Home » Human evolution » Two challenges for KL – (fossil) Lucy’s defender

Two challenges for KL – (fossil) Lucy’s defender

A most interesting discussion has got started here at “But ‘Lucy’ herself is mostly an artifact”. Commenter KL got it going, I suspect, by observing that

I certainly don’t consider you hicks. However, my spouse and associates are primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists. It’s strange to come here and see their work dismissed as a just so story. Some of them have been in the field extensively and have published many, many papers. Are you guys saying that somehow all these people are simply mistaken?

Yes, it  is quite possible.

My question is, is there anything fronted by “evolution researchers” that KL wouldn’t believe? How about the Big Bazooms theory of human evolution? Or Marc “Well, the monkeys talk to me!” Hauser? How about any single item on this list? Is there nothing that KL would even wonder about? Does he know that E. O. Wilson has retracted his own kin selection theory?

Two things: The public of a free society is not stupid. When we see a parade of amazing nonsense – marketed as evolution – we wisely don’t believe any of it. I don’t bother sorting through it for the same reason as I don’t scan the tabloids to see if anything in them is true.

It is no use berating us, let alone blaming us for low science scores. Revisit your strategy.

And second, would KL be willing to read The Nature of Nature, to understand what the controversy is really about? Then we could have a serious discussion.

(Note: KL has a spouse and associates in primate research, and I have a number of relatives and friends in medicine. That does not commit me to any particular theory, no matter how widely espoused, and a good thing too: Look how much medicine has changed. )

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292 Responses to Two challenges for KL – (fossil) Lucy’s defender

  1. KL, if you are still around, to prove that neo-Darwinian evolution is even plausible, ‘scientifically’, you must demonstrate the capacity of purely material processes to generate functional information. Although you may think this will be a fairly easy task since all of life is filled to the brim with functional information that far, far, surpasses, in sophistication, anything man has ever achieved in his most advanced computer programs, the fact is that no one has ever, in all the history of science, seen purely material processes, whether in life or out of life, generate any ‘non-trivial’ functional information over and above what was already present!

    notes;

    there is a one million dollar prize if you, or anyone else, is successful in this endeavor;

    “The Origin-of-Life Prize” ® (hereafter called “the Prize”) will be awarded for proposing a highly plausible natural-process mechanism for the spontaneous rise of genetic instructions in nature sufficient to give rise to life. The explanation must be consistent with empirical biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic concepts as further delineated herein, and be published in a well-respected, peer-reviewed science journal(s).
    http://www.us.net/life/

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_L.....iency.html

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

    “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”
    Ilya Prigogine, Gregoire Nicolis, and Agnes Babloyantz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28.

    Signature In The Cell – Review
    Excerpt: Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    Francis Collins on Making Life
    Excerpt: ‘We are so woefully ignorant about how biology really works. We still don’t understand how a particular DNA sequence—when we just stare at it—codes for a protein that has a particular function. We can’t even figure out how that protein would fold—into what kind of three-dimensional shape. And I would defy anybody who is going to tell me that they could, from first principles, predict not only the shape of the protein but also what it does.’ – Francis Collins – Former Director of the Human Genome Project
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/t.....enome.html

    Dr. Don Johnson lays out some of the probabilities for life in this following video:

    Probabilities Of Life – Don Johnson PhD. – 38 minute mark of video
    a typical functional protein – 1 part in 10^175
    the required enzymes for life – 1 part in 10^40,000
    a living self replicating cell – 1 part in 10^340,000,000
    http://www.vimeo.com/11706014

    Professor Harold Morowitz shows the Origin of Life ‘problem’ escalates dramatically over the 1 in 10^40,000 figure when working from a thermodynamic perspective,:

    “The probability for the chance of formation of the smallest, simplest form of living organism known is 1 in 10^340,000,000. This number is 10 to the 340 millionth power! The size of this figure is truly staggering since there is only supposed to be approximately 10^80 (10 to the 80th power) electrons in the whole universe!”
    (Professor Harold Morowitz, Energy Flow In Biology pg. 99, Biophysicist of George Mason University)

    Perhaps KL, you say that is just the origin of life, but once we get life, no matter how improbable that was, its all down hill from there for we got ‘natural selection’ now baby! Well that is not nearly as helpful as you would presuppose;

    Nature Paper,, Finds Darwinian Processes Lacking – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: Now, thanks to the work of Bridgham et al (2009), even such apparently minor switches in structure and function (of a protein to its supposed ancestral form) are shown to be quite problematic. It seems Darwinian processes can’t manage to do even as much as I had thought. (which was 1 in 10^40 for just 2 binding sites)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....hes_t.html

    The Sheer Lack Of Evidence For Macro Evolution – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4023134

    Even more problematic for evolutionists is that even within the ‘bacterial world’ there are enormous unexplained gaps of completely unique genes within each different species of bacteria:

    ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references
    http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

    further notes;

    Do you believe Richard Dawkins exists?
    Excerpt: DNA is the best information storage mechanism known to man. A single pinhead of DNA contains as much information as could be stored on 2 million two-terabyte hard drives.

    Bill Gates, in recognizing the superiority found in Genetic Coding compared to the best computer coding we now have, has now funded research into this area:

    Welcome to CoSBi – (Computational and Systems Biology)
    Excerpt: Biological systems are the most parallel systems ever studied and we hope to use our better understanding of how living systems handle information to design new computational paradigms, programming languages and software development environments. The net result would be the design and implementation of better applications firmly grounded on new computational, massively parallel paradigms in many different areas.

    etc.. etc…

  2. Gene Duplication

    A gene duplication produces a new *copy* of an existing gene, which may or may not have differences in the new copy. If the new copy is *identical*, you could argue that this, *by itself* is not “new” information.

    But coupled with *ANY* other kind of mutation … a point mutation, a frameshift error, a repeat expansion, a substitution, deletion, insertion, inversion, translocation, … a gene duplication together with any of these other kinds of mutations can produce a *new gene*.
    http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/mutation…

    (Note the gene duplication, and the second kind of mutation, do not have to occur *at the same time*. The gene duplication can occur at one point, and then perhaps thousands of generations later, one of the two copies can experience a second mutation, which changes the *properties* of one of the two copies.)

    There are MANY documented examples of new genes produced by gene duplication, and involved in evolution. Here are just a few:

    “The evolution of trichromatic color vision by opsin gene duplication in New World and Old World primates.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10413…

    “The birth of new genes by RNA- and DNA-mediated duplication during mammalian evolution.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19803…

    “Further examples of evolution by gene duplication revealed through DNA sequence comparisons.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/78961…

    “The evolution of functionally novel proteins after gene duplication.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/80292…

    “Molecular evidence that the H-2D and H-2L genes arose by duplication.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23519…

    “Rapid evolution of goat and sheep globin genes following gene duplication.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/65999…

    “Genomic evolution of the placenta using co-option and duplication and divergence.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18340…

    “Duplication of accelerated evolution and growth hormone gene in passerine birds.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18048…

    “Gene duplication and the adaptive evolution of a classic genetic switch.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17928…

    “Characterization and evolution of the novel gene family FAM90A in primates originated by multiple duplication and rearrangement events.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17684…

    “Two gene duplication events in the evolution of the human heat-stable alkaline phosphatases.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34433…

  3. You are still going on about molecular biology. My comment is about physical anthropology and the fossil record. Could you please apply your paradigm to explain the distribution, age and features of the hominid fossils found? Do you need another link to the website that had the searchable list?

  4. PS-why are we starting a new thread on this?

  5. Also, your comment above is at 9AM. My last comment on the Lucy thread was at 6AM and as of right now it is still “awaiting moderation”, as are my comments above. What does that mean, and why does it take so long?

  6. You should be aware that for some reason KL has been put into moderation and his comments are not being released for viewing.

  7. Thanks, markf. Didn’t know. Just got back to my desk.

  8. H’mm:

    I wonder, is this my “friend” old Ms Akismet at it again?

    (Rapid, multiple posts by a new account does look like a pattern a spamming filter is likely to pick up. Also, there may have been trigger words used.)

    Over to the moderators.

    GEM of TKI

  9. KL.you are out of moderation, I am told.

    Do you want to answer my questions above?

    We are starting a new thread for reasons that will, of course, be apparent to you: I want to know if there is any proposition that supposedly flows from human evolution that you would reject.

    What specific type of proposition it would it be?

    This is without prejudice as to whatever happened on the other thread: I would like some answers to the questions posed in this post.

  10. Well, I am happy to answer questions to the best of my ability, but the reason I came to this site was because of the statements made on the other thread, and I would really like an answer to my original question before we proceed, as that will direct my thoughts in the correct way. No offense meant, but the topic of physical anthropology and the fossil record came first.

  11. Ms. O’Leary, please excuse me, not to distract from the main point of the thread, but to address the blatant fallacy that ‘gene duplication has been shown to produce new genes” @ post 2;

    What does the empirical evidence actually say?

    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

    Evolution by Gene Duplication Falsified – December 2010
    Excerpt: The various postduplication mechanisms entailing random mutations and recombinations considered were observed to tweak, tinker, copy, cut, divide, and shuffle existing genetic information around, but fell short of generating genuinely distinct and entirely novel functionality. Contrary to Darwin’s view of the plasticity of biological features, successive modification and selection in genes does indeed appear to have real and inherent limits: it can serve to alter the sequence, size, and function of a gene to an extent, but this almost always amounts to a variation on the same theme—as with RNASE1B in colobine monkeys. The conservation of all-important motifs within gene families, such as the homeobox or the MADS-box motif, attests to the fact that gene duplication results in the copying and preservation of biological information, and not its transformation as something original.

    Does Gene Duplication Perform As Advertised?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....42381.html

    Michael Behe Hasn’t Been Refuted on the Flagellum!
    Excerpt: Douglas Axe of the Biologic Institute showed in one recent paper in the journal Bio-complexity that the model of gene duplication and recruitment only works if very few changes are required to acquire novel selectable utility or neo-functionalization. If a duplicated gene is neutral (in terms of its cost to the organism), then the maximum number of mutations that a novel innovation in a bacterial population can require is up to six. If the duplicated gene has a slightly negative fitness cost, the maximum number drops to two or fewer (not inclusive of the duplication itself).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44801.html

    The Limits of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations Douglas D. Axe*
    Excerpt: In particular, I use an explicit model of a structured bacterial population, similar to the island model of Maruyama and Kimura, to examine the limits on complex adaptations during the evolution of paralogous genes—genes related by duplication of an ancestral gene. Although substantial functional innovation is thought to be possible within paralogous families, the tight limits on the value of d found here (d ? 2 for the maladaptive case, and d ? 6 for the neutral case) mean that the mutational jumps in this process cannot have been very large.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2010.4

    The GS (genetic selection) Principle – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: No increase in Shannon or Prescriptive information occurs in duplication. What the above papers show is that not even variation of the duplication produces new information, not even Shannon “information.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_G.....ciple.html

    Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues: Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke
    Excerpt: The fact that very large population sizes—10^9 or greater—are required to build even a minimal [multi-residue] feature requiring two nucleotide alterations within 10^8 generations by the processes described in our model, and that enormous population sizes are required for more complex features or shorter times, seems to indicate that the mechanism of gene duplication and point mutation alone would be ineffective, at least for multicellular diploid species, because few multicellular species reach the required population sizes.
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=2286568

    Experimental Evolution of Gene Duplicates in a Bacterial Plasmid Model
    Excerpt: In a striking contradiction to our model, no such conditions were found. The fitness cost of carrying both plasmids increased dramatically as antibiotic levels were raised, and either the wild-type plasmid was lost or the cells did not grow. This study highlights the importance of the cost of duplicate genes and the quantitative nature of the tradeoff in the evolution of gene duplication through functional divergence. http://www.springerlink.com/co.....4014664w8/

    This recent paper also found the gene duplication scenario to be highly implausible:

    The Extinction Dynamics of Bacterial Pseudogenes – Kuo and Ochman – August 2010
    Excerpt: “Because all bacterial groups, as well as those Archaea examined, display a mutational pattern that is biased towards deletions and their haploid genomes would be more susceptible to dominant-negative effects that pseudogenes might impart, it is likely that the process of adaptive removal of pseudogenes is pervasive among prokaryotes.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37581.html

    further note:

    “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.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

  12. Hey but grizzfan,,, if you still disagree with all that, you can settle the matter once and for all ‘scientifically’ by violating the principle of genetic entropy,, by passing the ‘fitness test’, since I hold all rapid beneficial adaptations are ‘designed’ as well all rapid beneficial adaptations come at a loss of information that was already present in the parent species!!!!;

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – ‘The Fitness Test’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995248

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

    Thank Goodness the NCSE Is Wrong: Fitness Costs Are Important to Evolutionary Microbiology
    Excerpt: it (an antibiotic resistant bacterium) reproduces slower than it did before it was changed. This effect is widely recognized, and is called the fitness cost of antibiotic resistance. It is the existence of these costs and other examples of the limits of evolution that call into question the neo-Darwinian story of macroevolution.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....s_wro.html

    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp

  13. The bottom line is that establishing ancestor-descendant relationships from the fossil record is impossible.

    Paleoanthropology has nothing to do with hard science. It is wishful speculation based on a conclusion that has been reached in advance, and that is that the Darwinian mechanism of random errors filtered by natural selection can produce, by a step-by-tiny-step process, new living forms of astronomically superior and progressive sophistication.

    This reeks of massaging and creatively interpreting the evidence to fit an a priori assumption. Such a process represents the antithesis of the scientific method, which requires admitting that the evidence is insufficient to support the hypothesis, when this is obviously the case.

    The overwhelming evidence of the fossil record is profound and consistent discontinuity. For the Darwinist, this is not a problem: The Darwinian hypothesis of gradualism must be correct, because the alternative (discontinuity and therefore design) is philosophically unacceptable, therefore, the evidence must be in error and must be reinterpreted to fit a previously-arrived-at conclusion, which is coincidentally and conveniently compatible with the “researcher’s” materialistic worldview that design could not possibly have been present in the origin of life or the evolution of living systems.

    The history of “science” is full of this kind of thing — defense of the indefensible and denying or reinterpreting the evidence, because the defenders have too much to lose: careers, income, prestige among their peers (not to mention castigation, vilification, and excommunication from the “scientific consensus”), a sense of self-worth, and most importantly, fear that they have wasted their lives on a lie.

    Who would want to lie on his deathbed and realize that he wasted his entire professional life adding a few more epicycles to Ptolemaic cosmology after Copernicus?

    Such is the plight of the Darwinist, and it’s an extremely saddening and disturbing phenomenon to observe.

  14. Well, folks, between spending hours in moderation and finding that no one is able to answer the original question, I guess it’s time to move on. Metaphysical arguments against evolution is not the same as explaining the evidence from a different paradigm. In science, if your explanation is better than the last, you should be able to show it, and no one is willing to do so here. I have to conclude that you all are a long way from providing anything that can remotely challenge evolution as the reigning paradigm. I had hoped you would have something. Perhaps you need to find an anthropologist to join you? A anyway, good luck. I think I’ll stick with my spouse and associates on this one, as they can address the specifics about the distribution, age and features of the fossils. You can’t ignore that they exist, so explaining them can’t be avoided.

    One final point-unless you fix your moderation system, you’ll not have many here offering a different perspective. 8,10,12 hours or more before a post appears is just too long; it disrupts the conversation and makes posts appear out of context.

  15. grizzfan, just a little further comment on your seeming gullibility to so readily accept the gene duplication scenario without first establishing a proper scientific foundation.

    First grizzfan, you, nor any of your atheistic/materialistic comrades, have shown proteins to be ‘variable’ in the first place;

    Severe Limits to Darwinian Evolution: – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: The immediate, obvious implication is that the 2009 results render problematic even pretty small changes in structure/function for all proteins — not just the ones he worked on.,,,Thanks to Thornton’s impressive work, we can now see that the limits to Darwinian evolution are more severe than even I had supposed.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Stability effects of mutations and protein evolvability. October 2009
    Excerpt: The accepted paradigm that proteins can tolerate nearly any amino acid substitution has been replaced by the view that the deleterious effects of mutations, and especially their tendency to undermine the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of protein, is a major constraint on protein evolvability,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19765975

    “Mutations are rare phenomena, and a simultaneous change of even two amino acid residues in one protein is totally unlikely. One could think, for instance, that by constantly changing amino acids one by one, it will eventually be possible to change the entire sequence substantially… These minor changes, however, are bound to eventually result in a situation in which the enzyme has ceased to perform its previous function but has not yet begun its ‘new duties’. It is at this point it will be destroyed – along with the organism carrying it.” Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetski, Unraveling DNA, 1997, p. 72. (Professor at Brown U. Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering)

    Second grizzfan you have not shown novel proteins to be ‘non-rare’

    Estimating the prevalence of protein sequences adopting functional enzyme folds: Doug Axe:
    Excerpt: Starting with a weakly functional sequence carrying this signature, clusters of ten side-chains within the fold are replaced randomly, within the boundaries of the signature, and tested for function. The prevalence of low-level function in four such experiments indicates that roughly one in 10^64 signature-consistent sequences forms a working domain. Combined with the estimated prevalence of plausible hydropathic patterns (for any fold) and of relevant folds for particular functions, this implies the overall prevalence of sequences performing a specific function by any domain-sized fold may be as low as 1 in 10^77, adding to the body of evidence that functional folds require highly extraordinary sequences. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15321723

    Grizzfan It is interesting to note that the ‘optimistic’ 1 in 10^12 (one in a trillion) estimate for functional proteins (Szostak) from evolutionists, is still very rare and of insurmountable difficulty for a materialist to use in any evolutionary scenario;

    How Proteins Evolved – Cornelius Hunter – December 2010
    Excerpt: Comparing ATP binding with the incredible feats of hemoglobin, for example, is like comparing a tricycle with a jet airplane. And even the one in 10^12 shot, though it pales in comparison to the odds of constructing a more useful protein machine, is no small barrier. If that is what is required to even achieve simple ATP binding, then evolution would need to be incessantly running unsuccessful trials. The machinery to construct, use and benefit from a
    potential protein product would have to be in place, while failure after failure results. Evolution would make Thomas Edison appear lazy, running millions of trials after millions of trials before finding even the tiniest of function.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....olved.html

    but grizzfan there is a even more crushing thing now for your materialistic conjecture that random mutations and natural selection operating on a duplicate gene can produce a novel functional protein;

    ,,,proteins have now been shown to have a ‘Cruise Control’ mechanism, which works to ‘self-correct’ the integrity of the protein structure from any random mutations imposed on them.

    Proteins with cruise control provide new perspective:
    “A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.”
    http://www.princeton.edu/main/...../60/95O56/

    Cruise Control permeating the whole of the protein structure??? This is an absolutely fascinating discovery. The equations of calculus involved in achieving even a simple process control loop, such as a dynamic cruise control loop, are very complex. In fact it seems readily apparent to me that highly advanced mathematical information must reside along the entirety of the protein structure, in order to achieve such control. This fact gives us clear evidence that there is far more functional information residing in proteins than meets the eye. Moreover this ‘oneness’ of cruise control, within the protein structure, can only be achieved through quantum computation/entanglement principles, and is inexplicable to the reductive materialistic approach of neo-Darwinism! For a sample of the equations that must be dealt with, to ‘engineer’ even a simple process control loop like cruise control for a single protein, please see this following site:

    PID controller
    A proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller) is a generic control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used in industrial control systems. A PID controller attempts to correct the error between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint by calculating and then outputting a corrective action that can adjust the process accordingly and rapidly, to keep the error minimal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller

    It is in realizing the staggering level of engineering that must be dealt with to achieve ‘cruise control’ for each individual protein that it becomes apparent even Axe’s 1 in 10^77 estimate for finding specific functional proteins within sequence space is in far, far too generous. In fact since quantum entanglement falsified reductive materialism/local realism (Alain Aspect) then finding quantum entanglement/information to be ‘protein specific’ is absolutely shattering to any hope that materialists had in what slim probabilities there were, since a ‘transcendent’ cause must be supplied which is specific to each unique protein structure. Materialism is simply at a complete loss to supply such a transcendent cause!

  16. further notes for ‘quantum proteins’;

    This following new paper provides further confirmation that quantum information/entanglement is involved along the entirety of protein structures. (Though inexplicably, the researchers, without any warrant, attributed this ‘chemical impossibility’ to Darwinian evolution)

    Scientists get glimpse of how the ‘code’ of life may have emerged – March 2011
    Excerpt: Rodriguez discovered that when she made these changes to the enzyme, the binding of the amino acid to the protein was strengthened, even though the amino acid binds far away from the positions where the changes were made. “It is totally counterintuitive,” ,,, In all, Rodriguez found that separately removing seven different “gears” from a distant part of the molecule each caused the amino acid to bind more tightly to the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase. Perona explained that this provides the first systematic analysis demonstrating long-range communication in an enzyme that depends on RNA for its function.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....erged.html

    f/n

    Quantum Information In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

  17. #12 Gil

    The evidence for gradualism is all around you. Every day billions of organisms produce billions of progeny. In every single case the descendent is extremely similar to the ancestor.

  18. MF:

    You know or should know that family resemblance of parents and children is not the same as evidence of the claimed descent with modification from a common ancestor through fine gradations across time to yield the darwinian tree of life; especially when it comes to origin of novel body plans.

    In particular, the fossil evidence is notoriously (and since Darwin — he knew of the suddenness of the appearance of life forms in Cambrian strata) one of Gould’s “sudden appearances, stasis and disappearance.”

    In 2002, he wrote in his The Structure of Evolutionary Theory:

    . . . long term stasis following geologically abrupt origin of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists. [[p. 752.]

    . . . . The great majority of species do not show any appreciable evolutionary change at all. These species appear in the section [[first occurrence] without obvious ancestors in the underlying beds, are stable once established and disappear higher up without leaving any descendants.” [[p. 753.]

    . . . . proclamations for the supposed ‘truth’ of gradualism – asserted against every working paleontologist’s knowledge of its rarity – emerged largely from such a restriction of attention to exceedingly rare cases under the false belief that they alone provided a record of evolution at all! The falsification of most ‘textbook classics’ upon restudy only accentuates the fallacy of the ‘case study’ method and its root in prior expectation rather than objective reading of the fossil record. [[p. 773.]

    The evidence — from protein folds, to fossil records, and the observations of current life forms — directly and strongly supports islands of function for diverse body plans, not a smothly branching tree of life from common ancestors.

    This last is an inference imposed on the actual facts, on a priori assumptions of what “must” have happened on evolutionary materialistic premises.

    GEM of TKI

  19. All this is most interesting, but I still haven’t given up on KL, as to whether there is any theory fronted in Darwin’s name that he does not think credible.

  20. MarkF:

    The evidence for gradualism is all around you. Every day billions of organisms produce billions of progeny. In every single case the descendent is extremely similar to the ancestor.

    Shouldn’t that count against universal common descent?

  21. bornagain77, is that a serious prize? It just looks like a very amateurish web page.

  22. QuiteID asks,

    ‘is that a serious prize?’

    I don’t know QuiteID, why don’t you ‘create life in the lab’ and then try to claim the prize and let us know? Of course if you, or anyone else, actually created life from scratch, I’m sure the worldwide fame and fortune that would naturally follow would eclipse any ill will you would have if it is false!

    But something tells me that you may have much more of a problem in developing life from scratch than you may think in this endeavor;

    Francis Collins on Making Life
    Excerpt: ‘We are so woefully ignorant about how biology really works. We still don’t understand how a particular DNA sequence—when we just stare at it—codes for a protein that has a particular function. We can’t even figure out how that protein would fold—into what kind of three-dimensional shape. And I would defy anybody who is going to tell me that they could, from first principles, predict not only the shape of the protein but also what it does.’ – Francis Collins – Former Director of the Human Genome Project
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/t.....enome.html

    A Few Hundred Thousand Computers vs. A Single Protein Molecule – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4018233

    Three Subsets of Sequence Complexity and Their Relevance to Biopolymeric Information – David L. Abel and Jack T. Trevors – Theoretical Biology & Medical Modelling, Vol. 2, 11 August 2005, page 8
    “No man-made program comes close to the technical brilliance of even Mycoplasmal genetic algorithms. Mycoplasmas are the simplest known organism with the smallest known genome, to date. How was its genome and other living organisms’ genomes programmed?”
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/c.....2-2-29.pdf

    Systems biology: Untangling the protein web – July 2009
    Excerpt: Vidal thinks that technological improvements — especially in nanotechnology, to generate more data, and microscopy, to explore interaction inside cells, along with increased computer power — are required to push systems biology forward. “Combine all this and you can start to think that maybe some of the information flow can be captured,” he says. But when it comes to figuring out the best way to explore information flow in cells, Tyers jokes that it is like comparing different degrees of infinity. “The interesting point coming out of all these studies is how complex these systems are — the different feedback loops and how they cross-regulate each other and adapt to perturbations are only just becoming apparent,” he says. “The simple pathway models are a gross oversimplification of what is actually happening.”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....0415a.html

    Life Leads the Way to Invention – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: a cell is 10,000 times more energy-efficient than a transistor. “ In one second, a cell performs about 10 million energy-consuming chemical reactions, which altogether require about one picowatt (one millionth millionth of a watt) of power.” This and other amazing facts lead to an obvious conclusion: inventors ought to look to life for ideas.,,, Essentially, cells may be viewed as circuits that use molecules, ions, proteins and DNA instead of electrons and transistors. That analogy suggests that it should be possible to build electronic chips – what Sarpeshkar calls “cellular chemical computers” – that mimic chemical reactions very efficiently and on a very fast timescale.

    Also of interest is that a cell apparently seems to be successfully designed along the very stringent guidelines laid out by Landauer’s principle of ‘reversible computation’ in order to achieve such amazing energy efficiency, something man has yet to accomplish in any meaningful way for computers:

    Notes on Landauer’s principle, reversible computation, and Maxwell’s Demon – Charles H. Bennett
    Excerpt: Of course, in practice, almost all data processing is done on macroscopic apparatus, dissipating macroscopic amounts of energy far in excess of what would be required by Landauer’s principle. Nevertheless, some stages of biomolecular information processing, such as transcription of DNA to RNA, appear to be accomplished by chemical reactions that are reversible not only in principle but in practice.,,,,
    http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~.....501_03.pdf

    “The manuals needed for building the entire space shuttle and all its components and all its support systems would be truly enormous! Yet the specified complexity (information) of even the simplest form of life – a bacterium – is arguably as great as that of the space shuttle.”
    J.C. Sanford – Geneticist – Genetic Entropy and the Mystery Of the Genome

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    of note: The 10^12 bits of information number for a bacterium is derived from entropic considerations, which is, due to the tightly integrated relationship between information and entropy, considered the most accurate measure of the transcendent information present in a ‘simple’ life form. For calculations please see the following site:

    Molecular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy:
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=18hO1bteXTPOqQtd2H12PI5wFFoTjwg8uBAU5N0nEQIE

    not to mention QuiteID, to create life from scratch, it seems you will have to learn how to master quantum entanglement on a massive scale of the ‘cohered’ state of at least thousands of billions of atoms;

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    And QuiteID, mastering quantum entanglement on such a massive scale may just eclipse any fame and fortune that you would get from ‘merely’ creating life,

    14 quantum bits: Physicists go beyond the limits of what is currently possible in quantum computation – April 2011
    Excerpt: They confined 14 calcium atoms in an ion trap, which, similar to a quantum computer, they then manipulated with laser light. The internal states of each atom formed single qubits and a quantum register of 14 qubits was produced. This register represents the core of a future quantum computer.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....imits.html

    Scientists take another step towards quantum computing using flawed diamonds – March 2011
    Excerpt: Scientists have for years been intrigued by the idea of a quantum computer,,, Such a machine would dwarf the capabilities of modern computers,
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....monds.html

  23. bornagain77, I was just asking a question. Man.

  24. GilDodgen @ 12

    The bottom line is that establishing ancestor-descendant relationships from the fossil record is impossible.

    I’m interested why you think Michael Behe among others is wrong about this.

    “For example, both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C. … It’s hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans. … Despite some remaining puzzles, there’s no reason to doubt that Darwin had this point right, that all creatures on earth are biological relatives.” Behe, The Edge of Evolution, pp 71-2.

    bornagain77 @ 13

    I’m impressed by your breadth of reading about these issues. The Origin-of-Life Prize looks very interesting. They certainly have some amazing people on their panel of judges.

    It’s a major credit to Uncommon Descent that it’s given KL the opportunity of explaining his position in this thread!

  25. idcurious-

    You quote Gil talking about the fossil record, Dr Behe was not.

    And since we are learning more about convergence I would say the evidence Dr Behe cited isn’t exclusive to common ancestry-> if it can explain it at all.

  26. idcurious, thanks for the compliment, but I feel rather inadequate around here compared to all the PhD.’s. who blow me away with their depth of knowledge (save for neo-Darwinists PhD’s of course :) ).,,, As to the vitamin C argument;

    Daniel Fairbanks Cherry Picks Data On Pseudogenes To Prop Up Common Descent – March 2011
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....n-descent/

    and this,,,

    Evolutionary Thought in Action: The Subtlety of Metaphysics – Cornelius Hunter – July 2010
    Excerpt: In the above example, the crucial metaphysics is woven in here:

    but when the exact same pseudogene for Vitamin C is broken in the exact same place in humans and chimpanzees, indicating we inherited it from a common ancestor, what else do you say it is other than a fact that we evolved from that common ancestor?

    This shared-error argument is a good example of how the evolution lie depends on subtle misrepresentations of the science and unspoken metaphysical claims. Any scientific analysis of the evidence would come up empty handed. Pseudogenes reveal various patterns, some which can be employed to argue for common descent, others which violate common descent (they could be explained, for instance, by common mechanism). Furthermore pseudogenes reveal evidence of mutational hotspots.

    But such quandaries are left unmentioned. Evolutionists selectively present the evidence to make evolution appear to be well supported. The evolution lie corrupts scientific knowledge.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....tlety.html

    It is also interesting to point that Darwinists are quick to cite any ‘junk’ evidence like this where the function is not yet known, and try to cite it as evidence for evolution, just as they did with vestigial organs which have now been refuted, but that Darwinists will not ever cite the ‘clear evidence’ which, unlike the ‘junk DNA evidence, is unambiguously understood, which clearly shows evolution of humans to be impossible;

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

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

    This following calculation by geneticist John Sanford for ‘fixing’ a beneficial mutation, or for creating a new gene, in humans, gives equally absurd numbers that once again render the Darwinian scenario of humans evolving from apes completely false:

    Dr. Sanford calculates it would take 12 million years to “fix” a single base pair mutation into a population. He further calculates that to create a gene with 1000 base pairs, it would take 12 million x 1000 or 12 billion years. This is obviously too slow to support the creation of the human genome containing 3 billion base pairs.
    http://www.detectingtruth.com/?p=66

    —————

    The Origin at 150: is a new evolutionary synthesis in sight? – Koonin – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: The edifice of the modern synthesis has crumbled, apparently, beyond repair.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index....._synthesis

    Modern Synthesis of Neo-Darwinism Is Dead – Paul Nelson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5548184/

    —————

    Creed – One Last Breath
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yY1Nrznh4I

  27. Joseph @ 23

    From what I’ve read, Dr Behe accepts the fossil record as one part of the evidence for common descent. I was wondering why GilDodgen thinks it is “impossible” to “establish ancestor-descendant relationships from the fossil record”.. But of course ID is a big tent and we can agree to disagree on that.

    I’m more interested in what KL has to say.

  28. idcurious,

    I didn’t know what Gil said was in dispute. I am pretty sure Henry Gee has said pretty much the same thing.

  29. Joseph @ 28

    Henry Gee’s point is that the “Deep Time” involved in the fossil record makes claims of one particular animal being ancestral to another spurious. (Stegosaurus was older to T-Rex than T-Rex is to us!)

    He’s not saying we can’t use cladistics to establish relationships – especially given the other evidence for common descent.

    “That my cat Fred and I really have a common ancestor is not in doubt.”

    My cat is called Stanley. No-one doubts that you, I and Henry Gee share a common ancestor, and that Fred and Stanley share a common ancestor.

    If we want to understand why Henry Gee thinks he and Fred share a common ancestor, and KL’s spouse and associates think Lucy and they share common ancestors, we need to actually address what they say themselves, rather than taking quotes out of context and proclaiming that their position is merely a metaphysical rejection of your metaphysical beliefs.

    If some ID theorists want to provide an alternative explanation to Common Descent it’s for them to provide evidence for that. That, too, I’d really like to see.

    I wonder if Denyse O’Leary is still interested in hearing from KL? Or is this thread now dead?

  30. idcurious:

    He’s not saying we can’t use cladistics to establish relationships – especially given the other evidence for common descent.

    Cladistics is different from ancestor-descendent relationships. It foms sister groups and then tries to determine a common ancestor.

    Also I can use evidence for “common descnt” to support a common design.

    BTW ID oes not argue against Univrsal Common Descent- Dr Behe and others accept it.

    What UCD lacks is genetic evidence to support the alleged transformations.

  31. My last post (#14) did not show up until 15 other posts had come up, meaning that it spend well over 30 hours in moderation. This is really dishonest. In addition, my original question was never addressed. My spouse looked over this and the original thread and exclaimed that the anthropologists quoted here were taken out of context and did not mean what you implied.

    I stick by my original assertion that you do not yet have a theory that can supplant evolution in explaining the physical evidence, including th fossil record.

  32. IDC:

    If some ID theorists want to provide an alternative explanation to Common Descent it’s for them to provide evidence for that. That, too, I’d really like to see.

    Separate issue from design theory, this is a question over design mechanisms, to which the answer is, tehre is more than one way to skin a cat.

    So, what is the way to test possibilities, e.g. use of nanobots or even viri to inject novel genes inclusive of regulatory networks?

    Various possible answers, exist, but they are separate form the key point that there are some features of the natural world, that — on experience and reliable observations of cause-effect patterns — show credible signs that they are produced by design as a material causal factor.

    GEM of TKI

  33. PS: The thread has faded because KL, after receiving replies, walked off.

  34. KF @ 32:

    PS: The thread has faded because KL, after receiving replies, walked off.

    Not true GEM. Apparently you are blissfully unaware that he has been trying to comment all along.

    He has not “walked off”, but has, in fact, been commenting since this thread began. Occasionally one of his comments makes it through but some have been held “in moderation” for 30-40 hours or more.

    I suppose when the admins at UD get around to it they can release the comments.

  35. Joseph @ 30

    BTW ID oes not argue against Univrsal Common Descent- Dr Behe and others accept it.

    Indeed I said that myself.

    Also I can use evidence for “common descnt” to support a common design.

    Where is your testable evidence for this designer? I understand the “theistic evolutionist” position – but I’m unclear how you can argue at the same time (1) that natural processes cannot produce life but (2) a designer can use natural process to design things. In other words, how can we posit a “designer” that we can test for scientifically, that Occam’s razor wouldn’t suggest is a needless additional step? If life processes are part of the Universe, why do we need an additional designer?

    What UCD lacks is genetic evidence to support the alleged transformations.

    Whether we like it or not, most geneticists disagree. There is overwhelming evidence that there *are* relationships. We don’t know entirely how they happened – but then we don’t know entirely lots of things :)

    kairosfocus @ 31

    experience and reliable observations of cause-effect patterns — show credible signs that they are produced by design as a material causal factor.

    Without being able to test anything about the “designer”, isn’t this begging the question? Do you think ants “design” anthills?

    …And am I the only one here interested in hearing from KL?

  36. 36

    And am I the only one here interested in hearing from KL?

    I am, as well. If it is true that KL’s comments are being held for up to two days, then it is a darn shame. Especially when mean-spirited (and sometimes vulgar) posts from ID supporters go right through.

  37. JS:

    You are claiming that KL’s comments are currently being held up.

    Is this true, and how do you know so?

    I am a ware of such being the case some days back, and as far as I could see this was resolved. Certainly, that is what Mrs O’Leary indicated.

    If there is still a moderation and undue delay problem, do you know on which grounds, or basis — other than triggering good old Ms Akismet [which has happened to me to the point where at one point I was on personal speaking terms with a tech support guy there].

    GEM of TKI

  38. KF @ 36:

    Speaking for myself, I know they are being held up because KL told me so. He has pasted some of his held up posts elsewhere and sure enough… some of them eventually appear here out of order, which is proof that they are held in moderation.

  39. IDC:

    kairosfocus @ 31

    experience and reliable observations of cause-effect patterns — show credible signs that they are produced by design as a material causal factor.

    [IDC:] Without being able to test anything about the “designer”, isn’t this begging the question? Do you think ants “design” anthills?

    1 –> Walk into a library, say in the University of Moscow.

    2 –> Pick up a book at random.

    3 –> Can you, without being able to test anything about the designer[s] [writer, editor, publisher, printer, book binder etc], credibly know that the book is an ART-ifact, one that shows functionally specific, complex Wicken wiring diagram integrated organisation of components, starting with the string data structure of the text, and related information? And going on to the codex organisation?

    4 –> Do you now see just how complex and loaded your question is?

    5 –> We know a lot about designers, and we routinely recognise instances of design on signs of design.

    6 –> Such signs of design are predicated on our knowing a lot about designers, in general, on which we see that there are certain characteristics that designers have, and that their designs have.

    7 –> Further, we have a longstanding analysis of causal factors, across chance, necessity and art, that highlights characteristic features of each: necessity leads to natural regularities under similar circumstances, chance contingency, to stochastic variability, and choice contingency to functional, purposeful organisation.

    8 –> Further yet, such FSCO/I naturally clusters on isolated islands of function in large config spaces — your Russian library book is not a likely outcome of an explosion in a printery in Moscow. Such large search spaces are in our general experience, traversed to the islands of function based on purpose, knowledge, skill and opportunity to effect.

    9 –> You cite ants as though ants are not capable at least in principle of being self-moved, creative agents. Last time I watched ants cooperate to move a large dead insect, they seemed pretty capable of cooperative, creative, and indeed intelligent albeit limited acts.

    10 –> Ant nests, termite mounds, and beehives seem pretty well organised and complex to me. So, the only question that arises is where the required intelligence etc come from, as would arise if I were to see an iron, plastic and silicon technology army of cooperative mini robots.

    11 –> Moving up to our level, we are obviously derivative as existing intelligences, and we look like sophisticated C-chemistry tech robots to me.

    12 –> We are admittedly intelligent and capable of imagination, creativity, etc, so why not ants, bees and termites, even as a collaborative entity?

    13 –> Or, ARE YOU IMPLICITLY ASSUMING THAT PER LEWONTINIAN A PRIORI EVOLUTIONARY MATERIALISM ANTS ETC COULD ONLY HAVE COME ABOUT BY CHANCE PLUS NECESSITY?

    14 –> The evidence, to my mind, points to design, AND that designed entities in some cases can be autonomous designers in their own right. If us, why not the hard-working, industrious ants that Solomon ever so long ago told us to watch and learn from?

    GEM of TKI

  40. KF @ 36: (and onlookers)

    If you look upthread at comment number 14 you will find the latest from KL after some dozens of hours in moderation.

  41. UT:

    Is this a current experience [last 48 hrs or so, e.g.]?

    Since you are not being held up in mod, would you be able to FWD such a post from the past 48 hrs?

    GEM of TKI

  42. UT:

    I have spent more time than I should here this AM.

    There is nothing I saw in 14 that would trigger a specific ban on content, it is all a rehashing of stuff debated to death here long since. (I have no time to respond again just now, the tyrannical clock imperiously commands. The remark can be rebutted point by point, e.g. KL needs to simply attend to things already said in this and the previous threads over the past several days. If the theory of evolution on chance plus necessity only does not account properly for empirical facts [such as was already pointed out to KL, but ignored i the above], then regardless of its popularity among the new magisterium and their publicists, it is not well grounded. Honest ignorance is better than brazen ideology and shadow shows that paper over material gaps. )

    I suspect — but don’t know for sure [and on this I certainly do not speak for UD] — there is some hiccup with his account, or that there are key words he has used that trigger problems. I certainly went through a few rounds of that here, and ended up being a regular customer over at Akismet.

    I really have to move NOW.

    GEM of TKI

  43. kairosfocus @ 38

    your Russian library book is not a likely outcome of an explosion in a printery in Moscow.

    No-one says life arrived fully formed out of any explosion.

    Last time I watched ants cooperate to move a large dead insect, they seemed pretty capable of cooperative, creative, and indeed intelligent albeit limited acts.

    Individually, are ants so intelligent? What about slime moulds? They show remarkable levels of co-operation – but make very poor conversationists.

    11 –> Moving up to our level, we are obviously derivative as existing intelligences, and we look like sophisticated C-chemistry tech robots to me.

    If by “derivative”, you meant building upon countless earlier steps over billions of years, I’d agree with you.

    Or, ARE YOU IMPLICITLY ASSUMING THAT PER LEWONTINIAN A PRIORI EVOLUTIONARY MATERIALISM ANTS ETC COULD ONLY HAVE COME ABOUT BY CHANCE PLUS NECESSITY?

    Certainly not… But if you have an explanation of how something more complicated than ants is required to design ants, that did not in itself require design by something more complex, then I’d really like to hear it.

    Or is it more complicated designers all the way down? :)

    Honest ignorance is better than brazen ideology

    Amen to that.

  44. Popping by

    Having had to sort out a 3-way email and mailing issue.

    Please work your way through the weak argument correctives, top, right.

    Slime moulds have in them cells with DNA, which expresses a sophisticated digital informaiton processing suystem, riddled with signs of design as discussed many times.

    They are not so far as I know, known to produce artifacts. Ant colonies do. Bees do, and do symbolic analog communication [the dance]. And People do, with sophisticated digital symbolic comunication.

    You need to show how the evolutionary materialistic answer adderesses the challenge of finding islands of function in large config spaces beyond the search capacity of the observed cosmos acting without intelligent intervention or control. Address the infinite monkeys issue in so doing.

    And, if you do so successfully, apply for the origin of life $ million prize, and a Nobel prize too. Publish the paper that writes it up, and your fame and fortune will be assured. (Just, don’t beg questions in the paper.)

    Intelligences are known to routinely do that task of moving to such islands,a s a characteristic capacity and sign of such intelligence.

    In short, there is a big elephant in teh middle of the room you are not addressing, and are distracting form every attempt to point to him.

    Ah gawn . . .

    GEM of TKI

  45. It looks like my last (#31) spent FAR less time in moderation.

    I remind you that the original thread was a claim regarding the fossil record. A specific claim that I asked to be supported with evidence. Anthropologists make hypotheses based on really good familiarity with the fossils and understanding of comparative anatomy. The original thread did not mention cellular biology, molecular biology, metaphysics, or computer programming. Just fossils. So, if you are going to make that claim, and the subsequent claim that anthropologists have wasted their entire careers chasing a fantasy, from a scientific standpoint you should offer a better explanation of the specifics (age, features, distribution) of the fossil record. To divert to another topic is evasion.

  46. kairosfocus @ 44

    Thanks for taking my last post in good humour.

    I am the first to admit that I have no answer as to why the Universe came into being, how life arose, and why I’m here – theological explanations aside, of course.

    What I’m asking is how “Intelligent Design” offers a better explanation than the appearance of life and evolution just being part of the fabric of the Universe – which answer seems to satisfy “theistic evolutionists”, deists and even my atheist friends alike.

    If ID can truly demonstrate that evolution and/or the beginnings of life are a scientific impossibility, then of course there is a Nobel prize in that too…

    But to my mind we see complexity arising from simplicity all the time. If you insist that complexity can only arise from more complexity, I don’t see where you stop.

    If your position is that the ultimate designer (let’s call him God for the sake of argument…) is simple and transcendent (per. the FAQ) then we’re back to the question – does nature work or doesn’t it?

    Certainly, people make overblown claims for their understanding of evolution all the time – just as they do for their understandings of physics, psychology, medicine and even theology.

    To get back to the thread, it’s a shame KL hasn’t been able to speak for himself here…

  47. KF and onlookers:

    KL’s latest post now number 31 in the current sequence has made it through. Naturally the goofy moderation-limbo system has now re-ordered everything after that so… just figure it out for yourself.

  48. 48

    It appears that KF needs a reminder of what this thread is about.

    I certainly don’t consider you hicks. However, my spouse and associates are primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists. It’s strange to come here and see their work dismissed as a just so story. Some of them have been in the field extensively and have published many, many papers. Are you guys saying that somehow all these people are simply mistaken?

    In response 18 you say
    This last is an inference imposed on the actual facts, on a priori assumptions of what “must” have happened on evolutionary materialistic premises.

    Which I think we can say means, yes, you think all those people are simply mistaken. They are wrong. They have made assumptions based on evolutionary materialistic premises and therefore their conclusions are invalid.

    Yet you fail to offer any specific rebuttal, no details of what is wrong and how you know it. No attempt to engage with the specifics of the matter.

    It almost seems as no matter the topic you can give the same stock answers.

    Your comment at 32 follows the same lines.

    Various possible answers, exist, but they are separate form the key point that there are some features of the natural world, that — on experience and reliable observations of cause-effect patterns — show credible signs that they are produced by design as a material causal factor.

    And? Do you have something specific to say about “Lucy” and the life’s work of multiple people? You’d better think of something soon or dismissing an entire group of peoples life’s work without a shred of evidence is going to start to look might arrogant.

    PS: The thread has faded because KL, after receiving replies, walked off.

