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This is Stunning!

Eric Anderson writes: “Darwinists regularly admit [the physical systems we see in life] look designed and they have to keep reminding themselves that they aren’t designed.”

Elizabeth Liddle writes later in the same thread: “…by intelligence I mean the power and facility to choose between options–this coincides with the Latin etymology of “intelligence,” namely, “to choose between”which is much more precise, but which would in fact include evolutionary processes”

And Upright BiPed asks: “Which evolutionary process has the facility to make a choice between alternate options?”

And Barry sums up: Ms. Liddle forgot to remind herself that she cannot use teleological language in a literal sense. Sometimes I wonder if the entire Darwinist program is built on nothing but linguistic equivocations.

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99 Responses to This is Stunning!

  1. 1

    Actually, Barry, I think the reverse is true! That ID is built on linguistic equivocations!

    You say I “forgot” to remind myself that I “cannot use teleological language in a literal sense”.

    Dembski specifically ruled out “intention” from his definition. He ruled out “teleology” in other words. He allowed “choose” (which is a synonym for “select”) to be interpreted non-teleologically.

    And using it in that sense, evolutionary processes fit the bill, and his point is correct.

    But we can equally cast it in clearly non-teleological language if you prefer:

    Certain patterns can be inferred to be the result of systems of deeply nested contingencies.

    That’s my preferred usage, actually, eschewing teleology.

    And those patterns, are, I submit, sometimes mistaken for the patterns of intentional design.

    I think the fundamental flaw in ID is to ignore the patterns that can arise from deeply nested contingencies and to assume that patterns that do so arise must have been “intentional”.

    And I think the mistake arises because intentional design (real teleology if you like) is operates by means of very similar processes – specifically, systems deeply nested contingencies.

    So my position is that ID proponents have had a key insight, but fallen at the final fence: they rightly point to a kind of pattern that signifies something special, but fail to note that the something special isn’t an intentional process but a deeply contingent one.

    In other words, they, not I, “forget” that teleological language can disguise a definition from which teleology has not only been specifically eschewed, but which works to explain the phenomena without teleology!

    If Intelligent Design intrinsically means Intentional Design, then the ID task is to demonstrate Intention.

    Because intentionless process that otherwise have all the features of intelligence and design are perfectly capable of generating complex functional entitles that could not have arisen by “chance”.

  2. Elizabeth:

    “He allowed “choose” (which is a synonym for “select”) to be interpreted non-teleologically.

    And using it in that sense, evolutionary processes fit the bill . . .”

    What? Do you mean evolutionary processes look at alternatives and choose/select the one that is going to be more advantageous down the road? Or is it, as Charles D. proposed, that evolutionary processes simply create variations, some of which *happen* to be useful down the road?

  3. Liddle: “I think the fundamental flaw in ID is to ignore the patterns that can arise from deeply nested contingencies and to assume that patterns that do so arise must have been “intentional”.

    In what discipline of science have we been observing patterns arising from “deeply nested contingencies” which come in the form of dissociated represenattions and require protocols in order to have an effect?

    I don’t want to “ignore” them, so where are they?

  4. 4

    Lots of disciplines, Upright BiPed. In fact they don’t always need to be that deeply nested as long as there are feedback loops.

    Chaos theory is full of them.

  5. What are “deeply nested contingencies” and on what are they contingent upon?

  6. Name one Liddle.

    Tell me where patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated represenations which require protocols in order to have an effect.

    Just. Name. One.

  7. …and Liddle, don’t BS me on the definitons of these terms. You know exactly what I am talking about in each and every one of these terms.

    You can either produce examples of such emerging patterns, or you cannot.

    Which is it?

  8. While we are on the subject Dr Liddle, why is it that you refuse to retract false claims that you make about other people?

  9. Sometimes I wonder if the entire Darwinist program is built on nothing but linguistic equivocations.

    Only sometimes?

  10. Upright BiPed asks: “Which evolutionary process has the facility to make a choice between alternate options?”

    Differential survival and reproduction.

  11. This following article has a small taste of how shameless Darwinists are to use ‘linguistic equivocations’ to try to make there theory seem scientifically legitimate;

    Playing Fast and Loose with Evolution
    Excerpt: The word evolution gets used and misused often. Strictly speaking, neo-Darwinian evolution demands that mutations and natural selection operate with no foresight or oversight, no purpose or direction, no impetus toward a desired outcome. In actual practice, scientists and reporters play fast and loose with the term, making it into a designer substitute.

    Here are some quick samples of how the word evolution gets used and misused in the popular press:,,,,
    http://crev.info/content/11081....._evolution

  12. And lo and behold Elizabeth has performed ‘linguistic gymnastics’ in post #1 in order to justify her ‘linguistic equivocations’,,, As Dr. Hunter would say of this type of absurd Darwinian behavior,, ‘You just can’t make this stuff up’ :)

  13. Consider how DrRec is playing fast and loose with the term ‘choice’ in post # 10.

  14. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Dembski specifically ruled out “intention” from his definition. He ruled out “teleology” in other words.

    You don’t even know what teleology is you silly person.

    Demsbki ruled out intention from his definition of what?

    But we can equally cast it in clearly non-teleological language if you prefer

    Did you just say that we can use non-teleological language instead after insisting you weren’t using teleological language?

    Are are you insisting that evolution is in fact teleological but it can be described in non-teleological language?

    Actually, Barry, I think the reverse is true! That ID is built on linguistic equivocations!

    So what? Do you know what a tu quoque fallacy is?

  15. “Consider how DrRec is playing fast and loose with the term ‘choice’ in post # 10.”

    Why don’t we substitute a synonym like pick, select
    cull, separate, etc?

    The effect is the same whether a set of wire meshes selects for pebbles of a certain size, or I do.

    But playing the game of “choice” requiring a “chooser” just reveals your desire to jam an intelligence into the process.

  16. But playing the game of “choice” requiring a “chooser” just reveals your desire to jam an intelligence into the process.

    lol

  17. DrRec @15:

    “But playing the game of “choice” requiring a “chooser” just reveals your desire to jam an intelligence into the process.”

    Hmmm. Intelligence . . . intelligent design . . . yeah.

  18. DrREC,

    You forgot to state what protocol exists for the differential survival. You may say “the environment.” But we know that the environment is constantly changing. It is fluid and inexact. So one mutation that is “selected” as beneficial one day, may be malicious the next.

  19. Wow I feel like I’m watching an episode of New Jersey Housewives.

  20. 20

    UBP

    While we are on the subject Dr Liddle, why is it that you refuse to retract false claims that you make about other people?

    What false claims about other people?

  21. A wire mesh “selects”?

  22. 22

    DrREC:

    “Consider how DrRec is playing fast and loose with the term ‘choice’ in post # 10.”

    Why don’t we substitute a synonym like pick, select
    cull, separate, etc?

    The effect is the same whether a set of wire meshes selects for pebbles of a certain size, or I do.

    But playing the game of “choice” requiring a “chooser” just reveals your desire to jam an intelligence into the process.

    And this is why, it seems to me, the equivocation is not on the part of the non-IDists.

    Sieves and filters sort things – retains things with certain charceristics, let through things without characteristics. Let us use the words “select” and “reject” in those two senses, and stipulate that they are free of any teleological nuance, and I will use scarequotes to denote this special use (I’d use a subscript but this board doesn’t seem to support subscripts for comments)

    In that sense, Darwinian processes “select” from each generation of organisms in a population those that thrive best in that environment, and breeds from those preferentially.

    And to put this even less teleologically:

    Those organisms that thrive best will leave most offspring, so that each generation will consist of a biased sampling of the previous generation such that heritable variation that promotes viability will be preferentially represented.

    There is no equivocation there at all. The important point is that even using the word “select” only in its strictly non-teleological sense, we can describe, and indeed devise, a system that promotes functional complexity – promotes “solutions” to the “problem” of thriving and breeding in the current environment.

    So when we observe such functional complexity we are fully entitled to infer that a “selecting” process has been going on.

    However, we are not, I would argue, entitled to infer that intentional selection (italics, no scarequotes) has been going on.

    True selection (intentional selection by an intelligent agent) is a subset of “selection” in the non-teleological sense. The task that ID faces is to demonstrate that complex functional entities, such as biological entities, are the products of selection, not merely “selection”.

    And the CSI computation simply does not distinguish between the two.

  23. 23

    Upright BiPed: I ask you not to address me as “Liddle” in that aggressive and demeaning tone.

    I sign myself Lizzie, or you can use my full login name.

    Poisoning the well is a logical fallacy.

    Thanks

    Lizzie

  24. 24

    Eric Anderson:

    Elizabeth:

    “He allowed “choose” (which is a synonym for “select”) to be interpreted non-teleologically.

    And using it in that sense, evolutionary processes fit the bill . . .”

    What? Do you mean evolutionary processes look at alternatives and choose/select the one that is going to be more advantageous down the road? Or is it, as Charles D. proposed, that evolutionary processes simply create variations, some of which *happen* to be useful down the road?

    Neither.

    Evolutionary processes, by which I include both the creation of heritable phenotypic variation and the differential effects on successful reproduction that those variations may have in some environments form, in toto, a natural “selection” system (which is why Darwin called it that, by analogy with the “selection” undertaken by human breeders.

    The difference between “natural selection” and “artificial selection” is that artifical selectors (human breeders) usually have some end in mind (a better-yielding grain; a cuter kitten; a more tumbling pigeon), and select towards that goal, whereas the natural selector, the environment itself, has no goal at all – it’s simply, to use the language of chaos theory, an “attractor basin” towards which populations tend.

    But the results are the same in both cases – the population moves towards the attractor basin, an “intentionally designed” one, in the case of artificial selection, or the natural basin of the environment.

    Interestingly, of course, in the case of natural selection, the basin itself changes as the population moves. I guess it does with artificial selection too – eventually everyone gets tired of yappy little dogs.

  25. 25

    Collin:

    DrREC,

    You forgot to state what protocol exists for the differential survival. You may say “the environment.” But we know that the environment is constantly changing. It is fluid and inexact. So one mutation that is “selected” as beneficial one day, may be malicious the next.

    Bingo!

    Exactly. This is a point so often missed by critics of evolutionary theory.

    “Beneficial” and “deleterious” are functions of trait-within-an-environment, not of a trait alone. Not only that, but the prevalence of the trait itself becomes part of the selecting environment.

    Big horns may be beneficial when only a few organisms have them, but by the time everyone has them, they may be a more of a nuisance than a help – nimbleness in avoiding the horns of your rival may be a more useful trait, even if that requires slightly smaller horns.

  26. 26

    Mung:

    So what? Do you know what a tu quoque fallacy is?

    Yes, but apparently you don’t. It wasn’t a tu quoque. I don’t consider that I am equivocating, as I said. I think that IDists are.

    If you want the Latin for it, it would be non ego sed tu. Or something. My Latin is rusty.

  27. 27

    Upright BiPed:

    Name one [Elizabeth] Liddle.

    Tell me where patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated represenations which require protocols in order to have an effect.

