Home » Intelligent Design » Here’s an Example of Evolution’s Unavoidable Anti Realism

Here’s an Example of Evolution’s Unavoidable Anti Realism

Though evolutionists think of themselves as realists—ruthlessly objective investigators interested only in truth—their naturalistic constraint ultimately leaves them with only anti realism. This is because any a priorirestriction of the answer might exclude the true answer. If I decide my math homework must contain only odd numbered answers, then I’ll be wrong on those problems whose correct answer is an even number. I can round up, approximate, truncate, contort or whatever to obtain an odd number, but I will be wrong. For such problems, the only way to be right is to remove the a priori restriction. But evolutionists cannot do this. Foundational to their thinking is that the world must have arisen by itself, strictly via natural laws and processes. What most evolutionists do not grasp is that their extreme rationalism leads at best to anti realism, and at worst to skepticism.  Read more

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101 Responses to Here’s an Example of Evolution’s Unavoidable Anti Realism

  1. Here’s an Example of Evolution’s Unavoidable Anti Realism

    I am still waiting for that example. I did check the full post at “Darwin’s God” but I was unable to find any actual example.

  2. Look, we have our very own example right here at UD!

  3. 3

    I believe the “example” in the title referred to the three-paragraph quote from Joel Velasco regarding the evolutionary tree model near the bottom of the article. You may question whether this is a good example or not, but I believe that is what was meant.

  4. Evolution’s predictions have consistently failed and the species do not form an evolutionary tree. These are yet more manifestations of evolution’s underlying anti realism. But evolution remains a fact.

    I can’t wait to see how many responses Dr. Hunter receives claiming that species do form an evolutionary tree.

  5. The justification for the use of trees has traditionally been that evolutionary processes are in fact tree-like. This justification is faulty.

    Another Liddle lie exposed.

  6. I don’t know if I would say consistently failed. Evolution predicted where to find the Tiktaalik fossil, they predicted the Chromosome 2 fusion and they predicted the ancestry to man which was later confirmed by genetics. I know that some may have issues with these examples but the point is that they were correctly predicted.

  7. I believe the “example” in the title referred to the three-paragraph quote from Joel Velasco regarding the evolutionary tree model near the bottom of the article.

    That is an example where the tree model did not prevent him from seeing something that did not fit. It does not show any unavoidable problem.

  8. Evolution predicted where to find the Tiktaalik fossil, they predicted the Chromosome 2 fusion and they predicted the ancestry to man which was later confirmed by genetics. I know that some may have issues with these examples but the point is that they were correctly predicted.

    Save for the fact that none of those are actually correct predictions then perhaps you may have a point.

    Tiktaalik Blown “Out of the Water” by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints – January 2010
    Excerpt: The tracks predate the oldest tetrapod skeletal remains by 18 Myr and, more surprisingly, the earliest elpistostegalian fishes by about 10 Myr.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....e_wat.html

    Three-dimensional limb joint mobility in the early tetrapod Ichthyostega : Published online 23 May 2012 – video with article
    Excerpt: The origin of tetrapods and the transition from swimming to walking was a pivotal step in the evolution and diversification of terrestrial vertebrates.,,, We conclude that early tetrapods with the skeletal morphology and limb mobility of Ichthyostega were unlikely to have made some of the recently described Middle Devonian trackways.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf16z5zDm3A

    New Research Debunks Theory of Prehistoric Tetrapod’s Walk – May 2012 – video
    http://www.scientificamerican......2012-05-30

    This following article has a excellent summary of the ‘less than forthright’ manner in which Darwinists handle anyone who dares to tell of falsifications to their paltry evidence for ‘transitional’ fossils:

    Evolutionary Biologists Are Unaware of Their Own Arguments: Reappraising Nature’s Prized “Gem,” Tiktaalik – Casey Luskin – September 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38261.html

    The chromosome 2 fusion model of human evolution—part 1: re-evaluating the evidence – Jerry Bergman and Jeffrey Tomkins
    Conclusion: The purportedly overwhelming DNA evidence for a fusion event involving two primate chromosomes to form human chromosome 2 does not exist, even without the aid of new analyses. In this report, our review of only the reported data by evolutionary scientists shows that the sequence features encompassing the purported chromosome-2 fusion site are far too ambiguous to infer a fusion event. In addition to a lack of DNA sequence data for a head-to-head chromosomal fusion, there also exists a decided paucity of data to indicate a cryptic centromere. In a companion paper (part 2) to this, we report the results of additional data analyses using a variety of bioinformatic tools and publicly available DNA sequence resources that further refute the hypothetical chromosome fusion model.
    http://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-1

    The recently completed Gorilla genome threw another ‘monkey’ wrench into the Darwinian story of supposed human evolution:

    30% of the Gorilla Genome Contradicts the Supposed Evolutionary Phylogeny of Humans and Apes – March 2012
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....57391.html

    The Gorilla Who Broke the Tree – Doug Axe PhD. – March 2012
    Excerpt: Well, the recent publication of the gorilla genome sequence shows that the expected pattern just isn’t there. Instead of a nested hierarchy of similarities, we see something more like a mosaic. According to a recent report [1], “In 30% of the genome, gorilla is closer to human or chimpanzee than the latter are to each other…”
    That’s sufficiently difficult to square with Darwin’s tree that it ought to bring the whole theory into question. And in an ideal world where Darwinism is examined the way scientific theories ought to be examined, I think it would. But in the real world things aren’t always so simple.
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....e-the-tree

  9. 9
    critical rationalist

    CH: Foundational to their thinking is that the world must have arisen by itself, strictly via natural laws and processes. What most evolutionists do not grasp is that their extreme rationalism leads at best to anti realism, and at worst to skepticism.

    Ironically, Cornelius has failed to grasp the impactions of assuming there is some inexplicable realm where inexplicable beings reach in to bubble of explicably in a way that can actually effect us.

    If we really do reside in a finite bubble of explicably, which exists in an island in a sea of of inexplicability, the inside of this bubble cannot be explicable either. This is because the inside is supposedly dependent what occurs in this inexplicable realm. Any assumption that the world is inexplicable leads to bad explanations. That is, no theory about what exists beyond this bubble can be any better than “Zeus rules” there. And, given the dependency above (this realm supposedly effects us), this also means there can be no better expiation that “Zeus rules” inside this bubble as well.

    In other words, our everyday experience in this bubble would only appear explicable if we carefully refrain from asking specific questions. Note this bares a strong resemblance to a pre-scientific perspective with its distinction between an Earth designed for human beings and a heaven that is beyond human comprehension.

    Of course, just because something is a bad explanation this doesn’t necessarily mean it is might not be true.

    But, if we assume this is indeed true, for the sake of criticism, and that all observations should conform to it, this leads to the following question: “If bad explanations are indeed true, then how do you explain our ability to know anything?”

    However if, on the other hand, Cornelius means that Darwinism is nothing more than veering atoms, rather than a process that genuinely creates knowledge via emergence, then he’s attacking a strawman via an outdated definition of materialism.

  10. Let me guess CR,

    Cornelius refuses to acknowledge that his justificationist conception of human knowledge is an idea subject to criticism?

  11. 11
    critical rationalist

    Cornelius regularly confuses predictions of scientific theories with prophecy.

    Science makes progress by conjecturing theories based on all of our current, best explanations, when observations are made rather than predictions made 150 years ago.

    To use an example, imagine it was predicted a man would arrived at a particular destination in two hours because he left 10 minutes and was traveling by bicycle.

    However, 20 minutes before the expected arrival time, we discover a bridge the man would have had to had cross was had been closed all day due to a traffic accident early that morning and the nearest bridge would have add an additional 45 minutes to his trip.

    Would you still evaluate the theory based on the original arrival time predicted before we knew the bridge was closed or on the the adjusted arrival time?

  12. Heh:

    Instead, these trees are models which contain idealizations. These models are used to better understand the world.

    These models, which do NOT reflect reality, better help us understand reality?

  13. JLAfan:

    Evolution predicted where to find the Tiktaalik fossil, they predicted the Chromosome 2 fusion and they predicted the ancestry to man which was later confirmed by genetics.

    Tiktaalik was found in the wrong place and time, chromosome 2 is not a prediction of evolution and genetics says humans give rise to humans.

    Other than that, good job…

  14. Ironically, Cornelius has failed to grasp the impactions of assuming there is some inexplicable realm where inexplicable beings reach in to bubble of explicably in a way that can actually effect us.

    Maybe he just thinks the cosmos didn’t create itself.

  15. If bad explanations are indeed true, then how do you explain our ability to know anything?

    I can think of many things I know that no one had to explain to me. Does knowledge arises only via explanation?

    However if, on the other hand, Cornelius means that Darwinism is nothing more than veering atoms, rather than a process that genuinely creates knowledge via emergence, then he’s attacking a strawman via an outdated definition of materialism.

    Which kind of knowledge are you talking about today?

    Do you have an explanation for emergence?

  16. Science makes progress by conjecturing theories based on all of our current, best explanations, when observations are made rather than predictions made 150 years ago.

    They don’t call it Darwinism for no reason. It’s still stuck in the 1800′s.

  17. 17
    critical rationalist

    UB,

    Neither you or Cornelius are under no obligation to *accept* that your conception of human knowledge is subject to criticism.

    In fact, what I’ve done is conjectured the specific objections to Darwinism we observe here are explained by just such a refusal to accept it. And, as a critical rationalist, I’m looking for evidence that would be inconsistent with that conjecture, rather than support it.

    What better inconsistent evidence could we have than your explicit denial that you think knowledge is justified by authoritative sources would be just such inconsistent evidence. Along with you or KF actually responding to the actual substance of Popper’s criticism, rather than common misconceptions or repeating the claim that “everyone knows we use induction”

  18. Abduction or, as it is also often called, Inference to the Best Explanation is a type of inference that assigns special status to explanatory considerations. Most philosophers agree that this type of inference is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy.

    SEP

  19. 19

    As usual, the waters here are considerably muddied by conflating a priori issues and a posteriori issues. The debate between naturalism and theism is, as I see it, a priori, in the sense that these are conceptual frameworks we employ to make sense of what is delivered by empirical knowledge. (That’s not to say that one must be dogmatic about one’s metaphysics, obviously, but to say that rational discourse about metaphysics is governed by different considerations than rational discourse about empirical knowledge.) By contrast, the debate between evolutionary theory and design theory is a debate about empirical knowledge-claims.

    Maybe here’s a better way of putting it: scientific theories take as their object — that to which they are answerable — experiments and observations. They count as objective because they are answerable to how the world is. So what is metaphysics answerable to? Metaphysics is answerable to, not how the world is — the task of science — but answerable to our theories about how the world is.

    The job of the metaphysician differs from the job of the scientist because the metaphysician makes explicit, clarifies, systematizes, criticizes, and speculates about the categories implicitly used by the scientist.

    So the metaphysical debate between naturalism and theism (which are, of course, far from the only options, and there are sub-varieties of each too numerous to count) are governed by basically different considerations than the scientific debate between defenders of different scientific theories.

    To be sure, I don’t think that scientists — or anyone, really — can do without metaphysics, and it seems fairly clear to me that metaphysical commitments lie in the background of all theories. Which is all well and good, I think — metaphysics is essential to the creative and speculative dimension of scientific theorizing, and without which science would be no different from stamp collecting. But metaphysics and science, however continuous in some regards, are still distinct enterprises, and I worry that Hunter conflates them.

  20. What is “non-explanatory knowledge” and why aren’t our brains full of it if our DNA is?

  21. The problem is that you are treating evolution as somehow “special”. Do you demand that Intelligent GeoDesign Theory be accepted? How about Intelligent Climatology? Or Intelligent Electroweak Theory?

    No, it is only evolution which raises your hackles, because it threatens your worldview.

