Shut up, Meyer, your schtick is getting old


As usual, Stephen Meyer tries to claim that only intelligence can generate information. My usual response to that is a combination of…

  • But that’s the point of contention! You can’t use your premise as evidence that your premise is true!
  • OK, smart guy, have you examined every single piece of information in the universe to back up your claim that information always comes from an intelligent source?

But this is also a very good response. We have direct, observed, experimental evidence that information can arise from non-intelligent, natural processes.

This is the thing that bugs me about Meyer. He claims to be a philosopher, yet all of his books, every long-winded one of them, rests on a logical fallacy, his unsupported claim that all information is a product of intelligent design, and that therefore all information is a product of intelligent design.

Comments

  1. moarscienceplz says

    “He claims to be a philosopher”
    I’m starting to think that philosophers are indistinguishable from the wizards of Unseen University.

  2. says

    I guess the use of evolutionary algorithms to do design work is either not creating “information” (which he has never defined) or this “philosopher” (which is different than scientist) hasn’t kept up with the relevant fields of science & math.

    He claims to be a philosopher

    “And we demand that we are philosophers.”
    “Though we may not be…”
    I do miss Douglas Adams.
    Anyone who labels himself a philosopher needs to prove to me that he’s not chasing his own tail and playing word games. Some are worth reading, I suppose. But falsifying a well-established theory requires scientific rigor. Not what philosophers do, really.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    He claims to be a philosopher…

    So did Ayn Rand, and look how much her “philosophy” has fucked up the world.

  4. says

    The all information comes from an intelligent source argument is incomplete. Specifically: All information comes from a human source. At least, all information that Creationists base their “argument” on—codes, typically—comes from a human source. Hence, the information in DNA must have been put there by human beings. Right?

  5. PaulBC says

    And yet somehow, we seem to be generating more and more meaningful information from random sources, such as (just because it came to mind) using Monte Carlo tree search to produce Go players that surpass human beings.

    I know, I know. It was all “smuggled in”. That’s what Dembski would say. I guess the creators of these programs actually knew how to play this notoriously difficult game better than Go masters, but kept it hidden so they could continue the hoax of using random numbers to generate effective game strategies. It’s a deeper conspiracy than you could ever imagine.

    While there’s a clear distinction between natural selection and the use of random variability in computer algorithms, the success of the latter over something like 75 years (or much longer if you stretch it to include Buffon’s needle problem) ought to lay to rest any idea that you cannot “create information.”

    First off, if I were to flip a coin a few hundred times in succession, I would almost certainly create “new” information… a sequence that has not occurred before in the lifetime of the universe. That ought to end the dispute at least until “philosophers” like Meyer come up with a credible way of distinguishing this from whatever it is they think they mean by information. Second, even if there is some way of limiting the definition to “functional” or “specified” information or whatever they think, there are also many processes that do this as well. A random process is the only thing that provides a molecule with the path to take through a hole in a bike tire. Of course random processes create “new information”. What kind of blinders do you need to keep yourself from seeing the obvious?

  6. raven says

    Stephen Meyer is wrong about everything.

    He isn’t a philosopher.
    He is a liar. Specifically, he is a liar for jesus, a xian propagandist.

    His assertion without proof or data, that all information comes from the gods is just a lie.
    It is easily falsifiable and has been falsified many times.

    To take a relevant example, the information in DNA can and is created by natural processes and we can watch it happen in Real Time. Gene duplications followed by divergence of some of the copies creates new information and we observe this often.

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    Information embedded in a radio signal

    Many radio signals from outer space have been traced to natural, unintelligent phenomena. And not a single such radio source which originates from somewhere other than Earth, or a craft launched from Earth, has been shown to to be from intelligent sources.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Reginald Selkirk @ # 8: … not a single such radio source which originates from somewhere other than Earth, or a craft launched from Earth, has been shown to to be from intelligent sources.

    Lots of radio signals originating on Earth come from non-intelligent sources too.

  9. robro says

    Pierce R. Butler @ #9 — “Lots of radio signals originating on Earth come from non-intelligent sources too.” Yep. Like anything on Fox, Truth Social, Info Wars, and a host of independent channels and churches.

  10. PaulBC says

    I spend a lot of timing stewing over claims by IDiots like Meyer and Dembski. I’m not a biologist. It just goes against my hard won intuition about how computation works as well as complex systems, and frankly gets me angry whatever their motivation is, religious or otherwise. They seem to be really stuck on the idea of a universe that works like a series of disconnected dice rolls. I completely agree that you can’t get much from that besides a statistical distribution. So shut up about it already, and first try to learn about the system you are claiming to talk about. Would that be too much to ask from these “philosophers” about nature?

    Physical laws aren’t disconnected, and to begin to understand what’s happening, you need to look at how small changes get amplified. In evolutionary biology, the amplification comes from reproduction. It’s essential to have some variability, e.g. through mutation, but the engine that drives this to population changes is the relative lack of variability, i.e. the extremely high correlation between an organism and its offspring. That is the only way for the population to benefit from a single mutation, which would otherwise be a one-off event.

    This amplification does not require reproducing organisms, or even a complex self-replicating molecule like RNA. We see it everywhere. A fossil record of footprints is a completely unintended reproduction not only of the shape of a foot, but the gait of the animal possessing it. The fact that we can look through a telescope and see a coherent image of another star, and some hypothetical being elsewhere could do the same shows how signal replication is the norm, not the exception. You don’t need a telescope either. A pinhole suffices to form a coherent image and many may be formed accidentally. Replication everywhere of distant information. You won’t get life from footprints or pinholes as far as I know, but these demonstrate the inherent complexity you’re dealing with.

    When analyzing the computational complexity of a logic circuit, a major factor is to identify fanout. If you can make copies of the output of a gate, you can usually tie it all together into a universal computer. If you can’t (e.g. in the two inputs and outputs of a comparator network) then you probably can’t build a universal computer (though it may remain hard to analyze what you can can do). The universe is filled with fanout. Anyone who claims to be able to look at it and assign limitations to what “information” it can generate simply has no clue about what they are trying to comment on.

  11. mamba says

    If information is patterns, and the only way we recognize it as information is the fact that it can be repeated or quantified, than all that’s happening is that we as humans are getting better at recognizing the linkages between events.

    But the events were happening anyway. I mean, I’m sure with enough measurements a physicist can predict with reasonable certainty the outcome of a rockslide down to where each boulder will land and crack, but that doesn’t mean that the rockslide was DESIGNED to fall that way!

    This loon is looking at DNA, seeing a pattern, and deducing that clearly planned. “what goes up must come down” is a pattern as well, but that doesn’t mean that a god invented gravity. But I guess when you approach the problem with the mindset of “How can I prove God exists in this pile of numbers?”, you’re gonna find what you want to find…

  12. seachange says

    #2feralboy
    All scientists and the fields they study come from natural philosophy. We scientists are philosophers.

  13. flange says

    He changes the meanings or implications of words to what HE wants them to mean. Then, everything he says is a “fact.”

  14. nomdeplume says

    And yet his religion contains no “information” at all beyond what middle east sheepherders of 2000 years ago could observe with their unaided senses in the world immediately around them.

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    Marcus @15:

    This sort of BS is the best worst christians can manage even after thousands of years of thinking about it.

    FTFY. Polytheists, Muslims, Jews and Christians have been responsible for most of the advances we’ve made in the last few thousand years.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    @20: That’s the Antitheist Creed. Unlike you, I can’t read the minds of long-dead scientists. But I can read what they wrote, and some of them said their work was inspired by their personal beliefs. I tend to believe what people say about themselves unless there are compelling reasons not to. Ideologues, on the other hand, don’t really care about what people say about themselves.

  17. John Morales says

    Rob:

    some of them said their work was inspired by their personal beliefs

    Do you imagine that contradicts the claim that it was “in spite of their religions”?

    Ideologues, on the other hand, don’t really care about what people say about themselves.

    Heh. Polytheism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity are ideologies.

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    Heh, John. Look up the difference between “adherent of an ideology” and “ideologue”. Ideologically, I’m an atheist and a socialist. Double heh.

  19. bcw bcw says

    @19. So you use google, which has organized the information you cite based on self-organizing search algorithm written by people with no knowledge of the questions you ask, to claim that information can only come from intelligence? Any computer data system can simplify and summarize data sets without understanding what those data sets mean. If a summary is information, computers already do that.

  20. John Morales says

    bcw bcw:

    So you use google, which has organized the information you cite based on self-organizing search algorithm written by people with no knowledge of the questions you ask, to claim that information can only come from intelligence?

    No. To support the claim.

    Any computer data system can simplify and summarize data sets without understanding what those data sets mean.

    Heh. That’s exactly to what I refer. Those datasets are only meaningful to an intelligence, therefore are only informative to an intelligence.

    (If it’s informative, it’s information)

    If a summary is information […]

    OK, I can see you don’t grok the concept.

  21. Bruce says

    When grains of sand pile up in a beach or desert, the arrangement is random, subject to the statistical laws of the physics. But if one wants to describe that random situation in detail, Meyer would say that is information. So, is this information in our human-generated description only, or is the info also created by the wind blowing? Does Meyer think this proves the wind gods are intelligent?
    If you throw darts behind your back onto the broad side of a barn, is their landing pattern an example of Meyer-level intelligence? Is it proof of Meyer’s god guy? How about tea leaves? Do goat entrails point to Jesus or to Zeus or to Xenu?

  22. PaulBC says

    John Morales@27 I admit I’m unclear on what point you’re making, and thus do not claim to be refuting it.

    That said, a non-standard definition of “information” seems like a bad starting place for making any point. The distinction you linked between “data” and “information” includes a number of dubious claims such as

    Information maps out that data to provide a big-picture view of how it all fits together.

    Sorry. No. Perhaps “understanding” or “insight” does nice things like that but if I say “I have a thyme plant in a large pot outside.” most people would consider that information (contingent on it being truthful) whether or not they can fit it into a big picture.

    From an information theoretic standpoint (admittedly using a specialized definition) “information” could simply be a message with no context or interpretation, the only salient question being whether I can transmit it faithfully over a communication line.

    (If it’s informative, it’s information)

    Tautologically, maybe, depending on what you mean by “informative”. Does it need to be meaningful to intelligence, or is it “informative” by virtue of specifying a particular state? Or do we need a new word for that like informationiness?

    There is data that carries no discernible meaning, such as a series of coin flips. I personally have trouble distinguishing that from “information” in a consistent way. And even that could be informative in context, e.g. if it was later used as the cryptographic key to a file with some other significance.

    And why the need for an intelligent observer? A string of DNA bases may encode an enzyme that contributes to the adaptedness of an organism that we would not consider intelligent. It makes a difference to that organism if the string is faithfully copied even if the organism cannot appreciate why that is the case.

    I assume we both agree that non-intelligent processes can create strings of bases that encode molecules that function as enzymes. I’m not sure why the word “information” would need to be avoided when discussing these strings. They are quite “informative” whether or not there is an observer who can vocalize this, because they affect adaptedness. Genetic information did not have to wait for “intelligent” beings to interpret it and fit it into a big picture.

    For that matter, if I were to entertain the idea that only intelligence creates informations (with non-vanishing probability) then I’d consider evolution to be an intelligent process, as well as computer programs that train on Go strategy*. They are not only creating state, the way a series of coin flips may do, but the state maps into a functional purpose. I don’t think ID people are any closer to defining “intelligence” than they are to defining “information.”

    *The distinction I would make is that these are probably not self-aware processes, but both share some of the complexity of intelligence in generating and testing possibilities.

  23. John Morales says

    Paul,

    That said, a non-standard definition of “information” seems like a bad starting place for making any point.

    Which is why I linked to a Google search term instead of a specific site.

    Hey, you did computer science. Did you really not get exposed to the concept of data vs. information? I sure did.

    The distinction you linked between “data” and “information” includes a number of dubious claims such as [blah]

    Again, it was a link to a search term to a particular search engine.

    Does it need to be meaningful to intelligence, or is it “informative” by virtue of specifying a particular state?

    Yes, it’s only information when perceived by an intelligence and it informs.
    Which was my very point.

    There is data that carries no discernible meaning, such as a series of coin flips.

    Um, you might want to rethink that. Consider the old-timey Aussie game of Two-up.

    (Only by knowing the result of that series of coin flips can one determine who won and who lost)

    And why the need for an intelligent observer? A string of DNA bases may encode an enzyme that contributes to the adaptedness of an organism that we would not consider intelligent. It makes a difference to that organism if the string is faithfully copied even if the organism cannot appreciate why that is the case.

    In what sense is something information if it does not inform? ;)

    You seem to imagine that any given physical state (or, arrangement of stuff) is itself information, on the basis that it can be described — and that it can inform.

    PS It amuses me when people are needlessly cautious:

    *The distinction I would make is that these are probably not self-aware processes

    Probably not. But maybe? ;)

  24. raven says

    There are a huge number of types of information and information theories. Unless you have worked in the field or studied it for a long time, you won’t have the slightest idea of where to even start.
    FWIW, information is a property of a system made up of mass-energy. Information has no existence or meaning except as an attribute or property. Like shape or color or weight.
    Wikipedia has a lot to say about it. A relevant excerpt.

    Wikpedia Information

    As an influence that leads to transformation
    Information is any type of pattern that influences the formation or transformation of other patterns.[20][21] In this sense, there is no need for a conscious mind to perceive, much less appreciate, the pattern. Consider, for example, DNA. The sequence of nucleotides is a pattern that influences the formation and development of an organism without any need for a conscious mind. One might argue though that for a human to consciously define a pattern, for example a nucleotide, naturally involves conscious information processing.

    Systems theory at times seems to refer to information in this sense, assuming information does not necessarily involve any conscious mind, and patterns circulating (due to feedback) in the system can be called information. In other words, it can be said that information in this sense is something potentially perceived as representation, though not created or presented for that purpose. For example, Gregory Bateson defines “information” as a “difference that makes a difference”.[22]

    DNA is an information carrying molecule.
    It acts without any need for a conscious intelligent mind.

  25. John Morales says

    PPS

    I don’t think ID people are any closer to defining “intelligence” than they are to defining “information.”

    They have it backwards.

    Instead of thinking that only intelligence can perceive information, they think only intelligence can create information.

    (They need to, since their very premise is that everything is created by an intelligence. Oh, sorry, an INTELLIGENCE!)

  26. John Morales says

    raven, heh.
    Fine; every single thing that exists, and every single thing that happens is information.

    Note that you’re cherry-picking a particular context.

    The contents list of the article to which you did not link:
    1 Etymology
    2 Information theory
    3 As sensory input
    4 As representation and complexity
    5 As an influence that leads to transformation

    The very first sentence of the article in question, which presumably you hold to be authoritative:
    “Information is processed, organized and structured data.”

    (So, absent an intelligence, what processes, organises and structures data?)

  27. raven says

    John you are quote mining Wikipedia.
    That is what creationists do.

    “Information is processed, organized and structured data.”
    (So, absent an intelligence, what processes, organises and structures data?)

    In the case of DNA, Darwinian natural selection. Evolution.

    You know that all genomic DNA on earth traces back to one primordial replicator. It has evolved and diversified over 3.6 billion years. No conscious minds were even around for most of that time.

    Sure to our eyes it is a slow process. But so what? Slow is a human concept that the biosphere is indifferent to.

    I’ll just quote mine that article right back, once again.

    Consider, for example, DNA. The sequence of nucleotides is a pattern that influences the formation and development of an organism without any need for a conscious mind.

  28. John Morales says

    raven:

    John you are quote mining Wikipedia.
    That is what creationists do.

    Gobs and gobs of delicious irony.

    Indeed, O #5, my specifying that what I quote is “The very first sentence of the article in question” is in your estimation quote mining. Because one should ignore that I also listed a portions of the contents list, indicating that there was much more to the article than its very first sentence, to show that you specifically quoted (ahem, item #5) as if that were the main thesis.

    You know that all genomic DNA on earth traces back to one primordial replicator. It has evolved and diversified over 3.6 billion years. No conscious minds were even around for most of that time.

    Sure to our eyes it is a slow process. But so what? Slow is a human concept that the biosphere is indifferent to.

    OK, I get that you don’t get it. That very claim is what I’ve been addressing; that concept that things that exists and processes that exists are information. Everything is.

    I do get your conceit, which is precisely the very same as that of the IDers.

    You reify the concept of ‘information’ such that it’s a necessary property of aspect of reality. I get it!

    I’ll just quote mine that article right back, once again.

    Doubly sweet irony. Once again. :)

  29. tacitus says

    @PaulBC:

    I spend a lot of time stewing over claims by IDiots like Meyer and Dembski.

    They’re so not worth it. Taking an interest in what they’re up to is fine — every one has to have a hobby, and I’ve followed the debate for longer than I’ve been an atheist (and that’s a long time), but stewing is a waste of emotional energy. They occupy that space between science and religion nobody cares about. The scientists ignore them — they’re too busy getting on with real science, and the conservative Christians ignore them — they’re too busy sucking up to Trump and opening the next front on the culture wars.

    If they ever to the point where their ideas are being taken seriously enough for us to worry, we’ll already be in a deep pile of shit politically and culturally.

  30. PaulBC says

    John Morales@30 Computer science programs vary a lot (or did) and I really don’t remember anyone making a distinction between “data” and “information.” In fact, the word “information” was rarely used (I realize it’s the I in IT). About the only instance I remember hearing it was in references to the “information theoretic lower bound” on sorting (that you need Ω(n log n) comparisons to identify one of n! permutations). Needless to say, results in computer science (at least in algorithmic theory) hold whether or not an observer attaches meaning to the input, output, or internal state.

    Also I stand my statement that evolution (earth’s ecology) and computer Go players are “probably” not self-aware. My working assumption is that they are not, and it would require evidence to persuade me otherwise. But until I have a convincing explanation of self-awareness, I’m not going to rule it out.

  31. John Morales says

    Paul, it’s interesting that you didn’t have that as part of your program.
    My own experience is in the Adelaide University in 1979-80, before I dropped out.

    But until I have a convincing explanation of self-awareness, I’m not going to rule it out.

    Yeah, that’s another thing that bugs me.
    That’s what agnostics say about deities.

    Ever heard of provisional beliefs?

