Chemistry Darwinist rhetorical tactics Information Origin Of Life Selective Hyperskepticism

We Have a Live One, Folks — Information Redux

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My first post on UD, a mere 6 weeks ago, covered some basic principles about information.

Specifically, I addressed the misunderstandings of those who deny that there is anything special about the information contained in, say, DNA, as opposed to a pile of rocks or Saturn’s rings.  We had a very productive discussion, with a number of issues explored.  (Incidentally, I used the word “contain” as a shorthand way of expressing what Mung suggested we call “sequences of symbols” that “represent information.”  I’m fine with that longer formulation, as we are saying the same thing substantively.  Any nuance there isn’t germane to the point of today’s brief post.)

As we were winding up the thread, Mung asked if I had any sources of people who espoused the “information everywhere” view.  Unfortunately, I haven’t kept track of all the times I’ve heard this issue, though a number of other commenters on the thread indicated they had been exposed to similar claims from the anti-ID side.

Well, fast forward to today.  On vjtorley’s recent thread about RNA, the issue of information content came up.

Evolve claimed to Upright Biped, in part:

Your mud is nothing but a collection of molecules. So is life. Your mud has chemistry, so does life. How did inanimate chemistry (found in mud) transform into biochemistry (found in life) is all that needs to be figured out.

To which I responded, in part:

False. Blatantly, patently, utterly false.

Life is most certainly not “nothing but a collection of molecules.”

Evolve also asserted:

Creationists are likening biochemistry (which is perceived as information in life) to man-made codes like computer software and language. They, as a group, seem incapable of realizing that computer software and human language lack any chemistry whatsoever!

To which I responded:

No-one has to pretend that they perceive information in life. It is there. Objectively so. And things like the genetic code were not made up by creationists. It is called a code because it is one.

As to your last sentence, you are demonstrating that you have virtually no grasp of the issues at hand. The question is not whether chemistry is involved. Everyone knows it is. Everyone (who has any understanding of what they are talking about) also knows that simple “chemistry” on its own explains neither the origin of life nor its ongoing existence. Surely you are not really taking the position that information and coding cannot be placed into biochemical strings because we are dealing with “chemistry”?

After a day passed, I wondered if Evolve would recognize he was going down a bad path and quietly back down.

Unfortunately, unwilling to follow the time-honored advice — “If you find you’ve dug yourself into a hole, stop digging.” — Evolve stepped up with another shovel full this afternoon:

If there’s information in life, then there’s information in dissolving salt in a glass of water! It’s all chemistry, Eric. And chemical reactions happen spontaneously on their own as you witness every second.

One molecule reacts with another molecule under certain conditions to make a product. Done. That’s it.

So there you have it.  It’s all just chemistry.  One molecule reacts with another and, ta-da!, life as we know it.  Nothing to explain here.  No information to see.  Move along folks.

A live example of utter failure to appreciate what is going on in living systems.  A refusal to acknowledge the gaping information chasm that separates any old “collection of molecules” from something like DNA.  A claim that if there is information in DNA, then there is also information in “dissolving salt in a glass of water,” because, hey, “it’s all chemistry.”

Mung, you can add this to your reference list.

Evolve, I apologize if this is coming across too harshly.  If you are genuinely interested in this issue, please read the prior thread in detail and think through the question of why researchers across the spectrum acknowledge that information is one of the keys to life — something that makes a fundamental difference between a living cell and salt dissolving in water.

169 Replies to “We Have a Live One, Folks — Information Redux

  1. 1
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    I had just posted something on the RNA thread and then this thread appeared and I wondered whether I should have posted my comments here instead. So without further ado…

    While I respect and endeavour to find the merits in all points of view, I have to admit that I struggle with the “Life is just chemistry” argument. I do not wish to sound combative or sneering as these are ghastly qualities which undermine the dignity of all parties. I shall merely state my reasons.

    While it could be argued in the broadest sense that Life is just chemistry (and no doubt physics too), that broad line of approach could equally describe a bridge or a petrol engine or my sofa. Each of these things is made of chemical properties which are as they are due to the nature of their chemical reactions. If those reactions could never take place then the materials could never in the first place be engineered so as to be assembled into the final product. If one wishes to reduce a bridge down to individual atoms then chemistry is certainly at the heart of it.

    The thing is, that when I behold a bridge I know that something more is involved than just the chemistry and physics. That something is information. I do not say ‘Intelligence’, because the bridge is not actually intelligent of itself, but it is pieced together in an informed way that capitalises on the laws of chemistry and physics. The information does not of itself dwell within the materials and must therefore come from without, which of course we all recognize is some brainy person like Kingdom Brunell.

    Physics, Chemistry and Information make a bridge. Yet if I grind it up and examine it under a microscope it will be ‘Just chemistry.’

    Evolve gave quite a nice definition of code I thought. “A computer code or language is just a script that represents something.”

    That is tidily put, although I fear that I would draw a different conclusion from that definition with regards to DNA. Consider the genes and wotnot on a strand of DNA which are transcribed to make an arm, for instance. The genes are not an arm, but are a representation of said arm. And if we smashed up the DNA so that we just had all of its chemicals, nothing would give us any inclination of an arm at all. In this respect I think Evolve is broadly correct in saying that a code has no physical existence. (Although maybe it is the ‘idea’ that the code produces that doesn’t possess any physicality.)

    Information certainly isn’t a chemical molecule. It can, as has been noted, be impressed upon or use chemical molecules. It is also real. So from whence does it come? Therefore, not all things around us can be accurately summed up as just chemistry.

    In summary then I find this to be the case. DNA is chemistry and abides by the rules of chemistry but it would appear to be an informed use of these laws that make it capable of representing an idea or plan which the cellular machinery develops into a reality. And that is why I think that it is not foolish nor inaccurate for people to refer to it as a code.

    That is my take anyway.

  2. 2
    Upright BiPed says:

    Like Ho-De-Ho, I also posted my response to Evolve on the other thread. I’ll post it here as well

    —————————

    Hello Evolve,

    I’m glad to see you’ve returned to try and make sense of your position. Let’s see what you’ve come up with.

    Computer code and language may require chemistry to exist (since they are created by humans), but they’re not chemical molecules themselves. Whereas DNA is a chemical. That’s the whole point.

    Your first sentence says that computer codes and language may require chemistry because they are made by humans. This is nonsensical to me. Computer codes and languages require matter as a medium to input representations into a system capable of producing a specified effect. This is no different than any other instance of recorded information; whether that information is the product of a human or not has nothing whatsoever to do with it. A representation is an arrangement of matter that evokes an effect within a system, where the arrangement of the medium and the effect it evokes are physicochemically arbitrary. The presence of a representation is one of the four material conditions required to translate recorded information into a material effect. And frankly, its horrible anthropocentric to suggest that only humans create or use representations. Moreover, its completely divorced from reality.

    Your second sentence says that DNA is a chemical, and that’s the whole distinction you’d like to point out. But yet again, this is nonsensical. Firstly, DNA and the genetic code are not the same thing. DNA is the medium by which representations are inputted into a system capable of producing a specified effect. As stated before, the genetic code is the set of physicochemically arbitrary relationships instantiated in the system. They are established by the preservation of the discontinuity between the arrangement of the medium and the effect produced by the system. Once again, this is no different than any other semiotic system even demonstrated to exist. You’ve articulated no distinction.

    Look Evolve, I understand the zero-concession policy you are forced to abide by in the materialists mindset. But there is no sense in you taking positions that are woefully untenable – by anyone’s standards. If you can’t allow yourself to come to an accurate understanding of these issues from a ID proponent, then by all means, turn to a materialist and open your ears. I would suggest the writings of the physicist Howard Pattee as a good place to start. He’s been researching the physics of semiotic control for 50 years.

    cheers…

  3. 3
    Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks, Ho-De-Ho. Good thoughts.

    Much of the problem seems to be with people who have trouble distinguishing between (i) that true fact that living systems utilize chemistry, and (ii) the incorrect idea that living systems are merely chemistry.

    My guess is that part of the problem is that biochemistry is not something we deal with on a daily basis, so people may not have a real clear grasp of what is going on. Compound this superficial understanding with the general vague idea that it is all just a bunch of chemicals reacting, and we might be tempted to think life is just chemistry in action.

    One would hope, however, that a moment’s reflection would be adequate to see that it is not just chemistry we are dealing with.

    If we get out of the realm of the mysterious, largely-unseen world of chemistry, it might be easier for people to grasp.

    If I open a book with one of Shakespeare’s works and ask where the information came from in the book, we would hardly accept the answer “Well, it is just ink and paper — no different from random scribblings on a page or an ink blot from a spilled ink well.”

    If we were excavating ancient ruins and came across a message carved in stone and asked “Whence the message?” we would be singularly unimpressed with the retort, “It’s all just stone. No different from any of the other rocks that are strewn around these mountains.”

    The fact that living systems use chemistry and that the information in life is instantiated in biomolecules is utterly irrelevant to explaining either (i) how life arose and continues, or (ii) where the information in life came from.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    i won’t re-post what i posted in that other thread 🙂

    Everyone rejoice!

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    [Querius rejoicing]

    This is a difficult subject. A pile of random-looking rocks might indeed contain a message just like knots on a string or pulses of electrons.

    Lessee, starting from the white rock and going clockwise, a larger rock is a dash and a smaller rock (than the previous one) is a dash.

    -Q

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    LOL. I meant dot. 😛

  7. 7
    ppolish says:

    Chemistry from Nothing boom. Life from Chemisty boom boom. Consciousness from Life boom boom boom.

    Anyone want to guess boom boom boom boom? Can only guess.

    Don’t get me wrong, not 3 or 4 or more “gaps” to be explained. One guided process to be explained.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Materialists simply cannot see that they have no foundation in science. Evolve wants to say life is ‘all chemistry’:

    “It’s all chemistry, Eric. And chemical reactions happen spontaneously on their own as you witness every second.”

    Here are a couple of chemists that would strongly disagree with Evolve that life is ‘just chemistry’,,

    Top Ten Most Cited Chemist in the World Knows That Evolution Doesn’t Work – James Tour, Phd. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A15p8f3wDM0

    “I build molecules for a living, I can’t begin to tell you how difficult that job is. I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
    James Tour – one of the leading nano-tech engineers in the world – Strobel, Lee (2000), The Case For Faith, p. 111

    Dr. David Humphreys – The Origin of Life – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozcmkD_f7bA

    The vastness, beauty, orderliness, of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants; and the other phenomena of nature justly induce an intelligent and unprejudiced observer to conclude a supremely powerful, just, and good author.
    — Robert Boyle (1627 – 1691), father of experimental chemistry

    Moreover, as Michael Denton recently pointed out in his paper in Bio-Complexity, the chemistry of life gives every indication of being ‘fine-tuned’ for air breathing life in particular,

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Excerpt Summary (page 11):
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms.,,
    There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.1

    “Dr. Michael Denton on Evidence of Fine-Tuning in the Universe” (Remarkable balance of various key elements for life) – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....3_59-07_00

    Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis – podcast
    http://www.idthefuture.com/201....._coin.html

    Moreover, if one takes a closer look at the atoms which perform the chemistry that Evolve is so enamored with, one finds that, contrary to materialistic thought, they are far more complex than anyone dared imagine,,

    Delayed time zero in photoemission: New record in time measurement accuracy – June 2010
    Excerpt: Although they could confirm the effect qualitatively using complicated computations, they came up with a time offset of only five attoseconds. The cause of this discrepancy may lie in the complexity of the neon atom, which consists, in addition to the nucleus, of ten electrons. “The computational effort required to model such a many-electron system exceeds the computational capacity of today’s supercomputers,” explains Yakovlev.
    http://www.physorg.com/news196606514.html

    Moreover, one finds that there is no solid material particle in the atoms as materialists, since the ancient Greeks, had presupposed:

    Just how small is an atom? – Jonathan Bergmann – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQP4UJhNn0I

    And although, despite the atom being shown to be somewhere around 99.99999999999999% empty space, it was still presumed, in the video, that the nucleus and electron of the atom are ‘solid’ material particles. That presumption simply is not so. For anyone who still believes that atoms are composed of little billiard ball type particles (i.e. Reductive Materialism as it was conceived of by ancient Greeks and was only recently overturned last century), the following images will cure you of that false materialistic notion:

    Photographs of atoms, produced by the scanning tunnel microscope
    http://physics.unipune.ernet.i...../image.gif
    http://researcher.watson.ibm.c...../stm15.jpg

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    In fact, atoms (and photons) are now found to reduce to, of all things, information.

