Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

L&FP, 70: Exploring cosmological fine tuning using the idea of a 3-D, universal printer and constructor (also, islands of function)

Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Flipboard
Print
arroba Email

Last time, we looked at how Kolmogorov Complexity can be used to quantify the information in functionally specific complex organisation, by using the formal idea of a 3-D universal printer and constructor, 3-DP/C:

. . . 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 . . . .

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.

This can also be used to explore the idea of fine tuning, e.g. let us use Barnes; chart:

Barnes: “What if we tweaked just two of the fundamental constants? This figure shows what the universe would look like if the strength of the strong nuclear force (which holds atoms together) and the value of the fine-structure constant (which represents the strength of the electromagnetic force between elementary particles) were higher or lower than they are in this universe. The small, white sliver represents where life can use all the complexity of chemistry and the energy of stars. Within that region, the small “x” marks the spot where those constants are set in our own universe.” (HT: New Atlantis)

Now, let us start at X, conceived as a summary of the cosmology of our observed universe, as d(E) fed into the 3-DP/C, with E here being say a simulation of the cosmos and its history:

d(E) + 3-DP/C + n ==> E1, E2, . . . En. n here would be a population of runs assuming a random element.

Now, instead, feed d(E) into a noisy channel so we begin a random walk in the space of cosmologies,

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.

Here, we can readily see how we can construct a map of possible outcomes, much as Barnes did and illustrates. Though of course one can also explore border zones algebraically etc.

The obvious result is that we see how our observed cosmos sits at a fine tuned operating point for a cosmos that is viable for life. (This also extends to exploring islands of function in configuration spaces in general.)

We see here how islands of function can have fitness landscapes allowing local hill climbing, but of course the issue of loss of function and locking into a peak arise:

So, now, we can use the 3-DP/C formalism to draw out what is involved in the idea of fine tuning, including of course, how intensely informational such a pattern is.

John Leslie is thought provoking:

One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning?” [Our Place in the Cosmos, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1998 (courtesy Wayback Machine) Emphases added.]

AND:

“. . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.” [Emphasis his.]

This fly on the wall metaphor has been famous, and aptly captures the issue of locality of fine tuning.

A modern watch movement, an example of both functionally specific, complex information and irreducible complexity of well-matched core functional parts

Where, too, we see that fine tuning leading to islands of function is a broad phenomenon, the bits and pieces of a complex system need to fit and work together for the whole to work.

This of course, brings us full circle to Paley’s famous watch.

Paley, in his time, could describe the intricate nature of contrivance leading to an artifact, a system well adapted to the purpose of time keeping. But, he had not the means to quantify the information involved, that would have to wait for over a century until we first found the idea of surprise and reduction of uncertainty leading to negative log probability metrics and informational entropy. Where, too, Jaynes et al were able to follow Szilard et al and draw a connexion between informational and thermodynamic entropy. In effect, the entropy of a macro observable entity is the average wanting information to specify microstate, given a description on macro observable state.

Then came Kolmogorov, and we can therefore use the formalism of a 3-DP/C to understand information content, functionality based on information implicit in organisation, and islands of fine tuned function amidst seas of non function, thus blind search challenge.

Paley, in his Ch 2, had a further contribution that has been even more underestimated. He saw that the additionality of self-replication vastly increased the complex functionality to be explained. This means that origin of life is even more complex than many acknowledge, and that origin of sustainable, novel body plans is even more challenging.

Coming back to focus, fine tuning at cosmological scale, the Nobel equivalent prize holder, Sir Fred Hoyle, has some choice words:

[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.] . . .

also, in the same talk at Caltech:

The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrangements that would be useless in serving the puposes of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ –> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . . I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . . Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix.

. . . and again:

I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [–> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>

