Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Brian Miller vs. Jeremy England, Round 2

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Round 1 was at Inference Review: A Sizzling Exchange On The Origin Of Life

Miller now responds:

England rightly states that the fluctuation theorems allow for the possibility that some mechanism could drive matter to both lower entropy and higher energy (higher free energy), thus potentially solving the problem of the origin of life, at least in theory. In contrast, I addressed the likelihood that, given the practical constraints, realistic natural processes on the early earth could generate a minimally complex cell. In that context, England indirectly affirmed the main points of my argument and thus reinforced the conclusion that an undirected origin of life might be possible in principle, but it is completely implausible in practice.

Brian Miller, “On the Origin of Life, Here Is My Response to Jeremy England” at Evolution News and Science Today

Origin of life is more fun when it is a genuine discussion rather than a speculation based on a chance finding.

See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.

244 Replies to “Brian Miller vs. Jeremy England, Round 2

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    How close are Dr Lee Cronin and Dr Jack Szostak to achieving a breakthrough that will qualify them for the coveted Evo2.0 OOL $10M prize?
    There yet?
    🙂

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    So………. Difficult, but not impossible. That’s a start..

  4. 4
    martin_r says:

    Pater Kimbridge @3

    “That’s a start”

    the start of what ??? :)))

  5. 5
    martin_r says:

    Jawa

    “How close are Dr Lee Cronin and Dr Jack Szostak”

    how close can they be ?

    They are unable to create even the simplest cell … even if they are forced to … even if they have all the cell’s components pre-made and securely stored in their lab-freezers (so it does not degrade), even if they could use all their fancy lab tools…. they are unable to assemble a simplest cell so it works… Lay Darwinists have no idea how desperate the situation is.

    So how on Earth, do you expect them to create a cell by chance, with no human involvement ? :)))

    These Darwinists just wasting time and money, in 21st century we already know, that a cell is too sophisticated,…. this can’t be done by some unguided process … there must be some outbreak of mental illness among Darwinian OOL-researchers… some kind of virus… they already know that this can’t be done, but Darwinian scientists love to waste other people money …. easy money….grant money … no results needed, no responsibility for what they do… just more and more money and no results…. you and me, we both could be OOL-researchers too… the result would be exactly the same …

    In worst case scenario, we both will retract our OOL-research papers, like Nobel laureate Jack Szostak did few years ago:

    RetractionWatch.com:
    “”Definitely embarrassing:” Nobel Laureate retracts non-reproducible paper in Nature journal”

    https://retractionwatch.com/2017/12/05/definitely-embarrassing-nobel-laureate-retracts-non-reproducible-paper-nature-journal/

    PS:
    Jawa, of course, we keep the grant money, just retract the papers …

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    Jawa

    let me add the following:

    these Darwinists like Croonin or Szostak, perfectly understand how complex and sophisticated the cell is … but they keep trying and wasting time and other people money …

    i don’t know, it seems that these guys believe that some miracle will happen … or i don’t know… they really expect, that thousands of cell’s parts suddenly start to work in concert, just so, by itself … :)))))))

    Darwinists do really believe in miracles!!!

  7. 7
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: i don’t know, it seems that these guys believe that some miracle will happen … or i don’t know… they really expect, that thousands of cell’s parts suddenly start to work in concert, just so, by itself … :)))))))

    Darwinists do really believe in miracles!!!

    “Darwinists” do not believe cells arose without quite a few precursors.

    If you’re going to argue against a position then have the decency and intellectual honesty to argue against the actual position and not some caricature version of the position. What you are doing is equivalent to me just saying your position is “God did it” which I trust you would not find fair or true.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    JVL:

    “Darwinists” do not believe cells arose without quite a few precursors.

    And there isn’t any evidence for those alleged precursors. There isn’t any evidence for a RNA world.

  9. 9

    .

    JVI: If you’re going to argue against a position then have the decency and intellectual honesty to argue against the actual position and not some caricature version of the position.

    A most interesting comment coming from you JVL. Truly it is.

    So you think ID proponents should argue against the endlessly unknown and unfalsifiable simple precursor proposition (made repeatedly by people like yourself) by pointing out its obvious flaws? Perhaps something like asking its proponents to address the physical and logical entailments of their beliefs? And what is it that you do when something like that happens, JVL?

    UB: Surely you grasp that the system would have to change from one system to the other if the system that is found in the cell today is deemed to be too complex to have arisen spontaneously, so another simpler system is speculated to have been the original replicator.

    JVL: Why should I grasp that?
    Who has deemed it to have been too complex?
    Now you’re delving into opinion and not science.

    This “decency and intellectual honesty” thing you speak so highly of — is it a virtue that happens to go both ways? Would it have been a demonstration of “decency and intellectual honesty” on your part to have genuinely addressed the question I was asking you, particularly given the fact that it was specifically about your position against ID. I was asking you a very logical question; by that I mean, it is a question that your position cannot logically avoid. Yet, you did just exactly that. Here is what I asked:

    Assuming a continuum of primary function (self-replication), you then believe that there was once a point in time that a chemical organization existed on earth that could successfully replicate itself both as a non-DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated replicator and as a DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated replicator? Is that correct?

    I think that you actually addressing that question would have been a great demonstration of this “decency and intellectual honesty”virtue you seem to want others to follow. But now I have an additional question on that subject: Given that you clearly refused to address the question (i.e. after three direct attempts, your answer to it appears nowhere on the thread), how much more of a demonstration of this “decency and intellectual honesty” is it to come right back and still be pushing the same position, one which you’ve already refused to defend? Is that the decent and intellectually honest thing to do, JVL? And when you come back here again tomorrow, won’t you still be doing the same thing? I mean, surely nothing has changed, has it? Your opponents can ask you questions that are logically entailed by your position, which you then avoid in order to deny them the strength of their position, while simultaneously protecting your position, right? So … isn’t it true that nothing has changed?

    Or, perhaps you would just rather show the superiority of your position by answering a different question instead. Here’s one:

    As you now know, the set of aaRS are the molecular constraints in the cell that establish the genetic code. They are fundamentally required for the gene system to begin to function. They are also complex proteins which are synthesized inside the cell from memory. And it is undeniable that there was once a time when no aaRS had ever been synthesized.