    (There’s a difference between provisionally believing a proposition and withholding belief in that proposition)

  32. PaulBC says

    tacitus@36 I know. I know. It’s just the smugness combined with getting everything completely wrong. I agree that they’re carving out a space nobody cares about. If you want that “old time religion” you’re not going to be happy with a mysterious “designer” and if you’re seriously interested in comprehending reality, their schtick sets off the bullshit alarms from the start.

    After posting at length, I came up with shorter way to put it: How about trying to learn something about what the natural world does before representing yourself as a world authority on what it cannot do? Is that really too much to ask?

  33. StevoR says

    Would the Big Bang itself refute teh creationists here being the result of random fluctuations or the fromations of stars and galaxies etc.. out of the Cosmic Microwave backgrounds random ripples I wonder?

    Crystallisation too produces some remarkable structures as does cooling magma creating apparent structure eg the Giants Causeway in ireland, a suppsoed underwater city off thecoast of Japan, etc .. all without needing an underlying mind or intelligence and just natural formation.

  34. StevoR says

    So much does seem to depend how you define “information” I guess..

    @36. tacitus :

    They occupy that space between science and religion nobody cares about. The scientists ignore them — they’re too busy getting on with real science, and the conservative Christians ignore them — they’re too busy sucking up to Trump and opening the next front on the culture wars.

    There are plenty of people who care when it comes to just about any topic really. In this case, people should care because they are trying to force creatism as partof tehri religious ideology down everyone’s metaphorical throats as part of those culture wars with detrimental effects to society and science generally flowing on from that.

  35. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    @ John Morales : Why not?

    Um,
    you: “Would the Big Bang itself refute teh creationists […]”
    me: no. Because this is what the specified creationist believes.
    you: “Why not?”
    me: What part of “The Big Bang is at the heart of Meyer’s argument in the book for a personal God.” is unclear to you? Does it somehow seem to you as an acknowledgement of refutation of the creationist concept?

    (So frustrating when what should be bleeding obvious apparently ain’t. Mate!)

  36. John Morales says

    PS

    In this case, people should care because they are trying to force creatism as partof tehri religious ideology […]

    No. You misapprehend.

    The rationale behind intelligent design is ostensibly science, not religion.

    The reason people should care, therefore and in contrast, is because they are trying to force creatism as part of science. At school.

  37. StevoR says

    @ ^ John Morales : Last two sentences -agreed but they are trying to force creationism into schools as partof their religious ideology and war against secular culture in favour of their own Christian Supremacism. So I think we basically agree.

    @44. John Morales : That “Why not” wa saimed at the “why speculate” part of your 41. I guess we both think each other is missing the point.. I’m probly not putting things as clearly I should.

    What part of “The Big Bang is at the heart of Meyer’s argument in the book for a personal God.” is unclear to you?

    The part where Meyers gets the idea of a personal God – no doubt the Christian variety – from the scientific theory of the Big Bang Cosmology as we understand it. It does however seem he likely either doesn’t understand the Big Bang Cosmology or disingenuously pretends he doesn’t.

    Does it somehow seem to you as an acknowledgement of refutation of the creationist concept?

    No, and yet here we are. To me and most people the Big Bang idea specifiying an astronomical event 14 billion years or so ago certainly contradicts the 6,000 year old Christianist creation myth.

  38. John Morales says

    StevoR:

    What part of “The Big Bang is at the heart of Meyer’s argument in the book for a personal God.” is unclear to you?

    The part where Meyers gets the idea of a personal God – no doubt the Christian variety – from the scientific theory of the Big Bang Cosmology as we understand it.

    Again, why wonder when he’s been specific about it?

    That’s what he gets from it (and remember, according to Rob above “I tend to believe what people say about themselves unless there are compelling reasons not to. Ideologues, on the other hand, don’t really care about what people say about themselves.”). That’s what he advocates.

    Anyway. The why of it is not the issue at hand, it’s the fact of it that’s salient.

    So, when you write “Would the Big Bang itself refute teh creationists […] I wonder?”, I pointed you to case where it clearly does not. An existence proof.

    To me and most people the Big Bang idea specifiying an astronomical event 14 billion years or so ago certainly contradicts the 6,000 year old Christianist creation myth.

    But that’s neither his point nor the subject of this post.

    “Intelligent Design” is not supposed to be religious, it’s supposed to be scientific.
    That it is in accord with [some] religious belief is just a lucky coincidence, the which strenghens belief in a god.

    As for Meyer himself, he ain’t (well, not unless you’re an ideologue as per Rob above) a YECcer.
    Cf. https://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2013/04/12/id-and-the-age-of-the-earth

    “Q. (BY MR. IRIGONEGARAY) I’m the one asking questions here, Mr. Meyer, and all you need to do is to answer my question.

    A. Okay. I think the age of the earth is 4.6 billion years old. That’s both my personal and my professional opinion. I speak as someone who is trained as a geophysicist–“

  39. ajbjasus says

    I don’t find being concerned about the concept of information terribly useful in any field I have studied, I wouldn’t go any further than saying it’s a term humans use when they observe certain patterns in things, and compare them to the systems we have developed to communicate with each other.

    The lack of precision in Myers thinking is there from the start when he describes Hieroglyphs and books as digital,information

  40. kenbakermn says

    Doesn’t that argument imply that God him/her/itself contains no information? And doesn’t that further imply the he/she/it cannot exist?

  41. brucegee1962 says

    “Sure, you could always design an experiment to prove that I’m wrong. But every possible experiment you could make will have been DESIGNED by you. Get it?

    I have therefore proved that my statement is unfalsifiable. And if I can prove my statement is unfalsifiable, that’s the same as proving that it’s true. That’s the way science works, right?”

  42. daniel hedrick says

    Please provide any evidence that a materialistic process can be used to define a single “symbol” and mature to a scheme.
    A “symbol” is defined as using any physical asset like a byte or stick or amino acid to represent something it is not.

    Difference between Shannon Information vs Specified Complexity. In a Shannon world opportunity/time is expected to eventually pick all available opportunities. But specified complexity uses only what is necessary to communicate.

    All of the computer algorithms used to simulate “evolution” are interestingly not formed via evolution.

    Please review and advise

  43. says

    That was given in the video. A sequence of nucleotides is a “physical asset” which can be read to represent something it is not, a sequence of amino acids.

    You use a bizarre definition of “specified complexity”, one not used by Meyer or any of the other twits at the Discovery Institute. You haven’t explained what the “specified” part is, or how that makes creationist complexity different from what real information theorists study.

    Computers are only a few decades old (centuries if interpreted generously), so why would you think it interesting that computer algorithms did not form via evolution? The products of evolutionary algorithms are things like spiders and rabbits, not computer software.

    I have reviewed, and advise you to go jump in a lake.

  44. raven says

    But specified complexity uses only what is necessary to communicate.

    Define specified complexity.

    How do you even recognize it?
    What are the units used to quantitate and measure specified complexity?
    How do you tell specified complexity from unspecified complexity?

    Spoiler alert.
    No one can do that.
    No on has ever done that including Dembski who just made it up.
    Specified complexity is just gibberish. It is sciencey words strung together that mean absolutely nothing.

  45. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@51

    Please provide any evidence that a materialistic process can be used to define a single “symbol” and mature to a scheme.

    Since Meyer et al. presume to set limits on the generative power of a naturalistic universe, they’re the ones with the burden of proof. What is their evidence for such limits?

    To be clear, I’m not sure what you mean by a symbol or scheme, but I know what a tree is, or a squirrel. I can look outside where I’m sitting now and see one (disclosure: there is no squirrel this morning). Barring any other explanation, my working assumption is that they (and ultimately their ancestors) arose from a materialistic process. What’s Meyer’s “evidence” that they did not?

    It’s really really hard to prove that any system is insufficient to generate a set of results. A proof that a polynomial time algorithm is insufficient to solve satisfiability (the P vs. NP question) would completely change our understanding of computational complexity. But polynomial time algorithms can be defined very simply. Maybe Meyer and… oh… Dembski… could work on an easy question like that before claiming to know what the universe with its massive scope and quantum behavior (seemingly nothing like digital computation) can do in a few billion years.

    In a Shannon world opportunity/time is expected to eventually pick all available opportunities.

    Please cite your source for this claim (whatever you mean by “Shannon world”). Evolutionary processes are not expected to pick “all available opportunities.” Selection will favor a trait that is better adapted to the local environment than the existing population. Even that could be lost through hazard.

    There are certainly many “roads not traveled” in nature. In fact, we often observe what happens when an invasive species is introduced into a new environment. It suddenly finds “opportunities” that were missed by the local evolving ecosystem. So your statement is false, even with the weaselly “eventually.” Eventually the sun itself will be gone, and many potential opportunities will have been neglected.

    But specified complexity uses only what is necessary to communicate.

    Again, citation? Do you have a perfect language that expresses truth without redundancy or correction? Is that how you communicate? Is that what you think living things do in DNA? It strikes me that much is unnecessary, and the problem of limiting communication to the necessary is an intractable optimization problem.

    All of the computer algorithms used to simulate “evolution” are interestingly not formed via evolution.

    Eh, so? All of the papers that presume to characterize an omnipotent and perfect creator are interestingly written by very fallible human beings, themselves (I believe) to be the product of natural processes. What a topsy turvy world we live in.

    I suspect that your claim is incorrect anyway, and code that is the output of a genetic algorithm has been used to perform such searches. (No, I don’t have a citation, but a great deal of code is generated, and my curiosity is piqued.)

  46. daniel hedrick says

    I was told to jump in a lake, very scientific… and of course reasonable. I prefer glacial lakes, thanks for the receommendation.

    Freethought is obviously not where a conversation is desired especially when participants cannot even define the most obvious observations. What is a symbol? Ouch.

    “To be clear, I’m not sure what you mean by a symbol or scheme, but I know what a tree is, or a squirrel. ”

    How many squirrels does it take to represent a can of soup?

    Seriously, I guess I will go and try to ask a former President what the definition of is, is…
    and as for the difference between specified complexity and complex information
    GHTREDSDETYUIOPLKMNH (Complex)
    GODISNOWHERE DOT ORG (Specified)

    But you knew that…
    _

  47. Doc Bill says

    Professor Hedrick muses, “How many squirrels does it take to represent a can of soup?”

    Excellent question because it is quantitative and can be measured. The answer is “one.”

    However, for a balanced course you also need a moose, aka Moose and Squirrel.

    And that’s as Badenov as it gets!

  48. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@55

    Freethought is obviously not where a conversation is desired especially when participants cannot even define the most obvious observations.

    Nor a place where you can expect random interlopers to address specific and clear questions asked. Specifically:

    (1) What’s Meyer’s evidence for the limitations he imposes on the generative power of the natural universe? (2) What’s your citation for the claim that evolution (I assume) “is expected to eventually pick all available opportunities”? (3) Same question for the claim “specified complexity uses only what is necessary to communicate.”

    I admit I didn’t provide evidence for the evolution of the diversity of life on earth (up to and including human beings who make “symbols” and “schemes”). I’m a computer scientist, so I would defer to a biology textbook for this. Ernst Mayr’s What Evolution Is is also a very readable introduction that may address some of your misconceptions. (And what’s up with the M-y-r variants?)

  49. raven says

    But specified complexity uses only what is necessary to communicate.

    Define specified complexity.

    How do you even recognize it?
    What are the units used to quantitate and measure specified complexity?
    How do you tell specified complexity from unspecified complexity?

    Daniel Hedricks answer:

    How many squirrels does it take to represent a can of soup?

    Creationists are so predictable.
    The troll didn’t answer my simple but relevant questions. He didn’t even try.
    Daniel Hedrick is just babbling without knowing anything about information theory.

  50. macallan says

    Goodness, they’re still beating that particular dead horse…
    Ages ago we had an argument with a Dembski cultist who claimed that it’s possible to distinguish ‘information’ from random noise by applying some of Dembski’s voodoo. He never explained how exactly that would work. So I showed him a bunch of hexdumps of various data, code, and random noise. Of course he failed and his excuse for an answer was that hexdumps are obviously man made.

    Of course random processes create “new information”. What kind of blinders do you need to keep yourself from seeing the obvious?

    Since they never really define what exactly “specified” “information” is it can mean whatever they want it to in any given situation.

  51. macallan says

    Lots of radio signals originating on Earth come from non-intelligent sources too.

    Faux news?

  52. raven says

    What’s your citation for the claim that evolution (I assume) “is expected to eventually pick all available opportunities”?

    Hedricks got about everything wrong.

    He isn’t even using Dembski’s definition of specified complexity, having made up his own instead and called it the same thing.
    Dembski “Dembski claims that when something exhibits specified complexity (i.e., is both complex and specified, simultaneously) ..”

    He is just completely wrong here as well.
    Evolution will explore all available choices in variation space.
    It will only pick a few or one of those choices though.
    That is what evolution is and what it does.

    Evolution is nonrandom survival of randomly generated variants.

  53. PaulBC says

    John Morales (over several comments). I agree there is a concept of data in the context of a self-aware being who assigns meaning to it and I also agree that acknowledging the subjective nature has some advantages if that’s your point. E.g. a series of coin flips lacks intrinsic meaning, but could have meaning if it determines the outcome of a game or is used as a cryptographic key.

    Where I disagree is the use of “information” as the term for that concept. In practice, the word has been so overloaded that it ceases to function as a clear term for the more restrictive concept. As I said, I never heard this distinction in computer science, and definitions like this (found in a web search) convince me that even if someone makes such a distinction, it is far from the consensus:

    Information technology (IT) is the use of any computers, storage, networking and other physical devices, infrastructure and processes to create, process, store, secure and exchange all forms of electronic data.

    (Italics mine.)

    Humans attach semantics to symbols and strings of symbols. You can have strings symbols without semantics. All this can be stated while staying clear of a fraught term like “information.” It is also true that some strings of symbols have significance prior to the existence of a self-aware being to assign it. A sequence of peptides that encodes a functional protein compared to one that does not has a significant that can be appreciated without an intelligent observer (the enzyme does something or not). Likewise, the digits of pi have significance. (And for instance, the digits in a small base such as 2 or 10 would be recognized as such by some extraterrestrial intelligence–N.B. I omit “probably”).

    The vast majority of strings of n bits are random in the sense of being incompressible (Kolmogorov complexity). The ones that interest us (except when we want randomness such as for cryptography) are at least somewhat compressible. The digits of pi can be compressed to a short program that generates it. Even the set of functional peptide sequences is technically compressible in that a program capable of carrying out protein conformation more or less faithfully could represent it as the “ith sequence that appears to fold properly” which would be a small subset of possible sequences. (It would take more than the lifetime of the universe to calculate this by brute force, but still, the program could be written.) The program plus the size of i in binary would (for sufficiently long sequences) be smaller than the sequences themselves.

    Kolmogorov complexity is also not very useful in assigning significance, but strings with high Kolmogorov complexity are devoid of intrinsic meaning. (Any intrinsic meaning could be used as part of a compression algorithm.)

  54. PaulBC says

    me@62

    The program plus the size of i in binary would (for sufficiently long sequences) be smaller than the sequences themselves.

    Since any sequence representing a realistic protein would likely be smaller than the hypothetical conformation program, this needs to be corrected to “any sufficiently long subset” of such sequences. That also assumes that there are sufficiently many possible functioning proteins that it would take more storage to list them all than to store a program to roughly identity them (rule out non-functioning). I believe this to be the case.

  55. snarkrates says

    John Morales,
    So, while DNA by itself is simply a molecule capable of storing “data”, do you agree that DNA inside a cell stores and conveys information? If that is the case, it would seem that you would have to consider an individual cell “intelligent”. That is stretching the definition of “intelligence” to the point where you’ll be sitting next to Deepak Chopra next.

  56. PaulBC says

    snarkrates@64 I think John is making a converse point about the subjectivity of “information”, specifically that meaning is what intelligence attaches to data. See @32.

    I half agree. I don’t think all meaning is subjective. There are patterns with intrinsic significance relative to mathematics or the laws of physics. This significance exists with or without an intelligence observer. It’s also true that some patterns such as a winning Lotto ticket have no significance except relative to a human interpretation. The latter may have been John’s point, though it would help if he’d spend a little less time one-upping and more time clarifying.

  57. PaulBC says

    Personally, I have no trouble at all describing evolution as an intelligent process. It is a process capable of de novo generation of adaptive traits. It’s in many ways an approach to creativity that humans would do well to emulate: instead of pursuing an idée fixe to repeated failures, try many things and see if any of them work unexpectedly. Humans also innovate through trial and error. It’s unclear, honestly, that we do it any other way. Evolution does it on a much larger scale.

    Assuming an evolving ecosystem lacks a self-model, that might be a reason to rule it out as “intelligent” in a conventional sense. However, there is nothing about self-model that is necessary to generate solutions to problems. Evolution is, first off all, not a random process like rolling dice. Random variability is only part of the mix. There is reproduction and selection as well. I consider evolution to be the creative process par excellence with human attempts at creativity consisting of weak shortcuts and heuristics for finding novel solutions since we lack the gift of deep time.

    So maybe it’s true that evolutionary adaptions require “intelligence” to produce. If so, evolution is an intelligent, though not self-aware, process. I can live with that.

  58. daniel hedrick says

    I don’t know why I would want to subject myself to non-freethought delusions, I may as well just jump in a lake, a cold lake at that. But I am a glutton… Just a lil condescending below just so I can match the vibe here, otherwise we would just enjoy each other’s company over a beer, but that would require humility which is probably forbidden anyway.

    If I were to ask anyone that is not already convinced that evolution contains the magic necessary to materialistically create what is commonly known as the “surprise effect” the following question…

    Which one is special or specified and which ones are random or unspecified?

    WEADWQTSD DSIUSDYSY
    ME THINKS IT IS A WEASEL
    YHGRE HHGTE##DFG IU&9

    A child in the 1st year of reading could answer without commenting on presuppositions or ignorance.

    Since you may or may not understand or define specified complexity, I will ask like you were in romper room. Sing with me: Which one is not like the other, one of these doesn’t belong? Come on Johnny, which one?

    VFR ^ HUI
    CAT & DOG
    TRE # #DS

    Everyone in my house or at the bowling alley or the racetrack would not struggle to find a weasel or the dog and cat. Literally my child would be faster than you, as you still try to define what a symbol is… so sad.

    If I really wanted to have fun I’d throw ROT13 at ya, but that would unnecessarily make things even more complex, get it “complexity” and what is specified although not utilized above that I may in fact use ROT 13 or ROT N, just so I can mask my message. But no masking is necessary here as most of you appear to be blind to what is written in clear text. How would you know when ROT was even used?

