Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

# L&FP, 69: A way to understand Functionally Specific Complex Organisation and/or associated Information [FSCO/I] i/l/o Kolmogorov-Chaitin Complexity

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It seems that it is exceedingly hard for some to understand what FSCO/I is about. In responding to an objector, I wrote as follows just now, and think it is worth headlining for reference:

Where, K-Complexity is summarised by Wikipedia, as a first level point of reference that would have been immediately accessible all along:

<<In algorithmic information theory (a subfield of computer science and mathematics), the Kolmogorov complexity of an object, such as a piece of text, is the length of a shortest computer program (in a predetermined programming language) that produces the object as output. It is a measure of the computational resources needed to specify the object, and is also known as algorithmic complexity, Solomonoff–Kolmogorov–Chaitin complexity, program-size complexity, descriptive complexity, or algorithmic entropy. It is named after Andrey Kolmogorov, who first published on the subject in 1963 [1][2] and is a generalization of classical information theory.

The notion of Kolmogorov complexity can be used to state and prove impossibility results akin to Cantor’s diagonal argument, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and Turing’s halting problem. In particular, no program P computing a lower bound for each text’s Kolmogorov complexity can return a value essentially larger than P’s own length (see section § Chaitin’s incompleteness theorem); hence no single program can compute the exact Kolmogorov complexity for infinitely many texts.>>

From this, it is but a short step to imagine a universal constructor device which, fed a compact description in a suitable language, will construct and present the [obviously, finite] object. Let us call this the universal 3-D printer/constructor, 3-DP/C.

Thus, in principle, reduction of an organised entity to a description in a suitably compact language is formally equivalent in information terms to the object, once 3-DP/C is present as a conceptual entity. So, WLOG, reduction to compact description in a compact language d(E) is readily seen as identifying the information content of any given entity E.

For, d(E) is a program though it can simply be a functional organisational specification, as, causally in this logic-model world:

d(E) + 3-DP/C + n ==> E1, E2, . . . En.

Obviously, n is an auxiliary instruction setting the number of copies to be made.

I write ==> to imply a constructive causal process effected by a 3-DP/C.

From this we may come back to Orgel and notice his [1973] summary:

These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure.

We thus have a formal framework to reduce any entity to a description d(E), which is informational and has as metric

I = length[d(E)],

where a chain of Y/N q[s will yield I in bits, on the Kolmogorov assumption of compactness. I use compact, to imply that we can get a good enough estimator of I by using something compact. We do not have to actually build a most compact language.

Then, inject random changes in d(E) and observable sensitivity to perturbation would be an index of functional specificity of organisation. As a simple case try text strings in English as d(E) and a noisy, lossy transmission medium, giving d*(E). 3-DP/C can put out text strings on d*(E) but soon enough function will vanish as d(E) becomes gibberish.

d(E) –> lossy, noisy medium –> d*(E) + 3-DP/C + 1 ==> E*1

d*(E) –> LNM –> d**(E) + 3-DP/C + 1 ==> E**1

etc.

After a few generations, gibberish predictably will destroy configuration based functional organisation, starting with text in English.

And so forth.

Overnight, illustrating:

Now of course, 3-DP/C does not exist, though we could argue that the state of the art of technology can be seen as an early, primitive partial case. Venter et al are obviously doing engineering with life forms for example. And of course typing on a keyboard and outputting to a screen or paper are very low level examples.

Technology is not the issue, a formal representation to capture information content of a functionally organised entity is.

Conceive of say a 3-DP/C putting out worlds specified by various cosmological models. We soon enough see the point of cosmological fine tuning, e.g. see Barnes:

Similarly, contemplate the FSCO/I in an ABU 6500CT reel, using d(E) to output:

Then, let us contemplate as a related case, the von Neumann Kinematic Self Replicator:

With these in mind, now consider the configuration space, needle in haystack search challenge:

Thence, see the significance of active information:

It is thus clear that FSCO/I is a real world concept and the design inference import it carries is real, non trivial, not incoherent, and significant. END

PS, as a frequent objector is again demanding measured values of FSCO/I on pretence that it is incoherent and un-measurable, here is a longstanding illustration put up at UD many years ago, with three specific values building on information metrics in the literature:

CR, as we both know (never mind your rhetorical gambits) design theory is the scientific study of [candidate or tested] reliable signs of design. That is all it needs to be. So, our warrant status is [a] there are several reliable signs of design, [b] the natural world includes in the sub-world of biological life, signs of design, [c] the observed cosmos, as fine tuned, also shows signs of design. Case a establishes epistemic rights to draw warranted inferences on process of cause, notice not source of cause, that is as we both know, for later onward investigation. Case b shows results that could come from a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al, so as from Thaxton et al on c 1984, design theorists have freely noted that such designers could be within or beyond our cosmos, the inference to design is not inference to particular designer. This has been constantly side stepped or twisted for ideological agenda purposes by opponents. Case c is different, as root of reality is implicit in the cause of a cosmos. Even here, the difference is drawn between detection of design and identification of designer, here clearly one beyond the cosmos. Of course, the issue is now necessary being candidate root of reality, a topic in logic of being. This is not empty but requires respect for logic and linked questions of being and possible worlds. On years of experience, too many objectors are not willing to seriously engage here. However, it is established that inference to design on reliable sign is independent of the ontology or identity of designers, per basics of logic and evidence. KFkairosfocus
April 12, 2023
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CR, signs of design point to process, that is independent of whodunit, and how the who got there. Beyond that are logic of being issues that are well known but which you side step. KFkairosfocus
April 11, 2023
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Querius @115
So please don’t feed the troll. He just wants to waste your time.
You are probably right. Zero progress with CR. I will make a decision very soon.Origenes
April 10, 2023
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Origenes @113, I think there's even a simpler definition for ID, but even if I hand it to "Critical Rationalist" on a silver platter, he won't lift a finger to understand, but he will continue with his one-way verbal baloney. I'm just giving him the opportunity do prove that he's here only to make noise. So far, he's done an excellent job in that regard. So please don't feed the troll. He just wants to waste your time. -QQuerius
April 10, 2023
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Critical Rationalist @112, You're still evading my repeated challenge:
Querius: To make sense of ID, you’ll first need to create a simple, accurate definition of Intelligent Design.
Yes, it's far easier to blah blah than to define what you're criticizing. Thus, it appears you're not interested in accurately understanding the ID position or clarifying the argument as Origenes is suggesting, but merely in evading the challenge and splattering mud on the subject. -QQuerius
April 10, 2023
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CR I propose the following clarifying definition of intelligent design, specifically “adapted” for CR: ID argues that the origin of items such as libraries full of science books, battleships, and the works of Shakespeare, is best explained by the inductive inference that one of the occupants in the causal chain leading up to such items, must be an intelligent designer. This does not imply the claim that the intelligent designer itself cannot be the result of purely natural processes, such as mineral deposition, erosion, RNA-world, and/or unguided evolution. IOW ID does not propose that an intelligent designer is the first unmoved cause, instead, ID argues that an intelligent designer must be an occupant in the causal chain leading up to items with certain specific characteristics.Origenes
April 10, 2023
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CR, you have already obviously chosen to ignore: [1] that signs of design by an agent are empirically valid, whatever the ontological status of same,
Yes. They would be valid, according to ID, regardless of the otological status. It would have reach. Which is precisely the problem.
[2] the difference between contingent and necessary beings, where [3] given infeasible supertask of a transfinite causal-temporal chain, reality comes from necessary being as root. KF
So, when will ID, the supposedly scientific theory, be updated to includes this difference? We both know this will not happen. So, why are you appealing to it? What gives?critical rationalist
April 10, 2023
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CR, you have already obviously chosen to ignore: [1] that signs of design by an agent are empirically valid, whatever the ontological status of same, [2] the difference between contingent and necessary beings, where [3] given infeasible supertask of a transfinite causal-temporal chain, reality comes from necessary being as root. KFkairosfocus
April 10, 2023
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Critical Rationalist @109, Origines' quote @99 was . . .
Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source, from a mind or personal agent.
You then misrepresented, Origenes:
First, apparently, this is based on the definitions of words. If you define knowledge as something that only people create . . .
Origenes did NOT do so! His quote was about a mind and an "intelligent agent." He did NOT indicate that this "intelligent agent" was a person. The closest that science has come to what you're incorrectly asserting that Origenes wrote is called an "ancestor simulation." Look it up. Likewise . . .
Querius: To make sense of ID, you’ll first need to create a simple, accurate definition of Intelligent Design.