    At the point in earth’s history when the first ever aaRS was synthesized from memory, how many of the other aaRS had to be in place? What does physical reality and logic tell you JVL?

  10. 10
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: At the point in earth’s history when the first ever aaRS was synthesized from memory, how many of the other aaRS had to be in place?

    I don’t know. Nor do I know if your scenario is the one that actually occurred.

    No one knows how life began on Earth, no one is pretending to KNOW. There are various hypotheses and I am happy to let the research continue to see if any of them pan out. Personally I think it was a purely mechanistic process but I admit that is just a belief.

  11. 11
    Marfin says:

    JVL- But they are pretending to know at least to the media and general public at large, and thats the problem. If scientist were honest enough to admit just like you did above, that their pronouncements on how they know so much about how life began naturally and by some random process that this is just their beliefs and have no basis in fact , science in this field might progress, and I for one would be much happier . Both ID and naturalistic OOL theories are belief systems, it just comes down to which ones is the most reasonable, has the best circumstantial evidence and explains best the facts we know about life. For me ID wins this hands down.

  12. 12
    martin_r says:

    Marfin @11

    your response to JVL “But they are pretending to know at least to the media and general public at large”

    EXACTLY!!!

    e.g. from time to time i visit Natural History Museum Vienna … there is still an exposition on the origin of life – showing Urey-Miller experiment!!!! (i suspect that Vienna is not some rare exception). I just could not believe my eyes.

    I debated lots of lay atheists… 99.99% of them think that the OOL-question is solved! This is the result of Darwinian propaganda across the World. Lay atheists have no idea how desperate the situation with OOL-research is… Lay atheists are parroting Dawkins and other Darwinian clowns …

  13. 13
    martin_r says:

    JVL @10 ” but I admit that is just a belief.”

    so, JVL, you admit that you are a believer too …. like we are…

    The only difference between you an me is, that in 21st century, after all the discoveries, you still believe in some crazy absurd darwinian theory, and I believe that all the sophisticated species we can see on our planet, were created by a mastermind – Creator/Designer/Engineer/God.

    So what is the difference between you and me? Between my faith and your faith ? I am an engineer, i know what i see, these crazy Darwinian biologists are trying to trick the whole world to believe what is obviously false AND CRAZY ABSURD!!! … i think i am dreaming… it is like in some mental hospital ….

    again, i am an engineer, i know what i see …. e.g. i see sophisticated autonomous self-navigating flying systems with a GPS-level navigation skills, but, these systems do not require 33 GPS satellites on orbit …

    And then comes a darwinian biologist along with his crazy absurd theory which claims that autonomous self-navigating flying systems can self-design, and no engineer(s) are needed ????? This crazy absurd darwinian theory ignores pretty everything what engineers have learned in last millions of years (yes, even a caveman was an engineer).

    I can’t believe this is happening in 21st century … there really must be a global outbreak of some serious mental disease ….

  14. 14
    BobRyan says:

    JVL @ 7 mentions intellectual honesty, which does not exist among Darwinists. Intellectual honesty requires one to admit that macro-evolution is not a valid scientific theory. Without something being witnessed and replicated, a hypothesis must remain a hypothesis. That is the difference between a scientific theory and a work of science-fiction. Without God, there can be origin of life. Without God, there can be no laws to govern the universe. Chaos can only create chaos.

  15. 15
    martin_r says:

    BobRyan @14

    Bob, lets don’t forget, that Darwinian-scientists as well as Darwinian laymen believe in miracles. In their World of random mutations – everything is possible… a miracle after miracle after miracle… e.g. Placenta, such a complex organ – still nobody knows how exactly it works, can according to evolutionary theory arise 100 times repeatedly and independently in various lineages …. i always used to say, that most miracles happen in biology….

    here is an article on Placenta (how complex organs can evolve repeatedly), but actually, YOU WON’T LEARN HOW COMPLEX ORGANS CAN EVOLVE REPEATEDLY :))))))))) it is like in some mental hospital….

    https://theconversation.com/using-the-placenta-to-understand-how-complex-organs-evolve-70107

  16. 16
    martin_r says:

    in regards to OOL, i have a simple question:

    why is it, that life as we know it arose only once ? and then never again ? why photosynthesis arose only once, and then never again … why all these miracles always happened only once, in deep past ?

  17. 17
    Bob O'H says:

    why is it, that life as we know it arose only once ? and then never again ?

    Perhaps it did arise more than once, but the later versions were out-competed.

  18. 18
    JVL says:

    Marfin: But they are pretending to know at least to the media and general public at large, and thats the problem

    I don’t think that’s true at all: show me the actual statement of a person doing research in the area where they say “we know . . . “.

    If scientist were honest enough to admit just like you did above, that their pronouncements on how they know so much about how life began naturally and by some random process that this is just their beliefs and have no basis in fact ,

    But . . . Dr Dawkins has stated, clearly, that life on earth could have been started via transpermia. Of course that does push the problem back to another planet somewhere.

    Honestly, I think you are just responding to popular media stories instead of paying attention to what the scientists are actually saying. Why are you doing that?

    Both ID and naturalistic OOL theories are belief systems, it just comes down to which ones is the most reasonable, has the best circumstantial evidence and explains best the facts we know about life. For me ID wins this hands down.

    Okay. For me it’s the other way.

  19. 19
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: I debated lots of lay atheists… 99.99% of them think that the OOL-question is solved! This is the result of Darwinian propaganda across the World.

    Lots of ID proponents say stupid things too. You can’t blame the working scientists if people mis-interpret their work. Read what they’ve actually written.

    so, JVL, you admit that you are a believer too …. like we are…

    I would say there are some significant differences in the way we arrive at our positions but I do admit everything is just speculation at this point.

    The only difference between you an me is, that in 21st century, after all the discoveries, you still believe in some crazy absurd darwinian theory, and I believe that all the sophisticated species we can see on our planet, were created by a mastermind – Creator/Designer/Engineer/God.

    When? How did that happen? Is it still happening? Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?

