Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

specified complexity

Functionally Specified Complex Information and Organization

BTB, RVB8 vs deplorably “lazy” ID-iots who “deny science” and insist on trying to “detect a designer”

UD News’ Walking dead thread offers an opportunity to address some common talking points and/or assumptions of many objectors to design. In this case, I replied to some key claims by RVB8, at 21 in the thread: [KF, 21:] >>I see your intended sting in the tail at 18 above: Actual experiments to detect a designer? Impossible. It seems, that we deplorable lightweight IDiots need to take a few moments to explore some more BTB . . . back to basics. In the scientific study of origins and similar observation- of- traces contexts, experiment is not possible in the sense of say re-running the actual past. (And computer simulations, never mind execrable abuses of language, are not experiments nor are Read More ›

BTB, Answering the “ID is Religion/Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point

For many years, atheistical objectors — often, taking a cue from ruthless advocacy groups such as the NCSE and/or ACLU etc — have been tempted to dismiss ID as “Religion” or “Creationism,” and this long since answered point still occasionally crops up here at UD. (Unfortunately, even when it is not explicit, it is often an implicit rhetorical filter that warps understanding of what ID supporters, thinkers and scientists say; with an underlying insinuation of lying on our part. Which, for cause, I take very personally, as one who has repeatedly put life — when you deal with Communists . . . — and career on the line on matters of truth; for decades. Where, too, the very ease with Read More ›

Is most fMRI a false positive? Or the brain far more amazing?

Statistician William M. Briggs reports an amazing medical case where the

“skull was filled largely by fluid, leaving just a thin perimeter of actual brain tissue.”
Here’s the kicker: And yet the man was a married father of two and a civil servant with an IQ of 75, below-average in his intelligence but not mentally disabled…

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VIDEO: Doug Axe presents the thesis of his new (and fast-selling) book, Undeniable

Video: [youtube SC9Hx3WpsCk] Blurb at the Amazon page for the book: >>Throughout his distinguished and unconventional career, engineer-turned-molecular-biologist Douglas Axe has been asking the questions that much of the scientific community would rather silence. Now, he presents his conclusions in this brave and pioneering book. Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the “design intuition”—the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God. Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a Read More ›

Back to Basics of ID: Induction, scientific reasoning and the design inference

In the current VJT thread on 31 scientists who did not follow methodological naturalism, it has been noteworthy that objectors have studiously avoided addressing the basic warrant for the design inference.  Since this is absolutely pivotal but seems to be widely misunderstood or even dismissed without good reason, it seems useful to summarise this for consideration. This having been done at comment 170 in the thread, it seems further useful to headline it and invite discussion: _________________ >>F/N: It seems advisable to again go back to basics, here, inductive reasoning and why it has significance in scientific work; which then has implications for the design inference. A good point to begin is IEP in its article on induction and deduction Read More ›

FYI-FTR: Luke Barnes on Fine Tuning and the case of the fine structure constant

It seems there is now a talking-point agenda to dismiss the fine tuning issue as an illusion. So, in the current thread on the big bang and fine tuning, I have clipped and commented on a recent article by Luke Barnes. However, comments cannot put up images [save through extraordinary steps], so it is first worth showing Barnes’ key illustration, as showing where fine tuning comes in, updating Hoyle’s remark about the C-O balance first key fine tuning issue put on the table in 1953: Let me also headline my comment, no. 77 in the thread: >>Luke Barnes has a useful semi-pop summary: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/…..tures-laws Today, our deepest understanding of the laws of nature is summarized in a set of equations. Read More ›

Evolutionary Theorists Discover How mp4 Videos Work

  Over on this thread we’ve had a lively discussion, primarily about common descent.  However, one of the key side discussions has focused on the information required to build an organism. Remarkably, some have argued that essentially nothing is required except a parts list on a digital storage medium.  Yes, you heard right.  Given the right sequence of digital characters (represented by nucleotides in the DNA molecule), each part will correctly self-assemble, the various parts will make their way automatically to the correct place within the cell, they will then automatically assemble into larger protein complexes and molecular machines to perform work, the various cells will automatically assemble themselves into larger structures, such as limbs and organs, and eventually everything will Read More ›

“Perfect Fidelity at Minimum Time”

For the delight of programmers here at UD, I include this post. Over at the “Reference Frame,” a blog by Lubos Motl, string theorist, and physicist extraordinaire, he has this post on a new game for “gamers” calledQuantum Moves. I don’t have time for any in-depth comment; however, for the programmers among us, here is a titillating quote from Motl’s blog: In the paper, the authors remarkably demonstrated that using their intuition and heuristic approaches, the human players were able to find solutions to tasks in which the well-known classical optimization algorithms don’t work well – but the quantum computers would. The well-known classical optimization algorithms fail especially near the “quantum speed limit”, when the shortest process duration is combined Read More ›

Biostatistician Makes “Own Goal” in Argument Against Dembski

Recently a criticism was leveled against Dembski’s 2005 paper Specification: the pattern that signifies intelligence. As is often the case, if you read the criticism carefully, you will realize that, even though he says Dembski is wrong, it turns out that the more exacting answer would favor Dembski’s conclusion more strongly, not less.
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Mutations Degrade Inherited Intelligence

The remarkable “powers” of evolution are now shown to degrade (aka “mutate”) the human genes essential to intelligence.

Remarkably, they found that some of the same genes that influence human intelligence in healthy people were also the same genes that cause impaired cognitive ability and epilepsy when mutated, networks which they called M1 and M3.

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Vid: Hoping to find ancient life remains on Mars

I ran across a vid of a proposal developed by Martin Marietta to explore Mars, towards settlement (and terraforming?): [youtube tcTZvNLL0-w] What I find highly interesting is the motivations given. In addition to the Mars colonisation idea, there seems to be hope that finding “independent” life on Mars would show life must be common in the universe. Of course, we will recall the 1990’s dust up over Nasa’s announcement of life on a meteorite held to have come from Mars. (Cf Wiki here.) Which, brings to mind Astronomer and Old Earth Creationist Hugh Ross’ thought that impacts on Earth would spread life-bearing rocks far and wide across the solar system. *His initial response to the Nasa announcement is here.) But, Read More ›

BTB, 4: Evolutionary Materialism as “fact, Fact, FACT” and its self-falsifying self-referential incoherence

One of the challenges commonly met with in re-thinking origins science from a perspective open to design, is that the evolutionary materialist narrative is too often presented as fact (not explanation), and there is also a typical failure to recognise that materialist ideology cannot be properly imposed on science. Likewise, there is a pattern of failing to address the issue of the self-falsifying self-referential incoherence of such materialism. It is appropriate to highlight these issues through this basics series. In this case, we have a live case in point, here: GD, 173: >>There are some parts of evolutionary theory that are so well supported that they can be considered facts. Widespread (if not necessarily universal) common ancestry. Mutation, selection, and Read More ›

BTB, 3: What is “Intelligent Design” (ID)? Is it “scientific”?

It does not take a lot of familiarity to know that a common and widely repeated accusation against ID is that it is “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” that it tries to smuggle the strictly verboten “supernatural” into scientific thought on origins, and that it is a god-of-the-gaps appeal to ignorance by way of we don’t know what happened so goddidit. In fact, every one of these assertions is false — and in light of easily accessible corrective facts and cogent argument, such are little more than a strawman tactic. (But in a day of widespread, conscience benumbed, en-darkened intellectually blind sociopathic evil where ruthless agit-prop, spin tactics and message dominance too often subvert duties of care to fairness, accuracy, Read More ›