  22. 22

    I’m with Neil here; I don’t see a problem. Cornelius’ complaint seems to be that evolutionists are using a model — the phylogenetic tree — that’s only an idealization, not an exact representation of reality. But as Velasco says, “Modeling and idealizations are widespread throughout the sciences.” As with most of Cornelius’ complaints about evolution, this one seems to reduce to “there’s something terribly wrong with evolutionary biology, because it’s just like every other branch of science!”

    I’d argue that there’s a good reason for the use of idealized models: pretty much any phenomenon is, if you look in enough detail, overwhelmingly complicated. If you try to understand it completely, you’re going to be lost in details and never actually get anywhere. So you’re better off taking a simplified view, and leaving out as much detail as you can get away with. For example, if you want to analyze the orbit of a planet, you start with a very simple approximation: planets follow elliptical orbits around the star. If that’s not close enough (either because you need a more accurate result, or because you’re analyzing something where that’s a really bad approximation), you add more details to your model: you use Newtonian physics to include the influences of other planets and moons, maybe forces other than gravity, etc. If that’s not good enough, you switch from Newtonian gravity to general relativity, and maybe even take into account the influence of other stars, etc.

    Take another simple example from physics: a lever. If you can get away with it, you’ll treat the lever as a massless, rigid body that pivots around a fixed point. If that’s not a close enough approximation, you have to add in complications: mass, elastic & inelastic deformations, friction, play, and mobility of the pivot, etc. If it moves fast enough, you might even need to add in relativistic corrections. If it’s small enough, you might need to handle quantum effects.

    You pretty much always want to use the simplest model you can get away for analyzing any given situation. Knowing what you can get away with and what will cause trouble is, of course, a difficult problem in and of itself. One way to do it is to add complications until the answer stops changing, then realize that you didn’t really need that last complication. Usually, though, you can do pretty well just by understanding the limits of the approximations you’re using and watching out for situations in which they’re likely to be problematic.

    (There’s an old joke about a paper on milk production, written by a mathematical physicist. It begins “Assume a spherical cow radiating milk isotropically…”)

    The phylogenetic tree is a lot like the massless, rigid, frictionless lever: it doesn’t really exist, but it’s often close enough that you can either get away with using it as is, or use as a base and then add in complications as needed. And (at least as far as I can see), that’s exactly how biologists use phylogenetic trees. So where’s the problem?

  23. 23
    critical rationalist

    Joe: These models, which do NOT reflect reality, better help us understand reality?

    All theories are contain errors to some degree and are incomplete. They help us better understand reality because they provide opportunities to find those errors, and thereby make progress, and leave us with better problems to solve.

    Joe: …chromosome 2 is not a prediction of evolution and genetics says humans give rise to humans.

    We do not look for evidence that is consistent with our theories, because no observations can *positively* support any theory. Rather we look for but evidence that would inconsistent with our theory.

    The absence of the fusion in Human chromosome 2 would have been just such inconsistent evidence.

  24. 24
    critical rationalist

    @Mung#20

    Explanatory knowledge contains just that: explanations. This is in contrast to non-knowledge that we accidentally acquire and does not take the form of an explanation.

    …there are two types of knowledge: explanatory and non-explanatory. While people can create both kinds of knowledge, only people can create explanatory knowledge in the form of explanatory theories. This is because, as universal explainers, only people can create explanations. People create explanatory knowledge when they intentionally conjecture an explanation for a specific problem, then test that explanation for errors. If the theory is found to be internally consistent, it can [then] be tested via empirical observations.

    So, I’d agree that only people can create explanatory knowledge.

    However, conjectures made in the absence of a specific problem result in non-explanatory knowledge. Specifically, it’s random in respect to any particular problem to solve. While my example is an imperfect analogy in the case of the genome (otherwise, it wouldn’t be an analogy) it illustrates how non-explanatory knowledge can be created independent of any specific conscious problem to solved. Furthermore, being non-explanatory in nature, its reach was significantly limited. This is in contrast to explanatory knowledge, which has significant and potentially infinite reach.

    Gpuccio: Your example is not clear. What do you mean by “rule of thumb”?

    For example, if I had a genetic condition, I wouldn’t want my doctor to base my treatment on the mere logical possibility that changing just any genes in my genome could improve my condition. Rather, I’d want my treatment based on an explanation that specific genes play a hard to vary, specific role in my symptoms and that changing them in a particular way would have a beneficial impact. The former is a useful rule of thumb. The latter is an explanatory theory.

    In the case of people, rules of thumb are not completely non-explanatory because they are based on uncontroversial background knowledge which is explanatory in nature. But this isn’t the case in regards to the biosphere.

    For example, imagine I’ve been shipwrecked on a deserted island and I have partial amnesia due to the wreck. I remember that coconuts are edible so climb a tree to pick them. While attempting to pick a coconut, one falls, lands of a rock and splits open. Note that I did not intend for the coconut to fall, let alone plan for it to fall because I guessed coconuts that fall on rocks might crack open. The coconut falling was random in respect to the problem I hadn’t yet even tried to solve. Furthermore, due to my amnesia, I’ve hypothetically forgotten what I know about physics, including mass, inertia, etc. Specifically, I lack an explanation as to why the coconut landing on the rock causes it to open. As such, my knowledge of how to open coconuts is merely a useful rule of thumb, which is limited in reach. For example, in the absence of an explanation, I might collect coconuts picked from other trees, carry them to this same tree, climb it, then drop them on the rocks to open them.

    However, explanatory knowledge has significant reach. Specifically, if my explanatory knowledge of physics, including inertia, mass, etc. returned, I could use that explanation to strike coconut with any similar sized rock, rather than vice versa. Furthermore, I could exchange the rock with another object with Significant mass, such as an anchor and open objects other than coconuts, such as shells, use this knowledge to protect myself from attacking wildlife, etc.

    So, explanatory knowledge comes from intentional conjectures made by people and have significant reach. Non-explanatory knowledge (useful rules of thumb) represent unintentional conjectures and have limited reach. Knowledge can be created without intent in the form of useful rules of thumb. The knowledge of how to build biological adaptations isn’t explanatory in nature but non-explanatory and occasionally results in useful rule of thumb that improves biological adaptions.

  25. 25
    critical rationalist

    CR: Ironically, Cornelius has failed to grasp the impactions of assuming there is some inexplicable realm where inexplicable beings reach in to bubble of explicably in a way that can actually effect us.

    Mung: Maybe he just thinks the cosmos didn’t create itself.

    Where did I suggest otherwise? My point is if, for the sake of criticism, we assume what Cornelius “thinks” is actually true it would have implications which apparently he hasn’t considered.

    “the cosmos” would be the bubble of explicably that was supposed created. And it would have been created by some inexplicable means by some inexplicable being in some inexplicable realm. Furthermore, this inexplicable being is having an effect on inside of this bubble though the act of creation and supposedly does so repeatedly undetermined times using this same inexplicable means.

    So, we either live in a universe that is explicable, in principle, or our universe would only appear explicable if we carefully refrain from asking specific questions.

    Furthermore, theories are tested by observations, not derived from them. This means we use observations to look for errors in the theory’s underlying explanation, rather than to assuming it’s impossible because we have or have not experienced it before in a particular range of experiments. Scientific predictions are not prophecy. This is why do not look for evidence that positively supports a particular theory. Rather we look for evidence that shows errors in the underlying explanation a theory provides.

    And we know this is the case because we do this every day in science.

    For example, it’s unlikely that anyone has performed research to determine if eating a square meter of grass each day for a week would cure the common cold. Why is this? Is it because it’s logically impossible? No. Is it because it’s unfalsifiable? No, this would be trivial to test. Is it because is “non-natural” or “non-material”? No.

    Why then is it unlikely to be the subject of research? Because we lack an explanation as to how and why eating a square meter of grass each day for a week would cure the common cold. As such, we discard it, a priori, before we even test it.

    If we use induction, then where is are the observations we used to discard this mere possibility?

    Without an explanation it’s a theory-less, mere logical possibility, which we cannot test for errors using observations. As such we discard it. And we do this for a near infinite number of mere possibilities every day across every field of science.

    It’s unclear why your designer is any different.

  26. These models, which do NOT reflect reality, better help us understand reality?

    All theories are contain errors to some degree and are incomplete.

    Evolutionism is too vague to even be considered a theory.

    chromosome 2 is not a prediction of evolution and genetics says humans give rise to humans.

    We do not look for evidence that is consistent with our theories

    That is all evolutionists do.

    Rather we look for but evidence that would inconsistent with our theory.

    Nothing is inconsistent with evolutionism.

    The absence of the fusion in Human chromosome 2 would have been just such inconsistent evidence.

    If humans had 48 chromosomes (ie the absence of a fusion) that would be evidence against human/ chimp common ancestry? Are you daft?

  27. Nothing is inconsistent with evolutionism.

    Truth is inconsistent with evolutionism.

  28. 28
    critical rationalist

    And Cornelius claims we’re anti-realists?

    Joe: These models, which do NOT reflect reality, better help us understand reality?

    CR: All theories are contain errors to some degree and are incomplete. They help us better understand reality because they provide opportunities to find those errors, and thereby make progress, and leave us with better problems to solve.

    Joe: Evolutionism is too vague to even be considered a theory.

    Next, will you tell us that entire evolutionary biology is to vague for there to be an entire field of study and books dedicated to them?

    Also, note how Joe selectively quoted my comment – ignoring the salient point and failing to actually address it.

    CR: We do not look for evidence that is consistent with our theories, because no observations can *positively* support any theory. Rather we look for but evidence that would inconsistent with our theory.

    Joe: That is all evolutionists do.

    “You need to do a better job than just saying so.”

    CR: The absence of the fusion in Human chromosome 2 would have been just such inconsistent evidence.

    Joe: If humans had 48 chromosomes (ie the absence of a fusion) that would be evidence against human/ chimp common ancestry? Are you daft?

    Humans have 46 chromosomes. All other primates have 48 chromosome.

    Since we cannot use evidence to prove a theory is true or even then it’s more probable to be true, the question becomes, “how can we use the above differences in the number of primate chromosomes to make progress?”

    We *can* do this by looking for evidence that is inconsistent with Darwinism, because using deduction *is* valid way of making progress. This is because a single statement that an event happened can contradict a universal theory. However, no finite collection of statements can entail such a theory.

    Using the generally accepted and uncontroversial background knowledge that the loss of an entire chromosome would be fatal, we could loot at the DNA of our closest primate relative and human beings to look for inconsistent evidence, which is precisely what we did. This is basic logic.

    Inconsistent evidence would be the lack of a chromosomal fusion that contained the contents of the missing primate genetic material. But no such inconsistent evidence was found. Human chromosome two represents a fusion of this genetic material in non-human primates.

    So this *is* an example of looking for evidence that is inconsistent with evolution, which refutes Joe’s claim.

  29. 29
    critical rationalist

    Joe: If humans had 48 chromosomes (ie the absence of a fusion) that would be evidence against human/ chimp common ancestry? Are you daft?

    I’d also point out that demands for “civil discussion” are being being inconstantly applied, as indicated by the above insult by Joe:

    Furthermore, KF is moderating my comments despite the fact that I have not insulted anyone and he claims he has no control of moderation on UD here.

    KF: I did so to explain my disciplinary action in respect of CR.

    First, is “disciplinary action” not moderation?

    Second, the articles referenced did not refute the criticism I presented. Nor did they provide the missing step required for induction to provide guidance as to which theory to select. See this comment for details.

    To quote from one of KF’s references….

    [Newton] then notices the pale crescent of the New Moon in the sky, and a eureka moment happens: he “sees” that the same force that made the apple fall holds the moon in orbit around the earth.

    Yet this is precisely the where inductivism fails as it provides no guidance for which theory to select.

