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A Darwinian Enigma: Defending The Preposterous After Having Been Informed

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Michael Behe and I had the same reaction after reading Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Our reaction was, “Why haven’t we heard any of this stuff before?”

The answer is simple. All criticisms of Darwinian orthodoxy were successfully branded by Darwinists as the mindless fantasies of religious fanatics whose purpose was to destroy “science.”

But let us ask, Who are those who have engaged in mindless fantasies concerning origins?

In the information age, the notion that random errors can produce highly sophisticated biological information, information-processing machinery, and the associated error-detection-and-repair mechanisms and algorithms, is so preposterous that I conclude that Darwinists have either lost their minds, are pathetically uninformed, or have chosen to deny evidence, rationality, and the discoveries of modern science in order pursue a thoroughly irrational commitment to materialistic philosophy.

In an attempt to defend the clearly preposterous, Darwinists have become the preeminent enemies of science concerning origins.

Petrushka, those are readily explained by the disruption of the mind-brain interface, as gpuccio pointed out to you earlier. Whereas on the other hand you have no way possible of explaining the many anomalies I listed using your materialistic framework (even IF I were to grant you the HUGE concession that materialism is a true description for the foundation of reality, which it is not (Zeilinger 2011)):
A neurosurgeon confronts the non-material nature of consciousness - December 2011 Excerpted quote: To me one thing that has emerged from my experience and from very rigorous analysis of that experience over several years, talking it over with others that I respect in neuroscience, and really trying to come up with an answer, is that consciousness outside of the brain is a fact. It’s an established fact. And of course, that was a hard place for me to get, coming from being a card-toting reductive materialist over decades. It was very difficult to get to knowing that consciousness, that there’s a soul of us that is not dependent on the brain. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/he-said-it-a-neurosurgeon-confronts-the-non-material-nature-of-consciousness/ Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander’s Near-Death Experience Defies Medical Model of Consciousness - audio interview http://www.skeptiko.com/upload/skeptiko-154-eben-alexander.mp3
Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to the 'particle level', to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:
‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011 Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624111942.htm
The seemingly counter-intuitive conclusion that consciousness is to be treated as a separate entity when dealing with quantum mechanics, and thus with the foundation of the universe, has some very strong clout behind it.
Quantum mind–body problem Parallels between quantum mechanics and mind/body dualism were first drawn by the founders of quantum mechanics including Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Niels Bohr, and Eugene Wigner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_mind%E2%80%93body_problem "It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness." Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays "Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays"; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:
Eugene Wigner Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another. http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_Course/WignerBio/wb1.htm
i.e. In the experiment the 'world' (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a 'privileged center'. This is since the 'matrix', which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is 'observer-centric' in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. etc. etc. bornagain77
I rephrase and add question marks if you need them. I’m still waiting for a cogent explanation for memory blocking drugs, or an explanation why brain injuries can block formation of permanent memories, but leave the person able to function pretty well in the present. Petrushka
GCUGreyArea: Thank you for the clarification. Indeed, I do believe that concsciousness can exist without the body, but that belief is based on completely different things, and I never bring it in the discussion about ID. ID has nothing to say about that. In discussing theories about consciousness, I only ask that it be considered as an empirical principle and studied as such, and that the theories that try to explain it in terms of an objective configuration of matter be considered for what they are: unsupported theories that do not explain anything. gpuccio
GCUGreyArea: I appreciate the suggestion. I will certainly try to be more specific in the future. gpuccio
Nothing. I did not object to either of those positions. I realize you may not have meant what I initially read. I read your comment to mean that consciousness and the body could be seen as distinct, non-contingent entities, which implies that each can exist independently. The claim it implied was that consciousness can exist without the body, but I see I must have misread, my apologies! GCUGreyArea
Yes, many scientists think that consciousness may be rooted in physical matter, and are investigating it to test that hypothesis. I don't know that there is a general theory, indeed theory would be the wrong word from a scientific perspective because although many scientists might believe that consciousness is rooted in matter, they have very different ideas about where this root may lie - each of these ideas could constitute a theory in that regard. Rather that continuing to erroneously refer to the idea of consciousness being the product of the physical brain as 'strong AI', perhaps you could just refer to it as the 'material consciousness hypothesis'? - this would be more accurate, but there may be an even better term already in use. GCUGreyArea
GCUGreyArea: If strong AI is only about "making machines that have cognitive capabilities comparable to humans", then it has all my appreciation. Let's say then that I am speaking only of the theory that assumes that consciousness is a byproduct of the activity of the brain, be it because of its software structure or of its material composition. You will not deny that such a position is widely spread, both among AI researchers and theorists and among neurobiologists. Please, consider all that I have said exclusively targeted to that position. That was what I meant, that is what I mean. If that is not your position, I am happy for you. gpuccio
You seem to believe it is clear cut, I would argue that the claim “Human beings are conscious beings in connection with material bodies.” is one that has not been verified. Wrong. It is a simple fact, empirically determined. Please, read carefully what I wrote: a) "Human beings are conscious beings". This is a simple fact, experienced by each of us in his own consciousness. The extension to other human beings is indeed an inference by analogy, but it is usually accepted by almost everybody. Have you problems with that? Are you a solipsist? b) The subjective experiences in consciousness are certainly in connection with the human material body, which is itself one of the material objects perceived by consciousness. I really cannot see what you object to. What has never been verified, instead, is the strong AI theory, according to which consciousness is a byproduct of the activities of the brain. But in my stetements here I have neither affirmed nor denied it. I have obviously my specific view, many times expressed here, but I would never deny that the issue is controversial. gpuccio
Petrushka: I’m still waiting for a cogent explanation for memory blocking drugs, or an explanation why brain injuries can block formation of permanent memories, but leave the person able to function pretty well in the present. The interface through which consciousness expresses itself in the human state is altered. That's all. gpuccio
You never even asked a question, you just stated your dogmatic materialistic opinion. And in your evasive response to the consistent, and impressive, line of evidence presented to you for a 'living soul' of man, you further highlighted your severe prejudice in these matters to consider anything other than your 'preferred' atheistic answer!!!.,,, Frankly, it is a clear and pathetic display of dogmatism on your part!! bornagain77
You wrote a lot of words, but no response to my questions. Petrushka
Another denialfest. Immaterial relationships being instantited into material objects has been empirically verified. It is an observed reality independent of human involvement. When it comes to providing an answer as to how an immaterial quality becomes instantiated into a material object, it is consciousness that surfaces as the only causally-adequate observation. For ideological reasons, you may wish to explain human consciousness in a purely material framework, but that does not explain how the immaterial relationships (which make life possible) came to be established on an early earth with no humans around. Yet they were so established, and life (including human life) depended upon them. Upright BiPed
The following gives a further indication of a 'non local' quantum solution to the 'memory' dilemma;
Bridging the Gap - October 2011 Excerpt: Like a bridge that spans a river to connect two major metropolises, the corpus callosum is the main conduit for information flowing between the left and right hemispheres of our brains. Now, neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that people who are born without that link—a condition called agenesis of the corpus callosum, or AgCC—still show remarkably normal communication across the gap between the two halves of their brains. http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13465
This following studies add weight to the 'transcendence of mind';
Study suggests precognition may be possible - November 2010 Excerpt: A Cornell University scientist has demonstrated that psi anomalies, more commonly known as precognition, premonitions or extra-sensory perception (ESP), really do exist at a statistically significant level. http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-11-precognition.html Mind-Brain Interaction and Science Fiction (Quantum connection) - Jeffrey Schwartz & Michael Egnor - audio http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/player/web/2008-12-01T17_28_39-08_00 In The Wonder Of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind, Eccles and Robinson discussed the research of three groups of scientists (Robert Porter and Cobie Brinkman, Nils Lassen and Per Roland, and Hans Kornhuber and Luder Deeke), all of whom produced startling and undeniable evidence that a "mental intention" preceded an actual neuronal firing - thereby establishing that the mind is not the same thing as the brain, but is a separate entity altogether. http://books.google.com/books?id=J9pON9yB8HkC&pg=PT28&lpg=PT28 “As I remarked earlier, this may present an “insuperable” difficulty for some scientists of materialists bent, but the fact remains, and is demonstrated by research, that non-material mind acts on material brain.” Eccles Do Conscious Thoughts Cause Behavior? -Roy F. Baumeister, E. J. Masicampo, and Kathleen D. Vohs - 2010 Excerpt: The evidence for conscious causation of behavior is profound, extensive, adaptive, multifaceted, and empirically strong. http://carlsonschool.umn.edu/assets/165663.pdf "Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder." Heinrich Heine - in the year 1834
This following experiment is really interesting:
Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter - Random Number Generators - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007
I once asked a evolutionist, after showing him the preceding experiment, "Since you ultimately believe that the 'god of random chance' produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?" Here a Darwinian Psychologist has a moment of honesty facing the 'hard problem' that consciousness presents to the materialistic/atheistic framework;
Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science's "Hardest Problem" Excerpt: 'But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can't even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don't even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.' David Barash - Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/11/post_33052491.html
Here is another article, and audio, that are both far more nuanced in the discerning of 'transcendent mind' from material brain, than the somewhat 'brute empirical evidence' I've listed thus far:
The Mind and Materialist Superstition - Six "conditions of mind" that are irreconcilable with materialism: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/11/the_mind_and_materialist_super.html Is the Brain Just an Illusion? - Anika Smith interviews Denyse O'Leary - podcast http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2011-10-21T15_48_33-07_00 Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
further notes: The following is on par with Pam Reynolds Near Death Experience. In the following video, Dr. Lloyd Rudy, a pioneer of cardiac surgery, tells stories of two patients who came back to life after being declared dead, and what they told him.