    I know it might appear that way to you but there is an extensively documented alternative to that inference. Perhaps you should consider again why so many opponents and threads “fade away”.

    You comment at 39 is yet more of the same.

    8 –> Further yet, such FSCO/I naturally clusters on isolated islands of function in large config spaces — your Russian library book is not a likely outcome of an explosion in a printery in Moscow.

    And? Again, what does that have to do with the question?

    Your entire comment appears to sum up to “some things are designed, I say life is designed and therefore the conclusions of that group of people are wrong, whatever they actually are”.

    Perhaps if you were to engage on the specifics of the subject raised rater then the topic you want to engage on instead you’d be more convincing in your arguments. Right now you are arguing against something that nobody has raised.

    KL says it best:
    I remind you that the original thread was a claim regarding the fossil record. A specific claim that I asked to be supported with evidence. Anthropologists make hypotheses based on really good familiarity with the fossils and understanding of comparative anatomy. The original thread did not mention cellular biology, molecular biology, metaphysics, or computer programming. Just fossils. So, if you are going to make that claim, and the subsequent claim that anthropologists have wasted their entire careers chasing a fantasy, from a scientific standpoint you should offer a better explanation of the specifics (age, features, distribution) of the fossil record. To divert to another topic is evasion.

    Each and every reply of yours KF is pure evasion.

    Therefore it’s with no surprise that I read your 42

    here is nothing I saw in 14 that would trigger a specific ban on content, it is all a rehashing of stuff debated to death here long since. ,

    Perhaps, but not by you.

    If the theory of evolution on chance plus necessity only does not account properly for empirical facts [such as was already pointed out to KL, but ignored i the above], then regardless of its popularity among the new magisterium and their publicists, it is not well grounded.

    So, yes, you believe that the group of people in question have wasted their lives because all their conclusions are wrong. Their conclusions are “not well grounded”.

    And we know this how? Well you told us in the previous sentence!

    KL needs to simply attend to things already said in this and the previous threads over the past several days.

    Yes indeed. You are wrong and the reason why has already been stated, just go read it already.

    Win many arguments at work like that do you?

    And of course in 44 you put the cherry on the unreasonableness cake:

    And, if you do so successfully, apply for the origin of life $ million prize, and a Nobel prize too. Publish the paper that writes it up, and your fame and fortune will be assured. (Just, don’t beg questions in the paper.)

    Yep, until you explain the origin of life then you can come to no “well grounded” conclusions. So, again, KL’s spouse and associates, primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists are all wrong. All because evolutionists can’t explain the origin of life.

    I don’t think so.

    In short, there is a big elephant in teh middle of the room you are not addressing, and are distracting form every attempt to point to him.

    You got that right. It’s just not the one you are thinking of.

  49. 49

    KF
    This last is an inference imposed on the actual facts

    And this is the point that you refuse to address.

    The facts are the fossils.

    How do you explain them?

    I’m interested to see how your explanation compares!

    If you don’t have one then your “actual facts” comment rings somewhat hollow, don’t you agree!

  50. JR:

    I passed back after lunch; only to see myself accused of evasion.

    This, after I have responded on the merits and on specific points, across at least two threads for KL, and more for you and MG [including when I was on a high intensity trip that really should have got more of my focus].

    That is revealing, and sadly so. It does not speak well of you.

    FYI, I have long since documented, in detail and from multiple relevant and credible sources [such as not only Lewontin summing up the views of Sagan and a great many other scientists, but -- as reading on will show -- US NAS and NSTA etc] that there is a major problem of a priori materialism in origins science, which biases conclusions, including on how fossils or gross anatomy or molecular level observations are interpreted.

    Further to this, I took time to point out that the difference between the DNA complement of an ape-like animal and a human being crosses the FSCI threshold, where the issue of finding islands of function in config spaces on chance plus necessity is an important, and it seems largely unanswered challenge. This is not an evasion or a distraction, it is the heart of the question. Reconstructions of Lucy et al and sequences or trees of claimed related fossils and homologies may be interesting, but absent a credible, empirically well warranted mechanism of transformation of body plans, they are speculation not serious evidence. Further to this, the reality of mosaic features on animals such as the Platypus, carry significant import for claimed homologies and derivations. After all, common design on a library of parts is an empirically well-warranted means of getting family resemblance, and when we see an animal with such a mosaic from all over the animal kingdom, that should give us pause. Likewise when we see placental kangaroo rats and marsupial kangaroo rats, or analogous wolves like that etc, that too should give us pause. And more.

    So, it is reasonable for me to ask for empirically backed evidence of the proposed mechanisms that answers to the body plan level information generation challenge.

    Now, it is almost a trusism: if you had an answer on the merits, you would have gleefully given it.

    The astute onlooker can therefore take your “how dare you challenge the EXPERTS” response just above as a naked appeal to modest in the face of claimed authority.

    Sorry, as I have pointed out long since, no authority is better than his or her facts, assumptions and reasoning. And, that is what I have asked for, but so far I have yet to see it.

    Moreover, in this context, there is a major question on the assumptions, and a major unmet challenge to answer to the source of required functional information, as well as to empirical evidence of the claimed mechanism.

    I expect such empirical evidence for key explanatory models in my home discipline, and I have a right to expect it in anything called science. In such a context, FYFI, I have an EPISTEMIC RIGHT to incredulity when such a standard is not met.

    And, I have a further right to draw a yet stronger conclusion when I am then met with personal dismissal as I have just now seen.

    Good day, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  51. 51
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF
    Reconstructions of Lucy et al and sequences or trees of claimed related fossils and homologies may be interesting,

    Interesting?

    but absent a credible, empirically well warranted mechanism of transformation of body plans, they are speculation not serious evidence.

    Then it’s speculation. But it’s speculation that you cannot match in detail.

    So, speculate away…..

    Likewise when we see placental kangaroo rats and marsupial kangaroo rats, or analogous wolves like that etc, that too should give us pause.

    Actual scientists supports their claims with evidence.

    So, it is reasonable for me to ask for empirically backed evidence of the proposed mechanisms that answers to the body plan level information generation challenge.

    Then why don’t you explain the facts (the fossils) with your preferred paradigm?

    Now, it is almost a trusism: if you had an answer on the merits, you would have gleefully given it.

    The same can be said of you. You can’t explain a single fossil with Intelligent Design, or you would have already.

    Handwaving about “common design” is meaningless unless you can test your claims.

    The astute onlooker can therefore take your “how dare you challenge the EXPERTS” response just above as a naked appeal to modest in the face of claimed authority.

    But challenging the experts would consist of addressing their specific points, not making vast claims about “islands of functionality” and “body plan level information generation challenge”.

    Address the points that the experts are making, not the ones you think they are really making and perhaps you can have been said to challenge them.

    Moreover, in this context, there is a major question on the assumptions, and a major unmet challenge to answer to the source of required functional information, as well as to empirical evidence of the claimed mechanism.

    Whatever the mechanism the fossils exist. Explain them a better way then the currently accepted explanation and your explanation would become the default in no time!

    But you can’t……

    I expect such empirical evidence for key explanatory models in my home discipline, and I have a right to expect it in anything called science.

    I image your home discipline does not use CSI then.

    In such a context, FYFI, I have an EPISTEMIC RIGHT to incredulity when such a standard is not met.

    Yet there is an enormous body of evidence supporting naturalistic evolution (of various stripes) and yet you remain an ID supporter. Odd. It’s almost like a prior belief colors your subsequent interpretations of evidence, whatever that evidence may be.

    And, I have a further right to draw a yet stronger conclusion when I am then met with personal dismissal as I have just now seen.

    Just as you have dismissed the life’s work of KL, KF’s spouse and associates, primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists.

  52. 52
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    The facts are the fossils.

    How do you explain them?

  53. JR and KL, I think what kairosfocus is saying is that, if their work operates from the (typical) evolutionary materialistic framework of contemporary science, then yes, KL’s spouse, and friends, and all the other people mentioned — their life’s work is a waste of time.

  54. You should be aware that for some reason KL has been put into moderation and his comments are not being released for viewing.

  55. If you want your ideas to be considered science, you must do what scientists do: the hard work of developing explanations for evidence. Detailed work involving mechanisms, patterns, empirical and relative ages, geographic distribution, biometrics, variations within and between related species. To answer scientific questions by claiming another paradigm but then not using that paradigm to offer a better explanation is not science. That’s fine, if you don’t care to be called scientists or what you do science. But, if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. Don’t try to play scientist by offering up analogies that are meaningless in practice, philosophy instead of mechanisms, and claims you cannot support with evidence.
    Not to mention outrageous statements about scientists wasting their careers; scientists who have done and continued to do the hard work of science.

    QuiteID, the paradigm of evolution has stood the test of time, and continues to explain all the evidence, even down to the tiniest detail, very well. A shift in paradigm is an extraordinary claim, which must be demonstrated by extraordinary evidence. Philosophical explanations and computer science analogies are not sufficient to convince any scientist to abandon the reigning paradigm.

  56. kairosfocus @ 49

    I expect such empirical evidence for key explanatory models in my home discipline, and I have a right to expect it in anything called science.

    I’m intrigued. Do you use any non-materialist presumptions, techniques, evidences, methods or materials in your home discipline?

    QuiteID @ 52

    JR and KL, I think what kairosfocus is saying is that, if their work operates from the (typical) evolutionary materialistic framework of contemporary science, then yes, KL’s spouse, and friends, and all the other people mentioned — their life’s work is a waste of time.

    I might be wrong, but it appears to me that the “materialistic framework of contemporary science” has been wildy successful.

    In under a century took us from the Wright Brothers to walking on the moon; from mechanical counting machines to the Internet; from seeing of the Universe as containing thousands of stars to countless billions; and to millions upon millions of lives being saved by advances in medicine.

    Can anyone anywhere tell me of any advances in science or technology which have ever been made anywhere from non-materialistic science?

    There must be some, surely? Otherwise kairosfocus’s claims would seem a little strange?

  57. 57
    JemimaRacktouey

    their life’s work is a waste of time.

    Let’s say that’s true. Then what?

    Does KF explain the fossils or is KF only able to critique other peoples explanations? And I use “critique” in the very loosest of senses.

    It’s like KF says
    If the theory of evolution on chance plus necessity only does not account properly for empirical facts [such as was already pointed out to KL, but ignored i the above], then regardless of its popularity among the new magisterium and their publicists, it is not well grounded. ,

    What makes a theory popular is it’s usefulness.

    When a new theory appears that is more useful then the previous, the new theory replaces the old.

    It’s happened time and time again. But each time it happens the new theory explains a fact or makes a prediction that the old cannot.

    Does that sound like ID?

  58. KL, though you think you have solid science backing you up, the fact is that you don’t have any ‘solid science’. Primarily because, as QuiteID pointed out, the materialistic evolutionary framework is found to be false (especially the ‘materialistic’ foundation). And the Theistic framework, for all of reality, is shown to be true. Thus even if you could possibly build a gradual evolutionary case from the fossils and/or genes, of a gradual increase in complexity, which I adamantly hold that you can’t build a case from, the best you would have done was to ‘tentatively’ prove that the gradual increase in complexity was due to a gradual Theistic Evolutionary process of God gradually introducing greater complexity, you certainly would not have proven that your presupposed materialistic evolutionary process increased the complexity since materialism is shown to be false in the first place from first principles in science, and secondly since you are working from a ‘historical narrative’ instead of actual observable data. You stated that you have a ‘better mechanism’ of explanation than we have. Yet that is simply not true. For I hold that design was implemented ‘top down’ for a ‘optimal’ parent species/kind, with radiation occurring ‘downward’ from that initial parent species, instead of species originating ‘bottom up’ from a ‘non-optimal’ universal common ancestor. Moreover this ‘top down’ mechanism can be bore out on several levels of evidence,, from the extremely highly ordered ‘out of nothing’ origination of the universe itself, which has been ‘running downhill’ ever since,,,,

    Picture of Cosmic Microwave Radiation
    https://webspace.utexas.edu/reyesr/SolarSystem/cmbr.jpg

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    The Known Universe by AMNH – video – (please note the ‘centrality’ of the Earth in the universe in the video)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    ,,,According to esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the ‘original phase-space volume’ of the universe, required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123”. This number is gargantuan. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, even if a number were written down on each sub-atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles in it.

    Roger Penrose discusses initial entropy of the universe. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhGdVMBk6Zo

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    http://www.pul.it/irafs/CD%20I.....enrose.pdf

    This 1 in 10^10^123 number, for the time-asymmetry of the initial state of the ‘ordered entropy’ for the universe, also lends strong support for ‘highly specified infinite information’ creating the universe since;

    “Gain in entropy always means loss of information, and nothing more.”
    Gilbert Newton Lewis – Eminent Chemist

    “Is there a real connection between entropy in physics and the entropy of information? ….The equations of information theory and the second law are the same, suggesting that the idea of entropy is something fundamental…”
    Tom Siegfried, Dallas Morning News, 5/14/90 – Quotes attributed to Robert W. Lucky, Ex. Director of Research, AT&T, Bell Laboratories & John A. Wheeler, of Princeton & Univ. of TX, Austin in the article

    We also see this ‘top down pattern’ at the Cambrian explosion;

    Evolution’s Big Bang:
    “Yet, here is the real puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion for the theory of evolution. All the known phyla (large categories of biological classification), except one, first appear in the Cambrian period. There are no ancestors. There are no intermediates. Fossil experts used to think that the Cambrian lasted 75 million years…. Eventually the Cambrian was shortened to only 30 million years. If that wasn’t bad enough, the time frame of the real work of bringing all these different creatures into existence was shortened to the first five to ten million years of the Cambrian. This is extraordinarily fast! Harvard’s Stephen Jay Gould stated, “Fast is now a lot faster than we thought, and that is extraordinarily interesting.” What an understatement! “Extraordinarily impossible” might be a better phrase! …. The differences between the creatures that suddenly appear in the Cambrian are enormous. In fact these differences are so large many of these animals are one of a kind. Nothing like them existed before and nothing like them has ever appeared again.” Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology).

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – The Cambrian Explosion – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263

    A Cambrian Peak in Morphological Variation Within Trilobite Species; Webster
    Excerpt: The distribution of polymorphic traits in cladistic character-taxon matrices reveals that the frequency and extent of morphological variation in 982 trilobite species are greatest early in the evolution of the group: Stratigraphically old and/or phylogenetically basal taxa are significantly more variable than younger and/or more derived taxa.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....7/5837/499

    ,, But perhaps most importantly KL, is that ‘present day’ scientific experimentation, not ‘historical narrative’ as you are relying on, shows that all beneficial adaptations from a parent species always come at a loss of the information that was already present,,, KL we have no known present day cases of information ‘spontaneously’ increasing above what was already present:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

    “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/

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  59. JemimaRacktouey:
    What makes a theory popular is it’s usefulness.

    I guess that is why the theory of evolution is so unpopular.

  60. idcurious:
    Where is your testable evidence for this designer?

    All around you. Geez long-time atheist Anthony Flew finally stopped trying to fight it.

    What UCD lacks is genetic evidence to support the alleged transformations.

    idcurious:
    Whether we like it or not, most geneticists disagree.

    Doubt it and I know they don’t have the evidence. Evo-devo has been a bust.

  61. Onlookers:

    Passed by again, and see ever more of distractive, turnabout tactics rhetorical games that exploit the fact that I happen to be busy elsewhere just now to pretend that it is the design option that is on trial and being found wanting.

    All the while, we find nowhere the faintest trace of empirically credible evidence that functionally specific, complex information can be accounted for on undirected chance plus mechanical necessity.

    Of course, such FSCI is the routinely observed product of intelligence. So, on inference to best, empirically anchored explanation, we have every epistemic right to take FSCI as a strong sign of design.

    In the case of DNA, we see coded, digital information, that is the basis for algorithms and data structures specifying the workhorse molecules of life and regulating their expression from earliest embryonic stages on. What is the empirically known source of codes, languages [computer languages are languages with symbols, rules, meanings, intensional reference etc], algorithms, data structures, and the detailed information that fills in the outlines given in specifications?

    have the evo mat advocates succeeded in providing credible cases where these things originate by chance plus necessity without intelligent guidance? or, are they not forced to beg the question of getting to islands of existing function, in say their evolutionary or genetic algorithms, by starting ON such islands of function, with intelligently designed programs? Was not PAV able to point out in a previous thread that ev’s search capacity [apparently said to be about the best of breed by Schneider] is well within the FSCI limit, 500 – 1,000 functionally specific bits?

    So, do we not see here a begging of the question, backed up by an attempt to indulge in turnabout accusatory questions and assertions?

    When it comes to “explaining fossils” on design, what is really being asked for?

    Have the evolutionary materialists satisfactorily explained the origin of the FSCI in the core of life [and thus its origin], or the origin of major body plans — which includes our own, or the origin of man and mind and morality on forces of chance plus necessity, in a material cosmos, or have they — as Lewontin admitted so plainly — primarily imposed an a priori constraint that blocks the facts from speaking, then constructed biased narratives? [Notice, the linked discussions, with actually hours of videos to watch.]

    Here is Lewontin’s stunning confession, which please notice is seen as a general pattern in origins science:

    To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    [[From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997.]

    Let me give just one cite on fossils, from Gould (which I have already highlighted recently):

    . . . long term stasis following geologically abrupt origin of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists. [[p. 752, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002).]

    . . . . The great majority of species do not show any appreciable evolutionary change at all. These species appear in the section [[first occurrence] without obvious ancestors in the underlying beds, are stable once established and disappear higher up without leaving any descendants.” [[p. 753.]

    . . . . proclamations for the supposed ‘truth’ of gradualism – asserted against every working paleontologist’s knowledge of its rarity – emerged largely from such a restriction of attention to exceedingly rare cases under the false belief that they alone provided a record of evolution at all! The falsification of most ‘textbook classics’ upon restudy only accentuates the fallacy of the ‘case study’ method and its root in prior expectation rather than objective reading of the fossil record. [[p. 773.]

    Remember, the problems start with the Cambrian life revolution fossils, where dozens of major body plans appear, without a pattern of antecedents that would back up the Darwinian tree of life. Darwin hoped the gaps would be filled in with further research, but as Gould has admitted, the problems are just as intractable today.

    Fossils do not support gradualism on chance variation plus natural selection; instead they have been force-fitted into a gradualistic account. And the issue of origin of FSCI on chance plus necessity has been ducked.

    Blatantly ducked.

    Now, the design alternative is not about the timeline involved, or the detailed mechanism of natural history, but rather it asks what is the key empirically supported cause of the critical phenomena; pointing to abundant evidence that shows the only empirically credible cause of functionally specific, complex information, which is therefore an empirically reliable sign pointing to design.

    But if there is a censoring a priori materialistic constraint — and the Lewontin cite and some stunning statements from the NAS, NSTA and other sources show strong proof that there indisputably is, the force of such evidence is stifled before it can speak, and no alternative that does not fit in the materialistic begged circle will be permitted.

    Philip Johnson’s retort to Lewontin is all too 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.]

    In that sort of context,the only serious option is to expose the closed mindedness at work. Which has been done, and if you look carefully above you will see there is no answer to it.

    As to mechanisms, I have long since pointed out there is more than one way to skin a cat. For the origin of life and the origin of major body plans, any sufficiently advanced molecular nanotech lab a few generations beyond Venter could have done it.

    That could very easily fit with the fossil record on the usual timeline interpretations, with this further factor: it accounts for the key gap in the evo mat paradigm: the origin of FSCI.

    I therefore invite you to ignore the bluster above, and take the time to explore for yourself the mini online course that starts here, to see the way that serious issues can be seriously addressed in the design paradigm.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Overnight, DV, I will take up KL’s post at 14 above, point by point.

  62. 62

    idcurious,

    You ask about ID pre-suppositions. It might be helpful to keep in mind that ID throry does not contradict a single scientific fact (as in a documented repeatable observation).

    You also comment about the usefulness of the scientific endeavor in regards to materialism. It might also be helpful to remember that there hasn’t been a single discovery ever made that has been endowed with veracity based upon the idea that there is nothing but unguided material forces in the cosmos.

    Conflating discrete items is often the source of confusion.

  63. 63
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF
    Here is Lewontin’s stunning confession, which please notice is seen as a general pattern in origins science:

    As usual you leave out, for some strange reason, the last few words in that quote.

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    Is there any particular reason you leave out that last sentence?

    Fossils do not support gradualism on chance variation plus natural selection; instead they have been force-fitted into a gradualistic account.,

    You’ve told me what they don’t support. Now care to tell me what they do support?

    Blatantly ducked.

    What, because I did not “explain” the “issue” of origin of FSCI on chance plus necessity? You already know the origin of such, nothing anybody can say will convince you otherwise. And until others “explain” it to your satisfaction that’s apparently your excuse for not engaging on the issues others have raised and replacing those issues with your own “islands of functionality” talking points.

    It seems I have to repeat KL’s post again

    I remind you that the original thread was a claim regarding the fossil record. A specific claim that I asked to be supported with evidence. Anthropologists make hypotheses based on really good familiarity with the fossils and understanding of comparative anatomy. The original thread did not mention cellular biology, molecular biology, metaphysics, or computer programming. Just fossils. So, if you are going to make that claim, and the subsequent claim that anthropologists have wasted their entire careers chasing a fantasy, from a scientific standpoint you should offer a better explanation of the specifics (age, features, distribution) of the fossil record. To divert to another topic is evasion.

    If you want to talk about the meaning of life, FSCI, aliens, islands basking in the light of designer granted functionality the please do so. But don’t accuse others of “ducking” questions that nobody is actually interested in answering because they are unanswerable as you are making up your own special terms that can mean anything you want them to mean.

    Here is a list of meaningless things ID proponents have invented:

    bCSI, Biological Complex Specified Information
    BPB, Biological Probability Bound
    CSI, Complex Specified Information
    DFSCI, Digital Functionally Specified Complex Information
    EF, Explanatory Filter
    FAI, Functional Algorithmic Information
    FCT, Functional Coded elemenT
    FIIRDS, Functional Incredibly Improbable Random Digital Strings
    Fits, Functional Bits
    FSC, Functional Sequence Complexity
    FSCI, Functionally Specified Complex Information
    GSP, Genetic Selection Principle
    ID, Intelligent Design
    IDC, Intelligent Design Creationism
    IR, Irreducible Complexity
    LCCSI, Law of Conservation of Complex Specified Information
    PI, Prescriptive Information
    TARD, The Argument Regarding Design
    TE, Theistic Evolution
    UPB, Universal Probability Bound
    UPM, Universal Plausibility Metric

    Joe, care to calculate the DFSCI of a cake? Or a baseball? What about a photon? Much DFSCI in that?

  64. Reams of typing, quote mines of Gould offered by Philip Johnson, who I think has perfected the art, an piece from Proverbs, more metaphysics, but nothing regarding the age, features or distribution of the hundreds of hominid fossils. Plus, another post in moderation for going on 3.5 hours.

  65. 65
    JemimaRacktouey

    If anybody else is interested in how other people have (mis)used that quote please see here:

    http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/.....aterialism

    It’s amazing the lengths people will go to.

  66. 66
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright,

    It might also be helpful to remember that there hasn’t been a single discovery ever made that has been endowed with veracity based upon the idea that there is nothing but unguided material forces in the cosmos.

    That’s because that makes no sense what so ever.

    So, let’s say that there are in fact guided material forces in the cosmos.

    What are they doing and how do you know that? Are you sitting under a cardboard pyramid?

    “OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM”

    Did you do much acid in the 60′s?

  67. 67
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    The facts are the fossils.

    How do you explain them?

    If you tell me one more time how the materialistic paradigm fails to explain them I simply won’t read it.

    I’ll just ask again.

  68. 68
    JemimaRacktouey

    Here is KL’s latest post as (re)posted on ATBC.

    KL
    04/06/2011
    1:40 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    If you want your ideas to be considered science, you must do what scientists do: the hard work of developing explanations for evidence. Detailed work involving mechanisms, patterns, empirical and relative ages, geographic distribution, biometrics, variations within and between related species. To answer scientific questions by claiming another paradigm but then not using that paradigm to offer a better explanation is not science. That’s fine, if you don’t care to be called scientists or what you do science. But, if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch. Don’t try to play scientist by offering up analogies that are meaningless in practice, philosophy instead of mechanisms, and claims you cannot support with evidence.
    Not to mention outrageous statements about scientists wasting their careers; scientists who have done and continued to do the hard work of science.

    QuiteID, the paradigm of evolution has stood the test of time, and continues to explain all the evidence, even down to the tiniest detail, very well. A shift in paradigm is an extraordinary claim, which must be demonstrated by extraordinary evidence. Philosophical explanations and computer science analogies are not sufficient to convince any scientist to abandon the reigning paradigm.

    New post:

    Reams of typing, quotemines of Gould offered by Philip Johnson, who I think has perfected the art, an piece from Proverbs, more metaphysics, but nothing regarding the age, features or distribution of the hundreds of hominid fossils. Plus, another post in moderation for going on 3.5 hours.

    If you want to engage with KL then could do worse then going to ATBC where there are no arbitrary “moderation” delays. Delays that always seem to favor one viewpoint over another.

    http://tinyurl.com/3n35lkn

  69. 69
    JemimaRacktouey

    I am not KL. In case anybody was wondering. I just reponsed the comment that you won’t let out of moderation, and for some reason I’m still not moderated. I guess Clive is having an off day.

    But I am active on that thread I just linked to. Come jump in, the water is lovely!

    Bring your worked example of the Explanatory Filter for bonus points!

  70. 70
    JemimaRacktouey

    Joseph,

    I guess that is why the theory of evolution is so unpopular.

    You realize the joke’s on you right?

    Comparison of ID vs Evolution on Google Trends

    If that was a heart monitor then ID is already off to the organ donation center!

  71. 71
    JemimaRacktouey

    Clive,
    On C.S Lewis Keith Parsons said: “surely Lewis cannot mean that if naturalism is true, then there is no such thing as valid reasoning. If he really thought this, he would have to endorse the hypothetical ‘If naturalism is true, then modus ponens is invalid.’ But since the consequent is necessarily false, then the hypothetical is false if we suppose naturalism is true (which is what the antecedent asserts), and Lewis has no argument.”

    Seems to me that Lewis couldn’t comprehend the fundamentals of logical deduction.

  72. 72

    “That’s because that makes no sense what so ever.”

    If you conflate methodology with worldview, and further, if you are incapable of separating the two, then you are right.

    “So, let’s say that there are in fact guided material forces in the cosmos.

    What are they doing and how do you know that? Are you sitting under a cardboard pyramid?

    “OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM”

    Did you do much acid in the 60?s?”

    Belittlment and humiliation are your defensive tactics Jemima, you’ve shown this to be the case. I have no problem with that, although I do consider it a waste of my time.

    If you could only leave aside the distractions and debate me on the core tenets of ID.

  73. Interesting that you bring up the placental/marsupial divergence. If there was ever an actively researched and well documented evolutionary sequence, that is it. Backed by work in several areas of science, too. It’s fascinating and it’s all evolution. I have not seen anything using another paradigm that can explain it. Yes, the picture is not complete, but more information is coming in about the mechanisms, chronology, and changes in the genetic sequences that make these two lines different. And it’s ALL evolution. No other paradigm.

  74. surely Lewis cannot mean that if naturalism is true, then there is no such thing as valid reasoning. If he really thought this, he would have to endorse the hypothetical ‘If naturalism is true, then modus ponens is invalid.’

    Lewis was not arguing that “there is no such thing as valid reasoning” if naturalism is true, or that “modus ponens” is invalid in and of itself. The claim is that if naturalism (materialism, in this case) is true, humans do not reason, nor do they arrive at conclusions due to the intellectual force of an argument.

    It’s not that far away from the claim that if naturalism is true, there are no beliefs. You can find some naturalists (eliminative materialists are famous for this) who argue that beliefs do not exist.

  75. —Jemima Rackentouey: “Seems to me that Lewis couldn’t comprehend the fundamentals of logical deduction.”

    You believe in the immaterial laws of logic do you?

  76. 76
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright,

    If you could only leave aside the distractions and debate me on the core tenets of ID.,

    And what would those “core tenets” be exactly?

    If nobody can agree on the definition of CSI then how can anybody possibly know what the core tenets of ID are as presumably it involves CSI at some level?

    If you can explain what it is (and if required define CSI) then I’m up for a serious debate. Only if however there is a general consensus on it, if it’s your private definition (like how everybody had their personal versions of CSI) then you can “debate” yourself.

  77. 77
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB

    You believe in the immaterial laws of logic do you?,

    Why don’t you spell them out and I’ll tell you if I believe in them or not.

    Please be sure to differentiate between the “immaterial” and the material laws. I.E the ones that exist outside of the universe and the ones we’ve extended ourselves from those. Oh, and if you could explain how you know the difference that would be super.

  78. 78
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    The facts are the fossils.

    How do you explain them?

    If you can’t then why not accept the prevailing explanations until you can come up with something better?

    Oh, that’s right.

  79. Onlookers:

    Overnight, there was what looks like an islandwide power cut (M/rat has been running on containerised standby units for over a decade . . . long story).

    Let’s take up KL at 14, though it seems the post is mostly complaining about being in moderation:

    ______________

    >> Well, folks, between spending hours in moderation

    1 –> Generally speaking, people go in mod at UD for cause [cf policy on comments], especially when their arguments are pretty run of the mill, so the issue is whether KL has triggered Akismet automatically [key words, patterns of posting . . .] or manual intervention by a moderator.

    2 –> I am not a mod, so I leave the mods to speak for themselves

    and finding that no one is able to answer the original question, I guess it’s time to move on. Metaphysical arguments against evolution is not the same as explaining the evidence from a different paradigm.

    3 –> the basic problem here, is that — as I pointed out with excerpts at 61, starting with Lewontin’s admission — the reigning evolutionary materialist orthodoxy has exactly imposed an a priori metaphysics on the evidence of origins, so this boils down to little more than a demand to work in a materialistic circle.

    4 –> At the same time, this is distractive from the key challenge faced by that reigning paradigm: once you pass the threshold of 1,000 bits/125 bytes/143 ASCII characters, it is not plausible that blind chance and mechanical necessity on the gamut of our observed cosmos can account for functionally specific, complex information, while we routinely observe that intelligence creates such FSCI.

    5 –> Thus, on inference to best, empirically anchored explanation, such FSCI is a reliable inductive sign of design. That is a key facet of what is meant when we see definitions of the theory of intelligent design, like this one from NWE on ID (a much better 101 survey than the hopelessly biased, hostile Wiki article):

    Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection” [1] Intelligent design cannot be inferred from complexity alone, since complex patterns often happen by chance. ID focuses on just those sorts of complex patterns that in human experience are produced by a mind that conceives and executes a plan. According to adherents, intelligent design can be detected in the natural laws and structure of the cosmos; it also can be detected in at least some features of living things.

    6 –> Notice, especially, the divergent scope of ID from that of the neo-darwinian theory of evolution. ID is a theory in the main of the origin of functionally specific, complex organisation and information, on the empirically known causal patterns of chance, mechanical necessity, and art. So, it speaks to cosmological origins on the observation of fine tuning that fits our cosmos for C-chemistry, cell based, aqueous solution, intelligent life, and it speaks to the key informational content of first life and onward to that in novel major body plans.

    7 –> Specifically, it sees that he FSCO/I involved points to design as the most plausible root causal explanation. That does not imply an overturning of generally used cosmological or geological model timelines [we do not directly know the actual timeline of the deep past, we are reconstructing on analytical models and observations in the present . . . even the timeline of history beyond about 1,000 BC is a matter of significant debate], but instead it is asking what type of cause best explains the sort of objects, processes and patterns we see. (Recall, the issue of fine tuning is tied to the generally accepted Big Bang model of cosmological origins, which in turn principally draws empirical support from the Hubble red shifts, the distance estimates for astronomical objects,and the 2.7 K background radiation. Long before the recent estimates of 13.7 BY, that had clustered at 10 – 20 BY.)

    8 –> So, as the UD weak argument correctives point out explicitly [esp 9 - 10], design theory is compatible with partial or complete common descent, and with the typically used 4.5 BY timeline for the earth. Indeed, Michael Behe holds to universal common descent of life forms. (And BTW, modern forms of young earth creationism are compatible with limited common descent, i.e the view of what “kinds” means is different from what “species” means, so say Mr Ham, speaks of the dog-wolf kind.)

    9 –> The issue pivots on the point consistently ducked — for years — by advocates of evolutionary materialism who have had exchanges with us at UD: what causal factor best explains FSCO/I on empirical evidence and the infinite monkeys type analysis of searching large config spaces?

    10 –> In the days of Plato it was immemorial that causal factors trace to chance/accidental circumstances, to mechanical necessity [phusis], and to art or design. 2,300 years later, we still can analyse causal patterns and factors across aspects of a phenomenon, object or process on these three factors, using the explanatory filter on a per aspect basis.

    11 –> Mechanical necessity best explains such aspects that show low contingency natural regularities, e.g. heavy objects that are unsupported near the earth’s surface tend to fall with initial acceleration of 9.8 or so m/s per s. We explain that by natural law.

    12 –> Other aspects of phenomena exhibit high contingency: they come into being, they vary under similar initial conditions, they stop from being. Such contingency consistently traces to choice or chance.

    13 –> Chance contingency is dominated by stochastic patterns fitting probabilistic distribution models. So, for instance, the second law of thermodynamics, in statistical form, is an account of why at micro-scale, systems with large numbers of small masses [think, molecules etc] and energy that may distribute itself in very diverse ways, tend to move towards those clusters of microstates consistent with a macro-level state, that have overwhelmingly high statistical weights.

    14 –> At macro-level, chance is a good model for how a tumbling fair die, thanks to 12 edges and 8 corners, will by highly nonlinear behaviour, tend to settle at random on its possible readings. So, a die is a classic example of chance.

    15 –> By contrast, choice contingency is NOT dominated by statistical weights of clusters of possible micro-arrangements. For, intelligent agents, by imagination, skill, knowledge and purpose, can configure objects and processes in ways that follow the Wicken style wiring diagram towards a desired function.

    16 –> So, strings of alphanumerical symbols are shaped to express a message in this blog thread, or to program a computer. Similarly, diverse elements are put together to make up a 747 Jumbo jet, never mind how otherwise improbable such an object would be.

    17 –> And so, once intelligent agents are at all possible in a situation, if we are to infer fairly to best explanation, we must be willing to accept the possibility of choice contingency, AKA design.

    18 –> So, once we refuse to be forced into a materialist straightjacket, we easily enough see that he existence of a DNA based architecture for living forms is best explained on design.

    19 –> Similarly, we see that the cosmos that is finely balanced to support the possibility of C-chemistry, cell based, intelligent life, is also credibly designed.

    [ . . . ]

  80. 20 –> But that is precisely the problem, there is an institutionally established, a priori materialist prejudice that dominates the key institutions of science, education, public information and policy decision.

    21 –> Nor is such an accident, for we may read in Darwin’s strangely obscure — or, maybe not so strangely obscure — October 13, 1880 letter to Edward Bibbins Aveling [Marx's son in law, who had wanted to dedicate a book to him], as follows:

    . . . though I am a strong advocate for free thought [NB: free-thought is an old synonym for skepticism, agnosticism or atheism] on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; & freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men’s minds, which follows from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, & I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biassed by the pain which it would give some members of my family [NB: especially his wife, Emma], if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion . . .

    22 –> In short, a worldviews-level ideological agenda was embedded in Darwinian theory, right from its foundations. So, the Lewontin confession is simply a public admission of that ideology, and an announcement that it has triumphed in the relevant key institutions.

    23 –> So, then, it is impossible to cogently address evolutionary materialist ideology as an imposition on origins studies, without addressing worldvierw level issues and agendas.

    24 –> So KL’s dismissive remarks on “Metaphysical arguments against evolution . . . ” above are little more than a demand to let the reigning materialist orthodoxy get away with imposing their bias on origins science. Sorry, we were not born yesterday.

    In science, if your explanation is better than the last, you should be able to show it, and no one is willing to do so here.

    25 –> An outright fabrication in the teeth of explicit explanation, analysis and evidence. If you suppress, deny, distort and reject the truth in the teeth of patient and repeated pointing out, what are you?

    26 –> One more time: the pivotal evidence to be explained is the causal source of FSCO/I, which consistently KL et al duck and divert form, even as just as consistently, it is put back on the table.

    27 –> There is no credible materialistic explanation on the gamut of the observed cosmos — and, multiverse speculations are both a blatant resort to speculative metaphysics, and simply postpone the issue one step [what explains the wider cosmos that is so set up that it buds off or bubbles up sub cosmi in the region about the "knee" that our sub cosmos sits on?] — for the origin of codes, language, algorithms, data structure conventions etc on chance contingency plus blind mechanical necessity.

    28 –> By contrast, we routinely and reliably observe that choice contingency based on the artful action of intelligence, is a reliable cause of such FSCO/I.

    29 –> So, we are well within our epistemic rights to infer from FSCO/I as reliable sign to the signified cause, choice contingency, on the warrant that has been repeatedly explained.

    I have to conclude that you all are a long way from providing anything that can remotely challenge evolution as the reigning paradigm.

    30 –> “Evolution” — a word with a wide range of meanings, from minor populaiton variation to universal common descent on evolutionary materialistic presuppositions — is not the issue, the origin of FSCO/I in light of what is known about causal factors, is.

    31 –> If by “evolution” you mean to use the usual slippery slope extrapolation from minor, empirically supported changes well within the FSCI limit, to the grand metaphysically controlled materialist narrative, then we call your bluff, KL.

    32 –> Small scale variations within an already functioning system, that allow us to move around in islands or even archipelagos of function are one thing, accounting for the origin of such functionality is a wholly different thing, especially given the scope of DNA information in the simplest observed life: 100,000+ bases, or a similar number of bits. Major body plans with dozens of new cell types credibly require 10 mn plus bases.

    33 –> These are several orders of magnitude beyond the 1,000 bit threshold, where there are 1.07*10^301 configs, 10^150 times more than the number of Planck time states our observed cosmos’ about 10^80 atoms will undergo across the cosmic lifespan of 50 mn times the generally accepted timeline to date. Chance contingency is not a credible explanation for reaching dozens of major islands or archipelagos of function of the sort of orders of complexity involved. Just 100,000 bits of storage capacity dispose of a config space of 9.99 *10^30,102 possibilities, for instance.

    I had hoped you would have something.

    34 –> Arrogantly condescending dismissal on having ducked the pivotal issues and begged the central questions.

    Perhaps you need to find an anthropologist to join you?

    35 –> An anthroplogist blinded and constrained by a priori evolutionary materialism and refusing to address the question of cogently explaining the origin of functionally specific complex bio-information is part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

    35 –> In fact, at an earlier point in exchanges with KL, I pointed out that humans have a DNA complement of some 3 billion bases or 6 bn bits.

    36 –> It is said that 98 percent is similar to the chimp genome [for protein coding], so using that yardstick for argument, we can see that we need to explain the origin of 120 nm bits worth of info.

    37 –> Let us dismiss 99% of this, for argument as “junk.” That leaves 1.2 mn bits to be explained, specifying a config space of 9.88*10^361,235 possibilities.

    38 –> This is so far beyond the gamut of the search capacity of the observed cosmos, that it cannot be explained on that scope, much less jumping up an ape — Lucy and kin, for argument — on the plains of E Africa over the past 6 – 10 MN years.

    39 –> By sharpest contrast, given that we already see genetic engineering in action, a molecular nanotech lab a few generations beyond Venter’s would be a very reasonable explanation, if we wanted a simple alternative model.

    40 –> this issue was put on the table, but was studiously and pointedly ignored by KL in his haste to make rhetorical talking points on the behalf of the reigning evo mat orthodoxy duly robed in the holy lab coat, as he now continues below.

    A anyway, good luck.

    41 –> Condescendingly arrogant and patently insincere.

    I think I’ll stick with my spouse and associates on this one,

    42 –> A priori materialism closes the mind . . .

    as they can address the specifics about the distribution, age and features of the fossils.

    43 –> Blatantly false, starting with the issue of accounting for the origin of relevant FSCO/I; cf the just above.

    44 –> What they can do, is construct just so stores that are plausible to those locked in an evo mat circle of thought

    You can’t ignore that they exist, so explaining them can’t be avoided.

    45 –> There is nothing about living or fossil body plans, or generally used timelines, that does not fit in a design paradigm. This is a brazen turnabout rhetorical tactic, as the pivotal issue is precisely the failure to explain sudden emergence, stasis and disappearances as the general pattern of the fossils, and to explain the source of the required FSCO/I to support said fossils, on eh part of the reigning orthodoxy.

    One final point-unless you fix your moderation system, you’ll not have many here offering a different perspective. 8,10,12 hours or more before a post appears is just too long; it disrupts the conversation and makes posts appear out of context.

    46 –> Moderation for cause [whether automatic by Akismet in an age of spam and worse, or manually by the judgement of moderators] is not censorship, and there is every advantage to having a conversation take the time to be analytical rather than hasty and hot >>
    _______________

    I trust that sufficient has been put on the table to move the discussion forward to a positive basis.

    GEM of TKI

  81. F/N: Since there are ever so many talking points about fossils directed to me, that fail to address the facts and arguments in my always linked through my handle, section C [see how easy it is to erect and pummel a strawman], let me put up the relevant part of the table of contents for that note, and clip a couple of key cites, noting already that the accusation that it is design theory that has a fossil problem is a false strawmannish accusation in the teeth of easily accessible evidence.

    First, table of contents clip:

    C] Case II: Macroevolution and the Diversity of Life

    –> the observed fossil record pattern: sudden appearance, stasis, disappearance
    –> Defining “Irreducible Complexity”
    –> The Bacterial Flagellum
    –> Macro- vs. Micro- Evolution
    –> Natural selection as a probabilistic culler vs. an innovator (& the gambler’s ruin challenge)

    Onlookers, would you believe that a discussion on those topics was just one click away at all times, if all you had to go on was the remarks of JR and KL above? (Do you therefore see what sort of shennanigans and abuse go on in evo mat hangouts such as ATBC, and why people interested in civil and serious discussion simply ignore such fever swamps full of angry mosquitoes?)

    Anyway, here is the clip from Loennig of the Max Planck Institute, in his paper: “Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity,” which is of course peer-reviewed [and from a source safely out of reach of the thought police at NCSE etc]:

    _______________

    >> examples like the horseshoe crab are by no means rare exceptions from the rule of gradually evolving life forms . . . In fact, we are literally surrounded by ‘living fossils’ in the present world of organisms when applying the term more inclusively as “an existing species whose similarity to ancient ancestral species indicates that very few morphological changes have occurred over a long period of geological time” [85] . . . . Now, since all these “old features”, morphologically as well as molecularly, are still with us, the basic genetical questions should be addressed in the face of all the dynamic features of ever reshuffling and rearranging, shifting genomes, (a) why are these characters stable at all and (b) how is it possible to derive stable features from any given plant or animal species by mutations in their genomes? . . . .

    A first hint for answering the questions . . . is perhaps also provided by Charles Darwin himself when he suggested the following sufficiency test for his theory [16]: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” . . . Biochemist Michael J. Behe [5] has refined Darwin’s statement by introducing and defining his concept of “irreducibly complex systems”, specifying: “By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning” . . . [for example] (1) the cilium, (2) the bacterial flagellum with filament, hook and motor embedded in the membranes and cell wall and (3) the biochemistry of blood clotting in humans . . . .

    One point is clear: granted that there are indeed many systems and/or correlated subsystems in biology, which have to be classified as irreducibly complex and that such systems are essentially involved in the formation of morphological characters of organisms, this would explain both, the regular abrupt appearance of new forms in the fossil record as well as their constancy over enormous periods of time. For, if “several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function” are necessary for biochemical and/or anatomical systems to exist as functioning systems at all (because “the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning”) such systems have to (1) originate in a non-gradual manner and (2) must remain constant as long as they are reproduced and exist. And this could mean no less than the enormous time periods mentioned for all the living fossils hinted at above. Moreover, an additional phenomenon would also be explained: (3) the equally abrupt disappearance of so many life forms in earth history . . . The reason why irreducibly complex systems would also behave in accord with point (3) is also nearly self-evident: if environmental conditions deteriorate so much for certain life forms (defined and specified by systems and/or subsystems of irreducible complexity), so that their very existence be in question, they could only adapt by integrating further correspondingly specified and useful parts into their overall organization, which prima facie could be an improbable process — or perish . . . .

    According to Behe and several other authors [5-7, 21-23, 53-60, 68, 86] the only adequate hypothesis so far known for the origin of irreducibly complex systems is intelligent design (ID) . . . in connection with Dembski’s criterion of specified complexity . . . . “For something to exhibit specified complexity therefore means that it matches a conditionally independent pattern (i.e., specification) of low specificational complexity, but where the event corresponding to that pattern has a probability less than the universal probability bound and therefore high probabilistic complexity” [23]. For instance, regarding the origin of the bacterial flagellum, Dembski calculated a probability of 10^-234[22].>>
    _______________

    So, in the peer-reviewed literature, for nigh on eight years now, there has been a design theory based explanation of the dominant features of the fossil record, sudden emergence and stasis followed by disappearance and/or continuity into the modern world.

