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Intelligent Design Uncensored hot off the press

INTELLIGENT DESIGN UNCENSOREDMy newest book, Intelligent Design Uncensored, co-authored with Jonathan Witt, is now available. You can purchase it here at Amazon.com. It provides a nice overview of the scientific issues at stake but then also deals with the cultural spillover as it relates to both the theistic and atheistic evolutionists.

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240 Responses to Intelligent Design Uncensored hot off the press

  1. Hi. Dr Dembski. I look forward to reading this book. I bought “The End of Christianity” and thought it was one of the best books I have ever read. The tone was just right and the arguments were concise and accessible but still complete.

  2. Dr. Dembski, I looked at you amazon authors page. You have quite the collection going. I’ve enjoyed many of them very much. Especially “The End Of Christianity”.

    William A. Dembski – Bibliography
    http://www.amazon.com/William-.....dp_epwbk_0

  3. Dr. Dembski,

    You are now entering a Richard Posner like level of productivity. Remarkable.

  4. Awesome. When’s the audio version coming out?

  5. 5

    This is a fantastic book for the relatively short bit I’ve read so far.

  6. Does it have a website like Meyer’s book, and can we download the first chapter in PDF format like, for example, “Son or Hamas” and many other books?

  7. Dr. Dembski,

    Any chance of a Barnes and Noble or Kindle version. I ordered the book you co authored with Michael Ruse and find it much easier and cheaper to read a book on the computer using the Barnes and Noble reader.

    I have a Mac with a 24 inch screen. It also makes is so easy to search for something.

  8. I meant to say will there be a nook version for Barnes and Noble. I noticed there was a Kindle version but the nook reader leaves the Kindle version in the dust.

  9. 9

    I am a biblical creationist but thank you for being one of the agents of change on the issue of origins. You have rightly become famous and successful author.
    I.D. has been a great boon to biblical creationism. I always say its because the enemies, not opponents, of I.D in trying to discredit you to any potential audience say you are creationists like biblical creationists. We who believe in Genesis as a accurate witness of origins.
    Surely these enemies know you are a different species.
    So while the association with us does not hurt you upon listening to your answers it does help us. It has raised our credibility because of the serious attention I.D. has received amongst the very educated populace to some extent.
    our leaders have achieved but we have been helped up with the general impression put out that creationism is rising and gaining.
    What they meant for evil truly was turned to good.
    Cheers from Canada

  10. 10
    deric davidson

    #5 Truism – sarcastic denigration doesn’t cut it as “rational argument”.
    Read the book then come back with sensible (rather than senseless) comment. Perhaps then you will be taken seriously.

  11. Dr. Dembski, speaking of “The End of Christianity,” on page 111 you mentioned a sequel book that would explore divine trans-temporal action. Would you have any idea as to the release date of this? I thoroughly enjoyed “The End of Christianity,” but this issue is sort of a keystone for your proposal, and one in which I have many questions.

  12. deric,

    Truism looked like he was trying to be funny. Humor requires an element of surprise, though…which Truism’s tired attempt completely lacks. he needs originality. Simple 5-year old teasing isn’t new from their side, so it doesn’t come across as humorous, just boring. Notice that no one even bothered to respond to his trash statement until you did.

    Atom

  13. 13

    Truism,

    Lets see if you can actually defend your position, shall we?

    Oh, and I do hope you want to use emperical observations (the kind published in journals and indexed in academic records). I certainly intend to.

    I’ll ask the manifest question: Exactly what truth is being denied?

    Can you do it?

  14. 14

    Truism,

    Defend my position, use empirical observations, shock horror face-palm.

    So should I take from this comment that you think empirical observations are over-rated as a means to understand the universe? Is it that you now intend to defend your position by not providing any evidence to support it?

    Unlike your perennial attitude, I learn. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people like you dismiss mountains of factual, empirical, scientific evidence even when it’s presented six ways of sixpence. Because you have a closed mind, fully focused on fable and a single book.

    Really, why that’s just uncharitable and discourteous of me isn’t it? Please allow me to get out of your way in defending your position. Let me help in your endeavor: God is dead, and the Bible is a fairy tale. Now can you tell me what truth is being denied?

    You know the answer to the ‘manifest question’.

    I think you have become spun around. You said truth was being denied. You sounded damn sure of it as well. I then asked the very next logical question – that would be what truth you are referring to. Shall I now become a mind-reader, or is there a reason you do not want to answer the question?

    Yeah I can do it, so can many, many others. But what’s the point when the listener sticks their fingers in their ears and goes ‘la la la’.

    I can assure you Mr. Truism, you have my complete attention. What truth is being denied?

    So how about you show me empirical evidence, maybe even some facts and scientific evidence, peer reviewed by untainted people of the sciences; to prove creation/ID.

    Sure not a problem. I would immediately point you to Doug Axe and David Abel. And I would just as quickly suggest you read Shapiro and Sternberg as well. However, none of that is going to answer what truth you say is being denied. So let’s cut to the chase.

    What truth is it that you were referring to?

  15. Truism-

    Ever hear of civil discourse?

  16. 16

    Truism,

    I don’t deny evolution. And ID does not deny evolution. I’ve read Behe, Meyer, Dembski, Berlinski, Abel, Axe, Gene, and many others. None of them deny evolution. Hunter does not deny evolution. He, like the others, denies that evolution can accomplish all that has been attributed to it. That is a fairly easy position to take, since everything has been attributed to it. That includes the onset of semiotic information processing within the cell.

    Refuting your charge was easy.

    Now do you have any emperical evidence that shows evolution is capable of the onset of information processing within the cell? Do you have even a conceptual path that would lead to semiotic information processing by unguided means? If not, then why should it not be questioned? Why should causes already known to be able to create the onset of information processing be ruled out? On what grounds exactly should the only cause ever observed (throughout all human experience and investigation) to be able to create the observed effect be denied by you, for instance?

  17. I don’t think your ad hominem attacks concerning abortion clinics, etc. are very helpful. However I will say this, it is a fact that the fertilized egg is a human being. Logically, then, abortion is murder.

  18. Truism is a PT troll. Is that a truism?

    Tip: If you are gonna engage him, make sure you consult with James Caan so you can get a heads up on the con, er I mean Truism’s solid analysis and explanation.

    here’s the slight of hand shell game, I mean how evolution is explained: Which piece of evidence matches to which definition of evolution at what given point in time?

    You have to get your eyes checked though beforehand because Truism’s hand-waving, I mean sleight of hand, er I mean logic and consistent, reasoned, flawless analysis and explanation is something not to be missed.

  19. ” life begins when it can breath by itself. ”

    Say what? That’s an awfully convenient definition of life. Who agreed on that one? How about life begins when it begins, by which I mean when the process itself is underway. In other words, fertilization.

  20. “…life begins when it can breath by itself.”

    NOTICE: Please get your parents’ permission before posting comments on this blog.

  21. 21

    Truism,

    Upright BiPed, ok, ok, you don’t deny evolution! Let me clarify.

    No clarification is needed. You took a position that you could not defend. That was clear from the very start.

    Reality is, the sheer volume of evidence for evolution versus zero evidence for a creator makes the debate rather moot.

    For you to call the debate moot, you’ll first need to go back to the previous post and answer the question asked. I’ll be happy to repeat it here:

    “[Do] you have any empirical evidence that shows evolution is capable of the onset of information processing within the cell?”

    Now, if you cannot address this issue with observable evidence, then your claim that this issue has been addressed (and is therefore moot) is both deceptive and illogical. Evidence for one thing does not constitute evidence for another.

    So, can you address this central issue or not?

    Nitpicking the gaps and saying ‘no scientific evidence so must be creator’ is not an argument with any foundation or proof.

    Of course, the alternative you suggest is that we label those observations as “gaps” which we already know evolution does not have a chance in hell of explaining, then we may plug in evolution to explain them.

    Personally, I find that method of science to be less than convincing.

    And what should we do with what we already know to be true? For instance, we already know that meaningful information about the universe exist as an abstraction of the universe; it does not exist as particles within the matter of the cosmos. Therefore it requires perception in order to exist at all. Similarly, we already know that inanimate chemistry does not contain the capacity to assign or create the semiotic content of information. We also know that such meaningful information has been instantiated into matter by means of the aperiodic sequencing of nucleotides within DNA. Likewise, we know that such coding system are boundary conditions which are inaccessible to chemical origins.

    This knowledge is based upon the entire recorded history of human investigation, and has never even come close to being falsified. We can’t even muster a mere conceptual means of falsifying it. So what should we do with it? A poster on another thread suggests it can be summarily ignored as the collateral damage of professional expedience among group-think ideologues. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and ask for your own answer. What do we do with the knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself? Should we just ignore it for political expedience, or do you have a more creative means of favoring intellectual blindness?

    - – - – - – - –

    Now so far I’ve had to repeat my questions over and over in order to get you to address them. Forgive me for believing this situation is unlikely to change. Yet in an effort to help, I will quickly summarize what it is that is being asked of you.

    a) Do you have any empirical evidence that shows evolution is capable of the onset of information processing within the cell?

    b) Do you have even a conceptual path that would lead to semiotic information processing by unguided means?

    c) What do we do with the universal knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself?

  22. Phaedros in 27:

    “How about life begins when it begins, by which I mean when the process itself is underway. In other words, fertilization.”

    What? You mean the sperm and egg are dead?

    Or do you mean when something (the fertilized egg) is present that can develop into a human being?

    But what if that egg divides a few times and we split it into TWO groups of cells, each capable of developing into a human being? (This is how identical twins are formed.) Where did the extra human being come from?

    Come to think of it, it’s only a matter of time and money until we can take an unfertilized egg, double its single stranded DNA and turn it into a human being sans fertilization. (It happens in “lower” animals already without human intervention.)

    How about this definition: Eggs, sperm and fertilized eggs are all human flesh. It takes a lot more development before anything remotely like a spirit exists. When that spirit is finally present, the human flesh becomes a human being.

  23. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Glimpses At Development In The Womb
    http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/29073325

  24. Truism,
    To a man who rightly recognizes the stunning handiwork of God in the process of development in the womb, the video draws the correct feelings of awe, wonder, respect, and even yes, fear. But to the man who rejects belief in God they will ask such a question as you just asked and think it perfectly reasonable.

    Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681

    Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

  25. Truism<
    Thanks for proving my point exactly.

  26. 26

    Truism,

    Life is either the result of unguided forces or its not.

    To answer that question we have to answer the issue of information, since it is the information within DNA which organizes inanimate matter into living things.

    I can tell by your last rambling post that being confronted with three simple (but direct) questions on that front was plainly more than you could handle.

    The first question was: Do you have any empirical evidence that shows evolution is capable of the onset of information processing within the cell?

    The answer to that is “no”.

    The second question was Do you have even a conceptual path that would lead to semiotic information processing by unguided means?

    The answer to that question was “no” as well.

    The third question was What do we do with the universal knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself?

    And once again the answer is “no”.

    Now here is the interesting part. The first question is just straight up – do you, or anyone else, have any information which shows that information processing can arise from inanimate matter. This is just a baseline question. Its intent is simply to put the cards on the table. If you had any such information, I am certain you would take immense pleasure in dealing me a death blow with the greatest flair imaginable. Materialists would toss their kids on their shoulders and write songs in your honor. But, you can’t…because its not there.

    The second question is far worse than the first. It represents a general reduction in the requirements for proof. Not only can you not provide any actual evidence of information processing rising up from inanimate matter, but you can not even conceive of it. And no one else can either. Hello? Researchers are impressively learning how to synthesize some of the various parts of the system (by means of intense investigator input). But not a single one of them can provide an even a conceptualization of how chemical compounds might begin to provide semiotic meaning for other chemical compounds. Not one of them has even a wildest picture of how chemical compounds might organize themselves into function by means of that information. In other words, once we’ve achieved the artificial synthesis of all the parts necessary for metabolism and replication, we still won’t have a program operating the system. And this result is based upon everything we know – not upon what we don’t know. So all your special pleading about future knowledge quickly falls into an appropriate perspective.

    And by the way, the assumption that chemical compounds can assign organizational meaning to other chemical compounds is an unproven thesis. By constantly referring to future knowledge as a means to support the thesis, you put the thesis itself in a position that it can never be proven wrong even if it is indeed wrong. It is never forced to a test of its validity, and is therefore a non-falsifiable assumption. To do this while blindly ignoring the fact we cannot even conceive of a way it could happen, is intellectually repugnant. So much for the heralded enlightenment you use to abuse others.

    Finally the third question is what a strategist might refer to as a corrective. Its intent is to cause you to attack yourself by checking your position. The narrative goes something like this: if we cannot provide the evidence in question one, and we cannot even muster a pathway to an answer in question two, then can we (at the very least) recognize that we are lying to ourselves in question three?

    Your answer has been duly noted.

  27. 27

    Truism,

    …provide even the most basic, simple, straight forward evidence of any sort, on any level, of a creator?

    I did.

    Life is either the result of chance or design.

    Life operates by information.

    The source of that information is either chance or design.

    You have no chance explanation for the information, nor even a conceptualization of how chance could have created it.

    On the other hand, all meaningful information is the product of perception. All information of our material universe is a semiotic abstraction of reality. Perception and abstractions are phenomena which are associated only with an agent. There is not a single recorded instance in all of human investigation where this has not been found to be true.

    Perhaps it as just too obvious for you to understand. But now that I’ve pointed it out to you, deal with it.

  28. You guys are still messing with that troll? I told you, it’s a waste of time responding to his trash statements. It makes for dull conversation; he doesn’t have anything intelligent or original to say.

    But carry on, you’re free to engage him if you like toying with dead mice.

    Atom

  29. BiPed,

    Allow me to interject here. The problem with your questions (all three of them) is a typical shortcoming of ID: you have not defined “information”. Without a concrete definition, statements or questions about it are meaningless and best left ignored.

    Your next problem is using the example of human acts of synthesis as evidence of a creator’s ability. Even if your argument was correct, all you’d have demonstrated is that humans are the only know entity that could’ve created life… but humans ARE life: catch-22!

  30. 30

    Truism is no longer a truism here.

  31. Clive,
    I think you actually did the poor fella a favour given how Upright Biped was handling him.

  32. 32

    racingiron,

    I stand by the established literal meaning of information (that which gives form; that which in-forms). However, it is not I that must parse the concept of information; it is those who must argue that it can be made irrelevant in a biological sense. They are forced to do so by the weight of the evidence against their position. But I’ll play along if you insist.

    Here is my response. I assume the concept of information in the same way that Claude Shannon did when he wrote his treatise on information theory. He recognized that there is meaningful information, and then there is noise. You can glean the distinction he makes in the second sentence of the second paragraph of his work:

    The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem. (emphasis in the original)

    If that is not clear enough for you, then you can turn to Fig. 1 on the second page of the same paper. It offers a schematic diagram with five individually-named boxes. From left to right there is as arrow which passes through four of the five boxes in a specific order to indicate the flow of information. The flow begins at “Information Source” then passes through “Transmitter” to “Receiver” and finally to “Destination”. The fifth of the five boxes is tangentially tied to the flow of information between the “Transmitter” and the “Receiver”. The fifth box in entitle “Noise Source”.

    In other words, Shannon was working with the engineering aspects of the transmission and reception of information through a medium. To do this he had to operate from the perspective of the receiver, and he must assume an Information Source of meaningful content, as well as Noise.

    I hope that helps.

    Now I would like you to focus on the box entitled “Information Source”. In his paper, Shannon develops the idea of Information Source by giving a series of examples. Each is an example of meaningful information. Example a) is an example of semantic content in the form of “a sequence of letters” such as in telephony. Other examples are examples of engineering content transmitted in order to create a specific function at the receiving end of the transmission (such as video image reproduction data). There are combinations of the two as well.

    Now that Shannon has firmly established that an Information Source is a generator of meaningful information (quite separate from a Noise Source) then we can return to my previous post to which you have objected.

    Where does meaningful information come from? More aptly, where does the meaningful information about the reality of the universe come from? It does not exist in the particles of matter that make up the universe. We do not peer into a carbon atom and find protons, electrons, and particles of information.

    Instead, ALL information about the reality of the universe comes from first perceiving what reality is. This holds true for the lowly earthworm that has crawled out onto a concrete sidewalk, and well as for an astrophysicist trying to hit a target in space 20,000,000 miles from Earth. Information about reality is the product of sensory perception. There are no exceptions to this observation, just as there are no exceptions to the observation that perception is a faculty originating from a singular type of thing – an agent.

    (And consequently, your complaint about there being a uniquely human aspect to this observation is divorced from reality. Information existed and was being used to create biological function long before humans appeared on Earth.)

    Now, you may falsify these observations by providing a single bit of information about the reality of the universe which did not first arise by means of perception.

    I’ll be waiting to eat my words, or to receive your concession to the facts.

  33. Upright BiPed, those are some interesting questions you asked of Truism in 26:

    1: Do you have any empirical evidence that shows evolution is capable of the onset of information processing within the cell?

    I don’t think anybody can answer the first question. It would require knowledge of the pre-cellular and very early cellular history of life and we don’t have any detailed fossil remains from that era to examine. If we did, and it was accomplished by natural means, then the answer would be obvious. What does ID say about the onset of information processing in the cell? Does ID have any actual knowledge of what happened or does ID just say that an Intelligent Designer did it without providing any empirical evidence? If so, then ID and evolution are both in the dark here except that evolution says it happened via natural causes and nobody doubts that natural causes exist.

    2: Do you have even a conceptual path that would lead to semiotic information processing by unguided means?

    An evolutionary conceptual path would be something like an RNA-like self-reproducing molecule accumulating extra “noise” bases during reproduction and some of them synthesizing a molecule that makes a cell wall or a helper protein – anything that would make reproduction faster or more efficient. But in the absence of empirical evidence, that’s just guessing. What does ID say about question 2? Does ID have a conceptual path for how an Intelligent Designer did the trick? Just saying, “An Intelligent Designer” did it doesn’t really help, since it’s just restating ID’s original thesis that an Intelligent Designer (somehow) did it.

    3: What do we do with the universal knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself?

    What “universal knowledge” are you talking about here? Can you give us some empirical evidence that it’s impossible? I don’t see why it should be. There certainly doesn’t seem to be anything unnatural in the operation of modern cells. What evidence do you have that says they couldn’t have started through natural means?

  34. Upright BiPed @ 32: “Instead, ALL information about the reality of the universe comes from first perceiving what reality is. This holds true for the lowly earthworm that has crawled out onto a concrete sidewalk, and well as for an astrophysicist trying to hit a target in space 20,000,000 miles from Earth. Information about reality is the product of sensory perception. There are no exceptions to this observation, just as there are no exceptions to the observation that perception is a faculty originating from a singular type of thing – an agent.”

    Ahhh! Now I understand! You have only a partial understanding of information. Shannon’s work only covers the transmission of already existing information from one point to another. Generating information, especially useful non-noise information, is another thing altogether. Evolution actually generates new information and it does it by changing or adding to whatever information it already has.

    For example, the first living thing was probably a small self-reproducing molecule. If you have a self-reproducing molecule, the information is in the layout of the molecule that allows it to reproduce itself. During copying, mistakes are often made that change a part of that molecule or add a new part onto it. (Mutation.) These changes and new parts are new information. To see if the new informatioin is noise or useful information, the new molecule “tries” to reproduce itself with the new information. If it reproduces as well as it did with the old information or better, then the new information is useful and it’s retained. If not, it’s noise and it’s lost because the new molecule doesn’t reproduce at all or reproduces too slowly to keep up with the old molecules with their old information.

    There you have information and even new improved information being generated, but there’s no agent or sensory perception involved at any step.

  35. 35

    BiPed,

    You said, “it is not I that must parse the concept of information; it is those who must argue that it can be made irrelevant in a biological sense.” That’s quite a strange position you have there. YOU are trying to introduce the concept of “information” into biology, but you’re denying that you’re responsible for a concise definition? That runs contrary to the established rules of science and, more importantly, logical reasoning.

    The attempt by IDers to hijack Shannon theory has been debunked many times by a variety of well-credentialed folks. The gist is that Shannon was dealing with message transmission, and ASSUMED a “transmitter” and “receiver”. Applying that to biology means that you must ASSUME a designer-transmitter.

    Furthermore, what is the “message” in biology? What is “noise”? If the message is the genetic code, and noise is a corruption of that code that is detrimental to the organism, then that makes noise a locally subjective concept since one code change might be harmful in one environment while beneficial in another. Also, that would concede that evolution can CREATE information, since harmful changes have been observed mutating back to the original “message”.

    Your rambling about “perception” being an inextricable part of your definition of “information” just confirms your ASSUMPTION OF (contrast that with EVIDENCE FOR) “transmitter” and “receiver”.

  36. 36

    Wonderful!

    I log in this morning to find not one but three challenges. I am traveling today, so I am all the more excited to return and address all three.

    I look forward to it.

  37. warehuff

    Regarding the status of the embryo, you might like to have a look at these articles by Professor David Oderberg, who is pro-life:

    The Metaphysical Status of the Embryo: Some Arguments Revisited

    Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: What’s wrong with it?

    I hope you enjoy the articles.

  38. Warehuff-

    “What? You mean the sperm and egg are dead?

    Or do you mean when something (the fertilized egg) is present that can develop into a human being?

    But what if that egg divides a few times and we split it into TWO groups of cells, each capable of developing into a human being? (This is how identical twins are formed.) Where did the extra human being come from?

    Come to think of it, it’s only a matter of time and money until we can take an unfertilized egg, double its single stranded DNA and turn it into a human being sans fertilization. (It happens in “lower” animals already without human intervention.)

    How about this definition: Eggs, sperm and fertilized eggs are all human flesh. It takes a lot more development before anything remotely like a spirit exists. When that spirit is finally present, the human flesh becomes a human being.”

    I agree, spirit matters. I’m just wondering, how are you in a position to know when the spirit is present? It could be that the spirit is present even before fertilization. Only God knows that really.

  39. Racing:

    Why not kindly climb down off your scare quotes — while we wait for UB — and address:

    “Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another).” [Sir Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner, for elucidating the nature of DNA; 1953 letter to his son.]

    Then, while you are at it, examine the way a ribosome produces a protein one step at a time, in the context of the chain from DNA to mRNA to Ribosome and tRNA’s, in light of the requisites of a von Neumann self replicating entity.

    Namely:

    (i) an underlying code to record/store the required information and to guide procedures for using it,

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader [[called “the constructor” by von Neumann] that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions, and

    (iv) implementing machines (and associated organisation and procedures) to carry out the specified replication (including that of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that provide required specific materials and forms of energy by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    Also, parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating von Neumann universal constructor. That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicator to exist. [[Take just one core part out, and function ceases: the replicator is irreducibly complex (IC).]. This irreducible complexity is compounded by the requirement (i) for codes, requiring organised symbols and rules to specify both steps to take and formats for storing information, and (v) for appropriate material resources and energy sources.

    In short, we are looking at algorithmic functional information, based on digital states, processed as data structures using step by step procedures.

    I am sure UB would appreciate your answer when he gets back.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  40. kairosfocus @39,

    In short, we are looking at algorithmic functional information, based on digital states, processed as data structures using step by step procedures.

    If your analogy of a programmed sequential process is to hold, where is your program counter?

    A better analogy would a model more like a “fuzzy logic/neural net” process.

    A sequential model is lacking if you can’t identify states and steps.

    Show us a state transition diagram for your model.

  41. Toronto:

    You clearly do not know the difference between analogy and instantiation.

    Look at the video and the diagrams just linked, next, look at the mRNA transcription process and then compare the code that drives the sequence of AAs in a protein, then come back to us. (And BTW, synchronous sequential systems are not the only kind of statal digital/discrete state system, there are asynchronous sequential systems, and asynchronicity is far more robust as it does not have a single failure point. [I once remember having to work out how to "pull" crystal clocks to achieve quasi-synchronisation of a distributed digital system. Ended up using varicaps to tweak oscillators, and coordinating with headers on UART data bursts.])

    De Nile is a river in Egypt.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI.

  42. PS: Video with audio description, and an inside RNA view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

  43. PPS: DNA replication — the master tape in the von Neumann replicator — here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    PPPS: Definition of an algorithm, courtesy Am HD:

    A step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.

  44. P4s: A protein chaining step by step sequence in action, with description: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  45. P5S: another nice description of the sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

  46. kairosfocus @42,

    Toronto:

    You clearly do not know the difference between analogy and instantiation.

    Here is an analogy.

    The cell is like a vinyl record. If you put a needle onto a vinyl record, you will hear music without even using an amplifier.

    A CD with an MP3 encoded song will not play without interpreting the coded song with a processor.

    You are claiming the cell contains coded information while we can clearly see that a cell functions without any processing just like a vinyl record plays without processing.

    The vinyl record is the song, the cell is life.

    Your analogy implies that the cell is more like an MP3, in other words an encoded version of life not an actual instance of one.

    Just like the vinyl record however, the cell plays it’s song without any sequential processing or decoding.

    If your claim is valid, that there is sequential processing going on, you should be able to show it to me.

    This is your claim, please back it up.

  47. Toronto:

    You clearly did not reckon appropriately with the well known fact that mRNA constitutes a sequentially expressed, digitally coded sequence for proteins, and that the code is defined on 3-letter codons, each letter having four states as possibility, GCAT.

    In turn that code comes from the DNA, a digital data store.

    In expression, as the already linked videos will make plain, an initiating METHIONONE AA is positioned through the Ribosome and tRNA, then in succession based on anticodon matching to codons, successive AA’s are added to chain the emerging protein, until a stop codon appears. This AA string [A more or less 20-state per element discrete state structure that on folding etc exerts biofunction] is folded, attached to operationalising molecules and possibly clumped with other folded chains to form an active protein.

    All of this is based on digitally coded fucntionally specific complex information, and the quantum soon exceeds the 500 – 1,000 bit scale that dwarfs the search capacity of the cosmos.

    You have hung up on the fact that many of our electronic digital computers [for good reason] are based on synchronous sequential technologies, and have missed out the advantages of asynchronous, and intensely parallel processing. Up to thousands of ribosomes are at work in a given cell.

    Similarly, you have forgotten that the first prototype digital computer — Babbage — was a mechanical one, based on gears and cams etc. Similarly, early special purpose computers were largely based on relays etc. Turing’s conceptual computer was based on bidirectional punched paper tape and a read/write head.

    There is no reason to dismiss the use of key-lock fitting molecules and polymer chaining to implement a discrete state information storing and step by step processing device; i.e. as we see in the cell.

    In case you missed the point on what a digital — as opposed to analogue [which is what a vinyl record per RIAA standards, is; and I am old enough that we defined digital and analogue processing and actually used patched analogue computers way back when . . . ] — computer is, a handy basic definition will help address the selective hyperskepticism and strawman tactics you are using:

    a computer is a programmable machine. This means it can execute a programmed list of instructions and respond to new instructions that it is given.

    In short, lawyer tactics are letting you down.

    In any case, we don’t need to debate definitions of computers and the like. We know codes are in use and we can easily enough see the functionally specific complex — and here, digital [onlookers observe how the already linked codon table is tellingly missing from T's remarks, which is plainly discrete state [= digital] and symbolic, not an analogue smoothly varying signal] — information required to carry out the core life functions of a cell.

    That is enough to point to design as the most credible source of the cell. Also, even were the information in the cell analoguye, that would still constitute information that is functional and specific.

    Who, on seeing a vinyl disc phonograph in action, would credibly infer that its best explanation is undirected mechanical forces of nature acting on matter in chance initial conditions?

    And, indeed, by making an exploded diagram and evaluating the bit depth required for adequate function [i.e. the precision of the parts and their exactitude of assembly], we could soon enough work out a nodes and arcs network diagram and translate this into a bit value estimate for the functional information in the phono record and playback machine. The number would easily exceed 1,000 bits.

    So, even the attempted comparison to a vinyl record is suspect. In addition to willfully ignoring the significance of digitally stored four-state info in cells, and the step by step sequences and machines that put that info to work.

    GEM of TKI

  48. PS: As one who has designed his fair share of analogue ckts and systems, I assure you that analogue ckts process information, but in an analogue,smoothly varying fashion rather than a digital, discrete one; and they use transdu8ction and amplification technologies to pr4oduce analogous signals tot he ones of interest, which are of course information bearing. [BTW, Shannon's analysis also applies to ANALOGUE channels, and his bits are not directly comparable to digital electronic 0 vs 5 V TTL bits or the like.)

    Indeed, my favourite way to introduce AM radio to students was by multiplication of sinusoids, then asking how we could do that electronically: one easy way, modulate the power supply of an oscillator. Then, I introduced the concept of the physical vs mathematical operator.

    On Op Amps, I especially liked the way a diode in the feedback ckt could be used to create a logging amplifier, accurate across several decades. Or how a capacitor in the input or output ckts could give differentiators or integrators; all of which of course was directly relevant to . . . ANALOGUE COMPUTERS. (Guess what sort of components and circuits the patch cords were patching, as I spoke about earlier? [Let's just note that 741 is a very meaningful number to me, and 071 was a real breakthrough when it came along.])

  49. PPS: I should also note that the cell uses three letter 64 state [4^3] codons to translate to a 20-state [generally speaking] protein AA space. That — as the videos you have plainly not bothered to watch show — is what ribosomes and tRNA are doing, with the mRNA tape being fed through step by step. The codon table shows how with very carefully optimised redundancy, 64 states are translated into 20 plus a stop. AUG of course does double duty as a start codon. (NB: cf here on just how optimal that code is, relative to other possible codes.)

  50. kairosfocus @49,
    Getting my vote to introduce the concept of ID into a curriculum might be possible.

    It won’t happen though if you’re not brief and to the point.

    There are a lot of people here who have worked with 741′s, 555′s, 7404′s, 4000 series CMOS and all sorts of stuff like that.

    I myself memorized the object code of the RCA 1802 and wrote programs in machine code with arrows showing the targets of jumps instead of labels.

    I wrote a FAT32 file system in assembler but that doesn’t mean that I am right or wrong about God.

    Your technical experiences are not convincing me that you understand biology.

    They actually have the opposite effect in that I see you struggling to relate your engineering experiences to biology.

    If you want my vote, stay on topic and back up what you say in a way that anyone can understand.

    Anyone who knows their subject well enough can explain it in a very basic manner.

  51. vjtorley:
    Regarding the status of the embryo, you might like to have a look at these articles by Professor David Oderberg, who is pro-life:

    The Metaphysical Status of the Embryo: Some Arguments Revisited

    Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: What’s wrong with it?

    I hope you enjoy the articles.

    Thank you, I did! The first one isn’t too good, but the second is excellent.

    Although abortion bears strongly on the dualism/monism argument about the mind, it’s not really relevant to “Intelligent design uncensored”. Do you have a blog where we could discuss this?

  52. Phaedros:

    If you’re talking about a supernatural spirit, then I have no way of knowing when or if it exists. However, since the majority of all fertilized eggs self-abort before birth, I will assume that God, if He exists, has made provision for supernatural spirits, if they exist.

    But if by “spirit”, you mean the normal human mind, then I find out if one exists in the normal way – observation. Fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses show absolutely no signs of a mind that I know of.

  53. Upright BiPed: “Wonderful!

    I log in this morning to find not one but three challenges. I am traveling today, so I am all the more excited to return and address all three.

    I look forward to it.”

    Excellent. I too am looking forward to it. See you after the Mother’s Day weekend.

