when we see a case of F = m*a, we are not seeing a statistical distribution that exhibits wide variation under given initial conditions — the usual random scatter being a second aspect, we see a definite trend that can classically be plotted as a graph with some scatter, we minimise such using a least squares regression on a linearised plot [log-log, log-linear etc being well known], or the like; think here Bode gain and frequency plots that charactgerise the response of a system.

    This you know about, or should if you are posting here at UD.

    When it comes to the fair die, there is a flat random distribution across a range, fed by tiny and uncontrollable variations that feed into clashing deterministic chains that are uncorrelated, thence sensitive dependence on initial and intervening conditions in light of eight corners and twelve edges, leading to a 1/6 probability of any one value on tumbling and settling. As is well known, i.e this is yet another mountain out of a molehill argument.

    With a loaded die, the odds of a given face can be manipulated by a range of tricks, leading to intentionally biassed outcomes. In some cases, the uppermost value will be all but certain (though those would be pretty suspicious to an onlooker).

    I beg to remind you that my dad, an econometric statistician for that part of his working life, would use telephone books as poor man’s random number tables. Having used a preliminary step to pick a page at random, the first number on the page was used to send to another. Now the numbers are deterministically assigned, and the pages are printed by purposeful alphabetic arrangement, but due to lack of correlation, there is a random number effect in the local loop codes, aka phone numbers (the last 4 digits in a US style phone net). BTW, the digits of pi are deterministically assigned but want of correlation between the value of pi and the digit values of the decimal number system, cause the digits to be randomly distributed.

    Sky noise and Zener shot noise, modified to give a flat white spectrum, are genuinely and per the theories involved, random all the way to the root.

    So, it is quite reasonable to see the pattern of results on tossing dice or coins — two sided dice — as chance contingent outcomes.

    The alphanumerical characters in this post, however, are highly contingent and chosen intelligently, yielding FSCO/I. This is immediately recognisable, on good reasons as long since explained as tracing to intelligence. If you doubt this, look carefully at the 504-coin tray and scanner exercise.

    If tossed at random the results per the distribution will overwhelmingly be near 50-50 H-T in no particular order. If the first 72 ASCII characters of this post were read, we would know to moral certainty that the coins had been set by choice.
    This was discussed in the OP, which it seems you need to read over to try to understand rather than to snip out snippets to set in a different context that you can object to when cast in that alien context.

    That is erecting strawmen, and at this point it is looking willful, please, stop.

    KF

  425. gpuccio @385:

    NS is selection based only on fitness/survival advantage of the replicator. The selected function is one and only one, and it cannot be any other. Moreover, the advantage (or disadvantage, in negative selection) must be big enough to result in true expansion of the mutated clone and in true fixation of the acquired variation.

    Can we just drop talk of ‘natural selection’?

    :)

    Even committed evolutionists are confused by the term.

    Natural selection does not ‘select’ anything.

    And speaking of ‘selection’ conflates cause with effect.

    What there is, is differential reproduction.

    What is the cause of differential reproduction?

    Anyone who says that natural selection is the cause is just confused.

    And ‘selection’ gives the impression that some are selected and others are not selected and that the not selected are no longer part of the picture. And this is not the actual case.

    At least differential reproduction properly implies that there’s a reproductive ‘battle’ going on.

    So in the Lenski experiment, what was the cause of the differential reproduction? Was intelligence involved?

    my .02

  426. Alan Fox sez:

    Because a new strain of E. coli arose by variation that was able to digest citrate.

    No Alan. The cariation allowed the citrate into the organism. The machinery for digesting citrate was already in place.

    How on Earth can the novel ability to digest citrate not be a new biochemical function?

    Buy a vowel Alan- the bacteria diid NOT gain the novel ability to digest citrate. Just the ability to allow the citrate in.

    is no distinction between artificial and natural selection.

    Of course there is. For example, natural selection could never produce a toy poodle.

    Alan “just say anything” Fox, clueless till the end…

  427. To toronto and Miller- I will answer you on my blog. No need to keep polluting UD with your nonsense.

  428. Mung (378):

    I’m a bit behind, long day. I tried publishing a comment early this morning but UD went off line.

    Let me see if I have this correct. You’re admitting you have no evidence for your claim that evolutionary processes are unguided, so now you wish to appeal to philosophy/metaphysics, an area in which by your own admission you’re a tad weak?

    No, I’m not admitting I have no evidence for my view.

    If we didn’t consider any of the data and only accepted the laws of physics and chemistry then the unguided paradigm makes no further assumptions regarding causes or forces. The guided view accepts the basic physical laws and allows for a guiding light as yet unspecified or defined. So I say the unguided approach has fewer assumptions.

    And, how do you propose to establish that it is guided?

    I haven’t proposed any such thing, and why would I?

    Have you grasped yet your faith and how it is founded on no evidence?

    I’m confused. You say my unguided paradigm has no evidence yet you are not proposing a guided view. Perhaps you could be a bit clearer about what your view is exactly. So I don’t misinterpret you.

    I do think my view has lots of evidence to back it up. I could list the major lines of evidence again but I’ve done so many times so it seems pointless.

  429. Mung (379):

    Since you cannot possibly establish the truth of your claim that evolutionary processes are unguided, may I offer a suggestion? Admit that you can’t and drop it.

    The unguided model has not been contradicted by any of the data collected over the last 200 years or more. It is consistent with knows laws of physics and chemistry. It has great explanatory power. It can make some predictions. It does not assume any unproven to exist causes or processes. I see no reason to drop it.

    Why should we not take the position that we can say neither that they are guided nor that they are unguided? We don’t know, and we don’t know of a way to settle the matter.

    There is no need to make the guided assumption. The unguided approach is sufficient.

    It can be disproven though. I am not denying the process could be guided. If the modern evolutionary synthesis is falsified then other explanations would have to be considered.

    If you think that from admission on your part that you cannot establish the truth of your claim it follows that evolutionary processes must therefore be guided, please think again.

    I think the unguided model explains the data and makes fewer assumptions. And, so far, there is no need to invoke a guide/designer.

    You can’t prove a designer doesn’t exist. You can’t prove a negative. But you can pick models with the fewest assumptions that explain the data.

    If I asserted that evolutionary processes were guided, but could not establish the truth of my claim and therefore retracted it, would it then logically follow that evolutionary processes are unguided?

    What on earth ever happened to:

    1. We don’t know

    2. Science can’t answer that question

    Science cannot prove a designer doesn’t exist. But science doesn’t need to invoke a designer to explain the data.

    If you couldn’t prove your claim and retracted it that would mean nothing to the model or to science. We can model what is measurable, predictable, observable, definable. That’s what models do. It’s not a matter of belief or assertion.

  430. Mung (380):

    The difference between you and me here, is that you asserted that evolutionary processes are unguided, and I never asserted that they are. So I feel no obligation whatsoever to defend that position.