  20. 20
    JVL says:

    BobRyan: JVL @ 7 mentions intellectual honesty, which does not exist among Darwinists. Intellectual honesty requires one to admit that macro-evolution is not a valid scientific theory.

    That is your opinion and literally thousands and thousands of scientists working in the pertinent fields disagree with you.

    Without something being witnessed and replicated, a hypothesis must remain a hypothesis.

    So do you believe in black holes? The Big Bang? How old do you think the solar system is? Were there really dinosaurs since no one has ever actually seen one.

  21. 21
    Marfin says:

    JVL- Did Lee Cronin in his latest debate with Dr James Tour not say it was a natural process and he is really close to discovering not the basics of how it works but actually doing it in a lab. Look at the debate on line and tell me he is not confident he knows.
    Also nature and popular media make statements about warm ponds , early life , first life , now why, are they making it up or are they repeating what they have heard scientists say , Dawkins never overtly says ” we dont have a clue” he say maybe it could be a warm pond, maybe it could be panspermia, but we know its a natural process , now that is a lie as we don`t know it a natural process.
    Ok so you believe it not ID its a natural process, now show why you dont just believe or have blind faith
    cite the evidence that leads you to believe life can come from non life ,and replicating living cells can be built up by a slow step by step process on the early earth. If you dont cite the evidence I will assume blind faith. As one evolutionist put it “we dont believe in evolution because of the evidence we do so because the alternative of special creation is unthinkable”.

  22. 22

    .
    JVL at #10

    I don’t know.

    To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not, JVL?

    Of course it does. Do we know how the aaRS is synthesized from memory? Of course we do. Does it require the memory and the constraints necessary to actualize that memory? Of course it does; which was the logical impetus behind Crick’s famous adapter hypothesis. That hypothesis, and the logic behind it, were confirmed decades ago and the documentation of this is found in every advanced biology textbook on the surface of the planet. None of these things are even in question JVL, none of them. Likewise, is there any doubt whatsoever that there was once a time on Earth when no aaRS had ever been synthesized from heritable memory? Of course there isn’t. Is there any doubt whatsoever that aaRS are now synthesized from heritable memory? Of course not; it is the basis of modern biology. Is there any doubt whatsoever that to go from a time when no aaRS had ever being synthesized from memory, to a time when aaRS are synthesized from memory, requires that there be a point time when the first ever aaRS was synthesized from memory? How can anyone honestly say that they “do not know” the answer to that question, as well as the questions that preceded it? They can’t.

    Furthermore, the question I asked had nothing whatsoever to do with knowing (or not knowing) how life on Earth began. So, saying “I don’t know” followed by “no one knows how life began” is effectively a non-sequitur. Not knowing the latter does not alter the former. Regardless of whether or not the OoL was natural or artificial, we still know that aaRS are synthesized from heritable memory in a system requiring a set of constraints necessary to actualize the memory. We know that there was a time in Earth’s history when no aaRS had ever been synthesized from memory, and thus by extension, we also know that there had to be a point in time when the first ever aaRS was so synthesized. There is no other viable scenario that can be coherent with these known facts.

    So simply saying “I don’t know” is a non-answer in light of the fact that what we need to know in order to answer the question is either a) established science or b) incontrovertible logic. “I don’t know” is merely a refusal to address the question in earnest.

    Nor do I know if your scenario is the one that actually occurred.

    What scenario? There is no “my” scenario, JVL. A process that did not exist in the past, exists today. So there had to be a time when it began to exist. If that process can only function as it does because of the roles that object A and object B play in the process, then the roles that object A and object B play in the process had to exist when it began to function. You are simply choosing to ignore that fact because acknowledging it has a negative impact your preferred conclusion — which is exactly what I said previously. You actively deny the strength of the opposing position in order to protect your own position from scrutiny, and you accomplish this by denying documented scientific facts and incontrovertible logical reasoning.

    No one knows how life began on Earth, no one is pretending to KNOW.

    Irrelevant to the question.

    There are various hypotheses and I am happy to let the research continue to see if any of them pan out.

    Have you ever heard of Karl Popper? You are not merely waiting to see if any research pans out; that is a fabrication you tell yourself and hope others will assume it along with you. By denying documented scientific facts and incontrovertible reasoning, you are creating a non-falsifiable position for your preferred conclusion. It is no longer possible to subject your conclusion to a test its validity, thereby establishing it as pseudo-science. You can maintain the integrity of your proposition (that life began by a purely natural process) but you cannot do so by denying science and reason in an effort to shield it from the strength of opposing propositions — which is exactly what you are doing.

    It is as plain as the nose on your face JVL.

    Personally I think it was a purely mechanistic process but I admit that is just a belief.

    Okay. So, assuming a continuum of primary function (self-replication), you then believe that there was once a point in time that a chemical organization existed on earth that could successfully replicate itself both as a dynamic (non-DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated) replicator and as a semiotic (DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated) replicator? Is that correct?

  23. 23
    JVL says:

    Marfin: Did Lee Cronin in his latest debate with Dr James Tour not say it was a natural process and he is really close to discovering not the basics of how it works but actually doing it in a lab. Look at the debate on line and tell me he is not confident he knows.

    Yes he did; I heard that interview. I don’t believe him any more than you do. But I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

    Also nature and popular media make statements about warm ponds , early life , first life , now why, are they making it up or are they repeating what they have heard scientists say ,

    I have no idea where they get their copy from; I just gloss over anything that isn’t said by an actual researcher or highly knowledgable and experienced science reporter. You should too.

    Dawkins never overtly says ” we dont have a clue” he say maybe it could be a warm pond, maybe it could be panspermia, but we know its a natural process , now that is a lie as we don`t know it a natural process.

    He’s just one guy and that’s not even his area of research. So don’t listen to him, no big deal.

    Ok so you believe it not ID its a natural process, now show why you dont just believe or have blind faith cite the evidence that leads you to believe life can come from non life ,and replicating living cells can be built up by a slow step by step process on the early earth.