    Anyway, define Symbol, please. Go for what a scheme is. You can choose base 64, base 256, 512 or perhaps some other variable, but if you can’t “naturally tell the difference”, there is nothing that I can do for you.

    BUT if you are interested in defining in the most simplistic terms how a materialistic process using inanimate objects to define or represent something it is not, I am all ears. How the DNA scheme and or the epigenetic scheme started from a “dumb” unsymbolic amino, to AAA = Lycine, I am all for it. It will be the first time probably for all of us that this has ever been done. Wow, FREEDOM at Freethought, there is a concept.

    And again for the dumb and dumber audience member’s “How many vital organs are vital”? That would be very easy to answer anywhere but here. Systems approach to biological information, oh yea!!! But too much for the romper room crowd.

    How is it possible to use a human based construct of symbolic language onto a non-symbolic code using CRISPR9? Why? Because DNA is a code, and not non-symbolic duh, but you knew that too.

    Oh my… What a world, a sad lost world, that cannot even describe what a symbol is… I have a symbol for you which I am certain you already know. It only requires two sticks, one slightly shorter than the other. Are you so ignorant that you do not know which symbol I speak of? Yet, I never wrote it down. I never even used the five letter word that starts with the letter c. Do you know what the symbol is? tada! The non-materialistic awareness that information is not physical will likely over-whelm you, but that is a good start to get to the truth.

    Next time you see the red octagon shape, please please pontificate the likelihood that it may or may not be a symbol. Good luck with that.

    In the beginning was Information!
    And the WORD became flesh…
    HVNBNDB4U!

  59. PaulBC says

    @67

    “If I were to ask anyone that is not already convinced that evolution…” has something or other to do with generating English language text, ASCII characters, bit strings or what have you, I might redirect their attention to living cells, variability through mutation, reproduction, and selection: i.e. the actual subject of evolution.

    In that wildly optimistic world, I might ask that they learn some biology and keep to the topic of how populations of living organisms adapt to their environment. Since I realize this is far too much to expect, I’ll just leave it with what I said above: “How about trying to learn something about what the natural world does before representing yourself as an authority on what it cannot do?”

  60. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@55 By the way, the question “What is a symbol?” (your phrasing) is not identical to my assertion “I’m not sure what you mean by a symbol or scheme”, which remains true.

    You may want to consider that your lack of clarity makes me uncertain of your meaning, rather than my unfamiliarity with common English words that, like most others, having different meanings in context.

    Aside from verbal ambiguity, another implication (I could have made it clearer) is “I’m not sure why you think ‘symbols’ and ‘schemes’ have any relevance to this discussion.” Again, if you want to talk about evolution, maybe you should begin by talking about evolution.

  61. raven says

    I don’t know why I would want to subject myself to non-freethought delusions,..

    Hedrick the troll is just lying now. All creationist lie because creationism is a lie.
    He is claiming to be persecuted.
    Because being called on his lies is just like being nailed to a cross until dead.

    Hedrick being dumb:
    Which one is special or specified and which ones are random or unspecified?

    WEADWQTSD DSIUSDYSY
    ME THINKS IT IS A WEASEL
    YHGRE HHGTE##DFG IU&9

    That isn’t what specified complexity is. I already pointed this out and you ignored it.
    “Dembski claims that when something exhibits specified complexity (i.e., is both complex and specified, simultaneously) ..”

    Which one of those three are specified complexity?
    The answer is all three of them, according to Dembski, who invented the concept.
    All three are both specified and complex.

    Hedricks real question is which of those three are intelligible to English speakers.
    That is obvious.
    It is also very trivial.
    That we can tell an English phrase from nonsense phrases proves what? Nothing important except that we passed the first grade.

    Deconstructing his nonsense is so simple it is boring.

  62. unclefrogy says

    I am not a philosopher so I could be wrong but I thought a philosopher was one who questions reality and tries to come up with an understanding of what reality is.
    So I do not think a person of faith can truly be a philosopher because their faith is the answer to everything. It explains why their “arguments” make no sense they simply do not share any reality with anyone not also a believer

    I am at a loss to understand what information theory is or what it means it seems a little too abstract for me.

  63. PaulBC says

    unclefrogy@72

    I am at a loss to understand what information theory is or what it means it seems a little too abstract for me.

    That’s fine, since information theory has nothing to do with evolution, origins, or even whether “information” can be generated by a non-intelligent process.

    Information theory is a beautiful body of work that mathematician Claude Shannon did for the phone company in the 1940s on how to send digital messages faithfully over noisy transmission lines. Full stop.

    And if you don’t understand the abstractions, maybe you can appreciate the impact. It’s the reason we’re able to communicate over the internet for instance, and make copies of files over and over without degradation. Error correcting codes and what not. Great stuff. In fact, it was not obvious before Shannon that you could do anything to correct for noise. Our experience with analog signals suggested otherwise.

    If some knucklehead tells you it is about evolution, it shows they know as little about information theory as they do evolution.

  64. Pierce R. Butler says

    PaulBC @ # 73: …in the 1940s on how to send digital messages …

    Telephony was digital 80 years ago, before transistors?

  65. John Morales says

    Pierce @74, yes and no.

    The work he did was theoretical, but the very first transmissions ever were digital.

    (You know, Morse code, flashing of mirrors, smoke signals)

  66. PaulBC says

    Pierce R. Butler@74 Shannon worked for Bell Labs. I didn’t say he worked on voice phone communication, which was of course analog at the time. Note, however, that switching networks are discrete, whether a human-operated switchboard or automatic, using electromechanical relays going back decades earlier. There’s a reason so much computer science came out of Bell Labs back in the day. Phone companies were doing fundamental research on discrete network connections before the electronic computer existed.

    By “digital messages” I simply mean one expressed in bits. Did they have “bits” in the 40s? Err, well after Shannon came up with the idea they did.

    Another thing, does Morse code count as “digital”? It is at least a discrete form of communication, and they had it long before voice telephony.

    My comment about his work “for the phone company” was intended to be breezy and oversimplified. Indeed, my characterization is incomplete (the “full stop” thus inaccurate) but if that was all you knew about “information theory” you would have a far more accurate understanding that listening to any of the blather from Dembski et al.

  67. John Morales says

    [In one of the movies of LOTR, a one-bit signal is sent great distances very quickly by lighting of beacon fires along mountaintops. Information! No error correction, of course]

  68. John Morales says

    Paul, indeed. Boolean algebra was purely theoretical at one stage, but has proven invaluable for digital computing.

  69. PaulBC says

    @74 And just for emphasis… if I said “So and so worked on nuclear propulsion for NASA in 1960s” (it’s far outside my area, so I won’t try to name a specific researcher) would your reply be “What, NASA had nuclear propulsion in the 1960s?” No, of course they didn’t, but it was still an active area of research.

    And zoiks… how’d I miss this?

    digital … before transistors?

    The first fully electronic computers used tubes, not transistors. ENIAC had existed for years before the first transistor. Transistors have nothing to do with it. For that matter, boolean logic is readily implemented with electromechanical relays, and indeed Turing’s team used an electromechanical device to crack Enigma during WWII.

    Babbage’s designs (as I understand) were decimal, not binary, so it might be a stretch to call them digital, but you can definitely build digital devices with mechanical components. You can build them using a toilet flush siphon for crying out loud. No electricity and literally no moving parts except water.

    Again, transistors have nothing to do with “digital”.

  70. John Morales says

    Oh, missed this bit.

    It’s also true that some patterns such as a winning Lotto ticket have no significance except relative to a human interpretation. The latter may have been John’s point, though it would help if he’d spend a little less time one-upping and more time clarifying.

    Yes. Information is not a thing in itself, a concretum.
    It is a concept that only exists in minds.

    Widening the concept to mean an attribute of all that exists and all that happens basically makes it useless. And such a misapprehension leads to conceits such as that shared by daniel hedrick, who imagines stuff and information are the same thing, except when they are not. Someone for whom DNA is information but a lump of coal is not.

  71. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@75 I’m sure there are many applications of Shannon entropy outside message transmission. So yeah, “nothing to do with” is uh… erm… not true and yet I said it. The term I prefer is “exaggeration.”

    I mean, everything has something to do with everything else. I had a friend in grad school who consulted on computerized environmental controls for commercial aquaculture*. So, computer science and growing fish a small crowded tank? Inseparably tied! Yet aquaculture would not be my starting point for learning about computers nor vice versa.

    I glanced at your links and I get your point. At the same time, “information theory” is a term abused nearly as much by creationists as thermodynamic entropy. In most cases, whatever they are saying about either really has nothing to do with evolution nor often the ostensible topic.

    *My friend’s memorable quote: “Anyone can grow a fish in a bathtub. The trick is growing enough of them to turn a profit.”

  72. DLC says

    Has Meyer never gone to the seashore ? Those things sweeping in from out at sea ? they are information. Nothing intelligent caused them — they are caused by a combination of winds and gravitic disturbances. There can be other sources as well, such as ice masses the size of Manhattan Island calve off of the Antarctic continent. Oh, and there is this big hunk of rock poised to slip into the Atlantic from the Azores, which would send a big fat ole piece of intelligence toward North America. Which is okay, as we could use more intelligence around here.

  73. Pierce R. Butler says

    PaulBC @ # 80 – Thanks for the further clarification (I had thought Shannon’s math worked on a more general level than the binary/analog divide – and that it dealt with practical issues in telephone engineering at the time).

    As for transistors, I’d still consider them necessary for actual implementation of a nationwide digital phone network.

  74. unclefrogy says

    @83

    Those things sweeping in from out at sea ? they are information. Nothing intelligent caused them

    not to a person of faith it has to be always god (their belief) that is it ultimate cause and reason for everything. they just live in a different reality one made of magic and superstition

  75. StevoR says

    @ 52. (& later) daniel hedrick :

    Context dude.

    You define “Specified Complexity” based on the context of the texts or other things you’re talking about here. Specified is an adverb relating to things that are referred to – or specified – elsewhere in the text, video, essay, discussion or whatever.

    Complexity is well, complexity. Also dependent upon and varying according to the topic or points in question.

    For examples the question of whether an exoplanet may be habitatable or not could depend on specified complexities such as its atmospheric composition, geological structure, chemical abundances , distance from its star – assuming it has one, that star’s spectral type, etc ..

    The “specified complexities”* of determining whether a particular fish species is say, a critically endangered Stellate Sturgeon or another species of Sturgeon eg. Beluga Sturgeon, Atlantic Sturgeon, Pallid Sturgeon, Yangtze Sturgeon etc .. depend on the morphology (shape) of the fish, the location of the barbels (“whiskers”), its exact arrangements of scutes, et cetera et cetera as can be seen here.

    The specified complexities of a legal argument can range on a whole lot of complex factors like exact contract wordings & timings, the age and state of people signing such contracts, exact methodologies of aquiring evidence, precise legal loopholes, etc ..

    The importance of “specified complexities”, IOW, is context dependent and in this case you mean which speciic complexities with which exact implications?

    You seem to me to be using abstract jargon that ultimately doesn’t carry any real weight or have any tangible connection with the topic at hand.

    Or sepcies identifying / determinative specific key features or some such.. as you could also describe them.

  76. StevoR says

    @ ^ Or rather as can be seen here – take II, Dóh! :

    Danube native Sturgeon’s identification clip by expert biologist.

    @47. John Morales : I was talking about speculation in general NOT this specific fools misinterpreation of the Big Bang Cosmology as somehow justify in his creationist worldview.

    IOW, “Why speculate?” – “Why not speculate” – as a general way and mentla process of starting to imagine how things might be and work and what possible situations might arise given what specific extrapolations.

    Yes, okay, this creationist has written a whole book relating his personal rationalisations about how the scientifically evidenced Big Bang Cosmology (BBC) accords with his religious ideology. I think he’s utterly absurdly wrong to do so and think that the BBC actually refutes his Christian mythology and indeed shows how information arises without intelligence creating it but there we are.

  77. John Morales says

    StevoR, no offence intended, but your frequent typoes detract from your comments.
    Anyway.

    IOW, “Why speculate?” – “Why not speculate” – as a general way and mentla process of starting to imagine how things might be and work and what possible situations might arise given what specific extrapolations.

    Ahem. Neither of us were, at the time, being general.

    From the very comment you cite: “So, when you write “Would the Big Bang itself refute teh creationists […] I wonder?”, I pointed you to case where it clearly does not.”

    […] and indeed shows how information arises without intelligence creating it but there we are.

    No, there you are, where you started.

    (You obviously have not processed what I’ve written)

  78. StevoR says

    @ 55. daniel hedrick :

    I was told to jump in a lake, very scientific… and of course reasonable. I prefer glacial lakes, thanks for the receommendation.

    Bracing! Sounds refreshing especially on a hot day – which we’re increasingly getting at the earth’s poles and in formerly glacial areas.* Anyhow..

    Freethought is obviously not where a conversation is desired especially when participants cannot even define the most obvious observations. What is a symbol? Ouch.

    A symbol is that thing percussionists bang and cannot tune :

    oh wait, that’s the homophone not the one starting with an s there.

    Ok, seriously a symbol is : “.. a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship.” Wikipedia.Symbol page.

    Anyhow, what is a comments section for huh? I suspect you are confusing people disagreeing with you with them not desiring conversation with you since, well, people here are responding to you and doing so pretty politely generally I’d say. You’ve come here putting your opposing Point Of View and have been if not enthusiastically welcomed then at least engaged with and not banned or censored or even sworn at. Let alone faced the sort of hostility urged by some Christians towards others like, say, Repub Robert Foster wants to do to Trans advocates, allies and people – see :

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pervertjustice/

    A whole other topic and thread but one that puts your complaint here into perspective I’d say – wouldn’t you agree?

    Also who exactly is it that isn’t defining their terms here since pretty sure I just did in my comment # 88 above. Upthread you can read among others comments here by snarkrates & John Morales, raven and Rob Grigjanis defining and debating the definitions of a number of words such as “information” and even philospher. Semantic debate is far from unwlecome or uncommon here.

    and as for the difference between specified complexity and complex information

    GHTREDSDETYUIOPLKMNH (Complex)
    GODISNOWHERE DOT ORG (Specified)

    But you knew that…

    Actually, I’d describe your first line as random letters whereas the second is organised into a sentence albiet with a word unseparated by spacing. I’m not sure what point you think you’re making by that. Also you didn’t need to SHOUT! Nor have you actually defined or specified which complexities youZ have in mind here or their relevance to the topic udner discussion in this thread.

    I’ve already provided you with my definitions here noting that they depend on context. A complex organism for instance would be one that is multicellular, has advanced internal organs or even organelles in the caseof microscopic lifeforms, etc .. whereas a simple one lacks thsoe complex features or details.

    An algae might be described as a simple plant – although when you look into it you’ll find its actually not :

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/fierceroller/?p=6749

    Whereas a Giant Sequoia might be described as a complex as well as a gargantuan one. We can specify various complexities they have and thus they have specified complexities or complex features we have specified. Just as we can look at say geological structures and find a simple basalt rock structures that on inspection have crystalline inclusions of varying chemistry and physical features such as olivine & pyroxene inclusions eg :

    https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/169356/view/olivine-inclusion-in-basalt-lm

    that reveal specific complexities that may not be apparent initially.

    You can even have simple mathematical equations like 1 + 1 = 2 that can be found erronous or have specific complexity added to them in certain contexts (situations / circumstances / frames of reference) when you specify that; say, one is a particle of anti-matter and the other is a particle of matter so they mutually annhiliate producing a sum of zero (or an explosion of energy if that counts) or one is a male rabbit and another a female rabbit so that given time you end up with an indeterminate increasng number of rabbits of varied ages or even that as symbols one next to one creates eleven. IOW, what I noted before about context.

    So, presumably, you think in the specific, complex (for certain value of complex) context of this thread and discussion you think Stephen Meyer is correct and PZ Myers incorrect because ______ ( please insert your argument here)___ ?

    A common metaphor rther than serious advice actually but then you knew that.

  79. StevoR says

    @90. John Morales :

    StevoR, no offence intended, but your frequent typoes detract from your comments.

    Fair point and my apologies.

    Ahem. Neither of us were, at the time, being general.

    Actually I was being general and you were being specific at the time but it seems you misunderstood that & thought I was being specific when I was actually speaking generally.

    From the very comment you cite: “So, when you write “Would the Big Bang itself refute the creationists […] I wonder?”, I pointed you to case where it clearly does not.”

    Yes. You cited a creationists opinion as evidence that some creationists -I’d expect even most of them – fail to understand that the Big Bang Cosmology refutes their ideology and arguments. That they don’t accept as true doesn’t make it so. Any more than congresscritters insisting that Pi = exacty 3 makes that so.

    IOW, Just because some creationists – including this specific, Stephen Meyer, one – refuse to acknowledge that BBC refutes their beliefs deosn’t mean that it doesn’t refute their beliefs.

  80. daniel hedrick says

    I am rather surprised that what I would call a simple illustration is not allowed to convey a very obvious point and that is that just because you have building blocks, they are not generally useful in every possible configuration.

    In my reference to Shannon space, it really is the recognizing all the potential combinations and not all combinations are equal (communication). As I mentioned before, the character string FRDESW VGT^^HGRD conveys no meaning (notice I did not say information). As well with Amino Acids especially when racemized.

    Specific order, grammar and notations make the “special” meaning convey specified information. “Hi, Steveo Hope You Enjoy the Weekend!”.

    While each phrase above is using the same set of building blocks only one of them is able to communicate a message. Why is this illustration not useful?

    I really do not understand where the “beginning” point of evolution is when all current forms of life, and effective communication have rules, error correction and are reliant on a “system” to be effective or useful. Just as a character set without rules would be useless (grammar, ack, fin). Using digital assets as a framework to discuss biological information is useful and a lot easier to work with knowing the biological systems have many coded assets (epigenetics, enzymatic expressions, sugar code, reading frames). My world of digital assets, with IDM, EDM, IAM, PGP, XML, PEM and on on is not as nearly as complex but in so many cases we find that humans intuitively knew what was needed and later found them already in extant with biological information systems. Biomimicry is a thing because there is a systems approach to design with forethought.