  54. Onlookers:

    The above is actually astonishing.

    For, we see where in their desperation, evolutionary materialists have been forced to try to deny the reality of information in cell based life, and in particular to deny the reality of symbolic coded digital information in DNA and as used in protein synthesis and related regulation and coordination.

    When one has to resort to selectively hyperskeptical denials of plain matters of fact, that is a sign that the inference from such functionally specific, complex digital information and its use in step by step procedures that create the proteins that do so much of the work of the cell, is very solid indeed.

    So. let us again look at a useful instructional video on that information and how it is used, to refresh our minds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

    And, let us remind ourselves of what Sir Francis Crick had to say so soon as he had identified the core structure of DNA, in that March 1953 letter to his son, as was aleady cited in 39 above, but just as studiously ignored as were the videos and stills already linked:

    “Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another).” [Sir Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner, for elucidating the nature of DNA; 1953 letter to his son.]

    When evolutionary materialists are reduced to trying to deny credible facts, that is a sign that heir dominance of origins science in our day is unravelling.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  55. PS: This video gives a broader view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  56. PPS: If you’re interested, I have extended my analysis of selective hyperskepticism, here, adding among other things a discussion of the warranted, credible truths approach to developing/ critiquing a worldview.

  57. #27 #32 #52 Warehuff and vjtorley on the status of the embryo

    I am doing a project for my Masters in Science and Society comparing the debate on stem cell research in the UK and the USA. So this is interesting stuff. If you pick up the discussion in a calmer environment than UD I would be interested to participate.

  58. 59

    I see the conversation has moved well on, but I’d like to go back and address warehuff at 33 and 34, then racingiron at 35. Sorry for the delay.

    Warehuff, in 33 you addressed the three questions I originally asked of Truism when he took the indefensible position that ID proponents were denying the truth. The first of those questions was if he (or anyone else) had any evidence that evolution was capable of the onset of information processing inside the cell.

    Your answer to this was:

    I don’t think anybody can answer the first question. It would require knowledge of the pre-cellular and very early cellular history of life and we don’t have any detailed fossil remains from that era to examine. If we did, and it was accomplished by natural means, then the answer would be obvious.

    This of course raises an immediate question. It is constantly argued that science must operate (without any exceptions) as if we already know it happened by purely unguided means. So, on what grounds do we operate as if we know for certain it happened by non-guided means, if as you suggest, we have no idea how it happened at all? You may counter this claim by providing references to OOL researchers (or materialist such as yourself) who allow for a possible act of agency in the origin of living organisms. But please bear in mind; this question is not primarily about what someone claims are the modern arbitrary rules of science. Nor is it about having an agenda to alter those rules; it’s truly about a search for explanations that are congruent with what we an actually observe in nature. And since we are talking about something we cannot test by experiment, it would seem that one thing (rational congruent answers) must logically take precedence over the other (arbitrary and unnecessary rules).

    And while I agree that it is unknown how it happened (and that we have no fossil records to study) this does not mean we have nothing to work with. We have life as we find it operating today. Clearly, following the elucidation of the genetic code we know life operates by means of encoded algorithmic information. If you read those who were on the forefront of biological discovery, it is clear that many see information as a primary distinction between simple inanimate matter and living system. It is hard to argue otherwise. So we are left again with the question I originally posed. And your answer is “no” we do not have any evidence that material processes can create the onset of information processing.

    - – - – - –

    This leads to the second question, which was about having even a conceptual pathway that would lead to information processing in the cell. I read your answer and frankly was unsurprised. You listed some of the parts of the replication and information transfer system as we find them. You glued your comments together with the implication that this is how it came to be. Obviously that falls well short of a conceptual pathway for what must be explained.

    Life operates by recorded information. In one of Koonin’s lectures on origins he makes the statement that the RNA scenario has inherent problems and has “offered no convincing scenarios for the origin of efficient replication and translation”. It’s the replication and translation part of this statement I want to focus on.

    The “replication and translation” that Koonin spoke of must be understood as to what it really is. In any valid OOL scenario, it is not about how to get one biomolecule to become two biomolecules; it’s about the replication of the information needed to create those biomolecules and sustain them within a larger system. It’s about the onset of information processing, which includes the obvious onset of information.

    If we are going to explain how life as we know came to exist, then we have to explain where information came from — not that tab A sticks in slot B — but how the instructions for sticking tab A in slot B came to be instantiated in an encoded semiotic state within a material medium.

    So, without putting any prior restrictions on you to explain when in the process such information came to be, it is nevertheless a requirement to explain how it came to be. Why? Because that is how we find it today. A code exists. A code is semiotic information which is transmitted through a medium. To explain it, you first must explain its semiotic state.

    In simple words: at some point in the process, the chemicals had to write it down and pass it along. And there is not a single person on the surface of the planet that has any idea how that came to be.

    - – - – - – -

    My final question was “What do we do with the universal knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself?” This is the question that sends you off the deep end. This stands to reason, for the all the same reasons I stated in asking the question in the first place. I said:

    [T]he third question is what a strategist might refer to as a corrective. Its intent is to cause you to attack yourself by checking your position. The narrative goes something like this: if we cannot provide the evidence in question one, and we cannot even muster a pathway to an answer in question two, then can we (at the very least) recognize that we are lying to ourselves in question three?

    Your answer immediately stumbles into an illogical morass. You begin by asking a counter question “What ‘universal knowledge’ are you talking about here? Can you give us some empirical evidence that it’s impossible?

    What the heck?

    1) You want me to prove something is impossible?

    2) Its not for me to disprove, it’s for materialist who insist it is true to back up their claims. If men and women are to be railed out of science and have their names permanently disparaged for considering an alternative; if materialist are willing to form legal teams to ensure their assumptions are never questioned, if national science associations are to be formed in order to enforce the majority rule – then perhaps it is up to them to support their scientific claims with a little bit of scientific evidence. No? Is that not a reasonable request?

    3) Universal experience? Go outside and pick up the first rock you find. Hold it out away from your body and let go of it. It will drop to the ground. It has dropped to the ground for everyone who has ever done it. It will drop to the ground for anyone who ever does it. That is our universal experience with dropping rocks. There has never been an exception. It is our universal experience with abstractions of reality as well. It’s also our universal experience with codes and algorithms. They all require an agent, and they always have. They do not come about by inanimate matter.

    You may argue against this by providing an instance where an abstraction, code, or algorithm came into existence without the input of an agent.

  59. 60

    warehuff, in 34 you continue to expound on the mistakes you’ve already made. You say:

    Evolution actually generates new information and it does it by changing or adding to whatever information it already has.

    Your position simply takes for granted what must be explained. The typical view of evolution is that random errors occur in the replication of information, which is then passed on to the next generation. In an evolutionary scenario, information must exist, then it must be replicated, then it must be transferred, then it must be translated, then it must be followed. Evolution therefore requires an entire system of coordinated parts working in unison by some means of control. There is no doubt that the control is caused by information itself. So for evolution to even exist there must already be a sophisticated information processing system in place.

    You may then say that chemical evolution could have preceded evolution by means of information and copying errors. To which I say fine, you’ve done no more than restate your belief that chemicals can somehow create an abstraction of themselves in order to be replicated and to have that abstraction transferred to their offspring. But you certainly haven’t provided any conceptual idea as to how that abstraction came to be. Nor have you shown anything of the organization and control which would be required prior to the onset of information.

    You then say:

    For example, the first living thing was probably a small self-reproducing molecule. If you have a self-reproducing molecule, the information is in the layout of the molecule that allows it to reproduce itself.

    This is just not true. Like before, you simply assume what must be explained. When you say that “the information is in the layout of the molecule” you are making a serous category error. The layout in is the layout, but until that layout becomes abstracted and placed into a medium, then no information exist.

    This is exactly what I said to you earlier, I am not placing any prior restrictions on you to explain when in the process such information came to be (you’ll have to make it plausible in whatever case you care to present). But if you are going to claim that chemicals can create an abstraction of themselves, then it is a requirement for you to explain how it happened.

  60. 61

    Racingiron in 35,

    Your post is so laced with errors that it would probably be best to simply ignore it. For instance, take this gem:

    YOU are trying to introduce the concept of “information” into biology…

    Are you kidding me? I’m responsible for introducing the “concept of information” into biology? Have you ever heard of Francis Crick?

    Perhaps the concept of information in biology comes from the fact that the nucleotide arrangement of Cytosine-Thymine-Adenine in DNA results in the addition of Leucine during protein synthesis (after that arrangement has been transcribed from one medium into another). Perhaps the fact that A-G-T codes for Serine and T-A-T codes for Tyrosine is more responsible than I am.

    You then go on to accuse me not providing a concise definition. Yet, I copied and pasted the appropriate context directly from Claude Shannon’s paper on information theory. You could only have missed it if you tried. Perhaps you should re-read my post.

  61. 62

    Mark at 58

    VJT once posted this a couple years ago. I didn’t know if you had seen it.

    http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/.....tusNew.pdf

  62. @Upright biped

    -” But if you are going to claim that chemicals can create an abstraction of themselves, then it is a requirement for you to explain how it happened”

    At this point, can the materialist deny the concept of information to by-pass your challenge? In other words, can he simply say that the chemical or the biological unit does not create an abstraction of itself but merely replicates itself physically without the use of any information abstractions?

    Do they have grounds to deny that?

  63. Mark Frank (#58)

    You might like these articles too:

    Life: Defining the Beginning By The End by Professor Maureen Condic.
    What We Know About Embryonic Stem Cells by Professor Maureen Condic.
    8 Bad Arguments for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research by Josh Brahm.
    Libertarians for Life

    Upright Biped (#62)
    Thanks for remembering the article I posted a couple of years ago.

    Warehuff (#58)
    Unfortunately I don’t have a blog up and running at the moment. I’ll let you know when I get one.

  64. UB:

    Excellent!

    GEM of TKI

  65. 66

    above:

    From my perspective, watching the positions regularly taken by opponents on this site, it would seem that denial has much in common with their multiverse theory – not only is it possible, it is inevitable.

    VJT:

    When you first posted that essay, I put it away for a different day. When I finally came back to it, I enjoyed it very much.

    KF:

    …thanks mon

  66. Upright BiPed @ 59:

    First question: There is no Pope of science, so there’s some variation of opinion of what science MUST do. Generally, the decision to leave the supernatural to the theologians was a pragmatic one. Adding in supernatural causes turned out to be very non-productive. There are a few current scientists that have tried to investigate possible supernatural factors and they’ve been unsuccessful. I’m thinking of the various prayer experiments where typically people in a hospital are prayed for or not prayed for and the outcomes are compared. The non-results of these experiments confirm that leaving out supernatural causes is the way to go.

    Second question: “…we know life operates by means of encoded algorithmic information.” Modern life does, but the first living thing was almost certainly much, much simpler. The first living thing was probably a single molecule or a few simple molecules that managed through simple mechanical/chemical means to reproduce themselves directly, with no intermediate coding. My guess is that the first self-reproducing molecule was RNA or something RNA like mostly because RNA is still at the heart of all living things today. Generally, if you find a protein that’s doing something significant with regard to reproduction, you’ll still find a tiny stretch of RNA buried in the protein that’s doing the actual work.

    The third question: You say that there is “universal knowledge that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself.” Well, this is news to me. Please tell me more about this knowledge, what exactly it is, who thought it up, what evidence supports it and what it has to do with a molecule that directly reproduces itself without using any coded information such as DNA. Think of this question as a corrective. It’s intent is to make you support your claim instead of just making it. You claim that chemistry cannot make a coded abstraction of itself, it’s up to you to support ithis claim. Talking about rocks falling to the ground has nothing to do with this.

  67. Have to go to work. I’ll answer @60 tomorrow.

    vjtorley, I see you have a web page. Is there anywhere on it where we can have a long discussion of abortion and dualism/monism?

  68. #64 vjtorley

    Thanks for the links. I should explain my interest is more sociological than philosophical. I am trying to understand why human embryro research in general is not a big controversy in the UK and is in the USA – while the reverse is true of, for example, GMO.

  69. 70

    Warehuff,

    First question:

    “There is no Pope of science, so there’s some variation of opinion of what science MUST do.”

    What you imply simply does not stand up to the reality on the ground. As an adjunct to the first question I raised, I asked you to post references to researchers who (based on evidence) allow for the possibility of agency input in the origin of biological information. You posted nothing of the kind. That is because there is nothing to post.

    Therefore my original point stands unaltered: In a historical observation (such as origins) where we have no evidence that unguided forces can accomplish the specific effect in question (but concrete evidence that other causes can and do create the specific effect in question) we are only allowed to consider unguided forces. In other words, a politicized arbitrary rule is allowed to take precedence over rational empirically-based observations.

    And we will call this an unfettered search for truth.

    “Generally, the decision to leave the supernatural to the theologians was a pragmatic one. Adding in supernatural causes turned out to be very non-productive.”

    This is simply an old defensive maneuver. Having established the fact that we have no evidence to support the mandate that unguided forces are responsible for the effect in question, we will now simply stop talking about it, right? We will no longer discuss observations made in the real world, and will instead turn our attention to academic politics and arbitrary rules violations, correct? We’ll change the focus away from actual observations, and then inject some spooky imaginary problems that aren’t even part of the evidence, is that it?

    No thanks.

    The moment someone argues that it’s more productive to force feed ourselves that 2+2=5 than it is for us to consider our universal experience that 2+2=4, then I know I am talking to a willful partisan whose judgment cannot be trusted and whose conclusions are not impacted by scientific observation.

    The fact that you want to lean on some completely irrelevant “prayer effectiveness” studies (for crying out loud) as a means to ignore that agents are the only cause known to have ever been shown to create information, is simply par for the course.

    You’ve apparently given up on science to defend your position. On the other hand, I do not have to.

    Second question:

    “Modern life does [operate by encoded algorithmic information] but the first living thing was almost certainly much, much simpler.”

    This comment is an effort to simply skip over (to ignore, to not respond to) what you’ve already been told. In my previous post I said:

    “If we are going to explain how life as we know came to exist, then we have to explain where information came from — not that tab A sticks in slot B — but how the instructions for sticking tab A in slot B came to be instantiated in an encoded semiotic state within a material medium. So, without putting any prior restrictions on you to explain when in the process such information came to be, it is nevertheless a requirement to explain how it came to be. Why? Because that is how we find it today” … “You may then say that chemical evolution could have preceded evolution by means of information and copying errors. To which I say fine, you’ve done no more than restate your belief that chemicals can somehow create an abstraction of themselves in order to be replicated and to have that abstraction transferred to their offspring. But you certainly haven’t provided any conceptual idea as to how that abstraction came to be. Nor have you shown anything of the organization and control which would be required prior to the onset of information.”

    So… simply repeating that information wasn’t necessary at the start of life (but only appeared later) is a tremendous leap of faith which is virtually baseless. But if you are going to make the claim, then it will require at least some viable explanation for the organization (food intake, waste control, respiration, energy management, etc) necessary for even a simple form of life without the control afforded by information (as we see it in operation today). Plus you’ll need to provide an explanation of the onset of information control itself. So again I say to you, I will not place any prior restriction on you to explain WHEN the abstraction took place, but you have to explain HOW it took place. Or, you must admit that you have not even a conceptual idea as to how it happened – which was my original point.

    Are you now willing to concede (for the sake of honest argument) that there is not even a conceptual idea of how inanimate chemicals can create an abstraction of themselves?

    Third Question:

    warehuff, I explained the concept of universal experience. It is certainly not a difficult concept to understand. If there was any confusion whatsoever as to what is meant by the term “universal experience”, then I think the explanation I gave would be all that is necessary to clear up that confusion. In fact, I am quite willing to assume that perhaps every living person on the surface of the planet can relate to what it means.

    If in order to avoid reconciling the fact that you answer “no” to the first two questions, you are forced to pretend to be confused about the third, then, well… what can be said? I can only assume you are fudging that you do not understand it. I’m forced to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Now, as to your question of “what it [universal experience] has to do with a molecule that directly reproduces itself without using any coded information such as DNA” I simply have to laugh. Once again you just assume what needs to be explained. And now you’ve added an assumption which is completely unsupported. Your vision of a metabolizing molecule organized without the control of information is nothing more than an unsupported assertion. Are you listening to yourself???

    What does universal experience tell us about a metabolizing molecule which reproduces without DNA?? I don’t know – you tell me of any metabolizing molecule that reproduces without DNA and I’ll answer the question!

    Geeez, warehuff. Get serious.

    - – - – - –

    Here is the bottom line:

    Q1 No, Q2 No, Q3 Obfuscate

  70. Upright BiPed @ 70

    Boy, you sure have a weird conception of how science is done! I can see it now, thousands of scientists, repeating to themselves, “Must … not … believe … in … God … arrghh!! The Pain!! The Pain!!” It’s not like that. If you have any evidence that God, an Intelligent Designer or an Unnamed Agent is responsible for anything, put it on the table and if it’s persuasive, scientists will investigate. Remember, some scientists are believers to begin with.

    But you don’t have any such evidence. Instead, you’re insisting that God / ID / UA be shoehorned into everything because it seems to you that God / ID / UA exists and so he/she/it should have done something back at the OOL. Well, why stop there? Why aren’t people seriously considering that Wotan did it? And how about Thor? After all, we hear thunder! That’s evidence! Why do scientists refuse to consider an Intelligent Hammerer as a cause for thunder? And maybe he hammered the first self reproducer into shape! And how about those invisible Intelligent Unicorns. They are so smart they’ve completely avoided detection for as long as the human race has existed. Surely an entity that smart should be able to create life, yet those danged politically correct scientists just plain refuse to even look for hoofprints! Why don’t we get some free and open inquiry and start considering ALL of the possibilities?

    What do you mean by this: “In a historical observation (such as origins) where we have no evidence that unguided forces can accomplish the specific effect in question (but concrete evidence that other causes can and do create the specific effect in question) we are only allowed to consider unguided forces.” Are you claiming to have concrete evidence that “other causes” created the first self-reproducer? Let’s hear it! But you really don’t have such evidence or you would have put it on the table long ago.

    Science looks for unguided forces at work in OOL because that’s the only kind of forces we know of except for what humans and a few animals do and none of them was around at the OOL. Show us some evidence for agents in the OOL and we’ll start looking for them, but if you don’t have any evidence then YOU look for them and we’ll save a Nobel prize for you when you succeed.

    “The fact that you want to lean on some completely irrelevant “prayer effectiveness” studies (for crying out loud) as a means to ignore that agents are the only cause known to have ever been shown to create information, is simply par for the course.”

    First of all, the scientists studying prayer effectiveness were (attempting to) study God, since He’s the one responsible for answering prayers. The fact that all of their experiments have failed is just more reason for science to leave the supernatural to the theologians and concentrate on the material causes like the ones that we’ve discovered every time in the past.

    The fact that you believe that only intelligence can create information is one of the reasons I believe you don’t half understand what information even is. We’ve been telling you where the information found in living things comes from for years – mutations create the information and natural selection sieves out the useless information and keeps what works. But I really don’t think you’re ever going to believe that.

    “warehuff, I explained the concept of universal experience.” Where? Certainly not in this thread. Dropping a rock and watching it fall sure isn’t an explanation. We’ve been watching rocks fall as long as there have been humans. Longer than that, actually, because I’m sure some of our ape ancestors saw things fall, But when you talk about abstracting information, you’re talking about something that happenes in cells at the molecular level. We’ve only had the capability of “seeing” such events for less than one human lifetime and the abstraction was a done deal billions of years before molecular biology was invented. Your falling rock explanation is completely invalid.

  71. Upright BiPed @ 59:

    “It is constantly argued that science must operate (without any exceptions) as if we already know it happened by purely unguided means. … So, on what grounds do we operate as if we know for certain it happened by non-guided means … You may counter this claim by providing references to OOL researchers (or materialist such as yourself) who allow for a possible act of agency in the origin of living organisms.”

    As I explained in @67, science made the pragmatic decision to leave the supernatural to the theologians and concentrate on what can be observed a long time ago and that policy has worked excellently for centuries.. If you have evidence of an act of agency in the OOL, by all means present it here. If you don’t have such evidence, by all means explain your theory to the theologians.

    I agree that we have life as we find it operating today to observe and we can get some clues to the OOL from those observations. That’s why I think the first self-reproducing thing was probably an RNA-like molecule made of a long chain of smaller units. What I DON’T believe is that the first self-reproducer was a modern cell or used information stored externally to the self-reproducing molecule. If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it here.

    Nobody, including Dr. Koonin, knows what the conditions at the OOL were, so it’s premature to write off an RNA like molecule. I think you’re totally wrong about the OOL. I think the OOL was ENTIRELY about making one biomolecule into two biomolecules. Since doing this automatically reproduces the information embedded in those biomolecules, that reproduction also takes care of all the information processing.

    The information in OOL is assumed to have come from the ordinary chemical reactions that go on constantly. We assume that the original replicator was a small molecule with very little information in it, not a complex set of molecules. The information for making more complex organisms would have been obtained in small pieces through evolution.

    You ARE making a positive claim that it is “universally known” that “chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself”. If you can back that claim up, please do so now. I’m not holding my breath until you do. If you can’t back it up, then your claim would more accurately be phrased as, “I believe that chemistry cannot form a semiotic abstraction of itself” and that claim has no more authority than any other belief you might have.

  72. Upright BiPed @ 60:
    “This is just not true. Like before, you simply assume what must be explained. When you say that “the information is in the layout of the molecule” you are making a serous category error. The layout in is the layout, but until that layout becomes abstracted and placed into a medium, then no information exist.”

    http://www.amazon.com/3mm-NUMB.....B001GQFH7S

    Here’s a set of letter punches. 36 pieces of tool steel, each with a letter or number forged into one end. Put one of them against a piece of softer metal, hit it with a hammer and it punches a letter or digit into the metal. All of the information is in the layout of the tool steel pieces, nothing is abstracted and placed into another medium, yet information exists and can be copied with simple pressure.

    I think the problem here is that you’re overlooking the enormous amounts of information that are embedded in all materials and only looking at the tiny amounts of information that are abstracted into forms like DNA.

    “You may then say that chemical evolution could have preceded evolution by means of information and copying errors. To which I say fine, you’ve done no more than restate your belief that chemicals can somehow create an abstraction of themselves in order to be replicated and to have that abstraction transferred to their offspring.”

    No abstractions are needed if a molecule can copy itself directly. You keep thinking of modern organisms, which are the products of long periods of evolution and contain the information provided by that evolution.

  73. 74

    warehuff,

    In your response you simply give up the conversation. You are now simply re-asserting comments you’ve made which have been refuted by evidence and ordinary logic. If life operates by means of information processing, and you want to claim that life is the result of purely material causes, then you must provide a material cause for information processing.

    Capisch?

    Repeatedly suggesting that the first life forms did not process information is not an explanation – it is simply a re-assertion of your original belief that material causes can lead to information procecssing. And it is doing so without the burden of explaining how.

    It is now pointless to tell you once again that you cannot just assume your conclusions. I am absolutely more than happy to allow any observer to make of this exchange what they will.

    Going back to comment #59, I wanted to show that there is a) no evidence to support a materialistic account of origins, b) that you don’t even have a viable conception of how inanimate chemistry could form an abstraction of itself (which is necessary in any OOL scenario) and start processing that information, and c) that you could not admit to it.

    You have been a perfect candidate for that endeavor.

  74. Where’s the abstracted information in the punches?

  75. warehuff asks:
    Where’s the abstracted information in the punches?

    Good question warehuff. And while you are at please try to find where the abstracted information of these foundational equations of reality reside:

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of Nature -Walter Bradley
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    Job 38:4-7
    Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

    Shoot while you at it warehuff please try to find where all these reside:

    Systematic Search for Expressions of Dimensionless Constants using the NIST database of Physical Constants
    Excerpt: The National Institute of Standards and Technology lists 325 constants on their website as ‘Fundamental Physical Constants’. Among the 325 physical constants listed, 79 are unitless in nature (usually by defining a ratio). This produces a list of 246 physical constants with some unit dependence. These 246 physical constants can be further grouped into a smaller set when expressed in standard SI base units.,,,
    http://www.mit.edu/~mi22295/co.....tants.html

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

    Euler’s Number – God Created Mathematics – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003905
    This following website has the complete working out of the math of Pi and e in the Bible, in the Hebrew and Greek languages, for Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1:
    http://www.biblemaths.com/pag03_pie/

    Michael Denton – Mathematical Truths Are Transcendent And Beautiful – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003918

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    “The reason that mathematics is so effective in capturing, expressing, and modeling what we call empirical reality is that there is a ontological correspondence between the two – I would go so far as to say that they are the same thing.” Richard Sternberg – Pg. 8 How My Views On Evolution Evolved

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Of Note: The greek meaning for the word “word” in John1:1 is Logos and is the root word from which we get our english word “logic”.

  76. WH:

    You have presented a target-rich environment. Let;s take your 71 as a good start:

    1] WH, 71: If you have any evidence that God, an Intelligent Designer or an Unnamed Agent is responsible for anything, put it on the table and if it’s persuasive, scientists will investigate

    H’mm’ who or what produced the posts in this thread? Who or what write computer languages, codes, algorithms, data structures, programs etc? Who or what make and orgtanise clusters of machines that interpret such instructions and data, then use them to execute algorithms?

    Who or what wrote Linux? Who or what make Asus Eee machines like the one I am currently using?

    –> Has undirected chance plus blind mechanical force ever been observed to do that?

    –> Similarly, has functionally specific, complex information ever been observed as produced by chance plus necessity as opposed to agents?

    –> Onlookers, observe as well WH’s huffing and puffing to ridicule the supernatural as a possibility, because he refuses to engage the real alternative on the table: nature [chance + necessity] vs art [intelligence] and signs of intelligence.

    2] Are you claiming to have concrete evidence that “other causes” created the first self-reproducer? Let’s hear it! But you really don’t have such evidence or you would have put it on the table long ago.

    None so blind as those who refuse to see. First, we have seen just above signs of intelligence as an issue, and the known cause of the sort of entities that have been observed in cell based life, down tot he disappointment when supposedly primitive unicellular organisms such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae were recently investigated. Observe the response of the investigators, who had been hoping to find a simpler architecture for life:

    “At all three levels [as investigated: (i) “the RNA molecules, or transcripts, produced from its DNA,” (ii) “the metabolic reactions that occurred in it,” and (iii) “every multi-protein complex the bacterium produced”], we found M. pneumoniae was more complex than we expected.”

    Now, why was that surprise so?

    Had investigators taken seriously the analysis — and a mathematico-logical analysis is also evidence — of von Neumann from the late 1940′s would have highlighted the requisites of a self replicating entity:

    (i) an underlying code to record/store the required information and to guide procedures for using it,

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions, and

    (iv) implementing machines (and associated organisation and procedures) to carry out the specified replication (including that of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that provide required specific materials and forms of energy by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    3] Science looks for unguided forces at work in OOL because that’s the only kind of forces we know of except for what humans and a few animals do and none of them was around at the OOL. Show us some evidence for agents in the OOL and we’ll start looking for them . . .

    Bingo!

    There we see the imposition of evolutionary materialism as an a priori.

    It is obvious that you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge explicitly that in addition to Monod’s “Chance and Necessity,” we have Plato’s “Art.”

    Nor can you acknowledge that chance, necessity and art produce characteristic signs, such that we can — and, save where commitments of evolutionary materialism are in question — routinely do empirically identify the signified causal factor from its empirically reliable traces.

    In the heart of the cell, we find digital codes, data structures, step by step algorithms that carry out key steps as envisioned by von Neumann BEFORE DNA was fully identified and its informational role elucidated. (Cf. video summary here. [Kindly explain, with details and empirical observations, how such could be originated by chance + necessity at the OOL.])

    In short, we have evidence that language, algorithms, data structures, and programs, together with executing machinery, predate life, and are a key component of it.

    Whether or not your evolutionary materialist fervour blinds you to it, that is strong evidence of intelligence — on inference to best, empirically supported explanation — as the cause of cell based life. And, this, in a cosmos that is fine tuned to support carbon chemistry, cell based life.

    So, the best, empirically anchored explanation for cell based life in a cosmos fine tuned to support such life, is a cosmos-creating intelligent agent with intent to create life. And, since matter is a part of that observed cosmos, it is reasonable to further seriously consider that the extra-cosmic agent is mind not dependent on matter.

    [ . . . ]

  77. 4] WH, 71: The fact that you believe that only intelligence can create information is one of the reasons I believe you don’t half understand what information even is. We’ve been telling you where the information found in living things comes from for years – mutations create the information and natural selection sieves out the useless information and keeps what works.

    Now, of course, this begs the question bigtime. It thus inadvertently exposes the circularity and incoherence of he a priori evolutionary materialist story on origin of life and of body plans.

    For, natural selection is about the differential success of already reproducing populations [i.e. they have to embed von Neumann replicators]. As a logical consequence, origin of cell based life cannot be explained on random generation of information with natural selection.

    That is, WH, you here commit a logical blunder that unravels the whole story.

    Next, we observe that the quantum of information required for a von Neumann type replicator greatly exceeds 500 – 1,000 bits, as his analysis and subsequent work to date have shown. So it is not unexpected that in the smallest simplest organisms we find DNA covering in excess of 100 k bits.

    But, just 125 bytes, or 1,000 bits, implies a configuration space of 1.07 * 10^301.

    This — as we at UD have pointed out over and over for years now — is over ten times the square of the number of Planck-time quantum states of our observed universe of ~ 10^80 atoms, across its thermodynamic potential lifespan [~10^25 s, or about 50 million times the 13.7 BY generally said to have elapsed since the big bang]. In short, if the whole universe we observe were to be viewed as a search engine as it develops from the initial singularity forward, it could not scan through an appreciable fraction of the config space for just 1,000 bits worth of storage capacity.

    That is, we have an excellent reason to see that a random walk based process would not credibly arrive at the shores of ANY island of functionality in the von Neumann sense.

    In short, blind chance plus undirected necessity are utterly incapable of credibly originating bio-information, not to mention the underlying codes and algorithms or the coordinated implementing machines. All of which have to be in place at one and the same time for a von Neumann replicator based entity to be self replicating. That is, on entities ii to iv, it is irreducibly complex, and i and v are background requisites as well.

    No self-replication, no reproduction, and no differential success of competing reproducing populations.

    In short WH, you have committed a confident declaration of an absurdity.

    5] you don’t half understand what information even is

    As to definitions of/understanding information, the UD glossary, accessible by scrolling up and clicking at the top right, will cite from and augment Wikipedia [as an admission against interest by that evolutionary materialism dominated outfit, just see what their moderators do . . . ]:

    “ . . that which would be communicated by a message if it were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message . . . . In terms of data, it can be defined as a collection of facts [i.e. as represented or sensed in some format] from which conclusions may be drawn [and on which decisions and actions may be taken].”

    That is, the context — and I here make reference to my expanded version of the Shannon info model [you will see the way I set up the more modern layercake digital comms systems a la ISO in it], that I used to use to teach students in telecomms — is:

    SOURCE -> ENCODER (&/OR MODULATOR) ->

    TRANSMITTER -> CHANNEL (NOISE) -> RECEIVER ->

    RECEIVER -> DEMODULATOR AND DECODER -> SINK

    The point here is that information and its transfer from source to sink depends on a convention in common, on which messages may be sent as encoded and/or modulated on an agreed/in-common standard. Which may be analogue or digital.