    Just. Name. One.

    …and [Elizabeth] Liddle, don’t BS me on the definitons of these terms. You know exactly what I am talking about in each and every one of these terms.

    You can either produce examples of such emerging patterns, or you cannot.

    Which is it?

    Barry was talking about CSI, not “patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated represenations which require protocols in order to have an effect”

    As we have agreed, your criterion for inferring intelligent design is stricter and more defensible.

    My argument with Barry is inferring design from a pattern alone is useless. Inferring design from a pattern that appears to do something – “have effects” is quite different, and more of a challenge to falsify.

    Especially if you also stipulate that the effects have to be achieved by means of an inert intermediary. But not impossible, I don’t think, and if you would like to approve my proposal, I will get going on it.

    But as I said, I’d like to discuss the details here:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=1

    rather than squat on moving threads at UD. I’m also not interested in conversations in which one party continuously casts aspersions on my integrity.

    We can do this civilly, or not at all.

  28. 28

    arkady967

    What are “deeply nested contingencies” and on what are they contingent upon?

    OK, good question.

    First: by “deeply nested contingencies” I mean systems that can be represented, in computer code, by nested contingency loops:

    if a=b, then (if c=d, then (if e=f, then….etc

    but in particular, where there are feedback loops, such as that output of one set of nested contingencies is fed back as input into the next, result in non-linearities.

    So a computer weather-forecasting system (yes, I know it’s designed :)) that takes in data from weather-stations, outputs a forecast, then compares its forecast with the actual weather, adjusts its contingency parameters, makes a new forecast, etc, would be one such system.

    Darwin, in effect, proposed that such a system occurs naturally once you have self-replication with heritable variance in the ability to self-replicate within the current environment. The self-replication is the analog of the iterations within the computer program, and differential reproduction in the current environment is the equivalent of changing the contingency parameters in the forecasting program.

    That doesn’t tell you, of course, how the iteration got started, although “contingencies” are built into the physics and chemistry of the universe – things happen if other things happen and not if they don’t.

  29. Elizabeth @28:

    Are you suggesting that you support the idea of front-loading (i.e., some kind of pre-programed response to later contingencies), or are you just saying that physics and chemistry happens (meaning that everything is inevitable because it must automatically occur, given the contingencies)?

  30. 30

    Eric Anderson:

    I think that front-loading is a perfectly decent ID hypothesis, because it makes clear predictions that can be tested.

    But no, I don’t think the evidence so far supports it – I did, however, give you a link to a paper that might :)

    But it’s not what I’m saying here. Although I am certainly more than open to the possibility (indeed, I think it likely) that selection occurs at population level – that some attributes of a population make the probability that it will adapt to changing environments more, or less likely.

    Over time, this means that populations with attributes that promote adaptability will persist, and those that do not possess them will tend to go extinct.

    This means that, for example, extant populations (i.e. populations that have not gone extinct!) are likely to possess attributes that tend to protect against extinction, and you could, in a sense, call this “front-loading” but not frontloaded by an “ID” merely by good old Darwinian rm+ns operating at the level of the population.

    For example, high mutation rates may tend to result in extinction after population crashes; low mutation rates may tend to result in lower adaptability, and thence to extinction following environmental change. Populations in which mutation rates are optimal will tend to persist, and become more prevalent over time.

    Epistasis is another interesting case in point – if the link between genotype and phenotype is too close, adaptation may tend to purge the genome of all but currently advantageous alleles, leaving the allele pool impoverished in the face of environmental change. So it is possible that a mechanism, such as epistasis, may have come about because it blurs the genotype-phenotype link, preserving genetic variance in the population. Again, populations with epistatic mechanisms in their individuals will tend to persist while those without go extinct.

    So, over time, just as genomes embody a “memory trace” of past environmental conditions that our ancestors were equipped to survive (and which may be irrelevant, and even disadvantageous to us), so they may also embody a “memory trace” of the rate of environmental change that our ancestral populations were able to adapt to.

    I know there is skepticism about the power of “rm+ns” on this site, but I think it is unwarranted. Once you have something that iterates, where what is carried through to the next iteration is contingent on a solution to some problem, then provided there is a steady supply of useful variety, then extraordinary solutions will evolve.

  31. Elizabeth Liddle:

    Barry was talking about CSI, not “patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated represenations which require protocols in order to have an effect”

    My argument with Barry is inferring design from a pattern alone is useless. Inferring design from a pattern that appears to do something – “have effects” is quite different, and more of a challenge to falsify.

    You really do not understand the ID argument. As such, you miserably fail to qualify as a critic.

    Now, it is in fact the case that the ID argument has been presented to you in an understandable way countless times since your most recent re-arrival here at UD.

    I do believe I have seen you accurately describe CSI before, somewhere in the midst of all your misrepresentations of it, and if I have to I’ll go find it.

    So I think we can legitimately reject the “she’s just ignorant” hypothesis.

    You do however appear to understand that “dissociated representations which require protocols in order to have an effect” is at least a subset of CSI or a case of CSI, but why on earth do you think you can have CSI without at least some specification, whether that specification be “has an effect” or something else?

    Why on earth do you think that an arrangement of stuff into a pattern qualifies as CSI in spite of all the evidence to the contrary?

    Why should we accept that your claim that Barry is both talking about CSI and that “Barry is inferring design from a pattern alone” is an honest representation of what Barry is actually talking about? Let me answer that. It isn’t.

    Now, how have I “misunderstood” what you wrote? Do tell.

  32. Dr. Liddle, is selection the cause or the effect?

  33. Thank you Dr. Liddle…

    Thanks for taking the time to explain the concept.

    Too, I wasn’t going to go here: “yes, I know it’s designed”. I’m pretty certain you’ve had plenty of opportunity to field the interjection before. I’m content with the honest answer to my question…(as well as the opportunityt to digest the thought.)

    Cheers…

    K. Espenschied

  34. 34

    Liddle at #1

    In the opening post to this thread you were discussing William Dembski’s writings, and told Barry Arrington of a particular point of view you had I mind. You referred to it as your own “preferred” use of language, one that eschews teleological terms. You described your view in these words:

    Certain patterns can be inferred to be the result of systems of deeply nested contingencies.

    Of course, by itself this comment says nothing. All that it would take to satisfy it would be for a system of deeply nested contingencies to produce any pattern at all. Since we’ve all seen a weather forecast, the bar set in your description is set so low as to be virtually meaningless.

    Yet, having described your view without regard to the patterns in question, you then turn to support your attack on ID by stating that these patterns can be mistaken to be intentional. You then take this seriously flawed description and use it to state what you then call the fundamental flaw in ID:

    “I think the fundamental flaw in ID is to ignore the patterns that can arise from deeply nested contingencies and to assume that patterns that do so arise must have been “intentional”.

    In describing this fundamental flaw, you begin by suggesting that design thinkers ignore the kinds of patterns that can arise from nested contingencies. That is a rather significant claim to make of a whole class of rather brilliant individuals. Whatever you had in mind to support this assertion, you do not say, although I wonder if Michael Polanyi was alive today, would he disagree with you. And, I wonder if your claim would be true of Michael Denton as well, or any number of others.

    In any case, I thought you should address the underlying flaw in your comment from the start; I wanted you to put a little meat on the bones you began with, so I asked:

    In what discipline of science have we been observing patterns arising from “deeply nested contingencies” which come in the form of dissociated representations and require protocols in order to have an effect?

    Of course, I am here referring to the entailments that are observable in the presence of any recorded information – given that recorded information is at the center of the biological design argument, and the center of biology itself. By asking the question in a way that constrains it to something useful, I intended to give some meaning to your otherwise meaningless claim.

    You quickly replied to my question with this:

    Lots of disciplines, Upright BiPed. In fact they don’t always need to be that deeply nested as long as there are feedback loops.

    I found your answer to be a bit of a surprise. Dissociated representations being actualized by discrete protocols requires very specific physical demands in the form of the dynamic relationships between representations, protocols, and their effects, so it was remarkable to be told that many scientific endeavors find it emerging with such frequency. You then offered the example that ”chaos theory if full of them”.

    Now certainly I am no expert on chaos theory (perhaps you are) but I am familiar with it to a degree and have done some reading on the subject. In all of that I don’t remember a single case of anyone claiming that representation, protocols, and effects had emerged in system of those specific dynamics (which you and I had talked so much about). In short, I just don’t believe your answer, and I think it was basically a punt in order to avoid having your claim against ID evaluated by the facts as they are. Knowing that you knew very well what I was talking about, I pressed for a specific example:

    Tell me where patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated representations which require protocols in order to have an effect.

    And given that we have spent weeks negotiating our way through those terms and observations, and also that you yourself have constructed definitions based upon those observations, I then demanded that you not “BS me on the definitions of these terms”.

    I ended my post by saying:

    You can either produce examples of such emerging patterns, or you cannot.

    Which is it?

    That is a question you have yet to respond to with an example. And I predict that you will not be able to.

    Instead you responded by trying to diffuse the question. You stated that:

    Barry was talking about CSI, not “patterns have emerged that are made up of dissociated representations which require protocols in order to have an effect”

    However, I would just like to point out that your answer to my question (about representations and protocols) was not that ‘Barry was talking about something else’. Instead, your specific answer was that patterns made up of ‘representations, protocols and effects’ emerged in lots of disciplines. You then stated:

    As we have agreed, your criterion for inferring intelligent design is stricter and more defensible.

    Well then…

    Since you are here for the purpose of attacking the legitimacy of ID, and I am here defending it, then it would only make sense for me to hold you to the observations as they are. With that said, I will now ask you again to answer the question:

    Where do you find patterns emerging that are made up of dissociated representations which require protocols in order to have an effect?

    You can either provide an example that we can both observe, or you can say that you don’t have any such examples, and we can leave it at that.

    Or, of course, you can always punt this ball away once again, but to do so would virtually guarantee that most onlookers would be justified in assuming that you really don’t have any such examples to offer – which would, of course, support the claims of ID proponents by affirming that the specific entailments of recorded information are not known to arise from “deeply nested contingencies”. It would also suggest that if you continue to say that they do (arise in such a fashion), then your words are nothing more than an unsupported assumption, and cannot be logically used in your argument against ID.

  35. 35

    Liddle at 20,

    While we are on the subject Dr Liddle, why is it that you refuse to retract false claims that you make about other people?

    What false claims about other people?

    You made the claim that ID proponents cannot make a case for ID that couldn’t also be the result of neo-Darwinian processes. So I gave you one.

    1) DNA is an example of recorded information (by means of a sequence of material representations mapped to specific effects).

    2) All instances of such recorded information have certain physical entailments that can be observed.

    3) Those physical entailments include dissociated representations that must be actualized by discrete protocols in order to have an effect.

    4) Dissociated representations occur when the state of an object/thing is mapped to an arrangement of matter or energy, but where the object/thing being represented and the representation itself have no direct physical interaction.

