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Darwinian Info Rub

Apeiron
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12/4/2012 9:08:01 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The redudant order of mere shannon information seen in dirt and crystalography is distinct from the type of information that we identify life by: functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but functionally specified.

Darwin is now walking along the Galapagos beach and finds a dodge ram, he inspects the engine, revs it up and goes for a spin. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his Darwinian mechanism?

Darwin thought that inside the cell can be explained by a Darwinian mechanism. But we now know that the inside of a cell is colossally more functionally specified than a dodge ram.

Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

*I'm an Evolutionist, but this is my Darwinian doubt.
Floid
Posts: 751
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12/4/2012 12:50:22 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but :functionally specified.

In light of natural selection, why would you expect organisms not to exhibit functionally specified information?

. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his :Darwinian mechanism?
...
Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the :inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product of Darwinian mechanism as opposed too what? The statement "more reasonable" implies another reasonable alternative, so what is that?

Without an alternative, asking the question "more" reasonable has no meaning.

If your alternative is complex then you haven't solved your problem but merely pushed it out a level which is pointless.

If you do actually have a simple alternative, then I would like to hear it.
Apeiron
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12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 12:50:22 PM, Floid wrote:
functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but :functionally specified.

In light of natural selection, why would you expect organisms not to exhibit functionally specified information?

. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his :Darwinian mechanism?
...
Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the :inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product of Darwinian mechanism as opposed too what? The statement "more reasonable" implies another reasonable alternative, so what is that?

Without an alternative, asking the question "more" reasonable has no meaning.

If your alternative is complex then you haven't solved your problem but merely pushed it out a level which is pointless.

If you do actually have a simple alternative, then I would like to hear it.

The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect. Which is a rival model that claims to explain better the evidence. The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity. We don't have to know about what type of intellect it was, why he left there, what the intellect is made out of, etc. Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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12/5/2012 4:30:49 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 9:08:01 AM, Apeiron wrote:
The redudant order of mere shannon information seen in dirt and crystalography is distinct from the type of information that we identify life by: functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but functionally specified.

Darwin is now walking along the Galapagos beach and finds a dodge ram, he inspects the engine, revs it up and goes for a spin. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his Darwinian mechanism?

Darwin thought that inside the cell can be explained by a Darwinian mechanism. But we now know that the inside of a cell is colossally more functionally specified than a dodge ram.

Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

*I'm an Evolutionist, but this is my Darwinian doubt.

Curiously, you seem to be skimming the surface of what's wrong with Darwin dogmatism. Among the organelles inside cells are mitochondria, which helps it produce the sort of energy necessary to live long and communicate enough to amalgamate into a larger, more complex organism. Mitochondria are not native to cells; instead, they were initially free-moving parasites that would invade cells to use their other organelles to process energy. However, because they made energy production so much more efficient for cells, but they didn't prey on cells in any other way, there was no immune response to them and they also became a permanent organelle.

Darwin had no way of knowing this. He did not include it in his theories. In fact, he claimed that he could fill in all gaps in his theories by postulating that organisms who were not shaped by natural selection were shaped by cooperation between organisms.

He was actually kind of right. A brilliant man, that one, but not everyone who reads his work is. :P
Floid
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12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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12/5/2012 7:03:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/4/2012 12:50:22 PM, Floid wrote:
functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but :functionally specified.

In light of natural selection, why would you expect organisms not to exhibit functionally specified information?

. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his :Darwinian mechanism?
...
Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the :inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product of Darwinian mechanism as opposed too what? The statement "more reasonable" implies another reasonable alternative, so what is that?

Without an alternative, asking the question "more" reasonable has no meaning.

If your alternative is complex then you haven't solved your problem but merely pushed it out a level which is pointless.

If you do actually have a simple alternative, then I would like to hear it.

The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect. Which is a rival model that claims to explain better the evidence. The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity. We don't have to know about what type of intellect it was, why he left there, what the intellect is made out of, etc. Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.

There is a real strong difference. If Darwin took the time to study the Ram, he would recognize that it does not reproduce, and as such does not evolve through the same natural selection as animals.

Of course, to one that studies economics and markets, it most definitely evolved, but rather than by natural selection of nature, it was by natural selection of the market. The features that the market deemed more valuable would be kept, while the features that were less would be weeded out (just like natural selection). As the market changed (just like the environment changes), the products would also continually adapt and evolve to fit in the market (just like animals continually adapt and evolve to fit in their environment).
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 10:20:43 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 4:30:49 AM, Ren wrote:
At 12/4/2012 9:08:01 AM, Apeiron wrote:
The redudant order of mere shannon information seen in dirt and crystalography is distinct from the type of information that we identify life by: functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but functionally specified.

Darwin is now walking along the Galapagos beach and finds a dodge ram, he inspects the engine, revs it up and goes for a spin. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his Darwinian mechanism?

Darwin thought that inside the cell can be explained by a Darwinian mechanism. But we now know that the inside of a cell is colossally more functionally specified than a dodge ram.

Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

*I'm an Evolutionist, but this is my Darwinian doubt.

Curiously, you seem to be skimming the surface of what's wrong with Darwin dogmatism. Among the organelles inside cells are mitochondria, which helps it produce the sort of energy necessary to live long and communicate enough to amalgamate into a larger, more complex organism. Mitochondria are not native to cells; instead, they were initially free-moving parasites that would invade cells to use their other organelles to process energy. However, because they made energy production so much more efficient for cells, but they didn't prey on cells in any other way, there was no immune response to them and they also became a permanent organelle.