    How else would a Guanine perceive that an ECC (error correction code) would be needed to protect DNA from the dynamic errors that are generated from something as unknowable as a cosmic ray? Evolutionists always answer with TIME, but it most certainly begs credulity especially when evolutionists know there selective/model is ineffective in describing or defining these complex systems. Evolution 2.0 reveals experiments which prove that, while evolution is not a hoax, neither are changes random nor accidental. They are targeted, adaptive, and aware. Aware? Contextual Epigenetics or Stale Darwinian Evolution? I believe in evolution too, the epigenetic kind.

    It is just like saying from the word “There”, we can build a self-aware system that knows it is there. Seriously
    ?

    Please describe in the most simplistic and step wise process how the DNA Scheme, went from, Amino Acids in the wild to a “coded” system with error correction. I know exactly how humans have done it with computers, but the usefulness of natural selection and mutation is never going to be as efficient as “awareness” that your system needs something which you do not possess for fine tuning. Guanine yells over to a Thymine, this ain’t gunna work.

    The idea that TIME is the magic to evolution based on opportunity (selection/mutation) seems counter intuitive especially when you encounter the Cambrian explosion or the possibility of your most fit specimen falling off a cliff.

    In the beginning God… Fortunately he didn’t know that PZ would be so rude, callous and ungrateful otherwise he would have repented before making man instead of after.

    GODISNOWHERE DOT ORG

  81. StevoR says

    @67. daniel hedrick :

    I don’t know why I would want to subject myself to non-freethought delusions, I may as well just jump in a lake, a cold lake at that. But I am a glutton… Just a lil condescending below just so I can match the vibe here, otherwise we would just enjoy each other’s company over a beer, but that would require humility which is probably forbidden anyway.

    Passive aggressive much?

    Which one is special or specified and which ones are random or unspecified?

    WEADWQTSD DSIUSDYSY
    ME THINKS IT IS A WEASEL
    YHGRE HHGTE##DFG IU&9

    Wow, that first line is really rude in Polish ..or was that Basque?*

    The Hui incidentally are a Chinese Muslim People (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hui_people ) with VFR being Visual Flight Rules and TRE being a program of Tension and Trauma Releasing exercises and DS is a Nintendo gaming console – & could also stand for Data Systems / Storage or Driver Style or Desert Sands or a large number of other things depending on .. you guessed it context!

    # (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign ) is also a symbol meaning number, pound or hashtag. Thus the nonsense you typed is not quite as unintelligible as you probly thought it was. As you, yourself, point out codes are also a thing..

    BUT if you are interested in defining in the most simplistic terms how a materialistic process using inanimate objects to define or represent something it is not, I am all ears.

    More like all straw.

    Well, that and hypocrisy given you’ve whined at being told to go jump in a lake yet accuse others commenting here of being slower than children and the “romper room crowd” and implied that we somehow oppose freedom and don’t actually think freely etc.. If you want people to be gentle and fair with you here (which, again, I think we have been) then hypocritical tone trolling is not a great way to go about it.

    How the DNA scheme and or the epigenetic scheme started from a “dumb” unsymbolic amino, to AAA = Lycine, I am all for it. It will be the first time probably for all of us that this has ever been done.

    So its the old abiogensis and argument from incredulity from you then?

    See :

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

    From the latter :

    While the details of this process are still unknown, the prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but an evolutionary process of increasing complexity that involved molecular self-replication, self-assembly, autocatalysis, and the emergence of cell membranes.[9][10][11] Although the occurrence of abiogenesis is uncontroversial among scientists, its possible mechanisms are poorly understood. There are several principles and hypotheses for how abiogenesis could have occurred.

    There are also many videos and texts that offer an ordinary non-expert an accessible idea of how this may well have happened eg. this one called Where Did Life Come From? from PBS on yutube.

    Deoxyribeonucleic acid (DNA) BTW is not a “scheme” but a chemical specifically a polymer. It also as the above linked youtuvbe clip explains was preceded in evolution by RiboNucleic Acid.

    But I guess you think just saying “Goddit!!” is a better explanation despite that raising far more questions than it answers don’t you?

    .* Actually as far as I know its not – but then I’m neither a Finnish nor Basque speaker so who knows? Obvs someone who does speak those languages.. Point is assuming that something makes no sense just because it makes no sense in English when other languages exist is an issue.

  82. StevoR says

    @93 daniel hedrick :

    While each phrase above is using the same set of building blocks only one of them is able to communicate a message. Why is this illustration not useful?

    Useful in demonstrating what?

    As alluded to in my #94 it is useful for english speakers who understand its meaning but to someone who only speaks Suomi (Finnish), Swahili or Nihongo (Japanese) and doesn’t speak english it would also be gibberish needing subtitles in their language to be comprehensible to them.

    What has this got to do with evolution?

    As I asked in comment #91 above & which you haven’t addressed :

    .. you think Stephen Meyer is correct and PZ Myers incorrect because ______ ( please insert your argument here)___ ?

    I really do not understand where the “beginning” point of evolution is when all current forms of life, and effective communication have rules, error correction and are reliant on a “system” to be effective or useful.

    I suggest you check your assumptions. Effective at what and useful for what?

    I’d also advise you to read up or research the question with an open mind consderng that you may well be wrong and the biologists who have studied this area on the relevant topics in more depth and for many years longer actually know what they are talking about. If you seriously study and become qualified based on having a knowledge are still unconvinced and can produce a paper proving life couldn’t have started or evolved as science now says, well, congrats on your likely Nobel prize.

    You could start by checking out the PBS Where is Life video I linked above or maybe try reading Climbing Mount Improbable or similar books on the topic of abiogenesis and the very earliest origins of life.

    I think PZ Myers has a whole youtube video list of suggestions here even..

    How else would a Guanine perceive that an ECC (error correction code) would be needed to protect DNA from the dynamic errors that are generated from something as unknowable as a cosmic ray?

    That’s anthropomrophising and ascribing intention. It almost certainly didn’t. But the particle structures that did have ECC’s survived and reproduced whilst those that didn’t, didn’t. I don’t think you understand how evolution actually works and think evolution works in ways it doesn’t. Your misunderstanding (& or incredulity) doesn’t change reality FYI.

    Evolution 2.0 reveals experiments which prove that, while evolution is not a hoax, neither are changes random nor accidental.

    Well, no, because see above. Evolution isn’t just random or accidental though random variation and accidents do play roles in it.

    l. They are targeted, adaptive, and aware. Aware? Contextual Epigenetics or Stale Darwinian Evolution? I believe in evolution too, the epigenetic kind.

    Aware? Huh? Aware in what way. Also yeah, evolution and science has, unsuprisingly, come a long way from Darwin’s time.For starters he didn’t know about DNA or RNA at all..Science has built on his works & others and now understands things a lot better even if there are still many questions and puzzles to answer. Meanwhile creationism has led to .. what exactly?

    Please describe in the most simplistic and step wise process how the DNA Scheme, went from, Amino Acids in the wild to a “coded” system with error correction.

    It didn’t? I’m not the right person to ask not having studied or qualified in that area (what were you saying about humility again?) but, again, DNA isn’t a “scheme”.but a chemical, “in the wild” here means, what as opposed to in a lab and how is that relevant given the topic and “error correction” is referring to what? Cells evolving healing mechanisms I guess? See the bit I said earlier about anthropomorphising and Guanine’s ECC.

    The idea that TIME is the magic to evolution based on opportunity (selection/mutation) seems counter intuitive especially when you encounter the Cambrian explosion or the possibility of your most fit specimen falling off a cliff.

    Quantum physics is counter-intutitive but microwave ovens work because of it. Just because something is counter-intuitive doesn’t make it wrong. Science often demonstrates that the things that make intuituive sense to us aren’t correct and vice-versa. Add extra mass to some stars (white dwarfs) and they’ll get smaller in diameter not larger. Stars with the least fuel (red dwarfs) last the longest time and vcie versa those with the greatest amount of material to “burn” explode the fastest and leave the smallest remnants – or none at all..

    The Cambrian explosion was preceded by the Ediacaran and punctuated equilibrium as suggested by Stephen Jay Gould could have a lot going for it and explain some of this. FWIW see this PBS video on how prehistoric marine worms created an ancient biological revolution on how and why we think that happened.

    In the beginning God…

    Which god? Whose interpretation of god? Supported by what evidence?

    … Fortunately he didn’t know that PZ would be so rude, callous and ungrateful otherwise he would have repented before making man instead of after.

    So its ok for you to abuse the person who writes the blog you’re on here but if he tells you to go jump you’re being persecuted? Huh. How is PZ “rude”or “callous” or üngrateful” exactly?

    If god isall knowing, how could he make mistakes knowing in advance that they’d be, well, mistakes?

    If God does exist and did repent afterwards would that then justify committing genocide on the most staggering level at all? If someone is “rude” or “callous” do you think they deserve endless torment or murder? Oh & why does god need a starship or for matter matter prayers and creationism taught in schools and the eishe sof one competing sect of his followers dominating and brutalising allothersects of his followerrs? If god was actually Virachocha or Amatersau omnikami and the Shinto pantheon instead of the Abrahamic one shared by Jews, Christians & Muslims alike? What if the gods and goddesses you don’t believe in were real and not the one we’re mostly atheists about?

    So many questions huh.

  83. StevoR says

    What if in the beginning there was no god? Just matter and energy and a slow process of billions of years of astronomical and boiological evolution and prehistory and ultimately us coming abiout through natural – NOt supernatural -means ina world wher ether eis nosupernatural.

    Because,like it or not that’s what the evidence says is most likely and yeah, there’s probably no god.

    What then daniel hedrick?

  84. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@93 I’m reluctant to keep this going, but ok…

    I really do not understand where the “beginning” point of evolution is when all current forms of life…

    Great! It’s safe to say that the initial appearance of life (abiogenesis) is far less well understood than evolution. It is a subject of active research, but its resolution really has no bearing on the established fact of biological evolution.

    Please clarify: Can I take it, then, that you are totally in agreement that starting (let’s say) with the first eukaryote cell, there was enough of a “system” to produce all later evolution, explaining the diversity of life on earth including human beings? If so, that would distinguish you from most creationists. If not, let’s keep the focus on evolution and how it functions in the context of populations, environments, reproduction, and mutation.

    Using digital assets as a framework to discuss biological information is useful and a lot easier to work

    It may be easier to work with abstract symbolic models, but it doesn’t help much if these are not faithful representations of what you’re trying to study. It’s easier for me to build with lego blocks than to study the dynamics that caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. But my lego blocks will give me little insight, as even a more detailed but simplified analysis failed to predict its collapse.

    If you look at the “research program” of ID people (I do not use the word researchers) , they propose to assign limits to the kind of complexity that can emerge from a naturalistic assumption of reality. As I said in @54, there are very few mathematical tools for assigning limits even to simple systems (computer science is full of lower bound conjectures without proofs, the Collatz conjecture illustrates how the ultimate fate of a trivial-looking iteration can defy attempts to analyze it).

    So I would suggest: (a) if Meyers and Dembski (for instance) are such geniuses at showing what certain systems cannot do then why not start with something simpler than the entire universe? Starting with a simplified model of biology, and claiming it cannot do something (ID in a nutshell) does not even tell you the limits of the simplified model. But even if you had a proof, you’d need to apply it to the real universe to accomplish the intended goal. So what exactly is the point?

    My conclusion is that ID people do not even understand the scope of the task ahead of them. If they did, they would know that the necessary tools would apply to many simpler problems of great interest to mathematicians, and do not yet exist. They are not biologists and not even competent mathematicians.

    Another please clarify:

    Biomimicry is a thing because there is a systems approach to design with forethought.

    You are the first to bring up biomimicry in this thread, and readers can reasonably demand more than word salad. At first I thought you mean mimicry, which is well explained by evolutionary biology. You may actually mean biomimetics, the emulation of living things in human design. The latter shows something very interesting, namely that what we call “design” by a conscious entity is often purely a matter of imitation. True novelty still seems to require trial and error, something evolution is fully capable of. So what exactly is the advantage of “intelligence”?

    The idea that TIME is the magic to evolution based on opportunity (selection/mutation) seems counter intuitive

    Uh, and something is wrong because it is counterintuitive? Human intuition, while useful, is a weak guide. I agree that time is not magic. However, it is a fact, often observed, that a quantitative changes results in surprising qualitative changes. E.g., a collection of fissile material undergoes a sudden change in behavior when it reaches critical mass. So yes, not only time but the scale of events over the entire surface of the earth during that time must be taken into account when drawing any conclusions about what is possible. It need not look anything like your intuition of what is possible at a smaller scale.

    especially when you encounter the Cambrian explosion

    The Cambrian explosion has been addressed numerous times. Look, when I “encounter” a butterfly, I am in awe that something so beautiful and delicate could exist. Also, I’m not a biologist, and don’t have a ready explanation. That doesn’t mean I throw my brain out and assume it cannot be explained. It is the business of science to try to explain the counterintuitive under naturalistic assumptions. It has an excellent track record in this regard and will continue to have one.

    Note: less than a century ago, it was still possible to find vitalists among scientifically educated people. Now I see that even creationists acknowledge that the functioning of living organisms (including development of multicellular creatures from a single cell) is purely a matter of physical laws. So they have beat a hasty retreat to the origins question and continue to put up a fight there. It would be very “counterintuitive” to me if science were to stop its advance at that point. Again, my intuition isn’t worth a dime. Fortunately, it is not a matter to settle here. Active research continues and gives us more and more insight into origins.

    or the possibility of your most fit specimen falling off a cliff.

    This shows a complete misunderstanding of evolution and undermines your previous attempts to sound like you have an argument to make.

    Of course, living things die by hazard all the time, including those that if they had survived would be better adapted (genetically) to their environment than the rest of the population. Ernst Mayr makes this point repeatedly in What Evolution Is.

    You have two misunderstandings here: (a) that evolution finds the “most fit”: individuals with greater fitness are more likely to survive and reproduce, but there is no guarantee of maximizing fitness (b) that evolution is the study of individuals: it is the study of populations. Please correct these before presuming to say anything else about evolution. I give you that advice for your own credibility.

  85. PaulBC says

    Reposting this without hyperlinks on a hunch that this put it in “awaiting moderation” limbo (if that fails, I will await moderation)

    daniel hedrick@93 I’m reluctant to keep this going, but ok…

    I really do not understand where the “beginning” point of evolution is when all current forms of life…

    Great! It’s safe to say that the initial appearance of life (abiogenesis) is far less well understood than evolution. It is a subject of active research, but its resolution really has no bearing on the established fact of biological evolution.

    Please clarify: Can I take it, then, that you are totally in agreement that starting (let’s say) with the first eukaryote cell, there was enough of a “system” to produce all later evolution, explaining the diversity of life on earth including human beings? If so, that would distinguish you from most creationists. If not, let’s keep the focus on evolution and how it functions in the context of populations, environments, reproduction, and mutation.

    Using digital assets as a framework to discuss biological information is useful and a lot easier to work

    It may be easier to work with abstract symbolic models, but it doesn’t help much if these are not faithful representations of what you’re trying to study. It’s easier for me to build with lego blocks than to study the dynamics that caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. But my lego blocks will give me little insight, as even a more detailed but simplified analysis failed to predict its collapse.

    If you look at the “research program” of ID people (I do not use the word researchers) , they propose to assign limits to the kind of complexity that can emerge from a naturalistic assumption of reality. As I said in @54, there are very few mathematical tools for assigning limits even to simple systems (computer science is full of lower bound conjectures without proofs, the Collatz conjecture illustrates how the ultimate fate of a trivial-looking iteration can defy attempts to analyze it).

    So I would suggest: (a) if Meyers and Dembski (for instance) are such geniuses at showing what certain systems cannot do then why not start with something simpler than the entire universe? Starting with a simplified model of biology, and claiming it cannot do something (ID in a nutshell) does not even tell you the limits of the simplified model. But even if you had a proof, you’d need to apply it to the real universe to accomplish the intended goal. So what exactly is the point?

    My conclusion is that ID people do not even understand the scope of the task ahead of them. If they did, they would know that the necessary tools would apply to many simpler problems of great interest to mathematicians, and do not yet exist. They are not biologists and not even competent mathematicians.

    Another please clarify:

    Biomimicry is a thing because there is a systems approach to design with forethought.

    You are the first to bring up biomimicry in this thread, and readers can reasonably demand more than word salad. At first I thought you mean mimicry, which is well explained by evolutionary biology. You may actually mean biomimetics, the emulation of living things in human design. The latter shows something very interesting, namely that what we call “design” by a conscious entity is often purely a matter of imitation. True novelty still seems to require trial and error, something evolution is fully capable of. So what exactly is the advantage of “intelligence”?

    The idea that TIME is the magic to evolution based on opportunity (selection/mutation) seems counter intuitive

    Uh, and something is wrong because it is counterintuitive? Human intuition, while useful, is a weak guide. I agree that time is not magic. However, it is a fact, often observed, that a quantitative changes results in surprising qualitative changes. E.g., a collection of fissile material undergoes a sudden change in behavior when it reaches critical mass. So yes, not only time but the scale of events over the entire surface of the earth during that time must be taken into account when drawing any conclusions about what is possible. It need not look anything like your intuition of what is possible at a smaller scale.

    especially when you encounter the Cambrian explosion

    The Cambrian explosion has been addressed numerous times. Look, when I “encounter” a butterfly, I am in awe that something so beautiful and delicate could exist. Also, I’m not a biologist, and don’t have a ready explanation. That doesn’t mean I throw my brain out and assume it cannot be explained. It is the business of science to try to explain the counterintuitive under naturalistic assumptions. It has an excellent track record in this regard and will continue to have one.

    Note: less than a century ago, it was still possible to find vitalists among scientifically educated people. Now I see that even creationists acknowledge that the functioning of living organisms (including development of multicellular creatures from a single cell) is purely a matter of physical laws. So they have beat a hasty retreat to the origins question and continue to put up a fight there. It would be very “counterintuitive” to me if science were to stop its advance at that point. Again, my intuition isn’t worth a dime. Fortunately, it is not a matter to settle here. Active research continues and gives us more and more insight into origins.

    or the possibility of your most fit specimen falling off a cliff.

    This shows a complete misunderstanding of evolution and undermines your previous attempts to sound like you have an argument to make.

    Of course, living things die by hazard all the time, including those that if they had survived would be better adapted (genetically) to their environment than the rest of the population. Ernst Mayr makes this point repeatedly in What Evolution Is.

