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evolution, Religion

Are Evolution and Intelligent Design Compatible?

Many “agnostics” suggest that elements of Intelligent Design are compatible with Evolution.  Why isn’t it possible that there’s both a god who created life AND evolution via natural selection?  This question represents a misunderstanding of evolution.

Evolution is dependent on *non-intelligent* selection.

That’s literally the whole point.  All the predictions made by evolutionary theory rely on the consistency — the universality — of selection through completely natural processes.  If there was some sort of “intelligent” interference with the process of descent with modification, there would be evidence.  There would be inconsistencies in our observations that could not be explained with natural principles.

There are no such inconsistencies.  This is a damning observation on two levels.  First, Occam’s Razor demands that we not insert extraneous factors into a working formula.  Colloquially, if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’.   More importantly, we must note that evolutionary theory doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  The study of life is the tip of a giant pyramid of science.  To understand how DNA works, we must understand how organic chemistry works.  To understand that, we must understand basic chemistry.  For that, we need atomic physics.  For that, we need mathematics.

When we say that evolutionary theory works, we are implicitly relying on the entirety of the underlying sciences, each of which works precisely.  If something was interfering with evolution, it would have to interfere with each of the underlying natural foundations of life.  In other words, if intelligent interference with evolution was occurring, there would be evidence all over the scientific disciplines.

What if God caused life to exist, and then left it alone?

Many agnostics suggest that some intelligent entity is responsible for abiogenesis — the original “spark of life,” from which all current life evolved.  This is much more possible than ongoing interference with evolution.  However, this is not Intelligent Design.  It doesn’t rely on “irreducible complexity.”  It’s just a one-time directed movement of matter and energy which might not leave discernible evidence these billions of years later.

We might also suppose that aliens visited earth and planted the first life.  It makes no difference.  If evolution has been proceeding unmolested since the act of creation, then there is no need for mentioning intelligent design in evolution class.  Or, put more directly:  The study of abiogenesis is NOT the study of evolution, and has no bearing on evolutionary theory.  Even if there was an intelligent origin to life, the mention of it is out of place in the discussion of evolution.

In short, the polite deference to the possibility of both intelligent design AND evolution is wrong.  Intelligent origin is not the same as intelligent interference with natural evolutionary processes, and evolution is literally antithetical to intelligence.  Evolutionary theory is the codification of non-intelligent selection.

 

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Discussion

193 thoughts on “Are Evolution and Intelligent Design Compatible?

  1. But at least with an understanding of evolution, those children who are educated or taught even evolution with intelligent origin (as the Catholics) there is at least hope that they will 1) have a foundation for understanding biology and 2) be able to overcome the idea of intelligent origin/design/interference. Those who teach creationism leave absolutely no room for that possibility without complete abandonment of the premise from the very beginning.

    Posted by CannedAm | June 3, 2011, 1:56 pm
  2. Thanks CannedAm. You’re absolutely right. Education must begin with evolution, since that’s where the evidence points. If someone comes to a belief in some kind of deistic intelligent abiogenesis AFTER understanding evolution, then fine. But at least he’ll understand evolution, and not try to insert some kind of non-scientific nonsense into biology class.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 3, 2011, 1:59 pm
  3. Natural selection and supernatural selection go together like cocaine and waffles; like peanut butter and ladies. Perfectly compatible!

    Posted by Ian | June 3, 2011, 4:18 pm
  4. “Why isn’t it possible that there’s both a god who created life AND evolution via natural selection? This question represents a misunderstanding of evolution.”

    Or rather, a disagreement with the current synthesis.

    “All the predictions made by evolutionary theory rely on the consistency — the universality — of selection through completely natural processes.”

    Precisely why the current synthesis may be in error. Why must natural selection be universal? Where has it been determined that there can be no designer input?

    “f there was some sort of “intelligent” interference with the process of descent with modification, there would be evidence. There would be inconsistencies in our observations that could not be explained with natural principles.”

    And there is. And there are.

    “There are no such inconsistencies. This is a damning observation on two levels. First, Occam’s Razor demands that we not insert extraneous factors into a working formula. Colloquially, if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’”

    Occam’s razor makes a basic unsupportable assumption; that all existent mechanisms and systems operate without redundancy, or in the simplest possible form. That may be desirable, but simply not universal. The blood clotting cascade could be simpler, as could any designed system or device. How is it that that implies evolution via random stepwise iterations as opposed to directed stepwise iterations? It plainly does not.

    Dawkins has said many times that Occam’s razor rules out a designer, since it would need to be more complex than its creation, and thus fail parsimony. If you (or I) designed a complex B-1 bomber, and had it mass produced by an embryogenesis (a completely automated production line), and it exceeded your (or my) complexity, how would that be relevant to Dawkins’ logic?

    “When we say that evolutionary theory works, we are implicitly relying on the entirety of the underlying sciences, each of which works precisely.”

    Agreed, physical laws work predictably.

    “If something was interfering with evolution, it would have to interfere with each of the underlying natural foundations of life. “

    Ah, you seem to be inferring that the ‘interfering’ factor would be ‘supernatural’, thus upsetting natural laws. But why would it need to be supernatural, or of a nature that would skew natural laws? Genetic engineering is a disruption of what would be a normal embryo process, altering the progeny, buy not upsetting natural laws. So I feel that he above is conjecture. I’m predicting that normal mechanistic means were employed.

    “In other words, if intelligent interference with evolution was occurring, there would be evidence all over the scientific disciplines.”

    Regardless of whether a genetic alteration came about by a recoding a genome (manual data input) or due to a mutation, how would you discern from the result which was operative?

    My ID hypothesis is that multiple designers (gene tweakers) have over vast time tinkered with various bioforms, and have thus introduced a measure of novelty and complexity that would not occur otherwise, and that the observable evolutionary processes are ‘designed-in’ processes, to enhance adaptation to changing environments, a further evidence of intelligent design.

    Posted by leebowman | June 3, 2011, 9:04 pm
  5. My ID hypothesis is that multiple designers (gene tweakers) have over vast time tinkered with various bioforms, and have thus introduced a measure of novelty and complexity that would not occur otherwise, and that the observable evolutionary processes are ‘designed-in’ processes, to enhance adaptation to changing environments, a further evidence of intelligent design.

    And as I said, this hypothesis is inconsistent with the theory of evolution. Incompatible. Evolution — via unintelligent selection — does account for all the complexity and novelty in the world. It PREDICTS it.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 4, 2011, 1:29 pm
  6. Ah, you seem to be inferring that the ‘interfering’ factor would be ‘supernatural’, thus upsetting natural laws. But why would it need to be supernatural, or of a nature that would skew natural laws? Genetic engineering is a disruption of what would be a normal embryo process, altering the progeny, buy not upsetting natural laws. So I feel that he above is conjecture. I’m predicting that normal mechanistic means were employed.

    Proposing a “natural” god, then? There are severe problems with that hypothesis. Alternately, are you suggesting that God — who is capable of doing anything supernatural or natural — chose to interfere with evolution (which works perfectly well without interference) over billions of years, tinkering here and there, with the express purpose of telling you not to masturbate or marry a dude?

    Seems… implausible. But run with it if it makes you happy. Just don’t try to sell it to me on that basis.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 4, 2011, 1:41 pm
  7. Strictly speaking, one has to avoid conflating (1) descent with modification and (2) natural selection. (1) need not work by (2); in fact, there’s a big history of proposed alternate mechanisms.

    At the molecular level, a major part of evolution is “neutral selection”, random drift between selectively-similar possibilities. It was rather surprising to biologists to discover how much evolution was genetic drift and not selection.

    Looking into the past, most proposed mechanisms have been *less* random than natural selection.

    Lamarckism: inheritance of acquired characteristics.

    Direct induction by the environment. A Lamarck-like mechanism that includes maternal impressions like Genesis 30.

    Orthogenesis: evolution driven by internal forces. That was Lamarck’s preferred mechanism; he considered what we call Lamarckism to be a minor one.

    Then we have designed evolution, evolution by genetic engineering.

    Posted by Loren Petrich | June 5, 2011, 1:47 pm
  8. How can anyone contructively respond to Hamby and other Atheists (AND CREATIONISTS) who present arguements based on obsolete science theories? Ill requote IAN from another post:
    “There’s something that Stephen Pinker wrote–I think it was in Words and Rules–which really struck me. He said that it takes about fifty years for philosophical ideas to percolate down to the level of popular awareness.”

    Pinker is correct! Its taking 50 years for the new empirical evidence of scientific research to perculate down to Darwinists who insists on the random nature of evolution. As I have been stating for over a year now, the real evolution debate is not Evolution versus Creationism, but Darwinian “Random mutation” Evolution versus what loren states as “Engineered” Evolution.

    Lets take it slow and first discuss how
    The theory of evolution occuring from random mutation was falsified years ago yet its still in the textbooks and expoused by highly intelligent persons such as Hamby.

    Fortunately there is an updated 2011 peer reviewed article for reference. This new study published in The Open Evolution Journal described what is called the “mutation protection paradox,”. Evolutionary Scientists discovered years ago a parity code and error DNA repair mechanism in DNA that detects errors and makes the appropriate corrections to the DNA code. This paper is a follow up to those earlier discoveries.

    Read the conclusions…

    “Unbounded random change of digital codes – for instance by random change of bits or by copying a random string of bits and inserting it elsewhere in the code – is impossible because the normal mutation protection is an intrinsic part of digital codes and the program languages in use,
    and cannot be switched off.”

    http://benthamscience.com/open/toevolj/articles/V005/1TOEVOLJ.pdf

    IMPOSSIBLE? WOW!!!!
    So, There is a “normal mutation protection” that keeps unbound random mutations from corrupting the code and that “unauthorized” Switching off of the error correction system results in disease and the distruction of the organism.

    In addition, other peer reviewed papers observe that Evolution occurs when the error correction mechanism are “engineered” to be “switched off” and that discovered engineered evolutionary process (non-random) dictate evolutionary pathways. We will visit that at a later time. But first, lets get clear on one point, Darwinian evolution is losing the war. Evolution is not “random” but “engineered”.

    Not only do Darwinists have to continue to deny DNA is an actual code, they have to now explain how “random” evolution could evolve error detection and repair mechanisms for what they claim is a “non’code”. I will cite those Peer reviewed papers to support my position.

    But to answer your question, Are Evolution and Intelligent Design Compatible?

    As you will soon find out from your very own evolutionary scientists papers, the answer is a resounding YES!!!

    Posted by PG | June 5, 2011, 4:39 pm
  9. PG, if Pinker’s statement applied to science, we’d all be chattering about the recent demise of the Steady State theory, and nobody would have heard of dark energy. Or string theory. Or Hawking radiation. Or the discovery of planets outside the solar system. And on and on…

    By contrast, in 1965, Alvin Plantinga solved the logical problem of evil. I found that out last year.

    Posted by Ian | June 5, 2011, 6:24 pm
  10. LEEBOWMAN, you respond to “Living Life Without a Net” as follows:

    [And there is. And there are.

    “There are no such inconsistencies. This is a damning observation on two levels. First, Occam’s Razor demands that we not insert extraneous factors into a working formula. Colloquially, if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’”

    Occam’s razor makes a basic unsupportable assumption; that all existent mechanisms and systems operate without redundancy, or in the simplest possible form. That may be desirable, but simply not universal. The blood clotting cascade could be simpler, as could any designed system or device. How is it that that implies evolution via random stepwise iterations as opposed to directed stepwise iterations? It plainly does not.]

    Certainly Occam’s razor makes such an assumption. And at a purely philosophical level it is indeed unsupportable.

    But we are here working inside the framework of the sciences, within which the principle of parsimony has proven to be a valuable tool. On those few occasions when it fails us it is because the metaphorical “formula” in the above quote no longer works. In these instances it is replaced by the next least complex mechanism. Sure, if our best explanation of observed phenomena are found wanting then reinterpretations are in order. But, until then, “if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixin’”
    That such an approach is valid is reflected in the vast collection of artifacts which it has generated. The great beauty of the Science/Engineering/Technology empirical trinity is that it works!
    Show us a prayer-powered automobile, for instance, and the sceptical among us might begin to suspect that your claims of “supernatural” interventions might have some merit. We won’t be holding our breath, though.

    Just to address another small point. You boldly assert that the blood clotting cascade could be made simpler. Wow! Perhaps you would care to enlighten us upon your alternative scheme which would meet all the rather complicated biological requirements?
    Even without the evolutionary prerequisite for the use of pre-existing components.

    —–
    Living Life Without a Net remarks:

    “When we say that evolutionary theory works, we are implicitly relying on the entirety of the underlying sciences, each of which works precisely.”

    This is a very important statement and reflects my own views entirely, even if “precisely” may be a little strong.

    —–
    LOREN PETRICH points out the processes of genetic drift and epigenetic modification. While these are clearly not mainstream natural selection mechanisms, they are entirely compatible with the underlying sciences, particularly that of biochemistry, which provides the framework within which natural selection lies.
    —–

    Both Loren and PG, I believe, make the very common error of confusing evidence of directionality with that of “design”
    Equally common and erroneous is the converse notion that natural selection is a random process.

    The directionality of biological evolution is very clear.
    As is the underlying mechanism.
    While mutation is seen to be essentially random, a strong directionality is imparted by the dynamically changing prevailing environment (what Stuart Kauffman prefers to call “The adjacent possible”).

    However, this directionality in no way implies any kind of creator, “higher intelligence”, or even “intelligent design”

    There is actually a very straightforward mechanistic model to account for this using minimal assumptions.

    This is explored in my latest book,“The Goldilocks Effect” which is available in E-book formats for free download at the “Unusual Perspectives” website.

    Posted by Peter G Kinnon | June 5, 2011, 7:04 pm
  11. Peter,
    I read the introduction and chapter 10 of your book “The Goldilocks Effect”. Unfortunately, though you recognize that the universe is like the porridge that is “just right”, you then try to convince everyone that the porridge was not intelligently designed, but evolved.

    I mean no disrepect, but your views on evolution are simply a regurgitation of Dawkins antiquated version of Darwinian evolution complete with his accusations of pareidolia for any scientists whose scientific observations concludes design.
    Dawkins hasent figured out evolution. He has written several books on evolution but has failed to educate his readers on many of the new scientific discoveries in evolutionary science. These new discoveries in the last decades, provide the empirical evidence that macroevolution occurs. So why are these discoveries not included in his Books or your book for that matter? Because the scientific evidence falsifies his ideology of random evolutionary mechanisms, which is much of what he preaches.

    I just cited a new 2011 peer reviewed paper from evolutionary scientists that states that the empirical evidence suggests that it is IMPOSSIBLE for random mutations to create any new evolutionary pathways because of the “normal mutation protection” that prevents unbound random mutations from corrupting the code. Emphasis on IMPOSSIBLE!

    The findings in this new paper does not jive well for you or Dawkins. Dawkins “Random mutation” evolutionary theory is one of those myths you mention in chapter 10. Its an obsolete sinking ship quickly taking on water. I am curious to know how many of his crew members and passengers are willing to go down with him!

    21st century evolutionary science discoveries do not evidence randomness, but highly communicative, decision making evolutionary processes.

    More citations coming soon…

    Posted by PG | June 6, 2011, 3:21 am
  12. Hi Peter,

    I had written that “Occam’s razor makes a basic unsupportable assumption; that all existent mechanisms and systems operate without redundancy, or in the simplest possible form.” And that it was desirable, but not universal.

    You stated that within science it is a useful tool, and I agree. My point, not well stated, was that our logic is often flawed in its application to observed systems. IAN was applying it as an argument that ‘intelligent intervention’ would constitute an ‘extraneous [unneeded] factor’, and that further, it would be disruptive to natural processes. Those points are where I took exception.

    You wrote, “Show us a prayer-powered automobile, for instance, and the sceptical among us might begin to suspect that your claims of “supernatural” interventions might have some merit.” Let me clarify further.

    I would no more support anything along those lines than favoring ‘intelligent falling’, or celestial orbit tweaking. Those would constitute a form of micro-management that is not the way I see the role of various cosmic intelligences, if extant.

    Also, I make no claims of supernatural interventions, just that there is evidence of intelligent input to initially produce proteins from amino acids, RNA encoding, both eukaryote and prokaryote construction and transcription, on up to organ and organelle constructs that have no survival advantages in intermediate steps, asexual to sexual reproduction, and of co-dependent systems that could not evolve separately, and by point mutations alone.

    By the way, I read your e-book, “The Goldilocks Effect”, all twenty-six chapters, but skimmed a few of them somewhat. Someday let’s discuss your emerging ‘non-biologic’ species, silicon based or perhaps a novel new mineral or molecule construct? Interesting, and thanks for the download.

    To best understand where I’m coming from, Google my name in quotes, along with other key words like ‘evolution’, ‘intelligent design’, and ‘kitzmiller’ to name a few. My position is pure science, and more empirically based than based on reading the various works of others. Not that they lack validity, however, it’s that with the vast data available today, conclusions can be drawn ad-hoc. Some of our most notable scientists, as you pointed out, tended to think outside the box, and alchemy wasn’t Newton’s only untoward enterprise, there were more. But we thank him none-the-less.

    To conclude, yes it all came from hydrogen, and by a cascade of natural events. And yes, biology is based on a similar cascade, but different in a few ways. Bioforms appear to be vehicles for cosmic intelligence, and I’ve experimented along those lines, and with confirming results. I may and may not publish the data. But even if life forms think on their own, i.e. synaptical activity only, their complexity far exceeds what adaptive mods could result in. Selection of survival enhancing traits is real, but the evidence points to it being a ‘designed in’ process to assist environmental adaptation, rather than a means to radically alter body plans or produce complex systems.

    I have some predictions of how embryology was set up, and of a ‘balance’ between self-assembly and hard coding, but later for that.

    Cheers,
    Beau

    Posted by leebowman | June 6, 2011, 7:42 am
  13. The recent exchange = tl;dr.

    Summary: ID keeps retreating to “we feel like this stuff was designed, because we can’t possibly believe it all happened by chance”.

    Wake me up when there is some real evidence of design (you know, like a designer), not just an illusion of design (what we call something that seems designed).

    The simple answer to all of ID is that without a designer, any evidence of design could just be an illusion…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 6, 2011, 9:46 am
  14. Alex says:
    “Summary: ID keeps retreating to “we feel like this stuff was designed, because we can’t possibly believe it all happened by chance. Wake me up when there is some real evidence of design.”

    PG says:
    Poor Alex is in for a rude awakening assuming he decides to wake up and finally face the facts. While he has been sleeping, science has discovered that evolution is not driven by random mutations but by decision making processes such as the “on/off switch” in the DNA error detection mechanism. Not once have I ever suggested or will I ever suggest that a Designer is turning that switch off and on, or guiding these decision making evolutionary processes in any way. Science has discovered that “chance” plays no part in evolution, but the lifeform certainly does!
    So Im perfectly fine with the fact that 21st century evolutionary theory is disqualifying “random mutation” as a valid driving force for evolution.
    Are You Alex?

    Posted by PG | June 6, 2011, 12:02 pm
  15. Now Alex has brought up a good point. Our current understanding of life is that language error detection and correction requires some level of intelligence. DNA is a language that has error detection and correction mechanisms that are far more exacting and rigorous then our own human capabilities.

    Today, scientists are faced with not only the challenges of providing empirical evidence for the origin of the information contained in DNA, but also must account for how this DNA could have survived without an already evolved error detection and correction mechanism, and then eventually evolve this highly complex mechanism, all without intent!

    But the problem for scientists goes much deeper than this, as I will soon explain in another thread.