    5) Protocols are a discrete facilitator which physically establish the mapping between the representation and what is being represented. They occur when dissociated representations determine the output of a system by allowing the representations and the output to remain individually discrete.

    6) The presence of recorded information can be confirmed by isolating the representations, deciphering the protocols, and documenting the effects.

    Over the course of several weeks, you attacked each of these observations, and each was found to be legitimate and accounted for within the genetic information system. You have failed to produce any documentation that neo-Darwinian processes can establish such a system, and were therefore going to create a simulation where such a system would arise by chance contingency and physical law alone. The very fact that you have to create such a simulation is a real-time demonstration that you have (in fact) been given an argument for design that is not also known to be the product of neo-Darwinian processes. So your claim has been refuted by your very own involvement.

    You have been asked several times to do the intellectually honest thing and retract your claim, but thus far, you have refused to do so. This situation eventually led to a particular example of twisted logic (which took place well after the observations had been found legitimate and accounted for):

    BIPED: You have thus far refused to acknowledge that one cannot logically be testing a falsification of an ID argument, while simultaneously claiming it doesn’t exist.

    LIDDLE: It’s a fair cop. In mitigation, I plead that I did not understand the charge. I do now. I did not mean what you thought I was saying, but as I now understand what you thought I was saying, I willingly clarify that I did not mean what you thought I meant.

    This roller-coaster response does not rise to the level of being even remotely plausible. To be believable, one would have to think that you are willing to spend months going to the trouble of testing your hypothesis against an argument that you think is already invalidated by some other means, and are withholding what those other means are. Instead of being a remark that is integrated with the observable facts of the challenge, it has all the earmarks of being flatly dishonest by refusing to admit to those very facts.

    In short, you have made a claim that has been proven false in real time by your own involvement, and you simply refuse to acknowledge that fact. In other words, you are withholding your honesty from this conversation, and specifically from me.

  36. 36

    Liddle at 23

    Upright BiPed: I ask you not to address me as “Liddle” in that aggressive and demeaning tone.

    I sign myself Lizzie, or you can use my full login name.

    Poisoning the well is a logical fallacy.

    Thanks

    Lizzie

    Dr Liddle, in my very first comments to you I think I called you either Liz or Lizzie. Something you said (obviously mistaken on my part) made me think that you didn’t care much for that name, so I never used it again, even after I saw you use it yourself. Instead, I saw Kairosfocus refer to you as “Doctor Liddle” and from my perspective you had given every indication of probably having earned that special designation. So I adopted it and gave you the due respect of using it throughout this conversation.

    If you are now having a problem with my tone, then I refer you to my previous post above. I would remind you that this is a competition of ideas; one which must be conducted with frequent occurrences of demonstrated honesty on all sides. I did not make an issue out of your willingness to practice in that fashion, you’ve done that yourself.

    So I agree with you that the well has been unneccesarily poisoned, and if the conversation should fail over that poison, then I am as prepared to live with that as you seem to be.

  37. 37

    Well, UBP, until we operationalise your “dissociated representations which require discrete protocols in order to have an effect” we can’t go much further.

    Your serve.

  38. 38

    Liz or Lizzie is fine. “Liddle”, in the vocative case, I find demeaning. Consider the effect on you were you to be addressed, in the vocative, by your surname only. If it’s a transatlantic thing,and you did not mean to be demeaning then apologise for having taken offense. And, FWIW, I do have a PhD, but, like most people with PhDs, rarely use it as a style. As the child of two physicians, the grandchild of another, the wife of another and the sister of another, “Dr” seems fraudulent. Although in fact, it isn’t.

    If you are now having a problem with my tone, then I refer you to my previous post above. I would remind you that this is a competition of ideas; one which must be conducted with frequent occurrences of demonstrated honesty on all sides.

    huh? It must be conducted with honesty, of course. I don’t know what all the other stuff is about.

    I did not make an issue out of your willingness to practice in that fashion, you’ve done that yourself.

    I don’t know what you mean, UBP, and I’m not sure that I want to.

    But as I’ve said, I’m not willing to engage with someone on an extended without an mutual assumption of integrity. Without that assumption, communication is impossible.

    As, indeed, it has proved to be.

  39. 39

    Dr Liddle, the operations necessary for confitming the existence of recorded information have remained unchained since before yoou were born. They are covered in in item number 6 of the following post. Not only are they the only method ever used to demonstrate recorded information by any person throughout the history of the human species, they are also non-negotiable for that same reason.

  40. 40

    should read “on an extended project”

  41. 41

    Putting your head in the sand is the weakest of defenses, but I suppose that is all you have left yourself.

  42. Upright, this post is very well put!!!, Reflects the following principle very well, and more clearly,,,,

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

    =============================

    Codes and Axioms are always the result of mental intention, not material processes
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1PrE2Syt5SJUxeh2YBBBWrrPailC3uTFMdqPMFrzvwDY

  43. 43

    Liddle:

    “But as I’ve said, I’m not willing to engage with someone on an extended without an mutual assumption of integrity. Without that assumption, communication is impossible. As, indeed, it has proved to be.”

    Translation: You kicked the stuffing out of me on the intellectual playing field. I can either do the honorable thing and admit that and congratulate you on a job well done or I can take my ball and go home. I choose the latter.

  44. You might find this of interest too Upright;

    The DNA Enigma – The Ultimate Chicken and Egg Problem (No Chemical Forces to cause the Code to be as it is)- Chris Ashcraft – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5542033/

  45. 45

    Thank you BA, I think the semotic argument for design is one of the strongest for the very reason there is only one way to demonstrate the presence of recorded information. This is the method that Dr Liddle has steadfastly avoided at all cost.

    I predict a wordfest, or a dismissal.

  46. 46

    UBP

    You made the claim that ID proponents cannot make a case for ID that couldn’t also be the result of neo-Darwinian processes. So I gave you one.

    No, I did not. I claimed that ID claims that information (by any definition ID proponents wish to use) cannot be generated by Darwinian processes, or indeed Chance and Necessity, can be demonstrated to be false.

    1) DNA is an example of recorded information (by means of a sequence of material representations mapped to specific effects).

    Yes.

    2) All instances of such recorded information have certain physical entailments that can be observed.

    3) Those physical entailments include dissociated representations that must be actualized by discrete protocols in order to have an effect.

    Not by, for example, the Webster definition of information. That does not require “discrete protocols” or “dissociated representations”. But I’m happy to use your definition, as long as it can be operationalised.

    4) Dissociated representations occur when the state of an object/thing is mapped to an arrangement of matter or energy, but where the object/thing being represented and the representation itself have no direct physical interaction.

    Well, that’s getting closer. You still need a non-circular definition of “representation” though. Also “mapped”.

    5) Protocols are a discrete facilitator which physically establish the mapping between the representation and what is being represented. They occur when dissociated representations determine the output of a system by allowing the representations and the output to remain individually discrete.

    Ditto.

    6) The presence of recorded information can be confirmed by isolating the representations, deciphering the protocols, and documenting the effects.

    Ditto, plus protocols.

    Over the course of several weeks, you attacked each of these observations, and each was found to be legitimate and accounted for within the genetic information system.

    Sez you. Look UBP, you cannot be both judge and jury here. Discourse doesn’t work like that. For a start, your numbered points are not, primarily “observations”. They are wordy high-level descriptions of various things (not always clear what) that defy clear operationalisation. From my PoV, I have spent many hours trying to explain what an operationalisation of a hypothesis is, and, indeed, presenting several for your approval. On each occasion you have gone back to your hi-falutin, high level, circular wordings and rejected my operationalisation.

    In the end I went to Meyer, hoping that at least, as a widely admired ID writer and thinker, his preferred definition would do the trick. I made it more stringent, though, with some extra criteria, then operationalised it.

    Your response was to accuse me of lack of integrity.

    You have failed to produce any documentation that neo-Darwinian processes can establish such a system, and were therefore going to create a simulation where such a system would arise by chance contingency and physical law alone. The very fact that you have to create such a simulation is a real-time demonstration that you have (in fact) been given an argument for design that is not also known to be the product of neo-Darwinian processes. So your claim has been refuted by your very own involvement.

    No, it has not.

    My original claim was made for CSI or other Dembski-derived information,by Darwinian processes. I then said I would attempt to demonstrate it for yours, and I also said I’d attempt to do it starting with non-Darwinian conditions but that I wasn’t sure that I could.

    You have been asked several times to do the intellectually honest thing and retract your claim, but thus far, you have refused to do so. This situation eventually led to a particular example of twisted logic (which took place well after the observations had been found legitimate and accounted for):

    BIPED: You have thus far refused to acknowledge that one cannot logically be testing a falsification of an ID argument, while simultaneously claiming it doesn’t exist.

    LIDDLE: It’s a fair cop. In mitigation, I plead that I did not understand the charge. I do now. I did not mean what you thought I was saying, but as I now understand what you thought I was saying, I willingly clarify that I did not mean what you thought I meant.

    This roller-coaster response does not rise to the level of being even remotely plausible. To be believable, one would have to think that you are willing to spend months going to the trouble of testing your hypothesis against an argument that you think is already invalidated by some other means, and are withholding what those other means are. Instead of being a remark that is integrated with the observable facts of the challenge, it has all the earmarks of being flatly dishonest by refusing to admit to those very facts.

    In short, you have made a claim that has been proven false in real time by your own involvement, and you simply refuse to acknowledge that fact. In other words, you are withholding your honesty from this conversation, and specifically from me.

    Upright BiPed: please state, clearly, with link, the claim I made that you want me to retract.

    If I no longer consider it supportable, I will retract it.

  47. 47

    No, that is not a translation, Barry.

    If people cannot do each other the courtesy of assuming the other is posting in good faith, no communication is possible.

    It is perfectly possible for two intelligent people to hold opposing views and for neither to lack integrity. Recognising that possibility – indeed assuming it – is the key to resolving the differences.

    Assuming the other is being evasive or dishonest makes it impossible. And repeatedly implying that the other is being evasive, dishonest, or stupid is what is called “poisoning the well” and is a logical fallacy.

    We play properly or we don’t play at all.

  48. 48

    What sand?

    Is it “sand” to require that one’s interlocutor assumes one is posting in good faith?

  49. 49

    So you keep repeating Upright BiPed, and it makes no more sense now than the first time you said it.

    You can’t define information by citing methods of confirming its existence.

    You need to define information before you can confirm its existence. That’s the Whole Point of an operational definition.

  50. 50

    From where I’m standing Upright BiPed, I have been struggling to cut a swathe through your wordfests for a few weeks.

    But here is another attempt:

    You can’t demonstrate the presence of something without an operational definition of that something.

    It’s Science Methodology 101.

  51. 51

    Dr Liddle, what you are doing is adding insult to injury. After repeatedly saying that you had no intentions of retracting your claim, you now want to pursue a line of defense based upon the idea that you never made the claim, or that there was a misunderstanding of what was meant.

    BIPED You made the claim that ID proponents cannot make a case for ID that couldn’t also be the result of neo-Darwinian processes.

    LIDDLENo, I did not.