-QQuerius
April 9, 2023
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Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source, from a mind or personal agent.”20
Where to begin? First, apparently, this is based on the definitions of words. If you define knowledge as something that only people create, then you'll conclude that knowledge in living things, like the receipt of bacterium, comes from people. It's circular. Second, it's confirmed based on experience? But suggesting the distant past will resemble the past is just a variation of the flawed idea that the future will resemble the past. And, according to KF, experience is not infallible. It only has to be good enough to get across the street. We can cross the street because fallible sources can be corrected, fallibly. So how can our experience confirm ID? Our experience is theory laden. It is neutral without first being put in some kind of explanatory framework. So, I'm at a loss here to explain how this works. Surely, any such conclusion would be based on explanations for our experience, not our experience itself. And explanations are not "out there" for us to experience. So, how can they come to us from experience? But let's ignore that for the moment and assume it's valid. If so, then it would also be valid to conclude.... Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that intelligent sources reflect systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages). They are well adapted for the purpose of designing things. So, this reflects a problem. If we take the idea that ID is based on our experience of information-flow, then it would also reach the same conclusion. It would be "confirmed by our experience". After all, this matches our experience in all of the trillions of interactions KF was referring to. Right? However, ID has not reached this conclusion. But, more than this, it suggests we cannot know this about the designer. How can we explain this? No one has developed a "principle of indiction" that we can actually use to provided guidance that we can use, in practice. If ID picks and chooses what part the distant past will resemble the past, then it's unclear how this reflects guidance. So, how can experience play the role of a source as claimed by ID? It denies the very process that it claims to rely on.
But where in our experience do things like language, complex and specified information, programming code, or machines come from? They have one and only one known source: intelligence. When we look at nature, we find high levels of CSI. A design inference may thus be made. This is the essence of the positive case for design.
And when we look at all of the known sources of intelligence we have experienced, we find high levels of CSI. A design inference may thus be made. Etc. Apparently, our experienced is reliable, except when it's not?critical rationalist
April 6, 2023
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Critical Rationalist @107, To make sense of ID, you'll first need to create a simple, accurate definition of Intelligent Design. We can go from there. -QQuerius
April 5, 2023
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@Q I don't see anything in Ori's quoted definition that indicates ID's designer is "immaterial, or that it somehow was uncreated, works by inexplicable means and methods, etc. " When will ID get around to this?critical rationalist
April 5, 2023
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@Ori
Can Paley’s observation be extrapolated such that, as a general rule, every designed thing serves a person’s purpose? CR seems to think so, but I see no reason to suppose that this is the case.
To quote Paley…
“There cannot be design, without a designer; contrivance, without a contriver; order, without choice; means suitable to an end, and executing their office in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated”
IOW, the appearance of design refers to the appearance of a hypothetical purpose based on some hypothetical designer. Do you think our ability to design things is an unintended consequence, which caught our supposed designer off guard? To rephrase, something can lack the appearance of design, despite serving a purpose. If someone is trying to cover their tracks, that serves a purpose, despite not having the appearance of design. Right? I'm referring to the opposite. The very idea of the appearance of design refers to the appearance of serving a purpose, in the sense Ori is referring to, when a purpose might not actually exist. Otherwise this seem to be begging the question. To rephrase again, is there nothing designed for one purpose that could not also interpreted as serving other purposes? For example, if we’re kidnapped, can we not pry open doors with a screwdriver or use it as a weapon of self-defense, despite the fact that screwdrivers are designed to serve the purpose of driving and removing screws?critical rationalist
April 5, 2023
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Jerry @104,
This begs the question of just what Evolution is.
Since evolution hasn't magically halted, Darwinism expects many new features and organs to be in continual evolution, which Darwinists can easily provide many genetic examples. Or not. I'd just like Critical Rationalist (ONLY) to address my challenge and provide a simple definition of the target of his attacks, namely Intelligent Design. Still waiting. -QQuerius
April 4, 2023
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That makes no sense. ID provides no explanations that can be tested.