    I think some plausible pathways are being proposed. I see no evidence for any intelligent outside influence (no labs, no crafts, no energy sources, no living quarters, no documentation, no refuse piles, nothing) and I think the system we have is too kludgy and too haphazard to be a product of design. Also, after we get past the first basic replicator the process of development is pretty straightforward.

    As one evolutionist put it “we dont believe in evolution because of the evidence we do so because the alternative of special creation is unthinkable”.

    Not my opinion. There is no evidence (in my opinion) for the intervention of an intelligent agent.

  24. 24
    martin_r says:

    **deleted***

  25. 25
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not, JVL?

    I don’t know, I haven’t studied such systems.

    Have you ever heard of Karl Popper? You are not merely waiting to see if any research pans out; that is a fabrication you tell yourself and hope others will assume it along with you. By denying documented scientific facts and incontrovertible reasoning, you are creating a non-falsifiable position for your preferred conclusion. It is no longer possible to subject your conclusion to a test its validity, thereby establishing it as pseudo-science. You can maintain the integrity of your proposition (that life began by a purely natural process) but you cannot do so by denying science and reason in an effort to shield it from the strength of opposing propositions — which is exactly what you are doing.

    Yes, I do know who Karl Popper was.

    Look, I can see you fervently believe you have the right approach to this whole issue and you may be right. I’m saying I don’t know for sure. I also know that literally thousands of working scientists who have a lot more knowledge and experience than I do disagree with you OR aren’t sure enough for them to spend years of their lives checking to see if there is a possible way for the system to have arisen via unguided processes. I do not believe that they are all deluded or ignoring the data. There must be a reason they are continuing to work on the issue. I find that kind of behaviour telling. Also, since I do not see any good evidence for even the presence of an intelligent agent with the necessary abilities and technology around (at . . . what time did all this happen?) then my assumption is that everything came about via natural, unguided processes.

    Okay. So, assuming a continuum of primary function (self-replication), you then believe that there was once a point in time that a chemical organization existed on earth that could successfully replicate itself both as a dynamic (non-DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated) replicator and as a semiotic (DNA/RNA/aaRS-mediated) replicator? Is that correct?

    I’m not sure because a) I haven’t studied semiotics and b) I’m not familiar with the most up-to-date proposals for unguided development.

  26. 26
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: Francis Crick: “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. ”

    Was he talking about the origin or life or stuff after that? I agree that after a certain stage the evidence is very, very clear.

    EDIT: I see now you or someone else deleted your comment for some reason. I’ll leave my response though.

  27. 27
    martin_r says:

    JVL @26

    i have deleted my previous post mentioning F Crick. i have overloooked that you were asking for some statement from OOL area.

    However, even F Crick statement nicely demonstrates how Darwinists think and ‘know’ … they don’t know a thing… they only mis-interpret the evidence – they were doing it for 150 years…. and with every new discovery, they have to review and correct themselves …

  28. 28
    martin_r says:

    JVL @26 ” I agree that after a certain stage the evidence is very, very clear.”

    you must be joking … what evidence is very very clear ? :)))
    please give me a few examples…

  29. 29
    ET says:

    JVL:

    That is your opinion and literally thousands and thousands of scientists working in the pertinent fields disagree with you.

    Name some of those scientists and their projects that relate to macroevolution. Or admit that you just make stuff up.

    Evolutionary biologists still don’t even know what makes an organism what it is. They have no idea how blind and mindless processes could have produced regulatory networks. The origin of meiosis is still well beyond what we can test.

    There isn’t even a blind and mindless mechanism that can produce eukaryotes starting from given populations of prokaryotes.

    Your side doesn’t have a capable mechanism, which is strange given it is a mechanistic theory

  30. 30
    ET says:

    JVL:

    There is no evidence (in my opinion) for the intervention of an intelligent agent.

    And yet that evidence has been presented and you don’t have anything to account for it. That says it all, really.

    Clearly your aren’t in any position to assess the evidence

  31. 31
    martin_r says:

    JVL “There is no evidence (in my opinion) for the intervention of an intelligent agent.”

    i put the same question to Seversky (at least 1000x). He never answers.
    So i will put the same question to you as well.

    WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ?

  32. 32
    martin_r says:

    JVL “When? How did that happen? Is it still happening? Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?”

    Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?
    Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?
    Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?

    YOU ASKING ME THAT QUESTION ???? YOU WHO BELIEVE THAT NEW SPECIES CAN EVOLVE FROM SCRATCH ?????

    LET ME ASK YOU THE SAME QUESTION ?

    Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?

  33. 33
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: you must be joking … what evidence is very very clear ? :))) please give me a few examples…

    The evidence for unguided processes being sufficient to develop life as we observe it after an as yet undetermined beginning.

    I can recommend a good textbook on evolution.

    i put the same question to Seversky (at least 1000x). He never answers. So i will put the same question to you as well. WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ?

    Why do you care? What difference would it make?

    Why don’t we see new species just popping into existence?

    We see new species arising but from established existing species. They don’t just ‘pop’ into existence without clear precursors.

  34. 34
    JVL says:

    ET: Name some of those scientists and their projects that relate to macroevolution. Or admit that you just make stuff up.

    I was talking about the origin of life I believe. Either way you can look up thousands and thousands of references in any good university level textbook on evolution.

    Evolutionary biologists still don’t even know what makes an organism what it is. They have no idea how blind and mindless processes could have produced regulatory networks. The origin of meiosis is still well beyond what we can test.

    Maybe. What do you think makes an organism what it is?

    There isn’t even a blind and mindless mechanism that can produce eukaryotes starting from given populations of prokaryotes.

    Maybe. How do you think it happened?

    Your side doesn’t have a capable mechanism, which is strange given it is a mechanistic theory

    Maybe. How do you think it all occurred?

    And yet that evidence has been presented and you don’t have anything to account for it. That says it all, really.

    It’s really poor evidence at best. And there is nothing one would expect from living beings engaged in complicated biological constructions.

    Clearly your aren’t in any position to assess the evidence

    Maybe.

  35. 35

    .
    #25

    UB: To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not, JVL?

    JVL: I don’t know

    Oh good grief. This is what abject denial of science and reason looks like. Tone-deaf dissembling and rationalization to follow. Quit preaching to people about “decency and intellectual honesty”, JVL. When it comes to protecting your beliefs from science and reason, you have absolutely none whatsoever.