    How Teleportation Will Work –
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    Quantum Teleportation of a Human? – video
    https://vimeo.com/75163272

    But, as if that was not bad enough to give a materialist a restless night, there is found to be another layer of information in life which is not present in the atoms alone. First it is important to note the information content in a cell when looking at it from a thermodynamic perspective:

    “a one-celled bacterium, e. coli, is estimated to contain the equivalent of 100 million pages of Encyclopedia Britannica. Expressed in information in science jargon, this would be the same as 10^12 bits of information. In comparison, the total writings from classical Greek Civilization is only 10^9 bits, and the largest libraries in the world – The British Museum, Oxford Bodleian Library, New York Public Library, Harvard Widenier Library, and the Moscow Lenin Library – have about 10 million volumes or 10^12 bits.” –
    R. C. Wysong

    ‘The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 10^12 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
    Carl Sagan, “Life” in Encyclopedia Britannica: Macropaedia (1974 ed.), pp. 893-894

    Moleular Biophysics – Information theory. Relation between information and entropy: – Setlow-Pollard, Ed. Addison Wesley
    Excerpt: Linschitz gave the figure 9.3 x 10^12 cal/deg or 9.3 x 10^12 x 4.2 joules/deg for the entropy of a bacterial cell. Using the relation H = S/(k In 2), we find that the information content is 4 x 10^12 bits. Morowitz’ deduction from the work of Bayne-Jones and Rhees gives the lower value of 5.6 x 10^11 bits, which is still in the neighborhood of 10^12 bits. Thus two quite different approaches give rather concordant figures.
    http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~a.....ecular.htm

    Professor McIntosh comments on the need for information to explain why the cell is so far out of thermodynamic equilibrium in the following paper

    Information and Thermodynamics in Living Systems – Andy C. McIntosh – Professor of Thermodynamics University of Leeds (which I read is the highest teaching/research rank in the U.K.) – May 2013
    Excerpt: The third view then that we have proposed in this paper is the top down approach. In this paradigm, the information is non-material and constrains the local thermodynamics to be in a non-equilibrium state of raised free energy. It is the information which is the active ingredient, and the matter and energy are passive to the laws of thermodynamics within the system.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0008

    And indeed we find non material, ‘non-local’, information in the cell:

    Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint – 2010
    Excerpt: When the researchers analysed the DNA without its helical structure, they found that the electron clouds were not entangled. But when they incorporated DNA’s helical structure into the model, they saw that the electron clouds of each base pair became entangled with those of its neighbours. “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford.
    http://neshealthblog.wordpress.....blueprint/

    Coherent Intrachain energy migration at room temperature – Elisabetta Collini and Gregory Scholes – University of Toronto – Science, 323, (2009), pp. 369-73
    Excerpt: The authors conducted an experiment to observe quantum coherence dynamics in relation to energy transfer. The experiment, conducted at room temperature, examined chain conformations, such as those found in the proteins of living cells. Neighbouring molecules along the backbone of a protein chain were seen to have coherent energy transfer. Where this happens quantum decoherence (the underlying tendency to loss of coherence due to interaction with the environment) is able to be resisted, and the evolution of the system remains entangled as a single quantum state.
    http://www.scimednet.org/quant.....d-protein/

    Quantum Entanglement and Information
    Quantum entanglement is a physical resource, like energy, associated with the peculiar nonclassical correlations that are possible between separated quantum systems. Entanglement can be measured, transformed, and purified. A pair of quantum systems in an entangled state can be used as a quantum information channel to perform computational and cryptographic tasks that are impossible for classical systems. The general study of the information-processing capabilities of quantum systems is the subject of quantum information theory.
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-entangle/

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, the classical information encoded in DNA and in computers, classical information which people endlessly squabble over here on UD, is found to be a subset of this ‘non-local’ quantum information by the following method:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy. Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    And this ‘non-local’ information is conserved

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time – March 2011
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed.
    http://phys.org/news/2011-03-q.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q.....onsequence

    The implications of finding ‘non-local’, conserved, quantum information to be ‘holding life together’ are fairly obvious:

    Stuart Hameroff – Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – video
    https://vimeo.com/29895068

    Verse, Poem, and Music

    John 10:10
    “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

    There Is More
    Once I saw a very old Godly man who, being very near death, had
    Become deaf, blind and invalid; Yet somehow he glowed happily
    Then it occurred to me…
    There is more to see than the light we see with our eyes
    There is more to behold than to watch setting skies
    There is more to hear than the airwaves of sound
    There is more to stand on than to stand on the ground
    There is more to feel than what we can touch with our skin
    There is more to all things, things that come from deeper within
    Then I saw a miserly old rich man who had angrily driven away his family
    Now he was in a coma, in his mansion, with no one around who loved him
    Then it occurred to me…
    There is more to the hurt of a word than to sticks and stones
    There is more to people than just skin and bones
    There is more to a home than bricks, steel, and lumber
    There is more to waking up than rising from slumber
    There is more to riches than having gold piled high
    There is more to living than just being alive
    Then I saw a Godly young woman full of compassion
    Working with homeless people helping them get off the street
    Then it occurred to me…
    There is more to loving than the warmth of feeling good
    There is more to understanding than a fact being understood
    There is more to work with than the tools of our crafts
    There is more to cleaning up than taking a bath
    There is more to freedom than having no prison walls
    There is more to poverty than having no stuff at all
    Then I saw a bitter old man who angrily didn’t believe in
    Miracles at all and thinks that this cold world is all there is
    Then it occurred to me…
    There is more to being dead than a body in a tomb
    There is more to being born than coming out of a womb
    There is more to heaven than all the stars above
    There is more to Jesus Christ than a distant example of God’s love
    There is more to learning than books teach us in schools
    And there is more to walking with God than keeping TEN rules
    Then I got home at the end of the day
    Went into my room and quietly prayed
    Lord, If there is more than a lesson to my heart You could teach
    Would You teach me to see spiritually to add depth to my reach
    And Lord, If there is more than a gift to this world You might give
    Would You give the miracle that in all hearts Your light would live

    Steven Curtis Chapman – More to this Life
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndbma-BQJK8

  11. 11
    groovamos says:

    This may seem like a trivial argument but of course a computer program requires chemistry – maybe Evolve could have been told. A computer program exists unusually on a hard drive, thumb drive, or some type of read/write or rewritable disk, all of which have required a stupendous amount of chemical manipulation and fabrication. Ferromagnetics, semiconductor, metal film, polymer.

  12. 12
    Eric Anderson says:

    groovamos:

    Indeed.

    In fact, if we look at chemistry broadly, it can be said to cover all kinds of matter. There is no fundamental distinction between iron, copper, wood, stone, or adenine, thymine, guanine or cytosine in their ability to store symbols representing information.

    It’s all chemistry! 🙂

  13. 13
    Upright BiPed says:

    Eric, exactly.

    Somehow, it’s become an anthropic fallacy if we don’t decide what can and can’t be a representation. The remainder of the living kingdom, with their silly pheromones and antennae will probably be interested in what we decide.

  14. 14
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    RO DXY HDS FDLWS

    vs

    MY DOG HAS FLEAS

    You see, there’s no difference between those two sets of strings. They’re both merely “just characters.” Information? What information? There’s nothing to explain.

    Evolve can’t be serious. I suspect he doesn’t believe a word of what he says. That would make him utterly stupid. Well, on the other hand maybe he does.

  15. 15
    tjguy says:

    Groovamus:

    This may seem like a trivial argument but of course a computer program requires chemistry – maybe Evolve could have been told. A computer program exists unusually on a hard drive, thumb drive, or some type of read/write or rewritable disk, all of which have required a stupendous amount of chemical manipulation and fabrication. Ferromagnetics, semiconductor, metal film, polymer.

    Exactly.

    It’s all chemistry, but there is a huge difference between the hardware and the software, neither of which evolution by random unguided processes can explain adequately.

    Or I guess I should say the explanation cannot be supported with experimental evidence. Anybody can think up an explanation, but testing it is another thing.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    A few more highly regarded Chemist who know that there is more to life than chemistry

    “Origin of Life Interview with Dr. Thaxton” – video
    http://www.veoh.com/watch/v185.....chemistry+

    Dean Kenyon – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHaMKP5eFNI

    Henry Schaefer – bio
    http://www.leaderu.com/offices/schaefer/

  17. 17
    awstar says:

    Computer code and language may require chemistry to exist (since they are created by humans), but they’re not chemical molecules themselves. Whereas DNA is a chemical. That’s the whole point.

    Absolutely correct! Computer code and language REQUIRE chemistry to exist (since they are created by humans). Humans use chemistry to store their encoding symbols in a sequence that can be read and decoded. They require chemistry, but are not OF chemistry.

    And so, when we see encoded symbols stored in DNA molecules we know that they “require” DNA to exist, but the encoded symbols can not possibly be “of” DNA, because in all of our past experimentation and observation, we have never seen information produced by the chemistry that stores it, whether it be paper and ink, chiseled grooves in rock, magnetic orientation on vinyl tape, holes punched in cards, etc. To think otherwise would be counter to scientific truth.

  18. 18
    TSErik says:

    It’s been stated but I’ll throw in. This is classic employment of the genetic fallacy to which Darwinists often turn. We cannot assume what is true for the part is true for the whole.

    If we continue that logic we could reduce the scope further and say that chemical reactions are nothing but interactions between the nuclear forces of sub-atomic particles. And poof! Inorganic and organic are exactly the same at the fundamental levels. QED!

    Surely when put like this anyone can see the fault in the line of reasoning.

  19. 19
    ScuzzaMan says:

    @TSErik,

    That was my thought also. What Evolve was saying is that there IS no science.

    It is all ‘just stuff’.

    What is cosmology but physics, and what is physics but interactions between particles?

    What is any branch of science but interactions between particles?

    (Sounds like the rebirth of Newtonian determinism)

    We’re going to have some bad news for all those millions of people employed in all the expanding branches of science; you’re wasting your time – and our money – because it’s all just stuff and there’s nothing more to explain.

    Meh.

  20. 20
    seventrees says:

    Greetings.

    After reading Upright Biped’s comment (comment number 2), I have a suggestion: To include the definition of “Representation” (s)he has provided in the glossary. I think this will help some people a lot.

  21. 21
    aqeels says:

    Great post and some very useful comments on the subject.

    I have a question.

    Is there any important difference between “active” and “passive” information? Is there a conceptual difference between information processing systems that require information themsevles in order to function, and the information that they process?

    Is there any conceptual difference as far as prepresentations and protocols go, between a class definition and it’s instantiation and subsequent use inside a computer?

    Maybe these things don’t matter but I have often wondered where these boundaries exist within the living cell?

  22. 22
    OldArmy94 says:

    RO DXY HDS FDLWS

    vs

    MY DOG HAS FLEAS

    And the fascinating thing, to me, is that the first string of characters COULD be completely logical and sensible IF the decoder had a set of rules (language) to interpret the string. However, a language is also information, and that begs the question; where did the language come from? Without acknowledging that information is only created by an intelligent source, there is created a series of infinite regress which is logically impossible. Therefore, there must be a Prime Cause, a Source of all information.

  23. 23
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    OldArmy94,

    Exactly.

    What seems to be escaping Evolve is that is not “merely chemistry.” It is chemistry that has been setup in a particular fashion to operate as a system to produce certain functional results. In the case of the DNA replicator, it’s the cause of that particular arrangement of systemic chemicals which is at issue.