    That explanation has sat in my always linked note — which I am sure has been studied by the likes of JR and KL etc — since c 2006. So, there is no excuse to turn me into a strawman and pummel away. this is nothing short of willful refusal to do duties of care to be true and fair in analysis and criticism on JR’s part and KL’s part.

    As I just pointed out, the specific case of origin of man has been addressed by me on the issue of origin of FSCO/I.

    If you want a link to a more elaborate discussion, the section of the IOSE course on origin of man, mind etc [which is also relevant to the way JR has tried to twist C S Lewis to fit her rhetorical agendas] has already been linked but studiously ignored in the haste to erect and knock over strawmen.

    I suggest in particular, that JR and KL spend some time pondering on the implications of the Smith two-tier controller model of a MIMO cybernetic system.

    In short, JR and KL have tried to import to UD the typical ideological evo mat tactic of systematic misrepresentation of those they differ with. beyond a certain point, that is no longer a mere matter of having been misled, but willful, inexcusable and uncivil resistance to duty to the truth and to fairness.

    But, I must go on to another clip, which has a context that is a revelation on the ruthless thought police tactics at work in the wider discussion. So, let us hear from Meyer in his PBSW article that “passed proper peer review” by “renowned scientists” but was then made the subject of an orchestrated and slander-filled attack [led by the NCSE and involving key members of the Smithsonian Institution] that involved the sort of unjustified career busting that just led to the U of K having to pay US$ 125,000 in settlement of a lawsuit by Gaskell:

    ________________

    >> The Cambrian explosion represents a remarkable jump in the specified complexity or “complex specified information” (CSI) of the biological world. For over three billions years, the biological realm included little more than bacteria and algae (Brocks et al. 1999). Then, beginning about 570-565 million years ago (mya), the first complex multicellular organisms appeared in the rock strata, including sponges, cnidarians, and the peculiar Ediacaran biota (Grotzinger et al. 1995). Forty million years later, the Cambrian explosion occurred (Bowring et al. 1993) . . . One way to estimate the amount of new CSI that appeared with the Cambrian animals is to count the number of new cell types that emerged with them (Valentine 1995:91-93) . . . the more complex animals that appeared in the Cambrian (e.g., arthropods) would have required fifty or more cell types . . . New cell types require many new and specialized proteins. New proteins, in turn, require new genetic information. Thus an increase in the number of cell types implies (at a minimum) a considerable increase in the amount of specified genetic information. Molecular biologists have recently estimated that a minimally complex single-celled organism would require between 318 and 562 kilobase pairs of DNA to produce the proteins necessary to maintain life (Koonin 2000). More complex single cells might require upward of a million base pairs. Yet to build the proteins necessary to sustain a complex arthropod such as a trilobite would require orders of magnitude more coding instructions. The genome size of a modern arthropod, the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, is approximately 180 million base pairs (Gerhart & Kirschner 1997:121, Adams et al. 2000). Transitions from a single cell to colonies of cells to complex animals represent significant (and, in principle, measurable) increases in CSI . . . .

    In order to explain the origin of the Cambrian animals, one must account not only for new proteins and cell types, but also for the origin of new body plans . . . Mutations in genes that are expressed late in the development of an organism will not affect the body plan. Mutations expressed early in development, however, could conceivably produce significant morphological change (Arthur 1997:21) . . . [but] processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream. For this reason, mutations will be much more likely to be deadly if they disrupt a functionally deeply-embedded structure such as a spinal column than if they affect more isolated anatomical features such as fingers (Kauffman 1995:200) . . . McDonald notes that genes that are observed to vary within natural populations do not lead to major adaptive changes, while genes that could cause major changes–the very stuff of macroevolution–apparently do not vary. In other words, mutations of the kind that macroevolution doesn’t need (namely, viable genetic mutations in DNA expressed late in development) do occur, but those that it does need (namely, beneficial body plan mutations expressed early in development) apparently don’t occur.6 [] >>
    ________________

    Now, we see the challenge being glossed over on the body-plan change from say an ape like ancestral animal to a human being. Namely, that we need mutations expressed early in embryological development, that shape key parts such as for instance creating the verbal capacity in the brain etc.

    We have an estimate that we are dealing with needing to account for hundreds of thousands to millions of base pairs worth of DNA information, between the protein codes and the regulatory networks that express them as embryological development unfolds. And, in relevant epigentic structures otherwise.

    Where is the empirically substantiated discussion of this in the literature, that shows how this happened step by functional, gradualistic step?

    It is not there, or that would have been trumpeted to the high heavens.

    Instead, what we have are just so stories, constrained by a materialistic straight jacket, and in a context where even the dating of fossils, is too often subject to ideological considerations and a priori worldview impositions.

    In that context, incredulity on the stories, drawings, museum models, and computer reconstructions and the like is quite justified.

    In short, the turnabout tactic on fossils, blatantly fails.

    And, in failing, it points to the heart of the problem being ducked by the promoters of evo mat talking points: the origin of FSCO/I in living systems on warrant to best, empirically anchored explanation.

  82. –Jemima Rackentouey: “Why don’t you spell them out and I’ll tell you if I believe in them or not.”

    The Laws of logic or the laws of thought include,

    [A] Law of non-contradiction.

    [B] Law of Identity.

    [C] Law of excluded middle.

    Do you accept these laws as non-material realities? Do you agree that they are not composed of matter or energy, that they are not extended in time/space, and that they are universal, and unchangeable?

  83. In other words (and that’s a lot of words) you have no real working knowledge of the fossil record so you dismiss evolution based on metaphysics. Sorry-that’s not doing science. And that is not an answer to my very direct and very concrete question regarding the ORIGINAL claim of the original thread about hominid fossils in general and Lucy and Ida specifically. Of course, this comment will be in moderation for hours, so no one will see it.

  84. F/n 2: Onlookers, observe carefully: the latest attack on UD’s moderation policy has happened within a matter of a few weeks of our having MG do a guest post on her views. It occurs in a context where several objectors in the relevant threads seem to have rapid post privilege, and where the practice is that those who are manually moderated are moderated for cause on a declared policy. Akismet also blocks posts or dumps them into the spam pile, but the reasons for that are quite obvious. I am sorry, but the fussing I see above — within that context, and int eh conrtext of the sort of strawman caricatures I have been subjected to just above — comes across to me as largely insincere talking points meant to then be twisted into yet another red herring led away to a strawman soaked in ad homiems and ignited for the delectation of onlookers, elsewhere.

  85. 85

    Jemima,
    ID adherents believe that the encoded mapping of discrete nucleotides to discrete amino acids in the translation of DNA is an example of a system using symbolic representation (presented in a linear digital format). In our universal experience, the use of symbols in such a system arises from a singular source – that is, from a deliberate act of volition. Do you have any evidence of symbolic representation arising by any other means?

  86. Stephen,

    we can also ask JR to tell us whether numbers and propositions and information are material realities or not. If they are material, what are they composed of [with what relevant properties], and how was this observationally confirmed. G

  87. Upright:
    DNA=Code
    Morse Code=Code
    -> In our universal experience there are at least two sources for codes (humans+evolution). I might add that animals also have specific languages or codes (bee, meerkat, dolphins to name a few). So, did the dolphins sit together and developed their code in an “act of volition”?

  88. 88

    Indium,

    I’ll be the first person to acknowledge that semiosis is replete within the living kingdom (as I have so commented several times on this blog), just as it is completely absent from the remaining inanimate world. (You should also note that in my comment above I referred symbolic representations presented in a linear digital format). The question is this; how to get to symbolic representation from inanimate chemistry. If the rise of symbolic representation is a property of matter (being acted upon by physical law and chance) then there should be evidence of it to support the claim. To say that ‘evolution did it’ is to merely assume the conclusion without evidence, while ignoring the only verified inference we have to its source.

  89. Upright
    You said that all codes we know come into existence by an “act of volition”. You have no evidence that this is true for the genetic code. And 99% of all biologist working in this field would strongly disagree with you.
    So, you are the one assuming your conclusion when you say that the only known source of a code is an “act of volition”. Bees? Meerkat? Dolphins? DNA? Ants? Where is the evidence for the “act of volition”?

  90. Onlookers (and KL):

    Since there is need to highlight what is really going on, let me answer on points, also, the latest in-mod clip by KL, forwarded here by JR [who plainly is not in mod; evidence that if KL's in-mod status is not by Akismet, it is probably for cause]:

    ______________

    >> KL
    04/06/2011
    1:40 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    If you want your ideas to be considered science, you must do what scientists do: the hard work of developing explanations for evidence.

    1 –> Arrogantly condescending strawman talking point, in a context where just one click away, there were relevant explanations of the relevant dominant features of the fossil record, which have been known to be so ever since Darwin: sudden appearance, stasis, disappearance and/or continuation into the modern world.

    2 –> And, nowhere do we find the faintest trace of an attempt6 to explain FSCO/I on chance plus necessity, with empirical support.

    3 –> perhaps, too, KL is unaware of the growing stream of work on FSCI and the broader CSI in the context of active information and evolutionary informatics. The result is that it is active information based on intelligence about a specific domain and purpose, that accounts for search performance that significantly exceeds random walk with trial and error.

    4 –> If so, then he has failed to do due diligence homework before adversely commenting on another person, which is bad enough. But if he does know of the work, but insists on slander, then that is utterly disgraceful and inexcusable.

    Detailed work involving mechanisms, patterns, empirical and relative ages, geographic distribution, biometrics, variations within and between related species.

    5 –> All of which work is compatible with design as the known source of FSCO/I, and none of which offers a credible, empirically anchored accounting ofr FSCO/I on chance plus necessity.

    To answer scientific questions by claiming another paradigm but then not using that paradigm to offer a better explanation is not science.

    6 –> turnabout triumphalist rhetoric, having ducked the material question, the known source of FSCO/I, and the want of empirical evidence for FSCO/I on chance plus necessity

    That’s fine, if you don’t care to be called scientists or what you do science. But, if you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

    7 –> More conceited condescending, turnabout ad hominem laced, contempt-filled rhetoric, in a context where the material issue: the source of FSCO/I is unanswered.

    8 –> If you have the facts, pound on the facts. If you have the law, pound on the law. if you have neither, pound on the table and shout a lot.

    Don’t try to play scientist by offering up analogies that are meaningless in practice,

    9 –> I repeat the challenge as yet unanswered by MG et al: When Wicken and Orgel spoke of functional, complex organisation and associated information as well as specified complexity, were they speaking meaninglessly?

    10 –> The fact of FSCO/I is easily observable, and we can do a very simple metric to set a threshold of 1,000 bits of functionally specific, complex information that sits within a cluster of functional states [termed an island of function for obvious and material reasons] within a wider space of possible configs [BTW, an application of phase space analysis or state space analysis, common in physics, mathematics and control theory FYI].

    11 –> Once that is done, we can see that a cosmos which can search through 10^150 states cannot credibly search in a space of at least 10^301 cells. So, the best and empirically anchored explanation for functional clusters and being at these in such spaces, is intelligence.

    philosophy instead of mechanisms,

    12 –> Philosophy is offered to correct an openly confessed, agenda motivated worldview level a prioi contrainty of evolutionary materialism, and it is the evo mat view that needs to ofer a credible mechanism for the origin of FSCO/I. Which itr has not.

    13 –> by contrast, and as was pointed out repeatedly, even posts in threads at UD offer empirical cases of how FSCI routinely and reliably arises from intelligence.

    14 –> When it comes to origin of biological FSCO/I, it was long since and repeatedly pointed out that a molecular nanotech lab a few generations beyond Venter et al, would be a sufficient source for the phenomena in life, and in body plans.

    15 –> Does it need a special mechanism to say that engineers design and implement using the forces and material of nature, intelligently, to achieve their purposes, in a world dominated by technology?

    and claims you cannot support with evidence.

    16 –> this is now willful closed mindedness and selectively hyperskeptical dismissal on the blunder of Sagan: “extraordinary [to me] claims require extraordinary [in fact only adequate and accessible] evidence.

    17 –> How much support does it require beyond what is already offered, that FSCO/I is routinely and reliably in our experience and observation, produced by intelligence? to point out, on the infinite monkeys analysis introduced by physicists dealing with the statistical foundations of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that once we are searching a space of say 10^301 or so cells on the gamut of the search resources of our observable cosmos, blind chance plus necessity are utterly implausible as sufficient forces?

    18 –> Have you even bothered to read Abel — duly peer reviewed — on the universal plausibility bound, the galactic and the solarsystem level bounds?

    Not to mention outrageous statements about scientists wasting their careers; scientists who have done and continued to do the hard work of science.

    QuiteID, the paradigm of evolution has stood the test of time, and continues to explain all the evidence, even down to the tiniest detail, very well.

    19 –> Slippery slope use of the term evolution, on both sides of the FSCO/I threshold. Small changes to already incredibly complex and functional creatures are documented asnd observed; origin of the underlying FSCO/I behind the cell based life and the body plans, has not. And is not.

    20 -> the claim about evidence explained ignores the fact thsat he allowable explanations have been censored by imposition of a priori evolutionary materialism that silencesd inconvenient facts such as the known and only known source of FSCO/I.

    A shift in paradigm is an extraordinary claim, which must be demonstrated by extraordinary evidence.

    21 –> there we have it, the Sagan fallacy in so many words.

    22 –> Actually, all that is needed is the exposure of the censoring a priori imposition of materialism, which fatally cripples inference to best explanation, and closes minds. beyond that the known source of FSCO/I and the known lack of plausibility of chance plus necessity as credible explanations for FSCO/I are enough.

    Philosophical explanations

    23 –> Science, is about empirically based knowledge claims, so epistemological considerations cannot be neatly severed from science, as we can see in Newton, in Query 31 in his Opticks; the key source of the commonly met Grade School definition of the scientific method:

    As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy. And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur. By this way of Analysis we may proceed from Compounds to Ingredients, and from Motions to the Forces producing them; and in general, from Effects to their Causes, and from particular Causes to more general ones, till the Argument end in the most general. This is the Method of Analysis: And the Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discover’d, and establish’d as Principles, and by them explaining the Phaenomena proceeding from them, and proving the Explanations.

    [ . . . ]

  91. 24 –> that is why the disciplines now called the physical sciences were formerly known as natural philosophy; confirmed findings, were termed “knowledge,” or a cognate for “Science” in Latin.

    and computer science analogies

    25 –> is it an “analogy” that the DNA code, on A/G/C/T or U elements, is discrete state, and used to drive protein assembly step by step in the ribosome? That the sequence of AA’s so assembled is based on the coded sequence in the mRNA’s codons as transcribed from the DNA? (And I will not even bother to point out how analogical reasoning lies at the heart of inductive reasoning; so impoverished are we in our epistemological knowledge base today.)

    26 –> that is not “analogy” it is instantiation of a digital, discrete state, algorithmic, flexible code driven programmed system.

    27 –> that you are driven to deny and dismiss so plain a fact is utterly telling.

    are not sufficient to convince any scientist to abandon the reigning paradigm.

    28 –> This is a gross mistake on the issue of epistemic virtues. No one should have to convince a scientist, s/he should be open to and motivated towards duty to the objective facts and the truth.

    New post:

    Reams of typing,

    29 –> this is rich: when I did not have time to answer on points, I was dodging to answer and had no answer. Take time to answer on points and you are dismissed for reams of typing. heads I win, tails you lose.

    quotemines of Gould

    30 –> this is an outright lie at minimum by refusal to do basic duties of care on truth and fairness:

    Quote mining

    Quote mining is the practice of purposely compiling frequently misleading quotes from large volumes of literature or speech.[1]

    The term is pejorative. “Quote miners” are often accused of contextomy and misquotation, in an attempt to represent the views of the person being quoted inaccurately . . . [Wiki, as used by The Free dictionary]

    31 –> Gould is not being taken out of context (and BTW, the cite I made does NOT come from Johnson] to say what he did not mean. He most definitely stated and meant — on abundant evidence and considerable support of other paleontologists — that the predominant fact of the fossil record is sudden appearance, stasis and disappearance and/or continuation into the modern world. that is in part why he and others developed the theory of punctuated equlibria.

    32 –> KL, if you have to stoop to an outright lie to duck the significance of a dominant feature of the fossil record, that utterly unravels your attempt to pretend that that record is explained by your preferred evo mat paradigm on gradualism.

    offered by Philip Johnson, who I think has perfected the art,

    33 –> FYI, I have not sourced the above cites in Johnson. If you had bothered to read the IOSE unit on body plan origins where I cited Gould, you would have seen this further cite, from the NYRB review of Gould’s last book (which is what I cited), by Tim Flannery:

    Niles Eldredge and Gould first coined the term “punctuated equilibrium” in 1971 and published it the following year. The theory seeks to explain a persistent pattern in the fossil record whereby a species suddenly appears, then persists unchanged for a very long time before going extinct. This pattern is seen in a wide variety of contexts, from marine creatures such as shellfish and sea urchins to mammals and birds. Punctuated equilibrium posits that these species come into existence relatively rapidly (over tens of thousands of years), though just how (and indeed if) this happens is hotly debated. An opposing explanation is that these species have evolved much more slowly somewhere else, and their “sudden” appearance is the result of migration. While, as Galton’s polyhedron suggests, the concept of punctuated equilibrium was not entirely new to paleontology, Eldredge and Gould’s formulation of it was timely and coherent. Even among its supporters, however, argument has raged over its significance, with many questioning whether it really challenges Darwin’s concept of gradualism. (After all, tens of thousands of years is sufficient time for species to evolve “gradually.”) Most researchers, though, recognize that the concept has been invaluable in encouraging paleontologists to examine the fossil record with a rigor and attention to detail that previously was largely lacking.

    Punctuated equilibrium has forced paleontologists to focus not only on the origin of species, but also on their often long, unchanged persistence in the fossil record . . . [["A New Darwinism?," The New York Review of Books, 49 (May 23, 2002): pp. 52–54.]

    34 –> Further to this, KL, you have slandered professor Johnson, and reveal yourself to be utterly uncivil. If this is your method in discussion, then your relegation to moderation is both justified and understandable.

    an piece from Proverbs,

    35 –> I of course simply alluded to Solomon’s advice to study the diligence and work of the humble ant, in a context where my primary reference was to the possibility of swarm intelligence and its implementation in c-chemistry life forms or Fe-Si robots.

    36 –> So, in fact, if anyone was here guilty of quotemining, KL, it is YOU.

    more metaphysics,

    37 –> The main philosophy questions I have raised were those of EPISTEMOLOGY, the critical analysis of knowledge. Where metaphysical issues come in, it is to expose and correct a confessed censoring a priori, evolutionary materialism.

    but nothing regarding the age, features or distribution of the hundreds of hominid fossils.

    38 –> Plainly, you failed to do the basic courtesy of following the relevant links before adversely criticising me. I have linked a whole course unit that discusses the origin of man, mind and morals. From that page you may find a link to another on cosmology and timelines, which discusses the whole dating problem. Also, there was a link to a page on body plans, which discusses the claimed ape to man transition in several places, with sufficient details to highlight the key problems that have dogged this area of origins science since the 1860′s or 70s on.

    39 –> Plus, you are still ducking the calculation and analysis on the need to account for the FSCO/I required to transform say Lucy and kin into a man, in say 6 – 10 MY.

    Plus, another post in moderation for going on 3.5 hours.

    40 –> In my homeland, they have a saying: “de higher monkey climb, de more im expose imself.” In your case, the performance I have just had to correct amply shows why you are in moderation, KL. Or, expanding the saying a bit: If im climb high enough, thwack, monkey stew for lunch.”>>
    _______________

    KL, you need to take some serious reflection time, and look at what you have been doing, and how you have dealt with other people.

    Not just on the topics and issues that happen to be under discussion, but as a duty of basic membership of the human civil community.

    Good day, sir.

    GEM of TKI

  92. 92

    Indium,

    You are trying too hard. I did not say what you claim. My post stands.

    a) “ID adherents believe that the encoded mapping of discrete nucleotides to discrete amino acids in the translation of DNA is an example of a system using symbolic representation (presented in a linear digital format).”

    b) “In our universal experience, the use of symbols in such a system arises from a singular source – that is, from a deliberate act of volition.”

    You’ve played the obfuscation card twice now, so I’ll answer the question for you – “No” you do not have any evidence of such a system arising by natural law + chance alone.

    So what you are left with is to simply assume that a natural process accomplished it without having any evidence to that effect, and you do so while ignoring evidence of the only verified source of such a system.

  93. JR:

    Pardon, but I should note to you that by your actions of uncritically forwarding an uncivil comment above, you have been implicated in JR’s lies, slanders and misrepresentations of facts, issues and people.

    Please, be careful in future.

    GEM of TKI

  94. JR:

    Pardon, Implicated in KL’s . . .

    GEM of TKI

  95. UB: In addition, Indium is ignoring the implications of the infinite monkey type analysis on the limitations of an unintelligent search on the gamut of our observed universe. G

  96. Sorry, but until you have explained the fossils and their ages, distribution and features using another paradigm, the old one stands.

    Interesting that now you criticize my integrity and citizenship-how arrogant:

    “KL, you need to take some serious reflection time, and look at what you have been doing, and how you have dealt with other people.

    Not just on the topics and issues that happen to be under discussion, but as a duty of basic membership of the human civil community.”

    after you declared the work of my friends, associates and spouse to be a waste of career and a delusion, yet cannot answer to the specific claims that you and others here have made. And you wonder why the science community fails to take your claims seriously. Anyone can criticize the hypotheses made by scientists, but those critiques are meaningless until alternatives are offered.

    Finally, I never made any comments that would lead you to believe that I am a “sir”, yet you have assumed so. I am female, and my (male) spouse finds what has been posted here on this site completely off the mark regarding anthropology. You have demonstrated not only evasion, but dishonesty, which discerning onlookers should recognize easily.

  97. kairosfocus, what do you think it would take to get people to pay attention to Abel’s paper? It’s been utterly ignored by the scientific community.

  98. It would be nice to know what you thought about fossil “evidences” more directly — how should we understand those if not in evolutionary terms?

  99. 99
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB

    Do you agree that they are not composed of matter or energy, that they are not extended in time/space, and that they are universal, and unchangeable?

    I will answer the question in the context of there being an “intelligent designer” who created everything.

    In such a universe these “laws” are not unchangeable as they were created in the first place. So there is no prior requirement for those rules to take the form that the take now other then by design from your “designer”. Your “designer” could have chosen different rules, could it not?

    So, no. They are neither universal nor unchangeable. They could change without a moments notice, at the whim of your designer. At any point in the universe, near or far.

    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    If miracles happen then changing the unchangeable is possible. Perhaps they have already changed and will continue to change. Who can tell? How can you tell such things?

    As to your question of do the rules themselves exist?

    Is the temperature of a gas composed of matter or energy?

  100. 100
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright Biped

    In our universal experience, the use of symbols in such a system arises from a singular source – that is, from a deliberate act of volition.

    You, and we, in fact have no such experence. We have not observed such a system arise from a singular source.

    As Bornagain77 is fond of reminding us, the genome is full of complex multilayer networks well beyond current and long term future abilities of the human race. We don’t understand more then a fraction of it I’m sure. It’s such a profoundly complex system that you observe it and claim design. On the basis that similar systems are also designed.

    Yet we’ve designed no such similar system. If we have then BA77 is wrong. And it means that your “designer” is no more capable then us small brained humans who’ve taken thousands of years just to drag ourselves out of the mud and into centrally heated houses. You ascribe the creation of the universe to what are essentially monkeys?

    Do you have any evidence of symbolic representation arising by any other means?

    If DNA is indeed a language (I.E a symbolic representation enabling the mapping of concepts onto components that are interchangeable or possible to recreate with similar components representing the same or similar concepts) then could you translate some of it into French for me?

    Then German.

    Then English.

    Then back to, well, DNA?

    And see if it still does the same thing, or more or less the same thing?

    You can translate a poem into French then German then Spanish and then back into it’s original language. It’ll be a bit odd but still usually recognizably and the “same” poem.

  101. 101
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright Biped

    To say that ‘evolution did it’ is to merely assume the conclusion without evidence, while ignoring the only verified inference we have to its source.

    But that’s a strawman. Nobody is saying ‘evolution did it’

    What ‘they’ are in fact doing is spending their working lives trying to solve that problem. And some profound results have already been published.

    NASA origin of life workshop

    Many many hours of information to absorb. All by people trying to answer the question that you claim you already have an answer to, the origin of life. Perhaps you should let them know? But what, exactly, will you say?

    Saying that people simply claim that ‘evolution did it’ is akin to saying that when asked how the designer did it the ID supporter says ‘it was designed, as design is a mechanism’

    Nobody would say that. Would they? So put your strawman away. Or provide a citation to somebody in the published mainstream scientific community saying exactly that.

    Or tell me Upright, given that you know the answer to the origin of life how would that affect NASA’s research if you told them? What would they do differently? What would you say to them anyway? Other then “it was designed that way – only designers design codes”?

    Very useful…

  102. 102
    JemimaRacktouey

    Don’t worry Gordo, I’m getting to you.

  103. Upright
    Where is your evidence that DNA came into being in an “act of volition”?

    Even if we only consider human codes and DNA you can´t just look at human invented codes and infer that every code has the same properties. You can´t look at one black cow and decide that every cow is black. You don´t even know if the cow is black on its other side ;-)

    Also, DNA is not just a symbolic representation. In fact it´s not really symbolic at all. Via its chemical and physical properties it is directly linked by a chain of events to the amino acids. Materialistic magic at its best!

    kf: Did you really made a monkey+typewriter analogy in 94? What is an infinite monkey analysis? Sounds interesting!

  104. JR:

    What ‘they’ are in fact doing is spending their working lives trying to solve that problem. And some profound results have already been published.

    Nothing about the construction of useful complex systems. Lots on breaking things and loss of function.

    Nothing about changing body plans nor body forms.

    It is all one big “we don’t know”- and that is fine.

    As for those OoL researchers. Might as well have some geologists look into geological processes producing Stonehenge. They would have a better chance of success.

  105. QI:

    1: Abel is writing things [with some extensions, true] that are based on things that any serious statistical thermodynamics course will brush on when it explains the basis of the second law of thermodynamics.

    2: The issue is not to promote, or persuade or convince. If you have ever taken up the torch of science to run with it, you have a duty to truth, to empirically anchored warrant and to open-minded, sound analysis.

    3: I have given links to details on the issues of fossils, including he points where they are relevant to the theory of intelligent design.

    4: With these, the issue is not “evolution,” a very broad and slippery-slope loaded term, as I pointed out regarding KL’s remarks.

    5: The part that is empirically well warranted on observations is well below the FSCI threshold, and the part that is alleged to be responsible for macroevolution at body plan level — i.e. is beyond the FSCI threshold — conspicuously lacks warrant on observation, including in the case of the overwhelming pattern of the fossil evidence.

    6: Observe, when I quoted a founding person for Punctuated Equlibria, on the key observation in that regard, KL found himself reduced to lying by falsely alleging that I was quotemining on statements made by Johnson, whom he slandered by alleging that he was a master quoteminer.

    7: That resort in the teeth of the now notorious “trade secret” of anthropology, should tell you a lot about what the fossils really say, even when the generally promoted timeline is taken at face value, without a grain or two of salt.

    8: Do I need to underscore it again: Cambrian Fossil Life revolution, which BTW, was known to Darwin. 10+ million base pairs of fresh DNA to account for, in a window of 10 MY, dozens of times over, and on one little planet, not the gamut of the observed cosmos.

    GEM of TKI

  106. Pardon, paleontology.

  107. Indium, on infinite monkeys, start here, go on to here and then onwards from there (don’t forget here); and enjoy. (Notice how spaces of order 10^50 are searchable, but spaces of 10^300+ are not even approached.) G

  108. kairosfocus, thanks. What I mean by ignoring Abel is that his work has yet to be cited once in Web of Science or Pub Med. It’s been ignored in that sense.

  109. JR:

    Please do not let your behaviour edge any closer to the incivility threshold KL has crossed.

    GEM of TKI

  110. 110
    JemimaRacktouey

    Joseph,

    Lots on breaking things and loss of function.,

    You’ve obviously not even looked at the presentations.

  111. Kairosfocus, I am beginning to think that evolutinary processes can generate fcsi.

    Behe’s recent review demonstrates this.He summarizes some examples of lab observed evolution in microbes and viruses. Most are either loss of function, or modifications of existing function. But, about 10% of the mutations in his tables are gain-of-fct, where a ““A “gain-of-FCT” adaptive mutation is a mutation that produces a specific, new, functional coded element while adapting an organism to its environment”"

    http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/....._paper.pdf

    Shockingly close to fCSI and other ID definitions.

    So we have empirical evidence of new functional coded elements evolving.

  112. QI:

    Ever heard of a guilty silence?

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I was introduced to the sort of analysis circa 1979 – 80, when I first had to seriously do thermodynamics. One form of it is the estimation of the odds that all the O2 molecules in a room would spontaneously rush to one end. A practical zero and that precisely because a fluctuation that far from the cluster of overwhelmingly abundant highly mixed states is of such low relative statistical weight that it becomes unobservable on the gamut of the observable cosmos. An easy way to understand such is to imagine the room diced into boxes small enough that one molecule fits in them [boxes of order 10^-10 m on the side -- NB in a gas at typical temps there are about 10 molecular diameters separation on average], then work out the rate at which molecules moving around at about 200 m/s would swop boxes. Then think about the relative number of distributions with the O2 molecules clustered at one end of the room. (This is an undoing diffusion thought exercise, which you could do by first thinking of two rows of ten marbles, red and black, then working out the number of ways that marbles can be arranged.)

  113. 113
    JemimaRacktouey

    GEM of TKI,

    Since there are ever so many talking points about fossils directed to me,

    If you recall, upthread you dismiss the life work of several large groups of people. Entire professions. And on the basis of what evidence? The failure to explain the origin of a quality represented by something that you made up yourself, FSCI.

    that fail to address the facts and arguments in my always linked through my handle

    Ah, so now every point directed at you must first be tested against your pre-written arguments on your very own website? I don’t think so.

    In any case, in your “section C” you spend many words explaining how it did not, could not, never would happen but none at all explaining how it did happen.

    In fact, you end that section as follows:

    Thus, it is fair comment to observe that the design inference seems to better explain the generally accepted framework than the dominant paradigm, NDT.

    Yes indeed. Evolution didn’t do it. So it must have been design. But the trouble is you don’t ever get round to actually “explaining” anything at all.

    Perhaps another possible inference you should consider is that you don’t know as much about biological evolution as you think you know and that perhaps you are missing some crucial pieces of the puzzle? Have you ever considered that as a possibility?

    the accusation that it is design theory that has a fossil problem is a false strawmannish accusation in the teeth of easily accessible evidence.

    But earlier you said that common design explains the fossil record just as well as common descent and that there are no incompatibilities at that level. What I’m saying is that if you invent another name for common descent, common design, yet there is no difference between the two they why bother to invent the new name at all? It provides no differentiation. Nothing that can be done to test the two “explanations”. Except of course, as I’ve just noted, the scales are not evenly matched at all. Your “explanation” is simply the design inference seems to better explain the generally accepted framework than the dominant paradigm. Not an explanation so much as a label. On an empty vessel.

    Onlookers, would you believe that a discussion on those topics was just one click away at all times

    Your self published website is really of little consequence in the larger scheme of things. If you expect me to simply go to your website, read your many thousands of densely packed words and be converted you are very much mistaken. What do you think you have, an utterly irrefutable argument?
    Let me quote from your website:

    why is it that evolutionary materialist worldviews that go far beyond what is empirically and logically well-warranted are allowed to pass themselves off as “science,” thus can freely go into the classroom, but empirically and logically/mathematically based serious challenges and alternatives to the claims of these worldviews that in fact appear in the peer-reviewed scientific and associated literature are excluded as “religion” [even when this is not at all objectively true]?

    Yes, why is that? Perhaps it’s because, as was noted, these worldviews are so wildly successful in explaining the facts that we see about us.

    The facts like the fossils you refuse to address directly.

    Do you therefore see what sort of shennanigans and abuse go on in evo mat hangouts such as ATBC, and why people interested in civil and serious discussion simply ignore such fever swamps full of angry mosquitoes?

    If you wanted you could come over and have a serious conversation, in near-real time, with the people you claim to want to engage with on this thread, people like KL who are experts in their subject, who have spent large parts of their working lives studying hard breaking new ground on the cutting edge. You don’t often get to speak to people who are experts in such fields. Do you do the same amount of work on a single subject? No, you don’t.

    Anyway, here is the clip from Loennig of the Max Planck Institute, in his paper:

    Blah blah blah. Explain the fossils.

    I suggest in particular, that JR and KL spend some time pondering on the implications of the Smith two-tier controller model of a MIMO cybernetic system.

    Blah blah blah. Explain the fossils. Why bring this up at all? You’ve an opportunity to talk to somebody who knows more about fossils then you’ve forgotten? Why attempt to distract? Why so evasive?

    In short, JR and KL have tried to import to UD the typical ideological evo mat tactic of systematic misrepresentation of those they differ with. beyond a certain point, that is no longer a mere matter of having been misled, but willful, inexcusable and uncivil resistance to duty to the truth and to fairness.

    Have I? thanks for letting me know that? How can I misrepresent you when you’ve said nothing of substance on the topic at hand? When all you want to do is talk about anything but the fossils, and when force to address the point you duck it by simply claiming that it’s all old ground covered on your website already. Perhaps you should publish your website in Nature, if it covers it all.

    In order to explain the origin of the Cambrian animals, one must account not only for new proteins and cell types, but also for the origin of new body plans

    And how does Intelligent Design account for the origin of proteins, cells or body types?

    Instead, what we have are just so stories, constrained by a materialistic straight jacket, and in a context where even the dating of fossils, is too often subject to ideological considerations and a priori worldview impositions.

    I tell you what. Why don’t you go down to the library and get a book of fossils. Tell me what book; I’ll get the same one. Then you can point out the factual errors, page by page, line by line.

    In short, the turnabout tactic on fossils, blatantly fails.

    Quite the opposite. You have fooled nobody.

    And, in failing, it points to the heart of the problem being ducked by the promoters of evo mat talking points: the origin of FSCO/I in living systems on warrant to best, empirically anchored explanation.

    No, it’s the heart of the problem that you have invented so that you can claim that people are ducking it when in fact they can’t answer your challenge because FSCO/I is something you’ve made up yourself. Handy for claiming such victories, however Pyrrhic they are in the end.

  114. 114
    JemimaRacktouey

    Pardon, but I should note to you that by your actions of uncritically forwarding an uncivil comment above, you have been implicated in JR’s lies, slanders and misrepresentations of facts, issues and people.

    What lies? What slanders? What misrepresentations of facts, issues and people? Be specific!
    Do you just expect me to go along with you? Support your accusations, serious accusations I would note!
    Unless you so support them I’ll have to assume your accusations are an attempt to construct a smokescreen that you can use to avoid addressing the actual specific questions that need addressing for you to claim any sort of victory.

    Walk away if you wish, but to accuse KL of lying without explaining what your evidence or even reasons for doing so is simply beyond the pale!

  115. 115
    JemimaRacktouey

    G.E.M of TKI

    I have given links to details on the issues of fossils, including he points where they are relevant to the theory of intelligent design.

    Links to text that explains exactly nothing about the topic relevant to this thread or KL.

    With these, the issue is not “evolution,” a very broad and slippery-slope loaded term, as I pointed out regarding KL’s remarks.

    Yes, common design == common descent.

    including in the case of the overwhelming pattern of the fossil evidence.

    Yes, the Cambrian “explosion”. And explosion so fast it was over in literally millions of years.

    KL found himself reduced to lying by falsely alleging that I was quotemining on statements made by Johnson,

    Have you ever thought about attempting to make an argument based on the actual primary literature?

    That resort in the teeth of the now notorious “trade secret” of anthropology, should tell you a lot about what the fossils really say

    Tell us all KF, what do the fossils “really say”?

    even when the generally promoted timeline is taken at face value, without a grain or two of salt.

    Having doubts as to the age of the earth too now are you? Or what exactly do you mean? If you have some specific accusation against some professional body then make it and provide your evidence.

    Do I need to underscore it again: Cambrian Fossil Life revolution, which BTW, was known to Darwin. 10+ million base pairs of fresh DNA to account for, in a window of 10 MY, dozens of times over, and on one little planet, not the gamut of the observed cosmos.

    Therefore ID.

  116. 116
    JemimaRacktouey

    Reposted from ATBC, here is KL’s post that is currently in moderation here. Honestly, you start a thread calling somebody out by name and you then make that person wait dozens of hours before they can respond. And people like KF nod approvingly, noting “and there is every advantage to having a conversation take the time to be analytical rather than hasty and hot”. Yes, every advantage to you that is.

    KL
    04/07/2011
    11:59 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Sorry, but until you have explained the fossils and their ages, distribution and features using another paradigm, the old one stands.

    Interesting that now you criticize my integrity and citizenship-how arrogant:

    “KL, you need to take some serious reflection time, and look at what you have been doing, and how you have dealt with other people.

    Not just on the topics and issues that happen to be under discussion, but as a duty of basic membership of the human civil community.”

    after you declared the work of my friends, associates and spouse to be a waste of career and a delusion, yet cannot answer to the specific claims that you and others here have made. And you wonder why the science community fails to take your claims seriously. Anyone can criticize the hypotheses made by scientists, but those critiques are meaningless until alternatives are offered.

    Finally, I never made any comments that would lead you to believe that I am a “sir”, yet you have assumed so. I am female, and my (male) spouse finds what has been posted here on this site completely off the mark regarding anthropology. You have demonstrated not only evasion, but dishonesty, which discerning onlookers should recognize easily.

    Original Post

  117. K:

    Please, look again: you are here starting with functional systems and generating or modifying or deleting modest length extra coded segments under the direction and control of existing regulatory elements, or undergoing point — basically one base — muts.

    (Think of what happens when you send info down the Internet. The systems add on and strip off all sorts of headers, having chopped up the information into chunks. Are we to say the computers involved are creating additional functional information out of nothing? If there was a defect of one or a few bits that triggered a double send in two directions, have we created a new function de novo from chance and necessity? and the like )

    In none of the cases are you looking at undirected chance plus necessity generating information of order 1,000 bits [500 bases] from scratch. Remember, until we are looking at ~ 500 – 1,000 new bits of functional information de novo, we are not looking at anything that even passes the basic threshold. That threshold is there for a reason: it marks a conservative border between the level of change on chance plus necessity that is analytically credible to be observable, and that which is not.

    Remember, the first challenge faced by evolutionary materialism is to create from the resources of some warm little pond or similar environment, a working life form that integrates metabolism and coded replication [invention of codes, data structures and algorithms along the way . . .]. That is going, on observed life forms, require 100+ kbits of info. And autocatalytic reaction sets under highly artificial and unlikely conditions do not point us in the direction of a von Neumann, code based self replicating automaton.

    Then, there is need to invent means of specialisation of cells and their integration into a complex body plan, through an embryological development process. Then, to do so for dozens of basic plans in a 10 mn year window. This requires moving from about 100 k – 1 mn bases to 10 mn bases or more.

    In fact, we do not have the de novo creation of 1,000 bits of info on observation, through undirected chance plus necessity, anywhere.

    Notice this from p. 19 of the PDF:

    Similarly, the very deleterious effects of a 19-nucleotide deletion of MS2
    containing important functional coded elements (several hairpins and the Shine-Dalgarno sequence) was overcome by gain-of-FCT mutations that restored those same elements to a greater or lesser degree.
    Considering the time- and populationscale constraints of the experiments, it is not surprising that, when large experimental
    deletions were constructed that removed the coding sequences of whole genes (rather than just frame shift mutations or short control elements), the deleted genes were not restored. However, it
    was surprising that more modest adaptive gain-of-FCT mutations were not seen either.
    The removal of T7 ligase resulted in
    point mutations and deletions in other genes involved in DNA metabolism, which are loss-of-FCT and modificationof- function mutations. Intentional deletion
    of the gene for T7 RNA polymerase
    and infection of a cell harboring a T3 polymerase gene yielded mutations that apparently
    strengthened weak T3 promoters,
    which are modification-of-function
    changes. Rearrangement of the order of bacteriophage T7 genes, thereby decreasing its fitness, did not provoke the evolutionary construction of new coded control elements. Rather, one existing element was lost (an E. coli polymerase termination site)
    and the gene order reverted, guided by flanking DNA that Springman et al. (2005) intentionally left in the viral DNA sequence . . .

    In addition, it would be helpful to notice the observed mutation rates per nucleotide: 5 or so *10^-10 up to 6 * 10^-7

    GEM of TKI

  118. JR:

    KL has been caught out in lying, willful misrepresentation in the teeth of easily accessible evidence, and slander. Are you defending that behaviour?

    GEM of TKI

  119. KL:

    I wish I did not have to reply to something like your last post forwarded by JR.

    The last post above, is a descent into outright personal abuse, in response to a point by point analysis of two posts earlier today that more than adequately address matters of substance.

    That analysis — regrettably but necessarily — included expose of slanderous misrepresentation and at least one outright lie; for, you know or should know that I have not quotemined Gould.

    That sort of behaviour is plainly uncivil and should be turned from; certainly, it is grounds for your being in moderation, if there is a track record of behaviour like that.

    As to the honest error of addressing you as sir, that that should be an occasion of further offense is simply beyond me.

    Good day, madam

    GEM of TKI

  120. JR:

    Please, stop misrepresenting me as dismissing the life’s work of professional groups.

    That is plainly a polarising distortion of what I have actually said, made in a way that naturally would create a sense of offense on the part of those who hear the strawmannish summary instead of being presented with the actual issue and facts in evidence.

    Why not instead address on the particular facts what I have done, i.e. I have pointed out that there are several fields in science that at the moment are dominated by a priori evolutionary materialism that biases how findings and facts are interpreted, leading to a distortion of the methods of science and also to a distortion of how results are evaluated and reported.

    Let me cite Lewontin, again:

    To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality, and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    [[From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997.]

    Now, I am able to cite from the US NAS and NSTA in remarks that boil down to much the same, i.e both the leading Academy of Science in the leading scientific nation, and a leading umbrella group of science educators in the same country, back up the truth of Lewontin’s remarks.

    If the imposition of a priori materialism on science is enough to trash the work of a generation of practitioners [a reasonable inference on your suggestion], then that would actually be an argument that such materialistic censorship should stop, forthwith.

    For that is an admission of destructiveness to the true purpose of science.

    My view is actually a bit different.

    Good facts are good facts, whoever has found them.

    But of course interpretations, models, theories and other explanatory or analytical constructs are not facts. They need to be checked against further facts, and adjusted or even abandoned if they are not empirically reliable.

    That happened with the Ptolemaic system of the world about 400 years ago, and then with the classical physics that resulted from that first major modern scientific revolution about 100 years ago.

    The pessimistic induction about science warns us that scientific findings are subject to error, but if they are empirically tested and reliable enough at any given time, we can use them for practical purposes.

    However, the sort of imposition Lewontin describes will undermine the ability to make an inference that is credible about the deep past especially. So, such censoring worldview level a prioris should be removed from the body of scientific practice.

    In short, it is time to correct the attempt to impose so called methodological naturalism on the definition and practice of science.

    The easiest way to do so would be to simply recongise the common sense observation that the “natural” has two distinct contrasts: the supernatural [the one those who champion meth nat emphasise] and the artificial.

    There is no reason why the artificial cannot be empirically investigated, as is routinely done in vast fields of applied science.

    GEM of TKI

  121. 121
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    Please, stop misrepresenting me as dismissing the life’s work of professional groups.

    Yet a few posts ago you plainly said:

    35 –> An anthroplogist blinded and constrained by a priori evolutionary materialism and refusing to address the question of cogently explaining the origin of functionally specific complex bio-information is part of the problem, not a part of the solution.

    Part of the problem. Not part of the solution. Parts of the problem people traditionally have their life’s work dismissed, as it’s wrong.

    Hence the “part of the problem” label.

    If their life’s work was part of the solution, it would be right.

    Blinded and constrained people are generally not part of any activity resulting in a successful outcome.

    strawmannish summary instead of being presented with the actual issue and facts in evidence,

    But you have not actually dealt with the specific questions raised, the reason for this threads existence except in the most general of ways. You prefer taking offense to engaging on the issues. Why don’t you put your sensibilities to one side for a moment and go to ATBC and engage with KL and explain exactly why you are right and KL is wrong. Or do it here, but don’t pretend that the moderation delays help anyone but the ID supporters.

  122. 122
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,
    You reference Lewontin.

    The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    Could I ask you directly why you never add nor refer to that last sentence in the quotation you use? It seems directly relevant to the overall sense of the quote.

    Why do you never include it?

  123. JR:

    As to the rest of you remarks, I think I can leave onlookers to compare the actual substance I have put up and linked, with your attempted rebuttals and the way you represent what I have had to say (of which your reaction to my highlighting Lewontin’s confession is unfortunately a key case in point).

    I will simply underscore that the overwhelmingly predominant pattern of the fossil record – pace KL’s declamations — is of sudden appearance, stasis, and disappearance or continuation into the modern world.

    In the case of the emergence of man, the key unanswered question is to account for the FSCI involved in say transforming Lucy and kin into a modern human. That problem is apparently not even seriously acknowledged, much less addressed. And yet, the lack of ability of chance and necessity to plausibly create FSCI, while designers routinely do so, is decisive.

    If we exhibit a significant increment of FSCI relative to apes, then it implicates design in our origins.

