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Dawkins on arguments pointing to God

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Ran across this clip at Christian Post:

Atheist author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins says the best argument for God he’s ever hard has to do with a deistic God as the fine-tuner of the universe . . . .

Dawkins prefaced his answer by making it clear that he is not “in any sense admitting that there is a good argument,” and insisted that “there is no decent argument for the existence of deities.” . . . .

“It’s still a very, very bad argument, but it’s the best one going,” he added, noting that a major problem with the argument is that it leaves unexplained where the fine tuner came from.

As for evolution, however, he said there is simply no argument at all that he can consider.

“There are reasons why people don’t get it, such as the time scale involved is so huge. People find it difficult to grasp how long a time has been available for the changes that are talked about,” the evolutionary biologist asserted . . .

What do we think, why? END

PS: Kindly cf the discussion below, and particularly 24 (also 42) and 64. What we see here is a rhetorical attempt to push ethical theism beyond the BATNA windows of the conventional wisdom on what is acceptable thinking by posing on confident manner as a celebrity intellectual (without having to account for the — on fair comment — puerile, strawmannish character of his own anti-theistical arguments):

Overton_window_PC_cave

 

Comments
Dr Selensky, The problem is, strings and networks of components that are highly contingent (aperiodic and not constrained by mechanical necessity as opposed to crystal unit cells) can always be claimed as in principle accessible by blind chance driven processes. Chance can even take in certainty by necessity as a limiting case. I should also note that on limit cycles, the chaos issue is a side light that changes things, leading to strange attractors. Further to this, if a cycle is much more than 10^25 s it has mathematical rather than physical significance given the issue of heat death. Evident irreversibility of cosmological expansion is also relevant. In context, I do not seek absolute assurance in an empirical discipline, as its findings, on the logic of implication and inference to best explanation is inherently provisional. If Theory T then observations and predictions {O|P . . . } : T => {O|P . . . } cannot be reversed to hold {O|P . . . } => T, on pain of affirming the consequent. So, we hold that on O we have reason to infer high empirical reliability, and hold confidence that subject to contrary instance, T will be our explanatory model as we move the partition ever rightwards but recognise that P is inherently open-ended. That is, Science is a faith-venture, inescapably. Something Newton pointed out in Opticks Query 31. We have no good basis for seeking absolute certainty in empirical matters, and post Godel in strictly deductive logico- mathematical ones either. We must walk by faith and not by sight. Humbling, but then liberating. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, and we humbly but freely respond, there is liberty! In that context, we can freely examine Darwin's pond [or other more recent scenarios] and his implication that diffusive forces can be unwoven to synthesise a self replicating, metabolic encapsulated entity, a living cell. Since the 1950's, to that we can add, code based von Neumann kinematic self replication integrated with a highly complex interwoven circuit of metabolic reactions, involving use of code, algorithms, data in structures, editing, execution machinery, communication networks and control networks. It is not reasonable to hold that in an observed cosmos of 10^17 or so s, 10^80 or so atoms and chem interaction speeds of maybe 10^-12 to - 14 s for the relevant type of organic interactions [being generous], we can reasonably search relevant config spaces. So, once we see FSCO/I involving deeply isolated islands, starting at molecular levels, we can say the monkeys at keyboards/blind needle in haystack approach is not credible, leaving on the table the actually only observed cause of FSCO/I. Intelligently directed configuration, with a trillion member base of observations. Which fits in with, we are speaking of language here, meaning, and physical structures that are inherently contingent and are used to store information-rich organised patterns that work together in tightly integrated functionally specific frameworks. All of this at minimum means intelligent design sits at the table as of right, not sufferance. Once it does so, the reasonable man would bet on it. of course, many then would inject a quasi-infinite multiverse. Without empirical basis. But even so, on issues already discussed above, we are looking at a locally deeply isolated operating point for the physics of our cosmos. Just one point already gives us 2 parts in 10^24 to play with on a reasonable calc based on mass density at 1 ns post singularity. Even with many orders less, we are looking at extreme fine tuning, and there are many more constraints that send the same message. It is almost as though someone is signaling to us. The heavens declare . . . ? So, we see that it is a highly reasonable conclusion to see that the underlying statistical context of thermodynamics in Darwin's pond etc point to design as the most credible alternative to explain life. Design sits at the table as of right from the root of the tree of life, darwinist version, all the way up to us. In a cosmos that seems designed to support such cell based life. (The relative abundance of H, O, C and N blew me away when I saw them, as in here are the principal ingredients written into the physics as among the most abundant.) So, no we cannot claim a definitive demonstrative proof beyond all doubt, but we can show reasonable evidence that points with great cumulative force to design as best explanation of both cell based life and cosmos, in a context where the two are connected. We need to open up our Overton Window BATNA points and rethink in that light. As in Cosmos designer linked to design of life. In a world where we find ourselves to be responsibly free and rational on pain of surrendering sanity. The reaction to such a plea is itself instructive, but not in a pleasant way. KFkairosfocus