Darwin had no way of knowing this. He did not include it in his theories. In fact, he claimed that he could fill in all gaps in his theories by postulating that organisms who were not shaped by natural selection were shaped by cooperation between organisms.

He was actually kind of right. A brilliant man, that one, but not everyone who reads his work is. :P

I agree with the story you paint with the mitochondria, Ren- but I don't see how eases my Darwinian doubt. I honestly didn't think I was skimming the surface here, for talk of functionally specified information seems to be getting at a fundamental part of the cell, which if explained on a Darwinian paradigm, I think seems just fantastic; most folks wouldn't believe it if they didn't already have Darwinian presuppositions. I'm talking about the origin of DNA and the bio equipment needed to process that DNA, which itself needed the DNA- it's a chicken-egg situation that the Miller Urey experiment failed to explain (with RNA first models) because of the geo evidence showing a different atmosphere than what such experiments presuppose.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 10:25:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 7:03:57 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/4/2012 12:50:22 PM, Floid wrote:
functionally specified information, which isn't just complex--but :functionally specified.

In light of natural selection, why would you expect organisms not to exhibit functionally specified information?

. Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product his :Darwinian mechanism?
...
Herein lies the rub, would Darwin be more reasonable to think that the :inside of a cell is the product of his Darwinian mechanism?

Would he be more reasonable to think that the ram was the product of Darwinian mechanism as opposed too what? The statement "more reasonable" implies another reasonable alternative, so what is that?

Without an alternative, asking the question "more" reasonable has no meaning.

If your alternative is complex then you haven't solved your problem but merely pushed it out a level which is pointless.

If you do actually have a simple alternative, then I would like to hear it.

The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect. Which is a rival model that claims to explain better the evidence. The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity. We don't have to know about what type of intellect it was, why he left there, what the intellect is made out of, etc. Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.

There is a real strong difference. If Darwin took the time to study the Ram, he would recognize that it does not reproduce, and as such does not evolve through the same natural selection as animals.

Of course, to one that studies economics and markets, it most definitely evolved, but rather than by natural selection of nature, it was by natural selection of the market. The features that the market deemed more valuable would be kept, while the features that were less would be weeded out (just like natural selection). As the market changed (just like the environment changes), the products would also continually adapt and evolve to fit in the market (just like animals continually adapt and evolve to fit in their environment).

That analogy wasn't meant to claim that natural selection can't take over whence organisms reproduce, etc. Rather the type of complexity in the cell is what's in contention here. My question was would Darwin explain with his same mechanism the origin of DNA and the machines that need DNA to process DNA for a cell to reproduce. So it gets more fundamental.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 10:41:13 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM, Floid wrote:
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?

Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Then you assume the intelligent designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. There are explanations in science that go contrary to simplicity all the time and it's still considered good science. So being simple does't always represent an advance in explanation. This is phil of sci 101.

But leave that aside, insofar as it remains inexplicable how material bodies could act on minds to produce ideas, than one can be open to an un-embodied mind, a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. For a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas"it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus", but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So don't confuse a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the origin of life most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.
Dirty.Harry
Posts: 1,585
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12/5/2012 12:53:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 10:41:13 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM, Floid wrote:
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?

Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Then you assume the intelligent designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. There are explanations in science that go contrary to simplicity all the time and it's still considered good science. So being simple does't always represent an advance in explanation. This is phil of sci 101.

But leave that aside, insofar as it remains inexplicable how material bodies could act on minds to produce ideas, than one can be open to an un-embodied mind, a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. For a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas"it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus", but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So don't confuse a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the origin of life most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

Great post.

Harry.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 1:32:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Thank you Harry.

Please note though everyone that I'm not saying an un-embodied mind was the actual cause of the information necessary for life, just that it could remain a possible candidate for all we know.

My point was that we don't need to explain the explanation- that's all: the designer could be aliens like in the movie Prometheus, or whatever.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 1:45:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 12:53:18 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/5/2012 10:41:13 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM, Floid wrote:
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?

Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Then you assume the intelligent designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. There are explanations in science that go contrary to simplicity all the time and it's still considered good science. So being simple does't always represent an advance in explanation. This is phil of sci 101.

But leave that aside, insofar as it remains inexplicable how material bodies could act on minds to produce ideas, than one can be open to an un-embodied mind, a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. For a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas"it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus", but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So don't confuse a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the origin of life most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

Great post.

Harry.

This is actually the scientific reasoning used to refute Dawkins book, the God delusion:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...
Floid
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12/5/2012 2:03:48 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

But that analogy isn't valid because we have evidence that humans existed before us. So a more proper analogy would be what is more reasonable: for the archeologist to infer the artifacts were created by an unknown group of people (A), were the result of chance sedimentation (B), or were put there from some non-human and otherwise completely unknown and undetected intelligence (C)?

If we were to order those from most reasonable to least reasonable I think we would probably agree A, B, and C is the order. Why? Well we have evidence of humans and evidence humans created artifacts such as these. B is second most likely because while the chances of it may seem unlikely, we can see a clear path how it is possible using the rules of physics. C seems a little ludicrous because it is simply hypothesis with no basis in the current understanding of science.

For evolution, explanation A doesn't enter into the equation so we are stuck with B and C. B has a clear path using the rules of biology and physics and has evidence found in numerous fields of study. C is stuck in the slightly ludicrous land still.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

Like all your analogies, this one doesn't really apply because it isn't self replicating and therefore could not have evolved. If we found self-replicating machinery then we might also hypothesis the machinery evolved. We could then start testing that hypothesis by looking for a scrap yard of older, less complex machines, studying the mechanisms of those machines replication to find all kinds of interesting genetic coding that links to their evolution, look at the population distribution of the machines and seeing if that agreed with the evolutionary hypothesis, etc.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed.