    As to the geochronological timelines etc, all I am cautioning is that there are significant limitations in the methods and findings, which limitations, sadly, are too often not properly acknowledged.

    Epistemic humility would counsel a very different way . . .

    GEM of TKI

  124. Onlookers:

    The sad patterns of distortion and uncalled for polarisation or even outright uncivil conduct above coming from KL and JR today, show why I refuse to even visit places like ATBC.

    GEM of TKI

  125. JR:

    Sigh . . .

    Perhaps it has not dawned on you that I am being gentle in leaving out some of the more grievous blunders in Lewontin’s article, especially if they are not directly relevant to the main concern.

    But, since you specifically bring it up (and seem to think it makes a telling point) . . .

    _________________

    >> The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything.

    1 –> This is a contemptuous dismissal that implies that those who believe in God are thereby dismisible as ignorant, stupid, insane, or gullible.

    2 –> it is unworthy of Lewontin to have cited it (and BTW there are other things that are as bad in the article . . . ), and it is not necessary to the key issues on science and its methods

    3 –> Would you call say Aquinas, or Newton, or Descartes, or Maxwell, or Pasteur, or Planck or many others up to and including Nobel Prize holders ignorant, gullible and uncritical?

    To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    4 –> For a miracle to stand out as a sign pointing beyond the ordinary course of nature [the core meaning of the term], there has to be an ordinary course of nature, i.e. a supernaturalist theism is as deeply committed to the existence of a regular natural order as any other position.

    5 –> Indeed, for us to be accountable before God as morally governed creatures and stewards of creation,there has to be a predictability to the ways of the world. i.e actions should have reliably predictable consequences.

    6 –> So, a supernaturalistic view of the world IMPLIES that science is feasible and even desirable.

    7 –> Any basic and fair summary of the origins of science in modern times, will reveal that in fact it is that theological expectation of and confidence in an orderly world created by “a God of order” — I here quote St Paul — in a civilisation shaped by the Christian faith, that played a major role in the modern foundation of science.

    8 –> In short, the Christian view implies and expects that we live in a cosmos, not a chaos, so Beck is wrong and Lewontin is worse wrong to imagine that believing in a God who is Creator and who intervenes in the ordinary course of the world for good reason, is to believe in a chaos in which science is an absurd attempt to make order out of the obvious chaos.

    9 –> Any reasonably competent theologian could have better informed both Beck and Lewontin. And as a matter of fact, the most popular theological writer of the past century, Lewis, did so, repeatedly. Indeed, his Miracles is still worth reading. >>
    __________________

    GEM of TKI

  126. 126
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    I think I can leave onlookers to compare the actual substance I have put up and linked

    Please. You can’t serious expect to win any arguments by such means.

    Argumentum websiteo?

    And you’ve not addressed any specific point about a single specific fossil. Which is the point of this thread. I’d rather do that then talk about your website.

    with your attempted rebuttals

    I’ve not really attempted any rebuttals as you’ve kept to generalities quite well indeed.

    Address the topic of the thread!

    Talk about a specific fossil group, explain their ages, distribution and features using another paradigm or until you do the old one stands.
    By definition!

    Until you do the old one stands.

    In the case of the emergence of man, the key unanswered question is to account for the FSCI involved in say transforming Lucy and kin into a modern human.

    Then please address this point. If I have to explain where the FSCI involved in transforming Lucy and Kin comes from could you tell me how much FSCI it is I have to explain?

    I.E How much FSCI “Lucy” contains.

    Given what happened last time (F)CSI came up I’m surprised you say this to be honest.

    Tell me how to calculate the FSCI for a fossil, any fossil. If you can’t how can you talk about an increase or decrease? How can you tell? Gut feel perhaps?

    If we exhibit a significant increment of FSCI relative to apes, then it implicates design in our origins.

    And do we notice such then? How much? How are you measuring that? Care to show how you’ve worked that out?

    As to the geochronological timelines etc, all I am cautioning is that there are significant limitations in the methods and findings, which limitations, sadly, are too often not properly acknowledged.

    If you can’t be specific then how do you expect such limitations to be addressed? What specific relationship is called into doubt by these “limitations” with “Lucy”?

    It’s odd how you just can’t come out and say what your concerns actually are and how they related to “Lucy”.

    Perhaps you’ve nothing specific to actually say, you just disagree with something, somehow, you know that KL is wrong, but somehow you just can’t quite say what it is.

    So you bring in off topic claims.

    The fact is that the reigning evolutionary materialist orthodoxy is not imposing an a priori metaphysics on the evidence of origins on you right now, is it? You are free to make your point, to a person who knows more about the subject then you do, clearly.

    I would have thought you would have taken it as an opportunity to learn from somebody asking specific question in their area of expertise and how it relates to ID.

    But no…

    You don’t know anything about the issue under discussion but you can’t help but come in and poke fun at the nasty old materialists. How wrong they are. How they can’t explain “Lucy” despite their constant publication of “papers” claiming to “explain” things.

    But they are all starting from the wrong premise right KF? Only you really knows the truth. And the truth is simply that they are wrong. And G.E.M is right.

  127. F/N: JR, if an anthropologist is blinded and locked into the sort of Lewontinian a priori materialism as I pointed to above, then that anthropologist will make grievous blunders in interpreting the fossil record. And, indeed, there is a sad track record of exactly that happening, with some pretty spectacular cases in point. And not all of such are 50 or more years old either.

  128. 128
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    1 –> This is a contemptuous dismissal that implies that those who believe in God are thereby dismisible as ignorant, stupid, insane, or gullible.

    No, rather it means that anything you are told could be explained as a miracle.

    Anything.

    You for instance believe that limbs can grow back due to prayer.
    Despite the fact that we’ve never observed it. Ever.

    You explain the single historical reference to such as a miracle, as proof that miracles can occur.

    Yes, I know that because I was Blue Lotus. I got you to say that. And we spoke at length about Weasel and latching. Or not. And a $10,000 little bet for a quote you never did deliver, but claimed victory anyway. As you do.

    So anyway, if you believe miracles exist then you can’t rule anything out can you? So how can you do science like that?

    That you turn that into people who believe in God are insane simply shows your first and primary rhetorical trick in play.

    And as such sir, I find your behavior unacceptable!

    The sad patterns of distortion and uncalled for polarisation or even outright uncivil conduct above coming from KL and JR today, show why I refuse to even visit places like ATBC.

    Your “arguments” and “evidence” would be eviscerated in seconds by experts in the fields you claim an expertise in and you know it.

    Looks like the truth can only shield you so much eh? When actual facts come knocking then it fails. Care to prove otherwise? I’ll talk to you no different there then here, and you’ve spent 100′s of words on me already.

  129. JR:

    Your last post is descending into personal abuse, driven by red herrings led away to strawman distortions.

    Please, do better than that.

    And, If you will but scroll up, you will see that I hav e roughed out what an FSCI calculation for moving from an ape-like ancestor to a modern human would look like on the usual 98% chimp claim on our genome.

    The calculation can doubtless be refined and made more sophisticated, but that will not change the material point: there is a major information origination issue to explain on transforming an ape into a human.

    And, that points to the only empirically credible source of such FSCI, design.

    but of course, if you can show the calculation is in serious errorat the order of magnitude level, that would reduce the chift between chimp DNA to huiman to less than 1,000 bits worth of change, that would be corrective. Similarly, if you can show that there is a credibly observed case where on chance plus necessity without intelligent action, FSCI comes to be, that would also be a falsification.

    In short you are personalising a matter where there is an objective standard that can be met, accusing me of conceit where all I am doing is appealing to the criteria of facts and logic, with analysis on inference to best empirically anchored explanation.

    That tells the astute onlooker a lot about where the balance is on the merits.

    Please, do better than that.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, do you see why it is I spoke earlier about fever swamps and angry clouds of mosquitoes? I am sorry if my words are painful but consider what has happened to me at UD — not even ATBC — across a day where I decided to sacrifice a fair quantum of time to answer issues on points (having been accused of being evasive when I have been in fact busy elsewhere, starting with economic and constitutional crises following hard on the heels of an intense trip overseas). Distortion of issues and arguments, refusal to engage central issues on the merits, refusal to acknowledge plain facts, denigration, slander, outright lying. A sad picture, but a telling one on what has been going on on origins science issues, for years. Do you see how the faculty and administrators of U of K were so misled, ill advised and polarised that they implicated their school in a US$ 125,000 legal blunder?

  130. jemi, as to miracles, exactly how do you exp0lain the now established scientific fact that the entire universe came into being from a higher transcendent realm that is not limited by time and space? Is it a miracle, or is it not, and either way, because it is now established that the entire universe can come into being instantaneously from a higher dimension, exactly why would it be ‘unscientific’ to presuppose ‘top-down’ appearance of life on earth? Do you suppose we should rule it ‘unscientific’ solely because atheists find it very unappealing, or should we, more logically, treat top-down ‘sudden appearance’ as a live ‘science’ option since it now shown to be a true fact for the entire universe?

    As to the accusation of taking ‘fossil’ quotes out of context. Here is a defense of perhaps the most damning quote ever by a neo-Darwinist.

    That quote!—about the missing transitional fossils
    Excerpt: Dr Patterson had written a book for the British Museum simply called Evolution.2 Creationist Luther Sunderland wrote to Dr Patterson inquiring why he had not shown one single photograph of a transitional fossil in his book. Patterson then wrote back with the following amazing confession which was reproduced, in its entirety, in Sunderland’s book Darwin’s Enigma:
    ‘I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualise such transformations, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it, and if I were to leave it to artistic licence, would that not mislead the reader?’
    He went on to say:
    ‘Yet Gould [Stephen J. Gould—the now deceased professor of paleontology from Harvard University] and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils. … You say that I should at least “show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organism was derived.” I will lay it on the line—there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument.’3
    http://creation.com/that-quote.....al-fossils

  131. JR:

    Please look again at just what beck is cited as saying; not only does it imply that miracles can happen anytime creating a chaos — when in fact for miracles to work aw signs there has to be a stable natural order — but that believers in God are utterly gullible.

    Beyond that, I think I need to give you a timeout to calm down.

    Good night, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  132. 132

    I came back and was reading though the responses. I was humored by the way Jemima couldn’t stand at the front of StephenB’s question and simply answer it. She had to revert to a “rhetorical trick” instead. (Having to revert to a rhetorical trick is something Jemima has demonstrated repeatedly, and has been called on it. I believe a contributor on another thread used the phrase “intellectual coward” in that regard). Of course the reasons for this are obvious, but still, the hypocrisy of wrapping oneself in the blanket of Enlightenment only to be forced into ignoring evidence – is a sight to see.

    Then I finally got to her response to me. Geez.

    One of the things materialist ideologues forget when they come here is that we are all human beings. We all share humanity; we share what it is to interact as an individual among others. We share the tricks of the trade. When a person cannot confront a fair question and answer it, there is a reason.

  133. 133
    (Me: referring to the use of symbolic representations used in a digital linear environment) “In our universal experience, the use of symbols in such a system arises from a singular source – that is, from a deliberate act of volition”.

    You, and we, in fact have no such experence.

    We have no such experience where symbols are arranged in a way to convey meaning?

    Check please.

  134. 134

    If DNA is indeed a language (I.E a symbolic representation enabling the mapping of concepts onto components that are interchangeable or possible to recreate with similar components representing the same or similar concepts) then could you translate some of it into French for me?

    Then German.

    Then English.

    Then back to, well, DNA?

    Sure, why not.

    I’ll need to pick some symbols from each language, and to set up some new rules for translation. Since these symbols are inherently non-deterministic (freely chosen) in each language, and similarly, since the physical and chemical bonds that form DNA do not determine the sequence in which they exist, I will freely choose the French word “feignez” to be my symbol of guanine. I will also choose “ist” in German and “are” in English to represent the same thing. Thymine will be represented by the German symbol “haus”, the French symbol “porte” and the English symbol “kitty”. Cytosine will be represented by the German symbol “offensichtlich” and the French symbol “le”, and the English symbol “impressed”. Adenine will be represented by the German symbol “das”, the French symbol “vous” and the English symbol “you”.

    With that said, here is my conversion for the amino acid threonine in French:

    “vous le feignez” = threonine

    And here is my conversion of the amino acid serine in German:

    “das ist offensichtlich” = serine

    And finally my conversion for aspartic acid in English:

    “are you impressed” = aspartic acid

    Now, if you can rig a ribosome that can process these new rules and symbols, and implement them into the genetic system, you will get the same functional result as with the original nucleic bases.

    That was, after all the point (regarding symbolic representations).

    Now this exercise was set up as a mapping of complete word/symbols taken from each language; exchanging nucleic bases with language symbols. But the exact same thing can be reversed and have the genetic code used to encode German, French, and English. The entire dictionary in German, French, and English could be contained within genetic code, and be converted back out again. In other words, this is a no-winner for you. You will be left to object and obfuscate over inconsequential examples which are meaningless to the point. Yet I do realize that these objections give you a rhetorical respite from the facts, and therefore they are a path to continued denial. You are welcome to pat yourself on the back, at the expense of conflating a coding system with the information it contains. But do understand, these games have all been played here before. The truth, it seems, doesn’t matter to you. Or at least, that was the common denominator the last time someone came to UD and asked to have the informational content of DNA converted into French.

  135. 135

    Just so ya know….

    “A remarkable feature of the structure is that DNA can accommodate almost any sequence of base pairs—any combination of the bases adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T)—and, hence any digital message or information. ”
    - Biologist, Leroy Hood and David Galas PhD: The Digital Code of DNA

  136. 136

    Hello Indium,

    I read your response with interest. I mean no disrespect, but I think you are completely mistaken.

    If someone should say to you that they have a credible explanation of some observation. And if they then provide to you reasoning that such phenomena have only be observed as the result of a very specific type of cause. And if during this exchange, you are not capable of refuting their observations or offering any counter-examples, then it certainly seems odd for you to quaintly respond “So where’s your evidence?” This kind of reaction is indistinguishable from simply refusing to acknowledge facts.

    You then say that I am not able to infer the properties of codes. I completely disagree. On what grounds am I not able to make inferences regarding things that we all can observe? If I am unable to draw inferences from what is actually observed, then on what grounds can anyone else do so? How would any scientific endeavor at all proceed under such a rule?

    Regarding your comments on DNA:

    1) The information in DNA is encoded along its linear axis, not its horizontal axis. Along the linear axis, there are no chemo-physical bonds that determine the order of the sequence (which contains the information). The bonds you mistakenly want to allude to are along the other axis.

    2) Regarding the horizontal axis, I assume you are referring to the bonds associated with tRNA. You imply that there is a physical link maintained from nucleotide through tRNA to amino acid. This is not true. The amino acid is attached on one end of the tRNA structure, and the codon is entirely on the other end. The two do not chemically or physically interact in a determinant manner.

    3) The relationship between the codon and the amino acid is determined by the make-up of the charged tRNA. These (and the system by which they are charged) are a necessary physical expression of the system’s translation rules. And where does the make-up of tRNA come from?

    Yes… from the information along the linear axis of DNA, where no chemical bonds determine its content.

    - – - -

    I am off. Cheers…

  137. 137

    JemimaRacktouey: On C.S Lewis Keith Parsons said: “surely Lewis cannot mean that if naturalism is true, then there is no such thing as valid reasoning. If he really thought this, he would have to endorse the hypothetical ‘If naturalism is true, then modus ponens is invalid.’… Seems to me that Lewis couldn’t comprehend the fundamentals of logical deduction.

    Parsons and you are characterizing Lewis. See Lewis’s book Miracles for his views on the subject.

  138. 138

    ^^^ characterizing = MIScharacterizing

    Sorry

  139. “Onlookers:

    The sad patterns of distortion and uncalled for polarisation or even outright uncivil conduct above coming from KL and JR today, show why I refuse to even visit places like ATBC.

    GEM of TKI”

    Onlookers, Jr and I have been civil; we simply asked that we stick to the original premise of this thread, something that hasn’t happened. I can understand why you refuse to visit ATBC: you would have zero control over who posts and could not ramble off topic while your opponents languish in moderation.

    You cannot explain the hominid fossil record from your paradigm because ID is not a theory, only a metaphysical conjecture and an attempt to use mathematics to wave away the evidence that already exists (“Maths says that these fossils can’t happen so we won’t look at them too closely”) If you knew enough about the fossil record you should be able to apply your paradigm to the details. That you won’t tells me that you a) have no familiarity with the fossils and b) have no working theory that can handle details in those fossils. If either of both of these is true, then your original dismissal of the work of anthropologists is arrogant and incorrect.

  140. Do you agree that they [laws of logic] are not composed of matter or energy, that they are not extended in time/space, and that they are universal, and unchangeable?

    —Jemima Racktouey: “I will answer the question in the context of there being an “intelligent designer” who created everything.”

    I asked you if the laws of logic [or thought] are non material. The question calls for a yes or a no answer and requires no reference to a designer. Would you like for me to answer the question for you? If so, you will have lost the opportunity to provide your own answer.

    —“If miracles happen then changing the unchangeable is possible. Perhaps they have already changed and will continue to change.”

    Obviously, your statement contradicts itself. If something can be changed, then clearly it was not unchangeable. Of course, if you don’t accept the law of non-contradiction as a non-negotiable principle of right reason, then that would be no problem for you. It might be possible to change something that “appears” to be unchangeable, but that is another matter. Indeed, the laws of logic help us to think clearly so that we can make that very distinction.

    —“Who can tell? How can you tell such things?”

    I know that Jupiter cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. I also know that this was true in the past and will be true in the future. Apparently, you do not know this, which puts you at a severe disadvantage.

    —“Is the temperature of a gas composed of matter or energy?

    No.

  141. Since Denyse mentioned the “Big Bazooms” theory of human evolution,” I thought I’d mention this amusing discussion, in which the evolutionary implications of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s song “Baby Got Back” are explored.

  142. 142
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright,

    Now this exercise was set up as a mapping of complete word/symbols taken from each language; exchanging nucleic bases with language symbols. But the exact same thing can be reversed and have the genetic code used to encode German, French, and English. The entire dictionary in German, French, and English could be contained within genetic code, and be converted back out again.

    Thank you for proving my point in such detail.

    They key word is “converted”. I work in a field related to language translation and trust me we don’t “convert” from one language to another.

    We translate.

    To illustrate this, please perform the following “conversion”:

    Take the German word “schadenfreude” and “convert” it into DNA.

    Now convert that DNA sequence into English.

    Please tell me what the result is.

  143. 143
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    And, If you will but scroll up, you will see that I hav e roughed out what an FSCI calculation for moving from an ape-like ancestor to a modern human would look like on the usual 98% chimp claim on our genome.

    The calculation can doubtless be refined and made more sophisticated, but that will not change the material point: there is a major information origination issue to explain on transforming an ape into a human.

    Until you do so then perhaps you should not claim this as “proof” of anything. There may be a “major information origination issue” or there may be an error in your calculations. As you yourself say that your calculation is simply “back of the envelope” I hardly thing you can use it of proof of anything, never mind the design of life.

    Refine your calculations, publish them in a peer reviewed journal and perhaps then your claim that it points to the only empirically credible source of such FSCI, design might have some weight.

    As it is, well, move over timecube guy. You’ve got a challenger.

    but of course, if you can show the calculation is in serious errorat the order of magnitude level, that would reduce the chift between chimp DNA to huiman to less than 1,000 bits worth of change, that would be corrective.

    Ah, so FSCI is measured in bits. Is CSI?

    And again, why would I even attempt to show serious errors in your calculation when in your own words it is simply a roughed out example of what such a calculation would look like?

    when I have been in fact busy elsewhere, starting with economic and constitutional crises following hard on the heels of an intense trip overseas

    So you don’t spend all day examining fossils then? Nor doing any sort of biology? Then perhaps you should listen, for once, to the people who do do such things instead of dismissing them out of hand as simply wrong, whatever their point, because they have started with the wrong premise.

    The fact that you can’t point to anything specific wrong in their work is telling, onlookers.

  144. 144
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright

    We have no such experience where symbols are arranged in a way to convey meaning?

    Interesting you left out the next sentence, vital to context.

    You, and we, in fact have no such experence. We have not observed such a system arise from a singular source.

    So tell me Upright, how many times have you seen a complete genome be created then? That was the point of reference and that we what we have never observed. You know it and I know it.

  145. 145
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB,

    I asked you if the laws of logic [or thought] are non material. The question calls for a yes or a no answer and requires no reference to a designer. Would you like for me to answer the question for you? If so, you will have lost the opportunity to provide your own answer.

    You might as well. It’s not as if anything I can say will change anything you think.

    Obviously, your statement contradicts itself. If something can be changed, then clearly it was not unchangeable.

    Your God could change the unchangeable. How could it not?

    Of course, if you don’t accept the law of non-contradiction as a non-negotiable principle of right reason, then that would be no problem for you.

    In a universe where miracles are possible any law can be broken.

    Indeed, the laws of logic help us to think clearly so that we can make that very distinction.,

    Even the “laws of logic” could be changed by your God. How could it be otherwise?

    I know that Jupiter cannot both exist and not exist at the same time. I also know that this was true in the past and will be true in the future.

    I’m sure your God could make Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time and that would be fully internally consistent with whatever other arbitrary rules your God might designer to be followed. Or not, as your God prefers.

    No.

    Then the temperature of a gas seems not to be composed of matter or energy! How very strange!

    What about the bemprature of a gas? That is the temperature of a gas divided by two? Does that exist? Or have I made it up? Or does it not matter?

    Also cemptrature. Temperature of a gas doubled. Wow, inventing “laws” not composed of matter or energy is easy! Who’da thunkit.

    I guess cemptrature exists outside of the universe in a timeless way just waiting to be used.

  146. 146
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    Perhaps it has not dawned on you that I am being gentle in leaving out some of the more grievous blunders in Lewontin’s article, especially if they are not directly relevant to the main concern

    So let me get this straight. In one example the man is a genuis, so much so that you have to quote his words 80+ times in support of your point.

    Yet the very next sentence in the quote you use, directly related to the issue being raised, is somehow a grievous blunder. Perhaps it’s not really such a blunder, perhaps you just don’t agree with it.

    As such, one has to wonder at your standards. You cherry pick supporting words but a sentence in the very same paragraph that goes against the point you are trying to make is a blunder?

    Perhaps if you want to use somebody’s words in support of your argument you should use the whole quote in context so onlookers know what the full context is.

    Lewontin not only noted that you cannot let a divine foot in the door he also noted why in his opinion it would be a bad idea.

    You leave that last part out.

    And that’s dishonest. If the man is brilliant enougth to quote in support of your argument, over and over again, then it’s dishonest to use his quote when he himself would disagree with the point that you are trying to make.

    And as such you are no better then AIG and the others that use that very same quotemine.

    http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/.....aterialism

    Answers in Genesis makes it appear as if by “patent absurdity”, Lewontin means evolution, when he is really talking about astronomy.
    Gitt makes it appear as if Lewontin thinks that materialism cannot be justified and is a personal decision. But in reality Lewontin gives a reason just after creationists stop quoting him.
    Also, many scientists will disagree with him in the detail creationists are emphasizing, and say that methodological naturalism is a necessary component of science, giving exactly the reason Lewontin gave.

    Very poor show. Perhaps you should find somebody who actually agrees with you whose words you can quote?

    KF, with your creationist leanings and “doubts” as to the age of the earth/fossils I have to ask.

    KF, how old do you believe the Earth is?

  147. Upright
    You still miss the point. Maybe an example will help:
    In every instance of nuclear fusion we can directly observe nuclear fusions happen by an “act of intended violence” or an “act to gain knowledge” )and they are also always resulting from an “act of volition”).
    Therefor, by your logic, we would have to conclude that the sun is either a nuclear weapon or a laboratory (or that no nuclear fusions occur in the sun).

    So, what is the problem with your “inference”: You really consider only one source of such codes (humans) and act as if you would have a good enough sample size for the an inference.

    On the other hand the standard scientific way to deal with this would be to actively search for examples that disprove your theory or generalization. Since DNA is obviously a *possible* counterargument to the generalization, no real scientist would make it. You on the other neglect the possibility that the genetic code arose by natural means at the very beginning of the argument just to be able to do the inference. This is circular logic. It´s like saying that the sun doesn´t count as an example of natural nuclear fusions since all examples we know of are all started by humans.

  148. Jemima Racktouey (#145)

    I am afraid that you badly misunderstand the doctrine ofDivine omnipotence. Jews and Christians do not believe, and never have believed, that God can set aside the laws of logic, as you call them, or make a square circle. You want proof? Have a look at what the conservative Catholic philosopher Edward Feser puts it in his masterfully written volume, Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2009, p. 123):

    In line with the mainstream classical theistic tradition, Aquinas holds that since there is no sense to be made of doing what is intrinsically impossible (e.g. making a round square or something else involving a self-contradiction), to say that God is omnipotent does not entail that He can do such things, but only that he can do whatever is intrinsically possible (S[umma] T[heologica] I.25.3). (Emphases mine – VJT.)

    I should add that the term “classical theist” would include Jewish thinkers like Moses Maimonides, as well as medieval Christian theologians.

    Lastly, I’d like to suggest that the term “laws of logic” is a misnomer. Laws can be set aside; logic cannot. It defines what is coherently thinkable, and hence constrains what is possible. A square circle is impossible because it is unthinkable, even to God.

  149. Onlookers:

    As you will know, after I spent a fair piece of time yesterday answering point to point on some key issues, I met blatant incivility from a circle of ATBC habituees who have come over to UD as a group to raise objections and sow dissent.

    Recall, I had occasion to expose not only the usual trifecta of distractive red herrings led away to caricatured strawmen soaked in ad hominems and set ablaze to cloud, confuse, polarise and poison the atmosphere, but outright slander and lying.

    Yes Ms’es KL and JR/MG (these two seem to be alter-egos), lying and slander and upholding one’s partner in lying and slander.

    I decided to give them a time out to calm down, only to see the bland statement just now, that they have been civil.

    On surveying heir remarks to me or others overnight, I do not find anything of any great merit that would warrant further engagement.

    Apart from a quick note that evidently JR does not understand that some of the most important calculations ever in science, especially physics, have been rough cut calculations. For just one instance, it was such a rough cut calculation that led Newton to see that he was on the right track with an inverse square law model for gravitation, being about 10% off from the expected answer.

    The rough cut calculation I have presented above, shows that to transform a chimp-like ape into a human being in 6 – 10 MY by undirected forces of chance variation and culling on differential reproductive success, would require the exploration of a config space that is spectacularly larger than the search capacity of the observed cosmos across its thermodynamically credible lifespan, much less the plains of East Africa. Such a supertask is not plausible as a reasonable explanation of a phenomenon.

    If we were derived from apes, it was by processes of design, which are on abundant empirical evidence, the only known causal factor capable of targetting and finding such deeply isolated islands of function. In short, the massive effort to try to identify a cluster of claimed ancestors from digging up fossils is unfortunately predicated on a massive begging of the truly material question: what is the credible source of FSCO/I.

    As I posed repeatedly yesterday,and as was just as repeatedly ducked, diverted form and tuned into an occasion for personal attacks, now amounting to the ultimate accusation in evolutionary materialist eyes: I am now being “outed” as a suspected creationist!

    If I were, it would make not a dime’s worth of difference to the material issue, which has again been diverted from and ducked.

    But, we now live in a Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals world, and closed minded ideologues championing politically correct causes see themselves as having a license to indulge in fallacies of distraction, caricature and personal attack; in this case rising to the level of slander and outright lying.

    Notice, no apologies for that; nowhere, the faintest trace of a retraction.

    Indeed, we meet the bland declaration that such tactics are a manifestation of civil conduct.

    For shame!

    So, we are back to the issues that came up the last time that evolutionary materialism captured the avant garde of a key culture, Athens.

    Let us listen, then, to what Plato warned from 2,350 years ago, on having witnessed the collapse of his native city as a great power.

    [ . . . ]

  150. Here is Plato, from The Laws, Bk X (which I notice evo mat advocates NEVER seriously respond to):

    _______________________

    >> [[The avant garde philosophers, teachers and artists c. 400 BC] say that the greatest and fairest things are the work of nature and of chance, the lesser of art [[ i.e. techne], which, receiving from nature the greater and primeval creations, moulds and fashions all those lesser works which are generally termed artificial . . . They say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny.)] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny; here, too, Plato hints at the career of Alcibiades], and not in legal subjection to them . . . >>
    ________________________

    Sobering words.

    After reading that, you may wish to examine the discussion here, on the issue of origins science in society in our own civilisation. Observe, how the tactics we are seeing above, are all too familiar from the history of the past 100 years, only, the trends and level of behaviour are getting worse and worse.

    Ponder, then, the collapse of Athens, and ask yourselves whether we should blithely hand over key institutions in our civilisation to those who are utterly amoral, radically relativist, ruthless and uncivil.

    If, when such are guests on a blog, they behave so uncivilly, disrespectfully and poisonously, with such an utter disregard to duties of care towards truth, warrant and fairness, how will they behave if ever they wield the levers of power?

    As a very wise teacher once warned: “He who is faithful/unfaithful over what is least . . . ”

    Do we really want to find out the hard way? Again . . . ?

    Let us think again.

    GEM of TKI

  151. PS: There is an astonishing demand above, that seems to not understand that a log-probability calculation on a surprise metric in the context of particular configs from a cluster of possibilities, is a transformation to an information metric.

    Log2 base information is measured in what units, again? (Hint: B–s, in some version or other) [Loge base? (Hint: N--s)]

    Now, let us compare a model metric proposed by Dembski, and look for a key clue right after the character string l-o-g:

    CHI = – log2[10^120 ·phi_S(T)·P(T|H)].

  152. F/N: In response to a rude, Torquemada style intended- to- be- “incriminating” demand from an uncivil participant, I note that I am without belief on the age of the earth.

    [The echo of a certain rhetorical talking point and question-begging definition beloved of the new atheists is quite deliberate . . . ]

    Of course, I am aware of radioactive estimates of 4.6 BY or so based on meteorite rocks etc, and the cases of other earth and lunar RA “dates” that run up to ~ 20 BY (which do not get the same headlines) as well as the limitations of the isochron system and other geochronological tools that are usually not sufficiently acknowledged.

    (I guess it helps to live on an island that has in 15 years seen as much volcanic activity and deposits as was previously dated as taking from c. 26 kYA to 10 kYA. Looking at a church steeple that you used to look up to maybe 40 ft up in the air, now sticking 3 ft out of the ground then a few years later completely covered, gives a bit of a different perspective on geo-processes.)

    It is reasonable to argue and hold provisionally that the Sun may be about 4.5 BY old, but we have no currently sound theory of planetary system formation, as is discussed here. In absence of a model that can give confident, testable results that fit well with all the key data [the angular momentum and wandering large planet issues as well as the strangely aligned orbits of extrasolar planets give serious pause . . . ], I report, and let you decide.

    My decision is this: INSUFFICIENT DATA AND INADEQUATE MODELS.

    (You will see that I do not dismiss what does not amount to “extraordinary proof” as “no evidence,” I cite it and its limitations. Where the evidence does not amount to adequate warrant for a strong view I note it. So, hereis the official position: I am a geochronological agnostic.)

    I have a much higher confidence that the age of the cosmos can reasonably be estimated at 10 – 20 BY, on Hubble expansion and background 2.7k blackbody radiation [with open cluster H-R diagrams coming up in corroborative support].

    Though, in all cases, I am uncomfortably aware of the force of the ancient Creationist point from Job, given that the distant past is unobserved and unobservable so our degree of warrant for claims about that past is considerably less than for things we can directly observe in our present.

    Such more or less direct observables include: the sphericity of the earth or its orbit around the sun, or the centre of our galaxy being in the direction of Sagittarius [that bulge in the Milky Way is a key clue . . . ], or that star luminosity-absolute magnitude plots (with the help of open clusters) show a pattern that suggests a particular model of stellar life cycles.

    But, here is Job’s apt warning, spoken in the voice of YHWH answering from the Storm Cloud:

    Job 38:1 . . . the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
    2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
    with words without knowledge?
    3 Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
    4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.

    5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
    6 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone-
    7 while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy? . . .

    We would do well to reflect on the degree of epistemic warrant we can have for beliefs about the distant, unobserved by us, and unobservable for us, past.

    And, it would be wise to adjust our approach to origins science and degree of certitude appropriately, in light of the limitations thereby revealed.

  153. F/N: I add to what SB has said on first principles of right reason and first warranted credible truths, this.

  154. —Jemima: “You might as well. It’s not as if anything I can say will change anything you think.”

    Your refusal to answer my questions isn’t a matter of your changing my mind but rather a reluctance to submit your own thoughts to scrutiny. In any case, the answer to the question that you would not answer is this: The principles of logic are non-material.

    —”Your God could change the unchangeable. How could it not?”

    Because unchangeable means unchangeable. A thing cannot be both changeable and unchangeable. Indeed, God is unchangeable. God cannot not be God. I mention this only because you insist on bringing God into the equation.

    —”In a universe where miracles are possible any law can be broken.”

    The laws of logic [let's call them principles to avoid confusion] are not like physical laws. A physical law could, in principle, be broken because God can change or superseded the physical laws he created. God cannot, however, change the laws of reason because they are manifestations or extensions of his unchangeable essence of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Being, and Love. The principles of right reason are a reflection of God as Truth.

    —”I’m sure your God could make Jupiter exist and not exist at the same time and that would be fully internally consistent with whatever other arbitrary rules your God might designer to be followed. Or not, as your God prefers.”

    No, God cannot violate his own essence of Truth and be changeable. The principles of right reason are not arbitrary. The principle of causality, by the way, is another component of these principles. If they were changeable, humans’ couldn’t think. This, by the way, is why I almost never discuss advanced science with Darwinists. What is the point of searching for causes with irrational people who think some events are uncaused? What is the point of providing rational arguments to irrational people to those who reject reason’s principles?

    —”Then the temperature of a gas seems not to be composed of matter or energy! How very strange!”

    Why is it strange? The temperature of gas is a measurement. A material physical thermometer is not the same as the immaterial measurement that it provides.

    —”What about the bemprature of a gas? That is the temperature of a gas divided by two? Does that exist? Or have I made it up? Or does it not matter?”

    Of course it exists. It exists as a non-material, scientific measurement. It is a way of measuring how hot or how cold something is. Did you think that the description of “hot” or “how hot? is composed of molecules.

    —”Also cemptrature. Temperature of a gas doubled. Wow, inventing “laws” not composed of matter or energy is easy! Who’da thunkit.”

    If you want to actually think about what you are saying, just ask yourself how much mass and energy are contained in the words, “25 degrees centigrade.” The answer, again, is none. As the temperature increases, the molecules move faster. The molecules are manifestations of a changing material reality; the description of their accelerated movement is not.

  155. 155

    JR,

    Thank you for proving my point in such detail.

    Dewey Defeats Truman

    They key word is “converted” … We translate.

    A powerful distinction, I am sure. If someone should happen to say “please covert this English into Spanish”, you’d have every right to think they’d gone mad.

    Take the German word “schadenfreude” and “convert” it into DNA.

    From #134: “You will be left to object and obfuscate over inconsequential examples which are meaningless to the point. Yet I do realize that these objections give you a rhetorical respite from the facts, and therefore a path to continued denial. You are welcome to pat yourself on the back, at the expense of conflating a coding system with the information it contains. But do understand, these games have all been played here before. The truth, it seems, doesn’t matter to you. Or at least, that was the common denominator the last time someone came to UD and asked to have the informational content of DNA converted into French.”

  156. 156

    JR,

    Upright
    We have no such experience where symbols are arranged in a way to convey meaning?

    Interesting you left out the next sentence, vital to context.
    You, and we, in fact have no such experence. We have not observed such a system arise from a singular source.

    So tell me Upright, how many times have you seen a complete genome be created then? That was the point of reference and that we what we have never observed. You know it and I know it.

    I will overlook the sheer stupidity of implying that anyone has claimed to have seen a genome being created. Such comments have the inescapable mark of grasping for something to say in order to say anything at all.

    The “point of reference” is that we have not observed digital linear symbol systems arise by any means other than an act of volition. That is just the kind of observation an investigator would make if they encountered a digital linear symbol system of unknown origin. You are quite obviously desperate to plop down the origin of DNA as evidence of how such a symbol system could arise other than by an act of volition. It’s a logical fallacy a fifth-grader could pick up on, but I am unable to stop you from doing so.

    Defense Attorney: “How do you know my client killed Mr. Sanders?”

    County Prosecutor: “Because Mr. Sanders in dead”

  157. 157

    Indium, I am trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Therefore, by your logic, we would have to conclude that the sun…

    If you are going to use analogies to make a point, please make sure that the analogies are analogous. A nuclear reactor is not a Sun. On the other hand, if a) we had the capacity to create the Sun, and b) all the Suns we had ever seen were Suns which we created, and c) we had never seen a Sun that we did not create, and d) we came upon a Sun that was not our creation, then e) we would then have every right to wonder if it were not created by someone else.

    So, what is the problem with your “inference”: You really consider only one source of such codes (humans) and act as if you would have a good enough sample size for the an inference.

    Good enough sample size? A sample of 100% is insufficient? Give me an example of a linear digital code where you know it did not arise by an act of volition, and I will be happy to include it in the sample.

    On the other hand the standard scientific way to deal with this would be to actively search for examples that disprove your theory or generalization.

    If there were any counter-examples available, your side would have brought them up long ago. To the very best of anyone’s knowledge (which includes the entirety of everything that anyone has ever known) such examples do not exist. Now let me ask you a question: If one cannot falsify a logical inference (which can be immediately falsifiable by a single counter-example), and given that the remaining argument remains logical, does this situation strengthen the inference or invalidate it?

    Since DNA is obviously a *possible* counterargument to the generalization, no real scientist would make it.

    I am not trying to imply Jemima is a “real scientist” by any means, but you might want to let her know that DNA cannot be used as a counter-example.

    You on the other neglect the possibility that the genetic code arose by natural means at the very beginning of the argument just to be able to do the inference.

    I did nothing of the sort; I simply acknowledged the evidence as it is. On the other hand, allow me to provide some perspective. Virtually the entire scientific enterprise is welded to the theory that Life is the product f a random event in chemical history. I am not sure why I am obligated to acknowledge a possibility where none is supported by the evidence, particularly when confronting advocates who have perfected an utter refusal to acknowledge that same evidence. Perhaps you can explain that to me. Do you perceive it as a showing of even-handedness? If so, I can only say that I will welcome that even-handedness from your side at anytime, should it ever arise. Frankly, I am more interested in the evidence itself. “Your Honor, the Prosecution has submitted that my client strangled Mr. Sanders to death with his bare hands. Yet due to a tragic accident, I have shown that my client has no hands, because he has no arms. I have further shown that he was on his own deathbed, sick from Lime disease while traveling in South America and passed away three months before the time of the murder – but I suppose it’s possible”

    This is circular logic. It´s like saying that the sun doesn´t count as an example of natural nuclear fusions since all examples we know of are all started by humans.

    It is not circular logic to observe that the only cause known for the existence of a linear sequence of symbolic representations is an act of volition. You need to move off your Sun analogy; it just doesn’t work. Firstly, we didn’t start all examples of nuclear fusion. Secondly, the origin of the sun is well understood within the framework of physical law, the natural origin of a linear digital symbol system is nowhere near it. That is the issue, all the evidence points in the other direction.

    Cheers…

  158. UB:

    I’se be shakin’ muh poor head.

    We have observed the creation of billions of instances of complex [>1,000 bit] linear symbol based digital strings, in Books, on the Internet, etc.

    It is generally known that in each case where we know the cause directly, it is intelligent. Second to this, we know that the observed cosmos, acting as a blind search on chance plus necessity, could not sample as much as 1 in 10^150 of the number of possibilities for 1,000 bits, or 143 ASCII characters, or on average ~ 18 words if the text is typical English.

    We have both empirical and analytical grounds for the induction that FSCI is a reliable sign of such intelligent design.

    So, we have every epistemic right to see that the best current explanation for DNA being a digital, functionally specific, complex code based entity, is that it is designed. To overturn this inference, one would have the need to bring up a counter example.

    None is forthcoming, but we see every artifice to avoid the weight of the evidence.

    As to being able to use DNA to write messages in German etc, since the DNA stringing chemistry is independent of the order of bases, that is feasible, simply select enough 4-state elements to be able to do a standard code for the letters, numerals and other symbols in German, then string away. (It is by clustering and assigning meanings to bit configs that binary digital systems are used to represent text, colours in arrays on a screen, sounds, etc etc. Further to this, any data structure can be composed in the end from strings of suitably coded, structured digits; that is how a computer memory works. The question was either shockingly ill-informed or intended to exploit the general lack of awareness of the specifics of how digital technologies work.)

    The task is entirely feasible in principle, though currently it would be expensive to do in practice.

    In fact, didn’t Venter do something like this a few years back to sign either DNA or protein strings he had made, admittedly in English?

    The way that the issues are being responded to is revealing on the true balance on the merits.

    The attempt to pretend that a provisional but empirically reliable inference to best explanation is a circular argument is especially and sadly revealing.

    GEM of TKI

  159. to add to the sun analogy, I hold the sun, (and all ‘suns’) to be designed by God, and I am in good company in that observation,,,

    carbon is found to be the only element from which life in this universe may be built. Carbon and other ‘heavy’ elements also provides one, of several, reasons why the universe must be as old and as large as it is. ‘Heavy’ elements did not form in the Big Bang. Thus, they had to be synthesized in stars and exploded into space before they were available to form a planet on which carbon-based life could exist. Carbon is the first of the ‘heavy’ elements that is exclusively formed in the interiors of stars. All the elements below carbon were exclusively, or semi-exclusively, formed within the Big Bang of the universe. The delicate balance at which carbon is synthesized in stars is truly a work of art. Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), a famed astrophysicist, is the scientist who established the nucleo-synthesis of heavier elements within stars as mathematically valid in 1946. Soon after Sir Fred discovered the stunning precision with which carbon is synthesized in stars he stated:

    “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”

    God’s Creation – The Miracle Of Carbon & Water – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4193487

    further notes:

    For the first 400,000 years of our universe’s expansion, the universe was a seething maelstrom of energy and sub-atomic particles. This maelstrom was so hot, that sub-atomic particles trying to form into atoms would have been blasted apart instantly, and so dense, light could not travel more than a short distance before being absorbed. If you could somehow live long enough to look around in such conditions, you would see nothing but brilliant white light in all directions. When the cosmos was about 400,000 years old, it had cooled to about the temperature of the surface of the sun. The last light from the “Big Bang” shone forth at that time. This “light” is still detectable today as the Cosmic Background Radiation.
    This 400,000 year old “baby” universe entered into a period of darkness. When the dark age of the universe began, the cosmos was a formless sea of particles. By the time the dark age ended, a couple of hundred million years later, the universe lit up again by the light of some of the galaxies and stars that had been formed during this dark era. It was during the dark age of the universe that the heavier chemical elements necessary for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and most of the rest, were first forged, by nuclear fusion inside the stars, out of the universe’s primordial hydrogen and helium.
    It was also during this dark period of the universe the great structures of the modern universe were first forged. Super-clusters, of thousands of galaxies stretching across millions of light years, had their foundations laid in the dark age of the universe. During this time the infamous “missing dark matter”, was exerting more gravity in some areas than in other areas; drawing in hydrogen and helium gas, causing the formation of mega-stars. These mega-stars were massive, weighing in at 20 to more than 100 times the mass of the sun. The crushing pressure at their cores made them burn through their fuel in only a million years. It was here, in these short lived mega-stars under these crushing pressures, the chemical elements necessary for life were first forged out of the hydrogen and helium. The reason astronomers can’t see the light from these first mega-stars, during this dark era of the universe’s early history, is because the mega-stars were shrouded in thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas. These thick clouds prevented the mega-stars from spreading their light through the cosmos as they forged the elements necessary for future life to exist on earth. After about 200 million years, the end of the dark age came to the cosmos. The universe was finally expansive enough to allow the dispersion of the thick hydrogen and helium “clouds”. With the continued expansion of the universe, the light, of normal stars and dwarf galaxies, was finally able to shine through the thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas, bringing the dark age to a close. (How The Stars Were Born – Michael D. Lemonick)
    http://www.time.com/time/magaz.....-2,00.html

    Job 38:4-11
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched a line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed my limit for it, and set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!”

    History of The Universe Timeline- Graph Image
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/.....meline.jpg

    As a sidelight to this, every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. The three most abundant elements in the human body, Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, ‘just so happen’ to be the most abundant elements in the universe, save for helium which is inert. A truly amazing coincidence that strongly implies ‘the universe had us in mind all along’. Even uranium the last naturally occurring element on the period table of elements is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth’s crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature’s Destiny). These following articles and videos give a bit deeper insight into the crucial role that individual elements play in allowing life:

    The Elements: Forged in Stars – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861

    Michael Denton – We Are Stardust – Uncanny Balance Of The Elements – Fred Hoyle Atheist to Deist/Theist – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003877

    The Role of Elements in Life Processes
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php

    Periodic Table – Interactive web page for each element
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/MIIperiodicChart.html

  160. PS: maybe, we need to remind ourselves of Newton in Optics, Query 31:

    ____________

    >> As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For Hypotheses [N means metaphysical speculations] are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy. And although the arguing from Experiments and Observations by Induction be no Demonstration of general Conclusions; yet it is the best way of arguing which the Nature of Things admits of, and may be looked upon as so much the stronger, by how much the Induction is more general. And if no Exception occur from Phaenomena, the Conclusion may be pronounced generally. But if at any time afterwards any Exception shall occur from Experiments, it may then begin to be pronounced with such Exceptions as occur. By this way of Analysis we may proceed from Compounds to Ingredients, and from Motions to the Forces producing them; and in general, from Effects to their Causes, and from particular Causes to more general ones, till the Argument end in the most general. This is the Method of Analysis: And the Synthesis consists in assuming the Causes discover’d, and establish’d as Principles, and by them explaining the Phaenomena proceeding from them, and proving the Explanations. >>
    ______________

    Shakin me head . . .

