Home » Intelligent Design » [Update:] Beliefnet Re-Re-Titles My Piece on President Bush

[Update:] Beliefnet Re-Re-Titles My Piece on President Bush

At my prompting, Beliefnet has now reverted to the original title (go here).

[Earlier I had written:] After President Bush’s recently stated public support for teaching intelligent design, an editor at Beliefnet asked me to respond to it. Moreover, she asked me to clarify where I stand on creationism. I responded with a brief essay that appears on my designinference.com website (go here). I titled that essay “Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design.” That essay has now appeared on Beliefnet, where it was re-titled — without my knowledge or permission — “Intelligent Design, Yes; Creationism, No” (go here). This new title is contentious and misleading. My target in this essay is Darwinian materialism. I discuss creationism in this essay to clarify how my understanding of intelligent design differs from it.

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106 Responses to [Update:] Beliefnet Re-Re-Titles My Piece on President Bush

  1. “This new title is contentious and misleading.”

    I agree with you, Bill. I’m very disappointed with the editor. Bush’s statement is a cause for celebration by everyone who is sympathetic to design, even creationists. The change in the title totally destroys the spirit of your essay.

  2. I have a very serious question. Why does ID rely on politics? As in the Kansas Trials, hardly any Darwinists (if any), none of them were there because they do not want to turn science into a political battle. Both sides should focus on doing research and let the data speak for itself.

  3. Sartre,

    It isn’t data that drives science but theory. It is theory, in the form of the reigning paradigm, that decides what counts as data and what doesn’t.

    Right now, the dominant paradigm as enforced by the Darwinian establishment says that the effects of intelligence do not count as scientific data. Since science reasons from effects to causes, ID is fundamentally mistaken (in this view) because it is impossible for there ever to be any data of a scientific nature that might lead to intelligence as the cause.

    So it doesn’t matter the quantity or quality of the data amassed by ID theorists. There data is ruled out of court a priori by the Darwinists definition of science.

    This makes the ID vs. Darwinism battle inevitably a political battle.

    But, then, this has always been true for science.

  4. The Darwinists chose to boycott the Kansas hearings because they knew their obfuscatory rebuttals (like harping on religious motivation instead of engaging substance) would not fly in a setting in which they’d be cross-examined. As demonstration of this, I point to the fact that Darwinists only boycotted the stand, they did not boycott the hearings. Indeed they were present in droves to give their sound-bites to media members whom they knew would not call them on their statements.

    The Kansas hearings were set up to gather information on very specific proposals by a minority group of the science writing committee (proposals such as teaching on the nature of hard sciences vs. historical sciences, more information regarding the nature and sequencing of DNA, etc.). In effect, they were trying to widen students’ education to include a more relevant and realistic picture of the data affecting evolutionary explanations, and no more. The process was political because the members of the board who ultimately shoulder standards responsibility are elected. However the proposals, and their defense, were addressed by scientists, scholars, and educators, not politicians.

  5. Historically, the Darwinists have had two opportunities to take the stand and have their science (beliefs!) cross-examined. So far, they’re 0 for 2.

  6. I have a question for Sartre.

    Why does NeoDarwinism rely on the courts to censor ID?

    For instance, in Cobb country Georgia NeoDarwinists have sued to have a sticker removed and all the sticker says is that evolution is a theory, not a fact, and should be critically considered. Is the modern synthesis so weak that it can’t stand up to a silly little sticker that was added to biology texts through due demoncratic process? Why the huge fuss? Kids aren’t even being tested on anything the sticker says!

    Same goes for Dover where the Darwin crowd is suing to stop the principle from reading a 60-second blurb saying that other ideas exist about evolution and interested students may refer to a book “Pandas and People” which is in the library. Any kids that don’t want to listen to the blurb can opt out of it. And again students won’t be tested on anything in the blurb! And again this was the result of the democratic process governing the Dover public school.

    How do you think this won’t-give-an-inch we’ll-use-the-courts-to-thwart-your- modest-desires plays out amongst the vast majority of people who either don’t care or want to see ID at least mentioned? I’ll tell you how. It’s causing hate and discontent directed at science. For what? A sticker or a 60-second announcement. What a boneheaded thing to do. Scientists might be smart but evidently most of them don’t have a lick of common sense or insight into how to deal with people who don’t agree with them.

  7. “As in the Kansas Trials, hardly any Darwinists (if any), none of them were there because they do not want to turn science into a political battle.”

    It is Darwinists that typically seem more concerned with the political issue of what gets taught in State schools then what is actually true about origins. For some reason they seem to have thought all these years that if they teach mythological narratives of Naturalism to children against the will of parents, then the children will somehow be likely to believe them. It seems to me that history indicates that the only way to really indoctrinate a generation would be more of an abuse of the authority of both the State and Science.

    As far as the political issue, at some point if you are going to keep taking parent’s money through taxes then you are going to have to let them teach their kid what they want them taught. If the public schools are the public’s schools then each community will have to make its own decisions just as each parent does. If the schools are not the public’s schools and instead are ruled by the oligarchy of “experts” and judges working through the Judiciary then they are State schools, indoctrination is typical in such schools.

  8. That essay has now appeared on Beliefnet, where it was re-titled — without my knowledge or permission — “Intelligent Design, Yes; Creationism, No” (go here). This new title is contentious and misleading.

    Thank you for pressing for the clarification. It is unfortunate that many in the ID community seek to impress their enemies by shooting their friends.

  9. Mynym – very good on the politics of what gets taught in public schools. I would add that there IS substance to the 1st amendment establishment clause and its jurisdiction over local gov’t via the 14th amendment. Biblical creationism taught in public schools I believe crosses over the line of what’s constitutional. ID on the other hand does not cross over. There’s nothing religious in Bill’s mathematical treatment of design detection nor in Behe’s irreducible complexity. I don’t have a problem with discussing cosmological ID in public schools either. There’s nothing religious about describing how the universe is fine tuned. It is indeed very fine tuned. Of course both biological ID and cosmological ID have religious implications but that’s not a disqualifier as long as the religious implications are left unsaid. If BID and CID tend to lend support to religious beliefs that’s just too bad if atheists don’t like it as long as the evidence is presented in an impartial manner.

    So “ID yes; creationism no” is quite apt for how I feel about the situation. I agree it’s contentious and it’s Bill’s call if it isn’t the message he wanted to convey. But it’s the message I would want to convey for the reasons given above.

  10. Taciturnus,

    You are failing to distinguish between metaphysics and theory. Metaphysics is what is assumed underlying the interpretation of facts. For instance, in psychology the experiments of the constancy hypothesis have many interpretations depending on what the paradigm allows in their interpretations. However, theories stem the experiments themselves and the theories tie together the facts. If the facts work, then so does the theory.

    Also, I have shown many times on this site that there are other theories that are against Neodarwinism and are very successful in the journals. This argument against Darwinists does not work because it is not true due to these counterexamples.

  11. Dave,

    I will answer your question, even though you have failed to answer my question that I posed to you earlier.

    In this quote that I will present works against you: “Scientists might be smart but evidently most of them don’t have a lick of common sense or insight into how to deal with people who don’t agree with them.” Here, you are saying that ID theorists are not scientists. Now, if you believe this, why would non-science be taught in a science class? I have no comment on whether ID theorists are scientists or not. It is not my place. However, there have been many places that argue that “Pandas and People” is a creationsim.

    Also, who are these Neodarwinists? Are they actual scientists or are they the public Darwinists? And remember, they Darwinists claim that ID is not science. You have a right to disagree and attack them on that issue, but you cannot simply say “We are not creationism and that is final.” That shows a misunderstanding of the history of philosophy and science. There have been numerous critiques in the past that say newer theories are newer version of older, outdated, and already falsified ideas, and the newer theorists go on the attack. This is what I meant by a conspiracy paranoia. It has not just happened to you, but it has happened throughout all of history. Quit complaining about it and show the world that you guys have substance in journals. If you do that, then you will have nothing to worry about. ID will come out ahead if they produce results just like any other theory.

    Now, I will ask my question again (now I may have missed it somewhere so point to where it exists if it does): What is the CSI of the bacteria flagellum? I am NOT asking for a physical mechanism, but rather the specific patterns that show design. How is this CSI similar to Mount Rushmoore? It cannot be DNA since the latter does not have DNA (obviously). Answering this will most assuredly help ID’s progress.

  12. Sartre:

    “Here, you are saying that ID theorists are not scientists.”

    No I didn’t say that. I didn’t even imply it. You made an incorrect inferral.

    “there have been many places that argue that “Pandas and People” is a creationsim.”

    They’re wrong and it doesn’t take much work to figure that out. Here’s a critical article on “Of Pandas and People” by a prominent NeoDarwinist, Kenneth Miller. It attacks the science in the book but doesn’t describe any of it as “a creationism” [sic].

    “who are these Neodarwinists?”

    Anyone who supports the so-called modern synthesis of course.

    “show the world that you guys have substance in journals”

    Publication of ID sympathetic articles is denied in “journals” by the peer review process. That’s part of the conspiracy. Rivista de Biologia is a notable exception.

    “What is the CSI of the bacteria flagellum?”

    The flagellum is held out as an example in irreducible complexity not CSI.

  13. Sartre,

    Every theory implies a metaphysic. The constancy hypothesis (I assume you are referring to Merleau-Ponty’s notion) makes sense only in the context of the empiricist understanding of human nature that has been popular since the 17th century. For other understandings of human nature, e.g. Aristotle’s, it can’t even come up as a problem. It’s a myth that the “facts” are just waiting out there for us to pick up, independent of any theories we have about them. If they were, we wouldn’t need philosophers like Merleau-Ponty to point them out to scientists.

    But I was making more of a cultural than a philosophical point. Your original question was why IDers don’t just “let the data speak for itself.” The simple answer is that data doesn’t speak for itself because it doesnt’t speak at all. It is scientists and philosophers who do the speaking, and they must choose not only what data to speak about, but what constitutes the nature of data itself. And the voice of the Darwinian establishment has spoken: It is impossible for data to exist that establishes intelligent design, therefore it is not worth talking about, in schools or anywhere else. Thus we have the Darwinian complaint that IDers do not publish in peer-reviewed journals, while they themselves enforce the lockout on the basis that IDers can’t possibly make authentically scientific points.

  14. I will respond to this points tomorrow. I have to go to work soon and I won’t be home tonight. But, Dave, where is that article by Miller (and remember, as Dembski points out, Miller is seen as a creationist also [I can't say if he is or not since I have not read much of his stuff]). Also, you side-stepped the issue of the flagellum. Dembski says that IC is a SPEACIAL case of CSI. Thus, by definition, the flagellum must ALSO be a case of CSI. Even if this was not the case, you SHOULD have given an instance where ID has applied CSI. So even if my assertion is wrong, provide an applied case of CSI.

  15. Satre

    You’ll have to get Dembski’s book “No Free Lunch” to see a CSI analysis of the flagellum.

    I think the probabalistic resources are too ill-defined at this point in time for that to be a good example. It depends on Behe being correct that the flagellum is irreducible and while I have yet to see a reasonable reductionist scenario for its evolution from simpler components. The type-II secretory system has been put forward as a partial precurser that was co-opted to form a flagellum but the temporal appearance of the T2 in nature is after the flagellum appeared which indicates that the T2 devolved from the flagellum. Further efforts seem to be in order to verify the irreducibility of the flagellum.

    One test of design detection I’d like to see, a more tractible case than the flagellum is the point mutation in human hemoglobin that causes sickle cell anemia and also confers resistance to malaria. Since this is a single point mutation and (presumably) happened in recent history the probalistic resources should be tractible. Things to consider in calculating probalistic resources would be the random mutation rate of hemoglobin, the human population at the time it happened, the mosquito population and frequency of malaria, etc. The unsurprising result of design detection I expect would be no design detected. Keep in mind that design detection is useful in ruling out design as well identifying design.

    A second test case I’d like to see is the genetic code. Scientists have been unsuccessfully trying to reduce it for 60 years so assuming it’s irreducible is a more reasonable assumption than the flagellum IMO. It is present and virtually identical in all living things and is very well characterized in every detail as it’s a simple algorithmic lookup table that translates 1 of 64 possible nucleic acid triplets into 1 of 20 possible amino acids plus stop/start sequences. Since the lookup table could have taken on a practically infinite number of equally functional permutations while only one permuation is used by every living thing it is both complex and specified. The unsurprising result of design detection would be that it is designed. Furthermore, design detection in this case could be falsified by successfully demonstrating that that genetic code can be reduced.

  16. For anyone that doesn’t know what probalistic resources are they’re basically all the factors that can conspire to produce a given result. Dembski’s CSI analysis of the flagellum is best criticized by claiming that one or more assumptions of probalistic resources is an argument from ignorance. In particular is presuming the flagellum is irreducible. Just because no one can rigorously reduce the flagellum with experimental biology right now doesn’t mean there is no way to reduce it. Thus the assumption that it’s irreducible is an argument from ignorance.

    Realistically and logically we can never eliminate ignorance. This is why all scientific theories are tentative. It’s also where falsifiability becomes important. Let’s take the standard theory of evolution from bacterial ancestors to human beings. It can be falsified by finding out-of-sequence fossils. The following April Fool 1999 hoax illustrates such a fossil.

    The hoax: http://www.nmsr.org/Archive.html
    The admission: http://www.nmsr.org/april_fool.html

    Because we can never know that we’ve explored the entire fossil record there remains the possibility we’ll find out-of-sequence fossils. So, a very basic presumption in standard evolution theory is that out-of-sequence fossils don’t exist. That’s an argument from ignorance but it’s accepted as true until proven false.

    This then raises a question with regard to design detection and the flagellum. How much effort must be expended before we accept its irredicibility as we accept the non-existance of out-of-sequence fossils? I suggested in the prior comment that more effort at reducing the flagellum with experimental biology needs to be done before we can reasonably take it as a given that it’s irreducible.

    I suggested a design test on the sickle-cell mutation because it can’t be reduced – it’s a point mutation. It’s specified and complex but the probalistic resources, which I believe are reasonably boundable, will probably push it outside the chance rejection zone and deem it the result of RM+NS. Simple as it is, it’s still going to take a lot of work robustly bounding the probabalistic resources.

    I’d like to see the same attempt made on the genetic code because it’s common in everything alive and thus exceedingly important evidence for the theory of universal common descent. Of course saying the genetic code is common in all living things is also an argument from ignorance as we haven’t yet confirmed it in every living thing. ;-)

  17. Dave,

    But you said that the flagellum is “held out as an example in irreducible complexity not CSI.” Dembski redefines (or “tightens” up Behe’s definition) IC. I am unsure if Behe agrees with Dembski that IC is a special case of CSI, but this DOES come from Dembski’s book “NFL.”

    However, I do not agree that genes are some sort of code. To say that genes are coded like our linguistic system is a huge conceptual jump. Again, you have refused to even look at that article. Also, algorithms are being refuted in the biological and physical communities. When you described the DNA and said that it was algorithmic, and then said I did not know the meaning of algorithms, you failed to show that the DNA process was algorithmic. You misunderstood my criticism. I was not say that your description was not algorithmic, but your description was altogether false.

    Information for ecological psychologists and others are not probabilistic. Dembski creates a dualism between physical information and conceptual information, whereas we see the two domains as equivalent. Information specifies BOTH the environment and the organism, and the natural world is not seen as some action-neutral, meaningless entity. Also, the idea of the mind is misleading. The mind is not some special feature of reality, but the body is not some passive entity either. Thus, there is no mind/body dualism since they are the same feature, and the organism is the same material as the natural world. Instead of critiquing the natural world, IDists try to add onto the natural world (hence, they say the natural world is limited).

    Complexity and specification, as I see it, is just some linguistic tool that has nothing to do with the object itself and is just a psychological phenomena based on dualism. The ideas assume that there are objectively discrete parts that evolve independently of other things. However, our recognition of such parts have been seen to evolve with our embodied capabilities without a psychological agency. For example, it has been witnessed that color evolves along with the evolution of organisms.

  18. I’m about talked out with you at this point. I made my case. Take it or leave it.

  19. Dave,

    I agree that we are getting nowhere, but you have made no case whatsoever. Lets recap. You said that the flagellum has nothing to do with CSI, but I quoted Dembski saying otherwise. Thus, you support Dembski, but you do not know his work in entirety. Interesting. I quoted other material and gave the link to an article that you refused to read (laziness and intellectually dishonest). You said that cells are algorithmic, but you failed to give any such description except for saying that, “DNA and ribosomes together build proteins. Every living thing does it that way and they all use the same genetic code that translates nucleic acid triplets (codons) into 1 of 20 amino acids along with codons that specify sequence stop and start. This is algorithmic. The genetic code itself is called a “lookup table” in engineering parlance and is a very common structure in all kinds of hardware and software. This is well established fact and anyone arguing otherwise deserves instant dismissal as a crackpot.” Now, saying this last sentence makes us believe that this fact cannot be overturned with further ionvestigation. Again, intellectually dishonest when you make this claim and THEN refuse to read the literature that goes against it. You are basically saying that you know the future and that there will be no evidence to show this to be wrong. Plus, this is ironic for an IDist because Darwinists say the same thing about natural selection being the fundamental mechanism. However, IDists state that they have found NEW evidence that there is no such thing as this mechanism. Its amazing how you are on one side for finding new evidence for one issue, but in the same breath you deny that new evidence cannot be found on the other issue.