    That convention is physically expressed by modulation of a medium or carrier, e.g glyphs on a computer screen or electrical signals that set up those glyphs according to ASCII code or its extensions in UTF-8. Thus, high contingency is a requisite of information transfer, and an agreed convention is required so that signals can be distinguished from noise, the latter often tracing to at random variations in the channel media and components, based on random behaviour of molecules etc, e.g Johnson or shot noise. [And BTW, the very concept signal to noise ratio shows how deeply embedded inference to intelligence vs chance is in information theory.]

    So, information is indeed dependent on giving recognisable, deliberate form to a variable medium, and on associated symbols and rules or conventions specifying the vocabulary, and the grammar etc.

    Without such intelligent action somewhere along the chain, no information is possible; on the evidence in hand as we saw with the von Neumann replicator. Indeed,the key point is that the vNR is an information system based entity. So, once we see functionally specific complex signals and codes at work in systems, we can be confident — absent arbitrary a priori imposition of materialism — that intelligence was involved.

    Chance simply cannot credibly pull together that many elements into a functional structure on the gamut of our observed cosmos, and the only other known source of high contingency is intelligence. (The link is to Abel’s recent peer reviewed paper on the universal plausibility metric and bound.)

    6] Dropping a rock and watching it fall sure isn’t an explanation.

    Strawman.

    UB took time to point out that we observe mechanical necessity in action by the universal pattern of falling heavy objects, e.g a rock. Have you ever seen a rock dropped that did not fall? I.e. law-like regularity is the signature of mechanical forces of necessity.

    Similarly, if the object was a fair die, we would see it drop, tumble and read from 1 to 6 at random. Statistically distributed,credibly undirected contingency is the signature of chance.

    If the die were loaded, or if we came across a tray of 200 die all reading 6, we would see the signature of directed, purposeful contingency, i.e design.

    So, we see the basis for scientifically examining the aspects of objects of phenomena or processes, and identifying the relevant causal factors, thus being able to empirically elucidate cause across chance, necessity, intelligence. That is, the design theory explanatory filter is a reasonable scientific procedure.

    ____________________

    All in all, WH, you have given us an opportunity to actually look at the issues on the merits, and for that we must thank you.

    However, you might find it helpful to spend some time working though the UD weak argument correctives.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  78. Upright, if you provided evidence or logic to refute anything, I missed it unless you think your falling rock “logic” proves something in which case this conversation is never going to get anywhere. Modern OOL theories call for a very simple start to life using small amounts of embedded information with first chemical and then biological evolution adding the rich information found in modern cells. Since you apparently can’t believe that information can be embedded in an object, we are obviously never going to agree. I would be interested in hearing your opinion of where the information is in those punches, though, if it’s not embedded. For that matter, what’s the difference between the Venus de Milo and an equal weight of marble dust if it’s not embedded information? Unfortunately, as I said at the beginning, neither side has examples of the first life so we will probably never have proof of exactly what happened.

    BA77, I really wish you’d find another venue for your videos. This time I was “treated” to watching a half dozen people die in various gruesome ways with the promise that I can see lots more of the same when some movie opens on May 27. I prefer the old tampon ads. As far as the amazing math is concerned, I think that if you’re living in a three dimensional universe and things hang around, adding two pebbles to two pebbles will tend to produce four pebbles and I really don’t think any gods or goddesses are necessary to maintain the exact count. Besides, if this universe really was made by God, Pi would be an exact number ;-) Perhaps I’ll make a video of my own: “Irrational Numbers: Proof that God Does Not Exist”

  79. KF: Nobody disputes that intelligent humans can do the things we do. But humans weren’t around 3-4 billion years ago when the first living things came into existence. Your example is a non-sequitur.

    Has functionally specific, complex information ever been observed as produced by chance plus necessity? We would have to see it by examining actual changes to base-pairs in DNA. We’ve only had that capability for the last few years, but now that genome sequencing is getting inexpensive, let me make a prediction from evolutionary theory: teosinte, an ordinary grass with tiny rock hard seeds, evolved into modern corn (maise) in about ten thousand years. Teosinte still exists, we have plenty of modern corn and archaeology has provided us with samples of teosinte/corn from various times during the changeover. Several teams are investigating the samples and tracking the changes made to the DNA and the effects those changes caused to the plant. They should be publishing in a few years. I predict that they will present a step by step account of which random mutations caused which DNA changes to transform a weed into corn. Unfortunately, I also predict that ID will find a reason to reject the results.

    Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the result of three or four billion years of evolution, which has equipped it to live in the modern world. It’s an example of a von Neumann self-replicator. Nobody should be surprised that it’s very complicated. Current theory is that the first self-reproducer was much simpler and used embedded information to reproduce itself without needing external code to store information, hardware to do the replication or metabolic machines to power the replication.

    If I understand your theory, an all-powerful, all-knowing supernatural Being desired some animals, plants and people for the planet, so he created a cell three or four billion years ago and sat back. This looks to me like the imposition of theology as an a priori.

    Once again, the rock example proves nothing. You and Upright are claiming that it is impossible for law-like regularity and randomness to produce a tiny self-reproducing molecule. I will readily concede that a falling rock can not do that, but that’s all your example proves.

    Finally, have you noticed that the Explanitory Filter ONLY checks to see if something is PURELY random or PURELY regular? It’s not even possible to feed evolution, which uses both, into it!

  80. Warehuff, but ask yourself is your foundation basis of materialism, which you draw your perceptions of reality from, true?

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.
    http://www.4truth.net/site/c.h.....ialism.htm

    Uncertainty Principle – The “Non-Particle” Basis Of Reality – video and article
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109172
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/

    “Atoms are not things”
    Werner Heisenberg

    What blows most people away, when they first encounter quantum mechanics, is the quantum foundation of our “material reality” blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Most people consider defying time and space to be a “miraculous & supernatural” event. I know I certainly do! This “miraculous & supernatural” foundation for our physical reality can easily be illuminated by the famous “double slit” experiment. (It should be noted the double slit experiment was originally devised, in 1801, by a Christian named Thomas Young).

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    This following experiment highlights the centrality of consciousness in the Double Slit Experiment as to the wave collapse and refutes any “detector centered” arguments for wave collapse:

    Delayed choice quantum eraser
    http://onemorebrown.wordpress......um-eraser/

    of note; Consciousness must be INFORMED with local certainty to cause the wave to become a particle. We know from the Double Slit Experiment, with delayed erasure, that the simple fact of a detector being present is NOT sufficient to explain the wave collapse. If the detector results are erased after detection but before conscious analysis we see the wave form result instead of the particle result. This clearly establishes the centrality of consciousness to the whole experiment. i.e. The clear implication from the experiment is that consciousness is primary, and detection secondary, to the collapse of the wave function to a 3-D particle. Consciousness must precede 3-Dimensional material reality.

    As well, the actions observed in the double slit experiment are only possible if our reality has its actual basis in a “higher dimension”:

    Explaining The Unseen Spiritual Realm – Dr. Quantum – Flatland – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4119478

    Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
    Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,,,
    Walt Whitman – Miracles

    It should also be noted that the most solid indestructible “things” in the atom are the unchanging transcendent universal constants which exercise overriding “non-chaotic” dominion of all quantum events.

    Testing Creation Using the Proton to Electron Mass Ratio
    Excerpt: The bottom line is that the electron to proton mass ratio unquestionably joins the growing list of fundamental constants in physics demonstrated to be constant over the history of the universe.,,,
    http://www.reasons.org/Testing.....nMassRatio

    Psalm 119:89-91
    Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created. Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans.

  81. http://www.samueljohnson.com/refutati.html

    That’s about the fourth time you’ve flung that Dr. Quantum – Double Slit video in my direction. I told you where the Dr. went wrong and you didn’t even bother to reply.

    I will be reading the Darwin’s God blog and studying the Dunning-Kruger effect until you do.

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....7879424898

  82. warehuff; if you truly believe that materialism is true, please explain the origination matter-energy, space-time in the big bang. Or do you hold the absurd position that everything came from nothing so as to avoid dealing with the reality of Almighty God?

  83. warehuff I hope you apply the Dunning Kruger effect to yourself for you surely suffer acutely from it!

    you also stated:

    “That’s about the fourth time you’ve flung that Dr. Quantum – Double Slit video in my direction. I told you where the Dr. went wrong and you didn’t even bother to reply.”

    This is ludicrous warehuff. You rationalize away the experiment away by ignoring the pertinent points I illustrated, such as the refutation of hidden variables which solidifies its basis in theism. I find that you do this because you find the conclusions unpalatable and that is why you refuse to deal directly with the evidence. This is NOT science warehuff. This is you bringing your preconceived philosophical bias front and center and demanding that I give it more credence than the experiment at hand. Furthermore you have the audacity to find Dr. Quantum wrong instead of humbly admitting the truth that you are wrong. And since this as such, I find you extremely biased in your reasoning to the point of being delusional. And since you refuse to be fair with the evidence and to only follow other materialists, such as yourself, who will “tickle your ears” with high sounding rhetoric, exactly how am I suppose to reason with someone who refuses to be fair with the evidence warehuff? Am I suppose to give up my reasoning and join you in your fairy tale land of make believe where I can just make up rules of evidence as I go? I think not. You can lie to yourself all day long for all I care but do not expect me to give you one inch of credence for the deception you have chosen to believe in.

    Skillet:: Awake and Alive
    http://vimeo.com/9309408

  84. WH:

    I do not have a lot of time this AM to go in circles chasing materialism-begged questions. But, I will take up one key point:

    have you noticed that the Explanitory Filter ONLY checks to see if something is PURELY random or PURELY regular? It’s not even possible to feed evolution, which uses both, into it!

    EEERRP!

    Plainly, you have not followed the recent discussion.

    By simply reviewing the fact that the EF [note my diagram and discussion focussed on analysing aspects and synthesising explanations] is a retrospective explanation of what scientists routinely do [cf the weak argument correctives from 29 on, on the point next time before hitting that submit button . . . ], it was easy enough to see that once we look at phenomena, processes and objects aspect by aspect, we can examine the matrix of credible causal factors involved.

    This is similar to how the rate of fall of a rock, 9.8 N/kg near earth’s surface, is independent of whether it is dolomite or andesite, or whether it has been painted white or green, etc.

    (And BTW, that 9.8 N/kg force on the rock highlights how what is going on is that the presence of the earth’s mass warps space, creating a field of influence so other masses near earth respond to the field of influence caused by the collective mass of the earth. Adding in how the moon’s centripetal acceleration shows that the attenuation with distance is essentially that of a flux going through ever expanding spherical surfaces as radius expands, leads to the Newtonian Law of Gravitation. And, along the way, to the weighing of the earth based on the force a rock of known mass feels near it. Thus we are tracing out mechanical forces and resulting natural regularities as one aspect of the phenomenon of a falling rock. The moon of course is just a very big rock in perpetual fall that results in orbit as there is a sideways component of speed. In short, your dismissal is looking a little threadbare.)

    In my always linked note, Section A, I highlight that we routinely distinguish meaningful signal from corrupting noise, and reliably identify which is which to the point where signal to noise ratio plays a vital role in comms and information theory. Also, in lab work or observational studies, we routinely distinguish the natural law based quantity being measured from the scatter of error, and the inaccuracies of bias up to and including the notorious personal equation of astronomical observation.

    That is, as I pointed out above by noting on what scientists ROUTINELY do, isolating aspects for scientific observation and analysis is not a novelty or an unusual practice. Indeed, it is routinely embedded in just about any experimental field of science that makes actual measurements. Just, the evo mat veto wants to selectively rule such out a priori, when the philosophical commitments of the magisterium in lab coats is under challenge. That is selective hyperskepticism, not good reasoning.

    So, you are flat wrong; and wrong because you projected a strawman instead of addressing the actual issue, as was just a couple of clicks away.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  85. PS: Onlookers, observe how hard WH dances around the fact that the only empirically known source of FSCI is intelligence [he cannot gleefully cite a counter example but wants to beg the quesiton on origin of DNA by a priori evolutionary materialism in the disguise of methodological naturalism, so called].

    Also observe that we have excellent reason to see that there are only two serious causal candidates for high contingency: undirected variation, and directed variation.

    (Necessity, the third major causal category, gets its name from the predictable low or no contingency outcome, e.g. dropped rocks etc routinely and reliably fall at 9.8 N/kg and then go on to achieve a terminal velocity influenced by shape, density, air pressure etc. It is astonishing how a champion of the power of lawlike regularities refuses to see one in action when it is not convenient to acknowledge the fact of the limits of mechanical necessity. Even sensitive dependence on initial conditions leads to unpredictability because of noise or slight differences of initial position, not the unreliability of lawlike forces of necessity.)

    Chance is swamped by the sea of non functional configs which makes it maximally implausible that once we have 1000 bots or more of info, a random walk can get to shores of an island of function. But as posts in theis blog and computer operating systems show, intelligences routinely produce FSCI.

    Of course being cell based beings, we did not originate the FSCI in the cell. But we have no good reason to infer that we exhaust the list of possible or actual intelligent beings. And when we factor in how the cosmos is evidently fine tuned for c-chemistry cell based life, that moves us to the inference that the cosmos is the product of an intelligence, i.e. we have reason to see that intelligence is prior to matter; not just life as we experience it.

  86. BA77: What? Still no comment on Dr. Quantum’s Double Slit Mistake? I don’t blame you, any answer is going to be embarassing.

    Why do you keep going on about hidden variables? Nobody has said anything about them but you, nobody cares about them but you. Hidden variable theories were refuted when I was in high school. I don’t believe in them if that will help you get over them.

    Now please tell us how Dr. Quantum could measure the position of an electron (it’s right here, going through this slit) without simultaneously destroying the wave information in that same electron. And why are you amazed that the interference pattern disappears when it depends on the wave information that Dr. Quantum destroyed when he measured the electron’s position? And what does all that have to do with consciousness?

    “This is ludicrous … You rationalize away … ignoring the pertinent points I illustrated … you do this because you find the conclusions unpalatable … you refuse to deal directly with the evidence. … your preconceived philosophical bias … you have the audacity to find Dr. Quantum wrong instead of humbly admitting the truth that you are wrong. … I find you extremely biased in your reasoning to the point of being delusional. … you refuse to be fair with the evidence and to only follow other materialists … refuses to be fair with the evidence … your fairy tale land of make believe … just make up rules of evidence … lie to yourself all day long”

    Why should anybody want to argue anything with you, Bornagain77? You refuse to debate. All we ever get from you is a bunch of quote mines, error ridden videos and abuse like the above. Either tell us how Dr. Quantum measures the position of the electron without destroying all information on it’s wave nature or be ignored.

  87. kairosfocus @ 85: Thanks for citing a text instead of a video. I’m using the version of the EF at the Idea Center ( http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....hp/id/1203 ) which says it is “From ‘Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design’ “. It goes like this:

    START

    Is it Highly Probable? –> YES –> Law
    NO
    Is it Intermediate Probability? –> YES –> Chance
    NO
    Is it Specified and Small Probability? –> YES –> Design
    NO
    CHANCE

    Please show us the entry for “Is it caused by a combination of chance (mutations) and regularity (natural selection) –> YES –> Evolution

    There is none.

    ID “wins” by not even considering evolution. It’s been “expelled” from the EF.

  88. kairosfocus @ 86:
    PS: Onlookers, observe how hard KF dances around the fact that the only empirically known source of CSI did NOT have anything to do with the OOL. Furthermore, the only empirically known intelligence is not capable of originating life, at least as yet.

    So his argument boils down to, “A human could have started life if a human had been present three or four billion years ago to do it, which they weren’t, and if a human knew how to start life, which they don’t. Therefore, ID.

    Ditto for the fine tuning argument. When physicists and cosmologists can’t seem to come up with a theory that DOESN’T result in multiple universes, the fact that this universe makes someone think that God did it is not compelling.

    Let us Dance.

  89. warehuff,
    Please tell us the “cause” for the the wave function collapses to a “uncertain” 3-D material particle state upon observation.

  90. warehuff, on further thought I find you have said some very wrong things. for instance you state:

    “please tell us how Dr. Quantum could measure the position of an electron (it’s right here, going through this slit) without simultaneously destroying the wave information in that same electron.”

    So warehuff please tell us how anyone can know the certainty of “it’s right here going through the slit” when,,,,

    The Uncertainty Principle
    One striking aspect of the difference between classical and quantum physics is that whereas classical mechanics presupposes that exact simultaneous values can be assigned to all physical quantities, quantum mechanics denies this possibility, the prime example being the position and momentum of a particle.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/

    You also made a mistake in saying the information was destroyed in the wave function collapse, whereas the correct thing to say is that the wave function merely collapsed to a “uncertain” 3-D state and may be regained upon “non-observation”.

    i.e. the only thing in question is the 3-D particles themselves. i.e. do they really exist.

  91. warehuff further notes on uncertainty:

    I would like to stress to you that even the exact radius of an electron is “uncertain.

    PhysForum Science
    Excerpt:
    “I heard from one of my professors that we are unable to measure the radius of the electron. Is this true?

    The honest answer would be, nobody knows yet. The current knowledge is that the electron seems to be a ‘point particle’ and has refused to show any signs of internal structure in all measurements. We have an upper limit on the radius of the electron, set by experiment, but that’s about it. By our current knowledge, it is an elementary particle with no internal structure, and thus no ‘size’.”
    http://lofi.forum.physorg.com/Electron_12969.html

    Diameter, Radius of an Electron
    Excerpt: Although scientists have been studying electrons for quite a while, the exact diameter of an electron is unknown. According to Malcolm H. Mac Gregor, “The electron is a point-like particle-that is, a particle with no measurable dimensions, at least within the limitations of present-day instrumentation.”
    http://hypertextbook.com/facts.....ohue.shtml

    —————

    Uncertainty Principle – The “Non-Particle” Basis Of Reality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109172

  92. re warehuff @ 89: Good points.

    To put the issue in summary form: IDists believe that life came from intelligence, and I (and many others) believe that intelligence came from life.

    Using what humans can do as an argument for what might have happened 4 billion years ago when in fact nothing at all humanlike was there, and humans can’t do what happened then, is a false analogy and has cause and effect backwards.

  93. Aleta, to put “my personal” ID position more clearly;

    I know for 100% certainty that a “conscious” intelligence can generate functional information. In fact I am doing it right at this moment, though you may rightly debate as to its quality. Yet, in all of science we have ZERO instances of material processes ever generating ANY functional information whatsoever, much less the stunningly complex overlapping multi-tiered layers of functional information we find embedded in the genomes of life. What’s more is that we find “functional transcendent information” (mathematics) embedded into the foundation of the universe itself, telling the “uncertain” material particles exactly how to behave.

    Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.
    Galileo Galilei

    The Underlying Mathematical Foundation Of The Universe -Walter Bradley – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491491

    The Five Foundational Equations of the Universe and Brief Descriptions of Each:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....#038;hl=en

    Finely Tuned Big Bang, Elvis In The Multiverse, and the Schroedinger Equation – Granville Sewell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4233012

    —————

    From where do these equations of transcendent functional information arise since they precede all of what we know to be of material reality and indeed they even exercise non-varying dominion of the “uncertain” material reality?

    Thus the question Aleta that really needs to be addressed is this, Does consciousness arise from a material basis or does it precede it? In this following experiment the answer is consciousness must precede it:

    Delayed choice quantum eraser
    http://onemorebrown.wordpress......um-eraser/

    of note; Consciousness must be INFORMED with local certainty to cause the wave to become a particle. We know from the Double Slit Experiment, with delayed erasure, that the simple fact of a detector being present is NOT sufficient to explain the wave collapse. If the detector results are erased after detection but before conscious analysis we see the wave form result instead of the particle result. This clearly establishes the centrality of consciousness to the whole experiment. i.e. The clear implication from the experiment is that consciousness is primary, and detection secondary, to the collapse of the wave function to a 3-D particle. Consciousness must precede 3-Dimensional material reality!

    ————–

    Aleta you stated the “intelligence must come from life” and this is certainly true, but it does not follow that life must come from 3-D material particles. Consciousness, Intelligence, and Life all must in fact have their origination in the “primary cause” that is found for the wave function’s collapse to its “uncertain” 3-D particle state.

  94. WH:

    I comment on points:

    1] WH, 88:Please show us the entry for “Is it caused by a combination of chance (mutations) and regularity (natural selection) –> YES –> Evolution There is none. ID “wins” by not even considering evolution. It’s been “expelled” from the EF.

    You have unfortunately played the strawman rhetorical tactic here.

    To begin with, you are ignoring the correction to your gross error about the capacity of natural selection that appears in 77 – 78 above. In summary, as Darwin himself pointed out in the introduction to Origin, “any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself . . . will have a better chance of surviving, and thus [will] be naturally selected.”

    That is, not only is natural selection a probabilistic culler of already existing and functional varieties, but it is not the source of variations it selects from, only a weeder-out of the “less fit.” (And by and large as Blythe, the real discoverer of natural selection identified, this means that it is largely conservative. Random variations in life forms that make a difference are overwhelmingly likely to cause defects, not advances. That is why we hear so much about genetic defects, but very little about advances that actually are observed to create novel bio-information and function. [Onlookers, observe the utter triviality of the examples that are usually cited for NS in action, and how overwhelmingly they work by loss of function, e.g. sickle cell trait and protection from malaria, and antibiotic resistance by loss of ability to regulate production of an anti-penicillin enzyme.])

    So we correct the too common but utterly fallacious attempt to inject natural selection into the cause for novel biological information: NS is not the source of such information, it can only at most serve as a probabilistic filter of already existing functional bio-information. And since information is based on high contingency of elements that carry messages, we must look to the empirically warranted sources of high contingency to explain it: chance and intelligence.

    Also, for first life, we have to first get to self-replicating capacity, which is based on an irreducibly complex cluster of parts, and is dependent on storage and processing of an abstract description and specification of the components of the functional cell. That is, as you were already corrected at 77 – 78 above on, as the requisites of the von Neumann self-replicator show us, FSCI has to be created BEFORE replication and reproduction are possible.

    For existing life, to get to a basically functional new body plan, we will again have to surmount the FSCI threshold. Consider, for instance, how many things have to be specified to get a functional wing and to control it for flight without so often breaking the necks of the fliers that flight is a disadvantage to be selected against.

    If one now wishes to argue that the in-built forces of our cosmos as described by natural laws will force the emergence of life and body plans on terrestrial planets similar to ours, then s/he is implying that the universe has been very carefully programmed to create life. And a cosmos-programming intelligent agent that set up a universe in which life is inevitable, is plainly an intelligent designer. (Indeed, such would read rather much like Genesis wherein we see the statement “let the earth bring forth [living creatures] . . . “)

    Further, on the explanatory filter, my remark in 85 above that you are diverting attention from was:

    By simply reviewing the fact that the EF [note my diagram and discussion focussed on analysing aspects and synthesising explanations] is a retrospective explanation of what scientists routinely do [cf the weak argument correctives from 29 on, on the point next time before hitting that submit button . . . ], it was easy enough to see that once we look at phenomena, processes and objects aspect by aspect, we can examine the matrix of credible causal factors involved.

    Moreover, had you simply checked the relevant remarks in the weak argument correctives, you would have also seen how Dr Demsbki said in WAC no 30:

    I came up with the EF on observing example after example in which people were trying to sift among necessity, chance, and design to come up with the right explanation. The EF is what philosophers of science call a “rational reconstruction” — it takes pre-theoretic ordinary reasoning and attempts to give it logical precision. But what gets you to the design node in the EF is SC (specified complexity). So working with the EF or SC end up being interchangeable . . .

    So, the design filter diagrams circa 1998 and derivatives therefrom, are rational reconstructions of routine scientific behaviour, which means thsat hey are implicitly looking at a particular aspect of an overall object or phenomenon, and are trying to decide the gneral class of cause for is, across the classic causes. To do so, we look at first hi/lo contingency. If low, mechanical necessity is responsible. If high, the second issue is whether the contingency is credibly based on happenstance or choice, the former being characterised by statistical patterns, and the latter by FSCI and other hallmarks of purposeful action. So, we read in the UD glossary, on the EF (i.e. this too is about as “official” as we get at UD):

    . . . while chance, necessity and agency may – and often do – jointly all act in a situation, we may for analysis focus on individual aspects. When we do so, we can see that observed regularities that create consistent, reliably observable patterns — e.g. the sun rises in the east each morning, water boils at seal level on Earth at 100 °C — are the signposts of mechanical necessity; and will thus exhibit low contingency. Where there is high contingency – e.g. which side of a die is uppermost – the cause is chance (= credibly undirected contingency) or design (= directed contingency).

    However, when an outcome (a) is sufficiently complex [e.g. for our practical purposes, the degree of contingency is beyond the configuration space set by ~ 500 – 1,000 bits of information storage capacity] and (b) comes from a reasonably narrow and independently specifiable target zone, then we may confidently conclude – based on massive experience — that (c) the outcome is intelligently designed for a purpose. A common example is a sufficiently long, ASCII text blog comment:where such a comment uses more than 72 – 143 characters, it is sufficiently long to have more than 10^150 – 10^301 possible configurations, i.e. that of 500 – 1,000 bits,and is complex in the universal probability bound [UPB] sense. It is also independently functionally specified as contextually and grammatically meaningful text in English, not the gobbledygook created by – by far and away — most cases of random typing or electrical noise: fghqwirt79wyfwhcqw9pfy79. So, we all confidently and routinely infer to design, not chance.

    So, when we see the DNA strands for life, ranging from 100 – 500,000 to over 3 – 4 billion functionally specific 4-state DNA elements [and since 100,000 bases has a configuration space of about 9.98 * 10^60,205], we need a very good reason indeed to reject design as its best explanation; not a mere dismissive assertion or the imposed assumption of evolutionary materialism under the color of “science.”

    That is, the earlier, simplified flowchart (note how they often come from popular contexts . . . ) implicitly is looking at a specific aspect of an object or phenomenon; serving to highlight the significance of complex [often, functionally] specified information as a reliable sign of intelligence.

    That focus on aspects, and the specific investigatory response to those aspects is what I have made explicit in my own more extensive flowchart and discussion. (The f/c and discussion I directed your attention to and which you seem to have little or no intention of addressing.)

    I will now also remind you (and onlookers) by further excerpting 85, on how science routinely analyses phenomena by aspects and in so doing routinely uses the self same explanatory filter, i.e. the objection you are making is a matter of selective hyperskepticism:

    [in information theory] we routinely distinguish meaningful signal from corrupting noise, and reliably identify which is which to the point where signal to noise ratio plays a vital role in comms and information theory. Also, in lab work or observational studies, we routinely distinguish the natural law based quantity being measured from the scatter of error, and the inaccuracies of bias up to and including the notorious personal equation of astronomical observation.

    That is . . . isolating aspects [of phenomena or objects] for scientific observation and analysis is not a novelty or an unusual practice. Indeed, it is routinely embedded in just about any experimental field of science that makes actual measurements.

    In short, as I pointed out yesterday, the explanatory filter (including the issue of focussing analytical attention on relevant aspects) is deeply embedded in the routine praxis of science, across many disciplines. Instead, sadly, you hastened to set up and knock over a convenient strawman caricature.

    But, just as we differentiate the lawlike pattern in the graph of an experiential result from the scatter caused by errors [e.g. why one often uses least squares analysis], we have every right to isolate how chance, mechanical necessity and intelligent action contribute to different aspects of a situation, then assess the overall phenomenon in light of the diverse factors at work.

    So, kindly, deal with serious issues on their serious merits and in light of relevant evidence, next time.

    2] 89: Onlookers, observe how hard KF dances around the fact that the only empirically known source of CSI did NOT have anything to do with the OOL. Furthermore, the only empirically known intelligence is not capable of originating life, at least as yet.

    Now, of course this is yet another unfortunate strawman set up and knocked over, here led away to by a red herring.

    Above, I focussed on certain specific aspects of cell based life, as can be seen in action in the video that you and your ilk are ever so patently eager NOT to deal with.

    Namely, the digital coded data storage and step by step, algorithmic information processing based on that data, to make proteins. In this aspect of the life of the cell, we see codes, programs, algorithms, and the like at work.

    The only known, empirically credible source of such is: intelligence.

    Indeed, so strong is this inference to empirically supported best explanation, that we have every right to view such FSCI as a reliable sign of intelligence, and to infer from its presence in any setting to the action of an authoring intelligence. (Onlookers, observe carefully how for years at UD no-one has been able to provide a good counter-example in which we observe FSCI emerging from undirected chance + mechanical necessity.)

    So, FSCI is empirical evidence of intelligence in action, whether we directly observe that intelligence or not. (And as the discussion on black holes etc in recent days underscored, a LOT of science is routinely about inferences to things that we do not observe directly. And, conveniently selective hyperskepticism is a fallacy.)

    In addition, the only other main source of highly contingent phenomena, chance, is not credibly capable of spontaneously originating such on the gamut of our observed cosmos.

    The third main category of causal factor, mechanical necessity tracing to the four basic forces — strong and weak nuclear, electromagnetism and gravitational — is characterised by lawlike regularity and predictability, hence the term natural law. Not by high contingency.

    (Indeed, if elements on a string are produced by forces of necessity, then they cannot take the different states and configurations required to convey information. A one key keyboard that always types AAAAAAAAAAAAA . . . would be useless compared to our familiar QWERTY keyboard. Contrast the polymerisation of nylon and the step by step algorithm-controlled assembly of the not too dissimilar proteins in a ribosome. Then factor in how such proteins function based on their specific algorithmically controlled chaining.)

    Moreover, As I have noted above and elsewhere, there is no good reason for us to conclude that we exhaust the list of existing or possible language- using, algorithm- designing, engineering intelligences.

    So, we have every good reason to understand that such FSCI is an empirically reliable sign of intelligence.

    Therefore we have quite good reason to infer that intelligence predates cell based life, and in fact made it.

    ____________

    GEM of TKI

  95. upright @ 27 correctly says…

    “Life is either the result of chance or design.

    Life operates by information.

    The source of that information is either chance or design.”

    Late to the party (where are truism’s posts?) but as usual would like to throw my 2 cents in on language.

    If information and life are connected, and they are, and information is encoded/transmitted/decoded by language, and it is, then what must be explained is language. No?

    So then, if information/life is to be explained by naturalistic/material causes, i.e. the laws of physics, then language must be explainable by physics. No?

    But this can never, ever happen because the laws of physics have nothing to say of symbols, the representation of one thing for another, or the rules that govern the usage of those symbols. Game over.

    This is falsifiable. Somebody, anybody, just communicate something without using a language. Better yet, describe how that might be even possible.

  96. PS: Having just now got back access to internet after a fire on a power pole knocked out services in my neighbourhood, I forgot to add this. If we look at Darwin’s Origin, the original title was:

    The Origin of Species by means of natural selection,or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life

    So, you can see that, right from the beginning, our attention was diverted from the actual assumed engines that generate what we can profitably term “natural variation,” to the culling filter that only actually REMOVES bio-information from the population, i.e. that genetic information had by the sub-populations that do not survive, i.e. suffer extinction.

    Here is the full excerpt from Darwin’s introduction, giving the epitome of his theory and stating his central theses:

    . . . the Struggle for Existence amongst all organic beings throughout the world, which inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio of their increase, will be considered. This is the doctrine of Malthus, applied to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurrent struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected. From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form.

    This fundamental subject of Natural Selection will be treated at some length in the fourth chapter; and we shall then see how Natural Selection almost inevitably causes much Extinction of the less improved forms of life, and leads to what I have called Divergence of Character. {Origin, p. 3.]