    Okay. You did tell me my view had no evidence whatsoever. And I think I’ve clarified my belief above. At least I’ve tried to. I personally don’t think there is a guider/designer. The scientific models do not need to account for one. But you cannot prove one doesn’t exist.

    To me, it’s an open and unresolved question. You’re the clear ideologue here, not I.

    Do you think science can tell us whether evolutionary processes are guided or not? If so, how?

    Do you think science can tell us whether a process is natural or not? How so?

    If processes, like mutations, show no pattern or predictability and are random then there is no need to include a designer in the model.

    If a designer shows no detectable pattern or purpose then it might as well not exist and does not need to be accounted for in the model.

    As far as I am aware the existence of a designer isn’t a very interesting question ’cause there’s no evidence to suggest there is one. So I don’t think many people are spending a lot of time on it.

  431. Mung (381):

    Some ID theorists are actively engaged in exploring what Darwinian processes are capable of, rather than making assumptions about what they can do. I hope you appreciate that. Are you aware of that fact?

    Yes I am very much aware of that. The work of Dr Behe comes to mind.

    Population genetics is based upon certain mathematical models. If the models are wrong you can hardly blame the ID crowd, can you? These models were created long before ID came on the scene.

    If the models are wrong, then modern evolutionary theory loses it’s mathematical foundation. If modern evolutionary theory loses it’s mathematical foundation, then it’s claim to be “scientific” will be greatly weakened. It will basically be back to “storytelling.”

    I wouldn’t dream of blaming the ID crowd if the models turn out to be wrong. And I welcome anyone to do research checking to see if they’re right. That’s way science should be ‘done’: check other people’s work, if a model is wrong find a better one.

    Research has validated the truth of the things I said. Great! How does that help Darwinism?

    The ‘costs’ of mutations and how they get fixed into a population have both been researched and examine and the results of that work has been incorporated into the modern evolutionary synthesis. When new results and data are discovered the theory is modified. As it should be. While the basic outline remains the same the details get rewritten and altered.

    How has it been addressed?

    When you say, a gain in one area is a loss or liability in another, what do you mean? In the same organism? In differing organisms? In the population?

    Can you point me to a single paper that calculates the cost for any evolutionary scenario? (e.g., whales evolving from whatever you think they evolved from.)

    I have read discussions of the costs to individuals of growing longer necks (giraffes) longer tail feathers (peacocks) and other such morphological changes. I believe Dr Dawkins book The Greatest Show On Earth has a good exposition on such matters. In that book Dr Dawkins usually brings up specific research that is pertinent. I’d start with a book like that and check the bibliography. Or send a friendly email to Dr Coyne or Carl Zimmer or the head of the biology department of your local university.

  432. Jerad:

    Science cannot prove a designer doesn’t exist. But science doesn’t need to invoke a designer to explain the data.

    That’s a very sweeping statement. Which data?

    By your own admission, there are things better explained by an intelligent cause. Take you posts here at UD, for example.

    We can model what is measurable, predictable, observable, definable. That’s what models do.

    You have asserted that the evolutionary process is unguided. How do you measure and model unguidedness?

    Are you seriously asking if it’s okay to fall back on a position that says: it could look like natural processes in every way we can measure but what if it’s really directed!

    What are the units of measurement for naturalness? How does one measure whether some process is natural or not?

  433. Mung (381):

    (thought I’d finished that post! :-) )

    Many of us will actually take the time to read papers that are available to the general public. Some of us even have access to papers not generally available.

    Very few of us are not interested in what “the other side” has to say.

    Very good.

    I have it. I probably have more pro-evolution/anti-ID books than you do.

    Anything in particular you want to discuss?

    Not at the moment. I’m just trying to answer my many fans before I fall asleep. 11:40pm . . . whew.

  434. gpuccio:

    Well, I don’t know if it’s only to save their pensions (that would still be un understandable motive ), but they are certainly doing exactly that. Maybe most of them have very simple motives. Maybe most of them just accept conformist thinking, like in:

    “how do you explain that the overwhelming majority of working biologists find evolutionary theory more palatable than ID?”

    And anyway, why are you so surprised? Human history is full of whole generations “goose-stepping to the party line”. It’s human nature, be realistic!

    Perhaps. But I’ve hung around biologists, I was married to one for a time. They are very cantankerous, nonconformist and extremely independent. I never, ever heard any of them make any kind of comment that they were just toeing the party line to protect their job or their pensions or anything else. Many of them didn’t have much of a salary or a pension to protect. Most of them love their work and believe in it completely.

  435. Jerad:

    As far as I am aware the existence of a designer isn’t a very interesting question ’cause there’s no evidence to suggest there is one.

    You’re so predictable, lol.

    You admit there are designers and there is evidence for them.

    Then you say there’s no evidence to suggest there is a designer.

    And when asked to consider the evidence for intelligent design you decline to do so, asserting ignorance.

    Make up your mind please.

    … the existence of a designer isn’t a very interesting question ’cause there’s no evidence to suggest there is one.

    Another sweeping generalization. There’s no evidence to suggest there is a designer of what?

    There is ample evidence for the existence of designers.

  436. Mung:

    “Differential reproduction” is perfectly fine with me. Alan Fox proposes instead “environmental design”, but I have to friendly disagree…

    So, just as a reminder, I would point out that differential reproduction, AKA NS, has different aspects in the classical neo darwinian theory:

    a) Negative differential reproduction, which tends to reduce or eliminate beings with a negative variation of genes essential for reproduction and/or survival. Negative DR is impirtant, because it fixes existing information. Negative DR is essentially “negative” for the emergence of completely new information. Negative DR applies only to genes that are actively translated. Duplicated inactivated genes, as much as truly non coding and non functional DNA sequences, are not “visible” (if you allow me the language) to negative DR: that makes them more free to variate, but also incapable of any yntermediate fixation and expansion, unless and until a new functional asset is reached and translation starts again.

    b) Positive DR should happen when variation generates some new informational asset which translates into a survival/reproduction advantage versu what already exists. There are in principle two important coonsequences of that:

    b1) The variated individual “expands” in the population, possibly until it represents most of it. That is the main effect which can potentially lower probabilistic walls. Obviously, it creates the problem, not at all minor, of why such expanded and more functiona intermediated apparently disappear completely from the proteome, while the starting form remains. IOWs, if I hypothesize that protein domain B derives by variation and DR from existing protein domain A (both of which can today be found in the universal proteome), through, say, three functional intermediates, A1, A2 and A3, each of them subject to positive DR till it expands to most of the existing population (so that probabilistic walls are made more accessible), then why in the current proteome we still find A, we definitely find B, but there is no trace of A1, A2 and A3?

    b2) The new functional information not only expands, but it is “fixed”, in the sense that from now on it is subject to negative DR, and so its information is “protected”, in some degree, from negative variation.