    All in all, the idea of algorithms and genetic codes depict a built in Cartesian worldview, and that amino acids, DNA, nucleotide bases, etc. are not the foundation of life, but rather the evidence shows that the Earth as a planetary whole is the first living entity and when the Earth cooled to the right temperature organisms began to arise. This HAS been experimentally verified, but yet you did not see this because you refused to do the research. Ignorance does not allow one to say that they have made their case when all you have done is right a one or two-liner and say that it is an established fact. This is not how science works. Keep making the same argument and ID will never make it onto the scientific scene and will only be a political statement and wishful thinking on websites.

  20. Lack of reading comprehension makes the arguments go round…

    “Lets recap. You said that the flagellum has nothing to do with CSI”

    What Dave actually said was “The flagellum is held out as an example in irreducible complexity not CSI” because “the probabilistic resources are too ill-defined at this point in time for that to be a good example.”

    Either I’m misreading Dave myself, and stringing together two separate incoherent thoughts, or apparently you’re latching onto what you want to see and not what is actually being said.

    “gave the link to an article”

    Based upon my reading I’ve always assumed the information conveyed by DNA was not intrinsic and instead was representative (which is why engineers like Dave and myself like to call it “code” since it’s a familiar term). I’m actually interested in reading this article to see if that assumption was incorrect. Perhaps my browser is acting funky but I cannot find the link you supposedly posted.

    Anyway, without a link to read how can Dave be lazy and intellectually dishonest.

    “rather the evidence shows that the Earth as a planetary whole is the first living entity”

    Gaia Theory?

  21. Gump,

    I provided Dembski’s quote on another thread. Here is what he said in NFL, “I want to therefore in this section to show how irreducible complexity is a SPECIAL CASE of specified complexity, and in particular I want to sketch how on calculates the relevant probabities needed to eliminate chance and infer desigh for such systems” (289). It is quite apparent that he is suggesting that IC will become a special case of CSI, not just specified complexity. To me, the problem seems that proponents of ID do not even read their own literature, but only falls head over heels for the idea, not the details.

    Again, we were posting on other threads and I was recapping from other threads. I posted the link a few times and gave mention to ideas in there that need further reading. Since he refused to, yes, I call that laziness and intellectually dishonest where he says something does not exist where the nonexistence occurs because he closes his eyes. But I do commend you for willing to read it. My judgement of him is in no way a judgement of IDists as a whole. Here is the link: http://dennett.philosophyofscience.net/ .

    Also, biology is NOT engineering. The idea of representation presents numerous problems such as the binding problem and what Dembski finds in neuroscience to be troubling, the framing problem. Even though those two theories deal with the brain mind and body, the problems of representations and codes remain.

    Gaia theory has been around since the theories. It was presented by Lovelock in the 70s. He has some books that are cheap to buy. I think this article speaks of it, but I don’t have time to look (I have to go to work): http://philosophyofscience.net/evolution1/

  22. Gump – I call it “code” because everyone has been calling it code since its discovery 50 years ago. Code perhaps means something different today and is connected with computer programming but 50 years ago a code was widely understood to be a cypher and few knew anything even rudimentary about computer architecure.

    The article in question is http://dennett.philosophyofscience.net/ It’s a tedious piece of offal written by some dazed and confused guy named Rod Swenson who was somehow connected to http://ione.psy.uconn.edu/~cespaweb/people.html the University of Connecticut CENTER FOR THE ECOLOGICAL STUDY OF PERCEPTION AND ACTION. Whatever his former connection he’s not there anymore.

    I was, to say the least, less than impressed with his writing. Once again Satre is wrong and is simply making things up out of thin air.

  23. Sorry about that ist line in the last paragraph(is there an edit button?). I was just saying that it has been for awhile. Here is another article that speaks of Gaia: http://www.ecologicalpsychology.com/SwenTurv.pdf .

    And here are books by the co-founder: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....65-8158256

  24. Dave,

    But yet you are unable to say what is wrong with his ideas. ID cannot survive if their arguments are based on character attacking rather than attacking the arguments. Swenson is well versed in physics and biology (as is most of the people associated with ecological science since ecological science brings psychology, physics, and biology together). Anyway, you show no evidence of reading the article so I am skeptical that you even took the time to do so.

    Also, how could I be wrong if I QUOTED Dembski. Dave, you are really making it hard for me to take ID as a serious discipline when you are making comments such as these. Instead of showing WHERE Dembski goes against what I am saying (which is hard because I am using HIS OWN WORDS), you say I am making things up. Without quotes to back it up you have nothing. However, I do understand that, like political bases, you say you opponent is incorrect without any facts and that still gets you somewhere. Now I see why you are scientifically handicapped. Good luck with your rhetoric and reluctance to support ANYTHING that you say. It will get you far on Internet sites. Fortunately, science has higher standards and actually use experimentation to justify their claims.

  25. Satre – I’m not about to fisk 60 pages of crappola from Swenson. Nobody else has either. That’s not because it’s irrefutable but because no one thinks it’s worth their time. After your refusal to acknowledge that the genetic code is algorithmic I’m writing you off as a crank. Talk to the hand. Or better yet peddle your crap to fellow crank Rod Swenson.

  26. “I call it “code” because everyone has been calling it code since its discovery 50 years ago.”

    Dave, I’m aware of the historical reasons for calling it the “genetic code” (read enough on the subject and how couldn’t anyone be?) but irrespective of prior examples I think sartre is arguing that the usage of such terminology is invalid whether DNA is being compared/associated with modern software engineering code or an encryption cypher. And I also do not understand his rejection of commonly used terminology.

    Sartre, if you could point out the exact page(s) which support your argument I’d appreciate it.

  27. Dave,

    First, the name is Sartre. Secondly, you have shown signs of being unable to “fisk through” Dembski’s work since you did not even know his position of the flagellum. But yet you are a supporter of his work. Very suspicious and interesting. Thirdly, your response is typical by those who have no true arguments against an idea. Now, are you talking about people on this site, or people in general? Swenson has been a part of scientific conferences, scientific anthologies, and peer-reviewed journals. What are your credentials? Also, the people on this site are NON-SCIENTISTS. I am pretty sure that no one on this site has the credentials to say that Swenson is full of it. I know in fact that you do not because of your writing style and how you are unable to critique arguments AT ALL. Your writing is vague and uninformative to have any credibilty at all.

    And I am pretty sure that the ENTIRE scientific community refers to IDists as cranks for questioning natural causes as explaining all phenonmena. Swenson and others have their ideas published in peer-review journals. No IDist has ever gotten the theory of ID in such a journal. Claiming a conspiracy theory in order to explain why their articles are not published a petty tactic. That is the true sign of a crank; making excuses for why your material isn’t accepted.

  28. Gump,

    The rejection of the terminology is not just a few people, but has been accruing for several decades. It is a shifting in thought. Dave’s explanation (“I call it “code” because everyone has been calling it code since its discovery 50 years ago.”) is not an explanation at all, but is merely an acceptance of such ideas with no critical output.

    Now, the idea of code presupposes many ideas. One (for the basic idea) is a type of dualism. It supposes that the environment and organism are separated at inception and so, in order to keep a connection, there must be a copy of the environment in the organism. It has been shown that the environment and the organism have evolved together through action (there are several theories of this, but the basic approaches are the ecological approach and the enactive approach, where the latter is founded by biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela). Secondly, it presupposes a type of causality called linear causality. Linear causality are basic if-then logics and presuppose an agency. However, there have been numerous studies that show that biological systems exhibit properties of circular causality. This is typically called self-organinzation and emergence. Demsbki, however, looks for the entity where the emergent emerges from. This is misunderstanding emergence. Emergence theories state that the emergents cannot be reduced to its simpler parts. Also, because of circular causality, there is no local point where the emergent emerges from. It occurs through mass action. Those are just a few examples.

    Anyway, the relevent pages about DNA are 63-73 (the 1st 2 lines of 73). Again, I do respect you for at least attempting to discuss this.

  29. SaRtre – I independently arrived at most of Dembski’s conclusions without reading his work. You know the expression “great minds think alike”? Since you have no way of knowing let me assure you now that the expression is true.

  30. Sartre – will you leave and never come back if I provide my design engineering credentials?

  31. Sartre – do you have a link to Swenson’s credentials? I couldn’t find any.

    By the way, you keep changing the subject away from DNA/ribosome to talk about whole organisms. I’m looking at one well defined sub-cellular bit of machinery that manufactures proteins according to stored instructions. Try to focus.

  32. Swenson p.63

    “Algorithmic Processes Have Been Produced By Evolution”

    No kidding. DNA and ribosomes working together to translate the information in genes into functional proteins is a prime example. Got it, Sartre?

  33. However, Swenson then puts his foot in his mouth

    “Like recipes and other rule-based procedures, algorithms, as ordinarily understood and defined, are artifactual productions of cultural systems (human social systems) and thus very lately evolved products of evolution.”

    The protein factory represented by the combination of DNA and ribosomes is a very early product of (ostensibly) evolution. It’s undeniably (except by cranks) algorithmic in its operation. I never claimed that DNA/ribosome evolved by an algorithmic process. What I claimed was that it is, in and of itself, algorithmic in operation. The $64,000 question is how it came into existence. Since all similarly complex “artifactual productions” are the result of intelligent design it’s reasonable to assume that the DNA/ribosome protein factory is no exception. The onus of proof is on the nay-sayer.

    Think about this. In every instance where a machine has been observed and the origin can be determined the machine was a product of intelligent design. Therefore “machines are the product of intelligent design” should be a LAW until an exception is found where the machine’s origin can be determined to be non-intelligent. The DNA/ribosome protein factory is quite well understood, deterministic, algorithmic, and is in fact a reprogrammable protein manufacturing machine in every sense of the word. Until proven otherwise it’s a product of intelligent design like every other machine where the origin has been determined.

  34. “I independently arrived at most of Dembski’s conclusions without reading his work. You know the expression “great minds think alike”? Since you have no way of knowing let me assure you now that the expression is true.”

    Dave, you are truly absurd. This is your scientific basis? You assume your intellectual based on what? All that I have seen is poor logic, no citation, and unwarranted assumptions wrapped in the first two noted above. Anyway, obviously you don’t think alike since I provided an example of Dembski’s work that goes against what you said. It is hard to put into words how ridiculous you really how. I gave a quote of Dembski’s showing that you were wrong, but you say that you were right. And you call other people cranks? Unbelievable.

    “Will you leave and never come back if I provide my design engineering credentials?”

    Haha, no. But since design engineering is not actual science, but an application of science (physicists have long stated that engineers are not science), it would not matter to me. I am not saying that engineering is NOT important, but it is false to call it science. Anyway, even if I am wrong, Swenson has published articles in “systems” journals and gave “systems” speeches at conferences which add onto the ideas of engineering. So, what IS important to me is if you have published anything. Or is the conspiracy after you as well?

    “No kidding. DNA and ribosomes working together to translate the information in genes into functional proteins is a prime example.”

    Again, you provided no back-up for this. This is why ID is not accepted in journals. Not because of some insane conspiracy, but because most of the work is not backed up. You are presupposing that DNA and ribosomes are some intellectual creature that can “translate” information. What is the evidence that SHOWS DNA and ribosomes DOING a translation? It is a misguided interpretation. As Swenson states, DNA has long been found to be a dead molecule. How can something dead (intellectual or not) translate something? You provided NOTHING.

    “Do you have a link to Swenson’s credentials? I couldn’t find any.”

    I cannot find a link, no, but I do not think that that is necessary since he has published papers in various fields and the conferences that he is asked to participate in. I know that he has worked with individuals who have degrees in physics, so I am pretty sure that they wouldn’t want someone unqualified working with them. Published material in fields of experts is adequate enough. If the reviewers find that that article’s information has no merit, they will reject the article. But they didn’t. So it has credibility. Actually, this is ironic. Any of Swenson’s papers or anybody elses (my psychology professor had an article rejected several times) that gets rejected, they do not call into question the intentions of the reviewers. Maybe it’s because REAL scientists understand the process and it is only pseudo-scientists that try to make themselves into a victim.

    “By the way, you keep changing the subject away from DNA/ribosome to talk about whole organisms. I’m looking at one well defined sub-cellular bit of machinery that manufactures proteins according to stored instructions. Try to focus.”

    Ok, lets recap. First, there is plenty of research that shows that the sub-celluar activities in organisms cannot be studied outside of the organism as a whole (which is why I reject Behe’s IC). This is why system dynamical theories suggest. The whole organism works together where one cannot distinguish between the parts because they are all inter-related and emergent. It’s not that I was jumping around, but denying your reductionist approach to organisms.

    Secondly, you are already presupposing an intellectual activity by saying that the cells manufacture proteins and that they are machinery (and I’m guessing you are suggesting that they are machinery like human invented machines, which is what I would deny due to the fact that organisms are self-organized and our machines are not). Your assume to much in your ideas to be considered relevant.

    “The protein factory represented by the combination of DNA and ribosomes is a very early product of (ostensibly) evolution. It’s undeniably (except by cranks) algorithmic in its operation. I never claimed that DNA/ribosome evolved by an algorithmic process. What I claimed was that it is, in and of itself, algorithmic in operation. The $64,000 question is how it came into existence. Since all similarly complex “artifactual productions” are the result of intelligent design it’s reasonable to assume that the DNA/ribosome protein factory is no exception. The onus of proof is on the nay-sayer.”

    What you said is the worst logic application I have ever seen. First, Swenson is not replying to you, but to Dennett. I know that you know this but I thought I better be safe. Dennett does claim that DNA evolved by algorithms. Secondly, once again, you fail to provide ANY evidence that shows DNA to be algorithmic. You keep saying that it is “undeniably algorithmic”, but you cannot back it up and show the experiments that warrant this interpretation. Your statements remind me of http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/ website where they put in bold “objectivity” and scientific evidence in order to amaze us. I mean, whatever is in bold MUST be true, right? For years, people thought that time and space were absolute, then that idea began to slip away. For years, people thought that the Earth was flat. For years, people thought that God was undeniable (and some still do). You cannot predict where science will go. You still do not get it. You think that people who question algorithmic processes in cells are crank, but you think that people who deny evolutionary fundamentals are heroes (which Swenson does by the way). The only difference is, the former actually uses scientific ideas. How do you think that they get their articles published in REAL journals and are invited to REAL conferences?

    Secondly, our machines are NOT simliar to the cells. Cells are emergent, self-organized,dynamical, circular-causal entities. Our machines are life-less, linear causal, non-emergent, and require OUR intelligence. The former are the defining characteristics of the cell. You provide way too many gaps to be taken seriously, as usual. The idea that they are similar while, at the same time denying their differences, is a huge mistake. So no, it is not resonable because they are complex for DIFFERENT reasons. And there are studies that show that they higher-order processes are emergent activities. ID has yet to understand this process.

    Think about this. In every instance where a machine has been observed and the origin can be determined the machine was a product of intelligent design. Therefore “machines are the product of intelligent design” should be a LAW until an exception is found where the machine’s origin can be determined to be non-intelligent. The DNA/ribosome protein factory is quite well understood, deterministic, algorithmic, and is in fact a reprogrammable protein manufacturing machine in every sense of the word. Until proven otherwise it’s a product of intelligent design like every other machine where the origin has been determined.

    Again, you overlook the differences. I have never seen our machines self-organize, exhibit emergence, etc. Also, to consider ID as a “law” is ridiculous. A law is something that would happen if the conditions are right. You are bringing a natural explanation into an intellectual agency explanation. ALL scientists state that what you are saying is, as you put it, a crank idea. How would you respond to that? I am pretty sure I know the answer, but I want to see it for myself.

    Furthermore, the real law is perceptual. You are assuming that the mind has some special quality to it. However, in order to build a house, or a machine, the objects must exhibit certain qualities (known as affordances) to even be perceived to be used as building materials. What are the initial conditions? Some suspect that thermodynamics provide the example for the emergence of life.

  35. Sartre

    I’m truly absurd? LOL!

    Dell Computer Corporation paid me millions of dollars for my absurd thinking. The U.S. patent office doesn’t think it’s so absurd either. ;-)

    Thanks for playing.

  36. Dave,

    Once again, you have failed to understand. I said that your computer skills are NOT compatible to biology. You are in fact committing the error of “False Analogy”. What you accomplish in computers has nothing to do with biology. In fact, this proves two things. One, you are showing how absurd your thinking is by stating that your knowledge in computers is significant for biology. Secondly, you are ignorant of this fact altogether. You deny your absurdity by making an absurd comment. Does it ever end?