January 22, 2016
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KF, I agree. I think it takes a leap of naturalistic faith. But those who are willing, for whatever reason, to take that step might say that a mysterious not-yet-discovered 'natural' process (or processes) of cell self-assembly may have not been ergodic or may have a huge Poincare cycle (orders of magnitudes larger than the life of the universe). An excuse? Yes. A fluke-of-the-gaps argument? Yes. But the fact is, there is no naturalistic counter-argument against their claim. And, consequently, there is no thermodynamics argument against that because thermodynamics is naturalistic. A better argument, in my estimation, is one at the level of system analysis, functionality, language processing, etc. as I already pointed out. These concepts are less naturalistic or at least can be thought of as less naturalistic. Ultimately, there are no fit-for-all arguments even including all sorts and flavours of ID. And there must not be. Everything is a matter of faith. Even science itself fundamentally rests on faith. Even natural reality itself is a matter of faith since there is no scientific way to tell if it exists independently of my inner 'self' or to tell if the regularity I observe is a genuine characteristic of natural reality and not my illusion. So faith is necessarily at the core of everyone's existence. But what kind of faith it is, makes all the difference. I am confident that there is no such process of cell self-assembly but thermodynamics just does not give us absolute assurance that it is so. In fact, science cannot give such absolute assurance. And I am happy with that situation. I would not want science to take the place of religion. That would be fundamentally wrong. Science is to have its own well deserved but very modest role. There are other things far more important than science.EugeneS
January 22, 2016
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KF,
The actual empirical evidence is clear, that it is design that gives rise to such things, to the point where they are readily seen as signs of design.
That's an assertion that some make, anyway. Apparently there are some that disagree.
So, how do we — backed up by good observational evidence — spontaneously get to cell based life from such a start? KF
Yes, that is the question, isn't it?daveS
January 21, 2016
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DS, the challenge is there to be addressed. The actual empirical evidence is clear, that it is design that gives rise to such things, to the point where they are readily seen as signs of design. But, when one has a dominant system, there will be a strong tendency to doubt the challenge. But it must needs be met: either show blind chance and mechanical necessity are credibly producers of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information in forms relevant to life etc, or else face the issues and the strong empirical association. The pivotal case is OOL, as the usual claimed ratchet, natural selection on reproduction, is off the table. Physics and Chemistry are all there are to appeal to in Darwin's pond or the like. So, how do we -- backed up by good observational evidence -- spontaneously get to cell based life from such a start? KFkairosfocus
January 21, 2016
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Dr Selensky, yes, text is functional, and in being functional, it is integrated with meaning processing systems. But as a component it is particularly easy to quantify. Which brings for the the needle in haystack challenge as a key and too often neglected issue. It goes on, to where do we get codes, algorithms, processors etc. Same answer as where we get code. Which is LANGUAGE. KFkairosfocus
January 21, 2016
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KF,
DS, I am not taking down a discipline, I am pointing to an issue on origin of information and information rich functionally specific organisation. That is in a context where stubborn facts and sometimes shockingly simple calculations have fairly frequently been revolutionary in the history of the sciences and of wider history of ideas.
Well, if it is true that the probability of abiogenesis occurring in our universe, given the time available, is less than the chance of a universe full of monkeys producing Hamlet, then I think you've killed abiogenesis dead. That is an epic takedown. Even I can understand that. It is a wonder that the actual scientists working on abiogenesis don't.daveS
January 21, 2016
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KF, Any text without a processor is rubbish (as is the processor without data a pile of junk). Data is not passive in the context of a system for processing it as it activates the routines of its own processing on the receiver side. I think that is the major counter-argument to syntactic analysis of patterns in isolation from their processor. The concept of 'pattern' is inseparable from what this pattern is used for or what it represents in the whole system. It is not a configuration/pattern itself that must be analysed, but the configuration + something that processes it. Function is inherent to the entire system using patterns, not just to a string of symbols. The configuration/pattern itself may or may not be Shannon/Kolmogorov complex. As Jeffrey Shallit argued here many moons ago (and I am grateful to him for emphasizing it), a random text may contain more Shannon information than a meaningful text. It is not the appropriate level of arguing for ID, I feel (at least, in the narrow sense of ID in the context of biology, not in the sense of universal parameter tuning). Meaning is not a characteristic of a string of symbols but a 'derivative' of an entire system of {data+processor}. A signal from a star is only interpreted as data by a receiving system. Outside of the system processing it (and reacting to it), it is no information at all (in the genuine sense of the word 'information'). So information as a concept is only meaningful in the context of the system. Shannon information (and, consequently, thermodynamics), in contrast, does not reflect meaning at all. It is the inseparability of data and processor that is so striking in the organization of the cell or in human and animal communication. Biology is inherently algorithmic/linguistic.EugeneS