  437. gpuccio,

    It’s strange that you make such a statement. Are you aware that most scientific knowledle is based on “probability arguments”? Just to make an example, in Fisher’s hypothesis testing, that is the base for a lot of biological and medical conclusions, the null hypothesis is rejected because of the improbability of a set of data. The reasoning is extremely similar to that in ID design inference.

    Yes I know how the statistical reasoning works.

    I said probability arguments (not statistical arguments) can be tricky. If you have a string of characters that form a sensible English statement you cannot say that randomly generating a string of characters of the same length will never hit upon that same string. That same string could come up first time! It could come up on the 10th try. Or the 100th try. Or the 10,345,687th try. But it makes no sense to say it will never come up.

    I understand your perplexities about statistics (birthdays, and so on). These are the normal perplexities of someone who has never seriously studied the discipline.

    I am not at all perplexed by the examples I gave. I only mentioned them to point out that some results are extremely counterintuitive. And slippery. Hard to grasp at first glance.

    I have worked through the math involved and examples much harder.

    You could certainly have bigger, and more justified, perplexities regarding more “strange” scientific theories, like for instance quantum mechanics, which is certainly much more distint from usual common sense. Would you therefore say that quantum mechanics is “tricky and slippery”? Just to know.

    I probably would say that because I’m not an expert. And some phenomena, like quantum tunnelling, are hard to get your head around. Buy my opinion means nothing. The laws of Quantum Mechanics have been verified and are as true as any other laws in physics. I just leave their application and interpretation to those who understand them better than I do.

  438. Jerad:

    I believe Dr Dawkins book The Greatest Show On Earth has a good exposition on such matters. In that book Dr Dawkins usually brings up specific research that is pertinent. I’d start with a book like that and check the bibliography.

    Yes, I have that one as well ;)

    There is no entry in the index for cost or cost of selection even under the entry for Haldane.

    Can you be more specific?

  439. gpuccio:

    “Differential reproduction” is perfectly fine with me. Alan Fox proposes instead “environmental design”, but I have to friendly disagree

    Another indication of the narrow mindedness of the typical evolutionist. ;)

    Yes, I think you are right to deny that to them.

    Say we have some variation to the makeup of an organism that allows it to leave more offspring than other members of the population. Who is to say that the change in differential reproduction has anything at all to do with the environment?

    That’s an assumption evolutionists make in order to allow them to “explain” adaptation, but adaptation does not explain macro-evolution.

    It’s all hand-waving. I don’t despise the theory because it’s wrong, I despise it because it makes useful idiots of otherwise intelligent people. =p

    They want to argue that the environment is non-random. Surely that’s a stretch though. What is to say it’s not just as ‘random with regard to any mutation’ as any mutation is ‘random with regard to fitness’?

    I have a response to Jerad coming up you’ll want to look for, lol.

    I read through many of your exchanges with Dr. Liddle. Talk about making obtuseness into an art form.

  440. Jerad:

    If processes, like mutations, show no pattern or predictability and are random then there is no need to include a designer in the model.

    Apart from the question about whether mutations actually do show patterns and predictability …

    We are told there is a non-random component to the evolutionary process, which permits it to overcome the long odds of random trials.

    Does that mean that this non-random aspect of evolution must be guided?

    I suppose many a mountain climber when attempting a mountain for the first time has chartered a guide. Call it Mount Improbable.

  441. optimus:

    I’ve been following this lengthy conversation for the past few days, and thus far I haven’t been impressed by your showing. It’s disappointing really. You appeared on this blog with the ostensible goal of understanding ID better, but it appears (at least to me) that you just enjoy tweaking ID proponents with worn-out criticisms and vaccuous appeals to the “explanatory power” of Neo-darwinian mechanisms.

    I’m sorry to disappoint.

    For instance, your insistence that the presence of FSCI is insufficient to establish the design inference is baffling. Gpuccio more than adequately addressed your criticism in his post @ #5, but you seem to have completely ignored what he wrote. Moreover, I am convinced that in any context unrelated to biology, reasonable persons observing FSCI (by itself, i.e. not supplemented by additional knowledge) would not hesitate to infer intelligent causation. If tomorrow the rover Curiosity climbs over a bluff and discovers FSCI on Mars (whether in the form of pictograms, characters, architectural structures, etc.), the inescapable conclusion would be intelligent causation. Even if there was no other independent evidence of an intelligent presence, the existence of FSCI by itself would amply demonstrate it.

    I have agreed with such a scenario earlier in this thread (what if an asteroid hit the earth tomorrow . . . ) and on another thread many moons ago (Joe asked about finding Stonehenge on Mars. He likes Stonehenge.)

    Inanimate objects that cannot replicate are much easier to apply the design inference to. I agree. But sometimes even then it’s hard. I’ve been on lots of archaeological sites where people puzzled over potential handaxes and bones.

    And, I’ve always wanted to ask . . . if I snipped out 100 contiguous digits of Pi from somewhere in the decimal expansion would that be considered ‘designed’? Would it trip the explanatory filter? I’d love to see the math of that worked out if the one doing the check didn’t know where the sequence came from.

    But you might protest, “That’s merely a hypothetical. I still say that the design inference cannot legitimately be made without knowledge of the designer (motives, means of implementation, time the design was implemented, etc.).” Well, then, how about something a little less hypothetical?

    I’ve said many times that I’m surprised that the ID community does not try and find out things about the designer once the design inference is made. I’ve wondered why they don’t attempt this in order to make the ID hypothesis more explanatory.

    1. Unsolved murders – police investigators determine that a death was caused by intelligent agency even though they cannot determine who that intelligent agent was.
    2. Unattributed quotations – obviously created by someone even though authorship is unknown. If you want examples, just do a google search.
    3. Computer viruses – designed by an intelligence. However, the identity and motives of the intelligence may never be known.

    Design inference is a perfectly fine tool in many fields of enquiry.

    All of those are real world examples where the design inference cannot seriously be contested even if attribution (to a specific individual or group) is impossible.
    Having produced those examples (which you will likely oppose frivolously), I think that you probably already recognize this to be the case, namely that the design inference is secure once FSCI has been identified. I conjecture (admittedly) that your insistence on ID proponents specifying the identity and motives of the designer is really a poorly disguised attempt to smear ID as a theological enterprise. You yourself commented earlier that some perceive ID as an attempt to sneak theology into science. When persons persistently pepper ID proponents with questions about the designer, it’s usually because the questioner is trying to link ID theory with theology (esp. Christian theology).

    It’s up to ID proponents to make whatever speculations they want about the designer. I’m suggesting that doing so might make the ID hypothesis stronger and more cohesive. I think they need to do so. But it’s not up to me.

    I also question your understanding of “explanatory power.” You claim that the lack of specificity about the designer constitutes a lack of explanatory power for ID. That is profoundly confused thinking. ID’s reluctance to speculate about a designer is not a function of lack of explanatory power. It is instead the result of reasonable limits of inference. Given certain observable evidence, only so much can be reasonably inferred without crossing into wholesale speculation. In contrast, what you depict as the explanatory power of Darwinian evolution is in reality nothing more than a disturbing supplanting of rigor with hand-waving speculation. The only reason Darwinian evolution seems to explain so much is that it is a story-creating engine. With only precious little data at its disposal it creates endless stories of biological development. Making stuff up is not genuine explanation.