Food, for thought. END

Comments
Q, Intelligent design is the scientific investigation of [candidate and tested] signs of design. That is all it needs to be to be very powerful and soundly scientific: are there observable signs of design, Y; are they highly reliable where we can directly compare observed origin, Y; are they present in the natural world, Y -- in cell based life, in body plans, in the physical cosmos. And this simple, straightforward, almost obvious, but equally obviously, it is unwelcome to many precisely due to the strength of the results so obtained. Of course, determined and sufficiently ruthless ideology driven objectors will therefore refuse to acknowledge how longstanding, simple, reasonable and responsible that is. See Wikipedia vs New World Encyclopedia on ID for a telling contrast. That -- frankly, dishonest -- ideological conduct is all too familiar from far too many cases of radicalism over the past century or two, but such a tactic always carries the implication: the sound and straightforward understanding they slander poses a severe threat to their ideological agendas, which cannot deal with it on the merits, so they resort to strawman and ad hominem tactics, subtle or blatant. Telling, not in their favour. KF kairosfocus
Critical Rationalist @86, . . . And Critical Rationalist has STILL not been able to address my challenge to provide a simple definition of the target of his attacks, namely Intelligent Design. An accurate definition of Intelligent Design is STILL of primary importance to your criticism of Intelligent Design. If your definition is wrong, then your argument is irrelevant. You're critical of Intelligent Design, so please define what you're criticizing. -Q Querius
CR @83, KF
KF: CR, no one here defends infallibility of our senses and perceptions, or actual reasoning. What is said is, self aware consciousness is self evident and undeniably true.
CR: This has already been addressed. (...) If you think you are Napoleon, the person you think you are because you think does not exist. So, it’s unclear how this actually “helps” in the sense you seem to think it does.
1.) I do something. 2.) From nothing nothing comes. 3.) I exist. “I”, in the premises and conclusion, refers to consciousness, the very “thing” that has self-aware conscious experience. So, in this argument, “I” does not refer to a social identity, such as “Napoleon.” This would have been crystal clear to you if you had read Descartes, who arrives at cogito ergo sum while performing radical doubt, which implies believing that all his memories are mistaken and there being no outside world at all.
CR: Should I expand on this?
Well, actually yes. Answer me this: do you doubt that you exist?
CR: If you have false or mistaken memories, the explanatory theories you use to interpret your experience would be false.
Again, read Descartes, who assumes all his memories to be mistaken prior to arriving at cogito. Origenes
@Q Either ID makes specific claims about the designer or it doesn't. Ori doesn't seem to agree with you regarding the scientific status of ID. critical rationalist
Kairosfocus, Obviously, Critical Rationalist prefers to defend whatever he considers critical rationalism by distorting or denying all historical, intellectual, and sensory knowledge. He's become the Samson chained to the pillars of reason to bring them down on society in retribution for challenges to his fantasy world. And Critical Rationalist has STILL not been able to address my challenge to provide a simple definition of the target of his attacks, namely Intelligent Design. The question then becomes, if discussion is unworthy of his self-proclaimed intellect, why is he wasting time with us. Maybe he's trying to convince himself that he has anything defensible. -Q Querius
CR, to focus the fallacy: no, we only need adequate reliability to have good warrant. Infallibility is a strawman. KF kairosfocus
CR, no one here defends infallibility of our senses and perceptions, or actual reasoning. What is said is, self aware consciousness is self evident and undeniably true.
This has already been addressed. At best, the response to it has been to call it childish. What you keep ignoring is, any infallibility in a source cannot help us before our fallible human reasoning has had its say. What we have is criticisms failing. That's it. (Ori is an example of this in regards to 2+2=4, etc. Apparently, Ori doesn't thing he's a fallibilist because progress is made by defining words correctly?) If you think you are Napoleon, the person you think you are because you think does not exist. So, it's unclear how this actually "helps" in the sense you seem to think it does. Should I expand on this? If you have false or mistaken memories, the explanatory theories you use to interpret your experience would be false. And, therefore you would reach false conclusions from your experience. This would include the idea that you are Napoleon. Those theories do not come from experience. They come from theories that you, or other people, would have amassed over time, which would come from your memories, etc. For example, where do information theories come from? You remember them, refer to previously published documents, etc. You cannot infalably know the world wasn't created last Thursday, with false memories, along with all of those theories of information. Nor do you somehow continually interpret experience to mechanically derive those theories yourself, every moment. Right? critical rationalist
CR, no one here defends infallibility of our senses and perceptions, or actual reasoning. What is said is, self aware consciousness is self evident and undeniably true. Further, error exists is much the same. So are LoI, LEM, LNC, as pervasive branch on which we sit first principles. So is 2 + 3 = 5. SETs are true, accurately describing reality. They are known to be true once one has adequate experience to understand. They are further true on pain of instant, manifest absurdities [of various kinds] on attempted denial. In the case of being self aware, to doubt or deny requires the said self aware consciousness. And so forth. No one is requiring infallible reasoning etc only reliability enough to bet the farm, e.g. when one crosses a busy street. KF kairosfocus
CR, kindly see CD in 70 and my response to him in 72. He asserted arcane and has been replied to. KF kairosfocus
@KF If we stub our toe, do we feel pain in our toe? No, we do not. That pain just seems localized to our toe. What comes from our toe are electrical impulses not pain impulses. The entire field of pain management is in its infancy. That we at one time thought pain was being emitted by our toes reflected a theory of our senses. So, no. It's unclear how I'm conflating anything. Our senses cannot be an infallible source of knowledge because they are theory laden. We accept them because they reflect hard to vary explanations of how the world works, which are not observed in the sense that they could be a foundation. Our experiences can be mistakenly interpreted. This does not mean that they cannot be corrected, infallibly, but that they are not a source that we can infallibly rely on as a last resort. critical rationalist
And, if a formalism linked to the Turing machine approach and using Kolmogorov complexity is arcane, then ask those who refused to listen to informal summaries. KF
Where did I say it was arcane? That would be like saying 2+2=4 is arcane because it is a special case of mathematics. You can't make this stuff up. critical rationalist
Kairosfocus @77, And still no answer from Critical rationalist either, perhaps for the same reason.
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.
-Q Querius
AF, no cogent answer from you so we see predictable resort to antitheism and ideology. Meanwhile, patently you have no answer to cosmological fine tuning, which does call for a designer beyond the cosmos. KF kairosfocus
The UD website was down all yesterday as it has been a lot lately. Caspian has disappeared. You are penning more arcane OPs. The OPs are getting repetitive. A harbinger or an omen?
Possibly the site owner has too many work commitments to keep a regular eye on this site and its glitches. I presume he'll notice when the ad revenue declines further. KF is a bit of an oddball when it comes to ID. His writings are not exactly inspirational. Anyway, in these times of political division descending into tribalism, with Donald Trump looking to retake the US presidency, the need for the ID figleaf has gone and we're back to the God-fearin' agin the Devil. Alan Fox
PS, some of the record, from Lewontin:
[Lewontin lets the cat out of the bag:] . . . to put a correct [--> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people's heads
[==> as in, "we" the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making "our" "consensus" the yardstick of truth . . . where of course "view" is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]