Famous Cardiac Surgeon Recounts Two Amazing Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery while under his care http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JL1oDuvQR08 The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences - Dr Jeffery Long - Melvin Morse M.D. - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627 Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) - Pim von Lommel - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/ Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This 'anomaly' is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).) http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_1_64/ai_65076875/
Also of 'spiritual interest' is the fact that many responses of the mind are found to defy time and space:
Quantum Consciousness - Time Flies Backwards? - Stuart Hameroff MD Excerpt: Dean Radin and Dick Bierman have performed a number of experiments of emotional response in human subjects. The subjects view a computer screen on which appear (at randomly varying intervals) a series of images, some of which are emotionally neutral, and some of which are highly emotional (violent, sexual....). In Radin and Bierman's early studies, skin conductance of a finger was used to measure physiological response They found that subjects responded strongly to emotional images compared to neutral images, and that the emotional response occurred between a fraction of a second to several seconds BEFORE the image appeared! Recently Professor Bierman (University of Amsterdam) repeated these experiments with subjects in an fMRI brain imager and found emotional responses in brain activity up to 4 seconds before the stimuli. Moreover he looked at raw data from other laboratories and found similar emotional responses before stimuli appeared. http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/views/TimeFlies.html Quantum Coherence and Consciousness – Scientific Proof of ‘Mind’ – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6266865/
Particular quote of note from preceding video;
“Wolf Singer Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Frankfurt) has found evidence of simultaneous oscillations in separate areas of the cortex, accurately synchronized in phase as well as frequency. He suggests that the oscillations are synchronized from some common source, but the actual source has never been located.” James J. Hurtak, Ph.D. Brain ‘entanglement’ could explain memories - January 2010 Excerpt: In both cases, the researchers noticed that the voltage of the electrical signal in groups of neurons separated by up to 10 millimetres sometimes rose and fell with exactly the same rhythm. These patterns of activity, dubbed “coherence potentials”, often started in one set of neurons, only to be mimicked or “cloned” by others milliseconds later. They were also much more complicated than the simple phase-locked oscillations and always matched each other in amplitude as well as in frequency. (Perfect clones) “The precision with which these new sites pick up on the activity of the initiating group is quite astounding – they are perfect clones,” says Plen https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/mind/mind-quantum-mechanics-provides-clues-to-human-thinking/comment-page-1/#comment-399098
Moreover, 'memories' have never been located to a 'material' basis:
A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body. http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel_skeptic_response.htm
And though it is not possible to localize memories (information) inside the brain, it is interesting to note how extremely complex the brain is in its ability to manipulate rudimentary information:
Boggle Your Brain - November 2010 Excerpt: One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor--with both memory-storage and information-processing elements--than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201011.htm#20101119a
So no, I see no scientific controversy, because I see no scientific evidence for a disembodied mind, and a great deal of evidence against. Hyper skeptical atheistic materialism at its most dogmatic, defiant, stance??? notes: This following video is very good, and easy to understand, for pointing out some of the unanswerable dilemmas that quantum mechanics presents to the atheistic philosophy of reductive materialism:
Dr. Quantum - Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579/
This following experiment extended Wheeler's delayed choice double slit experiment, which I referenced earlier, to highlight the centrality of 'information' in the Double Slit Experiment and refutes any 'detector centered' arguments for why the wave collapses:
(Double Slit) A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser - updated 2007 Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at D0 (Detector Zero) at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment. http://www.bottomlayer.com/bottom/kim-scully/kim-scully-web.htm
i.e. This experiment clearly shows that the ‘material’ detector is secondary in the experiment and that a conscious observer, being able to know the information of which path a photon takes with local certainty, is primary to the wave collapsing to a particle in the experiment. It is also very interesting to note that some materialists seem to have a very hard time grasping the simple point of these extended double slit experiments, but to try to put it more clearly; To explain an event which defies time and space, as the quantum erasure experiment clearly does, you cannot appeal to any material entity in the experiment like the detector, or any other 3D physical part of the experiment, which is itself constrained by the limits of time and space. To give an adequate explanation for defying time and space one is forced to appeal to a transcendent entity which is itself not confined by time or space. But then again I guess I can see why forcing someone, who claims to be a atheistic materialist, to appeal to a non-material transcendent entity, to give an adequate explanation for such a ‘spooky’ event, would invoke such utter confusion on their part. Yet to try to put it in even more ‘shocking’ terms for the atheists, the ‘shocking’ conclusion of the experiment is that a transcendent Mind, with a capital M, must precede the collapse of quantum waves to 3-Dimensional particles. Moreover, it is impossible for a human mind to ever ‘emerge’ from any 3-D material basis which is dependent on a preceding conscious cause for its own collapse to a 3D state in the first place. This is more than a slight problem for the atheistic-evolutionary materialist who insists that our minds simply ‘emerged’, or evolved, from a conglomeration of 3D matter. In the following article Professor Henry puts it more clearly than I can:
The Mental Universe - Richard Conn Henry - Professor of Physics John Hopkins University Excerpt: The only reality is mind and observations, but observations are not of things. To see the Universe as it really is, we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things.,,, Physicists shy away from the truth because the truth is so alien to everyday physics. A common way to evade the mental universe is to invoke "decoherence" - the notion that "the physical environment" is sufficient to create reality, independent of the human mind. Yet the idea that any irreversible act of amplification is necessary to collapse the wave function is known to be wrong: in "Renninger-type" experiments, the wave function is collapsed simply by your human mind seeing nothing. The universe is entirely mental,,,, The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual. Live, and enjoy. http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf
Astrophysicist John Gribbin comments on the Renninger experiment here:
Solving the quantum mysteries - John Gribbin Excerpt: From a 50:50 probability of the flash occurring either on the hemisphere or on the outer sphere, the quantum wave function has collapsed into a 100 per cent certainty that the flash will occur on the outer sphere. But this has happened without the observer actually "observing" anything at all! It is purely a result of a change in the observer's knowledge about what is going on in the experiment. http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/John_Gribbin/quantum.htm#Solving
i.e. The detector is completely removed as to being the primary cause of quantum wave collapse in the experiment. As Richard Conn Henry clearly implied previously, in the experiment it is found that 'The physical environment' IS NOT sufficient within itself to 'create reality', i.e. 'The physical environment' IS NOT sufficient to explain quantum wave collapse to a 'uncertain' 3D particle.
Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,,, Walt Whitman - Miracles
That the mind of a individual observer would play such an integral, yet not complete ‘closed loop’ role, in instantaneous quantum wave collapse to uncertain 3-D particles, gives us clear evidence that our mind is a unique entity. A unique entity with a superior quality of existence when compared to the uncertain 3D particles of the material universe. This is clear evidence for the existence of the ‘higher dimensional mind’ of man that supersedes any material basis that the mind has been purported to emerge from by materialists. I would also like to point out that the ‘effect’, of universal quantum wave collapse to each ‘central 3D observer’ in the universe (Wheeler; Delayed Choice, Wigner; Quantum Symmetries), gives us clear evidence of the extremely special importance that the ’cause’ of the ‘Infinite Mind of God’ places on each of our own individual souls/minds.
Psalm 139:17-18 How precious concerning me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
These following studies and videos confirm this 'superior quality' of existence for our souls/minds:
Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the soul) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0 Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies - Dr. Ben Carson - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994585/ Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics' Lives: Excerpt: "We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child's personality and sense of humor,'' Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: "Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications." http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/19/science/removing-half-of-brain-improves-young-epileptics-lives.html
‘Surprisingly’ (a word that turns up far to often in materialistic papers), at the molecular level, the cells of the brain are found to be extremely ‘plastic’ to changes in ‘activity in the brain’ which is, or course, completely contrary to the reductive materialistic view of the mind ‘emerging’ from the material brain;
DNA Dynamism - PaV - October 2011 Excerpt: “It was mind-boggling to see that so many methylation sites — thousands of sites — had changed in status as a result of brain activity,” Song says. “We used to think that the brain’s epigenetic DNA methylation landscape was as stable as mountains and more recently realized that maybe it was a bit more subject to change, perhaps like trees occasionally bent in a storm. But now we show it is most of all like a river that reacts to storms of activity by moving and changing fast.” https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/dna-dynamism/
Further notes on the transcendence of 'mind':
The Day I Died - Part 4 of 6 - The Extremely 'Monitored' Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560
Human beings are conscious beings in connection with material bodies.
On what basis is this claim made?
You wil at least admit, I hope, that the true nature of human beings is a controversial issue.
You seem to believe it is clear cut, I would argue that the claim "Human beings are conscious beings in connection with material bodies." is one that has not been verified. GCUGreyArea
I haven't seen any compelling evidence of a disembodied mind. I'm still waiting for a cogent explanation for memory blocking drugs, or an explanation why brain injuries can block formation of permanent memories, but leave the person able to function pretty well in the present. So no, I see no scientific controversy, because I see no scientific evidence for a disembodied mind, and a great deal of evidence against. Petrushka
Strong AI does not postulate the things you seem to think it does and it is not a theory about consciousness. There is no consensus amongst AI researchers that consciousness is required for strong AI. Strong AI is about making machines that have cognitive capabilities comparable to humans, from that there are many interesting and hotly debated questions, including questions about the nature of consciousness, but strong AI is an exploratory field of study rather than a theory. I am an AI researcher and I know that some in the field do postulate that consciousness can be generated synthetically. Others in the field disagree and those that do agree on the principle may not agree in the details - for example some would argue that patterns of activity are what is required and therefore generating these patterns by means of computer software (a simulated neural network for example) may suffice. Others would argue that there may be some physical mechanism that is required, in other words a computer simulation is not enough, you need to create the right kind of physical hardware. There are others that argue that consciousness is not required, and more that argue that it cannot be synthesised. To say that strong AI is built on a lie is to misunderstand what is being explored. 'They', in the sense of all strong AI researchers, are not proposing anything about consciousness. some of them are but others disagree. What is being investigated by strong AI is the possibility of creating synthetic general purpose intelligences, and what that entails. Personally, I am happily sitting on the fence as far as consciousness goes. GCUGreyArea
Petrushka: Human bodies are certainly material objects. Whose origin is the object of our discussion here, like for all other biological beings. Human beings are conscious beings in connection with material bodies. The body is observed by human consciousness, like all other material objects, while the concious "I" intuitively perceives its existence. You wil at least admit, I hope, that the true nature of human beings is a controversial issue. gpuccio
Petrushka, though gradual evolution is not falsified in the strictest sense, the materialistic, atheistic, neo-Darwinian version of gradual evolution is falsified in the strictest sense, i.e. it is IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US
Petrushka, and exactly what evidence do you have that material objects are to be considered 'material' in the first place? Quantum Mechanics has now been extended by Anton Zeilinger, and team, to falsify local realism (reductive materialism) without even using quantum entanglement to do it:
‘Quantum Magic’ Without Any ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’ – June 2011 Excerpt: A team of researchers led by Anton Zeilinger at the University of Vienna and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information of the Austrian Academy of Sciences used a system which does not allow for entanglement, and still found results which cannot be interpreted classically. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624111942.htm
I don't know. Where do Behe or Dembski or Axe say "Darwinian" evolution is impossible? I haven't said design is impossible in principle, just impossible with any known or proposed technology. the basic problem is that chemistry is faster and more accurate than simulations of chemistry. So if you are going to design, evolution is the fastest and best way. ID could use a theory of design and a worked out example. Petrushka
Observed material objects are not conscious.