    You have two misunderstandings here: (a) that evolution finds the “most fit”: individuals with greater fitness are more likely to survive and reproduce, but there is no guarantee of maximizing fitness (b) that evolution is the study of individuals: it is the study of populations. Please correct these before presuming to say anything else about evolution. I give you that advice for your own credibility.

  86. daniel hedrick says

    In Response…
    .. you think Stephen Meyer is correct and PZ Myers incorrect because ______ ( please insert your argument here)___ ?

    Couple of thoughts. I had a chance to ask Stephen personally after meeting him in Alaska. When the moment came I was fortunate to not ask him in front of a crowd, as the question would have of been of no value to anyone other than me because he was not aware of the origin of the phrase.

    “Cosmological Axis of Evil”.

    Now back to this mess I created for myself. Glad to meet you. Haven’t done social media for years because of the systematic method to manage the “discussion” where both of us pigeon hole and in reality we don’t know anything about each other, other than I can most certainly drive faster than you. Any track, any time. PITT, VIR or anywhere else…

    Now back to the drawing board.

    I appreciate Stephen’s efforts to author books associated with intelligent design and information theory. He is mostly personable, super thoughtful and thinks before answering. Worth to read any of his works, one of my favs is signature in the cell.

    The first thing that PZmyers said to me after a multi year hiatus is go jump in a lake, so I would not exactly say he was personable or super thoughtful. In fact, PZ was on our show a few years back, but with compassion like that, who needs enemies. Eugenie Scott was on the show in the same time frame and recall she said we had all the information we would ever need to know about genetics. Back in the good ole days of “junk DNA”. PZ have you kept up? Come on baby let’s hear your take on the Sugar Code. I’d invite you back but it would most certainly not be valuable to anyone but me.

    So in reality my life is divided up between information security, a radio podcast and let’s call it Street Evangelism. The GODISNOWHERE dot ORG site is just a mere expression of what happens in the face to face moments. I promise we would treat each other differently, engrossed in conversation but I would still bowl a 200 before you did, before during and after our presuppositional party.

    I offer this background because so no matter where this conversation is headed, we will presuppose ourselves right back to the point it probably would have been better off learning from Efren Bata Reyes than sit here watching the Final 4 smashing a keyboard, headed for a Yuengling soon.

    Darwinian evolution is and has been dead to me. Darwin never even speaks or write about the “origin”. So books that deal with favored races kind of put me off right away. And authors that write on content that can’t fulfill the base title, seems mostly worthless. I know very a priori of me.

    After reading all the comments above, my most terse response is that in my effort to ask what I perceive as obvious questions that still have certainly not been answered. Instead, responses direct me towards Meyers or Demski. which only receives condemnation. In fact if Stephen was in front you, he is a pretty big guy, you would never say what you say here. I suspect most of you don’t enjoy living on the edge. My apologies that I do not keep up with everything they say, so none of us probably define terms the same way. In fact, many of terms were novel to describe the premises they believe like irreducible complexity within a framework that does not require the bible or Christian belief, simply that there must be an intelligent designer. Understanding irreducible complexity is easy and it means what it says on the tin. So whether I read the book or not, recognizing systems and vitality makes it easy to understand that parts are unable to define where and how other parts are used. While the heart relies on the lungs, I am confident that the lungs are not the origin of the heart. Take any one vital and the system collapses. It does seem from a macro scale that irreducible complexity exists and it is everywhere.

    Where does the information come from to code how a linear array of amino acids end up building strings capable of folding to create proteins that force metabolic rates to occur where normal reactions would be on the half life of a trillion years with enzymes that react to external conditions (epigenetics) NOT defined in the blueprint (DNA) that does pretty darn well delivering and maintaining materials (sugar code), and the answer to its origin is opportunity, mostly random and chaotic. Materialism cannot answer the most obvious question within abiogenesis to the point that panspermia is necessary because there isn’t enough time here on earth, especially with the number of supposed extermination level events. So 5 billion years or 15 billions, go for it, and not only do you have plenty of time, the universe is pretty good place to do it, opportunity. Opportunity knocks!!!

    Loved the movie contact by the way, which most certainly ended up as a movie about faith, even if it was in Alien’s.

    Whoa just looked above in comments and now by pondering Darwin’s Doubt I am now a Trump supporter. Wow what a presupposition baby. I hope it is true, as Trump was the first Prez to declare if wanted a new regulation you had to get rid of two or more. And of course, energy independence is awesome. But now we have… Exactly what YOU voted for. Congratulations, well done. Did a show on Dominion Software, yea good choice Dems and just love them mail in ballots and the flooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood of “preferred” races.

    MAGA MAGA MAGA but I digress.

    Let me try again as this is quite cathartic.

    And I write rude in Polish. Wow. Just trying to be a moral equivalent to PZ, How am I doing?

    These comments or responses to at least what I thought were thoughtful and meaningful. I wonder if we both could imagine a third party observing our conversation.

    Darwin was basically right, so right that it continues to be the mainstay of the despicable education system we have today even though a near infinite amount of progress has been made since the great racist I mean scientist was as a foundation.

    I am offended and you should be too.

    Let me go back one more time and see if there is anyone at all that attempts to apprehend my effort and make an honest attempt to answer what the origin of the DNA code represents, even if this is the wrong place to do. PZ should I just go back to the lake, glacial baby?

    As an example. It is neutral. My understanding is that the nucleotides whether in single, pairs or triplets cannot impact the other aminos. Similar to a bit in that the bit can’t flip itself just like an amino from one to one of the three. It is also arbitrary as there is no physical necessity for AAA = L.

    DNA and ASCII are an arbitrary and neutral system. Is this true or false?

    I just looked up again and noticed Paul basically called me ignorant. Kewl. Clearly, I am uneducated and unfaithful. Wait what?

    Let me continue.

    A neutral and arbitrary system reveals very quickly in the digital world that although these statements are true, a bit cannot change itself or its neighbor than it is neutral and it is arbitrary in that decimal value 65 = A and that there is no materialistic process or cause that defines how the bit is represented external to where the content is stored.

    Therefore, it is not a stretch to assume that the bit or byte was not the cause of the scheme. We must look elsewhere. And of course, the guy’s name is Bob. Bob Bemer.

    DNA is also neutral and arbitrary. I won’t repeat the obvious, but this is what leads you to the big BOB, whether you want panspermia or the reality of God, something else other than that there amino is the cause of the clearly coded DNA scheme.

    Natural Selection and Mutation does not satisfy Origins and even more it does not satisfy the intelligence that we both have.

    I am going to do everything I can to avoid the ad hominem, be right back…

    Nope, cultist and voodoo.

    Trust me Dembski is a good guy. Can’t hold his liquor which is good since he doesn’t drink.

    Every time I get excited to go and respond I only see broken thinking an extreme lack of compassion, not unexpected just observed.

    Spare the rod for a moment please and explain how a neutral and arbitrary system can self-define a “unique” code set without the use of an external resource or asset?

    The answer is it cannot. And since “meaning” is also not in the code, the picking up of the trash because your wife used the secure app Signal for the first time and the letter A or had no awareness it was just used to get you to do a dutie.

    When lysine is embedded in an array, it does not know that it is just about to experience a 3d world of forming into a protein and totally abstracted away from the function of the needed process for molecular breakdown. Lysine is not the cause of the coded system or the fold. So it has to be something else, what is the external source of this biological information?

    I know you won’t answer because the question is mostly related to abiogenesis. So I will. In the beginning was the word. Logos! Information.

    Life in fact our existence is not only energy and matter but also and equally as important is the “information” of biological systems. The level of complexity is vastly beyond my comprehension, no doubt. I heard a mathematical philosopher say that the cray won’t be enough to measure the sugar code. I responded, go for Deep Blue or today it would be more like an Alpha Fold like AI system.

    I will retreat to my small world of driving faster than you, continue the podcast and pray that the next group of … Zombies you wish to condemn are offended enough to realize that grace does not need to be offensive so I offer PZ another go which I hope he does not accept, however, if there is anyone willing to have a thoughtful out loud conversation about neutral and arbitrary systems, I am all for it.

    GODISNOWHERE.org

  87. John Morales says

    daniel, you sure exhibit prolixity. Let me condense:

    In the beginning was the word. Logos! Information.

    So, since information (Logos!) was around at the very beginning, it follows that it had no creator.

    (Way to repudiate the fundamental claim of ID!)

  88. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@99

    In fact if Stephen was in front you, he is a pretty big guy, you would never say what you say here. I suspect most of you don’t enjoy living on the edge.

    Oddly, it would never occur to me that Meyer, for all his other faults, would use physical force to resolve a dispute over beliefs. Should you really be spreading rumors of his belligerence? I suspect you’re doing your friend a disservice.

  89. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@99

    When lysine is embedded in an array, it does not know that it is just about to experience a 3d world of forming into a protein and totally abstracted away from the function of the needed process for molecular breakdown. Lysine is not the cause of the coded system or the fold. So it has to be something else, what is the external source of this biological information?

    A soap film stretched over a wire frame does not know any calculus. And yet it soon forms a minimal surface that a human being would need multivariable differential equations to analyze and a fair amount of computation to determine with precision (since a closed form solution is unlikely). What is the source of this “information”? Have you considered that many things happen in nature without any external interpretation at all?

    Why the need for an “external source”? We already observe that nonlinear systems (of which nature has plenty) can behave in surprising and unpredictable ways. They do this without design or intent.

    There’s a saying in Chinese that I like: 对牛弹琴 “To play the lute to a cow.” You may think it means that the cow does not know the external source of musical information. In fact it means something very different that I am feeling right now.

  90. StevoR says

    @99,daniel hedrick : That was an awful lot of words to give zero actual arguments or evidence or relevant reasons.

    Quite an unappetising word salad and load of waffle piled high with non-sequiteurs and soured by whines and hints of violence.

  91. StevoR says

    Deconstructing # 99 daniel hedrick, piece by piece here :

    I had a chance to ask Stephen personally after meeting him in Alaska. When the moment came I was fortunate to not ask him in front of a crowd, as the question would have of been of no value to anyone other than me because he was not aware of the origin of the phrase.

    Ask him what and got what answer?

    “Cosmological Axis of Evil”.

    Huh? Where’s that and what’s that and what is the relevance of that to this thread?

    Now back to this mess I created for myself. Glad to meet you. Haven’t done social media for years because of the systematic method to manage the “discussion” where both of us pigeon hole and in reality we don’t know anything about each other, other than I can most certainly drive faster than you. Any track, any time. PITT, VIR or anywhere else…

    So we haven’t met, this is just a blog comments section – but you think you’re Lewis Hamilton or something? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Hamilton ) relevance here – zero.

    appreciate Stephen’s efforts to author books associated with intelligent design and information theory. He is mostly personable, super thoughtful and thinks before answering. Worth to read any of his works, one of my favs is signature in the cell. The first thing that PZmyers said to me after a multi year hiatus is go jump in a lake, so I would not exactly say he was personable or super thoughtful. In fact, PZ was on our show a few years back, but with compassion like that, who needs enemies. Eugenie Scott was on the show in the same time frame and recall she said we had all the information we would ever need to know about genetics. Back in the good ole days of “junk DNA”. PZ have you kept up? Come on baby let’s hear your take on the Sugar Code. I’d invite you back but it would most certainly not be valuable to anyone but me.

    So you have a radio show with Stephen Meyers and have a personal bias being friends with or a fan of Stephen Meyers. That is really not relevant to the question of why this ideas are better. To fill in the blank :

    .. You think Stephen Meyer is correct and PZ Myers incorrect because ______ ( I’m friends with SM and think PZ was rude to me)___ ?

    Is that it? That’s pretty lame and not much of a reason. Le Verrier was said to be one of the most hated people in France but he discovered Neptune anyhow. He produced calculations to show its position, Galle looked where he was predicted and saw it and a new planet was discovered – whether people liked LeVerrier or not..

    So in reality my life is divided up between information security, a radio podcast and let’s call it Street Evangelism. The GODISNOWHERE dot ORG site is just a mere expression of what happens in the face to face moments. I promise we would treat each other differently, engrossed in conversation but I would still bowl a 200 before you did, before during and after our presuppositional party.

    So you’re a street preacher witha clear bias. Your skill at bowling is irrelevant.

    I offer this background because so no matter where this conversation is headed, we will presuppose ourselves right back to the point it probably would have been better off learning from Efren Bata Reyes than sit here watching the Final 4 smashing a keyboard, headed for a Yuengling soon.

    We? You maybe. Reyes? ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efren_Reyes ) Ok a pool player another total irrelevance here. Yuengling? (Wiki-checks : ” ..the oldest operating brewing company in America,” Nope. Its not found in Oz nor relevant at all.

    Darwinian evolution is and has been dead to me. Darwin never even speaks or write about the “origin”. So books that deal with favored races kind of put me off right away. And authors that write on content that can’t fulfill the base title, seems mostly worthless. I know very a priori of me.

    How ironic. Books that deal with favoured races huh? You know the Bible supposedly justified slavery right? Plus thewhole Chsoen people deal? Also, as noted already Darwin isn’t the wholeof evolution and science has moved on along time sicne his initial book..

    After reading all the comments above, my most terse response is that in my effort to ask what I perceive as obvious questions that still have certainly not been answered. Instead, responses direct me towards Meyers or Demski. which only receives condemnation.

    I didn’t mention Dembski. I did answer your questions. Awkward phrasing of the question BTW.

    In fact if Stephen was in front you, he is a pretty big guy, you would never say what you say here. I suspect most of you don’t enjoy living on the edge.

    Yes, I’d still say the same things to Stephen Meyers face as I’ve typed here. You think and imply that he’d try to physically assault me for saying them? Wow. That .. does not make him seems good and contradicts your earlier postion that he is a “mostly personable, super thoughtful and thinks before answering.” This makes him sound like an intolerant thug instead. It is also an irrelevant.non-sequiteur since physical violence or its threat is not rational argument or debate or logic. Is Einstein’s theory of relativity wrong because he’d lose a fistfight to George Foreman? That’s just absurd. Still seems to be your argument. Is it?

    Daniel Hendricks thinks Stephen Meyer is correct and PZ Myers incorrect because ______ ( Stephen Meyer is physically imposing and would win a fistfight ) ___ ?

    My apologies that I do not keep up with everything they say, so none of us probably define terms the same way.

    So we need to work out mutually agreed definitions? Which is how science adn langauge kinda operates so people ar eliterally talking about the same things?

    In fact, many of terms were novel to describe the premises they believe like irreducible complexity within a framework that does not require the bible or Christian belief, simply that there must be an intelligent designer.

    Yet it is only Christains plus a few Muslims and Jews that fallfor Creatyionism and the Dover trial found itwas religious ideology dressed up (badly) to look like science. See :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District#Decision

    Understanding irreducible complexity is easy and it means what it says on the tin.

    Debunking it is pretty easy too and has been done repeatedly frex here :

    Yet no true examples of irreducible complexity have ever been found. The concept is rejected by the majority of the scientific community. … (snip) .. This flipside makes the concept of irreducible complexity testable, giving it a scientific virtue that other aspects of ID lack.

    “The logic of their argument is you have these multipart systems, and that the parts within them are useless on their own,” said Kenneth Miller, a biologist at Brown University in Rhode Island. “The instant that I or anybody else finds a subset of parts that has a function, that argument is destroyed.” Viewed this way, all of the systems that Behe claims to be irreducibly complex really aren’t. A subset of the bacterial flagellum proteins, for example, are used by other bacteria to inject toxins into other cells and several of the proteins in the human blood-clotting system are believed to be modified forms of proteins found in the digestive system.

    Source : https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna9452500

    Oh and you might want to check out this link too :

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

    With its opening quote.

    So whether I read the book or not, recognizing systems and vitality makes it easy to understand that parts are unable to define where and how other parts are used. While the heart relies on the lungs, I am confident that the lungs are not the origin of the heart. Take any one vital and the system collapses. It does seem from a macro scale that irreducible complexity exists and it is everywhere.

    Nope. Bodies having different organs is not “irreducible complexity.” Your (mis)understanding biology like your (mis)understanding of evolution is really far off. Incidentally, since you mentioned lungs you might want to think about their relation with the diaphram muscle and how that applies to what you typed there.

  92. StevoR says

    @ ^ Continuing & fixing – Sigh, sorry folks this bit :

    Yet no true examples of irreducible complexity have ever been found. The concept is rejected by the majority of the scientific community. … (snip) .. This flipside makes the concept of irreducible complexity testable, giving it a scientific virtue that other aspects of ID lack.

    “The logic of their argument is you have these multipart systems, and that the parts within them are useless on their own,” said Kenneth Miller, a biologist at Brown University in Rhode Island. “The instant that I or anybody else finds a subset of parts that has a function, that argument is destroyed.” Viewed this way, all of the systems that Behe claims to be irreducibly complex really aren’t. A subset of the bacterial flagellum proteins, for example, are used by other bacteria to inject toxins into other cells and several of the proteins in the human blood-clotting system are believed to be modified forms of proteins found in the digestive system.

    Source : see previous comment.

    Was meant to be in blockquotes like it hopefully is now..

    Returning to deconstructing # 99 daniel hedrick – split for length & link limits :

    Where does the information come from to code how a linear array of amino acids end up building strings capable of folding to create proteins that force metabolic rates to occur where normal reactions would be on the half life of a trillion years with enzymes that react to external conditions (epigenetics) NOT defined in the blueprint (DNA) that does pretty darn well delivering and maintaining materials (sugar code), and the answer to its origin is opportunity, mostly random and chaotic.

    Was that word salad of mashed together jargon meant to be a question? Where does the info come from to code ammino acids and form DNA? is that what you think you are asking in concise form here? How did DNA evolve? Already covered in the abiogenesis part of my #94. Did you look at the link I provided for you? I’m guessing not. Repeating your argument from incredulity doesn’t make it any stronger, Daniel nor does the question of how abiogenesis happened i.e. how life started address the subsequent, actual topic of this thread which is evolution vs creationism & Meyers stale old shtick.

    Materialism cannot answer the most obvious question within abiogenesis to the point that panspermia is necessary because there isn’t enough time here on earth, especially with the number of supposed extermination level events. So 5 billion years or 15 billions, go for it, and not only do you have plenty of time, the universe is pretty good place to do it, opportunity. Opportunity knocks!!!