we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [--> "explanations of the world" is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised "demon[ic]" "supernatural" being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
Similarly, NSTA:
All those involved with science teaching and learning should have a common, accurate view of the nature of science. [--> yes but a question-begging ideological imposition is not an accurate view] Science is characterized by the systematic gathering of information through various forms of direct and indirect observations and the testing of this information by methods including, but not limited to, experimentation [--> correct so far]. The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts [--> evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed] and the laws and theories related to those [--> i.e. ideologically loaded, evolutionary materialistic] concepts . . . . science, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products [--> censorship of anything that challenges the imposition; fails to appreciate that scientific methods are studied through logic, epistemology and philosophy of science, which are philosophy not science] . . . . Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science [--> a good point, but fails to see that this brings to bear many philosophical issues], a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations [--> outright ideological imposition and censorship that fetters freedom of responsible thought] supported by empirical evidence [--> the imposition controls how evidence is interpreted and that's why blind watchmaker mechanisms never seen to actually cause FSCO/I have default claim to explain it in the world of life] that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument [--> ideological imposition may hide under a cloak of rationality but is in fact anti-rational], inference, skepticism [--> critical awareness is responsible, selective hyperskepticism backed by ideological censorship is not], peer review [--> a circle of ideologues in agreement has no probative value] and replicability of work . . . . Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic [= evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed by definition, locking out an unfettered search for the credibly warranted truth about our world i/l/o observational evidence and linked inductive reasoning] methods and explanations and, as such [--> notice, ideological imposition by question-begging definition], is precluded from using supernatural elements [--> sets up a supernatural vs natural strawman alternative when the proper contrast since Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is natural vs artificial] in the production of scientific knowledge. [US NSTA Board, July 2000, definition of the nature of science for education purposes]
Again, Monod:
In writing about naturalistic origins of life, in Chance and Necessity, Monod proposed that life is the result of chance and necessity. This reflects the naturalistic attitude, and is tied to the a priori rejection of design as a possibility highlighted by Lewontin thirty years later; yes, an assumption held to be pivotal to scientific “objectivity.” Clipping:
[T]he basic premise of the scientific method, . . . [is] that nature is objective and not projective [= a project of an agent]. Hence it is through reference to our own activity, con-scious and projective, intentional and purposive-it is as | makers of artifacts-that we judge of a given object’s “naturalness” or “artificialness.” [pp. 3 – 4] . . . . [T]he postulate of objectivity is consubstantial with science: it has guided the whole of its prodigious develop-ment for three centuries. [--> false!] There is no way to be rid of it, even tentatively or in a limited area, without departing from the domain of science itself. [--> ideological captivity to evolutionary materialistic scientism][p. 21]
Further to such, in a 1971 television interview, he asserted — tellingly — as follows:
[T]he scientific attitude implies what I call the postulate of objectivity—that is to say, the fundamental postulate that there is no plan, that there is no intention in the universe. Now, this is basically incompatible with virtually all the religious or metaphysical systems whatever, all of which try to show that there is some sort of harmony between man and the universe and that man is a product—predictable if not indispensable—of the evolution of the universe.— Jacques Monod [Quoted in John C. Hess, ‘French Nobel Biologist Says World Based On Chance’, New York Times (15 Mar 1971), p. 6. Cited in Herbert Marcuse, Counter-Revolution and Revolt (1972), p. 66.]
This is of course a Nobel Prize winner speaking and writing on the record. Chance and Necessity was in fact a highly influential, widely celebrated book. This is not some half baked soapbox debater.
So, the record is quite clear. kairosfocus
CR, I do not control UD. As for anti-theism as a motive, that is actually a matter of longstanding record as appended; pretence otherwise is common but in the end revealing of agendas. My focus, however, has been that there is an ideological imposition of evolutionary materialistic scientism [and fellow travellers], which led to establishing claimed mechanisms that are not fit for purpose, which are then used to suppress strong signs of design. KF kairosfocus
Kairosfocus @64,
This has the further implication that hill climbing is a highly local phenomenon, in such a space.
Besides being trapped on hills or islands of fine-tuned functionality, there's no demonstrated evidence of this "climbing" occurring experimentally with genetic analysis. Popular examples all seem to involve the genetic disabling of a feature, the disabling of epigenetic suppression, or simply epigenetic expression. -Q Querius
CD, see above. And, if a formalism linked to the Turing machine approach and using Kolmogorov complexity is arcane, then ask those who refused to listen to informal summaries. KF kairosfocus
CR, kindly do not conflate transduction and signal transmission with conscious sensing.
Can you kindly point out where I did this? The idea that knowledge comes to us from our senses is highly problematic if our senses do not reflect not some kind of atomic operation. Rather, they depend on a long chain of hard to vary explanatory theories which, being prior to observation, are themselves not observed. Apparently, this is not problematic because some designer wanted it not to be problematic? And the designer gets want it wants by nature of merely wanting it? critical rationalist
KF/65 The UD website was down all yesterday as it has been a lot lately. Caspian has disappeared. You are penning more arcane OPs. The OPs are getting repetitive. A harbinger or an omen? So, you think my "inability" to address the "design inference" is motivated by my anti-theism? I didn't realize that the "design inference" was a matter of theology. Nor am I quite clear on your term "design inference" divorced from the question: designed by whom? Because, you know, there is only one answer to that question and all roads lead to Christianity. And Christianity leads to Genesis and, well you know the story... chuckdarwin
Jerry, utter infallibility is not the only degree of certainty that can provide adequate warrant for reliable knowledge. Your sight and memory, you know are fallible but under normal circumstances reliable. KF kairosfocus
it’s unclear how observation can reflect some kind of infallible source for the physical world
Yet, everyone infallibility gets to the Walmart and knows exactly where to go when they enter. Sounds like some other really stupid comments made on UD before about the real world. I am looking out at the woods behind my house. If someone took a photo of these woods and didn’t tell me where the photo came from. My response would be that is behind my house. But here I am answering another person who comes here with stupid comments in the hope that the person will be ignored. But no, I know all stupid commenters must be answered while legitimate comments are ignored. So who is stupid? Answer: the pro ID people who constantly answer the stupid comments thinking it makes a difference but ignore legitimate observations. Not the people who bait them and who smile every time someone seriously replies to their nonsense. jerry
CR, kindly do not conflate transduction and signal transmission with conscious sensing. KF kairosfocus
A scientific explanation of sense-impressions would include not just a redescription of them as patterns of neural firings but also the biological teleological function of those patterns, both what tends to cause them and whose those patterns tend to cause, as embedded in a biologically autonomous system capable of detecting and responding to environmental complexity.
