Home » Intelligent Design » Today’s Class Project

Today’s Class Project

Alex Tee Neng Heng and David C. Green think they have demonstrated that the “monkeys typing” hypothesis is true here.  The class is assigned the task of identifying their blunder.

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65 Responses to Today’s Class Project

  1. The target string is known in advance, and an arbitrary “sticking” rule is imposed on each character slot. This is not how genetic variation and natural selection works. RM+NS is a blind process. No foresight. Dawkins wanted to show how small changes could lead to large scale changes. But Darkin’s little game is an example of ID not the blind watchmaker. I stand continually amazed at such malarky.

  2. The error is, of course, that the program knows exactly where it is headed, and is allowed to retain any bits that match the predetermined goal. This experiment has absolutely no relevance to biochemical evolution; does anyone still think it does?

    Incidentally, in playing with the program I noticed that even a single upper case letter n the target string will result in infinite recursions. Apparently the programmers didn’t anticipate that. (the sequence I tested was “Richard Dawkins is an ass”)

  3. Dembski and Marks actually refer to this arguement in a paper.

    I whole heartedly agree with mike1962.

  4. mike1962 and Chemfarmer, you both got it in one. I think my larger point is that, as Mike points out, it is utterly inexplicable to me that people who are smart enough to put a website up are not smart enough to see such an obvious point. I think the larger lesson here is that people see what they want to see. That applies to “us” as well as to “them,” so we must always be on guard against our biases.

  5. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but it seems to me that, in addition to what has already been pointed out, if this is to be a valid exercise, each and every phrase from the first to the last should be a meaninglful English sentence or phrase. After all, each and every genome encodes a living, viable phenotype, so likewise each iteration should encode an actual idea or concept or something with actual meaning…

    If I am blundering, feel free to point it out.

  6. They cheat by replicating things that are partially correct, and keep on replicating until other things are correct. Evolution isn’t postulated to work that way. It needs to work by getting it all correct at once.

    Count on the Darwinistas to cheat.

  7. No C Bass; you are not blundering. You are repeating the previous comments in a different way.

  8. hilarious….that does not even remotely resemble what evolution claims. if they really believe that everything is predetermined and DNA is just a game that is looking for predetermined designs….they might as well call themselves intelligent design supporters. this would fit nicely within the realm of intelligent design.

  9. I like the idea of assigning thought experiments to the “class”. For the next assignment, how about having them take on the “Irreducible Complexity” link on the same web site:

    http://vlab.infotech.monash.ed.....e-complex/

  10. 10

    In addition to the more obvious blunder pointed out by several commenters, a more realistic simulation would not introduce random errors only to the character we are trying to “improve”, but also to the characters that are already “correct”. Further, as Gil Dodgen pointed out in a brilliant Sept 28, 2006 post, we should also introduce random errors to the underlying software and hardware running the simulation, and see how fast the phrase improves then.

  11. 11

    There’s also the problem that characters exist at all. Who made them?

  12. I went to the wikipedia site and found this under “Weasel program”.

    “Dawkins has responded to these criticisms (that the program requires a target phrase) by pointing out that the program was never intended to model evolution accurately, but only to demonstrate the power of cumulative selection as compared to random selection.”

    And selecting a letter that matches a letter in the target phrase is random?

  13. Dawkins later claimed that he did not mean the weasel example to be part of his explaining of evolution. How come he didn’t have it excised from later editions?

    In subsequent books Dawkins still depended on a weasel type approach. Read “Climbing Mount Improbable” and you will see that Dawkins still explains the Darwinian process in terms of preset targets and distant goals that are strived for. The very title of the book is nonsense in a Darwinain sense. He says a useful feature of a living system, say, an eye, comes about in a way analogous to climbing a mountain. Climbing some predefined “Mt. Improbable” where each step has it’s eye on the distant peak many steps ahead in the future is certainly not Darwinian.

    I suspect though that much of the public views Darwinian evolution in this way. It’s amazing to me that Dawkins himself falls into the same intellectual hole.

  14. If we went back to Dawkins’ original weasel program, running speedily on much more modern hardware, what we would find is the following: a program that instantaneously prints out “Methinks it is like a weasel”. If we then looked at the source code we’d find in it the phrase “Methinks it is like a weasel”. What else could an intelligent person do at that point but shrug, and say, “Uh, yeah. Okay. Whatever.”