  97. Clive @ 30

    “Truism is no longer a truism here.”

    Aha.

  98. Aleta additional notes:

    Moreover, the transcendent cause must be sufficient to explain the semi-unique effect of 3D centrality witnessed by each individual observer in the universe.

    That the “mind” of a individual observer would play such an integral yet not complete “closed system role”, in the instantaneous quantum wave collapse of the universe to “3D centrality”, gives us clear evidence that our “mind” is a unique entity. A unique entity with a superior quality of existence when compared to the “uncertain 3D particles” of the “material” universe. This is clear evidence for the existence of the “higher dimensional soul” of man that supersedes any “material basis” that the soul/mind has been purported to “emerge” from by materialists. These following studies confirm this “superior quality” of our minds:

    Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/

    Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
    Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08.....lives.html

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This “anomaly” is also found for deaf people who can hear during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a “mental intention” preceded an actual neuronal firing – thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether.

    “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Eccles

    “Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder.”
    Heinrich Heine – in the year 1834

    Genesis 2:7
    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    Of more importance though, the “effect”, of universal quantum wave collapse to each “central 3D observer”, gives us clear evidence of the extremely special importance that the “cause”, of the “Infinite Mind of God”, places on each of our own individual minds.

    Psalm 139:17-18
    How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
    Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

    As well it should be noted that, counter-intuitive to materialistic thought (and to every kid who has ever taken a math exam), a computer does not consume energy during computation but will only consume energy when information is erased from it. This counter-intuitive fact is formally known as Landauer’s Principle. i.e. Erasing information is a thermodynamically irreversible process that increases the entropy of a system. i.e Only irreversible operations consume energy. Reversible computation does not use up energy. Unfortunately the computer will eventually run out of information storage space and must begin to “irreversibly” erase the information it has previously gathered (Bennett: 1982) and thus a computer must eventually use energy. i.e. A “material” computer must eventually obey the second law of thermodynamics for its computation.

    “information is physical”
    Rolf Landauer

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).

    This ability of a computer to “compute answers” without ever consuming energy, until information is erased, is very suggestive that the answers/truth already exist in reality, and in fact, when taken to its logical conclusion, is very suggestive to the postulation of John 1:1 that the “information of Logos” is ultimately the foundation of our “material” reality in the first place.

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    (of note: “Word” in Greek is “Logos”, and is the root word from which we get our word “Logic”)

    This strange anomaly between lack of energy consumption and the computation of information seems to hold for the human mind as well.

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    The Police – Spirits in the Material World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDs9zbiumDc

  99. Actually, TGP,

    one can communicate using signals, but your point as a whole is sound. Once language is used, symbols constrained by conventional rules are in play, ad this only credibly comes form mind.

    GEM of TKI

  100. Kf and TGP
    That point is stressed in this video

    The DNA Code – Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design – Perry Marshall
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

  101. warehuff, one final question for you to ignore though you will pretend you have addressed it.

    Can you please give me the formal proof that materialism is true?

  102. “Please show us the entry for “Is it caused by a combination of chance (mutations) and regularity (natural selection) –> YES –> Evolution

    There is none.”

    That is not correct, it is the first option so your example comes under the

    “START

    Is it Highly Probable? –> YES –> Law”

    It is a silly objection and is not the basis of any criticism.

  103. “So his argument boils down to, “A human could have started life if a human had been present three or four billion years ago to do it, which they weren’t, and if a human knew how to start life, which they don’t. Therefore, ID.”

    Another silly argument. There are only two possible sources for life, natural processes or intelligence. If someone wants to name a third, then we would be interested.

    If natural processes are capable of producing life, then one could argue that intelligence could control the same process and also produce life probably in a much more efficient process. It is done all the time with processes we find in nature. So if we have natural processes accomplishing something, then it is most likely something an intelligence could do and probably better.

    Now one may want to argue on strictly universal applicability that there are some natural processes that are beyond intelligence such as star formation but even here one may argue that in some future time with more advanced capabilities that intelligence could influence or even direct star formation.

    However, no one would argue that processes developed by intelligences would necessarily be duplicated by nature. Any one taking that position would only need a very small room to converse with others on it.

    All this is to state the obvious, that intelligence would be capable of creating life. The question then is, was there an intelligence around 3.5 billion years ago? We do not know but the presence of certain things could point to that as the most likely answer. There is certainly an intelligence now, so why not one 3.5 billion years ago. Are we that unique?

  104. Jerry:

    The presence of language, algorithms, programs and executing coordinated machines at the first appearance of life — that is what the requisites of self-replication, as highlighted by von Neumann entail [cf. 77 - 78 above] — strongly points to the presence of intelligence at that point, whether it was 3.8 – 4.2 BYA, or 6 – 10 TYA.

    Further, WH is being disingenuous: we know we exemplify intelligence, but — as has been repeatedly pointed out but studiously ignored — we have no good reason to believe we exhaust the possibility of intelligence at at least our level. (At a somewhat lower level,any number of animals show definite signs of basic intelligence, nor just pre-programmed instincts.)

    Indeed, by the canons of scientific induction, we can see easily that it is inductively well warranted to infer that FSCI is a reliable sign of intelligence.

    So, we are perfectly well warranted to infer — on the same grounds as we infer form the falling of rocks on earth and the centripetal acceleration of the moon, to the laws of gravitation — from FSCI and other similar signs of intelligence to the presence of an authoring intelligence. So, while we know that we were not here at the origin of life, we have excellent empirically warranted grounds for inferring to moral certainty that intelligence was there at the origin of life, and of the major body plans.

    Beyond that we have strong grounds [notice, I am stepping back a bit] for inferring that the fine tuning of the cosmos so that it facilitates C-chemistry, cell based life points to intelligence as the cause of the observable universe.

    Yet further, an excellent candidate for he author of the FSCI that is a requisite of cell based life is the same intelligence responsible for the fine tuned cosmos.

    And, observe, at each stage I have not assumed an a priori but instead am using inductive reasoning to infer to the best explanation. Unlike the Lewontin a priori materialists who so stoutly resist any inductive inferences and evidence that does not suit their preferences and agendas.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Not too my corrective on the error of assigning information generating capability to natural selection, which is at most a culler of sub populations with bioinformation that in a given environment makes them have sufficiently inferior performance to face extinction.

  105. Alinski’s rules:

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.” . . . .

    –> See why there is a routine resort by evo mat advocates to ridiculous strawman caricatures of serious arguments, instead of dealing with issues on the merits?

    –> Tells us, though, they have nothing to say on the merits

    GEM of TKI

  106. KF, good point about Alinsky.

    And remember,ridicule happens when they can’t address your points.

  107. BA:

    Here is my basic reason for concluding that evolutionary materialism is both self referentially incoherent and amoral:

    ____________________

    >>. . . [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of "science"] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance ["nature"] and psycho-social conditioning ["nurture"], within the framework of human culture [i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism].)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    In Law, Government, and Public Policy, the same bitter seed has shot up the idea that “Right” and “Wrong” are simply arbitrary social conventions. This has often led to the adoption of hypocritical, inconsistent, futile and self-destructive public policies.

    “Truth is dead,” so Education has become a power struggle; the victors have the right to propagandise the next generation as they please. Media power games simply extend this cynical manipulation from the school and the campus to the street, the office, the factory, the church and the home.

    Further, since family structures and rules of sexual morality are “simply accidents of history,” one is free to force society to redefine family values and principles of sexual morality to suit one’s preferences.

    Finally, life itself is meaningless and valueless, so the weak, sick, defenceless and undesirable — for whatever reason — can simply be slaughtered, whether in the womb, in the hospital, or in the death camp.

    In short, ideas sprout roots, shoot up into all aspects of life, and have consequences in the real world . . . >>

    ___________________

    Let’s see if any of our materialist friends here will have a serious answer to it on the merits.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Perry Marshall makes a lot of sense. I might trim or adjust a point or two, but his argument is generally cogent.

  108. Trib:

    Yup. So, the strawman tactics we are seeing are inadvertently deeply revealing on the true balance on the merits.

    I find it particularly interesting a la I_S_, that for instance, the evo mat advocates simply have been utterly missing in action for a week on the import of the von Neumann self-replicating automaton architecture discussed, e.g. in 77 – 78 above.

    I would also love to hear one of our natural selection advocates explain to us how a probabilistic culler of relatively unsuccessful sub populations [which thus removes the bio-information for the unlucky variety] is a SOURCE of information.

    And if chance natural variation [though Mr MacNeil's 47 engines etc] is the claimed source of complex functional bio-information, then we are right back at the isolated islands of function in a vast config space problem.

    GEM of TKI

  109. kf @ 100

    “one can communicate using signals,”

    I agree, of course. Did I presume too much – that symbols/rules would be realized in signals? Thanks.

  110. ba77 and kf @ 101

    Haven’t seen video yet. But wouldn’t symbols and rules be what are encoded in signals for transmission and decoding? I think I am still missing the point. Help. Thanks. If explained in video I will see it later…

  111. @tribune #107

    -”And remember,ridicule happens when they can’t address your points.”

    That’s in line with their anti-intellectualist agenda. Well said.

  112. TGP:

    The video addresses symbols in action in the cell.

    A blood-curdling scream of terror, shock and pain is a signal, but it is not a symbol made up according to rules. {The cry “rape” or “murder” is most definitely a symblic communication, though.)

    Either would serve to say time to fetch the old 12 Ga loaded with no 4 buck and go a hunting. And, I don’t mean for ducks.

    GEM of TKI

  113. thanks…

  114. kairofocus,
    This site looks very interesting:

    Molecular Movies
    http://www.molecularmovies.com/showcase/index.html

    and this just up at ID The Future may interest you:

    Fitness Costs and the Genetic Barriers to Evolution
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....5_24-07_00

    On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin interviews Scientific Dissent From Darwinism signer, biologist Mauricio Alcocer Ruthling, about the scientific problems with evolution. Dr. Alcocer Ruthling received his Ph.D. in plant science from the University of Idaho and is now Director of Graduate Studies at the Universidad Autónoma in Guadalajara, Mexico. Dr. Alcocer Ruthling has studied the importance of fitness costs to the use of herbicides and explains why fitness costs demonstrate the existence of genetic barriers to evolution.

  115. KF– I would also love to hear one of our natural selection advocates explain to us . . .

    I hope you are not holding your breath :-)

    The longer I follow this debate the more my mind is boggled at the realization that is we who are the ones that are truly defending science and reason.

  116. kairosfocus

    You do not have to convince me. We get a lot of clowns around here who think they have a half smart observation. They make good foils. Warehuff’s attempts are particularly lame so they make good fodder for a lurker to see the level of comments that are given to refute ID.

    What people like warehuff and those that support them fail to see is that there ineptness is confirmation that we are right. If there was a good answer to our position it would have surfaced long ago and they would all be repeating it.

  117. BA:

    The vid on the amino acid chain elognation cycle in the ribosome, here, gives a nice close up on how tweredun. This is even more of a tight closeup based on X ray studies.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: The podcast is indeed interesting.

  118. Yeah Kf, that second one is pretty cool

  119. Jerry:

    Yep.

    TGP:

    Welcome.

    G

  120. BA.

    Indeed, and notice how our evo mat advocates have been utterly silent in the face of the videos of what the Ribosome does with mRNA [and tRNA], and where its information comes from.

    Going back to the stylised one with a commentary I have been putting up [note how the details get filled in from the more detailed scans], watch the silence in response. (And notice how the DNA codon table has been greeted with a loud silence too.]

    G

  121. kairosfocus you stated:

    “Indeed, and notice how our evo mat advocates have been utterly silent in the face of the videos of what the Ribosome does with mRNA [and tRNA], and where its information comes from.”

    kairosfocus ,,, crickets chirping indeed,,, but don’t underestimate our resident genius atheist to come around in the morning and deny it means anything.

  122. @bornagain

    Who is the resident genius atheist? :P

  123. above, come to think of it, I believe the resident genius atheist at UD is a rotating chair.

  124. BA:

    Chirp, chirp, chirp . . .

    ___________

    [Here is that key video again, dear resident rotating professor of The UD Lewontin chair of a priori evolutionary materialist atheism.]

    GEM of TKI

    PS: BA and above, could you please hit my link to my briefing note in the left hand col, under my handle; and use the contact to email me? There is a project that may be of interest to you.

  125. bornagain77 @ 90 & 91: First, thanks to everybody for the excellent replies! Since I have a life outside the internet, I generally don’t get on line on weekends, but I have exactly 23 minutes to write today and the rest will have to wait for Monday morning. I do want to reply to BA77 @ 90 & 91 first.

    bornagain, forgive me. From the way you fling citations around, I thought you more or less understood quantum mechanics, but these messages show that I was very much mistaken. There are several dualities in the quantum world. The Uncertainty Principle you mention in @91 is one of them. The more accurately you know a particle’s position, the less you know about it’s momentum and vice-versa.

    Another fundamental duality is between a particle’s position and its wave function. (Sometimes referred to as particle/wave duality.) As you gain knowledge of a particle’s position, you automatically lose knowledge of its wave function and vice-versa. Position and wave function are complementary – increasing one automatically decreases the other.

    So when Dr. Quantum’s experiment detects which slit the electron goes through, it automatically destroys the wave function which caused the interference pattern. No consciousness needed, just disturb the electron enough to measure its location and the interference vanishes. Basic quantum mechanics.

    In slightly more advanced quantum mechanics, if you can destroy your position measurement before the electrons hit the screen, as in your delayed experiment, you get your wave function back and the interference pattern re-appears. Quantum weirdness, but it’s repeatable weirdness and your measurements confirm the theory.

    I thought you understood this. Now I see that you don’t and I’m beginning to better understand some of the oddities in your posts that puzzled me before.

    Two minutes to spare!

  126. Correction: Position and wave function are complementary – increasing knowledge of one automatically decreases knowledge of the other and vice-versa.

    0 minutes left!

  127. Warehuff, you are severely mistaken if you think that:

    “No consciousness needed, just disturb the electron enough to measure its location and the interference vanishes.”

    What you so nonchalantly toss off as “just disturb the electron and the interference vanishes” glosses over several profound mysteries of wave collapse and ignores several other mysteries once the electron collapses, and indeed reveals your gross ignorance of quantum mechanics that you have accused me of. Though I am far from claiming complete knowledge of all things quantum, one thing I am sure of is that you have no real clue as to what you are talking about in this matter. But if you continue to insist you have all this quantum stuff figured out and that I and such luminaries as Wheeler and Wigner are all delusional, please feel free to write up this conclusive evidence for a purely materialistic view of quantum mechanics in peer-review so as to show the world your unmatched mastery of this subject. Myself I find your self-assured condescending tone in such a matter to be laughable:

    notes:

    —————-

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Wigner

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.

    Delayed choice quantum eraser
    http://onemorebrown.wordpress......um-eraser/

    of note; Consciousness must be INFORMED with local certainty to cause the wave to become a particle. We know from the Double Slit Experiment, with delayed erasure, that the simple fact of a detector being present is NOT sufficient to explain the wave collapse. If the detector results are erased after detection but before conscious analysis we see the wave form result instead of the particle result. This clearly establishes the centrality of consciousness to the whole experiment. i.e. The clear implication from the experiment is that consciousness is primary, and detection secondary, to the collapse of the wave function to a 3-D particle. Consciousness must precede 3-Dimensional material reality.

    This following study solidly refutes the “hidden variable” argument that has been used by materialists to try to get around the Theistic implications of this instantaneous “spooky action at a distance” found in quantum mechanics.

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables.

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.
    http://www.4truth.net/site/c.h.....ialism.htm

  128. further notes:

    Quantum mechanics is about as far away from the solid material particle, that materialism had predicted as the basis of reality, as can be had.

    Uncertainty Principle – The “Uncertain Non-Particle” Basis Of Material Reality – video and article
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109172
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-uncertainty/

    Electron diffraction
    Excerpt: The de Broglie hypothesis, formulated in 1926, predicts that particles should also behave as waves. De Broglie’s formula was confirmed three years later for electrons (which have a rest-mass) with the observation of electron diffraction in two independent experiments. At the University of Aberdeen George Paget Thomson passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal film and observed the predicted interference patterns. At Bell Labs Clinton Joseph Davisson and Lester Halbert Germer guided their beam through a crystalline grid. Thomson and Davisson shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1937 for their work.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_diffraction

    To top that off many of the actions of the electron blatantly defy out concepts of time and space:

    The Electron – The Supernatural Basis of Reality – video
    http://www.tangle.com/view_vid.....2f4b8e5995

    Electron entanglement near a superconductor and bell inequalities
    Excerpt: The two electrons of these pairs have entangled spin and orbital degrees of freedom.,,, We formulate Bell-type inequalities in terms of current-current cross-correlations associated with contacts with varying magnetization orientations. We find maximal violation (as in photons) when a superconductor is the particle source.
    http://www.springerlink.com/co.....84h856618/

    Double-slit experiment
    Excerpt: (Though normally done with photons) The double slit experiment can also be performed (using different apparatus) with particles of matter such as electrons with the same results, demonstrating that they also show particle-wave duality.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.....experiment

    Quantum Mechanics – Quantum Results, Theoretical Implications Of Quantum Mechanics
    Excerpt: Bohr proposed that electrons existed only in certain orbits and that, instead of traveling between orbits, electrons made instantaneous quantum leaps or jumps between allowed orbits. The electron quantum leaps between orbits proposed by the Bohr model accounted for Plank’s observations that atoms emit or absorb electromagnetic radiation in quanta. Bohr’s model also explained many important properties of the photoelectric effect described by Albert Einstein (1879–1955).
    http://science.jrank.org/pages.....anics.html

    “Atoms are not things”
    Werner Heisenberg

  129. bornagain77 @122,

    kairosfocus you stated:

    “Indeed, and notice how our evo mat advocates have been utterly silent in the face of the videos of what the Ribosome does with mRNA [and tRNA], and where its information comes from.”

    kairosfocus ,,, crickets chirping indeed,,, but don’t underestimate our resident genius atheist to come around in the morning and deny it means anything.

    Speaking as an “evo mat advocate”, I can’t just decide to post something and have it appear after I hit submit comment.

    We both have to wait and hope it appears.

    When it does, it appears in posting order, not when it clears moderation.

    That means you have to know I’ve posted something before you see that I’ve posted something, in order to know that you should go back and look for it.

    Yes, we’re silent and I’ll be getting more silent all the time.

    Shorter posts, less posts, no posts, which would clearly prove your scientific arguments are more valid than ours.

  130. But hey warehuff don’t take my word it:

    “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.”
    Niels Bohr

  131. further note:

    A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at (Detector) D0 at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment. (i.e. This experiment clearly shows that a conscious observer being able to know which path a photon takes is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle. The act of a detector detecting a photon does not determine if the wave will be collapsed at the end of the experiment. That is what he meant by “we the observer are shocked to learn”)
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    Experimental realization of Wheeler’s delayed-choice GedankenExperiment
    Excerpt: The quantum “mystery which cannot go away” (in Feynman’s words) of wave-particle duality is illustrated in a striking way by Wheeler’s delayed-choice GedankenExperiment.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0610241

  132. kairosfocus @ 95: The “gross error” in 77-78 was where you assume that a von Neumann replicator was necessary at the OOL and that the first self-reproducer was large and complex. A von Neumann replicator is not the simplest replicator that will copy information. Current theory says the first self-reproducer was a very small self-reproducing molecule that would work something like this: imagine a small molecule made of several sub-molecules chained together ala a protein or RNA. If each sub-molecule attracts an identical submolecule and holds it to it’s side and all of the new sub-molecules join together into a new chain which then breaks off from the original molecule, that molecule has just reproduced itself. No external storage for the information, assembly mechanisms or other von Neumann paraphernalia are needed. The embedded information in the original molecules (the electrostatic attractions that attract and hold identical sub-molecules and join sub-molecules end to end) does all the work If the molecule was reasonably small, it could form randomly without running into any of the enormous improbabilities you mention, which are for much much more complex molecules.

    Yes, natural selection is not 100 percent foolproof. You can be born the fittest individual that has ever existed and still get run over by a bus. But in the long run, natural selection weeds out bad mutations and keeps most of the good ones.

    I agree with you completely that natural selection is not the source of variations. Mutations create the variations. Natural selection takes the variations caused by mutations and weeds out the less fit and keeps most of the good ones. It doesn’t matter if most mutations are bad – they cost a species nothing. Mutation and natural selection form a system where all bets are free and you keep only the winning bets.

    You say that mutations destroy information. What mutations caused which losses of information that transformed teosinte into corn? Google for teosinte and look at it – it’s grass! It’s only a few inches high. It’s head has about ten kernels on it and each one is hard as a rock. It has almost no nutritional value. Yet a dozen or two mutations changed it into corn.

    Speaking of fine tuning, the only part of this solar system that will support life is the surface of the earth down to a few miles. Let’s say the entire earth was capable of supporting life. The earth’s volume is about 1 E 12 km3. The nearest star is about four light years away. As far as I know, if you draw a sphere with a four light year radius centered on the sun, the earth is the only place in that enormous volume that will support life. If my arithmatic is right, that would mean that about 0.0000000000000016 of the universe in this neck of the woods supports life. And we live in a very good neighborhook compared with intergalactic space or the center of the galaxy.

    With figures like that, I would not call the universe fine tuned for life. I would say that life manages to hang on by the skin of its teeth in the infinitismal portion of the universe that doesn’t kill it instantly or in a few minutes.

    I don’t care what Dembski was thinking of when he came up with the Explanitory Filter. The fact is that you can’t even feed evolution into it. You can focus on individual aspects of evolution if you wish, but you can’t feed it into the filter because the filter can’t handle chance and law at the same time. The rest of message 95 repeats mistakes from previous messages which I have already addressed.

  133. tgpeeler @ 96: “Somebody, anybody, just communicate something without using a language. Better yet, describe how that might be even possible.”

    See my OOL life example above. No languages necessary, no symbols, the information is copied directly. Also see the punch I described earlier. Put the punch on the metal, hit it with a hammer and whatever information was engraved into the end of the punch is copied directly to the metal. Again, no language or symbols needed

  134. KF @ 97: Let’s look at what Darwin wrote: “. . . the Struggle for Existence amongst all organic beings throughout the world, which inevitably follows from the high geometrical ratio of their increase, will be considered. This is the doctrine of Malthus, applied to the whole animal and vegetable kingdoms. As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive …”

    “Many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive.” This is why mutations are “free”. If a species is multiplying so fast that able bodied organisms must inevitably die because there aren’t enough resources to feed them, a death from a bad mutation is “free” in the sense that the organism would have starved to death even if it was “normal”. The “extinction” OF THAT INDIVIDUAL is free. Anytime bets are free and you get to keep all the winnings, you’re going to be a big winner in the long run.

  135. BA77 @ 102 “Can you please give me the formal proof that materialism is true?” I can prove that I exist – to myself. I can probably persuade most people that 2 + 2 = 4 if you will allow me to draw pictures. Just as you can’t prove that God exists, I can’t prove that materialism is true. However, it does seem to work pretty darn well and I know of no facts that suggest it doesn’t.

  136. jerry @ 103: ME: “Please show us the entry for “Is it caused by a combination of chance (mutations) and regularity (natural selection) –> YES –> Evolution
    There is none.”

    jerry: “That is not correct, it is the first option so your example comes under the
    “START
    Is it Highly Probable? –> YES –> Law””

    No, that only measures chance, not chance and regularity.

  137. jerry @ 104: Nobody is arguing that only natural processes can produce life. We’re arguing that natural processes CAN produce life and that there was nothing else around at the OOL.

    If you think there was an intelligence on earth 3.5 billion years ago, where is the evidence?

  138. KF @ 105: “Indeed, by the canons of scientific induction, we can see easily that it is inductively well warranted to infer that FSCI is a reliable sign of intelligence.”

    Only if you assume that evolution cannot produce CSI. And of course, ID does assume exactly that.

    ID also says that it could only be intelligence or evolution. Then it says that evolution can’t do it. This makes the ID argument circular.

    Proof that an Intelligent Being produces CSI:

    1: CSI has to be produced by either Intelligence or evolution.

    2: Evolution can’t produce CSI.

    3: Therefore, ID produces CSI.

    ID needs to work on #2 above.

    You also repeat your misunderstanding of natural selection, but I’ve covered that above.

  139. kairosfocus @ 108: “[evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of "science"] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains.”

    Evolution won’t let you get away with that and the human brain is an evolved organ. Its operations have been subject to natural selection for maybe 400 million years. One of the chief functions of a brain in any organism is to help its owner cope with a hostile world. A brain that fails this task will get its owner dead in a very short time. If its actions were really irrelevant to purpose, truth or validity, its owner would be killed by the first bear it thought was cuddly or the first cliff it’s owner thought he could step off of safely. If its thoughts were only true by lucky coincidence, none of us would live beyond infancy because nobody has that much luck.

    Our thoughts are not perfect. We’re mortal, material beings trying to figure out a very complex world and we get things wrong. The messages in this thread prove that. But most of the time we get it right enough to stay alive and even prosper and the scientific tests, observation, experiment and measurement that you spurn are an effective check when they can be used.

    This whole post could only be written by someone who fundamentally misunderstands evolution. If Perry Marshall wrote it, don’t waste money on his sure-fire adwords schemes.

  140. KF @ 109: See yesterday’s messages.

    1: I explained your misunderstanding of von Neumann and his replicator. It was designed to be a universal replicator and it’s not the simplest possible way to copy comething.

    2: MUTATION (and sexual recombination and probably other things) is the SOURCE of information. Natural selection weeds out the bogus noise from useful information.

    When you talk about “isolated islands of function in a vast config space problem”, are you referring to searching through the vast range of possible DNA sequences for a combination that produces a viable organism? Please please please say yes.

  141. bornagain77 @ 128: “Warehuff, you are severely mistaken if you think that:
    “No consciousness needed, just disturb the electron enough to measure its location and the interference vanishes.”

    Now how would you know that? You’ve shown that you’ve never heard of wave/particle duality which is a key part of quantum mechanics and vital to understanding Dr. Quantum’s blunder when he detects which slot the electron goes through and is then amazed to find the interference pattern has vanished.

    Cutting and pasting quotes from various scientists and misunderstanding an experiment of Wheeler doesn’t constitute knowledge of QM. Especially when Wigner was just flat wrong in the quote you use.

    And why should I write up my observations for a peer-reviewed journal? There’s nothing new in them, just elementary and well known aspects of QM.

    Now if YOU were to write up YOUR understanding of quantum mechanics and submit them to a peer-reviewed journal, I think you’d really open some eyes.

  142. Crickets: Unless the weather is so bad that all of my plans are totally screwed up, I generally don’t get online on the weekends unless I need some specific information, like a part number for a Mercury outboard which brought me to the computer last Saturday.

    Please check the calendar before going “Chirp, chirp, chirp . . .”

  143. warehuff @ 136, what is so hard about proving materialism true??? there either is a solid material particle (“atom” as per the Greeks who formulated materialism) at the basis of reality or there is not. Since it is conclusively shown there is NOT a solid material particle at the basis of reality then materialism is falsified in no uncertain terms of its primary postulation. Whereas Christian Theism, in the same vein, postulated that “The Word” (Logos) was at the basis of reality, and reality does indeed conform to being “information based” in origin as Theism had postulated:

    “It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.” John Archibald Wheeler

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/Magaz.....fault.aspx

    Thus warehuff the question is why do you follow a falsified philosophy?

  144. Warehuff since the detector is effectively removed as the cause of the wave collapse in this experiment, your “belief” is falsified:

    A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at (Detector) D0 at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment. (i.e. This experiment clearly shows that a conscious observer being able to know which path a photon takes is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle. The act of a detector detecting a photon at an earlier time in the experiment does not determine if the wave will be collapsed at the end of the experiment. That is what he meant by “we the observer are shocked to learn”)
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

  145. Mr BA^77

    Somehow you missed this paragraph:

    Here it is most interesting to note, as do the authors in the published version of the paper, that the “choice” of which direction the photon will take at BSA or BSB is made by QM itself. That is, the path at this juncture is 50-50 random. As we will see, this “choice” will determine the information available at the conclusion of the experiment. (The authors note that in other quantum eraser experiments, the choice is made by the experimentalist. [3])

    It is not the conscious observer, it is merely another set of detectors.

  146. WH:

    Just a moment.

    The vNR is indeed not the simplest way to self-replicate [which was never proposed]. It logically defines a mechanism and requisites, that makes a machine capable of doing something real, to also replicate itself.

    Autocatalytic molecules and reagents and the like, of course fall through the problem of functioning as life forms that have metabolism driven action and interaction in an environment, and the related trap of THEN innovating a de novo language based irreducibly complex self-replication system, on autiocatalysis. Just so onlookers can appreciate what has to be explained as originating by blind chance and mechanical necessity without intelligent direction,and surrounding the extracts in the animated video [which was cited to show that we have a digital, language and algorithm based process in action], I excerpt from Parker:

    A cell needs over 75 “helper molecules”, all working together in harmony, to make one protein (R-group series) as instructed by one DNA base series. A few of these molecules are RNA (messenger, transfer, and ribosomal RNA); most are highly specific proteins. ‘When it comes to “translating” DNA’s instructions for making proteins, the real “heroes” are the activating enzymes. Enzymes are proteins with special slots for selecting and holding other molecules for speedy reaction. Each activating enzyme has five slots: two for chemical coupling, one for energy (ATP), and most importantly, two to establish a non-chemical three-base “code name” for each different amino acid R-group . . . [Even more awe-inspiring, since the more recent discovery that some of the activating enzymes have editing machinery to remove errant products, including an ingenious "double sieve" system.[2],[3]] ‘And that’s not the end of the story. The living cell requires at least 20 of these activating enzymes I call “translases,” one for each of the specific R-group/code name (amino acid/tRNA) pairs. Even so, the whole set of translases (100 specific active sites) would be (1) worthless without ribosomes (50 proteins plus rRNA) to break the base-coded message of heredity into three-letter code names; (2) destructive without a continuously renewed supply of ATP energy [as recently shown, this is produced by ATP synthase, an enzyme containing a miniature motor, F1-ATPase.[4],[5],[6],[7]] to keep the translases from tearing up the pairs they are supposed to form; and (3) vanishing if it weren’t for having translases and other specific proteins to re-make the translase proteins that are continuously and rapidly wearing out because of the destructive effects of time and chance on protein structure! [8]

    In short the problem has been displaced, not cogently answered. (And of course the DNA-based cell is indeed a universal automaton machine,)

    Aside from such, the basic scientific problem is that the RNA world or the like are all in the air speculation: hypothetical unobserved “replicator” molecules with hypothetical life [similar to the computer simulations posing as life forms we have become used to seeing and common speculations on RNA worlds].

    As a dose of reality from chemists etc who have had to fire up their bunsen burners and fill test tubes with reagents and see what can reasonably be achieved with plausible early earth etc conditions, here is the classic, revealing exchange on OOL between Shapiro and Orgel:

    [Shapiro, Sci Am:] RNA’s building blocks, nucleotides contain a sugar, a phosphate and one of four nitrogen-containing bases as sub-subunits. Thus, each RNA nucleotide contains 9 or 10 carbon atoms, numerous nitrogen and oxygen atoms and the phosphate group, all connected in a precise three-dimensional pattern . . . .  