    I don’t believe evolutionary biologists just make stuff up. But you’re entitled to your opinion of course.

    My opinions about what I think the ID community needs to do to be taken seriously are just my opinions. Please disregard them at will.

    You also are ignoring a key requirement for a proposed cause to have genuine explanatory power. The proposed cause must be causally adequate. In other words, if one is suggesting that a certain effect is the product of some cause, the cause proposed must be known to be capable of producing the effect in question. This is where ID is leaps and bounds ahead of Neo-Darwinian evolution. Everyday around the world, billions of people are using design detection to distinguish between intelligence and non-intelligence. The ability of intelligent agents to produce FSCI (and mechanical complexity) is confirmed billions of times per day by direct observation. This means that its causal adequacy is beyond dispute. On the other hand, the ability of Neo-Darwinian mechanisms to generate even modest amounts of information is questionable, and absolutely no one has empirical knowledge of such creating anything that could conceivably rival a biological system. This is very important to grasp, because it materially affects those tedious ‘bad-design’ scenarios you keep pestering us about. Since Neo-Darwinism has not been shown to possess causal adequacy, it cannot explain in a rigorous, emprically driven fashion “vestigial leg bones” in whales, the blind spot in human eyes (which has been long since debunked as evidence of bad design), or dangerous viruses.

    I agree that intelligent agents are capable of creating complex specified information. But that doesn’t mean there was such an agent around whenever ID proposes it was around. If there wasn’t a designer around then inferring design is a false positive.

    I wasn’t pestering you about bad design. I was only asking ID to explain why the designer might have picked certain designs. Design implies intent so . . . what was the intent? Like MRSA, what’s the point of that? Killing people I guess. Unless you have a better explanation?

    I think the multiple lines of evidence supporting evolutionary theory do establish that non-directed natural processes do have the ability to do what is claimed for them. One hundred years after Darwin published The Origin of Species the structure of DNA was elucidated. About 50 years after that the human genome was generally mapped out. Adding that whole new, unknown to Darwin, line of evidence only made the case stronger.

    Sorry for not trawling through the whole thread. It’s late, 00:26, and I’ve got to sleep now.

  442. Well according to the accepted definition of natural selection, the differential reproduction has to be due to heritable random variation. If the differential reproduction is due to anything else it is not natural selection. AND differential reproduction can be due to a number of factors, meaning not all differential reproduction is natural selection.

    Also natural selection is the result of the three processes (random variation, heritability and fecundity) and the result is whatever is good enough (according to Mayr anywho). Which to me seems a bit random.

  443. Yes but probability arguments are tricky and slippery.

    Hi Jerad,

    Chance in Biology: Using Probability to Explore Nature

  444. Jerad:

    Inanimate objects that cannot replicate are much easier to apply the design inference to.

    And replication is the very thing that needs explaining and the very thing darwinism/ the ToE doesn’t address.

    I’ve said many times that I’m surprised that the ID community does not try and find out things about the designer once the design inference is made.

    And I have told you why. Just because you can ignore what people tell you doesn’t mean it was never said.

    And Jerad- what would the testable hypothesis be pertaining to non-directed natural processes? Also can non-directed natural processes account for the origin of nature seeing that natural processes only exist in nature?

  445. Mung @ 421

    We see logical contradictions all the time.

    Logical contradictions are not impossible.

    Mung, as far as I am aware, arguments that deny the law of noncontradiction, like yours appears to, are not welcome on this message board. The reason given is that “the existence of the LNC is the very basis of all argumentation, and anyone who denies it also denies meaning, order, truth and logic.”

    Honestly, this makes sense. If your argument depends upon defending logical contradictions, find another argument.

    Cheers
    _______
    There is one place in the cosmos where logical contradictions happily reside. The human mind in a state of confusion. Conflicts, difficulties and tensions, yes; actual real world, extra mental cases of A and the denial of A, no. Or else we have breakaway, unlimited entailment leading to loss of meaningful distinction. And the attempts to create logics that allow contradictions in the proper sense, illustrate the point, cf the delicate dance of SEP here around the issue of the explosion just noted on. BTW, Zadehan “fuzzy” logic is different, defining a useful concept of partial membership in a class. Great for control systems. Where there is a legitimate issue is the context of conflicting evidence and views to be weighed up to yield a sensible conclusion. KF

  446. To Alan Fox (at TSZ):

    Because a new strain of E. coli arose by variation that was able to digest citrate. That strain bloomed in the niche provided by Lenski’s flasks. How on Earth can the novel ability to digest citrate not be a new biochemical function?

    From Carl Zimmer’s article, which sums up Lenski’s results:

    “When E. coli finds itself in the absence of oxygen, it switches on a gene called citT. Like other species (including us), E. coli turns genes on and off by attaching proteins to short stretches of DNA nearby. When E. coli senses a lack of oxygen, proteins clamp onto one of these genetic switches near citT. Once they turn the gene on, it produces proteins that gets delivered to the surface of the cell. There they poke one end out into the environment and pull in citrate, while also pumping out succinate. After the citrate gets inside the microbe, the bacteria can chop it up to harvest its energy.”

    So, as Joe already pointed out, the citT gene, and the metabolism to digest citarte, were already there, and are not a consequence of Lenski’s experiment. Only the switching on of the citT gene is the main factor here. What we are seeing is not very different in principle from what happens in the most classicla example of gene regulation, tha lac operon. So, as I said, there is no new biochemical function, only “a tweaking of the existing regulation of an existing function”. QED.

    “Intelligent selection” does not seem to have been in general use as a phrase linked to ID before I cam across it in your comment. Using it so confidently, you seem convinced such a concept is meaningful. I. e. it seems real to you. Notwithstanding your definition – Intelligent selection (IS) is any form of selection where a conscious intelligent designer defines a function, wants to develop it, and arranges the system to that purpose. – I am unconvinced such a process exists.

    And you are wrong. My complete definition is:

    “d1) Intelligent selection (IS) is any form of selection where a conscious intelligent designer defines a function, wants to develop it, and arranges the system to that purpose. RV is used to create new arrangements, where the desired function is measured, with the maximum possible sensitivity, and artificial selection is implemented on the base of the measured function. Intelligent selection is very powerful and flexible (whatever Petruska may think). It can select for any measurable function, and develop it in relatively short times.”

    Well, that’s exactly what biologists do when they are doing bottom up protein endineering. That’s what Szostac did when he obtained the famou ATP binding artificail protein. How can you say that IS does not exist?

    From Wikipedia:

    “There are two general strategies for protein engineering, rational design and directed evolution. These techniques are not mutually exclusive; researchers will often apply both. In the future, more detailed knowledge of protein structure and function, as well as advancements in high-throughput technology, may greatly expand the capabilities of protein engineering.”