January 21, 2016
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DaveS, "This Poincare cycle is quite an interesting concept." Yes, indeed.EugeneS
January 21, 2016
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KF, "The Russian perspective and differing foci often threw a very useful cross-light." I agree.EugeneS
January 21, 2016
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PPS: Philip Johnson's reply:
For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them "materialists employing science." And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.
[--> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:
"Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific "dead ends" and God of the gaps-type hypotheses."
Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to "natural vs [the suspect] supernatural." Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga's reply here and here.] And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And if the latter is twisted into a caricature god of the gaps strawman, then locked out, huge questions are being oh so conveniently begged.]
That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]
--> The second level captcha popped back up and is brokenkairosfocus
January 21, 2016
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PS: As for ideological influence, Lewontin:
. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people's heads [==> as in, "we" have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
kairosfocus
January 21, 2016
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DS, I am not taking down a discipline, I am pointing to an issue on origin of information and information rich functionally specific organisation. That is in a context where stubborn facts and sometimes shockingly simple calculations have fairly frequently been revolutionary in the history of the sciences and of wider history of ideas. The little back-tracking loop in Mars' orbit is a classic, as is the threshold wavelength effect with the photoeffect, not to mention the random dance of Brownian motion. Then there was that puzzling background noise in Microwave sky observations now discussed as 2.7 K Blackbody temperature cosmological background. Likewise, who would have thought combining a more or less linear model of consumption function with Y = x [the Keynesian Cross] and with a categorising of expenditures that is in effect an accounting move: Y = C + I + G + NX, would have potentially revolutionary effect? The way E Latin America fits in with W Africa in shape? And so forth. No I do not claim to be a revolutionary, but simply that there is something to be accounted for and that it brings issues to the table that we need to take design as a serious option. Let us remember those who put the matter on the table:
WICKEN, 1979: ‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65.] ORGEL, 1973: . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . . [HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:] These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure. [--> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant "wiring diagram" for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002, also cf here, here and here (with here on self-moved agents as designing causes).] One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [--> so if the q's to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions. [--> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes. [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196.]
KFkairosfocus
January 21, 2016
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Well it's certainly interesting that this entire discipline can be taken down with such an elementary calculation.daveS
January 20, 2016
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DS, I do not expect a verbal statement of agreement. The space for 1,000 bits is 1.07*10^301. That for 200 k bits is 9.98 *10^60,205; that's for the low end on a first genome. The first search is beyond cosmos resources, I do not even know what to suggest as a yardstick for the second. As for searching for a golden search, a search being a subset the space of searches on a set of cardinality C is of cardinality 2^C which is exponentially harder. In short, there is a serious blind search challenge and the hoped for solutions are in serious trouble. KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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KF,
DS, the challenges of abiogenesis are a LOT harder than the toy examples used to set a threshold.
By this do you mean you know that abiogenesis is much more unlikely than the aforementioned monkeys producing a complete version of Hamlet? Do the abiogenesis researchers agree?
If there were good, empirically well warranted solutions, they would be trumpeted from the roof tops. KF
Obviously. My understanding is that the problem is nowhere near solved.daveS
January 20, 2016
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DS, the challenges of abiogenesis are a LOT harder than the toy examples used to set a threshold. Genomes at 2 bits/base run easily to 100 - 1,000 kbases for first cell based life. If there were good, empirically well warranted solutions, they would be trumpeted from the roof tops. KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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KF,
DS, how does this relate to the stochastic processes of a pond full of chemicals and the high contingency of AA and D/RNA chains?
I don't know much about the state of abiogenesis research, but I believe these scientists would dispute that simplistic probability calculations involving monkeys and typewriters have much to do with their work. Have you ever corresponded with any of them? If so, what did they think of your monkeys/typewriters analogy?daveS
January 20, 2016