    If he can’t see that, there’s no point in wasting any time with him/her. You can’t fix stupid.

  24. 24
    Eric Anderson says:

    aqeels:

    Great questions, thanks. I’ll throw in a couple of thoughts, but would also love to hear from some of the other folks involved in design and programming.

    Is there any important difference between “active” and “passive” information? Is there a conceptual difference between information processing systems that require information themsevles in order to function, and the information that they process?

    I’m not sure I would view it that way. Typically when we talk about “passive” or “active” information it is referring to something a bit different, like the mode of acquisition of the information or the mode of a system’s interaction with a user. So I’m not sure I would say there is a substantive conceptual difference between the two as you are describing them.

    There is, however, a hierarchy of information. For example, on your normal desktop computer you may be running a program, say Word. That program obviously consists of information.

    Now behind that program are various application frameworks, each of which also is based on information, such as managing the window, managing the view, etc. These in turn run on the basis of various libraries. Those in turn run on an overall operating system, with numerous drivers and managers at that level.

    Then beyond that, we get into the firmware, which is a whole other layer of information and often requires special expertise. Then we get down to the CPU itself, which operates on embedded information. The storage system itself (the typical hard drive), rarely given a second thought by the average user, is an incredibly sophisticated system. The internal software used to run the storage system must be able to not only read and write bits at great speed on the fly, but must be able to locate clusters, cordon off damaged clusters, deal with error rates, redundancy, temperature fluctuations, and so on. The vast majority of hardware engineers never venture deeper than the interfaces that interact with the storage device. I’ve heard even some experienced hardware engineers refer to the systems that control the inner workings of hard drives as “black magic of the deepest sort”.

    That is down the chain.

    Up the chain, the Word program you are using eventually sends information to an interface, which sends it to the printer with a specialized driver. The printer then translates the information into a whole different set of bits, which are then sent to controllers and drivers to produce certain electrical impulses which in turn cause the physical mechanisms to operate and produce the printed page.

    Then the printed page may have, say, an address on it that is read by a postal scanner to get the letter to the right person. And, finally, the recipient opens the letter, reads the information and may take some action based on the information in the letter.

    Well, you probably know all that already, but I just wanted to lay it out in rough outline. I haven’t done a count, but I’m guessing that the act of writing a simple letter to someone on my personal computer likely involves well over one hundred different information systems, some operating in parallel and some operating in a hierarchy. Each system processes information and is also controlled by information.

    Is there any conceptual difference as far as prepresentations and protocols go, between a class definition and it’s instantiation and subsequent use inside a computer?

    If I understand what you’re saying, then I would say yes, there is a difference.

    At every stage of information transfer/handoff, there is another system involved. That system typically has its own language/protocols for handling the information.

    So when I see a piece of code on my screen, what I see is treated differently by several different systems at once. My LCD screen treats it as electrical impulses to a particular set of liquid crystals. The driver treats it as a series of pixels of certain color and location on a matrix. The IDE sees it as ASCII characters in a string. The CPU, when it processes the string, will see it as a string of 1’s and 0’s, representing not only the string, but including lots of related information for processing. The storage system on my SSD will store it as a series of electrons in solid state gates.

    Each system has its own set of symbols or signs (semiotics) that it uses to represent the information and, therefore, must have a translation system and a set of agreed-upon interfacing protocols in order to be able to properly hand the information to the next system.

    To coin a phrase for Upright Biped: “It’s semiotics all the way down!”

  25. 25
    prhean says:

    I have heard of someone being referred to as “dumb as a brick” but I have not known anyone who reveled in that label.

    Because bricks are simply mud with heat applied. And Evolve sees no difference between mind and mud.

    If the shoe fits, Evolve, wear it.

  26. 26
    Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks to all for the many comments. A small request and word of caution, if I may.

    I understand (and share) the frustration with people who refuse to acknowledge what is obvious. The stubbornness sometimes rises to the point of exasperating. In addition, all of us, no doubt, are tempted to have a bit of fun from time to time at someone’s expense.

    I view Evolve’s statements quoted in the OP as highly absurd and am willing to call him on the carpet for those statements in the strongest possible terms. However, that relates to his statements on a particular topic, and not to him personally as an individual.

    Let’s please keep the comments focused on the issues, and not stray into broad-brush comments about anyone’s personality, general level of intelligence and the like.

    Thanks, everyone, for your understanding.

  27. 27
    Mung says:

    I design software in my head, and I’m pretty sure there is nothing material in there.

    Is there any conceptual difference as far as prepresentations and protocols go, between a class definition and it’s instantiation and subsequent use inside a computer?

    I would say there is. A class is an abstraction. But as Evolve would say, it’s just chemistry.

  28. 28
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Eric Anderson, thank you for posting that reminder for treating other commenters with dignity. May I attach to it my hearty assent.

    I would like to go on record as saying that I do not think Evolve (whomever they may be) is stupid or ignorant or any other host of tasty adjectives. As I have stated in comment #1, I do not quite see eye-to-eye with Evolve on the topic of life being simply chemistry, but I endeavoured privately to see their angle, which I think I could perceive.

    Perhaps we should remember that many great people have held erroneous ideas. Didn’t the great Newton dabble around with alchemy which turned out to be bunkum. And deuced clever physicists today ruminate on the Multiverse. They may be unwittingly influenced by personal ideology but “Stupid” they are not.

    If one wishes to win somebody over to their point of view, then using a length of 2×4 wood to do it will probably not yield the best results. Burning people at the stake for heresy did not result in opponents of the Church saying “Golly what a convincing argument, how blind I have been.” Nor did incarcerating and executing religious folk in camps and gulags work for the atheist states. Neither will denouncing people as stupid, morons, IDiots, dirt worshippers or scientifically illiterate.

    I appreciate the thoughts of all leave their comments, whenever I happen to pop by UD. I think each person has a reason for accepting what they say and sometimes it is perhaps not well articulated. It is the duty of others to graciously probe their reasoning and courteously explain why it is not up to scratch for them.

    Overall, I think people try to do this here (more-so than elsewhere in my opinion). Of course some will inevitably descend into trench digging, but isn’t that natural? When was the last time that a stranger or anybody challenged any of us on something we said in front of others and we immediately said: “By gum, you are right and I was utterly wrong”?

    If somebody is caught out, it will not do to then demand a recantation, or apology in front of all onlookers. The best course when victorious in argument, is to not announce it. Grant your opponent their dignity and let the discussion move on from them. This way they may adopt your opinion more easily. Placing a foot on the back of somebodies neck will not get them to truly change their mind, even if they know you are right. Kindness, on the other hand, will.

    So once again, thank you Eric Anderson, for call back to reasonableness.

    P.S – I am not aiming this comment at any individual in any way. Goodness knows I have failed to keep my self-control at times too. This is for all commenters as a reminder, including myself.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note to post 8:

    Why Science Does Not Disprove God – April 27, 2014
    Excerpt: “To explain the quantum-mechanical behavior of even one tiny particle requires pages and pages of extremely advanced mathematics. Why are even the tiniest particles of matter so unbelievably complicated? It appears that there is a vast, hidden “wisdom,” or structure, or a knotty blueprint for even the most simple-looking element of nature.”
    Amir D. Aczel – mathematician
    http://time.com/77676/why-scie.....prove-god/

  30. 30
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    For what it’s worth, I do not think Evolve is stupid. I don’t think s/he believes what s/he’s out here spouting. I mean, s/he just can’t actually believe it. I.e, I think s/he’s a troll.

  31. 31

    You cannot debate those that deny the obvious.

    Once I understood UB’s semiotic argument, it became clear to me that we’re not dealing with reasonable people. There’s simply no viable non-ID explanation for finding coding and decoding translation systems at the root of biological life. It requires intelligence, period.

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    While I agree with Eric Anderson, the following question comes to mind.

    When was the last time anyone here has had the remarkable experience in an argument where the other person says something like, “You know, I think you’re right!”

    And when was the last time you said something like this in an argument?

    Hmmm. Being pragmatic, is it possible that painful experiences such as ridicule are a far better way of changing people’s minds than reason?

    -Q

  33. 33
    Upright BiPed says:

    William, That was incredibly generous. Thank you.

    A final draft of my argument is now complete. My goal is to publish it on my website, and with help from the more experienced, better educated members of the ID community, I hope to improve it. There are some facets of the argument that I haven’t yet shared, so I am looking forward to that.

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed, please let us know when you get that posted!

    Looking forward to it.

  35. 35
    tjguy says:

    I agree that information is the show stopper for abiogenesis, but that’s not all. If you squash a mosquito, it is dead and will not come back to life even as a single cell. The DNA and all the chemicals needed for life are right there. Put 100 dead Mosquitos in a warm little pond and zap it any way you want to.

    When God created man from the dust of the earth (gen 2:7), even though the body was fully formed, he did not become alive until God breathed the breath of life into him.

    The right arrangement of chemicals and the encoded information needed for life, even if all supplied still may not be enough.

  36. 36
    Upright BiPed says:

    Thank you Mung, I will do so.

  37. 37
    Moose Dr says:

    Evolve, let this humble programmer help you out just a little bit.

    When we write computer software, or use computers to store data, the medium holding that data keeps changing. When it is active, it is held in RAM memory. We hold it in less imminent storage on magnetic hard drives. The magnetic state of spots on the drive hold the information. We then burn the data onto DVD disks, and store it as, effectively, melt spots on the disk. We decide we want a hard-copy backup? We print it onto paper. There is no way of knowing which path the information took. The medium is not the message. The medium does not affect the message.

    In the very same way, scientists are encoding human and machine generated data into DNA. Yup, they line up the nucleotides in the DNA to represent human and machine generated data. They can then stuff the DNA into an organism, mail the organism across the country, have a scientist at the other end retrieve the data from the DNA, back into the computer. Now, consider data that is sent via two streams, one via organism implantation, the other via the internet. Yea know what? ‘Can’t tell ’em apart with an electron microscope. They are not metaphorically identical, the information streams are identical!

    Now, I don’t think DNA editing is quite here yet, but it will get here: Take a sheep’s DNA, convert it into an electronic stream, print it out on paper, scan it back into a computer, have the computer put this sequence of DNA into a different sheep’s egg and walah, you get a sheep!

    The order of the nucleotides in DNA is information, the very same class of information that you are reading now.

  38. 38
    Eric Anderson says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Ditto on wanting to see your post. Thank you for sticking to your guns and for continuing your efforts to develop the semiotic issue in more detail.

  39. 39
    Eric Anderson says:

    tjguy:

    You raise an interesting issue and an important note of caution.

    If, at some point in the future, we are able to create a complete, simple, single-celled organism from the ground up — in other words, create simple life — then such an achievement might suggest that the proper configuration of matter and energy, together with the proper infusion of information, is sufficient for life.

    For now, however, we should be cautious to not assume that this is the case. While most of us probably operate under the working assumption that “the right arrangement of chemicals and the encoded information” is sufficient, we need to recognize that — at least for now — our working assumption is precisely that: an assumption.

    Is something else, something beyond matter and energy and information, required for life? At this point I think we just don’t know.

  40. 40

    UB,

    I’m greatly looking forward to your full semiotics argument as well. I plan on directing many people to it. I hope you get the recognition you deserve for it, because IMO it’s an argument of historical significance.

    The only thing I’ve been struggling with is a simple or at least concise way of presenting it to others. Hopefully with your forthcoming article I’ll be better prepared.

  41. 41
    junkdnathewhite says:

    UB, you should also try to push it through another publishing medium. It seems the argument addresses the, can A = -A?

    Yes, IMO it would seem so if -A is a representation of A.
    If the expression A = -A is symmetric, than we has identified a semiotic system.

  42. 42
    Upright BiPed says:

    WJM,

    Again thank you. I know I’ve created plenty of misunderstanding over these past four years as I struggled to work through and articulate the argument myself. But presenting it clearly in a single sitting has been my immediate goal, and now I have a model that I believe accomplishes that task. I’m hoping that people from various backgrounds can help me improve it.

    jDNA,

    Hola my friend! I’ve taken a different tack than what you describe, so I’m looking forward to your response to the model I present. Thank You.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    aqeels says:

    Thanks Eric for your detailed reply to my questions.