    - – - – - –

    LIDDLE: ”IDists have failed to demonstrate that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes”

    I am an IDists. I have demonstrated that the presence of recorded information within DNA (considered a major signature of design) is not also the result of Darwinian processes. You were unable to refute any of the observations made in discovery, or provide any counter examples.

    - – - – -

    You owe a retraction of this claim.

  52. 52

    The remainder of your post is much of the same, all over again. You want to argue over an operational definition, all under the auspices that you’ll be able to use this definition to ‘measure something’ in order to confirm that recorded information has indeed arisen in your system. You do this in the face of the fact that there is only one method (operation) to confirm the presence of recorded information. It’s the one Nirenberg used to win the Nobel Prize, so I think it comes with the appropriate scientific credentials. It is the only method that has even been used, the only one known to exist, and the only one practiced for centuries. I asked you the specific question about what you intended to measure, and you gave me a complete answer. In that answer there was absolutely nothing about the only operation known to confirm the existence of recorded information. And as I already said, that method is non-negotiable for the reasons stated.

    This “I can’t get an operational definition” tactic grows even more tiring when you listen to your second reason for wanting the operational definition – that is, to assure that no one can question your results. If you continue to avoid using the only method that actually confirms the presence of recorded information, then I can guarantee you that your results will be challenged. In other words, Dr Liddle, if you would get off the pot and simply recognize the only operation known to accomplish what you want to accomplish, then your simulation could finally move forward. But to do so, would remove one of your most potent stalling techniques.

    Along with being a master of Definition Derby, you want to remove the required dynamics from the definition then claim I reject them without reason. And also you want to make the repeated claim of circularity – which to this very moment (including for instance, your last post) you have failed to demonstrate what you see as circular.

    In the end, you’ve accomplished your goal of killing this conversation. You’ve done so without having to produce anything, nor admit to anything. I would salute you, but you ruined your credibility in the process.

  53. 53

    Upright BiPed, as usual, and dispiritingly, you jump to the conclusion that I have scurrilous motivations when I have none.

    I thank you for posting the claim you wish me to retract:

    LIDDLE: ”IDists have failed to demonstrate that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes”

    I am an IDists. I have demonstrated that the presence of recorded information within DNA (considered a major signature of design) is not also the result of Darwinian processes. You were unable to refute any of the observations made in discovery, or provide any counter examples.

    My original claim, as I recall, was something along the lines of: it can be readily demonstrated that the signature of intentional design is also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes, and by “signature”, I meant “CSI”.

    When I realised you meant something else, I was willing to have a go at falsifying your claim as well. But as I have failed to operationalise your claim as a testable counter-hypothesis, I concede I cannot falsify it.

    Which is a shame, as it would have been fun.

  54. 54

    Liddle, your original claim mentioned nothing whatsoever of CSI, and in fact, I told you more than once I was not basing my argument on CSI. But I did ask you to retract your claim on numerous occasions, and in each instance you refused on the grounds of the conversation we were having – nothing else. You cannot logically have spent all this time working with my terms, only to now claim that you actually meant something else.

    The disenginuous logic is matched to the more egregious act of falsly claiming that you don’t have what you need to create a simulation.You yourself have even been forced to acknowledge that Nirenberg’s method was completely valid. Yet you continue to harp about not having a method to determine the presence of information; the facts be damned.

    so, on the back of these false claims and disengiuous logic, you have made your retraction.

  55. 55

    Upright BiPed: you still have not addressed the point I have made, over and over:

    If you want to measure a construct you have to define it first. Otherwise there is no guarantee that what you have measured is what you wanted to measure.

    You say:

    You want to argue over an operational definition, all under the auspices that you’ll be able to use this definition to ‘measure something’ in order to confirm that recorded information has indeed arisen in your system.

    Exactly.

    And, as I suggested, one thing we could do is correlate effects with sequences, as per Webster.

    Which is what Nirenberg did. But you weren’t happy with that.

    You can scoff all you like, Upright BiPed, at “operational definitions” but you can’t do science without them.

    And yet, rather than work together on developing one to our mutual satisfaction you have ignored almost all my attempts to develop such a definition, and instead cast repeated aspersions on my integrity.

    So yes I give up. I readily concede I cannot falsify your claim. It is, as it stands, unfalsifiable.

    That you cannot see that is a problem, but it is not my problem, nor is does it reflect on my integrity. I have done my best to get it into falsifiable form, and I thought we were nearly there.

    It seems not.

    If you change your mind, you will find me on my blog.

    Best wishes

    Lizzie

  56. 56

    Just as an acknowledgment. Your retraction of this claim:

    “IDists have failed to demonstrate that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes”

    …would logically result in this statement:

    IDists have suceeded in demonstrating that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes

    Now if you would stop hiding behind definitions, I would love to see you try to falsify the argument you have been given. As is abundantly obvious the definitions are not your problem Dr Liddle, it is the evidence itself.

  57. 57

    Liddle, your original claim mentioned nothing whatsoever of CSI, and in fact, I told you more than once I was not basing my argument on CSI.

    True, but I took it for granted, until the time when you corrected me, which, as you will remember, took me by surprise.

    But I did ask you to retract your claim on numerous occasions, and in each instance you refused on the grounds of the conversation we were having – nothing else. You cannot logically have spent all this time working with my terms, only to now claim that you actually meant something else.

    The disenginuous logic is matched to the more egregious act of falsly claiming that you don’t have what you need to create a simulation.You yourself have even been forced to acknowledge that Nirenberg’s method was completely valid. Yet you continue to harp about not having a method to determine the presence of information; the facts be damned.

    so, on the back of these false claims and disengiuous logic, you have made your retraction.

    That is clearly your view. Just as clearly, it is not mine, as I have explained.

  58. Please! This has been explained to you many times. The response to the demand must take into account observed reality and history.

    It isn’t enought that you demand to be assumed to be arguing in good faith … you also have to demonstrate that you are.

  59. 59

    Dr Liddle, the last post I made on the previous thread, is one in which I accepted a definiton that you yourself penned. I only suggested that we should work out a couple of details.

    That thread is still open with the opportunity to proceed, but you stopped going there. This fact, observable by anyone is yet another demonstration of the vacuity of your ongoing protests.

    You want to use your definition as it is? And you want to follow Nirenberg’s method of determining the presence of information – then I am all for it.

    Get on with it.

    - – - – - – -

    Even so, your claim that IDist have not made an argument that is not also the possible product of neoDarwinian processes, has been demonstrated false by the need to create a simulation in order to falsify it.

  60. 60

    Dr Liddle, the operation required for confirming the presence of recorded information is a matter of historical record. It hasn’t changed one iota, and is the exact method Nirenberg won the Nodel Prize for.

    Your continue protest about not having an operation to confirm the presence of information (within your simulation) flies in the face of that historical fact.

  61. 61

    Upright BiPed?

    Dr Liddle, the last post I made on the previous thread, is one in which I accepted a definiton that you yourself penned. I only suggested that we should work out a couple of details.

    That thread is still open with the opportunity to proceed, but you stopped going there. This fact, observable by anyone is yet another demonstration of the vacuity of your ongoing protests.

    You want to use your definition as it is? And you want to follow Nirenberg’s method of determining the presence of information – then I am all for it.

    Get on with it.

    I’m not going to rebut a claim no-one will stand by, Upright BiPed. And frankly, I was so bloody furious by your behaviour on that thread I could hardly bring myself to click on it. I did, however, post that we could continue on my blog.

    If you show up there, we can.

    If you don’t, then that is as revealing of your vacuity as my failure to revisit the thread here is of mine .

    No more, no less.

    Here’s the link to the thread:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=1

  62. 62

    You might want to think of it as Historical Scientific Facts 101.

  63. 63

    And to demonstrate that I am there has to be some willingness to accept the possibility.

    That appears to be lacking. And that, precisely, is the problem.

  64. 64

    I always thought it a peculiar tactic to be a visitor on a site, then strike up a conversation and try to move that conversation (and its traffic) elsewhere.

    I think its disrespectful as a guest – whatever reasons you invent to justify it.

    You know what my claim is and you what operation is required to validate it. If you are interested in falsifying it, then get on with it.

  65. 65

    This, again, is a comment that flies in the face of literally tens of thousands of words and over ten weeks of my involvement in this conversation – all of which was done in the hopes that you would actually attempt to falsify my claim.

  66. Interesting that Cornelius Hunter did this for quite a while without being accused of being disrespectful. I guess disrespect and dishonesty are mostly determined by which side you argue.

  67. 67

    Well, quite a few were also written by me, Upright BiPed, and I do actually appreciate the effort you put in.

    Perhaps we could both use a break.

    Whatever, I need one.

    Peace

    Lizzie

  68. 68

    Well, it certainly made sense to Nirenberg, as evidenced by the Nobel Prize he won for employing it, and it is something that practitioners in a number of disciplines would easily recognize and rely upon.

    As far as your continued protest, I assume you penned the following to your own satisfaction (is that not a reasonable assumption to make?). I have since said to use it, so what more can be said?

    LIDDLE: Starting only with non-self-replicating entities in a physics-and-chemistry (plus random kinetics) environment, self-replicating “virtual organisms” can emerge that contain arrangements of virtual matter represented as strings that cause the virtual organism to self-replicate with fidelity, and thus determine the output of that system, namely a copy of that system.

    The arrangement must produce its output by means of an intermediary “virtual object”. This “virtual object” must take the form of a second arrangement of “virtual matter” that may interact with the strings and with some other “virtual object” that affect the fidelity of the self-replication of the “virtual organisms” without either permanently altering, or being altered by, the interaction.

  69. 69

    Would you just stop it, UBP?

    Denyse herself commented that my site was a good idea, as threads move so fast on this one. We were also derailing a large number of threads on completely different topics. Which was why I set up a dedicated thread on my site.

    And no, I don’t know what your claim is. That’s what we’ve been trying to clarify for three months.

    I’m not going to try to rebut a claim it turns out you haven’t made.

  70. 70

    You don’t know what my claim is? Itis possible for you be more disenginuous?

    How was it possible for you to pen a conceptual definiton of my claim (which was immediately adopted, by the way) if you didn’t understand my claim? Would you please explain how that was possible.

    And how is it that I could have since accepted one of the operational definitons you penned (to what must be assumed was done to your own satisfaction) if you did not understand my claim?

    And how is it that you could make the judgement within my argument that my “criterion for inferring intelligent design is stricter and more defensible”, if you didn’t understand it?

    Please tell me how that is possible?

  71. I always thought it a peculiar tactic to be a visitor on a site, then strike up a conversation and try to move that conversation (and its traffic) elsewhere.

    Isn’t that what Cornelius Hunter always did with his posts?

  72. 72

    OK, Upright BiPed.

    Thank you. Do I take it that if I were to succeed with this project, as worded above, that you would consider your claim falsified?

    If so, I will begin, although it will take a while.