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DS, how does this relate to the stochastic processes of a pond full of chemicals and the high contingency of AA and D/RNA chains? (Which are highly informational string structures: *-*-*- . . . _*) How, on adequate empirical observation do you then get to OOL in Darwin's pond or the like if intelligence is off the table; leaving blind chance and/or mechanical necessity in light of statistical issues? (Which is just where the monkeys at keyboards/ blind haystack search challenge comes from. KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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KF,
But I have little doubt that many will insist on preferring blind monkeys pounding at keyboards or blind needle in haystack searches.
I suspect that most evos don't in fact prefer monkeys at keyboards over intelligent design. Rather, they believe that monkeys at keyboards is not a realistic model of the origin of life. These researchers are not stupid, and I think you exaggerate the extent to which they are controlled by ideology.daveS
January 20, 2016
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Dr Selensky, following up. One of the key thoughts I had was when I saw Wicken's wiring diagram remark. That led to, nodes and arcs and description languages reduced to in principle reasonably minimal y/n q chains that create info metrics in a context of functionally specific configurations. AutoCAD etc do much the same. Mandl's 2-state paramagnetic substance then gave focus to the string of coins used by LK Nash in his stat thermod intro. A statistical system that reflects thermodynamics and bridges to binary info storage. With that in hand, we can reckon on strings as a baseline data structure used to compose more complex ones. Also, analogue is readily converted to digital, and the converse. So analysis on strings is without loss of generality, WLOG. In that context we can cut down phase space to look at strings forming a linear configuration space with binary elements. In the space for 500 bits or that for 1,000 bits from 000 . . . 0 to 111 . . . 1, all possible strings of said length can be found. Including, coded algorithms expressed in data structures and the corresponding node arc descriptions for the effecting machinery. But searching the former blindly is a supertask for sol system scale resources and the latter is a supertask for observed cosmos scope resources. The blind, needle in haystack search challenge. Or monkeys at keyboards challenge. As objectors commonly forget, here is wiki on random document generation per monkeys at keyboards:
The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In this context, "almost surely" is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the "monkey" is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces an endless random sequence of letters and symbols. One of the earliest instances of the use of the "monkey metaphor" is that of French mathematician Émile Borel in 1913,[1] but the first instance may be even earlier. The relevance of the theorem is questionable—the probability of a universe full of monkeys typing a complete work such as Shakespeare's Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero). It should also be noted that real monkeys do not produce uniformly random output, which means that an actual monkey hitting keys for an infinite amount of time has no statistical certainty of ever producing any given text. Variants of the theorem include multiple and even infinitely many typists, and the target text varies between an entire library and a single sentence. The history of these statements can be traced back to Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption and Cicero's De natura deorum (On the Nature of the Gods), through Blaise Pascal and Jonathan Swift, and finally to modern statements with their iconic simians and typewriters. In the early 20th century, Émile Borel and Arthur Eddington used the theorem to illustrate the timescales implicit in the foundations of statistical mechanics . . . . The theorem concerns a thought experiment which cannot be fully carried out in practice, since it is predicted to require prohibitive amounts of time and resources. Nonetheless, it has inspired efforts in finite random text generation. One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on August 4, 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the "monkeys" typed, "VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t" The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona". Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from "Timon of Athens", 17 from "Troilus and Cressida", and 16 from "Richard II".[24] A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on July 1, 2003, contained a Java applet that simulates a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took "2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years" to reach 24 matching characters: RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r"5j5&?OWTY Z0d...
500 bits is about 72 ASCII characters and 1,000 about 143. In short, the evidence underscores the point. In that context, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity are not credible means to produce what we see. What makes far better sense at least outside the materialist cave of ideological shadow shows, is intelligently directed configuration. The known source of language, codes, algorithms, meaningful designs and effecting technology. But I have little doubt that many will insist on preferring blind monkeys pounding at keyboards or blind needle in haystack searches. The stat mech connexion is on the config space and blind evolution of states, which grounds thermodynamics. Again the paramagnetic analogue of 1,000 coins in a string is a good toy example to use to drive home the point. A string of what 0.1 nm width and 100 nm length using 1 Angstrom as yardstick for atom size . . . a dead but useful unit. Yes we need to point out what we are dealing with for life. When it comes to physics, the example above of 2 parts in 10^24 on mass density of the cosmos at 1 ns, brings out what is meant by fine tuning. KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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EugeneS, Sorry for misspelling your name earlier. Thanks for the further details. This Poincare cycle is quite an interesting concept.daveS