    And yet the Darwinist mind, completely unschooled in design-related fields like software engineering, still finds the result a fascinating proof of…well I don’t know, since I no longer have a Darwinist mind. When such folks assure me that they are capable of establishing the absence of design in biology, what else can I do, but shrug, and say, “Uh, yeah. Okay. Whatever.”

  15. Where do the child monkeys come from?

    Where do the typewriters come from?

    Why should “me thinks it is like a weasel” have more utility/meaning than lxwljelklljkljkljlkjd jlkdjlkjsaklj?

    If “me thinks it is like a weasel” is the goal, why would transitional letter orderings have any utility/surviability than lxwljelklljkljkljlkjd jlkdjlkjsaklj?

    Why should mutations be fixed as assumed?

  16. This thread reminds me of David Berlinski’s story of how novels come to be. It’s a bit long, but worth the read. Here it is.

    I imagine this story being told to me by Jorge Luis Borges one evening in a Buenos Aires cafe.

    His voice dry and infinitely ironic, the aging, nearly blind literary master observes that “the Ulysses,” mistakenly attributed to the Irishman James Joyce, is in fact derived from “the Quixote.”

    I raise my eyebrows.

    Borges pauses to sip discreetly at the bitter coffee our waiter has placed in front of him, guiding his hands to the saucer.

    “The details of the remarkable series of events in question may be found at the University of Leiden,” he says. “They were conveyed to me by the Freemason Alejandro Ferri in Montevideo.”

    Borges wipes his thin lips with a linen handkerchief that he has withdrawn from his breast pocket.

    “As you know,” he continues, “the original handwritten text of the Quixote was given to an order of French Cistercians in the autumn of 1576.”

    I hold up my hand to signify to our waiter that no further service is needed.

    “Curiously enough, for none of the brothers could read Spanish, the Order was charged by the Papal Nuncio, Hoyo dos Monterrey (a man of great refinement and implacable will), with the responsibility for copying the Quixote, the printing press having then gained no currency in the wilderness of what is now known as the department of Auvergne. Unable to speak or read Spanish, a language they not unreasonably detested, the brothers copied the Quixote over and over again, re-creating the text but, of course, compromising it as well, and so inadvertently discovering the true nature of authorship. Thus they created Fernando Lor’s Los Hombres d’Estado in 1585 by means of a singular series of copying errors, and then in 1654 Juan Luis Samorza’s remarkable epistolary novel Por Favor by the same means, and then in 1685, the errors having accumulated sufficiently to change Spanish into French, Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, their copying continuous and indefatigable, the work handed down from generation to generation as a sacred but secret trust, so that in time the brothers of the monastery, known only to members of the Bourbon house and, rumor has it, the Englishman and psychic Conan Doyle, copied into creation Stendhal’s The Red and the Black and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and then as a result of a particularly significant series of errors, in which French changed into Russian, Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Anna Karenina. Late in the last decade of the 19th century there suddenly emerged, in English, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and then the brothers, their numbers reduced by an infectious disease of mysterious origin, finally copied the Ulysses into creation in 1902, the manuscript lying neglected for almost thirteen years and then mysteriously making its way to Paris in 1915, just months before the British attack on the Somme, a circumstance whose significance remains to be determined.”

    I sit there, amazed at what Borges has recounted. “Is it your understanding, then,” I ask, “that every novel in the West was created in this way?”

    “Of course,” replies Borges imperturbably. Then he adds: “Although every novel is derived directly from another novel, there is really only one novel, the Quixote.”

  17. No, no, no, you are all way off! See, it’s like this: Monkeys and weasels share some of the same structures through punctuated homologues and lateral gene bus transfers (talk to the population geneticists, no I mean the paleontologists.) Oh, and it’s all very complicated and you probably wouldn’t understand, you ignorant creeps. Oh, and billions of years, too. Time heals all wounds; that’s true, you know.

    Furthermore, the typewriter “predates” the Cambrian explosion, er, expansion, and just ’cause you can’t see it, I can’t help it if you argue from ignorance! Its a computer simulation so it must BE REAL. Get that sticker off my book! Get that sticker off my book!

    ROFT (rolling on the floor — tantrumming)

    Ok, I wasn’t the first to answer, but I was the best.

  18. I also “love” Dawkins’s statement in the last pages of “The Blind Watchmaker” where he says chance can be tamed

    “only if there is a mechanism for guiding each step in some particular direction, otherwise the sequence of steps will career off in an endless random walk.”