Human beings are not material objects? Your evidence for this is what? Petrushka
UB and above: Than you :) gpuccio
Thanks again Gpuccio. A very clear and accurate exposition of the issue. I enjoyed reading it. above
beautiful Upright BiPed
Petrushka: Where does it say: "impossible"? gpuccio
above: After all, it's simple enough: a) Consciousness is an observed empirical phenomenon (we can observe it in ourselves, even if in others it is an inference by analogy). b) Observed material objects are not conscious. c) Strong AI postulates that some kind of configuration of material objects can generate consciousness. In particular, some kind of software strucure. d) That would be a reasonable hypothesis, if there were at least one empirical fact in support of that. But there is not. The proposed software configurations (parallel computing, loops, or anything else that may become trendy) are wll known, and in no way they have ever generated anything like consciousness. e) Moreover, there is absolutely no theoretical foundation to the idea that making those structures more complex will change anything. A softwrae structure is a computing algorithm. An algorithm computing 2+2 is not in any way qualitatively different from windows 7. They do essentially the same thing: computing by rearranging bits in some physical state. f) In principle, as it is the software structure that counts, and not the hardware, the results of the computing are independent from the hardware. Therefore, if a PC could become conscious, the execution of the same computation by an abacus, however slow, should generate consciousness just the same. g) The formal principles we observe in conscious events (subjectivity, the reference of multiple modifications to a single perceptor, the fundamental intuitions of pain and pleasure, of good and evil, and of true and false) are in no way explained formally by configurations of objects. Indeed, those formal principles cannot even be defined without referring to consciousbess itself. IOWs, there is no way that objective configuration can formally explain subjective experiences. h) Therefore, strong AI is both logically and empirically unsupported (exactly like neo darwinism)- i) Why then is it considered a fundamental scientific theory? The answer is simple, and is always the same: a priori commitment to materialstic reductionism. l) The resoning goes as follows: 1)Humans are conscious (correct!) 2)They have a body and brain (correct!) 3)Their consciousness is a byproduct of their brain activity (wrong: that is only a dogmatic assumption for those who have chosen naterialistic reductionism as their worldview; and the point here is that in this reasoning it is taken as truth, not as an hypothesis; indeed, only if this single step is true does the reasoning make sense). 4) As the brain is a special configuration of material objects, that configuration can be replicated as a softwrae configuration (correct!). 5) Therefore, some specific software configuration must be able to generate consciousness (correct only if 3) is true). IOWs, the whole theory is supported by only one thing: assuming as truth a specific worldview. As there is no logical or empirical support for the theory, its only support is faith in a specific religion (materialistic reductionism). Therefore, it is only a form of religion-science. Not science at all. m) A final point. Most of the so called "arguments" of strong AI are not arguments for strong AI at all. To see that better, we should recur to the traditional splitting of the problem of consciousness in two aspects: 1) The hard problem of consciousness: the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences (from Wikipedia). IOWs, the problem of expalining why subjective experiences exist. 2) The easy problems of consciousness: explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc. Easy problems are easy because all that is required for their solution is to specify a mechanism that can perform the function. (from Wikipedia). That distinction is clearly made by philosopher David Chalmers, but it should be obvious to everybody. Wikipedia goes on: "That is, their proposed solutions (of the easy problems), regardless of how complex or poorly understood they may be, can be entirely consistent with the modern materialistic conception of natural phenomena. Chalmers claims that the problem of experience is distinct from this set, and he argues that the problem of experience will "persist even when the performance of all the relevant functions is explained"" That's exactly the point. All "arguments" in strong AI are attempts at solving the easy problems of consciousness. IOWs, they are simulating the solutions to the computing mechanisms of the brain. That is fine. That is interesting and possible. The brain certainly computes, and we can certainly simulate how it computes. It is not easy, but it is certainly possible. But in no way that solves the hard problem of consciousness. Strong AI is therefore based on a double lie: - Its basic reasonig, the only logical support to the theory, assumes as truth a specific faith. - As it is wholly unsupported at the empirical level, it can only produce arguments for the solution of the east problems of consciousness, and pretend that they are arguments for the solution of the hard problem of consciousness. gpuccio
Thanks Gpuccio. Do you mind elaborating a little bit on strong AI and the fundamental problems that it faces, which inherently make it a lie? above
above: It depends on what we intend for "evolution". In reality, the neo darwinian model, the "modern synthesis", is just a scientific theory. As such, it needs not any a priori or methaphysical assumption. Indeed, true science is empirical, and cannot depend on a priori commitments, neither religious nor non religious. The problem is that neo darwinism is a scientific theory that does not work. That's where a priori commitments come in. Indeed, the only reason why intelligent people may be driven to defend a theory that does not work, an explanation that does not explain anything, is because of a priori commitments. The only reason why neo darwinism is so tenaciously defended by most, is because of an a priori commitment to: a) materialist reductionism b) scientism The same is true for the other big lie, strong AI. All of that has nothing to do with true science. True science is empirical, and it always looks for the best empirical explanation. For biological information, the best empirical explanation, indeed the only explanation available, is design. No a priori assumption is needed for that. Except for the general, fundamental assumptions that are necessary for any congnition at all. On the other hand, it is always true that our personal views of reality will always influence our scientific work. There is nothing wrong in that. It cannot be different from that. But an influence is completely different from an a priori commitment. One can be influenced by his world views (indeed, nobody can avoid that), and still be honest in his empirical reasoning, and avoid dogmatism, of any kind. gpuccio
Hey everyone, I have been doing some reading and have a question concerning evolution and the beliefs that serve as its underpinnings. Specifically I wanted to explore something the atheist Michael Ruse said: "evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.” In your opinion, what are these articles of faith that evolution rests upon? above
You mean details like thse?
Ab initio structure prediction: uses quantum mechanics to model atom by atom – Relatively inaccurate, very slow – The only option for totally novel structures
Petrushka: You can find more details here: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/biology/7-349-biological-computing-at-the-crossroads-of-engineering-and-science-spring-2005/assignments/pres_kate.pdf Yes, they used iterative computation, as far as I can understand. But it is the best example of a top down protein design based on computation, exactly what you seem to deny. It is true that the protein folds, but has not specific function. But the fact remains that, even with limited computational resources, proteins can be engineered top down. gpuccio
I can't read the article, or any of the related articles, but I'll be interested in the details. From the abstract it appears to use an iterative process, which translates to fecundity and selection, just in software instead of chemistry. Are you changing your pitch regarding the modelling of biochemistry in software? How far do you think this approach will go before it exceeds available computational resources, and what do you think about modelling the next step, which would involve predicting utility? Petrushka
Petrushka: "Design of a novel globular protein fold with atomic-level accuracy. (2003) Science 302: 1364-1368 A major challenge of computational protein design is the creation of novel proteins with arbitrarily chosen three-dimensional structures. Here, we used a general computational strategy that iterates between sequence design and structure prediction to design a 93-residue alpha/beta protein called Top7 with a novel sequence and topology. Top7 was found experimentally to be folded and extremely stable, and the x-ray crystal structure of Top7 is similar (root mean square deviation equals 1.2 angstroms) to the design model. The ability to design a new protein fold makes possible the exploration of the large regions of the protein universe not yet observed in nature. " gpuccio
As it is, your argument is based upon the unsupported claim that protein folds can’t be predicted.
My claim is supported by the fact that billions of dollars spent every year on pharmaceutical research and billions of hours of computer time have not produced anything like a formula for protein folding, and folding is just the first step to determining utility. And each step introduces an equivalent level of complexity. I think I understand the claim that the origin of cellular machinery is unsolved. It isn't being ignored. It's just a very hard problem. It's always possible, as Darwin surmised, that first life is a miracle. Even so, evolution doesn't require miracles. It just requires that the functional landscape be traversable, and that's an empirical question. Petrushka
Your argument is remarkable postmodernist (no name-calling intended) and seems to rest on the claim that mathematics is anthropocentric
My argument is that the transfer of recorded information from the genome demonstrates the same physical objects and physical dynamics as any other form of recorded information transfer ever observed (no matter whether that information was bound to humans, or human intelligence, or other living things, or non-living machines), and by coherently satisfying these physical entailments (through observation) it confirms a semiotic state.
There are many accepted facts that are based entirely on observation and have no theoretical backing. The laws of thermodynamics, for example. These are purely observational. No one has a clue why they seem to be true. They just are.
Like thermodynamics, the physical observations in this case are unrefuted, and the argument that follows makes no unsupported assumptions or has any internal contradictions.
The fact that protein coding sequences cannot predict folds or functional utility is just as firm. It is always possible that the claim is wrong, just as it is possible that an exception will be found to the laws of thermodynamics.
This will need to be parsed apart. Firstly, protein coding sequences do not "predict" proteins, they physically drive the assembly of proteins within the confines of the system in which they are coordinated to operate. Secondly, for your argument to possibly be wrong it would first need to possibly be right. As it is, your argument is based upon the unsupported claim that protein folds can't be predicted. Your commanding evidence for this claim is that no one know how. So what you end up with is an unsupported assertion backed up by an anthropocentric fallacy which conflates reality with your personal judgement of what is knowable. What principle is at work which would confirm that 'proteins folds cannot be predicted', you do not say.