  36. 36
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: Oh good grief. This is what abject denial of science and reason looks like.

    I’m being very honest regarding my beliefs and why I have them. Because of the behaviour of others and my own experience of the lack of evidence of intelligent intervention in the development of life on earth I think you might be wrong. I can’t say how but it must be the case that literally thousands and thousands of other scientists, philosophers and logicians disagree with your interpretation of how semiotic systems work. It sounds like your real argument is with them.

    Tone-deaf dissembling and rationalization to follow. Quit preaching to people about “decency and intellectual honesty”,

    I am being honest. You think because I don’t agree with you something is wrong. I understand you are completely convinced you are correct but, in this regard, you are in scientific minority.

    JVL. When it comes to protecting your beliefs from scrutiny, you have absolutely none whatsoever.

    I’m not trying to protect my beliefs from scrutiny. I could guess what you meant to say but I’d better not in case I got it wrong.

  37. 37
    ET says:

    JVL:

    The evidence for unguided processes being sufficient to develop life as we observe it after an as yet undetermined beginning.

    There isn’t any such evidence. There isn’t even a methodology to test it.

    We see new species arising but from established existing species.

    But our criteria is suspect. Meaning we may not be seeing new species arising.

    Either way you can look up thousands and thousands of references in any good university level textbook on evolution.

    I have. You are bluffing and making stuff up.

    What do you think makes an organism what it is?

    Immaterial information

    How do you think it all occurred?

    By Design.

    It’s really poor evidence at best.

    That’s your ignorant opinion, anyway. Compared to what you have ID is light years ahead, scientifically.

    . And there is nothing one would expect from living beings engaged in complicated biological constructions.

    I don’t even know what that means. Your side can’t even account for the existence of living beings.

  38. 38

    .

    JVL, to synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not?

  39. 39
    martin_r says:

    JVL, you said “There is no evidence (in my opinion) for the intervention of an intelligent agent.”

    that is why i put you the question about YOUR EDUCATION … do you see now why do i care ?
    If you are another uneducated darwinian layman, it is clear that YOU CAN’T SEE ANY EVIDENCE FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN … YOU NEVER WILL … because you don’t know anything … you listen to people (biologists) WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO SPEAK ABOUT DESIGN, LET ALONE, SUCH A SOPHISTICATED DESIGN WE SEE ACROSS THE NATURE.
    Tell me JVL, how is evolutionary biologist R Dawkins and the other darwinian clowns qualified to speak about good/bad design ??? Biologists never made anything….

  40. 40
    Marfin says:

    JVL- You seem like a reasonable guy , but when I ask for evidence on why you believe , you say you think some plausible pathways are being proposed , this is not evidence this is opinion , please state the actual evidence.
    Now as to my education its fairly lowly but I can spot a spoofer when I hear one. So when James Tour explains on paper the incredible difficulty of a step by step process to get from chemicals to a living system do I understand the minute details of what he is talking about no , but I do understand Lee Cronin`s response is just bereft of any substance yes , and I have yet to see anyone else be any different.
    So if you are honest you have to acknowledge complex multi faceted systems do not arise by chance and no engineering , or software company in existence , would use the proposed OOL or evolutionary method to make any product, but atheists say these processes have made the most complex arrangements of matter ever to exist , to me that is just dishonest.
    I like to say if you want to we can do a parachute jump I will wear a parachute made and designed by intelligent designers, you can use one made on the principles of copying mistakes and selection, so pick a day and I will see you at the air field.

  41. 41
    JVL says:

    ET: But our criteria is suspect. Meaning we may not be seeing new species arising.

    Maybe. But I think we have.

    Immaterial information

    Where is that information? How is it stored? How does it interact with living organisms?

    By Design.

    How? Design has to be implemented.

    I don’t even know what that means.

    It means that if intelligent agents have been around in Earth’s past (or present) then where are their living quarters? Where are their labs? Where is their equipment? What is their energy source? Where is their documentation?

  42. 42
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: JVL, to synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not?

    I told you I didn’t know the answer to that.

  43. 43
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: that is why i put you the question about YOUR EDUCATION … do you see now why do i care ?

    No, I don’t see why you can’t consider what I have to say without judging my educational background. I have two post-graduate degrees.

    If you are another uneducated darwinian layman, it is clear that YOU CAN’T SEE ANY EVIDENCE FOR INTELLIGENT DESIGN … YOU NEVER WILL … because you don’t know anything … you listen to people (biologists) WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO SPEAK ABOUT DESIGN, LET ALONE, SUCH A SOPHISTICATED DESIGN WE SEE ACROSS THE NATURE.

    Well, at least you’re not prejudiced.

    Tell me JVL, how is evolutionary biologist R Dawkins and the other darwinian clowns qualified to speak about good/bad design ??? Biologists never made anything….

    They spend years and years and years studying the systems they discuss. Their work is scrutinised by their peers and criticised if it’s not sound. And I know (having met some) that they just LOVE to take each other down. In fact, I personally know a PhD biologist who disagrees with Dr Dawkins about some of his views.

  44. 44
    ET says:

    Again, we do NOT know if our criteria with respect to species is valid or not.

    The immaterial information is inside the cells. Some of it is in the DNA and other molecules. Some is in the cytoplasm. It interacts by guiding processes.

    How? We do NOT have to know that in order to determine design exists. We don’t even know how many artifacts were made.

    Living quarters? Heck we can’t even determine there was a Blue House at the corner of Lashua and Spring streets. Where are the labs for Stonehenge? Where is the equipment? Where is their documentation?

    We don’t have what you ask for many artifacts. And yet we are sure they are the product of intentional and intelligent design.

    And it remains that to refute any given design inference all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes are capable. It is very telling that no one has been able to provide such a demonstration.

  45. 45
    JVL says:

    Marfin: You seem like a reasonable guy , but when I ask for evidence on why you believe , you say you think some plausible pathways are being proposed , this is not evidence this is opinion , please state the actual evidence.

    That’s right, the work is ongoing. I’ve already explained why I hold the view I do above.