    So undguided evolution does require some guidance afterall.

  19. OK Tim, it wasn’t a competition, but you win the award for best impression of a darwinbot!

  20. Tim,
    In defense of Dawkins’ weasel program,,,You forgot to call us dishonest, evil, quote-mining, plagiarizing, creationist, IDiots who wouldn’t know true science if it bit us in the rear end. Oh yeah,… Evidence Smevidence… Did you look at my double speak rhetoric in my peer reviewed paper, you morons???!!!!

    As a sidelight to this weasel program, in the book “A Meaningful World–How Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature—by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt,

    http://www.ameaningfulworld.com/

    The authors go through this very sentence “Methinks it is like a weasel” to illustrate that the line is not a stand alone line…The line only makes sense in the greater context of the entire play of Hamlet…

    Particularly this part of the play:

    Pol. My lord, the queen would speak with you, and presently.
    Ham. Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel? 268
    Pol. By the mass, and ’tis like a camel, indeed.
    Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel.
    Pol. It is backed like a weasel.
    Ham. Or like a whale?
    Pol. Very like a whale.

    Hamlet uses the line, in self amusement, to show what a weak spine Polonius has, The Line ONLY makes sense in the greater context of the play.

    The authors go on to show how so many things in this world and universe are interrelated in astonishing complexity that only make sense in relation to life having purpose..Astonishing complexity that we truly only catch minor glimpses of. The book was very enjoyable if just from what I learned about the Hamlet play although it is a lot deeper than that.

  21. Who designed this program? — Is at 3100 and counting…

  22. The evolving story of the monkey’s typing always made me think about the process that the pre-typing-monkeys used to create their Shakespearean sonnets. Typewriters were developed in the mid eighteen century. Prior to that, would the ‘monkeys with pencils’ hypothesis been useful?

    ‘Monkeys with quills’?

    Or, prior to the Bard himself, some other prose-producing luminary:

    ‘Monkeys with stylus” (cuneiform script);

    ‘Monkeys with chisels’;

    The typewriter allows the formation of an already produced set of letters, roughly representing the phonography of the written language. You have to know the symbols prior to being able to read them. The typewriter takes away a formidable task already – producing accurate script.

    Try and make the Shakespeare sonnet without the programming for the letters, and allow the next monkey in line to be able to decode the first monkey’s atttempts (remember, if the second monkey doesn’t understand the first monkey’s message, eg. Run! Fire!, then second monkey is dead)

    … now I’d like to see a monkey with a paint brush do that!

    http://www.rd.com/images/conte.....Paint1.jpg

  23. Anyone else think that it is just lame that they use more than 26 iterations to achieve this?

    If they just went through the alphabet in order they would be done so much faster…

    If they converted the whole string to binary and kept the correct bits and then they could be done in 2 iterations!

  24. I always find examples of this sort of thing puzzling. I agree that it is puzzling that otherwise seemingly intelligent people could put up something this stupid as evidence.

    Ironically IMO, this is actually evidence for frontloading and ID not for an undirected darwinian process.

    I’m not sure they really understand IC either given their model.

    It bothers me that my tax dollars (currently in mind as they are due tonight) are wasted supporting people this stupid.

  25. Amateur software engineers like Alex Tee Neng Heng and David C. Green really ought not embarrass themselves with stuff like this. One of my programming specialties is search algorithms. Here’s a search algorithm (just a few of more than 65,000 lines of C code) from my checkers program. It has a goal in mind, which is to trounce your butt in the game.

    Weasel programmers really should search for another vocation.

    Please tell me I’m not dreaming. How is it possible that the Heng-Green program and the claims made for it are the product of a university computer science department?

  26. The fact that they have a target string sequence, a program designed for the purpose of taking in a randomized string of letters of the alphabet, a loop running until it equals the target sequence, and the fact they have any letters of the alphabet to work with in the first place, is anything but a Darwinian evolutionary process. It is interesting to see how the supposed “science” of Darwinian evolution is trying to escape the experimental study of the real-time evidence of biological systems (in support for DE) and instead going into writing programs designed to meet supposed Darwinian goals. It is although simple, they can’t provide evidence for they’re magic spells theory in real life, so they go into virtual reality and seek wisdom there.

  27. I, too, am off to the Tax Man this afternoon, and with this being through Monash Uni in Australia, I can totally agree regarding MY taxed money going there propping up faultily thought-through projects.