    [S]ome writers have presumed that all of life’s building could be formed with ease in Miller-type experiments and were present in meteorites and other extraterrestrial bodies. This is not the case.

    A careful examination of the results of the analysis of several meteorites led the scientists who conducted the work to a different conclusion: inanimate nature has a bias toward the formation of molecules made of fewer rather than greater numbers of carbon atoms, and thus shows no partiality in favor of creating the building blocks of our kind of life . . . .

    To rescue the RNA-first concept from this otherwise lethal defect, its advocates have created a discipline called prebiotic synthesis. They have attempted to show that RNA and its components can be prepared in their laboratories in a sequence of carefully controlled reactions, normally carried out in water at temperatures observed on Earth . . . .

    Unfortunately, neither chemists nor laboratories were present on the early Earth to produce RNA . . . 

    [Orgel, PLOS:] If complex cycles analogous to metabolic cycles could have operated on the primitive Earth, before the appearance of enzymes or other informational polymers, many of the obstacles to the construction of a plausible scenario for the origin of life would disappear . . . .

    It must be recognized that assessment of the feasibility of any particular proposed prebiotic cycle must depend on arguments about chemical plausibility, rather than on a decision about logical possibility . . . few would believe that any assembly of minerals on the primitive Earth is likely to have promoted these syntheses in significant yield . . . .  Why should one believe that an ensemble of minerals that are capable of catalyzing each of the many steps of [[for instance] the reverse citric acid cycle was present anywhere on the primitive Earth [[8], or that the cycle mysteriously organized itself topographically on a metal sulfide surface [[6]? . . .  Theories of the origin of life based on metabolic cycles cannot be justified by the inadequacy of competing theories: they must stand on their own . . . . 

    The prebiotic syntheses that have been investigated experimentally almost always lead to the formation of complex mixtures. Proposed polymer replication schemes are unlikely to succeed except with reasonably pure input monomers. No solution of the origin-of-life problem will be possible until the gap between the two kinds of chemistry is closed. Simplification of product mixtures through the self-organization of organic reaction sequences, whether cyclic or not, would help enormously, as would the discovery of very simple replicating polymers. However, solutions offered by supporters of geneticist or metabolist scenarios that are dependent on “if pigs could fly” hypothetical chemistry are unlikely to help.

    That is why science writer Richard Robinson has noted in his recent review article, that neither main model — despite what we may sometimes read to the contrary in more popular writings or see and hear in “science news” articles (or even, sadly, textbooks)   –  is “robust.”

    And, when it comes to the idea of mutations as innovators of information, the strong evidence is that they are not going to get us to novel complex, biofunctional information. Just compare the limits on malaria parasite mutations [~ 2 - 3 points, it seems], in a context where the parasites have had more reproductive events in the period since modern antimalarials, than the entire collective of vertebrates.

    The strongly evident pattern is that mutations overwhelmingly adjust existing function, and in so doing they tend to destroy or reduce biofunction. Indeed, it seems that for instance resistant strains of bacteria lose vigour relative to the normals, and of course highly bred out dogs etc tend to have unusual incidences of defects.

    And, your first problem on config spaces is to get to the first island of biofunction relevant to observable life, then to innovate the 10′s to 100′s of millions of bases required to get to body plans, with required embryologically feasible development pathways. That is you are looking at integrated complexity, as Meyer’s 2004 critical review noted:

    Mutations in genes that are expressed late in the development of an organism will not affect the body plan. Mutations expressed early in development, however, could conceivably produce significant morphological change (Arthur 1997:21) . . . [but] processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream. For this reason, mutations will be much more likely to be deadly if they disrupt a functionally deeply-embedded structure such as a spinal column than if they affect more isolated anatomical features such as fingers (Kauffman 1995:200)

    In short, after decades, what we really have is the imposition of a priori materialism, which makes materialistic evolution seem plausible by in effect implication. In that context, of course speculative models on “how” this or that might have happened seem persuasive, and illustrations from scant and over-extrapolated evidence [for which alternative causal explanations are excluded a priori] seem convincing.

    But in the end, all is based on grand question-begging assumptions dressed up as scientific hypotheses.

    As a basic reality check: have you seen codes, symbols and meaningful rules for constructing messages come about by chance and mechanical necessity? Have you seen the machines that work with algorithms and with informational messages come about by chance and mechanical necessity? Or, do you see such coming about by intelligent action? Why do you think that is?.

    GEM of TKI

  147. BA77:

    A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at (Detector) D0 at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment. (i.e. This experiment clearly shows that a conscious observer being able to know which path a photon takes is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle. The act of a detector detecting a photon at an earlier time in the experiment does not determine if the wave will be collapsed at the end of the experiment. That is what he meant by “we the observer are shocked to learn”)

    You start with the term “Excerpt” and then what follows is a direct quote from the paper you say you are excerpting. So far so good. But then starting with the parentheses you inert your own opinions about conscious observers as if they are part of that excerpt. Why would you do that. If someone were not familiar with your tendency to do this that would reasonably assume that the original paper your quouting ha

  148. Sorry I’ll have to continue this in a moment after constructing the post off-line.

  149. PS: On cosmological fine tuning, isn’t it interesting how evo mat advocates love to set up and knock over strawmen? WH, start here in my always linked and look here and here too as a 101, so you can see that the issue is that with very modest or even incredibly tiny tipping of cosmological parameters, we would have a cosmos radically unfriendly to C-Chemistry cell based life, starting with getting to stars that make the required heavy elements, and getting onward to a second generation of long lived stars in Galactic Habitable Zones with terrestrial planets; ours is indeed a privileged planet.

  150. Anyway, my point being that the original experiment obviously wouldn’t have anything to say about conscious observers. If you want to editorialize like that you would have to use a bracket ‘[‘. If you are seeking to educate people unknowledgeable about quantum mechanics, then you shouldn’t lead them astray but presenting editorializing comments of your own about “conscious observers” as if they were part of the official results of an experiment conducted by someone else.

    But let me edit your own quote to remove the “conscious observer” part and it results I believe in a fair characterization of the Copenhagen interpretation:

    “This experiment clearly shows that being able to know which path a photon takes is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle. The act of a detector detecting a photon at an earlier time in the experiment does not determine if the wave will be collapsed at the end of the experiment.”

    Its the “potential to know” by virtue of the experimental setup that is what is at issue (not “consciousness”).

    No one (except maybe you) has ever suggested that the Copenhagen interpretation someone establishes duality or the nonmateriality of consciousness or what not as integral to quantum experiments.

    Of course, a lot of people by default tend to think of “consciousness” in these terms, but that’s baggage they bring to the table on their own – not something established through quantum experiments.

    But at any rate more recent experiments like the Afshar experiment (do a google search – you’ll immediately hit it) seriously challenge even the Copenhagen interpretation

    (Though by the way I’m not presenting myself as an expert in all this.)

  151. jt, the experiment is as it is and straightforward in implications (actually it gets much deeper as to a primary consciousness i,e, God). As to you saying that consciousness is never mentioned in quantum mechanics their are a few people that disagree with your blanket assertion,,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Wigner

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    The Mental Universe

    jt I put the evidence out there and you can accept it or reject. But I am solid on this point whether you think I am or not. since your challenge is found to be without merit I will also file your criticism as to my formating in the same porcelain file as I do the quantum critique.

  152. BA77:

    re: conscious observers, quantum experiments.

    As I stated, I’m not an expert, and if I get away from it for a bit I tend to forget some details. So to get back up to speed I found this ariticle which is pretty clear (much more so than Wikipedia which in my experience tends to obscure rather than clarify, imo.)
    (Note – I think this is the standard erasure experiment not delayed erasure, but the principle will be the same.)
    But the relevant quote is as follows:

    In this experiment, the “which-way” information of the particles is found without disturbing their wavefunction. The reason of the interference loss is the quantum information contained in the measuring apparatus, by means of the entanglement correlations between the particles and the path detectors. The experiment shows that if such quantum information is afterwards erased from the system then the interference reappears …

    So iow, what is relevant is the quantum information existing in “the system” i.e. “the measuring apparatus”. Whether or not there is a “conscious observer” of the experiment is irrelevant.

    In the experiment if a particle hits d3 or d4 its entangled particle (detected by d0) will definitely not form an inteference pattern. However, if a particle hits d1 or d2 its entangled particle will definitely form an interference pattern. And this process as described in the previous two sentences occurs whether or not there was an observer or conscious observer of the experiment. Or rather, the observer as I percieve it is actually the experimental setup itself. (And I presume you’re not saying the experimental setup has concious awareness.)

    So to reiterate my point, it makes no difference in the above experiment whether there is a concious observer as you construe such a concept.

    Care to tell me, (in terms of this specific experiment) what I’m missing.

  153. jt,
    Question:
    Care to tell me, (in terms of this specific experiment) what I’m missing.

    Answer:
    God

  154. Just as an addendum, how could you say that one interpretation, The Copenhagen Interpretation is consistent with Christian Orthodoxy, and promote it to the exclusion of all other interpretations. (Many-Worlds, Transactional, etc.) To me the transactional makes a lot of sense, of course it has distrubing implications regarding free-will I think

  155. I need to take another look at the delayed erasure experiment, which I think I’ve understood before, but just rereading the wikiepedia example, I’m not getting it yet. But even with the delayed erasure, my impression has never been that a human gets up and walks away from the experiment, that the experiment has different results. Everything has to do with details of the actual experimental setup, not whether or not there is a human there to observe it. Am I wrong about that.

  156. here is my link that may help you jt:

    http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/

    The first part of the paper goes over much of it:

    For me, the whole “mystery which cannot go away”, as Feynman said, found resolution when I limited myself to finding a sufficient cause for ALL of the effects I was witnessing.

  157. OK, is this correct – if the path to D0 (in that experiment I reference above) is shorter than to the other detectors, that means an interference pattern will be detected even before the which-way information is erased (on the longer path to the other detectors). And this interference pattern will form because the which way pattern is going to be erased (in the future.) How could you not look at that and see at work some sort of strict determinism in the universe (as opposed to some mysterious non-determinisitc observer’s influencing events through conscious observation.)

  158. BA77 just now saw your last remark.

  159. ba77 – it seems to me there are a number of wildly misleading and blatantly incorrect statements in that (http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/), Seriously. I’m not saying that to score debate points.

    “The BottomLayer” I concluded in the past was not reliable.

  160. Here’s just one example from TheBottomLayer (which is quoted in that link you provided):

    Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at (Detector) D0 at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment. (i.e. This experiment clearly shows that a conscious observer being able to know which path a photon takes is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle. The act of a detector detecting a photon at an earlier time in the experiment does not determine if the wave will be collapsed at the end of the experiment. That is what he meant by “we the observer are shocked to learn”)

    This is really misleading. It doesn’t matter whether or not a “conscious observer” actually gathered the results at time 4. Only that the experiment was set up such that the results could be gathered.

  161. So IOW, once again, its specific physical attributes of the expermental setup that cause the waveform collapse – not whether some conscious entity is involved.

  162. Of course, there is the nonlocality aspect of quantum phenomenena, where physical phenomenena remote in time and space from each other affect one another.

  163. jt, and is the cat alive or dead until you open the box

  164. jt this site had a bit more fun look at the delayed erasure experiment:

    God Vs. The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser
    http://onemorebrown.wordpress......um-eraser/

    you know jt I bet you will wrestle over this quantum stuff and think you got it all figured out to a materialistic basis, but the damn thing about quantum mechanics is there is always a loose thread that comes along and unravels the whole doggone thing.

    The Mental Universe – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy.
    The Mental Universe

  165. BA77 [164]:

    I actually learned something from Wikipedia just now that I did not know previously:

    Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, often described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects.
    …Schrödinger did not wish to promote the idea of dead-and-alive cats as a serious possibility; quite the reverse, the paradox is a classic reductio ad absurdum.

    So apparently it was constructed to essentially lampoon the Copenhagen interpretation.

  166. And the term “big bang” was invented by Hoyle to lampoon the origin of the universe. ,,,The point being is,,, is the wave collapsed if you never look?

    but this is all beside the point jt, the fact is that you have instantaneous actions occurring that CANNOT possibly be explained by material processes. None other than Einstein himself championed your materialistic position with hidden variables, and hidden variables were overturned by Alain Aspect, as well as more recent work.

    Quantum Measurements: Common Sense Is Not Enough, Physicists Show – July 2009
    Excerpt: scientists have now proven comprehensively in an experiment for the first time that the experimentally observed phenomena cannot be described by non-contextual models with hidden variables. http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142824.htm

    This was the second time Einstein had been burnt by his base materialistic philosophy. the first is when he added a “fudge factor” to the General relativity equation to reflect a static universe rather than entertain the thought of a beginning of the universe, as had naturally flowed from his equation.

    Einstein & The Belgian Priest; Georges Lamaître – The “Father” of the Big Bang – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4279662/

  167. BA77 [165]: I wll go over that site again, although you posted it previously to someone else and I did scan it.

    But as far as the site I mentioned on the Quantum erasure experiment, that is about as clear and concise a description of it I’ve encountered. Just to review, because of the way the experiment is set up physically, if a particle hits detector D1 or D2 its entangled particle will definitely exhibit interference. If a particle hits D3 or D4 its entangled particle will definitely not exhibit interference. And all this occurs regardless of whether or not a conscious observer is present.

    So my question to you is, do you agree wth that, after reviewing the experiment yourself, and secondly and more importantly, given what you had read previously, would you have assumed that to be the case previously. That BottomLayer sight I actually devoted a couple hours to it a few months ago, before finally realizing it wasn’t reliable. The fact is that quantum theory attracts so much public interest, that there is all sorts of misinformation perpetuated by well-meaning people, and real researchers just kind of roll their eyes and ignore it.

  168. bornagain77 @167,

    but this is all beside the point jt, the fact is that you have instantaneous actions occurring that CANNOT possibly be explained by material processes

    A native on a South Seas island might believe a photograph to be magic until the material process of photography that we already understand, was explained to him.

    Now the native has a material explanation.

    Why is it not possible that an unknown material process for let’s say X, exists, but has simply not been discovered by us?

  169. The lack of hidden variables don’t lend support the Copenhagen interpretation any more than they do the Many Worlds or a Transactional interpretation. That’s all I can say with certainty at the moment.

  170. doesn’t lend support

  171. BA77 [165]:

    God Vs. The Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser

    In the above in the OP he goes through a series of description of the double slit, and then the erasure experiment, and the delayed erasure and then culminates with the following statement:

    So, it is the knowledge of which-path information that determines which way the photons behave.

    First of all, my eyes start to glaze over a little bit in certain details of the delayed erasure experiment, but to the best of my knowledge his statement above is not correct, unless by “knowledge” he means “knowledge” inherent in the experimental setup, i.e. its not dependent on some human or intelligent agent coming along and acquiring some realization of some state of affairs -that is irrelevant. Now am I incorrect – I dont think so.

  172. 173

    Toronto,

    Why is it not possible that an unknown material process for let’s say X, exists, but has simply not been discovered by us?

    Is anything, ever, assumed by you to not be the result of unknown material processes? Would you please name me one example of just one thing that is not reducible to material processes? Or does your belief system preclude it? What’s ironic is that this belief system itself is not reducible to chemical processes given that “valid inference” is not reducible to material processes, given that the laws of logic and reason are not material, nor are moral declarations. You cannot get an ought from an is, even in logic.

  173. jt, let’s see what we can infer since you at least accept the action is instantaneous; as well I take it for granted that you accept special relativity::

    excerpt – Let There Be Light:

    Further reflections on the “infinite transcendent information” framework:

    Mass becomes infinite at the speed of light, thus mass will never go the speed of light. As well, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for mass at the speed of light (i.e. the mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light.). For us to hypothetically travel at the speed of light, in this universe, only gets us to first base as far as quantum teleportation (or entanglement) is concerned. That is to say, traveling at the speed of light only gets us to the place where time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. gets us to the eternal, “past and future folding into now”, framework/dimension of time. This higher dimension “eternal” inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not “frozen within time” yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein
    http://www.rd.com/your-america.....176-2.html

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.” – Richard Swenson

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182

    Also, hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light. This is because time does not pass for them, but, and this is a big but; this “timeless” travel is still not instantaneous and transcendent to our temporal framework/dimension of time, i.e. Speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference, is still not completely transcendent of our framework since light appears to take time to travel from our perspective. In information teleportation (or entanglement) though the “time not passing”, eternal, framework is not only achieved in the speed of light framework/dimension, but also in our temporal framework/dimension. That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of information is instantaneous to both the temporal and speed of light frameworks/dimensions, not just the speed of light framework. Information teleportation/travel (entanglement) is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us. Thus “pure information” is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks/dimensions. Moreover, concluding from all lines of evidence we have now examined; transcendent, eternal, infinite information is indeed real and the framework in which It resides is the primary reality (highest dimension) that can exist, (in so far as our limited perception of a primary reality, highest dimension, can be discerned). All of this evidence meshes extremely well with the theistic postulation of God being infinite and perfect in knowledge.

    “An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality”
    Akiane – Child Prodigy

    John 1:1

  174. @everyone else + bornagain

    -”That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of information is instantaneous to both the temporal and speed of light frameworks/dimensions, not just the speed of light framework. Information teleportation/travel (entanglement) is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us. Thus “pure information” is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks/dimensions.”

    I’ve been following the discussion in regards to information in OOL rather closely as I found the argument to be very interesting.

    My question to everyone who has supported this notion is, in the above except provided by bornagain, what exactly is the nature of information talked about as it pertains to light. It is said that light transmitts information instantenously in QM. How can light transmit information without a mind to provide said information?

    I’m a little confused here as to what QM and ID are trying to say and how they relate to each other. Am I missing something?

  175. above, ID mainly deals with information that is encoded onto a material basis. What the excerpt shows, in a general way, is that “transcendent information” is the foundational basis (highest dimension) of all known material reality (lower dimensions).

  176. @bornagain

    Thanks for the reply. I’m still unclear as to what the role of light is in all this. Is it simply a medium of transmitting the information or is it comprised of information.

    To play the devil’s advocate once again, can the materialist claim that light IS information in it and of itself?

    I apologize if my questions are redundant or confusing… I am still a little confused myself.

  177. BA77 [174]:
    It seems you’re drawing some extremely far reaching conclusions merely from the phenomenon of entanglement, that for example instantaneous travel is taking place, and since matter cannot even travel at the speed of light, whatever is responsible for entanglement must be all powerful (and also all-knowing), in essence, God. So basically you’re saying the only acceptable explanation is God. From another site I read, “Entanglement is a real phenomenon (Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance”), which has been demonstrated repeatedly through experimentation. The mechanism behind it cannot, as yet, be fully explained by any theory.” However the fact that hidden variables as defined in some sense are ruled out doesn’t mean that no theory is possible to explain entanglement, or that people have decided that its pointless to look for a theory to explain it (short of invoking God.) I mean it seems for anything you could potentially say, “what we’re observing is impossible according to existing physical theories and since only God is powerful enough to do the impossible the only possible explanation is God.” Well the best explanation is the simplest possible explanation (simplest operative explanation.) So I would say an adequate explanation for entanglement short of invoking God has to be possible.

    And to end on a lighter note (assuming what I wrote above isn’t considered kind of a joke),
    You wrote:

    “An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality”
    Akiane – Child Prodigy

    ———-

    “A lie can make it half way around the world before the truth has time to put its boots on.”
    Mark Twain – Adult Prodigy

  178. Is anything, ever, assumed by you to not be the result of unknown material processes?

    I don’t assume anything, even to the point of saying you may be right and there may be an Intelligent Designer.

    What I require though is positive evidence for a position, not negative evidence against an opposing position.

    I don’t rule out an unknown immaterial process either.

    In either case, my ignorance of a valid explanation, material or immaterial, in no way rules it out.

  179. you know jt you just about summed up the whole problem with materialists, and what you said is strongly reflected in this statement from one of the opponents of Stephen Meyer in a debate last friday night:

    Which Steve said “design is an excellent and irrefutable explanation”?
    Excerpt: Stephen Matheson: I’ll offer the acknowledgment: [pause] Design will always be an excellent and irrefutable explanation. How can it [pause] I just don’t see how it couldn’t be.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....is_an.html

    Basically your position is called the ABG position jt,,, ANYTHING But God.

  180. above you ask:

    Is it (light) simply a medium of transmitting the information or is it comprised of information.

    Light is comprised of information and it can also carry information. This is confirmed in two ways. First is this:

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    second is this:

    Single photons to soak up data:
    Excerpt: the orbital angular momentum of a photon can take on an infinite number of values. Since a photon can also exist in a superposition of these states, it could – in principle – be encoded with an infinite amount of information.
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/7201

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    to help you understand how a photon can both be made of infinite information and how it can be (theoretically) encoded with infinite information,, this following video is a great help:

    William Lane Craig – Hilbert’s Hotel – The Absurdity Of An Infinite Regress Of “Things” – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994011/

    But Above there is one more piece of evidence that nails down the fact that light is made out of infinite transcendent information. It is found in a experiment called Quantum Teleportation in which one photon becomes another photon while the original photon is “destroyed” by the removal of its “infinite” information:

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    Unconditional Quantum Teleportation – abstract
    Excerpt: This is the first realization of unconditional quantum teleportation where every state entering the device is actually teleported,,
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....2/5389/706

    Of note: conclusive evidence for the violation of the First Law of Thermodynamics is firmly found in the preceding experiment (i.e. “every state” of the photon being teleported) when coupled with the complete displacement of the infinite transcendent information of “Photon c”:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....cjR0eG1neg

  181. off topic song I just heard on the TV show NCIS:

    Johnny Cash – American VI: Ain’t No Grave
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3iQrUBpn5w

    This was Johnny’s last hit:

    Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o22eIJDtKho

  182. bornagain77 @ 144: “warehuff @ 136, what is so hard about proving materialism true??? there either is a solid material particle (”atom” as per the Greeks who formulated materialism) at the basis of reality or there is not. Since it is conclusively shown there is NOT a solid material particle at the basis of reality then materialism is falsified in no uncertain terms of its primary postulation.”

    I really wish I could believe that you’re joking here, but I’m afraid you’re serious. Here’s the dictionary definition of materialism:

    n. Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

    Note that there’s nothing there about matter being composed of solid particles.

    Here’s a simpler definition of materialism: Not magic.

    BA77 @ 145: Nakashima answered this. Thank you, Nak.

  183. kairosfocus @ 147: The problem has not been displaced, it has been eliminated. The “problem” you pose is that a functioning cell is too complex to form “all at once” through random action in anything approaching the lifetime of the universe. The self-reproducing molecule and chemical evolution gets rid of that “all at once” problem because it can add information slowly in small amounts through evolution.

    “Aside from such, the basic scientific problem is that the RNA world or the like are all in the air speculation…”

    And ID’s problem is that it’s not even equipped to speculate. How did life form? Goddidit. But how did God do it? “Chirp… chirp… chirp…” Nothing at all. Not a peep.

    Go ahead and criticize science’s version of how life may have started, but then please also give us ID’s version of how life was created – what appeared, when and how. Of course, neither side can do that because nobody knows exactly what happened on a sub-microscopic scale billions of years ago. But ID criticizes science’s speculations and doesn’t even notice that it can’t even come up with that much.

    “Just compare the limits on malaria parasite mutations [~ 2 - 3 points, it seems], in a context where the parasites have had more reproductive events in the period since modern antimalarials, than the entire collective of vertebrates.”

    Behe’s figures are highly suspect. See Cassandra’s cite in the “Mathematics and the Creative Powers of the Blind Watchmaker thread. (BA77, please tell us that Matzke has been repudiated. Please.)

    Lenski’s lab experiment flatly refutes Behe and he also proves that the double mutations didn’t occur simultaneously, but many generations apart.

    The idea that mutations tend to destroy or reduce biofunction is a favorite ID/Creationist theme, based on a few examples of bacteria hastily evolving resistance to antibiotics.

    Meyer just plain doesn’t know anything about evo-devo when he writes, “processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream.”

    Most of development consists of instructions that are relative to previous instructions, not absolute. If a mutation makes the bones in your forearm get longer, muscles and flesh will adjust automatically to the new size.

    “Have you seen codes, symbols and meaningful rules for constructing messages come about by chance and mechanical necessity?”

    I’ve seen an Exclusive OR function come about by chance and necessity. That’s close enough for me.

  184. ba77 @ 164: “jt, and is the cat alive or dead until you open the box” The cat is dead if the poison vial was broken and he’s alive if it wasn’t. The gazillions of interactions between the atoms and molecules of his body keep any possible quantum effects at bay. Even if you never look.

    ba77@ 167: “but this is all beside the point jt, the fact is that you have instantaneous actions occurring that CANNOT possibly be explained by material processes.”

    QM counts as a material process. Your definition of materialism is wildly inaccurate.

    ba77 @ 172 If the which-path information stays in the experimental system, you don’t get an interference pattern. If it doesn’t, you do. No knowledge by an external observer needed either way.

  185. above @ 175: Light doesn’t transmit information instantaneously in or out of QM. Time runs slower as speed increases and stops completely at the speed of light, so if you were a photon you wouldn’t know that time had passed, but if you are outside the photon travelling at less than the speed of light, you will note the passage of time as the photon transmits the information.

    ba77 also misunderstands something basic: quantum superposition can instantly change an entangled particle, even if it’s on the other side of the universe. However, it turns out that you can never transmit any useful information that way. To get information to that distant particle, you have to send it the conventional way, at the speed of light or slower.

  186. warehuff: states:,

    Materialistic Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

    “Information is Information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day.” – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics

    Warehuff states:

    “The cat is dead if the poison vial was broken and he’s alive if it wasn’t. The gazillions of interactions between the atoms and molecules of his body keep any possible quantum effects at bay. Even if you never look.”

    Are the gazillions of photons that are traveling to us, to our point in space from all the stars in the universe, traveling in a wave state or in a particle state?

    warehuff states:

    “QM counts as a material process. Your definition of materialism is wildly inaccurate.”

    yet:

    “Information is Information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day.” – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics

    And QM (Quantum Mechanics) shows:

    “It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.” John Archibald Wheeler

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/Magaz.....fault.aspx

    Warehuff states:

    “If the which-path information stays in the experimental system, you don’t get an interference pattern.”

    And why in the materialistic world would the presence or absence of “information”, there’s that word again, be a sufficient cause to cause the wave to collapse, even regardless of the time concerns?

    Warehuff states:

    “ba77 also misunderstands something basic: quantum superposition can instantly change an entangled particle, even if it’s on the other side of the universe. However, it turns out that you can never transmit any useful information that way. To get information to that distant particle, To get information to that distant particle, you have to send it the conventional way, at the speed of light or slower.”

    I understand this quite well actually warehuff. The speed of light travel of the “decoding bits” in quantum teleportation is the caveat that prevents everything from happening instantaneously in our space-time, i.e. it is the price WE pay for living in this temporal universe, none the less extensive work in entanglement has shown that the travel of “information”, there’s that word again warehuff, is indeed instantaneous. “IT IS WE OURSELVES” who are prevented from knowing that the information has traveled instantaneously because we live in (are bound to) this space-time. The information teleportation framework is real and your inability to recognize that the characteristics of that framework is probably the result of the blindness you suffer from refusing to relinquish your materialistic philosophy and “think outside the box”..

    http://ees-web.com/images/thin.....%20box.jpg

  187. JT [168]:

    That BottomLayer sight I actually devoted a couple hours to it a few months ago, before finally realizing it wasn’t reliable.

    It wasn’t the entire site – Believe it was just “The Reality Program” by Ross Rhodes
    [158]:

    OK, is this correct – if the path to D0 (in that experiment I reference above) is shorter than to the other detectors, that means an interference pattern will be detected even before the which-way information is erased (on the longer path to the other detectors). And this interference pattern will form because the which way pattern is going to be erased (in the future.)

    Is anyone able to verify this – not sure I’ve got this right.

  188. JT: This article may help:

    Time and the Quantum: Erasing the Past and Impacting the Future
    Abstract: The quantum eraser effect of Scully and Drühl dramatically underscores the difference between our classical conceptions of time and how quantum processes can unfold in time. Such eyebrow-raising features of time in quantum mechanics have been labeled “the fallacy of delayed choice and quantum eraser” on the one hand and described “as one of the most intriguing effects in quantum mechanics” on the other. In the present paper, we discuss how the availability or erasure of information generated in the past can affect how we interpret data in the present. The quantum eraser concept has been studied and extended in many different experiments and scenarios, for example, the entanglement quantum eraser, the kaon quantum eraser, and the use of quantum eraser entanglement to improve microscopic resolution.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....7/5711/875

  189. WH:

    Kindly, first reflect on the implications of the mutually destructive exchange between metabolism first and genes first theorists, as Shapiro and Orgel so amply demonstrate [cf 147 supra].

    To help you do that, I will comment on:

    WH, 184: The “problem” you pose is that a functioning cell is too complex to form “all at once” through random action in anything approaching the lifetime of the universe. The self-reproducing molecule and chemical evolution gets rid of that “all at once” problem because it can add information slowly in small amounts through evolution.

    1 –> What is to be explained is not a hypothetical self-replicating, autocatalytic molecule or an imaginary “simpler” life that has not been demonstrated by observation or experiment. It is the actual observed cells of life, down to the “simplest”like Mycoplasma pneumoniae with 689 genes, which had been expected to be “stripped down,” i.e. simplified. As Serrano of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory observed in Science Daily (link has a diagram):

    “[a]t all three levels [investigated: (i) “the RNA molecules, or transcripts, produced from its DNA,” (ii) “the metabolic reactions that occurred in it,” and (iii) “every multi-protein complex the bacterium produced”], we found M. pneumoniae was more complex than we expected.”

    The article adds that: “When studying both its proteome [[set of proteins used by an organism] and its metabolome [[the metabolic reaction network that carries out the energy-related chemical life processes of a cell], the scientists found many molecules were multifunctional, with metabolic enzymes catalyzing multiple reactions, and other proteins each taking part in more than one protein complex. They also found that M. pneumoniae couples biological processes in space and time, with the pieces of cellular machinery involved in two consecutive steps in a biological process often being assembled together.”

    2 –> Like it or not, such cells — down to the simplest with DNA sets of 100+ k bases to 1 mn bases (and the lower end below 300 – 500 k are essentially parasitic on existing life to provide a reservoir of parts) — carry out the operations of metabolism-empowered life, and are self-replicating, embedding the irreducibly complex elements of a von Neumann Replicator:

    i) an underlying code to record/store the required information and to guide procedures for using it,

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions, and

    (iv) implementing machines (and associated organisation and procedures) to carry out the specified replication (including that of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that provide required specific materials and forms of energy by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    3 –> Simple logic will show that parts (ii), (iii) and (iv) are each necessary for and together are jointly sufficient to implement a self-replicating von Neumann universal constructor.

    4 –> That is, we see here an irreducibly complex set of core components that must all be present in a properly organised fashion for a successful self-replicator to exist. [Take just one core part out, and function ceases: the replicator is irreducibly complex (IC).]

    5 –> This irreducible complexity is compounded by the requirement (i) for codes, requiring organised symbols and rules to specify both steps to take and formats for storing information, and (v) for appropriate material resources and energy sources.

    6 –> So, immediately and by force of the relevant logic, we are looking at islands of organised function — for both the machinery and the coded information — in the wider sea of possible (but overwhelmingly mostly non-functional) configurations.