    I pretty much agree with what you have to say, the gist being that whilst we can define an arbritrary hierarchy of information, it’s nevertheless semiotics all the way down, without any important conceptual difference. That is what I wanted to flesh out since I already have a good handle on the topic but wanted to put it out there in case I was missing something. I am having a really good debate with my boss at work on this very subject. He is a committed materialist and beleives that biological “information” is quite different to what we would normally regard as information that humans create. I can already see the leaps of illogic that he is willing to make and the absolute desire not to give any quarter on evern the simplest of points that I think a child might understand. Maybe I can post some of our discussion at some point in time.

    Ditto to WJM #31 – UB had that impact on me as well. His clear posts really articulated the problem that semiotics poses to the materialist narrative and I often refer to his posts in my debates!

  45. 45
    Dionisio says:

    I’m enjoying reading this thread (OP + follow-up comments).

  46. 46
    AVS says:

    “the incorrect idea that living systems are merely chemistry.”

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?
    I can’t seem to.

  47. 47
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?

    Translation of nucleotides into polypeptides. Also the pairing of the two main subunits of ATP synthase- F1 and F2.

    And of course you couldn’t do come up with those AVS. You are ignorant of biology.

  48. 48
    aqeels says:

    AVS:

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?
    I can’t seem to.

    This is a strange statement. Of course nobody is doubting that what is happening in the body is chemistry. But you seem to be missing the point.

    To use a simple analogy, take my computer that I am typing these words on. It’s obeying the laws of chemistry, but despite this the actual organisation and functional components have been contrived in a specific way to perform a function. Can you tell me what laws of chemistry and physics are responsible for such a contrived arrangement?

    In this respect it’s obviously not just chemistry that is responsible for the computer is it?

    AVS why make such a fuss over such a trivial point? Why not accept the obvious that the living cell is at some level analogous to the computer? Why not really tackle the problem head on a say yes you are right that we need something more than law like regularities to account for the living cell and then go on to propose what that something extra could be?

  49. 49
    AVS says:

    Ohh little Joey, you’re such a comedian.
    Translation is explained entirely through chemistry, starting with the association of the ribosomal subunits to mRNA, binding of tRNA anticodons to mRNA codons, or transloacation of the ribosome and peptide bond formation through ATP hydrolysis. You should open a book sometime.

    Also, I’m pretty sure you mean the F0 and F1 subunits of ATP synthase. These two subunits are held together by the gamma and epsilon polypeptides as well as the a, b, and gamma subunits. Seriously, open a book before you make your comments about biology, maybe you’ll learn something.

  50. 50
    Dionisio says:

    Joe @ 47

    Your time is too precious to be squandered on trying to talk to deaf ears.

  51. 51
    Dionisio says:

    aqeels @ 48

    Your time is too precious to be squandered on trying to talk to deaf ears.

  52. 52
    AVS says:

    Aqeels, yes the cell is like a computer a certain level, but it is at an extremely low level. You can say that both have certain entities that carry out certain functions, but after that they are very different. The original argument was that we are not “merely chemistry” and I am asking someone to point out one thing that occurs in the cell or our bodies as a whole that is not completely explained through chemistry. I open to any suggestions, do you have one?

  53. 53
    AVS says:

    Dio, I suggest you stay out of this conversation. You haven’t the slightest clue about anything biology related. See ya! =)

  54. 54
    Joe says:

    Oh AVS, you are such a choker. There isn’t any chemical relationship between the nucleotides (codons) and the amino acids they represent. It is an arbitrary coding not dependent on chemstry nor physics. The codons do not chemically change to become the amino acids. You lose, again.

    As for ATP synthase there isn’t any physio-chemical relationship between the two subunits. IOW they just don’t come together due to some elctro-chemical attraction.

  55. 55
    Joe says:

    Dionsio- You are correct, of course. Sometimes I just need a little entertainment I took me all of one second to think of two examples that meet AVS’ criteria. And now I get to laugh at his attempt to dismiss them.

  56. 56
    AVS says:

    The chemical relationship between codon and amino acid would be the tRNA molecule. It doesn’t matter that it is arbitrary, only that it is specific and conserved.

    There most certainly is a physio-chemical relationship between the F0 and F1 subunits, their interactions are favored due to a high binding affinity because of complementary shape and noncovalent interactions. This is exactly how the majority of multiple-subunits proteins come together.

  57. 57
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Hello AVS I think I can see your angle. Whenever we peep into a cell and ogle what is going on therein, we always explain it by reference to the physics and chemistry. So can anybody point to a part of the workings of the physical cell which is not related to chemistry? No, I don’t think they can.

    But I do not think that is totally the argument of many on this thread, if I am understanding it properly (which of course I may not be.)

    For instance, in a crude and totally literal sense an every part of an oil painting could be completely explained by chemistry. Nowhere in the painting can one actually see the painter or even his idea. We can see the expression of the idea but not the actual thoughts inside their mind. Does that make it all purely chemistry? I think this is similar to the point being made.

    In fact, there is a better way to put it using your well expressed question in #52 if I may just tweak it a little.

    “The argument is that computers are not ‘merely chemistry’ and I am asking someone to point out one thing that occurs in a computer as a whole that is not completely explained through chemistry. Do we have one?”

    Please do not think that this is aiming to be a ‘gotcha’ question. I appreciate that many questions are not always asked with the most genuine of spirits. Your answer to this question may furnish a good deal of understanding between two camps points of view.

    May I ask that everyone be respectful of whatever answers others come up with, even if one cannot agree.

  58. 58
    AVS says:

    No, Ho-de, everything can be explained with chemistry/physics cells, computers, etc. When we look at these things though, it is the organization of the chemistry that is important. This is where the cell and a computer are completely different I think.
    I am not an expert on computers, though so I may be off the mark.

  59. 59
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Thank you AVS for such a straightforward response. I respect that a lot. I will have to think about what you say for a while. For sure others will not see eye-to-eye with you but that’s why forums exist I suppose.

    If its not too much trouble AVS, could I ask what differences there are particularly, from your standpoint, between the organization of the chemistry?

    If you do not have the time I completely understand as I appreciate that you do have to field numerous questions leveled at your position. You answered my first question for which I am grateful, the second would be an unexpected bonus.

    Thank you AVS.

  60. 60
    AVS says:

    Don’t be so nice Ho-de, this is the internet and you make me feel bad about being an ass to people here.

    Anyways I’ll hit you with another straightforward answer.
    From my general understanding about computers, I would say they are highly ordered and somewhat complex, however the cell is highly disordered while highly complex.
    I am glossing over things a lot here, so don’t look to closely at what I say. Everything is relative, I guess.

  61. 61
    Upright BiPed says:

    AVS,

    The chemical relationship between codon and amino acid would be the tRNA molecule.

    The relationship between codon and amino acid is not established by the physical structure of tRNA.

    It’s established in temporal and spatial isolation by the physical structure of the protein aaRS, thereby preserving the necessary discontinuity between the medium of information and its translated effect.

    It doesn’t matter that it is arbitrary

    A more clear example of cognitive bias would be hard to imagine.

  62. 62
    Upright BiPed says:

    everything can be explained with chemistry

    It doesn’t matter that it is arbitrary

    😐

  63. 63
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Once again AVS thanks for the broad brush-stroke answer. As for being nice, I’m afraid that I was tutored relentlessly on the use of a conciliatory tone and thoughtful respect of all opinions whether one agrees with them or not. You are right though about the internet tone, it does occasionally get folks thinking I am quirky and eccentric.

    Don’t get me wrong by the way, I can enjoy watching others going at it hammer and tongs in a forum debate, but so often it stoops inadvertently to personal remarks and then genuine insight takes to wing and scarpers over the horizon. After that, everything becomes utter bilge.

    Pleasure sharing a few posts with you AVS. Have a good evening.

  64. 64
    Barb says:

    AVS @ 60:

    From my general understanding about computers, I would say they are highly ordered and somewhat complex, however the cell is highly disordered while highly complex.

    Why describe cells as “highly disordered”? It seems that quite a bit of organization is required for cells to function (http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/maj.....sample.pdf)

  65. 65
    AVS says:

    I would assume that tRNA are charged by aaRS that recognize something specific to that tRNA, no?
    And it doesn’t matter that CAU codes for Histidine specifically, it only matters that it codes for a single amino acid, making sure that that amino acid is added 99% of the time. Assigning CAU to hisitidine was arbitrary over the course of evolution, and it has been maintained since then. Th initial evolution of the CAU-histidine relationship can be explained through chemistry, but we were not referring to that, we were referring to the current use of specific amino acids with specific codons.
    Congratulations on taking quotes out of context yet again.

  66. 66
    AVS says:

    Ah yes barb, this is a common misconception of the typical young biology student. The idea that cells are highly ordered is a bit untrue. This comes from books, like the one you have linked to, typically presenting a biological pathway as a linear diagram. The typical biology book hugely oversimplifies what is really going on in the cell.
    In reality, the cell is pretty much a mess. Chemical reactions do not go in one direction, they are often reversible and reactions that have the opposite effect are always occuring simultaneously. Yes, one protein may function by binding another protein, but that protein is also capable of binding a number of other proteins with varying affinities and maybe even inducing a change in that protein.
    The cell is not nearly as ordered as your high school biology teacher portrayed it as, that is simply the easiest way to present the information.

  67. 67
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS:

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?
    I can’t seem to.

    If we were making lists, we might want to start with processes that occur in the human body that are “completely explained through chemistry,” as that list would be much shorter.

    In addition to the good responses by others above, let me ask you to consider a few questions:

    – Is there any difference between the question you wrote @46 and a random string of letters?

    – Is there any difference between a written page of Darwin’s The Origin and ink blots on a piece of paper?

    – Is there any difference between a functioning jet engine and a pile of jet engine parts?

    – Is there any difference between DNA and a random string of nucleotides?

    Chemistry (and physics) operates in all situations. Chemistry by itself neither causes nor explains the differences between the above items. The whole reason there is, for example, a concerted origin of life research program is because chemistry doesn’t adequately explain the origin of life. It is well recognized that there is something else at work, whether intelligence or chance.

    I’m not sure how else to help you get over the hurdle. Maybe the best thing you can do is just take some time on your own to think through a lot of examples in the real world. Consider functional systems you see as you go about your day. Be willing to consider that there is something else going on besides brute chemistry and physics at work. Be open to the evidence and don’t be afraid to follow it where it leads.

  68. 68
    AVS says:

    So, EA, you can’t come up with anything that isnt’ explained by chemistry? Ok.

    And I’m willing to bet that the entire field of origin of life research would disagree with you on the “because chemistry doesn’t adequately explain the origin of life” thing. In fact the study of the origin of life is entirely based on chemistry. Yes, “chance” I guess you could say is involved as far as what molecules happen upon each other, but it is all chemistry, as is everything else. Chemical molecules have emergent properties that come about due to their functional groups, and these molecules are the basis for life and the formation of life.
    Yes, look at your phone and see that there is an intelligent designer, but as I said, there is a very distinct difference between the organization of the chemistry in your phone and in one of your cells. In my opinion, this is where the comparison of life to intelligently designed things, fails.

  69. 69
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS:

    “So, EA, you can’t come up with anything that isnt’ explained by chemistry? Ok.”

    Let’s make sure you are reading properly before you get cute. I said:

    “If we were making lists, we might want to start with processes that occur in the human body that are “completely explained through chemistry,” as that list would be much shorter.”

    So far, you haven’t offered an example of any system in the human body that is “completely explained by chemistry.” So far, we have given you ample reason to realize why many are not.

    Also, be careful you aren’t changing your statements. The issue is whether things can be “completely” explained by chemistry and whether biological systems are “merely” chemistry. No-one has every disputed that chemistry is “relevant to” or “utilized by” biochemical systems.

