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Either Tallis is right or Darwin will save us from the plague of disembodied space brains


Were we talking about Raymond Tallis on the fact that not only is philosophy not dead, but that science is in a pickle without it?

Almost as if the New Scientist editors were helping Tallis by illustrating the point, the mag reports that discredited string theory and multiverses for which there is no evidence will save us all from “the space brain threat”:

Physicists have dreamed up some bizarre ideas over the years, but a decade or so ago they outdid themselves with the concept of Boltzmann brains – fully formed, conscious entities that form spontaneously in outer space.

It may seem impossible for a brain to blink into existence, but the laws of physics don’t rule it out entirely. All it requires is a vast amount of time. Eventually, a random chunk of matter and energy will happen to come together in the form of a working mind. It’s the same logic that says a million monkeys working on a million typewriters will replicate the complete works of Shakespeare, if you leave them long enough.

There, there. Feel better now?

Darwinism works magic that over time will endanger us by filling the universe with disembodied brains. But string theory, which the Large Hadron Collider experiments did not support and multiverses for which exponents admit there is no evidence will somehow save us from the flying Darwinian brains.

Only believe.

On the other hand, you could start by disbelieving Darwinism* and the whole edifice collapses.

Yes, we wish it were a spoof too, and so do the commenters, it seems. But most seem stuck at Nonsense + Nonsense = Total Garbage, etc., which is true but misses the point:

This is what Darwinian materialist science becomes. There is nothing else for it to become.

Darwinism + Cosmology = Utter Nonsense

* Tallis, incidentally, is the author of Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

"Funny you failed to mention the study where monkeys that were trained to type on a keyboard reproduced a line of shakespeare" How many symbols? The 24 first symbols of "The two gentlemen of Verona"? Do you mean this? "by keeping beneficial traits in the ongoing processes of natural selection." Except that this does not work in a majority of cases due to genetic drift. EugeneS
PS: When we insert Dawkins' Weasel with "cumulative selection," the problem is we have just inserted targetted, foresighted, designed, non-blind search. Cf. here. kairosfocus
F/N: Wiki on Infinite Monkeys, is excellent, and remember this is testimony against known ideological interest. Pay particular attention to the random document generation exercises. KF kairosfocus
CharlieD, small problem with your Monkeys typing Shakespeare scenario:
The story of the Monkey Shakespeare Simulator Project Excerpt: Starting with 100 virtual monkeys typing, and doubling the population every few days, it put together random strings of characters. It then checked them against the archived works of Shakespeare. Before it was scrapped, the site came up with 10^35 number of pages, all typed up. Any matches? Not many. It matched two words, “now faire,” and a partial name from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and three words and a comma, “Let fame, that,” from Love’s Labour’s Lost. The record, achieved suitably randomly at the beginning of the site’s run in 2004, was 23 characters long, including breaks and spaces. http://io9.com/5809583/the-story-of-the-monkey-shakespeare-simulator-project
Yet Natural Selection would only favor a sequence of amino acids for a protein once functionality was achieved, but typical functional proteins are 200–300 amino acids long. Much longer sequences than our virtual monkeys can find through random search. Even shorter protein domains, because of their rarity, present insurmountable problems to a Darwinian search of blind monkeys:
Stephen Meyer - Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681 Dr. Stephen Meyer comments at the end of the preceding video,,, ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does not insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ - Stephen Meyer - (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate - 2009) What Do Organisms Mean? Stephen L. Talbott - Winter 2011 Excerpt: Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin once described how you can excise the developing limb bud from an amphibian embryo, shake the cells loose from each other, allow them to reaggregate into a random lump, and then replace the lump in the embryo. A normal leg develops. Somehow the form of the limb as a whole is the ruling factor, redefining the parts according to the larger pattern. Lewontin went on to remark: "Unlike a machine whose totality is created by the juxtaposition of bits and pieces with different functions and properties, the bits and pieces of a developing organism seem to come into existence as a consequence of their spatial position at critical moments in the embryo’s development. Such an object is less like a machine than it is like a language whose elements ... take unique meaning from their context.[3]",,, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/what-do-organisms-mean
i.e. Proteins are much like Dawkins' infamous "Methinks it is like a weasel",,,
Hamlet. Do you see yonder cloud that ’s almost in shape of a camel? Pol. By the mass, and ’t is like a camel, indeed. Ham. Methinks it is like a weasel. Pol. It is backed like a weasel. Ham. Or like a whale? Pol. Very like a whale.
,,,in that the phrase "Methinks it is like a weasel" only make sense in the overall context of where it is specifically positioned in the play of Hamlet. The phrase Methinks it is like a weasel would be totally senseless (functionless), even disruptive, practically anywhere else in the play. Thus CharlieD, only top down design can really make any sense of how the phrases of Hamlet's play are used or of how the proteins in life are used in a coordinated fashion to achieve higher and higher levels of functionality.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." William Shakespeare - Hamlet
If this is what you're referring to (http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/26/tech/web/monkeys-typewriters-shakespeare), then my question is: where did the digital monkeys come from? A computer? Oh, and did that computer just evolve from raw materials? Barb
Funny you failed to mention the study where monkeys that were trained to type on a keyboard reproduced a line of shakespeare quite easily as long as the correct letters were kept. This is the simple analogy used in some science books to explain how evolution works by keeping beneficial traits in the ongoing processes of natural selection. CharlieD
Some have theorized that an infinite number of monkeys pecking away on an infinite number of typewriters would eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare. So researchers at Plymouth University in England gave six monkeys one computer for a month. The monkeys “failed to produce a single word,” reports The New York Times. The six monkeys at Paignton Zoo in southwest England “produced only five pages of text,” primarily filled with a lot of s’s. At the end of the document, the monkeys typed a few j’s, a’s, l’s, and m’s. They also used the keyboard as their community toilet. Barb
actually they stated the 'Boltzmann brain' argument wrong. Instead of the argument being
"Eventually, a random chunk of matter and energy will happen to come together in the form of a working mind"
The argument is actually,,,
Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? - January 2008 Excerpt: it’s hard for nature to make a whole universe. It’s much easier to make fragments of one, like planets, yourself maybe in a spacesuit or even — in the most absurd and troubling example — a naked brain floating in space.,, Alan Guth, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,,, pointed out that some calculations result in an infinite number of free-floating brains for every normal brain, making it “infinitely unlikely for us to be normal brains.” Nature tends to do what is easiest, from the standpoint of energy and probability. And so these fragments — in particular the brains — would appear far more frequently than real full-fledged universes, or than us.,, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/science/15brain.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1&8dpc
Michael Behe alluded to this problem in his book the “Edge of Evolution”. If there are infinite universes, then we couldn’t trust our senses, because it would be just as likely that our universe might only consist of a human brain that pops into existence which has the neurons configured just right to only give the appearance of past memories. It would also be just as likely that we are floating brains in a lab, with some scientist feeding us fake experiences. Those scenarios would be more likely as the one we appear to be in now (one universe with all of our experiences being “real”). Bottom line is, if there really are an infinite number of universes out there, then we can’t trust anything we perceive to be true, which means there is no point in seeking any truth whatsoever. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/on-the-vastness-of-the-universe/#comment-362912 Thus, contrary to way they portrayed the argument, the Boltzmann's brain dilemma actually leads to the epistemological failure of materialism and nothing more. bornagain77

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