Quite the opposite. The only that would destroy science is no longer trying to push the frontier of ignorance by trying to find and explanation for the explanation.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 2:14:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 2:03:48 PM, Floid wrote:
Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

But that analogy isn't valid because we have evidence that humans existed before us. So a more proper analogy would be what is more reasonable: for the archeologist to infer the artifacts were created by an unknown group of people (A), were the result of chance sedimentation (B), or were put there from some non-human and otherwise completely unknown and undetected intelligence (C)?

If we were to order those from most reasonable to least reasonable I think we would probably agree A, B, and C is the order. Why? Well we have evidence of humans and evidence humans created artifacts such as these. B is second most likely because while the chances of it may seem unlikely, we can see a clear path how it is possible using the rules of physics. C seems a little ludicrous because it is simply hypothesis with no basis in the current understanding of science.

For evolution, explanation A doesn't enter into the equation so we are stuck with B and C. B has a clear path using the rules of biology and physics and has evidence found in numerous fields of study. C is stuck in the slightly ludicrous land still.


If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

Like all your analogies, this one doesn't really apply because it isn't self replicating and therefore could not have evolved. If we found self-replicating machinery then we might also hypothesis the machinery evolved. We could then start testing that hypothesis by looking for a scrap yard of older, less complex machines, studying the mechanisms of those machines replication to find all kinds of interesting genetic coding that links to their evolution, look at the population distribution of the machines and seeing if that agreed with the evolutionary hypothesis, etc.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed.

Quite the opposite. The only that would destroy science is no longer trying to push the frontier of ignorance by trying to find and explanation for the explanation.

Sir, with respect pushing back the frontier of ignorance doesn't at all include the requirement to have an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation of an explanation
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 2:14:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
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Apeiron
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12/5/2012 2:22:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Science doesn't require an infinite regress of explanations for why space is united with time, for why we think the proto-planet Theia collided with Earth and became trapped in our orbit, for how the red shift of distant galaxies is evidence for an expanding universe.

Your requirement for an infinite regress of explanations, Floid, would destroy the science-project of building on these theories to advance the discovery of reality.

I'm embarrassed to suggest a phil of sci class if this is still not obvious :-/
slo1
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12/5/2012 4:24:55 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM, Apeiron wrote:
Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.


Time. It is the earmark of time.

What about the loss of specified complexity such as a fish that lives in cave that looses it's eyes?

What about this genetic trait which is rather complex? Some people have a gene, which causes more production of dopamine in the brain, giving more feeling of pleasure when drinking alcohol. http://www.newsdaily.com...

Is that intelligent design? Most would attribute that to genetic drift caused when selection pressures are low, allowing mutations to be passed to offspring.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 5:17:06 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 4:24:55 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM, Apeiron wrote:
Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.


Time. It is the earmark of time.

How so? Aren't we vastly more acquainted with mind producing functional information than a theory which presupposes it does?

What about the loss of specified complexity such as a fish that lives in cave that looses it's eyes?

Interesting you mention that, normally such loss of functional complexity supports ID instead, curious..

What about this genetic trait which is rather complex? Some people have a gene, which causes more production of dopamine in the brain, giving more feeling of pleasure when drinking alcohol. http://www.newsdaily.com...

Is that intelligent design? Most would attribute that to genetic drift caused when selection pressures are low, allowing mutations to be passed to offspring.

What is your point here? Just because you think some design is bad, doesn't entail that it isn't designed... ever drive a Ford? But even so, we should be careful since most arguments like these end up being laughably false as it's found that what we initially thought was a bad design, turns out to be necessary for some other very good thing. So I'd temper that argument by the evidence, see ENCODE.

That 'time' argument would work if one is already presupposing the existence of genes (in order to explain them). But leave that aside, time ISN'T on Darwin's side here! Barrow and Tipler list ten steps in the theory that before each of which were to occur, then the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star, and would've engulfed our planet...

I know that if we increase the probabilistic resources, then anything is tenable, but not plausible compared to other theories of Design. That's why you want so much time but geochemical data shows RNA first models, like the Urey Miller experiment, are untenable since the atmospheric conditions were different than what such experiments presupposed. Hence you're point is even more constrained on time... oh yea, then there's the cambrian explosion. Talk about oodles of time ;-)
Wnope
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12/5/2012 6:37:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 10:41:13 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM, Floid wrote:
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?

Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Then you assume the intelligent designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. There are explanations in science that go contrary to simplicity all the time and it's still considered good science. So being simple does't always represent an advance in explanation. This is phil of sci 101.

But leave that aside, insofar as it remains inexplicable how material bodies could act on minds to produce ideas, than one can be open to an un-embodied mind, a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. For a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas"it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus", but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So don't confuse a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the origin of life most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

This is a faulty analogy and one of the core problems with Intelligent Design.

In each example, we know what to look for. We've seen people make arrowhead and machines, so if we discover something looking like that we say "oh, it had a designer."

But let's say the astronaught goes to a planet, and he finds a ten foot blarg in the middle of a canyon. The Blarg is complex and will Blop if you push it.

Should he assume this was intelligently designed?

No, because he has no reference point.

Similarly, there is no reference for what we should be looking for in biological design. To point to complexity and say "it is design" is exactly as coherent as pointing to the complexity of a blarg and saying it was designed.