    This DNA error detection mechanism has an on/off switch. If the switch is on, no evolution takes place. If the switch is turned off, then errors quickly pile up creating diseases and eventually destroying the organism.

    That creates a paradox for Darwinian evolution. The Peer reviewed papers stated that only “Bound” mutations were allowed to be “accepted and integrated” into the existing DNA.

    Science has discovered that this process of momentarily turning off the switch and then utalizing a decision making process to determine the value of the new mutation is intentional and is not a random process.

    In fact my next citations will demonstrate that the creation of new mutations are intentional mechanisms, and not random mechanics.

    .

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 1:49 pm
  16. My apologies: Spelling error: utilizing.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 1:52 pm
  17. My apologies: Spelling error: utilizing.

    It could be the beginning of a breakthrough! PG is concerned enough with empirical reality to correct his own spelling error. Maybe one day it’ll extend to fact-checking.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 7, 2011, 2:06 pm
  18. DNA is a language that has error detection and correction mechanisms that are far more exacting and rigorous then our own human capabilities.

    No. DNA is not a language. DNA is composed of polymers which act as catalysts for chemical reactions which eventually produce proteins. DNA has been described using language, but with or without the language, DNA just goes on doing its thing.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 7, 2011, 2:10 pm
  19. Hamby needs to continue to believe that chemicals simply “just doing their own thing” created a created a highly sophisticated error detection and correction mechanism with an on/off switch so that it could regulate evolutionary processes and decide which chemicals will allowed to be integrated, so that it could survive and continue to “Just do its own thing”

    Hamby please describe to us how simple chemicals “just doing their own thing” evolved the capacity to detect errors and then shut down processes until the error is repaired or discarded,

    Then tell us what the error detection mechanism is correcting for, if its not correcting a code of instructions,

    Because chemicals creating highly sophisticated error detection mechanisms being described as “Just doing their own thing” is shallow and not intillectually satisfying.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 2:53 pm
  20. Hamby needs to continue to believe that chemicals simply “just doing their own thing” created a created a highly sophisticated error detection and correction mechanism with an on/off switch so that it could regulate evolutionary processes and decide which chemicals will allowed to be integrated, so that it could survive and continue to “Just do its own thing”

    Evolution is “doing it’s own thing” the same as it ever has. The quirk is that one animal — humans — became smart enough to notice evolution doing its thing. The error correction in natural selection works on pretty simple mathematical principles, and developed the same way as everything else that evolved. It worked, so it kept reproducing itself. No intelligence necessary.

    PG, I wonder… have you ever considered the fact that complexity and design are not correlated in any meaningful way? Give that some thought and get back to me.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 7, 2011, 4:46 pm
  21. PG consider this:

    I roll a fair six sided die six times.

    One time I get

    1 2 3 4 5 6

    The other time I get

    6 2 3 1 5 2

    Which is more likely? You may say the second one, because it appears more random than the first one, because the first one is ordered.

    But guess what? BOTH these outcomes have the same probability. I’m as likely to roll the first sequence as the second one. JUST because it seems ordered does not mean that it could not arise from chance, or another sequence that isn’t so ordered is any more likely.

    Posted by cptpineapple | June 7, 2011, 5:45 pm
  22. Hi CPT
    Unfortunately, most Darwinian evolutionists/Atheists don’t like to discuss probabilities and the dismiss “odds” because the probabilities are overwhelming.. It has been estimated that it is far more likely that you would win the lottery every week for 80 straight years than it is that a single bacterium arose by pure chance.
    Perhaps the most condemning comes from evolutionary scientists themselves:
    “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged (through evolutionary processes) is comparable
    with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material
    therein” (Sir Fred Hoyle, “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, Vol. 294, November 1981).

    I could go on, but let’s not deflect away from this very important topic.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 6:59 pm
  23. Hamby,
    Interesting, evolution is a unique scientific field where you and the ilks like Dawkins consider scientific observation as a quirk, and like Dawkins, believe that any scientists who conclude any observation of design are delusional. Regardless of your beliefs, 21st century science has empirically proven that evolution is not random chemical reactions as you insist, but intentional. Once you review my next citations, you will find that I have no need to invoke any intelligent agency, so save your time. 21st century science has falsified Darwinian evolution theory of random mutations, and as an ID’er, I am fine with their findings. The question is what happens to all those Atheists who put all their eggs in Dawkins and Darwin’s Basket. These new scientific discoveries are just now hitting the mainstream public; The evidence will force both Atheists and Creationists to realign their beliefs to the scientific findings and its obvious that hamby is already struggling with the basics.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 7:27 pm
  24. Hamby,
    Now regarding your reply, I take note that you have no real answer or rebuttal to the evidence that evolution is not random as evidence in this 2011 peer reviewed paper. It speaks louder than any words that you write!
    You ignore the new empirical evidence and cling to your beliefs despite the scientific evidence. Your theory that random chemical reations created the error mechanism because it’s simple math and “It works”, has no foundation or evidence in today’s science.
    21st century evolutionary scientists hope one day that all students of evolutionary science will someday learn the truth that Darwinian Theory of random mutations is an obsolete falsifiedc 2oth century science, and that both religious and non religious will no longer have to endure the promotion of random evolution and its so-so stories of ““just doing their own thing” and “Simple math” and “Quirky” scientific observations.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 7:40 pm
  25. “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged (through evolutionary processes) is comparable
    with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the material
    therein” (Sir Fred Hoyle, “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, Vol. 294, November 1981).

    The problem with probabilities is that it only takes once and then it doesn’t matter. The odds of any one person winning the lottery are astronomical, but someone still wins eventually. We just happen to live in the universe, and on the planet, and be of the species that won the lottery of life. Of course, given the number of galaxies (billions) and the number of stars in each galaxy (again billions), I don’t find it that hard to accept that life arose on this planet. Especially since if it hadn’t, we wouldn’t be having this argument anyway…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 7, 2011, 9:13 pm
  26. Any theory with a probability of being correct that is larger than one part in 104^0,000 must be judged superior to random shuffling. The theory that life was assembled by an intelligence has, we believe, a probability vastly higher than one part in 10^40,000 of being the correct explanation of the many curious facts discussed in preceding chapters. Indeed, such a theory is so obvious that one wonders why it is not widely accepted as being self-evident. The reasons are psychological rather than scientific. Evolution from Space (1981) p.130

    I can understand the math he used, but I fail to see where he layed out any math to support his idea that ID is more probable… Oh wait, why do that, it’s obviously right…

    This entire discussion of probability is quite meaningless unless you have an alternate theory that you can intelligently assign a competing probability to. Without proof of a designer, ID fails at that front as you cannot assign any probability to something that has zero proof. What’s the probability I’m a pink unicorn typing this with my horn?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 7, 2011, 9:22 pm
  27. If anyone wants to get a headstart on the arguments PG uses, just have a quick look here: http://bevets.com/equotesho.htm

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 7, 2011, 9:23 pm
  28. PG consider this:

    I roll a fair six sided die six times.

    One time I get

    1 2 3 4 5 6

    The other time I get

    6 2 3 1 5 2

    Which is more likely?

    Both are equally likely, of course, as any first-semester student of probability theory can tell you. But let’s consider this:

    Let’s say we have a ten-sided die labeled 0 through 9.

    First nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    So, you tell us, how many times would you need to repeat this exercise with the same result, before you would even consider that maybe, just maybe, these rolls of the die are not exactly random?

    This is more than just mere repetition. The pattern has meaning beyond mere repetition, and this meaning is highly specific. It is this specificity that suggests a non-random process.

    Of course, the committed materialist can swear up and down that the process is still random, and that “a designer is not needed”, but that flies in the face of the evidence, and represent truly obtuse, myopic clinging to preconceptions.

    Posted by CB | June 7, 2011, 9:54 pm
  29. Hey Alex, is headstart one word or two? Just say’in.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 9:55 pm
  30. Again, further proof that Alex lacks reading comprehensions skills. Had Alex actually read the posts he would immediately comprehend that CPT brought up the subject of probabilities, and I politely answered back and requested that we stay on topic. Its typical, Alex’s head start is actually a dead-end because I had no intention of discussing probabilities.

    Why do I want to stay on topic, because these scientific citations have nothing to do with probabilities, and everything to do with debunking Darwinian random evolution and chance. These citations are straight out of the mainstream scientific journals, and do not invoke a designer so any categorical rebuttals about a designer is frivolous.

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 9:55 pm
  31. On a side note, Since Alex is trolling the boards let’s see if he or Hamby can explain why they continue to believe DNA is not a code despite the mountains of 21st century peer reviewed articles evidencing code. Here is the introduction to the paper I cited.

    INTRODUCTION
    Digital codes in the form of electronic, magnetic or optical strings of 1′s and 0′s are as omnipresent in information technology as nucleotide codes in the form of DNA strings of A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s are in living nature.

    http://benthamscience.com/open/toevolj/articles/V005/1TOEVOLJ.pdf

    They only continue to believe for philosophical reasons…

    Posted by PG | June 7, 2011, 10:15 pm
  32. I find it quite amazing that proponents of ID consistently go to great pains to argue that species have not arisen from a random process.

    The great irony is that neither Darwin or his followers have ever suggested that this was the case.

    Darwin did not propose not a theory of random evolution.

    He proposed a mechanism of evolution of biological species by natural SELECTION.

    I have emphasised “selection” because it is that which imparts directionality to the process. Mutations are random but selection certainly is not.

    As I have pointed out in a previous post (and at greater length in “The Goldilocks Effect” and “Unusual Perspectives”, the results of random mutations are filtered by the dynamically changing prevailing environment.

    So even if we overlook the dearth of meaningful input data, attempts to calculate the probability of species “arising by pure chance”have absolutely no relevance.

    Posted by Peter G Kinnon | June 8, 2011, 3:26 am
  33. I believe you are correct PG, head start is two words. Thank you for correcting me.

    What PG said:

    Again, further proof that Alex lacks reading comprehensions skills. Had Alex actually read the posts he would immediately comprehend that CPT brought up the subject of probabilities, and I politely answered back and requested that we stay on topic. Its typical, Alex’s head start is actually a dead-end because I had no intention of discussing probabilities.

    What he meant:

    I don’t have a witty comeback to this question of the probability of a designer, so I’m going to pretend I had no intention of going there, despite having made a direct point on this subject.

    How about next time you just say probability has nothing to do with it then.

    And PG also said:

    Why do I want to stay on topic, because these scientific citations have nothing to do with probabilities, and everything to do with debunking Darwinian random evolution and chance. These citations are straight out of the mainstream scientific journals, and do not invoke a designer so any categorical rebuttals about a designer is frivolous.

    I’m confused, where exactly did anyone here (other than PG) claim evolution was this random process?

    Also, if they do not invoke a designer, then what are we arguing about exactly? Either you are claiming design, or you are not. If you are claiming design, then you are inherently invoking a designer, and thus have added an additional burden to your plate. That burden being the proof of said designer’s existence.

    Lastly, we have this from PG

    On a side note, Since Alex is trolling the boards let’s see if he or Hamby can explain why they continue to believe DNA is not a code despite the mountains of 21st century peer reviewed articles evidencing code.

    Because it isn’t a code. Clear enough for you? By the definition of a code you are giving (until you can prove a designer) everything in nature that conveys information can be considered a code. We’ve been over this before, you just keep forgetting. Remember rock wear patterns (conveying information about waterfall flows)? Soil erosion patterns (conveying information about rainfall patterns and glacial flows)? Tree rings (conveying information about prevailing weather patterns)? Bee dancing (conveying information on food, enemies, etc…)? Grass growth patterns (conveying information on soil conditions, underground water flow, etc…)? I can find examples of this all day long, but the point is made. Any process can be reduced back to its inputs given enough data regarding said process. This does not make them codes (unless your definition of code is overly broad).

    Now, our friend CB actually has some interesting points:

    So, you tell us, how many times would you need to repeat this exercise with the same result, before you would even consider that maybe, just maybe, these rolls of the die are not exactly random?

    The same number of times as any other result I had predicted in advance.

    This is more than just mere repetition. The pattern has meaning beyond mere repetition, and this meaning is highly specific. It is this specificity that suggests a non-random process.

    Any pattern would be equally specific. The chance of any pattern would also be identical to any other pattern (of equal length).
    Using a 10x die, rolled 40 times in sequence, the result
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
    is the same as
    1 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 5 6
    0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    1 0 2 1 0 2 3 4 5 6
    1 0 4 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
    probabilistically speaking (1 in 10^40).

    Of course, the committed materialist can swear up and down that the process is still random, and that “a designer is not needed”, but that flies in the face of the evidence, and represent truly obtuse, myopic clinging to preconceptions.

    What evidence? And who are these committed materialist? I’m not committed to anything, I’ve simply accepted the evidence that everything we once put at the feet of “god” we can explain with natural processes, and that this makes it quite likely that everything we don’t currently understand is natural as well. From thunder, to rain, to celestial movements, to mental illness, to disease, to sunlight, to earthquakes, to tornadoes, to floods, so far everything we’ve ever been able to explain, we explained with natural causes. Until that changes, I see no other option than materialism.

    p.s. I’m not a scientist, and do not particularly care about this debate. I just like egging it on (since we all know there is no way any of us are changing our minds because of anything any of the rest of us post).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 8, 2011, 4:51 am
  34. Evolution — via unintelligent selection — does account for all the complexity and novelty in the world. It PREDICTS it.

    You do have a lot of faith in this “evolution” thingy, don’t you?

    Some FAILED Darwinian predictions…

    The truth of the matter is that the Darwinian hypothesis (RANDOM variation filtered by natural selection) is only demonstrated to account for adaptation and speciation. IT HAS NOT BEEN DEMONSTRATED TO ACCOUNT FOR ANYTHING ELSE. That mythical “mountain of overwhelming evidence” ONLY ACCOUNTS FOR SPECIATION AND BELOW. It does not account for orders, genuses, classes, taxa, phyla, etc. Only speciation and below. The rest is AN ARTICLE OF FAITH.

    The same number of times as any other result I had predicted in advance.

    ???

    This answer is meaningless, given that the prediction is implicit, and that the prediction is random strings of numbers, which is to say that the implied prediction FAILS. REPEATEDLY.

    Any pattern would be equally specific.

    No. Any pattern may be equally complex, but complexity and specificity are not the same thing. This is one of those things that the anti-ID crowd repeatedly fails to understand. The sequence “3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5″ specifies the value of Pi to eight decimal places. That is highly specific. The sequence “2 7 5 8 3 5 6 9 1″ may be just as “complex” as the first sequence (depending on how we define “complexity” in this particular context), but there is absolutely nothing inherently specific about it — it doesn’t specify anything in particular within our realm of knowledge.

    And yes, both sequences are equally likely, yet only one has specificity, only one contains information (as opposed to raw data). One contains a numerical approximation of the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter, to a high level of precision — eight decimal places. The other contains only what appears to be random digits.

    What evidence?

    In this admittedly hypothetical case, it would be the rather precise representation of the value of Pi repeatedly showing up in what should be random tosses of a die. That you would pretend that this evidence is not evidence is very telling, and typical. Unfortunately.

    Posted by CB | June 8, 2011, 9:19 am
  35. Because it isn’t a code. Clear enough for you?

    But it is a code. Clear enough for you?

    Unlike your other examples, DNA specifies, via a 3:1 mapping, a specific ordering of amino acids for subsequent contruction of proteins and enzymes.

    That 3:1 mapping is known as an encoding scheme, and there is nothing analogous in your other examples.

    DNA operates very much like computer software in that it is stored information that is machine translated to provide specific functionality. We call computer software “code”, and this applies to DNA for the same reasons.

    It ain’t “analogous to a code”, it simply is a code, and it doesn’t matter a whit how much discomfort this creates in the mind of the dedicated materialist

    Posted by CB | June 8, 2011, 11:19 am
  36. So, let me get this straight. DNA is designed, and is a literal code written by “god” (or whoever/whatever), but every implementation of that code is not itself a code? That’s kind of like calling programming languages codes, but the software built using them not. Actually, it’s exactly like that. It’s asinine is what it is.

    As I said before, if DNA is a code, so is every other instance of information transmission, which means anything that can be used to determine information about anything else represents a code that can be translated from its input to its output.

    Weather results in variance among tree rings. Tree encodes weather data into itself, we decode those rings to determine input weather data.

    Water falls on rocks beneath a waterfall, causing variance among the rock wear patterns. Rocks encode this data into themselves, we decode the wear patterns to determine input water flow data.

    Bees encode data about food sources into their dances, other bees decode this data to determine the input food data.

    On and on and on throughout the natural world. By your definition of a code, everything in the entire known world represents a code from “god”. It’s the logical implication of ID, and it’s just asinine without some evidence of “god”, as without such evidence, we have natural processes resulting from natural forces. Just because we can’t explain them all doesn’t change whether every one we have an explanation for is valid. And the fact is that every explanation we have for everything we know is a natural one.

    Sorry, but sometimes it really is just that simple. You are wrong, at least until you have some evidence to support the belief in anything other than a natural explanation. And the illusion of design just doesn’t cut it…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 8, 2011, 12:08 pm
  37. Well, Alex, all you’re doing is stretching a definition so far and so thin that it becomes meaningless, apparently so you can hide from the evidence. I mean, yeah, by your “logic”, literally everything that exists is a “code”, because we, as homo sapiens, can “get information” from just about everything that exists. Ergo, by your strained and overstretched “logic”, the word “code” becomes meaningless, because “code” means “anything that exists”…

    My definition was specific. It included the notion of mapping, and of machine translation. Of course, what YOU will now proceed to do is stretch “machine translation” to include man as a “machine” that “translates” tree rings and erosion patterns.

    You will stretch the definition of “mapping” in a similar fashion.

    Not to seek truth, but to avoid it.

    I have provided examples of charts that clearly define DNA’s encoding scheme.

    Provide a chart that shows the encoding scheme of water erosion on rocks.

    Provide a chart that shows the encoding scheme of weather in tree rings.

    By your “definition”, a light bulb is a “code” for the light switch — by looking at the light, we “get information” as to whether the switch is set.

    The ground is a “code” for whether it’s day or night — by looking at the ground, we can “get information” as to whether the sun is up. The angles of shadows are “code” for the sun’s position in the sky.

    Now your bee dance example is legitimate, because it’s representational. A given circular, direction, a given wiggle, represents some external reality, but isn’t that reality in a direct sense. It represents the direction and distance of food, etc., without actually being the direction or distance.

    Of course, you will now proceed to overstretch the meaning of “representational” so that it becomes meaningless.

    All you are doing is playing semantics games, again, not to seek truth but to avoid facing it

    And so it goes…

    Posted by CB | June 8, 2011, 2:38 pm
  38. Provide a chart that shows the encoding scheme of water erosion on rocks.

    Provide a chart that shows the encoding scheme of weather in tree rings.

    So you acknowledge that the reason these don’t qualify is that we don’t understand them well enough to provide concrete translations? So DNA wasn’t a code until we understood it as well as we do now?

    All of your examples are perfectly valid, by your definition of code. Not mine.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 8, 2011, 3:09 pm
  39. So you acknowledge that the reason these don’t qualify is that we don’t understand them well enough to provide concrete translations?

    So you admit that we don’t have mappings for your examples, and therefore they do no qualify as codes. Good.

    And your implication that “some day” we will have “mappings” for erosion patterns is not rooted in fact, but in speculation. Actually more like semantics game-playing.

    Also, by your own admission, we do understand these processes well enough to “get information” from them, so your claim that “we don’t understand them well enough to provide concrete translations” only illustrates how utterly disingenuous you are willing to be. After all, we do “get information” from them even without an encoding scheme, so obviously an encoding scheme is not required.