It makes fantastic sense. It may not be right but it provides a coherent explanation for something that is apparently impossible. ID identifies the presence of an extremely intelligent and powerful entity by the fine tuning of the universe. So we have the presence of this intelligence. Intelligence is a possible explanation for something that seems beyond the power of the laws of physics. And we know such an intelligence exists. There may be other intelligences but we know at least one exists. Granted this intelligence cannot be identified as the specific source for the physical phenomena identified. Intelligent interventions are not lawful and identifying when and how is not possible. But it cannot be ruled out. So the burden then is on how the physical forces could have caused the phenomena in question if it wasn’t the intelligence causing it. Not hard to understand what the issue is. It looks like you don’t understand the issues involved and maybe you should just ask questions. Someone will answer them if you remain polite. Aside: ID can certainly test the power of the current theories of naturalized Evolution. All current theories rely on hidden change to genomes which would leave forensic evidence in the various genomes and thus discoverable. This begs the question of just what Evolution is. It assumes it is changes in the genome when logic says it is some other place in the cell as yet unknown.jerry
April 4, 2023
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All we get is the usual flood of unsupported assertions from Alan Fox and no reply from Critical Rationalist. I'm challenging Critical Rationalist to provide a *simple* definition of the target of his attacks. Let's see whether he responds or not. -QQuerius
April 4, 2023
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Easily, because it [ID, presumably] allows for explanations that can account for what science has found.
That makes no sense. ID provides no explanations that can be tested. ID explains everything by explaining nothing.Alan Fox
April 4, 2023
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How can a non-explanation for observed biological phenomena and processes become the best explanation?
Easily, because it allows for explanations that can account for what science has found. Of course, this has been explained probably hundreds if not thousands of times. But that doesn’t stop the disingenuous stupid responses. Which is what the previous comment is all about, being stupid. To deny ID is to commit the “begging the question” fallacy.jerry
April 4, 2023
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Luskin TL~DR
It isn’t merely a negative argument against evolution.
It offers no alternative hypotheses to the theory of evolution.
It isn’t an argument for the supernatural, nor is it even focused on studying the designer.
No, it studiously avoids any explanation of how "Design" happens, nor any method of detecting "Design"events.
It isn’t a theory of everything.
Absolutely spot on, Casey.
It is a positive argument based upon finding high levels of complex and specified information
Even that is a negative argument. CSI remains an equivocation, which nobody has managed to measure with any consistency. "Too much CSI therefore "designed"? How is that any sort of positive argument?
It is a historical science that uses uniformitarian reasoning based upon the principle that “the present is the key to the past.”
Hmm. Meyers argues the Cambrian Period (60 million years, akin to the time since dinosaurs walked the Earth) was too fast for evolution. Fossil evidence, however, shows many lifeforms already flourishing. The Cambrian organisms did not fall from the sky.
It is methodologically equivalent to neo-Darwinism, such that ID and neo-Darwinism are both bona fide scientific theories.
Yet there is no predictive, testable, scientific theory of "Intelligent Design".
It is a science that uses the scientific method to make scientific claims in fields such as biochemistry, paleontology, genetics, and systematics.
A few papers have emerged (heh) that purport so support "Intelligent Design" but none that have survived analysis in the mainstream of science.
It is a scientific theory that argues that the best explanation for some natural phenomena is an intelligence cause, especially when we find certain types of information and complexity in nature which in our experience are caused by intelligence.
Back to negation. How can a non-explanation for observed biological phenomena and processes become the best explanation?Alan Fox
April 4, 2023
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Intelligent design is a scientific theory that argues that the best explanation for some natural phenomena is an intelligence cause, especially when we find certain types of information and complexity in nature which in our experience are caused by intelligence. 1. ID uses a positive argument based upon finding high levels of complex and specified information The theory of intelligent design begins with observations of how intelligent agents act when they design things. Human intelligence provides a large empirical dataset for studying the products of the action of intelligent agents. This present-day observation-based dataset establishes cause-and-effect relationships between intelligent action and certain types of information. William Dembski observes that “[t]he principle characteristic of intelligent agency is directed contingency, or what we call choice.”15 Dembski calls ID “a theory of information” where “information becomes a reliable indicator of design as well as a proper object for scientific investigation.”16 A cause-and-effect relationship can be established between mind and information. As information theorist Henry Quastler observed, the “creation of new information is habitually associated with conscious activity.”17 The most commonly cited type of “information” that reliably indicates design is “specified complexity.” As Dembski writes, “the defining feature of intelligent causes is their ability to create novel information and, in particular, specified complexity.”18 Though the terms were not originally coined by an ID