    You are also making the very specific logical mistake of thinking that because things operate in accordance with chemistry that they are explained by chemistry. That is a difference that you need to grasp. It relates both to a system’s origin, as well as its overall function.

    The reason I asked you the questions I did in #67 — exceedingly simple and straight-forward questions — is that there needs to be a foundational up-front understanding of some very basic issues before we proceed.

  70. 70
    Barb says:

    AVS continues,

    In reality, the cell is pretty much a mess. Chemical reactions do not go in one direction, they are often reversible and reactions that have the opposite effect are always occuring simultaneously.

    Chemical reactions that are reversible and simultaneous is evidence of disorganization. But if all those chemical reactions are occurring simultaneously without disruption to the cell’s other workings and without destroying the cell, isn’t that organization? And if these chemical reactions are happening simultaneously in all cells in an organism (say a human, with 100 trillion cells) without anything bad happening to the cells or the organism, isn’t that evidence of organization?

    The .pdf of the book I linked to described “molecular machines” as being within a cell. If they’re similar to machines, then logically the cell could be likened to a factory. Factories have controlled entrances and exits (cell membrane), transportation from one end of the factory to another, communications networks, a way of getting energy to run the factory (each cell has its own power plant), waste disposal and recycling, and management (the nucleus). That’s not organized?

    Yes, one protein may function by binding another protein, but that protein is also capable of binding a number of other proteins with varying affinities and maybe even inducing a change in that protein. The cell is not nearly as ordered as your high school biology teacher portrayed it as, that is simply the easiest way to present the information.

    Possibly, but then again, scientists have acknowledged the cell’s complexity. “The cell,” says science writer Rick Gore, “has turned out to be a microuniverse.” [National Geographic, Sept. 1976, p. 358]

    Philip Hanawalt, assistant professor of genetics and molecular biology at Stanford University, says: “The normal growth of even the simplest living cell requires that tens of thousands of chemical reactions occur in coordinated fashion.” He also states: “The programmed accomplishments of these tiny chemical factories go far beyond the capabilities of the scientist in his laboratory.” [“Molecules to Living Cells”, Scientific American, February 1980].

  71. 71
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?

    Yes!

    Does DNA Have Telepathic Properties?-A Galaxy Insight – 2009
    Excerpt: DNA has been found to have a bizarre ability to put itself together, even at a distance, when according to known science it shouldn’t be able to.,,, The recognition of similar sequences in DNA’s chemical subunits, occurs in a way unrecognized by science. There is no known reason why the DNA is able to combine the way it does, and from a current theoretical standpoint this feat should be chemically impossible.
    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_.....ave-t.html

    DNA Can Discern Between Two Quantum States, Research Shows – June 2011
    Excerpt: — DNA — can discern between quantum states known as spin. – The researchers fabricated self-assembling, single layers of DNA attached to a gold substrate. They then exposed the DNA to mixed groups of electrons with both directions of spin. Indeed, the team’s results surpassed expectations: The biological molecules reacted strongly with the electrons carrying one of those spins, and hardly at all with the others. The longer the molecule, the more efficient it was at choosing electrons with the desired spin, while single strands and damaged bits of DNA did not exhibit this property.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....104014.htm

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA – Elisabeth Rieper – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory – 29 October 2012
    Excerpt: To derive their inequality, which sets up a measurement of entanglement between four particles, the researchers considered what behaviours are possible for four particles that are connected by influences that stay hidden and that travel at some arbitrary finite speed.,,,
    “Our result gives weight to the idea that quantum correlations somehow arise from outside spacetime, in the sense that no story in space and time can describe them,”
    http://www.quantumlah.org/high.....uences.php

    Perhaps you would like to posit a non-local, beyond space and time, cause to explain quantum entanglement in molecular biology?

  72. 72
    AVS says:

    Ah yes, so you answered my question with another question. You’re quite the philosopher.
    As I said, ALL processes are explained through chemistry. Feel free to name one that isn’t.

    Everything that occurs in the cell operates according to chemistry and can be explained with chemistry.

    You’re “exceedingly simple and straightforward questions” are useless in a conversation about biology. You really cannot compare the processes of biology to inanimate objects at this level.

  73. 73
    Upright BiPed says:

    Eric,

    AVS has already conceded that the example provided cannot be completely explained by chemistry. The fact that he doesn’t recognize his concession is unfortunate, but that’s another story.

  74. 74
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    The chemical relationship between codon and amino acid would be the tRNA molecule.

    That is the carrier of the amino acid. And its hook is the same for all of them- that is the part that connects to the amino acid, ie the CCA tail.

    There isn’t any chemical relationship between the codons and the amino acid. There may be a brief child’s game of electricty-type connection, but that may be about it.

    I bet you play that game at recess- you know get all the kids to connect and then touch something and pretend as if the entire chain is touching it.

    There most certainly is a physio-chemical relationship between the F0 and F1 subunits, their interactions are favored due to a high binding affinity because of complementary shape and noncovalent interactions.

    OK I was wrong. It wasn’t the subunits, it is the processes of the subunits that are unrelated from a purely physiochemical stand point.

    The first is H+ ext -> H+ int (flow of protons down a electrochemical gradient) and the next is ADP + P(i)->ATP + H2O

  75. 75
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Everything that occurs in the cell operates according to chemistry and can be explained with chemistry.

    Well if that could only be demonstrated you wouldn’t be having this discussion. So how about producing some evidence instead of asking us to prove you wrong.

  76. 76
    AVS says:

    Because these things are not killing the cell, Barb, they are therefore organized?
    Did you ask a toddler for help with that idea?

    Did I say the cell wasn’t complex? No. I said it is highly disordered.
    Barb, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Do yourself a favor and stop.

  77. 77
    Joe says:

    BTW AVS, In case you missed it, if the genetic code is arbitrary then it cannot be explained with chemistry.

  78. 78
    AVS says:

    But what about the rest of the tRNA molecule, Joe? Is the rest of it the same? No it’s not.
    Like I said, the chemical relationship between codon and amino acid is represented by the tRNA molecule. And it is not a “brief child’s game of electricity-type connection” it is hydrogen bonding between codon/anti-codon in the first site of the ribosome, and then subsequent chemical interactions as the tRNA moves to the next sites in the ribosome.
    The coupling of Hydrogen ion passage and ATP synthesis is actually purely physiochemical.

  79. 79
    AVS says:

    Both you and upright missed where I explained what is arbitrary in that system apparently. The evolution of the system is explained by chemistry, the current function of the system is explained by chemistry, but the direct correlation between a specific codon and a specific amino acid is arbitrary and has nothing to really do with this conversation. It is the same as the evolution of D/L molecules, the actual “choice” that occurred was arbitrary, but chemistry can explain why this choice was made at that time in the course of evolution. I fear I am simply not explaining this well enough, or you guys simply do not have enough background in chemistry/biology/etc. Probably both.

  80. 80
    bornagain77 says:

    AVS, contrary to what you may believe, quantum entanglement IS NOT reducible to mere chemistry! Have you ever heard of quantum non-locality before? If you have proof that non-local quantum entanglement is reducible to mere chemistry there are hundreds, if not thousands, of quantum physicists that would like to talk to you.

  81. 81
    Barb says:

    AVS continues,

    Because these things are not killing the cell, Barb, they are therefore organized? Did you ask a toddler for help with that idea?

    No, but I read your post beforehand. Does that count?

    Explain to me how multiple chemical reactions happening simultaneously without adverse effects to the organism is evidence of high disorganization.

    Did I say the cell wasn’t complex? No. I said it is highly disordered.

    And you are conflating complexity with organization. If something is complex, doesn’t that imply organization? Simple would imply disorganization.

    Barb, you really have no idea what you are talking about. Do yourself a favor and stop.

    So the scientists and the book I quoted/linked to are all wrong? Care to provide proof of that? Because they all disagree with you, and I’m pretty sure there are more knowledgeable people in the field of biochemistry than you.

  82. 82
    AVS says:

    BA, do you think people still take you seriously when you try to talk about science?
    Just leave us some more copy/paste BS and a few verse/music hallelujahs and be on your way. Thanks!

  83. 83
    Eric Anderson says:

    Barb @70:

    Chemical reactions that are reversible and simultaneous is evidence of disorganization. But if all those chemical reactions are occurring simultaneously without disruption to the cell’s other workings and without destroying the cell, isn’t that organization?

    AVS is playing off of the word “organization”. Let’s not fall into the same trap.

    The question is not — primarily — about “organization.” A crystal is organized. The structure of particles in a rock can be organized. A series of biochemical molecules repeating one after the other is organized.

    The issue is specification.

    AVS needs to realize that there is something unique about the way things are “organized”, the particular specified subset of “organization” in the cell. He is not looking that deeply into the topic. His comment about organization betrays a simplistic “ordered” vs. “messy” view of the cell.

    There is no question the cell operates with an extremely high level of specified complexity. However, does the tremendous activity and flood of ongoing chemical reactions in the cell look messy? Perhaps yes, at a superficial glancs. That is the level AVS is operating on.

  84. 84
    Barb says:

    Eric Anderson @ 83: I agree, which is why I sought out quotes from scientists who are familiar with cell biology and biochemistry. Calling a cell “simple” or “disorganized” is 19th century thinking.

  85. 85
    AVS says:

    Who said there aren’t adverse effects in these reactions? In fact a number of reactions in the cell do pose a threat to cell viability; the cell just has ways of dealing with them.
    And no, complexity and organization are two very different things.
    The cell is highly complex, but extremely disordered at the molecular level, all those scientists would agree with me on that.
    You can quote mine all you want, Barb. You still have no idea what you are talking about.

  86. 86
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    But what about the rest of the tRNA molecule, Joe? Is the rest of it the same? No it’s not.

    So somehow that rest of the molecule tells the tail what to pick up? Only in a design scenario. Thank you.

    BTW the alleged evolution of the system is pure fantasy.

    The coupling of Hydrogen ion passage and ATP synthesis is actually purely physiochemical.

    That has nothing to do with what I said.

  87. 87
    bornagain77 says:

    Okie Dokie, how about this verse?

    Matthew 10:15
    If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

  88. 88
    AVS says:

    Forgive me for using the word “messy,” I’m only trying to convey my thoughts in a way that you guys can all understand. =)

    Overall, though, messy is a decent description of what goes on in the cell. As I said, molecules have a specific function that is presented to you in a book, but at the same time that molecule can have many other effects in the cell, and these functions can either be minor, inhibitory of other cell processes, or downright deadly to the cell.

  89. 89
    AVS says:

    Joe, the aaRS recognizes certain differences in the tRNA molecule and catalyzes amino acid addition. This is how the majority of enzymes work. Just another example of the chemistry at work. “This only works in a design scenario,” yes of course it does Joe, thank you, anything else intelligent to add?

    That has nothing to do with what you said? It’s pretty much the opposite of what you said, because you were wrong.
    “it is the processes of the subunits that are unrelated from a purely physiochemical stand point”

  90. 90
    AVS says:

    Thank you BA, please stick to that book from now on as it’s obviously the only one you’ve ever read.

  91. 91
    Barb says:

    Who said there aren’t adverse effects in these reactions? In fact a number of reactions in the cell do pose a threat to cell viability; the cell just has ways of dealing with them.

    Which implies complexity and organization. Are you trying to make my point for me?
    The cell is highly complex, but extremely disordered at the molecular level, all those scientists would agree with me on that.
    I quoted two who didn’t. Show me where you’re right and they are wrong.

    You can quote mine all you want, Barb. You still have no idea what you are talking about.

    I’m not quote mining anybody. Do the scientists I quoted have no idea what they’re talking about? What about the book I linked to? Is it wrong? How so?

    Try actually answering the questions instead of just ignoring them.

  92. 92
    AVS says:

    As I said barb, I never argued against complexity. This does not argue for organization though.
    The scientists you quoted were speaking about complexity, not organization.
    Everything you say is based on the idea that complexity and organization is the same thing. They are not.

  93. 93
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS:

    Ah yes, so you answered my question with another question. You’re quite the philosopher.

    Again, you need to read more carefully. This is a fight to which you need to bring a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.