    Feel free to demonstrate that such is also the case with DNA, at your earliest convenience.

    So DNA wasn’t a code until we understood it as well as we do now?

    Incorrect, but I see what you’re trying to pull. “We just don’t understand the erosion pattern code yet”. The problem is that, by your own admission, we are already “getting information” from erosion patterns, even without a “mapping” scheme, so this argument you are desperately trying to build is utterly stillborn.

    All of your examples are perfectly valid, by your definition of code. Not mine.

    Wrong again. My definition includes the notion of mapping schemes, encoding schemes. I provided examples of such.

    You, otoh, utterly failed to provide the same for your ridiculous examples. You all but admitted that they don’t exist for your ridiculous examples. Ergo, the examples of light switch and the sun are not valid examples by my definition. They are only “valid” by your overstretched and utterly meaningless definition.

    Posted by CB | June 8, 2011, 3:36 pm
  40. Obviously there is a problem here because we have scientists publishing peer reviewed articles in the year 2011, making the following statements:
    INTRODUCTION
    Digital codes in the form of electronic, magnetic or optical strings of 1′s and 0′s are as omnipresent in information technology as nucleotide codes in the form of DNA strings of A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s are in living nature.

    http://benthamscience.com/open/toevolj/articles/V005/1TOEVOLJ.pdf

    While Alex and Hamby are making these statements:
    “Because it isn’t a code. Clear enough for you? By the definition of a code you are giving (until you can prove a designer) everything in nature that conveys information can be considered a code.”
    Either the scientific community is correct or Hamby and Alex are correct. Well unfortunately for Hamby and Alex, they are incorrect because they don’t seem to understand that there are very rigorous definitions of what qualifies to be a code.
    Here is a formal definition of a code by Perlwitz :
    Given a source with probability space [Omega, A, p(A)] and a receiver with probability space [Omega, B, p(B)], then a unique mapping of the letters of alphabet A onto letters of alphabet B is called a code.
    ( Perlwitz , Burks and Waterman, 1988)
    Let’s use Morse code as an example:
    You have and encoder and decoder and a agreed upon set of symbols (A) that the decoder can decode into information (B).
    Now Here was Alex’s actual response with timestamp:
    “”Tree rings: tree (encoder) -> env. data (info) -> person looking at tree rings (decoder).
    How is this any less a code than DNA? by Alex Hardman | January 6, 2011, 8:53 am
    So to answer your questions,
    Why are tree rings not a code? Because you and the tree did not first agree on a set of unique symbols to be encoded, that could be decoded into information.
    Why are rocks in streams not a code? Because you and the rocks did not first agree on a set of unique symbols to be encoded, that could be decoded into information.
    Why are erosion patterns not a code? Because you and the glacier tree did not first agree on a set of unique symbols to be encoded that could be decoded into information.
    DNA far exceeds this basic definition. In fact Yockey required a much more rigorous definition to determine if DNA qualified to be an actual code. Research the Rutgers University paper I cited.
    The challenge is to find a naturally occurring code. Your cited example of a Bee waggle is a correct; however Bee’s are derived from DNA. DNA has not been proven to have evolved from natural random processes and therefore not evidence of a naturally occurring code. To speculate is pointless.
    Is it speculation when we state that all known codes such as the Morse code, postal code, computer codes, come from a mind?
    DNA is a literal code, think about it!

    Posted by PG | June 8, 2011, 5:29 pm
  41. The short answer, unless you and a tree, or rock, or water, or wind, or plant, or sand, or glaciers, or chrystals, first decide on a set of symbols to use to communicate a message, then it aint a code!

    Posted by PG | June 8, 2011, 5:37 pm
  42. You should take up politics. You bullshit with the best of them. I’m at a loss for words to ask the same questions again, only to watch you dissemble and pull shit from you ass again.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 8, 2011, 5:45 pm
  43. The challenge is to find a naturally occurring code. Your cited example of a Bee waggle is a correct; however Bee’s are derived from DNA. DNA has not been proven to have evolved from natural random processes and therefore not evidence of a naturally occurring code. To speculate is pointless.
    Is it speculation when we state that all known codes such as the Morse code, postal code, computer codes, come from a mind?
    DNA is a literal code, think about it!

    I’ve thought about it. While you can say that “DNA has not been proven to have evolved from natural” (the rest of sentence is kind of stupid, as you seem to like adding random to everything), I can also say that we’ve found natural explanations for thousands of things, while there has never been a single non-natural explanation for anything. Which is more likely, yet another natural explanation for something, or the first every non-natural explanation?

    The short answer, unless you and a tree, or rock, or water, or wind, or plant, or sand, or glaciers, or chrystals, first decide on a set of symbols to use to communicate a message, then it aint a code!
    Exactly when did the agreement on what DNA symbols would represent take place? And who was it between?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 8, 2011, 5:55 pm
  44. Ill disregard your prior rude response:: Your question:
    Q: Exactly when did the agreement on what DNA symbols would represent take place? And who was it between?

    A. Regardless of your personal opinion, science discovered that DNA has an encoder to decoder system just like all other known code systems. They concluded years ago that It is not simply a complex pattern like we observe in nature, and its not just chemicals reacting. It is an information system. Here is yet another Peer reviewed paper which supports my position. It diagrams the encoding to decoding processes..

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitcomm/research/references/Elebeoba%20E.%20May/An%20error-correcting%20code%20framework%20for%20genetic%20sequence%20analysis.pdf

    Scroll down to page 9 of 21 pages until you see Yockeys diagram of DNA coding system. It evidences DNA coding as isomorphic to Information systems.

    Posted by PG | June 8, 2011, 6:32 pm
  45. Exactly when did the agreement on what DNA symbols would represent take place? And who was it between?

    But Alex, it’s communication between God and his creation!

    Bleh. This discussion has used what… ten thousand words… and still there hasn’t been a suitable response to: DNA is not a language. It’s four chemicals which bond precisely according to the natural chemical principles we observe in all of nature. It shows no sign of deviance from natural processes.

    I’ve also yet to see a suitable defense of the proposition that complexity and design are correlated. Let me explain:

    This is an extremely simple pattern. But it’s also clearly designed.

    This is an extremely complex arrangement of matter. It is also not designed. It happened by random processes.

    The point isn’t that evolution is analogous to a pile of junk. The point is that saying something is complex does not imply in any way that it is designed. By the same token, saying something is simple does not imply that it is NOT designed. I could say that a heterogeneous salt water solution in the deep sea is incredibly simple, and therefore, it is designed. That argument would have exactly the same validity as saying that a sea anemone is complex and therefore designed.

    Design is not correlated to complexity.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 8, 2011, 6:42 pm
  46. Hamby,
    Regardless of what your religion believes, DNA is a code is a basic scientific tenet.
    Your continued reluctance to accept that basic fact or rebuttal the peer reviewed papers that support my position, again speaks louder than your shallow attempts to derail the discussion. In over a year you have yet to provide one single scientific peer reviewed paper to evidence that DNA is in fact not a code!

    Why?

    Because there are none. Today, peer reviewed papers continue to credit Dr. Yockey’s coding system model for their discoveries. In addition, not once have I ever invoked a designer or argued that complexity proves a God. I will continue only to cite the scientific peer reviewed papers to support my position. Today’s science discoveries are more than enough to throw a monkey wrench into your atheist machinery.

    Apparently you think burying your head in the sand is preferable to trying to comprehend the basic scientific definition of a code as defined by Yockey-An encoder to decoder system with an agreed set of symbols.

    It’s Funny how Atheists need to deny or defame science if it doesn’t agree with their religion.
    Unfortunately for your readers, it means we will continue to have to endure your atheist rhetoric.

    Posted by PG | June 8, 2011, 7:39 pm
  47. I’ve also yet to see a suitable defense of the proposition that complexity and design are correlated.

    That’s probably due to the fact that nobody in the ID camp is trying to claim that “complexity and design are correlated”. What we have here is a shining example of a Straw Man, boys and girls.

    No, mere complexity, in and of itself, has no bearing on a design inference. What Behe argues is a special type of complexity, namely, irreducible complexity. Now, I realize that atheist types simply have a truckload of trouble comprehending the concept, which is probably why they erect their armies of Straw Men when “arguing” against it, but the concept itself really isn’t that difficult to grasp, unless you are a hard-core militant atheist suffering cognitive dissonance. If a system is irreducibly complex, that simply means that removing one part will cause the system to cease functioning. Period. If you can remove one or more parts without stopping the functionality, then the system in question simply ain’t irreducibly complex. That’s what the “irreducible” part is referring to, reducing the number of parts in the machine.

    Furthermore, Behe isn’t claiming that irreducible complexity “proves” design. He is simply saying that it convincingly disproves the Darwinian mechanism of gradual change, and that design is therefore a more likely explanation than the Darwinian hypothesis is.

    William Dembski also argues for a specific type of complexity, namely, specified complexity, which is really nothing more than a generalization of Behe’s irreducible complexity. This is what my ten-sided die was meant to illustrate. The sequence “3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5″ is no more “complex” than “2 7 5 8 3 5 6 9 1″, but is is highly specific while the second sequence is not. The first sequence obviously represents the value of Pi — even though the decimal point is missing — while the second sequence, to the best of our collective knowledge, represents nothing in particular. This is what is meant by “specified complexity”, and to anyone without an atheistic axe to grind, it should be easy to see why Hambly’s picture of garbage utterly fails to qualify, given that it doesn’t specify anything.

    The point isn’t that evolution is analogous to a pile of junk

    Oh, but that is precisely what the point is, at least in regards to the Darwinian paradigm. Remember “junk” DNA? The Darwinian explanation told us that up to 98% of the human genome was nothing but leftover junk from so many evolutionary dead-ends as natural selection did its work. However, that is just another failed Darwinian explanation, as so-called “junk” DNA has subsequently been found to be an extremely function-rich and necessary part of the genome.

    The point is that saying something is complex does not imply in any way that it is designed.

    You have actually managed to utter a correct statement, and again, nobody in the Intelligent Design community argues that mere complexity, in and of itself, indicates design. Quite the contrary, in fact. They argue painstakingly against it, and argue that only specific types of complexity are indicative of design, and they argue painstakingly why they are indicative of design, but the anti-ID mob simply and utterly ignore such arguments and erect their “ooohh it’s just toooo complicated” straw man song-and-dance instead.

    Design is not correlated to complexity.

    Keep tilting at that Straw Man, Hamby…

    Posted by CB | June 9, 2011, 9:59 am
  48. William Dembski also argues for a specific type of complexity, namely, specified complexity, which is really nothing more than a generalization of Behe’s irreducible complexity. This is what my ten-sided die was meant to illustrate. The sequence “3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5″ is no more “complex” than “2 7 5 8 3 5 6 9 1″, but is is highly specific while the second sequence is not. The first sequence obviously represents the value of Pi — even though the decimal point is missing — while the second sequence, to the best of our collective knowledge, represents nothing in particular. This is what is meant by “specified complexity”, and to anyone without an atheistic axe to grind, it should be easy to see why Hambly’s picture of garbage utterly fails to qualify, given that it doesn’t specify anything.

    Steaming pile of garbage. Your argument is that because we don’t understand some sort of specific purpose behind a piece of data, that there isn’t one. This is asinine. By your logic, there wasn’t a purpose to either string until we understood basic geometry. Neither string is more(less) specific than the other.

    Also, Hamby’s picture of garbage specifies a pile a garbage. Just because that isn’t important to you doesn’t change it being a specific pile of garbage that is likely completely unique, and containing a highly specific set of contents in a highly specific arrangement.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 9, 2011, 11:33 am
  49. From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity

    In the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, Behe gave testimony on the subject of irreducible complexity. The court found that “Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”[2]

    Links:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District/4:Whether_ID_Is_Science#Page_79_of_139

    Maybe try something not full of bullshit?

    p.s. The wikipedia page (and included citations) fully cover this particular pile of steaming bullshit. If you want to argue it, please refute it as if I had simply pasted it here (in its entirety with included citations).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 9, 2011, 11:38 am
  50. For completeness, here’s some smackdown love for specified complexity.

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specified_complexity

    Dembski’s calculations show how a simple smooth function cannot gain information. He therefore concludes that there must be a designer to obtain CSI. However, natural selection has a branching mapping from one to many (replication) followed by pruning mapping of the many back down to a few (selection). When information is replicated, some copies can be differently modified while others remain the same, allowing information to increase. These increasing and reductional mappings were not modeled by Dembski. In other words, Dembski’s calculations do not model birth and death. This basic flaw in his modeling renders all of Dembski’s subsequent calculations and reasoning in No Free Lunch irrelevant because his basic model does not reflect reality. Since the basis of No Free Lunch relies on this flawed argument, the entire thesis of the book collapses.[23]
    According to Martin Nowak, a Harvard professor of mathematics and evolutionary biology “We cannot calculate the probability that an eye came about. We don’t have the information to make the calculation”.[6]

    Citations: [23] http://www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/paper/ev/dembski/specified.complexity.html, [6] http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1090909,00.html

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 9, 2011, 11:45 am
  51. Well, once again, Alex stretches definitions to the breaking point, presumably to avoid facing the point being made, and leaves the realm of facts in order to traipse into speculative fantasy…

    Your argument is that because we don’t understand some sort of specific purpose behind a piece of data, that there isn’t one.

    Wrong. As usual. All I am doing is dealing with the facts that are available, dealing with the knowledge we have in the here and now, while you keep pretending that your fabricated “future knowledge” should actually mean something when, in truth, it is nothing but pure speculation. Sure, the sequence “2 7 5 8 3 5 6 9 1″ could specify something and we just don’t know what that something is yet, but that isn’t science. It’s question begging. I even provided a qualification, which you quoted but obviously ignored (all caps emphasis added):

    …the second sequence, TO THE BEST OF OUR COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE, represents nothing in particular.

    So yeah, I even acknowledge that possibility, but the actual FACT of the matter is that, BASED ON WHAT WE ACTUALLY DO KNOW, it’s nothing but random digits.

    Based on YOUR “logic”, “random” means nothing, because any “random” string of digits represents something, and we just don’t know what that something is, yet. Geez, talk about “asinine” — it’s painfully apparent that you do not wish to deal with the point being made, but cannot actually put together a cogent argument and must rely on semantics games instead in order to dodge the argument.

    By your logic, there wasn’t a purpose to either string until we understood basic geometry. Neither string is more(less) specific than the other.

    Who’s talking about “purpose”? All I am doing is making a statement based on our current knowledge, based on current available FACTS. Isn’t that what’s supposed to give you atheists a raging hard-on, facts? Well, here I am, dealing with the actual facts that we have at our disposal today, here and now, and all you can do is whine about “facts” that we don’t have? Talk about asinine…you’re the Poster Boy.

    Also, Hamby’s picture of garbage specifies a pile a garbage.

    Well, okay, sure, but that picture is a product of design, isn’t it? Not the subject matter, not the garbage, but the actual, physical photograph itself. So yes, the photograph, a product of design, is indeed specifically complex as it specifies a pile of garbage. So you are making my point for me, chief.

    Just because that isn’t important to you doesn’t change it being a specific pile of garbage that is likely completely unique, and containing a highly specific set of contents in a highly specific arrangement.

    Well, yeah, you’re right, that pile of garbage is the result of intelligent agency, and even if it was not specifically designed beforehand, the various items within that pile were indeed specifically designed and intelligently created items…

    But what you are really trying to do is equivocate on what is meant by “specific”, and again simply stretching the definition to the breaking point. I mean, sure, just about any entity you could care to identify is “unique” in some way, and all you are really doing is conflating “specific” with “unique”. So, in order to clarify (since all you are really doing is obfuscating), “specific”, as used to infer design, does NOT mean “unique”. It means “specific”, as in “specify” or “specification”.

    Again, “3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5″ and “2 7 5 8 3 5 6 9 1″ are both “unique” sequences of nine digits, but only one is specific. I know you desperately want to claim that they are both equally specific, but that is just denial on your part, denial of the significance of the first sequence and the lack thereof of the second. You desperately want to pretend that the second sequence specifies “something”, even though the FACT is that it does not, based on what we know in the here and now.

    Posted by CB | June 9, 2011, 1:48 pm
  52. I think it was Pineapple who already addressed this: 2131415161718191 is EXACTLY as likely as 0905327504768584. We humans notice that there is a pattern in the former sequence, and we think…. Hmmmm…. something’s fishy about that. It doesn’t seem likely. And we’re right — It isn’t likely. But it’s no less unlikely than anything else.

    And this is the problem with “specified complexity.” We see something and think “Hmmm… that looks like someone specified it.” But it’s just that — the inference that something sure looks intentional. But Pineapple’s point is far more damaging than you’ve realized. If we roll ten dice a billion times, we are highly likely to come up with a pattern that looks damn specified. We will probably come up with 1234567890 (assuming there’s a 0 on our ten-sider). And it will look damn specified.

    But that’s just it. The appearance of specificity is not correlated to the actuality of specificity.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 9, 2011, 2:05 pm
  53. I’m going to guess that you can’t rebut the article on specified complexity, which addresses your idiocy quite well. Until then, good luck dumbass.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 9, 2011, 2:50 pm
  54. Well, obviously you guys either just don’t bother listening or you simply cannot comprehend what you’re being told…

    I think it was Pineapple who already addressed this: 2131415161718191 is EXACTLY as likely as 0905327504768584.

    I already addressed this:

    Both are equally likely, of course, as any first-semester student of probability theory can tell you.

    Posted by CB | June 7, 2011, 9:54 PM

    The problem isn’t likelihood in and of itself. Remember, my original scenario also involved repetition.

    Let’s say we have a ten-sided die labeled 0 through 9.

    First nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Next nine rolls:

    3 1 4 1 5 9 2 6 5

    Obviously, you guys utterly ignored that part.

    If the same, highly specific pattern occurs over and over again, that does suggest intelligent agency whether you want to admit it or not. Sure, it is possible that some natural phenomenon is occurring, but you guys want to jump to that conclusion immediately, because you don’t want to consider intelligent agency, which, based on what we do know, is more likely.

    But Pineapple’s point is far more damaging than you’ve realized.

    On the contrary, you guys simply ignore at least one aspect of my scenario. Like I said, I already addresses the likelihood aspect, but you guys utterly ignore the repeated occurrence aspect.

    The appearance of specificity is not correlated to the actuality of specificity.

    Translation: DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOUR EYES ARE TELLING YOU UNLESS IT SUPPORTS ATHEISM, THEN IT’S OK TO BELIEVE…

    Posted by CB | June 10, 2011, 10:48 am
  55. Maybe try something not full of bullshit?

    You mean like the Dover decision? That was a classic “steaming pile” of judicial activism at its finest. You think court decisions are infallible? Cough–DRED SCOTT–cough…

    If you want to argue it, please refute it as if I had simply pasted it here (in its entirety with included citations).

    If you truly want to see the refuting arguments in detail, read “Traipsing Into Evolution”, which spells out in detail how Behe’s testimony was ignored, how Miller utterly mirepresented Behe’s arguments, how Jones was fully duped by Miller, how Jones’ “decision” was little more than a verbatim copy of the ACLU’s Findings of Fact, and so on. It was definitely a one-sided, heavy-handed decision, hardly fair and balance, but of course, you will disagreee because you agree with the decision.

    The refuting arguments are out there, if you have the guts to investigate them. I won’t hold my breath…

    But if you actually do deccide to man up and read the book, and if you have the mental capacity to actually comprehend it and come up with refuting arguments, please refute it as if I had simply pasted it here (in its entirety with included citations).