proponent, Dembski suggests that design can be detected when one finds a rare or highly unlikely event (making it complex) which conforms to an independently derived pattern (making it specified). ID proponents call this complex and specified information, or “CSI.” Stephen Meyer explains that in our experience, only intelligent agents produce this type of information: “Agents can arrange matter with distant goals in mind. In their use of language, they routinely ‘find’ highly isolated and improbable functional sequences amid vast spaces of combinatorial possibilities.”19 “[W]e have repeated experience of rational and conscious agents — in particular ourselves — generating or causing increases in complex specified information, both in the form of sequence-specific lines of code and in the form of hierarchically arranged systems of parts. … Our experience-based knowledge of information-flow confirms that systems with large amounts of specified complexity (especially codes and languages) invariably originate from an intelligent source, from a mind or personal agent.”20 By assessing whether natural structures contain the type of complexity — high CSI — that in our experience comes only from intelligence, we can construct a positive, testable case for design. And what happens when we study nature? Well, the past sixty years of biology research have uncovered that life is fundamentally based upon: A vast amount of complex and specified information encoded in a biochemical language. A computer-like system of commands and codes that processes the information. Molecular machines and multi-machine systems. But where in our experience do things like language, complex and specified information, programming code, or machines come from? They have one and only one known source: intelligence. When we look at nature, we find high levels of CSI. A design inference may thus be made. This is the essence of the positive case for design. 2. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS A HISTORICAL SCIENCE THAT IS METHODOLOGICALLY EQUIVALENT TO NEO-DARWINISM As we saw already, intelligent design is primarily a historical science, meaning it studies present-day causes and then applies them to the historical record to infer the best explanation for the origin of natural phenomena. Intelligent design uses uniformitarian reasoning based upon the principle that “the present is the key to the past.” Darwinian evolution applies this method by studying causes like mutation and selection in order to recognize their causal abilities and effects in the world at present. Darwinian scientists then try to explain the historical record in terms of those causes, for example seeking to recognize the known effects of mutation and selection in the historical record. Intelligent design applies this same method by studying causes like intelligence in order to recognize its causal abilities and effects in the present-day world. ID theorists are interested in understanding the information-generative powers of intelligent agents. ID theorists then try to explain the historical record by including appeals to that cause, seeking to recognize the known effects of intelligent design (e.g., high CSI) in the historical record. So whether we appeal to materialistic causes like mutation and selection, or non-material causes like intelligent design, we are using the same basic uniformitarian reasoning and scientific methods that are well-accepted in historical sciences. ID and neo-Darwinism are thus methodologically equivalent, meaning that either both are science, or both aren’t science. However, we can know that ID is science because it uses the scientific method. 3. INTELLIGENT DESIGN USES THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD ID uses the scientific method to make its claims. This method is commonly described as a four-step process of observations, hypothesis, experiments, and conclusion. I now will illustrate this by referring to four scientific fields: biochemistry, paleontology, systematics, and genetics. ID and Biochemistry: Observation: Intelligent agents solve complex problems by acting with an end goal in mind, producing high levels of CSI. In our experience, systems with large amounts of specified complexity — such as codes and languages — invariably originate from an intelligent source. Likewise, in our experience, intelligence is the only known cause of irreducibly complex machines.21 Hypothesis (Prediction): Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns (including irreducible complexity) that perform a specific function — indicating high levels of CSI. Experiment: Experimental investigations of DNA indicate that it is full of a CSI-rich, language-based code. Biologists have performed mutational sensitivity tests on proteins and determined that their amino acid sequences are highly specified.22 Additionally, genetic knockout experiments and other studies have shown that some molecular machines, like the flagellum, are irreducibly complex.23 Conclusion: The high levels of CSI — including irreducible complexity — in biochemical systems are best explained by the action of an intelligent agent. ID and Paleontology: Observation: Intelligent agents rapidly infuse large amounts of information into systems. As four ID theorists write: “intelligent design provides a sufficient causal explanation for the origin of large amounts of information … the intelligent design of a blueprint often precedes the assembly of parts in accord with a blueprint or preconceived design plan.”24 Hypothesis (Prediction): Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors. Experiment: Studies of the fossil record show that species typically appear abruptly without similar precursors.25 The Cambrian explosion is a prime example, although there are other examples of explosions in life’s history. Large amounts of complex and specified information