  73. 73

    Well, it’s rather like this Dr Liddle – quite obviously, you’ll sit here sanctimoniously clamoring for an operational definition until the cows come home. You’ll do this as if any interested observer at this level of the discussion would be stunned and otherwise dumbfounded by the term “representation” or “mapping” or “protocol” as it relates to the existence and transfer of recorded information. I think that is a bit of a silly notion myself, and in fact, I hate to even bring it up because you’ll take the opportunity to belabor once more the obvious point that good definitons are valuable commodities in research. In my research routine, when we have items that need clarification, we clarify them in the terms of the domain they are understood in, and then we go on about our work. But whether or not I find it silly (or not) is not the issue at hand. The issue in this case is that your approach is mistaken from the start.

    Google Scholar:
    (Number of papers with these terms in the title)

    Representation = 2,690,000
    Mapping = 2,960,000
    Protocol = 3,640,000

    You entered this challenge with the firmly embedded idea that I was going to give you a conceptual definition which you would then operationalize. And in due time you’d take those operationalized terms and use them to stick a thermometer up the output’s butt and check to see if it was “information”. Do you remember (quite remarkably) objecting that I was trying to dictate “how” the output came into being (when what you really needed was to finally understand that recorded information is confirmed by the relationships between the objects we had discussed)? I even once asked you specifically what you expected to measure (and in the context of my numerous attempts to correct your view) the process of formulating your answer to that question never even phased you. Clearly, there is nothing I can do to shake you from this mistaken view. You are so wedded to it that even after weeks and weeks of trying in vain to get you to muster even the slightest bit of imagination and realize that YOUR METHOD is not what is required; I have decided to just give in.

    You are welcome to use whatever definition satisfies your needs – the one I posted above was the last of a string of attempts, and it at least captures in some part the dynamics involved. So if it pleases you then it pleases me.

    I am simply rolling the dice that, should your simulation produce anything interesting, those results will be forced by the curiosity (of others, myself included) to be either be validated or invalidated by the proper method, the only method known to mankind which can reliably confirm the existence of information. So even if you yourself fail to integrate the appropriate method into your confirmation routine, I am fairly confident such a situation will self-correct should something valuable happen.

    Good luck with it.

  74. 74

    Upright BiPed:

    Well, it’s rather like this Dr Liddle – quite obviously, you’ll sit here sanctimoniously clamoring for an operational definition until the cows come home.

    No. I’ve offered several. In fact what we are waiting for is for you to agree that it is an operationalisation of a falsification of your claim.

    You’ll do this as if any interested observer at this level of the discussion would be stunned and otherwise dumbfounded by the term “representation” or “mapping” or “protocol” as it relates to the existence and transfer of recorded information. I think that is a bit of a silly notion myself, and in fact, I hate to even bring it up because you’ll take the opportunity to belabor once more the obvious point that good definitons are valuable commodities in research. In my research routine, when we have items that need clarification, we clarify them in the terms of the domain they are understood in, and then we go on about our work. But whether or not I find it silly (or not) is not the issue at hand. The issue in this case is that your approach is mistaken from the start.

    Ah. BTW, UBP, talking of your own research: at one point you claimed that a categorical variable had no variance – I never got a response from you on that. Do you still stand by that claim? Because it may explain why you think my “approach is mistaken”.

    You entered this challenge with the firmly embedded idea that I was going to give you a conceptual definition which you would then operationalize. And in due time you’d take those operationalized terms and use them to stick a thermometer up the output’s butt and check to see if it was “information”.

    Yup. A very nice account of an operationalisation, if I may say so. I’m going to recycle that one, if I may.

    Do you remember (quite remarkably) objecting that I was trying to dictate “how” the output came into being (when what you really needed was to finally understand that recorded information is confirmed by the relationships between the objects we had discussed)? I even once asked you specifically what you expected to measure (and in the context of my numerous attempts to correct your view) the process of formulating your answer to that question never even phased you.

    What I do remember realising, Upright BiPed, was that your definition of information, unlike Dembski’s definition of Complex Specified Information (which, if you remember, was what I initially assumed you were talking about) was that for you, information was a process not a product.

    I also remember saying that I thought this was a much better way of thinking about information, which is why I have suggested that the way we measure it is by means of a correlation between input arrangement and output effect.

    Clearly, there is nothing I can do to shake you from this mistaken view. You are so wedded to it that even after weeks and weeks of trying in vain to get you to muster even the slightest bit of imagination and realize that YOUR METHOD is not what is required; I have decided to just give in.

    I have totally lost track of the view you think I hold that you think is mistaken. Perhaps if you could just forget the post mortems and tackle the outstanding issues we could save time. Also blood pressure.

    You are welcome to use whatever definition satisfies your needs – the one I posted above was the last of a string of attempts, and it at least captures in some part the dynamics involved. So if it pleases you then it pleases me.

    It only pleases me if it is an acceptable operationalisation of the falsification of your claim. If it isn’t, then I am open to suggestions for emendation.

    I am simply rolling the dice that, should your simulation produce anything interesting, those results will be forced by the curiosity (of others, myself included) to be either be validated or invalidated by the proper method, the only method known to mankind which can reliably confirm the existence of information.

    Which is? come on, UBP, in your own words please, I don’t want another Nirenberg reference.

    I even suggested it a few posts back (hint: correlated the input sequence with the output effects)

    So even if you yourself fail to integrate the appropriate method into your confirmation routine, I am fairly confident such a situation will self-correct should something valuable happen.

    Good luck with it.

    Nope. Not going to bother to falsify a claim that has not been made.

    Looks like someone had better get a cattle prod.

  75. 75

    (hint: correlated the input sequence with the output effects)

    I’m sorry Dr Liddle, I don’t think the term “correlate” is properly operationalized. Can you offer an appropriate definition of the term?

  76. 76

    Dr Liddle,

    I hope you’ll have chance to respond to my previous post. What is the operational definiton for “correlate” that you propose to use?

  77. 77

    Any one you like to dig out of a statistics text book, Upright BiPed, as long as it lends itself to the datatype.

  78. 78

    Actually I was asking you, since it would be you doing it.

    What do you propose as a method to correlate the input sequence to the output effect?

  79. 79

    Well, remember I’m only manipulating the inputs so I’m not entirely sure what the outputs are going to be (this isn’t ID you know :)

    But if the effects are continuous, let’s say a GLM, and if they are discrete, let’s say a chi square.

    It all boils down to essentially the same math.

    The important thing is to make sure that it’s the patterns in the virtual polymer that are correlated with functional effects (probability of replication or longevity).

    Then I’ve done Meyer’s Webster. The trickier part will be your inert intermediary. I’m not sure I can do that, as I’ve said.

    I mean I can see how it could come about, but I’m not very confident I can demonstrate it in a sim that starts as basically as this one will. Still, if I can do it by Meyer’s definition, I’ll have something :)

  80. 80

    But you’d better let me know about these categorical variables that don’t have variance, UBP ;)

    They might be my downfall….

  81. 81

    Dr Liddle,

    This would be a very good time to stop and take stock in what point we are at in this conversation.

    For the great majority of this conversation over the past two and a half months you have had a singular mantra that you have repeated over and over again. That mantra has been that you needed from me a clean operational definition in order to measure the output of your simulation (so that it might be considered a success). Certainly, at the start of this conversation, that request was completely reasonable by anyone’s standard (although I told you at the time that I would do the describing and you could do the definition). And so, off we went though the observations.

    During this process of discovery it became evident to you that I was not focusing on a metric to measure informational content. Instead, I was describing the actual entailments that can be observed in any instance of recorded information. This goes to the very heart of my original comment to you that “Darwinian processes don’t have a mechanism to bring information into existence in the first place”. So suddenly, the idea of a nice roomy ambiguous calculation was out the window, and you found yourself faced with a very real and very tight definition; one which leaves virtually no room for doubt. The fact that the definition is so tight is not a matter of anything I have done, but is simply a reflection of the fact that the existence of recorded information happens to be a very special and rare phenomenon with very clean lines of delineation between itself and not-information. In other words, there is either information, or not. Or to be more precise, information can either be confirmed to exist, or it can’t.

    This very fine line is brought about by the presence of very specific physical objects, and very specific relationships between those physical objects. These are the entailments mentioned above. Recorded information requires discrete physical representations. For one physical thing to represent another, it must have something to establish what is otherwise a non-existent relationship. And the thing that must establish that relationship is yet another physical object, a protocol. The protocol is what allows a representation to be dissociated from what it is to represent, and it allows that representation to create an effect while remaining discrete. There are no instances of recorded information anywhere in the cosmos that do not have these objects and relationships. The question regarding the rise of information is how do these immaterial relationships between physical objects come into a coordinated existence? For me the answer is ‘a living thing’ because there is no evidence otherwise. For you, the answer is inanimate matter under the forces of chance contingency and physical law. As an example of proper empiricism, your simulation was to be an attempt to demonstrate your hypothesis, while mine has already been demonstrated.

    Weeks ago, you and I had worked our way through these observable objects, and had begun to work our way through the dynamic relationships they must adhere to. It was at this point in the conversation that I brought up the fact that information has a very specific method which must be used in order to confirm its existence. This is the method Nirenberg and Matthaei used to win the Nobel Prize, and it’s the only method known to exist. To confirm the existence of information – any information – one has to isolate the representations, decipher the protocols, and document the effects.

    Instead of jumping at the chance to adopt this methodology as a sure fire way of confirming the success of your simulation (against all challenges to the contrary) you did the exact opposite. You positioned it as being irrelevant. And it was at this very point that your lone refrain about having an operational definition became a vacuous sideshow (an illegitimate tool, a technique). The fact of the matter (which can be demonstrated by virtue of this recorded conversation) is that you had already written a very good definition of these specific objects and their dynamic relationships to one another, and now you had the only valid method (the operation) of determining if information was indeed present.

    And this brings us to the point of your last post, where you continue to harp about an operational definition. It puts me in the precarious position of having to dismiss your call for a definition (because you DEMONSTRABLY already have the ONLY OPERATION in existence for the TYPE OF TEST you want to perform) but provides you the strategic and uncharitable opportunity to stand by the Flag of Science and repeat ad nauseam how important operational definitions are to honest empiricism.

    What fails in this situation, of course, is not just that you already have the operation required for the test, but that having operational definitions are not even the priority of having operational definitions. The priority of having an operational definition is to gain a demonstrated understanding of the issue at hand – and that part of this discussion was demonstrated long ago. Beyond having this demonstrated understanding, the only true moderator of any test is nothing less than plain ole honesty.

    So now, let us look at your current argument. You said you want to “correlate” the input representation to the output effect. I then turned your mantra for an operational definition back on you and asked “how” you intend to “correlate” the input to the output. Now, certainly, I believe you know very well where I am heading with this question, and that is why you didn’t directly answer it. You know very well that you cannot have a list of iterative inputs and map them to resulting effects and call that information. That does nothing whatsoever to demonstrate the dynamics required by the true presence of information. The input and the output must remain physically discrete, only to be coordinated by the protocol, which is itself physically discrete.