    But, the rub: where do our tax dollars go to contribute to stopping the fallacies often presented to us as hard science? Obviously not these bastions of hardline dogmatism. But where else is hard science achievable but at such well-funded public universities? (I’m talking Australia, regarding public institutions)

    They are all made out of the same mold, and it is hard to crack.

    At least they could have used ‘Once a jolly swagman’ as the stub for the computer to achieve a generational mutational climb. It’s Australian, it’s iconic, and doesn’t make any sense without the other lines to the song. Perfect.

    Oh well, must go give the government more of my money to spend as they choose on other worthwhile activities.

  28. As has already been mentioned, I like the fact that a capital letter will send the program to infinity.

  29. As has already been mentioned, I like the fact that a capital letter will send the program to infinity.

    Hmm…bad design in a program designed to show how evolution confers complexity without the need for a designer. Oh, and the program’s goal phrase is front loaded.

    Sweet, sweet irony.

  30. I vote for changing the target phrase to:

    “Methinks Dawkins is a Weasle”

    All in favor say, “aye.”

  31. Who designed this program?

    The program stopped when my pc hibernated.

    268379: bho designed this programk

  32. ‘Monkeys with chisels’;
    Given an infinite number of monkeys, an infinite number chisels and an infinite amount of time, would one eventually carve the Rosetta Stone?
    I would seriously like to see an accidentalist try to address it.

  33. Could someone please make a FAIR program to simulate this, in which there are only four letters in the alphabet (as is the case with DNA), every word has three letters, and pretty much every combination of three letters means SOMETHING?

    http://exploringourmatrix.blog.....ge-of.html

  34. Religion Prof.
    Please prove your assertion that “pretty much every combination of three letters means SOMETHING?”

    I can assure you that if you go down this alley you will get your lunch eaten on this site!

  35. These researchers should be praised. They have provided a demonstration of how evolution works through a conscious, purposeful, and directed process of supernature.

    With Darwinists like these, who needs ID proponents?

  36. Some mean ‘don’t produce a protein’. Some are like punctuation. But they mean something in the same way Christians say God answers all prayers – the answer may be yes or no, but it is still an answer.

  37. Religion Prof.
    You state in your blog:

    http://exploringourmatrix.blog.....ge-of.html

    Finally, it must be clear that all combinations must be considered legitimate words, since all of them can be found somewhere in the genome of living organisms.

    Is this your proof that Dawkins’ demonstration is right?

    Your kidding me right?

    (even though your analogy fails at the definition of word; just by taking into consideration the assembling of proteins, that evolutionists use) Is any combination of words going to mean something in regards to the structure of a sentence, in regards to the structure of a paragraph and then in regards to the structure of a book?

    No of course not!

    Although some words may be interchangeable,,,common sense and logic can attest that the vast majority of the time practically all words except the proper one, and few others, will be acceptable for the purpose of the book.

    Do you think my analogy to a book wrong?

    If anything the evidence we now have, for mutation rates to DNA (Dr. Behe’s EoE), attest that my analogy is in fact to generous to the problem evolutionists face in generating meaningful sequences of mutations that have “meaning” for the life form!

  38. Was the way you spelled “you’re” an attempt to show that variations in spelling can still preserve meaning? Thanks for your assistance in making that point! :)

    Genetic comparisons show how new features result from, among other things, segments of DNA (‘sentences’, if you will) being copied into another part of the chromosome.

    I’m a religion professor, so if you want more information I’d suggest taking remedial biology. If you want accurate information on evolution, biology and genetics, don’t come to me, because I’m just repeating a very basic and oversimplified version of the information that professionals in the field have passed on to me through their lectures, books, journal articles and other public presentations in their area of expertise.

  39. Legitimate words? Give me a break…that’s like saying all the bits in my computer is legitimate code. Yes, they will be processed but whether they are gibberish that will cause errors is another matter.

    Now obviously there is some flexibility to the language conventions. It’s kind of like some code I wrote the other day in a language I wasn’t too familiar with. The result ran as intended but when I ran the validation program it turned out I had made about 20 errors.

    Anyone who has read the “Wedge Strategy” document will know one thing for certain about intelligent design: it has its mind made up from the outset

    I’m curious how many ID proponents have ever bothered to read the Wedge document. I know I have not. On top of that most of the leading ID proponents were originally Darwinists.