My point, is. Those processes are not observed. They happen prior to observations. Sense impressions do not resemble what we eventually experience. Our senses are like scientific instruments. We accept the result we get based on the assumption they are configured correctly according to the theory of how they work. You wouldn't replace the lens in a microscope with a penny and expect to see bacteria, right? If you did, then you'd need some other explanation for how you're seeing bacteria, other than the microscope. Like it's a replay or digital feed from some other microscope that was configured correctly, had a lens, etc. Correct? IOW the observation of bacterial reflects a long chain of hard to vary explanatory theories, like optics, electromagnetism, etc. And all of those things are not observed. So, it's unclear how observation can reflect some kind of infallible source for the physical world. critical rationalist
CD, you still seem to be playing at conflation of the design inference on sign [tracing to Plato in The Laws Bk X] with Biblical Creationism. This insistence on an invidious association strawman tactic in the face of due and longstanding correction shows that you cannot address the design inference soundly on its merits, and, likely, that anti-theism is a motivating and biasing force. The design inference on tested, observable, reliable sign, stands on its own merits as an exercise in scientific, inductive reasoning, modern sense; where inference to the best explanation is a case of argument by empirically grounded support. For this OP, the matter on the table is cosmological fine tuning, explored through the algebra of a 3-DP/C, which helps us understand the well known island of function fine tuning that has emerged since the 1950's in cosmology. Where, Sir Fred Hoyle, FYI, was a life long agnostic. KF PS, for reminder of record as cited in the OP, here is Hoyle:
>>[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has "monkeyed" with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]>> . . . also, in the same talk at Caltech: >>The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn't so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn't give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it's easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ --> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem - the information problem . . . . I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn't convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes - by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . . Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix. >> . . . and again: >> I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [--> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. ["The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>
PPS, you are therefore aware of chs 5 - 7 in Descent. kairosfocus
Q, yes, I am aware of cosmological fine tuning, discoverability as a case of fine tuning, the rare & privileged planet in spiral galaxy habitable zone, the Leslie flies on a wall model of local fine tuning, and more. This OP was about extending the 3-DP/C model to allow exploring how we can recognise fine tuning in a configuration space. It also allows us to see how islands of function in a sea of non functional configurations is a fine tuning problem. This has the further implication that hill climbing is a highly local phenomenon, in such a space. KF kairosfocus
CR, 58: Kindly, read the OP. Notice, I am using the 3-DP/C algebra to explore how cosmologies, physical models of the universe, may be described and allowed to wander about a configuration space. This allows us to see what would result, as for instance Luke Barnes has charted, for just one pair of key parameters. The X is where our cosmos sits, and the effects of variation are shown. In cosmology space, it turns out that there is a narrow operation zone compatible with life as we experience it; based on the logic of structure and quantity based on cosmos level physics. You of course say we observe just one cosmos, great observation, I assume you are aware of multiverse speculations: so, again there is a heads we win, tails you lose pattern. Instead, we are looking at cosmology and models for universes, generally run as computational simulations. This is valid and shows an originally unexpected pattern. What this OP does, is to help us view it by using a framework designed to draw out the information content of a complex configuration, E, i.e. d(E). Feed d(E) through a lossy, noisy channel before going to the 3-DP/C, and we now have a way to do a random walk, with different outcomes coming out of the simulation. Back in the 50's it was noted that O, C abundance was sensitive to certain nuclear parameters, by Hoyle and Farmer, now it is dozens. KF kairosfocus
So, we do not experience anything directly, even if it’s sitting right in front of us
How people over think things. We all get to the Walmart store by the same route. We shop in the same aisle for the same things which we share with others. We drive different cars for the same trip. This is just one of a typical million interactions with others sharing the same experiences of the outside world. We use the same or very similar procedures to build the roads, bridges, parking lots for this experience. All are shared with millions of others. So yes, we do see the world in the same way as others. There can always be minor differences but nothing major and when there are major differences, it is explored to explain why. So can we bury this perception issue. It is useless and at best irrelevant. jerry
@58
We do not experience sense impressions for what they really are – namely electrical crackles, right? So, we do not experience anything directly, even if it’s sitting right in front of us. So much for our senses reflecting an atomic, infallible means of accessing the outside world to us directly.
I would not be so quick to infer from "a scientific theory of sense-impressions redescribes them as patterns of neuronal firings" to "therefore, we do not experience physical things as they are". A scientific explanation of sense-impressions would include not just a redescription of them as patterns of neural firings but also the biological teleological function of those patterns, both what tends to cause them and whose those patterns tend to cause, as embedded in a biologically autonomous system capable of detecting and responding to environmental complexity. This does not get us all the way to the absolute metaphysical verities that onto-theologians have longed for, but it does give us all the pragmatic realism needed to make sense of everyday experience and its sophisticated extension, science. PyrrhoManiac1
While Chuckdarwin continues to avoid denouncing the ugly racism implicit in Darwinism, let me instead comment on Critical Rationalist's response @58. Critical Rationalist, You seem obsessed with the desire to avoid a "fine tuner." In @41, I laid out the two major possibilities. Then in @46, I asked the question
How are the fine-tuned parameters determined in the first place? Are they inevitable? If so, did they exist before space-time, mass-energy, gravity, and everything else came into existence and in what form?
The answer to the question isn't that we need another universe to compare ours to. That's hopeless since we cannot perform experiments on other universes. So instead of simply giving up, physicists have calculated what would happen if any of the seemingly independent constants of the universe were slightly different. Curiosity is a mark of intelligence. And rather than immediately rejecting the evidence on ideological grounds, scientists ask why such values all seem to be critical for the existence of the universe. They would ask the questions that I asked above and consider the cogent response of Kairosfocus @48 involving some "superlaw." -Q Querius
We lack other universes to which we can compare our’s to. Right?
Another stupid comment! Shows a complete lack of understanding of fine tuned hypothesis. Then makes more stupid comments. Again, recommend asking questions since you understand so little. Aside: No one is denying there could be other universes but if there are, they have to be limited in number. Also, if there are some other universes, it in no way refutes the fine tuning conclusion. jerry
Why answer the people denying the fine tuning?
We lack other universes to which we can compare our's to. Right? As such, we do not know if universes can have other constants or that changing one wouldn't change the other in a corresponding degree, etc. We simply do not have a good explanation at the moment. IOW, the observation that the universe is fine tuned, in that there was an actual tuner, is theory laden. It make assumptions, which apparently you are unaware of, or intentionally ignore, etc. Which is it? Or perhaps you lack self-reflection to the degree that you cannot comprehend anything happening below your level of consciousness? Is the transference of input from your senses to your consciousness an atomic operation? Are there no steps between that you're not consciously aware of? We do not experience sense impressions for what they really are - namely electrical crackles, right? So, we do not experience anything directly, even if it's sitting right in front of us. So much for our senes reflecting an atomic, infallible means of accessing the outside world to us directly. critical rationalist