    Given that this is not my blog, its moderators are free to moderate me for disagreeing with their conception of human knowledge. But let’s call a spade a spade, rather than hide behind claims of being disrespectful or willfully ignoring corrections.

    Furthermore, as critical rationalist, I’ve conjectured the theory that objections to Darwinism presented here are based on holding the assumption that human knowledge is can only be justified by authoritative sources. And not just any objections to darwinism, but the specific objections that we see here and elsewhere?

    For example, If someone thought the knowledge of how to build the biosphere could only come from some ultimate authoritative source, would it come as a surprise they would conclude the biosphere cannot be explained without a designer? And if Darwinism were true would, would they not then conclude there could be no knowledge? Everything would simply be meaningless and random and astronomically unlikely, which is a commonly argued strawman of evolutionary theory. Finally, since everything is not random and meaningless, would they not conclude Darwinism must be false?

    Of course, as a critical rationalist, I realize observations cannot make prove a theory is true or even make it more probable. As such I’m putting my money where my mouth is and actually looking for evidence that is inconsistent with my own theory. What better inconsistent evidence could there be than UB, KF, et al. answering my direct question and explicitly denying they hold this conception?

  30. CR,

    You do understand, don’t you, that KF has control over certain threads and no control over others?

  31. Mung (& CR):

    Running on insomnia power at the moment, lights out in a minute.

    Joe has been warned and is making a best effort, which should be commended; he slips off the wagon from time to time but is visibly trying, and has made valuable contributions. “Are you daft” is in my opinion unfortunately not over the top at this point, where CR has evidently locked his mind against all evidence and reason.

    CR, wake up, man — think about the discovery of the atom and its inner structure including the electron as has been brought to your attention.

    Who is it, again, that disputes patent facts?

    As to the nature of inductive argument, I (and others) have repeatedly pointed out the contemporary conclusion that it is a broad category, arguments where evidence supports but does not strictly prove conclusions. Thus, it INCLUDES inference to best explanation. similarly, inductive arguments have say established the reality of the atom and the electron beyond reasonable doubt — a probability metric. And Popper’s remarks on corroboration and how corroborated theories are to be preferred boils down to IBE by another name. Whether or no CR wants to accept that.

    What is sad ius that CR starts from a strawman naive inductivist and despite correction again and again has refused to face the real discussion on inductive reasoning. When it comes to his caricatures of my argument and character, he seems to be willfully incorrigible.

    I note, I was shutting off and happened to see the complaining in this thread, which I do not own.

    For those who do not know, in recent days, after several corrections, CR indulged himself in yet another invidious association of ID and Creationism, against the backdrop of the creationism in a cheap tuxedo would be theocrats slander. I called him on it, giving evidence. CR refused to withdraw the remarks. Since in context this is tantamount to calling me a liar in my own living room in the teeth of clear evidence to the contrary, I invited him to withdraw such, or leave. He has refused to withdraw the slander. Now, he seems to be pretending that I have acted without cause.

    Let CR think: would he sit in my physical living room and insistently directly imply that I am a liar, refusing to withdraw such in the teeth of evidence to the contrary? If so, a reasonable person would agree that I would be well within my rights to invite him to leave. And, that such actions would not constitute censorship.

    Since another commenter is likely to show up in 3, 2, 1 . . . to try to suggest much the same, let us just say for record that his own behaviour here is worse, derail attempts and accusations, backed up by the demand to barge into my living room and carry on with another as though he did not need to resolve his misbehaviour.

    Both CR and O know how they can return to threads I own, resolve their misbehaviour and cease from such conduct in future.

    Let this speak for record.

    KF

  32. CR, yes evolutionary biology is very vague. For example no one knows how many mutations to get an upright biped from a knuckle walker/ quadraped. No one even knows what genes need to be mutated. And no one even knows if any amount of mutational accumulation can do it.

    So yes that means it is very vague.

  33. …no one knows how many mutations to get an upright biped from a knuckle walker/ quadraped. No one even knows what genes need to be mutated. And no one even knows if any amount of mutational accumulation can do it.

    But we know it happened. And we know the process by which it happened was unguided and completely natural.

  34. 34
    critical rationalist

    What is sad ius that CR starts from a strawman naive inductivist and despite correction again and again has refused to face the real discussion on inductive reasoning. When it comes to his caricatures of my argument and character, he seems to be willfully incorrigible.

    Then I’d politely suggest that you are confused about, mistaken on or are having difficulty comprehending the finer points of the criticism I’ve presented.

    For example, from here.

    KF: Start from the problem that ever since Newton in Opticks, Query 31, 1704, your “inductivist” is a made up strawman, not the real opponent.

    Substituting “true” for “probable” doesn’t solve the problem of induction. Specifically, if past observations do not imply anything about future observations, they no more imply probability than truth.

    When we take a critical approach, we look at what evidence is inconsistent with our theories, not consistent. Being consistent with a theory does not get us anywhere because there are an infinite number of un-conceived theories that would also be consistent with the evidence. So, how do you “induce” one theory?

    Arbitrarily? According to your biases or intuition? What specific step does induction instruct us to employ?

    This is the missing step which induction has yet to address, which is missing in your Opticks quote as well.

    Now, perhaps KF did provide reference of inductive guidance for this step. However, if if this is the case, he has not made an effort to point out exactly where this guidance is in the links he provided.

    Also, a comment from another thread….

    KF,

    Thanks for your reply. I agree this is a productive discussion, which has been helpful for me to understand your position as well.

    In that spirit, I’ll attempt to further clarify the difference between these two forms of epistemology.

    Critical Rationalism

    - We notice a problem.
    - We propose solutions to the problem
    - Since proposed solutions are essentally guesses about what is out there in reality, we…
    - Criticize the theory for internal consistency. Solutions that are internally inconsistent are discarded.
    - Criticize the theory by taking it seriously, in that we assume it’s true in reality and that all (empirical) observations should conform to them, *for the purpose of rational criticism*. “All observations” reflects all of our current, best solutions to other problems, which are themselves conjecture that have survived criticism.
    - This process continues until only one proposed solution is left, rather than positively supporting one particular theory.

    - The process starts all over again we notice another problem, such as new observations that conflict with our remaining proposed solution.

    Observations are themselves based on theories. So, when a new observation conflicts with a deep, hard to vary explanation, one form of criticism is to criticize the theory behind the new observations by conjecturing a theory why those observations might be wrong, then criticizing that theory as well.

    An example of this is OPERA’s observations of faster than light neutrinos, which conflicted with Einstein’s special relativity (SR). These results didn’t tell us anything, one way or the other, as we had yet to devise a good explanation for the observations, such as we have for microscopes. In the absence of a good explanation, we had no way to criticize these observations. (For example, in the case of microscopes, the samples could have been prepared incorrectly or mislabeled. This is part of the hard to vary explanation as to why microscopes tell us something about reality.) So, observations are neutral (in the sense you’re referring to) without good explanations. As such, they could not falsify SR. Eventually OPERA did come up with an explanation for the observations: an improperly attached fiber optic cable and a clock oscillator ticking to fast. SR lives on to be criticized another day.

    If one assumes microscopes return accurate results merely because “some abstract designer with no defined limitations wants them to”, we have no way of criticizing the resulting observations, as the explanation for the results could be easily varied. For example, you might put the wrong sample under the lens or replace the lens with a penny, but an abstract designer with no limitations could still display the right sample because “thats what the designer wanted”.

    Nor is it clear how appending,”because some abstract designer with no defined limitations wanted them to play those roles” to our current, long chain of independently formed, hard to vary explanations as to why microscopes return accurate results, adds to the explanation or is even desirable in regards to actually solving the problem.

    For example, would you start discarding observations from microscopes if this addition was absent, but the long chain of independently formed, hard to vary explanations remained? Would this stop us from making progress.

    Inductivism

    - We start out with observations
    - We then use those observations to devise a theory
    - We then test those observations with additional observations to confirm the theory or make it more probable

    However, theories do not follow from evidence. At all. Scientific theories explain the seen using the seen. And the unseen doesn’t “resemble” the seen any more than falling apples and orbiting planets resemble the curvature of space-time.

    Are dinosaurs merely an interpretation of our best explanation of fossils? Or are they *the* explanation for fossils? After all, there are an infinite number of rival interpretations that accept the same empirical observations, yet suggest that dinosaurs never existed millions of years ago.

    For example, there is the rival interpretation that fossils only come into existence when they are consciously observed. Therefore, fossils are no older than human beings. As such, they are not evidence of dinosaurs, but evidence of acts of those particular observations. Another interpretation would be that dinosaurs are such weird animals that conventional logic simply doesn’t apply to them. One could suggests It’s meaningless to ask if dinosaurs were real or just a useful fiction to explain fossils – which is an example of instrumentalism. Not to mention the rival interpretation that an abstract designer with no limitations chose to create the world we observe 30 days ago. Therefore, dinosaurs couldn’t be the explanation for fossils because they didn’t exist at the time.

    Yet, we do not say that dinosaurs are merely an interpretation of our best explanation of fossils, they *are* the explanation for fossils. And this explanation is primarily about dinosaurs, not fossils. So, it’s in this sense that science isn’t primarily about “things you can see”.

    (I’d also note that the above “rival interpretations” represent general-purpose ways of denying anything, but I’ll save that for another comment.)

    We seem to agree observations cannot be used to [confirm] theories. However, you do seem think that observations can make a theory more probable. But this assumption is highly parochial, as it doesn’t take into account the different kinds of unknowability.

    The first kind of unknowability are scenarios where the outcome is completely random and all possible outcomes are known. An example of this is Russian Roulette. As long as you know all of the possible outcomes, we can use probability to make choices about it. For example, if for some horrible reason, one had to choose between different versions of Russian Roulette with specific yet variable number of chambers, bullets and trigger pulls, one could use game theory to determine which variation would be most favorable.

    On the other hand, any piece of evidence is compatible with many theories (see above) This includes an infinite number of theories that have yet to be proposed. You cannot assign probabilities to un-conceived theories, because those probabilities would be based on the details of a yet to be conceived theory. In addition, scenarios that depend on the creation of knowledge represent a different kind of unknowability, despite being deterministic. For example, people in 1900 didn’t consider nuclear power or the internet unlikely. They didn’t conceive of them at all. As such, it’s unclear how they could have factored their impact into some sort of probability calculation about the future.

    As such, in the face of this kind of unknowability, probability is invalid as a means of criticizing explanations, despite what our intuition might tell us.

    Furthermore, inductivism doesn’t tell us what we should observe or why those observations are relevant because all we have are observations at the outset. Until we devise a test, we do not know what observations to make. And without at least one theory, we have no way to devise a test that might result in observations that conflict with that particular theory. If initial observations did tell us what test would actually conflict with a theory, there would be no need to devise a test in the first place.

    For example, the evidence that collaborated Newton’s laws of motion has been falling on the earth’s surface for billions of years, which is far longer than the entirety of human inhabitance. Yet, we only got around to testing them about 300 years ago after Newton conjectured his theory. As such, it’s not evidence that is scarce, but good explanations for that evidence. And we can say the same about all other phenomena.

    So, we should look for explanations, not justification. Good explanations solve problems and allow us to make progress. When criticizing theories, we look for observations that can be better explained by one theory, rather than another. And we take into account all of our other current, best explanations for the purpose of criticism. Arguments that do not take them into account are parochial – which is narrow in scope.

    Most relevant in our discussion here, the objection that “idea X is not justified” is a bad criticism because it applies to all ideas.

    AFAIK, none of these criticisms were sufficiently addressed where applicable, specifically the fact that we start out with problems, rather than observations, we do not derive theories from observations.

  35. 35
    critical rationalist

    Here’s an excerpt from a comment on another thread, where I start out with the naive problem of induction.