    Supporters of Intelligent Design are free to forego the many modern medications and treatments for disease which are available only because scientists were persistent in their pursuit of explaining that which previous generations had been unable to, if they object to such investigations in principle.

    What BS is this?

  40. Was the way you spelled “you’re” an attempt to show that variations in spelling can still preserve meaning? Thanks for your assistance in making that point!

    Actually, the only reason the meaning was conserved was due to the error correction that occurred in your mind. Otherwise, due to English language grammar conventions the original function would be lost. If he had been writing code and “you’re” and “your” were both valid functions it could have caused a deleterious result. I have experienced such problems where a minor lapse in writing 10s of thousands of lines of code contained one line where I accidentally mistyped the wrong function. The resulting program “ran” but eventually crashed as the runtime errors accumulated.

  41. You’re (not your) still using the flawed analogy of a language that has a limited number of meaningful words, with large variations in the numbers of letters among words, and an alphabet of 26 letters. The analogy to a computer’s binary code is better, but it is unclear that a desktop PC mirrors the flexibility of a living organism, in which even proponents of ID do not dispute that genetic variations occur and, at a bare minimum, often do no harm. If a computer program could deal with such variations without crashing on the one hand, and preserve advantageous ones on the other, then we’d have an analogy.

    Computers are made by human beings, and human beings are the direct result of instructions in DNA, and so comparing the two probably won’t get us very far. The questions are still left unanswered as to how the first self-replicating molecule(s) came about, but that is a question of chemistry rather than evolution, which deals with what happens when organisms constructed through the activity of self-replicating molecules already exist.

  42. Bornagain77 said,

    Please prove your assertion that “pretty much every combination of three letters means SOMETHING?”

    I can assure you that if you go down this alley you will get your lunch eaten on this site!

    Go to Google and search on the three-letter combination of your choice, and see what happens.

  43. Thanks Barry,
    I tink I’ma gonna starte missspellina mor ofenta,,,Becuse tit ist totallly lostt onn de darwiinista spellan pohlice, tyhat muttttations, whereever sppootted, r considared 2 bee aa veeerrrryyy baaad thang, especilallly n DDDNNNAAAA stuuuuddddiiieeesss.

    Tell you what professor,,,you are so sold on Darwinism, and so dog gone sure that you are right,,,why don’t you go ahead and ask your smartest evolutionists buddies and find all that evidence of complexity being generated,,evidence that would prove Behe’s estimate of a 2 protein/protein sites being generated from scratch wrong.

    You see professor, you are using already generated similarities of DNA to prove the point being debated in the first place. You say outstanding complexity happened by natural means,,,we say outstanding complexity generation is proven impossible from foundational evidence and first principles of science,,,WE DISAGREE,,,
    evolutionists are making fantastic claims of complexity being generated by totally natural processes with absolutely no hard empirical evidence it can and does happen…

    Come On Professor be reasonable,,If I told you space shuttles could magically put themselves together by totally natural processes you would demand proof,,,Yet even a simple bacterium (the simplest life on earth) is proven to be more complex than a space shuttle! ,,,Why should I be denied the same satisfaction of proof that you would demand?

    “Each cell with genetic information, from bacteria to man, consists of artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction and a capacity not equaled in any of our most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours” Geneticist Michael Denton PhD.

  44. Mickey Bitsko,
    Sure I will get something does that fulfill a required purpose Mickey,,,

    Say I wanted a ring for my friend,,,But only a monkey was allowed to generated the three letters into my keyboard to get to the site I need,,,Now are you beginning to see the problem?….

    Proteins of precise shapes are required to be generated in order to make a coherent system of biological complexity,,,not just any ole combination of proteins will do…

  45. sorry I meant,,, thanks Patrick,,,

    dang mutations LOL

  46. Space shuttles cannot replicate themselves and pass on their ‘blueprints’ to the next generation. Is that why so many people find ID persuasive? Failure to think through these sorts of flawed analogies?

    No one at present has any clear idea how life got started. You seem to be confusing two issues – The origin of self-replicating molecules (and thus of life), and the processes that connect the earliest life to what exists today. The latter process is much studied and well-documented, and all your blustering objections cannot change that. The former is a point on which scientists readily acknowledge their ignorance, and are seeking explanations through science, because (1) science has explained so much else that was presumed inexplicable, and (2) contrary to the claims of proponents of ID, we won’t know what is or isn’t possible unless we actually try to explain it.