    Opportunity was a Mars rover that scientists built and had running on Mars for many years. Abiogenesis we’ve dealt with already and no, most biologists don’t think that panspermia is necessary with this blog having many posts discussing and refuting it see :

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/page/3/?s=Panspermia

    Loved the movie Contact by the way, which most certainly ended up as a movie about faith, even if it was in Alien’s.

    Seems you missed the point of that movie too although that doesn’t surprise me. Good movie I agree and have you read the book? It’s better.

    Whoa just looked above in comments and now by pondering Darwin’s Doubt I am now a Trump supporter. Wow what a presupposition baby. I hope it is true, as Trump was the first Prez to declare if wanted a new regulation you had to get rid of two or more. And of course, energy independence is awesome. But now we have… Exactly what YOU voted for. Congratulations, well done. Did a show on Dominion Software, yea good choice Dems and just love them mail in ballots and the flooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood of “preferred” races. MAGA MAGA MAGA but I digress.

    So my already low opinion of you, Daniel Hendrick drops further yet. Putin’s puppet, the unAmerican traitor and two-time popular vote loser who couldn’t handle defeat & so launched a failed coup Trump is your preferred POTUS? Disgusted if not surprised.Also was that an anti-immigrant racist dog foghorn there? Nice. (Do I need a sarc tag?) Also utterly irrelevant as any sort of reason to think Meyers is correct and PZ isn’t and seemingly an attempt at derailing the thread.

    And I write rude in Polish. Wow. Just trying to be a moral equivalent to PZ, How am I doing?

    Badly. You blew any shred of credibility you might’ve had and have disgraced yourself. You’ve provided no evidence or logical reasons or new arguments to support your views and are also very much not PZ or even remotely equivalent in any regard. You also missed the point entirely but that’s no surprise.

    These comments or responses to at least what I thought were thoughtful and meaningful. I wonder if we both could imagine a third party observing our conversation.

    Er, hello, this is the comments section on a popular blog so yeah, a lot of third parties and others will be reading this and thinking for themselves about it..

    Darwin was basically right, so right that it continues to be the mainstay of the despicable education system we have today even though a near infinite amount of progress has been made since the great racist I mean scientist was as a foundation.

    Attacking Darwin’s character? How novel & original – not. Again, irrelevant to the actual science and again, modern biology and evolution has come a long way since. FWIW. Darwin himself was Darwin was a liberal, and an abolitionist as this nuanced article by Adam Rutherford notes :

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/feb/13/how-should-we-address-charles-darwin-complicated-legacy

    Theer’s a nice quote of Darwin’s own words ending that BTW:

    I am offended and you should be too.

    At what exactly? That isn’t really clear here.

    Let me go back one more time and see if there is anyone at all that attempts to apprehend my effort and make an honest attempt to answer what the origin of the DNA code represents, even if this is the wrong place to do. PZ should I just go back to the lake, glacial baby?

    You assume the origin of DNA “represents” something? Why? Represents what to who and why? What if it doesn’t? Oh and if you have a point or actual arguments or evidence you should get to that.

    As an example. It is neutral. My understanding is that the nucleotides whether in single, pairs or triplets cannot impact the other aminos. Similar to a bit in that the bit can’t flip itself just like an amino from one to one of the three. It is also arbitrary as there is no physical necessity for AAA = L.DNA and ASCII are an arbitrary and neutral system. Is this true or false?

    Dunno. Is that relevant? Is your understanding correct?

    I just looked up again and noticed Paul basically called me ignorant. Kewl. Clearly, I am uneducated and unfaithful. Wait what?

    Let me continue.

    Can we stop you from rambling on tediously and irrelevantly here? Well, you could get yourself banned. You are also clearly ignorant as you’ve demonstrated already. Its an apt description of what your words here reveal about you.

    A neutral and arbitrary system reveals very quickly in the digital world that although these statements are true, a bit cannot change itself or its neighbor than it is neutral and it is arbitrary in that decimal value 65 = A and that there is no materialistic process or cause that defines how the bit is represented external to where the content is stored. Therefore, it is not a stretch to assume that the bit or byte was not the cause of the scheme. We must look elsewhere. And of course, the guy’s name is Bob. Bob Bemer.

    Huh? More word salad and non-sequiteur and who now and why? Wikis :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Bemer

    Oh a totally irrelevant person form another field entirely. Biology isn’t compuer science or coding.

    DNA is also neutral and arbitrary. I won’t repeat the obvious, but this is what leads you to the big BOB, whether you want panspermia or the reality of God, something else other than that there amino is the cause of the clearly coded DNA scheme.

    Assertion without evidence or logic coming apparently from a poor analogy to another field entirely.

    Expert biologists who know their stuff disagree with you and they know what they are talking about whereas you, a creationist MAGA fan, street preacher & radio shock jock have no expertise and a very weak (mis)understanding of the topic here.

    Natural Selection and Mutation does not satisfy Origins and even more it does not satisfy the intelligence that we both have. I am going to do everything I can to avoid the ad hominem, be right back…Nope, cultist and voodoo.Trust me Dembski is a good guy. Can’t hold his liquor which is good since he doesn’t drink.

    Nope. I don’t trust you especially given you seem to think someone else is a good guy despite implying he’d physically assault you for rationally disagreeing with him. As for that last part, now wondering if you were drunk when typing this. Obvious contradiction also obvs. I ‘spose you think it passes for humour?

    Every time I get excited to go and respond I only see broken thinking an extreme lack of compassion, not unexpected just observed.

    Sounds like your’e looking in a mirror then. That’s a lot of projection on your part there dude.

    Spare the rod for a moment please and explain how a neutral and arbitrary system can self-define a “unique” code set without the use of an external resource or asset?

    Again, with your misapprehension that that’s what evolution is and thought to be by people that understand it. It isn’t. Your straw is soggy and rotten here. The old Luke Skywalker – “amazing, every word you just said is wrong” line springs to mind here. You also again appear to be repeditively,ignorantly and tediously talking about abiogenesis rather than evolution.

    The answer is it cannot. And since “meaning” is also not in the code, the picking up of the trash because your wife used the secure app Signal for the first time and the letter A or had no awareness it was just used to get you to do a dutie.

    Whaa? Was that irrelevant reference to your own poor awareness and refusal to clean up up after yourself? What is that meant to show here and how pathetic is that? Also the old rhetorical tactic of answering your own straw questions with your own pre-determined conclusions – at least an apparent attempt to do so, which only irritates and seems without any actual point.

    When lysine .. snip..? (covered already see above -ed)
    I know you won’t answer because the question is mostly related to abiogenesis.

    Yes, its off topic and irrelevant here, and it has also already been answered. See comments #102 PaulBC & #100. John Morales which rebut you very well.

    So I will. In the beginning was the word. Logos! Information.

    Nope. Assertion without evidence and you refer to the opening of the Christian creation myth. Which is just that – myth not science. Also pretty sure the original word there was “God” not “information.”

    Life in fact our existence is not only energy and matter but also and equally as important is the “information” of biological systems. The level of complexity is vastly beyond my comprehension, no doubt. I heard a mathematical philosopher say that the cray won’t be enough to measure the sugar code. I responded, go for Deep Blue or today it would be more like an Alpha Fold like AI system.

    You really do seem to be confusing computer science with biological evolution, daniel hedrick. Once again, these are very different and unrelated fields and what might hold true in regard to computer coding is utterly inapplicable to biological organisms.

    Afer all your tedious screed above it is still unclear to me what you mean by the “information” of biological systems here. DNA? Genetics? It seems so? How you then conclude those came from god not natural evolution still eludes me because it doesn’t make sense nor have any rational evidence.

    I will retreat to my small world of driving faster than you, continue the podcast and pray that the next group of … Zombies you wish to condemn are offended enough to realize that grace does not need to be offensive so I offer PZ another go which I hope he does not accept, however, if there is anyone willing to have a thoughtful out loud conversation about neutral and arbitrary systems, I am all for it.

    Nah, you ain’t. You tried and failed badly at it here already with your mangled attempt at a gish gallop of generally off topic, hypocritical and confused inapplicable non-sequiteurs and overboiled, creationist PRATTS.

    Try not to kill anyone on the roads with your arrogant excessive speed. I very much doubt you are as good as you think you are. I also suggest you reconsider your life and views, not that I have much hope of that. But do prove me wrong if you can.

  93. daniel hedrick says

    Again, it is amazing how much is misunderstood by both of us, as an example I never said I did the radio program with Stephen, I said I met him 1 on 1 in Alaska. The podcast / radio program has been running for nearly 25 years, and we have had Stephen, Dembski, Axe and also many others like Eugene Scott on the program and we physically presented a challenge to Dawkin’s which of course he never answered, maybe you can give it a go?

    https://kgov.com/richard-dawkins-3-1-evolution-challenge

    And when it comes to driving fast, I do it on the track and then you interpret it as illegal. You put into your conversation so much bias I can understand why you don’t understand.

    Come on the show where, I assume you won’t be so condescending and can explain to a wide audience how evolution really is the foundational framework that we can all trust and understand.

    My first question will be and will always be “How is it possible for a physical asset like an amino acid to become the building block for a predefined scheme that it is not even aware the scheme exists?”

    Have you answered this? Additional questions would be, why are there only 20 amino acids, it seems that if there is a nearly infinite recombination of nucleotides that a novel amino would suddenly appear via mutation, and again assume the nucleotides are unaware that they are even part of a coded process.

    And keep going from there, where does the information come from to properly fold amino arrays? It seems that AlphaFold which is seriously “intelligent” artificially intelligent also programmed by intelligence, was needed and yet again evolution repeats ad infinitum that time and opportunity is all you need.

    I am not confusing computer science with biology, I am using computer science to illustrate that the origin of the code, the coding process and the “external” necessities are not defined by the objects used to represent the information. How is that not clear from the posts?

    There are most certainly parallels between computing and biological systems, such as a limited set of building blocks (base 64, base 512), they both have error correction, and they are both neutral and arbitrary. What do I have wrong here?

    Biomimicry is an obvious path towards human novel inventions, so it is not wrong to use the intuition one has about SDLC/Programming/Coding that similar features would exist in biology and they do.

    I personally like word salad especially when it contains something as awesome as a good Caeser with a lot of bacon.

    Glad I didn’t ask you about the Cosmological Axis of Evil is, I would have got the same answer from Stephen as you. Purely Anti-Copernican! And what is funny is when a secular scientist labels scientific findings as “evil”. We commonly notice how often evolutionists are “shocked”.

    https://kgov.com/list-of-shocked-evolutionists

    Oh and by the way with all that loving compassion you have for other’s, my name is Hedrick, not Hendrick. Kind of rude but understandable…

    Yes, the word salad was written to reveal the vast complexity that you think is an accidental set of conditions ends up defining an ability for us to type on this keyboard when no other system that uses codes has ever been identified that relied on the physical asset to define the code it represents. I use obviously poor examples “for you”, so I will refrain in the future, but neither of us suspects that the heart formed the lungs, do you?

    And finally the source of all codes that use a physical asset has a common attribute, and that common attribute is intelligence, as for this conversation or rather for you I don’t really care if it is a sky god or an alien, but to date I see no evidence of a materialistic process that defines the DNA or Sugar Code, just as no physical process ever defined UTF-8/16.

    https://kgov.com/darwin-was-wrong-about-the-tree-of-life

    There are no secular theories for the origin of life, only the “evolution” of life that is already is present. Is the topic of abiogenesis forbidden or just hollow, seeing that the secular world has no answer at all. Yet, between you and me I can develop a code with merely thought between us as I mentioned before as it relates to ROT13. If I do not specify which N in ROT to use, you would have to process all available ROT (1-25) values if I do not even mention the use of ROT how long do you think it would be before you would be able to discern the message? Within the alpha character set, grammar, base 256/255 (special chars) and a null value, where in this finite set would you discern that ROT13 even exists?

    TBQVFABJURER

    We are prepping for the next few shows and maybe we could discuss Biosemiotics or other Origin of Life Topics? Steveo have you ever read these before?

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitcomm/research/references/Gerard%20Battail/Information%20theory%20and%20error%20correcting%20codes%20in%20genetics%20and%20biological%20evolution.%20Introduction%20to%20Biosemiotics.pdf

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1936599740/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFTS0tTSUlVVDVRVlMmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA1Mzg3MDczSUYxN0FTTU1ZRUtGJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA5NTYwOTkzMEhVQUZCS0xVVFpQJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

    I assume you haven’t as these will most certainly break your presuppositional bias…

    Opportunity knocks!

  94. snarkrates says

    Hedrick: My first question will be and will always be “How is it possible for a physical asset like an amino acid to become the building block for a predefined scheme that it is not even aware the scheme exists?”

    First, the question is posed in a disingenuous manner–why does the scheme have to be “predefined”. Why can it not be one of many “schemes,” or rather instantiations, events… that exist and compete? All that is needed for one to emerge victorious is a preferred outcome. What defines the preference? The environment–that is the source of the information.

    Hedrick: “There are no secular theories for the origin of life,…”

    This is simply flat wrong. There are many, many theories for the origin of life. What is missing is the evidence that favors one over the rest.

    Look, I have nothing against differences of opinion, but is it too much to ask that we get more than zombie arguments, long ago demolished, burned to ashes and buried? Pleas have the decency to allow the dead and discredited to rest in peace without subjecting them to the ignominy of being demolished all over again.

  95. Jazzlet says

    daniel hedrick @#106

    My first question will be and will always be “How is it possible for a physical asset like an amino acid to become the building block for a predefined scheme that it is not even aware the scheme exists?”

    You are begging the question, specifically assuming there is a pre-defined scheme. There are constraints due to physics, biochemistry etc, but within those constraints all sorts of things can happen which is, simplisticly put, how we end up with speciation.

  96. Rob Grigjanis says

    daniel hedrick @106:

    Glad I didn’t ask you about the Cosmological Axis of Evil is, I would have got the same answer from Stephen as you. Purely Anti-Copernican!

    That’s not the answer you’d have got from me.

    Background: The angular fluctuations in the CMB temperature can be written as a multipole expansion, using spherical harmonics. Some observations have suggested that the quadrupole (l=2) and octupole (l=3) components define axes which are roughly aligned. That’s unexpected. Further, these axes are roughly aligned with the axis of the ecliptic. Three axes, roughly aligned, hence the “axis of evil”, a play on Dubya’s (actually David Frum’s) “axis of evil”; Iran, Iraq, North Korea.

    This sort of thing is (fool’s) gold for IDers; it seems to suggest there is something special about our solar system, which is, of course, much younger than the CMB.

    Maybe this points to new physics, maybe it points to systematic errors in the data. Scientists say “we’ll see”. IDers say “touchdown!”.

  97. PaulBC says

    I’m going to repeat myself and ask daniel kedrick some questions. These have almost nothing to do with evolution, honestly, but in the unlikely event I get an answer, it will give me some useful context on kendrick’s outlook.

    (a) Is it possible for a soap film to do calculus?
    (b) Is it possible for a soap film to know it’s doing calculus?
    (c) (Implied by above) Can you do calculus without knowing you’re doing calculus?
    (d) Can you do calculus without being “programmed” to do it by an intelligence who “knows” calculus?

    BTW, I’m not looking for one “right” answer because I can see a potential philosophical question about what it means to “do” or “know”.

    Now consider a loop of wire bent into an idealized potato chip shape (think Pringles). I dip the wire into a solution of dishwashing liquid. When I remove it, the soap forms a curved surface film bounded by the wires. The surface is saddle-shaped. How do I know this? Well, I guessed it would be, but in the interest of intellectual integrity on this fine Sunday morning, I took a piece of floral wire (you know, stiff, with that green plastic coating), made such a loop, bent it, and dipped it in a soap solution (Dawn, but other brands should work the same).

    Now I could have instead represented the wire as computer input, e.g. using bezier curves, found or implemented a numerical solver that approximated the film as an elastic mesh, run that, and also gotten an answer. I know how to do that kind of thing. Trust me. But it was easier (and more fun, and more convincing) to use the bent wire and dish soap.

    Is the three dimensional surface in any sense “more complex” than the bent wire? I tend to think so. At least, I could represent the wire curve using parametric equations in closed form, but the surface would be the solution to a set of differential equations with the curve as the boundary conditions, and in nearly every case not something I could write in closed form. The best I could probably do is run a numerical solver to the desired precision. So it is clear to me that that soap film gave me “new information” that I didn’t really have when I was bending the wire.

    Here we have molecules that are simpler than amino acids. Mostly consisting of H2O in fact, with a small amount of surfactant. Yet for me to determine what they will do when bounded by a wire shape, I would need to learn calculus, or at least a kind of of a cookbook understanding of surface minimization to find a solution.

    Extra credit question:
    (e) Do engineers always “know” the predefined scheme they are carrying out when they apply a set of techniques copied by rote from a handbook?

    It is possible for things to behave in many interesting without being aware of a “scheme” or without an explicit scheme existing. If “intelligence” plays any role (and here I find myself in agreement with John Morales) it is in identifying the “scheme” post hoc from the non-directed behavior of the natural universe.

    Finally, for more fun, I’ll channel my inner Dembski (yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment) and counter that the minimal surface was “smuggled into” the system when I bent the wire. There is no new information except that which I as a conscious being produced when I made the wire shape. Fine, fine. This may just be a matter of semantics. But in reality, there are soap films that minimize in much more surprising ways than my example. While in a sense there is nothing “new” since the surface is a function of the boundaries, it is ridiculous to suggest that I am programming the process of determining the minimal surface by bending a wire, the same way I would be doing so if I wrote computer code. And even in the latter case, I may well be (and often have been) surprised by the result.

    Further reading: A very old but amusing exploration of soap bubbles by physicist C.V. Boys.

  98. StevoR says

    @ 106. daniel hedrick :

    ..when it comes to driving fast, I do it on the track and then you interpret it as illegal

    No, I said your speed was arrogant and excessive based on your off-topic boasting in #99 and I suggested that you thought you were like Lewis Hamilton.

    BTW. I’m a pretty big motorsport fan.I follow F1, MotoGP, Aussie V8s & even catch the odd Indycar and NASCAR races occassionally. Got hooked on it when I saw Ayrton Senna and Keke Rosberg charging around the streets of Adelaide in our first Grand Prix back in 1985. Never heard of the PITT, or VIR tracks tho’..

    My first question will be and will always be “How is it possible for a physical asset like an amino acid to become the building block for a predefined scheme that it is not even aware the scheme exists?”