Querius I read it the first time (there's a dog-eared copy on my shelf along with the Origins) as a freshman biology major over 50 years ago. This was, of course, before Darwin became a metaphor for the anti-Christ and the singular cause of the holocaust in evangelical circles, Woke culture and every flavor of wrong thinking in between, all of which are eerily similar in their amazing intolerance. Long before the left and the right were obsessed with emptying library shelves of anything that doesn't accord with their "worldview." chuckdarwin
Chuckdarwin @55,
Why would I resort to a chatbot when I have some of the world’s most renowned ID and Bible experts at my disposal right here on UD?
Easy. Willful ignorance. Just like you pretend that Charles Darwin's theory isn't racist in support of white supremacy, colonialism, and documented genocide. I bet you've never read his book, "The Descent of Man." -Q Querius
Querius/44 Why would I resort to a chatbot when I have some of the world's most renowned ID and Bible experts at my disposal right here on UD? Once the ID crowd is disabused of the bogus claim that ID is nonsectarian, there is no difference between ID and creationism....... chuckdarwin
including yours
Be specific and they can be discussed. I was specifically referring to the fine tuning which is so incredibly obvious. Are any of the specifics in my comment inane or stupid? jerry
So let the ignorant make their uninformed remarks and do their inane speculation. They never provide anything of substance anyway.
This is a fair description of many comments here, including yours. Alan Fox
The stupidity goes on. Why answer the people denying the fine tuning? The universe is fine tuned for anything meaningful. If several of the parameters were off by fantastically small amounts, there would be no stars, planets, higher elements, etc. Why such precision? Then there is the fine tuning of our solar system and Earth. Why? So let the ignorant make their uninformed remarks and do their inane speculation. They never provide anything of substance anyway. jerry
Kairosfocus @47, Assuming that your familiar with the earth being in "the Goldilocks Zone" for life, (https://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/livingthings/microbes_goldilocks.html) are you also familiar with a similar Goldilocks Zone for discovery? https://www.amazon.com/Privileged-Planet-Cosmos-Designed-Discovery/dp/0895260654 -Q Querius
CD at 42, Allow me to make a few changes to your post. Don’t let the Evolution crowd on this blog suggest that you are “confused.” relatd
Kairosfocus @48,
Q, a forcing superlaw that sets dozens of parameters etc to fine tuned values would itself be fine tuned. Just, next level up.
Yes, exactly! So, if one would apply your logic to the multiverse, then it, as the mother of all universes, has this "superlaw" setting ability, even if it's by random chance. And random chance cannot exist outside of time. Thus, we would conclude that the mother of all universes must have a time component. For want of an image, I call the mother of all universes "the Cosmic Turtle," which lays its eggs as new universes. However, as you noted, the fine-tuned parameters in the Cosmic Turtle" must in turn be at a higher level, so we would conclude that it's turtles all the way up as well as elephants all the way down! :D -Q Querius
Q, a forcing superlaw that sets dozens of parameters etc to fimne tuned values would itself be fine tuned. Just, next level up. KF kairosfocus
PM1, the evidence is, the cosmos is fine tuned in ways that support cell based life. Separate evidence is, life is designed. Speculation on the incidence of life in the observed cosmos is both irrelevant and a case of heads I win, tails you lose. Life is presumed common, it musta evolved many times. Life is rare, that is somehow incompatible with design. In fact there are two worlds of evidence that point to design of a cosmos fitted for life and for the design of life. That prevails over heads I win, tails you lose. KF kairosfocus
Kairosfocus @43,
Folks it would be amusing to see the studiously off focus push, but that is itself telling us something.
Yes, as usual. PyrrhoManiac1's observation that ". . . the likelihood of a universe in which the laws of physics enable life to emerge" adds the additional parameter that a finely tuned universe that's stable would require additional fine tuning for supporting life. But here's the rub. How are the fine-tuned parameters determined in the first place? Are they inevitable? If so, did they exist before space-time, mass-energy, gravity, and everything else came into existence and in what form? -Q Querius
CD, I notice loaded language and perpetuation of an old slander long since adequately answered in the Weak Argument Correctives. The design inference on empirically tested signs is just that, an empirical inference. The force of that inference is obviously so strong that many objectors change focus, try for invidious association with Creationists [for, that is the intent] then refuse all correction. Meanwhile, the focus here is that taking a description d(E) that defines a cosmology, we can use a random walk to generate a pattern of cosmological simulations, thus arriving at high contingency and identifying cosmological fine tuning. Which is itself significant, but that significance -- this is now familiar -- goes where objectors are ever so intent not to go. Yet another backhanded admission of the balance on merits. KF kairosfocus
Chuckdarwin @42,
Don’t let the ID crowd on this blog suggest that you are “confused” because you don’t see the distinction between ID and creationism. There is none.
Wrong as usual. The difference is easily verifiable. Try entering a question about the difference in ChatGPT. You might learn something. -Q Querius
Folks it would be amusing to see the studiously off focus push, but that is itself telling us something. KF kairosfocus
CR/29 Don't let the ID crowd on this blog suggest that you are "confused" because you don't see the distinction between ID and creationism. There is none. Don't waste anymore of your time trying to gauge the distinction, that is a fool's errand....... chuckdarwin
PyhrroManiac1 @35,
Anyway, the likelihood of evolution is a completely different topic than the likelihood of a universe in which the laws of physics enable life to emerge.
Yes, I agree with the first part of your observation. However, regarding
. . . the likelihood of a universe in which the laws of physics enable life to emerge.
Apparently, some physicists began asking questions like, “Why is there an inverse square law and not an inverse cubed or power 2.01 . . . law?” as did one of my physics profs. Later, questions were asked about the values of the constants in our universe (or any other universe). This was followed by fascinating what-if questions about the effects of varying 19 independent constants, and the results were surprising and provocative. The universe seemed to be fine-tuned. There are three cogent responses: • God finely tuned the universe for it to be able to exist at all. • Invoking a version of the anthropic principle to a multiverse scenario. • Asserting that the 19 constants might actually collapse into fewer, perhaps as few as one. On further consideration, whether there are actually fewer than 19 independent constants is interesting but not relevant. Whether there's an envelope of values for the fundamental constants for life to exist (we're clueless about how life began, so we invoke the god-of-the-gaps, EMERGE, to cover for us) also takes into account factors such as the unusual property of water to expand rather than contract when it freezes. -Q Querius
Critical Rationalist @29
Then what is ID, that creationism is not? why not just skip ID and go right to creationism?
Aha! And that’s precisely why you’re so confused. ID is significantly different than Creationism. So what you need to do is find a reasonably accurate definition for ID before being critical of it. -Q Querius
"That does not seem like careful optimization to me." PM1, You're a speck on the giant butt of the universe and you think you know what is careful optimization is and what isn't? How do you know this for sure? Philosophy? Andrew asauber
Whenever I see yet one more ID claim for (divine) fine tuning, I remember Lawrence Krauss’ quip that it is convenient that God created us with legs just long enough to reach the ground…….. chuckdarwin
@36