  47. The analogy to a computer’s binary code is better, but it is unclear that a desktop PC mirrors the flexibility of a living organism, in which even proponents of ID do not dispute that genetic variations occur and, at a bare minimum, often do no harm. If a computer program could deal with such variations without crashing on the one hand, and preserve advantageous ones on the other, then we’d have an analogy.

    Computers do not self-replicate or self-modify, but replication and modification does occur. If an error turns out to be advantageous it is preserved, sometimes resulting in emergent design within the original intended design. This is artificial selection, sort of like dog breeding. Although that analogy is limited since the dog’s biological system is configured to self-modify via sexual recombination instead of producing straight clones. This source of variation is of course fairly deterministic and is not self-corrected as a source of errors.

    Also, you are likely using a computer right now that has deleterious variations. It’s called Windows XP or Vista and yet the computer does run mostly successfully. Fortunately there are service packs but they also introduce new deleterious variations. Ironically as I was writing this my Firefox web browser had an error with the Java runtime.

    On top of that the error correction mechanisms in biology result in a recoverable error rate of about 1 in 10^10 (perhaps much higher considering recent research). As a comparison, a modern hard drive, the Hitachi 7K500, has an unrecoverable error rate of 1 in 10^14 and a recoverable error rate of 1 in 10^10.

    Heck, biology even has a backup system for error correction. Damage to the DNA can completely block the high-fidelity polymerases so a different DNA polymerase, termed zeta, copies over many types of DNA damage. Unfortunately, it is not very good at matching the right DNA base when there is no damage. But tests where zeta was removed resulted in dead cells and dead mice since without zeta there are breaks in the chromosome.

    It’s been found by engineers that allowing errors to occur and then correcting during replication/reading actually allows for higher copying performance. The reading of compact discs have a huge number of read/write errors (call them mutations if you will) designed into the system which are then corrected via Reed-Solomon coding. One would be inclined to ask why not make more reliable read/write processess so error correction is not needed, and why deliberate design a system with a high error rate? The answer is that if one’s teleological goal are for compactness of storage, according to Shannon’s theorem, this is the optimal way to store data: “allow numerous errors and then correct afterward”.

    The uninitiated however, upon looking at this method of information storage would be inclined to criticize the designers as incompetent. Biologists will say exactly that, “a competent designer would not have made DNA copy mechanisms which require error correction, he would have made a copy process which got it right on the first pass.” That is why they are biologists, not engineers.

    But, yes, there is a definite end to the analogy. That occurs with most analogies. But to suggest that because the analogy is not complete that is somehow positive evidence for Darwinism is ludicrous from my engineering perspective.

    On a side note I’d like to see an AI program that writes an OS within a virtual machine, perhaps using regulated/refined genetic algorithms. Given the correct set of end goals the result might be interesting.

  48. Space shuttles cannot replicate themselves and pass on their ‘blueprints’ to the next generation.

    They are not as well designed as a living cell.

    Evolutionism is a nonstarter without abiogenesis

  49. Space shuttles cannot replicate themselves and pass on their ‘blueprints’ to the next generation. Is that why so many people find ID persuasive? Failure to think through these sorts of flawed analogies?

    What analogy is perfect? The main point is made and you fail to understand it. Instead you dodge the issue by scrutinizing the analogy. What is worse; these analogies or trying to pass off software like AVIDA and others as representing positive evidence for the far-reaching claims of Darwinism?

    You seem to be confusing two issues – The origin of self-replicating molecules (and thus of life), and the processes that connect the earliest life to what exists today.

    Exactly who broached the subject of OOL? I just reviewed what was said above and so far you are the only one.

    The latter process is much studied and well-documented, and all your blustering objections cannot change that.

    Finally! I’ve been asking Darwinists for years to provide this documentation. Show us the web link or the journal it was printed in.

  50. Guys,

    ReligionProf is indeed a hopeless case. I have tried many times to reason with him, but it is wasted time.

    Read his blog, please. It is difficult to bear his general reasonings, but when he comes to discuss about monkeys, probabilities, and mathematics, one can only feel pity (after the rage has faded). And when you require him to substantiate his statistical ramblings (at the level, ususally, of the deck of cards argument, or even worse), his only answer is to affirm that he is not a biologist (true) and does not really understand biology (very, very true), but that all those intelligent and serious scientists out there must certainly be right, and who are we to challenge the official authority?