    Posted by CB | June 10, 2011, 11:05 am
  56. But if you actually do deccide to man up and read the book, and if you have the mental capacity to actually comprehend it and come up with refuting arguments, please refute it as if I had simply pasted it here (in its entirety with included citations).

    . QED.

    Obviously, you guys utterly ignored that part.

    No we covered it.

    If the same, highly specific pattern occurs over and over again, that does suggest intelligent agency whether you want to admit it or not. Sure, it is possible that some natural phenomenon is occurring, but you guys want to jump to that conclusion immediately, because you don’t want to consider intelligent agency, which, based on what we do know, is more likely.

    So you’re saying that something we’ve never seen before (a non-natural explanation for something) is more likely than something we’ve seen literally millions of times before (a natural explanation for something)? I think you failed statistics somewhere…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 10, 2011, 11:34 am
  57. I’m going to guess that you cant rebut the article on specified complexity…

    You can guess any hare-brained thing you want.

    Response to “Dissecting Dembski’s ‘Complex Specified Information’”

    Intelligent Design Proponents Toil More than the Critics: A Response to Wesley Elsberry and Jeffrey Shallit

    …dumbass…

    Invective, the standard strategy of someone lacking a cogent argument…

    . QED.

    Apparently, you use jargon without knowing what it means.

    No we covered it.

    Where, allegedly?

    So you ’re saying that something we’ve never seen before (a non-natural explanation for something) is more likely than something we’ve seen literally millions of times before (a natural explanation for something)?

    What is “non-natural”? If something is man-made, man is still a part of nature and so something man-made is still natural by simple transitivity…

    And the truth is that we see examples of specified complexity all the time, and it tends to be the result of intelligent agency 100% of the time. Each English sentence you read on this blog and elsewhere is an example of specified complexity, but in your topsy-turvy fantasy world, a string of random letters is “equally specific” to an actual, meaningful sentence. After all, both have equal likelihood of occurrence from a random character generator, both are equally “complex”, and the random string, in your topsy-turvy fantasy world, could mean something, somewhere, to somebody, but we just don’t know what it means. That is your desperate attempt to hide away from the issue, by pretending it doesn’t exist.

    So your attempt to put word in my mouth is an epic fail on at least a couple of levels.

    And you again ignore what our friend Lewontin taught us, that the whole scientific enterprise is hard-wired, with extreme bias and prejudice, to produce naturalistic explanations, no matter how utterly absurd they may be.

    I think you failed statistics somewhere…

    What you “think” is hardly relevant, given how you apparently fail at reality HERE…

    Posted by CB | June 11, 2011, 9:35 am
  58. Great points CB!
    I also find it interesting that Atheists have no problem with other branches of science using scientific methods to identify specified complexity in nature, such as identifying distinctions between chip patterns in rocks determine intent and intelligence in a simple Arrowhead. Now that science has determined that evolution is an information based process far more specified complex than an Arrowhead, Atheists “play possum”

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 3:52 pm
  59. Alex wrote:

    I think you failed statistics somewhere…

    Dembski’s works goes to show that you can make a career out of failing at statistics, provided people are naive enough to buy your BS.

    CB wrote:

    we see examples of specified complexity all the time, and it tends to be the result of intelligent agency 100% of the time.

    Fail.

    Give me an example of complexity that is not specified complexity. Or is your argument that anything which is complex is by definition intelligently designed?

    Posted by Ian | June 11, 2011, 4:25 pm
  60. . . . _ _ _ . . .

    Dot and Dashes. We can argue that our observation of this sequence of dots and dashes are only random patterns, but we will soon find out that this observation of random patterns would be incorrect. Here are some actual observations and conclusions:

    1)We understand that this sequence of dots and dashes didn’t evolve from our monitors, but our monitors are simply the medium carrying the information.

    2)Though these are only dots and dashes, we understand them to mean more than simply random patterns of dots and dashes, these dots and dashes are conveying information. The message is not about dots and dashes, but is a code that represents something greater than itself.

    3) The fact that we may or may not understand the code we are observing is irrelevant. A Decoder (Receiver) and Encoder (sender) both understand the code, and the Information being conveyed is a distress signal.

    A simple definition of a code is that it has an Encoder and Decoder, with an agreed upon set of symbols used to convey information. Atheists have yet to provide any evidence of an information system consisting of a transmission of conveyed information from an encoder to decoder process that did not originate from a mind. The fact that DNA also possesses complex error detection and repair mechanisms only makes matters worse for Atheists.

    Atheists have offered a long list of candidates:
    Erosion patterns
    Snowflakes
    Crystalline solids
    Rocks in streams
    Tree rings
    A pile of Trash

    Unfortunately, these are only examples of patterns, and do not meet the scientific criteria used to define a code.
    Regardless of the implications to a personal belief system, a Basic scientific tenet of mainstream science is that DNA is a code. It is an information system comprised of an encoder transmitting a set of symbols to a decoder (with chemicals used as a separate medium) to decode the instructions for a complete body plan. I have already cited the proper peer reviewed paper that demonstrates the information system structure of DNA.

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitcomm/research/references/Elebeoba%20E.%20May/An%20error-correcting%20code%20framework%20for%20genetic%20sequence%20analysis.pdf

    Scroll down to page 9 of 21 pages until you see Yockeys diagram of DNA coding system. It evidences DNA coding as isomorphic to Information systems.

    It has been said:
    “Information is information, neither matter nor energy. Any materialism that fails to take account of this will not survive one day.”
    -Norbert Weiner, Founder of Cybernetics

    This is very true today as we witness materialists continuing to deny the real scientific evidence.
    Is ID and evolution compatible? Evolution is information based processes. Connect the dots!

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 4:54 pm
  61. Here is what scientists are evidencing as observing:

    “Digital codes in the form of electronic, magnetic or optical strings of 1′s and 0′s are as omnipresent in information technology as nucleotide codes in the form of DNA strings of A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s are in living nature.”

    http://benthamscience.com/open/toevolj/articles/V005/1TOEVOLJ.pdf

    Now generally speaking, what is the natural explanation for the existence of codes?

    Again, Here is what scientists are evidencing::

    “Digital codes in the form of electronic, magnetic or optical strings of 1′s and 0′s are as omnipresent in information technology as nucleotide codes in the form of DNA strings of A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s are in living nature.”

    http://benthamscience.com/open/toevolj/articles/V005/1TOEVOLJ.pdf

    Now generally speaking, what is the natural explanation for the existence of codes, error detection and repair mechanisms, and information storage systems?

    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 5:00 pm
  62. Give me an example of complexity that is not specified complexity.

    I already have. So has Hamby. Try to keep up…

    Or is your argument that anything which is complex is by definition intelligently designed?

    Like I said, try to keep up. Seriously, repeating myself because you are too dense to get it the first time does get tedious (all-caps emphasis added):

    …NOBODY IN THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN COMMUNITY ARGUES THAT MERE COMPLEXITY, IN AND OF ITSELF, INDICATES DESIGN. Quite the contrary, in fact. They argue painstakingly against it, and argue that only specific types of complexity are indicative of design, and they argue painstakingly why they are indicative of design, but the anti-ID mob simply and utterly ignore such arguments and erect their “ooohh it’s just toooo complicated” straw man song-and-dance instead.

    Posted by CB | June 9, 2011, 9:59 am

    Any more utterly stupid questions?

    Posted by CB | June 11, 2011, 8:57 pm
  63. Dembski’s works goes to show that you can make a career out of failing at statistics, provided people are naive enough to buy your BS.

    Thank Marx we have Ian here to save us from Dembski’s “BS”. Feel free to demonstrate, with your superior mathematical acumen, just how Dembski has “made a career out of failing statistics”.

    We’re waiting…

    Posted by CB | June 11, 2011, 9:06 pm
  64. CB wrote:

    Any more utterly stupid questions?

    All you did was assert that complexity by itself does not indicate design. What I’m challenging you to do is to give me an example of something which is complex but which does not meet the criteria for specified complexity. Can you do that?

    Feel free to demonstrate, with your superior mathematical acumen, just how Dembski has “made a career out of failing statistics”.

    His work ignores the mechanism that produces complexity in biology–natural selection.

    Posted by Ian | June 12, 2011, 5:50 am
  65. What I’m challenging you to do is to give me an example of something which is complex but which does not meet the criteria for specified complexity. Can you do that?

    And what I am telling you is that I already have. Read the thread. Figure it out. If you are incapable, then I will connect the dots for you.

    His work ignores the mechanism that produces complexity in biology–natural selection.

    This assertion is meaningless. You again fail to distinguish between “complexity” and specified complexity, and Dembski’s arguments and work center around that differentiation. If you are mentally incapable of making that differentiation yourself, you are hardly in a position to judge Dembski’s work, unless you can show how natural selection can create specified complexity (not likely, given your apparent inability to grasp the concept). Thomas Schneider has allegedly written a computer program that demonstrates exactly that, a program called “ev”, and one of my cites above addresses that program and Schneider’s arguments.

    Like I said before, try to keep up.

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 8:45 am
  66. This assertion is meaningless. You again fail to distinguish between “complexity” and specified complexity, and Dembski’s arguments and work center around that differentiation.

    That’s the entire point being made. There is no functional difference between complexity and specified complexity, except that which you assign to it. When you want something to support ID, it’s specified complexity, when you don’t, it’s just complexity. You need to provide a better definition of the distinction, as it’s meaningless over here in science land.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 10:02 am
  67. Thank Marx we have Ian here to save us from Dembski’s “BS”. Feel free to demonstrate, with your superior mathematical acumen, just how Dembski has “made a career out of failing statistics”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specified_complexity

    Wait over.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 10:03 am
  68. Wait over.

    I have already provided a response, but keep chasing your tail, Alex. It is rather amusing…

    There is no functional difference between complexity and specified complexity…

    …that the militant atheist is willing to acknowledge. No, rather that confront evidence, the militant atheist buries his or her head in the sand.

    Par for the course, that.

    Posted by CB | June 13, 2011, 10:58 am
  69. I have already provided a response, but keep chasing your tail, Alex. It is rather amusing…

    When I ask my dog what 10^10 is, it barks. That’s a response, but not one worth listening to…

    …that the militant atheist is willing to acknowledge. No, rather that confront evidence, the militant atheist buries his or her head in the sand.

    …that the scientific community at large accepts as valid. No, rather than confront idiocy, the scientific community buries their brains in real science.

    Fixed that for ya.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 12:29 pm
  70. CB wrote:

    And what I am telling you is that I already have. Read the thread.

    I have. What I gathered is that you’re just inserting a “specified” in front of complexity in order to define a specifier into existence. If this is not what you’re doing, then please provide me with an example to demonstrate how there really is such a thing as “specified complexity,” which is special and different from just plain old “complexity.”

    Alex wrote:

    There is no functional difference between complexity and specified complexity, except that which you assign to it.

    Thank you! Why is that so hard for them to understand?

    Posted by Ian | June 13, 2011, 4:10 pm
  71. Thank you! Why is that so hard for them to understand?

    Hold the presses, something hard for a theist to understand? It must be Armageddon, or just another Monday…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 13, 2011, 5:18 pm
  72. I have.

    Not very well, apparently…

    [P]lease provide me with an example to demonstrate how there really is such a thing as “specified complexity,” which is special and different from just plain old “complexity.”

    If you really have read this thread, you would realize that I have already complied with this request. Indeed, I have not only provided the example, I repeated it in a later post. That you do not comprehend that I have already complied strongly suggests that you either have not read this thread or simply fail to comprehend what you read.

    See my post of June 8, 2011, 9:19 am for the example.
    See my post of June 9, 2011, 1:48 pm for the repeat.

    Why is that so hard for them to understand?

    Irony alert — why is it so hard for atheists to comprehend specified complexity? That’s the real question.

    Posted by CB | June 14, 2011, 9:17 am
  73. Irony alert — why is it so hard for atheists to comprehend specified complexity?

    Because it doesn’t exist. See, how hard is it to answer.

    Also, your examples are bullshit. Please either restate them with more details as to why they constitute some special form of complexity that merits definite design and how it differs from complexity that does not merit definite design.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 14, 2011, 11:58 am
  74. I left the rest of that sentence unsaid, but can’t help myself. It was or shut up and go away…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 14, 2011, 11:58 am
  75. CB wrote:

    If you really have read this thread, you would realize that I have already complied with this request.

    Excuse me, but your example of non-specified complexity is randomness? A completely random collection of numbers?

    While an algorithmically random sequence is certainly complex in the mathematical sense, your definition of specified complexity seems to entail that either everything is either completely random or designed. What about fixed laws mechanically interacting to drive stochastic processes? Do we get to test whether a mechanism like that could produce non-random complexity?

    Posted by Ian | June 14, 2011, 10:21 pm
  76. Ian says:
    What about fixed laws mechanically interacting to drive stochastic processes?

    PG says:
    Unfortunately, 21st century evolutionists no longer prescribe to antiquated Darwinian orthodoxy so your line of questioning is irrelevant. life is fundamentally based on information-processing systems, and not mindless, materialistic, stochastic mechanisms.

    While atheists continue to claim DNA is not a literal code, science went forward and found many error detection systems, parity codes, and checksums that serve to ensure unwanted mutations do not corrupt the ……wait for it……….CODE!

    EarlierIi cited a May 2011 peer reviewed paper. This paper outlines Yockeys DNA code schematics to evidence that DNA is in fact a literal code and in fact evidences error detection systems. The paper makes some rather shocking conclusions that contradict your claims of mindless stochastic mechanisms.

    Now read the conclusion carefully with the emphasis on 2 words
    1) Learned
    2) communication

    Conclusion
    Effective and secure data transmission remains an ongoing engineering endeavor,
    but biological systems have learned how to efficiently and effectively combine all
    three aspects of communication seamlessly (this includes compression, encryption,
    and error-correction coding)….

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitcomm/research/references/Elebeoba%20E.%20May/An%20error-correcting%20code%20framework%20for%20genetic%20sequence%20analysis.pdf

    Evolution is true but 21st century science has discovered that it’s a non random process. So is ID compatible to evolution? Yep!

    I will present many more new scientific discoveries that refute evolution as a random process!

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 1:12 am
  77. Hamby stated in his origional post:

    Many “agnostics” suggest that elements of Intelligent Design are compatible with Evolution. Why isn’t it possible that there’s both a god who created life AND evolution via natural selection? This question represents a misunderstanding of evolution.

    Evolution is dependent on *non-intelligent* selection.

    Here is what Dr. Shapiro says:

    Title: Bacteria are small but not stupid:
    Cognition, natural genetic engineering, and sociobacteriology
    James A. Shapiro
    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    University of Chicago
    929 E. 57th Street
    Chicago, IL 60637

    ABSTRACT: 40 years experience as a bacterial geneticist have taught me that bacteria
    possess many cognitive, computational and evolutionary capabilities unimaginable in the
    first six decades of the 20th Century. Analysis of cellular processes such as metabolism,
    regulation of protein synthesis, and DNA repair established that bacteria continually
    monitor their external and internal environments and compute functional outputs based on
    information provided by their sensory apparatus………

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/2006.ExeterMeeting.pdf

    Again:
    40 years experience as a bacterial geneticist have taught me that bacteria
    possess many cognitive, computational and evolutionary capabilities unimaginable in the
    first six decades of the 20th Century…

    Once more For the hardcore atheists:
    40 years experience as a bacterial geneticist have taught me that bacteria
    possess many cognitive, computational and evolutionary capabilities unimaginable in the
    first six decades of the 20th Century

    BTW, Dr Shapiro carried on the work of Nobel Prize recipient ; the late Barbara Mcclintock

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 2:59 am
  78. PG, I’m sorry, but what the hell are you getting at? Thousands of years of experience have taught us that humans possess many cognitive, computational, and evolutionary capabilities. And people who accept evolution are perfectly comfortable with humans’ place in evolutionary history. Why would evidence of another species’ cognitive abilities bother us?

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 15, 2011, 1:12 pm
  79. Because it doesn’t exist.

    Of course it exists, your flaccid denials notwithstanding. Like I said, every English sentence you read on this blog and elsewhere is an example of such.

    While an algorithmically random sequence is certainly complex in the mathematical sense, your definition of specified complexity seems to entail that either everything is either completely random or designed

    Nope. You’re simply reading that into the examples. All I am doing is differentiating between the two. Non-sepcified complexity doesn’t have to be completely random, but complete randomness does represent non-specified complexity. You’re suffereing from the fallacy that if A => B then B => A.

    Posted by CB | June 15, 2011, 1:46 pm
  80. Of course it exists, your flaccid denials notwithstanding. Like I said, every English sentence you read on this blog and elsewhere is an example of such.

    You’re still not giving anything that can be used to rigidly differentiate between specified complexity and non-specified. The only difference you’ve given so far is that specified complexity is something to which you can ascribe some purpose, while without a purpose it is plain complexity. This is not a distinction that is worthwhile, given that you are not able to prove there is not a purpose to other complexity.

    As stated numerous times, just because you don’t have a purpose for something does not mean one does not exist, and thus the difference is not valid, but instead completely arbitrary.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 15, 2011, 2:12 pm
  81. CB wrote:

    Non-sepcified complexity doesn’t have to be completely random

    Give me an example.

    Posted by Ian | June 15, 2011, 3:15 pm
  82. Hamby,says:
    Why would evidence of another species’ cognitive abilities bother us?
    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 15, 2011, 1:12 pm

    PG says:
    BECAUSE THAT ” OTHER SPECIES WITH THE COGNATIVE ABILITIES ” HAPPENS TO BE THE CELLS IN YOUR BODY!

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 8:53 pm
  83. Again,

    Hamby,says:
    Why would evidence of another species’ cognitive abilities bother us?

    PG says:
    BECAUSE THAT ” OTHER SPECIES WITH THE COGNATIVE ABILITIES ” HAPPENS TO BE THE CELLS IN YOUR BODY!

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 8:57 pm
  84. blogs are lighting up about these suppressed discovery. Your blog introduced Shapiro a year ago so your ahead of the rest! : )

    Now for the hardcore Atheist (in jest)

    Hamby,says:
    Why would evidence of another species’ cognitive abilities bother us?

    PG says:
    BECAUSE THAT ” OTHER SPECIES WITH THE COGNATIVE ABILITIES ” HAPPENS TO BE THE CELLS IN YOUR BODY!

    Evolution is true, its happens by intentional cognative processes!

    Posted by PG | June 15, 2011, 9:01 pm
  85. Hamby,
    Genomic evolutionary change is a systematic response to the environment, not a result of random copying errors:
    The entire paper is riddled with references to non-random processes and natural genetic engineering.
    50 YEARS OF SUPPRESSED SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY….

    From James A. Shapiro, “A 21st century view of evolution”

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html.

    “…the prevailing theory of biological evolution postulates a random walk to each new adaptation. In the last 50 years, molecular genetics has revealed features of DNA sequence organization, protein structure and cellular processes of genetic change that suggest evolution by natural genetic engineering. Genomes are hierarchically organized as systems assembled from DNA modules, which themselves generally constitute systems at lower levels. Each genome is formatted and integrated by sequence elements that do not code for proteins. These formatting elements constitute codons in multiple genetic codes for distinct functions such as transcription, replication, DNA compaction and genome distribution to daughter cells. Consequently, the genome has a computational system architecture.”

    “Natural genetic engineering functions are sensitive to biological inputs, and their non-random operations help explain how novel system architectures can arise in evolution.”

    “These examples make it clear that natural genetic engineering occurs episodically and non-randomly in response to stress events that range from DNA damage to the inability to find a suitable mating partner.”