    Nor have you directly responded to the idea that we derive theories from observations. Should I take this as acceptance or rejection? Your arguments seem to imply this is the case, but you can easily clear this up with an explicit response.

    For example, here’s an expanded version of Bertrand Russell’s story of the farmer and the chicken, which illustrates the above issue.

    A flock of anthropomorphic chickens has observed a farmer who fed them every day like clockwork since they were chicks. They extrapolate these observations to conclude the farmer will continue to feed them. One day the farmer starts feeding them even more corn that usual. This observation further reinforces their conclusion they will continue to be fed. However, not long after, the farmer puts them in cages and sends them off to slaughter.

    In other words, mere observations alone are inadequate to justify conclusions. This is the problem of induction.

    .. but then I move beyond naive induction with additional criticism relevant to one of KF claims…

    However, if we’re not careful we’ll miss (or knowingly accept) a more fundamental misconception [of induction] illustrated in this story. Specifically, that it’s even possible extrapolate observations without first placing them in a explanatory framework.

    Before these chickens could have induced a false prediction, they must first had in mind a false explanatory framework of the farmers behavior, such as thinking he had benevolent feelings towards chickens. However, had the chickens guessed a different explanation, such as the farmer was fattening them up for slaughter, they would have extrapolated observations of his actions differently. In other words, how we form predictions depends on our underlying explanation. According to the benevolent-farmer theory, observations of being fed even more corn suggested the chickens were more likely to continue being fed, while the fattening-up theory suggested this same observation was an omen of imminent slaughter.

    So, again, unless you can explain we can extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework, then theories are not derived from observations.

    Again, AFAIK, this has yet to be addressed beyond “it’s commonly accepted that we induce theories from observations” or “if you do not accept induction then you reject any kind of uniformity”, etc., which are misrepresentations of critical rationalism.

  36. 36
    critical rationalist

    Also, while not directed at KF specifically, but from a comment in the same thread.

    UB: 2. Under your view, anything that science observes as a ‘regularity’ is an argument from ignorance. Our universal common experince of phenomena becomes meaningless. As an example; the idea that the Earth orbits the Sun is therefore a faulty explanation. Just because it’s the only explanation that can integrate all observations, it is nontheless based upon observations, and as such, we may observe something else tomorrow which may contradict it.

    No, it’s not. When you say “regularity” you seem to be suggesting the following…

    A is q, b is q, c is q, […] |= every x is q

    Therefore you think we can can, in a sense, “get a theory ” by induction or that a theory can be a conclusion.

    However, the evidence always looks like….

    a is o, or p, or q ,or r …

    b is o, or p, or q, or r …

    C is o, or p, or q, or r …

    etc.

    For induction to be a knowledge creating method we can actually use in practice, it has to offer a way to pick between o, p, q, r, etc. It needs to provide guidance for that step of the process. This is the part that is missing.

    A regularity in nature isn’t “obvious”, just a Newton’s connection between falling apples and orbiting planets were not obvious. His theory may appear obvious to us in hind [sight], but the background knowledge (uncontroversial and widely accepted knowledge itself based on explanations) that served as his starting point had existed for quite some time beforehand. His theory was tested by observations, not derived from it.

    Again, When we take a critical approach, we look at what evidence is inconsistent with our theories, not consistent. Being consistent with a theory does not get us anywhere because there are an infinite number of un-conceived theories that would also be consistent with the evidence.

    So, no, I’m not attacking a straman.

  37. 37
    critical rationalist

    Joe: CR, yes evolutionary biology is very vague. For example no one knows how many mutations to get an upright biped from a knuckle walker/ quadraped. No one even knows what genes need to be mutated. And no one even knows if any amount of mutational accumulation can do it.

    So yes that means it is very vague.

    From an earlier response to you here.

    For example, in terms of fundamental physics, we encounter events of extreme complexity on a daily basis. If you place a pot of water on a stove, every [current day supercomputer working for billions of years] could not solve the equations to predict exactly what all those water molecules will do. Even if they could, we’d need to determine their initial state, the state of all external influences, etc., which is also an intractable task.

    However, if what we really care about is making tea, enough of this complexly resolves itself into hight-level simplify that allows us to do just that. We can predict how long water will take to boil with reasonable accuracy by knowing it’s overall mass, the power of the heating element, etc. If we want more accuracy, we may need additional information. However this too exists in the form of relatively high-level phenomena which is also intractable.

    So, some kinds of phenomena can be explained in terms of themselves alone – without direct reference to anything at the atomic level. In other words, they are quasi-autonomous (nearly self-contained). Resolution into explicably at a higher level is emergence.

    Continuing the analogy, if we were trying to solve the problem of exactly what each water molecule would do, then, yes, we would indeed find ourselves unable to currently to make progress. However, luckily for us in my analogy, the problem we actually want to solve is how to make tea. And we can solve it.

    Now, let’s look at your objections in the case of Darwinism…

    Joe: For example no one knows how many mutations to get an upright biped from a knuckle walker/ quadraped.

    No one is actually interested is solving this exact problem unless they are interested in replicating it exactly. Nor does this prevent us from making the progress that we really are interested in, explaining the concrete biological adaptations we observe in the biosphere.

    Joe: No one even knows what genes need to be mutated.

    Again, while we are interested in which genes are responsible for body plans, features, etc. knowing exactly which switches were flipped at which time would only be useful for attempting to replicate it exactly. Nor would it prevent us from making progress.

    Joe: And no one even knows if any amount of mutational accumulation can do it.

    Surely, you can do better than this?

    Thats like saying the concept of a prime number is vague since there is no known useful formula that yields all of the prime numbers and no composites.

    IOW, Darwinism is well defined in context of the problem we’re actually trying to solve.

  38. 38
    critical rationalist

    CR: Furthermore, KF is moderating my comments despite the fact that I have not insulted anyone and he claims he has no control of moderation on UD here.

    Mung: You do understand, don’t you, that KF has control over certain threads and no control over others?

    And those threads are *not* on UD?

    And Joe does not post on those threads?

  39. For example no one knows how many mutations to get an upright biped from a knuckle walker/ quadraped.

    No one is actually interested is solving this exact problem unless they are interested in replicating it exactly.

    Strawman. No one is asking to replicate it exactly. No one knows if it could be replicated. And that means saying humans and chimps share a common ancestor is not science and doesn’t help us in any way.

    Nor does this prevent us from making the progress that we really are interested in, explaining the concrete biological adaptations we observe in the biosphere.

    It all depends on what you call “progress” and “explaining”.


    No one even knows what genes need to be mutated.

    Again, while we are interested in which genes are responsible for body plans, features, etc. knowing exactly which switches were flipped at which time would only be useful for attempting to replicate it exactly. Nor would it prevent us from making progress.

    Again this vague notion of switches being turned on/ off at different times, while amusing, just goes to prove my point. And Darwinism/ neo-darwinism can’t explain those switches.


    And no one even knows if any amount of mutational accumulation can do it.

    Surely, you can do better than this?

    Shirley, I don’t need to. As Hitchens said “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”.

    IOW, Darwinism is well defined in context of the problem we’re actually trying to solve.

    Alrighty then- tell us how to test the claim that any bacterial flagellum evolved via darwinian processes? Then tell us if that has ever been done.

  40. 40
    critical rationalist

    I apologize for the barrage of comments, but I wanted to address KF’s remarks in case they are accepted uncritically.

    KF:For those who do not know, in recent days, after several corrections, CR indulged himself in yet another invidious association of ID and Creationism, against the backdrop of the creationism in a cheap tuxedo would be theocrats slander. I called him on it, giving evidence. CR refused to withdraw the remarks. Since in context this is tantamount to calling me a liar in my own living room in the teeth of clear evidence to the contrary, I invited him to withdraw such, or leave. He has refused to withdraw the slander. Now, he seems to be pretending that I have acted without cause.

    First, note that KF took my comment out of context, rather than linking to it or actually expanding on the supposed infraction in good faith. As such, I’ll do it for him.

    CR: Resources are not scarce. What’s scarce is the knowledge of how to utilize them. Again, unless it’s prohibited by the laws of physics, the only think that would prevent us from using energy from the sun, the massive amounts of hydrogen in intergalactic space, or even an entire uninhabitable solar system is knowing how. For example, have you ever heard of a Dyson sphere?

    Not to mention, we cannot predict the impact new knowledge we will create will have in the future. For example, people in 1920 didn’t consider nuclear power or the internet unlikely. They didn’t conceive of them at all. As such, it’s unclear how they could factor them into how they will effect the future.

    This is why I keep pointing out the genuine creation of knowledge is the key point of conflict between creationism (and it’s variants, such as ID) and Darwinism.

    In no way did I present an argument that ID was merely creationism in disguise. Rather, I group creationism with ID and inductivism due to their account, or lack there of, about how knowledge is created.

    knowledge is actually created rather than being already present in experience or mechanically derived from it. Any theory of an organism’s improvement raises the following question: how is the knowledge of how to make that improvement created?

    [...]

    Specifically, the fundamental flaw in creationism (and its variants) is the same fundamental flaw in pre-enlightenment, authoritative conceptions of human knowledge: its account of how the knowledge in adaptations could be created is either missing, supernatural or illogical.

    So, does ID belong in this group along with Creationism (and inductivism)? Again, any theory of an organism’s improvement raises the following question: how is the knowledge of how to make that improvement created? What are the responses?

    First Let’s look at Creationism. Was the knowledge of how to make that improvement already present in some form at the beginning? Was it supernatural? Yes or No?

    Second, let’s look at Intelligent Design. Biological adaptations are transformations of matter ranging from the constructions of proteins to features such as eyes. These transformations occur when the requisite knowledge of how to perform them are present. Does ID include an any sort of account for how the knowledge its abstract designer with no defined limitations supposedly used to perform these transformations, such as it was already present in some form at the beginning or created using some specific process? Yes or No?

    Finally, let’s look at Inductivism: Substituting “true” for “probable” doesn’t solve the problem of induction. Specifically, if past observations do not imply anything about future observations, they no more imply probability than truth. Do past observations do not imply anything about future observations? Yes or No?

    To quote Popper,

    Some scientists find, or so it seems, that they get their best ideas when smoking; others by drinking coffee or whisky. Thus there is no reason why I should not admit that some may get their ideas by observing, or by repeating observations.

    If what you call “induction” refers to the metaphysical assumption of regularity of nature – which we may approximate if enough inductions of the system are collected – then you have retreated to the mere assertion that regularities exist, calling this assumption “induction”. However, If this regularity should be found to be false, then this was either a mistaken induction or not induction at all. And if it is not induction, then it’s unclear how this is anything more than merely a play on words which is materially indistinguishable from Popper’s conjecture.

    IOW, in your retreat, you’ve clandestinely exchanged words in order to save “induction” – which is whatever conception of knowledge you are attempting to justify at the moment.

  41. 41
    critical rationalist

    @Joe#38

    Your trivial objections are irrelevant as the substance of my comment still stands. You might as well have objected that that we cannot explain how to make tea unless we know exactly what each water molecule will do.

    The “untraceable” aspects of evolution you are referring to are not problems we are actually trying to solve, so they does not prevent us from making progress. Nor does not currently having all of the answers to the problems we do want to solve necessarily make the theory itself vague.

    Joe: And Darwinism/ neo-darwinism can’t explain those switches.

    Even if it couldn’t, so what? Again…

    So, some kinds of phenomena can be explained in terms of themselves alone – without direct reference to anything at the atomic level. In other words, they are quasi-autonomous (nearly self-contained). Resolution into explicably at a higher level is emergence.

    Do you have any criticism of this?

    CR: IOW, Darwinism is well defined in context of the problem we’re actually trying to solve.

    Joe: Alrighty then- tell us how to test the claim that any bacterial flagellum evolved via darwinian processes? Then tell us if that has ever been done before.