My point would be that ID requires three things never witnessed: 1. an observed instance of design, 2. a designer, 3. the ability to predict the utility of coding sequences.
Your #1 is a subjective shell game; the observation of immaterial properties instantiated into physical objects (semiosis) is an intractable inference to volitional agency coming from an unrefuted line of examples. You simply ignore it. Your #2 is typical materialist drivel. ID proponents must produce proof of a designer, but materialists needn't produce any material demonstrations of proof at all. This desperate requirement is an open call for training wheels and a safety net for an ideology failed by modern molecular science. Such ultimate requirements are posted for no other reason than to distract from the fact that the evidence for design is already observable and unrefuted. Observable unrefuted evidence (in the present) requires the ultimate distraction, hence the ultimate goalpost. Your #3 is just a little out of place. Are you suggesting that if I produce the designer in your #2, you'd still like him/her/it to falsify your argument about protein folds? Upright BiPed
Your argument stands on the idea that if humans cannot predict the folding of a protein (and therefore design it), then such information cannot be known (and by extention, proteins cannot be designed). This is, of course, an entitrely anthropocentric idea, and a bad one at that.
Your argument is remarkable postmodernist (no name-calling intended) and seems to rest on the claim that mathematics is anthropocentric. There are many accepted facts that are based entirely on observation and have no theoretical backing. The laws of thermodynamics, for example. These are purely observational. No one has a clue why they seem to be true. They just are. The fact that protein coding sequences cannot predict folds or functional utility is just as firm. It is always possible that the claim is wrong, just as it is possible that an exception will be found to the laws of thermodynamics. My point would be that ID requires three things never witnessed: 1. an observed instance of design, 2. a designer, 3. the ability to predict the utility of coding sequences. Petrushka
Name calling? Are you referring to me saying you are "quite an empiricist"? Is that what you refer to as "a lot of name-calling"? If it is, then sure, there was a lot of "name calling" going on. In any case, you know exactly what I am talking about. Your argument stands on the idea that if humans cannot predict the folding of a protein (and therefore design it), then such information cannot be known (and by extention, proteins cannot be designed). This is, of course, an entitrely anthropocentric idea, and a bad one at that.
I’m not discussing why things exist. I’m discussing how a very narrowly defined range of phenomena work.
And I am trying to get you to acknowledge the fact that the way in which your "phenomena works" has already-observable design embedded in it - which cannot be ignored by any empiricist operating with integrity. But because you have demonstrated little interest in evidentiary integrity, your own words and actions fold back upon themselves in contradictions. First you ignore the evidence against you by claiming you are "not discussing why things exist". Then you launch this anthropic deformity in logic. Then you use this silly argument to to do exactly what you said you weren't doing - making claims about why something exist. Why not do the right thing by science, and address the physical evidence instead? How does an physical object become observably instantiated with an immaterial property? Upright BiPed
Petrushka you state you would be 'converted':
if you would show me how to design protein domain sequences without either evolution or magic.
Well Petrushka, since evolution, or magic, has NEVER been observed to 'design protein domain sequences', whereas when intelligence is used in concerted effort with 'directed evolution, we can design novel functional proteins, (yet our 'designed proteins still fall short by several orders of magnitude when compared to the 'optimal' proteins found in nature), why in blue blazes do you hold to the position that has zero evidence instead of the position that has some evidence???? Surely you are aware that for man to design functional proteins completely without some refining trial and error process, because of their rarity (1 in 10^77), would require man to have near infinite knowledge in the first place?!? So basically you are saying to us, when you ask us to show you how to design novel functional proteins, that if you had the knowledge of God to do as such then you would believe in God??? But Petrushka, would you not then be God??? Perhaps you should set your sites a little more modestly??? :)
Stephen Meyer - Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681
Dr. Stephen Meyer comments at the end of the preceding video,,,
‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ - Stephen Meyer - (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate - 2009) A few comments on ‘non-local’ epigenetic information implicated in 3-D spatial organization of Body Plans: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1iNy78O6ZpU8wpFIgkILi85TvhC9mSqzUSE_jzbksoHY
Verse and Music;
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Nichole Nordeman - "What If" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUGQFH03apc
To be more specific I'm discussing whether the known kinds of genetic and genomic change can effectively traverse the sequence landscape. I don't know how the cellular machinery originated, and it isn't necessary to know how it originated in order to study its behavior. Petrushka
There seems to be a lot of name-calling embedded in your post, but I'm not able to figure out what you mean. I'm not discussing why things exist. I'm discussing how a very narrowly defined range of phenomena work. Petrushka
...and all the while you wilfully refuse to acknowledge the observable evidence required for your wholly anthropocentric argument to even exist. You are quite an empiricist petrushka. Upright BiPed
I would also be "converted" if you would show me how to design protein domain sequences without either evolution or magic. I'm told 500 bits of functional sequence can only be the work of intelligence. So I'm eagerly awaiting a demonstration that a human or something like a human can assemble an entirely new protein coding sequence without fecundity and selection. Petrushka
P: Pardon, but that is a pretzel-twisty response. The fossil record precisely does not show the dominance of transitionals, as I pointed out. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
Petrushka: Well, we will wait for you! gpuccio
Basically the short answer to your question is yes. If someone like Thornton exhaustively investigates the pathways from a parent sequence to a child sequence and finds no mechanism for traversing the gap, that would be a very serious matter. Let's see one. Petrushka
I'm not sure what you mean by all the investigation. Work like Lenski's takes decades to investigate a simple three step change. Thornton's work is also pretty time and effort consuming. But that is the kind of work that needs to be done. Petrushka
Petrushka: A simple question: if after all the active investigation no incremental way of traversing the functional landscape is found, will you change your mind? Will you come on our side? You would be welcome, everybody needs stubborn fighters like you... gpuccio
Petrushka: It is part of the blindness of Darwinism that its proponents actually believe that the fossil record supports the theory. It does not. Darwin saw that it did not, and 150 years later that hasn't changed. In fact, it is much worse today because orders of magnitude more fossils have been unearthed. You ask, "What exactly do you want?" If Darwinism were true, then we should see millions of examples of slow, incremental change of one species into another. We should see a fish fin slowly morphing, step by Darwinian step, into a pentadactyl limb, or a small rodent's forelimbs gradually elongating and becoming a bat's wings, or reptilian scales changing in small incremental steps into feathers. The time scales on which these changes must occur are vast, and they are universal, if the theory is correct. But there is not one instance of such a pattern. Not one. What do I want? If there were even one such sequence, it would cause me to seriously re-evaluate my position regarding the truth of Darwinism. But there aren't any. That speaks volumes to me. Bruce David
Petrushka asks:
Perhaps you care to address the series leading from jaw bones to inner ear bones.
That particular Darwinian fairy tale is addressed at the 31:49 minute mark of this following video (you have to skip over 31:49 minutes of a 'brief' description of the stunning engineering and design found in the ear to get to the ludicrous, and laughable, Darwinian explanation proffered by evolutionists for this amazing sophistication we find in the ear :) ).
The Hearing Ear by Dr. David Menton http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPiXlJ3eIwo
Sorry, the alleged tree of life would lead to a fossil record absolutely DOMINATED by transitional forms, just on the implications of dominance of the most abundant.