    I answered your question by pointing out that you have it exactly backwards. There is scarcely a system that is explainable solely on the basis of chemistry. I didn’t bother to give you specific examples because you will just reject them and I was hoping you would reconsider your absurdly-broad generalization. However, just to avoid you running back to your silly question and side-tracking the real issues, yet again, if you need examples of systems in the human body that are not “completely explained” by chemistry, just open up any textbook. Let’s see, systems that aren’t explained by mere chemistry (flipping open my book to a random page): nerve cells, myofilaments in muscle fibers, location of tendon attachments to bone, three-dimensional placement of the vertebrae in the spinal column, production of blood cells, DNA, the process of cell division, and on and on . . .

    Everything that occurs in the cell operates according to chemistry and can be explained with chemistry.

    You’re “exceedingly simple and straightforward questions” are useless in a conversation about biology. You really cannot compare the processes of biology to inanimate objects at this level.

    Again, you are confused by what the word “explains” means. It does not mean “operates in accordance with.” The reason I gave you those very simple questions is because you are apparently still not grasping the issues we are even talking about. I was hoping you would be able to start at the beginning.

    AVS, you have not participated very long here at UD. You are of course welcome to participate. But in the short time you have been here, I can’t even count the number of times you have made a blanket claim or slipped in an implied reference to the fact that you know so much science while the rest of us know so little science. Unfortunately, on many occasions, including on this thread, despite your bluster about exceptional knowledge, you have not only not been able to properly address the issues at hand, you have demonstrated, as on this thread, that you don’t even realize what the issues are.

    As I said, take some time and think through the issues. Answer the simple questions I gave (and a hundred similar ones that could be asked by anyone willing to observe the world around them), and you may start to have a grasp of what is being discussed.

    If after that you still disagree with ID or think you have another answer, fine. At least then you’ll know what is being discussed and can provide a coherent response, rather than bouncing around between pronouncements of your scientific superiority, irrelevant statements, and outright wrong assertions.

  94. 94
    AVS says:

    EA, for someone who likes to tell me so much that I don’t understand the question at hand, you sure don’t understand the original question at hand.
    The original question was “what can’t be explained by chemistry,” not “what hasn’t science been able to completely explain.” Again you are playing on the current knowledge gaps of science. the gaps will all be filled in and eventually and I am quite certain that we will be able to trace them all back to underlying chemical principles.
    Anyways, as for your list, you do realize that DNA is just a chemical molecule right? We know its structure and and the function that arises from this structure.

    Of course I’m not grasping the issue at hand, because with every comment, you are twisting exactly what the issue is at hand. You twist words around and conflate my arguments, while making your own arguments that are nonsensical.

  95. 95
    AVS says:

    Anyways, as for your list, the majority of these things can and have been explained by chemistry, at least Joe picked some specifics whereas you just threw some things against the wall to see what stuck, and you do realize that DNA is just a chemical molecule right? We know its structure and and the function that arises from this structure.

  96. 96
    AVS says:

    Alright, thanks guys it’s been fun as always! <3

  97. 97
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    To Evolve and his/her fellow travellers, here’s a good primer video by Steven Meyers illustrating why it’s not “just chemistry.” Chemistry alone cannot explain the origin of information as found in DNA that generates functional proteins.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWKPO5xLZ3o

  98. 98
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    AVS: you do realize that DNA is just a chemical molecule right? We know its structure and and the function that arises from this structure.

    See the video posted @97

    Where did the information on the DNA molecule (the particular sequences) come from that not only can inform the creation of proteins, but even inform the creation of the very protein-based machines (ribosomes) that create all the proteins including themselves?

    It’s like someone asking, “where did all the information come from to generate Windows when I boot up my computer?” And you answer, “well, you do realize, it’s all just hardware and electricity. Metal, plastic, silicon, connected to a power source, etc. There’s nothing else to explain.”

    Of course DNA and proteins are chemicals. However, they are chemicals that interact and function in high specific ways depending on the instructions provided on the DNA which are ordered in highly specific sequences. The information problem is what is the source of the particular arrangement if nucleotides on the DNA that provide an extremely specific, stable, self-replication system? “But it’s all just chemicals” doesn’t answer that question. You must account for the origin of the specific ordering of those bases along the chain. I.e, the origin of the information that the ribosomes act upon.

    So far, Chance and Necessity is a wildly untenable approach. Do you have anything better?

    (Crickets)

  99. 99
    Axel says:

    tee! hee! I think AVS means ‘complexity’ is not ‘organised’ because it’s.. well… kinda ‘random’, like er.. ‘messy, Barb… but is too embarrassed to use that word here.

    No, AVS, we use the word ‘complex’, in connection with the product of a rational mind. Otherwise it’s just.. er.. kinda ‘messy’. Or mebbe a ‘jungle’ or a ‘maze’.

    ‘Course, some people call some motorway junctions, ‘Spaghetti Junction’. But that’s just a love of the poetry of slang. But they’re designed you see? No. Well. Never mind. Why don’t you go and watch the television?

  100. 100
    Upright BiPed says:

    Catching back up … good grief.

    AVS is very likely to always equivocate between a) the material processes by which an object of interest operates, and b) the material processes that can explain the origin of that object.

    I see no indication that he is prepared to cease the equivocation – or even acknowledge the distinction.

    For instance, if I should ask AVS to explain the existence of a red plastic ball, he would most certainly describe the interactions of carbon and hydrogen — neither of which has any capacity whatsoever to cause the plastic to form a sphere and dye itself red.

  101. 101
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    AVS: Forgive me for using the word “messy,” I’m only trying to convey my thoughts in a way that you guys can all understand. =)

    The cell is “messy” like a hive of bees is “messy.”

    Or like Einstein’s desk was “messy.”

    Your lame attempt at characterization of a cell’s highly directed and systematic internal functions is not fooling anyone. Do you have an agenda?

    At first glance one might get the idea that a hive of bees is a “messy” situation. However, it’s the underlying biased, non-random systemic direction programmed in the proteins’ function that renders the bees’ marvelous effects.

    Are you trying to come off as a knucklehead?

  102. 102
    Querius says:

    As has been pointed out, the argument that chemistry “explains” anything is so stupid, it defies the imagination.

    First of all, ignoring QM, all chemistry can be “explained” by physics.

    But does physics really “explain” anything interesting outside of its domain? Can studying the laws of physics (as we currently understand them) explain the design of an excellent computer program, an intelligent conversation, kindness, Obamacare, the tax code, the history of the India, why anything exists at all, American foreign policy, the muppets, philosophy, and on and on.

    Sigh.

    -Q

  103. 103
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS:

    The reason for the difficulty in moving the discussion forward is the following:

    You do not understand the point of the questions I posed @67 and assert that they are irrelevant. They are highly relevant. Indeed, the issue underlying those questions is the issue at hand.

    You are incapable of even grasping the issue because you are stuck in the mental trap of thinking it is ‘all just chemistry.’

    Ironically, that mental barrier, instead of giving you superior insight as you repeatedly proclaim, has blinded you to the issue at hand. A perfect example of a science-stopping attitude in action. It is a stultifying, stagnating, anti-science attitude.

  104. 104
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS @94:

    Again you are playing on the current knowledge gaps of science. the gaps will all be filled in and eventually and I am quite certain that we will be able to trace them all back to underlying chemical principles.

    As my friends’ old Russian idiom says, you have it: “Exactly Right. But Backwards.”

    I am not playing on gaps in science. I am interested in what science does say, what it has shown. You, in contrast, are trading on hand-waving claims, empty promises about some future discovery, the wholly-absurd and demonstrably incorrect claim that underlying chemical principles can explain everything (which, by the way, is impossible, even in principle). You are the one staking your position on the absence of knowledge. I am firmly planting my position in the heart of the data, in the center of the evidence.

    Anyways, as for your list, you do realize that DNA is just a chemical molecule right?

    Seriously?

  105. 105
    Eric Anderson says:

    Incidentally, I apologize for weighing in again, but I want to put one issue to rest that came up early on. It was a red herring raised by AVS, but it may have gained a little traction in some minds, so I want to make sure there is no misunderstanding.

    Lest anyone should be tempted to think, or is perhaps sincerely wondering, whether most systems in the human body can be “completely explained by chemistry,” the following simple application of logic is immensely helpful in cutting through the clutter:

    Let’s take some perfectly ordinary feature of the human body, any of a thousand things. Forget the staggering complexity of the eye. Forget gene expression and translation for a moment. Take a simple anatomical feature we never give a second thought to. Say, your nose.

    Now, someone might claim that your nose was formed automatically, purely as a “result of chemistry.” We might be tempted to give this some credence at first blush. We might not know much about how the nose forms. Maybe we haven’t studied particular aspects of the biochemical processes. We may even be ignorant of the various genes and protein products involved.

    Nevertheless, we can analyze, quite quickly and succinctly, whether your nose can be completely explained just by dumb chemistry.

    First, how did your nose come about? In very general terms, there were some cells which grew and multiplied, with the overall mass expanding in a particular direction. Fine. How did the cells know which way to expand? How does the overall shape come about? When do they know to stop expanding in that direction? Why are your nostrils pointed down, instead of up or sideways? Why does your nose have vertical symmetry, but not horizontal symmetry? None of this can be explained by chemistry alone. There is not a single principle of chemistry (or physics) that would dictate the number of cellular divisions, the direction of the growth, the particular shape and size, and so on. Almost every recognizable physical feature of something we take so completely for granted as our mundane nose was built on the basis of something other than just chemistry.

    Then we have the location of the nose. Why is it where it is, and why do you only have one of them, instead of somewhere else or all over the body? What controls the placement? Again, chemistry is operating everywhere in the embryo, so it certainly is not chemistry alone that dictates these things.

    Then we have, in addition to basic physical appearance, even more challenging aspects. Without making this comment too long, I list just a couple of aspects we can easily think of without breaking a sweat: (i) olfaction sensory cells in the nasal cavity, (ii) mucus cleansing systems, (iii) proper placement of cavities and passageways to other parts of the head, (iv) transmission of olfactory signals to the brain, and so on.

    Not a single one — not a single one — of these can be explained just on the basis of chemistry.

    AVS asked: “Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?”

    We should not be tempted to respond, “Well, yes, there is much that can be completely explained through chemistry, but there are a couple of very sophisticated systems that can’t.” No. In fact the situation is precisely the reverse. AVS has not provided a single example of anything in the human body that can be “completely explained through chemistry.” (Please note, I am not taking the position that there isn’t any such process of system. But they are going to be very few and far between.)

    A more interesting — and useful — question would be: “Can anyone name a process or system in the human body that can be completely explained by chemistry? And if so, what is it about such process or system that makes it different from the other thousands — nay, tens of thousands — of processes and systems that cannot be explained purely by reference to chemistry?”

  106. 106
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    Can anyone come up with a process that occurs in the human body that isn’t completely explained through chemistry?

    The irrational desire to make oneself look like a fool on the internet.

  107. 107
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    This is where the cell and a computer are completely different I think.

    I am not an expert on computers, though so I may be off the mark.

    But your an expert on computers enough to know the two are completely different.

    Remarkable.

  108. 108
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    In reality, the cell is pretty much a mess.

    In fact, it’s a miracle that anything gets done in the cell at all!

    And Darwinism can explain both the organization and the messiness of the cell. What a fantastic theory!

  109. 109
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    And I’m willing to bet that the entire field of origin of life research would disagree with you on the “because chemistry doesn’t adequately explain the origin of life” thing. In fact the study of the origin of life is entirely based on chemistry.

    And why would that be, do you suppose?

  110. 110
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    As I said, ALL processes are explained through chemistry. Feel free to name one that isn’t.

    I could name one. But maybe when you say ALL processes are explained through chemistry you don’t really mean ALL. Maybe what you really mean is SOME.

    So you’d just squirm out and claim you didn’t mean ALL processes are explained through chemistry but only that SOME processes are explained through chemistry.

    In which case your entire argument is just so much ad hoc extemporizing.