I’m just saying that life being extremely rare doesn’t really lead to universe not fine-tuned. Why would that be?
Suppose (for the sake of argument) that life is exceedingly rare in the universe. How is that compatible with fine-tuning? It seems weird to me to say that the universe is fine-tuned for something that occupies an Here's how I'm thinking about it -- and maybe I'm mistaken -- but here goes. The observable universe is about 93 billion light-years in diameter and has a total mass of about 1.5 × 10^53 kg. Whereas life as we know it exists on the crust of a small planet orbiting a yellow dwarf. It seems weird to me that the universe would be fine-tuned for something that takes up an infinitesimally tiny fraction of it. When someone says that a piano is finely tuned, or that a race-car is fine-tuned for racing, one thinks that every aspect of the artifact has been carefully optimized for that one feature. Compared to the universe as a whole, the ecoystems on this planet count for less than the skin of paint on the ball at the top of the Eiffel Tower counts for the whole city of Paris. That does not seem like careful optimization to me. PyrrhoManiac1
PM1, I'm just saying that life being extremely rare doesn't really lead to universe not fine-tuned. Why would that be? That's just your own mental stretch, Andrew asauber
So what? Beneficial mutations are rare, yet they can make hippopotmasuseses out of mudpits, right?
Of course not. What the hell are you trying to talk about? Anyway, the likelihood of evolution is a completely different topic than the likelihood of a universe in which the laws of physics enable life to emerge. Of course one could insist that life did not emerge naturally but required some intelligent intervention to get it off the ground. But if that's the view, then the "fine tuning" of the universe for life just doesn't matter. That is: one could think that life needed some intelligent intervention to get going, or one could think that the laws of physics allowed life to emerge just fine, and it's those laws that need to be explained. But quite a few people seem to maintain both beliefs, and I don't see why. It seems to me that if one has either, one doesn't need the other. PyrrhoManiac1
"It strains credulity to say that the universe is fine-tuned for life if life is extremely rare." PM1, So what? Beneficial mutations are rare, yet they can make hippopotmasuseses out of mudpits, right? Andrew asauber
@32
How do you know the universe IS tuneable? Where is the evidence for that assertion?
The idea that the universe is fine-tuned for life has always struck me as nonsense. For one thing, we don't know if there's life anywhere in the universe besides this planet. It strains credulity to say that the universe is fine-tuned for life if life is extremely rare. (For all we know, life might not exist anywhere else in the universe besides this planet.) For another, although it is true that life as we know it on this planet depends on fairly precise values and parameters to physical laws, we don't know what other kinds of life might be possible under different combinations of those values and parameters. We can model different universes, but those models can only tell us what is entailed by the values of the fundamental constants in those possible universes. (I don't think that life is even entailed by the laws of physics in this universe, so I can't see how a mathematical model of a different set of laws of physics could tell us whether life would exist in that universe.) Finally, we don't actually know that the laws of physics could have been different than they are, because we don't know anything about how the universe actually came to be. (And there are some recent cosmological models which suggest that the universe had no beginning in time at all.) In the case the universe, since we can observe exactly one of them, we cannot know anything about the likelihood of life coming about in any other conceivable universe, nor do we know if the universe really could have been otherwise than it is. Without that necessary background information, the idea that the universe was fine-tuned for life is absurd: the people who say this are claiming to have knowledge that it is not physically possible for anyone to ever have. PyrrhoManiac1
Jerry: The difference with ID is that ID says an intelligence could have created life as we see it. Is that a theory? More importantly: how do you test that in a lab? What experiment can you do which takes that notion beyond a guess or a philosophical stance? ID observes the fine tuning of the universe How do you know the universe IS tuneable? Where is the evidence for that assertion? JVL
That is an issue for those wanting it taught as an alternative to biology with an evolutionary content.
The evolution taught in the schools is also not a scientific theory. The difference with ID is that ID says an intelligence could have created life as we see it. There is no scientific theory that can explain how life as we see it could have happened. That's a huge difference. But remember, the universe needs explaining and the most coherent explanation is an entity with immense intelligence. So the intelligence is present when life shows up.
Then what is ID, that creationism is not? why not just skip ID and go right to creationism?
Again, you should just ask questions because your statements are nonsense. This is just another stupid assertion. The term "creationism" can mean many different things. ID does say there was one event of creation. That is the universe. But the typical person does not understand "creationism" to mean just that. So this is an apples and oranges comparison.
there would be virtually nothing upon which to comment
That is not true. But you are right that the pro ID people here are not interested in exploring ID or discussing it. They are more interested in religious ideas. However, their interest in religion does not change what ID is. That is what its objectors use to discredit ID. They have no basis for discrediting ID itself. The main rationale for the natural origin of life and the dramatic changes in life over time is that the alternative was creationism which everyone considered bogus. A really spurious use of logic. But one that works with most people because they don't really care. Witness the above reference to creationism by someone who cannot defend anything he is saying. jerry
If the IDers “stop feeding the trolls, scroll past them, and focus on substantive perspectives and new information,” there would be virtually nothing upon which to comment…… chuckdarwin
There is no scientific theory of ID. Then what is ID, that creationism is not? why not just skip ID and go right to creationism? Creating a bacterium is trivial in the scheme of things. So pointing to it is stupid and irrelevant. Repeatedly pointing to it is incredibly stupid Again, it's unclear how this is relevant. I didn't say it was impossible. Unless something is prohibited by the laws of physics, the only thing that could prevent us from achieving it is knowing how. IOW, it's a question of knowledge. This would include bacterium. I said there would be necessary consequences to bacterium being designed, if we take that claim seriously, including the fact that bacterium replicate via von Neumann’s replicator-vehicle approach, etc. For there to be no necessary consequences, then you'd need to be more specific about ID's designer, like it's immaterial, somehow causes collapse in quantum mechanics, doesn't obey the laws of physics, etc. But that is nowhere to be explicitly found in ID. Nor do I expect it to any time soon. Why wouldn't that happen if ID wasn't a scientific theory? critical rationalist
Jerry:
There is no scientific theory of ID.
Agreed. That is an issue for those wanting it taught as an alternative to biology with an evolutionary content. Alan Fox
First, let’s see whether you can define ID.
Let's see if anyone can. Querius is, presumably, an ID proponent. What does Querius think "Intelligent Design" is about. Can he* offer a coherent definition? *I'm guessing Querius is male from all the mansplainin'. ;) Alan Fox
First, I’m referring to ID, the supposedly scientific theory
There is no scientific theory of ID. ID is essentially logic applied to the findings of science. As such it incorporates some additional possible conclusions when the forces of physics is unable to explain some findings. If you don’t know this, you should restrict yourself to just asking questions until you understand what it is.
You do want people to take ID seriously, right? Or am I mistaken?
First, those that are critical of ID should put coherent thoughts together. Till that time, as I just said, they should restrict themselves to asking questions. ID is very logical. ID observes the fine tuning of the universe and concludes only an entity within immense intelligence and power could have done that. Creating life is trivial by comparison and could be done by some other intelligence besides the creator of the universe. But the universe was created in such a way to facilitate life as we know it. Creating a bacterium is trivial in the scheme of things. So pointing to it is stupid and irrelevant. Repeatedly pointing to it is incredibly stupid jerry