    For some reason, you are on one huge ego trip. You consider yourself a great mind and you tout how much money you make that is outside of the discipline that you claim to have knowledge about. As I said, my brother works for Microsoft and has published books, and thus very successful in COMPUTERS. However, this success does not carry over to the sciences. This is an old CREATIONIST argument. You have knowledge in ONE area and then stick your flag in the ground to claim knowledge in ALL areas.

    And yes, you are exhibiting absurd thinking in your “explanations” of biology. You make unwarranted assumptions, break the rules of logic, you fail to use ANY citations whatsoever, you attack people’s character without even giving any consideration to their work, and you say that you know Dembski’s work because you both “have great minds”, even though I showed that what you thought you knew about his work is false by, hold onto your hat, citing his own work. Your methodology would be rejected in the sciences, and not because of the lame excuse of a conspiracy theory. It is because your scientific methodology is extremely poor. This has nothing to do with how well you do in computers. If you are able to program a computer great. But that logic has NOTHING to do with science and you should wake up and realize that. And you continued this absurd logic by your above comment that you think that you have expertise in biology where you have none.

    So, I have a little task for you. Present a paper of a PEER-REVIEWED article that conducts an experiment and from that experiment conclusively affirms algorithms. It does not have to be on-line since I can request it at my library and they will send it to me if they do not have the bounded journal in the library. It is that simple.

  37. Sartre

    Biologists have no training in engineering. How can they recognize design?

    You aren’t going to win this argument. I’m an autodidact. My knowledge of biology is extensive as is my knowledge of computers and machinery of all kinds.

  38. Dave,

    Let me get this straight. You say that biologists have no TRAINING in design, but, being an autodidact, you are claiming no TRAINING. Also, you asked for Swenson’s credentials all the mean while you admitted that you have no scholarly training in biology. I sense a little bit of hypocrisy here. I guess being an autodidact seems appropriate for you since your understanding is limited and you only have yourself to blame. Without working in the scientific labs, you do not know how science works. Reading the articles and books (which you have failed to prove AT ALL) are irrelevant if you have not DONE science. Quit pretending that you understand that which you don’t. You still have failed to cite any material that you have read that proves algorithms. By that measure you will not win any argument with me or the scientific community. If you have, as you stated, millions and millions of dollars, then why don’t you donate money for ID research? Why, if your knowledge is extensive, write articles to open up the eyes of the biologists.

    For the most part, you have yet shown that you have any significant knowledge in any area. You can strut around, pounding your chest, and scream at the top of your lungs that you have superior knowledge, but until you produce results all you are spewing is pure garbage.

    And for the last time, human machines and natural organisms are not similar. I have provided preliminary reasons why they are different. Quit TELLING me how much you know and SHOW me how much you do in fact know. That is how you win arguments. Nobody cares how much you THINK you know. You sound like the town drunk saying if his dad didn’t give him a drink at a young age he would be a millionaire because he really is brilliant. Snap out of it you egotistical fool. Do science or shut up. It is that simple.

  39. In a recent email that I wrote to Dembski:

    “Bill,

    I do not know if you have been following the thread that Dave and I have been having. But I was just wondering if I am misreading you about the flagellum being able to be described by CSI. When you write, “I want to therefore in this section to show how irreducible complexity is a SPECIAL CASE of specified complexity, and in particular I want to sketch how one calculates the relevant probabilities needed to eliminate chance and infer design for such systems” (289). The latter part, I think, clearly shows that you want to move from specified complexity to CSI. Am I wrong here? If so, how? Thanks.”

    He replied: “They’re the same notions. –Bill”

    So there you have it. Dembski, once again, states that the flagellum can be described by CSI. Now, this is a different conclusion that he came up with than you. In order to understand someone’s work, you have to at least attempt to read the material more carefully. By simply reading the conclusions is surely not a sign of a “great mind” that you claim to have, despite how much money Dell pays you (which I’m a little skeptical that you are telling the truth due to the fact that you are misleading in your statements).

  40. Sartre

    I see I’ve reduced you to nothing but ad hominem outbursts. That’s actually an improvement over the gross ignorance that preceded it. Thanks again for playing.

  41. Dave,

    Actually, you BEGAN with such attacks. You called me and Swenson cranks without reading his stance and even trying to grasp what I was saying; you basically said I was stupid; you called me a liar, which I am guessing this comes from my comments about Dembski’s work and I showed that I was correct. And you saying that I was a liar came from the fact that you don’t even read most of his work and with you relying on telepathy. Real scientific. Your arguments never had any merit scientifically since you wouldn’t even take the time to read the otherside of the issue. That is not science (for some reason, you think science never changes considering algorithms, but yet you want science to change considering ID, nice contradiction). However, my comments are warranted since your logic is poor, you do not know how science works and you pretend that you do without any background in the field whatsoever, and you are egotistical for telling people how smart you think you are (without actually proving so) and telling us how much you make, which, again, I am skeptical about because you have shown no sign for having any type of intelligence. Again, it is based on your writing where I am attacking. Ad hominem attacks are a result of not critiquing so someone’s arguments. Once again, you do not show any comprehension of what logic is.

    Also, you still fail to provide ANY articles that back you up. I did provide citations for my arguments. How can someone with such lack of knowledge about science, such as yourself, call me ignorant when you cannot back anything up? And, for the record, I just showed that Dembski agreed with me, and you are calling me ignorant. The funny thing is, you’re a supported of ID and I am not, and I knew more about it than you did. And you truly think that you do not have to read the material to understand it. That is truly idiotic (once again, not ad hominem, but simply using your methodology against you). You have so much to learn about how science works. But, I am pretty sure that you won’t take the time since, you seem up there in age and you are still using this methodology that I do not doubt that you have used in all of your years.

    Let me put it to you this way. You think that algorithms are a pure fact in biology. However, many biologists feel that natural selection can explain everything in biology without falling back on a creator and they feel that they have sufficient evidence for that claim. What is the difference between my rejection of algorithms (which is simply a conceptual problem) and your rejection of NS? And do not answer by saying how smart you are because that is has been shown to be ridiculous, even though you don’t see it that way, which shows how unable you are to see absurd thinking because you can’t even detect it in yourself. Thank “God” you are not in a high authoritative place dictating our educational system or we would be in trouble.

    By the way, I am still waiting for that article and any sign of your knowledge in any field in the sciences. I have a feeling that I will be waiting for the rest of my life.

  42. And to just add one more thing. Swenson was invited to speak at ISGSR and then ISSS (which is the same as ISGSR, but they changed the name). Also, he wrote a paper for the anthology of “Evolutionary Systems” http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....8;n=507846 .

    I hardly doubt that he would be asked to attend or write for these if he had no crendential. You simply assumed that he had none WITHOUT reading his work, which IS an ad hominem attack. You seriously need to take a look at yourself and realize that you have no authority to judge others in the field where YOU HAVEN’T written anything in the field nor have the ability/crendentials to do so. Nobody is impressed with you teaching yourself since, if you are the teacher, it is easily seen based on your comprehension and explanatory ability that you obviously have learned much. Again, not ad hominem, but it is based on your writings on here. It is funny how people throw that fallacy out there when they are shown that they have no stature in the field in order to save some dignity. Sorry, it won’t work here. You haven’t shown any knowledge in the field and everytime you fall back on the creationist tactics of not backing anything up you are simply proving your lack of knowledge. But perhaps this is why you haven’t shown me what you know. It is hard to do so when you know nothing, no matter how much Dell pays you. I still crack up when I think about and read that, since you think that is an adequate argument. WOW.

  43. Sartre

    What you’re struggling to say is you can’t find Swenson’s credentials either.

    So when Swenson says this in big bold letters:

    “Algorithmic Processes Have Been Produced By Evolution”

    http://dennett.philosophyofsci.....ett17.html

    which part of that don’t you understand?

  44. http://www.scripps.edu/news/sr.....immel.html

    “Genetic Code Components in Translation and Cell Biology”

    By Paul R. Schimmel, Ph.D.
    Ernest and Jean Hahn Professor of Molecular Biology and Chemistry
    The Scripps Research Institute

    “The genetic code is an algorithm that defines how codons, nucleotide triplets, specify amino acids, thus providing the instructions for the synthesis of proteins.”

    Game, set, match. Thanks for playing, Sartre.

    Next!

  45. Where the rubber meets the road (commercial application):

    “In the conference’s opening keynote address, Roy Whitfield, GSB ’79, chief executive officer of Incyte Genomics Inc., a genomics information company in Palo Alto, drew strong parallels between the chip industry and the future of biotechnology and between microprocessors and the human genetic code. “The human chromosome is a storage device,” Whitfield said. “The genetic code is an algorithm. The human body is an information-processing system.”

    http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/se.....econf.html

  46. Dave,

    First, I’m not struggling to find his crendentials. If he has published material in the peer-reviewed articles and is invited to scientific conferences (more than what any ID theorist and yourself has ever accomplished) then it is sufficient to say that he is credible. He may not be correct, but that is a different story.

    Secondly, I never said that biologists did not think that algorithms were a part of the organism. However, I question this idea and so do others. It is naive science to think that algorithms are a FACT and can NEVER be questioned. So your little phrase of “game, set, match” seems to indicate that science will not discover something new to unravel that idea. You are basically stating a religious doctrine, not a scientific one.

    Thirdly, you once again fail to comprehend what the author states (which probably stems from reading past a few words as you eshibited with Dembski). Swenson adds on after his HEADING: “But Evolution is Not an Algorithmic Process.” He goes on to show that Dennett (and the papers that you provided) have not SHOWN “…won’t any of these processes BE an algorithm?” not “can any of these processes BE CONSIDERED as and algorithm” (64). The paper by Schimmel does not SHOW that the processes are algorithms, but assumes them from the beginning. You failed to show what I asked for. I wanted a paper that conducts an experiment that shows the fact of algorithms. I wanted a paper that shows the cells translating, proofreading, editing, etc. We do not even know how the mind does this, and so it sounds premature to even consider these facts. So try again.

    Fourthly, considering the idea that the human organism is an information-processing machine, this has been attacked violently in the field, which shows your inadequate familiarity with the field and shows the absurdity with your “extensive” knowledge.

    Many neurologists, suc as Walter Freeman, have questioned the idea that we are information-processing machines. So have biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. These theorists have provided experiments and books that show that information can not be processed since information is an emergent property of both the organism and the environment. This corresponds to the idea that the environment co-evolves with the organism. For Freeman, here is his website with numerous articles and excerpts from his books: http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/ (see especially section IC: Postulating, Then Rejecting Neural Representations.

    As for Maturana and Varela, their book “Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living” gie an interesting analogy. First, they state, “The genetic and nervous systems are said to code infoirmation about the environment and to represent it in their functional organization. This is untenable; the genetic and nervous systems code processes that specify series of transformations from initial states, which can be decoded only through their actual implementation, not DESCRIPTIONS that the observer makes of an environment which lies exclusively in HIS cognitive domain” (53). To illustrate this point they state that we suppose there are two groups of construction workers. One group is given a plan to a house and know it is a house with instructions to build it where they follow a leader. The second group has no leader and a book that has no end-product instructions, but only shows if they are in this place they should perform this move. They state that the instructions in the first group code a house described in a cognitive domain, whereas the second group does not code a house but processes. However, following the ecological approach to information founded by James J. Gibson we can eliminate the idea of a code and show that processes are natural laws in the sense where the processes of the cells pick up information in the environment that are dictating by laws, not rules. The difference between laws and rules is that laws cannot be broken, but rules (such as Dembski’s idea of chess) can be broken even though I may be called a cheater. For Gibson, look at his book “Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems” and his book book that describes information more deeply “The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception”. Also, check out this website: http://www.huwi.org/cgi-bin/gi.....search.cgi (this shows his ideas against information-processing); http://huwi.org/gibson/toc.php (this is the overview of his lectures).

    Hence, we can see what Swenson meant about algorithms. He means that algorithms are part of cultural evolution, such as the algorithms that we use in mathematics. Here, we have sufficient evidence to say that algorithms exist in this realm, but to say that unconscious entities are able to compute math is absolutely ridiculous and is rooted in a Plantonic realm of mathematics.

    Again, show me the historical root where algorithms first came into play (which is what I asked for in the first place) or where a contemporary thinker gives a proof that shows algorithms working in cells. Citing authors that assume it in the first place proves one thing: you do not know why the field accepts these terms, which results in your inability to critique the ideas at all. You keep exhibiting religious methodology of dogma where you can’t explain anything, but accept everything because it was written down even if you haven’t read a proof of it.

    By the way, I will email Schimmel and see if he can answer these questions better than you can, which I am sure that he can.

  47. Sartre

    You were the one that started questioning credentials so I found a PhD in molecular biology at the Scripps Research Institute explicitely stating that the genetic code is an algorithm. It’s a self-evident truth AFAIC and only a crank would claim it isn’t.

    Then to back it up I found an alumni of the Stanford Graduate School of Business who is the CEO of a bioinformatics company explicitely saying the genetic code is an algorithm.

    I’m afraid the ball is in your court to find equally qualified persons explicitely backing up your claim that the genetic code is not an algorithm.

    Fetch!

  48. Sartre

    I can’t resist this:

    “to say that unconscious entities are able to compute math is absolutely ridiculous”

    I’ve seen a lot of electronic calculators able to compute math… why don’t you give us a case in point of ridiculousness by trying to make a case for consciousness in a calculator.

    The salient question isn’t whether inanimate objects can execute algorithmic processes (they clearly can) but rather whether objects that can execute algorithmic processes must be of intelligent design.

    Thanks again for playing.

  49. Just for a lark I dug a little deeper into who Rod Swenson is.

    For one thing, he’s the owner, adminstrative, and technical contact for all the following websites (obtained through public records in WHOIS database)

    spontaneousorder.net
    ecologicalpsychology.com
    philosophyofscience.net
    rodswenson.com
    entropylaw.com

    The registering organization is

    Worldwide, Advanced Propaedeutics

    and the email addy for [email protected]

    AYA is the the Yale Alumni association so we may assumed that Roddy is a Yalie. Roddy is published, alrighty. He’s his own publisher at all the above websites which he owns and on which he promotes his “work”. Roddy appears to be not just a crank but a crank on steroids. An UBER-crank if you will.

    Now, I had assumed that google hits I saw previously referring to a “Rod Swenson” were for another Swenson as that Roddy was the founder of the punk rock group Plasmatics and also Captain Kink’s live sex show theater in Time’s Square. OH HO! Not so fast. That Rod Swenson is also a Yale alumni. What’re the odds?

    The following is from the Wall Street Journal online at

    http://opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110002640

    Who Is Rod Swenson?

    At Yale, as at several other Ivy League colleges, there’s a fringe movement to divest the university from Israel. The Yale Daily News reports that the “alumni spokesman” for the divestment campaign is one “Rod Swenson MFA ’69.” According to the Web site of the defunct punk-rock band the Plasmatics:

    With credentials that included an MFA from Yale, and creation of the legendary Captain Kink’s live sex show theatre in Times Square, the Plasmatics was put together in 1978 by radical anti-artist Rod Swenson around lead singer Wendy O. Williams.

    Williams, who died in 1998, “was a shock-rock queen who rose from the ranks of the porn industry where Rod Swenson, her companion of over 20 years, featured her in the live sex shows he promoted,” according to this biography.

    ———————-

    Lovely. Here I am linking to molecular biology researchers from Scripps and Stanford GSB graduates that own genetic engineering companies and Sartre is linking to a punk rock porn lord.

    ROFLMAO!

    Ain’t the internet great!

  50. While I’m playing detective…

    The last crank to show up here posting links to nutty fringe science was “island”. Interestingly, “sartre” showed up within a week or two of “island” getting the axe. Island was enamored of Eric Schneider’s intothecool.com which also rejects algorithmic processes in nature, rejects both the mainstream evolution narrative and intelligent design, and posits that some spooky necessity requires self-organization of life. Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.

    Moreover, Swenson and Schneider are quite intertwined in the fruitloop literature so anyone reading either one of the obscure obfuscated piles of BS would be led to the other – here’s the connections (or at least some of them using common buzzwords in the crank theories) http://www.google.com/search?h.....+evolution

    Sartre – I’m going to float the hypothesis that you are the crank formerly known as “island”. I’m right 99.7% of the time so there is an outside chance you’re not the same person.

  51. Dave,

    There are so many things wrong with your comments I do not know where to begin.