January 20, 2016
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Dr Selensky, I must have 20 - 30 Mir books on math, phys and tech, including a desktop mini hand book each for Math and Physics; one of my fav A level books is the 2 vol by Yavorsky and Pinsky, I liked Zeldovich's Math primer and was pleased to then learn of his biography of starting out as in effect a bright janitor. I first took Mir seriously after running into solid books in my uni's sci library. One of my lecturers also recommended them. The problem always was trying to order books, officially or personally. The Russian perspective and differing foci often threw a very useful cross-light. For instance, the study on multi state digital systems has been very stimulating. And I was delighted to see the Russian RPN calculators, being an addict of HP. BTW are there good emulators online? KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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DaveS, Yes. I think you got my idea. As regards the theorem of Poincare-Zermelo, it illustrates KF's statistical points. My limited understanding of it is that the Poincare cycle for a suitable system (whose properties are given by the theorem) is considerably greater than the expected time necessary for it to return from an observed macroscopic state to its initial equilibrium state (an estimate due to M. Smoluchowski, 1915). I hazard a guess it means that the Poincare cycle for the entire universe (if the theorem is applicable) is orders of magnitude greater than the time from now to the thermodynamic death of the universe. That is the scale of things if we want to talk about probabilities of life. But that again does not defeat the invincible serendipity (invincible at the thermodynamic level). The serendipity disappears into thin air when we go up a level from physicality to the algorithmic organization of life.EugeneS
January 20, 2016
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KF, I see. I did not know that. Anyway, I made a mental note. If I encounter it, I will let you know (if I don't forget, of course).EugeneS
January 20, 2016
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Dr Selensky, My familiarity with Mir for 30 odd years was that they made over into English certain key Russian texts, especially for India but then as part of the cold war era these were made available worldwide. Often through the local Communist party bookshop. I found them very good on mathematics, technical subjects and physics, my areas of interest. The propaganda stuff, I paid no attention to, though somewhere I once picked up a copy of the 1977 was it USSR constitution. KFkairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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KF, I had a second look. My bad, these are catalogues of books translated into Russian, not from Russian. So I really don't know how to help you. My has always been that the MIR publishers always did it into Russian from other languages.EugeneS
January 20, 2016
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Dr Selensky, thanks. I actually have vols 1 and 3, the local communist party bookshop had somehow sold vol 2 back when. I suspect the people who have Mir's stuff on technical subjects could make a substantial sum by digitising and selling the digitised books on Amazon or the like. General Physics, for one is -- I only recently learned -- a secret weapon for a lot of people prepping for initial graduate [record? is it?] level physics exams in the US. India has his problems book in current publication. KF PS: I agree most reasonable people will sit up and take notice when they see that we are looking at algorithms with coded data in definable structures, as well as wiring diagram based obviously overwhelmingly specific and complex functional networks implemented with molecular nanotech we can only dream about. But the problem is we are living in a shadow show world here, and it is necessary to blow up the notion that enough monkeys in 200 mn yrs will make life through the Darwin ratchet even in the pre life matrix. As a clue, look at how hotly many cry quote mining and Gish gallop when one points out the problem of systematic gaps,suddenness of appearance and stasis of forms in the fossil record -- looking for anything to hang a charge of dishonesty on, never mind how insubstantial the hook . . . win by any and all means on this one seems to be the attitude. What Gould called the trade secret of paleontology. (My take is here.)kairosfocus
January 20, 2016
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Mung, You read through the lines :)EugeneS
January 20, 2016
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KF, Thanks. I just want to understand what others have to say when they are not necessarily wilfully blind. Sometimes their arguments are worth considering and they can help make more accurate my own arguments. I agree there is a huge opposition to even the idea of an active and caring God at the centre of everything but there are others groping in the dark in Plato's cave who could benefit from a discussion (and sometimes provide a valuable input for us). As regards the books, I did a quick search and I found a webpage with catalogues (in zipped dejavu format) of all book titles translated from Russian by MIR (at least within the periods specified). You could have a look (I did not try to open those files, maybe the catalogues are themselves in Russian) to find out whether translations of the books you want were done at all. http://publ.lib.ru/ARCHIVES/M/Mir/_Mir.html You could liaise with them. I couldn't give you any more clues as to whether there are translations of the books you are after, I am afraid.EugeneS
January 20, 2016
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DS, I am not using irreducibly complex in that sense, but in another. Namely, no covering formalism based on a finite, coherent, known cluster of axioms will cover Mathematics -- including any particular version of set theory. We know in part, trust in part and analyse in part . . . KFkairosfocus
January 19, 2016
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