    7 –> In short, outside such functionally specific — thus, isolated — information-rich target zones, want of correct components and/or of proper organisation and/or co-ordination will block function from emerging or being sustained.

    8 –> This is compounded further by the need to account for the origin of the code as a system of symbols with rules for meaningful messages to be constructed, for devising of algorithms, and for the programs that express those algorithms in codes and data structures that can be executed by the actual observed machinery.

    9 –> In that context, we note that just 125 bytes of information — 1,000 bits — (hopelessly small to effect a vNR) implies a config space of 1.07*10^301 states. The whole observed universe serving as a dynamic search process, would only carry out ~10^150 Planck-time states across its lifespan, and if we were to specify the fastest observed particle interaction times as a more practical limit, that shaves off a factor of ~~ 10^20 states. At the observed order of magnitude for simplest life forms, 100 k bases, 4^100,000 ~ 9.98 * 10^60,205

    10 –> As direct consequences, the irreducible complexity logically imposes an all at once-ness on the achievement of the observed function, with five crucial factors to account for; while the search resources of the observed cosmos are utterly inadequate to sample a fraction of the states in the relevant config spaces that differs appreciably from zero. [At best 1 in 10^150 is so small a fraction that we cannot practically represent it, it is 1 in 10^70 smaller than the ratio of one atom to the number in the observed cosmos.]

    11 –> So, a credible search in any prebiotic environment on the scale of the observed cosmos is infeasible. (And, WH, this is NOT a probability calculation, though you need to know that the sort of thermodynamic probability calculations that have often been presented are very similar to those of statistical thermodynamics, which carry with them the weighty justification of success. Your dismissals above are selectively hyperskeptical.)

    12 –> So, while we have not as yet implemented a physical vNR [computational simulations have been done, but simulation and 3-D implementations with real world machines and materials is a different kettle of fish] we in principle know how to do it, and we know the observed, routine source of digital symbolic codes, algorithms, programs and executing machinery: intelligence.

    13 –> For further argument, let us for the moment grant you your hypothetical autocatalytic self-replicator, say an RNA [and note Shapiro's strictures on getting RNA components built spontaneously in pre-biotic environments]. Okay, we have a world of self-replicating RNA molecules, presto.

    14 –> How, then does such an RNA world transition to the observed world of vNR replicator based, metabolic life?

    15 –> ANS: It would still have to erect the irreducibly complex vNR system, starting with codes, algorithms and executing machines. Executing machines that — per complexity of the required cluster of dozens of enzymes [as Hoyle pointed out in crude form 30 years ago] — are beyond the FSCI threshold discussed above. Ans that’s the real “chirp chirp.”

    16 –> WH, you will therefore understand how incensed I am to see the following contempt-laced, strawman caricature from you:

    And ID’s problem is that it’s not even equipped to speculate. How did life form? Goddidit. But how did God do it? “Chirp… chirp… chirp…” Nothing at all. Not a peep.

    17 –> First, you need to read the weak argument correctives above top, RH column. Design theory is about inference to intelligent action on reliable empirical signs of design, not about inference to God.

    [ . . . ]

  190. 18 –> That is, the proper, scientifically relevant contrast across empirically observed causal factors is not the strawman: Natural vs supernatural, but instead the empirically testable one that is in fact a routine part of science: natural [chance and/or mechanical necessity] vs ART-ificial [intelligent], on characteristic and observable signs of such factors. This, across the aspects of an object, phenomenon or process of interest.

    19 –> Similarly, your dismissive “Behe’s figures are highly suspect” ignores the fact that the relevant figures are in fact published public health related statistics. But, I can safely direct you to Dr Behe’s own blog here at UD [and/or onward at Amazon] to explore his rebuttals to selectively hyperseptical criticism, as these are not central to my concerns.

    20 –> Where my personal volcano erupts explosively is when I see your: I’ve seen an Exclusive OR function come about by chance and necessity. That’s close enough for me.

    21 –> WH, you know or should know that the software and hardware systems that set that sort of outcome up are patently intelligently designed, organised and programmed to achieve that result. If the gate was in Silicon or the computer on which the software was run was within several generations of current technologies, the required silicon was processed in a Billion dollar fab.

    22 –> Worse, where there is a random search element involved — e.g. in Avida — you know or should know that the search spaces involved are many, many orders of magnitude within the complexity threshold I have been discussing. That is this is a willful strawman caricature to find a convenient excuse of dismissal.

    23 –> As to:

    The idea that mutations tend to destroy or reduce biofunction is a favorite ID/Creationist theme, based on a few examples of bacteria hastily evolving resistance to antibiotics.

    23 –> Sorry, that one is plain dishonest. It is advocates of darwinian evolution who have been using such examples for decades, as I recall form as far back as my high school biology. In short, unable to refute the observed evidence that such point mutations and the like achieve minor improved function under specific stresses but at the expense of loss of information and general functional viability [recall how the suggestion on getting rid of hospital superbugs was to expose oneself to a natural environment so the superbugs would be simply replaced by more viable, more vigorous organisms?], you have resorted to clever turnabout rhetoric.

    24 –> I will only pause to note on your implicit a priori Lewontinian evolutionary materialism, tot he point of trying to define science in terms of such materialism.

    25 –> The capstone of unjustified, ill-informed dismissive contempt on your part, WH, is however, this:

    Meyer just plain doesn’t know anything about evo-devo when he writes, “processes of development are tightly integrated spatially and temporally such that changes early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream.”

    Most of development consists of instructions that are relative to previous instructions, not absolute. If a mutation makes the bones in your forearm get longer [which, onlookers, begs the question Meyer addressed, i.e. inter alia the informational requisites and credible origin for the existence of a functional body plan that embryologically assembles animals with forelimbs . . . ], muscles and flesh will adjust automatically to the new size.

    26 –> You plainly did not read or did not understand the context of Meyer’s remarks, which are about the origin not of a longer forelimb, but of the architecture of chordates, or arthropods, and the other dozens of basic body plans ab initio. And indeed, such origin has to be integrated and embryologically feasible in light of the tight integration of tissues, organs, and systems in a viable organism:

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

    27 –> Thus, Meyer is more than justified to comment:

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

    28 –> In other words, WH has ducked the question of origin of the functional bio-information to create an embryologically viable body plan, erecting and knocking over a convenient strawman [stretching a forelimb . . . which varies between individuals in a species] that is but one step removed from Meyer’s reference to “fingers.”

    __________________

    Onlookers, take note of the level of response we routinely get — WH’s REMARKS ARE SADLY TYPICAL — to serious questions on the origin of life and of body plans, and of the question on the empirically credible source of required bio-functional, complex information in digital codes and using molecular scale nanomachines in a self-replicating functional system.

    This, after 150 years of Darwinian evolutionary theory and 80+ years of OOL research, over sixty years since the Miller Urey experiment that showed that in unrealistic early planet conditions, a few component monomers could be synthesised and trapped out in intelligently designed, carefully controlled apparati.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  191. JT, LOL,,, damn loose threads…

    this site is pretty clear JT:

    The path of beam p is lengthened (the polarizer and detector moved farther away from the BBO crystal), so that photon s can be detected first. The interference fringes are obtained as before. Then the quarter wave plates are added to provide the which-way marker. The interference pattern and lack of interference pattern from these runs are shown here.,,,,,,,,,,,Next the erasure measurement is performed. Before photon p can encounter the polarizer, s will be detected. Yet it is found that the interference pattern is still restored. It seems photon s knows the “which-way” marker has been erased and that the interference behavior should be present again, without a secret signal from photon p. ,,,,,,,,,,,How this happening? It wouldn’t make sense that photon p could know about the polarizer before it got there. It can’t “sense” the polarizer’s presence far away from it, and send photon s a secret signal to let s know about it. Or can it? And if photon p is sensing things from far away, we shouldn’t assume that photon s isn’t.
    http://grad.physics.sunysb.edu/~amarch/

  192. thanks ba77. It seems there’s some debate on this very point.

  193. JT, LOL,,, damn loose threads

    You can’t fight genetic entropy – might as well let it run its course.

  194. BA77:

    In further response to 174, something that crossed my mind yesterday, with all your emphasis on light, were you aware that quantum phemonon are not limited to light but can occur for any kind of matter. (Probably are I guess.)

    Also when talking about infinite information and so on, in the context of the delayed choice quantum erasure for example, one might observe that something has knowledge of the experimental setup in order to inform instantaneously a particle of it so the particle can form an interference pattern. But I would say that there are an infinite number of details regarding that experimental setup that are irrelevant to qunatum phenomenon, so its not as if some omniscient being has to have knowledge of all those details for quantum phenomenon to occur. Rather it has to boil down to some very limited and specific attributes of the setup that are relevant.

    So just a couple of comment I wanted to make yesterday.

  195. JT you state,

    “Rather it has to boil down to some very limited and specific attributes of the setup that are relevant.”

    No JT, it does not have to boil down to “limited and specific attributes” (read materialism). That is the whole thing JT, QM displays many characteristics which blatantly defy our concepts of time and space, resolutely defying materialistic explanations. Myself, as well as the great majority of people in this world, find defying time and space to be a supernatural and miraculous event. Now JT, the way I see it, you can try to redefine materialism to include the “supernatural aspect of defying time and space, as warehuff is currently trying to do, or you can admit the obvious that materialism is bankrupt as an explanation of Quantum Events.

  196. BA77 [191]:

    Regarding the link,
    http://grad.physics.sunysb.edu/~amarch/

    a couple of quotes:

    ” It is not accurate to consider these [entangled] photons as separate entities, but rather as one. They can travel very far away from each other, but they will not loose their correlation…The concept of locality does not hold for the entangled state like it does for everything in our experience. We encounter things that have a particular location, we can say that a particular thing is here and not there. We certainly do not encounter things that are in two places at once. However, this is possible on the quantum level”

    This seems key to me to take it out of the realm of the inexplicable, as it says above, it is not accurate to think of entangled photons as seperate entities. They are in fact the same thing. For example, you wouldn’t say, “How can this ball travel from its current location to the location it is now, instantaneously? It defies the laws of physics.” In essence the entangled particles are not really seperated by any distance at all, despite appearances. Distance is gauged by how long it takes to travel from one place to another. And if takes 0 time there is no seperation.

    It is not possible to observe the which-way information and the interference pattern at the same time. This is an example of quantum mechanics’ principle of complementarity. There are pairs of quantities which can be measured and obtained individually, but never at the same time. You can know one precisely, but then you will know nothing about the other and vice versa

    This is said to have been disproven by the Afshar experiment.

    ———-

    But anyway regarding my original question in 187, I believe this paper, though describing an experiment which is somewhat different, seems to confirm that the which-way info (or lack thereof) is somehow determined in advance, though actually the original paper you referenced in 188 seemed to be questioning that in the Abstract (and I didn’t have a subscription there) and actually, I found this quote in the Wikepedia article on delayed erasure:

    Some have interpreted this result to mean that the delayed choice to observe or not observe the path of the idler photon will change the outcome of an event in the past. However, it should be noted that an interference pattern can only be observed after the idlers have been detected (i.e., at D1 or /D2).

    But being Wikipedia, who knows.

  197. JT, what is the name of the entity which is entangling the photons?

  198. BA:

    It’s all about entangled wavicles in a cosmos that is apparently 90% dark matter or dark energy, where SPACE itself is expanding a la Hubble, where masses — e.g. galaxies — warp space-time [and fields give rise to another entanglement across space so we have action at a distance via space and invisible exchange particles below the Enegy-time Heisenberg-Einstein observation limit] and where the expansion rate of space for a certain period was evidently superluminal, and is now speeding up not slowing down.

    The good “news” is that if particles separated in our space-time are in effectively instant contact at effectively unlimited separation, we can at least possibly create superluminal communications systems . . . and “mebbe” hyperspace is more than a convenient science fiction device.

    And so there is an underlying polar point “on the sides of the north” where what is separate in our space-time domain is in contact; reflected in our entanglement.

    [Guess where Element J of Singleton Set G is said to live? And, going back to the Irish connexion, why is a Shamrock leaf one and yet three? Eyes properly crossed yet?]

    But then this broken down old applied physicist is simply looking on in awe as the weirdest world of all, the Quantum world, begins to point to “the sides of the north,” like a compass.

    Muy interesante . . .

    GEM of TKI

    PS: And yes JT, electrons were the “the other way” wavicles. If I recall correctly, Thompson pere won a Nobel prize for work in 1897 for showing the electron is a particle, and fils thirty years later for showing it is a wave, by virtue of interference effects.

  199. BA77 [197]:

    JT, what is the name of the entity which is entangling the photons?

    Is this is an invitation to me to bring my spiritual view into it.

    I’ll start by saying I think that Reality and God have to be synonymous.

    Also, the ideas of Zachriel, which he’s presented convincingly elsewhere regarding that its easy to build up words and even sentences and even the entire work of Hamlet by random additions of letters, presuming you have some entity that at each step can say, “Yes that’s a valid word [or sentence, etc]” or “No, it isn’t”. So you have the word ‘on’ and add one letter and it becomes “one” (and KairosFocus this is illustrative here only); “on” and “one” are completely unrelated functionally, and yet are both quite functional (this I think convincingly addressing the whole subject of “irreducible complexity”). So I do personally believe that random changes, accompanied by energy and accompanied by reality itself saying, “Yep that’s a workable config” or “No, it isn’t” That quite complex functionality can be built up, without any sort of previous plan as such.

    Of course to take it back to Zachriel’s illustration, you’re assuming some entity with the knowledge to say, “That’s a valid English sentence.” (or “That’s a sentence from Hamlet” etc.) And with evolution, you’re requiring some entity I think as well with some sort of intrinsic knowledge like that. Its just that this entity is Reality. By my thinking is that this entity is really operating in a passive mode, just blindly checking off on something if its workable. I think at the end of all this what has ultimately survived (at the end of the universe) will say something about what the goals of Reality (i.e. God) were to begin with. (And actually I wonder if for example angels in the Bible are not humans from the future or something.) But for the record I absolutely do believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that those who believe in him are also son’s of God destined to live for eternity. I absolutely do believe that for the record.

    But there’s also the issue of, “Why on earth does this humongous universe exist if it really has nothing to do with us,” iow, “If we are some sort of special creation of an intelligent agent (something anthropomorphic and comparable to us in some sense.) maybe some entity involved in a subjective art project of sorts in creating us, and if this being is responsible for the rest of the universe as well, why did he create the rest of the universe, what is the rest of the universe good for. OTOH it the stochastic resources of the universe and all its stellar energy were somehow harnessed so that ultimately life might emerge “by chance” in some exceedingly remote tiny little corner of the universe,” then the reason the universe exists starts to make sense.

    I could go on and on from here but won’t. (Does Miller say the same thing – I regret to say I actually haven’t read any of us stuff.)

    But to take an entirely different approach to the question which I can’t completely reconcile with the above, is as follows:
    If you have something that is the output of some process, then the process and the output have to equate – its so deceptively simple: You have a picture on your computer screen – well in memory it will be in some alternate form that bears no apparent resemblance at all to the form it is on the screen. But it makes no difference – if that thing in memory (a file of 1′s and 0′s) creates the image, then its the same as the image itself. So if you look at the sum total of physical causes that would have resulted in life as we know it, you’re just looking at another form of life itself, and have just pushed back what needs to be explained. So proposing some set of physical causes as an explanation needn’t turn you into an atheist, and just limiting the discussion to physical causes means I won’t have to argue with Mormons for example about their spiritual beliefs.

    One other thing, I have a personal conviction that the time periods involved in the creation of life are probably a lot less than what is conventionally espoused in the current scientific consensus. I think that probably once life appeared, things started unfolding very fast. (But I could be completely wrong.) But I absolutely think its correct to treat the whole thing as a natural process.

    I also think evolution is probably a lot more Lamarckian than is currently accepted. I mean, take an octopus – it can sense its environment and using chromatafors and its own behavior completely duplicate in itself any texture or color or form in its surrounding. Well, why couldn’t that sort of matching to the environment be taking place on a longer time scale – an organism “sensing” its environment and matching itself to it gradually through genetic changes. This thing I saw recently about plants actually exhibiting volitional activity but occurring on a much slower time scale than for mobile types of organisms I think is illustrative.

  200. JT, actually I didn’t mean to discuss theological issues by asking you what the entity was that was entangling the photons, I just wanted to clearly point out to you that it was the “physical” entity of TRANSCENDENT INFORMATION, not matter or energy, which was entangling the photons:

    “Information is Information, neither matter nor energy. No materialism that fails to take account of this can survive the present day.” – Norbert Weiner, MIT Mathematician and Father of Cybernetics

    Actually JT, it is not surprising at all to find transcendent information exercising dominion of matter-energy:

    Information
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WytNkw1xOIc

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  201. JT:

    Have you ever written a typical Newspaper column 750 word article [about 7 * 750 * 128 bits = 672,000 bits]?

    Did you do so by changing words at random, one letter at a time, for another article; making sense all the way from the first article to the second?

    And did you get the first story by cutting up a great number of letters and words from magazine articles etc, then shuffling and picking them out of a bag at random; picking any string of letters that came out right to make a world, then repeating for words and paragraphs etc?

    Next, suppose your article went over really well, so that you wanted to expand it into a book, of say 200,000 words. This would give you now ~ 179 million bits. Can you expand such an article into a book, by a combination of random duplications, word shifts, and single letter changes etc, one step at a time — making sense all the way?

    That is the proper analogy.

    And, when it comes to the co-optation idea that components a, b. c etc that work for jobs A, B, C etc can be rejuggled at chance and presto a new function appears, apparently those who suggest such have never had to match car parts to cars. Not even the right generic part will be a good fit until it is properly adapted to the parts it has to work with. (Matter of fact, sometimes not even the right part number, brand and year will fit! That is why a lot of mechanics insist on physically trying the claimed replacement part to see if it will work.)

    Or let me give a very simple example.

    “Store boughten” soldering iron rests with cleaning sponges are expensive and tend to “sprout legs and walk” in an education type environment. Waaay back, I was given the job to teach students to solder properly as part of a course I taught. To get that done to acceptable electronic parts assembly standard, one needs clean tinned iron tips, thus rests with cleaning sponges. And I needed about 20 – 30 of them.

    How the solution materialised:

    The country had just had a hurricane, and considerable lengths of multistrand Al cable were lying on the ground, from knocked down power lines. At the school, students drank a lot of bottled juices, where the caps were metal for glass bottled drinks — now all is plastic save for premium brands. And cellulose cleaning sponges were sold in stores.

    Voila, I simply shook up a bag with Al wire, caps, pliers, scissors and sponges in it, making soldering iron holders. No problem. NOT!

    When you get up from rolling on the floor in laughter, you will know that I stripped apart the multistrand wires, having first clipped off about a 4″ length. For each of these I got out my trusty needle nose pliers and bent the single strand wire into an M shape, with rounded feet so that they would sit across the diameter of the juice bottle caps, and support themselves. I clipped fitting pads of cellulose sponges with scissors.

    Dampen the sponges, rest he soldering irons in the V of the M and we have a workable solution that was heap enough that even if they walked they would not be a major loss. (Matter of fact, I have one of those to this day as my preferred soldering iron rest.)

    The notion that irreducible complexity can be got rid of by waving the magic want of co-optation first begs the question of getting he relevant parts in he first place, then the questions of adapting and organising components to fit and work together in a coordinated, functionally effective way that fulfills the purpose WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE ACHIEVED.

    Sorry, I am not buying that just so story. Nor will any experienced designer.

    G’day

    GEM of TKI

  202. kairosfocus @202,

    Have you ever written a typical Newspaper column 750 word article [about 7 * 750 * 128 bits = 672,000 bits]?

    Shouldn’t that be 7 * 750 * 8 bits = 42,000 bits?

  203. KairosFocus [202]:

    Have you ever written a typical Newspaper column 750 word article [about 7 * 750 * 128 bits = 672,000 bits]?

    Did you do so by changing words at random, one letter at a time, for another article; making sense all the way from the first article to the second?

    Well I probably learned to talk that way – just stringing sounds together randomly and then trying without success to imitate a word I heard, until one day, as imperfect as the attempt was, it was close enough to receive positive feedback and reinforcement from the environement and praise and approval and so forth. But once I met with success for a given series of sounds that success was recorded as a memory and that word or sequence of sounds preserved. So that was a remembered larger unit that could now be recalled and utilized at will. And then it was on to constructing strings of words to get stuff that I wanted and so on. And then whole sentences and subsentences would be store for recall later.

    As far as writing an article, I really have found the best approach is just to dive in. Just write the first sentence that pops in your head. And see what sentence seems to fit with that sentence next. Of course by the time I’ve written several sentences I may realize I’m writing a paragraph that by no means I should open with. But do I throw away that amount of work as a result – no. I save it and it may end up being the third or fourth paragraph.

    But as it is said every journey begins with the first step, so you must as well take it without thinking about it too much. Error correction is what this life is about. And then prepare for your work to be sliced and diced and edited and accepted and rejected by other people external to you, with their own agendas. And what is society anyway – a bunch of people with their own personal goals but somehow out of all these competing goals things emerge that none of them were planning for, and furthermore none of them could achieve on their own.

    Of course a lot of personal projects can end up chaotically without “planning” – but what is planning? Its mentally simulating reality in your head for the sake of efficiency – with the trade off being accuracy. So you do “what if” scenarios repeatedely in your head and make the mistakes in the scenarios you’re running in your head, and avoid making them in reality.

    The country had just had a hurricane, and considerable lengths of multistrand Al cable were lying on the ground, from knocked down power lines. At the school, students drank a lot of bottled juices, where the caps were metal for glass bottled drinks — now all is plastic save for premium brands. And cellulose cleaning sponges were sold in stores.
    Voila, I simply shook up a bag with Al wire, caps, pliers, scissors and sponges in it, making soldering iron holders. No problem. NOT!
    When you get up from rolling on the floor in laughter, you will know that I stripped apart the multistrand wires, having first clipped off about a 4? length. For each of these I got out my trusty needle nose pliers and bent the single strand wire into an M shape, with rounded feet so that they would sit across the diameter of the juice bottle caps, and support themselves. I clipped fitting pads of cellulose sponges with scissors.
    Dampen the sponges, rest he soldering irons in the V of the M and we have a workable solution that was heap enough that even if they walked they would not be a major loss. (Matter of fact, I have one of those to this day as my preferred soldering iron rest.)
    The notion that irreducible complexity can be got rid of by waving the magic want of co-optation first begs the question of getting he relevant parts in he first place, then the questions of adapting and organising components to fit and work together in a coordinated, functionally effective way that fulfills the purpose WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE ACHIEVED.

    As I said previously the ability to plan means running through scenarios in your mind – first scanning your environment and looking for any thing in yout environment close enough to conceivably fullfill some task in a potential solution. So scanning visually around your eye lands on some object and you think is there any conceivable way that object could be employed – No don’t see anything. So you continue thinking and simulating and scanning and so forth. And you end up coopting all sort of objects using them for purposes for which they were never intended. You construct a plan bit by bit in your head that incorporates all these disparate objects, having gone through innumerable incomplete, or only partially complete or outright failed prototypes striclly in your head before finally coming up with something.

    And to translate this to a biolgical scenario, if an animal is an environment where the only nutritive source is a contaminated with a toxin – is that a problem that the organism needs to find a solution for – yes it is. Is using a brain (i.e. a bodly organ) to map sensory data to an alternative internal format that can be easily manipulated so that multiple scenarios can be run – is that the only way to find a solution.

    Best I can do for now I guess. Later.

  204. (cont.)

    The notion that irreducible complexity can be got rid of by waving the magic want of co-optation first begs the question of getting he relevant parts in he first place, then the questions of adapting and organising components to fit and work together in a coordinated, functionally effective way that fulfills the purpose WHEN IT NEEDS TO BE ACHIEVED

    How many things throughout history have been achieved when they needed to be achieved. I saw this movie about Edison starring Spencer Tracey and how many failed prototypes of light bulb he created ultimately just trying stuff completely at random out of frustration to make a filament (sewing thread coated in carbon was the winning solution according to the film I believe), all the while his oppoenents mocking him. Do you think Edison thought he invented the lightbulb when it needed to be achieved? What about centuries when existing societal structures effectively prevented any novel invention from taking place. Stuff hardly ever gets created when it needs to – until society reaches some critical threshold where inventions start being produced like crazy, but all as I result of the critical mass and leverage of people utilizing the inventions of other people.

  205. JT:

    Some notes:

    1] Well I probably learned to talk that way – just stringing sounds together randomly and then trying without success to imitate a word I heard, until one day, as imperfect as the attempt was, it was close enough to receive positive feedback and reinforcement from the environement and praise and approval and so forth.

    Apart from being a red herring, in fact you need to look up on language acquisition. Our language learning is NOT a random process, language structures are inbuilt.

    On the real issue, you obviously realise that one cannot transform one functional linguistic product into another through a random walk with acceptance of successful results at each stage.

    DNA, being coded, is a linguistic product and is functional.

    2] As far as writing an article, I really have found the best approach is just to dive in. Just write the first sentence that pops in your head.

    In short you know that functionally specific complex information is routinely produced by intelligence. Intelligence is of course of a different order of causal capacity from chance, trial and error and mechanical necessity.

    3] you do “what if” scenarios repeatedely in your head and make the mistakes in the scenarios you’re running in your head, and avoid making them in reality . . .

    In short, you understand that planning is a purposeful, goal oriented intelligent exercise dependent on having a world model that you can run different tries against to see what is credible.

    Algorithms are step by step plans, and are complex. To express them in software and hardware requires complex functional organisation.

    All of this very rapidly runs past what blind chance, trial and error [and natural selection is glorified trial and error] and mechanical necessity can do.

    4] you end up coopting all sort of objects using them for purposes for which they were never intended. You construct a plan bit by bit in your head that incorporates all these disparate objects, having gone through innumerable incomplete, or only partially complete or outright failed prototypes striclly in your head before finally coming up with something.

    In short successful co-optation is an intelligent process, once we have to deal with anything of even moderate complexity.

    5] And to translate this to a biolgical scenario, if an animal is an environment where the only nutritive source is a contaminated with a toxin – is that a problem that the organism needs to find a solution for – yes it is. Is using a brain (i.e. a bodly organ) to map sensory data to an alternative internal format that can be easily manipulated so that multiple scenarios can be run – is that the only way to find a solution.

    How hard you struggled to avoid directly acknowledging that co-optation and adaptation of resources in a harsh environment to achieve desired ends is: intelligent.

    In the case of Nylonase etc, we have small mutational shifts in existing enzymes or the like, i.e. we have no account of the origin of said enzymes, which is of a different order of complexity.

    6} how many failed prototypes of light bulb he [Edison] created ultimately just trying stuff completely at random out of frustration to make a filament (sewing thread coated in carbon was the winning solution according to the film I believe), all the while his oppoenents mocking him.

    Actually, Edison’s invention was more that of a practical institutional or community scale lighting system from generator to lamps; using high voltages so that he could use low currents — i.e. smaller copper wires [Cu has always been costly and scarce] — while delivering enough power. (Similarly, Columbus’ crucial discovery was the trade wind system: sail out in tropical winds from the east, sail back in the temperate zone westerlies.)

    He also missed the advantages of ac generation and transmission, though now that we have high tech electronics, we can do long run DC transmission; which is inherently more efficient in the use of Conductor materials in cables. (At one time the single largest capital asset of Bell Telco was the copper in its wires. There was even an investor who threatened to buy Bell to get the copper.)

    And, IIRC, it was charred i.e carbonised, bamboo fibres that were the original ticket to success.

    Also, he was not merely trying anything at random. He knew he needed something that was refractory and an electrical conductor, but not too brittle. Carbon has the highest melting point of any element, well beyond any metal. His problem was to find something that was not going to be too fragile. And that is why he was looking for a fibrous form of carbon that would not be too fragile.

    So, we see a tightly constrained random search across plausible candidates, with trial and error to look for a desired characteristic; which is a known design method. And carried out by a highly intelligent, world class designer.

    Co-optation is in other words most likely to succeed by the application of knowledgeable and resourceful intelligence.
    _____________

    Cheers,

    GEM of TKI

  206. PS: Did a little look-up at Wiki:

    ___________________

    >> Thomas Edison began serious research into developing a practical incandescent lamp in 1878. Edison filed his first patent application for “Improvement In Electric Lights” on October 14, 1878 (U.S. Patent 0,214,636). After many experiments with platinum and other metal filaments, Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on October 22, 1879,[25] and lasted 13.5 hours. Edison continued to improve this design and by Nov 4, 1879, filed for a U.S. patent for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected … to platina contact wires.”[26] Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including using “cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways,”[26] it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered that a carbonized bamboo filament could last over 1200 hours. >>

    ___________________

    So, we both have a point.

  207. JT:

    I think I must be tired.

    I just noticed a bit calculation that is wrong; second inexplicable basic math error in several days.

    7 letters per word avg, and 750 words is 7* 750 7-bit characters, or 5,250 128 state characters. This specifies a config space of 128^5,250, or 7.12*10^11,062.

    200,000 7 letter words is 128^1,400,000 or 9.07*10^2,950,093 states.

    G

  208. KF [205-206]:

    On the real issue, you obviously realise that one cannot transform one functional linguistic product into another through a random walk with acceptance of successful results at each stage.

    I acknowledge no such thing.

    [JT] As far as writing an article, I really have found the best approach is just to dive in. Just write the first sentence that pops in your head.
    [KF]: In short you know that functionally specific complex information is routinely produced by intelligence. Intelligence is of course of a different order of causal capacity from chance, trial and error and mechanical necessity.

    This is just nothing but continual adamant assertion by you. To me it is incoherent to treat cognition as something not governed by mechanical necessity. Or to treat is a causal category distinct form law and chance etc. It is utterly incoherent to me. A brain does of course have continual intake of new information over time so therefore it is a dynamic, changing and growing (and evolving) mechanical entity (not a static one) And its not just a solitary brain of course – its a brain in the context of a nervous system in the the context of a society, in a context of dynamically growing society, growing in terms of stored knowledge, etc.

    Why would you present your statement above, that obviously I understand that intelligence is some different category of cause distinct from chance and necessity, when I would think you obviously know I do not believe that. I think this idea of intelligence as a seperate category of causality is utter nonnsense. That is an honest an innate opinion. Its not me being perverse or espousing the New World Order or whatever.

    On Edison:

    http://www.juliantrubin.com/bi.....iment.html:

    Thomas Alva Edison, a prolific inventor, and his team (yes, he did not work alone!) experimented with thousands of different filaments to find just the right materials to glow well and be long-lasting.

    Thousands of different failed attempts to solve a problem – I think nature does this too. Let’s call nature intelligent too by all means. What a screw-up Edison was. If he were brilliant why couldn’t he discern the correct filament type through his penetrating god-like insight in one fell swoop. And as far as goals in nature, as long as there are suboptimal conditions, just by existing a goal to fix them exists. Necessity is the mother of invention. Scarcity, necessity whatever. As long as people have wants as long as organisms have wants needs, etc. goals are created of their own accord and land in the lap of anyone or anything that is in the position to address them. And there is immediate demand for the solution once the solution exists, however the solution was found, through trial an error or whatever.

    FYI – I really don’t enjoy arguing that much.

    Sorry for the piecemeal response.

  209. KF [205-206]:

    On the real issue, you obviously realise that one cannot transform one functional linguistic product into another through a random walk with acceptance of successful results at each stage.

    I acknowledge no such thing.