    Your questions suggests you haven’t grasped anything I’ve said since my arrival here or that you’ve willfully chosen to remain ignore to it.

    What we do is start out with a problem, conjecture theories as solutions for those problems, then look for evidence that is inconstant with those theories. yet, you seem to be asking me for is a test that *proves* any bacterial flagellum evolved via darwinian processes. Is this assessment correct?

    Why don’t you start out with what problem proving “bacterial flagellum evolved via darwinian processes”, if such a thing were possible, actually solves. IOW, this seems to be yet another example of you claiming we cannot make progress because you think there is some insurmountable obstacle regarding some problem we’re not actually trying to solve, nor do we actually need to solve to make progress.

    While I realize you might find this hard to believe, science doesn’t actually come grinding to a halt because you cannot comprehend how or refuse to accept that we actually *can* make progress.

    Denying that we can *and have* made progress is anti-realism.

  42. critical rationalist:

    What we do is start out with a problem, conjecture theories as solutions for those problems, then look for evidence that is inconstant with those theories.

    Humans, you mean.

    What about non-human entities? How do they conjecture theories as solutions and then look for evidence that is inconsistent with those theories?

    Also, in the case of humans, I still don’t believe you. Either that or your being imprecise in your language again. Perhaps we conjecture a theory, but to say we conjecture theories is a stretch.

  43. Critical Rationalist- Thank you very much. Nothing says darwinism is totally worthless like your useless bloviations.

    Nice job.

  44. While I realize you might find this hard to believe, science doesn’t actually come grinding to a halt because you cannot comprehend how or refuse to accept that we actually *can* make progress.

    Evolutionism is NOT science

  45. What we do is start out with a problem, conjecture theories as solutions for those problems, then look for evidence that is inconstant with those theories.

    We? Is that you and the mouse in your pocket? Actual scientists look for confirming evidence. Neil Shubin went looking for confirming evidence when he found Tiktaalik. Obvioulsy you have no clue as to how science operates.

    As for progress, well no one is making any progress wrt evolutionism. Ya see the concept is too vague to allow for progress.

  46. 46
    critical rationalist

    Mung,

    Critical rationalism is a universal theory that explains the growth of knowledge. The growth of knowledge is itself a problem we actually care about because as our explanation about how knowledge grows become more accurate our ability to make progress as a whole grows as well. We make progress in regards to those solutions when we criticize those solutions.

    So Critical rationalism is a conjectured explanation about how knowledge grows, which represents explanatory knowledge about a specific problem.

    People (Human beings), namely Popper, created this theory, along with conjectured improvements by Bartley, Deutsch, et al. So, what makes people unique on our planet is that we are universal explainers in respect to specific problems. The term people would also be applicable to some form of non-human life that are also universal explainers, such as alien civilization which has reached a equivalent level of development as ours. This is why I’m using the word “people”, rather than “human beings”

    Biological replicators (genes) do not conjecture theories to solve problems because they do not have awareness of problems in the sense that people do. Nor could they create explanatory theories to solve them if they did, as they are not people. But this does not meant they cannot create non-explanatory knowledge to solve problems when imperfectly replicated with some finite probability (conjectures that are random to any particular problem to be solved) and the resulting variants are tested by its environment (refuted by natural selection).

    However, to reiterate, biological replicators do not have a concept of “problems” in the same sense that we do. Their only “problem” is playing a casual role in getting themselves copied into the next generation. So, inconsistent evidence in the case of variants of biological replicators is that they fail to some problem they cannot conceive of, let alone attempt to solve.

    Also, in the case of humans, I still don’t believe you. Either that or your being imprecise in your language again. Perhaps we conjecture a theory, but to say we conjecture theories is a stretch.

    Why would I ask you to believe *me*? That would be justificationism. I’m asking for inconsistent evidence, such the guidance that induction supposedly provides when we supposedly induce theories.

  47. 47
    critical rationalist

    To clarify…

    The contents of a theory we conjecture not constrained by observations, but constrained by whether it’s contents are thought to solve a problem. An example of this is electrons.

    We conjectured electrons as the contents of a theory not because we had “observed” them doing things that “resembled” the phenomena in question (or had observed them doing anything at all, for that matter) but because they represented a conjectured solution to the problem at hand.

    Nor would we have known were to look for “traces” that electrons supposedly left unless we first conjectured the theory of electrons in the first place. So, how would we induced the thoery of electrons from the traces we assume they leave?

    IOW, you seem to have confused your subjective feelings about induction, with logical questions and criticism.

  48. Biological replicators (genes)…

    Umm genes are not biological replicators. Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

  49. 49
    critical rationalist

    Joe: Umm genes are not biological replicators. Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

    Genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

  50. 50
    critical rationalist

    a clarification:

    [] To reiterate, biological replicators do not have a concept of “problems” in the same sense that we do. Their only “problem” is playing a casual role in getting themselves copied into the next generation. So, inconsistent evidence in the case of variants of biological replicators is that they fail to [solve] some problem they cannot conceive of, let alone attempt to solve, or fail to solve that problem better than some other variant.


  51. Umm genes are not biological replicators. Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

    Genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    They don’t? Which genes do not play a causal role in whether or not they are replicated? Which genes do play a causal role?

    To reiterate, biological replicators do not have a concept of “problems” in the same sense that we do.

    We are not biological? Or we are not replicators?

  52. 52
    critical rationalist

    UB: Let me guess CR, Cornelius refuses to acknowledge that his justificationist conception of human knowledge is an idea subject to criticism?

    CR:

    Neither you or Cornelius are under no obligation to *accept* that your conception of human knowledge is subject to criticism.

    In fact, what I’ve done is conjectured the specific objections to Darwinism we observe here are explained by just such a refusal to accept it. And, as a critical rationalist, I’m looking for evidence that would be inconsistent with that conjecture, rather than support it.

    What better inconsistent evidence could we have than your explicit denial that you think knowledge is justified by authoritative sources would be just such inconsistent evidence. Along with you or KF actually responding to the actual substance of Popper’s criticism, rather than common misconceptions or repeating the claim that “everyone knows we use induction”

    So, despite literally asking for inconsistent evidence to my own theory, repeatedly, no one has provided any, even though it would be completely trivial to do so.

    What’s going on here?

  53. 53
    critical rationalist

    Joe: Umm genes are not biological replicators. Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

    Joe, are you suggesting genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

  54. Joe, are you suggesting genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    Which genes? Please be specific. Or is vague all you have?

  55. So, despite literally asking for inconsistent evidence to my own theory, repeatedly, no one has provided any, even though it would be completely trivial to do so.

    What’s going on here?

    You were given evidence. Not only do you refuse to integrate it, you refuse to even engage it in earnest.

    No one is going to hold your hand. Certainly not me.

  56. 56
    critical rationalist

    CR:

    UB: Let me guess CR, Cornelius refuses to acknowledge that his justificationist conception of human knowledge is an idea subject to criticism?

    CR: Neither you or Cornelius are under no obligation to *accept* that your conception of human knowledge is subject to criticism.

    In fact, what I’ve done is conjectured the specific objections to Darwinism we observe here are explained by just such a refusal to accept it. And, as a critical rationalist, I’m looking for evidence that would be inconsistent with that conjecture, rather than support it.

    [my conjecture, for everyone's convenience:]

    In some cases, it’s the very same theory, in that specific types of knowledge, such as cosmology or moral knowledge, was dictated to early humans by supernatural beings. In other cases, parochial aspects of society, such as the rule of monarchs in governments or the existence of God, are protected by taboos or taken so uncritically for granted that they are not recognized as ideas.

    While empiricism is an improvement it still depends on inductivism, so it still shares the same fundamental flaw.

    Is there something in the above you disagree with? Better yet, wouldn’t such a conception explain objections to Darwinism? And not just any objections, but specific objections that we see here and elsewhere?

    If someone thought the knowledge of how to build the biosphere could only come from some ultimate authoritative source, would it come as a surprise they would conclud the biosphere cannot be explained without a designer? And if Darwinism were true would, would they not then conclude there could be no knowledge? Everything would simply be meaningless and random and astronomically unlikely, which is a commonly argued strawman of evolutionary theory. Finally, since everything is not random and meaningless, would they not conclude Darwinism must be false?

    What better inconsistent evidence could we have than your explicit denial that you think knowledge is justified by authoritative sources[]. Along with you or KF actually responding to the actual substance of Popper’s criticism, rather than common misconceptions or repeating the claim that “everyone knows we use induction”

    CR: So, despite literally asking for inconsistent evidence to my own theory, repeatedly, no one has provided any, even though it would be completely trivial to do so.

    What’s going on here?

    UB

    CR: So, despite literally asking for inconsistent evidence to my own theory [that your (UB, KF, et al.) authoritative, justificationist conception of human knowledge explains your specific objections to Darwinism ], repeatedly, no one has provided any, even though it would be completely trivial to do so.

    What’s going on here?

    UB: You were given evidence. Not only do you refuse to integrate it, you refuse to even engage it in earnest.

    No one is going to hold your hand. Certainly not me.

    Wow. I mean, really?

    Apparently, UB would rather transparently attempt to quote mine my comment rather than provide evidence that would be inconsistent with the above theory even though it would be completely trivial to do so?

    Again, what’s going on here?

  57. 57
    critical rationalist

    Joe: Umm genes are not biological replicators. Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

    CR: [Joe, are you suggesting] genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    Joe: Which genes? Please be specific. Or is vague all you have?

    Joe, you are the one who claimed “genes are not biological replicators”, However, even a single gene that played a causal role in its own copying to would be sufficient to deduce that the mere statement that “genes are not replicators” is false.

    So, again, are you suggesting that genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    Or perhaps you are retracting your statement or making it more specific, such as not all genes are replicators?

  58. Joe, you are the one who claimed “genes are not biological replicators”, However, even a single gene that played a causal role in its own copying to would be sufficient to deduce that the mere statement that “genes are not replicators” is false.

    No, it wouldn’t. It would support what I said: Genes get replicated as part of the cellular replication process, but they are not replicators.

    Do you really think I forgot that I said that just because you ignored it?

    So, again, are you suggesting that genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    No, I am suggesting that genes are not replicators.

  59. Cr. I was not quote mining you in #10, I was mocking your defensive strategy.

    The reason I mock you is because you appeared on a thread which was discussing the observed material consequences of recorded information transfer. This as not an isolated perspective, but is based upon what we as a species have come to know through experience and study of the subject. There was a challenge attached to that thread. That challenge was to show a flaw in the material observations or to show that the conclusions did not logically flow from the premises. Unable to rise to that challenge, you immediately sought to superimpose your belief system on the material evidence. Your observations did not subsume nor alter (in any way) the observations made in the argument. You were respectfully corrected on the matter several times, and with each round, you simply added a new layer of inconsequential observations to the mix. Still unable to engage the material evidence presented, you then began to produce labels directed at me, and eventually suggested that I took my position on the evidence (the very same evidence which you could not anagage) in a manner that was “regardless of reason”. Still unanble to address the argument at hand, you then began to dig deeper in your bag os tricks and followed with a laundry list of assumptions, including such meaningless sidetracks such Darwinism, Popper, and creationism.

    I then noticed that you were following the same pattern, repeating the same talking points, seemingly regardless of the context of the conversation or the person you were talking to. I even went so far as to post the number a number of the instances where you were repeating yourself to various conversation partners.

    Yet, nothing seems to get through. This includes youor comments on this thread, we you continue to ask me to respond to your unsupported assumptions. Apparently, this gives them credence in your eyes.

    So, I mock you.

  60. critical rationalist, how do you know that you exist? how did you gain that knowledge?