It is. Every fossil ever found is transitional. Every thing that has ever reproduced is transitional. There are plenty of transitional series where the forms are closer to each other than dog breeds. What exactly do you want? Perhaps you care to address the series leading from jaw bones to inner ear bones. Petrushka
APM: I do like the idea of evolved strawmen. That allows us to attribute much of human hypocrisy to a neo darwinian mechanism, after all :) gpuccio
Neil: You are obviously entitled to your opinion. That's free will, indeed. Otherwise, you would not be part of the intelligent people who defend a stupid theory (please, take that as a compliment!) :) gpuccio
P: I find this astonishing. You have been presented, over and over again with the facts and discussion of the cases where incremental small changes will work, within islands of function, and the issue being begged, that on evidence ranging from the implications of discovering complex algorithmic functionality to the issue of integrated embryological body plan development directly connected to that, to the protein fold domains to the sudden appearance, stasis and disappearances that characterise the fossil record, to the Cambrian fossils that so abundantly show this occurring at the TOP-down end of the record, etc. And, your response is that the asserted contiguity of a vast continent of functional life forms that would have to be foundational to the claimed tree of life by increments, is being "investigated." (And that, when you have paused from trying to belittle the expertise of one who has had to write sophisticated algorithmic search into programs.) Sorry, the alleged tree of life would lead to a fossil record absolutely DOMINATED by transitional forms, just on the implications of dominance of the most abundant. The required evidence is not there, and the sampling theory tells us why: credibly, it was never there. That's why Gould et al came up with alternatives to suggest why macro evo could be explained in absence of such evidence. The evidence clearly points to adaptation of body plans per built-in capacity as the variability of food crops, deer, fish, gulls, dogs and humans plainly shows. But it also points to the origin of said body plans being at a completely different order of algorithmic complexity and required explanation. It strikes me that we have been dealing with a grand case of over-extrapolation of very limited evidence, driven by an a priori imposition of materialism, that has led to a warping of the very understanding of science, and to seeing he evidence of limited adaptability as instead illustrations of what is a "must be" because of that controlling a priori. That is what Johnson aptly exposed and rebutted in his November 1997 First Things article:
For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them "materialists employing science." And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) "give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]
But then, those of us who had to deal with true-believer Marxists and their students a generation ago, find all of this grand exercise in worldview-level question begging ever so familiar. Especially when one tried to point out the implications of the overdetermined set of equations implied by the labour theory of value in Marxist hands. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
Graham, There is a difference. You find ghosts, demons, and angels preposterous because there is no place for them in your particular worldview. In other words, their existence would violate your paradigms. Gil, Gpuccio, and I are saying something different, namely that the idea that any combination of natural law and chance could produce the exquisitely subtle, stunningly complex, and sophisticated machinery of the cell is preposterous on its face, no matter what your worldview. Bruce David
gpuccio, I think your experience and feelings are similar to what Behe described. I think he said he felt like he had been "led down the garden path." There are lots of people who think evolution is true because they've been told so, but when you ask them what aspect of the science they find most convincing or what application it has in their field you get blank stares, lots of hemming-and-hawing, or perhaps a weak reference to some evolution talking points: insects and insecticide, finch beaks, vague references to some old fossil and the like. Eric Anderson
Petrushka: Well having mastered checkers using a comprehensive database of moves... It was not just a database, but a sophisticated search algorithm using a human-designed leaf-node evaluation function, crafted tediously with the input of two human grandmaster players. My checkers program employs the following techniques: A minimal-window, principle-variation, alpha-beta search, with iterative deepening to maximize alpha-beta cutoffs based on preliminary searches. Two rapidly accessed hash tables (one for the most valuable moves at the root of the tree in order to minimize tree growth, and one for the base of the tree for recognizing most-recently-seen positions) for quick look-up of previously searched lines of play to avoid search duplication and to modify the search window when the window fails and a re-search is required. My program also includes a maximized-for-efficiency move generator, which is based on CPU register variables, using the most efficient bit-based CPU instructions. This is a short list of what was required to produce WCC. The program is approximately 65,000 lines of tediously designed, tested, and revised C code (with many more lines of code required for all the supporting software, such as the user interface and the database generation, compression, and real-time RAM and disk-based acquisition code.) Yet, the Darwinist expects me to believe that my mind came about by random errors filtered by natural selection. In my view, this epitomizes irrationality driven by an ideological commitment to a demonstrably ludicrous proposition. Engineering real systems that really work in the real world gives one a unique perspective on how out of contact with reality Darwinists have become. GilDodgen
I wouldn't be so quick to attribute the strawman to design. Perhaps it evolved over time from a pile of sawdust that was struck by lightning. APM
OK Neil- what is this alleged strawman? Joe
I'm not so sure about that, Neil. Darwinism seems to have secured its place in the curriculum without any compelling research results at all. APM
Except that, instead of the cute 1st grade teacher crying with big doe eyes, "WHY DO HATE CHRISTMAS!!!???" we get Richard Dawkins screaming "WHY DO YOU HATE SCIENCE!!!??? To which I respond, "Why do you hate God, who gave you the science you hold so dear?" APM
WOW a strawman of a strawman, nice move Neil. Can you do that trick while standing on one foot and rubbing your head??? bornagain77
As best I can tell, what has been falsified is the strawman that the ID folk have been erecting. Neil Rickert
I think Hitler once said that it is easier to persuade the people with a big lie than with a small one. Mytheos
forgetting all the "ghosts" etc. is "creator" as preposterous, given all the "apparent": design, free will; is it *more* preposterous than all the apparent design having come about by chemical reactions (not to mention the inability to explain the origin of matter and energy)? thanks es58
Neil: I would definitely say that the falsification of the current absurd paradigm for the generation of biological information is a compelling research result. gpuccio
And the reaction to ID has always been to make everything possible to keep it out of the scientific world.
Personally, I would welcome ID into the science world, once it has developed some significant scientific progress. Here's how to go about it. Start with a research program that produces results so compelling that other scientists have to take notice. Once that happens, you will see scientists wanting to introduce it as a special topic class in graduate school. And, if progress continues, there will be a move to make it a regular graduate class. With further progress, it might eventually filter down to the undergraduate level, and perhaps even to the high school level. That's the way new science enters the curriculum. But you do have to start with the compelling research results. Neil Rickert
Actually Petrushka, finding, beyond space and time, quantum entanglement/information within functional proteins eliminated even that severely stretched, and consistently unsubstantiated, possibility from the materialistic neo-Darwinian framework:
Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US
But hey Petrushka, its only science! :) To keep your delusional, nihilistic, atheistic fantasies alive, all you have to do is refute Alain Aspect's, and company, falsification of local realism. Perhaps you can kick the experiments and paper out before lunch??? :) bornagain77
Fortunately that is an empirical question and one actively being investigated.