Critical Rationalist @23,
First, I’m referring to ID, the supposedly scientific theory.
First, let's see whether you can define ID. I think that your doing so will answer your other questions. -Q Querius
Asauber @13,
I think there are a few internet bullies dominating the playground right now. When they decide to go watch TV, the normal kids will come back and play.
Yeah, I noticed that, too. It seems like they need to post a new comment as soon as a random synapse fires with some random thought. The resulting flood of vacuous comments results in lowering the signal-to-noise ratio of the conversation. My ongoing suggestion is to stop feeding the trolls, scroll past them, and focus on substantive perspectives and new information rather than waste time objecting to their tripe. -Q Querius
No, it is fairly absolute.
Then, by all means, enlighten us about what's stupid about it? Be specific.
Whatever created the universe is certainly capable of thinking through what is necessary to go in it to make it functional. Since life is a result of the universe, a logical person would assume that this was part of the original objective.
First, I'm referring to ID, the supposedly scientific theory. I don't think it claims whatever designed the universe also designed bacterium. It's agnostic about the designer, in that it could be, well aliens, right? Second, I'm saying there are necessary consequences of some designer having designed bacterium, not that a designer couldn't design bacterium. IOW, I'm taking the claim that bacteria were actually designed by a designer seriously for the purpose of criticism, including that a bacterium replicates via via von Neumann’s replicator-vehicle approach, etc. You do want people to take ID seriously, right? Or am I mistaken? critical rationalist
There is no one more positive about ID here [than Jerry]
If that's true, no wonder ID is on the slide. ;) Alan Fox
Be a bit more positive about ID
There is no one more positive about ID here. It would be interesting to hear what is not positive. jerry
Make a comment about anti ID people never providing anything positive and they step right up to the plate and prove your point.
You set the example here, Jerry. Be a bit more positive about ID and... Nope, it won't happen. Alan Fox
Speaking of waning interest and participation, what ever happened to “Caspian?”
Eric Hedin struck me as too gentle a soul for UD. Alan Fox
Speaking of waning interest and participation, what ever happened to "Caspian?" chuckdarwin
When they decide to go watch TV, the normal kids will come back and play.
Who are the normal kids? I have been going through comments from years ago to see what was said then vs now. It is like night and day. As an example, someone brought up the ideas of Rochelle Forrester who is from New Zealand. She has written a lot of things about history including the history of science. She has a couple articles on quantum mechanics. But she has also written about agriculture. She is not ID friendly, but it would be interesting for OPs to explore ideas like hers. But my guess it that they would get 10 comments before people here lost interest. https://hcommons.org/members/rochelleforrester/
what ever happened to “Caspian
You just noticed? jerry
That’s a pretty vague statement.
No, it is fairly absolute.
I don’t think you’re thinking this through very well.
Stupid is as stupid does, someone once said. Whatever created the universe is certainly capable of thinking through what is necessary to go in it to make it functional. Since life is a result of the universe, a logical person would assume that this was part of the original objective. By the way gobbledygook and nonsense essentially mean the same thing. But both are so common here that using one vs the other is just a way of not using the same word all the time.
You’re right. It’s never got to that point.
Another completely stupid statement. Make a comment about anti ID people never providing anything positive and they step right up to the plate and prove your point. jerry
When has ID been seriously challenged?
You're right. It's never got to that point. Alan Fox
One of the more stupid statements ever on UD.
That's a pretty vague statement.
If some entity had the ability (intelligence and power) to create the universe, it would be extremely easy to include a replication process in something like a bacterium.
I don't think you're thinking this through very well. If some entity designed bacterium, before there were actually bacterium, then the design of bacterium had to be instantiated somewhere other than in a bacterium, which didn't exist yet. Right? Where was instantiated? In the designer? But, if the design actually plays a causal role in producing the bacterium, then it actually plays a physical role when transforming raw materials into a bacterium. Specifically, the design of the first bacterium must also include the recipe a bacterium will eventually use to reproduce itself. Right? Without it, bacterium cannot reproduce accurately (see von Neumann, etc.) Bacterium do not spontaneously appear out of no where or roll out of a bacterium factory. See the diagram linked in #5. Or are you suggesting all that FSCO/I threshold exceeding design "just appeared" when bacterium were created? If so, that would be the spontaneous appearance of that design. At which point, it's unclear what it means to say the designer designed bacterium. If the designs of a bacterium can "just appear" spontaneously, then why do we need a designer? critical rationalist
"Is UD down to 4-5 commenters responsible for 98% of the words published?" Jerry, I think there are a few internet bullies dominating the playground right now. When they decide to go watch TV, the normal kids will come back and play. ;) Andrew PS I'm trying to remember what Friend of UD I tried to keep telling a while ago they were over-commenting. Maybe the name will come back to me today. Probably not. asauber
can write their stuff unchallenged
When has ID been seriously challenged? I have never seen it. I have seen nonsense presented which certainly generates pixels. But no challenge ever that makes sense. Nothing serious. Aside: Said hundreds of times. I have only seen one honest anti ID commenter here in the entire history of UD. What drives people to constantly make stupid comments? Aside2: Is UD down to 4-5 commenters responsible for 98% of the words published? jerry
It's a conundrum, Jerry. UD should circle the wagons so ID proponents can write their stuff unchallenged. I think it would be best, myself. Alan Fox
So, to ask again, in the case of ID’s designer, where was the design of the first bacterium physically instantiated, which would include a translated version of the design the first bacterium would itself use to make copies of itself?
Doubling down on stupidity. Or should it be septupling down on stupidity (or maybe 7 x 7 is a closer estimate.) This is what UD gets by tolerating the trolls by answering them. When will they ever learn? UD even publishes OPs that take trolls seriously. jerry
@KF...
CR, you are trying to discuss biology in a cosmology thread.
Huh? You talked about Paley's watch. And your comment was trying to discuss TCP/IP, for the Internet, in a cosmology thread? It's unclear what your point is.
... and as a further point, the very point of the model is that functional organization is informational, it contemplates describing an entity then feeding the description into a 3-DP/C, producing a copy that works like the original. Thus, the validity of “functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information,” what my actual abbreviation FSCO/I summarises.
You didn't intend for your argument to be used that way? I don't know how that's reliant to my question. I'm not referring to some future state of affairs, but in the case of bacterium. Supposed it was designed. So, to ask again, in the case of ID’s designer, where was the design of the first bacterium physically instantiated, which would include a translated version of the design the first bacterium would itself use to make copies of itself? I don't blame you for not wanting to answer this question, as opposed to the question you asked and answered. As for the rest, see this comment. critical rationalist
being well adapted to serve a purpose
That is what ID is all about. It is just how it happens is the issue. Genetics makes minor adaptations easy but prevents major changes which would eliminate the ecology. It’s what the science verifies. Similarly, the laws of physics limit what can happen in the real world. The universe then adapts to these restrictions. What do we get - life as we know it. Maybe some other set of laws would lead to a different existence but it too would lead to adaptation. That’s just logic. Thus, the fine tuning of the universe and solar system also lead to adaptation but also definitely limits it.