had to arise rapidly to explain the abrupt appearance of these forms.26 Conclusion: The abrupt appearance of new fully formed body plans in the fossil record is best explained by intelligent design. ID and Systematics: Observation: Intelligent agents often re-use functional components in different designs. As Paul Nelson and Jonathan Wells explain: “An intelligent cause may reuse or redeploy the same module in different systems … [and] generate identical patterns independently.”27 Hypothesis (Prediction): Genes and other functional parts will be commonly re-used in different organisms.28 Experiment: Studies of comparative anatomy and genetics have uncovered similar parts commonly existing in widely different organisms. Examples of “extreme convergent evolution” show re-use of functional genes and structures in a manner not predicted by common ancestry.29 Conclusion: The re-use of highly similar and complex parts in widely different organisms in non-treelike patterns is best explained by the action of an intelligent agent. ID and Genetics: Observation: Intelligent agents construct structures with purpose and function. As William Dembski argues: “Consider the term ‘junk DNA.’ … [O]n an evolutionary view we expect a lot of useless DNA. If, on the other hand, organisms are designed, we expect DNA, as much as possible, to exhibit function.”30 Hypothesis (Prediction): Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions. Experiment: Numerous studies have discovered functions for “junk DNA.” Examples include functions for pseudogenes, introns, and repetitive DNA.31 Conclusion: The discovery of function for numerous types of “junk DNA” was successfully predicted by intelligent design. In this way, we can see that intelligent design is a bona fide scientific theory that uses the scientific method to make its claims in multiple scientific fields.
https://evolutionnews.org/2013/08/what_is_the_the/Origenes
April 4, 2023
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Querius challenges others to do what he cannot. :) :) :)Alan Fox
April 3, 2023
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And pray tell, what exactly is the “supposedly scientific theory of ID” that you’re criticizing?
Who can say? There is no "scientific theory of Intelligent Design". All I see are claims that the theory of evolution is wrong, followed by vigorous thrashing of straw-men, with the default to "therefore Intelligent Design wins". All attempts to define ID are various negative statements on this theme.Alan Fox
April 3, 2023
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Critical Rationalist @92,
OW, the supposedly scientific theory of ID would need to become vastly more specific about its designer, in that it was immaterial, or that it somehow was uncreated, works by inexplicable means and methods, etc. I don’t expect that to happen any time soon.
And pray tell, what exactly is the "supposedly scientific theory of ID" that you're criticizing? You should either be able to provide a succinct definition, or admit that you are clueless about the subject of your reply. Yes, consider this a direct challenge. -QQuerius
April 3, 2023
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CR
CR quotes Paley: “Because the watch not only serves a purpose, it is adapted to that purpose:”
Paley notes that a watch is made in order to serve a person. To serve a person’s purpose to keep track of time. Can Paley's observation be extrapolated such that, as a general rule, every designed thing serves a person’s purpose? CR seems to think so, but I see no reason to suppose that this is the case. Does a virus serve a person’s purpose? If so, whose purpose? Does a cat serve a person’s purpose? One thing is for sure, no cat believes that this is the case.
Cr: Again, let’s replace Paley’s watch with a designer… Is a designer something that we could have found laying around like a raw material, on a heath? Could it appear spontaneously like a crystal? A designer that designed bacterium would serve the purpose of designing bacterium, and it would be well adapted to that purpose.
A designer “serves the purpose of designing bacterium”, you say. How does this idea even make sense? Do you know what a “purpose” is? If so, whose purpose is being served here? Does the bacterium have the purpose to be designed? Or are you saying that the designer has a boss who has the purpose?Origenes
April 3, 2023
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CR, you keep setting up and knocking over strawmen. What part of compact description in the context of Kolmogorov complexity is so hard to understand? KFkairosfocus
April 3, 2023
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Modern Information Theory allows us to draw out degree of complexity and information content in a quantitative way. There are significant problems, which have yet to be addressed. From #64.
Note how a constructor’s means to achieve a purpose can be represented as a tree of subtasks it performs defined in constructor-theoretic terms. As a more fundamental unification, this allow trees to cross boundaries in ways that the current conception obscures, such as into the applications that open files, and even information and knowledge itself. It becomes more clear, not less. And it excludes cases when multiplication is not applicable. So, the entire system of the file, the program that reads it, the knowledge in us, etc. can be represented at a fundamental, unified way in constructor theory. It can cross those boundaries and different levels of explanation, that might have been obscured or even ignored all together because there was no place for them in the current conception of physics. Now contrast this with FSCO/I. It’s focused on bits of information, which doesn’t scale and would result in wildly different results depending on how you choose to represent it, etc.