Also, do you consider it to be increased specified information if a gene duplication leads to a function that was previously not possible?
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 9:12:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 6:37:18 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 12/5/2012 10:41:13 AM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 6:55:14 AM, Floid wrote:
The rival hypothesis implied in the dodge ram analogy is design my intellect.

But intellect is complex, so what is the origin of that complexity? Your answer to the problem is an infinite regress. That is an unreasonable answer.

The best explanation of the evidence can be the simpler of the two, but it doesn't have to be. For if Darwin were to say some intelligence made that dodge ram, then that's sufficient to explain the type of complexity.

In science, you don't get to just make up an answer to a problem. The default answer is "we don't know.". You can't just make up an answer and prefer your answer to not knowing without evidence.

Why do planets orbit the sun? Some intelligence makes them follow that path. Sufficient explanation, right?

Your argument is predicated on an outdated and untenable Humeian empiricism, in order to recognize an explanation as the best, one needn't have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point concerning inference to the best explanation as practiced in the philosophy of science. I

For example, if archaeologists digging in the earth were to discover things looking like arrowheads and hatchet heads and pottery shards, they would be justified in inferring that these artifacts are not the chance result of sedimentation and metamorphosis, but products of some unknown group of people, even though they had no explanation of who these people were or where they came from.

If astronauts were to come upon a pile of machinery on the back side of the moon, they would be justified in inferring that it was the product of intelligent, extra-terrestrial agents, even if they had no idea whatsoever who these extra-terrestrial agents were or how they got there.

In fact, so requiring an explanation of the explanation would lead to an infinite regress of explanations, so that nothing could ever be explained and science would be destroyed. So in the case at hand, in order to recognize that intelligent design is the best explanation of the appearance of design in the universe, one needn't be able to explain the designer.

Then you assume the intelligent designer is just as complex as the thing to be explained, so that no explanatory advance is made. This objection raises all sorts of questions about the role played by simplicity in assessing competing explanations; for example, how simplicity is to be weighted in comparison with other criteria like explanatory power, explanatory scope, and so forth. There are explanations in science that go contrary to simplicity all the time and it's still considered good science. So being simple does't always represent an advance in explanation. This is phil of sci 101.

But leave that aside, insofar as it remains inexplicable how material bodies could act on minds to produce ideas, than one can be open to an un-embodied mind, a remarkably simple, non-physical entity. For a mind is not composed of parts, and its salient properties, like self-consciousness, rationality, and volition, are essential to it.

Certainly such a mind may have complex ideas"it may be thinking, for example, of the infinitesimal calculus", but the mind itself is a remarkably simple entity. So don't confuse a mind's ideas, which may, indeed, be complex, with a mind itself, which is an incredibly simple entity. Therefore, postulating a divine mind behind the origin of life most definitely does represent an advance in simplicity, for whatever that is worth.

This is a faulty analogy and one of the core problems with Intelligent Design.

In each example, we know what to look for. We've seen people make arrowhead and machines, so if we discover something looking like that we say "oh, it had a designer."

But let's say the astronaught goes to a planet, and he finds a ten foot blarg in the middle of a canyon. The Blarg is complex and will Blop if you push it.

Should he assume this was intelligently designed?

No, because he has no reference point.

Similarly, there is no reference for what we should be looking for in biological design. To point to complexity and say "it is design" is exactly as coherent as pointing to the complexity of a blarg and saying it was designed.

Also, do you consider it to be increased specified information if a gene duplication leads to a function that was previously not possible?

As to your last question Wnope, molecular experiments of the last couple decades show by far species reusing existing information in a new context, not originating new functionally specified info. Also, since supposedly adaptive evolution can cause a species to gain, lose, or modify a function, it's of basic interest to determine whether any of these modes dominates the evolutionary process under particular circumstances. But the results of decades of experimental laboratory evolution studies shows that at the molecular level, loss-of-function and diminishing modification-of-function adaptive mutations predominate.

Out of all the experiments, leaving out those experiments with viruses in which specific genetic elements were intentionally deleted and then restored by subsequent evolution, only two gain-of-function events have been reported:

1) The development of the ability of a fucose regulatory protein to respond to darabinose (Lin and Wu 1984)

2) The antibiotic gene capture by f1 (Sachs and Bull 2005)

Because the rate of mutations that diminish the function of a feature is expected to be much higher than the rate of appearance of a new feature, so adaptive loss-of-function or modification-of-function mutations that decrease activity are expected to appear first, by far, in a population under selective pressure. This is why we now have the first rule of Adaptive Evoltion":

Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.

See experiments by (Ferenci (2008), (Stone and Wray 2001), (Lang et al. 2009), ... there's more if you'd like- I've got two decades worth of experiments to reference.

Now as to the rest of what you wrote that's just simple fantasy, no rationally minded skeptic would remain one if he found machinery on a planet that exhibited functional specificity.

Folks at NASA monitoring for ET communications have criteria to say whether some cosmic radio signal exhibits mere shannon info or functionally specified info. Why? Why would they have such criteria if they didn't think the latter type of info was the product of mind?
Wnope
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12/5/2012 9:54:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 9:12:29 PM, Apeiron wrote:

You haven't really answered my question. I asked if a gene duplication leading to a novel trait like niche exploitation would count as new information. I'm well aware of what IDers think about overall trends.

Why did you use the word "machinery?" That, again, references a concept we already know of that is designed.

My point is that your argument fails in that simply pointing to complexity does not indicate design unless accompanied by a reference to previous knowledge of the designer.

So, when you look at a flagella, just seeing complexity doesn't imply a designer.