    My point being you place no limits on the knowledge of the thing analyzing the randomly and incrementally changed product, just as if your analyzer knows all english words, valid english words can be built up incrementally – e.g. go got goth gath gate grate grates gratis. Sentences can be built up incrementally like this as well, if the only restriction is valid english sentences. If one and only one goal is possible then issues of irreducible complexity exist, otherwise not. Anyway I do find this intuitively compelling. Maybe many others do not. And also the mere fact that the universe has to exist for a reason relevant to man, and if the universe were instrumental in the emgergence of Man, that would provide an explanation for the existence of the universe. Like I say, this is a matter of personal conviction as I’m stating it here.

  210. JT-
    “If one and only one goal is possible then issues of irreducible complexity exist, otherwise not.”

    This is incorrect. Of course many goals exist. The problem is that for a given goal, or purpose/function, there may be only one, or a variation of one, way to accomplish that purpose.

  211. Phaedros what I am referring to is that in arguments regarding irreducible complexity, people will look at some existing biological function F and say, “There is a core to this particular functionality that you cannot remove anything and have that functionality present. Once all that comes into existence, it can be incrementally improved through Natural Selection, but the base functionality has to arise in one fell swoop, so natural selection or evolution cannot produce that.” Well this point of view does not consider the possibility of other completely unrelated but equally functional subsequences in F that can be preserved solely on the basis of their own unrelated functionality. So for example the previous sentence I wrote, (starting with “Well.”) There are innumerable subsequences of that sentence that are functional even though they don’t express the complete specific thought of the entire sentence. Getting extremely far afield here regarding the ostesnsible topic of this thread, so I won’t continue this further.

  212. JT-

    Yes many things can follow “well” as long as they are structured in a particular according to the rules of grammar, etc. It can’t be,”Well sdjhlkd sflk lsdknf hsldfm kjsdg.”

  213. particular way***

  214. JT:

    I will focus on one key issue, as it is the proverbial slice of the cake that has in it all the ingredients:

    [KF:] Intelligence is of course of a different order of causal capacity from chance, trial and error and mechanical necessity.

    [JT:] This is just nothing but continual adamant assertion by you. To me it is incoherent to treat cognition as something not governed by mechanical necessity.

    1 –> As a matter of fact, in Western intellectual history, the understanding that causal factors can be traced to chance, necessity ["[t]he elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them . . . “] and art or intelligence was immemorial in 360 BC, when Plato wrote The Laws, Bk X.

    2 –> In more recent times, Monod’s famous 1971 book, Chance and Necessity, asserted that through materialist evolution, all of life (and of course minded, enconscienced deciding man) traced to just those two factors. Others have pointed out that reductionism of mind to matter and energy in motion under immediate and long term forces of chance plus necessity ends in self referential incoherence.

    3 –> But that is a matter of history of ideas. The matter is far more directly evident and easily empirically observable.

    4 –> So, laying aside — for the moment! — issues over debatable attempts to reduce mind to a result of blind chance and necessity, it is a simple and easily confirmed observation that:

    a: a dropped heavy object such as a rock reliably falls at 9.8 N/kg near the earth’s surface; i.e. we see a consistent natural regularity that imposes a mechanical necessity once certain initial conditions exist.

    b: if the object is a fair die, it tumbles and comes to rest reading from 1 to 6 according to a random, statistical, probabilistic distribution, i.e. in effect by undirected contingency or chance.

    c: if the die is not fair, it will come to rest in a fashion that reflects the intent of a designer, i.e. by directed contingency. As Wiki notes on such dice:

    There are also “loaded” or “crooked” dice (especially otherwise traditional ones), meant to produce skewed or even predictable results, for purposes of deception or amusement . . . . A loaded (or gaffed or cogged or weighted or crooked or gag) die is one that has been tampered with [intelligent action] to [purpose, achieved by skill] land with a selected [target zone from the space of contingencies] side facing upwards more often than it otherwise would simply by chance [contrasts directed with undirected contingency].

    5 –> So, we can easily notice and distinguish outcomes traceable to mechanical necessity, chance and intelligence, noting that we experience ourselves as purposeful, art-ful intelligences [however we may set out to explain the origin or locus of such]. And, as is explained here in my always linked in more detail [i.e. I have not been making empty question-begging assertions] and here in the UD Weak Argument Correctives linked top right this and every UD page [which, please read], (i) we explain reliable regular patterns on given initial conditions by Natural Law of Necessity; (ii) we explain credibly undirected, stochastic contingency by chance; (iii) we explain credibly directed contingency by intelligence.

    6 –> This last has as a characteristic sign, functionally specific [thus evidently purposeful] complex organisation and associated information.

    7 –> For instance, the text strings in posts in this thread are complex, functionally organised and utterly unlikely to have happened by the equivalent of monkeys banging away at random on typewriters, even if the matter and energy of the whole observed universe were to be converted into monkeys, typewriters and paper, banging away at even a fantastically rapid rate, over its entire lifespan.

    8 –> So, in the here and now world, we see that as we scientifically investigate aspects of an object, process or phenomenon, we may confidently identify causal factors tracing to chance, necessity and intelligence. Indeed, this is a routine part of scientific work: when we say measure a torsional pendulum and plot a graph of results, we distinguish the lawlike regularity of its oscillations from the random scatter of experimental errors from biases injected by instruments or processes of measurement etc. And in telecommunications work and the associated information theory, we measure and analyse signal to noise ratio, which distinguishes the intelligent signal from the stochastic, chance driven noise.

    9 –> But, JT, you would reduce mind to necessity (and one presumes, per evolutionary materialism, chance forces too]: “it is incoherent to treat cognition as something not governed by mechanical necessity.”

    10 –> As I note in App 8 my always linked, the key conceptual error in that was identified 300+years ago by Leibniz, in his famous parable of the mill, in his Monadology:

    17. It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another [i.e. the mechanical grinding away of the gears etc does not explain the intelligent functional organisation that laid out a mill to do its task], but never would he find anything to explain perception. It is accordingly in the simple substance, and not in the compound nor in a machine that the perception is to be sought. Furthermore, there is nothing besides perceptions and their changes to be found in the simple substance. And it is in these alone that all the internal activities of the simple substance can consist.

    [ . . . ]

  215. 11 –> For more modern instance, once we understand that ions may form and can pack themselves into a crystal, we can see how salts with their distinct physical and chemical properties emerge from atoms like Na and Cl, etc. per natural regularities (and, of course, how the compounds so formed may be destroyed by breaking apart their constituents!).

    12 –> However, the real issue evolutionary materialists face is how to get to mental properties that accurately and intelligibly address and bridge the external world and the inner world of ideas. This, relative to a worldview that accepts only physical components and must therefore arrive at other things by composition of elementary material components and their interactions per the natural regularities and chance processes of our observed cosmos. Now, obviously, if the view is true, it will be possible; but if it is false, then it may overlook other possible elementary constituents of reality and their inner properties. Which is precisely what Leibniz was getting at.

    13 –> But in fact, as Richard Taylor points out:

    Just as it is [logically and physically] possible for a collection of stones to [by chance and a lucky avalanche driven by the law of gravity] present a novel and interesting arrangement on the side of a hill [a sign saying "Welcome to Wales"] . . . so it is possible for our such things as our own organs of sense [and faculties of cognition etc.] to be the accidental and unintended results, over ages of time, of perfectly impersonal, non-purposeful forces. In fact, ever so many biologists believe that this is precisely what has happened . . . . [But] [w]e suppose, without even thinking about it, that they [our sense organs etc] reveal to us things that have nothing to do with themselves, their structures or their origins . . . . [However] [i]t would be irrational for one to say both that his sensory and cognitive faculties had a natural, non-purposeful origin and also that they reveal some truth with respect to something other than themselves . . . [For, if] we do assume that they are guides to some truths having nothing to do with themselves, then it is difficult to see how we can, consistently with that supposition [and, e.g. by comparison with the case of the stones on a hillside], believe them to have arisen by accident, or by the ordinary workings of purposeless forces, even over ages of time. [Metaphysics, 2nd Edn, (Prentice-Hall, 1974), pp 115 - 119.]

    14 –> What are Taylor and Leibniz getting at? This, as Reppert (echoing and amplifying C S Lewis) points out:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of [physical] state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    15 –> Or, as Plantinga traces from the assumption of evolutionary materialism forward:

    . . . evolution is interested (so to speak) only in adaptive behavior, not in true belief. Natural selection doesn’t care what you believe; it is interested only in how you behave. It selects for certain kinds of behavior, those that enhance fitness, which is a measure of the chances that one’s genes are widely represented in the next and subsequent generations . . . But then the fact that we have evolved guarantees at most that we behave in certain ways–ways that contribute to our (or our ancestors’) surviving and reproducing in the environment in which we have developed . . . . there are many belief-desire combinations that will lead to the adaptive action; in many of these combinations, the beliefs are false. [Note: even major and well-supported scientific beliefs/models -- such as Newton's laws of motion, circa 1680 - 1880 -- were/are not necessarily true to actual reality but rather were/are empirically reliable under the tested circumstances.]

    16 –> Or, citing Crick’s materialist blunder and Philip Johnson’s corrective:

    CRICK: . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing. {The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994]

    JOHNSON: Sir Francis should have been therefore willing to preface his works thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then acidly commented: “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [Reason in the Balance, 1995.]

    17 –> That is, Johnson is arguing that IF self-evident “fact no 1″ — that we are conscious, mental creatures who at least some of the time have freedom to think, intend, decide, speak, act and even write based on the logic and evidence of the situation — is false, THEN the sciences and rationality are dead.

    [ . . . ]

  216. 18 –> In short, it is at least arguable that self-referential absurdity is the dagger pointing to the heart of any such reductionistic evolutionary materialistic determinism as seeks to explain “all” — including mind — by “nothing more than” natural forces acting on matter and energy, in light of chance initial and intervening circumstances:

    . . . [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of "science"] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance ["nature"] and psycho-social conditioning ["nurture"], within the framework of human culture [i.e. socio-cultural conditioning and resulting/associated relativism].)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . .

    19 –> Engineer Derek Smith of Wales [!] gives us a more sensible approach: if we view ourselves as cybernetic systems with the brain acting as input-output controller and processor with relevant memory etc, we can see that a cybernetic loop can have a two tier controller.

    20 –> One level is the i/o controller in the loop that can indeed be simply following its hardware and programming in light of inputs; grinding away in he modern equivalent of Leibniz’s mill. But, at the second level, there is a supervisory, decision-making, creative controller that projects the desired path to the purposed goal, and imagines the circumstances and perceptions that should happen along the way.

    21 –> This controller then interacts with the loop informationally and perceptually [e.g. proprioception allows the orientation of the body and the head as a sensor turret to be internally sensed at all times and integrated into the external world; cf diagram in the linked, and more complex diagram at Smith's site].

    22 –> Penrose and Hameroff suggest that quantum supervenience perhaps localised though the microtubules in neurons, are a possible way for an immaterial mind to act as such a supervisory controller. (If you have been following BA’s recent exchanges, you will realise that he Quantum world has some very interesting and “suspicious” properties, e.g. look at how entangled photons act in a sophisticated version of the Young’s double slit experiment.)

    23 –> So, actually, it is the idea that mind is governed by chance plus necessity only that leads to incoherence. And, we cannot credibly account for mind and its observed and experienced capabilities on evolutionary materialistic premises. But, conscious mind is actually prior to all other experiences, as it is though the self-aware mind that we experience, observe, reflect on and act into the world.

    24 –> Thus, conscious mindedness is more certain than those observations, and theories that refer to and undermine the credibility of mind to think and act on reason instead of just chance and mechanical necessity, are self-referentially absurd. They can be rejected out of hand.

    25 –> Bye bye, evolutionary materialism.

    26 –> Taking tested, reliable signs of intelligence seriously, we then see that cell based life has in it codes, data stored in data structures, algorithms, implementing machines, and other similar credible artifacts of mind. C Chemistry cell based life is credibly a product of mind, mind that preceded and caused biological life on our planet.

    27 –> Lifting our gaze, we see that the observed cosmos, on dozens of parameters, is fine tuned to facilitate the existence of such c-chemistry cell based life. Thus, the cosmos is credibly the product of mind, intent on creating cell based life, mind that not only can interact with matter, but created it. Mind that is thus also immaterial and awesomely powerful.

    28 –> Mind that sounds a lot like the God of Judaeo-Christian theism.

    29 –> So now we come to the bottomline: will we insist on a radical a priori materialism that ends up in self referential absurdity, or will we be open to the scientific credibility of design as a causal factor, though it may just point to a mind that looks a lot like God?
    ___________________

    In short, which will govern: materialist presuppositions, or empirically anchored evidence that points in a direction that materialists will find distinctly uncomfortable?

    To such, My best reply is that science at its best is the unfettered (but ethically and intellectually responsible) open minded, progressive pursuit of the truth about our cosmos, based on observation, experiment, theorising, analysis, empirical testing and discussion among the informed.

    I therefore find the ongoing attempted imposition of a priori materialism by the backdoor under the name of “centuries long established rules and methods” or the like [a patent lie] backed up by crude indoctrination and heavy handed suppression of informed principled dissent utterly repugnant.

    GEM of TKI

  217. KairosFocus [215-217]:

    Logical deduction is a form of computation. In essence it is arithmetic. To be able to string together a series of logical propositions and reason to a conclusion on the basis of IF-THEN, AND, and OR, operators, is to me such an obviously mechanical operation. I am just mystified that you or 18-century philosophers (with their ruminations significantly occurring centuries prior to the computer age) could see in that computational process the spark of Godhood or what not. I’m just speaking from the gut, all the various quotes of yours from Cicero or whomever notwithstanding. I just do not get it.

    And furthermore our ability here is limited – we have limited bandwidth like any other finite creature and we make mistakes. We are far far far from infallible. And then when even our logic is correct, we sometimes hold faulty premises (because we’ve been told things we believe by people we trust, but are false.) and thus despite our correct logic we reach incorrect conclusions. But just looking at the logical computation, just like we cannot add or multiply numbers in our head of unlimited length, many times our logical deduction process is faulty. And animals too reason to a conclusion – all the time. They compute spatial reasoning at least, reasoning about what they have to do get from here to there or whatever. So, I’m just saying all your quotes from 18th century armchair philosophers aren’t helping me.

    And the idea that if some sensory or cognitive organ were to evolve by chance that gave an organism a clearer and truer understanding of its environment (perhaps like maybe increasing a computer’s memory to enable it to perform more complex calculation accurately?) would it really make any difference how this improvement came into being? What I mean is, if it conferred on the organism a greater ability to discern accurately its environment, then presumably that capability would have a greater chance of being preserved. And speaking of computers, that’s all they are is logical calculations. THey don’t have a spirit. Is it relevant that humans created them. We can’t just assume humans have a spirit and then say that’s the reason computer are so smart.

    If its possible for you to respond directly to my thoughts above without copying and pasting the things you’ve already pasted, or help me to understand what I’m missing. If we could just limit it to the subject of the materiality/nonmateriality of reason/logical thought, etc. (However long you want to continue this though – I don’t care.)

  218. Logical deduction is a form of computation. In essence it is arithmetic.

    Formal logic is always computational by its very nature. Presently no formal logic is generally accepted as a full and faithful representation of either human reason or whatever objectively right reasoning is. (See for example the paradoxes of implication.) It is not clear that any formal logic exists which fits either criterion.

  219. warehuff @ 183
    “n. Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.”

    Can anyone seriously believe this? Mathematics cannot be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena. Mathematics is completely abstract. Do you deny the reality of mathematics?

    The laws of physics, which are written in the language of mathematics, are abstract. They do not reduce to sub-atomic particles in energy fields. Do you deny the existence of the laws of physics?

    Just wondering…

  220. KairosFocus:

    I guess I should make an effort to respond to some of your points in 215-217. Of course they’re the same ones you’ve copied and pasted literally thousand upon thousands of times. (That’s just accurate isn’t it.) I guess I unnecessarily burden myself, as I always feel compelled to never say something the exact same way twice.

    if the die is not fair, it will come to rest in a fashion that reflects the intent of a designer, i.e. by directed contingency. As Wiki notes on such dice:

    There are also “loaded” or “crooked” dice (especially otherwise traditional ones), meant to produce skewed or even predictable results, for purposes of deception or amusement . . . . A loaded (or gaffed or cogged or weighted or crooked or gag) die

    No that is not the case. a manufacturing defect could cause the die to always land on the same side. Also throwing the dice on a soft piece of earth could cause it to always fall on the same side. Later on you indicate intelligence to mean something like people. And a dice always landing on the same side, or a dice not conforming to statistically to random results would not indicate the actions of “intelligence”, but that’s exactly what you confidently assert in the very first paragraph following this dice example:

    5 –> So, we can easily notice and distinguish outcomes traceable to mechanical necessity, chance and intelligence, noting that we experience ourselves as purposeful, art-ful intelligences [however we may set out to explain the origin or locus of such].

    ———–

    [JT] it is incoherent to treat cognition as something not governed by mechanical necessity.”
    [KF]10 –> As I note in App 8 my always linked, the key conceptual error in that was identified 300+years ago by Leibniz, in his famous parable of the mill, in his Monadology:

    It must be confessed, however, that perception, and that which depends upon it, are inexplicable by mechanical causes, that is to say, by figures and motions. Supposing that there were a machine whose structure produced thought, sensation, and perception, we could conceive of it as increased in size with the same proportions until one was able to enter into its interior, as he would into a mill. Now, on going into it he would find only pieces working upon one another [i.e. the mechanical grinding away of the gears etc does not explain the intelligent functional organisation that laid out a mill to do its task], but never would he find anything to explain perception. It is accordingly in the simple substance, and not in the compound nor in a machine that the perception is to be sought. Furthermore, there is nothing besides perceptions and their changes to be found in the simple substance. And it is in these alone that all the internal activities of the simple substance can consist.

    I don’t see the serious argument here. Its just an anology of thinking to a mill, followed by an assertion: “never would he find anything to explain perception” What am I missing here? Why is this supposed to be compelling?

    However, the real issue evolutionary materialists face is how to get to mental properties that accurately and intelligibly address and bridge the external world and the inner world of ideas. This, relative to a worldview that accepts only physical components and must therefore arrive at other things by composition of elementary material components and their interactions per the natural regularities and chance processes of our observed cosmos. Now, obviously, if the view is true, it will be possible; but if it is false, then it may overlook other possible elementary constituents of reality and their inner properties. Which is precisely what Leibniz was getting at.

    I don’t even know how to respond. What’s the argument

    . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference.

    Thus I guess we should never ever take the advice of a computer.

    evolution is interested (so to speak) only in adaptive behavior, not in true belief. Natural selection doesn’t care what you believe; it is interested only in how you behave.

    What you believe determines how you behave.

    CRICK: . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing. {The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994]
    JOHNSON: Sir Francis should have been therefore willing to preface his works thusly: “I, Francis Crick, my opinions and my science, and even the thoughts expressed in this book, consist of nothing more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Johnson then acidly commented: “[t]he plausibility of materialistic determinism requires that an implicit exception be made for the theorist.” [Reason in the Balance, 1995.]

    He mentions joys and sorrows being a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. Emotions certainly at least are of a highly chemical nature, being easily manipulated chemically. And what about memory? Do you and Johnson believe memory is non-material?
    Even your most brilliant ideas when they appear on the computer screen are nothing but a bunch of electrons. And here’s the crux of it: You would say I imagine that certain messages signify intelligence, and that I presume computer programs are also a signature of intelligence to you. Even if human cognition is material, you’re still free to consider it as representing in essence a physical message from God. I do not know what the imperative is that cognition has to be non-material. I don’t know how Leibniz’s argument or anything else you’ve presented shows that cognition is not physical.

    19 –> Engineer Derek Smith of Wales [!] gives us a more sensible approach : if we view ourselves as cybernetic systems with the brain acting as input-output controller and processor with relevant memory etc, we can see that a cybernetic loop can have a two tier controller.
    20 –> One level is the i/o controller in the loop that can indeed be simply following its hardware and programming in light of inputs; grinding away in he modern equivalent of Leibniz’s mill. But, at the second level, there is a supervisory, decision-making, creative controller that projects the desired path to the purposed goal, and imagines the circumstances and perceptions that should happen along the way.
    21 –> This controller then interacts with the loop informationally and perceptually [e.g. proprioception allows the orientation of the body and the head as a sensor turret to be internally sensed at all times and integrated into the external world; cf diagram in the linked, and more complex diagram at Smith's site]

    I cannot make heads or tails of this. Honestly. What is this all about. It seems like some sort of perfunctory attempt to throw dualism into sort of a psuedo-systematic technological framework. I’ve seen you post this many times. I do not know what the significance of it is. Is there something here I really need to understand.

  221. KairosFocus I have seen the following before, and it seems there is something substantive that perhaps I’m not fully getting. If you want to elaborate on this specific quote only, or provide any links to discussion or analysis on it as I’m not finding anything:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of [physical] state that is relevant to physical causal transactions

  222. [222]:

    According to the argument, to be rational it is not enough to be hard-wired to believe that Socrates is Mortal as a result of also believing the stated premises. In essence, you also have to understand WHY the conclusion follows from the premise.

    But why does it follow from “all men are mortal” and “socrates is a man” then socrates is mortal.

    Someone try to explain that. You won’t be able to. Your explanation will be circular and self-referential and you will end up saying “its just self-evident”:

    “Well, The first premise is All men are mortal. And since it says ‘all’ that would include any man, and socrates is a man and so socrates is mortal [etc.]”

    So even though supposedly rational, we are NOT able to explain why it follows that Socrates is mortal – its just ‘self-evident’ to us somehow.

    So in essence we believe it without knowing why. And why would we believe it without knowing why – possibly because we’re hard-wired that way. We believe it to be true (and presumably it is true) but we don’t know why we believe it. And we label it ‘self-evident’.

    So upon reflection the example is not a challenge to naturalism, imo.

  223. But actually the argument was something different – that to be rational is to state I believe Socrates was Mortal BECAUSE of these two premises”. If you only believed Socrates is mortal, but didn’t understand you believe it because you also believe the other two premises then that wouldn’t be rational. But what about believing Socrates is Mortal and understanding you beleive it because of two premises, but not understanding WHY you believe it because of the two premises. That’s the position wer’e in – we don’t know why it follows from the two premises we just label it ‘self-evident’. Just wanted to indicate to KF I read this, not bore everyone.

  224. JT (and others):

    Pardon, while I appreciate the effort to read, and communicate that the above has been read, I must also insist on an accurate readingas a basis for reasonable and accurately informed discussion. At no point, for instance, have I referred to the c. 50 BC Cicero, but instead to an extensive and foundational discussion by Plato, in the voice of the Athenian Stranger in his c. 360 BC The Laws Bk X.

    Similarly, at no point have I referred to C18 philosophers as such, save for a reference or two in various threads to Locke who is turn of C18, and that in reference to his citation of Hooker on the import of the Biblical understanding of our being equally made in God’s image for constructing of just and free government. Also, I have cited Leibniz [more C17 than 18] on the OBSERVATION of what one sees in a mill, i.e that physical cause-effect chains of mechanical necessity and/or chance do not explain the organisation of the mill for a purpose; which is patently obvious.

    If you do not attend to what was actually said, you are likely to end up on distractive red herrings, led away to strawman distortions soaked in ad hominems, potentially setting up incendiary rhetoric that only ends in confusion, polarisation, demonisation and breakdown of civility. And, at minimum, profoundly misunde3rstanding what is being said.

    Having said that, I will note on some select points:

    1] JT, 218: Logical deduction is a form of computation. In essence it is arithmetic. To be able to string together a series of logical propositions and reason to a conclusion on the basis of IF-THEN, AND, and OR, operators, is to me such an obviously mechanical operation.

    Tangential, trending to be red herring, but I will humour you for a moment.

    Deductive logic is in essence about our ability to judge entailment, i.e given A, B, C as premises, what MUST follow as conclusions. In that context, once the premises are true and he inferences valid, the conclusions will be true, i.e the argument is not just valid but sound. And, Boolean algebra is an algebra on relationships of propositions that at points intersects with classical syllogistic logic, but it is significantly diverse.

    For instance the classic syllogism about Socrates you cite works because — as the Venn Diagram approach to Syllogisms shows — it is an assertion about SET MEMBERSHIPS, where set theory is isomorphic with BA.

    Expanding, we will see that the deductive inference is not at all mysterious, given the human ability to recognise truths and judge relationships between truths — something that yet again evolutionary materialism blinds us to. Substituting for the more standard symbols –E for existential quantifier, A for universal, e means element. And showing as well that maths is actually a series of linked sentences that can be read in light of the meanings of the specific symbols, it is not just arbitrary rules of manipulation that work magic:

    1: Socrates [s] is a man [M]:

    E:s, such that: s is an element of set M

    –> The existential quantifier has existential import.

    2: All Men [M] are mortals [D]

    A:x e M, x e D

    –> The universal quantifier in modern work does not entail existence, it defines set relationships without reference to whether or not they are empty

    –> In classical thinking, sets are only defined and accepted if they are known to be non-empty.

    –> That is, they required that sets refer to real things on credible bases for knowing such reality.

    –> Similarly, there is no need to go for grand universal models of all reasoning to know that the specific parts of reasoning in question are sound

    –> And in fact we know that logico-mathematical reasoning is irreducibly complex in the Godel sense. That is, no axiomatic system for a sufficiently rich domain will both be exhaustive and coherent.

    –> So, we must reckon with finitude, fallibility and even fallenness. We walk by faith and not by sight, in Mathematics and reasoning just as much as in science and daily life.

    THEREFORE:

    3: Socrates is Mortal

    E; s, such that s e D.

    E:s, such that s e M, where M is a subset of D, so s e D

    –> By force of what being a subset means

    2] 224, But what about believing Socrates is Mortal and understanding you beleive it because of two premises, but not understanding WHY you believe it because of the two premises. That’s the position wer’e in – we don’t know why it follows from the two premises we just label it ’self-evident’.

    I have of course shown just above why it is that deductive syllogistic arguments work; i.e by the import of the relations of sets and membership in same. (That is why my standard advice to my students on deductive logic was to use Venn diagrams and not bother on the apparatus of all the different syllogistic statements.)

    However, you here raise a different issue, self evidence.

    Now, a self evident claim is one that on understanding it in light of our experience of the world as rational, knowing, enconscienced, moralising creatures, we see that it is not only true but MUST be true, on pain of patent absurdity. (Things that are in fact self referentially incoherent but are not overtly so, requiring subtle reasoning to draw it out, are not self-evident.)

    In short, it is not just a matter of arbitrary labelling, as your remarks suggest.

    For instance, take Josiah Royce’s error exists. This is self evident by being undeniably true not merely true by inspection of cases. That is, if one tries to say NOT-”Error exists,” one immediately instantiates a case in point of error; thus reducing to patent absurdity. You cannot coherently deny that error exists because of that self referentiality and the meaning of the claim “error exists.”

    And since this is thus known to be true on good warrant, truth and knowable truth exist. Our problem is to cut through the thicket of errors to catch a clear glimpse of the truth. For that I suggest the WCT’s approach to building a healthy worldview.

    3] 218: And the idea that if some sensory or cognitive organ were to evolve by chance that gave an organism a clearer and truer understanding of its environment (perhaps like maybe increasing a computer’s memory to enable it to perform more complex calculation accurately?) would it really make any difference how this improvement came into being? What I mean is, if it conferred on the organism a greater ability to discern accurately its environment, then presumably that capability would have a greater chance of being preserved.

    You are mistaking empirical reliability for truthfulness. As Plantinga — who is a contemporary philosopher –showed, the problem of evolutionary materialistic reductionism is that the key filter component it appeals to, natural selection, rewards fitness to environment, not truthfulness or accuracy to reality.

    So, the dynamic in question is impotent to establish the credibility of logical, ground-consequent relationships as opposed to tracing physical cause-effect bonds.

    To try to ad hoc, assert it away is to beg the question, not to answer it.

    4] And speaking of computers, that’s all they are is logical calculations. THey don’t have a spirit. Is it relevant that humans created them. We can’t just assume humans have a spirit and then say that’s the reason computer are so smart.

    As someone who has designed and built such processors, I assure you computers carry out no reasoned logical processes. They are organised by designers to effect symbolic logic operations physically, though cause-effect bonds. The logic comes from the attached meaning of the signals and from the complex, purposeful arrangement of logic elements and storage elements etc.

    A simple NOR gate, for instance, is a transistor circuit that when the input leg of one of several input resistors goes high, it forward biases a base-emitter PN junction, and causes the transistor amplifier to move to saturation. Thus a current runs through a load resistor and the output goes to a low voltage. That low voltage is interpreted as logical 0. But, once we can physically instantiate NOR [or NAND], we know form the structure of Boolean Algebra that we can implement any logical relationship. That is, the abstract mathematics of BA is reflective of reality, and so extends “magically” into the physical world.

    Again, on looking at the physical details we see the equivalent of Leibniz’s gears of a mill grinding away at one another, not the source of the intelligent and purposeful organisation that achieves the purposeful design.

    In short, computers are not smart, their designers and programmers are.

    And, we do not “assume” — notice how you have projected an unwarranted assertion of question-begging — that humans have a spirit, but we take note of our common experience that we are reasoning, knowing, intelligent, purposeful , designing creatures. And, we look at the characteristic sign of such intelligence at work, functionally organised complexity and related information.

    This then extends to looking at the processor embedded in our CNS and brain, as we observe that neural networks are a novel processor architecture, but are just that: networks of triggered nodes interconnected in ways that take meaning at a level beyond the physical connexions and signals of millivolt pulses.

    So the roots of rationality are not to be sought in he architecture of the brain as a processor. We can see it as an i/o controller, but cannot explain from within itself or on an evolutionary materialist narrative, how it is able to be part of a reasoning, moralising and deciding creature whose acts of intelligence are beyond what chance and mechanical linkages can cover.

    That is why I pointed to Eng Smith’s two-tier controller model as a way to help us see another view; towards inference to best explanation — a species of inductive, not deductive logic. And induction is so sophisticated and embedded with epistemological considerations that it leaves the accounts of deductive logic far behind. But in this aspect of reasoning lies the power of knowledge that contacts the world of experience, whether in science or in common sense or in forensics or in history etc.

    We here are asking on warrant and comparison of competing live option explanations on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory elegance, not whether certain premises entail conclusions. And indeed, it is a matter of experience based knowledge that we can see that certain premises are credibly and warrantedly true.

    6] 221, they’re the same ones you’ve copied and pasted literally thousand upon thousands of times. (That’s just accurate isn’t it.)

    JT, you here slide over into ad hominems. As a matter of fact, much of the above is precisely what I leave in my briefing notes; it is only pulled on rarely.

    And, even if I routinely use such cites, that has nothing to do with whether or not they are cogent.

    Kindly, deal with the matters on the merits.

    7] a manufacturing defect could cause the die to always land on the same side. Also throwing the dice on a soft piece of earth could cause it to always fall on the same side.

    Strawman, on a red herring.

    I spoke of how in contrast to the familiar reliable, repeatable falling of a heavy object at 9.8 N/kg as a manifestation of mechanical necessity on given initial conditions, a fair die tumbles to its reading by chance, i.e. exhibits credibly undirected, stochastic contingency. [Suitable conditions being implicit: do I need to cite Vegas rules on transparent dice and gridded walls that dice must be thrown against to tumble them out of control onto the table? Ridiculous!]