    GEM of TKI

  161. Jemima says no one has seen a genome come into existence by a singular source or whatever. She should tell that to Craig Venter!
    He’s the guy who created an artificial genome and implanted it into a bacteria! I believe he has even synthesized eukariotic chromosomes. I guess the predicted counterargument would be,”Aha, See! You dont need the supernatural to create life!”
    Yeah, maybe not but you do need intelligent molecular engineering.
    Or do you take the fact that a scientist can synthesize complex biomolecules as proof that the random forces of nature can accomplish the same thing?
    Hey look, I can make a paper airplane, therefore nature can too!

  162. F/N: Re IDC, 56:

    I’m intrigued. Do you use any non-materialist presumptions, techniques, evidences, methods or materials in your home discipline?

    On skimming back, this is worth a specific response (as well as highlighting the implicit acceptance of worldviews censorship on science).

    Physicists are all over the worldviews map, and the sort of censoring constraint that a priori materialism would impose would not be/is not tolerated. If you doubt me, consider the sort of lively discussions that have gone on over the implications of cosmological finetuning.

    Let me cite Sir Fred Hoyle, who was notoriously an atheist/agnostic:

    From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.Cited, Bradley, in "Is There Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God? How the Recent Discoveries Support a Designed Universe".]

    And again:

    I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [["The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]

    GEM of TKI

    PS: As I looked back above I could not but notice the brazen bluff that evolutionary materialistic frames had explained the fossils in general and the ape to man transition in particular.

    You would never have realised from the declarations and fulminations that there is no materialistic answer to the problem of generating complex functional organisation and information on chance plus necessity, nor that the DOMINANT feature of the fossil record is sudden appearance, stasis, and disappearance or continuity into the modern world. Likewise, you would never know that there have been persistent problems with ape to man fossil claims and claimed evolutionary trees. Neither would you be able to learn that the design theory [recall, Behe accepts universal common descent!] is entirely consistent with not only microevo — young earth creationism is compatible with that — but also a natural history of common descent.

    In short the strawman misrepresentation above is that design theory is equivalent to young earth creationism, which in the teeth of ever so many specific corrections over so many years, is a case of failure of basic duty to truthfulness and fairness.

    As to the personal attsacks on me as being evasive and failing to address the main issues, in fact I highlighted the central issue, the origin of FSCI, as well as pointing out the section of my always linked on the general issues on the fossil record. As well, I pointed out two course modules in which I specifically took up the general issue of origin of man and the key issues there [including origin of a credible mind, which exposes an inescapable self-contradiction in evolutionary materialism] and the persistent problems with key icons of human and more general evolution.

    But ti seems that willful strawman misrepresentations in the teeth of evidence, correction and protest — to the point that in at least some cases we are now plainly dealing with LYING — are the standard stock in trade of today’s evolutionary materialism advocates.

    One hopes for a change of heart and behaviour on their part.

  163. Upright

    A nuclear reactor is not a Sun.

    And DNA translated in the cell is not a computer program. In any case, I am talking about nuclear fusion, and the only ones we directly observe are man made. Therefore the analogy is valid as it directly maps to your points a-e.
    BTW, you are part of a small minority of people who see a fundamental difference between what we know about the inner workings of the sun and what we know about evolution. Out of interest, since you seem to accept what we know about the sun, do you agree that as far as we know, the sun is several billion years old and the earth too?

    Good enough sample size? A sample of 100% is insufficient?

    You only have humans creating digital codes. Introducing the “act of volition” just adds a layer of abstraction that is not needed. It would be needed if you had other examples in addition to humans. But you don´t have any. Your sample size and the number of possible answers to the question “Where can digital codes come from?” don´t increase when you observe human-originated code multiple times.

    Many researchers seem to think that there are possible models for the origin of the genetic code.

    One example from Wikipedia:
    Yarus, M./Widmann, J.J./Knight, R. (2009) RNA–Amino Acid Binding: A Stereochemical Era for the Genetic Code. J Mol Evol 69, 406–429

    I know, at the moment (and maybe forever) this is more or less a very sophisticated speculation. But you can´t so easily dismiss it just because the only other codes you know have been invented by humans.

  164. I should probably make one additional point. While it is true that God can, if he chooses to, change his physical laws, [God is not bound by his own laws] there is no reason to believe that a miracle must reflect that kind of change. On the contrary. A miracle may simply be something that God does over and above the laws he has created–something that the laws themselves do not have the capacity to produce.

  165. F/N: Some links for reference and correction of some of the more misleading rhetorical talking points used by evolutionary materialist advocates above:

    1: The UD Weak Argument correctives address several points on design theory and evolution, especially cf points 5 – 6 on ID and Creationism and 9 – 10 on common descent and design theory. (AFTER THIS, FOR GOOD REASON, I WILL HAVE TO CONSIDER ANY ONE IN THIS THREAD WHO KNOWINGLY & INSISTENTLY CONTINUES TO USE THE ID = [YOUNG EARTH] CREATIONISM SMEAR, A WILLFUL DECEIVER AND SLANDERER, AKA A LIAR. If you know but willfully suppress, resist, deny and distort or oppose the truth, that is what you, unfortunately, are.)

    2: My always linked B/N Sec C, on the general pattern of fossil evidence in the context of the body plan emergence challenge, and the requirement of FSCI to explain novel body plans starting with the Cambrian life revolution. Kindly note as well the cite from Loennig, on how the postulate of irreducible complexity easily accounts for the noted dominant pattern of the fossils. (And, I give you Gould on the fact that his is indeed the dominant pattern. Given that Gould was a founder of Punctuated Equilibria as an attempt to account for that pattern, those who have falsely accused me of quotemining with no sound evidence for that and every evidence to the contrary are, unfortunately, lying in order to slander and to suppress recognition of the truth.)

    3: I have specifically addressed the origin of man in the IOSE course here. Observe in particular the issue of the hard problem of consciousness and the broader problem of accounting for both mind and morality on evolutionary materialistic premises. In these cases, we actually reach reductions to absurdity, so the bold declarations of having accounted for the origin of man on fossil studies are outright false to the point of absurdity. At most — and there are reasonable questions on a long and sometimes sordid history of failed icons of human evolution — stages in the physical derivation of man’s body may have been identified, but without any effective accounting for precisely the most important things that make us human: mindedness and moral government. Until evolutionary materialists can soundly account for these, they are simply bluffing and diverting from critical failures of their theories and assumptions.

    4: In the module of the IOSE on the origin of body plan biodiversity, having paused to speak to the embryogenetic challenge and the the first major issue is the origin of functionally specific complex information and associated organisation in new body plans, there is an exploration of key icons of evolution, including classical ape men at vii, and the latest icons,Ida and Ardi at xvii.

    [ . . . ]

  166. 5: For those wondering about some of the troubles with fossil man reconstructions and the ways in which a priori materialism biases findings, the sad tale of KNM-ER 1470 as summarised by Lubenow [an Anthropologist, BTW], will make for disturbing but important reading. (BTW, in the book he recounts how when in the 80′s the actual fossils were brought together for a grand get together, the display foam moulds prepared from the plaster etc casts usually used by anthropologists in their studies, did not fit in some key cases. It was suggested that one possibility for why the Piltdown fraud went undetected for so long was that the use of casts made the filed down teeth less evident, but a main factor was that the Anthropologists were seeing what they expected to see.)

    6: The vexed — and unanswered — issue of the origin of human language is worth a point all to itself. This is particularly ironic, as the evo mat advocates blandly declaring above that all has been answered, have to use the very vehicle of language that belies their bluff, to make their confident declaration.

    7: of course there is the question of the timeline that is ever so confidently presented. The KNM-ER 1470 case will highlight some significant and troubling concerns on how dates presented to the public or the student as confidently established “facts” are arrived at, but the wider problems with geodating that have long since led me to be a geochronology agnostic, may initially be explored here. Bluntly put, the remote past of origins is beyond our experience and observation, so we must be duly humble and tentative about our model timelines. And, we should not hide the truth about weaknesses, circularities in the logic of methods, and limitations, from the public and students.

    8: This leads to the final point. Science should be about seeking the truth about our world in light of observation and reasonable analysis and testing, not providing a propaganda arm for the worldview of materialism. Accordingly, we need to restore science from the imposition of a priori materialism, and the appendix to the IOSE here is an initial suggestion for that.

    GEM of TKI

  167. F/N: I find it amazing that Indium is still resisting the generally recognised point that the DNA code is just that, a digital [= discrete-state], algorithmic [step by step execution] code implemented in the ribosome. That tells us just how strongly that evidence points to design as best explanation. Onlookers, kindly cf here (don’t miss out the video and also observe the regulatory circuits that control gene expression).

  168. 168
    JemimaRacktouey

    Upright,

    The entire dictionary in German, French, and English could be contained within genetic code, and be converted back out again.

    Yet what relevance does that have, any coding system we invent can do that. If as you say later I’ve conflated the coding system with the information why does it matter so much that the information has meaning? I think it’s because if you realize this awesome coding system encodes essentially gibberish it stops looking quite so good as an ID argument.

    Yet I do realize that these objections give you a rhetorical respite from the facts, and therefore a path to continued denial. You are welcome to pat yourself on the back, at the expense of conflating a coding system with the information it contains.

    Somehow you think this proves something.

    Yes, you can store any sequence. So what. You can digitally code arbitrary information in any system that supports such.

    And so? Therefore ID? Therefore the digitally coded information we see must have been designed? No.

    Now, if you can rig a ribosome that can process these new rules and symbols, and implement them into the genetic system, you will get the same functional result as with the original nucleic bases.

    But nothing has changed.

    Except for one critical thing. Your representation of the meaning of the symbols has changed.

    The ribosome does not process these new rules and symbols! It processes chemicals.

    A living creature would not result from a set of DNA like this:

    “das ist offensichtlich”,“are you impressed”

    No, if your “coding system” really held “symbolic” information you’d be able to translate it into English and it’d explain how to build organisms.

    The only place:

    “das ist offensichtlich” = serine

    is true is in your mind. It makes no difference to the system processing the chemical shapes.

    You original claim was:

    ID adherents believe that the encoded mapping of discrete nucleotides to discrete amino acids in the translation of DNA is an example of a system using symbolic representation (presented in a linear digital format).

    It’s a chemical process. One that follows rules. And it is symbolic representation. But the symbols used don’t encode concepts. They were not put there by a mind like any we know.

    In our universal experience, the use of symbols in such a system arises from a singular source – that is, from a deliberate act of volition.

    But don’t you see, they are not “symbols”. They have no meaning outside of their direct implementation. Their interaction with other chemicals. You might as well say that the puddle-ground interface we see only arises from a deliberate act of volition from a rain cloud.

    Do you have any evidence of symbolic representation arising by any other means?

    A drawing on a cave wall of a skull is a symbol. We give it meaning. It might mean danger, it might just be a drawing.

    Yet the concept of “danger” is not held within the symbol. The data held in DNA has no meaning outside of it’s evolved purpose. Outside of how it reacts when put in certain conditions and mechanical constraints.

    You are welcome to pat yourself on the back, at the expense of conflating a coding system with the information it contains.

    The origin of “coding” systems has a long history.

    Information is encoded into natural systems all day every day. Some systems are simple, some are complex. Some environmental information is even encoded in living organisms. Such as did it rain too much to survive one year?

    And yet the “information” that DNA contains cannot be quantified using CSI.

    Why is that Upright? If this “information” has meaning outside of a ad-hoc network of relationships that evolved over millions of years then you should be able to tease it out. Measure it. Find the useful bits. Find the junk. Break it up into “this information is about blood, this is about bones”. Like a computer program. The computer program that you claim DNA is. Except it’s not.

    For all your confident statements you’ve moved the state of the art on not a whit.

  169. 169
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    We have observed the creation of billions of instances of complex [>1,000 bit] linear symbol based digital strings, in Books, on the Internet, etc.

    Yet the pattern on a snail or the record of a million years of tidal activity in a varve encodes an equally useful amount of information. Perhaps not so relevant to us, but no different from a record of births I might find on the internet, which is of course a designed artifact.

    In fact, it’s quite possible that a varve encoding many seasons worth of information would have more FSCI then a string found on the internet such as a birth certificate.

    KF, would you agree with that?

  170. JR:

    Re: the pattern on a snail or the record of a million years of tidal activity in a varve encodes an equally useful amount of information.

    You have here willfully equivocated the term, “encodes.”

    You know or should know that codes are specifically symbolic, involving rules and meanings as an inherent component of their expression. AmHD:

    code (kd)
    n. . . . 3. a. A system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages.
    b. A system of symbols, letters, or words given certain arbitrary meanings, used for transmitting messages requiring secrecy or brevity.
    4. A system of symbols and rules used to represent instructions to a computer; a computer program.
    5. Genetics The genetic code . . .

    Wiki:

    The genetic code is the set of rules by which information encoded in genetic material (DNA or mRNA sequences) is translated into proteins (amino acid sequences) by living cells. The code defines a mapping between tri-nucleotide sequences, called codons, and amino acids. With some exceptions,[1] a triplet codon in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid . . . .

    The genome of an organism is inscribed in DNA, or in the case of some viruses, RNA. The portion of the genome that codes for a protein or an RNA is called a gene. Those genes that code for proteins are composed of tri-nucleotide units called codons, each coding for a single amino acid. Each nucleotide sub-unit consists of a phosphate, deoxyribose sugar and one of the 4 nitrogenous nucleobases. The purine bases adenine (A) and guanine (G) are larger and consist of two aromatic rings. The pyrimidine bases cytosine (C) and thymine (T) are smaller and consist of only one aromatic ring. In the double-helix configuration, two strands of DNA are joined to each other by hydrogen bonds in an arrangement known as base pairing. These bonds almost always form between an adenine base on one strand and a thymine on the other strand and between a cytosine base on one strand and a guanine base on the other. This means that the number of A and T residues will be the same in a given double helix, as will the number of G and C residues.[8]:102–117 In RNA, thymine (T) is replaced by uracil (U), and the deoxyribose is substituted by ribose.[8]:127

    Each protein-coding gene is transcribed into a template molecule of the related polymer RNA, known as messenger RNA or mRNA. This, in turn, is translated on the ribosome into an amino acid chain or polypeptide.[8]:Chp 12 The process of translation requires transfer RNAs specific for individual amino acids with the amino acids covalently attached to them, guanosine triphosphate as an energy source, and a number of translation factors. tRNAs have anticodons complementary to the codons in mRNA and can be “charged” covalently with amino acids at their 3′ terminal CCA ends. Individual tRNAs are charged with specific amino acids by enzymes known as aminoacyl tRNA synthetases, which have high specificity for both their cognate amino acids and tRNAs. The high specificity of these enzymes is a major reason why the fidelity of protein translation is maintained.[8]:464–469

    There are 4^³ = 64 different codon combinations possible with a triplet codon of three nucleotides; all 64 codons are assigned for either amino acids or stop signals during translation.

    By utter contrast, the varves on a beach [etc] — and BTW we did not observe a million years: “were you there?” [If not, do not "darken counsel" by spewing forth falsely confident words on certitude without sound warrant on observation as a witness and/or tested, credible record . . . so, have the humility to acknowledge the limitations and circularities involved in your timeline models . . . ] — are the result of a physical dynamic process of forces and materials; without symbolic representation as any component of the creation of the marks.

    You INTERPRET the marks on the beach on various models of those dynamics, and in your case involving assumptions that you use to infer a timeline. Coded symbolic information does not emerge until it has been processed by the semiotic agent in the form of the judging, measuring, counting, calculating, recording and analysing observer.

    Let me contrast Crick in his March 19, 1953 letter to his son Michael; on his then recent discovery of the structure and significance of the DNA molecular structure:

    Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another) . . .

    DNA is encoded, and when the tRNA “taxi” anticodon matches the codon sequence in the ribosome, the attached amino acid is on the opposite end of the tRNA. In turn the tRNA acts as a position-arm device with the AA loaded into the tool tip end. It is nudged to “click” into place in the emerging AA chain for a coded for protein.

    Onward, after a stop codon triggers algorithmic halting — itself a significant issue — the released primary structure protein folds to take the proper shape which allows it to fulfill its biological function. There is no simple or direct chain of dynamical linkages from the code in the DNA or even the RNA to the structure and function of the resulting protein. Symbolisation on an instructional code in the form of a discrete state string data structure is inherent to the functionality of DNA.

    All of this, you know, or should have known for days now for the price of a simple click on a hyperlink or two. So, your remarks above have to be seen as willfully misleading.

    Sorry if that is a bit direct, but that is where you have now put yourself, in the company of a Barbara Forrest.

    The very fact that you so stoutly resist plain and easily accessible facts of the working of DNA, is telling on the import of those facts. Especially, as regards the coded, functionally specific complex information involved.

    Surely, you can do better.

    GEM of TKI

  171. PS: Varves on a beach of course are not functionally specific</b. They may be complex but any particular outcome would be as real or valid as any other; they reflect the dynamics as they happened to be to form them, but that is all; they do not sit on isolated islands of function in large configuration spaces; by direct contrast to text in posts in this thread or protein folds or the DNA that codes for functional proteins.

    Your rhetoric above is by now, sadly, a willful twisting of the meaning of functionally specific complex information, for which you have had any number of chances to clarify the meaning, if you were interested in accuracy and fairness, rather than making strawmannish rhetorical deflective talking points.

  172. notes on the coding of DNA:

    Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.
    Bill Gates, The Road Ahead, 1996, p. 188

    Even the leading “New Atheist” in the world, Richard Dawkins, agrees that DNA functions exactly like digital code:

    Richard Dawkins Opens Mouth; Inserts Foot – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    The Coding Found In DNA Surpasses Man’s Ability To Code – Stephen Meyer – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050638

    DNA – Evolution Vs. Polyfuctionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4614519/

    DNA – Poly-Functional Complexity equals Poly-Constrained Complexity
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....Zmd2emZncQ

    Do you believe Richard Dawkins exists?
    Excerpt: DNA is the best information storage mechanism known to man. A single pinhead of DNA contains as much information as could be stored on 2 million two-terabyte hard drives.

    Bill Gates, in recognizing the superiority found in Genetic Coding compared to the best computer coding we now have, has now funded research into this area:

    Welcome to CoSBi – (Computational and Systems Biology)
    Excerpt: Biological systems are the most parallel systems ever studied and we hope to use our better understanding of how living systems handle information to design new computational paradigms, programming languages and software development environments. The net result would be the design and implementation of better applications firmly grounded on new computational, massively parallel paradigms in many different areas.
    http://www.cosbi.eu/index.php/.....rticle/171

    Yet the DNA code is not even reducible to the laws of physics or chemistry:

    Life’s Irreducible Structure
    Excerpt: “Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of inanimate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry.” Michael Polanyi – Hungarian polymath – 1968 – Science (Vol. 160. no. 3834, pp. 1308 – 1312)

    “an attempt to explain the formation of the genetic code from the chemical components of DNA… is comparable to the assumption that the text of a book originates from the paper molecules on which the sentences appear, and not from any external source of information.”
    Dr. Wilder-Smith

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: “A monstrous ravine runs through presumed objective reality. It is the great divide between physicality and formalism. On the one side of this Grand Canyon lies everything that can be explained by the chance and necessity of physicodynamics. On the other side lies those phenomena than can only be explained by formal choice contingency and decision theory—the ability to choose with intent what aspects of ontological being will be preferred, pursued, selected, rearranged, integrated, organized, preserved, and used. Physical dynamics includes spontaneous non linear phenomena, but not our formal applied-science called “non linear dynamics”(i.e. language,information).

    i.e. There are no physical or chemical forces between the nucleotides along the linear axis of DNA (where the information is) that causes the sequence of nucleotides to exist as they do. In fact as far as the foundational laws of the universe are concerned the DNA molecule doesn’t even have to exist at all.

    Judge Rules DNA is Unique (and not patentable) Because it Carries Functional Information – March 2010
    “Today the idea that DNA carries genetic information in its long chain of nucleotides is so fundamental to biological thought that it is sometimes difficult to realize the enormous intellectual gap that it filled…. DNA is relatively inert chemically.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....formation/

    Stephen Meyer is interviewed about the “information problem” in DNA, Signature in the Cell – video
    http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnne.....f?aid=8497

    The DNA Enigma – The Ultimate Chicken and Egg Problem – Chris Ashcraft – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5542033/

    Every Bit Digital DNA’s Programming Really Bugs Some ID Critics – March 2010
    Excerpt: In 2003 renowned biologist Leroy Hood and biotech guru David Galas authored a review article in the world’s leading scientific journal, Nature, titled, “The digital code of DNA.”,,, MIT Professor of Mechanical Engineering Seth Lloyd (no friend of ID) likewise eloquently explains why DNA has a “digital” nature: “It’s been known since the structure of DNA was elucidated that DNA is very digital. There are four possible base pairs per site, two bits per site, three and a half billion sites, seven billion bits of information in the human DNA. There’s a very recognizable digital code of the kind that electrical engineers rediscovered in the 1950s that maps the codes for sequences of DNA onto expressions of proteins.”
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....uskin2.php

  173. 173

    It’s a chemical process. One that follows rules. And it is symbolic representation. But the symbols used don’t encode concepts. They were not put there by a mind like any we know.

    There is no chemical process that creates the code to begin with. The code may determine a process after it is coded, but that’s not the question at hand.

  174. So JR at 145 says: Even the “laws of logic” could be changed by your God. How could it be otherwise?”

    Although Upright brilliantly replied, JR still refuses to get it. I am certain that I know why. The following questions for JR will demonstrate my claim.

    1. How do you know something is true?
    2. How would others know something is true?
    3. If there are opposing truth claims, how would one judge which one was true?

    Then we will get somewhere.

  175. Onlookers:

    TGP is right.

    Until there is a willingness to seek and be shaped by warranted, credible truth in the light of first principles of right reason, there can be no progress in discussion. And so, when we see the sort of willful twisting of words and persistent, un-apologised-for slandering of persons by evo mat advocates as has happened above, we must no longer be naive.

    Let us therefore pay attention to Plato’s grim warning from the last time around that Evo Mat views captured the avant garde of a major culture [apart from of course the sad fate of the countries put in the grips of Marxism], and — through impact on Alcibiades and co — helped lead to its collapse.

    Yes, evolutionary materialism is nothing new, and the sort of behaviour we see above — and in the fever swamps full of angry ideological mosquitoes — is exactly what we should expect and must be prepared to recognise and counter. At least, if we care to have a serious discussion of serious matters, in a respectful dialogue where we work together towards finding out the truth as nearly as we can.

    Here, then, is Plato, in The Laws, Bk X (and see how he goes on to correct the error based on a cosmological design inference, as I excerpt and discuss in the IOSE course, here):

    _______________

    >> [[The avant garde philosophers, teachers and artists c. 400 BC] say that the greatest and fairest things are the work of nature [phusis, necessity] and of chance, the lesser of art [[ i.e. techne], which, receiving from nature the greater and primeval creations, moulds and fashions all those lesser works which are generally termed artificial . . . They say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them [i.e the mechanical forces of nature]-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [evo mat, c 400 BC] . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding democratic liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny.)] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny; here, too, Plato hints at the career of Alcibiades], and not in legal subjection to them . . . >>
    ________________

    It is not a coincidence that across the months that I have repeatedly drawn attention to this grim warning from the past, evo mat advocates have been studiously silent. But the precise sort of amoral factionism that Plato predicted is quite evident in the thread above.

    We cannot say that we — as a civilisaiton now in mortal danger of internal collapse at the hands of amoral factions from the fever swamps infected with Alinski’s subversive and explicitly amoral rules for radicals — have not been warned in adequate time about what we are dealing with. After all, Plato wrote 2,350 years ago.

    (BTW, I find it highly interesting that until I came across this almost by accident, I have never seen this telling analysis discussed anywhere. Frankly, I am now suspicious about that.)

    And so, to “yon straight path . . . “

    GEM of TKI

  176. F/N: It is worth pausing to discuss varves, so that we can see why there is good reason to create a school of geochronological agnosticism, to replace falsely confident declarations of knowing the deep unobserved, unobservable past. (You will recall from 152 above, my declaration in answer to Torquemada-style demands for self-incrimination.)

    If one goes to the usual first references, one will see that varves are DEFINED and presented to us, by the august collective authority of the experts, as though they were known to be annual somewhat cyclical deposits of lakes or the like, potentially going across hundreds or more thousands of years.

    In fact, all that we actually observe are banded deposits forming micro-strata. There are no observations or credible records of a continual, stable pattern of dynamics that allow us to extrapolate to the deep and unobserved past with confidence. And in fact, shocker: varves were apparently used to calibrate C14 dates, so we see stratigraphy intruding circularity into the C14 radiodating that was supposedly independent and “absolute.” Sort of like how index fossils premised on the assumption of evolution keep on cropping up in most inconvenient dating contexts (and in the case of KNM-ER 1470 determining the date over the various radioactive methods).

    So, it should be no surprise to see Wiki making this little admission against interest deep in its article on the matter:

    1940 saw the publication of a now classic scientific paper by De Geer, the Geochronologia Suecica, in which he presented the Swedish Time Scale, a floating varve chronology for ice recession from Skåne to Indalsälven. Lidén made the first attempts to link this time scale with the present day. Since then, there have been revisions as new sites are discovered, and old ones reassessed. At present, the Swedish varve chronology is based on thousands of sites, and covers 13,200 varve years.

    In 2008, although varves were considered likely to give similar information to dendrochronology, they were considered “too uncertain” for use on a long-term timescale.[1] . . . .

    Varves form in a variety of marine and lacustrine depositional environments from seasonal variation in clastic, biological, and chemical sedimentary processes . . .

    Notice that: “too uncertain” for use on a long-term timescale.

    Would you have got that impression from JR’s bland statement on a million years worth of varves? Of course not.

    Nor, would you know that there are questions about diurnal tidal cycles or that the sort of assumed steady state above is seriously prone to disturbance.

    So, again, we come to the usual circularities, the lack of independent cross-checks and the like. So, while we may well put forth model timelines on varves and interwoven dating methods otherwise, we should realise that these are inescapably provisional and even tentative models of the past as we think it may have been, not realities.

    And, as I pointed out already, there is no well founded theory of solar system formation that would allow us to be confident that we know how a solar system such as ours formed. The recent observations on extrasolar planets and their highly variable orbital patterns tell us that we just do not know enough to speculate too strongly, on top of the problems of angular momentum distribution in our solar system. (Angular momentum conservation — though not as headlined as its kissing cousin, energy conservation — is a major conservation law in science.)

    I repeat, I find the Hubble expansion and the stellar distance scale metrics [the subject of my first ever public presentation] far more persuasive, especially when joined to the Hertzprung-Russell plots and the patterns of HR diagrams of open clusters which are then fitted into models of H-balls collapsing out of molecular clouds and igniting fusion from released gravitational energy converted into heat. (That is part of why the IOSE starts with these issues as an example of origins science done right.)

    GEM of TKI

  177. 177
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    You know or should know that codes are specifically symbolic, involving rules and meanings as an inherent component of their expression.

    Then you disagree with Upright Biped. This is interesting. You see, Upright’s point is that regardless of the content of the code it’s the fact that the code exists at all that proves ID.

    And there’s another problem. A severe problem for you, that is.

    If meaning is an inherent component in the information that is encoded in DNA then it would be possible, as I suggested, to translate that information into different languages. If DNA really stored “meaning” it would be possible to do as I suggested and translate a word into a different language via DNA even if that word has no direct equivalent in the target language.

    When you translate you attempt to keep the “meaning” intact, whatever particular symbol (word) you use in the new language. The meaning is what you translate, unlike the 1:1 mapping that we see with DNA. The “meaning” in DNA cannot be translated into a different language because it is not a language to start with.

    With DNA there is no “meaning” to the symbols. Unlike the language strings that you can indeed encode into DNA, as Upright says you can encode an entire dictionary. But even then the only “meaning” is the one we’ve applied to the various strings. It’s just digital storage.

    So, KF, if the information that DNA stores has meaning, what is it’s meaning then?

    What does DNA mean?

    If you can’t say, how are you so sure the codes have meanings as an inherent component of their expression.

    Unless of course you mean meaning as in “getting water poured over you means you will get wet”.

    I.E this DNA sequence “means” this protein sequence.

    It’s just chemicals people. Their arrangement has no “meaning” outside of their implementation as a string that makes something particular happen.

    If you claim it does, tell me what it is!

  178. 178
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB,

    On the contrary. A miracle may simply be something that God does over and above the laws he has created–something that the laws themselves do not have the capacity to produce.

    I’ve highlighted the key word. It may be eh? Well, it seems a bit of a pointless argument to make as many things may be true but you’ve no way of finding out have you? No way of determining the truth of your claim.

    So all you have is speculation. In fact you don’t know and cannot know.

    While it is true that God can, if he chooses to, change his physical laws, [God is not bound by his own laws]

    Therefore God can make a square circle, make a thing be and not be at the same time. Change the unchangeable. If God is not bound by his own laws then it is certainly is not bound by yours.

  179. 179
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    AFTER THIS, FOR GOOD REASON, I WILL HAVE TO CONSIDER ANY ONE IN THIS THREAD WHO KNOWINGLY & INSISTENTLY CONTINUES TO USE THE ID = [YOUNG EARTH] CREATIONISM SMEAR, A WILLFUL DECEIVER AND SLANDERER, AKA A LIAR.

    While I happen to think that’s true, It’s not an argument I’m attempting to make. The argument I’m attempting to make is that you are a creationist, not that ID==Creationism.
    Let’s look at the evidence.

    even when the generally promoted timeline is taken at face value, without a grain or two of salt.

    So the “generally promoted timeline” should not be taken at face value? What can that possibly mean except that you think the “generally prompted timeline” should not be taken at face value? I doubt you are arguing that the age of the earth has been underestimated. And these “grains of salt”, “cum grano salis”, in its Latin form, are often used when it is needed to show that intelligence and personal judgment are needed. While I’d not disagree with that in general here it seems to indicate that you think the “generally promoted timeline” is invalid.
    And if I check your “always linked” it seems to confirm that you are indeed a YEC. For example:

    Here, we move from the origin of life to its diversity as observed in the current world and as is generally inferred from the fossil record and geological dating schemes. (It is not my purpose here to challenge the generally accepted dating systems and their “standard” chronology. [Cf. ICR's summary remarks here for a start if you are interested in that secondary issue. Also cf. Wiens' remarks here from the Old Earth Creationist view, as well as J P Moreland, here, on the related Bible interpretation issues. The YEC view is summarised here, in a report on a debate: Ross/Lisle.]

    Onlookers, please note the links. Answers in Genesis and other creationist organisations. Why would anybody link to such resources if they did not agree with their claims regarding the age of the earth?
    Let’s look at the content of that first link: http://www.icr.org/index.php?m.....38;ID=1842
    Title: Evidence for a Young World

    And the first paragraph:

    Here are fourteen natural phenomena which conflict with the evolutionary idea that the universe is billions of years old. The numbers listed below in bold print (usually in the millions of years) are often maximum possible ages set by each process, not the actual ages. The numbers in italics are the ages required by evolutionary theory for each item. The point is that the maximum possible ages are always much less than the required evolutionary ages, while the biblical age (6,000 years) always fits comfortably within the maximum possible ages. Thus, the following items are evidence against the evolutionary time scale and for the biblical time scale. Much more young-world evidence exists, but I have chosen these items for brevity and simplicity. Some of the items on this list can be reconciled with the old-age view only by making a series of improbable and unproven assumptions; others can fit in only with a recent creation.

    You are a creationist KF, pure and simple. I’m not saying here that ID = Creationism, I’m saying that you are a YEC. And all based on your own words and website. Nobody except creationists relies on creationist websites to support their argument.
    Here are the other links in that paragraph:
    http://reasons.org/resources/f.....3C/A%3E%20
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....debate.asp
    http://reasons.org/resources/a.....arth.shtml
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....script.asp
    Onlookers, what is the only logical inference here? Those that are willing to follow the evidence where it leads will be following a path to YEC.

  180. 180
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB

    God cannot, however, change the laws of reason because they are manifestations or extensions of his unchangeable essence of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Being, and Love. The principles of right reason are a reflection of God as Truth.

    Your God can change the laws of reason, who are you to say otherwise?

    No, God cannot violate his own essence of Truth and be changeable. The principles of right reason are not arbitrary.

    Why? StephenB says so? Fact is you are making all of this up.

    The principle of causality, by the way, is another component of these principles. If they were changeable, humans’ couldn’t think.

    No, God is just leaving it alone right now. Perhaps it’ll change in the future. Or perhaps it already changed. You simply don’t know and have no way of finding out.

    This, by the way, is why I almost never discuss advanced science with Darwinists.

    Yes, no doubt your calculation of CSI for the four examples MathGrrl gave has left you exhausted.

    What is the point of searching for causes with irrational people who think some events are uncaused?

    That’s the very core of your position however, that there was an uncaused cause. Therefore you are irrational by your own logic.

    A material physical thermometer is not the same as the immaterial measurement that it provides.

    And yet that immaterial measurement cannot be made without a material thermometer. And the value for that immaterial measurement has no existence outside of a material brain that is taking the reading.
    Hint Hint.

    It exists as a non-material, scientific measurement.

    Where?

    If you want to actually think about what you are saying, just ask yourself how much mass and energy are contained in the words, “25 degrees centigrade.” The answer, again, is none.

    Incorrect. The framework for those words contains mass/energy. They are stored as digital bits somewhere which have measurable properties. Without that framework those words cannot exist.

    The molecules are manifestations of a changing material reality; the description of their accelerated movement is not.

    Exactly so. Temperature is a property that we’ve invented and applied to a given system. Just like the other “immaterial” properties you’ve invented and given to various systems. They did not exist before you invented them. These “immaterial” things you claim exist in fact only exist in our minds. The universe does not care about them. The fact that these “immaterial laws” happen to comport well with the reality we see about use does not mean that they exist outside of our awareness.
    Thanks for helping me prove my point.

  181. JR:

    Kindly stop wrenching words and trying to divide the audience by creating perceived conflicts where there is not any real conflict.

    Can you kindly provide a case where a symbolic code was created in our observation by unintelligent forces tracing to chance and mechanical necessity?

    An algorithm? A data structure? A coded program that expresses and algorithm and uses data structures? The Wicken wiring diagram, functionally organised cluster of complex executing machinery that gives effect to such coded programs?

    All of these have only ever been observed to be the product of our now famous semiotic agents, aka designers.

    And, the matter gets more serious once we look at the fact that the living cell actually implements two integrated things, a metabolic entity with a self-replicating facility based on the von Neumann kinematic self-replicator:

    _________________

    >> such a machine uses . . .

    (i) an underlying storable code to record the required information to create not only (a) the primary functional machine [[here, for a "clanking replicator" as illustrated, a Turing-type “universal computer”; in a cell this would be the metabolic entity that transforms environmental materials into required components etc.] but also (b) the self-replicating facility; and, that (c) can express step by step finite procedures for using the facility;

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions; thus controlling:

    (iv) position-arm implementing machines with “tool tips” controlled by the tape reader and used to carry out the action-steps for the specified replication (including replication of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that as a part of their function, can provide required specific materials/parts and forms of energy for the replication facility, by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    Also, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating machine with an integral von Neumann universal constructor.

    That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).] >>

    __________________

    All of this, had you been in the slightest degree interested to actually investigate seriously, was a click or two away.

    Remember, onlookers: without this integrated, irreducibly complex system, we do not get TO cell based life.

    So, organised, digitally coded, algorithmic information systems are foundational to the origin of the cell as we know it — BTW, the ONLY observed biological life. All of these metaphysical speculations on RNA worlds and imaginary clay or autocatalytic life are just that, speculations without empirical observation that Newton warned us not to entertain in natural philosophy.

    Multiply by the implications of the large config spaces involved and the infinite monkeys analysis and we see that the only credible, inductively and analytically warranted explanation that is credible is that such an entity is designed. In particular, symbolic codes are plainly classic artifacts of art not chance and necessity.

    That is why JR was so desperate to conflate dynamically deposited varves — and BTW, JR, note the asterisk* — with symbolically organised and expressed coded statements or instructions.

    _____

    * how did the fish in the Green River sit there for millennia on the surface to be deposited on when alkalis or the like would most likely break up the proteins etc [in short, mass death and rapid, catastrophic deposition in a regional flood or the like is the best explanation for such, and that is true whether or not it is uncomfortably close to what YEC's are wont to say].

    Codes based on digital symbols are a classic artifact of mind at work. And of course even out ability to produce such codes as a capacity that is built into the human body plan, is deeply embedded with FSCO/I and is utterly unexplained on evolutionary materialist grounds, as inter alia I pointed out overnight in my set of notes and links from here at 165 on.

    Given that huge gap in evo mat explanation — on a point where even to blandly brush it away you must use the linguistic ability — why is there such a bluff and pretence that all major issues have been solved, just a little tidying up to do?

    The answer is, that too many fields of science are now held ideological captive to a worldview agenda of evolutionary materialism that likes to wrap itself in the holy lab coat of science.

    Sad.

    GEM of TKI

  182. 182
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    By utter contrast, the varves on a beach [etc] — and BTW we did not observe a million years

    Ah yes, the cry of the YEC. “But were you there???”

    No, we have not observed a million years. We’ve not observed continental drift either in any significant way but we’re really rather sure that it happens. If we were to apply “were you there” to your claims they fall apart. Where *you* there when the bacterial flagellum was designed? Were *you* there at the origin of life?

    [If not, do not “darken counsel” by spewing forth falsely confident words on certitude without sound warrant on observation as a witness and/or tested, credible record

    Sounds like selective hyper-scepticism to me. There is a tested, credible record for the age of the earth. The fact that you don’t find it credible is neither here not there, what you have to do is explain why it’s invalid. And that you have not done. Your “always linked” complains a lot about the accepted age of the earth but you don’t every say specifically what component of the calculation is invalid. Without that it cannot be “corrected” and so what’s the point?

    so, have the humility to acknowledge the limitations and circularities involved in your timeline models . . .

    All models have their limitations. And by “circularities” you presumably mean dating the strata by the fossils and dating the fossils by the strata. Another standard creationist mis-representation.

    are the result of a physical dynamic process of forces and materials; without symbolic representation as any component of the creation of the marks.

    But were you there?

    You INTERPRET the marks on the beach on various models of those dynamics, and in your case involving assumptions that you use to infer a timeline.

    Assumptions that have been proven valid time and time again. Assumptions that have stood up to every attempt from people who believe the earth is an absurd 6000 years old, over and over and over again.
    That you refuse to believe such a consilient body of evidence is just yet more evidence of the fact that you only accept as true things which comport with your existing belief system and reject others with spurious claims “were you there???”.

    Coded symbolic information does not emerge until it has been processed by the semiotic agent in the form of the judging, measuring, counting, calculating, recording and analysing observer.

    Then such information has meaning independent of it’s encoding. What is that meaning please?

    DNA is encoded, and when the tRNA “taxi” anticodon matches the codon sequence in the ribosome, the attached amino acid is on the opposite end of the tRNA. In turn the tRNA acts as a position-arm device with the AA loaded into the tool tip end. It is nudged to “click” into place in the emerging AA chain for a coded for protein.

    The boundaries of the puddle are matched with an atomic precision to the exact irregularities of the solid surface it founds itself in. The odd molecule needs a “nudge” provided by Brownian motion to exactly fill the space but that’s soon done.

    Sorry if that is a bit direct, but that is where you have now put yourself, in the company of a Barbara Forrest.

    Company I’m proud to be in, creationist.

    The very fact that you so stoutly resist plain and easily accessible facts of the working of DNA, is telling on the import of those facts. Especially, as regards the coded, functionally specific complex information involved.

    Facts like those on the “always linked”? Creationist propaganda. Write a paper with your claims, submit it to a journal dealing with such issues and watch as it’s shredded like tissue paper by a kitten. When I’ve asked you before why you do not submit a formal paper to a relevant journal you’ve replied that it would not be published due to Darwinist pressure. Well KF there are now several ID friendly journals out there, I think the time has come to put your ability to write to good use – put a paper together and submit it to such an ID friendly journal and start to change what you perceive as wrong.

    If you have the facts and evidence on your side how can you fail?

  183. 183
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    By utter contrast, the varves on a beach [etc] — and BTW we did not observe a million years: “were you there?” [If not, do not "darken counsel" by spewing forth falsely confident words on certitude without sound warrant on observation as a witness and/or tested, credible record . . . so, have the humility to acknowledge the limitations and circularities involved in your timeline models . . . ]

    Just going back to this, did you know that the entire Green River varve formation was laid down in a huge lake bed during the Eocene (55-34 mya), leaving a 15-20 million year continuous record averaging about about 5.6 varves per mm.

    Just using that as the basis for the age of the earth alone give you a value of 15-20 million years.

    Tell me, do you have any doubt whatsoever about that?

    I know I was not there but you can see the data for yourself. You can count the layers!

    There is no way to explain such a formation in a 6000 year old earth.

  184. 184
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    All of this, had you been in the slightest degree interested to actually investigate seriously, was a click or two away.

    Remember, onlookers: without this integrated, irreducibly complex system, we do not get TO cell based life.

    A click or two away on a personal webpage where the author has an obvious axe to grind.

    Why don’t you take your strongest arguments and actually engage the scientific community with them?

    Your website is just that, a website. When you have tested the claims you make on it then perhaps it will have some weight, but right now it’s just your opinion. When your specific claims have been evaluated by a panel of experts then perhaps it would be worth treating as a serious resource but until then how does anybody know that a claim you are making has any actual support at all?

    Get your work peer reviewed, if you dare, and perhaps that will advance ID. As it is you deflect specific questions to your “always linked” like it’s some kind of definitive resource.

    Onlookers, would you believe that a discussion on those topics was just one click away at all times, if all you had to go on was the remarks of JR and KL above?

    Your “always linked” says nothing about “Lucy”, the ostensible subject of this thread. You know that yet you still claim the answers are all there.

  185. 185
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    Can you kindly provide a case where a symbolic code was created in our observation by unintelligent forces tracing to chance and mechanical necessity?

    Can you kindly provide a case where the human genome was created in our observation by an intelligent force?
    No? And as I’ve said over and over again if your code is really “symbolic” then it stores meaning. If that meaning is something other then “this structure in, this structure out” then you should be able to tell me what it is.

    All of these have only ever been observed to be the product of our now famous semiotic agents, aka designers.

    Then presumably your designer was itself designed. And that designer designed. And so on.

    That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicating machine to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and self-replicating functionality ceases: the self-replicating machine is irreducibly complex (IC).]

    Therefore ID? No, hardly.

    All of this, had you been in the slightest degree interested to actually investigate seriously, was a click or two away.

    As I’ve noted already, your personal webpage is not science. It’s opinion. Support your opinions with evidence, experiment and actual work rather then typing words at it might become science.

    Remember, onlookers: without this integrated, irreducibly complex system, we do not get TO cell based life.

    Were you there?

    All of these metaphysical speculations on RNA worlds and imaginary clay or autocatalytic life are just that, speculations without empirical observation that Newton warned us not to entertain in natural philosophy.

    At least those “speculations” have some substance to them. Tens of thousands of words of substance supported by experiment. Your alternative is “it was designed.” Hardly competing on detail are you?
    http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/ool-www/program/
    Please examine the contents on that link. Please tell me which of the talks are speculations without empirical observation? Perhaps Iron-Sulfur Enzyme Evolution? Or Metals, Sulfide and Phosphate Bring Wet Rocky Worlds to Life? What about Narrowing the Gap between Hadean and Abiotic Earth by Catalytic Processes on Iron-Sulfur Mineral Surfaces and Particles?
    The fact is if ID had anything like the level of detail regarding the origin of life that just a single one of those presentations does you’d be crowing like you’d won Olympic gold.
    Yet you don’t have 0.0001% of that level of detail but remain sure 100% you are in the right. Bizzare.

    In particular, symbolic codes are plainly classic artifacts of art not chance and necessity.

    Plainly. So what do these symbols symbolise?

    The answer is, that too many fields of science are now held ideological captive to a worldview agenda of evolutionary materialism that likes to wrap itself in the holy lab coat of science.

    Yes, indeed. One thing that likes to wrap itself in the holy lab coat of science is creationism. Which is what your website attempts to do. Wrap up creationist in a crunchy scientific outer coating but inside is still irrational rejection of evidence.

  186. 186
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    * how did the fish in the Green River sit there for millennia on the surface to be deposited on when alkalis or the like would most likely break up the proteins etc [in short, mass death and rapid, catastrophic deposition in a regional flood or the like is the best explanation for such, and that is true whether or not it is uncomfortably close to what YEC's are wont to say].