    By “scheme” you mean what?

    As already stated – a few times now – Deoxyribonucleaic acid isn’t a “scheme” unless you have some really warped and a typical definition of that word. DNA is a chemical molecule, a polymer and was very likely preceeded in evolution by ribeonucleic acid or RNA. Which, for the umpteenth time means we’re talking abiogeniesis NOT evolution and that’s a separate issue.

    As for how its possible, well I’ve already asked if you’ve had the good faith to actually look at the source(s) I already offered you – I’m guessing not. Suspect you are too scared to mentally engage with actual science or listen to actual biologists or even biology science communicators on this issue. But prove me wrong. Go read Climbing Mount Improbable and other such works then get back to me on this with something other than reheated, regurgitated Creationist talking points if you can.

    Do you heve any knowledge or training in biology whatsoever BTW?

    FYI. Did some botany at TAFE level here identifying local native plants – an area where I’m working & volunteering in.

    Also look at the questions I asked you in # 95 & 96, here. I’ll even number them and challenge you to answer that way in hope you might actually give some simple direct yes no maybe type answers :

    1) If god is all knowing, how could he make mistakes knowing in advance that they’d be, well, mistakes?

    2) If God does exist and did repent afterwards would that then justify committing genocide on the most staggering level at all?

    3) If someone is “rude” or “callous” or “ungrateful” or refuses to accept your partuicular brand of diety do you think they deserve endless torment or the death penalty?

    4) Oh & why does god need a starship or, for matter, matter prayers and creationism taught in schools and the wishes of one competing sect of his followers dominating and brutalising all other sects of his followers of creatures made in his image?

    5) What if the superantural “intellgent designer” god was actually Viracocha or Amaterasu Omnikami and the Shinto pantheon instead of the Abrahamic diety Ieovah shared by Jews, Christians & Muslims alike? What if the gods and goddesses you don’t believe in were real and not the one we’re mostly atheists about?

    6) What if in the beginning there was no god? Just matter and energy and a slow process of billions of years of astronomical and boiological evolution and prehistory and ultimately us coming about through natural – NOT supernatural – means in a world where there is no supernatural? Because,like it or not that’s what the evidence says is most likely and yeah, there’s probably no god.

    7) What then daniel hedrick?

  99. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@109 If I were hunting for coincidences of mystic significance, I’d probably stick with the mundane and readily observable fact that the sun and moon subtend nearly the same angle viewed from earth. I admit I find it unnerving and I’m unaware of any explanation besides coincidence.

    Granted under certain assumptions it’s not even that much of a coincidence. There is a good reason the sun cannot be too far away and support life as we know it. The presence of a large moon might have some effect on evolution (e.g. tides, though it’s unclear). So assuming they can’t be off by too much, what’s the chance they’re as close as they are (from a NASA link):

    The average angle is 0.52 degrees for the Moon and 0.53 degrees for the Sun. Depending on the particular location in its elliptic orbit, the Moon’s angle ranges between 0.49 degrees and 0.55 degrees, whereas that of the Sun ranges between 0.52 degrees and 0.54 degrees. This is why the Moon sometimes completely blocks the Sun, producing a total solar eclipse.

    Hmm… OK, they’re off about about 2% on average and sometimes by more than that. That’s not such an impressive match. They could be off by more (5%?) and our brains would still register a coincidence. I suspect they can’t be off my an order of magnitude assuming a planet that supports life and has a moon that produces significant tides. So the odds of pure chance aren’t all that low. 1/500? Better than that?

    Sorry, I know you’re a a physicist and this is all very elementary. But if creationists want a “touchdown” why not just go with this one? If there is one trait I find excruciating in pseudoscience, it is pulling in the most exotic half-digested science possible to make a point that could be made (if at all) with something very simple. I don’t know a thing about CMB (shockingly, I have done some work with multipole expansions, though it was long ago).

    If there was any “smoking gun” showing the hand of God, it would probably not need to retreat further in further into physics understood only by specialists.

  100. Rob Grigjanis says

    PaulBC @112:

    But if creationists want a “touchdown” why not just go with this one?

    They go with anything they can. Fine tuning is another example. I’m sure daniel hedrick can toss a few others our way.

  101. PaulBC says

    StevoR@111

    why does god need a starship

    Humans are made in God’s image.
    I am a human.
    I feel a strong need for a starship. (Trust me.)

    QED

  102. says

    Jebus. I can see why Hedrick would like Meyer — they’re both incredibly long-winded while completely unable to say anything.

  103. daniel hedrick says

    Steveo+

    The name of my coach for football was Steveo and I enjoy driving fast, I run the advanced group at Virginia International Raceway, Pittsburg International Race Complex and this Wednesday off to Nelson Ledges.

    I do and often equated the base 64 combinations of nucleotides as a scheme, I love how DNA can code for one of the amino’s using different combinations. With ASCII we have 256 choices, and with double byte 256. Many more choices but our English construct cannot support various reading frames and directionality or triplets of triplets. The scheme is how RNA is interpreted by the ribosome. RNA is 100% necessary for sure to life. But how did RNA code for and build out the ribosome? Are there docs on that?

    As I understand the nucleotide bases are neutral and there is no physical reason why RNA strings are segregated, but rather they are unique patterns (multi-segmented) to code for an amino acid that is a single part of a 3d object (protein/enzyme). Yes, I am aware that a majority of DNA appears to define the gene regulatory network and not in the forming of proteins.

    The phrase “Camaro SS” has a meaning and in the protein world it would be a fast-moving sucker. I love nanotech and the walker that carries supplies is absolutely astonishing, and that is built from Linear Segments of DNA, however, the walking is not defined in the DNA, but rather locomotion is the result of a specified pattern of nucleotides built in a machine with transportation features, not found in enzymes or cell walls.

    https://www.wehi.edu.au/wehi-tv/dynein-kinesin

    We can certainly talk about the RNA world as I am aware of the theory, but I assume even you do not fully accept this position as it is not the overwhelming alternative based on the evidence. How do novel features of DNA appear from RNA and of course where do the transcription features first appear and where was the information collated?

    Definitely not scared. And would ask you the same, do you look at any of the links I offered, I won’t call you scared but I will repeat that if we did a show together, we would be more respectable to each other.

    I have been debating under the umbrella of GODISNOWHERE since 1994. The most common question I have ever heard is the very first one in your recent list.

    Fortunately for those that accept the Lord, we are bound not to this mortal world but to the here and now and eternity, so while we too may be very upset with the present condition of x, on the other side of mortality there is life beyond the physical. An interesting bit of evidence for the existence of a soul that it is not bound to the physical body, called “Terminal Lucidity”, might be worthy of your review. Recently when I brought that up to a self-advertised atheist that I play “Ultimate Disc” with, he said it was one of the most interesting bits of evidence he had heard before. And he had no immediate response.

    We all deserve nothing, and the guilty deserve punishment, but what is awesome about the Lord is that He cares more about relationship than prophecy otherwise Nineveh would have got their butt kicked. For God so the Loved the World… I am guilty but forgiven, you are just guilty. Not my rules. My name is Daniel, which means God is my Judge. I have always taken the namesake seriously. So, it is not wrong to judge, it is wrong to judge like a hypocrite.

    He doesn’t need creationists, he doesn’t need anything, but as Creator I can totally understand creating freewill creatures and build relationships. I Robot is coming to a house near you, I wonder what HAL really thinks about his creator. Freedom divides the wicked from the righteous pretty quickly. Sort of like building an intersection with a stop sign or speed limit on the highway. Soon very soon the red octagon will build safe streets or collect money for fines or bodies from crashes. The righteous stop because it is the right thing to do, right? Is the law to STOP evil? or the one that ignores the declaration???

    For this conversation, don’t really care what name you use for the name of God. I know his name, and you don’t so for now, any name will do. The point is that you didn’t create the cow, the cow didn’t create the dog, and the dog didn’t create the butterfly and the butterfly didn’t create you or me. So whatever direction you to point, that is fine, we both know that the evolutionary process is just as invisible as the Holy Spirit. Aether! But like the wind, we can see where both of them have been.

    The best show we ever did was on what is called the Particle Wave Triality (Not duality). And the idea is the particle wave function has one additional primary source and it is information. Why is it that the weight of a particle is the same weight whether it is primordial or novel (via supernova), we are suggesting it because it is informed, it’s weight and also it’s ratio to other particles is predetermined by design.

    https://kgov.com/wave-particle-duality-is-a-triality

    These two shows are by far the best shows ever done at rsr.org. I am the fortunate co-host/replacement for the unreplaceable Bob Enyart. By far the smartest man I have ever met. Second to that would be Dr Wilder Smith, the founder of intelligent design movement, as far as I am concerned. I wish I read German… but he was eloquent with English. It would do you well to know how this early thinker presented the debate or evidence for intelligent design.

    Hopefully, I answered and did not avoid, as I am most certainly not afraid. Anytime, anywhere drive, bowl, throw, shoot and discuss the universe of everything. Like the debate I have right now to decide if violating my warranty to add a Super Charger to an already fast car is worth it. I am leaning towards going for more torque! Advice?

    I have an answer and more than willing to discuss this topic with you. I have often said that if you would just describe who you think God is, I would probably be an atheist too, such as the “omni’s” as they are more Hellenistic than biblical thanks to Augustine and Calvin we have a lot of messes to clean up. The Lord God Creator of the very opportunity before us is ultra-niscient-not omniscient. Meaning he knows the past and present perfectly, the future is not knowable because it does not exist.

    The only time that exists is NOW, and we are all in it together.

  104. daniel hedrick says

    Hi PZ, since you cannot have a civil conversation how about you just get in the car, strap your helmet on, buckle up and shut up, so we can listen to the magnificent segue between the burbles, burps and the rock and roll of Styx or Rush. By the time I take you around the track, you will definitely be praying for a savior. Jesus loves you, barely, still at least and up until a specific moment. See you in the fox hole!!!

  105. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@121

    He doesn’t need creationists, he doesn’t need anything

    Indeed not. Same holds whether God is omnipotent or non-existent.

    There is much that you need if you have any interest in comprehending reality around you. But no, I get it. Race cars and “debate” will do it for you. Chacun à son goût. It’s a pity. There is much more to do in studying emergent phenomena than in denying they exist.

  106. Rob Grigjanis says

    daniel hedrick @120:

    The best show we ever did was on what is called the Particle Wave Triality (Not duality).

    I read much of the text at the link you gave. Utter gibberish from alpha to omega, with numerology thrown in (the magic number is Three!).

    If Enyart had studied a bit of physics, he’d have known why “all electrons are exact and identical to particles of their same kind whether primordial or formed just now through decay.” Its because they are excitations of the same field. And quantum field theory has been around for 70 years.

    First it was a marketing consultant (Perry Marshall) expounding on evolution. Now it’s a pastor/compsci grad expounding on quantum physics. What’s next? A plumber telling us about chemistry?

    Sad note: Enyart, who opposed vaccine and mask mandates, died of COVID-19 last year. My condolences to his family.

  107. Rob Grigjanis says

    Oh, wait. I take back my condolences. On his TV show in the 90s, he would read obituaries of AIDS victims while playing “Another One Bites The Dust”. Well, at least he’s in a warmer place now, if there is a just god.

  108. PaulBC says

    Rob Grigjanis@124 I don’t go out of my way to speak ill of the dead, but there are times when it can’t be avoided. If there’s a just God* he’ll have been personally serenaded on the way down by Freddie Mercury.

    *Sadly there isn’t.

  109. John Morales says

    The Lord God Creator of the very opportunity before us is ultra-niscient-not omniscient. Meaning he knows the past and present perfectly, the future is not knowable because it does not exist.

    <snicker>

    Also, the usual ‘he’, too!
    This sexed-deity concept endlessly amuses me, people don’t even get they’re doing it.

  110. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@120

    Meaning [God] knows the past and present perfectly, the future is not knowable because it does not exist.

    Uh, OK. The idea that the future “does not exist” makes unfounded assumptions about the nature of time. All I’m directly aware of is one instant. Given that I’m embedded in a (possibly) reversible physical system, the “arrow of time” is more likely to be an artifact of how I’m embedded as it is a linear march from past to what you call a non-existent future.

    It’s interesting that you’re so certain of the answer to a question that has vexed those who study questions such as the seeming reversibility of most physical laws.

    Also, I’m curious about the theological source for your limitation on almighty God’s almightiness. I hesitate to use a judgmental word like “heretical” but “idiosyncratic” certainly fits.

  111. John Morales says

    daniel’s god is a puny god, Paul.

    (I mean, even I know that were I to bash my head onto a brick wall, it would hurt a lot)

  112. John Morales says

    [mind you, it would explain a lot. “oops”, says God, I didn’t know that would happen!]

  113. daniel hedrick says

    As I have said before if we were on a radio broadcast or open debate you wouldn’t behave so poorly. You would quickly embarrass yourself.

    I will defend Bob as he was a great friend. He died for what he believed; you will likely die for less.

    So sad that these brilliant materialists can’t handle some aspect of modicum decorum.

    Although you do not deserve the details, Bob died protecting Americans from unscientific mandates and the wickedness associated with the development of these ineffective money makers and the stripping of many constitutional rights.

    It is so common that atheistic ideologies lead to an unlimited amount of callousness. Oh joy… I’m out.

  114. John Morales says

    daniel:

    Although you do not deserve the details, Bob died protecting Americans from unscientific mandates and the wickedness associated with the development of these ineffective money makers and the stripping of many constitutional rights.

    Most probable interpretation: an anti-vaxxer who died of COVID.

    (Pretty callous, someone who cavils against public health ordinances)

    It is so common that atheistic ideologies lead to an unlimited amount of callousness. Oh joy… I’m out.

    Out of ideas, sure. I mean, c’mon! A God that can’t predict what’s about to happen?

    (Like Bob)

  115. PaulBC says

    daniel hedrick@130

    He died for what he believed

    And what was it he believed? That gay people deserve derision when they die, even if (apparently) he admires their musical talent enough to use a song they performed? Now there’s a hill to die on. Chutzpah much?

    Bob died protecting Americans from unscientific mandates

    Oh that. And yet, I have been following these “unscientific” mandates and I’m still alive. I mean, that doesn’t prove anything, but is kind of ironic, you have to admit.

    I’d suck on a radio program or in open debate. It’s not about whether I “behave so poorly.” In fact, I prefer to remain collegial. I just think “debate” is the wrong way to understand reality. BTW, you ever going to answer my questions @110? How can soap films be so good at solving differential equations? What’s the creationist take on this important question?

  116. Rob Grigjanis says

    Bob died protecting Americans from unscientific mandates

    On the contrary, he was a litigious pastor who almost certainly contributed to deaths or illnesses in his own congregation.

  117. StevoR says

    @112. & 114 PaulBC : Yes. That’s a remarkable co-incidence although I;ve read arguments that Earth-like planet without a moon wouldn’t have a stable axis and thu would be unlikely tobe habitable. Whether or not that’s correct I don’t know but if so it means any (or most?) planets that have sentient human-like “advanced” lifeforms will need a large moon and this it may be astronomically rare but common in thesens eof SETItechnological aliens.

    StevoR@111

    why does god need a starship

    Humans are made in God’s image.
    I am a human.
    I feel a strong need for a starship. (Trust me.)

    I can so abolutely relate tothat. Would solove to have a starship myself.

    Thing is isn’t God meant to be capable of being everywhere and anywhere without one?

  118. John Morales says

    StevoR, different people, different gods.

    Thing is isn’t God meant to be capable of being everywhere and anywhere without one?

    Heh. Not daniel’s puny god.

    That one doesn’t even know what’s gonna happen from moment to moment, never mind what would happen were certain things to be arranged just so.

    (Obviously, it’s not a designer, since it can’t know what will happen in the future)

  119. tuatara says

    It is so common that atheistic ideologies lead to an unlimited amount of callousness.

    Haha. As if xians are never callous!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_witch_trials
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-resources/spotlight-primary-source/doctrine-discovery-1493
    https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/map.php

    We could easily go on and on……

    Jesus loves you, barely, still at least and up until a specific moment.

    After which the xian god will condemn you to an eternity of torture and suffering unless you profess fealty to them.
    How very loving!
    At least daniel reverted to type after all that un-chewable and indigestible salad.

  120. John Morales says

    [tuatara]

    That’s a rhetorical trap into which you fell.

    Just because Xians are callous, it doesn’t follow that others can’t be equally or more callous.

  121. PaulBC says

    StevoR@134 A starship could help impress potential converts who can’t quite wrap their heads around the omnipresence deal. Also, just for tooling around. “Ahead warp zillion!” sounds like a lot more fun than blinking your way over to the Andromeda galaxy. I’m not saying God actually needs a starship. Just that I don’t see how you can rule it out.

    John Morales@137 Good point. I can’t think of an example of unlimited callousness. Even Hitler liked his dog, mercifully sparing him from witnessing the fall of the Third Reich. That atheism must really pack a punch. Unlimited, wow.

  122. John Morales says

    Paul,

    Also, just for tooling around. “Ahead warp zillion!” sounds like a lot more fun than blinking your way over to the Andromeda galaxy.

    Nah.
    The tradicional omni god is supposedly omnipresent; everywhere everywhen always.

    Mind you, daniel’s puny god will know about the future… in the future.

    (Well, daniel and I both know that about his god, but his god doesn’t, not knowing whall will be in the future)

  123. says

    I’ve got some ideas about a sequence of simpler polymers before Ribose-5P using Erythrose-4P (used in Tyr, Phe, Trp synthesis), and G3P (glyceraldehyde-3P).
    Also Lys is the only aa to have a class 1 and a class 2 aminoacyl-tRNA synthethase. Lys synthesis has a looping step that makes me think. I don’t know why yet.
    I should get back to that drawing at some point.

  124. tuatara says

    But I did also point out the callousness of the xian god. An eternity of torture seems like an unlimited level of it to me.
    But hey, that is xian love for you.

  125. PaulBC says

    John Morales@140 As you well know, the old-timey God isn’t omni anything, just the bully on the block. At least God is no longer enforcing maximum building height. He’s over that particular insecurity, which seems rather unbecoming of an omnipotent being.