    His only “arguments” are the appeal to intellectual authority and the fairy tale that we (IDists) are always stating that a conspiracy is taking place. He is unable to distinguish between between cultural pressure aginst the intellectual divergence from any generally approved idea and the neurosis of a conspiracy theory. He is unable to see any difference between YEC (which I don’t agree with, but still respect) and ID. He is not able to distinguish between personal intellectual commitment and mere (and easy) complicity with the stronger.

    But, after all, he is partially right. He is not a biologist, he is not a mathematician. He just spends his time talking on the internet of things he completely misunderstands. Why should we care? A lot of people do that.

    After all, I should perhaps turn my attention to those funny computer programmers at Monash. There is no hope, I suppose, that Monash University may censor, or at least disavowe, their site?

  51. ReligiousProf, “The questions are still left unanswered as to how the first self-replicating molecule(s) came about, but that is a question of chemistry rather than evolution.”

    And perhaps of intelligent input.

    ReligionProf:, “The origin of self-replicating molecules (and thus of life), and the processes that connect the earliest life to what exists today. The latter process is much studied and well-documented, and all your blustering objections cannot change that.”

    Please demonstrate how and when this “much studied and well-documented” blind watchmaker process generated novel cell types, tissue types, organs and body plans. And while you’re at it.

    By the way, do you know what a Rubic’s Cube is? Do you know what a truth table is? (No fair peeking at Wikipedia for the latter.) If so, there’s something I’d like to ask you to demonstrate.

  52. Professor you stated:

    You seem to be confusing two issues – The origin of self-replicating molecules (and thus of life), and the processes that connect the earliest life to what exists today.
    The latter process is much studied and well-documented, and all your blustering objections cannot change that.

    (I wasn’t arguing abiogeneisis by the way,,I just want solid proof of complexity being generated by evolutionary processes) Just Think Professor …what if?… just what if? …all that well documented stuff (for evolution) was wrong… Please Read the following, with just only the possibility that they, on a very off chance, just might actually be wrong. I’m sure if you give the evidence a fair chance you will see the truth.

    NOW Professor,,,This is the hard evidence as to what the almighty power of evolution can do, as summarized by DaveScot in,,

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

    Edge of Evolution I found to be amazing. It presented a case history of a eukaryote (P.falciparum) that has replicated billions of trillions of times within a span of a few decades. More importantly this is one of the most well studied organisms in biology due to its huge toll on human lives. In the last decade we’ve gone beyond phenotype analysis of the bug and have completely sequenced its genotype. This represents the largest test of evolution that we can hope to observe. The result of random mutation + natural selection being given billions of trillions of opportunities to generate significant novel biological complexity was essentially nil. Except for biochemically (but medically important) trivial changes in genotype the bug went exactly nowhere. It’s still the same old P.falciparum as its great grandparents billions of trillions of generations removed. It neither progressed nor regressed in an evolutionary sense.

    All the negative reviews I’ve read of EoE nitpick at minutae while dodging the big picture. The big picture is that P.falciparum under intense scrutiny for billions of trillions of generations did exactly what ID theorists predicted – next to nothing. In contrast the ID deniers tell us over and over that the same evolutionary mechanism (RM+NS), in orders of magnitude fewer generations, turned a lizard into a lemur. Of course that’s a wholly imaginary story because the transformation of reptiles into mammals took hundreds of millions of years so can’t be confirmed by genotype observation. All we have is phenotype evidence based on fossils. Clearly *something* caused the transformation from reptile to mammal but I’ve yet to see any reasonable explanation for the observed failure of P.faciparum to evolve while somehow the same mechanism with fewer opportunities is imagined to have caused reptiles to evolve into mammals. Non sequitur!

    So Professor, there you have it,,,No-zilch-nada proof of evolution, when according to Darwinian claims we should have been flooded with complexity being generated,,,So If you can find some hard proof that refutes this ,,I’m sure I’m not the only one who will want to see it!

  53. Religion Prof.

    I can do what you ask for in #33.

    As for your analogy in #36,

    “Some mean ‘don’t produce a protein’. Some are like punctuation. But they mean something in the same way Christians say God answers all prayers – the answer may be yes or no, but it is still an answer.)”
    it is wrongheaded for one reason, but from both ends. Specification.