  61. I was fairly distracted when I replied last evening, and I realized that I did not say why I mock you. I mock you because you are non-responsive to any empirical observations which conflict with your narrative. You do this while you promote yourself as looking for contrary observations to your views. It’s a total sham. This is then matched to the crux of your counter-argument to me; which quickly boils down to “do you understand you could be wrong”. Well, duh. That’s a common denominator we all share, and the only valid resolution is argument and evidence, which you will not engage.

    Therefore, the actual content of the conversation is rendered pointless. There is absolutely nothing that would cause you to engage the evidence I presented to you. Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics. Silence or mockery become my choices. And silence is looking better all the time.

  62. It has probably not escaped anyone’s attention that I prefer mockery. ;)

  63. 63
    critical rationalist

    CR: So, again, are you suggesting that genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    Joe: No, I am suggesting that genes are not replicators.

    A replicator doesn’t play a causal role its own replication?

  64. 64
    critical rationalist

    UB,

    My argument is that your conclusion depends on your specific epistemology. As such it is parochial.

    I then gave an example…

    If you prefer a more formal approach, take the following argument..

    P01. John has a favorite ice cream flavor.
    P02. John has a favorite ice cream shop.
    P03. John just ordered his favorite ice cream flavor at his favorite ice cream shop.
    C01. John just ordered vanilla ice cream.

    Does the conclusion follow from the premises? No. Why not? Because there is an implicit premise that John’s favorite ice cream shop only serves one flavor of ice cream: vanilla. Furthermore, all one needs to do is point out John’s favorite ice cream shop offered him significantly more than one flavor.

    Your argument assumes that there is only one valid form of epistemology, which is that knowledge is justified by authoritative sources, rather than being created via emergence. However, I’ve argued that justification is impossible for reasons I’ve pointed out elsewhere.

    So, when you say…

    UB: This is then matched to the crux of your counter-argument to me; which quickly boils down to “do you understand you could be wrong”. Well, duh. That’s a common denominator we all share, and the only valid resolution is argument and evidence, which you will not engage.

    Do you think that your specific epistemology could be wrong?

    Of course, before we could even address that question, you would have to actually disclose your specific epistemology in the first place, which is why I keep asking you direct questions designed to do just that.

    Your response to criticism continues to be one that ignores the issue, as if it doesn’t exist. It’s unclear how this represents being “open to criticism” when you refuse to explicitly disclose it in the first place.

    Of course, having explicitly disclosed my specific form of epistemology, presented arguments for it, in detail, and being open to criticism, feel free to actually explain how justification is possible, rather than merely stating that “everybody knows we use induction / justification / etc.”

  65. Your argument assumes that there is only one valid form of epistemology, which is that knowledge is justified by authoritative sources, rather than being created via emergence.

    I don’t see that as an either/or proposition.

    And it looks to me as if you are confusing the subject of how knowledge is justified with where knowledge comes from or how knowledge is attained.

  66. CR,

    So you entered a conversation which was explicitly based upon empiricism (i.e. logic verified by observation and/or experimentation) and it was not your intent to engage the argument, but only to question if logic verified by observation was a valid form of creating knowledge.

    Great. But you did not stay outside of the observations:

    Knowledge must first be conjectured and then tested. This is what Darwin’s theory presented from the start.

    To which I responded in the context of the discussion:

    Darwinian theory is fully dependent on the arrangements of matter being described here, which I have referred to as “representations” and “protocols”. It is their material existence that is being observed and presented (by extension) as the necessary material conditions for evolution to occur. Therefore evolution cannot be the source of their existence.

    And to this moment you refuse to assimilate this fact. Like I said:

    There is absolutely nothing that would cause you to engage the evidence I presented to you. Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics.

  67. 67
    critical rationalist

    UB: Therefore evolution cannot be the source of their existence.

    That is justificationism.

    Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics.

    That is denying that your conception of human knowledge is subject to criticism.

    Protocols in your argument are tRNA which are themselves modulated by knowledge laden genes.

    So, the entire crux of the issues between Darwinism and ID is based on epistemology. Is knowledge justified by some authoritative source or is it created?

  68. CR,

    That is justificationism.

    So, do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen? Or is that kind of observation unimpoertant to knowledge?

    That is denying that your conception of human knowledge is subject to criticism.

    And that is a merely tool you use to justify your denial of empirical observations which conflict with your views.

    Protocols in your argument are tRNA which are themselves modulated by knowledge laden genes.

    Incorrect. The genetic protocols for protein synthesis are aminoacyl synthetases, and they are constructed from information recorded in genes.

    So, the entire crux of the issues between Darwinism and ID is based on epistemology.

    And your adamant denial of the observations which conflict with your views now finds its place in your erroneous conclusions. Surprise, surprise.

    Is knowledge justified by some authoritative source or is it created?

    The argument you ignored was created from observation.

    And once again: There is absolutely nothing that would cause you to engage the evidence I presented to you. Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics.

  69. That is justificationism.

    sez who?

    and appeals to authority are not allowed

  70. 70
    critical rationalist

    CR: That is justificationism.

    UB: So, do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen? Or is that kind of observation unimpoertant to knowledge?

    Can you justify that cause? And justify that cause’s cause,? And justify that cause’s, cause’s cause? Ad infinitum? Do you find your inability to do this unimportant?

    CR: Protocols in your argument are tRNA which are themselves modulated by knowledge laden genes.

    UB: Incorrect. The genetic protocols for protein synthesis are aminoacyl synthetases, and they are constructed from information recorded in genes.

    Incorrect? My explanation is consistent with the observations. And it’s a good explanation for those observations.

    CR: So, the entire crux of the issues between Darwinism and ID is based on epistemology.

    UB: And your adamant denial of the observations which conflict with your views now finds its place in your erroneous conclusions. Surprise, surprise.

    You continue to confuse denying observations and pointing out it’s impossible to extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework, despite being corrected repeatedly. So, if anyone is denying anything…

    CR: So, the entire crux of the issues between Darwinism and ID is based on epistemology. Is knowledge justified by some authoritative source or is it created?

    UB: The argument you ignored was created from observation.

    Is this the point where you stop asking serious questions again? Or perhaps you simply cannot recognize your conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism?

    And once again: There is absolutely nothing that would cause you to engage the evidence I presented to you. Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics.

    I presented an explanation for the evidence and an argument for that explanation. I also disclosed my epistemology, and argued for it. Again…

    Do you think that your specific epistemology could be wrong?

    Of course, before we could even address that question, you would have to actually disclose your specific epistemology in the first place, which is why I keep asking you direct questions designed to do just that.

    Your response to criticism continues to be one that ignores the issue, as if it doesn’t exist. It’s unclear how this represents being “open to criticism” when you refuse to explicitly disclose it in the first place.

    This is a simple yes or no question, which is both relevant to the issue at hand, yet has continually gone unanswered.

  71. Reading a Q&A hosted by Jonathon Wells at the Discovery Institute, just now, I was struck by his unequivocal assertion that so-called ‘junk DNA’ was, in fact, a complete misnomer. It did have a purpose. In saying this, Wells was, in fact, ‘joining the dots’ described by a mountain of ever-accumulating evidence to that effect.

    And I couldn’t help but be struck by the confidence of a quite superior intellect, when actually stating the obvious (to a scientist of integrity, viewing the evidence), and the endless exclamations of delighted surprise of the myrmidons of scientism.

    ‘Well! I do declare! Isn’t that wonderful! Yet again Evolution throws up for our delectation yet another surprise!’ One long, ramshackle concatenation of surprises.. leading nowhere; instead of a chain of logical reasoning based on evidentiary premises.

    I’m still not sure whether such exclamations are triumphalist paeans to the fecundity of the abiogenetic paradigm, or periphrastic evasions, sounding uncommonly like a low, whimpering sound. I do have my suspicions, however.

  72. That second sentence in my post 71, should read:

    ‘And I couldn’t help but be struck by the confidence of a quite superior intellect, when actually stating the obvious (to a scientist of integrity, viewing the evidence), when contrasted with the endless exclamations of delighted surprise of the myrmidons of scientism, when flummoxed by yet another hole in their most cherished fantasy, already riddled all over, like a colander.

  73. CR,

    Can you justify that cause? And justify that cause’s cause,? And justify that cause’s, cause’s cause? Ad infinitum? Do you find your inability to do this unimportant?

    CR, you are getting sloppy. If I could observe something of that cause’s cause, then the answer would be “yes”, and we would have a place to start. That is the progression of science. You should know this living in an era of mankind where our ability to reach into matter has grown exponentially.

    The important question for you is a test of your critical rationalism: How do you justify ignoring what we can already see?

    Incorrect? My explanation is consistent with the observations. And it’s a good explanation for those observations.

    Yes, you are incorrect. I should know, since I wrote the argument. The protocols in my argument are the aaRS. There are specific structural and functional reasons for this. Those reasons are given in the argument, and reflected in biological texts around the globe.

    Next time, read a text for comprehension before you criticize it. That way your criticisms can be based upon its actual content instead of your assumptions.

    You continue to confuse denying observations and pointing out it’s impossible to extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework, despite being corrected repeatedly. So, if anyone is denying anything…

    Your position first assumes that the relevant portions of an explanatory framework between opposing views is substantially different, and that this difference is the distinction between those opposing views. Yours is an unsupportable position, no matter what side of the fence you’re on. You would do well to learn some evidentiary discipline from ID thinkers.

    Is this the point where you stop asking serious questions again? Or perhaps you simply cannot recognize your conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism?

    No, it’s the same point it’s been all along.

    It is the point where you refuse to integrate knowledge that challenges your beliefs, then I object to your refusal, so as a defensive maneuver, you ask me to accept the trivial reality that I could be wrong. It’s a neat self-deluding defense, where you absolve yourself of the responsibilities critical rationalism while continuing to fly the banner.

    I presented an explanation for the evidence and an argument for that explanation. I also disclosed my epistemology, and argued for it. Again…

    Your explanation was materially flawed even without integrating additional knowledge. Plus, you did not integrate the additional knowledge. Disclosing your epistemology doesn’t mean shit if you don’t get 2+3=5. Perhaps it’s a good time to answer your own question.

    This is a simple yes or no question, which is both relevant to the issue at hand, yet has continually gone unanswered.

    Its less than a simple yes/no question. It pathetically trivial – and I’ve already answered it. Anyone can be wrong. (and they can be wrong for a variety of reasons)

    Now here is a simple yes/no question for you:

    Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen, and therefore be an explanation for that thing happening?

  74. Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen, and therefore be an explanation for that thing happening?

    Well now, I have a couple of theories about that.

  75. Well now, I have a couple of theories about that.

    I have as yet come across any evidence incompatible with my theories.

  76. 76
    critical rationalist

    CR: Can you justify that cause? And justify that cause’s cause,? And justify that cause’s, cause’s cause? Ad infinitum? Do you find your inability to do this unimportant?

    UB: CR, you are getting sloppy. If I could observe something of that cause’s cause, then the answer would be “yes”, and we would have a place to start. That is the progression of science. You should know this living in an era of mankind where our ability to reach into matter has grown exponentially.

    So, justificationism would be possible if you could observe causes and infinitely regress observing those causes? Are either of these things actually possible, in practice?

    Translated: “*if* justificationism were possible then justificationism would be possible.” And, I’m the one getting sloppy?

    Furthermore, while a single statement can show a universal theory to be in error, no number of single statements can entail it. Nor does saying some designer “just was” complete with the knowledge of how to build the biosphere, already present, serve an explanatory purpose.

    To be perfectly clear, I have not claimed no one had formulated “a principle of induction”. I claimed, no one has formulated a “principle of induction” that actually works, in practice. So, justificationism doesn’t actually solve the problem is claims to solve: namely, explain the growth of knowledge. Nor does saying some designer “just was” complete with the knowledge of how to build the biosphere, already present, explain the growth of knowledge in how to build the biosphere.

    UB: The important question for you is a test of your critical rationalism: How do you justify ignoring what we can already see?