    “We have come to realize some of the basic design features that govern genome structure. Combining this knowledge with our understanding of how natural genetic engineering operates, it is possible to formulate the outlines of a new 21st Century vision of evolutionary engineering that postulates a more regular principle-based process of change than the gradual random walk of 19th and 20th Century theories.”

    “Molecular genetics has amply confirmed McClintock’s discovery that living organisms actively reorganize their genomes (5). It has also supported her view that the genome can “sense danger” and respond accordingly (56). The recognition of the fundamentally biological nature of genetic change and of cellular potentials for information processing frees our thinking about evolution. In particular, our conceptual formulations are no longer dependent on the operation of stochastic processes. Thus, we can now envision a role for computational inputs and adaptive feedbacks into the evolution of life as a complex system. Indeed, it is possible that we will eventually see such information-processing capabilities as essential to life itself. “

    PLEASE RE-READ THE FINAL PARAGRAPH AGAIN, IT VERY CLEARLY SUMMERIZES EVOLUTIONARY THEORY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

    Posted by PG | June 16, 2011, 11:18 am
  86. Posted by Alex Hardman | June 15, 2011, 2:12 pm
    You’re still not giving anything that can be used to rigidly differentiate between specified complexity and non-specified. The only difference you’ve given so far is that specified complexity is something to which you can ascribe some purpose, while without a purpose it is plain complexity. This is not a distinction that is worthwhile, given that you are not able to prove there is not a purpose to other complexity.

    PG says:

    Yawn…..

    Genomic evolutionary change is a systematic response to the environment, not a result of random copying errors:
    From James A. Shapiro, “A 21st century view of evolution”

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html.

    “Molecular genetics has amply confirmed McClintock’s discovery that living organisms actively reorganize their genomes (5). It has also supported her view that the genome can “sense danger” and respond accordingly (56). The recognition of the fundamentally biological nature of genetic change and of cellular potentials for information processing frees our thinking about evolution. In particular, our conceptual formulations are no longer dependent on the operation of stochastic processes. Thus, we can now envision a role for computational inputs and adaptive feedbacks into the evolution of life as a complex system. Indeed, it is possible that we will eventually see such information-processing capabilities as essential to life itself. “

    PLEASE RE-READ THE FINAL PARAGRAPH AGAIN, IT VERY CLEARLY SUMMERIZES EVOLUTIONARY THEORY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

    Posted by PG | June 16, 2011, 11:25 am
  87. Repeating the same bullshit doesn’t change it into gold.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 16, 2011, 1:55 pm
  88. Unfortunately for you Alex, it did turn into gold years ago, it’s called the Nobel Prize medallion for science that was awarded to Barbara McClintock in 1983. Darwinists successfully suppressed her work for over 50 years! Now over 50 years of Bioinformatics discoveries that were previously ignored or trivialized by the Darwinists are surfacing to drive a dagger into the very heart of Darwinian evolution! You will now know that much of what you were taught about evolution was bullshit!

    Consider this the new “GOLDEN RULE ” for evolution!

    So let’s breakdown the paragraph so that you can more easily assimilate the information. Try to keep up!

    “ Molecular genetics has amply confirmed McClintock’s discovery that living organisms actively reorganize their genomes “ = Fucking Gold!

    “ It has also supported her view that the genome can “sense danger” and respond accordingly ”= Pure GOLD!

    “ The recognition of the fundamentally biological nature of genetic change and of cellular potentials for information processing frees our thinking about evolution.” = GOLDEN!

    “ In particular, our conceptual formulations are no longer dependent on the operation of stochastic processes.” = Fucking BLING GOLD!

    GOLD!- “we can now envision a role for computational inputs and adaptive feedbacks into the evolution of life as a complex system.” Me like the GOLD!

    GOLD!- “ Indeed, it is possible that we will eventually see such information-processing capabilities as essential to life itself. “ It’s the new Golden rule!

    From James A. Shapiro, “A 21st century view of evolution”

    http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html.

    Posted by PG | June 16, 2011, 4:45 pm
  89. As stated numerous times…

    Uh-huh…

    Repeating the same bullshit doesn’t change it into gold.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 16, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Posted by CB | June 17, 2011, 11:41 pm
  90. Give me an example.

    Why? What purpose could it possibly serve other than to let you get away with moving the goal posts? The point is that “Oh it’s too complicated” is not the ID position. It’s just the anti-ID straw man. Haggling over whether any example I provide qualifies as a “not completely random example of non-specified complexity” would simply be a distraction, which is perhaps your goal, avoiding the main point.

    You ’re still not giving anything that can be used to rigidly differentiate between specified complexity and non-specified.

    I was never asked to provide anything that can be used to “rigidly” do anything, and to now demand some “rigid” specification is only again moving goal posts. I am simply stating that “Oh it’s too complicated” is not the ID position. It’s just the anti-ID straw man.

    This is not a distinction that is worthwhile, given that you are not able to prove there is not a purpose to other complexity.

    It’s downright comical how you guys fall back on “Well, you cannot prove a negative” when told that you cannot disprove God’s existence, for example, but see no hypocrisy in demanding your opponents to prove negatives, such as this case. But the simple fact is that I am under no obligation to “prove” anything to a closed mind, and I am under no obligation to prove this negative in any case.

    Let us posit our example of specified complexity:

    “The sky is blue.”

    That arrangement of sixteen letters, spaces and punctuation has the same probability and complexity as:

    “ehsib u.Ts k yle”

    Now sure, that second string may mean something to somebody, somewhere in the universe, maybe, and it is the epitome of scraping the bottom of the barrel to use that as any kind of “argument”, because it is nothing more than making something up out of whole cloth. We know with certainty that the first arrangement has a specific meaning, and the actual likelihood of the second one having any meaning is small. That alone is enough to differentiate between the two, whether this differentiation is “rigid” or not.

    It’s rather apparent that this “is not a distinction that is worthwhile” to you personally, because you simply don’t want it to be by all appearances, but that is hardly consequential.

    As stated numerous times, just because you don’t have a purpose for something does not mean one does not exist…

    And yet you guys consistently point to the human appendix, claiming that it absolutely has no purpose, as an example of how allegedly “incompetent” “god” is as a “designer”…

    Is there no limit to your collective duplicity?

    …and thus the difference is not valid, but instead completely arbitrary.

    And here we have an example of a false dichotomy. Just because something may be “arbitrary”, it does not make it “invalid”. The simple fact is that codes such as human language are indeed quite arbitrary. The concept represented by the English string, “The sky is blue.”, can be represented by a completely different set of symbols in Farsi or Greek or Chinese, but the represented concept remains “The sky is blue.”.The fact that completely different scratch marks on paper, depending on language/culture, can mean the same thing indicates just how utterly arbitrary the various symbol sets are. By your asinine “logic”, all languages are “invalid” since they are arbitrary.

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 9:07 am
  91. To summarize, you still aren’t saying anything worth listening to. You haven’t demonstrated how any particular piece of information necessarily indicates design.

    You are the one moving the goal posts, not us. We’re not asking you to do anything other than define your concept in such a way as to allow it to be extrapolated to any situation within a specified context. Which you seem completely unable to do. I am not addressing what you said because you have yet to address the questions/concerns raised.

    What necessarily dictates that complexity of type X is specified and that complexity of type Y is not? From everything you have said, it is that type X has a purpose to you and type Y does not. That is an arbitrary difference and not meaningful in the context of creating a distinction between them for the purposes of proving a designer (unless you are the designer or can provide evidence of said designer outside of this distinction).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 20, 2011, 11:10 am
  92. Alex says:
    “To summarize, you still aren’t saying anything worth listening to. You haven’t demonstrated how any particular piece of information necessarily indicates design.”

    PG says:
    A basic tenet of science defines DNA as a “set of instructions”, so let’s clarify your statement:
    “To summarize, you still aren’t saying anything worth listening to. You haven’t demonstrated how any particular set of instructions necessarily indicates design”

    Posted by PG | June 20, 2011, 1:33 pm
  93. PG says:
    A basic tenet of science defines DNA as a “set of instructions”, so let’s clarify your statement:
    “To summarize, you still aren’t saying anything worth listening to. You haven’t demonstrated how any particular set of instructions necessarily indicates design”

    And? Your point? Instructions != design.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 20, 2011, 2:16 pm
  94. To summarize, you still aren’t saying anything worth listening to.

    Well, it’s pretty apparent that you are, in fact, not listening, so how would you know the value of that to which you are, in fact, not listening? That is the question…

    You haven’t demonstrated how any particular piece of information necessarily indicates design.

    Yes I have. You simply refuse to listen. You’re just a little child who sticks his fingers in his ears, closes his eyes real tight, and shouts, “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LALALALA”…

    Why don’t you “demonstrate” how “ehsib u.Ts k yle” is just like “The sky is blue.” in terms of meaning? All you have done is pretend that they’re the same because we cannot “prove” they “aren’t” the same. Well, one indeed cannot “prove” much of anything to an utterly closed mind…

    You are the one moving the goal posts, not us.

    Knee-jerk denial noted and dismissed.

    We’ re not asking you to do anything other than define your concept in such a way as to allow it to be extrapolated to any situation within a specified context.

    Well, for starters, it is not “my” concept. As far as the rest of your demand is concerned, go read Dembski. Like I said before, the proponents of ID do make the “rigid” arguments you are petulantly demanding, but it requires more than a blog sound bite. Besides, if I were to write a couple of paragraphs of “rigid” explanation, all you would do is respond with your oh, so clever “tl;dr” (“Too Lazy;Didn’t Read”) rejoinder. So don’t give me your stupid song-and-dance about “defining concepts in such a way to blah blah blah…”

    What I have done is provide examples to illustrate the difference between specified and non-specified complexity. That you have a personal problem with the examples is inconsequential. All they are meant to be are examples, illustrations. Now you are stamping your feet and demanding “rigid” definitions, which *IS* moving goal posts, whether you care to admit it to yourself or not.

    Which you seem completely unable to do.

    What “seems” to you is irrelevant…

    From everything you have said, it is that type X has a purpose to you and type Y does not.

    No. Wrong. One example string definitely has meaning to any English speaker who reads it, the other one does not definitively have meaning to any English speaker who reads it, even if we stupidly assume that it may have some sort of mysterious meaning to some entity somewhere in the universe. By trying to pin it on me personally, you simply demonstrate intellectual dishonesty. If you truly see gibberish when you read “The sky is blue.”, then there is really nothing I can do for you, son…

    That is an arbitrary difference and not meaningful in the context of creating a distinction between them for the purposes of proving a designer…

    Um, they were examples, chief. They weren’t meant to “prove” anything. Illustrations are not “proof”.

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 2:58 pm
  95. To reiterate for Alex and other such obtuse boneheads…

    My purpose is not to “prove a designer” or any other such goal-post-moving hogwash. My purpose is simply to illustrate that your insipid straw man “ohhh it’s tooo complicated” “argument” is utter horseshit, nothing more.

    Instructions != design.

    See what I mean? Utterly obtuse. Give us an example of a natural phenomenon that produces coded instructions for some entity to interpret and execute. And no, DNA doesn’t qualify, because we do not know that it was created by natural forces. That is just your faith-based assumption that you cling to with white-knuckled desperation.

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 3:12 pm
  96. Actually CB,
    Let’s be fair. Alex and company did offer some possible candidates of naturally occurring codes, so in the spirit of objectivity and science let’s consider them one by one to see if they are capable of producing coded instructions for interpretation and execution .

    Atheists have offered a long list of candidates:
    Erosion patterns
    Snowflakes
    Crystalline solids
    Rocks in streams
    Tree rings
    A pile of Trash

    Let’s first consider Alex’s first example of rocks in streams.
    Now I asked a 5 year old if rocks in streams are capable of producing a set of instructions for other rocks inthe stream to interpret and execute. The answer was “Nope, that’s silly!”
    I would have a tendency to agree with the 5 year old child. I am currently unaware of any rocks capable of producing a set of instructions for interpretation and execution.

    How about you CB?

    Posted by PG | June 20, 2011, 3:53 pm
  97. PGCB (I’m just referring to you as a single entity from now on), at least state our position correctly: DNA is not a “set of instructions.” It is a complex polymer that acts unconsciously and produces an extremely complex organization of molecules we call a “living thing.”

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 20, 2011, 4:32 pm
  98. DNA is not a “set of instructions.” It is a complex polymer that acts unconsciously and produces an extremely complex organization of molecules we call a “living thing.”

    Yet Another False Dichotomy…

    DNA does indeed act like computer software, your forthcoming denials notwithstanding. DNA is indeed sets of instruction, which simply happen to be recorded in a polymer double helix. The fact that DNA is “a complex polymer” does NOT preclude it from also being a set of instructions or a blueprint for producing proteins and enzymes, as well as providing other functionality. And your “acts unconsciously” observation is a complete red herring. A “set of instructions” doesn’t have to “have consciousness”, and it’s frankly rather moronic to imply that it does at any level. Cook books are full of recipes, which are “sets of instructions” for preparing food. Do those recipes have consciousness? Does a cookbook? How about a computer program? Excel? Word? Power Point?

    No, this whole “acts unconsciously” is meaningless smoke and a blindingly stupid argument.

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 4:56 pm
  99. I’m just referring to you as a single entity from now on

    Translation: “I am intellectually lazy and cannot be bothered to distinguish one opponent from another.”

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 4:59 pm
  100. CB, it sounds to me like you’re back to “IF it’s a set of instructions, it was designed.” Which… of course… is the question under contention. If you would like to specify a group of things into which both DNA and a computer fit, and call that group {Things which follow instructions}, then I will just reply that this group is not prima facie “designed” by a conscious entity. And then we’re right back to the beginning. SO I’m not sure what you’re trying to do.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 20, 2011, 5:00 pm
  101. How about you CB?

    I have to admit that I haven’t run across any instruction manuals or books on software development that seemed conscious, although they do sometimes make me laugh…

    And yes, I can easily believe that a 5-year-old can have more sense than an ultra-hip atheist…

    Posted by CB | June 20, 2011, 5:05 pm
  102. Translation: “I am intellectually lazy and cannot be bothered to distinguish one opponent from another.”

    Translation: Seriously, I can’t keep the wackiness separate. You both have such bizarre ideas, and both say the same kinds of things so much that it’s hardly worth the effort to remember whose diatribe was whose.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 20, 2011, 5:20 pm
  103. CB wrote:

    Haggling over whether any example I provide qualifies as a “not completely random example of non-specified complexity” would simply be a distraction, which is perhaps your goal, avoiding the main point.

    The main point? That is the main point. If randomness is the only kind of complexity which isn’t specified complexity then you’ve defined a designer into existence, and a priori eliminated natural selection as a mechanism for producing complexity. Now give me an example or admit it doesn’t exist.

    Posted by Ian | June 20, 2011, 8:47 pm
  104. Set of instructions != a code.

    So which is it that proves design, something being a set of instructions or something being a code? Oh wait, it must be both and complex with specificity. Bah, the bullshit has gotten too deep to wade through and you idiots seem to only be capable of adding to it. I shall say good day to you, sirs.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 21, 2011, 3:14 am
  105. Seriously…wackiness…bizarre…

    Lay off the hallucinogenics and reality wouldn’t seem so wacky and bizarre to you. Seriously.

    Posted by CB | June 21, 2011, 9:32 am
  106. Lay off the hallucinogenics and reality wouldn’t seem so wacky and bizarre to you. Seriously.

    I tried to think of a clever response, but repeating what you said is hilarious enough.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 21, 2011, 11:08 am
  107. If randomness is the only kind of complexity which isn’t specified complexity then you’ve defined a designer into existence, and a priori eliminated natural selection as a mechanism for producing complexity.

    Nonsense. Like I have told you several times now, ID states that “complexity” can indeed be the result of natural forces, so “I” haven’t a priori done squat. But I have no intention of jumping through your hoops of trying to define the entire spectrum of “complexities” from highly specified to highly random It is a continuum, after all, just like the continuum of real numbers between the values of zero and one, and their probabilities of design map accordingly. Something that is highly specified has a high probability of being the result of intelligent agency. Something that is highly random has a high probability of being the result of natural forces.

    Now give me an example or admit it doesn’t exist.

    Kiss my ass.

    Posted by CB | June 21, 2011, 2:12 pm
  108. I tried to think of a clever response…

    .
    …but obviously couldn’t.

    Set of instructions != a code.

    Tell that to a computer programmer or software developer, and proceed to suffer deserved ridicule.

    Posted by CB | June 21, 2011, 2:17 pm
  109. If you would like to specify a group of things into which both DNA and a computer fit, and call that group {Things which follow instructions}, then I will just reply that this group is not prima facie “designed” by a conscious entity.

    Looks to me like you just specified this group yourself, and at least one item in that group was indeed designed by a conscious entity, which, as things currently stand, represents 50% of that group…

    That would suggest to many that the second item in the group was also designed by a conscious entity, especially if we toss in a third item, say, a player piano, which reads encoded instructions to play specific songs, and was also designed by a conscious entity.

    Of course, nothing in the group is a conscious entity. Nothing in the group consciously follows instructions or consciously acts in any way.

    Posted by CB | June 21, 2011, 5:11 pm
  110. Oh my Marx,

    I have seen the light and now want to be an Atheist. I just need some help from my fellow Brethren.

    I can avoid reading all those science books that state that DNA is a code and try to believe that DNA code is just a metaphor. And I can work on dismissing the observed evidence of error detection and code repair mechanisms as just an illusion, but what do I do with the verified fact that the most simplest of organisms have genomes which has the cognitive ability to re-write its own DNA code? Please help me with my unbelief!

    Evolution: A view from the 21st century
    From the Author
    Most debates about evolution sound like the last fifty years of research in molecular biology had never occurred. Evolution: A View from the 21st Century aims to acquaint the reader with previously “inconceivable” but currently well-documented aspects of cell biology and genomics. This knowledge will prepare the reader for the inevitable surprises in evolutionary science as this new century runs its course.

    The capacity of living organisms to alter their own heredity is undeniable, and our current ideas about evolution have to incorporate this basic fact of life. The genome is no longer the read-only memory (ROM) system subject to accidental changes envisaged by conventional theory. We now understand genomes to be read-write (RW) information storage organelles at all time scales, from the single cell cycle to evolutionary eons.

    The contemporary concept of living organisms as self-modifying beings coincides with the shift in biology from a mechanistic to an information- and systems-based view of vital functions. The life sciences have converged with other disciplines to focus on questions of acquiring, processing and transmitting information to ensure the correct operation of complex adaptive systems…..

    Posted by PG | June 21, 2011, 5:57 pm
  111. CB wrote:

    Something that is highly specified has a high probability of being the result of intelligent agency.

    So your argument is circular? Thanks for clearing that up.

    Kiss my ass.

    You’re such an idiot, CB.

    Posted by Ian | June 21, 2011, 9:06 pm
  112. So your argument is circular?

    Still suffering from reading comprehension problems?

    I am simply providing examples to illustrate what is meant by specified complexity, which is an indicator of design. Not “proof” of design. An indicator. I realize that such subtlety is completely lost on a blunt instrument such as yourself, but there is no circle whatsoever in what I just described. Specified complexity implies design. Something that is highly specified complexity has a high probability of being the product of deliberate, intelligent agency. That is two different ways of saying the same thing, and in both cases, the logic is quite linear.

    Now, if I were to define “specified complexity” as “that which indicates design”, then yes, we would have a circular argument, but I haven’t provided any such definition. What I have provided is examples, and the purpose of an example is simply to illustrate a concept. An example is not “proof”, nor are the examples meant to be definitive. If you take them as such, then that’s purely your problem.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    You’re quite welcome, but you may still need professional help…

    You’ re such an idiot, CB.