    “In directed evolution, random mutagenesis is applied to a protein, and a selection regime is used to pick out variants that have the desired qualities. Further rounds of mutation and selection are then applied.”

    (Emphasis mine)

    What Wikipedia calls “directed evolution” is bottom up protein engineering: it is done through two different tools: targeted mutation (RV appleid to specific targets), and IS (selection of the desired mutations by direct measurement of function, and artificial expansion). For example, Szostac had decided that he wanted an ATP binding protein, and he very intelligently selected peptides that stuck to ATP and applied mutagenic PCR to them in many rounds. That is targeted mutation and Intelligent selecion at work. The same thing that, in your opinion, should not exist.

    Well, no. Selection in an evolutionary context is the same process. There is no distinction between artificial and natural selection.

    Yes, there is. And it is a very big difference. Szostac directly measured the binding to ATP, by selecting the pwptides that stuck to it. He did not introduce the peptides in living bacteria to see if they acquired positive differnetial reproduction. That is the main difference. Artificial selection can measure any function, at any level, and artificially select it. NS (or netter, DR) cannot do that. It can only be effective when a reproductive advantage is gained. Do you really think that this is a minor difference?

    I don’t see what you are driving at with “intelligent” selection, unless you are bringing in imaginary forces or actions.

    No, I am referring to IS as we can see it in human protein engineering. And I have suggested many times, mainly to Petrushka, that in principle IS could be one of the tools used by the biological designer. The other alternative is top down design (which is also used by human protein engineers).

    We have at least one wonderful example of very efficient bottom up protein engineering in biological beings, where the result is obtained through targeted mutation and a special form of “intelligent selection” where the measurement of function and selection are not made directly by a conscious engineer, but indirectly by a very refined and complex algorithm already embedded in the genome. I am referring, obviously, to the mechanism of antibody affinity maturation after the primary immune response.

    I will not comment any more about your mystical views of environment, because I really think we have to agree to disagree on that issue. This, instead, is more interesting:

    I don’t find your definition very much help as it throws us back on to what is meant by “intelligent” and you include the phrase “such as humans”.

    I don’t understand your problems. Perhaps I am not “intelligent” enough :) . Let’s see my definition, step bt step:

    “Design is the act by which” … that should be fine…

    “conscious intelligent beings,” … that means, conscious beings, beings who are subjects with subjective representation implying the intuition of meaning. That’s what I mean by “intelligent”. Where is the problem? If you prefer, we can say:

    “conscious beings who have meaningful representation,”. Is that better for you?

    “such as humans,”… Where is the problem? Humans are exactly our source to know that conscious representations, including meaning and purpose, do exist and are part of reality. Again, where is the problem?

    “represent some intelligent form and purposefully output that form into some material system”… Have you never done that?

    “We call the conscious intelligent being “designer”,… seems rather simple.

    “and the act by which the conscious representation “models” the material system “design”.”… Which is exactly the usual meaning of the word in common language.

    “We call the material system, after the design, a “designed object”.”… This is the definition, and to this definition, IMO perfectly clear, I always stick in all my discourses. If you have problems with that, you will always have problems with anything I say. I am sorry, but I don’t know what to do about that.

    You seem to suggest by saying “material output” that an intelligent designer’s input is immaterial.

    I don’t know of what “input” you are speaking. In my definition, the conscious representations are the source of the design. I have in no way discussed how those conscious representations come into being, because it is not necessary to the definition of design. What I define is exactly what happens in human design, the only form of design we can observe directly in our personal cosnciousness. If I am a painter, what do I do? I represent in my consciousness an image, whatever its origin, and then I try to output that image in my canvas. If I am a software programmer, what do I do? I represent in my consciousness a function to obtain, and a way to implement it, and then I wite thsoe representations as special arrangements of bits on a hard disk. That is design. That and nothing else.

    Could not ID scientists look for a material output with no material input?

    I would cautiously say yes, even if still I don’t understand what you mean by “material input”.

    Our designer could tinker by loading the dice on variation events, I guess, but how would we tell?

    By the design inference theory. The ID theory. By looking at the specific property of the output that we know to be empirically linked only to design: dFSCI. Could you please look at my answer to LarTanner at #237, so that I can avoid pasting it here?

  447. Jerad:

    Adding that whole new, unknown to Darwin, line of evidence only made the case stronger.

    That is really, really funny. But I suppose there is no point in discussing that with you.

  448. Jerad:

    Like MRSA, what’s the point of that? Killing people I guess. Unless you have a better explanation?

    So that’s the Darwinian explanation for MRSA? It’s purpose is to kill people? Or is that just what you want to believe so you can feel better?

    I bet you’d really enjoy the following book:

    Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures

    See, I even have books by Zimmer. No mention of cost of selection though =p

    There, I’ve just armed you with more anti-God material. Happy reading!

    You have some familiarity with the products of design, why do you think all designers are benign? Why aren’t some designers downright evil?

    Does that make them not designers and their designs not designs?

    And why should we, as design theorists, let the issue of whether some design was for good or for evil cloud our judgment with regard to whether it was in fact designed?

    The atom bomb killed thousands. Does that mean it wasn’t designed? People can ingest poison and it can kill them. Does that mean the poison was not designed?

    I really don’t understand your argument at all. Unless it’s true that you are in fact making theological arguments and BA77 was right about you all long.

    What’s your point?

  449. I don’t see what you are driving at with “intelligent” selection, unless you are bringing in imaginary forces or actions.

    Is he really calling Lenski, Szostak, et al. unintelligent?

  450. clavdivs,

    Well, I suppose that attacking my rationality is one way to try to resuscitate that piece of garbage you put forth as an “argument.”

    Are you arguing that logical contradictions cannot exist because they violate the law of non-contradiction?

    From your most recently linked:

    The LNC is a truth about propositions in the abstract, as elements of a logical system, as opposed to the truth or meaningfulness of the propositions themselves as they relate to the world.

    Don’t blame me for your misapplication of the law.

    From your formerly linked:

    It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time

    It’s a law about statements. Propositions.

    What I am going to do is point out that an oxymoron cannot be a “fact of life” because it is a logical contradiction, and therefore impossible.

    You’re confused. About logic in general (as evidenced by your attempted argument against design inferences), and about the law of non-contradiction in particular.

    Oxymorons are not impossible. We even have a word for them:

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

    And logical contradictions? People appeal to them as arguments against the Gospels all the time. Apparently no law exists against making contradictory statements.

    Now if I assert that today is Friday. And then I assert that today is Sunday. And in both statements ‘today’ refers to the same day and in the same sense, we can apply the law of non-contradiction. It matters not that today is actually Saturday.

    Do you have an argument?

  451. If you ask me, people like onlooker, Elizabeth Liddle, CLAVDIVS and Jerad, and yes even MathGrrl, have been treated remarkable well here at UD.