    See my reply to Mung here.

    CR: Incorrect? My explanation is consistent with the observations. And it’s a good explanation for those observations.

    UB: Yes, you are incorrect. I should know, since I wrote the argument.

    Wow. So, I get to decide if you’re wrong about any argument I write because, well, I wrote it?

    Again, from the Wikipedia entry on tRNA

    tRNA genes

    Organisms vary in the number of tRNA genes in their genome.The nematode worm C. elegans, a commonly used model organism in genetics studies, has 29,647 [12] genes in its nuclear genome, of which 620 code for tRNA.[13][14] The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has 275 tRNA genes in its genome. In the human genome, which according to current estimates has about 21,065 genes [15] in total, there are about 4,421 non-coding RNA genes, which include tRNA genes. There are 22 mitochondrial tRNA genes;[16] 497 nuclear genes encoding cytoplasmic tRNA molecules and there are 324 tRNA-derived putative pseudogenes.

    The explanation that tRNA is modulated by knowledge laden genes is consistent with observations.

    SB: Your position first assumes that the relevant portions of an explanatory framework between opposing views is substantially different, and that this difference is the distinction between those opposing views. Yours is an unsupportable position, no matter what side of the fence you’re on. You would do well to learn some evidentiary discipline from ID thinkers.

    Again…

    Are dinosaurs merely an interpretation of our best explanation of fossils? Or are they *the* explanation for fossils? After all, there are an infinite number of rival interpretations that accept the same empirical observations, yet suggest that dinosaurs never existed millions of years ago.

    For example, there is the rival interpretation that fossils only come into existence when they are consciously observed. Therefore, fossils are no older than human beings. As such, they are not evidence of dinosaurs, but evidence of acts of those particular observations. Another interpretation would be that dinosaurs are such weird animals that conventional logic simply doesn’t apply to them. One could suggests It’s meaningless to ask if dinosaurs were real or just a useful fiction to explain fossils – which is an example of instrumentalism. Not to mention the rival interpretation that an abstract designer with no limitations chose to create the world we observe 30 days ago. Therefore, dinosaurs couldn’t be the explanation for fossils because they didn’t exist at the time.

    Yet, we do not say that dinosaurs are merely an interpretation of our best explanation of fossils, they *are* the explanation for fossils. And this explanation is primarily about dinosaurs, not fossils. So, it’s in this sense that science isn’t primarily about “things you can see”.

    (I’d also note that the above “rival interpretations” [which are bad explanations] represent general-purpose ways of denying anything, but I’ll save that for another comment.)

    So, are suggesting there is an exception in the case of *your argument* or *my explanation*? If so, how?

    CR: So, the entire crux of the issues between Darwinism and ID is based on epistemology. Is knowledge justified by some authoritative source or is it created?

    UB: The argument you ignored was created from observation.

    CR: Is this the point where you stop asking serious questions again [or stop making serious attempts to answer questions]? Or perhaps you simply cannot recognize your conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism?

    UB: No, it’s the same point it’s been all along.

    That’s not an answer to the question I asked. And you are equivocating on the definition of creation as defined in the question.

    It is the point where you refuse to integrate knowledge that challenges your beliefs, then I object to your refusal, so as a defensive maneuver, you ask me to accept the trivial reality that I could be wrong. It’s a neat self-deluding defense, where you absolve yourself of the responsibilities critical rationalism while continuing to fly the banner.

    This is the point where I refuse to accept your justificationist claim that we use theories to create observations because justificationism is impossible, in practice, and we cannot extrapolate observations without first putting them into an explanatory framework. Of course, being a CR, I’m open to actual criticism, such as actually presenting a “principal of induction” that works in practice, etc.

    Furthermore, I didn’t merely ask if “you could be wrong” I asked if your *epistemology* could be wrong. If you cannot see the difference between these things then I’m not the one who is refusing to integrate knowledge.

    CR: I presented an explanation for the evidence and an argument for that explanation. I also disclosed my epistemology, and argued for it. Again…

    UB: Your explanation was materially flawed even without integrating additional knowledge. Plus, you did not integrate the additional knowledge. Disclosing your epistemology doesn’t mean shit if you don’t get 2+3=5. Perhaps it’s a good time to answer your own question.

    Do you know what epistemology is? It’s as if you deny the field exits at all. For example…

    CR: Do you think that your specific epistemology could be wrong?

    UB: Its less than a simple yes/no question. It pathetically trivial – and I’ve already answered it. Anyone can be wrong. (and they can be wrong for a variety of reasons)

    If it’s not a simple yes or no question, then it seems you’re desperately trying to answer some question I did not ask.

    What’s my answer to the same question? “Yes, my epistemology could be wrong.”

    My conception of human knowledge is an idea that is subject to rational criticism. It’s really that simple.

    Explanations for the growth of human knowledge are ideas. And our current, best explanation is critical rationalism. LIke all other ideas, It contains errors to some degree and is incomplete. And like all other ideas, we can make progress by using deduction to find those errors. It is not static. Nor is it based on justificationism

    Problems are solvable. Problems are inevitable. Our theory of the grown in human knowledge is no exception.

    Now, it’s your turn. “____ , my epistemology could be wrong.”

    Elaborate on what you mean by that, if you like, but unless you explicitly start from there, then you are evading the question I’m asking.

    UB: Now here is a simple yes/no question for you:

    Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen, and therefore be an explanation for that thing happening?

    Your question has changed. It was… (paraphrasing for time) “Can an effect that did not exist yesterday cause something to happen today.”

    Which I explained in the sense that, at some point an time, neither a key *or* lock existed (specific knowledge of how to restrict access from some people, but not others). Nor can a key unlock a lock when it is in your pocket (or can an electronic key fob unlock a door when it’s out of range or lacks power, etc.).

    So, I’m unclear how this is still related to your argument.

    Again, I’ve already provided my explanation: knowledge emerges from material arrangements.

    CR: …some kinds of phenomena can be explained in terms of themselves alone – without direct reference to anything at the atomic level. In other words, they are quasi-autonomous (nearly self-contained). Resolution into explicably at a higher level is emergence.

    IOW, it’s not necessary for genetics to be reducible to law for it to be *explicable*.

    Note that I keep providing *explanations* for observations in the form of Darwinism while you keep claiming I’m ignoring those same observations.

  77. CR, don’t lose your place in the conversation. I asked you:

    Do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen? Or is that kind of observation unimportant to knowledge?

    Faced with having to engage an intractable critique of your justification in Darwinian explanations, you avoided the question and answered with a new question:

    Can you justify that cause? And justify that cause’s cause?

    To which I answered:

    If I could observe something of that cause’s cause, then the answer would be “yes”, and we would have a place to start.

    Faced again with the question you left unaltered by obfuscation, you then doubled down:

    So, justificationism would be possible if you could observe causes and infinitely regress observing those causes?

    …and all the while the critique of your justification remains safely avoided: Do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen?

    This scenario immediately led to a second intractable critique of your justification in Darwinian explanations. That critique was headed by the question:

    The important question for you is a test of your critical rationalism: How do you justify ignoring what we can already see?

    To which you simply punted to another conversation. Much easier to simply do away with these pesky critiques of your justification than to deal with them directly, eh, CR?

    - – - – - – - – - – - –

    Wow. So, I get to decide if you’re wrong about any argument I write because, well, I wrote it?

    If you make a statement of fact about the content of my argument, and you are wrong in that statement, then “yes” I get to tell you that you are indeed incorrect. I do not say in my argument that tRNA are the protocols in protein synthesis, I say that aaRS is. You are unambiguously wrong, and I gave you an unambiguous correction. Deal with it.

    Not only are you wrong about the content of my argument, you are also wrong about the biology. Pasting a Wiki text which does not address your misconception of the biological facts will not change this situation. What is required is for you to accept a critique of your justification in Darwinian explanations.

    The genetic code is not established by tRNA, they are merely passive carriers of the code. The code is established by aaRS. Look it up.

    The RCSB Protein Data Bank:

    Introduction

    When a ribosome pairs a “CGC” tRNA with “GCG” codon, it expects to find an alanine carried by the tRNA. It has no way of checking; each tRNA is matched with its amino acid long before it reaches the ribosome. The match is made by a collection of remarkable enzymes, the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases…

    When you get the biology worked out, then you can critique my argument with some sense of validity. But not until then.

    - – - – - – - –

    Faced yet again with an intractable critique of your justification, your following text goes off into the weeds, with further meaningless obfuscation of fossils, dinosaurs, locks, keys, etc etc. I do not intend to follow.

  78. …and if I may repost something that has already been said:

    [CR], you are non-responsive to any empirical observations which conflict with your narrative. Therefore, the actual content of the conversation is rendered pointless. There is absolutely nothing that would cause you to engage the evidence I presented to you. Instead, you demand that I respond to your irrelevant topics. Silence or mockery become my choices. And silence is looking better all the time.

  79. 79
    critical rationalist

    UB:Do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen? Or is that kind of observation unimportant to knowledge?
    CR: Your question has changed. It was… (paraphrasing for time) “Can an effect that did not exist yesterday cause something to happen today.” […] So, I’m unclear how this is still related to your argument. [gives explanation]

    UB: CR, don’t lose your place in the conversation. I asked you: “Do you believe a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen? Or is that kind of observation unimportant to knowledge?”

    Repeating the question does not explicitly reveal the relevance.

    IOW, you seem to be trying to conflate denying causality with our ability (or lack there of) to actually observe cause or explain observations.

    Again,

    William Warren Bartley compared critical rationalism to the very general philosophical approach to knowledge which he called “justificationism”. Most justificationists do not know that they are justificationists. Justificationism is what Popper called a “subjectivist” view of truth, in which the question of whether some statement is true, is confused with the question of whether it can be justified (established, proven, verified, warranted, made well-founded, made reliable, grounded, supported, legitimated, based on evidence) in some way.

    Darwinism is a explanation for these observations. You’re trying to compare apples with oranges.

    I do not say in my argument that tRNA are the protocols in protein synthesis, I say that aaRS is. You are unambiguously wrong, and I gave you an unambiguous correction. Deal with it.

    tRNA doesn’t represent a “protocol” but aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases does?

    Both tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are “modulated” by knowledge laden genes. Protocols represent knowledge. For example, drug protocols represent the knowledge of which drugs to take at which times and at what amounts, etc. So, using the term “protocol” only in respect to minoacyl-tRNA synthetases appears arbitrary and/or vague.

    From a search for that phrase.

    Recent analyses of entire genomes revealed a big surprise: some organisms don’t have genes for all twenty aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. They do, however, use all twenty amino acids to construct their proteins. The solution to this paradox revealed, as is often the case in living cells, that more complex mechanisms are used. For instance, some bacteria do not have an enzyme for charging glutamine onto its tRNA. Instead, a single enzyme adds glutamic acid to all of the glutamic acid tRNA molecules and to all of the glutamine tRNA molecules. A second enzyme then converts the glutamic acid into glutamine on the latter tRNA molecules, forming the proper pair.

    Enzymes are “regulated” by knowledge laden genes.

    CR: Now, it’s your turn. “____ , my epistemology could be wrong.”

    UB: Faced yet again with an intractable critique of your justification, your following text goes off into the weeds, with further meaningless obfuscation of fossils, dinosaurs, locks, keys, etc etc. I do not intend to follow.

    “Faced yet again with an intractable critique of your justification” isn’t even wrong, as I’m arguing that justificationism is impossible.

    To reiterate, your argument is Parochial.

    Again…

    If you prefer a more formal approach, take the following argument..
    P01. John has a favorite ice cream flavor.
    P02. John has a favorite ice cream shop.
    P03. John just ordered his favorite ice cream flavor at his favorite ice cream shop.
    C01. John just ordered vanilla ice cream.

