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specified complexity

Functionally Specified Complex Information and Organization

Update: Toronto earns a bar to poster child status (as does Petrushka) in a TSZ thread, with several others joining in and showing the habitual incivility and strawman tactics of too many design objectors

Sometimes UD commenter, NR has started a thread at TSZ, which addresses my new poster child of illogical conduct by objectors to design theory series. Unfortunately, the thread all too soon illustrates just why it is wise to cordon off sites that harbour abusive commentary as enablers of uncivil behaviour. And into the bargain, it seems that Toronto manages to become a poster child with bar, i.e. s/he does it again (and Petrushka follows, as we will see). Let’s clip: NR: Over at UD, KF has started a new thread criticizing Toronto.  He had earlier started a thread criticizing Petrushka. It would have been nicer if KF had joined here to launch his criticism, instead of taking pot shots from Read More ›

He said it: Toronto of TSZ etc on abductive inference to best explanation in science

The illustration to the right is a Hertzprung-Russell diagram of two star clusters, and is used to infer ages for these clusters. How is that done? Stellar clusters are gravitationally bound and so the stars seem to be of the same general age and composition, also they are at about the same distance from us. So, on the physics of collapsing Hydrogen-rich gas clouds (in turn based on relativity, atomic physics, spectroscopy etc), star formation, and the resulting life cycle, in particular the model timeline for main sequence turnoffs to the giant band, we can estimate the age of the cluster. In this case, M67 is estimated at ~ 4BY, and NGC 188 at ~ 5 BY. (SOURCE: Wiki CCA, Read More ›

Want to watch the programming of life video and ponder the roots of coded, complex, functionally specific information in the living cell?

The vid is embedded here at 640 wide. Appealing to the WordPress gods to allow an embed here: [youtube 00vBqYDBW5s] And, let me clip the linked KF post: . . . Of course, there is a hot — and too often quite uncivil — controversy surrounding the inference to design on empirically tested signs such as complex, functionally specific organisation and associated information, or irreducibly complex functional organisation. However, much of that controversy is not driven by the actual balance on the merits but by the determination of institutionally dominant evolutionary materialist factions to retain their (now fast-crumbling) hold on science, the academy, education, most mass media, public policy and the public square. Sometimes, even the pulpit. If you doubt Read More ›

Design Detection with Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity

Next up in the Engineering and Metaphysics series is a presentation by Winston Ewert. This one is on a new informatics metric, called conditional Kolmogorov complexity. Check it out!

ID Foundations, 16: A pivotal facet of ID foundations so far — the significance of inductive reasoning on observed, reliable signs for inferring design in the world of life and the fine tuned cosmos

In recent days, the UD “Engineer says . . . ” thread has become an extended discussion on the design inference and its justification. It has already led to another ID Foundations post, on the significance of Mignea’s simplest self-replicator model for the design inference from FSCO/I in life. Today, it is worth excerpting and adapting a recent summary post in the thread on the significance of inferring on signs that design is the best causal explanation for certain phenomena in the natural world. To set context, it is useful to first pause and remind ourselves from the online New World Encyclopedia, what design theory, at core, is about: Intelligent design (ID) is the view that it is possible to Read More ›

ID Foundations, 15: Mignea’s “simplest” self-replicator, the vNSR and a designed origin of cell-based life

The recent Engineering and ID conference was obviously fruitful. I find it — HT: JohnnyB — helpful to compose Mignea’s schematic for self-replication, and discuss it a bit in the context of the origin of self-replicating entities given von Neumann’s requisites of a successful kinematic self-replicator. [Henceforth, vNSR.] Let me extract from the just updated discussion in the IOSE course, Unit 2: _________ >>John von Neumann’s self-replicator (1948 – 49) is a good focal case to study. Ralph Merkle gives a good motivating context: [[T]he costs involved in the exploration of the galaxy using self replicating probes would be almost exclusively the design and initial manufacturing costs. Subsequent manufacturing costs would then drop dramatically . . . . A device Read More ›

Is the dismissal by asserting “fallacy of personal incredulity” itself a fallacy?

Yesterday, UD’s News announced a free chart of fallacies. I thought, oh, yay, let’s download. But, once I began to look at the chart, I noticed that it presented Plato, Socrates and Aristotle in a way that seemed to mock the orthodox Christian triune concept of God. (Did it ever strike the creator of the chart, that Plato is a foundational design thinker? Cf here on.) Clue no 1. Clue no 2 was that many fallacies seemed to have odd names. And, “thou shalt not commit logical fallacies” in that context suggests that, as with too many presentations on fallacies I have seen online, this is an agenda in disguise: you object to “our” views because you are dumb and/or Read More ›

Q: LYO challenges: “give me a fact, real or hypothetical, any fact at all about the world which would falsify ID” A: If CSI were demonstrably to come from blind chance and necessity it would (but, with high empirical reliability, it does not . . . )

For some time now, LYO has been a fairly frequent critic in UD’s comment threads. Overnight, he has challenged EA:

I challenge you to give me a fact, real or hypothetical, any fact at all about the world which would falsify ID.

There were prompt short answers that immediately followed the just linked:

UB: A demonstration that inanimate matter can physically establish the relationships required for information to be recorded and transferred.

Joe: Demonstrate that blind and undirected chemical processes can produce a living organism from non-living matter- ie demonstrate that a living organism is reducible to matter, energy, necessity and chance.

A little later, responding to the wider point being raised by LYO, EA said: Read More ›

A process sequence chart view of the ribosome in action — a guest post by EP

For some months now, I have been having a behind the scenes correspondence with a regular viewer of UD, whom we shall call EP. He works with industrial robots, and has been fascinated by the way the ribosome works as a nano-scale automated machine cell. Accordingly, a process sequence diagram (‘map”) has been developed, based on accessible descriptions of the ribosome in action. The result is a fascinating look at the ribosome as industrial robot work-cell. (The tRNA’s are molecular scale position-arm devices with a universal CCA coupler — yup, the AA bond is universal, it is the loading enzyme that sets up which tRNA gets what AA — to load and click AAs to a protein chain.) So, enough Read More ›

ID Foundations, 14: “Islands” vs “Continents” of complex, specific function — a pivotal issue and debate

In the current discussion on [Mis-]Representing Natural Selection, UD commenter Bruce David has posed a significant challenge: . . . it is not obvious that even with intelligence in the picture a major modification of a complex system is possible one small step at a time if there is a requirement that the system continue to function after each such step. For example, consider a WWII fighter, say the P51 Mustang. Can you imagine any series of incremental changes that would transform it into a jet fighter, say the F80 and have the plane continue to function after each change? To transform a piston engine fighter in to a jet fighter requires multiple simultaneous changes for it to work–an entirely Read More ›