    We can therefore take it as plain that we can mark the distinction between events of mechanical necessity and those of chance, but the implications onward are plainly unpalatable, hence your diversion.

    8] a dice always landing on the same side, or a dice not conforming to statistically to random results would not indicate the actions of “intelligence”

    Onlookers, observe again what I cited above at 215 point 4 c; from Wikipedia, as a damaging admission against obvious interest for that notoriously secular humanist, evolutionary materialist generic reference site:

    There are also “loaded” or “crooked” dice (especially otherwise traditional ones), meant to produce skewed or even predictable results, for purposes of deception or amusement . . . . A loaded (or gaffed or cogged or weighted or crooked or gag) die is one that has been tampered with [intelligent action] to [purpose, achieved by skill] land with a selected [target zone from the space of contingencies] side facing upwards more often than it otherwise would simply by chance [contrasts directed with undirected contingency].

    The import of our world of experience on this case of intelligence as a causal factor and how it s results differ form both chance and necessity, is plain. So plain that you, JT, find yourself trying ever so hard to evade them by blatant denial. All I would say is that if you were to try to run a Vegas gaming establishment on that principle, you would rapidly go broke.

    In short I have in fact adequately warranted the three-way contrast of causal factors, chance, necessity and agency, but you are resorting to selective hyperskepticism to the point of patent absurdity.

    Wake up man!

    9] “intelligence”

    Your scare quotes are even more revealing.

    Are you not intelligent?

    Do you not live in a world of intelligent fellow creatures who for instance exhibit these characteristics as Wiki again admits against its interests:

    “capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn.” [UD Glossary of key terms, citing Wiki]

    10] Its just an anology of thinking to a mill, followed by an assertion: “never would he find anything to explain perception” What am I missing here? Why is this supposed to be compelling?

    As already pointed out, Leibniz was showing how the mere physical interactions of material bodies can only illustrate cause-effect bonds in action, it will never adequately explain the purposeful, functional, complex, information-rich organisation that harnesses “the materials and forces of nature, economically, for the good of humanity.”

    In short, the lesson is that you are again caught out in sadly selectively hyperskeptical denial, triggering rhetorical defense mechanisms that expose the Achilles’ heel of being inconsistent in standards of warrant.

    11] we should never ever take the advice of a computer.

    If you imagine that computers give “advice,” instead of mechanically grinding out the programmed responses to the inputs, assumptions and models that drive their programs, then you are in big trouble. A computer is not an infallible authority, but only a reflection of the wisdom and mistakes of its designers and programmers.

    Do not let the shiny, slick high-tech interface fool you, a computer is the canned voice of its programmers, not an authority in its own right. And, when one for instance looks behind the wrapping of the Climate modelling software at the heart of the Climategate scandal — to name just one case — we see plenty of “put that in writing” compliance by the programmers.

    GIGO!*

    [*Garbage, in, garbage out.]

    12] What you believe determines how you behave.

    Indeed, and belief is not equivalent to reality, Even if the belief is for the moment empirically reliable. That is why I augmented Plantinga by citing the case of Newtonian dynamics, which for 200 years seemed to be the gospel truth about the physical world. Then came the world of the extra small and that of the extra fast or extra large.

    Adaptive mechanisms, sensors, perceptions, behaviours and beliefs are not necessarily accurate to reality.

    As a matter of established fact.

    13] Emotions certainly at least are of a highly chemical nature, being easily manipulated chemically. And what about memory? Do you and Johnson believe memory is non-material?

    Again, distractive. Crick committed a fallacy of materialist reductionism, and Johnson pointed out that reducing all mentality to neurons in action ends up in self-referential incoherence.

    Mechanical cause-effect cannot warrant ground-consequent.

    14] Even your most brilliant ideas when they appear on the computer screen are nothing but a bunch of electrons.

    Precisely the opposite of the case.

    The pixels and the underlying electrical wiring, circuits, components and transducers are organised to present meaningful symbols, which are rationally understood and manipulated, not least based on the designs of intelligent programmers and computer engineers. (I recall here how Cray used to use Apple Macs to design Cray machines, and Apple used a Cray to design Macs!)

    Beneath the engineering, of course lies the power of mathematics, which is wholly about abstract reality; which is what gives it its great power. Think here of the analysis of the Turing Machine.

    15] here’s the crux of it: You would say I imagine that certain messages signify intelligence, and that I presume computer programs are also a signature of intelligence to you.

    Can you kindly provide a case where we directly know — i.e OBSERVE — the causal process and a message where the storage capacity of the symbols used exceeds 1,000 binary digits, and the cause is credibly chance + necessity, not intelligence? [The whole Internet is Exhibit A on how intelligent agents routinely produce such messages.]

    On empirically well-supported induction, I infer that functionally specific complex organisation and in particular associated information, are reliable signs of intelligence.

    I then find myself free to use such FSCI as a reliable sign of intelligence, even where I do not observe the causal process directly, as on empirically anchored analysis, I see that chance + necessity cannot — per want of resources to scan enough of the config space to be appreciably different from a next to no search that could only hit on FSCI by luck beyond canons of reasonable plausibility [similar to those of the statistical form of the 2nd law of thermodynamics] — credibly produce FSCI on the gamut of our observed cosmos. But routinely, intelligences produce FSCI.

    Nor, do I have any good reason to infer that we humans exhaust the set of actual or possible intelligences.

    Therefore observation of FSCI in a non-human context on the face of it constitutes evidence of non-human intelligence. (Beavers have limited intelligence for instance, as a beaver dam shows. The are not just mechanically grinding out an in-built program.)

    And when I see FSCI in the cell [both data structures and executing instructions that initiate and halt step by step processes -- i.e. programs, which are a species of linguistic expression], it screams: intelligence.

    16] I don’t know how Leibniz’s argument or anything else you’ve presented shows that cognition is not physical.

    In short you have distracted yourself from seeing the patent difference between mechanical cause- effect bonds and logical ground- consequent ones.

    17] [regarding the Derek Smith 2-tier controller cybernetic model] What is this all about. It seems like some sort of perfunctory attempt to throw dualism into sort of a psuedo-systematic technological framework.

    I will only note on the loaded, question-beggingly dismissive language, and point out that this is improper.

    On the more serious points, if you have refused to see the difference between cause- effect bonds and the complex organisation that makes them physically instantiate a designer’s logic, you will not recognise first that the control loop does not explain itself or cause its underlying logic. [I assume you have examined my diagram and the onward more elaborate Derek Smith diagram. Note this is in the context of a serious discussion on how to design a new level of robots. I assume you have enough background to follow a closed loop control system diagram: a plant has controlling inputs and observable outputs. Sampling and processing outputs and comaring actual to desired performance allows a controller to actuate the plant to move towards the desired trajectory in its phase space.]

    The key issue is, where does the directing input come from, the set-point target of the control loop, which in a servo type system, is a sequence of points along a path.

    Smith’s model envisions a higher order controller that decides, imagines, projects and so injects a directive signal that the actual state can be comapred to and adjustments made.

    In a simple case, this can be a pre-programmed computer. Or, even the way points of a navigation system.

    But this technological case is suggestive of how we can look at the brain-body system as a multiple input, multiple output cybernetic system. And in that context, mind is readily understood as a supervisory controller using the brain and its sensory processing, storage and motor areas as a supervised I/O controller. In that context, the interaction is seen as informational, self-aware perceptual and imaginative. And a possible quantum bridge is put forth, in the context that we already have lines of evidence from the quantum world that point to a higher order reality, e.g the situation of entangled particles and their ability to act instantly [and evidently, even with with reversed temporality!] at a distance. (Cf. the extended Young’s Double Slit experiment discussed here.)

    In short, I have put up a scenario that allows us to look at live options in a way that we can assess on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power. Dismissively labelling “dualism,” simply locks out such discussion.

    Notice for instance a point that I actually highlighted in my notes: the Smith model allows for designs that are two level controllers that are wholly pre-programmed computers, e.g the supervisor is another computer with a higher level of programming. But, it also allows for the possibility that having a brain working as a controller, processor and store is not decisive on physicalism [which I have shown on other grounds is self-referentially incoherent]. And that implication is what you are patently objecting to.

    18] Reppert’s summary:

    >> . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal.

    –> physical states that [on assigned codes and interpretations] symbolise the propositions, are causally bonded to another physical state that is symbolic of the conclusion

    –> “readily” effected in a digital circuit

    It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . .

    –> Without reference to meaning, grounds and consequents, all we really have is circuits grinding away at one another electrically

    [But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [so] we do not have a case of rational inference.

    –> Under phsyicalism, cause effect is primary, mental states are at best emanations and epiphenomena void of causal force

    In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it.

    –> Cf the discussion above on the way that the Socrates syllogism works as a combinations of meaningful claims about sets that provides grounds and consequences in logic.

    But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    –> Reductio. Cause-effect bonds are irrelevant to and of a different order of reality from ground consequent relations, so unless you can address the latter, you are stuck. >>

    19] According to the argument, to be rational it is not enough to be hard-wired to believe that Socrates is Mortal as a result of also believing the stated premises. In essence, you also have to understand WHY the conclusion follows from the premise

    Not quite.

    If the symbolistic signals that we interpret per some language or other as “Socratre is a man” and “all men are mortal” physically cause the output “Socrates is mortal,” which can be arranged electronically; that is not enough to ground the inference from the former propositions to the latter.

    All that is in brains, on physicalist understanding, is neurons wired together, and interacting electrically etc. Such physical cause- effect bonds just manifest wiring, they do not have anything to do with whether the wiring makes sense or not on a certain logical and meaningful interpretation.

    That is we see how radically different cause-effect bonds of mechanical force and chance circumstances are from the ground consequent logical relations.

    But if one has been thinking in a materialistic circle, it is exceedingly hard to see the gap being pointed out. That is why multiple examples, comparisons and cases are used to try to break through the fog induced by an unwarranted and self-referentially incoherent a prior of materialism.

    Start from the incoherence of that a priori, and its censoring, confusing effect. Then, when you have satisfied yourself that it is self referentially absurd and should be abandoned, look at the Derek Smith model and begin to unravel the tangled web.

    _________________

    GEM of TKI

  225. PS: Wiki on the causality issues on the Delayed eraser effect:

    >> Scully and Drühl found that the interference pattern disappears when which-path information is obtained, even if this information was obtained without directly observing the original photon, but that if you somehow “erase” the which-path information, the interference pattern reappears.

    In the delayed choice quantum eraser discussed here, the pattern reappears even if the which-path information is erased shortly after, in time, the signal photons hit the primary detector. However, the interference pattern can only be seen retroactively once the idler photons have already been detected and the experimenter has obtained information about them, with the interference pattern being seen when the experimenter looks at particular subsets of signal photons that were matched with idlers that went to particular detectors.

    The total pattern of signal photons at the primary detector never shows interference, so it is not possible to deduce what will happen to the idler photons by observing the signal photons alone, which would open up the possibility of gaining information faster-than-light (since one might deduce this information before there had been time for a message moving at the speed of light to travel from the idler detector to the signal photon detector) or even gaining information about the future (since as noted above, the signal photons may be detected at an earlier time than the idlers), both of which would qualify as violations of causality in physics.

    In fact, a theorem proved by Phillippe Eberhard shows that if the accepted equations of quantum theory are correct, it should never be possible to experimentally violate causality using quantum effects,[4] although some physicists have speculated about the possibility that these equations might be changed in a way that would be consistent with previous experiments but which could allow for experimental causality violations. >>

  226. kairosfocus @ 105: “The presence of language, algorithms, programs and executing coordinated machines at the first appearance of life — that is what the requisites of self-replication, as highlighted by von Neumann entail [cf. 77 - 78 above] — strongly points to the presence of intelligence at that point, whether it was 3.8 – 4.2 BYA, or 6 – 10 TYA.”

    Are you implying that you know what the first living thing was like? Please tell us, it will help both sides of this argument. But of course, you know no such thing, that’s just another assertion.

    bornagain77 @ 144: “Since it is conclusively shown there is NOT a solid material particle at the basis of reality then materialism is falsified in no uncertain terms of its primary postulation.” The only thing falsified is the idea that matter is composed of solid particles and that was a surprise to everybody, materialist and theist.

    ba77 @ 145: “Warehuff since the detector is effectively removed as the cause of the wave collapse in this experiment, your “belief” is falsified:”

    The heck it is! The only way the detector can detect the position of the particle is by interacting with the particle at once place and THAT destroys the wave function. If you cancel the detection out later, you restore the wave function.

    If you really think consciousness affects QM, try this variation on the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment: Put a radioactive source and a detector in a wooden box. Adjust them so there’s about a 99% chance that the detector will go off in a ten minute period. Instead of a cat, hook the detector up to a block of high explosive so it goes off if the detector detects a particle. Now hold the box in your arms for ten minutes. Since you can’t see the radioactive source or the detector and since they operate silently, you won’t know if the detector was tripped and the explosive detonated until you open the box. So you should be safe as long as you don’t open the box, right?

    KF @ 147: Progress! The von Neumann replicator is not needed at the OOL, so you can stop referring to it from now on, at least with respect to the OOL. Now you’re arguing that Darwinian evolution can’t go from the original replicator to modern life. Let’s see. What does ID say the first steps in life were?

    “Aside from such, the basic scientific problem is that the RNA world or the like are all in the air speculation:” Yep, neither side has actual knowledge of what exactly happened at the OOL, so science has to make hypothesis and test them any way they can. But have you noticed that the religion side of the argument says absolutely nothing about what actually happened? But they demand that science says exactly what happened, every step from the OOL to modern life and they declare science is disproven if they can’t do it. It’s a lot more fun to just carp at the other side than to put up any ideas of your own.

    tgpeeler @ 220 and bornagain77 in various posts and probably every ID advocate that has ever lived: Abstract principles are part of materialism.

  227. I’m about a hundred messages behind and gone for the weekend.

  228. 229

    warehuff,

    Language, mathematrics, and algorithms are not abstract “principles”…they are abstract realities.

  229. WH

    We know through direct observation what cell based life looks like.

    That is what is to be explained, not red herrings and strawmen over speculative hypothetical replicator molecules and the like. And that is a case of systems that definitely implement irreducibly complex von Neumann replicators.

    And, as Meyer recently pointed out the setups that are being overdrawn to make an RNA world seem plausible prove only that the replicators would require huge quantities of functionally specific information, and that the reaction chains are implausible for any reasonable pre-biotic environment. That is, they show highly intelligent setting up of highly organised and sequences circumstances.

    Engineering, not spontaneity in short.

    Besides, the kind of “replications” shown to date [e.g. catalysed splicing of already set up halves] are nothing like anything near to what we see in life.

    That you are plainly forced to such distractions, distortions and obfuscations tells us a lot about he true state of the evolutionary materialist account of he origin of FSCI in cell based life as we observe it, and body plan level biodiversity as we observe it around us and in the fossil record.

    When I need to observe gravity in action, I drop a rock. To see chance in action, I drop a fair die. To see intelligence in action, I look at a whole internet full of FSCI-rich messages.

    I have excellent empirically based inductive reason to confidently differentiate the three causal factors, and to see that the FSCI in cell based life screams: deesign.

    Onlookers:

    See how the serious issues are being dodged and every effort is made to drag red herrings out to strawmen soaked in conveniently denigratory rhetoric, all set to be ignited; clouding, confusing, choking and poisoning the atmosphere.

    Sad, but utterly revealing.

    No wonder the clear pattern being used by the magisterium in lab coats is to smuggle in a priori materialism as the criterion for origins science by the back door.

    Time for change!

    GEM of TKI

  230. warehuff let’s try this with a little more brute force:

    The materialization of all 3-D material particles centers on each point of conscious observation in this universe!

    We can show this fact by building off what Wigner has done,,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Wigner

    The super weird thing in this following video is that the entire universe seems to center on the earth:

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4240304/

    i.e. Warehuff why is the earth at the center of the universe? Wasn’t that overturned by Galileo?

    Warehuff the strongest counter argument to the “quantum universe” centering on, collapsing to, each point of conscious observation in the universe has been the fact that 4-D space-time expands equally well at every 3-D point of the universe. Warehuff why does the expansion of the entire universe care that I exist? Though that question is certainly very interesting, what we are really after is this, “does the 4-D expansion of space-time of the 3-D material universe have adequate sufficiency to explain the centrality we witness for the earth in the known universe?” No it does not, and here is the reason why:

    The only way to “geometrically” maintain continuous 3D spherical symmetry of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, within the “3D universe”, from radically different points of observation in the universe, is for all the “higher dimensional quantum information waves” of the universe to collapse to their “uncertain” 3D particle state, universally and instantaneously, for/to each individual point of conscious observation in the universe. The 4-D expanding hypersphere of the space-time of relativity is grossly insufficient to maintain 3-D integrity/symmetry from radically different points of observation in the universe. This is because the universe is shown to only have 10^79 atoms. i.e. It is impossible to maintain such consistent 3-D symmetry of centrality, from radically different points of observation, with finite 3-D material resources to work with, unless quantum waves actually do collapse universally to each point of conscious observation in the universe. Universal quantum collapse to each point of observation is the only explanation that has adequate sufficiency.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetry_in_physics

    The fact that photons are known to travel as uncollapsed quantum waves in this universe , and not as particles, gives even more weight to the sufficiency of the explanation.

    Now Warehuff we get the the interesting part, what is the “sufficient cause” of the collapse of the quantum waves to the “effect” of 3-D particles? Sorry, just so stories need not apply warehuff.

  231. correction:

    this sentence should read as such:

    The only way to “geometrically” maintain continuous 3D symmetry of the “3D universe”, within the sphere of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation,

  232. JT @ 223
    “But why does it follow from “all men are mortal” and “socrates is a man” then socrates is mortal.

    Someone try to explain that. You won’t be able to. Your explanation will be circular and self-referential and you will end up saying “its just self-evident””

    Hi JT, on the contrary, I will be able to explain that. But first, the problems are:
    1. We live in a finite universe.
    2. We are not God. (Thus we suffer from the problem of induction. There is always one more fact.)

    Since we live in a finite universe, a universe of beginnings, let me suggest a good place to start as we look for explanations. At the beginning. This means First Principles. You seem to have some antipathy to things that are “self-evident.” It also looks like you confuse “self-evident” with self-referential or circular.

    Aristotle discovered (he wasn’t the first, he was predated by Moses and Isaiah, who were predated by God, but Aristotle generally gets the credit – go figure) first principles as he considered how we explain things. If we want to explain z, for example, we do so by reference to y. But now y requires explanation. And so on. Aristotle recognized that since an actual infinite regress is impossible in a finite universe, there must be a First reason or premise or principle in the explanatory chain.

    He rightly saw that these are self-evident, axiomatic, one might say. They do not admit of proof because nothing precedes them in any explanatory chain. They are first, after all. So by definition nothing can precede them or prove them. Anyone with a normally functioning intellect knows these principles self evidently.

    This is not being circular or self-referential. This is just being First. Being and Identity are the first. You exist and you are you. Nothing more need be said. Nothing more can be said. It follows that if you are you then you are not someone else, or “not you.” This is called the law or principle of non-contradiction. Opposing truth claims (not different, opposing) cannot both be true. It also immediately is evident that a truth claim (I exist) is either true or it is not (is false). All truth claims, without exception, are either true or false.

    So how can something be “self-evident?” Here’s how. Let’s say “I exist.” If I deny my existence, I demonstrate my existence because in order to deny my existence I must first exist.

    Here’s another one. Reason is the sovereign authority in matters of truth. Think not? Then argue with me about it and you will be using the authority of reason to argue against the authority of reason.

    Or how about Truth? In our pluralistic, relativistic, post-Christian society it’s popular to claim that absolute truth doesn’t exist. But that’s an absolute truth claim. So the original claim is necessarily false. It refutes itself.

    As I said, everyone with a normally functioning intellect knows these things. Some people obviously don’t mind abusing them to promote an agenda other than seeking the truth. I like to refer to that as intellectual degeneracy. To the extent that one abandons or abuses reason one is intellectually degenerate. But I digress.

    Now to the categorical syllogism. I will tell you exactly how we KNOW it’s true that Socrates is mortal.

    Major Premise: All men are mortal. (This is true by virtue of the fact that part of being a man is to be mortal.)

    Minor Premise: Socrates is a man. (This is an empirical truth. I just observed Socrates and he is, indeed, a man.)

    Conclusion: Socrates is mortal. (This is necessarily true. Not even God can make it not true. Here’s why. In an argument like this, the major premise contains a general truth. The minor premise contains a particular truth THAT IS ALREADY ASSERTED IN THE MAJOR PREMISE. So the function of the conclusion is to make perfectly clear the implications of the two premises. By the way, a deductive argument in which the premises necessarily lead to the conclusion is said to be VALID. When the premises are also true, it is said to be SOUND.

    Or consider this:

    Major Premise: All numbers less than 50 are less than 100. (This is true by definition. To be less than 50 is to be less than 100 given a set of integers from 0 to 100, say.)

    Minor Premise: 25 is less than 50. (Also true by definition.)

    Conclusion: 25 is less than 100.

    So this is exactly HOW we know that it follows that “Socrates is mortal.”

    I hope this helps. Any beginning logic book will tell you the rules of valid syllogisms if you want to confirm what I said or take it further.

  233. Footnotes:

    1] TGP, re JT at 223 on why a syllogism works.

    As I showed in 225, point 1, syllogisms are actually linked claims about sets and membership in sets. That is what derives their logic. And that is why meaning is so important in syllogistic arguments — you have to show the connexions between sets.

    Socrates is a man, claims that there is a set men [M], of which Socrates [s] is a member.

    All men [M] are mortal [D], says that the set of men is a subset of the set of mortals. So, any member of M will by transitivity be a member of D also.

    It therefore follows that s e M is also s e D.

    Going on to the implication argument, such arguments also have the form (A AND B) => Q, where Q is the consequent and (A AND B) is the compound antecedent, which specifies a sufficient condition for Q to be true. Also, Q is necessary for (A AND B) to be true.

    If you do the truth table or work out the Boolean Algebra, you will see that the just above statement is equivalent to:

    A => Q AND/OR B => Q

    That is, it reveals that on implication the sufficiency requires that one or both of A and B are sufficient for Q. It turns out — I was puzzled when I first saw this 25 years ago — that this is linked to how the propositions A and B are meaningfully related.

    Men are mortal because of a meaningful reason we access though our understanding of the world. So if Socrates is — per observation — a man, he will be at least potentially mortal. Similarly, once Socrates is a man, that has the import that he can die.

    Thus, the syllogistic argument depends on our understanding of our world, and in the end on the reliability of experience based knowledge and insight, i.e logic is not a substitute for wisdom and common good sense. In that context, we see the relevance of the need to have a warranted, credible truth anchor for our worldviews, and the need to be willing to abandon that which is absurd. At least if we want to have open, critically aware minds that follow the truth where it leads. [And there is indeed an allusion to Rom 2:5 - 8 there.]

    Which is the root problem with — too often militantly closed minded — evolutionary materialism.

    2] WH, 227: The von Neumann replicator is not needed at the OOL, so you can stop referring to it from now on, at least with respect to the OOL. Now you’re arguing that Darwinian evolution can’t go from the original replicator to modern life.

    I need to underscore just how strawmannish, arrogantly dismissive and willfully misleading this assertion is.

    The imaginary RNA world or metabolism first clay surface world or other scenarios have never been observed. They are wholly speculative, thus constitute metaphysical speculations, not science. Further, they are based on what Orgel and Shapiro, by mutually destructive comments [as I have excerpted in the very comment 147 that WH is ostensibly replying to!], have shown is utterly implausible chemistry scenarios in the context of pre-biotic environments.

    First, let us note what I said in the opening words in 147, highlighting to make the point WH overlooks or suppresses very clear:

    The vNR is indeed not the simplest way to self-replicate [which was never proposed]. It logically defines a mechanism and requisites, that makes a machine capable of doing something real, to also replicate itself.

    Autocatalytic molecules and reagents and the like, of course fall through the problem of functioning as life forms that have metabolism driven action and interaction in an environment, and the related trap of THEN innovating a de novo language based irreducibly complex self-replication system, on autiocatalysis.

    In short, the hypothetical self-replicating molecules — and the overstrained cases of RNA self replication in the lab depend on carefully constructed components with highly intelligently constructed sequences, as well as being more splicing of halves than real self replication from monomers — FAIL to fit the bill of “functioning as life forms.”

    Again, I must emphasise: we have observed exactly one type of biological life: cells, based on carbon chemistry. (Viruses, being dependent on the replicating machinery of the cell, simply don’t count.)

    So, when we refer to the origin of LIFE, it refers to the sort of life that is observationally confirmed.

    (Let me spell it out: One cannot properly smuggle in a conveniently question-begging definition that a self-replicating molecule is “life” then propose a pigs could fly chemistry just so story to then claim that the problem of OOL has been “solved” and that the issue of accounting for the OBSERVED von Neumann replicator in life forms is now irrelevant and should be dropped. For shame!)

    Hypothetical pre-life replicators are not life unless it can be empirically shown that they (a) exist, (b) come about spontaneously in reasonable pre-biotic environments, and (c) exhibit sufficient family resemblance to observed life to receive the same recognised status.

    Citing Wiki — as per usual a s a damaging admission against interest — on (c), the defining characteristics of life:

    Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (biology) from those that do not,[1][2] either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.[3]

    In biology, the science of living organisms, life is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter.[4] Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations.

    To make the point of “metabolism” clear, let us further excerpt from the Wiki article on Life, as it defines:

    Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.

    Of course, the required key components in observed life forms are based on complex, information-rich molecules, and are assembled step by step in highly controlled digitally driven processes and nanomachines such as the ribosome.

    All of this simply underscores the force of the irreducibly complex von Neumann replicator as the means by which life forms replicate cells:

    (i) an underlying code to record/store the required information and to guide procedures for using it,

    (ii) a coded blueprint/tape record of such specifications and (explicit or implicit) instructions, together with

    (iii) a tape reader that reads and interprets the coded specifications and associated instructions, and

    (iv) implementing machines (and associated organisation and procedures) to carry out the specified replication (including that of the constructor itself); backed up by

    (v) either:

    (1) a pre-existing reservoir of required parts and energy sources, or

    (2) associated “metabolic” machines carrying out activities that provide required specific materials and forms of energy by using the generic resources in the surrounding environment.

    This vNR is plainly irreducibly complex and based on creation of a coding language, algorithms, programs to effect same, and machines to physically instantiate, all of which have to be functionally integrated in a viable whole, all at once. THAT IS WHAT HAS TO BE EXPLAINED, and that is what has been evaded by resort to distractive strawmen, pigs could fly chemistry and just so stories about a hypothetical replicator world. Just so stories whose principal virtue is that once implicit evolutionary materialism is accepted as the criterion of doing “science,” they make for plausible reading and persuasion.

    WH needs to know that setting up and knocking over question-begging and distractive strawmen both shows the fundamental weakness of he evolutionary materialist case, and exemplifies the rhetorical tactics that are so often used to make what is fundamentally weak seem plausible to the naive. If you have a serious case on the merits, you do not need distractive strawmen.

    So, WH, please tell us how your pre-life world came to be in credible pre-biotic environments, with what observational support that warrants so strong a claim. Then tell us how these replicators converted themselves into the metabolising, von Neumann replicator using cells that use the genetic code and organised nanomachines that we see.

    Again, with empirical support that warrants the claim that undirected chance and mechanical forces acting in credible pre-biotic environments that one gets to through a reasonable cosmology, spontaneously threw them up. [And if that cosmology exhibits fine tuning, it would be helpful if that could also be explained.]

    I note that this very week, Craig Venter and associates have announced that they synthesized a functioning genome, albeit by copying existing ones. So we have direct empirical support for the idea that design can make functional components of life and integrate them into a functional framework.

    GEM of TKI

  234. Warehuff,

    in response to this quote on mine:

    “Warehuff since the detector is effectively removed as the cause of the wave collapse in this experiment, your “belief” is falsified:”

    you state this:

    “The heck it is! The only way the detector can detect the position of the particle is by interacting with the particle at once place and THAT destroys the wave function. If you cancel the detection out later, you restore the wave function.”

    Warehuff you seem to be having a extremely hard time grasping the beauty of what is going on in the quantum erasure experiment so I will try to make it a little clearer:

    To explain an event which defies time and space, as the quantum erasure experiment clearly does, you cannot appeal to any material entity like the detector or any other part of the physical/material experiment which is itself constrained by time and space. To give an adequate explanation for a event that defies time and space one is forced to appeal to a entity which is itself not confined by time or space.

    The experiment is straightforward in its implications warehuff. If you want to make up fantasies of infinite parallel universes, or whatever, to explain the “supernatural” actions witnessed in the double slit experiment as others have before you, just so to avoid the obvious Theistic implications of the experiment, go ahead I really don’t care. But at the very least pleaser realize that you are not even batting in the right ballpark right now by trying to find a material solution to a “supernatural” problem.

  235. kf @ 234
    “As I showed in 225, point 1, syllogisms are actually linked claims about sets and membership in sets. That is what derives their logic. And that is why meaning is so important in syllogistic arguments — you have to show the connexions between sets.”

    No argument here. :-)

  236. Further Footnote:

    Merkle from Xerox PARC has an interesting observation on Ribosomes in context:

    We can view a ribosome as a degenerate case of [a Drexler] assembler [i.e. a molecular scale von Neumann-style replicator]. The ribosome is present in essentially all living systems . . . It is programmable, in the sense that it reads input from a strand of messenger RNA (mRNA) which encodes the protein to be built. Its “positional device” can grasp and hold an amino acid in a fixed position (more accurately, the mRNA in the ribosome selects a specific transfer RNA, which in its turn was bound to a specific amino acid by a specific enzyme). The one operation available in the “well defined set of chemical reactions” is the ability to make a peptide bond [NB: This works by successively “nudging” the amino acid-armed tip of the codon- matched tRNA in the ribosome's A site to couple to the amino acid tip of the preceding tRNA (now in the P site) and ratcheting the mRNA forward; thus elongating the protein's amino acid chain step by step] . . . . [T]he ribosome functions correctly only in a specific kind of environment. There must be energy provided in the form of ATP; there must be information provided in the form of strands of mRNA; there must be compounds such as amino acids; etc. etc. If the ribosome is removed from this environment it ceases to function. [Self Replicating Systems and Molecular Manufacturing, Xerox PARC, 1992. (Parentheses, emphases and links added. Notice as well how the concept of functionally specific complex information naturally emerges from Merkle's discussion.)]

    And, we note that he utility of proteins is still some steps downstream.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: TGP, it is indeed all about definable collections aka sets. And, invalid syllogisms tend to get in trouble over overlapping sets that are not proper sets, and about ambiguities on membership. The Mafia are Italian, Tony is Italian, Tony is a mafioso fails to recall that some Italians — by far and away most — are not. But often, once a pall of suspicion is cast, it poisons the atmosphere by appeal to prejudice or slander.

  237. KF-san,

    Are you taking the position that the ribsome could not have evolved?

  238. F/N: one may communicate without a language (e.g. a scream of pain or fear) but cannot communicate verbally without symbols and rules that make them meaningful.

  239. JT @ 209
    “valid english words can be built up incrementally – e.g. go got goth gath gate grate grates gratis. Sentences can be built up incrementally like this as well, if the only restriction is valid english sentences.”

    What is the prerequisite for building up valid English words and sentences?

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