    Now as to my education its fairly lowly but I can spot a spoofer when I hear one. So when James Tour explains on paper the incredible difficulty of a step by step process to get from chemicals to a living system do I understand the minute details of what he is talking about no , but I do understand Lee Cronin`s response is just bereft of any substance yes , and I have yet to see anyone else be any different.
    So if you are honest you have to acknowledge complex multi faceted systems do not arise by chance and no engineering , or software company in existence , would use the proposed OOL or evolutionary method to make any product, but atheists say these processes have made the most complex arrangements of matter ever to exist , to me that is just dishonest.

    If you’re right then their search to find an unguided path will fail.

    I like to say if you want to we can do a parachute jump I will wear a parachute made and designed by intelligent designers, you can use one made on the principles of copying mistakes and selection, so pick a day and I will see you at the air field.

    I think some naturally occurring ‘parachutes’ were developed via a series of inherited variations acted upon by environment pressures. But that does take a long time and so far humans have not evolved such a system so if I was in an airplane I’d take the man-made one.

  46. 46
    martin_r says:

    Marfin @40
    nice post.

    I always hear Darwinian clowns talking about some hit-and-miss / trial-and-error evolutionary process.

    The problem is, none of these Darwinian clowns is willing to show me where are all the errors ??? Must be millions if not billions in history of Earth’s species…

    WHERE ARE ALL THE ERRORS ???

  47. 47
    martin_r says:

    JVL

    so when will you answer my question:

    WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ????

  48. 48
    JVL says:

    ET: Again, we do NOT know if our criteria with respect to species is valid or not.

    There are different criteria, true.

    The immaterial information is inside the cells. Some of it is in the DNA and other molecules. Some is in the cytoplasm. It interacts by guiding processes.

    What kind of guiding processes? Are they chemical? If the information is immaterial then how can it physically exist in the cell at all?

    How? We do NOT have to know that in order to determine design exists. We don’t even know how many artifacts were made.

    But you think life didn’t get started on its own so some being was around a few billion years ago.

    Living quarters? Heck we can’t even determine there was a Blue House at the corner of Lashua and Spring streets. Where are the labs for Stonehenge? Where is the equipment? Where is their documentation?

    We’ve found living quarters. We’ve found tools. They didn’t have a system of writing so that cannot be recovered (and would have limited their work to what could be observed and passed on through oral traditions).

    And it remains that to refute any given design inference all one has to do is step up and demonstrate that blind and mindless processes are capable. It is very telling that no one has been able to provide such a demonstration.

    Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; you don’t automatically get a designer just because we don’t know how every transition occurred without intelligent intervention. Same as the logic you used for Stonehenge: we don’t know how but we know they did it. I’m not even saying that: I’m saying NOT knowing how unguided processes did it doesn’t mean they didn’t.

    But we do know that intelligent agents require food and energy; and if they were involved in a major biological engineering process they’d need a lot more.

  49. 49
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: I always hear Darwinian clowns talking about some hit-and-miss / trial-and-error evolutionary process.

    Part of it is random, but only part.

    The problem is, none of these Darwinian clowns is willing to show me where are all the errors ??? Must be millions if not billions in history of Earth’s species…

    WHERE ARE ALL THE ERRORS ???

    Do you how many human abortions occur naturally in the first trimester? The estimates run from one-quarter to one-third. Sounds like a lot of unviable foetuses to me. Must be some mistake in their make-up. Have you looked at all the broken genes in the human genome? The don’t code for anything any more, they’re not control genes. More mistake. Have you ever seen any deformed living creature or even a human with a debilitating (and sometimes fatal) genetic condition?

    Mistakes are all around you. Unless you think cancer was designed. Or polio. Or measles. Or mumps. Or Ebola.

    so when will you answer my question:

    WHAT IS YOUR EDUCATION ????

    You haven’t convinced me it matters. And you’re very rude. So I probably won’t. But, like I said, I have two-post graduate degrees so you can assume I”m not a high-school dropout.

  50. 50
    martin_r says:

    JVL,

    again, so you can’t see any evidence of intelligent design …

    And what about the autonomous self-navigating systems flying above your head ? and using GPS-level navigation ….

    YOU CAN”T SEE ANY EVIDENCE OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN ????

    So, in 21st century, you, a mentally healthy adult (i hope you a not a child, to be honest, i am not so sure) really believe that GPS-LEVEL NAVIGATION can self-design without any knowledge ?

    (i hope you know, that humans had to place 33 GPS satellites on orbit to achieve that navigational precision)

  51. 51
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: again, so you can’t see any evidence of intelligent design …

    No good evidence let’s say.

    And what about the autonomous self-navigating systems flying above your head ? and using GPS-level navigation ….

    YOU CAN”T SEE ANY EVIDENCE OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN ????

    I think there’s another explanation which doesn’t require an undefined and undetected designer who left no traces of living quarters, energy usage, modes of transportation, food supplies or sources, etc.

    So, in 21st century, you, a mentally healthy adult (i hope you a not a child, to be honest, i am not so sure) really believe that GPS-LEVEL NAVIGATION can self-design without any knowledge ?

    I don’t think birds are up to a GPS standard but . . . yeah.

    (i hope you know, that humans had to place 33 GPS satellites on orbit to achieve that navigational precision)

    I am familiar with the technology and the use of relativity to keep it all in sync. Just thought I’d throw that in since there’s some participants here who think Einstein was delusional.

  52. 52
    martin_r says:

    JVL “Do you how many human abortions occur naturally in the first trimester?”

    there are 6 billions of people on Earth and counting…. what is your complain about ? Where is your bad design ? What is wrong with it ? Where are all the errors ???

    According to Darwinians, there are species with a 500 millions-years-history and still here today (living fossils)… WHAT A DESIGN!!!! 500 millions of years and still here and fully working ???? This is an engineering SCI-FI

    So, again, where are all the errors, and stop parroting Darwinians clowns…. even they now admit, that pseudogenes and junk DNA have a function ….

    Moreover, there are 10,000,000 species on Earth right now. Lets say, that each species is made of 1000 parts. That means, we have 10,000,000 x 1000 parts = 10,000,000,000 parts working in concert… FLAWLESSLY !!!!