    I simply refuse to play your games, especially when you make petulant demands like a little child. If that makes me an “idiot”, well so be it.

    Posted by CB | June 22, 2011, 9:41 am
  113. So you’re admitting there is nothing but implication to the entire ID concept? That the world looks designed, but you’ve got nothing concrete to say it was? Then we’re all done here, as that’s not yet something to be taught in science class. Feel free to study it, write papers, and try to move past that level, but until you do, keep your day job and I’ll keep mine.

    Tell that to a computer programmer or software developer, and proceed to suffer deserved ridicule.

    Hilarious, given that this is my day job.

    It’s hilarious since I said:
    Set of instructions != a code

    I used the term code in the implication of morse code, i.e. a set of symbols used to reference further meaning. According to your translation of that into computer science, it would refer to a programming language (i.e. C++, python, Java, etc…). That is not the typical use of the word code in computer science, which is where this gets funny, because you keep conflating the two definitions where code does mean a set of instructions (typically).

    So which is it? Is DNA the programming language or the software written with that language? Both uses of the word code are correct, but you can only mean one. This has all been explained numerous times on numerous threads, but multiple meanings to words seems difficult for some people to comprehend…

    Now, if I were to define “specified complexity” as “that which indicates design”, then yes, we would have a circular argument, but I haven’t provided any such definition. What I have provided is examples, and the purpose of an example is simply to illustrate a concept. An example is not “proof”, nor are the examples meant to be definitive. If you take them as such, then that’s purely your problem.

    Lots of words, but not much substance. What you’re saying is that you aren’t trying to prove anything with your examples, simply illustrate a concept. First prove the concept exists then. Provide a definition that works and then examples of things that fit said definition. We’ve asked for this repeatedly, but it seems an impossible task.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 22, 2011, 10:31 am
  114. So you’re admitting there is nothing but implication to the entire ID concept?

    Still suffering from reading comprehension problems?

    Kindly point out where I ever used the phrase “nothing but” in reference to ID. That you guys persist in reading stuff into what I say, that you guys persist in putting words in my mouth is perhaps to be expected, since you guys are apparently incapable of arguing against what I actually say…

    Then we’re all done here…

    We can only hope…

    I used the term code in the implication of morse code…

    So you are equivocating:

    According to your translation of that into computer science, it would refer to a programming language (i.e. C++, python, Java, etc…). That is not the typical use of the word code in computer science, which is where this gets funny, because you keep conflating the two definitions where code does mean a set of instructions (typically).

    Um, I am not “conflating” anything. If anyone is conflating or simply equivocating, it would be you. I have been using terms like enCODING scheme to describe why DNA is a code from the very beginning of these discussions. I have likewise compared DNA to computer software from the very beginning.

    So the question becomes, where the hell have you been?

    Do you deny that a computer program is a set of instructions for the computer to execute?

    Do you deny that the high level language files for a given program (written in C++, python, Java, etc…) is typically referred to as “source code“?

    Do you deny that a compiler translates the source code into what is commonly called object code?

    Do you deny that the actual executable files are typically said to contain machine code or binary code?

    Do you deny that, in the software development life cycle, the part where the actual building of software takes place is also typically referred to as the coding phase?

    According to your translation of that into computer science, it would refer to a programming language (i.e. C++, python, Java, etc…). That is not the typical use of the word code in computer science…

    <shrug> If you say so — you’re the “expert”…

    Now yes, referring to you as an “expert” is indeed quite funny, given that I am also a software developer. I suppose you’ll want to get into a pissing match to determine who’s assertions have more weight…

    First prove the concept exists then.

    “Prove that the concept exists”???

    Do you even know what a “concept” is? A “concept” is an idea, basically, perhaps a formalized one, but an idea nonetheless. As such, all one has to do is conceive it in their mind to bring it into existence. Since specified complexity as a concept has been conceived, discussed, written about, etc., it should be self-evident that the concept exists.

    And if you are told that a sentence written in a human language such as English is an example of the concept’s implementation, then again, it should be self-evident that the concept exists.

    We’ve asked for this repeatedly…

    Uh-huh…

    Repeating the same bullshit doesn’t change it into gold.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 16, 2011, 1:54 pm
    “Why Do Christians Distrust Atheists?”

    …but it seems an impossible task.

    What “seems” to you is inconsequential and irrelevant.

    Posted by CB | June 22, 2011, 12:38 pm
  115. Nice long diatribe, again with little actual substance. Perhaps try actually answering any questions posed.

    I’ll restate for simplicity sake:
    Define some sort of complexity that requires the addition of the term specified and is in some way different than without it. Do so such that other forms of complexity are necessarily excluded from the group that is specified. All the metaphors and examples are simply methods you are trying to use to confuse this basic question. A question which has been thoroughly asked and answered by the scientific community, but you’re free to continue trying to do so if you like.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 22, 2011, 1:33 pm
  116. Nice long diatribe…

    Since when is asking a few questions a “diatribe”???

    Perhaps try actually answering any questions posed.

    Like how you so courteously and honestly answered mine? Oh, wait…

    Posted by CB | June 22, 2011, 4:18 pm
  117. Is DNA the programming language or the software written with that language?

    It’s the latter, which you would be able to surmise if you could be bothered to listen to what I actually say, and actually comprehend it. Like I have already pointed out, the “programming language” is the encoding scheme that does the 3:1 translation of nucleotides to amino acid molecules, and I have already provided charts which specify this scheme. DNA itself is the software written in that language, and it just so happens to be “written” in the form of nucleotide molecules linked together in a double helix.

    Both uses of the word code are correct, but you can only mean one.

    Thank you very much for realizing my use of the word is correct. Finally.

    This has all been explained numerous times on numerous threads, but multiple meanings to words seems difficult for some people to comprehend…

    How utterly ironic.

    Posted by CB | June 23, 2011, 11:28 am
  118. Thank you very much for realizing my use of the word is correct. Finally.

    Wrong. Hilarious given that a literal code is the other definition and code as a metaphor for ‘set of instructions’ is the definition you’re using. When you compare DNA to a language you should be comparing it to a sentence written in a given language. Nice of you to finally point that out clearly though.

    I think you and PG should take this argument elsewhere as you two are the ones who disagree, not us and you. We both agree that DNA is not a literal code (as in a language) but is instead more akin to a piece of software or a book written in the literal code of nucleotide molecules.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 23, 2011, 11:40 am
  119. Wrong.

    You are, indeed.

    Hilarious…

    Yes it is.

    We both agree that DNA is not a literal code (as in a language) but is instead more akin to A PIECE OF SOFTWARE or a book written in the literal code of nucleotide molecules.

    Again, you demonstrate that you do not listen.

    I have been using terms like enCODING scheme to describe why DNA is a code from the very beginning of these discussions. I have likewise compared DNA to computer software from the very beginning.

    So the question becomes, where the hell have you been?

    Do you deny that a computer program is a set of instructions for the computer to execute?

    Do you deny that the high level language files for a given program (written in C++, python, Java, etc…) is typically referred to as “source code“?

    Do you deny that a compiler translates the source code into what is commonly called object code?

    Do you deny that the actual executable files are typically said to contain machine code or binary code?

    Do you deny that, in the software development life cycle, the part where the actual building of software takes place is also typically referred to as the coding phase?

    Posted by CB | June 22, 2011, 12:38 pm

    We both agree that DNA is not a literal code (AS IN A LANGUAGE)

    Where have I ever said that DNA was like a human language?

    Nowhere.

    What I HAVE done is use sentences in human language (English) to illustrate “SPECIFIED COMPLEXITY“. I have NOT claimed that DNA was “like a human language”. Yes, I did say it contained information, but in ENCODED FORM.

    We both agree that DNA is not a literal code (AS IN A LANGUAGE)

    What does that really even mean, anyway? Computer software, which you admit DNA is akin to, is written in PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES.

    Even a binary executable is MACHINE LANGUAGE.

    So what the hell is your point? Besides being utterly obtuse?

    Posted by CB | June 23, 2011, 12:43 pm
  120. What does that really even mean, anyway? Computer software, which you admit DNA is akin to, is written in PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES.

    Even a binary executable is MACHINE LANGUAGE.

    So what the hell is your point? Besides being utterly obtuse?

    I must apologize. I’ve gotten your bullshit and PG’s bullshit mixed up (please forgive my mistake).

    Something written in X does not make it like X. A book is not a code (i.e. a language), but it is a code (i.e. something written in a literal code). You must forgive us as we’re used to dealing with PG, who espouses a belief in DNA as a literal code (i.e. a language) and your language is very similar to that and thus quite confusing.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 23, 2011, 4:17 pm
  121. Alex,
    For the last year I have been stating that DNA is a code. I even provided a Peer reviewed paper with Yockey’s schematics for the DNA communication system that I posted earlier this month. They confirm Yockey’s theory that DNA is a code, and working with Yockeys model, discovered error detection systems and parity codes. Perhaps you should review the schematic before mouthing off that it is Bullshit, it’s from the your very own evolutionary scientists…. .

    Repost:
    “Regardless of the implications to a personal belief system, a Basic scientific tenet of mainstream science is that DNA is a code. It is an information system comprised of an encoder transmitting a set of symbols to a decoder (with chemicals used as a separate medium) to decode the instructions for a complete body plan. I have already cited the proper peer reviewed paper that demonstrates the information system structure of DNA.

    http://www.ece.iit.edu/~biitcomm/research/references/Elebeoba%20E.%20May/An%20error-correcting%20code%20framework%20for%20genetic%20sequence%20analysis.pdf

    … Scroll down to page 9 of 21 pages until you see Yockeys diagram of DNA coding system. It evidences DNA coding as isomorphic to Information systems….

    Evolution is information based processes. Connect the dots!
    Posted by PG | June 11, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Posted by PG | June 23, 2011, 6:19 pm
  122. BTW, Here is the conclusion of that paper

    5. Conclusion
    Effective and secure data transmission remains an ongoing engineering endeavor,
    but biological systems have learned how to efficiently and effectively combine all
    three aspects of communication seamlessly (this includes compression, encryption,
    and error-correction coding)….

    Posted by PG | June 23, 2011, 9:57 pm
  123. Posted by cptpineapple | June 26, 2011, 12:40 am
  124. Alison, do you have a point? Do you seriously think you’re being clever in some way? Observing that life is information-based at some level is not an appeal to “magic”. That is just another Ill-informed anti-ID straw man (no pun intended). Don’t you guys get tired of building straw men? Or are you just not capable of bonafide rational arguments?

    Posted by CB | June 26, 2011, 11:40 am
  125. Unfortunately these are truly dark times for Atheists as they are completely at a loss to explain why in 2011, their very own evolutionary science is trashing Darwinian theories of random stochastic mechanisms for evidenced information based processes. Their insistence over the last 40 years that DNA is not a code has finally caught up to them. As these decades old discoveries are now being made known, even card carrying atheist scientists are trying to save face by stating that they knew all along of these damning discoveries years ago, even while they continued to pimp Darwin in their classrooms and at Atheist conventions.
    Why?
    Because there is no place for “cognitive” genomes “sensing danger” and then re-writing code, in the Atheist paradigm of mindless chemicals “Just doing their own thing”. Fortunately because of the internet, we no longer have to wait for these scientists to die off first in order to advance science.

    “Molecular genetics has amply confirmed McClintock’s discovery that living organisms actively reorganize their genomes (5). It has also supported her view that the genome can “sense danger” and respond accordingly (56). The recognition of the fundamentally biological nature of genetic change and of cellular potentials for information processing frees our thinking about evolution. In particular, our conceptual formulations are no longer dependent on the operation of stochastic processes. Thus, we can now envision a role for computational inputs and adaptive feedbacks into the evolution of life as a complex system. Indeed, it is possible that we will eventually see such information-processing capabilities as essential to life itself. “
    From James A. Shapiro, “A 21st century view of evolution” http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html

    Posted by PG | June 26, 2011, 7:10 pm
  126. P.S -That was a very funny video, thank you Alison!…

    Posted by PG | June 27, 2011, 12:41 pm
  127. Observing that life is information-based at some level is not an appeal to “magic”.

    It also doesn’t imply anything about design or some creator, so what’s your point?

    Their insistence over the last 40 years that DNA is not a code has finally caught up to them.

    Debate with CB on that one. You are saying it is a literal code (i.e. a language) and he is saying it is a piece of code (i.e. a piece of software or a book). I agree with him, but you obviously don’t.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 27, 2011, 3:13 pm
  128. Alex says:
    “Debate with CB on that one. You are saying it is a literal code (i.e. a language) and he is saying it is a piece of code (i.e. a piece of software or a book). I agree with him, but you obviously don’t”

    PG says:

    Does a book containing words represent a language?

    You agree that DNA is a piece of code like a book, and since the words in a book does not ever evolve from the ink and paper, can you explain how random chemicals could ever produce a “book”?

    Posted by PG | June 27, 2011, 6:31 pm
  129. Alex,
    If I understand your position correctly,are you claiming that as a software engineer; metaphorically, random chemicals are capable of doing your very intellectually challenging job?

    Posted by PG | June 27, 2011, 7:07 pm
  130. I just want to thank you guys… all of you… for this thread. My alexa rating has improved tremendously just from your repeated visits… and I’m getting more hits because of it. Keep it up!

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | June 27, 2011, 8:11 pm
  131. Alex,
    If I understand your position correctly,are you claiming that as a software engineer; metaphorically, random chemicals are capable of doing your very intellectually challenging job?

    Given that nothing I’ve designed is as complex as the human genome, I’d have to say yes, if they were capable of taking requirements specs and turning that into a final design. Given that they aren’t, no.

    Does a book containing words represent a language?

    If it is a book on that language yes, otherwise it is an example of the language (could be fiction and full of terrible grammar via spoken words for example).

    You agree that DNA is a piece of code like a book, and since the words in a book does not ever evolve from the ink and paper, can you explain how random chemicals could ever produce a “book”?

    Blind watchmaker, really? You can’t possibly be this stupid, please tell me this was a joke. The answer however is that it is equally likely that randomly banging on a typewrite is going to produce:
    A) This was written on a type writer
    as
    B) Erth rthe wiootoe ls a thkm l3845k

    Now, since you quoted what I said, how about you actually answer the question (I answered yours). I’m done answering any more questions until you actually answer mine.

    “Debate with CB on that one. You are saying it is a literal code (i.e. a language) and he is saying it is a piece of code (i.e. a piece of software or a book). I agree with him, but you obviously don’t”

    Either you agree with us (and DNA is not a literal code) or you don’t and have a bone to pick with CB (who is at least on his way to giving up this irrational belief).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 28, 2011, 7:44 am
  132. Alex,

    First, lets do some housekeeping.

    Here is the definition of “Literal”

    lit·er·al/ˈlitərəl/

    Adjective: Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or allegory:

    So my complete statement is “The coding region of DNA is a literal code and is not metaphorical”

    OK?

    Posted by PG | June 28, 2011, 7:08 pm
  133. So my complete statement is “The coding region of DNA is a literal code and is not metaphorical”

    OK?

    No. Is DNA a language (a literal code to me and everyone else here), or an expression of a language (a metaphorical code, i.e. software)?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 29, 2011, 3:25 am
  134. Alex,

    Let me make it perfectly clear to you.

    The linguistics of DNA: Words,sentences, Phonetics, and Semantics
    Sungchul Ji of Rutgers University

    “Since the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953, many biologists have employed language as a useful metaphor to describe certain aspects of molecular biologic phenomena. But recently it was postulated that language is more than just a metaphor and that linguistics provides a fundamental principle to account for the structure and function of the cell. This conclusion is supported by the facts (1) that cells use a language or cellese defined as “a self-organizing system of molecules, some of which encode, act as signs for , or trigger gene directed cell processes and (2) that cell languages have 10 of 13 design features of human language (Humanese) characterized by Hocket and lyon, thus suggesting as isomorphism between cellese and humanese. Because cellese must be transmitted from one generation to the next, it must be encoded in DNA.”

    “There are theoretical reasons to believe that biologic systems and processes cannot be fully accounted for in terms of the principles and laws of physics and chemistry alone, but they require in addition the principles of semiotics – the science of symbols and signs, including linguistics.”
    http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~sji/Linguistics%20of%20DNA.pdf

    Now Alex, where do languages come from?

    Posted by PG | June 29, 2011, 5:55 am
  135. Blind watchmaker, really? You can’t possibly be this stupid, please tell me this was a joke. The answer however is that it is equally likely that randomly banging on a typewrite is going to produce:
    A) This was written on a type writer
    as
    B) Erth rthe wiootoe ls a thkm l3845k

    Assuming a string containing 33 upper- and lower-case letters, digits and spaces, that means 1 chance in 63^33, or 1 in 238,912,092,451,282,316,201,126,928,503,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, approximately.

    So the question is, how many meaningful English sentences can be created using 33 upper- and lower-case letters, digits and spaces? A million? One hundred trillion? Even a huge number like one hundred trillion squared is vanishingly small when compared to 238,912,092,451,282,316,201,126,928,503,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    What that means is that, assuming there are 100 trillion squared possible intelligible English sentences that can be constructed using 33 upper- and lower-case letters, digits and spaces, the odds of simply banging one out randomly on a typewriter are damned near zero. The actual figure is something like 1 chance in 23,891,209,245,128,231,620,112,692,850,330

    So, if you could manage to bang out one random string every second, 24/7, it would require roughly 757,066,736,542,963,711,439,168 years to grunge through all of those combinations and approach certainty in getting one intelligible English sentence. Consider that the universe is “only” approximately 14,000,000,000 years old at present. In 757,066,736,542,963,711,439,168 years, the universe will probably long since be burned out, well into its heat death.

    If you think I’m talking out my ass, crunch the numbers yourself, chief. After all, I am willing to concede that I may have made an arithmetic error along the way…

    Bottom line? It takes a hell of a lot more raw, blind faith to believe in the blind watchmaker crap than it does to believe that some intelligent agent was involved, in my ever-so-humble opinion.

    Either you agree with us (and DNA is not a literal code) or you don’t and have a bone to pick with CB (who is at least on his way to giving up this irrational belief).

    Getting rather presumptuous, aren’t you? I’m still not clear on what you mean by “literal” code. Frankly, I’m not convinced that you are even clear.

    First, you say that you and PG are in agreement and I am the odd man out:

    I think you and PG should take this argument elsewhere as you two are the ones who disagree, NOT US AND YOU. We both agree that DNA is not a literal code (as in a language) but is instead more akin to a piece of software or a book written in the literal code of nucleotide molecules.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 23, 2011, 11:40 am

    Then you admit to total confusion:

    I must apologize. I’ve gotten your bullshit and PG’s bullshit mixed up (please forgive my mistake).

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 23, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Since you refer to both of our positions as “bullshit”, it stands to reason that you don’t agree with either one of us. But then you go on to pretend that you agree with me (?!?!) and claim PG is the odd man out:

    Debate with CB on that one. You are saying it is a literal code (i.e. a language) and he is saying it is a piece of code (i.e. a piece of software or a book). I agree with him, but you obviously don’t.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 27, 2011, 3:13 pm

    So your attempt to play PG and myself against each other is utterly transparent, rather embarrassing to watch, and apparently centers around this idiotic “literal code” nonsense. How can a code not be literal? Of what use is a “non-literal” code? Hell, “non-literal code” may very well be an oxymoron.

    When I Google “metaphorical code”, the hits I get back all refer to “metaphorical code-switching” — the “metaphorical” adjective applies to code-switching, and not to the word “code” by itself. So you have yet to clarify what you mean by “metaphorical code” versus “literl code”. After all, even programming languages are expressed in terms of human languages. The “IF…ELSE…END-IF” control construct, for example, is made up of the English words “if”, “else” and “end”. “Perform”, “do”, “evaluate”, “switch”, “let” and so on are both English words and programming language commands or verbs.

