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specified complexity

Functionally Specified Complex Information and Organization

FYI-FTR: To JF (attn EL) on fitness functions, islands of function & bridging active information

Overnight, HT Mung, this was drawn to my attention: JF, TSZ: At the UD thread there were some loud dismissals of models that had genotypes and a fitness surface. It was declared that these genetic algorithms weren’t models of evolution. Actually DEM called such models “evolutionary search”, so they don’t seem to agree with the ID supporters in the UD thread. I think I should headline my reply, FTR: _______________ >> The concern is not whether hill climbing can work incrementally to give local optimisation or some close cousin to that; which can legitimately be described as evolution and tracked to correlate with the actually empirically observed case: microevolution. That hill climbing approach, we all learned in our first calculus Read More ›

Should ID supporters argue in terms of thermodynamics or information or [“basic . . . “] probability?

In the still active discussion thread on failure of compensation arguments, long term maverick ID (and, I think, still YEC-sympathetic) supporter SalC comments: SalC, 570:    . . .  I’ve argued against using information theory type arguments in defense of ID, it adds way too much confusion. Basic probability will do the job, and basic probability is clear and unassailable. The mutliplicities of interest to ID proponents don’t vary with temperature, whereas the multiplicities from a thermodynamic perspective change with temperature. I find that very problematic for invoking 2LOT in defense of ID. Algorithmically controlled metabolisms (such as realized in life) are low multiplicity constructs as a matter of principle. They are high in information content. But why add more jargon Read More ›

Piotr (and KS, DNA_Jock, VS, Z et al) and “compensation” arguments vs the energy audit police . . .

It seems to be time to call in the energy audit police. Let us explain, in light of an ongoing sharp exchange on “compensating” arguments in the illusion of organising energy thread. This morning Piotr, an objector (BTW — and this is one time where expertise base is relevant —  a Linguist), at 288 dismissed Niwrad: Stop using the term “2nd law” for something that is your private misconception. You’ve got it all backwards . . . This demands correction, as Niwrad has done little more than appropriately point out that functionally specific complex organisation and associated information cannot cogently be explained away by making appeals to irrelevant energy flows elsewhere. Organisation is not properly to be explained on spontaneous Read More ›

KF vs VS on how “intelligently directed configuration” does not “sneak” teleology into “directed”

It seems that another response to VS needs to be headlined, the second within a few days. We are seeing here the sort of breakdown of reasoning that seems to be implicit in making ever more determined objections to the design inference on FSCO/I as sign. While we are at it, let’s take advantage of media features of an OP: _______________ >> This, from 74 above, is a New-Speak classic: Not unless one tries to sneak in teleology into the word ” directed” , I think Delicate Arch is a non intelligent controlled/ directed configuration.Natural forces cause the pattern of elements , the design.Since ID is agnostic on the mechanism of design,it cannot say where the Fsco/I it detects came Read More ›

Occam’s Razor (by contrast with LOI, LNC and LEM as well as W-PSR) is not an absolute principle of correct reasoning

Long-time visitors or regulars at UD will know that (along with StephenB who drew the significance to my attention . . . ) I champion the idea of self-evident, plumb-line first principles of right reason: That is, if we contemplate say a bright red ball on a table, we see a world-partition: W = { A | ~A } . . . which leads to manifesting the classic laws of identity [A is A not non-A], non contradiction [(A AND ~A) = 0] , and excluded middle . . . this, best expressed as (A X-OR ~A) = 1. Likewise, I have argued for a weak-form principle of sufficient reason. Contemplating that ball on the table, it is natural to Read More ›

Functionally Specific, Complex Organisation and Associated Information (FSCO/I) is real and relevant

Over the past few months, I noticed objectors to design theory dismissing or studiously ignoring a simple — much simpler than a clock — macroscopic example of Functionally Specific, Complex Organisation and/or associated Information (FSCO/I) and its empirically observed source, the ABU-Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3 fishing reel: Yes, FSCO/I is real, and has a known cause. {Added, Feb 6} It seems a few other clearly paradigmatic cases will help rivet the point, such as the organisation of a petroleum refinery: . . . or the wireframe view of a rifle ‘scope (which itself has many carefully arranged components): . . . or a calculator circuit: . . . or the wireframe for a gear tooth (showing how complex and exactingly Read More ›

Must CSI Include the Probabilities of All Natural Processes — Known and Unknown?

Over on another thread, there has been some discussion (among other things) about whether the concept of CSI must include a calculation of probabilities under all natural processes.  There are a number of interesting issues relating to CSI that might be worth exploring in more detail (including Learned Hand’s comments @47 of that thread, and the issues I mentioned @139). For now, however, I want to simply flag an issue that has been harped on for years by various individuals (Liddle, ribczynski, and in the recent thread, keith s and wd400).  In summary, the argument is that without knowing all the probabilities of all possible natural processes we cannot ever be certain that some natural process didn’t produce the biological system in Read More ›

FYI-FTR: What about ONH’s, vs invisible Rain Fairies, Salt Leprechauns and Planet pushing angels etc.?