    Knowing this fact very well, you know and I know that the only valid answer to the question I asked is …(drumroll please)… to isolate the representations, decipher the protocols, and document the effects !

    And so there we have it. Your continuous harping for an operational definition has brought you right back to where we always were – exactly where I told you that we had to be. The very fine definition of inputs, representations, protocols, and effects that were crafted weeks ago, along with the operation that I told you about weeks ago, is all you have ever needed to perform your simulation.

    I would also like to quickly bring you back to a comment you made earlier in this conversation. You had suggested that if we really really understood each other’s position, then the distinctions would be so clear that in fact the simulation would probably not even be necessary. I took note of a certain amount of personal confidence in that comment. Most assuredly, you made that comment under the idea that I would come to see your point as valid and would concede to it. I doubt with the greatest of doubt that when you wrote those words, you thought ‘I will find that my point is invalid, and will not even need to attempt to prove it’.

    Now I am certainly willing for you to make that call, but what I see by this demonstration of pointless running around (about not having a valid operation) is that you finally “get it”. In fact, I see once again in your last post how you want to split off from the observations we’ve made, and want to demonstrate nothing more than the Webster’s definition instead (which you already know does nothing whatsoever to demonstrate the verifiable entailments of information). To demonstrate the rise of information, you must demonstrate the rise of the objects and dynamics that are observed in any other instance of recorded information. And that is no easy task (as outlined in post 35 of this thread). You need a mechanism to jump across a gap in physicality; from the physicality of the representation object, to the physicality of the output, without having the representation object ever directly interact with the output. The bridge between the two (the protocol) is yet another physical object, which itself must coordinate the representation to the output, while allowing them to remain separate. Now that may seem like a huge hurdle to jump – which it is for a non-living system – but for a living thing, that entire phenomenon is captured in nothing more than calling an apple and “apple”.

    If by trying once again to split off from having to demonstrate the actual entailments of recorded information, you are now effectively saying that you cannot produce the simulation, then so be it. That is completely your decision, but whether you attempt the simulation or not, you continue to owe an unambiguous retraction of your comment that:

    IDists have failed to demonstrate that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes

    If an IDist hadn’t made a valid case, then your simulation would not be necessary, so the facts on the ground refute this claim whether or not your simulation ever makes the light of day. We can also be very certain that neither of your previous two begrudging attempts at a retraction reflect any fairness to the evidence at all.

    - – - – - – -

    On last thing Dr Liddle, you have withheld your honesty about this situation. And you have personally withheld that honesty from me. By doing so, you have effectively stolen something from me that I was very very enamored with. That something was the chance (and was my premeditated intention) to be as gracious as humanly possible to you if you retracted your remark in fairness and honesty. There are people on this blog (like Dr Torely, Kairosfocus, and others) who will tell me that I myself poisoned the chance to have that opportunity by being too aggressive in the defense of my views of the evidence. I agree with them and will try to emulate their disposition as best I can. But I also disagree with them, in that I don’t think (in actuality) that it is my disposition that causes you to withhold your honesty. And when I go out on the net and read the intellectual filth written about men like Dr Torely and Kairos (who practice what they preach) coming from your side of the argument, then I am even more certain that it is not hospitality that divides us.

    So now I am forced to show you graciousness even without your honesty. So in that regard, I once again want to thank you for the conversation. You have been the best partner on UD that I have ever had the pleasure of debating, and I know this conversation took place only because you personally allowed it. And for that, you have my most sincere thanks.

    (now back to the real world)

  82. 82

    Upright BiPed

    Dr Liddle,
    This would be a very good time to stop and take stock in what point we are at in this conversation.

    Indeed.

    For the great majority of this conversation over the past two and a half months you have had a singular mantra that you have repeated over and over again. That mantra has been that you needed from me a clean operational definition in order to measure the output of your simulation (so that it might be considered a success). Certainly, at the start of this conversation, that request was completely reasonable by anyone’s standard (although I told you at the time that I would do the describing and you could do the definition). And so, off we went though the observations.

    No, I just wanted a good conceptual definition. I was happy to do the operationalisation.

    During this process of discovery it became evident to you that I was not focusing on a metric to measure informational content. Instead, I was describing the actual entailments that can be observed in any instance of recorded information. This goes to the very heart of my original comment to you that “Darwinian processes don’t have a mechanism to bring information into existence in the first place”. So suddenly, the idea of a nice roomy ambiguous calculation was out the window, and you found yourself faced with a very real and very tight definition; one which leaves virtually no room for doubt.

    Upright BiPed this is sheer misrepresentation – worse, it is smear. At no time have a sought a “nice roomy ambiguous calculation”. It has been my clearly stated request, at all times, to agree on the complete opposite – a totally unambiguous measure by which an objective observer could tell whether or not I had falsified your claim. How you can say the mirror opposite beggars belief.

    Moreoever, my response to your claim that “Darwinian processes don’t have a mechanism to bring information into existence in the first place” was to agree that OK, I won’t even start with a Darwinian system – I’ll start only with non-self-replicating entities and let the Darwinian process emerge from those. I couldn’t have been more rigorous.

    The fact that the definition is so tight is not a matter of anything I have done, but is simply a reflection of the fact that the existence of recorded information happens to be a very special and rare phenomenon with very clean lines of delineation between itself and not-information. In other words, there is either information, or not. Or to be more precise, information can either be confirmed to exist, or it can’t.

    And those “very clean lines of delineation” are exactly what I have been trying to extract from you, in order to operationalise the falsification of your claim. But, for reasons I have explained, patiently and repeatedly, and which you have not addressed, you have not provided a clean definition, but rather one full of words whose definition (certainly by the dictionaries I have consulted) bring us back full circle to the construct-to-be-explained. It’s not difficult to mend, and I have attempted to mend it myself. But you shy away from the fence apparently – and I will not spend time attempting to falsify a claim that you will not own.

    This very fine line is brought about by the presence of very specific physical objects, and very specific relationships between those physical objects. These are the entailments mentioned above. Recorded information requires discrete physical representations. For one physical thing to represent another, it must have something to establish what is otherwise a non-existent relationship. And the thing that must establish that relationship is yet another physical object, a protocol. The protocol is what allows a representation to be dissociated from what it is to represent, and it allows that representation to create an effect while remaining discrete. There are no instances of recorded information anywhere in the cosmos that do not have these objects and relationships. The question regarding the rise of information is how do these immaterial relationships between physical objects come into a coordinated existence?

    And the kind of stuff you have written above, Upright BiPed, is at best circular, and at worst, assumes its conclusion. I’ve tried to explain why, repeatedly, but instead of attempting to rebut my counter-arguments, you repeat the problematic phraseology while continuing to cast aspersions on my integrity. It’s like wrestling with a duvet dentata.

    For me the answer is ‘a living thing’ because there is no evidence otherwise. For you, the answer is inanimate matter under the forces of chance contingency and physical law. As an example of proper empiricism, your simulation was to be an attempt to demonstrate your hypothesis, while mine has already been demonstrated.

    Weeks ago, you and I had worked our way through these observable objects, and had begun to work our way through the dynamic relationships they must adhere to. It was at this point in the conversation that I brought up the fact that information has a very specific method which must be used in order to confirm its existence. This is the method Nirenberg and Matthaei used to win the Nobel Prize, and it’s the only method known to exist. To confirm the existence of information – any information – one has to isolate the representations, decipher the protocols, and document the effects.

    You seem to be confusing the decoding of a message with establishing that there is indeed a message exists. Nirenberg knew that the message existed, and he figured out the code – in other words he figured out what patterns in DNA resulted in what amino acid. However, to establish that information existed, all that was required was to correlate patterns with phenotypic effects, which had already been established.

    That is why I have suggested that if patterns in my virtual polymers correlated with “phenotypic” effects on my virtual organisms that confer reproductive advantage, I have demonstrated, firstly, Darwinian systems can arise from non-Darwinian systems, and secondly that Darwinian systems create information (by the Webster definition).

    Instead of jumping at the chance to adopt this methodology as a sure fire way of confirming the success of your simulation (against all challenges to the contrary) you did the exact opposite. You positioned it as being irrelevant. And it was at this very point that your lone refrain about having an operational definition became a vacuous sideshow (an illegitimate tool, a technique).

    This is false.

    The fact of the matter (which can be demonstrated by virtue of this recorded conversation) is that you had already written a very good definition of these specific objects and their dynamic relationships to one another, and now you had the only valid method (the operation) of determining if information was indeed present.

    See above.

    And this brings us to the point of your last post, where you continue to harp about an operational definition. It puts me in the precarious position of having to dismiss your call for a definition (because you DEMONSTRABLY already have the ONLY OPERATION in existence for the TYPE OF TEST you want to perform) but provides you the strategic and uncharitable opportunity to stand by the Flag of Science and repeat ad nauseam how important operational definitions are to honest empiricism.

    See above.

    What fails in this situation, of course, is not just that you already have the operation required for the test, but that having operational definitions are not even the priority of having operational definitions. The priority of having an operational definition is to gain a demonstrated understanding of the issue at hand – and that part of this discussion was demonstrated long ago.

    I’m sorry but I cannot even parse this.

    Beyond having this demonstrated understanding, the only true moderator of any test is nothing less than plain ole honesty.

    Nor this. But honesty is good. I like honesty. I am honest.

    So now, let us look at your current argument. You said you want to “correlate” the input representation to the output effect. I then turned your mantra for an operational definition back on you and asked “how” you intend to “correlate” the input to the output. Now, certainly, I believe you know very well where I am heading with this question, and that is why you didn’t directly answer it. You know very well that you cannot have a list of iterative inputs and map them to resulting effects and call that information.

    ORLY? Recall that my inputs will be arrangements of something, and my effects will be specific. Seems to me that if I can’t call that “information” you had better take that up with Messrs Merriam and Webster. Also Meyer.

    That does nothing whatsoever to demonstrate the dynamics required by the true presence of information. The input and the output must remain physically discrete, only to be coordinated by the protocol, which is itself physically discrete.

    And I have specified this, because I appreciate that to satisfy the Upright BiPed definition of information I must go further than Merriam-Webster. Although, as I’ve said repeatedly, I do not have great confidence that I can do this part.

    Knowing this fact very well, you know and I know that the only valid answer to the question I asked is …(drumroll please)… to isolate the representations, decipher the protocols, and document the effects !

    Well, it would be nice if, instead of repeated this phrase, you would actually give me non-circular definitions of the terms, as I keep requesting.

    And so there we have it. Your continuous harping for an operational definition has brought you right back to where we always were – exactly where I told you that we had to be. The very fine definition of inputs, representations, protocols, and effects that were crafted weeks ago, along with the operation that I told you about weeks ago, is all you have ever needed to perform your simulation.

    Except that they need to be operationalised.

    I would also like to quickly bring you back to a comment you made earlier in this conversation. You had suggested that if we really really understood each other’s position, then the distinctions would be so clear that in fact the simulation would probably not even be necessary. I took note of a certain amount of personal confidence in that comment. Most assuredly, you made that comment under the idea that I would come to see your point as valid and would concede to it. I doubt with the greatest of doubt that when you wrote those words, you thought ‘I will find that my point is invalid, and will not even need to attempt to prove it’.