    WHERE ARE ALL THE ERRORS???

  53. 53
    martin_r says:

    JVL “I don’t think birds are up to a GPS standard but . . . yeah.”

    it is even worse :)))

    a tiny Monarch butterfly is using GPS-level navigation when it migrates every year 5000 miles, and it always lands on the same tree. And, it gets worse… it is not even the same butterfly … it is the 4th generation of the butterfly … its ancestors die during the migration :)))))))))))

    And you are right about GPS-satellites, i am glad you have mention the theory of relativity

    “Each GPS satellite contains multiple atomic clocks that contribute very precise time data to the GPS signals. GPS receivers decode these signals, effectively synchronizing each receiver to the atomic clocks.”

    “contains multiple atomic clocks”
    “contains multiple atomic clocks”
    “contains multiple atomic clocks”

    poor Monarch butterfly…

  54. 54
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: there are 6 billions of people on Earth and counting…. where is your bad design ? Where are all the errors ??? according to darwinians, there are species with a 500 millions-years-history and still here today (living fossils)… WHAT A DESIGN!!!! 500 millions of years and still here and fully working ???? This is an engineering SCI-FI

    Over 7 billion actually. I gave you some examples of when design goes bad. Generally those individuals or organisms die prematurely. And I don’t think humans have been around for 500 million years whilst other species were around well before that.

    So, again, where are all the errors, and stop parroting darwinians clowns…. even they now admit, that pseudogenes and junk DNA have a function ….

    That’s not true at all. If you really want to understand the unguided evolutionary thinking read textbooks instead of news stories and bad interviews.

    Moreover, there are like 10,000,000 species on Earth right now. Lets say, that each species is made of 1000 parts. That means, we have 10,000,000 x 1000 parts = 10,000,000,000 parts working in concert… FLAWLESSLY !!!!

    What about all the species that are no longer extant? I would also disagree with your characterisation of it all going flawlessly: Ever had cancer? A ruptured disc? A life threatening infection? Even a bad earache? Do you suffer from migraines? Allergies? Fainting spells? Do you think people who suffered from leprosy thought it was all going flawlessly?

    WHERE ARE ALL THE ERRORS???

    All around you. I can list a few more if you like: MD, MS, tetnus, Marberg virus, coeliac disease, diphtheria, less then 20/20 vision, eczema, sickle cell anaemia, DBS . . . OH, do you think those were all designed? Your designer must be a real jerk.

  55. 55
    martin_r says:

    JVL “errors ….All around you. I can list a few more if you like: MD, MS, tetnus, Marberg virus, coeliac disease, diphtheria, ”

    so where is the evolution ? it seems that we only see that the genome (once 100% ok) only degrades….

    PS: how is a virus an error ? i don’t get it…

  56. 56

    .

    UB: To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not JVL?

    JVL: I do not know

    UB: JVL, to synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not?

    JVL: I told you I didn’t know the answer to that.

    It is incredible to see the level you will sink to in order to protect your beliefs from science and reason.

  57. 57
    martin_r says:

    JVL ” And I don’t think humans have been around for 500 million years”

    did i say that ???
    read my post once again….

  58. 58
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: a tiny Monarch butterfly is using GPS-level navigation when it migrates every year 5000 miles, and it always lands on the same tree. And, it gets even worse… it is not even the same butterfly … it is the 4th generation of the butterfly … it ancestors die during the migration :)))))))))))

    Yeah, there are pretty amazing. Not sure about the same tree though ’cause what happens when the tree dies?

    Just pointing at some amazing stuff and saying: I cannot believe this wasn’t designed doesn’t mean it is designed.

    In Calculus did you do the Horn of Gabriel exercise? When you take the function 1/x from 1 to infinity and rotate it about the x-axis and then figured out the suface area and the volume? Completely counter-intuitive. You probably remember quite a few other examples like how some monotonicly decreasing series converge while others don’t. Crazy stuff. I still struggle with some 20th century physics ’cause it’s just hard to wrap my head around it. But I know it works.

    When I see a flock of birds all gyrating and moving together it looks beautiful and surely guided, surely. But I read (in The Greatest Show on Earth) about how that can all be explained because each individual does not think of the whole, just what is happening next to themselves.

    There’s lots of weird and strange and true things in the universe. Where do you draw the line between designed and undesigned?

  59. 59
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: how is a virus an error ? i don’t get it…

    Do you think they’re intentional?

    did i say that ??? read my post once again….

    Okay, it was just one error.

  60. 60
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: It is incredible to see the level you will sink to in order to protect your beliefs from science and reason.

    Let’s say I spent hours . . . days . . . maybe weeks trying to wrap my head around how semiotic systems work in theory and in application. If after all that I still disagreed with you would you think I was still protecting my beliefs from science and reason? Because I think others have done that and concluded you are incorrect. Are they all delusional morons who are so wedded to a wrong world view they can’t even think anymore? And the journals don’t publish the nay-sayers because that would threaten the status quo? I can’t buy a conspiracy theory like that so hopefully you don’t think that is the case.

  61. 61
    martin_r says:

    JVL ” Completely counter-intuitive.”

    tell it GPS-satellites engineers….

  62. 62
    martin_r says:

    JVL

    sure, viruses were designed too, no doubts. How surprising that Darwinians have no idea where viruses come from.
    I think that viruses are population regulators ( perhaps viruses have other functions too…)

  63. 63
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: tell it GPS-satellites engineers….

    I will if I ever need to, which I probably won’t.

    sure, viruses were designed too, no doubts. How surprising that Darwinians have no idea where viruses comes from.
    I think that viruses are population regulators ( perhaps viruses have other functions too…)

    So, the Spanish Flu that killed tens of millions of people was designed to limit the population at that time? And yet the last 100 years since that outbreak has seen the world population double or treble. Guess it dodn’t work so good eh?

    A designer who blithely kills millions of people to limit the population is a real jerk. Why not create a virus that reduces fertility? Surely that would be in their ability?

    I suppose bacteria are designed as well. That’s even more ways people are killed every year because . . . we’re too fecund?