    On knowing the future, God should at least be able to carry out very precise simulations. With infinity at your disposal, you’re not even limited to recursive functions. While there are many ways to go about it, I like the idea of a computer that can increase its speed by a fixed percentage at each step, thus carrying out aleph null steps in a finite amount of time (sum of a geometric series). That would be enough to solve the halting problem, and presumably enough to figure out what I’m going to do in the next few hours (laundry on Sunday nights, so this is pretty predictable I grant). The idea that God has no idea what lies in the future is a really new one to me.

  126. John Morales says

    Paul,

    The idea that God has no idea what lies in the future is a really new one to me.

    Seems to me daniel is trying to straddle the fence between the usual wishful goddism and science as daniel “knows” it. Thus the clockwork universe and absolute time and universal causality conceit.

    (obs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_of_simultaneity)

    (yeah, worst of both worlds. A crippled god, an otiose miracle. )

  127. Pierce R. Butler says

    StevoR @ # 134: … I;ve read arguments that Earth-like planet without a moon wouldn’t have a stable axis and thu would be unlikely tobe habitable.

    IANA Astronomer, but I’ve read claims from apparently well-credentialed sources that without Luna stirring the planetary magma, we wouldn’t have enough magnetic field to keep off that hard-radiation bath out there. A life-bearing planet would need to orbit in a goldilocks-zone, have lots of water, and acquire a sizeable companion before its molecules could even consider playing with themselves in fruitful ways.

    As for cosmic earth-lunar coincidences, recall that Luna has moved a little further away from its mother-planet since its formation and will continue to do so until orbital stresses tear it apart. The interval during which it closely matches the visual angles of the Sun had no discernible reason to happen during the apparently brief window of human existence.

    Y’all laid in some good licks up above (not you, danny).

  128. PaulBC says

    I suddenly find myself mulling over omniscience and I have one more thought. Suppose (in contradiction to what we observe and any coherent philosophical interpretation) that there is such a thing as “free will” in a sentient being, i.e. that is neither the deterministic product of initial conditions and environment, nor merely random fluctuations of quantum events–no more “free” than if I flipped a coin to make every important decision.

    The idea of predicting the future as a linear sequence and then getting stumped on free will shows a real lack of appreciation of what an omniscient being could do. In a free-will universe, we have, instead of a sequence, a game tree (like chess) with God moves and human moves. Suppose hypothetically that God cannot see ahead how I will exercise my “free will.” God can still expand out the tree and determine an optimum strategy, likely resulting in a lot of forced moves for me (certainly a weaker player since I can at best guess a a few moves ahead and do that badly).

    So if not an omniscient God who sees the future, at least a “grandmaster of the universe” who can determine the absolute best move to make next, right? This would be an interesting model on which to base a religion, more tenable than Leibniz (parodied as Pangloss). It strains credulity to think that we part of an unfolding and perfect plan.

    I have to add that the Old Testament God is more the sort who turns over the chessboard and storms away.

  129. Pierce R. Butler says

    PaulBC @ # 147: … if not an omniscient God who sees the future, at least a “grandmaster of the universe” …

    The “Committee” and “Squabbling Sibs” scenarios seem to fit the data almost as well as the null hypothesis. Polytheism may, paradoxically, best pass the cut of Occam’s Razor.

  130. StevoR says

    @146. Pierce R. Butler : Thanks. yes, I think that’s possible but speculatiev and intereting. We don’t really have a big enough sample sze to relly tell so evry muchan open question with arguments for and against. Though we do now of 5,000 exoplanets now and with the JWST and other space telescopes and improving tech hopefully we will soon have more info on how many planets may actually be habitable for creatures like us or whether the Rare Earth hypothesis is correct instead.

    See :

    https://planetary-science.org/astrobiology/rare-earth-hypothesis/

    & there was a book I read that very emphatically made the opposite case buit ican’t recall what it wa stitled or itsauthor now..

  131. StevoR says

    @106. daniel hedrick :

    I never said I did the radio program with Stephen, I said I met him 1 on 1 in Alaska. The podcast / radio program has been running for nearly 25 years, and we have had Stephen, Dembski, Axe and also many others like Eugene Scott on the program and we physically presented a challenge to Dawkin’s which of course he never answered, maybe you can give it a go?

    What do you mean you physically presented Dawkin’s with a challenge? FWIW I’m in Oz, you’re in the USA I gather so, nope. I got the impression you worked with Stephen from your use of “our radio show” earlier.

    @120. daniel hedrick :

    Definitely not scared. And would ask you the same, do you look at any of the links I offered, I won’t call you scared but I will repeat that if we did a show together, we would be more respectable to each other.

    So what did you think of and did you actually watch and visit the links I’ve provided for you upthread?

    Yes, l’ll check out your links here :

    https://www.wehi.edu.au/wehi-tv/dynein-kinesin

    That one was an animation from Chromosome and Kinetochore, Drew Berry, 2010. Looks pretty neat. From a source on Wurundjeri land. Neat biochemistry.

    Just read your Quantum Mechanics’ Wave-Particle Duality is a Triality’ radio show transcript too and, it seems to be putting your religious, spin assertion and idiosyncratic personal interpretations and opinions over, well not much actual science..

    From that :

    Protons are always exact as are, in our experience, all neutrons. Like those baryons, all electrons are exact and identical to particles of their same kind whether primordial or formed just now through decay.

    Is just plain wrong since even the same types of subatmic aprticles come at different energies and have different individual histories. They’re not identical. So your premise there is erroneous.

    The exactness of repeatedly used numbers does not surprise scientists because, though materialists are known to deny this, numbers are not physical. Science itself cannot exist apart from numbers. And because numbers are not physical, scientific inquiry includes the non-physical.

    Non-physical and abstract – yes. Supernatural? No. You also assert that science cannot exist without numbers which I don’t think is accurate given that science is a method – you form a hypothesis and then test it and accept or discard it based on those tests or observations. This need not always involve numbers.

    Reviewing a Carl Sagan title, the famed Richard Lewontin (Jan. 9, 1997, New York Review of Books) admitted:

    We take the side of [materialist] science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs [and] in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

    Nope. Science is based on evidence and observation as noted. it isn’t just so stories or y’know, we’d still be believing in Phlogiston, aether and other such things that were disproved by observations. Your understanding of what science is and how it works seems just totally wrong.

    Materialists’ objections are discarded (by you -presumably-ed) because they arise from the ultimate bias, which is insistence especially if wrong.

    Which objections to what and why here? Examples? Materialism and science and also different things – as noted science is a methodology and materialism a philosophy and objections to supernaturalism and unscientific stuff is based on varying factors depending on, you guessed it, context but usually objections involve things like lack of evidence, logic, lack of plausible mechanisms, lack of reproducibility, etc..

    Contrary to that lack of humility, the New Testament indicates that even Christianity itself is falsifiable. If Christ is not risen, then our faith is false (1 Cor. 15:14).

    There’s precious little evidence outside the Bible that Christ existed at all let alone that he was resurrected from the dead. I guess taking that line means your faith is, by its own words, false.

    Yet materialists cannot match such courage, covering themselves in a layer of non-falsifiable anti-science.

    Do they? For example? I don’t think so. Merely asserting something doesn’t make it so.

    So because there is no discovery, or scientific law, or technological advancement that requires or affirms atheism (Enyart, 2011, rsr.org/technology), the public posturing of materialism as more scientific than theism is dishonest.

    Wrong. Ever heard of Sagan’s Standard – “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagan_standard) The burden of proof is on on those making a claim eg. there is an invisible pink unicorn or Jesus or Osiris rose from the dead or Huitzilopochtli demands human sacrifices in order for the Sun to rise, etc.. Again, you are conflating unrelated things science and materialism and ignoring the burden of proof which is on those making extraordinary claims to back them with the necessary extraordinary evidence here.

    Quantum mechanics obeys some rules that seem almost grammatical. Subject and verb, for example, must agree in number. In organisms, it’s not the acids that encode it but the functional information that is the more fundamental substance. Human beings are body, soul, and spirit and the soul survives even if all atoms of our body are replaced over time and both soul and spirit survive even cremation, so our non-physical selves are of greater substance than our physical bodies.

    Unsupported, unevidence-backed assertion.Quantum mechanics isn’t grammar and that analogy is not a particularly useful one. To say laws of physics are like, say, the laws against peeing in a swimming pool because they both have rules doesn’t mean physics is an unpeed in pool. Does that analogy help you see where your analogy goes wrong here? Psalm 19 and other Bible verses aren’t science or really evidence other than of what people historically wrote and thought. It doesn’t have much if any relevance to Quantum physics and if god knew about and wanted people to know quantum physics or for that matter to provide proof of existnece why couldn’t he have added something like say, describing that precisely or referring to say a planets and stars unseen that yet exist or even that there are craters on our Moon and spots on the Sun, etc ..

    The Hebrew Scriptures comprise three sections, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings (Luke 24:44), and the Bible names three archangels. The most noteworthy women are Eve, Sarah, and Mary. The magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Three persons (one being the Son) started their public service at thirty years of age: Joseph (Gen. 41:46), a deliverer of his people; David (2 Sam. 5:4) seated on the messianic throne (2 Sam. 7:12-13); and “Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23). God could have led Esther to fast for two days, or four; and He could have kept Jonah in the whale for one day, or a week, but three days and three nights prefigures God’s plan of salvation for Christ’s time in the grave.

    Symbiolism of numbers eg three is cool and all but not restricted to Christianity and not an actual scientific thing and of course, that’s all firstly, arguable for instance what of Esther and Deborah and Tamar or and Bathsheba and Delilah and Noah’s wife and so on? Picking out three women and saying they are the most notable is your own subjective opinion and maybe you can make a case for it but others can disagree. Secondly, its all fictional or mythological if you prefer. Eve was almost certainly never real and the same applies to many if not all the other figures which have limited if any historical evidence for their existence. To use the Bible as proof of the Bible is circular and can’t support itself anymore than people can physically lift themselves by their own bootstraps. Thirdly, since you like your threes and here – its just irrelevant.That humans ascribe symbolism to things doesn’t mean the cosmos works by those symbols any more than using, say, IT as an analogy to physics or vice-versa makes that so. IOW, you are confusing symbolism with reality.

    Consider a hypothesis that is consistent with, well, just about everything, and that if true would help to answer many questions. Rather than a wave-particle duality, matter is a wave-particle-word triality, with “word” meaning information or, perhaps better, functional information. Quantum states are probabilistic and probability is conceptual, not physical.

    So your hypothesis here is that there’s an extra information part to particles. Okay. How do you define and test that and what results will falsify it and BTW have you ever heard of Occam’s razor?

    A photon, like every other elementary particle, is primarily a functional information packet expressing itself, based on context and the rules of physical grammar, so to speak, as a particle or as a wave.

    Nope. That’s not how physicists define photons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photon

    If you’re going to chide others for their lack of humility, its probly best you don’t go arrogantly making up your own definitions for things.

    The key to physics appears to be software. When we learn enough about software, eventually we’ll understand the hardware.

    Again with confusion between IT and physics. Metaphors, how do they work again? No. Using an analogy of software to describe physics doesn’t mean it is.

    Meanwhile, the non-physical is crashing down on the materialist from all sides. As though themselves glorious, numbers are not physical. Math is not physical. Information is not physical. Grammar is not physical. Logic is not physical. Reason is not physical. Ideas are not physical. Science is not physical. Concepts are not physical. Morality is not physical. Truth is not physical. Souls are not physical. Spirits are not physical ..

    Those things aren’t the same of course. Yes, there are abstract things and emotions, no, there probly aren’t spirits (outside of the alcoholic variety) or souls. Pretty sure you have a straw version of materialism here too.

    For ninety years now, various quantum physicists have even been arguing that particles themselves may not be physical! And they might be right.

    Maybe. But they can point to evidence, experiments, peer-reviewed expert papers and so on rather than mythology and argument by assertion, incredulity and confusing symbolism with reality. A red rose might be a symbol of love but it isn’t love itself. The nature of quantum physics and matter itself is quite separate from the Christian faith being grounded in anything real. They don’t tie or gel together in the way you want to assert they do.

  132. StevoR says

    @120. daniel hedrick :

    Yes, also looked at your other links – a creationist text by among others Stephen Miller and a long technical paper by G Battail seeking to apply Information technology to genetics and biologicl evolution.. I don’t really have the time or inclination to read either given the list of books I’d actually lke to read is already far longer than I have time for these days. If there’s anything particularly new or important that I haven’t already addressed in those, feel free to point me to it using your best arguments..

    I am the fortunate co-host/replacement for the unreplaceable Bob Enyart. By far the smartest man I have ever met. Second to that would be Dr Wilder Smith, the founder of intelligent design movement, as far as I am concerned.

    You seem to be a terrible judge of character, Daniel since far from being smart, Robert Enyart presumably unintentionally killed himself and who know show many of his congregation, family, friends and others though his own rejection of medical advice and spreading of a deadly virus – covid.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Enyart

    He was also an extremist “conservative” radio shock jock, a female slaver who rejected the basic premise that women should control their own bodies and perhaps worst of all a convicted child abuser – physically at least :

    In 1999, he served a 60-day jail sentence after being convicted of child abuse for hitting her 7-year-old child with a belt so violently that he raised welts and broke the skin of the child.

    Oh and that wasn’t the first time he was jailed as :

    Enyart was sentenced to 11 days in jail in June 2009 after he refused to pay a fine upon his conviction of criminal trespassing at the Focus on the Family headquarters.

    His wikipage also notes that he advocated the death penalty for women who had abortions and he also had extra marital affairs leading to divorce and three wives. (Not concurrently mind.) That sounds like he was a bully, hypocrite and bigot to me as well as a fool who did the world a lot of harm during his existence in it. Of course, I didn’t know him and thus am just going off the facts listed here..

    We all deserve nothing, and the guilty deserve punishment, but what is awesome about the Lord is that He cares more about relationship than prophecy otherwise Nineveh would have got their butt kicked. For God so the Loved the World… I am guilty but forgiven, you are just guilty. Not my rules. My name is Daniel, which means God is my Judge. I have always taken the namesake seriously. So, it is not wrong to judge, it is wrong to judge like a hypocrite.

    Huh, I’ve already noted a few instances of your hypocrisy in previous comments and no, you haven’t answered whether you think eternal torture or death is a reasonable punishment for being rude or ungrateful or callous.

    He doesn’t need creationists, he doesn’t need anything, but as Creator I can totally understand creating freewill creatures and build relationships.

    Yet you or at least creationists & Christians more broadly seem to insist he needs to be worshipped and have his / your ideology rammed down everyone’s throats and privileged above other things like high school science curricula. They don’t shrug and say “meh, if god wants X we’ll let god directly see that X happens rather than trying to insist on us doing it” but rather insist on and work towards having their view of god’s supposed wishes and needs imposed on everyone else against the wishes of non-believers. On pain of death and torture and imprisonment when they think they can do that.

    I Robot is coming to a house near you, I wonder what HAL really thinks about his creator.

    Then I guess you should read the Space Odyssey novels by Arthur C. Clarke. Not sure why you think its relevant here?

    Freedom divides the wicked from the righteous pretty quickly. Sort of like building an intersection with a stop sign or speed limit on the highway. Soon very soon the red octagon will build safe streets or collect money for fines or bodies from crashes. The righteous stop because it is the right thing to do, right? Is the law to STOP evil? or the one that ignores the declaration???

    More word salad. Which declaration? We obey reasonable laws because we share society with others and, hmm, that also includes looking after others by, say, following reasonable health measures designed to slow or prevent the spread of covid. Are you saying Bob Enyart was evil because he didn’t obey the covid rules designed to save everyone from that virus? I’m sure we strongly disagree on who is “righteous” (ethical) or “wicked” (evil) and why. Also on what punishments or penalties are appropriate and for what.

    For this conversation, don’t really care what name you use for the name of God. I know his name, and you don’t so for now, any name will do.

    Ah, that humility you are so proud of again huh? I know lots of names for lots of different gods & goddesses all with the same fundamental lack of evidence for their existences.

    The point is that you didn’t create the cow, the cow didn’t create the dog, and the dog didn’t create the butterfly and the butterfly didn’t create you or me.

    That’s not a point at all. More word salad non-sequiteur waffle. FWIW Millennia of farmers at work did create the modern cow(s) of many varieties by means of artifical selection. Ditto, humans created the dog through selective breeding for types we chose – often to the detriment of the dogs. Dogs creating butterflies? Well, there’s a pretty nonsensical song lyric and as for butterflies creating humans, well, no, but we do have a very distant common ancestor and share some of our DNA so I gather based on scientific studies.

    So whatever direction you to point, that is fine, we both know that the evolutionary process is just as invisible as the Holy Spirit. Aether! But like the wind, we can see where both of them have been.

    Nope. We can see where evolution has been because it has left fossils among other things. We can see where the wind has been because of the morphology of sand dunes, the plumes of cryovolcanoes on Neptune’s moon Triton seen by spacecraft, etc .. but the “Holy Spirit” not so much.. Evolution isn’t invisible. You can follow the process of different plants and animals evolving and see how it is changing them over time. The holy Spirit OTOH is -or at least there seems no real independent evidence for it that I can see.

    Hopefully, I answered and did not avoid, as I am most certainly not afraid. Anytime, anywhere drive, bowl, throw, shoot and discuss the universe of everything. Like the debate I have right now to decide if violating my warranty to add a Super Charger to an already fast car is worth it. I am leaning towards going for more torque! Advice?

    To, like Yoda speak :

    If so unafraid you are, why the subject you keep changing?

    No, I don’t think you really answered my questions in #11. above.

    I also noted you suggested NOT challenging #99 Stephen Meyer to discuss things as we do here with the threat of implied physical violence from him and suggested in # 121 that you would scare PZ out of atheism by racing him around a track with the implied violence of him (& you!) suffering severe injury or death if you lost control of the car at high speed. These are not arguments that say “unafraid” to me at least in that you seem to think making others fearful for their safety somehow makes you correct in logic or fact.

  133. Rob Grigjanis says

    StevoR @150:

    Protons are always exact as are, in our experience, all neutrons. Like those baryons, all electrons are exact and identical to particles of their same kind whether primordial or formed just now through decay.

    Is just plain wrong since even the same types of subatmic aprticles come at different energies and have different individual histories. They’re not identical. So your premise there is erroneous.

    No, it’s not wrong. All electrons have the same rest mass, charge, spin, etc. Electrons with different momenta or spin orientation are related by a Lorentz transformation. But there’s nothing mysterious about them being identical; they are all excitations of the same quantum field (as I pointed out in #123).

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