    So why do so many people of similar mind feel they need to post at TSZ rather than here?

  452. Mung @ 422

    CLAVDIVS: The justification – as I noted here and here and elsewhere – is that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations.

    MUNG: And yet your actual argument is that design cannot, even in principle, predict outcomes.

    Your argument is that ID is prohibited from making predictions by it’s own methodology.

    So just to clarify for anyone who may still be following along, is your argument that the design inference does not predict outcomes in novel situations because it logically cannot do so because it’s prohibited from doing so by it’s methodology?

    My argument is the design inference presented in the OP cannot in principle predict outcomes. In this regard I’m referring to the OP of this thread only, not any ID arguments elsewhere.

    The reason is that all law-like regularity is excluded in an early step in the inference. Well, what is left after we exclude all regularity? It’s chaos, isn’t it? One can’t predict anything from chaos, by definition.

    Kairosfocus has countered that it’s not all regularity that is excluded by the first decision in the inference, only regularity of a certain kind, namely “mechanical necessity”.

    What I want to know is, what is the difference between F=ma, which is a mechanical regularity, and P(1)=1/6 for a fair die, which is a stochastic regularity? Another example of a stochastic regularity might be Nt=N0(1/2)^(t/h) for radioactive decay. These stochastic regularities are both natural and law-like.

    If stochastic regularities are not excluded during the inference, then the conclusion of the inference immediately becomes suspect. What is concluded as design may be the result of genuine design or the result of stochastic, law-like regularities that have not been excluded.

    That leaves us back at square one in trying to infer design, don’t you think?

    Cheers

  453. CLAVDIVS:

    …all law-like regularity is excluded in an early step in the inference.

    Law like regularity is excluded from what? Reality? Because of a flow chart?

    The explanatory filter precludes a design inference as an explanation for a law-like regularity.

    Well, what is left after we exclude all regularity?

    You managed to follow the filter through one step. Congrats.

    It’s chaos, isn’t it?

    No. It’s contingency. Chaos is not the only remaining option. Can’t you follow a simple diagram?

    What I want to know is, what is the difference between F=ma, which is a mechanical regularity, and P(1)=1/6 for a fair die, which is a stochastic regularity?

    A stochastic regularity? Is that an oxymoron?

    CLAVDIVS: Because predictable irregularity is an oxymoron, and therefore illogical.

    Can you please explain for me the difference between a stochastic regularity and a predictable irregularity?

    What I want to know is, what is the difference between F=ma, which is a mechanical regularity, and P(1)=1/6 for a fair die, which is a stochastic regularity?

    The difference is contingency. Roll a fair die 100 times, recording the results. Roll it again another hundred times and record the results. What is the probability that the sequence of recorded results will be the same?

    Otoh, F=ma when applied to the same experiment will produce predictable results.

    What I want to know is, what is the difference between F=ma, which is a mechanical regularity, and P(1)=1/6 for a fair die, which is a stochastic regularity?

    You are given a sheet of paper which purports to be a record of 100 consecutive rolls of a fair die. Then you are asked to watch while a party you don’t know rolls what you are told is a fair die 100 times while you record the results. After recording the results you are asked to compare the results you recorded with the sheet of paper you were first given.

    Lo and behold the sequences are the same. What do you infer?

    A miracle?

    That leaves us back at square one in trying to infer design, don’t you think?

    No, I don’t.

    Regards

  454. Mung @ 456

    CLAVDIVS: …all law-like regularity is excluded in an early step in the inference.

    MUNG: Law like regularity is excluded from what? Reality? Because of a flow chart?

    No. We’re talking about the inference itself – the flow of logic presented in the OP – and whether it is valid.

    The inference in the OP states that if an observed key aspect of an object or event exhibits law-like regularity, then it cannot lead to a design inference. Accordingly, any aspects of objects/events that ultimately do lead to a design inference cannot exhibit law-like regularity.

    A stochastic regularity? Is that an oxymoron? … Can you please explain for me the difference between a stochastic regularity and a predictable irregularity?

    In my view there is no difference because stochastic regularities are a subclass of predictable regularities.

    The difference that kairosfocus was trying to point out was between mechanical regularities vs stochastic regularities. Mechanical regularities can be observed in every instance, whilst a stochastic regularities can only be observed over a relatively large number of instances.

    An example of a stochastic regularity is radioactive decay – whilst we cannot predict which particular atoms will decay (which would require a mechanical regularity that applies in every instance), we can predict with astonishing accuracy what proportion of a large number of atoms will decay over a given timeframe. Therefore, the phenomenon of radioactive decay obeys a highly predictable law-like regularity of a stochastic or statistical nature.

    The difference is contingency. Roll a fair die 100 times, recording the results. Roll it again another hundred times and record the results. What is the probability that the sequence of recorded results will be the same?

    Sure, we can’t predict the sequence of rolls of a fair die. But we can predict with very high precision the proportion of each number that will be rolled over a large number of trials i.e. P(x)=1/6. We can predict this because the behaviour of a fair die exhibits a predictable stochastic regularity.

    Therefore, at the very least, the design inference in the OP is incomplete as it does not qualify what kinds of regularity are ruled out in the first decision step. If it does not mean all regularity, then it must precisely define what subclasses of regularity are being excluded in that step. This it does not do.

    Cheers

  455. Mung @ 453

    Well, I suppose that attacking my rationality is one way to try to resuscitate that piece of garbage you put forth as an “argument.”

    Nice.

    Oxymorons and contradictions are words we use to describe terms that violate the law of noncontradiction – like married bachelors or square circles. Propositions containing a contradiction cannot be true in any possible world, because (by the principle of explosion) a contradiction has no conceivable referent.

    Your claim was that a predictable irregularity, whilst indeed oxymoronic, is a fact about the world.

    All I am pointing out is that a “predictable irregularity” is an oxymoron that violates the law of noncontradiction, and thus the proposition that predictable irregularities are facts about the world cannot be true in any possible world.

    Hope that clears things up.

    Cheers

  456. C:

    Re: the design inference presented in the OP cannot in principle predict outcomes.

    rubbish.

    Here’s one: every case where FSCO/I is observed per a suitable metric in a given gamut of resources, it will be the product of design. Billions of tests, successfully passed at the solar system threshold of 500 bits. Posts in this thread are adding to the cases, 400+ so far.

    Metric:

    Chi_500 = I*S – 500, bits beyond the SS threshold

    Why the SS?

    It is our practical universe for chemical interactions.

    So, your rhetorical house of cards has been toppled by a factual counter-example.

    One that had long since been repeatedly pointed out.

    And of course, you are still drumming away on a strawman based on insistence on wrenching meaningful words into pretzels, despite repeated correction. That is demonstrating your failure to observe the first rule of holes: if you need to get out, stop digging in further.