    Mass Death? Rapid, catastrophic deposition in a global flood ( inferred from “or the like”).

    Yes indeed. Creationist for sure.

    Tell me plainly KF:

    A) Given the available evidence how old do you think the earth is?

    B) Was there or was there not a global flood like the one described in the bible.

    I realize that on A) you claim not to have an opinion, but I’m asking you to say what the evidence supports best, not what your belief is regarding that evidence.

    So given the evidence, what is best supported? A YEC 6000 year old earth or a much much older one?

  187. JR:

    I am a scientist, first and foremost, and what I have had to say on the design issue is driven by scientific not a priori worldview considerations. Per what Newton had to say long ago in Opticks, Query 31.

    Had you troubled to take a moment to seriously examine <a href = "http://iose-gen.blogspot.com/2.....l"the IOSE unit on cosmology and timelines — origins science done right! — you would see that my conclusions are driven by evidence on empirical data, not by citations from religious texts. (Just compare to say the sites for Answers in Genesis or Institute for Creation Research etc, to see the distinctly different flavour, frame of reasoning and focus.)

    I am sorry, but you are plainly indulging in the well-known uncivil rhetorical or propaganda tactic of a distractive, strawmannising slander, given that the specific point I raised — with evidence and links — was that geochronology is ill founded on evidence, lacking independent observational corroboration of the deep past on earth [in a context where we do not even have a good model for the origin of the solar system] and has in it worrying circularities, not that it contradicts religious texts.

    Observe, my specific contrast to the situation with certain key cosmological lines of evidence.

    Nor, do I infer from the serious defects in the methods of geochronology, that the earth is 6 – 10,000 years of age.

    Indeed, I have explicitly declared myself a geochronological agnostic.

    Again, let me further remind: I have much higher confidence in cosmological timeline analyses, but not absolute confidence. For we were not there, nor do we have generally accepted record in detail.

    On evidence, I hold that we do not know enough to safely more than rather approximately date anything of consequence on earth beyond about 1,000 – 2,000 BC — the odd astronomical date is the exception not the rule — without injecting increasingly implausible hypotheses. Indeed, even within that window, things get fuzzier as we go in deeper. Or, have you not seen Rohl’s recent challenges to Egyptian chronology and the can of worms they opened up?

    So, your attempt to subtly cast the pall on me of a priori presumptions on religious texts, is a baltantly willful smear and distraction form teh unanswered challenges to the evo mat scheme of the past and a priori censoring impositions on science, not a serious argument. For just one instance, for all the huffing and puffing on having the answers for human origins, can you kindly provide an answer to the hard question of consiousness and the origin of language on evo mat terms?

    Especially when, it is beyond reasonable doubt — onlookers, reread the Lewointin statement and keep on going through what NAS and NSTA have to say — that a priori evolutionary materialism has been imposed on origins science in the major institutions, and is exerting undue influence on theories, models and other explanatory contructs.

    In short, you are guilty of the turnabout false accusation, a classic resort of the lowest sort of propagandists. I will not even name the main proponent of the tactic in recent times, beyond saying that his name should have been Schicklegruber.

    Now, I happen to be also a theist, with a foundational warrant for that theism as a worldview claim on inference to best explanation across competing alternatives being the issues that our observed cosmos is contingent as well as fine tuned for C-chemistry, cell based life and requires explanation on a necessary being with the knowledge, skill, purpose and ability to create such a world.

    On the finetuning half of that observation, I am among others, in the company of Sir Fred Hoyle [as has been explicitly cited], Nobel equivalent prize holding astrophsysicist. And lifelong atheist/agnostic, but he was honest about what evidence is and what it points to. I make no bones, he is one of my personal heroes of science.

    On the cosmological argument half, I am simply inferring from a credibly contingent cosmos we inhabit to an underlying necessary being, even as in former days, it was widely assumed that the wider observed universe was the necessary being that explained the contingent beings on our world. But, after the Hubble expansion and background radiation observations, that is no longer credible.

    I simply multiply the one line of evidence by the other — an unquestionably scientific inference from fine tuning to design as best empirically warranted explanation — to see that the best candidate for a necessary being is beyond the material world [matter is contingent, just cf E = m*c^2], and is of enormous power and knowledge, with design ability. That is IMHCO, more than enough to warrant theism, generic form. Indeed, the formerly leading philosophical atheist in the world, the late Antony Flew, agreed with my position on that; once the balance of evidence was decisively shifted by the design evidence on fine tuning etc.

    The difference between Flew’s latterday Deism and my Christian theism [and notice, onlookers -- we are dealing with a strawmannising slanderer here: to this point I have used no religious texts to drive my conclusions . . . ], is that on the minimal historical facts of the NT texts — here treated as simply prime C1 historical documents — in the context of the past several hundred years of critical studies, I think the best explanation is that Jesus of Nazareth rose from death c 30 AD just outside Jerusalem, fulfilling astonishingly detailed prophecies in Isaiah 52 – 53, c 700 BC.

    Now, JR: why then are you so eager to tag me as a “Creationist”?

    The answer is plain and long since stated in the UD weak argument correctives:

    5: Intelligent Design is “Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo”

    In fact, the two theories are radically different. Creationism moves forward: that is, it assumes, asserts or accepts something about God and what he has to say about origins; then interprets nature in that context. Intelligent design moves backward: that is, it observes something interesting in nature (complex, specified information) and then theorises and tests possible ways how that might have come to be. Creationism is faith-based; Intelligent Design is empirically-based.

    Each approach has a pedigree that goes back over two thousand years. We notice the “forward” approach in Tertullian, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Anselm. Augustine described it best with the phrase, “faith seeking understanding.” With these thinkers, the investigation was faith-based. By contrast, we discover the “backward” orientation in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley. Aristotle’s argument, which begins with “motion in nature” and reasons BACK to a “prime mover” — i.e. from effect to its “best” causal explanation — is obviously empirically based.

    To say then, that Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm (Creationism) is similar to Aristotle, Aquinas, Paley (ID) is equivalent to saying forward equals backward. What could be more illogical?

    6] Since Intelligent Design Proponents Believe in a “Designer” or “Creator” They Can Be Called “Creationists”

    First, a basic fact: while many intelligent design proponents believe in a Creator (which is their world-view right), not all do. Some hold that some immanent principle or law in nature could design the universe. That is: to believe in intelligent design is not necessarily to believe in a transcendent creative being.

    However, what is rhetorically significant is the further fact that the term “creationist” is very often used today in a derogatory way.

    Traditionally, the word was used to describe the world view that God created the universe, a belief shared by many ID scientists, and even some ID critics. But now, that same term is too often used dishonestly in an attempt to associate intelligent design, an empirically-based methodology, with Creationism, a faith-based methodology.

    Some Darwinist advocates and some theistic evolutionists seem to feel that if they can tag ID with the “Creationist” label often enough and thus keep the focus away from science–if they can create the false impression that ID allows religious bias to “leak” into its methodology–if they can characterize it as a religious presupposition rather than a design inference –then the press and the public will eventually come to believe that ID is not really science at all.

    In short, anti-ID ideologues use the word “creationist” to distract from a scientific debate that they cannot win on the merits. The only real question is whether someone who uses this dubious strategy is doing so out of ignorance (having been taken in by it, too) or out of malice.

    I am sorry, that sort of rhetoric is a PERSONAL ATTACK (one that ducks abundant issues on the evidence and merits of fact, logic and inference to best warranted explanation), and is utterly uncivil.

    You have a lot of ‘splainin and ‘pologisin to do, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  188. 188
    JemimaRacktouey

    Clive,

    There is no chemical process that creates the code to begin with. The code may determine a process after it is coded, but that’s not the question at hand.

    In fact the question at hand is if primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists are all wasting their lives because they have started from an invalid premise. What do you think? Have they wasted their lives Clive?

  189. 189
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    It is worth pausing to discuss varves, so that we can see why there is good reason to create a school of geochronological agnosticism, to replace falsely confident declarations of knowing the deep unobserved, unobservable past.

    Please do so.

    If one goes to the usual first references, one will see that varves are DEFINED and presented to us, by the august collective authority of the experts, as though they were known to be annual somewhat cyclical deposits of lakes or the like, potentially going across hundreds or more thousands of years.

    How do you explain their existence then?

    In fact, all that we actually observe are banded deposits forming micro-strata. There are no observations or credible records of a continual, stable pattern of dynamics that allow us to extrapolate to the deep and unobserved past with confidence.

    How do you explain their existence then?

    And in fact, shocker: varves were apparently used to calibrate C14 dates, so we see stratigraphy intruding circularity into the C14 radiodating that was supposedly independent and “absolute.”

    Citation please.

    Sort of like how index fossils premised on the assumption of evolution keep on cropping up in most inconvenient dating contexts (and in the case of KNM-ER 1470 determining the date over the various radioactive methods).

    Citation please.

    Notice that: “too uncertain” for use on a long-term timescale.

    Nonetheless the formation of varves is understood well enough to draw many conclusions.

    Would you have got that impression from JR’s bland statement on a million years worth of varves? Of course not.

    How many years worth are there then in the example I gave?

    Nor, would you know that there are questions about diurnal tidal cycles or that the sort of assumed steady state above is seriously prone to disturbance.

    Yes, indeed. Anybody who cares to do more then a moments research would find such out. But the point you have to explain is given all that how do you get the formations that we see today and what is the minimum time for it to form?

    So, again, we come to the usual circularities, the lack of independent cross-checks and the like. So, while we may well put forth model timelines on varves and interwoven dating methods otherwise, we should realise that these are inescapably provisional and even tentative models of the past as we think it may have been, not realities.

    Then you need to explain the facts (the varves) better then current explanations. And your “usual circularities” are just creationist talking points. Your claim of lack of independent cross-checks and the like is simply not true. The evidence is clear.

    And, as I pointed out already, there is no well founded theory of solar system formation that would allow us to be confident that we know how a solar system such as ours formed.

    But you know how the solar system formed remember? It was designed!

    The recent observations on extrasolar planets and their highly variable orbital patterns tell us that we just do not know enough to speculate too strongly, on top of the problems of angular momentum distribution in our solar system. (Angular momentum conservation — though not as headlined as its kissing cousin, energy conservation — is a major conservation law in science.)

    Ah, yes, if the earth was millions of years old then the moon would have crashed into it. Or something. What’s your point? Nobody is speculating on this, they are making conclusions from facts. You are welcome to do the same.

    (That is part of why the IOSE starts with these issues as an example of origins science done right.)

    Publish or perish.

  190. JR:

    Until you can show how Lucy’s bodyplan or the like, as imaginatively reconstructed can be transformed into a human being’s via chance plus necessity across 6 – 10 MY, accounting for rhe origin of relevant FSCI and answering the hard problem of conscieousness and the origin of language, we need not take your argument seriously.

    Especially given the track record of fossil ape men reconstructions and the dominant feature of the fossil record: sudden appearance, stasis and disappearance or continuity to the modern world. Which precisely fits the ID theses of CSI and IC as key explaining points of reference.

    Lucy so far as I can see was a somewhat bipedal ape.

    Now, you tell me why we should take the NG photopainting seriously, or the claim that on chance variations plus natural selection the FSCO/I to transform her into us — based on empirical observational data — has been accounted for.

    EVO MAT BLUFF CALLED . . .

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Onlookers, observe too how, predictably, in the teeth of specific remarks on the cosmological evidence and an explicit declaration of geochronological agnosticism on serious doubts about tools, techniques and observations, JR wants to push me into a 6 – 10,000 year old earth creationist pigeonhole.

    I have to be direct: SLY SLANDERER!

  191. 191
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    On evidence, I hold that we do not know enough to safely more than rather approximately date anything of consequence on earth beyond about 1,000 – 2,000 BC — the odd astronomical date is the exception not the rule — without injecting increasingly implausible hypotheses.

    Yet radiocarbon dating alone extends to 45,000 years into the past! Care to explain why *nothing* can be dated beyond 2000BC then?

    What is the specific problem?
    Perhaps you think that radioactive decay rates were different in the past? Is that it? Or did you just read it on a AIG website and that’s that?

    Indeed, even within that window, things get fuzzier as we go in deeper. Or, have you not seen Rohl’s recent challenges to Egyptian chronology and the can of worms they opened up?

    Were you there?

    So, your attempt to subtly cast the pall on me of a priori presumptions on religious texts, is a baltantly willful smear and distraction form teh unanswered challenges to the evo mat scheme of the past and a priori censoring impositions on science, not a serious argument.

    Onlookers can view the evidence for themselves, in your always linked. Your mixture of religion and science in support of religion is plain to see.

    For just one instance, for all the huffing and puffing on having the answers for human origins, can you kindly provide an answer to the hard question of consiousness and the origin of language on evo mat terms?

    I’ll do that after you’ve explained “Lucy”.

    specially when, it is beyond reasonable doubt — onlookers, reread the Lewointin statement and keep on going through what NAS and NSTA have to say — that a priori evolutionary materialism has been imposed on origins science in the major institutions, and is exerting undue influence on theories, models and other explanatory contructs.

    We’ve been through that. Allowing miracles as an explanation makes a mockery of science. Hence your quotemine. And you just said a moment ago that my attempt to subtly cast the pall on me of a priori presumptions on religious texts, is a baltantly willful smear yet you want to introduce miracles into science as an explanation! Don’t you see the irony here?

    Now, JR: why then are you so eager to tag me as a “Creationist”?

    I follow the evidence where it leads. You link to AIG. You refuse to state your position on the age of the earth. You think that radioactive decay rates were different in the past (hence radioactive decay forms of dating are all invalid).
    All adds up to a creationist who knows that if they come out and say what they really think their “science” will also be dismissed. A very fine line to walk, and I’m calling you out.

    I am sorry, that sort of rhetoric is a PERSONAL ATTACK (one that ducks abundant issues on the evidence and merits of fact, logic and inference to best warranted explanation), and is utterly uncivil.

    All rational people think that AIG’s arguments are baseless. Except you.

    You have a lot of ‘splainin and ‘pologisin to do, madam.

    After you’ve explained “Lucy” perhaps we’ll get to that.

  192. PPS: Has it ever dawned on JR in her haste to distract from the gaping holes in the Empress’s new robes, and to smear and dismiss, that I have utterly no interest in the political games involved in jumping the hurdles and hoops to seek publication in the a priori materialism censored trade rags? (And there is a snidely suggested false claim that there are no design theory publications that have broken through the censorship barriers imposed by NCSE and other busybody thought police, cf this growing list focssed on the biological side.)

  193. 193
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF

    Until you can show how Lucy’s bodyplan or the like, as imaginatively reconstructed can be transformed into a human being’s via chance plus necessity across 6 – 10 MY, accounting for rhe origin of relevant FSCI and answering the hard problem of conscieousness and the origin of language, we need not take your argument seriously.

    “imaginatively reconstructed”? Again, the dismissal of the life’s work of many serious scientists as “imagination”. What have you ever contributed to science?
    Until you can show that FSCI actually exists, explain how to calculate it and show it calculated in more then a “back of the envelope” way then I don’t have to do any such thing.
    And you are asking me to answer the hard problem of consciousness and the origin of language before you’ll take my argument seriously or answer my questions, questions that you claim to have answers for?

    How very convenient. As you know I can’t do those things (nobody currently can, not ever you) then that’s an easy escape for you to avoid having to put a firm foundation of FSCI.

    Why does your ability to explain the points I’m asking about hinge on my ability to explain something totally unrelated? Seems like a trick you are using just to avoid having to say “I don’t know”.

    Tell me, how does ID explain consciousness?

    Let me guess, it was designed?

    How does ID explain the origin of language?

    It was designed?

    Especially given the track record of fossil ape men reconstructions and the dominant feature of the fossil record: sudden appearance, stasis and disappearance or continuity to the modern world. Which precisely fits the ID theses of CSI and IC as key explaining points of reference.

    It not only has to fit precisely it has to explain more then the current explanation. Just like how common descent and common design according to you are just as good explanations for the facts of the fossils. If common design does not explain more it’s irrelevant and just an invention with no relevance. When common design explains something that common descent cannot then it will be useful.

    Does it? Does the ID “thesis” explain Lucy specifically?

    No, of course not. And as far as sudden appearance, stasis and disappearance goes, your continued misrepresentation of Gould disgusts me.
    As a person professing to have a religious belief I’m surprised at your outright lies. Gould would have laughed in your face were to to misrepresent him in this way to him directly. And then explained why you were so very wrong.

    Lucy so far as I can see was a somewhat bipedal ape

    And this from a person who thinks they are qualified to dismiss the life’s work of primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists?

    A compelling analysis of “Lucy” indeed! I guess you must have studied for a long time before coming up with that gem.

    Now, you tell me why we should take the NG photopainting seriously, or the claim that on chance variations plus natural selection the FSCO/I to transform her into us — based on empirical observational data — has been accounted for.

    FSCI/I is something that you made up. So nobody has any interest in doing what you ask here. And that suits you as you get to continue to claim that because nobody has explained how the quantity you made up came to be it must have been designed in. And even if somebody had such an interest it’s so ill defined that it’s impossible to calculate. Even you admit that with your “back of an envelope” calculation, but you still insist that this ill-defined quality must be explained before you’ll accept that the designer didn’t do it. And even then you’d not change your mind.

    EVO MAT BLUFF CALLED . . .

    Hardly. Get your thoughts on FSCO/I written up, published and if you’ve shown that “Lucy” could not have turned into us then that’s called science. Right now it’s not.

    JR wants to push me into a 6 – 10,000 year old earth creationist pigeonhole.

    Hmm, doubts that dating methods are accurate. Thinks there was some sort of flood that created the fossils we see. Refuses to come out and say how old the earth is. Refuses to say specifically what the problems with the dating methods that everybody else accepts are, but rejects them anyway.

    I have to be direct: SLY SLANDERER!

    Just the hard truth you’ve probably been hiding from yourself, creationist.

    Let’s face it, if you can’t accept mainstream science regarding dating methods then I’m surprised you trust your computer to behave in the way it’s supposed to behave. If our understanding of dating methods (and the associated physics) is so wrong it would have been impossible for the computer to have been invented at all. Yet it has, and here we are. You are sitting in front of a machine that proves that our understanding of the relevant physics is well grounded and yet you refuse to believe that the age of the earth can be calculated with any accuracy whatsoever using that very same understanding of physics.

  194. 194
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    PS: Has it ever dawned on JR in her haste to distract from the gaping holes in the Empress’s new robes, and to smear and dismiss, that I have utterly no interest in the political games involved in jumping the hurdles and hoops to seek publication in the a priori materialism censored trade rags?

    Then publish in the ID friendly journals. There are several and they seem to be desperate for content.

    (And there is a snidely suggested false claim that there are no design theory publications that have broken through the censorship barriers imposed by NCSE and other busybody thought police, cf this growing list focssed on the biological side.)

    So, to be clear, you won’t publish because the materialist trade rags will censor your viewpoint, but in the next sentence you provide a list of such published papers that have been published despite that censorship?
    Huh? Seems to me that you, deep down, know that your work is not of sufficient quality, depth, relevance or ability to publish it. Or you would. Simple as that.
    Gordo, why would you not jump at the chance of publishing in an ID friendly journal? The evo-mat censors have no control over those?
    Illogical.

  195. 195
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    On evidence, I hold that we do not know enough to safely more than rather approximately date anything of consequence on earth beyond about 1,000 – 2,000 BC — the odd astronomical date is the exception not the rule — without injecting increasingly implausible hypotheses. .

    Citation please to one of these “implausible hypotheses” or withdraw the claim (the honest thing to do).

  196. 196
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,

    On evidence, I hold that we do not know enough to safely more than rather approximately date anything of consequence on earth beyond about 1,000 – 2,000 BC — the odd astronomical date is the exception not the rule — without injecting increasingly implausible hypotheses.

    On the other hand your religious beliefs are much more supported. I mean, a compilation of ancient texts describing events that may (or may not) have occurred over two thousand and more years ago. That these documents were written well after the facts they describe, have no empirical support and are full of discrepancies apparently does not matter so much to you.

    After all, were you there?

    Yet somehow methods of dating that are accepted across the board and are well supported and which have proven themselves over and over cannot be trusted in any way shape or form.

    It seems that “selective hyper-skepticism” is alive and well, but it’s only being applied to certain things by you KF. Perhaps a more honest approach would pay dividends?

    A simple question KF which I hope will illustrate my point:

    What was the name of Josephs (husband of Mary) father? ‘

  197. F/N: Onlookers, if you are interested in a specifically creationist critique of Lucy, you can go here and have fun.

    My critique — summarised below — is far more fundamental and differently based than that:

    1: the dominant feature of the fossil record, on the conventional timeline, is that of sudden appearances, stasis and disappearances or continuity into the modern world, with the Cambrian life revolution as exhibit no 1, and with the sad state of OOL research not far behind. Or, maybe in front — there is no credible root to the commonly promoted iconic darwinian tree of life. And since the only empirically warranted explanation for the FSCO/I and IC involved in a metabolic entity with an integral von Neumann self replicator on coded algorithmic representation is design, we have no need to be trying to impose a blind watchmaker straightjacket on science beyond that point. Worse, the only reasonable explanation for the cosmos that is contingent and fine tuned for C-chemistry cell based intelligent life is design, rooted in a necessary being with the power, knowledge skill and intent to produce such a cosmos.

    2: this pattern of evo mat gaps where it counts is consistent with the issues of irreducible complexity and with the challenge of searching config spaces to get to create FSCO/I as strong pointers to the need to stop censoring design on origins. Unanswered and largely brushed aside by the evo mat advocates.

    3: In the case of our own origin, two key features of our body plan are that we are conscious minded embodied creatures and we are physically equipped to use language. This is an utterly unanswered challenge for evo mat views and claims.

    4: On a rough cut orders of magnitude calculation, we are going to need to account for probably millions of base pairs worth of genetic and regulatory information and networks of organisation to give it effect, to account for the difference between us and a chimp or similar ancestral animal.

    5: This is vastly, orders of magnitude beyond the plausible limits — 1,000 bits or 500 base pairs [1.07*10^301 possible configs] is a useful yardstick — of blind watchmaker search strategies in genome etc space.

    6: the only empirically warranted source of such FSCO/I is design. Indeed, on a considerable body of evidence and reasonable induction, as well as the infinite monkeys analysis, we have every epistemic right to hold that — absent a specific credible counter example — that FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign of design.

    7: this is being resisted, not because it is a weak induction, but because it cuts across a dominant worldview imposition that currently censors origins science, Sagan-Lewontin a priori materialism seen as the defining essence of science and rationality.

    8: So, we need to expose the thought police hiding in lab coats and bluffing on the extent to which they have successfully answered the actual evidence.

    9: And given the ways that reconstructions of alleged ape-man ancestors across time have turned into repeated failures, we have very good reason to view such icons and their proposed dates with high skepticism.

    10: Not on religiously motivated denialism, but on want of adequate evidence and explanation of salient facts and phenomena. Starting with the origin of conscious, minded life that has credible bases for knowledge, rationality and morality, as well as accounting for the origin of our ability to communicate using verbal, propositional, conceptual, symbolic language.

    11: What of Lucy, the notorious icon? S/he fits into this general critique. Absent a cogent answer to the general questions as posed, it is simply yet another exaggerated report of basically a partly bipedal ape with a relatively small brain compared to that of humans, and with no significant much less pivotal clues for the origin of language on blind watchmaker thesis type evolutionary accounts.

    12: We would do well then to heed the warning of Hooton, given in 1946 (and as linked already but predictably ignored):

    Put not your faith in reconstructions. Some anatomists model reconstructions of fossil skulls by building up the soft parts of the head and face upon a skull cast and thus produce a bust purporting to represent the appearance of the fossil man in life. When, however, we recall the fragmentary condition of most of the skulls, the faces usually being missing, we can readily see that even the reconstruction of the facial skeleton leaves room for a good deal of doubt as to details. To attempt to restore the soft parts is an even more hazardous undertaking. The lips, the eyes, the ears, and the nasal tip leave no clues on the underlying bony parts. You can, with equal facility, model on a Neanderthaloid skull the features of a chimpanzee or the lineaments of a philosopher. These alleged restorations of ancient types of man have very little, if any, scientific value and are likely only to mislead the public. [[Earnest Albert Hooton, Up from the Ape (NY: Macmillan, 1946), p. 329.]

    13: Observe how I immediately followed up:

    So long as [[Neo-]Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory lacks an empirically credible, tested and well-supported explanation of the origin and validity of human intelligence, language and associated reasoning powers, the very need to use these same human faculties to propose, discuss and analyse a theory that should but cannot account for them, turns every presentation of (or argument for) the theory into an unintended but eloquent illustration of the major and un-answered weaknesses of the theory.

    Look above and in earlier threads to see if you find anywhere the faintest trace of a serious response to that challenge.

    It is not there, and no prizes for guessing why.

    So, all the evo mat bluster and hugging and puffing above is in vain.

    the empress is dressed in rags, not a robe of exquisite design.

    GEM of TKI

  198. Onlookers:

    I am now finished with Ms Jemima Racktouey, who has now definitively crossed over into the realm of the uncivil closed minded propagandist, not a serious participant in serous dialogue. (For just one point, has she in her fulminations above shown a single sign of having read much less bothered to reflect on say this discussion of the minimal facts relevant to the credibility of the NT documents, which was previously linked? Much less, soundly addressing the harder to deal with matters of origins science that are about things that go beyond the era of historical record? Much less basic matters of warrant on first principles of right reason and onward evaluation of worldview options on comparative difficulties?)

    Sadly, instead, she has repeatedly and stubbornly shown herself utterly uninterested in discussion on the merits or in the truth or in fairness, only in distracting, distorting, tagging and slandering.

    While clothing her ideological agenda in the holy lab coat.

    We would therefore do well to heed the warning about evolutionary materialism-indoctrinated zealots and factionalists given by Plato in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago; she has plainly shown herself to be an example of such:

    _____________

    >> [[The avant garde philosophers, teachers and artists c. 400 BC] say that the greatest and fairest things are the work of nature and of chance, the lesser of art [[ i.e. techne], which, receiving from nature the greater and primeval creations, moulds and fashions all those lesser works which are generally termed artificial . . . They say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only . . . .

    [[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny.)] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny; here, too, Plato hints at the career of Alcibiades], and not in legal subjection to them . . . >>
    _______________

    We have been warned.

    We would be wise to heed such a warning, bought at a dear price indeed.

    GEM of TKI

  199. Hey JemimaRacktouey,

    Don’t wanna defend my faith in this thread too much, but some of your problems and what not kinda come of as general youtube atheist stuff: kinda funny, but generally baseless.

    Eh, sorry, that’s a little harsh.

    What I mean is, I don’t think it’s quite the nail in the coffin you think it is.

    You say:

    -”On the other hand your religious beliefs are much more supported. I mean, a compilation of ancient texts describing events that may (or may not) have occurred over two thousand and more years ago. That these documents were written well after the facts they describe, have no empirical support and are full of discrepancies apparently does not matter so much to you.”

    1.) Quite a bit of history at this point was written ‘well after the facts’. Doesn’t stop us from acknowledging they probably happened.

    Besides, the gospels were only a generation removed, if that… it’s not like there was a million years worth of difference.

    2.) Have ‘no’ empirical support?

    I mean we’ve got Josepheus and friends confirming the dude was around… unless you’re suggesting we can’t believe those either. Which would just play into KF’s accusation of you being hyperskeptical.

    Besides that, the ‘no’ part of that is too strong regardless. Maybe not ‘enough’ for you to believe?

    3.)Eh… Full of discrepancies?

    Most of the ones I know of really aren’t that big a deal. I can point you to an apologist site that deals with most if you want… though I’m guessing you’d just roll your eyes.

    :-(

    -”What was the name of Josephs (husband of Mary) father?”

    Probably Jacob. Lukes lineage is usually thought of as Mary’s side of the fam from my side of the faith (Missionary Baptist) though I’m sure people all over would argue it.

    Either way, that’s an issue of biblical inerrancy, which only affects super literalists, not the faith on the whole.

    Just my two cents. Hope all is well with you.

    - Sonfaro

  200. 200
    JemimaRacktouey

    Sonfaro,

    Quite a bit of history at this point was written ‘well after the facts’. Doesn’t stop us from acknowledging they probably happened.

    Sure, but incredible claims require incredible evidence.

    Besides, the gospels were only a generation removed, if that… it’s not like there was a million years worth of difference.

    All I’m saying is that if we consider the evidence for the age of the earth and if Jesus walked on water, there’s alot more evidence for the age of the earth. Yet KF cannot form an opinion on the age of the earth but cannot articulate a single reason why not apart from the vaguest of vague generalities and demands that I explain consciousness. Yet he’ll accept unquestioningly that water was walked on and will wonder at your sanity for pointing this inbalance of evidence out.

    I mean we’ve got Josepheus and friends confirming the dude was around… unless you’re suggesting we can’t believe those either. Which would just play into KF’s accusation of you being hyperskeptical.

    See, mutiple lines of evidence pointing to the same thing.

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

    There are multiple independent lines of evidence that all independently point to a single age of the earth. One that they all agree on within the limitations of each particular method.

    Check it out if you don’t believe me!

    And yet despite those multiple independent streams of evidence KF cannot form an opinion on the age of the earth.

    What would it take to convince him one has to wonder?

    Either way, that’s an issue of biblical inerrancy, which only affects super literalists, not the faith on the whole.

    Good for faith on the whole. But it illustrates my point that you’ve no way of knowing the actual name hence the arguments from people of faith all over the world.

    The difference with science is that you can come to an agreement and move on, using what you agreed on as the foundation for the next step.

    Standing on he shoulders of giants.

    nanos gigantium humeris insidentes

    And my point is only that by dismissing as wrong the life’s work of a group of people whose arguments and evidence he does not even comprehend he deserves to be shown up to be an empty suit, all mockery but no substance. If you were able to replace it all at a single sweep with a new paradigm, one that would instantly be more productive then fine, such arrogance would be par for the course. But to have nothing but an empty shell of a website and some made up terminology to replace such a deep and wide body of work with?

    Delusional.

    KF does not understand the scope of nor appreciate the level of detail built up over decades which is present in the fields he dismisses out of hand.

    And yet he accepts evidence of a objectively much poorer nature as the foundation of his religious belief system.

    I’ve got no problem with people choosing to be religious, for whatever reason. I’ve got a problem with people who hide behind their religion when asked to defend their scientific claims. I’ve got a problem with people who claim to know better then entire groups of professionals when he can’t even answer the simplest questions about the subject at hand. People who justify the moderation of the comments from the person this thread was supposed to allow to defend their viewpoint I have a problem with.

    Explain Lucy KF. Tell me something about Lucy that only common design would predict. Tell me something about Lucy that only ID would be able to determine.

    Mr Chatty-Chatt be force ripe, or fasse, zeen? Mout-a-massy plenty.

  201. F/N: Onlookers, one of the points where I am being accused of dishonesty above is on the problem of ancient historical chronology, where I pointed out that once we go beyond about 1,000 – 2,000 things get fuzzy, and that in that window, things are getting fuzzy too.

    I simply draw your attention to this discussion, to give you a beginning of a feel for why I take that view.

    Things are simply not neat and clean when it comes to dating ancient history, starting with the pivotal Egyptian chronology. Yes, we can construct timelines and make correlations, but we must be aware that things are not so neat and clean as a timeline may suggest; I suggest a grain of salt or two once we go past 1,000 BC, and more caution when we pass 2,000; of course when we have a plausible argument for an astronomical correlation, that is a help, but the correlation between king lists or the like and astronomical events is not always so easy.

    When we go beyond the point where there are records at all — into the deep past of origins, things get much more challenging. Hence my cautions on timelines here, in the context of a survey of origins science done right — and the implications of the finetuning that comes out.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Debates on Bible difficulties and skeptical Sunday School ticklers etc are utterly tangential to the focus of the blog as a whole, much less this thread. Above, in response to a series of accusations, I pointed to the scientific case for design, the implications of finetuning and contingency for origins of our observed cosmos, which warrant a genric theism on inference to best explanation; then also I linked on the core historical warrant for Christian faith, which was turned into an occasion to try to raise such distractions. There are sites enough and references enough to address the sort of questions raised, if one is serious instead of simply raising village atheist/skeptic level debate points that exploit the ignorance of those who do not know the answers; unfortunately a stock in trade of the new atheists — and BTW, part of the reason for another work in progress course, cf mod 2 here. (I will not follow the tangents in this blog — notice, how JR, KL etc consistently seek to distract and distract then slander instead of answering to the sort of issues that point to the gaping holes in the evo mat account of origins — but I will point to the Blue Letter Bible and suggest Archer’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, for the serious inquirer.)

    PPS: And as for the taunt that I do not publish in the academic research literature [to which I have pointedly said I have no interest, with a particular emphasis on the evo mat censored trade rags and popularising magazines], my considered opinion is that it is far more strategic for me to develop a critical overview survey with a corrective educational emphasis. The hostility, namecalling and evasiveness above suggest that that is a correct judgement.

  202. Sonfaro,

    Thanks for stepping in and sharing a useful thought or two.

    Observe how JR has again resorted to Sagan’s classic hyperskeptical evidentialist blunder, as though it has not been repeatedly exposed and long since corrected:

    extraordinary [to me -- but am I being simply closed minded and question-begging at worldviews level?] claims require extraordinary [adequate] evidence . . .

    Nowhere above do we see serious evidence that JR has actually engaged evidence in a way that understands that one must be consistent in standards of warrant.

    Similarly, she again cries out that I am not saying anything on Lucy specifically, when I have taken a fair piece of time to show my particular concerns on ape men fossils and the claim that humans came from apes. Until the evo mat blind watchmaker paradigm can explain coherently and on empirical observation, the dynamics and stages of the emergence of mind and language, its advocates have not got a leg to stand on.

    The ape man reconstructions then become little more than “images made to look like men, birds, beasts and reptiles” and surrounded by just so stories that are plausible in the main because we have been conditioned to think in a materialistic circle that is imposed on science.

    As has been abundantly documented, and never seriously addressed.

    Compare my comment today at 197, for instance, and the earlier one overnight where I gave links to further reading.

    As for the geochronological timeline, I have long since linked my reasons for my doubts about the whole scheme, which pivots on the self same problem of the materialistic circle of reasoning, a circle that often maintains public consistency by the assumption that the discordant results are errors and must be tossed. There is a serious want of truly independent tests, and that obtains across the whole spectrum o methods.

    I am not saying toss the lot out, but instead use with caution, and recognise the gap between a plausible to us model of a past we did not observe, and cannot observe, and the reality of whatever actual past was there. Hence my agnosticism: a claim that our models do not amount to knowledge, but instead are speculative and often based on circles of reasoning.

    I find it almost amusing, but then quite sad, to see someone who looks at solid historical evidence from multiple sources and abundant archaeological confirmation and wants to dismiss on “extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence,” but then turns around and cannot see that there are far more serious difficulties in the things she wants to take as — I was going to say, “gospel.”

    Classic selective hyperskepticism.

    I need hardly comment on the increasing blatant uncivil behaviour, distractions, distortions, denigrations and slanders.

    Sad, but telling.

    GEM of TKI

  203. 203

    KF,

    sort of issues that point to the gaping holes in the evo mat account of origins,

    If by gaping hole you mean things like this:

    http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/ool-www/program/

    Then I guess you are right. There are massive holes in what they are proposing. There are whole domains that are not crossed and no explanation of how they were crossed.

    And yet…..

    And yet…..

    If all you have is a sign pointing to the failure of the “evo mat” account of origins then I would suggest that you find somewhere to put it down. You won’t need it much longer. And then what?

    As from what I can see there is much progress to report and you’ve not even addressed one single data point of it.

    If that body of work alone is a “gaping hole” then presumably you have something more detailed? No? Then if this “gaping hole” is a failure what does that make your “alternative”? I guess it makes it a just-so story. A story that you wish were true, that you wish you had any evidence for.

    Dare you? Shall we look at one of the presentations together? Swap notes at the end? Perhaps Narrowing the Gap between Hadean and Abiotic Earth by Catalytic Processes on Iron-Sulfur Mineral Surfaces and Particles? It’s only 20 minutes long!

  204. Hey again JR,

    -”Sure, but incredible claims require incredible evidence.”

    I’m pretty sure that’s a fallacy with a name to it I’ve seen before. When I find it I’ll post it.

    A claim just needs evidence. Otherwise someone could keep saying ‘the evidence isn’t enough’ over and over again – as some YEC’s do for age of the earth.

    -”All I’m saying is that if we consider the evidence for the age of the earth and if Jesus walked on water, there’s alot more evidence for the age of the earth.”

    Okay. Sounded like you were suggesting there was ‘no’ evidence though, which was my contention.

    -”Yet KF cannot form an opinion on the age of the earth but cannot articulate a single reason why not apart from the vaguest of vague generalities and demands that I explain consciousness. Yet he’ll accept unquestioningly that water was walked on and will wonder at your sanity for pointing this inbalance of evidence out.”

    KF’s a christian. His religion isn’t a scientific position – it’s one of faith. Yours (supposedly) is, which is why he’s asking you to explain it. At least that’s what I gathered from the exchange.

    If I’m wrong on that KF please correct me dude.

    -”There are multiple independent lines of evidence that all independently point to a single age of the earth. One that they all agree on within the limitations of each particular method.

    Check it out if you don’t believe me!”

    Crap.

    You got me wrong JR. I’m not arguing against the Age of the Earth (though I’ll admit I’m kinda agnostic to it too – well, more like apathetic. Don’t matter to much to me either way.) Like I said, I was defending my faith against what I, at first glance, believed to be kinda a basic atheist argument.

    -”And yet despite those multiple independent streams of evidence KF cannot form an opinion on the age of the earth.

    What would it take to convince him one has to wonder?”

    Don’t know. That’s kinda like asking what it would take to bring you to Christ. Probably a miracle either way.

    -”Good for faith on the whole. But it illustrates my point that you’ve no way of knowing the actual name hence the arguments from people of faith all over the world.

    The difference with science is that you can come to an agreement and move on, using what you agreed on as the foundation for the next step.”

    No problem there.

    -”Standing on he shoulders of giants.

    nanos gigantium humeris insidentes”

    Nice quote… though I have no idea why it’s here, sorry ;_;

    -”And my point is only that by dismissing as wrong the life’s work of a group of people whose arguments and evidence he does not even comprehend he deserves to be shown up to be an empty suit, all mockery but no substance.”

    Eh…okay. Again, my post was just dealing with the youtube atheist part of your argument. Though I should point out that, if indeed Darwinian evolution is wrong as most of us on this board believe it to be, then yeah, their lifes work was kinda worthess.

    Well, not worthless, I’m sure they found a couple things helpful. But on the whole… yeah.

    -”If you were able to replace it all at a single sweep with a new paradigm, one that would instantly be more productive then fine, such arrogance would be par for the course.”

    One mans ‘productive’ is another mans ‘religion’ it seems. Kinda hard to get around that with some people.

    -”But to have nothing but an empty shell of a website and some made up terminology to replace such a deep and wide body of work with?

    Delusional.”

    Aww come on now, I think that’s harsh.

    :-(

    “KF does not understand the scope of nor appreciate the level of detail built up over decades which is present in the fields he dismisses out of hand.

    And yet he accepts evidence of a objectively much poorer nature as the foundation of his religious belief system.”

    One is science, which has to be held to a strict standard. The other is faith, which I don’t think has the same issues.

    “I’ve got no problem with people choosing to be religious, for whatever reason.”

    Good, though it can sometimes sound like you think their all idiots instead of merely wrong. I’ve found quite a bit of the… eh… opposition (for lack of a better word) on this site tends to do that.

    (Couple of cats on our side do it to, I ain’t gonna lie. But it’s like one or two. The contrast is weird.)

    -”I’ve got a problem with people who hide behind their religion when asked to defend their scientific claims. I’ve got a problem with people who claim to know better then entire groups of professionals when he can’t even answer the simplest questions about the subject at hand. People who justify the moderation of the comments from the person this thread was supposed to allow to defend their viewpoint I have a problem with.”

    Meh, I don’t have an issue here. This is mostly a jab at KF anyway.

    “Explain Lucy KF. Tell me something about Lucy that only common design would predict. Tell me something about Lucy that only ID would be able to determine.”

    Too KF, obviously. Though if indeed we were designed I’m sure we could point out the structure bit by bit for how the creature was assembled… though if I remember right we don’t have a lot to go on, do we? Like 60%? Am I way off?

    -”Mr Chatty-Chatt be force ripe, or fasse, zeen? Mout-a-massy plenty.”

    Eh… this last bit is to KF again right…? Cause I have no idea what this means. ;_;

    - Sonfaro

  205. Ah! Sagan! I knew it had a name. Thanks KF.

    - Sonfaro

  206. 206

    Sonfaro,

    Okay. Sounded like you were suggesting there was ‘no’ evidence though, which was my contention.

    No. And as you say later, for this sort of thing evidence is not really relevant. If you have evidence you don’t need belief.

    My comment was indeed mostly directed at KF, as you noted.

  207. @ JR,

    We’re all gravy then.

    ;-)

    - Sonfaro

  208. 208

    KF

    that the discordant results are errors and must be tossed

    Please provide a specific example of such. If you can.

    There is a serious want of truly independent tests, and that obtains across the whole spectrum o methods.

    You blacken the name of many respectable scientists and institutions by your slurs. People who would laugh you out of the building were you to turn up with such vague evidence for such slanderous claims.

    You really don’t know what you are talking about do you?

    Name a specific dating method. Name the specific problem you have with that method.

    Please don’t refer me to “your always linked”. If you must, copy and paste your specific claim here.

    Science is about specifics. If you have a problem with a dating method let’s find one that you don’t have a problem with. A problem that you can articulate anyway.

    Up for it?

  209. F/N, FT Record: On varves and C-14 calib to try to cover for non-equilibrium in the atmosphere, cf here, try p. 3 on l. Suigetsu. Try the next section on Bahamas stalagmites and observe on “corrections,” too. Then there are the issues on the actual original data for the dendrochronology calibrations. C-14 dates, esp. as we begin to move out to 5 kya and beyond, are clearly NOT absolute. When we move to isochrons and other deeper time RA methods, that problem continues. The saga of KNM ER 1470 is significant because it was so public for those able to track the back issues of Nature etc. (The RA measurements that are pivotal were before the skull and debates happened, so seeing how the pigs eventually won the dating game is all too telling on the behind the scenes issues.)

  210. JR:

    On blatant and insistent, slanderous incivility, you have forfeited the right of general dialogue.

    Until you can answer to the origin of language, on observational data and relevant demonstration of the origin of FSCO/I on blind watchmaker chance and necessity, your very posts demonstrate that there is a gaping hole in the foundation of your case.

    The capacity to use language is itself based on FSCO/I, and the only empirically known source of FSCO/I is design. So, there is every epistemic right to infer from the FSCO/I to design.

    And that would include the issue of changing from something like Lucy to a modern human.

    As has been repeatedly pointed out, and just as repeatedly ignored, and distracted from, with red herrings led to strawmen soaked in slanderous ad hominems and ignited to choke, cloud, polarise and poison the atmosphere.

    You have a substantial issue unanswered and a major civility challenge that lies still unaddressed.

    Not that onlookers are not seeing that.

    Good day madam.

    GEM of TKI

  211. Sonfaro:

    JR is trying to use Jamaican children’s empty dismissive insults, not particularly well. (If she were to switch to adult J/can insults, she would get herself banned, rapidamente.)

    Especially since there is a gaping hole in her whole case that opens up every time she makes a post.

    Notice, there is no haste to summarise or link the grand evo mat account of the origin of language with the observationally based empirical data all neatly lined up.

    No prizes for guessing why.

    GEM of TKI

  212. Sonfaro:

    On historical warrant for the Christian faith, there is actually more than enough warrant as an historical matter; and to infer to theism on contingency of the cosmos and on fine tuning is strong enough that it changed the mind of the number one philosophical atheist in the world a few years back, Antony Flew.

    The problem is that JR is dismissive of solid history with considerable archaeological support, while she is uncritically swallowing dating schemes that are in fact riddled with circularities driven by the basic — and undeniable — fact that we were not there nor do we have generally accepted records.

    Had she bothered to simply read the story of KNM ER 1470, she would have found out specific cases of tossed dates, tossed samples, cherry-picked samples, and debates settled not on radioactive results but on fossil correlations across I think it is actually over 100 miles. With the well known journal Nature as witness against interest, no 1.

    And she continues to harp on how dare you write off the work of ever so many august experts when in fact the basic problem is that the field of origins science is under thralldom to the sort of a priori imposition of materialism that Lewontin and others have documented. There are even attempts to redefine science to fit that censorship.

    But instead of dealing seriously with the real problem — materialistic bias and its deleterious consequences for the ability of origins science to be objective — we find slander-laced strawman attacks. You are insulting ever so many hard working scientists who have piled up ever so many findings. You are a creationist. You empty headed chatterbox [translated from J/can], etc.

    Absolutely, and sadly, telling.

    GEM of TKI

  213. kf

    C-14 dates, esp. as we begin to move out to 5 kya and beyond, are clearly NOT absolute

    Raw C14 dates underestimate the age of a sample. So, whatever the raw C14 age is, your sample is most probably even older!