As to NASA, could you show where it says they're looking for functionally specified information? Because I'm pretty sure they're looking for a variation of their own signal. If aliens transmit a message in ultraviolet to NASA, they would not claim contact. However, if they transmit on the same radiowaves that humans have manipulated to broadcast noises, then we'd identify aliens.

If aliens communicate, say, by using the amplitudes of radio waves but considers all other measurement irrelevant, then what they would call a crystal clear signal would sound to NASA like noise. NASA is doing the same thing the archeologist and astronaut do.
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 10:13:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 9:54:27 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 12/5/2012 9:12:29 PM, Apeiron wrote:

You haven't really answered my question. I asked if a gene duplication leading to a novel trait like niche exploitation would count as new information. I'm well aware of what IDers think about overall trends.

Why did you use the word "machinery?" That, again, references a concept we already know of that is designed.

My point is that your argument fails in that simply pointing to complexity does not indicate design unless accompanied by a reference to previous knowledge of the designer.

So, when you look at a flagella, just seeing complexity doesn't imply a designer.

As to NASA, could you show where it says they're looking for functionally specified information? Because I'm pretty sure they're looking for a variation of their own signal. If aliens transmit a message in ultraviolet to NASA, they would not claim contact. However, if they transmit on the same radiowaves that humans have manipulated to broadcast noises, then we'd identify aliens.

If aliens communicate, say, by using the amplitudes of radio waves but considers all other measurement irrelevant, then what they would call a crystal clear signal would sound to NASA like noise. NASA is doing the same thing the archeologist and astronaut do.

I'm not familiar with the term niche exploitation so you'd have to explain what you mean there. Also you'll have to clearly define what you mean by 'reference point' since that can mean a few things, if it means something to which we already have knowledge about, well then that's presupposing that we must know all things to learn anything, and so is clearly a reductio ad absurdum.

I appeal now to the principle of charity since my argument seems to be misrepresented. My argument isn't that mere complexity implies design. Rather it's that functionally specified complexity implies design. Dirt is complex, but your computer has functionally specified information and so is the earmark of intellect.

I've already shown that we needn't have a so called reference point or prior knowledge of what the designer is in order to recognize that design is the best explanation. Reference what I've said above to Floid about not needing an explanation of an explanation. If he's sincere then I believe he got my point.

This previous knowledge of the designer isn't required to notice that something is designed, for that would imply we need an infinite series of explanations in science.

But leave that aside, in fact we DO have previous knowledge of designers! You can't fault the ID theorists for being pseudo-scientific if they use the same type of reasoning that Darwin used. Namely, explain events in the past with reference to things we know of today (good only uniformitarianism). IDists reference what they find today (intellect is always and only responsible for the functionally specified information we create).
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 10:20:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
You seem to be getting lost in what I meant to convey in the analogies (which can be easy with analogies, its why they're only analogous I guess ;-)

White noise is shannon information, it has no functionally specified pattern, it's not code. Astronauts aren't surprised when they find shannon info (rocks, say) but are if they find a functionally specified pattern, archeologists not knowing some ancient language or even if it was a language would be able to identify as design a functionally specified pattern on a cave apart from mere shannon info of fractalized markings from wind and sand and moisture, etc.

I really think once we understand the difference between a functionally specified pattern and a shannon pattern, we see that IDists have a point.
Wnope
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12/5/2012 10:48:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 10:13:30 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 9:54:27 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 12/5/2012 9:12:29 PM, Apeiron wrote:

You haven't really answered my question. I asked if a gene duplication leading to a novel trait like niche exploitation would count as new information. I'm well aware of what IDers think about overall trends.

Why did you use the word "machinery?" That, again, references a concept we already know of that is designed.

My point is that your argument fails in that simply pointing to complexity does not indicate design unless accompanied by a reference to previous knowledge of the designer.

So, when you look at a flagella, just seeing complexity doesn't imply a designer.

As to NASA, could you show where it says they're looking for functionally specified information? Because I'm pretty sure they're looking for a variation of their own signal. If aliens transmit a message in ultraviolet to NASA, they would not claim contact. However, if they transmit on the same radiowaves that humans have manipulated to broadcast noises, then we'd identify aliens.

If aliens communicate, say, by using the amplitudes of radio waves but considers all other measurement irrelevant, then what they would call a crystal clear signal would sound to NASA like noise. NASA is doing the same thing the archeologist and astronaut do.

I'm not familiar with the term niche exploitation so you'd have to explain what you mean there. Also you'll have to clearly define what you mean by 'reference point' since that can mean a few things, if it means something to which we already have knowledge about, well then that's presupposing that we must know all things to learn anything, and so is clearly a reductio ad absurdum.

I appeal now to the principle of charity since my argument seems to be misrepresented. My argument isn't that mere complexity implies design. Rather it's that functionally specified complexity implies design. Dirt is complex, but your computer has functionally specified information and so is the earmark of intellect.

I've already shown that we needn't have a so called reference point or prior knowledge of what the designer is in order to recognize that design is the best explanation. Reference what I've said above to Floid about not needing an explanation of an explanation. If he's sincere then I believe he got my point.

This previous knowledge of the designer isn't required to notice that something is designed, for that would imply we need an infinite series of explanations in science.

But leave that aside, in fact we DO have previous knowledge of designers! You can't fault the ID theorists for being pseudo-scientific if they use the same type of reasoning that Darwin used. Namely, explain events in the past with reference to things we know of today (good only uniformitarianism). IDists reference what they find today (intellect is always and only responsible for the functionally specified information we create).