    First, I never questioned crendentials (I only said that no ID theorist has never had an article published in a peer-reviewed journal that mentioned ID). I told you that I am looking for the historical root of the idea to see where an experiment confirmed the idea about algorithms. Also, the last links that I provided (with Freeman, Maturana and Varela, Gibson, and now Cisek [ http://www.cisek.org/pavel/Pubs/Cis1999.pdf ]). Also, in “Reclaiming Cognition”, Freeman and Nunez (1999) quote Von Neumann saying, “Thus the outward forms of OUR mathematics are not absolutely relevant from the point of view of evaluating what the mathematical or logical language TRUYLY used by the central nervous system is…. It is characterized by less logical and arithmetical depth than what we are normally used to…. What ever the system is, it cannot fail to differ considerably from what we CONSCIOUSLY and explicitly consider as mathematics” (xii).

    Thus, even though Von Neumann suggests that the nervous system does compute somewhat, he wrote this in 1958 and theorists are now showing that there is no computation whatsoever (given by the people listed above). So Swenson is not the only one. He was only one example.

  52. Dave,

    Calculators do not COMPUTE mathematics. As shown with Von Neumann’s quote, what machines do and what we do are NOT equivalent. Calculators manipulate symbols that are, yes, programmed. But this is not active computation. Humans do not worked by manipulating symbols ((see Freeman’s and Nunez’s article [I forgot to list it above] ( http://www.imprint.co.uk/pdf/reclaim_Intro.PDF )).

    Also, many theorists who support algorithmic activities state that they are emergent properties. These are from the same people who you call qualified scientists, so your question is already answered from their point of view.

  53. Dave,

    The third post that you made shows poor readership. Yes, those are his websites, but no, those articles are not self-published. I also think it is funny that you talk about self-publication on a site that is of the same nature as Swenson’s. If you had the capability to synthesize ideas, you would have seen that rodswenson.com is the main site and from there there are links to papers that are on the other sites that you listed above. For example, spontaneousorder.net is a link for the paper “Autocatakinetics, Evolution, and the Law of Maximum Entropy Production: A Principled Foundation Towards the Study of Human Ecology”, which is listed on rodswenson.com . The site, ecologicalpsychology.com , is for the paper “Thermodynamics Reasons for Perception-Action Cyles” (co-authored by Michael T. Turvey from UCONN and who I met up there). The site, philosophyofscience.net , has the paper “Spontaneous Order, Autocatakinetic Closure, and the Development of Space-Time”.

    Also, if you were able to read a little bit more, you would have seen at the top of each paper where the paper was originally published. It is commonplace to have authors papers, after publication, to put it on-line. This is the same thing that Dembski has done. So if you think that Swenson’s articles are self-published, then, following the same logic (which I know is hard for you to do), so does Dembski (a claim that I do not endorse).

  54. Dave, I did a little research myself. I contacted Thomas A. Stoffregen from:

    Director, Human Factors Research Laboratory
    School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota
    Web: http://www.hfrl.umn.edu

    This is what he had to say:

    “For hard details contact Claudia Carello at CESPA; her email is on their web site.

    Swenson has plenty of credentials, but he also has a colorful background. He was (I’ve been told) a member of a somewhat notorious punk band back in the 80s or thereabouts. I know nothing about any of the other things you mention.”

    So yes, his background that you mention, as far as Stoffregen knows, has some credibility. However, just because of the background does not diminish what training he has had. I will email Carello (I also met her at UNCONN) and let you know what I find out.

    Again, since Swenson has been published in peer-review articles and asked to participate in academic conferences, his affiliation in those groups are irrelevant. You are playing politics. You think if you mention unethical behavior it diminishes his work that he has done afterwards. You should run for office.

    By the way, since you do have trouble readining a little bit, let me provide something for you.

    “ANNALS NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, vol. 901, pp. 311-319, 2000″, “ECOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 3(4), 317-348″, Advances in Human Ecology, Vol. 6, 1997, pp. 1-47″, “ECOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY, 9(l),47-96″, “Conference on Closure, Emergent Organizations, and Their Dynamics, Ghent, Belgium, May 3-5, 1999″, “Evolutionary Systems, 155-180, 1998.”, “International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)”, originally “International Society for General Systems Research (ISGSR)”.

    Those are just a few journals and conferences that he wrote for and attended. So you think that all of these are porn rings or part of his punk rock band. You are a freaking joke (not not too intelligent if you couldn’t see where those articles were orginally published since they were RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE). Also, you are way too paranoid about the workings of science if you think that real journals would accept articles with someone with no credentials. But, I will email Carello to show you, as Stoffregen has said, “has plenty of credentials.”

  55. Dave,

    I love how you think that people who do not agree with you are fruitloops. I have not heard of Eric D. Schneider, but I know that you are unqualified to say who are real scientists because you ahve not even been trained in the field. But from the book description on amazon.com , they claim that Schneider is an authority in thermodynmics. Again, you have not shown me any intelligence whatsoever for me to take your critiques seriously. You just say someone is a crank but have not given any intellectual comments whatsoever.

    Also, Dembski is not trained in evolution. So why don’t you attack him as well? EVERYBODY in the scientific community thinks that IDists are cranks. The funny thing is, these are the one’s who are in the groups that you call real scientists.

    And, yes, I do bet that you love the internet because it is the only place that you can spout off mindless ideas and vent your anger at the scientific community for refusing to accept the garbage that you love so much.

    And no, I am not “island.” You seriously need mental help for your paranoia. You think science is out to get IDists, that nobody has credentials if you say they have none. Once again, the people that I cite appear in peer-reviewed articles, ID has yet to appear in ONE. You decide who are the real scientists. The scientific community has by accepting the people who I cite in their journals, whileas IDists continually get rejected.

  56. Sartre

    “I only said that no ID theorist has never had an article published in a peer-reviewed journal that mentioned ID”

    Wrong again.

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....#038;hl=en

    Asking for an experiment that confirms the genetic code is algorithmic is like asking for an experiment that confirms water is wet.

    Calculators execute algorithms. Duh! I didn’t claim the nervous system did the same thing. That’s a straw man. I claimed the genetic code is algorithmic. In case you didn’t realize it the genetic code is not the nervous system. Is english your first language because you don’t seem to know it very well?

    Swenson is publishing his own crank crap on his own crank websites. WHOIS doesn’t lie. Denial is more than just a river in Egypt.

    “Swenson has plenty of credentials”

    Oh really. What are they then? Aside from a 1969 Yale master of fine arts degree and punk rock porn pimp of course.

    Getting invited to present a paper at an obscure conference isn’t a credential.

    All kinds of crap gets published in obscure journals. I didn’t see Nature on the list. Comparing Swenson to Dembski is just plain ignorant. Dembski is a double PhD, practicing professor, and his name is just about a household word.

    Look at all these citations:

    http://scholar.google.com/scho.....n&lr=

    Who has cited Swenson? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    HAHAHAHA

  57. Swenson’s credentials…

    http://www.tnr.com/etc.mhtml?week=2002-11-17

    NAKED TRUTH: If you’ve run across the name of Yale alumnus Rod Swenson lately, it’s probably in conjunction with the Yale Divest from Israel Campaign (YDIC), one of the latest entries in a movement that has sprung up on campuses across the country urging universities to divest from companies that conduct business in Israel. Swenson, who received an MFA from Yale in 1969 and now lectures at the University of Connecticut, serves as the “alumni spokesperson” for YDIC, which launched earlier this month. But unlike many on the anti-Israel left, Swenson doesn’t limit his complaints to the current Sharon regime: In an October letter he wrote to the Yale Daily News protesting an upcoming lecture by Ehud Barak, Swenson described the former prime minister as a “war criminal.” “It is an ominous day for human rights,” Swenson wrote, “when such a person is given a platform to speak at Yale, and doubly so when the subject, of all things, is ethics.” Some might say the same of Swenson who, before creating the punk band the Plasmatics in 1978, was a porn impresario in New York. Under the sobriquet “Captain Kink,” Swenson was the proprietor of Captain Kink’s Sex Theater, a live sex show in Times Square. Evidently he has since lost some of his early enthusiasm for the importance of free speech.

    —————

    Swenson has a 36 year-old master’s degree in fine arts. There’s his credentials. No science. No engineering. No nothing aside from punk rock porn pimp of course. Good one, Sartre. You sure know how to pick your cranks… ROFLMAO!

  58. Well…I’m not about to get into the middle of this argument but I thought I’d point out an article that clears the misconception that ID proponents do not publish peer-reviewed publications.

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....rogram=CSC

    That’s a partial list and only has to do with publications directly related to ID. You’d have to search elsewhere for non-ID publications published by those authors.

  59. Dave, I will wait for Carello to send me his crendentials. Why would Robert Shaw and Michael Turvey (both from UCONN, where I know Shaw has a degree in physics) put their future on the line? Why would Stoffregen, who is clearly credible, say that Swenson is credible? I would believe those scientists over a hack on the internet.

    Above, I gave more people who are against the idea of algorithms. Why aren’t you attacking them? Interesting.

    Also, here is what Andy Clark says, “Gentic algorithms SIMULATE [a search in the the space of structural options]” (“Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again”; pg. 90). Also, he summarizes Beer and Gallagher (1992) as saying, “A genetic algorithm was USED to discover a set of features that would enable this kind of architecture to generate stable and robust locomotion” (pg. 91).

    Here is another quote from Freeman and Nunez:

    As a result, the mind as com puter met a phor pro vided not only a redefinition of fundamental concepts such as reasoning, thought, perception,
    knowledge, and learning, but also what later became an entire conceptual apparatus for how to under stand peo ple, neu rons, languages, brains, and experiences in class – rooms, in terms of information-processing: algorithms, subroutines, for mallogic modules, content-addressable memories for storage, pattern completion by retrieval, and so on” (pg. xiii).

    Even though they are talking about the mind, both are related in the fact that the organism and the mind are non-distinguishable.

    Here, we can see that the algorithms are used to simulate evolution, but the organisms themselves do not act algorithmically.

    Also, when you say that Schneider is crazy, you state, “Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.” However, Kauffman says, “It is now time to consider whether physically realizable autocatalytic sets will form when account is taken of the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of real polymer systems. The fundamental point is that, under appropriate–and apparently realistic–condition, the answer is “yes” (“The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution”; pg. 318). Let me guess, you think Kauffman isn’t credible either, huh.

    Again, Dembski has no credentials in science, engineering, etc. Only in math, philosophy, psychology, and theology. Nothing in biology or physics. Are you going to criticize him for his lack of training in those fields.

    And for the last time, Swenson has been published in articles and been INVITED to speak at conferences. These people would not publish him or invite him to these conferences. You are not providining the complete picture. Just as you think that design can be detected by measuring the effects, I am measuring Swenson by his effects of publishing articles and his appearances at conferences. I think it is hilarious that you are unable to apply your own logic (poor as it may be) to other areas.

    So, I have now shown other thinkers besides Swenson. Are they also part of this massive conspiracy you paranoid old man. Again, I will believe real scientists over an internet lurker who has no background in the sciences at all (and for the last time engineering is NOT science, get over it). They say that Swenson has credentials. His ideas are throughout the scientific literature.

  60. Gump,

    Thank you for the response. I don’t have time right now to look at all of the articles, but here is a response to some of the articles.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI001_4.html

    And Dave,

    You guys complain that scientists don’t look at Dembski and immediately discard his ideas instead of looking at the actual material and dismissing them through critique. Why do you do the same? Once again, people in the scientific community come up with some of the same conclusions through actual experimentation and say that Swenson is credible. Who should I believe? People in the field or you, who has self-taught himself which is questionable in itself since you couldn’t even realize that those articles on his site were from publications. You were kicked off of PandasThumb for a reason. You are an idiot (I hate calling people that, but your responses on here show that to be true). Nobody takes you seriously. You think that engineering is science to make yourself feel good about yourself. You think that you have a “great mind,” but you have been shown to be wrong more than “0.3%” of the time. I have shown you to be wrong about the sources of Swenson’s articles. I have shown you to be wrong that Swenson has been published in reputable journals and invited to conferences (all you had to do is look at his reference page and see this, but you are too dumb to do this). I have shown you to be wrong about Dembski’s work where he even replied to me saying that I am right, which makes YOU WRONG. I am sure that Dembski would not appreciate you associating your intelligence with his when, even though you support him, you don’t even know his work. I have shown that scientists in the field support Swenson, whereas you have no credentials in science, so you have no place to say anything. I have shown that Schneider has been published in real journals and books along with other prominent authors. I have shown other authors who are against the idea that organisms compute algorithmically, instead of realizing that algorithms are godd MODELS of organisms. That is alot of wrongs with not too many rights. A great mind. I think not.

    So I will say again, you should gather all the facts before you criticize. Maybe he is self-taught as well. According to you, that is enough for credibility. However, I don’t think actual scientists think that, so I am guessing he has more. Anyway, if he does not, many others share his views who are trained in the sciences, as shown above, so I am still in the right. Give it up old man. You do not know how science works. You have continually failed to show a hint of intelligence, where you have been shown to be false about many things as listed above. You can make-fun all you want, but we both know (well I do, since I am sure you are unlikely to recognize your own ignorance and stupidity) that you have no idea what you are talking about. As seen from PandsThumb, a scientist booted you off for been over the top ignorant and, I am guessing, harassing. Grow up.

  61. Sartre

    At least 400 scientists support me.

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....038;id=443

    I hope Bill doesn’t get too annoyed with me for yanking your chain.

    Here’s your next reading assignement:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science

  62. Dave,

    I know all about that list. None of them are respected outside of DI. The scientists that I cite have been referenced outside of their click. Scientists outside of ID have already spoken out against them. To your 400, there are more than 400 scientists against them. Also, 400 scientists is a limited amount considering how many scienists there are altogether. In my school alone, there are about 50 scientists at my school, and my school is not all that big.

    I am sure Dembski is annoyed with you for getting his work WRONG. You still can’t accept the fact that he wrote me and saying that I wa right.

    Also, here is what Elsberry said about you (a scientist):

    “David Scott Springer was banned from PT for making threatening posts and for impersonating another person at PT, both of which are sufficient to warrant banning. He seems like a loose cannon; Dembski is welcome to him.”

    I am sure more scientists would agree if they got a chance to talk to you. Why are you against the scientific process of change? Pathetic.

    I will read that little piece later.

  63. Satre – an interesting bit of history, a question, and a quote.

    In 1982 Rod Swenson’s punk rock work was on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. In that same year my computer work was on the cover of Popular Science Magazine (April 1982 PS cover story was portable computers and mine was pictured along with Adam Osborne’s and the Kaypro).

    How about that for a contrast! :-)

    So why is it called computer science if it isn’t science?

    You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” -George Bernard Shaw

  64. Sartre

    “None of them are respected outside of DI.”

    You are brutally ignorant. Phillip Skell, for instance, is an NAS member.

    Here’s another supporters not on DI’s list. Make that at least 401 scientists including the winner of two Nobel prizes.

    “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 (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28

  65. Don’t get me started on that lying incompetent sack of excrement Wesley Elsberry.

  66. Dave,

    You are still stuck on this Swenson thing. You are an idiot. I provided other authors that say basically the same thing and you have yet to touch upon them. If you are so confident why don’t you attack them as well?

  67. Dave,

    “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”

    Does this say anything about a designer. For some reason you make inference leaps that are unimaginable.

    Prigogine’s idea stems from the fact that thermodynamics (see the connection with Swenson) with ideas in self-organization (See Freeman’s article “Consciousness, Intentionality, and Causality online at the website I provided earlier). The idea of self-organization with Prigogine is also summarized in Kauffman’s book “The Orgin of Order” where Nicolis and Prigogine book “Self-Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems” shows how chemical systems are “open to the flow of matter and energy, and because they use energy continuously, they are called DISSIPATIVE SYSTEMS. Such seystems can exhibit the “spontaneous” onset of spatially ordered patterns” (Kauffman 567). Also, it is shown that “in the absence of precipitation patterns no pattern can emerge at such an equilibrium [which the concentration of X and that of Y woul deach be constant unchanging in time. Therefore, we must imagine that the chemical system is displaced away from thermodynmaic equilibrium. Persistent displacement of such a system from thermodynamic equilibrium implies both that the system is open to matter, energy, or both and that ordered chemical patterns can arise” (Kaufmann 566-67).

    Thus, we see many points here. One, Prigogine does not mean “accident” to be an designer, but rather following physical LAWS. This point is in agreement with Swenson as I have mentioned. Two, Prigogine belongs to the theory of self-organization. Didn’t you write: “Eric Schneider’s intothecool.com which also rejects algorithmic processes in nature, rejects both the mainstream evolution narrative and intelligent design, and posits that some spooky necessity requires self-organization of life. Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.” Hmmm, your Nobel Prize winner wrote an article titled “”Self-Organization in Nonequilibrium Systems”. Interesting. Three, ID proponents seem to always obscure the facts. Again, Prigogine is not an ID theorist nor would he even support it. He belongs to the theory that ID has trouble unraveling and even understanding.

  68. Dave,

    I did not see this post of yours.

    “Asking for an experiment that confirms the genetic code is algorithmic is like asking for an experiment that confirms water is wet.”