  111. 111
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    Like I said, the chemical relationship between codon and amino acid is represented by the tRNA molecule.

    lol.

  112. 112
    Barb says:

    AVS continues,

    As I said barb, I never argued against complexity. This does not argue for organization though.

    I think the two are related. You have to have some degree of organization to have complexity in an organism.

    The scientists you quoted were speaking about complexity, not organization.

    They were both speaking about organization. Further proof that you don’t bother to read the posts you respond to.

    Everything you say is based on the idea that complexity and organization is the same thing. They are not.

    But they are related, as everyone else here knows. Except you.

    This debate reminds me of the C.S. Lewis book The Screwtape Letters in which a senior demon, Wormwood, is trying to explain to a junior demon how to continually confuse mankind about the nature of God. At one point, Wormwood tells the junior demon to impress upon man “the ordinariness of things” because once you start really looking–at anything, be it a cell, the ocean, or the galaxy–the complexity is there. And then the questions of how it got there begin.

  113. 113
    tjguy says:

    AVS says:

    As I said Barb, … The scientists you quoted were speaking about complexity, not organization. Everything you say is based on the idea that complexity and organization is the same thing. They are not.

    Well, if you say so, AVS, it must be true! Forgive us for questioning you.

    AVS is clever. He jumps into the conversation, makes a bunch of unverifiable claims, assumes anyone who questions his ideas is simply too stupid or uneducated to understand, and then runs away without ever defending his views with real evidence. That way he thinks he can come across as intellectually superior, hide the fact that he can’t back up his views, and leave feeling good about himself.

    We are each responsible for our own beliefs and choices. These beliefs have an impact on both our current life as well as on our future life, both here in this world and in the one to come.

    I think it is absolutely incredible that anyone can honestly deny the existence of information and organization in the cell in light of our current knowledge of the cell!

    It takes a believer in abiogenesis to believe that.

    To me, it shows the difficult position they r in. Denial of information seems to be their only option no matter foolish it may see. Why? Well, since they can’t explain it, they are forced to deny it.

    Impressed anyone?

  114. 114
    tjguy says:

    This debate reminds me of the C.S. Lewis book The Screwtape Letters in which a senior demon, Wormwood, is trying to explain to a junior demon how to continually confuse mankind about the nature of God. At one point, Wormwood tells the junior demon to impress upon man “the ordinariness of things” because once you start really looking–at anything, be it a cell, the ocean, or the galaxy–the complexity is there. And then the questions of how it got there begin.

    So true.

    They deny:
    * the uniqueness of man
    * the uniqueness of life itself
    * the uniqueness of our universe and planet
    * that our planet is actually in a unique place in space

    None of it is any big deal! They would rather believe in a Multiverse than admit our earth and universe is special!

    They lust for a universe teeming with life and are happy to accept this groundless belief simply to avoid the conclusion that would be unavoidable if it were actually special and unique.

    Again, we are all responsible for our own choices and beliefs!

  115. 115
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Joe, the aaRS recognizes certain differences in the tRNA molecule and catalyzes amino acid addition.

    So a blind and mindless molecule recognizes another out of all the messiness in the cell. You will believe anything.

    Transcription, proof-reading, error-correction, editing and splicing all require knowledge. Knoweldge that blind and mindless molecules do not have.

    According to you all of that “just happens” as a matter of some chemical thing. Well, maybe someday you will have some evidence to back that up.

    BTW AVS, this is a fact:

    “it is the processes of the subunits that are unrelated from a purely physiochemical stand point”:

    Emergent collective properties, networks, and information in biology, page 23:

    In the same vein, ATP synthesis in mitochondria can be conceived of and explained only because there is a coupling between ATP-synthase, the enzyme responsible for ATP synthesis, and the electrochemical potential. Hence ATP synthesis emerges out of this coupling. The activity of ATP-synthase alone could have in no way explained ATP synthesis. It is the merit of Mitchell, to have shown that it is precisely the interaction between two different physico-chemical events that generates this novel remarkable property. (italics in original)

  116. 116
    Eric Anderson says:

    Regarding complexity and organization . . .

    I think most of us are on the same page, but just to be clear, the question is not complexity itself. The issue is specified complexity.

    Also, we need to be cautious about the word “organization.” I think some people use it to mean a complex functioning (meaning complex specified) process or system. That is probably OK. However, many people (particularly those unfamiliar with ID) confuse it with the idea of mere “order”.

    Order, of course, has very little to do with what we are interested in for purposes of the design inference. As a result, when debating someone, it is important to pin them down on whether they are talking about functional “organization” or mere “order.” Sometimes it is easier to avoid using the word “organization” in order to avoid confusion and just stick with “specified complexity” or “functional complexity,” etc.

    Thanks again, everyone, for all the great comments.

  117. 117
    Mung says:

    OMG JOE!

    Great one. To recognize implies cognizance.

    Materialists are betrayed by their own words!

    Not sure yet though what trolls are betrayed by 🙂

  118. 118
    AVS says:

    EA, just skimming your post, but most of your questions can actually be answered through chemistry. You simply do not understand the chemistry that goes on in our cells. Throughout animal development there are many signaling molecules that alter gene transcription and lay out the basic body plan, from which more and more specialize structures form. This is all based on the chemistry of receptor/substrate interactions and the subsequent biochemical effects that take place. As for the cell types, olfaction it self is completely based on the binding of a specific chemical to receptor, and activation of that cell. Mucus cleansing is done by beating cilia which are controlled by chemical interactions between dynein, microtubules, and ATP. I could go on and on.

    Asking how these systems evolved is even more complex, but I assure you, they can all be explained entirely through chemistry.

    Let me know if you guys come up with one thing that cannot be entirely explained through chemistry.

    Mung, when I say ALL processes, I mean exactly that. ALL processes. If you can name one, then go for it.

    TJ, I did not deny the existence of information or organization in the cell. I did argue that there is much less of a degree of organization than most think.

    Joe, “So a blind and mindless molecule recognizes another out of all the messiness in the cell.” Actually, that is exactly how every single process in the cell works Joe. The fact that you don’t realize this shows that you really have no clue when it comes to molecular biology.

    Also your quote is referring to the different physico-chemical events in (1) the ATP synthase molecule as a whole and (2)the electrochemical potential formed by a difference in the hydrogen ion gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. After all Mitchell is the guy who popularized the chemiosmotic hypothesis. The quote is not saying that the “the processes of the subunits that are unrelated from a purely physiochemical stand point” as you would lead us to believe because it is not talking about the F0 and F1 subunits themselves as you originally brought up. You should really think about your arguments and what you say before typing them up.
    Just another example of you having no idea what you are talking about.

  119. 119
    Joe says:

    AVS- All you have is your assertion. If you had some actual evidence we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Only a gullible choir member would even think that what goes on inside a cell just happens as a matter of physical and chemical processes.

    Artificial ribosomes, which have the same chemical and physical components and reactions as natural ribosomes, don’t function. And if we just replace part of a natural ribosome with artificial parts, it barely functions.

    As for ATP synthase I already said I was wrong and it was NOT referring to the subunits. It may not even apply at all. However it is a fact that the two processes, the one performed by the two processes are unrelated from a physiochemical standpoint.

  120. 120
    Joe says:

    AVS, Please let us know when you can support your claim that all the processes in the cell can be explained through chemistry. THAT is how science works.

  121. 121
    AVS says:

    Is it possible that these ribosomes are not assembled correctly? You do realize that the ribosome is not a simple molecule right? You have no idea how hard it would be to mimic the steps of its assembly and make sure that replacing parts of it can alter its function.
    And for ATP synthase, I think you are misinterpreting the quote. Yes they are two very different processes, but they are linked by the ATP synthase molecule itself. The F0 subunit links electrochemical potential to F1 subunit ATP synthesis.

    I can support all my claims. Pick one example specifically that you think I cannot do so.

  122. 122
    Joe says:

    AVS- You cannot support your claim that all the processes in the cell can be explained through chemistry. You have already choked on translation and transcription, with proof-reading, error-correction, processing, editing and splicing is also unexplained via chemistry alone.

    As for the ribosomes, well if you were the scientist doing the work I would say the ribosomes were not assembled correctly. However the scientists who did it were far more competent than you are.

    And I am not basing my assessment of ATP synthase on that paper alone. The two processes are unrelated from a physiochemical PoV. What does the flow of protons down a electrochemical gradient have to do with adding inorganic phosphate to ADP?

  123. 123
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Joe, “So a blind and mindless molecule recognizes another out of all the messiness in the cell.” Actually, that is exactly how every single process in the cell works Joe.

    Actually yours is just a bald assertion, AVS. So stuff it.

  124. 124
    AVS says:

    As I said Joe, pick on specific example and I will explain the basic chemistry behind the process. I’m not going to write a book on here for you.
    You have no idea how research is done Joe, you should stop talking about it.
    And yes, the two processes are completely different, but they are linked by the ATP synthase molecule. This protein links these two different processes together, allowing you to explain their linkage completely through chemistry.

    If you really don’t think that is how all the processes in a cell work then you really are clueless. Name any process in the cell and I will explain to you how it relies on “blind and mindless molecule recognizes another out of all the messiness in the cell.”

  125. 125
    Joe says:

    I picked specific examples AVS- you have already choked on translation. And I know how research is done- you are the ignorant one here. All you have is your bald assertions and nothing else.

    Yes the two processes are linked to ATP synthase- by design. Chemistry didn’t do it.

    The mere existence of functional sequence specific DNA cannot be reduced to chemistry. Add that to the list.

    You are nothing but a bluffing loser.

  126. 126
    AVS says:

    I’ve already choked on translation? How exactly?
    By design! Chemistry didn’t do it! I like turtles!
    How is life in the psych ward?

    The transcription and translation processes are entirely based on chemistry. Can you explain why functional sequence specific DNA cannot be reduced to chemistry or are you just parroting what your friends say?

  127. 127
    Joe says:

    You choked on translation by not providing any evidence to support your trope.

    And now you are spewing bald assertions wrt transcription, proof-reading, error-correction, processing, editing and splicing.

    Why isn’t functional sequence specific DNA reducible to chemistry? Because no one can demonstrate such a thing and no one even knows where to start. No model, nothing.

  128. 128
    Joe says:

    Chemistry didit! I’m a zombie. How’s life in the septic tank?

    When the bluffing fails there is always personal attacks, eh AVS…

  129. 129
    AVS says:

    I explained how the process of translation is completely determined by chemistry, as is each and every other process.

    The sequence specific function of DNA is determined by the end product of its expression. The expression of DNA is entirely dependent on chemistry, including the process of translation as I just mentioned.

  130. 130
    AVS says:

    Yeah, because you’re not throwing personal attacks around or anything. Right little Joey?
    At least mine are funny. =)

  131. 131
    Upright BiPed says:

    The transcription and translation processes are entirely based on chemistry.

    No one assumes anything else. This is a strawman, plain and simple.

    Can you explain why functional sequence specific DNA cannot be reduced to chemistry

    Because there is a chemical discontinuity between the nucleic medium and the amino acid effect that must be preserved in order for translation to be obtained.

  132. 132
    AVS says:

    And what is this chemical discontinuity exactly, Upright?

  133. 133
    Upright BiPed says:

    There is nothing you can do to the nucleic pattern GCA to relate it to Alanine, except translate it. Which is what the cell does.

  134. 134
    AVS says:

    It’s related by another nucleic pattern, bound to alanine, that has a specific sequence that associates with that GCA.
    Do you have a point?

  135. 135
    Upright BiPed says:

    The base pairing that enables transcription between nucleotides does not establish a relationship to alanine. That relationship is established by the protein aaRS before the transfer RNA ever enters the ribosome.

    Are you saying that in order for translation to be obtained, the system requires a second arrangement of matter to translate it?

    Is that because there is no inexorable relationship?

  136. 136
    Upright BiPed says:

    AVS, is there an inexorable chemical relationship between pattern GCA and alanine, or is it a contingent relationship?