Niche exploitation means the trait allows an animal to enter an entirely new habitat which it can exploit. For instance, if an animal can suddenly survive sub-artic temperatures, the gene duplication confers a function, namely the resulting protein's ability to neutralize freezing temperatures.

By "reference point" I mean that we can look into our intellectual history and see that people actually designed machines and arrowheads.

However, an alien who just came to our planet might come and find a bunch of arrowheads but consider it no different than rocks which are abnormally smooth due to water or abnormally sharp due to obsidian or abnormally symmerical, etc. Why should this new-to-earth alien look at an arrowhead and say that it, as opposed to other rocks, was designed?

Now, let's say that said alien comes from a strange planet where the best way to fight off monsters is by throwing the smoothest rocks you can find at it.

The alien comes across a dried creek bed and sees an entire ditch full of smooth rocks, perfect for killing monsters. How is it that dozens of smooth rocks can end up in the same place, he asks? The probability of no design is as small to him as it would be to a human archeologist who finds a creek bed full of arrowheads.

So why is the alien wrong and the archeologist right?
Apeiron
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12/5/2012 11:24:37 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 10:48:17 PM, Wnope wrote:


Niche exploitation means the trait allows an animal to enter an entirely new habitat which it can exploit. For instance, if an animal can suddenly survive sub-artic temperatures, the gene duplication confers a function, namely the resulting protein's ability to neutralize freezing temperatures.

By "reference point" I mean that we can look into our intellectual history and see that people actually designed machines and arrowheads.

However, an alien who just came to our planet might come and find a bunch of arrowheads but consider it no different than rocks which are abnormally smooth due to water or abnormally sharp due to obsidian or abnormally symmerical, etc. Why should this new-to-earth alien look at an arrowhead and say that it, as opposed to other rocks, was designed?

Now, let's say that said alien comes from a strange planet where the best way to fight off monsters is by throwing the smoothest rocks you can find at it.

The alien comes across a dried creek bed and sees an entire ditch full of smooth rocks, perfect for killing monsters. How is it that dozens of smooth rocks can end up in the same place, he asks? The probability of no design is as small to him as it would be to a human archeologist who finds a creek bed full of arrowheads.

So why is the alien wrong and the archeologist right?

I'm glad that in the sea of misunderstandings associated with neo-Darwinianism, that we can so fast a point of focus; which is thankfully an easier one and a relatively uncontroversial distinction. That is, the distinction between mere shannon info & functionally specified info.

But first regarding your question on niche exploitation, I actually did answer that then if "gene duplication confers a function" has anything to do with a gain of function vs a loss or modification of function. I even cited experiments showing that a general rule is to be used, to break or blunt when it comes to adaptation. So that should answer that.

Regarding your reference point what I said applies if you mean it like that and so I won't say anything further here since I think I've shown how untenable and absurd such a notion of a reference point is. It seems to be a contrived extremist version of empiricism.

Your alien-rock analogy was a good one! Definitely works towards your point and so I can see that if we are anti-real about conveying meaning to things in biology, then perhaps there is really no such thing as functionally specified info and it would really be a pattern that can be picked out as one thing over the other- really all we're left with is complexity that emerges more complexity.

However that seems to be a pricey intellectual cost in order to avoid the inference of the actuality of design from its appearance. For the alien can 'see' rounded rocks have a function, but it's not specifically complex, the repeated crystallography is redundant despite it having a function applied to it by a specifically complex alien.

Likewise the arrow head may have been due to natural processes or it may have been the result of native americans, we know it's the latter since we know it's human habbit. But the cave 'writings' would be surprising since that's a bit more obvious, then we come to an even more obvious and apparent design, distinct parts and machinery (machinery qua machinery- yes as we know of it even if we don't know what it does- call it flagella) machinery on some planet- you'd be more reasonable to be surprised than to believe in scientific anti-realism, that "machinery is just a useful fiction for describing this stuff" .. and for what? just to avoid what's so obvious?

A thing to be said of flagella. Hundreds of years before we could ever observe flagella and other such molecular machines, human beings were inventing them for their purposes, we were intellects creating functionally specified info... oh but now once we find even more elaborate machines and epi-machines, somehow it makes no difference whether you call human made mills designed or not if you find one and never knew they existed. And if we never made or found such machines in cells or on earth, and still found it behind the moon enlarged and made out of hardened moon-dirt, no one would spout scientific anti-realism there. What you're asking is a tall order that I think has major implications for understanding reality.
Wnope
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12/6/2012 4:12:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 11:24:37 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 10:48:17 PM, Wnope wrote:


Niche exploitation means the trait allows an animal to enter an entirely new habitat which it can exploit. For instance, if an animal can suddenly survive sub-artic temperatures, the gene duplication confers a function, namely the resulting protein's ability to neutralize freezing temperatures.

By "reference point" I mean that we can look into our intellectual history and see that people actually designed machines and arrowheads.

However, an alien who just came to our planet might come and find a bunch of arrowheads but consider it no different than rocks which are abnormally smooth due to water or abnormally sharp due to obsidian or abnormally symmerical, etc. Why should this new-to-earth alien look at an arrowhead and say that it, as opposed to other rocks, was designed?

Now, let's say that said alien comes from a strange planet where the best way to fight off monsters is by throwing the smoothest rocks you can find at it.

The alien comes across a dried creek bed and sees an entire ditch full of smooth rocks, perfect for killing monsters. How is it that dozens of smooth rocks can end up in the same place, he asks? The probability of no design is as small to him as it would be to a human archeologist who finds a creek bed full of arrowheads.