    If you and I agree on anything, you’ve hidden that fact remarkably well these past several weeks, and conveniently manage to pull that out of your ass just now…?

    Posted by CB | June 29, 2011, 9:28 am
  136. To CB:

    If you and I agree on anything, you’ve hidden that fact remarkably well these past several weeks, and conveniently manage to pull that out of your ass just now…?

    We agree that DNA is not a language, but an expression in a language. If you compare DNA to a piece of software, this is the comparison you are making. Software is not the language, but the expression of a particular programming language.

    Bottom line? It takes a hell of a lot more raw, blind faith to believe in the blind watchmaker crap than it does to believe that some intelligent agent was involved, in my ever-so-humble opinion.

    So your position is that it takes more faith to accept something possible than something not (remember, until you can even propose some way to validate the existence of a designer, you can’t attribute any probability to its existence)? Sorry, but I could just add another 0 to your probabilities and call that the chance of having a designer and be ahead in your game. You can “feel” like it’s more likely, but without some sort of valid methodology to prove it, you are just talking out of your ass…

    As to PG:

    Now Alex, where do languages come from?

    Nice try, but not the point. I don’t see any evidence that languages don’t evolve naturally as an emergent property of life.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 29, 2011, 12:46 pm
  137. So your position is that it takes more faith to accept something possible than something not…

    Apparently, probability theory is beyond you…

    Kindly demonstrate for us how intelligent agency is not possible. We’re waiting…

    Sorry, but I could just add another 0 to your probabilities and (blah blah blah)…

    Yes, indeed, you could just willy-nilly jack with the numbers and say anything you want, and you can even pretend that it would mean something, if that floats your boat. Like I said, apparently probability theory is beyond you.

    Also like I said, you are free to actually crunch the numbers yourself (as opposed to merely jacking with them by “adding zeros” or whatever such horseshit).

    Posted by CB | June 29, 2011, 2:46 pm
  138. Alex says:
    Nice try, but not the point. I don’t see any evidence that languages don’t evolve naturally as an emergent property of life.

    PG says:
    Yet your worldview cannot allow you to accept a simple truth that all known languages evolve from a mind!

    Its most unfortunate that you continue to completely disregard a basic tenet of science; The Laws of physics and chemistry do not create Languages. In order for you to continue in your belief, you must hold on to a very future discovery of a currently unknown law of physics and chemistry. We are most fortunate that science does not share your bias.

    “There are theoretical reasons to believe that biologic systems and processes cannot be fully accounted for in terms of the principles and laws of physics and chemistry alone, but they require in addition the principles of semiotics – the science of symbols and signs, including linguistics.”

    http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~sji/Linguistics%20of%20DNA.pdf

    Posted by PG | June 30, 2011, 12:14 am
  139. Kindly demonstrate for us how intelligent agency is not possible. We’re waiting…

    Kindly demonstrate how it is. You know, by crunching some numbers or whatever, because as far as I know, something with absolutely no calculable probability is less likely than something with one, however astronomical that one is.

    PG says:
    Yet your worldview cannot allow you to accept a simple truth that all known languages evolve from a mind!

    Wow. They evolve from a mind, which evolved naturally. I thought they were designed? Exactly what is your point here?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 30, 2011, 8:04 am
  140. Kindly demonstrate how it is.

    Kindly demonstrate how intelligent agency is possible? Um, we are both examples of intelligent agents.

    Well, I am, at least. The jury is still out on whether you qualify…

    You made the absolute assertion that something is not possible. The onus is on you to back up your own assertions. I am not at all obligated to “disprove” your silly claims.

    You know, by crunching some numbers or whatever…

    Thanks for essentially admitting that probability theory is beyond you.

    …because as far as I know…

    Which is not very far, apparently…

    …something with absolutely no calculable probability…

    Kindly explain and demonstrate how this something has “absolutely no calculable probability”…

    Again, we’re waiting…

    Again, you made an absolute assertion, so again, you have to back it up. I am not obligated to “disprove” it. You ARE obligated to support it, since you claim it.

    Again, we’re waiting…

    Just because you are personally incapable of calculating it (because probability theory is quite apparently beyond you), that doesn’t mean it’s universally incalculable.

    What you seem utterly incapable of grasping is that what I calculated was how long it would likely take to randomly generate a simple English sentence a mere 33 characters in length, and the figure I came up with is many orders of magnitude longer than the universe has existed.

    That you are utterly unable or unwilling to grasp the significance of that is ultimately inconsequential, of course, but it does shed light on your posturings regarding evidence. Like I have said a couple of times, now, you are free to crunch the numbers yourself to see if I erred. You can challenge my stipulations, challenge the calculations, and so on. That you have thus far only responded with hand-wave dismissals and bald assertions is again very revealing.

    Posted by CB | June 30, 2011, 12:59 pm
  141. Alex says:Blind watchmaker, really? You can’t possibly be this stupid, please tell me this was a joke. The answer however is that it is equally likely that randomly banging on a typewrite is going to produce:
    A) This was written on a type writer
    as
    B) Erth rthe wiootoe ls a thkm l3845k

    PG says:

    Does the entity banging on the typewriter posess a mind?
    And where the hell did the typewriter come from?

    Regardless,
    Here is a cut and paste from a Book review on Antony Flew’s book “There is a God”

    “For anyone who is even slightly familiar with philosophy in the last sixty years, the name ‘Antony Flew’ means something – he was the major proponent of atheism in the twentieth century. Starting with an essay, “Theology and Falsification,” in 1950, he systematically attacked belief in God, and much of his greatest work through the years was dedicated to reasons why the idea of God was, according to his philosophy then, preposterous and unreasonable.
    That’s what makes this tremendous book so fascinating – Antony Flew has changed his mind! The first half of the book contains a very readable summary of his life story, particularly the growth and development of his philosophical ideas, and how he changed from thinking it was rational to think there is no God, to the very cusp of his present position of thinking there is a God. The second half of the book really elucidates the reasons for his change of mind, and contains a fascinating exposition of his present position.
    Surprisingly, two of the major reasons he came to think there is a God were recent developments in science.
    The first is the fact that modern physics and astronomy has virtually proved that the universe has a beginning, i.e. with the Big Bang. In the 1950′s it seemed reasonable to believe that the universe could have existed forever, and it didn’t seem necessary for it to have been caused, in fact, it was thought impossible to determine whether the universe had a beginning or not. But now that the general consensus among scientists is that the universe had a beginning in the Big Bang, it begs the question – what caused it to begin?
    The second development was the recent deepening understanding of the complexity of life – in particular the fact that DNA carries information, and is clearly encoded with the instructions for life. What are the chances that a code-carrying system could arise by chance? The use of symbols to represent other things is a definite act of intelligence.
    One of the things that contributing to changing Antony Flew’s mind was a presentation by another philosopher Gerald Schroeder, in which Schroeder referred to a delightful experiment carried out by the British National Council of Arts. A computer was put into a cage with six monkeys. After one month of typing, they produced fifty pages, but not one word, not even an ” a ” or ” I ” – i.e. either of those would necessite a space, followed by a letter, then another space.
    Now, Schroeder worked out that, given 30 keys on the computer, the odds of the monkeys typing a one letter word are 30*30*30= one in 27,000.
    After this, Gerald Schroeder calculated the odds of monkeys typing a Shakespeare sonnet, and you should read “There Is A God” if you want a better exposition of it – but the odds are astronomically small, in fact, if every particle in the universe was an integrated circuit simulating a monkey typing, then the universe wouldn’t be big enough or have been around long enough for it to have produced a single Shakespeare sonnet, in fact it would have to be larger by a factor of 10 to the power of 600! (Now I know this sounds preposterous, but Schroeder’s statistics are sound, and Antony Flew gives an excellent summary.)
    Schroeder’s reasoning goes that the chance development of life seems very unlikely indeed, given that monkeys typing a Shakespeare sonnet is so unlikely! (Flew points out the humour of Schroeder using a mere 12-line sonnet as his example, when many atheists have in the past used the example of monkeys typing the Bible, or all of Shakespeare, to explain why they think life can arise by chance.)”

    http://www.waltzingmatilda.com.au/A.P.Partington/8A77D6BF-A281-41DF-A037-AB891CCC8BFA.html

    Posted by PG | June 30, 2011, 2:48 pm
  142. Nice long diatribe, but little substance. It’s obvious you can play semantics, but It’s also obvious that you can’t compute a probability for the existence of the designer in ID. Good try, and thanks for playing…

    What you seem utterly incapable of grasping is that what I calculated was how long it would likely take to randomly generate a simple English sentence a mere 33 characters in length, and the figure I came up with is many orders of magnitude longer than the universe has existed.

    That would really depend on your assumption of how many sentences could be tried in a given period of time. 1 per second is rather limited given current computing power…

    Just because you are personally incapable of calculating it (because probability theory is quite apparently beyond you), that doesn’t mean it’s universally incalculable.

    Like I said before, if you’re feeling froggy, just jump. I’d love to hear the methodology for calculating the actions of something that has no proof for its existence…

    I’m ignoring your cut and paste (out of context) rants PG. When you have something of substance to add, feel free to do so.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | June 30, 2011, 3:23 pm
  143. I’m ignoring your cut and paste (out of context) rants PG. When you have something of substance to add, feel free to do so. Posted by Alex Hardman | June 30, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Oh dear, I was really hoping you would teach us more about how banging away at a typewriter proves there no designer of DNA, and both CB and I are still very interested to learn more on your position that “DNA is a literal code or language, but it’s not a code or language” position. Gotta cover all those bases, right Alex.

    Posted by PG | July 1, 2011, 2:30 am
  144. What I find very interesting is that you continue to dodge the scientific evidence that evolution is non-random, and insist on presenting evolutionary concepts that have long been refuted by your very own scientists. Perhaps it’s because you don’t understand all those big words in the scientific papers I cited so let me simplify it for you so that we will no longer be subjected to your irrelevant Dawkins Disciples rebuttals.

    In the last decade, science re-introduced the work of geneticist Dr. Barbara Mcclintock who discovered in 1944 that evolution was a non-random engineered process. It’s called mobile genetic engineering. She received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1983. James Shapiro has further verified her discoveries and evidenced evolution as occurring this way.
    “Even the most simple cell under stress will splice its own DNA into over 100,000 pieces. Then a program senses hundreds of variables in its environment and then re-arranges those pieces to produce a new, better, evolved cell.”
    A cell re-programs its own DNA and evolves. Intelligently.

    Again, a cell re-programs its own DNA and evolves. Intelligently. It is a magnificent engineering feat of decision making cognizant processes, So you know what you can do with your typewriter.

    Currently, there are no known laws of physics or chemistry to account for this observed evolution by information processes.
    Now calculate the probability.

    Posted by PG | July 1, 2011, 2:47 am
  145. That would really depend on your assumption of how many sentences could be tried in a given period of time. 1 per second is rather limited given current computing power…

    “Current computing power”??? The fact that you even bring this up clearly shows how out-of-touch you are. For starters, this whole exercise was based on your original premise, which involved banging out character strings using a typewriter, so bringing up computers at this stage is a massive attempt at moving goal posts. Furthermore, Mother Nature doesn’t have computers at her disposal — about the only resource she has to throw at problems like this is time, and my whole number crunch (which you seem unable to follow) illustrates just how weak this resource can be, so, essentially, you are tacitly admitting this to be the case when you suggest using “current computing power” as a way to mitigate this weakness.

    And you also show yourself to be out of touch if you really think current computing power can mitigate this problem. Even if we bump our number up from 1 string per second to one trillion strings per second, it would still take something like 757,066,736,542 years to generate all the possible strings, which is still an order of magnitude longer than the universe has existed.

    I’d love to hear the methodology for calculating the actions of something that has no proof for its existence…

    “No proof for its existence”?? That is a red herring statement. Demonstrating how utterly improbable it is for stochastic processes to produce something is itself evidence in favor of intelligent agency, especially when the Angry Atheist advocating for stochastic processes feels compelled to suggest using “current computing power” to give those processes a helping hand…

    Posted by CB | July 4, 2011, 8:18 am
  146. It also doesn’t imply anything about design or some creator, so what’s your point?

    Actually, that is exactly what it implies, your head-in-the-sand unwillingness to acknowledge as much notwithstanding.

    Posted by CB | July 4, 2011, 9:09 am
  147. “No proof for its existence”?? That is a red herring statement. Demonstrating how utterly improbable it is for stochastic processes to produce something is itself evidence in favor of intelligent agency, especially when the Angry Atheist advocating for stochastic processes feels compelled to suggest using “current computing power” to give those processes a helping hand…
    Process A being improbable is not evidence of anything but how improbable Process A is. You can’t come up with a completely unrelated explanation and use the improbability of another explanation as evidence that yours is correct. That is not how science works. You need actual evidence your explanation is correct, and unfortunately for you there is zero evidence of design.

    So again, I’d love to hear the methodology for calculating the actions of something that has no proof for its existence. Hell, I’d love to hear any evidence for its existence, as that’s the first hurdle you need to overcome because by calculating the odds of something happening, you are implicitly saying it is possible (however improbable).

    And you also show yourself to be out of touch if you really think current computing power can mitigate this problem. Even if we bump our number up from 1 string per second to one trillion strings per second, it would still take something like 757,066,736,542 years to generate all the possible strings, which is still an order of magnitude longer than the universe has existed.

    So what are the odds of it being the last string generated? Oh wait, exactly the same as it being the first string, so you’re still being pointless.

    Besides all of this is extremely off topic (you’re good at that). The point is that there is zero evidence for ID while there is substantial evidence for evolution. When that changes, we’ll revisit this discussion.

    Posted by Alex Hardman | July 4, 2011, 9:31 am
  148. Back from vacation…

    Process A being improbable is not evidence of anything but how improbable Process A is. You can’t come up with a completely unrelated explanation and use the improbability of another explanation as evidence that yours is correct.

    If there is a dichotomy between A and B, and if one side is demonstrably improbable, yet one or the other must be the case, then yes, whether you like it or not, B’s probability does indeed increase of A’s decreases. The dichotomy in this case is intelligent agency — it is either present or not, there is no middle ground, and if we can show that it would take up to fifty times longer than the age of the universe for an event to occur assuming unguided natural processes, then yes, like it or lump it, it would qualify as evidence in favor of intelligent agency.

    …unfortunately for you there is zero evidence of design.

    Unfortunately for you, there is evidence of design — even people like Richard Dawkins admit that things appear designed. What there is zero evidence for is that all this evidence is an “illusion”. That is just the faith-based Darwinian fairy-tale you atheists cling to. Basically, “magic” exists in the form of “natural selection”. Anything we observe in nature is attributed to natural selection. It “explains” everything we observe, from aggressive behavior to passive behavior, monogamy to polygamy, spots, stripes, neither, both, light color, dark color, speed, slowness, it doesn’t matter, it was all created by this magical thing called natural selection.

    Something that “explains” everything doesn’t really explain anything. It just gives you an escape hatch, allowing you to pretend the fact of design is just an “illusion”, but you guys are really just deluding yourselves.

    So again, I’d love to hear the methodology for calculating the actions of something that has no proof for its existence.

    You’re talking in circles. Again.

    I didn’t “calculate the actions” of anything. What I calculated were probabilities, not “actions”. That you apparently cannot tell the difference speaks volumes.

    Hell, I’d love to hear any evidence for its existence…

    So you keep claiming ad nauseam, but your actions (deny, deny, deny) speak much more loudly that your flaccid claims.

    So what are the odds of it being the last string generated? Oh wait, exactly the same as it being the first string, so you’re still being pointless.

    And yet again, you loudly demonstrate that you haven’t a whisper of a clue how probability works. If we assume no repetition of strings, the odds increase as more strings are generated. It’s like putting all the strings in a hat and reaching in and pulling one out. If we don’t put the rejected string back in the hat, the odds of getting an English string increase,

    That’s why I referred to “approaching certainty” in my original description of the scenario.

    But the real point is that there are only a trillion squared “good” strings, and approximately 238,912,092,451,282,316,201,126,928,503,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 strings total. That means that the odds of getting a good string are virtually zero and getting a bad string virtually certain.

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 12:29 pm
  149. So what are the odds of it being the last string generated? Oh wait, exactly the same as it being the first string, so you’re still being pointless.

    Again, you demonsterate abject ignorance as to how probability works. I’ll use a smaller, simpler sample problem so that even your feeble mind might grasp it…

    Instead of complete sentences, we’ll simply use a one-lettered English word. Now, I am aware of only two such words, “a” and “I”. The first one can be upper- or lower-case, so that makes two valid possibilities, whereas “I” must be upper-case to be considered a valid English word.

    So, we will stipulate these three as the only possible valid words in this exercise.

    For simplicity’s sake, we will only consider upper- and lower-case letters, no digits, no spaces. That is 52 possible values.

    Therefore, if we put all these letters in a hat and draw one out, we 3 chances in 52 of getting a valid English word. If we get something else, we can draw again. We are stipulating that we have no repeats, so we discard the rejected invalid one-letter word and draw again from the remaining 51 letters in the hat.

    So our chances increase to 3 in 51.

    We can repeat this exercise until we get either an “A”, “a” or an “I”. Each draw increases the odds of getting one of those three. If we have terrible luck and keep getting invalid letters, even our unlucky streak will have to end after draw number 49, because by then, only the three valid words will remain,and at draw #50, the odds of getting a valid word will be 3 in 3, which is certainty.

    So no, the odds of a valid draw on the first attempt are most definitely not the same as those on the last attempt.

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 12:56 pm
  150. CB wrote:

    Anything we observe in nature is attributed to natural selection. It “explains” everything we observe, from aggressive behavior to passive behavior, monogamy to polygamy, spots, stripes, neither, both, light color, dark color, speed, slowness, it doesn’t matter, it was all created by this magical thing called natural selection.

    Something that “explains” everything doesn’t really explain anything.

    Exactly! This is why meteorology is such a failure compared to Intelligent Weather. Meteorology explains both rain and sunshine! It explains hot days and cold days! Why, there’s nothing it doesn’t explain! It’s a theory of everything, concocted by atheists who only accept it due to their a priori commitment to materialism.

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 3:49 pm
  151. Well, that is one criticism I have heard you atheists level against religion — that it attempts to explain everything. So, by your own argument, the fact that religion tries to explain everything makes it legitimate — just like meteorology…

    So thanks for validating religion, Ian.

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 4:12 pm
  152. The meteorology analogy is inappropriate, and here is why…

    We can observe weather patterns as they happen, but we cannot observe the deep time aspects of Darwinian evolution. If it takes natural selection a million years to accomplish something, we cannot observe it. We (well, you guys) simply take it on faith that natural selection was the creative agent.

    Such simply isn’t the case with weather. We can observe weather patterns all over the world each and every day.

    So the inappropriate analogies continue…

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 4:54 pm
  153. CB, the reason that an infinitely powerful, infinitely intelligent person with incomprehensible motives is a theory of everything is that there’s NOTHING IT CAN’T EXPLAIN. I mean nothing. If the universe appeared straight out of nothing six thousand years ago, God could explain that. If the universe were 10^6000 times older than it is now, and our solar system had inexplicably formed after everything had reached heat death, God could explain that.

    The reason meteorology is not a theory of everything is that there’s tons of stuff that it couldn’t explain. Frogs falling out of the sky, for instance. Meteorology could never explain that. Nor could meteorology explain flaming hailstones raining from the sky. If events like those occurred, then trying to predict weather by the scientific study of natural processes occurring in the atmosphere and oceans would be futile.