    We know how we have to apply corrections to get a better approximation of the real value. That we have to take into account the internal resistance of a battery doesn´t mean that Ohm´s law is wrong either.
    In any case the differences are relatively small. It is amazing how well the curves from different regions of the earth coincide. And not only do C14 dates from different regions more or less coincide, they also coincide very well with ice core dates and tree ring dates.
    We know there are errors. But how do you explain the general consilience of evidence that the C14 methode is a very good tool? How do you explain that C14 agree with U/Th dates?

  214. –Jemima Racktouey: “Your God can change the laws of reason, who are you to say otherwise?

    Since you continue to raise the issue of “my” God, I will comment. My God, the Biblical God, is synonymous with Unity, Truth, Being, Beauty, and Goodness. That God has already declared that He cannot or will not change Truth or the laws of reason. [The same God “yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”] You are perhaps thinking of the Muslim God that can change his mind about such things. They call that the doctrine of “abrogation.” The Christian God cannot or will not change his mind about what is true or what is reasonable. You really ought to investigate these matters before commenting on them. One way to begin is to simply ask questions.

    —“Why? StephenB says so? Fact is you are making all of this up.”

    No, I am simply introducing to you for the first time concepts that you have never heard of. Just as I had to introduce you to the first principles of right reason, I now have to introduce you to the concept of a perfect, unchanging Christian God. It is your right to disagree with or refuse to believe in such a God, or to reject reason’s rules, but it is not your right to claim that I am “making all this up.”

    —“That’s the very core of your position however, that there was an uncaused cause. Therefore you are irrational by your own logic.”

    Again, you are shooting from the hip without even aiming. The rule in question is that nothing can BEGIN TO EXIST without a cause. The Uncaused Cause did not begin to exist.

    By refusing to recognize reason’s rules, you draw irrational conclusions, such as when you claim that Jupiter can exist and not exist at the same time or that unchangeable things can be changed, or that universes can just pop into existence without a cause.

    –“And the value for that immaterial measurement has no existence outside of a material brain that is taking the reading.”

    Matter cannot investigate matter.

    —“The framework for those words contains mass/energy. They are stored as digital bits somewhere which have measurable properties. Without that framework those words cannot exist.”

    You are confusing technology and the transmission of information with mental thought. There is no mass or energy in mental concepts.

    —“Exactly so. Temperature is a property that we’ve invented and applied to a given system.”

    The speed of the molecules is a material phenomenon, and our description of that phenomenon is a non-material phenomenon. The object of the investigation, which is material, is different from the receptive and interpretive mind of the investigator, which is non-material. As a materialist, you cannot recognize the relationship between the investigator and the object of the investigation because you do not recognize the distinction between mind and matter.

    —“Just like the other “immaterial” properties you’ve invented and given to various systems.”

    As a matter of historical fact, I didn’t invent the laws of logic. Aristotle “discovered” them over two thousand years ago. Also, there is a fellow named Euclid who provided similar self-evident principles for mathematics. Don’t you even have a basic intellectual curiosity about these things?

    —“They did not exist before you invented them.”

    They have always existed. You just don’t care to acknowledge them. It’s the spirit of the age and you are a child of that age. Why not try to rise above it? All great souls do.

    —“These “immaterial” things you claim exist in fact only exist in our minds.”

    Do you think that justice, goodness, compassion, fairness, love, and honesty exist? Do you labor under the misconception that they contain mass and energy, or that they are composed of molecules? I hope not.

    —“Thanks for helping me prove my point

    I proved my point. The physical world and our descriptions of the physical world are two different things. The former is material, the latter is not. If I had not understood the principle, I would not have been able to provide a relevant and specific example.

  215. Indium:

    Do you not see the problem of thinking in a circle, in a ballpark?

    Do you not see that the alignment of historical events and their calibration against our calendar, especially as we go into the window of roughly 1 – 2,000 BC, begins to get fairly fuzzy? Beyond that records get rather thinner and thinner on the ground, and we are into relative dating ever and ever more.

    I have pointed out that esp as we move beyond 5 ky BP, C-14 is less and less to be trusted as independent, it is being calibrated against other methods in a circle.

    So mutual agreement may be more of our circle of thought than of objective reality. WE WERE NOT THERE, and generally credible and clear records locked to fixed points we can trust are getting scarce like hen’s teeth. Indeed, even astronomically locked points like the rising of Sirius for the crucial Egyptian records, have more of interpretation in them than we would like. (Where something was observed can have a key impact, and just what was observed may also be an open question. For instance in some cases whether we are looking at an eclipse, a full eclipse or just a dust storm, becomes an open question. Look up the notes I already linked on that, and look at the debates Rohl sparked off. Wasn’t the date for Hammurabi more flexible than was formerly thought?)

    That is for when we do have records!

    When we move up to the really deep time stuff, things get seriously circular. The KNM ER 1470 case shows this strikingly for the issue of index fossils, radiodating methods, samples and the like.

    In short there is a basic problem with geochronology, not with my saying that we need to take it very carefully, not as effectively certain fact.

    Maybe some would call it physicist’s arrogance [and the quick retort is physics envy], but I think that a lot of cosmological level stuff is a lot cleaner, which is why I lead my unit with cosmological stuff as origins science done right:

    1 –> The H-R diagram fits into gravitationally collapsing H-ball models which project a dynamical pattern for stars.

    2 –> the open clusters like the Hyades etc, give us groups of stars that are at about the same distance, so comparative magnitudes on a HR diagram are all tat is needed. As the diagram shows, we then can plot breakaway lines to the giants branch, which can be calibrated against the h ball models for main sequence burnout.

    3 –> Cluster ages drop out of that [up to about 10 BY], and as a bonus we have clusters as a distance metric.

    4 –> We can scale distance metrics up to galactic distances off delta cepheid variable stars, using a magnitude-period relationship. [Polaris is a star of this type.]

    5 –> Other methods allow us to scale enough galaxies to see the Hubble red shift relationship, which fits with an unexpected property of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity on the cosmological scale.

    6 –> Hubble expansion, even through debates on the rate, project back to the singularity 10 – 20 BYA, and so we are at the big bang model, further supported decisively by cosmos scale blackbody [cavity radiator] background radiation.

    7 –> i need not elaborate on fine tuning issues here, you know that these warrant an inference to cosmological design as men of the calibre of a Hoyle pointed out long since.

    8 –> But, the recent extrasolar planets with orbits at all sorts of inclinations etc as well as the longstanding concerns on angular momentum distribution raise serious questions that we do not properly understand solar system formation.

    9 –> So, there is a distinct difference between cosmological modelling and the projected timelines for that, and geochronology. Much less of circularity, much more of pretty fairly direct empirical support, indeed I see recent YEC models that seek to fit a young earth with a 15 BY cosmological timeline, which is evidently possible with some scenarios they propose. Should tell us something.

    10 –> But the biggie is that on finetuning we already are looking at a designed cosmos set up for C-chemistry cell based intelligent life, even on a timeline of 10 – 20 BY.

    11 –> In that context, I have no problems with seeing that the balance of evidence on origin of FSCO/I points to design of cell based life.

    12 –> Similarly, body plans are designed, including our own.

    13 –> And if you look above, it is plain that JR was desperately trying to distract from the fact that the evo mat view has no way of accounting for how we are PHYSICALLY equipped for verbally symbolic speech using cascaded phonemes [as discrete units that are strung together in acoustic string structures] and conceptual thinking to go with that; all, deeply embedded with FSCO/I only empirically explainable on design.

    14 –> So, regardless of the debates on Lucy’s skeleton — which plausibly looks like a version on a chimp to me — and on how she can be dated [3.5 MYA makes the problems just as bad as would 6 - 10 MY, once we see the FSCI threshold] — t5he evo mat advocates have no sound empirically anchored explaantion of how chance variation and natural selection could transform a Lucy into you and me in any reasonable span.

    15 –> But, the FSCO/I involved, plainly can be accounted for on the empirically observed source for that, in a context and chain of other similar inferences back to the origin of the cosmos: design.

    GEM of TKI

  216. 216
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,
    The International Society for the Study of Origins of Life has just released a .pdf with 214 pages of abstracts:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....e_9164.pdf

    In 2008, the International Society for the Study of Origins of Life, held a symposium on the origins and early evolution of life. The .PDF is the result of that.

    350 scientists from all over the world came together with more than 310 presentations.

    Perhaps if you explained FSCO/I to them they’d have a look for it?

    But it makes a mockery of your claims that the “evo mat” explanation for the origin of life is lacking.

    That .pdf contains only the abstracts! And yet it contains more detail then has ever been given for any ID idea ever and that’s just one years worth!

    KF, what do you make of that .pdf? I guess it’s all wrong because they are starting with the wrong premise yeah?

  217. 217
    JemimaRacktouey

    KF,
    KNM ER 1470. Human or Ape? What do you say?

  218. 218
    JemimaRacktouey

    StephenB,

    By refusing to recognize reason’s rules, you draw irrational conclusions, such as when you claim that Jupiter can exist and not exist at the same time or that unchangeable things can be changed, or that universes can just pop into existence without a cause

    I’m not claiming that such things can be. I’m claiming that your God allows such things to be possible, if it wishes. By definition.

    There is no mass or energy in mental concepts.

    And yet there are no mental concepts without mass and energy. And if concepts are immaterial why does the electrical activity of the brain change for certain concepts. Why does it need to do that?

    The object of the investigation, which is material, is different from the receptive and interpretive mind of the investigator, which is non-material.

    Except parsimony dictates that your non-material mind is irrelevant and can be done without. It adds nothing to our understanding of how the brain creates consciousness. It just skips to the end of the problem with a claimed answer that is as much of an answer as “it was designed” is an answer to where Lucy came from.

    you do not recognize the distinction between mind and matter.

    Every mind ever has been instantiated in a physical brain.

    Show me a mind without a brain and perhaps I’ll believe you.

    They have always existed. You just don’t care to acknowledge them.

    Unless your God decides to make them unexist.

    Do you think that justice, goodness, compassion, fairness, love, and honesty exist?

    When the last human dies then those things will cease to exist, at least in a human context. Alien life might well hit upon them.

    Do you labor under the misconception that they contain mass and energy, or that they are composed of molecules?

    Of course they are. And those molecules make up neurons. And those neurons interact. And there you are!

    A bit simplified, but so be it. I’m talking to somebody who evidently believes that minds are beamed into the brain like some kind of radio signal, or that minds exist separate from the physical brain despite the fact he can’t provide a scintilla of evidence for that claim.

    The physical world and our descriptions of the physical world are two different things. The former is material, the latter is not.

    Of course it is. The pen you write it down with is physical. The eyes you see it with and convert into electricity and feed it into your brain, all physical. The brain that is stimulated, the electricity that does the stimulating.

    All physical. All measureable.

    Just because those descriptions of the physical world can be manipulated by us in ways that are not physically possible does not mean that those descriptions are somehow distinct from that physical reality. Without that physical reality they cannot exist. We can treat them as if they do not have a physical existence but ultimately they do.

    Of course, it seems to us that an idea has no physical existence. But we’re seeing our minds from the inside out.

    StephenB, tell me how you know for sure that the mind is not the brain?

    If it’s not, what is the brain for? It seems awfully complex for something that’s not needed to create a mind.

  219. Jemima, you are hilarious!
    You think you are actually making sense with the logical skills of a three year old! Hahahaha!

  220. If I may, I think the impasse here is predictable. Each side thinks the other is being unreasonable and evasive, but that’s because each thinks the other side must answer its questions on its own terms before moving on. It’s not surprising, given all that, that each side thinks the other is providing strawmen, red herrings, etc.

  221. 221
    material.infantacy

    I’m not claiming that such things can be. I’m claiming that your God allows such things to be possible, if it wishes. By definition.

    What sort of jackassery is this? I have to marvel at the chutzpah of atheists, whose pride P can be calculated as “the estimation of one’s own knowledge” E over “acceptance of reason’s rules” R. Notice how pride P goes to infinity as reason R goes to zero, regardless of the value of the knowledge estimation E. Lim(P=E/R), R->0 = INF.

    No wonder Jemima believes it is arguing successfully.

    God is not capricious, only atheist’s views of morality and reason are.

    And yet there are no mental concepts without mass and energy. And if concepts are immaterial why does the electrical activity of the brain change for certain concepts. Why does it need to do that?

    This is what you get when you combine question begging with the fallacy of believing that correlation implies causation, mixed in with a little “lack of imagination.”

    If the brain provides a faculty that permits the mind to relate the concrete (physicality) to the abstract (understanding), we’ll call this perception; and if — wait for it — the brain helps the mind relate the abstract (will) to the concrete (activity), let’s call this volition, then it stands to reason that regions in the brain would be active when these functions are being utilized, unless you reject as a matter of principle that this might be the case.

    That wasn’t very hard. See, if we don’t assume materialist philosophy right off the bat, we can posit more than one cause for a given effect and evaluate the evidence objectively. Try it, it’s fun.

    Except parsimony dictates that your non-material mind is irrelevant and can be done without. It adds nothing to our understanding of how the brain creates consciousness.

    Fallacy 1 is the first sentence above. Parsimony dictates that causes not be multiplied beyond the sufficient. There is no evidence that electro-chemical interactions are sufficient to produce consciousness, because it has never been observed that sophisticated processing of information gives rise to the ability to reason.

    Of note: If I say that “physics and chemistry are insufficient to produce self-aware agents with the ability to reason in the abstract, and who use foresight to plan actions from seconds to years into the future,” this is a falsifiable statement. We should expect it to go out with the invention of AIs, whose reasoning abilities rival our own.

    Fallacy 2 is the second sentence of the quote. We don’t have an understanding of how the brain creates consciousness. I know that this can be hard to fathom when you’ve decided ahead of evidence that, from matter and energy comes consciousness. You Jemima (or anyone) can’t explain consciousness any more than you can explain OOL. All you can do is be certain beyond reason that the explanations all rest exclusively in the interaction between physical objects, and that someday you’ll be vindicated.

    Fallacy 1 is born of fallacy 2. Fallacy 1 demonstrates the misuse of parsimony by assuming that which is being investigated, that is, the cause of consciousness is a result of an interplay between matter and energy, which you can’t know until you explain consciousness, see. The cause for these sorts of errors is materialist metaphysics which has nothing to do with science proper.

    Show me a mind without a brain and perhaps I’ll believe you.

    Show me the velocity of A=pi*r^2 and perhaps I’ll believe you. Or perhaps you could prove that e is blue, or red, or chartreuse. How much does the indefinite integral of f(x) = x^2 weigh?

    I’m talking to somebody who evidently believes that minds are beamed into the brain like some kind of radio signal, or that minds exist separate from the physical brain despite the fact he can’t provide a scintilla of evidence for that claim.

    And he’s talking to somebody who believes that particles in motion can poof a mind into existence via Time + Chaos. He’s talking to someone who believes that non-foresighted mechanisms can produce foresighted machines. He’s talking to someone who believes the efficacy of random forces to develop nanotechnology is superior to an intelligent agent’s.

    Or perhaps I’ll begin believing that the voice coming out of the radio is produced by a complex arrangement of electronic components and logic circuits. Odd though, how the radio is designed by one, and broadcasts the messages of another. This conundrum can easily be overcome if we make the radio self-replicating, however. Only the best radios survive: and we’ve solved that little problem! The radio invented itself and it broadcasts the messages of its own will. Isn’t evolution grand?

    …what is the brain for? It seems awfully complex for something that’s not needed to create a mind.

    It seems awfully complex for something that must perform quantum computing at virtually unimaginable bandwidth. Yeah, what’s all that extra gray matter for anyway? I didn’t think image processing and recognition required so much complexity. Nor speech processing and recognition. Nor the coordination of kinematics in a hundred limbs and joints. No, translating concrete physicality to and from an active Will isn’t all that complicated, really.

    Jemima, when you’re old enough to think for yourself instead of seeking the approval of your peers, you might begin to recognize that all those pesky rules of logic actually apply to you as well, regardless of the value of P. Until then, let the adults speak. They’re very much more interesting to read. All you have accomplished here is to show that which you believe: there is no burden of evidence on those who believe beyond reason that Time + Chaos gives rise to extraordinary order and sophistication.

  222. material.infantacy, very well put! you may enjoy this song I’m dedicating to JemimaRacktouey;

    Lies-Evanescence-Origin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml7JSG2KC44

  223. 223
    material.infantacy

    very well put! you may enjoy this song I’m dedicating to JemimaRacktouey

    Thanks BA77, and thanks for the music link. :-)

  224. —JemimaRacktouey: “I’m not claiming that such things can be. I’m claiming that your God allows such things to be possible, if it wishes. By definition. “

    As I have already pointed out, your claims are unwarranted and false. I have also explained why. What is it about the following facts that you do not understand?– The Christian God is unchangeable, declares himself to be unchangeable, and is understood by His believers to be unchangeable. Thus, “my God,” as you put it, cannot change his mind about truth and reason’s principles. The point is confirmed by Scripture and 2000 years of oral tradition. Please make a note of it since I would prefer not to repeat myself yet again.

    —“Unless your God decides to make them unexist.”

    First, you say that I “invented” the rules of logic. Then, when I point out that Aristotle “discovered them,” you shrug off the corrective and change the subject. Meanwhile, you timidly hold back your own opinion on the matter, even though you don’t hesitate to speculate on what you think “my God” thinks about it. A remarkable exercise in serpentine evasion. An ounce of intellectual courage would be worth a ton of bluffing.

    —“A bit simplified, but so be it. I’m talking to somebody who evidently believes that minds are beamed into the brain like some kind of radio signal, or that minds exist separate from the physical brain despite the fact he can’t provide a scintilla of evidence for that claim.”

    What’s that you say? …..”Minds beamed into brains?”….That characterization of hylomorphic dualism [look it up] is so recklessly inaccurate, it is downright entertaining. …“Not a scintilla of evidence?” Begin by reading “The Spiritual Brain,” by Denyse O’Leary and Dr. Mario Beauregard. When you finish that assignment come back for more.

    –“The eyes you see it with and convert into electricity and feed it into your brain, all physical. The brain that is stimulated, the electricity that does the stimulating.

    —All physical. All measureable.”

    Well, let’s put your novel claim to the test. If, as you say, the concepts of justice, mercy, and love can be measured, tell me this: How much does each quality weigh? Or, if you like, tell me how much mass in involved.

    —“StephenB, tell me how you know for sure that the mind is not the brain?

    I know this for many reasons. I will provide only three: (1) My mind can resist, control, and redirect my brain’s impulses. (2) The placebo effect in medicine shows that the mind can change the brain’s chemistry. (3) I can form new habits by using my mind to form new habits that will crowd out bad habits, forging new neural pathways in my brain.

    —“If it’s not, what is the brain for? It seems awfully complex for something that’s not needed to create a mind.”

    The brain is absolutely essential as our most complex organ, but it is the mind that plays the major role in the acquisition of knowledge.

    On the matter of how we know things, the non-material mind puts us in contact with the conceptual world, and the senses, which are regulated by the brain, put us in contact with the material world. Our knowledge begins with sense impressions about the particulars of an object from the physical world, but the mind provides an image of the universal category inherent in that same object. Hence, through our senses, we feel and see this or that tree; through our intellect, we perceive treeness, or that which is universal with all trees.

    Our senses, which give us color, size, and shape, tell us whether we are observing this tree or that tree; our non-material intellect, which perceives “tree-ness” as a category, tells us whether we are looking at a tree or a giraffe. If our brains were all we had, we could not distinguish between universal categories. We would perceive particulars and nothing more. Particulars are grounded in matter, just as the brain is grounded in matter. Universals are independent of matter. Tree-ness has no size, shape, color, mass, or energy. Neither does justice, love, peace, or honesty.

    Thus, when I meet a new person, I perceive his size, shape, color, and other physical attributes through my senses. I understand his universal humanity through my intellect [immaterial mind]. Through the senses, I know how that individual is different from every other human that ever lived. Through my intellect, I know what that individual has in common with every other human that ever lived.

  225. —QuiteID: “If I may, I think the impasse here is predictable.”

    There is no impasse. When atheism confronts reason, atheism loses. When irrationality confronts rationality, irrationality loses.

  226. kf,
    With regard to dating methods:

    So mutual agreement may be more of our circle of thought than of objective reality.

    That is not even wrong. The independend methods agree very well (+- some perecentage) even without any calibration. Why do you think C14 dating, tree ring dates, ice core dates and U/Th dates agree more or less even without any calibration/cross referencing?

    How do you explain this agreement across all kinds of methods before alignment/calibration?

  227. H’mm:

    Excellent discussion overnight.

    I must particularly say this: material.infantacy, we need to hear more from you!

    (And it seems/I hope my point on facing facts about uncertainties on history and geochronology and cosmological timelines, is getting through. There is always that problem that relatively few people follow up links. Like for instance the previously linked critique on Lucy. It will do good for some to see that the fabled ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked Creationists can do a useful critical survey on a topic, raising some significant points. It is time to exorcise some strawmannish bogeymen.)

    Maybe I can add something on those basic laws of thought and first warranted credible truths, on the discussion in my work in progress course, here.

    Let’s draw a sort of diagram:

    {{ . . . (A) . . . }}

    1: Let A be some definable, distinct object in the wider world [NOT-A], say a red ball on a table.

    –> This specificity is just to focus our minds on a sufficiently clear case to see what is going on in those laws that are so often irrationally disputed.

    2: Law of identity: A is itself, not something else (symbolically, [A => A] = 1);

    3: Law of non-contradiction: A will not be the same as NOT-A ([A AND NOT-A] = 0); and

    4: Law of the excluded middle: there is no third option to being A or NOT-A ( [A OR NOT-A] = 1).

    5: In addition, we have the concept of sufficient reason. If A is there, there is a reason — an answer to “why A?” — for it.

    6: In case that A began to exist or may cease from existing, it has a cause, something outside it that is in part required for A to exist, and as a whole is sufficient for A.

    7: To see this, consider A to be a flame. Air, heat and fuel are each necessary and are jointly sufficient for A. Take away any necessary causal factor and A ceases or will not start, but once a sufficient set of factors is present, A will exist. That is, we see here necessary and sufficient causal factors and their relationship to the beginning, sustenance and termination of a contingent being, A.

    7: What would happen if there were a being N, with no external necessary causal factors?

    8: Such a being would be independent of external causes, would not have a beginning, and cannot be terminated. N is a necessary being, and the sufficient reason for N lies in its nature. Two key candidates are things like numbers, and the root cause of our credibly contingent cosmos.

    9: What about cases where we have empty sets and contrasts? Such things of course are discussions of literally no-thing, and so for this special case, the “square of opposition” is modified; though — technical point — we should note that the existential quantifier, reverse-E, has existential import. It is the Universal quantifier, inverted A, which has no existential import, and can deal with hypotheticals that may not exist.

    10: in any case, the world undeniably exists — try the denial and see where it lands you, i.e. in immediate absurdity (so we need not unduly detain ourselves with those stuck in such absurdities) — and we undeniably exist, where both ourselves and our cosmos as a whole are contingent.

    11: Thus, there is a necessary being as external causal factor. And as Craig pointed out in his debate with Krauss, numbers and the like have no causal power. Equally, matter is contingent [cf. E = m*c^2]. We are left with immaterial mind as the most credible nature for the root-cause necessary being [RCNB].

    12: Further to this, we observe the existence and fine-tuning of the observed physical cosmos for C-chemistry, intelligent life, and its credible beginning at a finite distance in the past, implying that the RCNB is mind capable of creating and acting on matter. The very existence of a contingent, finetuned physical world points to the possibility of mind acting on matter.

    13: A RCNB with the above capacities is supremely powerful, skilled, knowledgeable and intelligent. Indeed, such a being sounds rather familiar, i.e. it is credible to argue:

    RCNB = God, the Creator

    14: In addition, we find ourselves bound by the force of OUGHT. For instance, we find ourselves to have rights, which are morally binding obligations that we mutually owe: your right to life implies my duty to respect your life and vice versa.

    15: So, only a world rooted in a being who is an IS who can ground OUGHT is reasonable. The simplest, best solution to that is that the Creator God is inherently good and reasonable. In such a world, the root IS grounds OUGHT. (And certainly, a materialistic view has in it no IS that can ground OUGHT, only the appeal of naked force; whilst the very point of ought is that the most vulnerable do have rights that we OUGHT to respect. Do I need to spell it out: R-A-P-E?)

    16: In short, theism — contrary to the fulminations of those tanked up on materialistic rhetoric and atheistical rage — is a reasonable worldview, one anchored in our knowledge of ourselves and our world, including the deliverances of science.

    17: Going on, on our experience of ourselves in our world, we find ourselves to be contingent, conscious, self-moved, initiating, minded, embodied causing agents under moral obligation. Thus it is reasonable to infer that we are created, minded, enconscienced, significantly — as opposed to absolutely — free and responsible moral and semiotic agents.

    (For a model of how this can be, cf. the Derek Smith two-tier MIMO cybernetic system model here. The 2-way radio model [which takes in the cell phone!] — is also a good way to picture this, BTW; especially the antenna signal/information transfer interface. We already know from some of the peculiarities of Quantum observations that there are things that are suggestive of a realm beyond the lab scale physical world, e.g. the famous quantum version of the double slit type experiment. As in, how can a system like that “know” the setup and respond like that, sometimes even superluminally? [Cf the Dr Quantum video here.])

    18: Now, we cite and adapt Josiah Royce via Elton Trueblood — Warranted, Credible truth 1, WCT 1: Error exists.

    19: Not only true as a matter of consensus fact, but UNDENIABLY true. For, to try to deny WCT 1 immediately and inescapably ends up giving an instance of its truth.

    20: Whether we want to say WCT 1 or NOT-WCT 1 is the error is immaterial, one or the other but not both, must be wrong. And in fact, immediately we see that it is NOT-WCT 1 that is the error.

    21: As direct corollaries, we see also:

    WCT 1a: truth exists

    WCT 1b: knowable — warranted, credible — truth exists. (Even to the level of being self evident and undeniable.)

    22: Already, we are sweeping away the credibility of any worldview that denies truth or knowledge beyond opinion: bye bye radically relativist modernism and ultra-modernism, aka post-modernism. We may not be able to know all things to the level of undeniable certainty, but we know some key things to that degree. Radical relativism and radical skepticism are dead.

    23: Selective hyperskepticism that inconsistently picks and chooses what it wishes to demand “extraordinary” — as opposed to adequate — warrant for, is also dead, of self-defeating incoherence and/or outright hypocrisy.

    24: But don’t some quantum events happen without a cause? Nope: once we see that a necessary causal factor is a causal factor we see that a decaying atomic nucleus or particle such as an extra-nuclear neutron has to be “there” in space and has to have certain properties before it can decay. We may not know, may even never be able to know the SUFFICIENT causal factors but cause is not the same as sufficient cause.

    25: We can go on:

    WCT 3: We live in a real world that exists, and contains individual things that also have real existence. (Just try to deny that and see where it lands you!) . . . .

    WCT 6: Evil exists (NB: this is best understood as the objectionable, harmful and destructive privation and/or perversion of the good), so that governing moral truth, principle and obligation also objectively exist.

    –> Thus also, only a worldview that has a grounding IS that is a proper foundation for OUGHT is a reasonable faith . . . .

    WCT 7: We, our circumstances, challenges and our common world are at least in significant part intelligible (and so discuss-able) in light of reason, experience and credible first principles used with good inferential logic. (Try to deny it and see where this gets you!)

    ___________

    Where does this all leave us?

    In a world in which we can think clearly, if we are inclined to do so, instead of heading off to the nearest fever swamp to tank up on rage and rhetoric and then fly off to inject it on some unwilling victim.

    The choice — and its consequences — lie in our hands.

    Okay,

    GEM of TKI

  228. Indium:

    Pardon, but that rhetorical line is getting long past its sell-by date.

    Please stop begging questions and dismissing credible facts from relevant cases.

    When C-14 dating, as just one instance, has to be “calibrated” against other methods as the level of C-14 in the atmosphere is not in a steady equilibrium, it is no longer an independent method.

    Observe, calibration against tree rings, stalagmites in the Bahamas, and lake deposits; as previously linked, with page references. Did you read the relevant page of that paper from Uni of Arizona?

    (1) If so, then why are you still talking about independent methods?

    (2) If not, why are you saying what you don’t know about as though it is a fact beyond dispute?

    As touching the increasing fuzziness of historical dates as we move into the window of about 1,000 – 2,000 I take it — from the silence of initially dismissive objectors since I linked the notes on the subject — this is now recognised by one and all.

    Similarly, when we see that in the infamous case of KNM-ER 1470 — again, did you read before posting? — as documented in Nature etc, we see back and forth of ISOCHRON dates, cherry-picking of samples, and “calibration” against fossil fauna, all duly reported in the leading Journals, we cannot justifiably take such dates as independent and in consilience. (Recall, an initial date was over 200 MYA, corrected on fossils, leading to cherry picking samples to get rid of perceived contamination. Then we had a back-forth across the range 1.9 to 2.6 and 2.9 MYA. Finally settled on pig fossils from over 100 miles away. As Lubenow reports, one of the participants in the debate quit the field and went to do medicine after that mess. But, I remember how the major newsmags at the time breathlessly announced — with wonderful photopaintings etc — how the ancestral tree of man was ever so well solved. I remember a fellow sixth former shaking the open full page spread diagram of I think it was Newsweek at me when I said I had some doubts.)

    Instead, they are being fitted to a consensus picture of a school of thought. And, more.

    Just like is blowing up all over the place since the Climategate scandal broke. (And notice how the “victories” are getting ever closer to the home islands . . . ?)

    BTW, someone who tanked up on too much intoxicating rhetoric and rage in the fever swamps was trying a Torquemada demand on whether or no the skull is humanish or ape-like. That has gone back and forth over the past 40 years, and it has revealed just how subjective the fossil reconstructions are.

    Likewise, is Lucy’s arm chimp like or human like? Her rib cage? And even, is it she or he?

    There is a lot of subjectivity and seeing what one hopes/expects to see at work. As Lucy’s discoverer seems to have admitted in the 1990′s.

    So, then, when the public is presented with clay models, or photo paintings or animatronic displays, and even computer animations as though these things sat for portraits or were caught on video, it gets worse and worse.

    We are now in the territory of Plato’s Cave shadow shows!

    GEM of TKI

  229. BA:

    Amen!

    JR:

    I have finished discussing the matters debated in this thread with you until tone can be reduced to a moderate and civil level, but that does not preclude hope and prayer; for we are redeemable.

    Just remember, the rhetoric and rage provided for free in the fever swamps is intoxicating — and toxic — to you, too.

    Please, think again.

    GEM of TKI

  230. kf

    You ignore my question and continue to talk about calibration. But calibration is only needed for extra precision. While I would really like to know why you dismiss the calibration that was not my question, which is: How do you explain that the data points agree very well even without further calibration? Even without any alignment ice cores, tree rings, C14, U/Th and so on have a very good agreement. What is your explanation?

  231. Sorry for forgetting to close the bf tag.

  232. Indium:

    What happened to the initial 212 – 230 MYA results on K-Ar by Fitch and Miller, why?

    How did the investigators carry out the “careful extraction of undoubtedly juvenile components” to get samples that gave the 2.6 MYA “securely dated” value used by Richard Leakey?

    What about the Brock and Isaac paleomagnetism study that gave 2.7 – 3.0 MYA for the layers in/below which 1470 was found?

    Why did these worthies say:

    The correlations shown in Figure 4 are not fully independent, and rely partly upon K.Ar and 
    faunal evidence as well as upon the basic polarity data.
     
    The starting point for the correlation is the age of 2.61 ± 0.26 Myr obtained by Fitch and Miller from selected sanidine crystals from pumice specimens from the KBS Tuff.

    What does “not fully independent” mean? As well “rely partly upon K.Ar and faunal evidence”?

    Does this sound to you like, ho hum, even without cross-correlation, things line up within error bars, presto?

    What of Hurford’s fission track date of 1974, where he spoke of annealing at c 1.8 MYA that reportedly did a reset, for LOWER sediments [how comes, not the relevant ones too?]?

    Why does L. report that:

    Late in 1974, Fitch, Miller, and associates published the results of their revised study confirming their original dating of the KBS Tuff at 2.61 ± .26 m.y.a. They also reported a broad scatter of apparent ages from ten different samplings ranging from 0.52 to 2.64 m.y.a. Referring to the other studies, they stated: “The compatibility of independent evidence is a very strong argument for accepting the chronology now proposed for East Rudolf.”

    But, if H. said his results were not independent, how are they suddenly independent confirmation?

    And, if the samples were all now being cherry picked to be “juvenile,” were they really independent? What if a sample went “off,” as with the first one? Would it even be reported or just tossed as a failed sample?

    And so, we come to L’s summary of where the rest of the story went:

     Skull 1470 with its 
    estimated date of 2.9 m.y.a. presented the evolutionary world with an intolerable situation. Richard Leakey did not exaggerate when he declared: “Either we toss out this skull or we toss out our theories of early man.”16
    The problem was quite simple. The theory of human evolution did not allow for a skull so modern in morphology to be that old. It was absolutely predictable to those of us who watched these matters unfold that something would have to give. 

    Only three things could happen to relieve the stress that the theory of human evolution was experiencing: 
    (1) the date for 1470 could be revised? (2) 1470 could be assigned to the most distant and primitive form of Homo? or (3) 1470 could be reevaluated and designated an australopithecine. 

    Actually, all three of these solutions happened in one way or another. The date was eventually revised, the fossil was assigned to the category Homo habilis, and some—including one of Richard Leakey’s close associates, Alan Walker—said that 1470 was actually an australopithecine.

    Now, compare how Wiki reports:

    _______________

    >> Homo rudolfensis is a fossil human species discovered by Bernard Ngeneo, a member of a team led by anthropologist Richard Leakey and zoologist Meave Leakey in 1972, at Koobi Fora on the east side of Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in Kenya. The scientific name Homo rudolfensis was proposed in 1986 by V. P. Alekseyev for the specimen Skull 1470 (KNM ER 1470). Skull 1470 has an estimated age of 1.9 million years.

    Originally thought to be a member of the species Homo habilis, the fossil was the center of much debate concerning its species. Assigned initially to Homo habilis, the skull was at first incorrectly dated at nearly three million years old. The differences in this skull, when compared to others of the Homo habilis species, are too pronounced, leading to the presumption of a Homo rudolfensis species, contemporary with Homo habilis. It is not certain if H. rudolfensis was ancestral to the later species in Homo, or if H. habilis was, or if some third species yet to be discovered was.
    UR 501 (original specimen), the oldest fossil of Genus Homo

    In March 2007, a team led by Timothy Bromage, an anthropologist at New York University, reconstructed the skull of KNM-ER 1470. The new construction looked very ape-like (possibly due to an exaggerated rotation of the skull[1]) and the cranial capacity based on the new construction was reported to be downsized from 752 cm³ to about 526 cm³, although this seemed to be a matter of some controversy.[2] Bromage published his results in 2008 where the cranial capacity was now estimated at 700 cm³.[3] Bromage said his team’s reconstruction included biological principles not known at the time of the skull’s discovery, which state that a mammal’s eyes, ears and mouth must be in precise relationships relative to one another.[2] >>
    _______________

    See how the major debate on the dates is glided over neatly?

    In that context, Indium, I think you will understand my doubts on claims of independent methods, and consilience even without corrections.

    I repeat: we have model timelines for geochronology, but we were not there to observe the remote past, nor do we have generally accepted records. So, I remain a geochronology agnostic. Models which seem critically dependent on intellectual phase locking, and do not have a genuinely independent external test, are models not facts.

    We should be aware of that, and not present them as though they were practically indisputable or had no trace in them of the human hand and mind.

    I observe, too, that you are silent on my contrast; on cosmological evidence.

    GEM of TKI

  233. OOPS: ouch on a run on effect on clips! WP is doing some odd things with clips from a PDF this morning.

  234. 234

    material,

    All you can do is be certain beyond reason that the explanations all rest exclusively in the interaction between physical objects, and that someday you’ll be vindicated.

    I don’t think it’s an unreasonable starting point to assume that the explanations all rest exclusively in the interaction between physical objects (and energy). After all, it’s been the case for every single other thing that started off as mysterious. Every other time what started out as “designed” turned out to be “not designed”. Or “supernatural” becomes “natural”. Or “immaterial” becomes “material”.

    Why should it be any different this time?

    When you come up with some actual evidence that is not the case then the investigation can incorporate that evidence.

    Until then, it’s just wish fulfillment on your behalf.

    That wasn’t very hard. See, if we don’t assume materialist philosophy right off the bat, we can posit more than one cause for a given effect and evaluate the evidence objectively.

    Please do so. And when you come up with something that enables you to make a prediction that can actually

    be tested or explain something that cannot currently be explained then you have done something that has progressed the state of the art.

    And he’s talking to somebody who believes that particles in motion can poof a mind into existence via Time + Chaos

    And I’m now talking to somebody who believes that “poof” on it’s own is an acceptable explanation.

    All you have accomplished here is to show that which you believe: there is no burden of evidence on those who believe beyond reason that Time + Chaos gives rise to extraordinary order and sophistication.

    The burden of evidence is on my side to provide evidence for my claims.

    And we do. And we are.

    http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/ool-www/program/

    What does ID do that is any way similar?

  235. kf
    This all very interesting (please write more about it, maybe even publish your critique), but it doesn´t answer my question.
    Even without any alignment ice cores, tree rings, C14, U/Th and so on have a very good agreement. What is your explanation?

  236. Indium:

    You are simply repeating the circle.

    I have pointed out that there is a problem where there is an intellectual phase locking [notice how "incorrect" values are defined], with a famous case in point.

    Once we are calibrating C14 vs other things, we are out of the province of independent evidence, and the same applies to the other methods.

    We have a cluster of models that have been correlated to give a timeline based on a consensus school of thought, but we have no truly independent check on the past, especially as we go beyond records.

    As to publishing this, that has been done. Many times. (Cf for instance my excerpt on the situation with isochrons, probably the soundest RA dating approach. In principle.)

    We must not confuse models for reality.

    And again, you manage to skip the comparison to where we do have a much more well warranted approach, on cosmological timelines and their implications. Or, at any rate, the best explanation we have.

    That glide by in silence is as telling as the point you do want to push.

    GEM of TKI

  237. 237

    KF

    Once we are calibrating C14 vs other things, we are out of the province of independent evidence, and the same applies to the other methods.

    Can’t you read? The point is that they all agree before calibration!

    Dissembler.

  238. PS: Putting that another way: Indium were you there? Did you see the deep past of origins? If not, do you have the record of those who were? Are we then dealing with that which is testable based on observation? So, then are not our results inherently tentative and untestable against reality, i.e. necessarily circular? And in that context, do we not see significant reason to be concerned that there is intellectual phase locking, and non-independence of methods, in a context that we already pick “good” methods and “good” results on . . . conformity to the consensus? A consensus that on origins science has been subjected to imposed a priori Sagan-Lewontin materialism?

  239. PPS: Also, I notice that, after derision at the first, there has been a conspicuous silence on my point that once we hit the window 1,000 – 2,000 BC, we begin to fuzz out on dates and timelines. And beyond that, we run out of steam about 5,000 years ago. Beyond that, we are relying on model reconstructions to create a more or less synthetic timeline. So, let us at least be humble enough to acknowledge the degree of provisional warrant and inescapable limitations on working without independent cross-checks against the direct reality we face for such. Hence, my agnosticism.

    (Ironic isn’t it? I am not saying there is no past nor no evidence of a past, just that it is limited and cannot deliver grounds for full certitude. But, such doubts cannot be tolerated, it seems. And yet, the self same people are often found dismissing record and evidence on matters where we DO have direct and strongly supportive checks! For instance, the dismissive attitude to the NT is amazing, as is the rejection of the significance of the point that FSCI is meaningful, observable, a commonplace, and a reliable sign of intelligent cause . . . 8) ! )

  240. 240

    KF,

    PPS: Also, I notice that, after derision at the first, there has been a conspicuous silence on my point that once we hit the window 1,000 – 2,000 BC, we begin to fuzz out on dates and timelines. And beyond that, we run out of steam about 5,000 years ago.

    Perhaps it’s because nobody wanted to shame you that badly.

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

    The Aurignacian culture (pronounced /?r???ne???n/ or /?r?n?je???n/) is an archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic, located in Europe and southwest Asia. It lasted broadly within the period from ca. 45,000 to 35,000 years ago in terms of conventional radiocarbon dating, or between ca. 47,000 and 41,000 years ago in terms of the most recent calibration of the radiocarbon timescale.

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

    The Cave of Swimmers is a cave in southwest Egypt, near the border with Libya, in the mountainous Gilf Kebir region of the Sahara Desert. It was discovered in October 1933 by the Hungarian explorer László Almásy. It contains rock painting images of people swimming estimated to have been created 10,000 years ago during the time of the most recent Ice Age.

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

    Later it was established that the paintings had been emerging on the cave walls during a long period between 11500 and 10500 years BC.

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

    The First Dynasty ruled from approximately 3050 BC to 2890 BC, by some chronological schemes.

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

    The Neolithic Revolution is the first agricultural revolution—the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement. Archaeological data indicate that various forms of domestication of plants and animals arose independently in six separate locales worldwide ca. 10,000–7000 years BP (8,000–5000 BC),

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

    he indigenous Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC and after his death it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104320.htm

    The world’s oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden. The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

  241. 241

    KF

    Did you see the deep past of origins? If not, do you have the record of those who were?

    We have the physical evidence. The rocks, the stones. The relative ratio of isotopes.

    etc etc.

    None of which you’ve challenged.

    As to publishing this, that has been done. Many times. (Cf for instance my excerpt on the situation with isochrons, probably the soundest RA dating approach. In principle.)

    Anybody can write anything they want on their own website. That you expect to be taken seriously is amusing.

    Get your work reviewed by experts in the fields you are claiming to critique, perhaps they’ll spot something that you missed what with you not being an expert and all.

    Unless of course you mean you’ve published already in such a way?

    Citation please!

  242. 242

    KF

    A favorite creationist argument is to challenge evidence for evolution by asking “Were you there?” The faulty logic behind this approach is the assumption that unless evolution (assumed to be evolution in the distant past) was observed and recorded by human beings, there is no evidence to support it. Of course evolution proceeded, and is still proceeding, much too slowly for any large changes to be observed in a single lifetime. The “were you there?” argument is especially espoused by Kent Hovind, who coaches young persons to challenge their science teachers by demanding in class “Were you there, teacher?” Of course, one could counter by asking if the student if he believes that the Titanic hit an iceberg, and then asking “were you there?” [Or asking the student if her parents had sex when they conceived her: if she was not there, how can she claim her parents copulated? The answer for that is the same as the answer for evolution.--- ed]

    http://www.holysmoke.org/hovind.htm

  243. That is the whole point Jemi, we don’t see ANY evolution whatsoever in the present in the lab;

    The GS (genetic selection) Principle – David L. Abel – 2009
    Excerpt: Stunningly, information has been shown not to increase in the coding regions of DNA with evolution. Mutations do not produce increased information. Mira et al (65) showed that the amount of coding in DNA actually decreases with evolution of bacterial genomes, not increases. This paper parallels Petrov’s papers starting with (66) showing a net DNA loss with Drosophila evolution (67). Konopka (68) found strong evidence against the contention of Subba Rao et al (69, 70) that information increases with mutations. The information content of the coding regions in DNA does not tend to increase with evolution as hypothesized. Konopka also found Shannon complexity not to be a suitable indicator of evolutionary progress over a wide range of evolving genes. Konopka’s work applies Shannon theory to known functional text. Kok et al. (71) also found that information does not increase in DNA with evolution. As with Konopka, this finding is in the context of the change in mere Shannon uncertainty. The latter is a far more forgiving definition of information than that required for prescriptive information (PI) (21, 22, 33, 72). It is all the more significant that mutations do not program increased PI. Prescriptive information either instructs or directly produces formal function. No increase in Shannon or Prescriptive information occurs in duplication. What the above papers show is that not even variation of the duplication produces new information, not even Shannon “information.”
    http://www.bioscience.org/2009.....6/3426.pdf

    The Law of Physicodynamic Insufficiency – Dr David L. Abel – November 2010
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”,,, After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided. The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction: “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    http://www.scitopics.com/The_L.....iency.html

    Testing Evolution in the Lab With Biologic Institute’s Ann Gauger – podcast with link to peer-reviewed paper
    Excerpt: Dr. Gauger experimentally tested two-step adaptive paths that should have been within easy reach for bacterial populations. Listen in and learn what Dr. Gauger was surprised to find as she discusses the implications of these experiments for Darwinian evolution. Dr. Gauger’s paper, “Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness,”.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_13-07_00

    The following study surveys four decades of experimental work, and solidly backs up the preceding conclusion that there has never been any observed violations of genetic entropy:

    “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

    Stephen C. Meyer – What is the origin of the digital information found in DNA? – August 2010 – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....37271.html

    To top that off, and despite your vehement protestations to the contrary, the fossil record is overwhelmingly characterized by ‘suddenness then overall stability’. Thus Jemi, since you have no evidence whatsoever of evolution in the lab, nor warrant to extrapolate to the ancient past, why do you play silly games?? Do you think that God will be any less real just because you choose to live in a fantasy land and deny reality???;

  244. kf

    Once we are calibrating C14 vs other things, we are out of the province of independent evidence, and the same applies to the other methods.