    Does the conclusion follow from the premises? No. Why not? Because there is an implicit premise that John’s favorite ice cream shop only serves one flavor of ice cream: vanilla. Furthermore, all one needs to do is point out John’s favorite ice cream shop offered him significantly more than one flavor.

    You appear to be unwilling to even acknowledge the *existence* of different “flavors” of epistemology, let alone whether the form you old could be wrong.

    Again, my theory is that you do not recognize your conception of human knowledge as an idea that would be subject to criticism. Despite repeated requests to provided provide inconsistent evidence for my own theory, none has been provided. Why is this?

  80. Repeating the question does not explicitly reveal the relevance.

    Reminder:

    CR: As for being a better explanation, ID does not explain how the knowledge used to build the biodiversity we observe was created. Darwinism does.

    Darwinian evolution functions as a result of recorded information. As a consequence, it is entirely dependent on the material requirements of recorded information. Darwinism cannot be the source of those material requirements, and hence, it cannot be an explanation for them. To continually say that it is – is to say that a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen, and can be an explanation of it happening.

  81. tRNA doesn’t represent a “protocol” but aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases does?

    That is correct. One, and only one, molecule in biology sets the translation protocol used in protein synthesis. And that molecule is the aaRS.

  82. CR, you use epistemiology as a tool to ignore empirical evidence. I will not participate.

    CR: Is this the point where you stop asking serious questions again?

    UB: No, it’s the same point it’s been all along.

    It is the point where you refuse to integrate knowledge that challenges your beliefs, then I object to your refusal, so as a defensive maneuver, you ask me to accept the trivial reality that I could be wrong. It’s a neat self-deluding defense, where you absolve yourself of the responsibilities critical rationalism while continuing to fly the banner.

  83. 83
    critical rationalist

    UB: CR, you use epistemiology as a tool to ignore empirical evidence. I will not participate.

    So, if I do not hold your specific epistemology I must be ignoring empirical evidence?

    Now you are attempting to conflate ignoring empirical observations with the specific role that empirical observations play in creating knowledge.

    Surely you can do better than this?

    No?

    Why don’t you start out by explaining how it is possible to extrapolate observations referenced in your argument without first putting them into an explanatory framework? Please be specific.

  84. 84
    critical rationalist

    That is correct. One, and only one, molecule in biology sets the translation protocol used in protein synthesis. And that molecule is the aaRS.

    What if the behavior of tRNA changed in a way that shifted when that molecule was delivered forwards or backwards, by, say one? Wouldn’t change the translation?

    Also…

    As you might expect, many of these enzymes recognize their tRNA molecules using the anticodon. But this may not be possible in some cases. Take serine, for instance. Six different codons specify serine, so seryl-tRNA synthetase must recognize six tRNA molecules with six different anticodons, including AGA and GCU, which are entirely different from one another. So, tRNA molecules are also recognized using segments on the acceptor end and bases elsewhere in the molecule. One base in particular, number 73 in the sequence, seems to play a pivotal role in many cases, and has been termed the discriminator base. In other cases, however, it is completely ignored. Note also that each enzyme must recognize its own tRNA molecules, but at the same time, it must not bind to any of the other ones. So, each tRNA has a set of positive interactions that match up the proper tRNA with the proper enzyme, and a set of negative interactions that block binding of improper pairs. For instance, the aspartyl-tRNA synthetase shown here (entry 1asz) recognizes the discriminator base and 4 bases around the anticodon. But, one other base, guanine 37, is not used in binding, but must be methylated to ensure that the tRNA does not bind improperly to the arginyl-tRNA synthetase.

    What if tRNA was changed in in a way that allowed “improper” bindings? Wouldn’t this change the translation?

    Are these aspects of tRNA not controlled by genes?

  85. CR,

    When you have the intellectual integrity to address the content of #80, specifically how that effects your claim, then I might re-engage you. Not until then.

  86. CR: So, again, are you suggesting that genes do not play a causal role in whether they are replicated?

    Joe: No, I am suggesting that genes are not replicators.

    A replicator doesn’t play a causal role its own replication?

    Genes are still not replicatirs. DNA is NOT a replicator. Both genes and DNA get replicated as part of the cellular replication process.

    Obvioulsy you have no idea what a replicator is.

  87. Obviously you have no idea what a replicator is.

    Someone who repeatedly copies and pastes the same talking points?

  88. 88
    critical rationalist

    UB: CR, When you have the intellectual integrity to address the content of #80, specifically how that effects your claim, then I might re-engage you. Not until then.

    #80

    UB: Darwinism cannot be the source of those material requirements, and hence, it cannot be an explanation for them.

    I’ve addressed the above, as it the claim that all explanations must be justified by some “source” is justificationism – which you apparently cannot recognize as an idea that is subject to criticism.

    Until such time as this occurs, further discussion will not be productive.

  89. 89
    critical rationalist

    CR: A replicator doesn’t play a causal role its own replication?

    Joe: Genes are still not replicatirs. DNA is NOT a replicator. Both genes and DNA get replicated as part of the cellular replication process.

    Obvioulsy you have no idea what a replicator is.

    Note how Joe neither answers my question, nor actually engages the issue of what replicator *is*. But then makes the claim that I “obvioulsy” have no idea what a replicator is.

    So, apparently, genes are not replicators merely because *I* do not know what a replicator is? And this is somehow “obvious”, based on what exactly?

  90. Genes are not replicators because they do not fit the definition.

    That said, replicators do play a causal role in their own replication. But that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we were discussing.

    Note how “critical rationalist” is neither critical nor rational.

  91. The ability to replicate is not the property of DNA, but of the cellular system- “Evolution in Four Dimensions page 49

  92. CR,

    UB: Darwinian evolution functions as a result of recorded information. As a consequence, it is entirely dependent on the material requirements of recorded information. Darwinism cannot be the source of those material requirements, and hence, it cannot be an explanation for them. To continually say that it is – is to say that a thing that does not exist can cause something to happen, and can be an explanation of it happening.

    CR: I’ve addressed the above, as it the claim that all explanations must be justified by some “source” is justificationism – which you apparently cannot recognize as an idea that is subject to criticism.

    You crack under the weight of a simple question: “Can a thing that does not exist cause something to happen?” There is nothing which will make you address this question as a critique of your justification in Darwinian explanations.

    You are obviously free to obfuscate. I’ll go with empirical investigation (i.e. logic verified by observation and experiment).

    CR: further discussion will not be productive

    No shit, Sherlock. You’ve successfully defended yourself against logic and reason.

  93. 93
    critical rationalist

    Joe: Genes are not replicators because they do not fit the definition.

    That said, replicators do play a causal role in their own replication. But that has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we were discussing.

    So, apparently, genes are not replicators because they have nothing to do with “what we are talking about”.

    However, if we exclude replicators playing a causal role in their own replication from “what we are talking about”, as Joe accepts it, then are essentially left with “Obviously [CR has] no idea what a replicator is.”

    When faced with this, we get…

    The ability to replicate is not the property of DNA, but of the cellular system- “Evolution in Four Dimensions page 49

    …which is not a definition of a biological replicator. Nor does Joe explain how the contents of this quote are inconsistent with genes being a biological replicator.

    So, Joe still hasn’t actually added anything of substance to his “objection”.

  94. 94
    critical rationalist

    CR: I’ve addressed the above, as it the claim that all explanations must be justified by some “source” is justificationism – which you apparently cannot recognize as an idea that is subject to criticism.

    Until such time as this occurs, further discussion will not be productive.

    UB: No shit, Sherlock. You’ve successfully defended yourself against logic and reason.

    From a comment on another thread…

    StephanB: There is no problem of induction. There is only a problem with people who wage war against reason.

    CR: This is a false dilemma, which has apparently lead you to the conclusion that I deny reason or I am “at [war]” with rationality, which is also false. Critical Rationalism is an explanation for the growth of knowledge, in practice, which is itself the result of rational criticism. This includes detailed descriptions of what induction is and when it would be valid, etc.

    As such, not only did Popper point out no one has actually formulated a “principle of induction” that actually works in practice, but he also pointed out that it’s not necessary to explain the growth of knowledge. Furthermore, Poppper separated Hume’s logical problem of induction with Hume’s psychological problem of induction. Specifically, he addresses the question: why do we have expectations of which we have great confidence? How does this actually work, in practice? When we rationally criticize these expectations, a clear “principle of induction” that actually provides guidance is not found there in any reliably, identifiable sense.

    To summarize, it ends up that induction is not only impossible in the case of certainty, but is unreliable regards to probability except in very specific, well defined applications. But this is does not represent an insurmountable problem [for] reason and progress, in practice, as deduction does offer us certainty in modus tollens.

    By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought.

    With that cleared up, unless you are genuinely interested in addressing the actual substance of my comments, then I do not think further discussion will be productive.

    So, no, I have not “defended [myself] against logic and reason.” as this is clearly a misrepresentation.

    What I’ve done is point out that…

    A. Your conclusion regarding Darwinism is parochial in that it depends on your specific form of epistemology

    B. This specific form of epistemology is a form of justificationism.

    C. Justificationism as an actual explanation for the growth of knowledge, in practice, has not withstood rational criticism.

    As always, feel free to provide an alternate explanation that actually does work, in practice.

    Detailed related comments start here.

  95. So, apparently, genes are not replicators because they have nothing to do with “what we are talking about”.

    That doesn’t follow from what I said. So obvioulsy you have other issues.

    OK critical rationalist- how are YOU defining a “biological replicator”? And then please tell us how genes fit that definition.

    IOW add some substance to your claim, for once.

  96. IMO replicators require the ability to replicate/ make copies of, themselves.

    The ability to replicate is not the property of DNA, but of the cellular system- “Evolution in Four Dimensions page 49

    Take the genes out of the cellular system and they do not replicate themselves.

  97. CR, you are more than welcome to the last word.

  98. Upright Biped: “Can a thing that does not exist cause something to .happen?”

    There you go again—trying to “justify” your claims with a rational argument. Didn’t you know that critical rationalism liberated us from such burdensome exertions of the intellect. I gather you are still harboring illusions about our capacity to know anything about the real world, or to link causes with effects, or to draw inferences from data. This justification business is for the birds. You must get with it.

    Equally important, you must forget about Hume’s stupid error in believing that the validity of inductive reasoning depends on observations. (Quiet please, it actually depends on the law of Identity). You must also forget about Karl Popper’s stupid error in believing everything that Hume and Kant said. Karl Popper said it; Critical Rationalist believes it; that settles it.

    Most of all, you must not fall into the trap of believing that a few million observations to the effect that pigs can’t fly necessarily indicates that pigs can’t fly. Don’t be a walking anachronism. Be a critical rationalist and liberate yourself from the bane of justificationism.

  99. :) What are you REALLY trying to say StephenB? :)

  100. OT: Video – Our Reasonable Faith: A Conversation and a Charge | William Lane Craig, Todd Wagner | 09/30/12
    http://www.watermark.org/media/

  101. 101
    critical rationalist

    Equally important, you must forget about Hume’s stupid error in believing that the validity of inductive reasoning depends on observations. (Quiet please, it actually depends on the law of Identity).

    See Goodmans new Riddle of induction, which was described in the reference about Hume and CR, here here.

    Most of all, you must not fall into the trap of believing that a few million observations to the effect that pigs can’t fly necessarily indicates that pigs can’t fly. Don’t be a walking anachronism. Be a critical rationalist and liberate yourself from the bane of justificationism.

    Which, again ignores the substance of my comments. What is in question is how knowledge is crated, in practice and the actual role those observations play in the process, which apparently you’re not interested in.

    Specifically, he addresses the question: why do we have expectations of which we have great confidence? How does this actually work, in practice? When we rationally criticize these expectations, a clear “principle of induction” that actually provides guidance is not found there in any reliably, identifiable sense.

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