    Nice side-stepping. So you admit that there is no experiment that verifies that the genetic code is algorithmic. Thank you for stating my point. For some reason ID proponents analogies are so out of wack. Water and wetness are verified through experience. I can see water and I can feel the wetness. Algorithms are non-sensory. Not very bright are you?

    “Calculators execute algorithms. Duh! I didn’t claim the nervous system did the same thing. That’s a straw man. I claimed the genetic code is algorithmic. In case you didn’t realize it the genetic code is not the nervous system. Is english your first language because you don’t seem to know it very well?”

    Calculators do not “compute”. Computation is a living creatures activity. I never met a calculator that was a live. But due to your insanity, I wouldn’t doubt that you have spent many lonely nights with one. Also, I never said that the nervous system and the genes were identical. What I was saying is that theorists have described the nervous system as algorithmic and that is being replaced. Also, the same people who have shown this to be wrong are using the SAME methods to disprove it. Try to keep up pal.

    “Swenson is publishing his own crank crap on his own crank websites. WHOIS doesn’t lie. Denial is more than just a river in Egypt.”

    You are truly one stupid individual. That database only shows that Swenson owns that website. But if you looked on the articles themselves, they show where they were published at. How freaking stupid are you really. I am now saying for a fact that there is no way you are a computer programmer. You are too unbelievably stupid to have graduated from college, much less high school. Take the time to look at the article and see where they were published. It was after they were published he put them on that site. Mostly every author has done that, as has Dembski. You idiot.

    “Oh really. What are they then? Aside from a 1969 Yale master of fine arts degree and punk rock porn pimp of course.”

    Again, people in the field who are credible say that he is. He has published papers in journals and attended conferences. What have you done? Nothing.

    “Getting invited to present a paper at an obscure conference isn’t a credential.”

    Umm, as far as I know those conferences are not obscure. I love how you make judements not based on any evidence, just like how you thought what Dembski’s work is.

    “All kinds of crap gets published in obscure journals. I didn’t see Nature on the list. Comparing Swenson to Dembski is just plain ignorant. Dembski is a double PhD, practicing professor, and his name is just about a household word.”

    Obscure journals huh. How did you come to this conclusion. Once again, no evidence. Hmm, peer-reviewed journals are not obscure fool. Again, ask any main theorist in biology and Dembski is seen as a pseudo-scientist. No one takes him seriously. As far as I know, Dembski never published an article in “Nature.” I do see, however, that someone critiqued Dembski and Dembski’s response was not even in “Nature” which shows alot about his response (I know, its a conspiracy, not his work). As a matter of fact, most of his articles are self-pubslished, including his newest paper “Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence” and another entitled “Still Spinning Just Fine: A Response to Ken Miller.” Sorry, these papers have NO journal title at the top because they are not published outside of his website. You are truly stupid. The “Mathematical Foundations of Intelligent Design” is not a real journal. It isn’t even obscure, but non-existent. I’ve never heard of “Science Insights.” What conference was at the Ian Ramsey Centre? Oh, lets not forget about the Christian journals, but you guys aren’t Creationists huh. Give me a break. And what about favorable reviews to other IDists. Yeah, real objective there. You are insane.

    Also, Dembski was removed from his duties at Baylor (I am unsure if he even taught there). He is now teaching, I am unsure about this so correct me if I am wrong, at some religous school. Yes, he has a background in math and philosophy. However, Swenson has a background in philosophy as well (I studied philosophy and Swenson’s ideas on the history of philosopy is correct). Also, Dembski has been shown to be wrong about his No Free Lunch Theorems by the authors who invented them.

    In addition, you do not even know Dembski’s work since you admitted that you haven’t even read most of his work. Absolutely amazing.

    So lets see, you say Swenson self-publishes his work even though you can clearly see that they were published in journals (and then you quickly say they are obscure journals, so nice back-tracking by the way). However, Dembski’s articles are mostly self-published. They are not referenced to an independent journal. Secondly, you say that Swenson’s conferences are obscure, but you provide no evidence (another CREATIONIST tactic). However, I see no conference that Demsbki attended that is outside of the ID vs. Evolution debate, which shows that his ideas taken for themselves have no merit. And finally, you guys say you are not creationists, but your articles are in Christian journals. Hmmm, very fishy here. I rather talk a punk rocker porn star instead of a religous zealot.

  69. Dave,

    “Don’t get me started on that lying incompetent sack of excrement Wesley Elsberry.”

    Ahh, saying someone is a liar where you have been lying on here for the past few weeks. Such hostility. As far as I know, you are not intelligent, you support a theory where you admitted that you have not read most of the writings, you clearly pick-and-choose certain ideas and think they support your claim (i.e. Prigogine), you fail to see that Swenson’s ideas have been published before they appeared on his website, you fail to see that most of Dembski’s work is self-published, you fail to see that other people in the field of science say that Swenson is credible whereas people outside of ID think that every ID theorist is a pseudo-scientist, etc. You are right. You are very smart. You proved to me in a formal manner that you are an idiot. Good job.

  70. Dave,

    As for those citations, most of the citations come from either ID proponents, Christian journals, online comments (good choice there), or people are either trying to get ID in schools or keep it out of schools. Suffice it to say, Dembski’s work has been cited on not-so-high-standard scale. I saw one paper (“Photosynthetic models with maximum entropy production in irreversible charge transfer steps”) by Juretic D, Zupanovic P. who are Faculty of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Education in Computational Biology and Chemistry. That sounds more reputable than all of Dembski’s papers. Anyway, here are the results for Swenson (although not all are the Swenson we are talking about, the one’s that do cite the Swenson we are speaking about are from higher order journals, not Christian, on-line forums, etc. like Dembski’s). http://scholar.google.com/scho.....swenson%22

    Also, as was seen with Kauffman, Swenson’s ideas are consistent with Kauffman’s and Prigogine (who you THOUGHT INCORRECTLY was supporting ID and was so happy, but instead is in-line with Swenson). I love when people cite others who they think support their ideas, but in fact support mine. It shows how unintelligent you are since you don’t even understand the ideas being presented and are unable to critically evaluate anything.

  71. Wow. What’s your major, Sartre, ad hominem?

    HAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHA

    Here’s a bit of my work. Where may I see a bit of yours?

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi.....038;d=ptxt

    I understand if you have done nothing of merit in your entire life. In fact I predict it.

  72. Dave,

    Since you have failed to look at the many other authors above, I will continually pushing this.

    To consider the genes as codes and algorithms (which I showed with Maturana and Varela) is misleading due to the fact that the world is not symbolic or pre-given. Varela, Thompson, and Rosch (1991) ask “Which came first, the world (ultraviolet reflectance) or the image (ultraviolet senesitve vision)?” The genes for trichromatic vision of bees is not coded in the genes because “the colors of flowers appear to have COEVLOVED with the ultraviolet sensitve, trichromatic vision of bees” (“The Embodied Mind: Cognitve Science and Human Experience”; pg. 201). Thus, the “image” (they disregard the idea of representation does not exist AFTER the perceptual object, but rather the object and the “image” coexist. Algorithms and codes are symbols that exist independently of what they represent; that is, algorithms and codes are representations that act on a pre-given world. There is nothing to compute since the genes specify. As Varela et. al. state, “…[Living] beings and their environments stand relation to each other through MUTUAL SPECIFICATION OR CODETERMINATION. Thus what we describe as environmental regularities are not external features that have been internalized, as representationalism and adaptionism both assume. Environmental regularities are the result of a conjoint hisotry, a congruence that unflods from a long hisoty of codetermination” (198-99). Hence, genes are not codes of the outside world since there is no outside. The dualism of internal and external are inadequate; that is, summarizing Susan Oyama “…[There] is no intelligible distinction between inherited (biological, genetically based) and acquired (environmentally mediated) characteristics. What is required for evolutionary change is not genetically ENCODED as opposed to acquired traits, but functioning developmental systems: ecologically embedded genomes” (emphasis added (199-200).

    Also, Varela et. al. show that “the fossil record does not look imcomplete; intermediate forms often simply cannot be imagined. Transitions must be a matter of global rearrangements involving cooperative effects and genetic exchanges. Such effects can be shown to appear in simple cases even in the absence of any selection” (188). Also, varela et. al. suggest that evolutionary processes should be analyzed as SATISFICING (taking a suboptimal solution that is satisfactory) rather than optimizing: here selection operates as a broad survival filter that admits any structure that has sufficient is no longer on traits but rather or organismic patterns via their life history. Another metaphor recently suggested for this post-Darwinian conception of the evolutionary process is ecolution as BRICOLAGE, the putting together of parts and items in complicated arrays, not because they fullfil some IDEAL DESIGN (emphasis added) but simply because they are possible” (196). Thus, Behe’s IC does not work since, the fine-tuning is not because of some designer. Varela et. al. suggest the type of logic that I have suggested along with Swenson, “The first step is to switch from a prescriptive logic to a proscriptive logic one, that is, from the idea that what is not allowed is forbidden to the idea that what is not forbidded is allowed. In the context of evolution this shift means that we remove selection as a prescriptive process that guides and INSTRUCTS in the task of improving fitness. In contrast, in a proscriptive context natural selection can been to operate, but in a modified sense: selection discards what is not compatible with survival and reproduction. This proscriptive orientation shifts our attention to the temendous diveristy of biological structures at all levels. …[They] highlight the way in which the enormous deversity constantly generated at all levels in the genetic and evolutionary process both shapes and is shaped by the coupling with the environment. We have already seen repeatedly that such emergent properties provide one of the main lessons from research in neuroscience and the study of sel-organizing systems an nonlinear networks” (195-96).

    Varela et. al. also show the “importance of emergent properties in a complex network (whether neural, genetic, or cellular)” (190). Thus, if emergence occurs without algorithms, then it does not matter what level we are discussing, the same methodology of neural systems can be used for genetics, as I mentioned.

  73. Dave,

    Your entire posts began with ad hominems. Instead of attacking the material you are worried about the person’s background. You are even unable to know the fallacies of logic.

    Anyway, I have a degree in philosophy (I just graduated) and attending UNCONN in the spring for ecological psychology (which deals with a synthesis of physics, biology, and psychology). During this past semester I did publish a paper and I gave the paper at two conferences (granted, they were undergrad conferences and a journal, I was confused for a grad student and was almost rejected because of that). It is a little hard for me to make something of myself more than that since I am only 25. I have 3 papers in the making for publication within the next few months.

    Also, four patents do not constitute knowledge in biology. But I still find it hard to believe since I have pointed out your poor logic. So good job, you made something of yourself in COMPUTERS. You proved to me that you work in computers. Great. Still, you have continually made ridiculous accusations, misunderstood too many points, been unable to critique arguments with any adequacy to be taken seriously.

    NONE of those patents have any to do with what we are talking about. Why do CREATIONSISTS think that, if they have knowledge in ONE AREA, they have knowledge in ALL AREAS? Go figure.

  74. So in short, your argument that the usage of “algorithm” and “code” is invalid is based upon presupposed origins. Gotcha.

  75. Sartre, can you please explain to me what anything you have said in this post means?
    Dont cite polysylabicnonsequiter.org or DR. Braincrack et. al., just put it in your own words. What is the point you are trying to make, if any?
    When ATHIEST FLAKES know NOTHING they think they know EVERYTHING.

  76. Gumpngreen

    I don’t think he understands that he’s setting up his own personal definition of “algorithm” which I don’t agree with. He then goes on to show how the genetic code doesn’t qualify as an algorithm under his definition. It’s a classic straw man argument. I’ll keep playing as long as it doesn’t waste much of my time.

    Sartre

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithm

    “The concept of an algorithm is often illustrated by the example of a recipe, although many algorithms are much more complex; algorithms often have steps that repeat (iterate) or require decisions (such as logic or comparison) until the task is completed.”

    A gene is a recipe for a protein. The recipe is written in codons thus:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_code

    The algorithm begins when a copy of the recipe (in the form of mRNA) is fed into a ribosome. The ribosome begins by looking for the “start” code. When it encounters a start code it starts interatively stepping along the codon chain adding an amino acid for each codon it encounters until it encounters a stop code at which time it kicks out the completed protein.

    This is the very definition of “algorithm” given by wiki in the “recipe” format. I can put together a flow chart of the iterative process steps used to translate genes into proteins. Flow charts are how algorithms such as these are formally described.

    The experiments behind what we know about the functioning of the genetic code in protein synthesis are legion and adequate examples are given in the wiki article on the genetic code.

    “Marshall W. Nirenberg and Heinrich J. Matthaei at the National Institutes of Health performed the experiments which first elucidated the correspondence between the codons and the amino acids for which they code. Har Gobind Khorana expanded on Nirenberg’s work and found the codes for the amino acids that Nirenberg’s methods could not. Khorana and Nirenberg won a share of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work.”

    If you didn’t know of these or the definition of an algorithm and how the two fit perfectly you are really so far out of my league that I can’t really have a discussion with you. When you offered up a goofy punk rock porn lord’s obscure papers and sought to equate that with an honest-to-God accomplished biochemist from the Scripps Research institute it just went over the top.

    I can continue goading you and making you look like a fool as long as it entertains me, or Dembski bans one or both of us, or you can act like a grownup and concede the point. Your choice.

  77. The information conveyed by genes is not intrinsic to its physical properties. Unless I’m horribly misinformed, that simple statement appears to be more than enough justification for anyone to use the term “genetic code” even if there were no prior examples of its use.

  78. Fellow IDists,

    I don’t have time to create a post at this time. It will have to wait until tomorrow night or Thursday (most likely on Thursday). However, here is Varela’s resume where you can find his credentials. Remember, Varela wa against the idea of instructions where the result was known ahead of time. So from the above website, an algorithm was defined as “a finite set of well-defined instructions for accomplishing some task which, given an initial state, will terminate in a corresponding recognizable end-state.” Hence, he was (he passed away a few years ago) against the idea of algorithms (I am going to mentor his former student tonight to see if this is correct however).

    As for codes, Varela was also against any form of representation. Instead, his view was that of enaction where meaning (be it visual or genetic) contains BOTH the environment and the organism. Thus, we do not have codes of the environment since that presupposes a dualism.

    Gump, I guess you can put it that way. However, Varela has does research that shows that we do NOT carry copies of the environment or of organisms, but rather the genes are self-organized through interaction.

    Anyway, here is his website and I will get back to this in a bit. http://www.ccr.jussieu.fr/varela/varela/index.html
    http://www.ccr.jussieu.fr/vare.....index.html

  79. “The information conveyed by genes is not intrinsic to its physical properties.”

    The neoDarwinian narrative apologists would sure like it to be intrinsic but so far they’ve been long on hypotheses and short on anything that survives actual experiment.

    Their Holy Grail right now is to find a RNA scaffold where RNA condons show a binding preference for amino acids in correspondence to the genetic code. It’s a merry chase that generates many published papers to fluff out otherwise uninspiring CVs but when we move from paper to test tubes the requisite biochemistry just can’t be made to work even in the best designed laboratory conditions to say nothing of happening in the real world by accident. The hypothetical RNA world is about as real as Harry Potter’s world.

  80. I thought this was interesting (even though I know you won’t agree with it considering the source). But it looks like I won’t get to the post until tomorrow. However, if credentials are important to you, no one can deny Varela’s credentials and was against the strict sense of algorithms and codes.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA118.html

  81. Dave,

    You wrote:

    “Island was enamored of Eric Schneider’s intothecool.com which also rejects algorithmic processes in nature, rejects both the mainstream evolution narrative and intelligent design, and posits that some spooky necessity requires self-organization of life. Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.”

    And you also stated:

    “Here’s another supporters not on DI’s list. Make that at least 401 scientists including the winner of two Nobel prizes.

    “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 (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28″

    However, “Prigogine greatly enhanced the understanding of irreversible processes, particularly in systems that are far from equilibrium. Prigogine also was the first to apply thermodynamics to the study of irreversible processes in living and inanimate systems.”

    Thus, Prigogine was also “obsessed with thermodynamics” for living organisms. Interesting.

  82. Dave,

    Earlier, I wrote that Swenson presented a paper at the “International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)”, originally “International Society for General Systems Research (ISGSR)”.

    However, the most interesting thing is this. You cite Prigogine as a prominent scientist, even though you mislabel him as a supporter of ID (he is one of the co-founders of self-organization, which presents problems for ID). Prigogine “was President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) in 1988.” http://www.isss.org/lumprig.htm .

    So, why do you say that, “Getting invited to present a paper at an obscure conference isn’t a credential,” where the president was someone who you think is admirable. It is safe to say that Prigogine did not think Swenson was a crank. I would, and apparently you do too, consider Prigogine much better at assessing scientific credentials and sniffing out cranks than you or I.