Just don't print that in a biology book or propose saying it in a classroom or else the NCSE will rain hell on you. I think we're supposed to keep it a secret. Sort of like telling 1st graders that there's no Santa Claus. ScottAndrews2
You will be right if it turns out there is no incremental way of traversing the functional landscape. It all hangs on that. Fortunately that is an empirical question and one actively being investigated. Petrushka
Moreover, as if the preceding wasn't enough to refute neo-Darwinism, getting proteins to actually work together, so as to actually do something useful, is also exceeding difficult and exacerbates the 'impossibility' of finding functional proteins once over again:
"The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable." Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book "Edge of Evolution")
And when intelligent design, 'mere' human intelligence design that is, was used, here is the extreme difficultly the researchers encountered to arrive at JUST ONE protein-protein binding site;
Viral-Binding Protein Design Makes the Case for Intelligent Design Sick! (as in cool) - Fazale Rana - June 2011 Excerpt: When considering this study, it is remarkable to note how much effort it took to design a protein that binds to a specific location on the hemagglutinin molecule. As biochemists Bryan Der and Brian Kuhlman point out while commenting on this work, the design of these proteins required: " ...cutting-edge software developed by ~20 groups worldwide and 100,000 hours of highly parallel computing time. It also involved using a technique known as yeast display to screen candidate proteins and select those with high binding affinities, as well as x-ray crystallography to validate designs.2" If it takes this much work and intellectual input to create a single protein from scratch, is it really reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes could accomplish this task routinely? In other words, the researchers from the University of Washington and The Scripps Institute have unwittingly provided empirical evidence that the high-precision interactions required for PPIs requires intelligent agency to arise. Sick! http://www.reasons.org/viral-binding-protein-design-makes-case-intelligent-design-sick-cool
further notes:
"Monkeys Typing Shakespeare" Simulation Illustrates Combinatorial Inflation Problem - October 2011 Excerpt: In other words, Darwinian evolution isn't going to be able to produce fundamentally new protein folds. In fact, it probably wouldn't even be able to produce a single 9-character string of nucleotides in DNA, if that string would not be retained by selection until all 9 nucleotides were in place. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/monkeys_typing_shakespeare_sim051561.html Dollo’s law, the symmetry of time, and the edge of evolution - Michael Behe - Oct 2009 Excerpt: Nature has recently published an interesting paper which places severe limits on Darwinian evolution.,,, A time-symmetric Dollo’s law turns the notion of “pre-adaptation” on its head. The law instead predicts something like “pre-sequestration”, where proteins that are currently being used for one complex purpose are very unlikely to be available for either reversion to past functions or future alternative uses. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/10/dollos_law_the_symmetry_of_tim.html Stability effects of mutations and protein evolvability. October 2009 Excerpt: The accepted paradigm that proteins can tolerate nearly any amino acid substitution has been replaced by the view that the deleterious effects of mutations, and especially their tendency to undermine the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of protein, is a major constraint on protein evolvability,, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19765975 Book Review - Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren't chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome. So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it's a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail. http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/reading_list/indices/book_726.html
Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US
Here's another measure for quantum information in protein structures:
Proteins with cruise control provide new perspective: Excerpt: “A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.” http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S22/60/95O56/
The preceding is solid confirmation that far more complex information resides in proteins than meets the eye, for the calculus equations used for ‘cruise control’, that must somehow reside within the quantum information that is ‘constraining’ the entire protein structure to its ‘normal’ state, is anything but ‘simple classical information’. For a sample of the equations that must be dealt with, to ‘engineer’ even a simple process control loop like cruise control along a entire protein structure, please see this following site:
PID controller Excerpt: A proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller) is a generic control loop feedback mechanism (controller) widely used in industrial control systems. A PID controller attempts to correct the error between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint by calculating and then outputting a corrective action that can adjust the process accordingly and rapidly, to keep the error minimal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller
Music and Verse:
Newsboys - Shine http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5991456411818895007 1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"--
Petrushka states:
Well having mastered checkers using a comprehensive database of moves, Gil is no doubt aware of the resources needed to build a comprehensive database of protein coding sequences.
Now Petrushka, seeing that you are a dogmatic, rabid, neo-Darwinist, at least as far as I can tell, I'm sure this is a very sarcastic remark on your part. But hidden within this sarcasm of yours is your belief that 'someone', though you don't specify exactly who, knows how to build a 'comprehensive database of protein coding sequences.' Yet, despite your hidden assumption, the plain fact is that NOBODY, (at least no human that is), knows how to build a 'comprehensive database of protein coding sequences.'
Francis Collins on Making Life Excerpt: 'We are so woefully ignorant about how biology really works. We still don't understand how a particular DNA sequence—when we just stare at it—codes for a protein that has a particular function. We can't even figure out how that protein would fold—into what kind of three-dimensional shape. And I would defy anybody who is going to tell me that they could, from first principles, predict not only the shape of the protein but also what it does.' - Francis Collins - Former Director of the Human Genome Project http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/collins-genome.html
Man's attempt to 'evolve' functional proteins from scratch has been a dismal failure:
A Man-Made ATP-Binding Protein Evolved Independent of Nature Causes Abnormal Growth in Bacterial Cells Excerpt: "Recent advances in de novo protein evolution have made it possible to create synthetic proteins from unbiased libraries that fold into stable tertiary structures with predefined functions. However, it is not known whether such proteins will be functional when expressed inside living cells or how a host organism would respond to an encounter with a non-biological protein. Here, we examine the physiology and morphology of Escherichia coli cells engineered to express a synthetic ATP-binding protein evolved entirely from non-biological origins. We show that this man-made protein disrupts the normal energetic balance of the cell by altering the levels of intracellular ATP. This disruption cascades into a series of events that ultimately limit reproductive competency by inhibiting cell division." http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0007385
Here is a critique of the failed attempt to 'evolve' a fit protein to replace a protein in a virus which had a gene knocked out:
New Genes: Putting the Theory Before the Evidence - January 2011 Excerpt: What they discovered was that the evolutionary process could produce only tiny improvements to the virus’ ability to infect a host. Their evolved sequences showed no similarity to the native sequence which is supposed to have evolved. And the best virus they could produce, even with the vast majority of the virus already intact, was several orders of magnitude weaker than nature’s virus. The reason their evolutionary process failed was that the search for better amino acid sequences, that would improve the virus’ ability to infect the host, became too difficult. A possible evolutionary explanation for these disappointing results is that in such a limited laboratory study, the evolutionists were simply unable to reproduce what the vast resources of nature could produce. Perhaps in the course of time evolution could evolve what the evolutionists could not do in the laboratory. But the results refuted even this fall back explanation. In fact, the evolutionists would not merely need an expanded study with more time in the laboratory, they would need more time than evolution ever had—many times over. The number of experiments they would need to conduct in order to have any hope of evolving a virus that rivals nature’s version is difficult to compute. But it is at least 10^70 (a one followed by 70 zeros). http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-genes-putting-theory-before.html Proteins Did Not Evolve Even According to the Evolutionist’s Own Calculations but so What, Evolution is a Fact - Cornelius Hunter - July 2011 http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/07/response-to-comments-proteins-did-not.html
Moreover when human 'intelligence' was thrown in on top of 'directed evolution', researchers still failed to match the 'optimal' proteins found in nature;
Creating Life in the Lab: How New Discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make a Case for the Creator - Fazale Rana Excerpt of Review: ‘Another interesting section of Creating Life in the Lab is one on artificial enzymes. Biological enzymes catalyze chemical reactions, often increasing the spontaneous reaction rate by a billion times or more. Scientists have set out to produce artificial enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions not used in biological organisms. Comparing the structure of biological enzymes, scientists used super-computers to calculate the sequences of amino acids in their enzymes that might catalyze the reaction they were interested in. After testing dozens of candidates,, the best ones were chosen and subjected to “in vitro evolution,” which increased the reaction rate up to 200-fold. Despite all this “intelligent design,” the artificial enzymes were 10,000 to 1,000,000,000 times less efficient than their biological counterparts. Dr. Rana asks the question, “is it reasonable to think that undirected evolutionary processes routinely accomplished this task?” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0801072093