    KF

  457. Mung and KF:

    Friends, I believe that CLAUDIUS and Jerad are now vastly beyond any possibility of serious consideration. Anyway, I appreciate your energy in still trying to bring on some discussion with them. I have definitely given up :) .

  458. To Petrushka (at TSZ):

    I will not comment any more on your strange fiath that NS is better than IS. I have done that a lot of times in the past, and I am tired. Let’s say we agree to disagree on that point. Deeply disagree!

    Another thing everyone should have learned by eighth grade is the purpose of limiting and controlling variables in an experiment (such as Lenski’s). Gpuccio’s sneering at such limitations indicates a profound ignorance of method. Perhaps he never participated in a science fair.

    I was not aware of “neering” at Lenski’s experiment. I deeply respect Lenski’s experiment. It’s a very good experiment for ID. See my post #258:

    “This Lenski affair is clearly a (very interesting!) tweaking of regulation of existing funtions, in the presence of extreme environmental stimuli.”

    (emphasis added now)

    At any rate, limiting the variables allows checking for things like non-stochastic mutation. It also allows replication of the experiment.

    Perfectly true.

    Gpuccio: in the first 20,000 generations of the Lensli experiment, what were the desires properties, and how was the selection of them directed?

    There were no desired properties, and selection was not selected, ita was only artificial in the sense that extreme environmental conditions were purposefully created.

    Just to be clear, I will state again that I don’t think that Lenski’s experiment is a case of Intelligent Selection. Please, see my post #263 to Alan Fox:

    “The environmental changes made by Lenski are not really random (he certainly had some specific idea of the possible implications), but I can accept that they are practically random for our purposes.

    What we observe in Lenski’s experiment is true RV + NS OR true adaptation. I don’t think we can really distinguish, at present. Anyway, it is not design. And indeed, the result has not the characteristic of new design.”

    (emphasis added now)

    As I have clearly defined IS as a form of design, I believe that I am explicitly stating here that Lenski’s experiment is not a case of IS. Is it so difficult to understand what I explicitly say?

  459. Errata corrige:

    “selection was not selected” should obviously be “selection was not directed”.

    Hey, but it sounded as an interesting statement, didn’t it? :)

  460. Thanks gpuccio, Mung, & KF!
    Jerad @444
    Thank you for your response. A few thoughts on your reply:
    1. Speculation may be entertaining, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone suggest that it is a valid way to increase the explanatory power of an inference. In my personal experience, speculation (aka overreaching) often weakens what may otherwise be an acceptable conclusion.
    2. I grant that it is bold to accuse evolutionary biologists of making stuff up, but it happens all the time. Every time a paleontologist infers a phylogenetic relationship purely on the basis of two similar sets of fossils, he or she is effectively making up a conclusion (because the brute fact of similarity does not furnish an explanation for itself). Another example pertains to the australopithecine Lucy. She is widely touted as an important human ancestor, but how can this really be ascertained given that her remains constitute only 20% of a full skeleton? (by some estimates) Even Lucy’s sex is a matter of conjecture. (pg. 444 A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson) Additionally, many museum displays, drawings, etc. that depict supposed human ancestors are largely imaginary. In one instance an entire diorama featuring two strolling australopithecines was constructed in the American Museum of Natural History that was based on…. two sets of footprints. According to Bryson:
    “Almost every external aspect of the two figures – degree of hairiness, facial appendages…, expressions, skin color, size and shape of the female’s breasts – is necessarily suppositional. We cant even say that they were a couple…. Nor can we be sure that they were autralopithecines. They are assumed to be australopithecines because there are no other known candidates.”

    Made up, plain and simple.
    3. If you had gotten the real take-home point of my three examples, you would have realized that those are instances where design was legitimately inferred SOLEY on the basis of FSCI. No additional information was needed. Thus your repeated insistence that we need independent knowledge of a designer (in the biological context) betrays, I think, a lack of comprehension on your part.
    4. Please be more specific about these multiple lines of evidence that so powerfully confirm Neo-Darwinian evolution. People say that so much that they start to sound like politicians on the campaign trail who keep repeating slogans because they think they sound good. The devil is in the details… How does the elucidation of the structure of DNA or the mapping of the human genome have anything to do with evolution?
    5. This pertains to a question you posed earlier in the thread about the sheer numbers of scientists who accept the truth of Neo-Darwinism, namely, ‘Are they merely conforming just to keep their pensions?” There are numerous factors in play that contribute to why so many scientists accept this idea. (1) Like most people, many scientists accept ideas based on authority. In other words, they defer to the expertise of others instead of thinking critically for themselves. (2) Groupthink is extraordinarily powerful. Psychologists have done experiments showing that group pressure can cause completely normal people to deny obvious facts gained from direct observation. (3) Social forces (e.g. the desire to be accepted, dislike of outsiders, etc.) factor heavily in this situation. Since alternatives to the Neo-Darwinian explanation are often caricatured as being religious in nature, the average scientist may resent competing explanations (like ID) as an unwelcome intrusion into science’s realm of activity. (4) Lack of firsthand knowledge of ID arguments. As is so painfully obvious when reading critiques of ID literature, many scientists have not actually read ID literature or spoken to ID proponents firsthand. They simply rely on the hearsay of colleagues who may themselves be grossly misinformed (or have a metaphysical axe to grind) when they mercilessly flame an ID book. To borrow a quote, “Perhaps goose-stepping morons should try reading books instead of burning them!”

    Hope this helps!:-)

  461. CLAVDIVS,

    I’d like to propose a little game.

    We each roll a [--> FAIR, KF] die.

    If the number shown on each die is not the same you pay me a dollar and we start another round of the game.

    If the number shown is the same, you pay me nothing and we roll again.

    Again, if the number shown is different, you pay me a dollar. But this time, if the number shown is the same I pay you 10 dollars.

    Then we start another round of the game.

    I’ll play as many rounds as you like.

  462. Mung:

    There is no entry in the index for cost or cost of selection even under the entry for Haldane.

    Can you be more specific?

    If you’re really interested I’m sure you can find something.

    It’s all hand-waving. I don’t despise the theory because it’s wrong, I despise it because it makes useful idiots of otherwise intelligent people. =p

    Nice to know some of us are idiots.

    Apart from the question about whether mutations actually do show patterns and predictability …

    We are told there is a non-random component to the evolutionary process, which permits it to overcome the long odds of random trials.

    Does that mean that this non-random aspect of evolution must be guided?

    No.

    You know, I get accused of ignoring answers to questions and not understanding the answers I’ve been given. I think your question has been answered many, many, many times. Not only on this forum but in all the books you’ve read.

    Joe,

    Well according to the accepted definition of natural selection, the differential reproduction has to be due to heritable random variation. If the differential reproduction is due to anything else it is not natural selection. AND differential reproduction can be due to a number of factors, meaning not all differential reproduction is natural selection.

    There is also sexual selection and genetic drift among others. As can easily be found in any good discussion of evolutionary theory.