Where was that translated program instantiated when it was used to construct the first bacterium? If it wasn’t present in the design of the first bacterium, in some translated form, then how did the program get into the bacterium?
One of the more stupid statements ever on UD. If some entity had the ability (intelligence and power) to create the universe, it would be extremely easy to include a replication process in something like a bacterium. Aside: Why is so much time wasted on inane discussions. Logic should have eliminated these useless discussions a long time ago. jerry
CR, you are trying to discuss biology in a cosmology thread. That noted, it should be obvious that a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al would be able to create a bacterium. Where, an input to such would be a coded description, and as a further point, the very point of the model is that functional organisation is informational, it contemplates describing an entity then feeding the description into a 3-DP/C, producing a copy that works like the original. Thus, the validity of "functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information," what my actual abbreviation FSCO/I summarises. The information content of Wicken's wiring diagram [1979] is drawn out. So, we recognise that information can be implicit in organisation and can even lurk in a context, someone designs a programming language, an information rich process that does not appear in a simple program like a hello world but lurks in its background. Further, students of systems theory or computer architecture will tell us that system components or levels don't always appear in a chain of obvious neat little boxes with connecting lines, there are abstract levels. ; I recall for instance, pneumatic control system components that don't look like much but are full of subtle details and the famous ball and disk integrator looks more like a mechanical toy than a device to solve sophisticated differential equations, such as for gunlaying on battleships or tide prediction for coastlines. The gap between an electronics block diagram, a circuit diagram and on the board components is itself a significant learning challenge. And that is before one addresses software heavy layers. Hence, the layer cake architecture and discussion of a hierarchy of virtual machines or functional layers such as for TCP/IP, for the Internet. I have seen such a layer cake breakdown all the way back to the s/360 by IBM, 1964. KF kairosfocus
CR, the formalism establishes information content of a functional entity and helps us further understand things like fine tuning. Where, of course, we can see through it, how a compact description language enables estimation of K-complexity, so a metric of information content, fleshing out what Orgel identified 50 years ago. That is a specific and significant result, drawing on algebra, not physics. As for kinematic self replicators, yes we have not yet built them as automated machines, but they have helped us understand what is required, and a more restricted constructor is something we see in the living cell, e.g. the ribosome. In this OP, I take the algebra and use it to explore cosmological fine tuning, indeed note what I did, in effect put it in simulation mode and showed how varying parameters etc for cosmology gives us results such as Barnes charted. This then goes further, showing how locally fine tuned functionality is involved in the islands of function in a configuration space challenge. Of course, algebra is not physics but it can be useful for physical issues. KF kairosfocus
Here's a set of diagrams to illustrate this further... 1st Diagram Hypothetical non-self-reproducing bacterium . When it wears out, it must be reprinted. We do not see bacterium appearing out of thin air or being printed in bacterium factories. 2nd Diagram An actual bacterium that replicates via von Neumann’s replicator-vehicle approach. It contains a recipe (in its genes) that the bacterium uses to reproduce itself, before it wears out. This process repeats, etc. 3rd Diagram If, if ID is true, some designer must have designed the first bacterium. As in the second diagram, there is a design of the first bacterium and a printer that prints it. That design must contain the recipe the bacterium uses to reproduce it self via von Neumann’s replicator-vehicle approach. Note how the recipe is present (physically instantiated) in the first design, translated in such a way that it will be eventually present (physically instantiated) in the bacterium (in its genes) for future use, when it is printed. The bacterium recipe goes though an error correcting process when it is copied. 4th Diagram If the recipe is not present in the design of the first bacterium, then it would not be present in the first bacterium. For accurate reproduction, it must contain that recipe (in its genes). Without it, the bacterium could not reproduce. For the vehicle to copy itself without a recipe, it would need to be able to scan itself accurately at the atomic level. Even then, that would reproduce any damage in the vehicle that occurred after it was printed. This would result in an error catastrophe. 5th Diagram If the recipe of the bacterium exceeds the FSC/I threshold when physically instantiated in the bacterium itself, then the translated recipe would also exceed FSC/I threshold when physically instantiated in the design of the first bacterium. This is even more complex, because the design must be translated in such a way that, when printed, it will eventual end up in the bacterium in the form of genetic instructions the the bacterium can use to make copies of itself. So, to ask again, in the case of ID's designer, where was the design of the first bacterium physically instantiated, which would include a translated version of the design the first bacterium would itself use to make copies of itself? critical rationalist
In regards to universal constructors / printers...
2.4 Von Neumann’s approach Before the discovery of the structure of DNA, von Neumann (1948) wondered how organisms can possibly reproduce themselves faithfully and evolve complex adaptations for doing so. He realised that an organism must be a programmable constructor operating in two stages, namely copying its program and executing it to build another instance. He tried to model this using simplified laws of physics – thus founding the field of cellular automata – but without success: it was too complicated. He also introduced an important constructor-theoretic idea, namely that of a universal constructor (3.11 below), but he made no further progress in constructor theory because, by retreating to cellular automata, he had locked himself into the prevailing conception and also abstracted away all connections between his theory and physics.
If you look at KF's diagram of a universal constructor, you'll see information physically instantiated on the left as an input to the constructor. If ID is correct, in that some designer designed bacterium, the design (program) used by constructor that constructed the the first bacterium must itself have included a translated version of the very same program that will eventually be executed by the bacterium in the first phase. As von Neumann pointed out, use of a program is necessary to explain how bacterium replicate with high accuracy. Where was that translated program instantiated when it was used to construct the first bacterium? If it wasn't present in the design of the first bacterium, in some translated form, then how did the program get into the bacterium? critical rationalist
CR, ignoring the significance of informational complexity and measures based on K-Complexity sets up and knocks over a strawman. Paley was over 200 years ago and we now have means to measure the informational complexity of contrivance, based on arrangement of parts to provide function. KF kairosfocus
A more fundamental way to look at it is: being well adapted to serve a purpose. All of those advances reflect the same fundamental criteria.
... those interactions and complexity reflects being well adapted to serve a purpose. It’s a more fundamental description of the vague “Functionally Specified Information”, etc. To quote Paley….
If the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have been carried on in the machine, or none which would have answered the use that is now served by it.
What Paley just described, fundamentally, reflects being well adapted to serve a purpose.
critical rationalist
L&FP, 70: Exploring cosmological fine tuning using the idea of a 3-D, universal printer and constructor (also, islands of function) kairosfocus

Leave a Reply