  137. 137
    AVS says:

    But there is a relationship. You just explained it. The amino acid is associated with the aaRS, which associates with tRNA, which associates with mRNA. This relationship is the product of the evolution of these molecules.

  138. 138
    Upright BiPed says:

    Correct. The relationship is established in spatial and temporal isolation by the protein aaRS.

    So, there is a physical discontinuity between the nucleic pattern and the amino acid, which is contingent on the structure of the protein aaRS. Therefore, there is nothing about the pattern that determines the amino acid, and consequently, chemistry cannot explain the association. It can only explain the operation of the system with the association in place.

  139. 139
    AVS says:

    The association of the tRNA with aaRS determines the amino acid as I said. The chemical evolution that occurred would explain the why these molecules associate in our cells now, an ultimately arbitrary decision, driven by chemical interactions that occurred in early cells.

  140. 140
    Upright BiPed says:

    The cells decided huh? cool

    AVS, there is a chemical discontinuity between the nucleic medium and the amino acid effect, and that discontinuity must be preserved in order for translation to be obtained.

    Do you know why?

    (…think about it)

  141. 141
    gpuccio says:

    UB:

    AVS says:

    “The chemical evolution that occurred would explain the why”

    Emphasis mine.

    That “would” is really a triumph for you, coming from none else than ASV!

  142. 142
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    I explained how the process of translation is completely determined by chemistry, as is each and every other process.

    Your “explanation” is NOT evidence. You have failed to demonstrate anything.

    The expression of DNA is entirely dependent on chemistry, including the process of translation as I just mentioned.

    Your evidence-free bald assertion is meaningless.

    The amino acid is associated with the aaRS, which associates with tRNA, which associates with mRNA.

    Please demonstrate that any of those assiciations are due to purely chemical processes.

    The chemical evolution that occurred would explain the why these molecules associate in our cells now, an ultimately arbitrary decision, driven by chemical interactions that occurred in early cells.

    More evidence-free spewage.

    Maybe, someday, AVS will grow up, understand how science works and realize that he is just a bluffing arse.

  143. 143
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Yeah, because you’re not throwing personal attacks around or anything.

    My attacks come AFTER yours and mine are aimed at your obvious ignorance and total lack of supporting evidence, ie your continued bald assertions. OTOH all you have are personal attacks and the unsupported “explanations” of an anonymous arse.

  144. 144
    Eric Anderson says:

    AVS @118:

    Asking how these systems evolved is even more complex, but I assure you, they can all be explained entirely through chemistry.

    I was going to say what a laugh this is, but in fact it is actually rather sad.

    Again, you are showing that you not only don’t have answers, you don’t even understand the question.

    Much of the problem appears to arise because you don’t understand what the word “explain” means. You don’t recognize that there is a difference between a system utilizing chemistry in its operation and a system being completely explained by chemistry.

    You haven’t answered the simple questions I posed. You haven’t offered a single example of a system in the human body that is completely explained by chemistry. You haven’t adequately responded to the numerous examples we cited of systems that can’t be fully explained by chemistry, other than to provide your personal “assurance” that they can be “explained entirely through chemistry.”

  145. 145
    AVS says:

    That chemical discontinuity between nucleotide and protein is bridged by more chemical interactions though, UB, which as I said are the product of evolution. Yes the cells “decided” for lack of a better word. This is one of the problems with you guys, scientists try to put things in the simplest terms an you completely blow these terms out of proportion.

  146. 146
    AVS says:

    Maybe you missed it EA, but I have briefly explained how a number of cell functions can be explained by chemistry, including a couple of the ones you mentioned.

  147. 147
    AVS says:

    Joe, the aaRS has a binding site that is specific for an amino acid based on shape and charge, and also has a binding site that is specific for a tRNA molecule, based on shape and base sequence. This tRNA molecule is specific for a certain codon in the mRNA due to its anticodon trinucleotide sequence that hydrogen bonds to the mRNA according to Watson-Crick base pairing. The tRNA molecules fit into the catalytic sites of the ribosome and a peptide bond is formed between amino acids while the cleavage of GTP translocates the mRNA through the ribosome. It is entirely dependent on chemical processes.
    You really have no idea what you are talking about.

  148. 148
    Upright BiPed says:

    That chemical discontinuity between nucleotide and protein is bridged by more chemical interactions though

    I’m glad you now recognize the discontinuity. My question is: Do you know why it’s there, and why the system must preserve it during translation?

    (hint: it’s not evolution)

  149. 149
    AVS says:

    It is evolution UB. Early organisms evolved this translating system to carry out more diverse functions with better efficiency. The system we see today is the result of the chemical evolution that occurred in these early organisms and has been conserved to this day.

  150. 150
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Early organisms evolved this translating system to carry out more diverse functions with better efficiency.

    Evidence please- your bald assertion menas nothing.

    The system we see today is the result of the chemical evolution that occurred in these early organisms and has been conserved to this day.

    Good luck finding evidence for your trope.

  151. 151
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    Joe, the aaRS has a binding site that is specific for an amino acid based on shape and charge, and also has a binding site that is specific for a tRNA molecule, based on shape and base sequence.

    And yet all tRNA tails are the same. How can the aaRS tell the tRNAs apart if the place where the amino acid goes is the same on all tRNAs? And then how does the correct tRNA know to go to the ribosome? What chemical process governs that? YOU really have no idea what YOU are talking about.

    Now how about transcription, proof-reading, error-corrrection, processing, editing and splicing?

  152. 152
    Joe says:

    AVS- we are also still waiting for you to explain the origin of DNA via purely chemical processes.

  153. 153
    Upright BiPed says:

    AVS,

    It is evolution UB.

    This is not an answer to the question. Do you know why it’s there, and why the system must preserve it during translation? There is an identifiable reason. What is it?

  154. 154
    AVS says:

    This will be the third time I say this Joe, the aaRS recognizes the small differences in tRNA shape and sequence. There is more to the tRNA than just the site of amino acid addition. Any tRNA can enter the riobosome, but only a tRNA with the complimentary or near complimentary anticodon will stay in the A-site to allow for peptide bond formation.
    It’s all chemistry bud, I could go on for days.

  155. 155
    AVS says:

    UB, there obviously needs to be a connection to nucleotide and amino acid that is conserved. The system we have been talking about does this and it does this based on chemical interactions. And the evolution of this system was based on chemical interactions. That’s it. Make your point already.

  156. 156
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    This will be the third time I say this Joe, the aaRS recognizes the small differences in tRNA shape and sequence.

    Again, that you can say it does NOT mean it is reducible to chemistry. The only way one molecule can recognize another is if it was programmed to do so.

    You still don’t have any evidence that translation is and eveloved by purely chemical processes. And if you were right then making a living organism should be easy.

  157. 157
    Joe says:

    And then how does the correct tRNA know to go to the ribosome? What chemical process governs that? YOU really have no idea what YOU are talking about.

    Now how about transcription, proof-reading, error-corrrection, processing, editing and splicing?

  158. 158
    AVS says:

    “The only way one molecule can recognize another is if it was programmed to do so.”

    On the contrary, molecules are recognized by proteins other than the primary interacting proteins all the time. This is why crosstalk exists within signal transduction pathways, why many drugs must be given in low doses, and why cell biology is incredibly difficult; we have to tease apart the biologically relevant and irrelevant interactions that occur.
    Joe, you simply have no idea what you are talking about, and like everyone else here, you play on the gaps in current scientific knowledge in an attempt to advance your argument. This is why ID is not science. You are the epitome of ID. I will sleep well tonight knowing that ID has people like you on their side. Have a nice day and don’t forget to tell me how I have no idea what I am talking about, despite my ability to continually demonstrate that I do.
    <3

  159. 159
    Joe says:

    And more evidence-free babble from AVS- yes AVS, you will sleep well because ignorant people usually do as they have nothing to think about.

    You still don’t have any evidence that translation is and eveloved by purely chemical processes. And if you were right then making a living organism should be easy.

    BTW your “ability” is just to reproduce the evo propaganda. You still haven’t produced any evidence to support your claims. That is why unguided evolution isn’t science as it relies on our ignorance.

  160. 160
    Joe says:

    AVS:

    On the contrary, molecules are recognized by proteins other than the primary interacting proteins all the time.

    They are not “recognized” in the same sense as in aaRS and tRNA. It’s as if you are proud to be a deceptive loser.

    Proteins bind with other proteins just by coincidence due to their charges and shapes. That is why chaperones are used in critical processes- to avoid cross-reactions with arbitrary molecules.

    OTOH aaRS has to somehow know that the tRNA is the right one. Sort of how a blind person recognizes brail or someone’s face by touching it- because he/ she has the knowledge.

  161. 161
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    It’s not merely “all chemistry.” It is chemical interactions that are occurring in a particular sequence. It’s the sequencing (due to particular order of DNA codons and nucleotides) that AVS seems to be completely oblivious to. AVS doesn’t seem to understand the difference between hardware and software.

  162. 162
    Upright BiPed says:

    AVS,

    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, hoping you could think for yourself. Why would a physical discontinuity be required in a chemo/mechanical system in order to get a particular amino acid presented at the peptide binding site? Why would such a system need to preserve that discontinuity in order to produce the effect?

    I already gave you the answers. But frankly, you are so steeped in pseudo-intellectual reductionism that it’s not entirely certain you could find the nose on your face. And even after I give you the answers, which are hiding in plain sight, you’ll still resist them in service to your ideological needs. This is all very well understood in dealing with people who behave like you.

    The physical effect of having a particular amino acid presented at a binding site at a particular point in time is not something that can be derived from physical law – it’s not some innate property to be drawn from, or activated in, the atomic composition of matter. So a discontinuity will naturally exist in any system that produces such an effect. That discontinuity is required in order to allow the input of formal constraint (information) into the system, where it can produce an effect that operates under physical law, but is not determined by it. In other words, it’s an operational necessity to achieve the result.

    And the system must preserve that discontinuity for much the same reason. From a purely mechanical standpoint, if the effect were derivable directly from the physical properties of the medium, then it would be so by the forces of inexorable law, and those inexorable forces would limit the system to what can be physically derived from that medium, thus making the input of form (not derived from that medium) impossible to achieve.

    However, incorporating the discontinuity by preserving it allows the effect to be determined by a second arrangement of matter operating in the system. This second arrangement establishes a local relationship between the medium and its effect (bridging the discontinuity while preserving it). This relationship then becomes an identifiable regularity of the system, allowing the system the capacity to produce lawful effects not determined by physical law.

    cheers …

  163. 163
    Upright BiPed says:

    …by the way.

    This entire arrangement of a necessary precondition of the genotype-phenotype distinction. It must be in place prior to the onset of Darwinian evolution. To say this system is the product of Darwinian avolution, is to say that a thing that does not yet exist on a pre-biotic earth can cause something to happen.

    Which is obviously false.

  164. 164
    Upright BiPed says:

    …one last thing:

    You owe several people on this forum an apology for your entirely unecessary bigotry. No one expects it. But it is true.

  165. 165
    Upright BiPed says:

    #153

    “This entire arrangement is a necessary precondition of the genotype-phenotype distinction…”

  166. 166
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    Mung, when I say ALL processes, I mean exactly that. ALL processes. If you can name one, then go for it.

    Since you insist.

    Why is Chemistry distinct from Physics?

    It’s all just chemistry, right?

    Why is Chemistry distinct from Biology?

    It’s all just chemistry, right?

  167. 167
    Mung says:

    AVS:

    Early organisms evolved this translating system
    to carry out more diverse functions with better efficiency.

    LOL!

    Really? Evolution now has foresight? What a tool.

    Are you not at this same time arguing elsewhere on this blog for the utter inefficiency of the cell?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....oliteness/

    The cell is efficient, except when it isn’t, and evolutionary theory explains both, along with chemistry, which explains everything, except when it doesn’t.

    Tell us again how chemistry explains both the efficient energetic processes within the cell and the inefficient energetic processes within the cell.

  168. 168
    Upright BiPed says:

    Well, after four days of silence…

  169. 169
    Mung says:

    Well, after four days of blessed silence…

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