    Doubt away. Your doubt is not warranted, but I seem powerless to convince you of that.

    Now I am certainly willing for you to make that call, but what I see by this demonstration of pointless running around (about not having a valid operation) is that you finally “get it”. In fact, I see once again in your last post how you want to split off from the observations we’ve made, and want to demonstrate nothing more than the Webster’s definition instead (which you already know does nothing whatsoever to demonstrate the verifiable entailments of information).

    I’m hearing a lot of words, Upright BiPed, but this doesn’t really feel like a conversation. I’m not even sure you are reading my posts. It doesn’t sound like it.

    To demonstrate the rise of information, you must demonstrate the rise of the objects and dynamics that are observed in any other instance of recorded information. And that is no easy task (as outlined in post 35 of this thread). You need a mechanism to jump across a gap in physicality; from the physicality of the representation object, to the physicality of the output, without having the representation object ever directly interact with the output. The bridge between the two (the protocol) is yet another physical object, which itself must coordinate the representation to the output, while allowing them to remain separate. Now that may seem like a huge hurdle to jump – which it is for a non-living system – but for a living thing, that entire phenomenon is captured in nothing more than calling an apple and “apple”.

    Upright BiPed: cells do not “call an apple an apple”. DNA is not a language. It’s a molecule. It serves as a template that results in matching strands of RNA molecules. Some of these RNA molecules, tRNA, molecules have binding sites for for codons on mRNA molecules at one end, and amino acids at the other. DNA in cells only gives rise to a subset of possible tRNA molecules, and this subset is such that there is no more than one tRNA molecule for each possible codon. These tRNA molecules also have binding sites for amino acids. This means that there is a one-to-more than one mapping between RNA codons and 20 amino acids. There is no symbolism here. There is no “representation” in the usual sense of that word. There is chemistry. There is, however, “information” by the Merriam Webster definition, because certain arrangements of things, namely DNA nucleotides, result in specific effects, namely sequences of amino acids that affect the probability that the cell will survive and replicate.

    This would be true no matter how many, or how few, if any intermediate molecules were involved in the transcription from DNA to “specific effect”. For some reason you don’t count it as “information” unless there is at least one, and I have said I will try to do that, but I don’t have confidence that I can. I have more confidence in the rest.

    If by trying once again to split off from having to demonstrate the actual entailments of recorded information, you are now effectively saying that you cannot produce the simulation, then so be it.

    No, I am not, Upright BiPed.

    That is completely your decision, but whether you attempt the simulation or not, you continue to owe an unambiguous retraction of your comment that:

    IDists have failed to demonstrate that what they consider the signature of intentional design is not also the signature of Darwinian evolutionary processes

    I have already amended this claim.

    If an IDist hadn’t made a valid case, then your simulation would not be necessary, so the facts on the ground refute this claim whether or not your simulation ever makes the light of day. We can also be very certain that neither of your previous two begrudging attempts at a retraction reflect any fairness to the evidence at all.

    I beg to differ.

    - – – – – – –
    On last thing Dr Liddle, you have withheld your honesty about this situation. And you have personally withheld that honesty from me. By doing so, you have effectively stolen something from me that I was very very enamored with. That something was the chance (and was my premeditated intention) to be as gracious as humanly possible to you if you retracted your remark in fairness and honesty.

    Oh for goodness’ sake.

    Geez louise.

    Look UBP: I willingly concede that I have been, in the end, unable to understand your claim well enough to be able to operationalise any attempt to falsify it. Your claim, for what it is worth, stands, and I make no claims to be able to refute it. No, that is not gracious, but it is the best I can do. I have put up with almost unceasing attacks on my integrity from you throughout this conversation, with as much grace as I could muster.

    However, we seem unable to reach common ground. I do not ascribe this to dishonesty on your part, and you should not ascribe it to mine, because that would be untrue. I do ascribe it to a huge, and, it appears, unbridgeable, gulf between the kind of language and expression you think is clear and unambiguous, and the kind of language I find so.

    There are people on this blog (like Dr Torely, Kairosfocus, and others) who will tell me that I myself poisoned the chance to have that opportunity by being too aggressive in the defense of my views of the evidence. I agree with them and will try to emulate their disposition as best I can. But I also disagree with them, in that I don’t think (in actuality) that it is my disposition that causes you to withhold your honesty.

    No, it isn’t, because I don’t “withhold [my] honesty”. I know it sometimes seems that way, when you profoundly disagree with someone, and you cannot see how they can possibly not see what you see, or not understand what you understand. But it is not necessarily true, and it is not true in this case.

    OK, Upright BiPed, I’m going to be frank: I think the reason we have failed to communicate in this conversation is not because I have been difficult, or evasive, or dishonest (obviously), nor do I think it is because you have been. I think it is because I am coming at this as a trained scientist and you are not

    Now I’m sure this will make you angry, and I guess I wouldn’t blame you. Perhaps you do have a good grasp of scientific methodology, just a very different lingo to the one I was trained in. I do find that transatlantic conversations sometimes founder on this. But I remain of the belief that a lot of the distrust by ID proponents of science arises from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of scientific methodology and indeed of scientific conclusions. This is not helped, I willingly concede, by people like Dawkins who mount strident atheistic claims on the back of inadequately cautious summaries of scientific conclusions. It makes me wince, frankly, and I think he does science a disservice. Scientific conclusions are necessarily provisional, and necessarily material. The methodology simply does not allow for a non-material conclusion – the best science can do to support the case for supernatural intervention is to fail to provide a natural explanation. To leave a “gap” in other words. Science cannot confirm a God hypothesis.

    What I have been most sincerely trying to do here has been to get from you a statement of your own ID claim about information (as you know I was originally addressing Dembski’s) that could be cast in a manner in which it could be falsified, so that I could attempt to falsify it. This has, in my view, proved impossible. That is why my retraction is so mealy-mouthed. I think other ID claims are perfectly falsifiable (the claim that Darwinian mechanisms cannot create information by other definitions of information, for instance; or that Chance and Necessity cannot create a Darwinian-capable system in the first place), and I’d have had a good go at any of them. But I cannot tackle yours. And so I concede: I cannot falsify it. If you wish to regard this as a triumph that is fine – if you consider your claim a valid scientific claim, again, that is fine. It stand unrefuted by me, and may prove important :)

    But I have to concede defeat here.

    And when I go out on the net and read the intellectual filth written about men like Dr Torely and Kairos (who practice what they preach) coming from your side of the argument, then I am even more certain that it is not hospitality that divides us.

    It is no fairer to blame me for what you think people on “my side” do than it would be for me to blame you for anything people on “your side” do. The fact that you perceive it as an issue of “sides” is at least part of the problem. I had hoped that we might get past that.

    So now I am forced to show you graciousness even without your honesty. So in that regard, I once again want to thank you for the conversation. You have been the best partner on UD that I have ever had the pleasure of debating, and I know this conversation took place only because you personally allowed it. And for that, you have my most sincere thanks.
    (now back to the real world)

    Well, thanks, I guess. But, Upright BiPed, to thank me for a conversation in the same breath as impugning my honesty is not gracious.

    But I will return the thanks, regardless. I do accept that you have tried, and for that I too am grateful.

    Cheers

    Lizzie.

  83. I’m reading the repeated statements that non teleological processes can meet the definition of intelligent design. It really is stunning.

    By definition and by meeting the requirements, anything that designs intelligently is an intelligent designer. It could be variation and selection, a fork, or my toenail clippings.

    But what is the point of raising the hypotheticals, ‘If variation and selection or my toenail clippings produce design, then do they meet the definition of intelligent design?” It’s a pointless exercise in tautology. The answer is always yes.

    It has nothing to do with the more significant questions, can variation and selection or toenail clippings design intelligently? Right now both are in fairy tale land, except that one story gets told more and has more funding thrown at it and many more thousands of research papers to wade through before realizing that they aren’t answering the question.

    For example, one determined person threw at me a research paper showing that bats evolved from rodents. In reality it explained how a protein present in both rodents and bats was expressed differently between the two, resulting in longer forelimbs in bats.
    IOW, they had discovered that rodents and bats are genetically different. But that’s okay, there are always more papers.

  84. I’m reading the repeated statements that non teleological processes can meet the definition of intelligent design. It really is stunning …

    Even when they’re foolishly not claiming such blatantly false things, the anti-IDist face a problem even in their use of ostensibly non-teleological language; for, the meaning of even the simple word ‘process’ inherently implies teleology.

  85. 85

    LIDDLE (July 30th): Upright BiPed suggested something much more along the lines of Meyer’s quoted definition from Merriam-Webster, in which “information” is not a property of a pattern, as with CSI, but the property of a process. This makes a lot more sense to me, as I’ve said, and would mean that the ID claim, which I set out to refute, is:

    Chance and Necessity cannot create information, where information is arrangements of things that have specific effects.

    So we have protocol in there now – information is not just a pattern but a pattern that has effects. And not just any effects – effects specific to a pattern. In other words there is a mapping between pattern and effect.

    However, Upright BiPed also made an additional caveat, which is that to be true information, the mapping has to be achieved via an inert arbitrary intermediary pattern of some kind (as is done by tRNA in a cell).

    And in addition, I made the caveat that the specific effects should probably be functional in some way – e.g. promote faithful self-replication.

    And so the ID claim becomes:

    Chance and Necessity cannot generate information, where information consists of arrangements of something that produce specific functional effects by means of inert intermediary patterns.

    LIDDLE (Aug 13th): As we have agreed, your criterion for inferring intelligent design is stricter and more defensible.

    BIPED (Aug 14th): You know what my claim is and you what operation is required to validate it.
    LIDDLE (Aug 14th): no, I don’t know what your claim is

    Very impressive; your ability to vacillate, while claiming both intellectual and methodological superiority.

  86. LIDDLE (July 30th): Upright BiPed suggested something much more along the lines of Meyer’s quoted definition from Merriam-Webster, in which “information” is not a property of a pattern, as with CSI, but the property of a process. This makes a lot more sense to me, as I’ve said, and would mean that the ID claim, which I set out to refute, is:

    Chance and Necessity cannot create information, where information is arrangements of things that have specific effects.

    So we have protocol in there now – information is not just a pattern but a pattern that has effects. And not just any effects – effects specific to a pattern. In other words there is a mapping between pattern and effect.

    However, Upright BiPed also made an additional caveat, which is that to be true information, the mapping has to be achieved via an inert arbitrary intermediary pattern of some kind (as is done by tRNA in a cell).

    And in addition, I made the caveat that the specific effects should probably be functional in some way – e.g. promote faithful self-replication.

    And so the ID claim becomes:

    Chance and Necessity cannot generate information, where information consists of arrangements of something that produce specific functional effects by means of inert intermediary patterns.

    LIDDLE (Aug 13th): As we have agreed, your criterion for inferring intelligent design is stricter and more defensible.