    This goes to show that you were wrong about Swenson. I mean, think about. First, you errantly claim that Prigogine was a supporter of ID, even though he was one of the founders of self-organization and emergence, and started the trend to use thermodynamics for living systems (something you were critical about). Secondly, you describe Prigogine as a genius for winning two Nobel Prizes. However, thirdly, you implicitly associate this genius with a crank for letting Swenson into a conference that Prigogine was President for. Swenson’s ideas of thermodynamics and autocatakinetic systems are the same ideas that Prigogine was working on. Also, it shows that you considered a prominent conference as obscure just to accomplish some agenda without finding out about the conference, just as you did when you refused to read Swenson’s work because it went against your own ideals. That is the true sign of a crank.

    So, let me ask you (in parody of your comment).

    In 1988, Rod Swenson was presenting a paper at a conference that had a winner of two Nobel Prizes, where the material Swenson presented was in the same area of Prigogine (he also was ASKED back to the conference the following year). What were you doing in those two years?

    I hate to say it, but you lost this issue. Swenson was a part of conference that you called obscure, even though the President was a Nobel Prize winner in the same area of Swenson’s topic and he was someone who you admire. Case closed.

  83. Dave,

    I found your quote from Prigogine et al. That quote has been a focal point for Christian and ID proponents, which creates a strawman of Prigogine et. al’s. point of view. Prigogine et al. does NOT think that the absence of “accident” must fall back onto the idea of a designer. You are using a classic CREATIONIST argument, horribly misunderstanding a scientists’s view and only showing part of what he means due to a lack of ability to synthesize the entire argument. This is what Prigogine et. al say in the entire context (found at http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbu.....I/ToE.html):

    “The destruction of order always prevails in the neighborhood of thermodynamic equilibrium. In contrast, creation of order may occur far from equilibrium and with specific non linear kinetic laws, beyond the domain of stability of the states that have the usual thermodynamic behavior. Traditionally, thermodynamics has dealt with the first type of behavior, but an extension of irreversible thermodynamics that permits treating the other aspects as well as this one has been developed recently.”

    “In all these phenomena a new ordering mechanism, not reducible to the equilibrium principle (equation 2), appears. For reasons to be explained later, we shall refer to this principle as order through fluctuations. The structures are created by the continuous flow of energy and matter from the outside world; their maintenance requires a critical distance from equilibrium, that is, a minimum level of dissipation. For all these reasons we have called them dissipative structures.”

    “A new evolutionary principle, proposed recently by Manfred Eigen would replace Darwin’s idea in the context of prebiotic evolution. It amounts to optimizing a quantity measuring the faithfulness, or quality, of the macromolecules in reproducing themselves via template action. We here propose an alternative description of prebiological evolution. The main idea is the possibility that a prebiological system may evolve through a whole succession of transitions leading to a hierarchy of more and more complex and organized states. Such transitions can only arise in nonlinear systems that are maintained far from equilibrium; that is, beyond a certain critical threshold the steady-state regime becomes unstable and the system evolves to a new configuration. As a result, if the system is to be able to evolve through successive instabilities, a mechanism must be developed whereby each new transition favors further evolution by increasing the nonlinearity and the distance from equilibrium. One obvious mechanism is that each transition enables the system to increase the entropy production.”

    One of the key points here is …”[Creation] of order may occur far from equilibrium and with specific non linear kinetic laws, beyond the domain of stability of the states that have the usual thermodynamic behavior.”

    Thus, order arises from natural processes of thermodynamic laws. The accident that Prigogine et. al. are referring to is the idea of a lack of mechanism, not chance. Ordered structures are generated by “the continuous flow of energy and matter from the outside world; their maintenance requires a critical distance from equilibrium, that is, a minimum level of dissipation.” This is precisely what Swenson states. This is the key point behind autocatakinetic systems.

    What your quote ACTUALLY describes is the fact that, “In the first place one has systems that have evolved spontaneously to extremely organized and complex forms. On the other hand metabolism, synthesis and regulation imply a highly heterogeneous distribution of matter inside the cell through chemical reactions and active transport. Coherent behavior is really the characteristic feature of biological systems. In contrast to this is the familiar idea that the evolution of a physicochemical system leads to an equilibrium state of maximum disorder. In an isolated sys tem, which cannot exchange energy and matter with the surroundings, this tendency is expressed in terms of a function of the macroscopic state of the system: the entropy. It amounts to saying that entropy S increases monotonically until it becomes a maximum. This celebrated second law of thermodynamics implies that in an isolated system the formation of ordered structures is ruled out. Unfortunately this principle cannot explain the formation of biological structures. The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred.

    The conclusion to be drawn from this analysis is that the apparent contradiction between biological order and the laws of physics–in particular the second law of thermodynamics–cannot be resolved as long as we try to under stand living systems by the methods of the familiar equilibrium statistical mechanics and equally familar thermodynamics.”

    Thus, his conclusion is that “the apparent contradiction between biological order and the laws of physics–in particular the second law of thermodynamics–cannot be resolved as long as we try to under. stand living systems by the methods of the familiar equilibrium statistical mechanics and equally familar thermodynamics.”

    His conclusion IS NOT design because “a prebiological system may evolve through a whole succession of transitions leading to a hierarchy of more and more complex and organized states.” And remember, the “CREATION OF ORDER may occur far from equilibrium and with specific non linear kinetic laws, beyond the domain of stability of the states that have the usual thermodynamic behavior.” Note the emphasis of “CREATION OF ORDER.”

  84. Dave wrote: “Island was enamored of Eric Schneider’s intothecool.com which also rejects algorithmic processes in nature, rejects both the mainstream evolution narrative and intelligent design, and posits that some spooky necessity requires self-organization of life.”

    Prigogine et al wrote: “The thermodynamic theory of open systems, systems exchanging both energy and matter with the environment, has long been developed by Théople DeDonder and the Brussels school (for a historical account, see reference 1). Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1940)2 and Erwin Schrödinger3 have insisted on the importance of this feature for biological systems. One of us has formulated1 an extended version of the second law that applies both to isolated and to open systems.”

    They also wrote: “Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest” through natural selection can only apply once pre biological evolution has led to the formation of some primitive living beings. A new evolutionary principle, proposed recently by Manfred Eigen. would replace Darwin’s idea in the context of prebiotic evolution.”

    Sounds exactly what Swenson was arguing. Very interesting. A “crank” arguing similarly what Nobel Prize winner wrote and this Nobel prize winner invited a “crank” to a conference where he was president. But you wouldn’t know that since you didn’t read much of Swenson’s paper and, obsviously, Prigogine et al’s. paper. Maybe you should stop relying on your telepathy of thinking that you come to the same conclusion as the thinker and ACTUALLY READ the works. This is the THIRD TIME YOU WERE SHOWN TO DRAW A FALSE CONCLUSION BECAUSE YOU DID NOT READ THE MATERIAL.

  85. Dave was definitely wrong to label Prigogine as a direct supporter of ID (though perhaps the results of his research could be construed as indirect support?) since he is still (I think?) searching for mechanisms or properties of matter which could explain the origin of life and its complexity. A recent published letter between Karl Priest (an ID proponent) and Prigogine shows the situation as it currently stands:

    “The results of my research in thermodynamics were to show that non-equilibrium systems may lead to complex structures. For a recent account, see my book “Modern Thermodynamics, From Heat Engines to Dissipative Structures” (D. Kondepudi and I. Prigogine, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1998). However, this is still far from a theory of biological evolution. To my knowledge, we have still not discovered the mechanisms, which lead to the remarkable adaptation between life, and environments, which we observe in nature.”

    If I remember correctly the subject of self-organizational scenarios came up this spring at the Life Detection seminars hosted at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Nothing much has changed in the protobiological sciences and the researchers all defended their own scenarios and pointed out the glaring holes in the others.

    Anyway, whether Swenson is a crank or not I have no idea but I’m still waiting for a good argument for why the usage of “genetic code” is invalid (and, yes, I did read Swenson’s work and your earlier argument).

  86. Gump,

    Unfortunately, Prigogine passed away in May of 2003. Also, you are correct that Prigogine was not a supporter of neo-Darwinism. However, this is another crucial point. Dave auggested that Schneider and Swenson were cranks because they reject BOTH ID and neo-Darwinism where Dave writes, “Island was enamored of Eric Schneider’s intothecool.com which also rejects algorithmic processes in nature, rejects both the mainstream evolution narrative and intelligent design, and posits that some spooky necessity requires self-organization of life. Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.”

    However, Prigogine has done the same thing. I disagree that Prigogine could implicity agree with with ID since

    In contrast, creation of order may occur far from equilibrium and with specific non linear kinetic laws, beyond the domain of stability of the states that have the usual thermodynamic behavior. Traditionally, thermodynamics has dealt with the first type of behavior, but an extension of irreversible thermodynamics that permits treating the other aspects as well as this one has been developed recently.”

    “In all these phenomena a new ordering mechanism, not reducible to the equilibrium principle (equation 2), appears. For reasons to be explained later, we shall refer to this principle as order through fluctuations. The structures are created by the continuous flow of energy and matter from the outside world; their maintenance requires a critical distance from equilibrium, that is, a minimum level of dissipation. For all these reasons we have called them dissipative structures.”

    “A new evolutionary principle, proposed recently by Manfred Eigen would replace Darwin’s idea in the context of prebiotic evolution. It amounts to optimizing a quantity measuring the faithfulness, or quality, of the macromolecules in reproducing themselves via template action. We here propose an alternative description of prebiological evolution. The main idea is the possibility that a prebiological system may evolve through a whole succession of transitions leading to a hierarchy of more and more complex and organized states. Such transitions can only arise in nonlinear systems that are maintained far from equilibrium; that is, beyond a certain critical threshold the steady-state regime becomes unstable and the system evolves to a new configuration. As a result, if the system is to be able to evolve through successive instabilities, a mechanism must be developed whereby each new transition favors further evolution by increasing the nonlinearity and the distance from equilibrium. One obvious mechanism is that each transition enables the system to increase the entropy production.”

    It is clear here that he discovered SOME mechanisms, but a complete account is lacking. But the point is this: Prigogine states that order arises from NATURAL causes, but these causes are pre-Darwinian. Thus, he is not supporting ID or is he supporting Darwin because the answer of order is before Darwin’s account, which is exactly what Swenson states (if you recall).

    As for Swenson being a crank, I am unsure how one could think that he is because of his articles and the conferences he has attended. For Prigogine to be associated with Swenson in some manner (recall that Prigogine was president in the very same year Swenson presented a paper the first year Swenson attended the conference).

    Anyway, I am glad to see that you are not jumping to conclusions. I will give a more thorough account later (hopefully tonight, but definitely by tomorrow, depending on what I have planned).

  87. Sartre,

    Where on earth did you find me saying anything at all about some cat named Priogione? I don’t know him from Adam and neither quoted him nor made any other comments about him. In fact I have no bloody idea who he is and quite frankly I’m not about to waste any more time indulging your juvenile maunderings in junk science. Adios.

  88. Ah, didn’t realize he had died. Explains why I haven’t seen anything from him in a while…

    “Dave auggested that Schneider and Swenson were cranks because they reject BOTH ID and neo-Darwinism”

    Neo-Darwinism presupposes the existence of complex life. Obviously the mechanisms of Neo-Darwinism have little or no relevance to the protobiological sciences. I’m mostly going to let Dave defend himself but to say that Dave claimed Prigogine and Swenson “rejected” Neo-Darwinism based upon the quote you cited seems incorrect. Just saying this because I’ve noticed you putting words in his mouth in the above posts. If you’re going to argue at least argue with he actually said.

    “It is clear here that he discovered SOME mechanisms, but a complete account is lacking.”

    What I meant by “though perhaps the results of his research could be construed as indirect support?” is that his negative results could be seen as evidence for ID. Discussing the assumption that there are more physical mechanisms waiting to be discovered would only lead to yet-another-gap-argument.

  89. Uhh… Dave, you quoted Ilya Prigogine in post 65 of this thread and you claimed due to that quote he was a supporter of ID. Now whether or not Prigogine supported ID right before he died I have no idea.

  90. Dave,

    You are completely insane. Here is what you said:

    “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 (Chemist-Physicist) Recipient of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry I. Prigogine, N. Gregair, A. Babbyabtz, Physics Today 25, pp. 23-28″

    This is where “on Earth” I got that idea. It is amazing that you don’t even know what you said.

  91. Gump,

    I do not think that I have put words into Dave’s mouth, but you are, obviously, free to believe that. However, I did not say Prigogine and Swenson, but Schneider and Swenson. What I was stating was that Dave seems to be against the idea that thermodynamics have anything to do with evolution, “Both Schneider and Swenson are obsessed with thermodynamics.” Here, I take the term “obsessed” to connote a negative feeling. Also, I was showing a link between Prigogine and Swenson where Prigogine seems to indicate that thermodynamics in nonequilibrium is the answer. For more of this, look at his post at comment #51.

    Anyway, Prigogine DID find a mechanism. He DID find ways to CREATE complexity. Also, Swenson comments on a famous experiment called the Bernard cell experiment, “This is further illustrated with a classic laboratory example of spontaneous ordering, or self-organization, known as the Bénard experiment (see Figure 4). In this experiment a viscous fluid (silicone oil) is placed in a dish and heated uniformly from below. As a consequence of the
    difference in temperature, or gradient, between the hot bottom (source) and the cool air on top (sink) a
    potential exists which results in a flow of energy as heat from source to sink. Figure 4 shows two time
    slices from this experiment. The left-hand photo shows the disordered or Boltzmann regime where the
    potential is below a minimal threshold, and the source-sink flow is produced by the random, or
    disordered, collisions of molecules. In this regime, the surface of the system is smooth, homogeneous,
    and symmetrical. Any part can be exchanged with any other without changing the appearance or
    dynamics of the system at all. When the potential is increased beyond the critical threshold, however,
    the situation changes dramatically as spontaneous order arises and the symmetry of the disordered
    regime is broken. The dynamical ordering of the system produces macroscopic discontinuities with
    distinct space-time orientations that make it no longer possible to arbitrarily exchange one part for
    another Here, spontaneous ordering occurs at symmetry breaking events as minimal critical thresholds of atmospheric oxygen are reached with the system, as a consequence, progressively filling new dimensions of space-time, and moving, contrary to the Boltzmann interpretation of the second law,
    increasingly further from thermodynamic equilibrium. This relationship between spontaneous ordering
    and the filling, or extension of space-time dimensions, as the final section of this paper will show, provides an important piece to the apparent puzzle of the river that flows uphill. From this, evolution on Earth can be seen as a process of symmetry-breaking events by which the terrestrial system as a whole accesses new dimensions of space-time, and moves progressively further from equilibrium. This provides a set of observables that establishes the direction or time-asymmetry of evolution” (18-20). Found at: http://www.spontaneousorder.net/humaneco.pdf

    Also, both Prigogine and Swenson criticize Darwinian theory BECAUSE of the limitations to not be able to generate complexity. But they do not think ID is the answer. Remember, Prigogine did find some mechanism that CREATES complexity and the experiment shown above shows how complexity arises by natural means, something ID says is impossible.

    Swenson states that, “Finally, returning once again to the Bénard experiment to emphasize here perhaps the most
    important point with respect to spontaneous order production, it is seen that order arises, not infinitely
    improbably, but with a probability of one, that is, every time, and as soon as, the critical threshold is
    reached. Spontaneous ordering occurs, in other words, as soon as the opportunity arises. This conforms
    with the biological extremum (the fecundity principle) that takes it to be the “inherent property” of life to produce as much biological order as it can, and the evolutionary record writ large which suggests that the production of higher-ordered forms, including the origin of life itself occurred, not as a repeated series of astronomically improbable accidents (which certainly would be “infinitely improbable”), but a soon as it had the chance (viz., the origin of life on Earth not after some long lifeless time, but as soon as the Earth was cool enough to support oceans, and the origin of higher-ordered forms as soon as minimal levels of atmospheric oxygen were reached [Figure 1]). If the world in general produces as much order as it can, what is the nomological basis? The answer is given in the next section, which, as a consequence provides the principled basis for unifying the otherwise apparently two incommensurable rivers” (23). From same paper above.

    Actually, this quote shows what Prigogine ACTUALLY meant from Dave’s quote.

    Thus, it is not that MORE mechanisms must be found to generate complexity because it HAS already been found in experimentation that complexity CAN be created. However, more experiments must be conducted for a more COMPLETE picture. The problem isn’t IF complexity can be generated, but WHAT is the most detailed explanation that we can give.

  92. “However, I did not say Prigogine and Swenson, but Schneider and Swenson.”

    Oops. You’re right. Accidentally typed “Priogogine” instead.

    Will respond with more later.

  93. Gump,

    That’s fine. I will try to respond tomorrow as I said (its been pretty hectic lately).

  94. Gump,

    I emailed Annie Harding, who handles emails for the late Dr. Prigogine. She is sending me the second half of this paper, http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbu.....I/ToE.html , since it seems, unless I have overlooked it, the quote that Dave gave us, is not from the paper he cited. This also means that the cite(s) he got this from (see above for a search) are misinformed.