    First, when you wrote [they all produce a] meaning [for]“something”, that is different than having the meaning for what has been specified. In response to a prayer for wisdom, I find it unlikely that God’s response would be “pudding” even though “pudding” has meaning. It is this specification that always seems to be lost on those who are committed to RM and NS.

    What you so conveniently left out is the fact that “pudding” is an answer, too, as is “consternation”, “be at peace”, and “Stretch Armstrong”. In fact, there are a host of “non”answers that are . . . answers.

    Second, suppose a Christian prays for wisdom, but is affirmed in silence. That Christian’s response is NOT “Well, I got an answer”. The Christian’s response is “Yes, I got THE answer.” In other words, taken as a whole the answers may be yes or no, for “yes” or “no” are “answers”. However, when the prayer has been specified, “yes OR no” is no longer AN answer.

    Yes, yes, yes, I know that we hear Christians say that they got an answer to prayer, but you should know as well as anyone (or is your institution yet another one that I will be scratching off my list of possible universities that I wil pay for my children to attend? :) ) that they are speaking imprecisely.

    Oh yeah, #33, SPECIFY what you want, and I (with the help of a programmer who knows what he is doing) will FAIRLY show you that at a certain level of complexity, that dog simply don’t hunt.

  54. Professor,,

    I’ve been trying to post a long response to you,,,with much eagerness, I might add…
    But alas it will not go through,,so I will briefly point out that DaveScots post,

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

    points to the best hard evidence we have that evolution is not occurring (though it should be according to evolution) even though given ample opportunity in Malaria and HIV to produce complexity!

    I put my evidence up! Now you put your evidence up of complexity being generated in the real world!

    Referring to genetic similarities as concrete proof is not allowed since that is the point what we are debating!

  55. “Some mean ‘don’t produce a protein’. Some are like punctuation. But they mean something ”

    Hi ReligionProf. I think you are making a mistake here. If you think about DNA as a programming language then perhaps that will help.

    All programming languages operate at different levels when they are being read by a parser and translated into assembly code. Something clearly analogous is going on in the cell when a strand of DNA is fed into a ribosome and is translated into a protein.

    The language is made up of tokens (probably the three letter ammino acids in this case and not the base pairs themselves). These tokens are then parsed and converted into the target product.

    But there are rules governing all of this and any random collection of legal tokens does not automatically make a legal program.

    Keep in mind that our understanding of all of this is still growning, but so far they have discovered the interesting effect on protein folding resulting from so called “neutral mutations” of the token sequence.

    I suspect in time we will discover a whole grammar that determines what makes for a legal sequence of tokens beyond just “any random string of tokens will produce a protein of some sort” as you suggest.

    But hey, that is just the computer scientists in me talking.

  56. It seems that religion is the only subject in public schools in which the teachers don’t need to believe anything they’re teaching.

    Do that in evolutionary biology and they’ll throw you out on your ear.

  57. angryoldfatman,

    Do you think it’s necessary to believe in Zeus in order to teach Greek mythology?

  58. Yeah, but try teaching something politically correct–say “gender” or ethnic studies–and not be a true believer. And then, on the other hand, try teaching religion when you are a believer.

  59. Do you think it’s necessary to believe in Zeus in order to teach Greek mythology?

    No, because the course has the word “mythology” in the name.

    Also, that is a “two wrongs makes a right” fallacy you’re trying to foist off there, as Rude has so succinctly shown with examples.

  60. “make a right”, not “makes a right”, pardon me.

  61. Also, I’m still waiting for that program to evolve the ability to recognize uppercase characters.

  62. 62

    There’s a difference between theology and devotional theology, gentlemen.

  63. It is difficult to bear his general reasonings, but when he comes to discuss about monkeys, probabilities, and mathematics, one can only feel pity (after the rage has faded).

    You’re a better man than I. My rage doesn’t subside when dealing with these clowns. The worst part? That they think they’re better than us. This is why we need to spend more time designing drugs and curing diseases the the Darwinoids have failed at (i.e. HIV, cancer, malaria). You can’t argue with progress.

  64. 64

    Nochange,

    Suffer fools gladly. And you’re right, I think–good science is the way to make progress.

  65. I tried out they’re program and low and behold it couldn’t produce my sentence “what’s the issue here”.

    Guess why?

    It wasn’t “designed” to be able to produce apostrophes! I kept waiting and waiting for a novel mutation of type but it just wasn’t happening.

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