The latest cluster of dismissive talking points on the design inference pivot on caricatures describing invisible fairy-tale like supernatural entities. These need to be answered for record, and so let me headline a comment post that addresses these in the context of the agit-prop message dominance rhetorical tactics they represent, augmenting a bit using the facilities provided for a WP blog post: _____________ >>we need to understand some agit-prop rhetorical strategies that are at work: 1: Notice how the focus has been pulled away from the central issue put on the table across the ’70′s by Orgel and Wicken, ORGEL, 1973: . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the Read More ›

FYI-FTR: Is KS actually treating the design inference on FSCO/I and unguided evolution “equally” as regards ONH claims etc.?

Despite claims to the contrary, no. Let’s roll the tape on a further expose of the type of rhetoric we are facing. (And no, as is now usual, KS did not respond to the point by point refutation and correction of his argument. Which, sadly, speaks volumes on the underlying mindset.) Clipping, 221 in the HeKS suggests a way forward thread: _____________ >>WJM, 194: >>William J MurrayNovember 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm Adapa said: You made the stupid demand that I prove a negative – that random genetic variations aren’t caused by invisible pixies and that natural selection isn’t caused by 27th dimension space aliens. I’ve only asked you to support your own assertion. If your assertion includes an unsupportable Read More ›

FYI-FTR: But Orgel didn’t mean what Dembski did when he spoke of Specified Complexity — NOT

One of the rhetorical gambits we are currently encountering is an attempt to drive a wedge between Dembski’s use of “Specified Complexity” and Orgel’s.  Accordingly, I noted as below at 83 in VJT’s CSI thread: _____________ >> I have always emphasised functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I, which is what is directly relevant to the world of life, and is pretty directly observable, starting with text and technology. When objectors can bring themselves to acknowledge that observable phenomenon ant the linked constraint on possible configurations imposed by interactions required to produce functionality, then we can begin to analyse soundly. Orgel actually spoke in the direct context of biofunction, and Wicken used the term, as well as identifying that wiring Read More ›

FYI-FTR: Understanding the (non-circular) reality of CSI and FSCO/I in light of general and scientific inductive reasoning

One of the currently popular objections to the concept of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information (FSCO/I) and its super-set Complex Specified Information (CSI) is that these are unscientific ill-founded, logically circular concepts. The objection is actually goundless but it is easy to lose sight of the true balance on the merits in the midst of the spark, flash and smoke of rhetoric.  Accordingly it is reasonable to set them in the context of general and scientific inductive reasoning, and its factual basis. I therefore recently set out some of that context in summary in VJT’s thread on seeking agreement on CSI, at no 7. Clipping, with adjustments and figures added: _______________ >> It seems to me that there Read More ›

Axe on specific barriers to macro-level Darwinian Evolution due to protein formation (and linked islands of specific function)

A week ago, VJT put up a useful set of excerpts from Axe’s 2010 paper on proteins and barriers they pose to Darwinian, blind watchmaker thesis evolution. During onward discussions, it proved useful to focus on some excerpts where Axe spoke to some numerical considerations and the linked idea of islands of specific function deeply isolated in AA sequence and protein fold domain space, though he did not use those exact terms. I think it worth the while to headline the clips, for reference (instead of leaving them deep in a discussion thread): _________________ ABSTRACT: >> Four decades ago, several scientists suggested that the impossibility of any evolutionary process sampling anything but a miniscule fraction of the possible protein sequences Read More ›

FYI-FTR: On the factual reality of FSCO/I (and dFSCI) . . .

One of the favourite tactics of hyperskepticism is to brazenly dismiss what is objected to as a myth, misconcept or word magic, etc; even while in the real world, one must deal with it day by day as blatant reality. Oops. This has been happening with FSCO/I and linked concepts such as dFSCI. As a simple example of the undeniable reality of functionally specific complex organisation that depends on proper arrangement of parts according to a wiring diagram (which is informational) to achieve function, I again bring to the table a classic, the Abu-Garcia 6500 C3 mag reel, with its exploded view “wiring” diagram: The need for proper functionally specific information rich organisation of correct parts to get it to Read More ›

FYI-FTR: What about the design inference explanatory filter (vs. strawmannish caricatures of how design inferences are made)?

From recent “challenges” by KS as a representative of a certain line of design objection thought, we find various unfortunate examples of a type of objection that pivots on a deep misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of the design inference, empirical evidence based inductive reasoning process.One that even more regrettably, seems strongly resistant to correction on evidence and reason; raising questions of the fallacy of the closed mind. A representative example (cf. my clip- respond- on- points here)  is the following distortion of Newton’s thought on Gravitation as both scientist and design-oriented, theistic philosophical thinker in his own right: Bob and another friend, an astronomer, observe the positions of the planets over several years. They determine that the planets are moving in Read More ›

FYI-FTR: But, Wiki and Theobald’s 29+ evidences prove evolution is the best explanation of life and its branching tree pattern! — NOT

In recent exchanges  in and around UD on origins and the tree of life, Theobald’s 29 evidences claims (and by implication the sort of summary presented by Wikipedia in its articles on Abiogenesis and Evolution) have come up. [NB: to carry forward discussions, I suggest here on. I intend to do a for reference in support of discussion here in this FTR post.] That leads me to point out the case of the UD pro-darwinism essay challenge and the strange absence of and reluctance to provide a guest essay here at UD over the course of a full year, Sept/Oct 2012 – Sept/Oct 2013. The big issue seemed to be that in my challenge as explained, I required tackling the Read More ›