    Anyway, I also asked her what Dr. Prigogine thought about ID.

    “As far as Prof. Prigogine and intelligent design, that concept wasn’t around until recently. I cannot speak for him, but from what I have known of Prof. Prigogine, he would not hold the theory of intelligent design as a relevant scientific theory.”

    This is tentative of course. However, given the misquotation above and the fact that it was taken out of context, I do sincerly feel that his ideas were far from anything ID believes. This mostly comes from the fact that complexity can be generated without intelligence, which is what ID is trying to show to be false.

    More later.

  95. I’m bad with names. I was more interested in a two-time Nobel prize winner’s words than his name and didn’t recall it. I recalled the content of the quote immediately.

    http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbu.....ionAndLife

    It’s now claimed he never said it what I quoted. However, it is certainly an accurate paraphrase of what he did say. Since he often published in languages other than english there might simple be a translation issue if someone reading the article in French translated back to english. Here is he DID say from the link above:

    “The probability that at ordinary temperatures a macroscopic number of molecules is assembled to give rise to the highly ordered structures and to the coordinated functions characterizing living organisms is vanishingly small. The idea of spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore highly improbable, even on the scale of the billions of years during which prebiotic evolution occurred.”

    Here is the quote from other sources:

    “The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero.”

    It appears to me that either someone’s paraphrasing or translation error has been misrepresented as a literal quote. However, the paraphrase is accurate.

    Prigogine goes on to say:

    “The conclusion to be drawn from this analysis is that the apparent contradiction between biological order and the laws of physics–in particular the second law of thermodynamics–cannot be resolved as long as we try to under. stand living systems by the methods of the familiar equilibrium statistical mechanics and equally familar thermodynamics.”

    “The arguments we have advanced here cannot, of course, suffice for solving the problem of biological order. One would like not only to show that the second law is satisfied as a whole (diS >= 0) but also to indicate how the state of low entropy and high coherence is maintained. The remaining part of our discussion will be devoted to this question, and we shall discuss in some detail the approach we have developed during the last few years.”

    Prigogine thus admits that under the familiar laws of thermodynamics spontaneous creation of life is practically impossible. He THEN runs up the flagpole a EXTENSION to thermodynamic theory that might, possibly, maybe, explain how life could spontaneously arise in evident violation of 2LOT.

    “A new evolutionary principle, proposed recently by Manfred Eigen. would replace Darwin’s idea in the context of prebiotic evolution.”

    There we go. Darwin is out. Prigogine said it. While not supporting ID, which DID NOT EXIST AT THE TIME OF WRITING, he explictely discounts Darwinian mechanisms. Teach the controversy. Ever heard that? Well, here’s a two time Nobel prize winner controverting Darwinian evolution at the prebiotic level. Recall that my point of contention is how DNA/ribosome came to exist from prebiotic chemicals. Prigogine has identified the $64,000 question exactly where I place it. So far so good.

    “We here propose an alternative description of prebiological evolution. The main idea is the possibility that a prebiological system may evolve through a whole succession of transitions leading to a hierarchy of more and more complex and organized states.”

    Keywords to take home are “propose”, “possibility”, and “may”. One might propose that invisible green men from Mars made entirely of dark matter/energy are a possibility that may account for prebiotic evolution. Almost anything is possible. It’s a matter of what’s probable. So what does Prigogine say to encourage one to believe his hypothesis has more merit than the invisible green man hypothesis? Let’s look.

    “The best known examples of this duality in behavior are instabilities in fluid dynamics, such as the onset of thermal convection in a fluid layer heated from below. For a critical value of the external constraint (temperature gradient), that is, beyond a critical distance from equilibrium, an instability arises that causes the spontaneous emergence of convection patterns.”

    “In a quite different domain, a spectacular example of emergence of order far from equilibrium has been worked out recently by Hermann Haken.5 He shows that the generation of coherent light by a laser may be interpreted as a nonequilibrium phase transition. Be low instability is the incoherent regime; beyond the transition threshold, corresponding to a critical value of the radiation field, the system switches spontaneously to the coherent state.”

    I’m sorry guys, but going from convection patterns in liquids and coherent photons to self-replicating organic molecular machines is quite a stretch. I’ll concede it’s marginally less of a stretch than invisible green men though if that’s any consolation.

    I’m going to stop fisking it right there. If convection patterns and photon coherency are the best physical examples he can offer to support his far-from-equilibrium auto-catalytic hypothesis I’m shining it on until someone can demonstrate something a bit closer to home like a soup of amino acids forming some sort of stable macromolecules in an environment that could have reasonably existed and persisted in nature long enough for interesting things to emerge.

    He’s equating convection patterns in liquids to the kind of complexity that self-replicating biological molecules exhibit? Uh huh. A bit of a stretch there it seems.

  96. One other thing – prebiotic evolution, if it happened on the earth, happened in millions, not billions of years. Prigogine evidently wasn’t very well informed on the evolution of the solar system and the point at which life emerged on the young earth. In solar evolutionary timescales life on earth appeared almost instantly after it cooled off enough for liquid water to exist. Possibly this was not well known 30 years ago when Prigogine wrote that paper but I seem to recall knowing it in the early 1970′s. I tend to put more trust in the panspermia than I do in earthbound abiogensis. That of course leads to needing to learn about the Galactic Habitable Zone which is a fascinating emergent branch of scientific inquiry.

  97. Dave,

    You are quite possibly correct that the translation may be off, however, it was never cited to be a translation. That article was published in English and that article did not say that it was a translation (it is always cited as such if it is). It was poor citation from the site that you got it from and inaccurately portrays what he actually believes. The quote was presented as a QUOTE not a paraphrase. That’s a misrepresentation at it’s worst.

    The two statements are not similiar for the fact that the one that you provided uses the term “accident.” The quote in the ACTUAL passage mentions nothing of the sort. Prigogine believed that spontaneous ordering was formed by thermodynamic LAWS, [even activities (non-ordering) at or near equilibrium]. If you look that the two quotes, he says that “the probability at ordinary temperatures” (at or near equilibrium) are improbable. However, the quote that you provided only talks about statistical probability and meandering accidents. They are non-equilvalent since in the REAL quote he is objecting to a certain mechanism, whereas the FAKE quote, talks about lawless activities. This quote summarizes perfectly what I just said, “Obviously, the occurrence of instabilities far from equilibrium is not a universal phenomenon in chemical kinetics. Coherent behavior requires some very particular conditions on the reaction mechanism, whereas the equilibrium order principle is ALWAYS valid (for short- range forces).” Thus, it is another misrepresentation of his ideas.

    I also said that Prigogine rejected the Darwinian mechanism. Also, so did Swenson (as you are now aware that he participated in a conference that you called “obscure” where Prigogine was President). In fact, Swenson was highly influenced by Prigogine and many of his conclusions were based on Prigigone’s results from his books. However, Prigogine rejects ID as well (at least this is what I was told what his reaction was by his center at Texas). But one of the reasons you called Swenson a crank was because he rejected ID and Darwin. Also, you say that ID did not exist at the time of THIS writing, Prigogine passed away in May 2003. He has written books very recently and the arguments of ID have been around for a while. Again, as I wrote a few posts ago, I was told that he would have seen ID as non-scientific.

    I never said that Darwinism should not be challenged. The grad program that I am applying for is very controversial in psychology, namely direct perception which rejects the view that the mind is an information-processor. Teaching the controversy is not the problem, but rather if ID is a reliable alternative. Again, I never said we shouldn’t challenge Darwin, but the data that we do have does not point towards intelligent design.

    As for the last statements that you made, I think that you are missing the big picture. He is saying that all non-linear systems act similarly. His extension of the 2nd Law is that ALL non-linear systems act in particular ways. The examples that he gives are pre-DNA, which means that the results might be helpful in discovering how DNA was formed. This is important because these results delay any conclusions for ID. This is what is meant by a law, whereas a rule, as I mentioned long ago, can be broken. Laws are universal. Also, he was setting up an experimental methodology that should be used in evolutionary work. Dembski did not critique Prigogine in NFL. I am unsure that Behe has, but in “A Response to Critics of Darwin’s Black Box”, he never mentioned Prigogine.

    You also seem to present a double-sided sword here. You say that he never thought of the possibility of ID based on the date of this paper’s publication, but then you criticize the minimal extension of his results. It has been 30 years since the publication. He has written much on the subject. It has been shown that COMPLEXITY DOES arise spontaneity. This is enough, so far, to suggest that biological ordering can arise spontaneously without intelligence. Remember, Dembski says that specified complexity CANNOT arise by natural means in any case. However, Prigogine has found such a case. ID has to read this literature to see where it stands.

    One final note. It is interesting how, in the last quote that you give, you leave out the next paragraph that shows similiarity between biological organisms and his previous examples. Very convenient.

    They state, “We have investigated systematically the behavior of nonlinear chemical net works of biological interest.4, 6 At first one would expect that those systems that, contrary to the two previous examples, are purely dissipative would always show a tendency to a disordered regime. The surprising result was that in fact they share most of the properties of hydrodynamic instabilities with the additional important feature that the variety of the regimes beyond instability is much greater in chemical kinetics.

    This is not really surprising when we realize that in chemical kinetics non linearity may arise in a practically un limited number of ways through auto catalysis, cross-catalysis, activation inhibition, and so on. In contrast. the Stokes-Navier equations of fluid dynamics assume a universal form. Beyond instability, which again arises when a critical distance from equilibrium is reached, the reaction systems may become spontaneously inhomogeneous and present an ordered distribution of the chemical constituents in space. Under different conditions the concentrations of the chemicals may show sustained oscillations. Finally, other systems may exhibit a multiplicity of steady states combined with hysteresis. (We will discuss examples later.)

    You also forgot about the Benard experiment. Swenson and Turvey (1991) summarize this experiment, “A classic experiment in self-organization (first devised by Benard in 1900) is depicted in Figure 4. A
    viscous fluid is held between a uniform heat source below and the cooler temperature of the air above. That is, there is a potential difference with a field fbrce F of a magnitude determined by the difference between the two temperatures. When F is below a critical threshold heat flows from the source to the sink
    (entropy is produced) as a result of the disordered collisions between the constituent molecules (see Figure 4a); when F is increased beyond the critical threshold Bdnard “cells” emerge spontaneously, each cell
    consisting of hundreds of millions of molecules moving collectively together.

    The major point to be emphasized here is that there is nothing improbable about the emergence of
    Benard cells; it is a completely lawful phenomenon. Each time F is increased beyond a critical threshold
    order emerges spontaneously. What is the critical threshold? It is simply the minimum magnitude of F that
    will support the ordered state. In other words, order production is entirely opportuni5tic: it occurs as soon as it gets the chance. The latter is understandable from the proposed law of maximum entropy productionsystems
    will produce or select those dynamics that minimize their field potentials at the fastest possible rate given the constraints (Swenson, 1988, 1989b, 1989c, in press-b). Figure 5 shows the discontinuous increase in heat transfer that occurs with the production of the ordered state. Because the second law
    requires that entropy production increase concomitantly with the local entropy reduction of the ordered state, a phenomenon of the kind depicted in Figure 5 will be the case at whatever level order production
    occurs: Order is selected inexorably according to the law of maximum entropy production for precisely
    this reason” (18; from http://www.ecologicalpsychology.com/SwenTurv.pdf).

    As one can seen from this description, spontaneity in these cells occurs EVERYTIME with a probability one. Thus, Prigogine found spontaneity in pre-biological ordering and Benard found spontaneity in organization of cells. It seems as though we only have to fill in the gap.

    Also, Prigogine et. al, at the end of the article elaborates on some biological examples.

    “Some biological examples

    Dissipative structures have been produced in the laboratory in an organic oxidation reaction.10 More recently, D. Thomas11 demonstrated that an inhomogeneous pH distribution may arise spontaneously inside an artificial membrane wherein two different types of enzymes have been reticulated in a spatially homogeneous fashion. How ever, the problem that concerns us here is primarily the usefulness of the theory outlined in the previous sections in the understanding of biological phenomena. It will be convenient to discuss separately two types of problems:

    Is it possible to understand the functional order observed in actual living systems? This question refers to the physicochemical basis of maintenance of life.

    How did the structures observed in living beings (nucleic acids, proteins, cells as a whole) arise from an inert pre biotic mixture of simple molecules? This is the problem of prebiotic evolution or of the origin of life.

    We shall discuss the first point briefly, postponing for a while the problem of evolution. A number of typical phenomena can be analyzed in terms of the theory outlined in the previous section: regulatory processes, excitable systems and cell aggregation.

    The existence of elaborate control mechanisms to ensure that the various chemical reactions in living cells happen at the proper rate and at the right time is well known. The first type of control mechanism ensures that there is no excessive synthesis, or lack of small metabolites, for instance, of energy-rich molecules such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate), The usual way this mechanism operates is to affect the rate at which a particular protein (enzyme) catalyzing one reaction step acts, One of the best studied biochemical chains from this point of view is glycolysis, a process of great importance for the energetics of living cells. Experiments show that the concentrations of the chemicals participating in the reaction present undamped oscillations in time, with perfectly reproducible periods and amplitudes. On the other hand, starting from known data on the elementary reaction steps, one can construct mathematical models for glycolysis.12,13 A detailed study of the rate equations shows that the experimental results may be interpreted quantitatively as oscillations of the limit-cycle type arising beyond the instability of a time-independent solution that belongs to the thermodynamic branch. In other words, glycolysis is a temporal dissipative structure. This result is expected to extend to a whole series of regulatory processes at the metabolic level.

    A second type of control mechanism in living cells affects the rate of synthesis of the various protein molecules that exist in a cell. Usually this mechanism works on a group of more than one enzyme molecule, François Jacob and Jacques Monod have proposed several ingenious models: Either the products of the metabolic action of the enzymes act on the genetic material to inhibit the synthesis, or the initial metabolites added to the medium have the effect of switching on the action of a part of the genetic material. Again, one can construct mathematical models for this process.14,15The study of rate equations reveals that the activated and in activated regimes belong to two different branches of solutions which, under certain conditions, are separated by an instability.

    A number of vital biological processes, in particular the functioning of the nervous system, rest on the ability of certain cell membranes to switch abruptly from a rest state of low ionic permeability to an excited state of high permeability. The former is a polarized state arising from the maintenance of different ionic-charge densities on the two sides. In the excited state the ionic-charge- density difference tends to diminish in an almost discontinuous fashion (all-or-none transition). This depolarization can be interpreted quantitatively16 as a transition arising beyond the instability of the polarized state and belonging to the “nonthermodynamic” branch. Here the constraint driving the system far from equilibrium is the difference in charge density on the two sides.

    Certain unicellular organisms develop a kind of organization composed of individual cells aggregated in colonies; a primitive form of differentiation between cells is also observed in these colonies. Among the best studied families showing this behavior are the slim molds. Their aggregation is mediate by a cyclic AMP (adenosine monophosphate) that can be secreted by the cells. The initiation of this aggregation can be interpreted17as an instability of the uniform distribution (corresponding to the absence of aggregation) of the individual cells, which again belongs to the thermodynamic branch. One is tempted hope that these aggregation phenomena will provide valuable indications of how higher organisms develop. In this case the interpretation in terms of dissipative structures would provide a much needed unifying principle for all these extremely diverse and complex processes.”

    Also, Ms. Harding, who works at the Prigogine center, is going to send me the second part of this article as well as other articles. I’ll let you know how his ideas have changed.

  98. “The quote was presented as a QUOTE not a paraphrase.”

    BFD

    The ISSS is still obscure. Just because Prigogine belonged to it doesn’t make not obscure. A double noble prize winner likely belongs to scores of organizations, boards of directors, etc. etc. and gets paid for allowing them to use his name. When you get out into the real world, if you ever do, you’d know how it works and I wouldn’t have to explain it to you.

    You don’t know if Prigigone rejects ID. Someone that claims to have known is trying to read his dead mind. What he reject is Darwinian evolution and any natural mechanism operating within the familiar space of equilibrium systems.

    The most concrete real-world examples he gives of spontaneous order in far-from-equilibrium systems is coherent laser light and convection currents in liquids. That’s a pretty far cry from a ribosome. As I said, get back to me when someone devises an experiment where long chain organic molecules arise spontaneously and persist long enough to do something interesting. Stay out of my face in the meantime. You bore me.

  99. Dave,

    I thought you grew up after you were shown that you didn’t even know who you were quoting. That is pathetic. And your sorry excuse that “you are bad at names” does not excuse your poor professionalship.