So why is the alien wrong and the archeologist right?

I'm glad that in the sea of misunderstandings associated with neo-Darwinianism, that we can so fast a point of focus; which is thankfully an easier one and a relatively uncontroversial distinction. That is, the distinction between mere shannon info & functionally specified info.

But first regarding your question on niche exploitation, I actually did answer that then if "gene duplication confers a function" has anything to do with a gain of function vs a loss or modification of function. I even cited experiments showing that a general rule is to be used, to break or blunt when it comes to adaptation. So that should answer that.

Regarding your reference point what I said applies if you mean it like that and so I won't say anything further here since I think I've shown how untenable and absurd such a notion of a reference point is. It seems to be a contrived extremist version of empiricism.

Your alien-rock analogy was a good one! Definitely works towards your point and so I can see that if we are anti-real about conveying meaning to things in biology, then perhaps there is really no such thing as functionally specified info and it would really be a pattern that can be picked out as one thing over the other- really all we're left with is complexity that emerges more complexity.

However that seems to be a pricey intellectual cost in order to avoid the inference of the actuality of design from its appearance. For the alien can 'see' rounded rocks have a function, but it's not specifically complex, the repeated crystallography is redundant despite it having a function applied to it by a specifically complex alien.

Likewise the arrow head may have been due to natural processes or it may have been the result of native americans, we know it's the latter since we know it's human habbit. But the cave 'writings' would be surprising since that's a bit more obvious, then we come to an even more obvious and apparent design, distinct parts and machinery (machinery qua machinery- yes as we know of it even if we don't know what it does- call it flagella) machinery on some planet- you'd be more reasonable to be surprised than to believe in scientific anti-realism, that "machinery is just a useful fiction for describing this stuff" .. and for what? just to avoid what's so obvious?

A thing to be said of flagella. Hundreds of years before we could ever observe flagella and other such molecular machines, human beings were inventing them for their purposes, we were intellects creating functionally specified info... oh but now once we find even more elaborate machines and epi-machines, somehow it makes no difference whether you call human made mills designed or not if you find one and never knew they existed. And if we never made or found such machines in cells or on earth, and still found it behind the moon enlarged and made out of hardened moon-dirt, no one would spout scientific anti-realism there. What you're asking is a tall order that I think has major implications for understanding reality.

The anti-realist twist is unnecessary. Syntax of any sort is never intrinsic to the physics/biology. A system may be describable in multiple ways, yet we do not say the system itself is arbitrary or unreal. No epistemological sacrifice is needed. (http://www.trinity.edu...)

"Likewise the arrow head may have been due to natural processes or it may have been the result of native americans, we know it's the latter since we know it's human habbit."

"For the alien can 'see' rounded rocks have a function, but it's not specifically complex, the repeated crystallography is redundant despite it having a function applied to it by a specifically complex alien."

The example you gave is arrowheads, so for now let's not introduce new symbols until we work out whether discovering an arrowhead could lead to design (i.e. let's hold off on whether languages indicate design till we're past step 1).

How is that an arrowhead can be made through "natural processes" yet would be described as having substantially greater specified information than an alien weapon made through "natural processes?" Wouldn't this indicate natural processes increasing specified complexity of a system (i.e. the rock which becomes an arrowhead)?
slo1
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12/6/2012 7:45:09 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 5:17:06 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/5/2012 4:24:55 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 12/4/2012 2:57:59 PM, Apeiron wrote:
Simply, functionally specified complexity is the earmark of mind. And I'd like to know how it couldn't be.


Time. It is the earmark of time.

How so? Aren't we vastly more acquainted with mind producing functional information than a theory which presupposes it does?

What about the loss of specified complexity such as a fish that lives in cave that looses it's eyes?

Interesting you mention that, normally such loss of functional complexity supports ID instead, curious..

I'm not following how a loss of a functional complexity supports ID, especially when there are often vestiges of the functional complexity in question, which would point towards the function as no longer relevant to selection, not a designer pulling pranks.

What about this genetic trait which is rather complex? Some people have a gene, which causes more production of dopamine in the brain, giving more feeling of pleasure when drinking alcohol. http://www.newsdaily.com...

Is that intelligent design? Most would attribute that to genetic drift caused when selection pressures are low, allowing mutations to be passed to offspring.

What is your point here? Just because you think some design is bad, doesn't entail that it isn't designed... ever drive a Ford?

So if I understand you correctly, you believe the existing DNA pool and variance in humanity is exactly the same as it was when humanity was created and there is no opportunity for mutations to change the traits of humanity as a whole over time?

Either you believe in the ability for DNA to change over time or you don't. If you don't then you are ignoring tremendous scientific fact discovered every day. If you do, then you have to be open to the possibility that DNA can change so drastically over time that a population of living organisms changed so that they can no longer reproduce with a population they used to be.

But even so, we should be careful since most arguments like these end up being laughably false as it's found that what we initially thought was a bad design, turns out to be necessary for some other very good thing. So I'd temper that argument by the evidence, see ENCODE.

That 'time' argument would work if one is already presupposing the existence of genes (in order to explain them). But leave that aside, time ISN'T on Darwin's side here! Barrow and Tipler list ten steps in the theory that before each of which were to occur, then the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star, and would've engulfed our planet...