    Unfortunately the internet doesn´t allow for telling you anything really slowly so I am forced to just repeat myself:
    Even before/without calibration or alignment many independent methods show a good agreement. What´s your explanation?

  245. Onlookers:

    Observe the basic problem resurfacing.

    We were not there, but we have traces from the past. Without the cross checks of observation or credible generally accepted record, we construct metrics and tools that project form the present to the past, on an inference of uniformity and on correlations between things that we pull together in a more or less mutually supportive circle.

    And, no we will not acknowledge the limitations on our investigations of the unobserved, unobservable deep past but will present findings that — as I showed on actual case — are not independent as though they were, and with results presented as though they were practically certain.

    At the same time, many of these same people are utterly unwilling to accept archaeologically backed up records from C1, and are unwilling to allow the strongly reliable pattern that FSCO/I is a sign of intelligent cause, to speak to cases where their preferred narrative of origins might be thrown into question.

    That selective hyperskepticism is what is ever so telling.

    Back on the main topic for the thread, the same folks are unable to account for the origin of language capacity on chance plus necessity, but will not allow the FSCI-rich transformation required to turn an ape into a human, to point to the only empirically credible, observationally warranted source for FSCO/I: intelligence.

    Philip Johnson was right:

    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.]

    (And, maybe the reason for my declaring myself a geochronological agnostic is clearer. Isn’t the revealed inconsistency in standards of warrant ever so telling. For me, all I am saying is that the models and timelines of the past are just that, not practically certain fact.)

    GEM of TKI

  246. Indium:

    If this were not so saddening, it would be amusing.

    Most of the calibration and ballpark thinking that phase locks results is happening long before we ever see formally reported results.

    Recall, what happened to the 212 – 230 MY result for the strata on lake Rudolf. Didn’t match the fossils, so out it goes. Next, cherry-pick samples — subjectivity and plenty of opportunity to silently toss “bad” results. Then, when the evo narrative on the fossils demand a younger age, use fossils from over 100 miles away to recalibrate again.

    Presto, we have the required 1.9 MYA. And Wiki dismissed the older 2.6 MY age as an error.

    The difference is, in this case, it took years to get to the “consensus,” and the results in stages were published in Nature etc. In significant part, thanks to Richard Leakey’s theory.

    So, we can see the sausage factory in action.

    Do you understand why I am no longer so eager for sausage for lunch?

    GEM of TKI

  247. 247

    JemimaRacktouey,

    In fact the question at hand is if primate researchers, physical anthropologists, geologists and archeologists are all wasting their lives because they have started from an invalid premise. What do you think? Have they wasted their lives Clive?

    If their paradigm and premise is evolution, then yes. If you think this tragic, I agree with you.

  248. 248

    JemimaRacktouey,

    On C.S Lewis Keith Parsons said: “surely Lewis cannot mean that if naturalism is true, then there is no such thing as valid reasoning. If he really thought this, he would have to endorse the hypothetical ‘If naturalism is true, then modus ponens is invalid.’ But since the consequent is necessarily false, then the hypothetical is false if we suppose naturalism is true (which is what the antecedent asserts), and Lewis has no argument.”

    Modus ponens doesn’t physically exist, and Lewis was perfectly right to consider movements of matter the wrong explanation for explanations.

  249. “If their paradigm and premise is evolution, then yes. If you think this tragic, I agree with you.”

    Since Mr. Focus, after some 250 posts on this thread, still can’t answer, perhaps you can?
    If evolution is not the correct paradigm, then offer an explanation of the features, ages and distribution of the hominid fossils using another paradigm, one that explains the details better than evolutionary theory.

    Of course, assuming this EVER makes it out of moderation.

  250. Jemima:
    “Or “immaterial” becomes “material”

    I am so glad you brought that up!
    It seems that the fundamental constituents of the “material” world are themselves immaterial according to quantum theory and that the laws of physics and the physical regularities are not the product the of intrinsic properties of nature.Nature cant seem to account for the laws of nature in principle! Wow! Thats a whopper!
    It seems something else is going on here.Something else is responsible.
    So much for naturalism and materialism. Quantum physics completely disproves these philosophies.
    Read, “A Quantum-Theoretic Argument against Naturalism”
    by Bruce Gordon in the new book “The nature of nature”.
    Also check out Dr. Robert A. Herrmann’s theory of General Intelligent Design.
    “Science declares our universe is intelligently designed”
    at barnes and noble:

    http://search.barnesandnoble.c.....2V1iSSQAQ3

    Also see:
    http://www.raherrmann.com/introduction.htm

    http://www.raherrmann.com/gidt.htm

    http://creation.com/images/pdf....._62-69.pdf

  251. kf
    Please focus. There is a very simple question on the table from me: Why do ice core dates, tree ring dates, C14 dates and U/Th dates show a good agreement before alignment/calibration?

  252. Indium:

    Were you there to know?

    Do you have credible, contemporaneous records that will pass the ancient documents rule test?

    Where also: “correlation is not causation.”

    Do you appreciate the difference between a model of the past as filtered through the prevalent schools of thought and the real past?

    And, do you see the significant parallels to other related topics where your side of the main issue is selectively very skeptical on much stronger correlations and KNOWN causal patterns?

    GEM of TKI

  253. kf
    The “where you there”-defence is quite amusing, but what I would really like to know is: What is your explanation for the consilience of different dating methods (ice core, tree rings, C14 and U/Th), even before calibration/alignment? This only concerns the evidence we can all (in principle) verify now, so there is no need at all to be “there”.

  254. Indium:

    Again: were you there?

    In short: the distant past is beyond our ability to observe, and we have no observations of it. WE DO NOT KNOW, AND CANNOT KNOW THE ACTUAL FACTS OF THE REMOTE PAST. So, by force of logic, we do not have knowledge of the past beyond credible record.

    Again: do you have contemporaneous records that will pass the ancient documents rule?

    In short: when we have the best grade of history, multiple contemporary records (NT) we see severe dismissive skepticism, but when there are no records, not even of later generations [and the evidence is that for prominent people up to several centuries will give enough that we can have at least some reasonable idea, e.g. Alexander], we see a willingness to treat constructed model timelines on projections and correlations as though they were all but certain fact.

    Also: we have clear record of what is happening in the sausage factory. I am not interested in sausage for lunch, thank you.

    Do you see the selective hyperskepticism and the mirror image credulity on what fits with the imposed a priori materialism?

    All I am asking for is some acknowledgement of the limitations, that we have a model timeline, not certain or nearly certain fact.

    Shouldn’t that be easy enough to acknowledge?

    GEM of TKI

  255. PS: Your correlations are in the present, after the data has been processed and (doubtless, and in all sincerity) “bad” data tossed — that is how experiments are done, “flyers get tossed. That is the problem. You are studying the present and extrapolating to the past.

    Extrapolations, are not facts.

    We are dealing with a model past, not the reality of the past. We may be inclined to believe it, but there is a difference.

    A big one.

  256. “You are studying the present and extrapolating to the past.”

    So, in your paradigm, what happened “in the past”? Do you have an explanation for the independent lines of dating reaching the same age? Kinda like the age, features and distributions of hominid fossils? The details matter!

  257. KF:

    How do you determine the validity of an ancient text. All you can really figure out is that a text is old.

    In 2000 years, if someone digs up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone they would be incorrect to assume that it was a factual representation of the British school system.

  258. kf
    I´ll see your “Where you there?” and raise you one “How do you know we don´t live in the Matrix?”.
    Both of which don´t get us anywhere and I consider yours to be the last and most desperate defence of somebody who has no real arguments concerning the evidence left.

    The question is: What do we make of the evidence we have now. For the forth time you now evaded this question. So, for the fifth time: What is your explanation for the evidence, that we find a more or less congruent timescale (give or take 10-15%) in tree rings, ice cores, C14 and U/Th before calibration/alignment? A simple “I don´t have any” would be enough to end this discussion, you know…

    In any case, your viewpoint that we can´t really know anything beyond the past couple of thousend years has been noted. This more or less renders any discussion with you about origins and the early stages of life moot.

  259. Onlookers:

    Let us review, in the context of the degree of warrant that is possible for empirical facts, and for matters regarding the past, especially the past beyond record.

    In particular, I wish to correct Indium’s resort to strawmanism, as well as to highlight that our claimed knowledge of the deep past is far more limited and problematic than is often acknowledged. Worse, it is the case that here is often a selective hyperskepticism that will demand unreasonable standards of warrant in the teeth of the best class of record from 2,000 years ago, whilst thinking that reconstructions of model timelines form the far more remote past which are riddled with circularities, are all but certain.

    That is why I keep on emphasising the point made in Job 38: were you there? If not, have the epistemological humility to admit the limitations of our claims regarding geochronology.

    1: Lord Russellism

    In his 5-minute universe cosmos paradox, he pointed out that if the world had been instantly created 5 mins back, with the things, apparent memories, etc as we observe them, it would be empirically indistinguishable from the world as we think it was. Brains in vats and similar scenarios make much the same point.

    Our knowledge of the external world is not absolutely certain. We may choose that we will reject a worldview that implies the general unreality of our senses, memories etc, but that is a decision on a forced, momentous option, not an indisputable fact.

    In short, it stands reasonably established that our general worldviews are all faith positions.

    (This can be elaborated, as once we have to warrant a claim A, we face the issue of iteration: B warrants A but demands C, etc. So, we are forced to accept certain things as true without further warrant, the first plausibles of our worldviews; i.e. our faith-points.)

    2: Warrant for the cosmological past

    You will note above, a point that is repeatedly dodged. Namely, that I have a much higher estimate of the degree of warrant attaching to cosmological evidence of the past than geochronological.

    This is, first, because H-ball models correlate very well with the H-R diagram, and with the cases of clusters with the main sequence branching off to the giants branches. This gives us a reasonable but not absolute case based on stellar dynamics that points to cluster ages of up to about 6 – 10 BY. Second, Hubble expansion and the microwave background 2.7 K radiation, with the ladder of distance metrics [Delta Cepheid variables being a crucial key to this, and the Hipparcos satellite parallax measures come up in support] point to a general cosmological age of order 10 – 20 BY, 13.& BY being the typical refined value.

    here we have cross checks between well established nuclear physics, the existence of giant molecular clouds, the dynamics of collapsing and heating up balls of Hydrogen, and the observations captured in the HR diagram/plot, etc.

    But equally, on the recent issues of extrasolar planets and longstanding concerns on things like angular momentum, we do not have any satisfactory model of solar system formation. We have satisfactory, empirically well supported theories of how planets orbit stars, but no good solar system origins models.

    However, the same models for cosmological origins point to cosmological fine tuning that sets up a cosmos fitted for C-chemistry, cell based intelligent life.

    That points to design as the best explanation for the origin of a contingent and fine-tuned cosmos, but that is stoutly resisted by the same objectors to design inferences, that often present much less warranted geochronological inferences as though they were all but certain fact.

    That is, I am pointing to selective hyperskepticism; usually in the form of Sagan’s evidentialist fallacy that highlights what one would be inclined to reject as “extraordinary,” and then demands not adequate and reasonable warrant with the limitations that we must face, but “extraordinary” proof.

    Not even in mathematics, post Godel, can we find systems that are provable beyond dispute or doubt.

    3: Warrant and history

    The historic past is that past for which we have the cross check of reasonable record, based on eyewitness testimony and/or living tradition. In this context the highest form of evidence is multiple, eyewitness lifetime records, backed up by archaeological or similar remains.

    (And, M, kindly cf here on some of the ways in which we can conclude that testimony and record are credible, based on courtroom experience and the hard test of making the decisions in court rooms and getting them sufficently right suffciently often that courts are sustainable and a means of dispute settlement.)

    Ironically, once we look at the founding era of the Christian faith, we again see the situation where much superior warrant is stoutly — even, stubbornly — disputed and dismissed, while reconstructions on a much lower degree of warrant are presented as though they were practically certain.

    Now, when it comes to record, once we move back a further millennium or so [David and beyond], to the window from about 1,000 – 2,000 BC — and notice the above strawman misrepresentation — the precision of the timeline of events, and sometimes the sequence and the correlations between regions, begin to get increasingly fuzzy; even where there are supposed to be astronomical correlations.

    Beyond 2,000 BC, the fuzziness is increasingly significant, e.g. notice how the date of Hammurabi has moved several centuries over recent years. We are now at 4,000 or so years ago, about the time of Abraham.

    IIRC, the last records are from about 3,000 BC, i.e about 5,000 YA.

    Beyond, we are dealing with geochronological reconstructions of the remote past that we did not observe, and cannot observe; nor do we have cross checks based on generally accepted record.

    4: The strengths and limitations of geochronological timelines

    We have an insatiable desire to know our deep past of origins, but as just seen, once we run past about 4,000 years ago, things get very fuzzy on records, and fade out 1,000 or so years beyond that.

    Various means of relative dating exist, and there are calibrations to convert them into timelines. In addition, techniques based on radioactivity, correlations with various stratigraphic and periodic data like tree rings, lake deposits and ice deposits, are used to project a deep timeline for the timeline of origins. Beyond a certain point, index fossils come into play, and these are correlated with radioactive dates for rocks etc.

    Unfortunately, there is a tendency to present such as though they were practically certain, even above things for eras where we have multiple, contemporary and archaeologically cross-checked sources. This tendency to exaggerate degree of certainty is at best an error, at worst a deception, Plato’s cave shadow show myth-casting in support of a worldview agenda. And when the myths are dressed up in the holy lab coat, they become particularly potentially dangerous.

    So, let us give Jack his jacket, and cite the man with nothing to lose, Milton; who in reporting on what men of medicine and science were slipping him on the quiet regarding limitations of today’s dominant account of the deep past of biological origins, raised a cluster of significant concerns about our dating techniques, that we need to acknowledge.

    Four key limitations can easily account for how dating schemes line up — how do we know what gives “good” dates, other than we pick the things that fit with the scheme we tend to already accept, unless there is “extraordinary” evidence that the accepted scheme is wrong? — as Milton (remember, the man with nothing to lose can say what others cannot . . . ) aptly highlights:

    [[1 Untestability/ Circularity:] . . . the overwhelming majority of [[radioactive] dates could never be challenged or found to be flawed since there is no genuinely independent evidence that can contradict those dates . . . .

    [[2 Ballpark thinking:] Any dating scientist who suggested looking outside of [[the standard] ballpark . . . would be looked on as a crackpot by his colleagues. More significantly, he would not be able to get any funding for his research . . . .

    [[3 Intellectual phase-locking:] . . . all scientists make experimental errors that they have to correct. They naturally prefer to correct them in the direction of the currently accepted value thus giving an unconscious trend to measured values . . . . [[Emphasis original]

    [[4 Conformity to consensus:] Take for example a rock sample from the late Cretaceous, a period which is universally believed to date from some 65 million years ago. Any dating scientist who obtained a date from the sample of, say, 10 million years or 150 million years, would not publish such a result because he or she will, quite sincerely, assume it was in error. On the other hand, any dating scientist who did obtain a date of 65 million years would hasten to publish it . . . [[Shattering the Myths of Darwinism (Park Street Press, 1997), pp. 50 – 51.]

    It is easy to try the attack the man rebuttal, but that is a fallacy. The issue is, is this sound on the merits. Unfortunately, yes.

    For, when we look at the notorious case of KNM-ER 1470, we see exactly this pattern in action, and the picture of the sausage factory in action — remember, documented in Nature etc — is not particularly pretty. Recall, we had a first date of 212 – 230 MYA ago — presumably an isochron — tossed on not correlating to the fossil fauna, then cherry-picking of “juvenile” samples, then 2.6 – 3 MYA ago “firm” dates, correlated with paleomagnetism, and then finally “corrected” to 1.9 MYA basically on correlation with fossils from over 100 miles away; locking in the a priori assumption of evolution into the scheme. All of this is consistent with he concerns Milton summarised, and with challenges and concerns from other cases; including problems with the most impressive of the methods, isochron dating. (Cf my timeline discussion here.)

    [ . . . ]

  260. 5: What about C-14?

    Basically, N is converted into a radioactive form of C by cosmic ray bombardment and this more or less pervades the C-cycle in the biological world. The naive presentation suggests that this is in equilibrium, so there is a straightforward method of comparing activity to C from currently living organisms, and counting up number of half-lives based on decay curves. I actually recall doing 6th form physical chemistry calculations on this model.

    And yet, for decades, we have known that there is not an atmospheric equilibrium, and that many individual cases are divergent from the assumption of being well mixed. In short, the C-14 dating system has to be calibrated, including especially against tree rings, lake deposits, stalagmites, etc. These are basically held to give annual depositional patterns; itself an extrapolation from the present era to the remote past. (The same holds for ice cored, BTW.)

    But also, it immediately means that C-14 dates are not an absolute and independent cross-check or yardstick.

    We are here dealing with a model timeline, and once we go beyond the limits of the real independent cross-check, credible record, we should be increasingly cautious.

    For instance, I have recently looked at the dates for he Lascaux cave; noticing dates suggested as from about 17,000 or more to about 13,000 or even 9,000 years ago. This, for a cavern that was among the first C-14 dated sites. 4,000 years is about the span from us to Hammurabi or Abraham; and yet, just a decade or so of regular visits by crowds, was visibly damaging the paintings by the mid 1950′s.

    (And BTW, Picasso IIRC, observed that these ancient artists had mastered all the techniques. Including it seems a good idea of perspective, not fully recovered until the 1500′s or so of our era. Not so crude and brutish “cave men,” nuh?)

    6: Lucy and kin . . .

    As we project ever deeper into the model past, our caution should be ever more prominent.

    For, we were not there.

    In the case of Lucy and co, the caution in NWE is well taken:

    There are two major scientific challenges in deducing the pattern of human evolution.

    For one, the fossil record remains fragmentary. Mayr (2001) notes that no fossils of hominids have been found for the period between 6 and 13 million years ago (mya), the time when branching between the chimpanzee and human lineages is expected to have taken place. (While hominid refers to members of the “great ape” family, Hominidae, consisting of extinct and extant gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans, Mayr appears to use it in the common anthropological content of animals more closely related to humans than other great apes, such as australopithecines.) Furthermore, as Mayr notes “most hominid fossils are extremely incomplete. They may consist of part of a mandible, or the upper part of a skull without face and teeth, or only part of the extremities.” Even the famous “Lucy” finding (Australopithecus afarensis) was only a 40 percent complete female skeleton and lacked a head (Gould 1994).

    Coupled with this is a recurrent problem that interpretation of fossil evidence is heavily influenced by personal beliefs and prejudices. Fossil evidence often allows a variety of interpretations, since the individual specimens may be reconstructed in a variety of ways (Wells 2000). As Mayr (2001) notes, “subjectivity is inevitable in the reconstruction of the missing parts,” and virtually all hominid finds and interpretations are “somewhat controversial!” Wells (2000) recounts several examples where the pieces of fossils found offered a variety of reconstructions that were sometimes dramatically different, such as long face versus a short face, a heavy brow, a missing forehead. Different interpretations of two sections of a fossil skull and how to place one of those pieces led Roger Lewin to recount, “How you held it really depended on your preconceptions. It was very interesting what people did with it” (Wells 2000).

    Lucy’s date is on a model timeline, not a fact of observation and record. She[?] is reconstructed form a partial skeleton, and there are significant questions on whether the rib cage is more barrel-like [human] or more conical [chimp], and the arms arguably are rather chimp like also. If the arguments that the pelvis points to a male are sound, then it is the most credible conclusion that this is little more than a variety of chimp.

    Remember, the red deer cluster of today runs from [US-style] elks to tiny dwarf deer, and the “species” apparently can interbreed with fertility to the point where red deer and elks introduced to New Zealand have hybridised. Indeed, the Elk was only recently promoted from a red deer sub-species to full species, and was deemed closer yet to other distinct deer from Eurasia, on mitochondrial DNA.

    I draw from this that considerable morphological variation is consistent with fairly close genetic links. That would put a lot of the comparative anatomy and related deductions about evolutionary developments under a cloud of questions, on top of the problems of how the fossils are reconstructed into representations of the living animals.

    But my real bottomline problem remains that there is no dynamical answer as to how blind watchmaker, chance and necessity, variation and selection on differential reproductive success can originate FSCO/I.

    In this case, the human linguistic and vocal apparatus is a crucial case study. We are biologically, physically equipped for vocal communication using articulate language based on acoustic symbols, i.e phonemes strung in linear data structures in time: we speak languages, and it is clear that the deep structures of language are biologically in-built in infants.

    Apes are not.

    Until the proponents of evolutionary materialism can show a sound dynamic, with observational support that allows an ape like Lucy to become a human equipped to speak, in 6 – 10 MY, then every time they speak or write to propound or argue their theories, their very voices and speech or writing are evidence that their position is ill-supported.

    The only empirically and analytically well supported explanation of FSCO/I — such as is deeply embedded in our bodily language and speech apparatus — is design.

    So, I am well warranted to take language ability as a sign of design of the body plan of human beings. If you object, kindly provide empirical, observational evidence that blind watchmaker chance and necessity through variation and differential reproductive success, did transform something like Lucy into something like me. And if your “observations” are on events in the deep reconstructed past, kindly warrant your degree of certainty, noting on limitations.

    GEM of TKI

  261. kf
    As expected, you once again try to use lots of words to conceal the fact that you evade my question.
    Denying the value of the different dating methods is selective hyperscepticism, oiled in words ad nauseam only to not let your fragile beliefs be burned like straw by the hot flame of empirical evidence.

    I onclude that you have no explanation for the overall agreement of independent dating methods (even before calibration). And I´m talking about the several-10ky-range, not about KNMER1470.

    Out of interest, can you provide a link to the claim that the Lascaux cave paintings are only 9k years old? Thanks.

    BTW, do you know this article from a christian perspective:

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/wiens.html

    You will find uncalibrated raw data from tree rings and stalagmites there, going back about 40ky. Denying that is just open hypermegascepticism. But maybe you can point me to the circularity there?

  262. Indium:

    I have pointed out the specific limitations on epistemic warrant for projections into the past beyond record. These, you may dismiss but you cannot confute.

    In tight summary: we were not there, and so we need to recognise that even if our methods “agree” — if they did not we would not use them [and we know that "bad" results routinely get tossed] — they give us a model past without truly independent check against reality.

    That is an inevitable consequence of the challenge of dealing with a past we did not and cannot observe.

    I have given you an explanation, on a warrant that is sound. I do not owe you an understanding, if you refuse to seriously think about the limitations of our knowledge base.

    In particular, the common assumption, assertion or pretence that the timeline of the remote past is known to practical certainty, is at best mistaken; at worst, it is deceptive.

    Indeed, it does not amount to the level of well warranted and credibly true beyond reasonable doubt or that degree of moral certainty where one would be irresponsible to act as though it were not true.

    In short, it is not knowledge, not even in the weaker provisional sense used in science. And, the key sign of that is our inability to do a direct observational test to compare the model past timeline with the actual remote past of origins.

    hence, my position: geochronological agnosticism. (By contrast cosmological timeline projections are subject to observational tests on known good dynamics so they are at least subject to an external test.)

    You may not like that, and you may wish to point out how the lines of generally accepted evidence and models line up, but they are not at all independent of one another, nor are they subject to a truly independent external test.

    And, you have been given a crucial test case of that.

    Good day.

    GEM of TKI

  263. kf

    but they are not at all independent of one another

    C14, tree rings, ice cores, varves, U/Th, Be10 and many other methods more or less agree on a consistent timesacale for the last several 10ky. Show me the circularity of the gathered raw data or retract this statement.
    Or go on with your selective hypermegascepticism, it´s fun to see you squirming.

  264. F/N: Maybe a lesson from history of Physics will help. From the 1680′s on, Newton’s laws of motion were consistent with results for 200 years, across all sorts of observations, including some very surprising ones; to amazing degrees of precision. Many thought them as pretty much absolutely true, never mind Newton’s philosophical reservations on the capacity of inductive reasoning such as in Optics, Query 31. Then, from the 1880′s to the 1930′s, a new world arrived. And, that is for something that we CAN make direct observational checks. What, then, are we to make of cases where we do not have such direct reality checks? At minimum, we need to keep some reservations in mind on the gap between models and reality and the limits of empirical investigations and knowledge claims.

  265. Indium:

    You are not Torquemada, and I am not on inquisition as a suspect heretic.

    I have already laid out, repeatedly, the ways that circularity enters, and the treacherous nature of consistency among a consensus school of thought.

    Where also, (i) we do not have direct and independent access to observations and (ii) we do not have in hand tested controlling dynamics that we can lock things up to:

    initial conds X dynamics –> unfolding across time.

    I repeat: were you there? If not, and if we are beyond the control of records, then we are running into a domain where what we are going off is a projection, using methods that in part are selected because they agree, and using results that are accepted because they line up in general.

    I have already pointed out that we have known cases of “bad” data tossed, and we have calibration/ coordination of methods the one against the other.

    That is enough to highlight that we are dealing with MODELS of the past that are not independently testable, and we should therefore use with caution, not present as though they have delivered practical certainty.

    GEM of TKI

  266. You are hiding behind general principles again. When you look at a simple C14/tree ring calibration curve (by definition before calibration) where is the circularity? Be specific, please.

    I had to laugh a bit about your “accusation” that scientists tend to use methods that agree with each other. Take note, scientists: Don´t use complementary methods that agree with each other!

    And it seems I have to remind you again that we have to make best use of our available evidence now. No need to be “there”! Otherwise trying to detect design based on patterns we observe today would be rather pointless don´t you think? The “where you there?” argument is so incredible weak and desperate that I thought nobody would use it anymore. Can crimes only be solved by eyewitnesses now?

    Btw, thanks for restraining yourself to short answers recently. Time problems?

  267. Indium:

    I am not “hiding” behind general principles. I am pointing out fairly serious limitations on methods, metrics and models that must be borne in mind.

    Timelines for the cultural and natural history of the earth, once we go beyond the independent cross check of record, are inherently bound by that lack of independent observation.

    Do you want me to underscore again, as a simple case that the dates for the Lascaux caves raise a few questions on consistency within C-14 [as in if 10 years of regular visits did so much damage, were these caves really in active use for the period from 17 kya to 13 kya]?

    That I live in a place where in 15 years we saw a comparable amount of activity to what was dated largely on C14 as 10 kYA to 26 kYA? In one eruptive episode?

    That there are infamous cases of samples having wildly discordant dates for different parts?

    That C14 haws had to be calibrated against other techniques to bring it into alignment, on the argument that the C14 levels in the atmosphere have not been in equilibrium?

    That there are significant coal samples have measurable C-14 dates well above the floor of the measurement technique?

    That lava flows known to have happened about 200 YA have ancient radio-dates?

    That even isochron methods run into serious questions?

    That there are questions on the tree ring methods and especially a major problem of open access to data?

    With of course the major case of KNM-ER 1470 telling us a lot about the inner workings of the sausage factory.

    And so on?

    All of these could be discussed, but that is hardly necessary to make the main point: we are dealing with models where we do not have truly independent external tests, so we have to be careful even when we think the alignment of methods looks promising.

    Let us simply accept that the methods have limitations and one of these is a lack of independent, direct observational cross checks, once we go beyond the era of records.

    So, they do not constitute practically certain knowledge or firm results, or even results cross checked against direct observation.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: I forgot to say earlier, that even where we have more or less well known initial conditions and dynamics, if we have sensitive dependence on initial conditions due to the wrong kind of nonlinearities, small differences are so amplified that we lose ability to “control” the path we project on outcomes across any serious length. For instance that is a constraint on weather prediction.

  268. PS: I add, please, don’t push ridiculous words in my mouth that don’t belong there. I am not a silly laughable strawman.

    My concern is not that results and methods agree but that there are no truly independent external controls on direct observation.

    Again: were you there to see what specifically did happen?

    No.

    And there are no generally accepted records for the relevant times.

    So, no truly independent cross checks.

    Therefore, we should understand the gap between model timelines and actual reality.

    Yes, we may need to use the timeline models for particular purposes [they are better than having nothing], as proxies for the past in effect, but we should not treat them or promote them as if they were practically certain knowledge of the deep past.

  269. 269

    KL,

    Since Mr. Focus, after some 250 posts on this thread, still can’t answer, perhaps you can?
    If evolution is not the correct paradigm, then offer an explanation of the features, ages and distribution of the hominid fossils using another paradigm, one that explains the details better than evolutionary theory.

    Intelligent Design.

  270. That isn’t an explanation, but the title of a paradigm. Use “intelligent design to explain the specifics of the ages, distribution and features of the fossil record (let’s keep it to hominids, shall we? the original reason for this post) In science, if your paradigm does a better job, you must demonstrate this. Use it to explain the evidence. The details of the evidence have been explained by evolution (granted, it must be modified to fit new evidence but it does very well).

    Just telling me the paradigm is not enough. Use it.

  271. –Jemima Racktouey, about the quality justice [or love] you wrote, “The eyes you see it with and convert into electricity and feed it into your brain, all physical. The brain that is stimulated, the electricity that does the stimulating.”

    —All physical. All measureable.”

    I wrote:

    “Well, let’s put your novel claim to the test. If, as you say, the concepts of justice, mercy, and love can be measured, tell me this: How much does each quality weigh? Or, if you like, tell me how much mass in involved.”

    Perhaps you didn’t understand. I am calling your bluff. Please answer the question.

  272. CH:

    KL distorts.

    One would have thought that there would be a concern to be fair and accurate, but plainly, there is not. I don’t doubt that the picture being painted of us over at ATBC etc is not even faintly recognisable.

    I took a considerable time to point out the particular case of FSCO INVOLVED IN TRANSFORMING SAY Lucy and kin to human language capacity. There has been a lot of bobbing and weaving, strawmannising and dismissal but no observationally based, empirically credible evidence that such FSCO/I can come from blind watchmaker processes.

    FSCO/I in every observed case is from design, and it is also — on the infinite monkeys analysis — analytically well grounded that the only credible explanation for such FSCO/I is DESIGN.

    And, of course our language capacity is central to our mental capacity, so what makes us minded men is credibly designed.

    Right from the beginning KL was challenged to provide evidence on Lucy and for the general thesis of blind watchmaker macroevo origin of humanity. To date there are a lot of assertions and turnabouts etc, but no evidence from that side on the main point.

    On what we know, the FSCO/I itself is a strong sign pointing to design as the best explanation of our origin.

    GEM of TKI

  273. Clive

    Intelligent Design.

    Where you there?

  274. Indium:

    FSCI is a well tested, empirically and analytically reliable sign of intelligent design, for reasons long since discussed in great details.

    We have abundant direct observational support for that, so the cases you want to force into being parallel are not.

    Next talking point . . .

    GEM of TKI

  275. “FSCI is a well tested, empirically and analytically reliable sign of intelligent design, for reasons long since discussed in great details.”

    Great. Apply this please to the hominid fossil record! Show me that ID or another paradigm explains the record better than evolution.

  276. So radiometric dating, which has demonstrated its usefulness thousands of times, which has been tested for objects with known ages probably hundreds of times, which gives results that are consistent with many completely independend methods, which has an amazingly large body of knowledge and supporting theory behind it, with papers being published almost on a daily basis, which has been the topic of complete text books (Dalrymple and many more) with lots of examples and fully worked out test cases is not a good tool and the incredibly weak “where you there” argument applies.

    FSCI however, a term somebody on the internet invented, a term that can´t really be defined let alone be demonstrated for various theoretical or practical test cases and which in any case just calculates the chance hypotheses for the tornado in the junkyard scenario, that is a reliable tool and “where you there” does not apply?

    The mind boggles.

    Oh, and sorry if I really pushed

    “ridiculous things into your mouth that don´t belong there.”

    There really is no need to. My apologies.

    If you don´t mind, I am still interested in the link to the paper mentioning the 9ky age for the Lascaux cave. Also, please back up your claim that 200y old lava has been dated to be millions of years old. This is a well known creationist misrepresentation as far as I know.

  277. Indium,

    a debater with a strong case doesn’t need to resort to insults.

  278. Collin, a debater with extraordinary claims that has the detailed evidence to back it up and a better explanation than the existing paradigm need not resort to evasion, philosophical arguments or changing the topic. I suspect that not only does this paradigm not explain the evidence, the folks here don’t know anything about the evidence. I have yet to see any details about the hominid fossils explained here using any other paradigm, which was the extraordinary claim on the original thread that spawned THIS thread.

    The posters here dismiss the work of countless scientists as fantasy and delusion, yet show no knowledge of the fossil record. I’ve had Plato, the Bible, and quotemines from Gould tossed my way but after almost 280 posts, no explanation regarding the specifics of the fossil record. Anthropologists use dating, biometrics, geology, and comparisons to existing species and other fossils in their explanation; I expect nothing less from someone who claims to have a better paradigm.

    Oh, and my posts are held in moderation for hours, but that seems to be getting a bit better.

  279. Collin,

    I agree. I am sorry, what are you referring to? English is not my first language and sometimes I make mistakes.

  280. Indium:

    Please, stop trying to make up and knock over ad hominem laced strawmen.

    I have pointed out with concrete examples, why attempts to date the remote past beyond observation are inherently incapable of cross-checking independent of the system. I have also pointed out specific cases of blatant errors and cherry picking of samples.

    In short, there is no ability to cross-check by direct comparison to actual experienced reality and/or generally accepted record, which I note peters out about 5,000 YA. And recall: WHAT I HAVE POINTED OUT AND APPEALED FOR IS THAT MODEL TIMELINES OF THE REMOTE PAST BEYOND OBSERVATION AND RECORD BE PRESENTED AS JUST THAT, MODELS THAT ARE NOT CAPABLE OF INDEPENDENT TEST ON DIRECT OBSERVATIONS.

    That is not a disrespect to investigators or their work, it is a statement that there are inherent, inescapable limitations on findings. So, such findings should not be presented as though they are the next best thing to absolute, unquesitonable truth. Indeed, I have long since pointed out as well — you dismissed it without even pausing to reflect on it — that scientific investigations and empirical knowledge more broadly are incapable of delivering warranted truth beyond correction. Indeed, post Godel, Mathematics is not capable of proof beyond possibility of correction on discovery of inconsistencies in the system.

    I cannot stop you from closed-mindedly ignoring or dismissing the hard limits of epistemology [which is the discipline that inter alia identifies the limits of scientific knowledge claims], but I can point them out.

    By utterly sharpest contrast to model timelines of the earth’s deep past, the inference to design on FSCI (or wider CSI) is DIRECTLY cross checkable on direct observation of cases in our present. In every case (100%) of known origin — known by direct observation — across literally billions of examples (call to witness the entire Internet and the libraries across the world as easy cases in point), FSCI is confirmed consistently as a reliable sign of design.

    On that direct test of being a reliable sign, without need to make extrapolations or observations, it is inferred that the best explanation for FSCI is that it is designed. This, in turn remains cross-checkable, i.e. provide a credible counter example and it collapses. Just like the second law of thermodynamics in the form that a perpetual motion machine of the second kind is not feasible.

    I repeat, the extrapolation of various geochronological dating methods to the past beyond record is NOT subject to independent cross-checking, and is INHERENTLY circular.

    As to the false and refuted talking point that FSCI cannot be defined or measured, this is an insistent talking point in the teeth of facts available and pointed out all along, as is being corrected in two current threads here at UD.

    I cannot stop people from being insistent on falsehoods they know or should know are false and/or being resistant to correction on mere easily accessible but willfully ignored or denied facts, but I can expose the intellectual irresponsibility involved:

    1 –> Definition: despite the fulminations of MG and ATBC habituees, as well as an obvious rising wave of drumbeat talking point propagation, this was provided in 1979 by that ill-informed commenter online, J S Wicken (with backup on CSI by that foolish online ignoramus, L Orgel, in 1973). Such meaningless verbiage! Such nonsense from the ill-informed! What utter unscientific creationist rot! NOT.

    2 –> As to successful, peer reviewed quantification, we can start with the published table of FSC metrics for 35 protein families by Durston et al in 2007, as you can read in the UD weak argument correctives no 27 which has sat there top right this and every UD page for years, and you can follow the link to the original paper and the table. You will also see Dembski’s Chi-metric there (which applies to the material case where the relevant probabilities on chance hyps are rather low; as the metric will not hit the threshold value 1 until there are at least 398 bits of information, or a probability on a chance hyp of order 1 in 10^120 or so; which in any reasonable mind is “low”).

    3 –> Now, Durston et al used an extension of the Shannon H-metric of average information per symbol. Other metrics boil down to [read the triple comment] measuring information in Hartley negative log probability units, typically bits, and imposing a threshold of reasonable complexity in a context of specificity that will sufficiently isolate hot or target zones or islands of function in large config spaces, that it is unreasonable to infer to chance and blind mechanical forces.

    4 –> This holds for Dembski’s Chi-metric [which naturally approaches a threshold of 1 in 10^150 or 500 bits from a baseline of just shy of 400 bits . . . ], and it holds for the brute force simple X-metric.

    5 –> That brute force X-metric works on the observation that in science we have just that, observers who make judgements. So, on the reasonable judgement that we have complex contingency of at least 1,000 bits [C = 1] and specificity [S = 1], and a certain number of bits, B, we define X:

    X = C*S*B, in functionally specific bits

    6 –> That is, once we have 1,000 bits or 125 bytes or 143 ASCII characters worth of functionally specific information, it is maximally unlikely that such arises by chance, on grounds that the search resources of the observed cosmos could not sample as much as 1 in 10^150 of the configuration space. That is, it is beyond reasonable sampling. The only routine, reliable source of such FSCI, is intelligence, AKA the semiotic agent.

    7 –> This common-sense metric, which has been put forth for some years now, is simple, quantitative and based on the well known use of bits in software. That say a large Word file is functionally specific and complex is obvious, but can be easily demonstrated by comparing the undisturbed file with one corrupted by injection of random noise.

    8 –> That DNA in life forms is similarly a case of FSCI, is plain. We also now have cases where we see DNA being manipulated or even created intelligently, so we know agents are capable of designing and implementing DNA. So, we have excellent reason to apply the FSCI threshold to DNA and infer its design by way of art, for which a sufficiently advanced version of Venter’s lab would be adequate.

    9 –> In short, it is FALSE that FSCI and CSI cannot be or have not been adequately conceptually defined or provided with good enough metrics to use.

    10 –> As of this notice, I take it that you know or should know the truth on such facts; before which you are responsible.
    _________

    GEM of TKI

  281. OOPS: extrapolations or ON observations . . .

  282. F/N: I just created a blank Word 97 file. 19.0 KB (19,456 bytes), or 155,648 bits.

    This — which obviously does not do much more than come up as a valid word doc is comparable to the number of bits stored in the DNA of the simplest life forms. The contents, on inspection, look like repetitive gibberish, to the uninitiated, with isolated phrases in English; I do note that there seems to be a deeply embedded user identification.

    Here is the beginning and the end:

    __________________

    >> ÐÏ#ࡱ#á > # þÿ # # ! # # # þÿÿÿ ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿì¥Á Y # #¿ # # ## # bjbjóWóW ## # . . . .

    þÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ# þÿ#
    ÿÿÿÿ# # À F# Microsoft Word Document
    MSWordDoc # Word.Document.8 ô9²q >> [Here's hoping symbols like y with double dots and D with slash reproduce]
    _______________

    H’mm all that stuff about meaningless, functionless repetitive strings in DNA as junk may need to be revised, nuh?

  283. kf

    I have pointed out with concrete examples, why attempts to date the remote past beyond observation are inherently incapable of cross-checking independent of the system.

    No you haven´t. I have repeatedly asked you, but so far you haven´t told me why I can´t cross check C14 data with tree rings or with U/Th. Or C14 with Be10. Varves with C14 or whatever combination you want. Nor have you explained why all these methods show a relatively good agreement even before calibration/alignment (+-20%). Nor have you acknowledged that we have to look at the evidence *now*.
    So, either quit this burning of soaked straw men or specifically name the circularity. Otherwise this is just an exercise in hyperscepticism as you should really recognise yourself.

    And even if you would be right and we would have to have been *there* to really know anything about the past (and this is utterly wrong, otherwise crimes without eyewitnesses would never be punished), this would be true for your design inference, too.

    It seems I have to ask this also a couple of times before you not answer:
    Could you please link me to the measurement that the same Lascauy cave paintings have been dated to 9ky and 17ky? And please also give me a quick link to the claim that relatively fresh lava has been dated to be millions of years old.

    With regard to all the FICS stuff: This is only relevant if you assume a tornado in the junkyard scenario. And believe it or not everybody agrees with you that a human being cannot be generated by stringing together random strings of DNA! Natural selection is not a random process, it transfers information from the environment to the organism and from parent- to daughter populations. It rewards those members of the population that “work well” (most of the time) and reduces uncertainty.

    Anyway, as far as I understand Durston in some complicated way compares the number of sequences that “work” with the total number of possible sequences for a given protein family. Is that right? If so, how does he compute the number of possible sequences that “work”? Or the minimum number of base pairs that would also more or less work? Thanks for your help, I am not really an expert for this stuff.

  284. BREAKING: The collapse of MG’s claims

  285. You haven´t answered Mathgrrls relatively straightforward answers. You still misrepresent evolution as a tornado in the junkyard.

  286. Indium:

    You are playing at strawman games, and insistently repeating an already adequately answered talking point.

    The tornado in the junkyard example was for the Jumbo Jet, I have pointed out that the problem starts long before you get to a very large and complex entity like that [millions of bits of info], i.e 125 bytes worth of functionally specific info — a short paragraph’s worth — is beyond the credible search resources of the cosmos.

    In short the problem is to get to islands of function, starting with their basic components. Variation within an island of comp0lex funciton is possible, on chance plus hill climbing, but the real and unanswered problem for evolutionary materialism is to get to the shores of such an island.

    And, elaborations on how such islands have dynamic terrain of fitness, do not answer the problem: getting to the shorelines in the first place to begin any hill climbing at all.

    GEM of TKI

  287. PS: Onlookers, notice how the dynamic landscape in an island of function misdirected and strawmannish talking point is suddenly cropping up all over.

    This is the fever swamp effect; whereby clouds of propagators of talking points tank up at the sources and spread the points all over. But, there is typically not a sober assessment of its cogency, just an exploitation of its persuasiveness to the uninformed. Repeat: the core problem is that the moving around in an island of function — regardless of its variable landscape [a point raised by Dembski in NFL, Ch 4 BTW] and how variations within a general island of function may fit you for a niche that is there for a time — does not explain how you got there on the island in the first place.

    As has been pointed out from the outset, the real challenge raised by the threshold of 4 or 500 – 1,000 bits of functionally specific info is to get to the shores of islands of function.

    First life credibly requires 100k+ bits of DNA info, and the dozens of body plans each require 10+ millions of bits.

    Hoyle’s tornado in a junkyard problem does not start at the level of constructing the jumbo from components [the megabits problem], but with constructing the gauges on the dashboard — the kilobits problem.

    So, do not allow your attention to be diverted, and do not be taken in by the spectacular pummelling of strawmen; anyone can win a boxing match against a strawman.

    Focus on the real and unanswered challenge: origin of body plans. (Cf, more detailed discussion here.)

  288. These islands of functionality don´t exist. Binding efficiency is a continuos parameter for example. Evolution can escape local maxima of the fintness landscape quity easily by standard evolutionary processes (recombination, gene duplication etc). You are attacking a straw man, not me. All your xxx-bit calculations are only relevant for tornado in the junkyard scenarios. Also very often you assume that evolution *had* to proceed along a *certain* path, for example from ape-like creatures to humans. Of course you can calculate some amazingly low probability values then. But evolution could have went along 10^150 different paths, rendering all your calculations useless.

  289. But evolution could have went along 10^150 different paths, rendering all your calculations useless.

    There’s still a tremendous amount of work left to figure out with what and how (and, I suppose, “if”) the *actual* path took place by variation and selection. But you know it could have went along 10^150 different paths? I’d love to hear how you know this, from an answer that doesn’t melt down to “well that’s the dogma.”

    And if there were 10^150 paths available for ape-like creatures’ evolutionary trajectory, I imagine so much more for any other trajectory. Why, we can rule out the possibility of convergent evolution with numbers like that! What a relief.

  290. Indium,

    You are using a standard argument that is in itself a straw man. We have only one realisation of the world, we do not have multiverses we can reliably/scientifically test. So your argumentation is non-scientific.

    But, having a single realisation of something we can still figure something out analysing its complexity. As far as I know, the idea of analysing complexity of single events goes back to the work of Kolmogorov. Bio-complexity research shows that of all this horrendous number of paths only a marginal number are feasible in practice. What’s more, there are tight bounds on the number of simultaneous mutations possible for paralogous genes you are talking about. If I am not mistaken, for bacteria only 2 bases can be changed simultaneously if the new protein functionality is maladaptational, only 6 if it is neutral.

  291. Onlookers:

    I have answered Indium’s latest wave of talking points here.

    The talking point line is bending back and about to snap . . .

    I think there is advantage in building one post on the MG challenge and thread as a talking point rebuttal repository.

    GEM of TKI

  292. PS: If you spot a talking point or a swarm of talking points on the MG challenge to CSI here at UD or elsewhere, why not at least link your answer in the CSI caught in the act thread, or if you want someone to provide an answer, why not post it over in that CSI caught in the act thread?

    The new UD style of multiple posts per day will tend to make discussions on something like this very disjoint and hard to follow.

    Already I can think of coming on ten threads on this and linked topics. (Anyone care to collect the collective set of threads?)

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