    And it is a big deal. He did not say what you quoted him from saying. That is unacceptable. As Carrier says in “The argument from biogenesis: Probabilities against a
    natural origin of life”, “[Worst] of all is Gerald Schroeder’s (1997: 112) quotation of Ilya Prigogine, who wrote “the idea of the spontaneous genesis of life in its present form is therefore improbable, even on the scale of billions of years” (1972). What is most contemptible here is not that no number is given (and thus it is
    basically a subjective opinion), but that this is stated in the introduction to a paper whose sole purpose was refuting that very statement (it was in fact a landmark work in protobiology, rendering obsolete the conclusions of Salisbury and Morowitz). Schroeder’s failure to mention this is highly suspicious” (748). So yes, it is a big deal. You are supporting a lie and passing it on as a true. Plain and simple.

    Considering the organization, you are only providing your pathetic subjective opinion. How can I trust someone who provides a supposed quote, where the guy did not even write it. Also, you are dispelling you conspiracy theory again. Scientists would not jepordize their career by acting President for an organization. Your paranoia is getting the best of you (if there is such a thing). Plus, you were so excited that a Nobel Prize might have supported ID, where there is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever. You are poorly reading into his words. All of his experiments required natural mechanisms (By the way, he only won it once in 1977, not twice. Get your facts straight and stop getting you information from those crack-pot ID and Christian sites.) However, if he is connected to people in KNOWN cases, that shows nothing. You have backpeddled so fast that you have tripped over your feet numerous times and fell flat on your back. Do yourself and all of us a favor, stay down.

    When conferences take place, the President is always present to oversee things. You are misrepresenting AGAIN. You have alot to learn pal.

    Anyway, I never asked you to come back. You were made a fool when you did not even know who you were quoting. Also, you don’t even know what he is talking about. Did you even read the paper. No, wait, you didn’t since

    Speaking of him accepting ID or not, here is what Ms. Harding has to say, who accepts emails from Dr. Prigogine, ““As far as Prof. Prigogine and intelligent design, that concept wasn’t around until recently. I cannot speak for him, but from what I have known of Prof. Prigogine, he would not hold the theory of intelligent design as a relevant scientific theory.”

    As I said before, this is tentative, but he was around when Behe wrote his book and when Dembski did also. You never seen him accept the idea. He, however, does promote self-ordering entities and spontaneous ordering. Yes, it is a far cry from a ribosome, but many experimentalists are working towards that goal. But the thing to remember is that Dembski said that ID would be in trouble if self-ordering complex entities could arise without intelligence. It certainly appears that we are on our way to seeing this. For some reason, ID proponents want answers right now (even though they lack results on their own). It took 200 years for Newton to be surpassed. The orgin of life is much more difficult to discover than the idea that space and time are relative and light is absolute. The point, we are on the way.

    And you are still unable to understand his rejection of Darwinism. Darwinism defines organisms as close to equilibrium, not far from equilibrium. He was developing laws that exist througout ALL non-linear systems. Hypothsis testing means we have to go beyond our results, but they must work within the confines of past data.

    And again, you did not mention anything about the Benard cells, which influenced Prigogine. He wanted to see if spontaneous ordering occurs before the formation of cells, which they did. The middle just needs to fill in the details.

    Why don’t you just take the time to read the paper, since it is obvious that you didn’t (like most ID rantings, you conveniently misquoted an author and, when you did quote an actual passage, you stopped right before he got to the relevant material). So read the entire paper and pay attention to the last section. Also, read the experiment from the Benard cells. You might actually learn something for a change, instead of using your ID rhetoric, excuse making, and backpeddling. We have generated complex ordering and we are working from there. Naturalism is generating results, whereas ID has not. Nobody is going to follow ID if they actually read these experimental data, which is why ID fails to cite ANY of these experiments. It is so much easier to ignore the results than attack them.

  100. Speaking of describing the long chains of organic materials, where is the experiments performed by ID proponents? Has CSI been used for the origin of life? Not from what I have seen. Maybe ID should provide what they expect from naturalism. You wouldn’t seem as hypocritical.

    By the way, it was seen that in the Benard experiment that, when spontaneous ordering occurs, if the the temperature went below the threshold, the system fails. Uh oh, temperature is viewed as part of the system (that is one thing IC overlooks; the system fails if part of the environment is depleted). However, once the temperature goes above the threshold again, ordering arises. ID’s two major ideas (CSI and IC) are in trouble. Again, CSI (I’ll use this term even though complex and specified are redundant) says that NO natural means can create it (it does not state anything about the origins of life), but it has. Secondly, IC is in trouble because natural means have created it as well.

  101. “I was told that he[Prigogine] would have seen ID as non-scientific.”

    Why would Priogogine’s WORK and DATA conflict with ID? After all, the first question in the explanatory filter is “Does a law explain it?”. Now his personal BELIEFS might (we don’t know) have been that ID is getting false positives in regards to biology, but how does that make ID non-scientific?

    Anyway, I meant to do some more catching up on this subject before responding again but I found myself busy. I did take the time to answer one of my questions: In the last couple years has a natural mechanism been found that can produce a protein comprised of 100% left-handed amino acids?

    I found this published fairly recently (Nov, 2004) at the Proceedings of the National Acedemy of Sciences:

    “Spontaneous emergence of homochirality in noncatalytic systems”

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/conten.....05293101v1

    Their theoretical model describes a dynamic system of amino acids joining and disjoining with a free flow of energy and ingredients (so I suppose it’s relevant to this discussion). In the best-case scenario, provided that all the ingredients are present in the right conditions, this system might produce about 70% of one hand in a few centuries (a value that stabilizes and does not rise higher). Even this does not form polypeptide chains, only an excess of one-hand in the amino acids. They say that the formation of the first prebiotic peptides is not a trivial problem, as free amino acids are poorly reactive (peptide bonds tend not to form in water). To solve this part of the problem, they imagine alternate wetting and drying periods and the presence of N-carboxyanhydrides to activate the amino acids. The tests required fairly high concentrations of ingredients, and specific temperature and acidity. They couldn’t get any single-handed chains to result, but still feel their model is better than the usual direct autocatalytic reaction models, which they view as “dubious in a prebiotic environment.”

    Now, has a discovery been made in the last 9 months that I’m unaware of?

  102. In order to prevent this discussion from bouncing all over the place…

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....3#comments

    “Anyway, ID has a major problem to solve. It has been EXPERIMENTALLY [shown] that order and complexity are able to form SPONTANEOUSLY as shown in the Pigogine paper.”

    I do not comprehend why you consider Pigogine’s work to be so devestating to ID. It’s not as if instances of spontaneous complexity is something newly discovered. The old example is the structure of a crystal which are strictly repetitive galleries of geometric repetition. Ocean waves can produce structures with right angles that highly resemble human-made buildings. I fully expect even more instances of spontaneous complexity to be found. But until a mechanism is found that solves a problem like described in my last post I do not see how these minor instances pose a “major problem” to ID since it’s not just complexity we consider but specification. You appear to be making a mountain out of a molehole.

  103. I will look over that abstract in more detail later. I am in midst of writing paper on ID that I would like to finish this week. Perhaps, when finished, you would like to read it.

    Anyway, the comment about Prigogine’s beliefs are speculative. However, it is safe to assume that he DID believe that the origin of life came from structures that tried to stay on the edge of chaos (far-from-equilibrium). But that point was only made because Dave gave a quote from a biased Christian and/or ID website (both disciplines used it to further their agenda without actually interpreting what he was trying to do correctly). But his work, I believe, poses problems to ID since ID does not give enough attention to spontaneous ordering and misinterprets its results when it does mention it briefly.

    Before I came to write this post I was reading an article in the journal “Biology and Philosopgy” vol. 14 1999 by Bruce H. Weber titled “Irreducible Complexity and the Problem of Biochemical Emergence” (593-605). In this paper, Weber criticizes Behe for not looking deep enough into self-organization. My claim is that neither has Dembski. In fact, he completely misunderstands emergence of such systems. I say this because he defines emergence as a Local point structure of ONE mechanism, as he says, “‘X emerges’ is an incomplete sentence. It needs to be completed by reading ‘X emerges from Y’. Moreover, the claim that ‘X’ emerges from ‘Y’ remains vacuous until one specifies ‘Y’ and can demonstrate that ‘Y’ is sufficient to account for ‘X’” (NFL, 244).

    First, I need to admit that I was INCORRECT about Dembski not mentioning the Benard experiment. However, he does not interpret it correctly in modern light. As mentioned in Barab, Cherkes-Julkowski, Swenson, Garrett, Shaw, and Young (1999) “Principles of Self-Organization: Learning as Participation in Auotcatakinetic Systems”, the “spontaneous ordering arises when the field potential rises above a minimum threshold and stochastic microscopic fluctuations are amplified to macroscpoic levels at which point hundreds of molecules begin moving coherently together. Because the emergence of order is thus stochatically (randomly) seeded at the microscopic level, there is great variability during the initial stages of the ordering process. Over time, the system passes through a generic development process of selection, including such dynamics as spontaneous vells, until the system achives a final state of regularly arrayed hexogonal cells” (364).

    Dembski does not give a full account. There is no CAUSAL specification as he states. But rather there are certain CONDITIONS that arise where Prigogine’s supposed law takes place. The thermodynamic laws, as Dembski points out correctly, are proscriptive, which show what is not allowed. But it is odd that Dembski further down says that Kauffman’s 4th law doesn’t state a causal mechanism. Proscriptive laws DON’T look for what brings something into existence, but rather state pathways that are impossible.

    Anyway, back to my original point. As Weber states, “The application of ‘complex systems dynamics’ to biological problems is still in its infancy. Nonetheless, the point is that there is a research community, which incldes some ‘card-carrying’ Darwinians, that is attmepting to address problems of emergence in general and especially in biological systems and thereby to give accounts of what Behe takes to be ‘irreducibly complexity’” (600).

    Thus, the point is this. ID has not suffciently considered what emergent, self-organized, chaotic, non-linear systems can actually accomplish. To say (although incorrect in terminoloy) that there has been no causal specification for the emergence of life YET, but lets devise another system because our information is lacking in this area where complexity has yet to have been followed through to its logical ending. This is why many people say that ID is based on the argument of ignorance. It is not based on ignorance because they say that natural explanations have faltered, therefore design. But it is ignorant because they STOPPED looking at the possibilities. There has been NOTHING to date to show that emergence cannot be extended to the origin of life Even though it has yet been explained to do so either, we must work out the problems to see where they lead us. It seems to me that ID is too impatient. Dembski criticizes the promissory note, where he criticizes scientists for saying that they need more time, more money, better technology, etc. to figure it out. But if emergence has not been proven to prohibit the origin of life (as proscriptive laws state), and we see emergence generating numerous different forms of entities, where these entities are similiar to living organisms (living autocatakinetic forms), don’t we owe it to the scientists to give them time to see where this all goes? That is my point.

    One last thing. Dembski has not shown that emergence cannot generate complexity. I believe that his idea of complexity is misleading since it is based on individual “bits”, but this becomes relative. In a social structure, we can have people as bits, but we can also have communities as bits, or cities, counties, states, etc. For example, in his sequence of ’110111011111′ all the way up to 101 becomes relativized because this is predetermined by our language. Furthermore, Lehn and Ball (found athttp://scienceweek.com/2003/sw030124.htm ; however, I can’t get the link to work right now, it worked earlier though) state that “‘Complex is not the same as ‘complicated’” (4). And Nicolis (found at same website), states that, “…[The] difference between ‘simple’ and ‘complex’, and between ‘disorder’ and ‘order’, is much narrower than previously thought” (2).

    Anyway, different langauges can describe what we consider a long series of bits in one word, which reduces its complexity. So it seems that Dembski is trying to develop a standard language here. In my paper, I attack Dembski’s version of complexity to be presupposing a more primitive perceptual encounter, what Gibson calls an affordance. An affordance, for sake of brevity, is what an object means with no mind imposing meaning onto it. Thus, Dembski’s idea of information (I also show that there is no information that lacks complexity and specificity, so it becomes redundant) presupposes a more primitive account of information.

  104. “I will look over that abstract in more detail later. I am in midst of writing paper on ID that I would like to finish this week. Perhaps, when finished, you would like to read it.”

    I’d be interested in reading this paper. Considering your background, I’m assuming it’ll be discussing ID from a philosophical point of view?

    “Anyway, the comment about Prigogine’s beliefs are speculative.”

    Definitely. I just don’t see how the evidence his research provided directly contradicts ID.

    “However, it is safe to assume that he DID believe that the origin of life came from structures that tried to stay on the edge of chaos (far-from-equilibrium).”

    Agreed. But the evidence he provided and his own beliefs are two separate issues.

    “But that point was only made because Dave gave a quote from a biased Christian and/or ID website (both disciplines used it to further their agenda without actually interpreting what he was trying to do correctly).”

    I comprehend that what Prigogine was contending that since the origin of life would be based upon natural laws technically that event would not be “accidental”. It’s still a useful quote if your intention is to show that an accidental origin of life is impossible. I agree there are many Creationist and ID sites that quote mine without checking the context. Fortunately most of them are hosted by laymen and the “good” ID sites understand his real position. Even so, I rarely visit such sites since I do not want my information to be filtered or biased (though that occurs even with publications from PNAS from what I’ve seen). Now if there was a truly impartial site that covered such information…

    “Thus, the point is this. ID has not sufficiently considered what emergent, self-organized, chaotic, non-linear systems can actually accomplish.”

    Perhaps, but I did point out an article that shows exactly what such systems can accomplish in regards to the protobiological science. I realize you believe the foundation for your argument is based upon the mere existence of emergent, self-organized, chaotic, non-linear systems. Personally I do not see that as being even a starting point for an argument that ID is generating false positives in regards to biological life. To me a good argument is based in evidence. To me a good foundation for an argument is that there is a natural mechanism that can produce polypeptide chains comprised of 100% left-handed amino acids since all life requires them. If this were a NASCAR race your car would have broken down before even passing the starting line.

    Now I won’t deny your argument may be good in the future…which leads to your next quote.

    “But it is ignorant because they STOPPED looking at the possibilities. There has been NOTHING to date to show that emergence cannot be extended to the origin of life Even though it has yet been explained to do so either, we must work out the problems to see where they lead us. It seems to me that ID is too impatient. Dembski criticizes the promissory note, where he criticizes scientists for saying that they need more time, more money, better technology, etc. to figure it out. But if emergence has not been proven to prohibit the origin of life (as proscriptive laws state), and we see emergence generating numerous different forms of entities, where these entities are similiar to living organisms (living autocatakinetic forms), don’t we owe it to the scientists to give them time to see where this all goes? That is my point.”

    I agree that research into this subject should continue indefinitely (except in the event of the Second Coming of Christ ;) ). I think Dembski (I could be wrong) is not advocating that they stop such research completely but he is saying they should stop acting as if an unknown future piece of evidence somehow contradicts ID today.

    “Dembski has not shown that emergence cannot generate complexity.”

    Does he need to? If the complexity being generated has no direct relevance to the origin of biological life or evolution then I don’t think he need worry. Of course, I’m “assuming” most of the instances of spontaneous complexity have no direct relevance…

  105. Gump,

    I am really sorry about taking so long. I have been really busy to actually sit down and write out my complete reason against ID. However, I did finish TYPING my paper. I just have to proof read it. I will send it to you after that is complete. And, yes, you are correct, it is mostly philosophical, but it goes straight to key concepts of Dembski’s (and somewhat of Behe’s) in light of scientific data.

    I don’t really think that Prigogine’s ideas DIRECTLY put ID out of business, but, I think my main point was that his ideas go at the heart of what Dembski is saying about how the emergence of life is not what scientists are saying.

    When I was writing my paper, I was looking at NFL and his comments on the Benard cell experiment. His complaint is that, in that experiment there is a causal specificity, namely heat (excuse if I said this above aready). However, heat (or any other resource in the environment) is not SEEN as a causal specific entity. By bringing in heat into the picture it only sets up POTENTIALS in the environment. Thus, if, when you ask for a causal mechanism you mean an entity that brings another entity INTO EXISTENCE you will NOT find it because that is not what physicists would say (I am not sure what biologists would say). Nothing brings another into existence (oddly enough, that is what Hume actually says).

    Therefore, emergence is defined by potentials; that is, what the current conditions allow, but when potentials disallow something, the entity will not emerge.

    As for Dembski not wanting to stop research, I do not know either (I hope not). However, he has misunderstood the key concepts in the literature.

    As for the “promissary note”, he tends to be saying that scientists have to PROVE naturalism (that is, all natural causes can explain everything). First, that is not science, but rather philosophy. Second, philosophy can not prove that as well. All that we have is that MOST phenomena have been explained by natural causes. Since most instances have been proved in this way, naturalism gets the upper hand. There are way too many holes in Dembski’s ideas to be considered as science, yet. In the paper that I am writing, I attempt to show that his ideas of intelligence are even flawed. He seems to advocate that intelligence CREATES information by reducing a a reference class of possibilities. However, it is natural information that permits us to do this in the first place. His ideas are a RESULT of information, not the antecedent of information.

  106. The Biggest Forensics Thus Far, the 911 skies:

    http://www.geocities.com/chrisbornag

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