I know that if we increase the probabilistic resources, then anything is tenable, but not plausible compared to other theories of Design. That's why you want so much time but geochemical data shows RNA first models, like the Urey Miller experiment, are untenable since the atmospheric conditions were different than what such experiments presupposed. :

That assumes you are not considering alternative explanations such as comets

Hence you're point is even more constrained on time... oh yea, then there's the cambrian explosion. Talk about oodles of time ;-)

Even Darwin understood the Cambrian explosion was a significant example which could be used to argue against his theory because of the relatively sudden diversity of life. That however does not mean there is not an explanation for it other than ID. Since it is a mystery, anyone claiming to know what caused it is just guessing.
Floid
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12/6/2012 11:05:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/5/2012 2:14:46 PM, Apeiron wrote:
... I think you see my point.

The point I see is that you don't understand science.

There are three possible ways to explain a phenomenon:

1.) Create a scientific hypothesis supported by evidence (scientific method).
2.) Make up an answer that pleases you.
3.) Say "I don't know".

Cases 1 and 3 are scientific, you either have a hypothesis supported by evidence or you can admit you don't know. But you like answer 2, which leaves the realm of science and ventures into the realm of religion.

So science has an answer for an answer for an answer until it gets to "I don't know but I will try to figure it out." When it figures that layer out it says "Ok In understand that but now why is it this way and not some other way?"

Your point of view has an answer for an answer (borrowed from science by the way) until it gets to what science hasn't figured out for it. Then it pops in and says "Hah, God did that!". Or if the science disagrees with the religious point of view enough, the religious point of view just disregards the science and says "That is impossible, God had to do that!"

So science embraces the regression of questions when religion says "Enough, thats where God takes over". Then when science figures out another layer, religion says "Ok great, but THAT is where God takes over".
Apeiron
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12/6/2012 2:37:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/6/2012 11:05:52 AM, Floid wrote:
At 12/5/2012 2:14:46 PM, Apeiron wrote:
... I think you see my point.

The point I see is that you don't understand science.

There are three possible ways to explain a phenomenon:

1.) Create a scientific hypothesis supported by evidence (scientific method).
2.) Make up an answer that pleases you.
3.) Say "I don't know".

Cases 1 and 3 are scientific, you either have a hypothesis supported by evidence or you can admit you don't know. But you like answer 2, which leaves the realm of science and ventures into the realm of religion.

So science has an answer for an answer for an answer until it gets to "I don't know but I will try to figure it out." When it figures that layer out it says "Ok In understand that but now why is it this way and not some other way?"

Your point of view has an answer for an answer (borrowed from science by the way) until it gets to what science hasn't figured out for it. Then it pops in and says "Hah, God did that!". Or if the science disagrees with the religious point of view enough, the religious point of view just disregards the science and says "That is impossible, God had to do that!"

So science embraces the regression of questions when religion says "Enough, thats where God takes over". Then when science figures out another layer, religion says "Ok great, but THAT is where God takes over".

Pejorative silly talk of how I don't understand science, then constructing an obscure sketch of how to explain a phenomena; all reminds me of creationist silly talk.

What they'll do is tell an atheist how they don't understand the bible (well or science), then present a rough sketch on methodology (the kind that conforms better to their case, no surprise).

Which leaves me to a question that I dare not ask since I pride myself in obtaining from pejorative silly talk, I guess then I'll just never know if you're a closet creationist!
-)

Anyhow those so called "3 possible ways to explain a phenomenon" wouldn't be taken serious in my department of the history & philosophy of science at Pitt, a school well known for its philosophy, whatever its worth.

Simply creating a scientific hypothesis that is supported by evidence is not the one true blue method of science, indeed there isn't even a "scientific method" ... there's scientific methodology! (know your religion ;-)

For instance, there's the hypothetico deductive model which is the method that you seem to want to articulate in your 1, HDM forms a hypothesis (FIRST), then derives testing implications along with boundary conditions from the hypothesis, then the scientist analyzes if observations corroborate with the hypothesis. But even this method is incomplete, so it needs what's called an "Eclectic Model (EM)." Which I wont get into but let's say it's a bit more involved than the simple 1-2-3 ;-)

Plus not to mention the method of Inductivism, which is what Mendel tried using, where any laws derived are a compilation of observational facts in a general form. But since presuppositionless facts are a fable in science no one takes this method serious anymore.

But leave all that aside, we're not here to do scientific methodology, we're here to evaluate scientific claims. And what's the philosophy on that you may ask? Well here it is,

1) Do the predictions of neo-Darwinianism Model fit the experimental & observational Data?

2) If so, then is the probability that the [predictions of neo-Darwinianism] on the [reality of it's falsehood] greater than 50%?

3) If no, than the best that can be concluded is this: that [the data gives evidence that neo-Darwinianism fits reality]

4) If yes (to 2), then it is [inconclusive whether neo-Darwinianism fits reality]

So our contention really comes down to 2. And you've not adequately shown how neo-Darwinianism isn't inconclusive given the alternative of ID.

(this is the most modern form of theoretical scientific evaluation there is in the philosophy of science btw, see: Geire, Bickle, Mauldin 2006)

Now you say I like your #2, which is silly, I've never claimed religion in explaining functionally specified info in cellular machines, I've only appealed to the only causal model we see around us today- intellect creates functionally specified info. That's the rub. YOU'RE the one who desperately needs to make it into a religion, full stop.

This,

"Ok I understand that but now why is it this way and not some other way?"

..is perfectly sound, it doesn't lead to an infinite regress, it's the principle of sufficient reason. I think you see my point now with the infinite regress thing, good.

the rest of what you said went back to a good old misrepresentation of my not only how but what I am arguing, so I'll ignore it. Because now it's boring. Anyhow, have a good day!