    Also natural selection is the result of the three processes (random variation, heritability and fecundity) and the result is whatever is good enough (according to Mayr anywho). Which to me seems a bit random.

    The filter natural selection applies to variation is different at different places because of environmental factors. In fact, on another thread, I agreed that the term environmental pressures would perhaps be less ambiguous. Anyway, not random in that it is determined by the environment which is governed by physical laws.

    And replication is the very thing that needs explaining and the very thing darwinism/ the ToE doesn’t address.

    You’re entitled to your opinion of course.

    And Jerad- what would the testable hypothesis be pertaining to non-directed natural processes? Also can non-directed natural processes account for the origin of nature seeing that natural processes only exist in nature?

    I believe Dr Lawrence Krauss attempted to explain the origin of the universe in a recent book. I haven’t read it myself but you might find it illuminating.

    Mung:

    So that’s the Darwinian explanation for MRSA? It’s purpose is to kill people? Or is that just what you want to believe so you can feel better?

    Thanks for assigning me such base and horrid views.

    You have some familiarity with the products of design, why do you think all designers are benign? Why aren’t some designers downright evil?

    Does that make them not designers and their designs not designs?

    And why should we, as design theorists, let the issue of whether some design was for good or for evil cloud our judgment with regard to whether it was in fact designed?

    The atom bomb killed thousands. Does that mean it wasn’t designed? People can ingest poison and it can kill them. Does that mean the poison was not designed?

    I really don’t understand your argument at all. Unless it’s true that you are in fact making theological arguments and BA77 was right about you all long.

    What’s your point?

    I’m perfectly willing to believe the designer(s) could be hideously malign and nasty. It would explain a lot actually if I found the design inference compelling.

    I wonder how many ID proponents would accept a cruel designer?

    Well, I suppose that attacking my rationality is one way to try to resuscitate that piece of garbage you put forth as an “argument.”

    KF, why is this kind of ‘poisoning’ allowed to go uncommented on?

    If you ask me, people like onlooker, Elizabeth Liddle, CLAVDIVS and Jerad, and yes even MathGrrl, have been treated remarkable well here at UD.

    By being banned in some cases you mean?

    gpuccio,

    Friends, I believe that CLAUDIUS and Jerad are now vastly beyond any possibility of serious consideration. Anyway, I appreciate your energy in still trying to bring on some discussion with them. I have definitely given up .

    Nice to know all our efforts to explain why we disagree with you come down to being told we’re beyond consideration. Interesting you don’t thank us who are sincerely trying to explain and understand.

    Optimus:

    2. I grant that it is bold to accuse evolutionary biologists of making stuff up, but it happens all the time. Every time a paleontologist infers a phylogenetic relationship purely on the basis of two similar sets of fossils, he or she is effectively making up a conclusion (because the brute fact of similarity does not furnish an explanation for itself). Another example pertains to the australopithecine Lucy. She is widely touted as an important human ancestor, but how can this really be ascertained given that her remains constitute only 20% of a full skeleton? (by some estimates) Even Lucy’s sex is a matter of conjecture. (pg. 444 A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson) Additionally, many museum displays, drawings, etc. that depict supposed human ancestors are largely imaginary. In one instance an entire diorama featuring two strolling australopithecines was constructed in the American Museum of Natural History that was based on…. two sets of footprints. According to Bryson:
    “Almost every external aspect of the two figures – degree of hairiness, facial appendages…, expressions, skin color, size and shape of the female’s breasts – is necessarily suppositional. We cant even say that they were a couple…. Nor can we be sure that they were autralopithecines. They are assumed to be australopithecines because there are no other known candidates.”

    Made up, plain and simple.

    Educated guesses based on years of experience? You’re very dismissive without addressing the reasoning behind the declarations.

    3. If you had gotten the real take-home point of my three examples, you would have realized that those are instances where design was legitimately inferred SOLEY on the basis of FSCI. No additional information was needed. Thus your repeated insistence that we need independent knowledge of a designer (in the biological context) betrays, I think, a lack of comprehension on your part.

    I agreed with the design inference in those cases. When we know there are agents around to do the designing.

    4. Please be more specific about these multiple lines of evidence that so powerfully confirm Neo-Darwinian evolution. People say that so much that they start to sound like politicians on the campaign trail who keep repeating slogans because they think they sound good. The devil is in the details… How does the elucidation of the structure of DNA or the mapping of the human genome have anything to do with evolution?

    I can recommend several books by Drs Dawkins, Coyne, et al who do a much better job than I possibly could explaining the details. If you’ve read them and still disagree then I can’t really add anything.

    5. This pertains to a question you posed earlier in the thread about the sheer numbers of scientists who accept the truth of Neo-Darwinism, namely, ‘Are they merely conforming just to keep their pensions?” There are numerous factors in play that contribute to why so many scientists accept this idea. (1) Like most people, many scientists accept ideas based on authority. In other words, they defer to the expertise of others instead of thinking critically for themselves. (2) Groupthink is extraordinarily powerful. Psychologists have done experiments showing that group pressure can cause completely normal people to deny obvious facts gained from direct observation. (3) Social forces (e.g. the desire to be accepted, dislike of outsiders, etc.) factor heavily in this situation. Since alternatives to the Neo-Darwinian explanation are often caricatured as being religious in nature, the average scientist may resent competing explanations (like ID) as an unwelcome intrusion into science’s realm of activity. (4) Lack of firsthand knowledge of ID arguments. As is so painfully obvious when reading critiques of ID literature, many scientists have not actually read ID literature or spoken to ID proponents firsthand. They simply rely on the hearsay of colleagues who may themselves be grossly misinformed (or have a metaphysical axe to grind) when they mercilessly flame an ID book. To borrow a quote, “Perhaps goose-stepping morons should try reading books instead of burning them!”

    You make a lot of assumptions there.

    Anyway, me efforts seem to be misinterpreted, unappreciated and derided. Guess it’s time to go.

  463. Jerad:

    Nice to know all our efforts to explain why we disagree with you come down to being told we’re beyond consideration. Interesting you don’t thank us who are sincerely trying to explain and understand.

    There will certainly be a reason. My bad manners, probably.
    _________
    Jerad, a clue: there probably is no commenter at UD who exceeds GP in gentlemanly spirit, cogency and patience. He is a testimony to his profession’s Hippocratic oath. His carefully worked out exchanges with several advocates of darwinist thought are a record for posterity themselves, e.g. here on. KF

  464. Jerad:

    Anyway, me efforts seem to be misinterpreted, unappreciated and derided. Guess it’s time to go.

    Can I cautiously and respectfully agree?

  465. Mung:

    I read through many of your exchanges with Dr. Liddle. Talk about making obtuseness into an art form.

    Well, thank you really for taking the time to do that! I thought nobody would ever read them, but I am notoriously a pessimist about human nature :)

    In the meantime, as a good self-advertiser, I shamelessly give the link again:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....selection/

    starting more or less at post 62 and going on to the end.