To use your terminology, "continued evasion"? Again, "well adapted to serve a purpose" is more fundamental. It scales and has universal reach, unlike FSCO/I. But, by all means, feel free to explain how FSCO/I has further, and even universal reach? Or, perhaps I'm being charitable in that you see FSCO/I as being way beyond "being well adapted to serve a purpose", because it doesn't have reach? It's way beyond by nature of conforming something you already believe, and only that?critical rationalist
April 3, 2023
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Let me rephrase the question, so the contradiction is more clear. Again to quote Paley... “A watch could not have been lying there forever, nor could it have formed during the solidification of the Earth. Unlike the stone, or a rainbow or a crystal, it could not have assembled itself by spontaneous generation from its raw materials, nor could it be a raw material. But why not, exactly, asked Paley: ‘Why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone; why is it not as admissible in the second case as in the first?’ And he knew why. Because the watch not only serves a purpose, it is adapted to that purpose:” Again, let's replace Paley's watch with a designer... Is a designer something that we could have found laying around like a raw material, on a heath? Could it appear spontaneously like a crystal? A designer that designed bacterium would serve the purpose of designing bacterium, and it would be well adapted to that purpose. You cannot just swap the designer of bacterium with a rock, or even current day human designers. If you did, the result would be a lack of bacterium. Right? There must be some crucial difference, that explains that outcome. If it’s information, that can be brought into fundamental physics. Specific transformations must be possible, while others must be impossible. Etc. So, you have the same problem, as the designer would also exhibit the appearance of design. Otherwise, if you could swap out the designer of bacterium with a rock, and you still ended up with bacterium, then what does it mean to say the designer of bacterium designed bacterium? What the heck would be going on? IOW, the supposedly scientific theory of ID would need to become vastly more specific about its designer, in that it was immaterial, or that it somehow was uncreated, works by inexplicable means and methods, etc. I don’t expect that to happen any time soon.critical rationalist
April 3, 2023
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CR, continued evasion. Adapted to a purpose, or Cicero's oh spilled letters will not make up a long poem are qualitative as we both know. Modern Information Theory allows us to draw out degree of complexity and information content in a quantitative way. This very OP shows algebraically and using a block diagram, how a compact description d(E) is formally equivalent informationally to E, a complex organised whole, where L[d(E)] gives a practical estimator of I, the information content. These, you can be presumed to know on simple reading. Therefore your repeated attempt to evade that quantitative analysis is a backhanded admission of its cogency, we know that blind needle in haystack "natural search" on gamut of our sol system is maximally implausible to find 500 bits worth of FSCO/I, and for the cosmos, 1,000 bits suffices. The typical 300 AA protein, can be compared to 900 bases to code it, thus 1800 bits basic information capacity, with thousands of proteins required for a cell, and a metabolic process-flow architecture that is also enormously complex. Thus, we have precisely one known causal factor plausibly capable of such, intelligently directed configuration, with Venter et al pointing the way. KFkairosfocus
April 3, 2023
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CR, we both know the context as was already drawn out, modern information theory, where the discovery of coded algorithmic information in DNA gives explicit information.
I’m still not following you, as DNA reflects a storage medium that is well adapted to serve a purpose. This is a special case of being well adapted to serve a purpose, not some competing criterion. In addition, modern information theory allows us to bring information into fundamental physics by reformulating it into constructor-theoretic terms of which physical transformations must be possible to support it, etc. So, it’s not that Paley’s criteria for the appearance of design is somehow 200 years out of date, but that we have learned more about living things in that time that exhibit the appearance of design. Namely, the recipe used in von Neumann’s replicator-vehicle model of high-fidelity replication meets that criteria. IOW, it seems that whet you’re trying to say is, Paley's criteria is more applicable to living things, now, than it was 200 years ago, not that Paley’s criteria is not a fundamental part of ID. Is that an accurate conclusion? If not, then where did I get it wrong?critical rationalist
April 3, 2023
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PM1, the evidence is, that the shoe is on the other foot. First, there is no credible road to OoL in a Darwin pond or the like. Second, there is no credible empirically substantiated road to origin of major body plans. Third, there is no credible blind watchmaker road to coded algorithmic information in D/RNA. What we see instead is a clear case of ideological imposition of evolutionary materialist scientism. BA77 is right to challenge that ideology and to suggest that it is his fault as he cannot recognise that Darwinists imagine there are such mechanisms is a case of begging the substantial question by attacking the unwelcome messenger. The current rhetorical tactics used to attack James Tour speak volumes on the failure to deal with substance. KFkairosfocus
April 1, 2023
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