Moreover, just yesterday a paper came out that illustrated a team, of 'experts', using supercomputers, directed evolution, and all their combined knowledge of protein structures and functions, 'Intelligently designing' a metalloprotein (a protein that contains a metal cofactor) that mimics the enzyme carbonic anhydrase and could conceivably lead to a means for removing some of the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere (that many now believe is contributing to global warming). After all that concerted effort, especially including 'directed evolution', by leading experts on proteins in the field, this is their meager result:
Research group develops more efficient artificial enzyme – November 2011 Excerpt: Though the artificial enzyme is still many orders of magnitude less efficient than nature’s way of doing things, it is far more efficient than any other artificial process to date, a milestone that gives researchers hope that they will one day equal nature’s abilities. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-group-efficient-artificial-enzyme.html
The reason why they failed is that, as has been pointed out ad naseum by ID proponents, functional sequences for proteins are exceedingly rare in 'sequence space';
The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds - Douglas Axe - 2010 Excerpt Pg. 11: "Based on analysis of the genomes of 447 bacterial species, the projected number of different domain structures per species averages 991. Comparing this to the number of pathways by which metabolic processes are carried out, which is around 263 for E. coli, provides a rough figure of three or four new domain folds being needed, on average, for every new metabolic pathway. In order to accomplish this successfully, an evolutionary search would need to be capable of locating sequences that amount to anything from one in 10^159 to one in 10^308 possibilities, something the neo-Darwinian model falls short of by a very wide margin." http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2010.1 Minimal Complexity Relegates Life Origin Models To Fanciful Speculation - Nov. 2009 Excerpt: Based on the structural requirements of enzyme activity Axe emphatically argued against a global-ascent model of the function landscape in which incremental improvements of an arbitrary starting sequence "lead to a globally optimal final sequence with reasonably high probability". For a protein made from scratch in a prebiotic soup, the odds of finding such globally optimal solutions are infinitesimally small- somewhere between 1 in 10exp140 and 1 in 10exp164 for a 150 amino acid long sequence if we factor in the probabilities of forming peptide bonds and of incorporating only left handed amino acids. http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/2/2009/11/10/minimal_complexity_relegates_life_origin When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied. http://biologicinstitute.org/2011/04/16/when-theory-and-experiment-collide/
Well having mastered checkers using a comprehensive database of moves, Gil is no doubt aware of the resources needed to build a comprehensive database of protein coding sequences. Petrushka
Neil: We learned about evolution. I never felt any pressure to believe the theory to be true. That's probably the point. The theory is simply given as true. There is no nedd to use pressure, because the consensus in the scientific world is almost universal. Except for ID. And the reaction to ID has always been to make everything possible to keep it out of the scientific world. My personal experience is completely different from yours. Being a MD, I have been taught the neo darwinian theory in what I would call "a generic form". I accepted it, with some reservations, because nobody seemed to have any doubts about it. But I really did not understand how it worked, in detail. For years, I thought that my lack of understanding was mainly due to lack of detailed knowledge. My posisition was more or less: it seems stupid, but as everybody accepts it, the problem must be that I don't really know all the evidence and the details. At that time, I was not really interested to deepen my understanding of the issue, so I just waited. ID has been, for me, a sudden revelation: what if, after all, my spontaneous reservations were not due to personal misunderstanding, but to real flaws in the theory? So, I started thinking seriously and reading seriously. And now I have no more doubts. I am really convinced, scientifically convinced and cognitively as sure as it is possible to be: it was not my fualt, it was not lack of understanding: the theory is wrong. Utterly, absolutely wrong. But that really does not describe my personal feeling. The only way I can really express it, and believe me, I don't want to offend anyone saying that, is that the theory is stupid. That so many intelligent people still believe in it is, for me, one of the most amazing enigmas in contemporary culture. So, I fully understand Gil's position. He is right. He is deeply, sincerely, absolutely right. And by the way, as you certainly know, free will, even in its most libertarian forms (like mine), certainly does not imply that we are not subject to very strong influences. The influence of the universal cognitive hypnosis that has been going on for decades is certainly very strong. gpuccio
Neil, Indeed, that is preposterous. But evolutionists are not suggesting that. Get real, and be honest. That is precisely what they are suggesting, always with the argument that natural selection is not random, which of course it is not, but it produces nothing new. The essence of Darwinian philosophy is that random errors can produce the exact opposite of randomness. This is superbly illogical. I'm thoroughly familiar with Monte Carlo methods. Trial and error can be a useful tool in an intelligently designed computer program, given a limited search space, sufficient computational resources, and a goal in mind. None of this has anything to do with extrapolating Monte Carlo methods in computation to the origin of information in biological systems. Unsupported extrapolations such as this are the hallmark of Darwinian speculation, which is the antithesis of rigorous scientific investigation. GilDodgen
Oft in error, never in doubt. Robert Sheldon
The answer is simple. All criticisms of Darwinian orthodoxy were successfully branded by Darwinists as the mindless fantasies of religious fanatics whose purpose was to destroy “science.”
I find this hard to understand. I took a biology class as an undergraduate, though that was not my major. We learned about evolution. I never felt any pressure to believe the theory to be true. I took it as an interesting theory, something to try to understand, but not anything that I was required to believe. For that matter, I approach all science in the same way. That is, I start with skepticism, but attempt to understand the theory. Only later, when I have enough related knowledge, will I make up my mind. In the case of evolution, I did not finally accept it until after I had read the Crick and Watson book. And even then, I still retained some skepticism over the neo-Darwinian account. So here's what I am wondering. One of the other topics that often comes up at this site, is free will. So, Gil, why would you not have exercised your free will to withhold a decision on evolution, instead of feeling indoctrinated and obliged to accept it?
In the information age, the notion that random errors can produce highly sophisticated biological information, information-processing machinery, and the associated error-detection-and-repair mechanisms and algorithms, is so preposterous that ...
Indeed, that is preposterous. But evolutionists are not suggesting that. You claim that you work in information processing. You have surely heard of Monte Carlo methods which use randomness in algorithms. It isn't randomness magically creating something wonderful. It is the use of randomness as a technique for exploring possibilities. Neil Rickert
But I have numerous documentaries that say that life did arise on its own and then turned into people. And the news is always telling me that it happened that way. And in school I was taught that it happened that way. And on all my favorite movies they say it happened that way. And the blokes at work say it happened that way too. How can Sheldon be wrong? Mytheos
Just so it doesnt become a mutual back-slapping event, the godless regard the existence of ghosts and demons and angels etc, as pretty preposterous as well. Im afraid I find it hard to entertain the possibility of an invisible sky-daddy for more than a few seconds myself. Graham
Sometimes the truth is so obvious that one must perform a self-lobotomy in order not to see it. Fortunately, I was rescued that ignominious fate. GilDodgen
This point has been made before in this blog, I believe by you, Gil, but it does bear repeating. Looked at from a paradigm neutral position (no preconceived bias) it truly IS preposterous. It's a monumentally stupid idea. It's unbelievable that intelligent, educated people could entertain it for more than a nanosecond. Yet they do. I guess it's testimony to the power that one's paradigms can hold over one. The Darwinists seem to be enslaved to their worldview. Of course, this is a universal human characteristic. ANY worldview can enslave a person. The take-away? We would be wise to examine carefully anything we take as true without question. Bruce David
Excerpt: In the information age, the notion that random errors can produce highly sophisticated biological information, information-processing machinery, and the associated error-detection-and-repair mechanisms and algorithms, is so preposterous that I conclude that Darwinists have either lost their minds, are pathetically uninformed, or have chosen to deny evidence, rationality, and the discoveries of modern science in order pursue a thoroughly irrational commitment to materialistic philosophy.
Don't be bashful Gil, what are you really trying to say? :) Nail, Head, Hammered!!!,,, bornagain77

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