    BIPED (Aug 14th): You know what my claim is and you what operation is required to validate it.
    LIDDLE (Aug 14th): no, I don’t know what your claim is

    Very impressive; your ability to vacillate, while claiming both intellectual and methodological superiority.

    Well, I thought I did, then you wouldn’t endorse my operationalisation.

    So clearly I was mistaken.

    Anyway, that’s it, UBP.

    I’ve had enough of your slurs and smears.

    If you want a claim testing, you will have to ask someone else.

    I retract my claim that I could falsify what I thought was yours.

    I can’t.

  87. 87

    I already accepted it Dr Liddle, did you forget that too?

  88. 88

    And by the way, you still haven’t produced an example of the “lots of disciplines” where we’ve been “observing patterns arising from “deeply nested contingencies” which come in the form of dissociated represenattions and require protocols in order to have an effect?”

    All I need is one.

  89. 89

    And “to be honest” as you are often want to say, the only smear taking place here is your arrogant disregard for the observable evidence Dr Liddle. Think about it.

  90. Well, you told me to go ahead, but when I asked you whether you would regard success as a falsification, you demurred.

    Unless we an agree on an operationalisation of what falsification would look like, then there isn’t any point in me starting.

    That was exactly (in direct contradiction to your assertion) I wanted an operational definition with no wiggle room.

    For either of us.

    OK, let’s have one last try:

    You seem to have agreed that your claim can be written as:

    “Chance and Necessity cannot generate information, where information consists of arrangements of something that produce specific functional effects by means of inert intermediary patterns.”

    Are you happy with that?

    If so I will try to operationalise it in a way that it can be falsified by a simulation on the lines I have described.

  91. I misread your question, Upright BiPed. I was thinking of any discipline that deals with chaotic patterns, from fractals to weather forecasting.

    I’m still not quite sure what you mean by “dissociated represenattions and require protocols in order to have an effect”, but presumably those examples don’t have them.

  92. That is false, Upright BiPed.

    You might want to do some thinking yourself.

  93. OK, thinking further:

    Upright BiPed, I do not want to proceed with this. I have simply had enough of your continuous attacks on my integrity. I have a moderately tough hide, but this has got too much.

    It should go without saying that I absolutely deny the accusations you have leveled at me. They are completely without foundation, as I think any objective witness would agree. I am capable of errors, and of misunderstanding, but not only do I not lie, I place a very high value on honesty.

    I might proceed with the project anyway, but to my own time table.

    I’m going on holiday in a week, and I have quite a lot to do before I leave, and I will be very busy when I get back. If I do succeed with the project I will try to let you know.

  94. 94

    I came back from lunch and was crafting a positive response to your 42.1.

    My only general concern with the language was that you need to add the output of the system as you had agreed to previously (being a copy of the system itself). But before I posted my response, I refreshed my screen and saw your response at 43.1 where you state that you are not quite sure what I mean by a “dissociated represenation”. But dissociated representation was never my term, it was one you yourself introduced in operationalizing the conceptual definiton. You know all of this very very well.

    It then occurs to me how truly disconnected you are from having a fair and honest exchange. I am certainly not talking about conversation in general, I am talking about where the rubber meets the road, the key foundational points in this exchange. And I too wonder why I am involved.

    I see you now want to quit in order to protect yourself from any further accusations upon your character. I think that plan befits you in a spectacular fashion.

  95. I came back from lunch and was crafting a positive response to your 42.1.

    My only general concern with the language was that you need to add the output of the system as you had agreed to previously (being a copy of the system itself). But before I posted my response, I refreshed my screen and saw your response at 43.1 where you state that you are not quite sure what I mean by a “dissociated represenation”. But dissociated representation was never my term, it was one you yourself introduced in operationalizing the conceptual definiton. You know all of this very very well.

    And I don’t know what you mean by it, UBP. This has been the trouble all along. We agree something, then it turns out that what you mean by the terms is something different to what I mean by them.

    It just seems to be the way it is. It’s not for want of trying to bridge the gulf on my part, and probably not on yours either.

    It then occurs to me how truly disconnected you are from having a fair and honest exchange. I am certainly not talking about conversation in general, I am talking about where the rubber meets the road, the key foundational points in this exchange. And I too wonder why I am involved.

    It occurs to me how truly disconnected we are from each other, despite nominally sharing a common tongue.

    I see you now want to quit in order to protect yourself from any further accusations upon your character. I think that plan befits you in a spectacular fashion.

    I want to cease conversing with you, Upright BiPed, because it’s bad for my blood pressure.

    As I said, I will probably proceed with the project anyway.

    But it is impossible to converse with someone who seems determined to interpret anything I post in the worst possible light.

    And, frankly, I doubt any “positive” response would have been forthcoming.

    I admit to beginning to doubt your own good faith.

  96. 96

    I have been informed that Dr Liddle has gone elsewhere on the internet and posed a question regarding me, apparently in relation to post #46 where I question her honesty in saying that she doesn’t know what I mean when I use the term “dissociated representation”.

    Even after pointing out to her that the term was one that she herself introduced into the conversation (which I immediately accepted) and that I was simply using it in that exact same context as it was introduced, she still returned in 46.1 to emphasis yet again that she has no idea what I “mean by it”.

    I light of that, or in fact despite it, she now poses a question elsewhere. A question – that by its very nature immediately assumes her correctness, and casts me as one to be suspect for doubting her intergity. She asks: “What does it take to be convinced that another person is lying to you – when they aren’t?

    I will answer that question here, and then hope she has the decency to drop it:

    - – - – - – - –

    BIPED (June 6th):
    It [information] requires a mechanism to cause an arrangement of matter/energy (a representation) to be formed, and to establish a relationship between that arrangement and the object it is to represent.

    - – - – - – -

    LIDDLE (June 9th):
    So let’s try your alternative:

    Information is an abstraction of a discrete object/thing embedded in an arrangement of matter or energy.

    This looks more promising, apart from the word “abstraction”. hmmm.

    Dictionary definitions of “abstraction” just send us back to “abstract”. For “abstract”, Merriam Webster has:

    1 a : disassociated from any specific instance b : difficult to understand : abstruse c : insufficiently factual : formal

    2: expressing a quality apart from an object

    3a : dealing with a subject in its abstract aspects : theoretical b : impersonal, detached

    4: having only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation or narrative context

    Which is somewhat problematic because these tend to reference ideas and minds, and again, we cannot include this in our definition if we are trying to determine whether a mind is intrinsic to information!

    However “disassociated from any specific instance” might give us a clue.

    That could give us something like:
    “Information is a representation of a discrete object/thing embedded in an arrangement of matter or energy, where the object/thing represented is entirely dissociated from the representation”.

    That seems to work, I think, do you agree?

    So I can’t, for example, claim that the pattern of raindrops left on sand is creating “information” about the rain, because the representation (dimples in the sand) is not dissociated from the drops (the dimples are rain-drop shaped).

    - – - – - – -

    BIPED (June 9th):
    Lizzie,

    At first glance, I have no particular problem with the definition you propose

    - – - – - – - – -

    LIDDLE (June 9th):

    OK, that’s fine, thanks for clarifying.

  97. Then you brought up that “break in the causal/physical chain” thing.

    Look UBP: I am content to accept that we have been unable to understand each other, and indeed, to accept at least partial responsibility for that. Time and again, you have thought that you understood me, and I have thought that I understood you, then, when it came to an actual operationalisation, it turned out neither of us understood the other.

    This has been disappointing, but I realise that it sometimes happens.

    What I cannot understand is your insistence on my dishonesty. I am not dishonest, and have not been dishonest. As for “assuming my correctness” about this – of course I “assume” that I’m honest! I know I am!

    And as for “I have been informed that Dr Liddle has gone elsewhere on the internet …” – well, yes, I was the one who informed you!

    And invited you to join me there! Whereupon you tried to paint me as having been discourteous to my hosts here!

    Is it any wonder, UBP, that I suspect you of deliberately trying to find the worst possible interpretation on anything I say?

    Communication is impossible under such conditions.

    However, if you are willing to drop those priors (the only rule at my site), I would be delighted if you would join the conversation there, in the thread I set up for the purpose, and gave you the link to.

  98. 98

    Dr Liddle, as has already been discussed several times – we are not now, and have not been, having a “miscommunication”. As can be seen by your own words quoted in 46.2 on June 9th, you methodically went though the observations, and you understood them. THAT has never been the problem.

    Yesterday, you made it clear that you were the “trained scientist” here, and by that you insinuated that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with your earned acumen (which may be true). However if you will set that aside for just a moment, this lowly Research Director of 30 years can offer you some salient advice. I have said this to you a number of times already in number of different ways, but here it is once again – you are asking the wrong question!

    Since this conversation is now dead, I will say this once again in the hopes that if you read this and decide to go ahead and try to falsify my claim, you will at least do it the correct way. From the very beginning, you have approached this project as if you were going to test the output for a value of some kind, and then you would take that value and hold it against a numerical standard in order to confirm your success or failure. But that is the wrong question to ask, and therefore the wrong test.

    This exercise was never meant to be a test of a mathematical model of information. This entire conversation was based on my claim that material forces “don’t have a mechanism for bringing information into existence in the first place”. Remember? So we were seeking to test for the rise of information itself, and to do so, we were looking for the observable entailments that are present in any other form of recorded information, including that within the genome. Those entailments are the specific physical objects and their dynamic relationships, which we spent over two months agreeing to. And once again, your understanding of them is demonstrated in the quote above at 46.2.

    There is no misunderstanding.

    But you can’t get to “specific physical objects and their dynamic relationships” by merely testing for a numerical value at the output, Dr Liddle. For that you have to test the output for a different question. That question is: “does the output of this system demonstrate the physical objects/dynamics required for information” (as described again in bullets 1-6 in post 35). To test for that you require two things: 1) a complete understanding of those physical objects and their dynamic relationships, and 2) a method of testing those physical objects for the dynamic relationships you wish to confirm.

    Now as far as requirement #1; there is no doubt whatsoever that you have that complete understanding (as evidenced by your own words at many different points in this conversation). And as far as requirement #2, it has been made perfectly clear that the only valid method of confirming the presence of those dynamics is to demonstrate them by isolating the representations, deciphering the protocols, and documenting the effects. And as if it would have made any difference, that same operation could be worded in the jargon already used in your definition: “isolate the iterative arrangements/patterns of (virtual) matter, map those patterns to specific output effects, then determine which inert intermediary objects are required by each iterative pattern in order to result in the effect – with the cumulative effect being a copy of the system itself”.

  99. Upright BiPed:

    And as if it would have made any difference, that same operation could be worded in the jargon already used in your definition: “isolate the iterative arrangements/patterns of (virtual) matter, map those patterns to specific output effects, then determine which inert intermediary objects are required by each iterative pattern in order to result in the effect – with the cumulative effect being a copy of the system itself”.

    Yes, this makes a huge difference. Thank you.

    OK, well, I have a lot of other things on my plate right now, but I will work with this.

    Cheers

    Lizzie

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