    Now you said you accept meteorology because we can observe weather patterns, but we can’t observe the distant past. As it happens, there was a time when people couldn’t observe the atmosphere very well, and so they chalked weather up to the actions of intelligent beings. How is your belief that life is the result of an intelligent agent different from their primitive superstitions?

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 5:55 pm
  154. How is your belief that life is the result of an intelligent agent different from their primitive superstitions?

    Because my belief is based on the available evidence, such as the information content of DNA, and knowledge of probability theory and information theory. The primitives you mention had their beliefs based in ignorance. Now I fully realize that you desparately want to make the same claim regarding my beliefs, that they’re rooted in ignorance, but again, they are based on the available evidence that we have, evidence that Darwin was blissfully ignorant of himself. Based on that, I can argue that Darwin’s quaint 19th Century theory was itself rooted in ignorance.

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 6:18 pm
  155. Biology has come a long way since Darwin, but even someone like Shapiro is still basing his work on the basic conceptual mechanism of natural selection.

    Because my belief is based on the available evidence, such as the information content of DNA, and knowledge of probability theory and information theory.

    What’s the probability of evolution by natural processes? Give me a number.

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 6:36 pm
  156. That being said, I must also say that you are all over the map. First you claim that meteorology is a “theory of everything”, then you say it isn’t. You provide ridiculous examples of things meteorology couldn’t explain, things that we have never observed, like “frogs falling out of the sky” and “flaming hailstones”.

    Move goal posts much?

    I mean seriously, you just love to make shit up, don’t you?

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 6:37 pm
  157. What’s the probability of evolution by natural processes?

    It depends.

    Give me a number.

    π

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 6:44 pm
  158. CB,
    Make no mistake about it, Closet Atheists like Alex believe in a God. A God called Chance with a capital “C”. His God of chance is a very powerful God indeed. It’s obvious to Alex that his God of Chance has extraordinary capabilities to do miracles. The Atheist First High Priests in crisp white lab coats have convinced Alex that inert chemicals like the salad dressing in his refrigerator can one day write more complex code than Alex the software engineer, given the power of Chance.

    3.8 billion bytes of error free precise code? No problem, his God is an awesome God!

    Parity codes and error repair systems? His God is lucky!

    Complex Algorithms that can sense the environment, re-write new code, test new code, and evolve? Even the improbable is possible with his God!

    21st century evolutionary scientists have disproved random evolution and the god of chance in evolution? His God simply started the process in the warm little pond with no further intervention.

    You would have a better chance deprograming a Hare krishna.

    Posted by PG | July 11, 2011, 6:49 pm
  159. Deprogramming us? All you need to do is to show us evidence to support the claim that evolution by natural processes is prohibitively improbable. That’s it.

    Too bad all the evidence that you have comes from scientists who reject your belief as pseudoscience.

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 7:05 pm
  160. PG says:
    Prohibitvely improbable?
    Ian, why don’t I first start by correcting you on what your every own scientist Shapiro is stating in his papers. Shapiro has clearly stated that natural selection only selects from the available information and he has just written a book debunking the ideology of Darwinian random scholastic mechanisms. He evidences evolution as a non random cognitive decision making information based process. Shapiro has also inadvertently shoveled dirt on OOL researchers since there is currently no known law of Physics and Chemistry to account for the evolution of information and engineering in Shapiro’s non random, intelligent information based, engineered, evolutionary processes. That would put your probability number at almost absolute ZERO! That little code that you keep stating is not a code, just killed Darwin.
    Face the facts Ian! According to the 21st century science, Evolution is non-random. Time to reprogram your worldview a little bit…

    Posted by PG | July 11, 2011, 7:52 pm
  161. Here ya go, PG:

    Evolution is the history of organisms that have succeeded in adapting to changing circumstances. Over evolutionary time, this means altering the genome � the long-term information storage organelle of all living cells � to provide the functional information needed to survive and reproduce in new conditions. Those organisms that have the most flexible computational capabilities, in particular those that have the best means of altering information stored in the genome, will have an advantage. Thus, it makes sense for organisms to possess crisis-responsive natural genetic engineering functions, and we should not be surprised to find them ubiquitous in contemporary organisms, all of whom are evolutionary winners. Indeed, it is now difficult to imagine how organisms that depend upon gradual accumulation of stochastic mutations could persist in the evolutionary rat race.

    James A. Shapiro, A 21st Century View of Evolution

    He’s talking about some radical stuff here, but as the above paragraph states, the intra-cellular genetic engineering he’s arguing for is ultimately based on Darwinian natural selection. Whether he’s right or not, I have no idea, but if he can prove it then I don’t have a problem with it.

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 8:07 pm
  162. Did you not bother to actually read the last sentence you quoted??

    Indeed, it is now difficult to imagine how organisms that depend upon gradual accumulation of stochastic mutations could persist in the evolutionary rat race.

    In case you need some help connecting the dots, he is casting substantial doubt on the Darwinian paradigm. And his prior statements are suggesting that the evolutionary winners are the ones with the best genomic programming in terms of flexibility in adaptation.

    Posted by CB | July 11, 2011, 9:14 pm
  163. Random genetic mutation didn’t enter into evolution until genetics, CB. Shapiro’s work is still based on the conceptual framework of natural selection. If not, then how do you explain:

    Those organisms that have the most flexible computational capabilities, in particular those that have the best means of altering information stored in the genome, will have an advantage.

    Is that what you mean by “intelligent design?”

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 9:26 pm
  164. Ian,
    Shapiro evidenced that there were no random stochastic processes driving evolution. Evolution is non-random!!!!
    (REPOST) Here is your new evolution in the 21st century…
    In the last decade, science re-introduced the work of geneticist Dr. Barbara Mcclintock who discovered in 1944 that evolution was a non-random engineered process. It’s called mobile genetic engineering. She received the Nobel Prize for this discovery in 1983. James Shapiro has further verified her discoveries and evidenced evolution as occurring this way: P Marshall describes it simply as:
    “Even the most simple cell under stress will splice its own DNA into over 100,000 pieces. Then a program senses hundreds of variables in its environment and then re-arranges those pieces, tests and retests to produce a new, better, evolved cell. A cell re-programs its own DNA and evolves. Intelligently.”
    So Ian, Natural selection plays no part in the actual evolution process of the organism, but the new evolved organism has a better chance of survival than one that didn’t evolve. Well duh!
    Shapiro evidences evolution as an intelligent decision making engineered coded process and he cites that science will no longer continue to rely on refuted Neo-Darwinian processes to account for the complexity in favor of information based processes.

    Now connect the dots!

    Posted by PG | July 11, 2011, 10:07 pm
  165. Random genetic mutation didn’t enter into evolution until genetics, CB.

    Do you actually read the nonsense you write? “Random genetic mutation didn’t enter into evolution until genetics”??? Can you show me a life form that doesn’t have genetics? And the main driving force of the Darwinian model is random genetic mutations — that is what natural selection supposedly acts upon, “selecting” the random genetic mutations that provide a selective advantage. And that is the model Shapiro cannot imagine being viable, the notion of accumulated random (stochastic) mutations.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 8:35 am
  166. “I do not support intelligent design theories. I believe that better science will provide the needed answers.”

    –Robert Shapiro

    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/10/robert-shapiro.html

    Evolution is non-random!!!!

    Right. But scientists have been trying for decades to drill that into your heads that evolution isn’t a random process. Fail.

    Natural selection plays no part in the actual evolution process of the organism, but the new evolved organism has a better chance of survival than one that didn’t evolve. Well duh!

    No. Re-read the passage. Those organisms with the best adaptive mechanisms are naturally selected for survival–this is evolution, not intelligent design. Again, you fail.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 9:03 am
  167. CB, you seemed to have missed the context of our conversation which would inform any non-idiot that I’m talking about genetics entering into the theory of evolution.

    the main driving force of the Darwinian model is random genetic mutations

    Quote me the passage from On the Origin of the Species in which Darwin proposes random genetic mutation as the driving force behind evolution.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 9:07 am
  168. Random genetic mutation didn’t enter into evolution until genetics, CB.

    You didn’t mention anything about “theories” there, chief. You simply said “evolution”. I can only go by what you actually write. If I misunderstood what you meant, perhaps you could learn to write more clearly, so even we “non-non-idiots” could understand your ramblings…

    Quote me the passage from On the Origin of the Species in which Darwin proposes random genetic mutation as the driving force behind evolution.

    He called them “variations” because he was blissfully ignorant of genetics, unlike his contemporary Mendel, who actually did science on what would become known as genetics. However, under the “neo-Darwinian Synthesis”, one driving force is indeed genetic mutations.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 9:24 am
  169. Besides, your claim is irrelevant. It was Shapiro who said, “Indeed, it is now difficult to imagine how organisms that depend upon gradual accumulation of stochastic mutations could persist in the evolutionary rat race.”, not me. I didn’t even mention “random genetic mutations” — YOU brought them up, not me.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 9:29 am
  170. CB, the whole point of this is that although Shapiro rejects neo-Darwinian Synthesis, he does not reject natural selection, as the above quote shows. Instead of natural selection operating on genetic variation produced by random mutation, Shapiro believes natural selection is operating on variation between genetic adaptive mechanisms. And he specifically, unambiguously rejects intelligent design.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 9:39 am
  171. CB, the statement you quoted, “it is now difficult to imagine how organisms that depend upon gradual accumulation of stochastic mutations could persist in the evolutionary rat race,” was in support of your claim, “[Shapiro] is casting substantial doubt on the Darwinian paradigm.”

    So you did bring up objection to random mutation as an objection to the “Darwinian paradigm.” Not the neo-Darwinian Synthesis–I acknowledge that Shapiro’s work contradicts that–but to the basic Darwinian paradigm.

    Evolution managed just fine before the neo-Darwinian synthesis. If the neo-Darwinian synthesis is flawed, then evolution will manage just fine without it.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 9:46 am
  172. So you did bring up objection to random mutation as an objection to the “Darwinian paradigm.” Not the neo-Darwinian Synthesis–I acknowledge that Shapiro’s work contradicts that–but to the basic Darwinian paradigm.

    And where did I say that “random GENETIC mutations” were a part of that paradigm? Oh, that’s right, YOU brought up “GENETICS”, not me.

    Random genetic mutation didn’t enter into evolution until genetics, CB.

    Posted by Ian | July 11, 2011, 9:26 pm

    You were trying to chastise me for bringing up genetics, WHICH I DIDN’T DO, and then you had the unmitigated gall to demand I quote from Origins where Darwin himself allegedly used the term “genetic mutations”, WHICH YOU BROUGHT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Your intellectual bankruptcy does get to be a grind, I must admit.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 9:56 am
  173. CB, I assumed that you understood what Shapiro was talking about. I see now that I was deeply in error.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 10:03 am
  174. You are deeply in error, all right, bu not about whether I understand Shapiro. You’re simply trying to put words in my mouth and failing miserably. YOU ADMIT that Shapiro rejects the “neo-Darwinian Synthesis”, which is pretty much what I was saying. HE mentioned “gradual accumulation of stochastic mutations”, not me. I did call that the “Darwinian paradigm”, which seems to have sent you into a tailspin, even though you ADMIT that he rejects the “neo-Darwinian Synthesis”, as stated previously. You just want to split semantic hairs in order to save face, and pretend that there is a world of difference between “neo-Darwinian Synthesis” and “Darwinian paradigm”.

    Well, AGAIN, it was SHAPIRO who brought up ” stochastic mutations”, not me, so chastising ME for “genetic mutations” was totally out of line.

    But keep spinning, keep pretending that you’re saving face.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 10:42 am
  175. YOU ADMIT that Shapiro rejects the “neo-Darwinian Synthesis”, which is pretty much what I was saying… I did call that the “Darwinian paradigm”, which seems to have sent you into a tailspin.

    Apology accepted.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 11:13 am
  176. I didn’t give you any “apology” to “accept”, Ian. You must be hallucinating. I make no apologies whatsoever over your apparent confusion as to what I meant by “Darwinian paradigm”, and I still didn’t bring up “genetics” — that was your doing.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 12:04 pm
  177. Keep “pretending that there is a world of difference between ‘neo-Darwinian Synthesis’ and ‘Darwinian paradigm’” — apparently, it’s all ya got.

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 12:06 pm
  178. Now Ian,

    Hamby wrote at the very first paragraph at the top of this very thread:

    “Evolution is dependent on *non-intelligent* selection”

    Obviously, the Atheists got it wrong, so lets just cut through the Atheist B.S! Shapiro evidences that the genome is cognizant. It senses danger, shuts down error detection and repair functions, rewrites the code, tests the code for efficiency, implements the successful test, then evolves within a few generations.

    Your feeble attempt to persuade us that its just a slight variation of Darwinian or Modern Synthesis theories is laughable and simply engaging in naive intellectual dishonesty.

    He dismisses random stochastic mechanics in favor of an intelligent, purposeful, information based decision making process to account for the complexity and the code that you insist is not a code.

    21st century Mainstream science is destroying your worldview because you continue to ignore the issue of information. Information is the death of Materialism!

    Why?

    Currently, there are no known laws of Physics or Chemistry to evidence the origin of information in DNA. Shapiro knows that, and now so do you….

    Posted by PG | July 12, 2011, 4:48 pm
  179. This is utterly hilarious. It’s like watching my dog try to figure out how to open something. There are moments when I think, there, he’s finally on to something, but he’ll get distracted by his own tail and forget all the progress he made.

    IDiots argue much the same way. No matter how much progress science makes, they just keep getting distracted by their need to have a deity in the mix. It’s faith to accept that the one thing that has ever made accurate predictions about our world (science) is more likely to explain something than the one thing that has yet to make a single accurate prediction (Faith). Right, keep telling yourselves that lie, someday maybe you’ll figure out how to open the box..

    Posted by Alex Hardman | July 12, 2011, 6:35 pm
  180. Alex, I never have and don’t ever have a need to invoke a Deity. Your own science is fucking up your worldview again by destroying another major pillar of your closet atheism, and that is that evolution is random.

    Its like watching your own dog viciously biting you in the ass!

    Posted by PG | July 12, 2011, 7:48 pm
  181. Oh noes!!! Teh randomness is GONE! Wear did it go–egads, God! Help! Help!

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 10:12 pm
  182. No comment about how atheists have been fucking wrong for the last 160 years, preaching random mutations driving evolution, eh Ian…

    Posted by PG | July 12, 2011, 10:25 pm
  183. In my atheist indoctrination classes, they programmed me to believe that natural selection drives evolution.

    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 10:45 pm
  184. In my atheist indoctrination classes, they programmed me to believe that natural selection drives evolution.
    Posted by Ian | July 12, 2011, 10:45 pm

    PG says:

    Im guessing you slept through the important part about random mutation…

    “Mutations are the random changes in genes that constitute the raw material for evolution by non-random selection.”

    -Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth, 2009

    Reardless, Shapiro had this to say:

    “Dawkins lives in a world of fantasy” James Shapiro

    Watch the video on Shapiro’s lecture and get back to me about his thoughts on Dawkins and why he believes Dawkins (and you) live in a world of fantasy…

    .

    Posted by PG | July 12, 2011, 11:19 pm
  185. Shapiro’s Video and Slides:

    Posted by PG | July 12, 2011, 11:24 pm
  186. Nice diatribe, Alex, but no substance…

    Posted by CB | July 12, 2011, 11:49 pm
  187. What is closet atheism? Sounds like someone is experiencing some transference there…

    Posted by Alex Hardman | July 13, 2011, 1:15 am
  188. No comment about how atheists have been fucking wrong for the last 160 years, preaching random mutations driving evolution, eh Ian…

    Any comment about how wrong theists have been for…oh lets say 2000 years or so, with their gods doing everything down to an almost deist like force?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | July 13, 2011, 2:14 am
  189. And the tail chasing goes on and on…you’d think the fact that Shapiro rejects intelligent design would enter into the equation somewhere, but noooooo….

    So there’s an evolutionary biologist who disagrees with Richard Dawkins about something. This is news???? This is supposed to be shocking? If Shapiro wants to have a beef with Dawkins, he’s gonna have to get in line.

    This is the same as all the controversies evolution has weathered over the last thirty years. Whichever way this turns out, intelligent design can’t win, because you don’t even have a man in the ring. You’re not even in the competition.

    Posted by Ian | July 13, 2011, 8:57 am
  190. “You d think the fact that Shapiro rejects intelligent design would enter into the equation somewhere, but noooooo…”

    Typical Ian, you didn’t watch the video to know crap about what you are talking about. In his lecture Shapiro acknowledges the correct issue raised by the ID community; of complexity occurring from simplistic random stochastic mechanisms, and like the Ider’s rejects that ideal in observation of evolution as an information based process.

    Shapiro basically states that he is committed to naturalist theories and apparently posits that the responsible “intelligence” is the genome. That’s a knock out punch into the jaw of Atheism.

    In addition, Shapiro acknowledging that these discoveries present an overwhelming challenge to OOL researchers who now need to account for the origin of information and Processes for which currently there is no known laws of Physics or Chemistry.

    Connect the dots Ian!

    The fact that Shapiro shreds Dawkins and his ilk is because they have withheld valuable scientific discoveries including Nobel Prize discoveries for the last 60 years! Millions of Atheists around the world are being duped by Dawkins and Company that evolution is random with no cognizant intervention. Why?

    Connect the dots Ian!

    Your man got knocked out of the ring 60 years ago Ian and now science is telling you Atheists to drag him out of the ring. And now “information processes” is stepping into the ring. And as we look around today at all the information processes in our technological achievements, where did they originate Ian, …

    …from a mind?

    Connect the dots Ian!

    Posted by PG | July 13, 2011, 12:34 pm
  191. Where did the mind come from PG?

    Posted by Alex Hardman | July 14, 2011, 1:49 am
  192. .Great, Alex the Software engineer who actually believes that inert chemicals given enough time are capable of writing far more sophisticated code than he can, now wants to know where his mind came from…

    Posted by PG | July 14, 2011, 2:39 am
  193. Many agnostics suggest that some intelligent entity is responsible for abiogenesis — the original “spark of life,” from which all current life evolved. This is much more possible than ongoing interference with evolution.

    I appreciate this consistency. This type of consistency is hard to find.

    If evolution has been proceeding unmolested since the act of creation, then there is no need for mentioning intelligent design in evolution class.

    1. I see no reason why biology class shouldn’t discuss competing theories of the origin of life, and this would include ID. The origin of biology is fascinating to theorize. Your clarification should be that when Darwinian Evolutionary theory is taught it should preclude ID.

    2. Even precluding the origin of life within Darwinian Evolution is strange because (a) Darwin himself predicted a type of primordial ocean, and (b) many biology class text book mention the Miller/Urey experiment! So to be consistent you’d also have to say these shouldn’t be touched on, yet they are brought up all the time.

    3. Darwin assumed Materialism, but that doesn’t mean we are forced to with new evidence. A Neo-Darwinist might still choose to reject a guided or intentional mechanism, but a Neo-Evolutionist doesn’t have to if greater evidence shows that an undirected process is less likely according to even Ocam’s Razor (which is a bad standard because at times it’s debatable which position is simpler).

    4. If ID is the best starting point for biology then this should be taught. And this can be inferred via methodological naturalism. If ID really happened then it is natural, because whatever reality is, it is natural. We would just have to expand our idea of what “natural” entailed, and would have to reject philosophical naturalism. Philosophical naturalism is the philosophy of the biology class today, fueled by Evolution.

    Posted by Cameron | July 22, 2013, 1:15 am

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