  64. 64
    martin_r says:

    JVL
    are you saying, that pigeons don’t use GPS-level navigation ?

  65. 65
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: are you saying, that pigeons don’t use GPS-level navigation ?

    Perhaps you’d like to define specifically what GPS-level navigation means then we can check to evidence to see if pigeons meet that standard.

  66. 66
    JVL says:

    A new theory explains why homing pigeons are so good at navigating back to their nests–and why sometimes they are not.

    https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-01/geologist-has-probably-figured-out-how-homing-pigeons-find-their-way-home/

    (actually, that article is seven years old. But it seems pigeons are not GPS-perfect)

    I have read other ideas of how bird navigation works and I know sometimes it does go wonky.

  67. 67

    .
    #60

    Let’s say I spent hours . . . days . . . maybe weeks trying to wrap my head around how semiotic systems work in theory and in application…

    You are dissembling. The question I asked requires only a commitment to rationality. You already know this to be true. You also already know that to synthesize an aaRS from memory requires the presence of the memory. The reason you must pretend otherwise is to avoid the physical and logical entailments of your beliefs. It is a mind-numbing scene to see.

  68. 68
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: You are dissembling. The question I asked requires only a commitment to rationality. You already know this to be true. You also already know that to synthesize an aaRS from memory requires the presence of the memory. The reason you must pretend otherwise is to avoid the physical and logical entailments of your beliefs. It is a mind-numbing scene to see.

    I DON’T know that because I haven’t studied semiotics as I have clearly stated. I could have just disagreed with you because I was trying to win but I’m being honest. You are trying to cast me as some kind of agent provocateur which I am not.

    I also know that a lot of other people who have studied semiotics and biology and logic disagree with you that it’s not possible that DNA arose through strictly unguided processes.

    I have admitted I don’t know and that I’d like to see what future research turns up. I am trying to be respectful of your position by not casting aspersions on your motives or beliefs.

    I have not said you are wrong. I have said I don’t know. But that makes me some kind of denialist I guess.

    So, let me ask you a question (which I hope you’ll answer): is there any way you might be wrong in your assessment of the genetic code in the way you interpret semiotics or the way you are applying the principles of semiotics? Any way at all? Remembering Karl Popper who said any scientific theory must be falsifiable.

  69. 69

    .
    More dissembling.

    I asked this question:

    UB: To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not JVL?

    JVL: I do not know

    UB: JVL, to synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not?

    JVL: I told you I didn’t know the answer to that.

    Are you equally perplexed by common experience? To have fixed yourself a ham sandwich for lunch, would it entail that you had access to ham? How about changing a flat tire on your car. Would that entail that you had a car with a tire on it?

  70. 70
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Are you equally perplexed by common experience? To have fixed yourself a ham sandwich for snack, would it entail that you had access to ham? How about changing a flat tire on your car. Would that entail that you had a car with a tire on it?

    I think I have already addressed your concerns: I have admitted that I do not understand the workings or implications of a semiotic system in the real world so that means I cannot answer your queries about that. For some reason you continue to cast me as denying the facts. I think I’ve been very clear. And I have also been clear that I am influenced by the fact that a lot of other people who have studied semiotic systems disagree with your interpretation.

    In the meantime I have asked you if there is anyway you could be incorrect in your interpretation of how to apply the precepts of a semiotic system to biology and you have chosen not to reply. Does that mean you cannot see a way you are incorrect or that the answer to my query is obvious?

    I will keep answering the same question over and over again if you wish. But I might not do so quickly as I do have other demands on my time.

  71. 71
    martin_r says:

    JVL @66

    geologist-has-probably-figured-out-how-homing-pigeons-find-their-way-home

    PROBABLY…. GEOLOGISTS….

  72. 72
    JVL says:

    Martin_r: geologist-has-probably-figured-out-how-homing-pigeons-find-their-way-home

    PROBABLY…. GEOLOGISTS….

    Fair enough, but my point was that homing pigeons are not always GPS perfect. They make mistakes sometimes.

    And I did suggest you provide a criterium for your characterisation of GPS quality navigation so that we could examine the evidence in lieu of your criterium. Are you interested? You don’t have to be. Just asking. It would be interesting.

  73. 73

    .
    More dissembling.

    UB: To synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not JVL?

    JVL: I do not know

    UB: JVL, to synthesize an aaRS from heritable memory requires the heritable memory, does it not?

    JVL: I told you I didn’t know the answer to that.

    UB: Are you equally perplexed by common experience? To have fixed yourself a ham sandwich for lunch, would it entail that you had access to ham? How about changing a flat tire on your car. Would that entail that you had a car with a tire on it?

    JVL: I think I have already addressed your concerns: I have admitted that I do not understand the workings or implications of a semiotic system in the real world so that means I cannot answer your queries about that.

    I did not ask you about semiosis, JVL. You full-well know that DNA is the heritable memory in the cell, and you know full-well that aaRS are synthesized from that memory. I am asking you a question of simple rudimentary logic: In order to synthesize an aaRS from memory, does it not require the presence of the memory. You refuse to answer this simple question because – like dominoes falling – it leads to necessary entailments of your position, and those entailments fundamentally damage the defense of your position . So your play is to keep pretending the question is about semiosis, and now, to see if you can change the landscape where I ignore your question about my potential to be wrong. It’s all strategic dissembling on your part, to avoid the physical and logical entailments of your position. As I said, its just as obvious as the nose on your face.

    At this point (as can been seen in your last post) the answer to my question has become so transparently obvious that you cannot even afford to acknowledge that to make a ham sandwich requires you to have access to ham. This is the level of denial you are forced to play out.

  74. 74
    ET says:

    JVL:

    We’ve found living quarters. We’ve found tools. They didn’t have a system of writing so that cannot be recovered (and would have limited their work to what could be observed and passed on through oral traditions).

    You don’t have any idea whose living quarters were found. No one has found the quarrying and transportation tools. And to pull off such a feat they would have had to have a system of writing.

    Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen; you don’t automatically get a designer just because we don’t know how every transition occurred without intelligent intervention.

    What an ignorant thing to say. The design inference is based on our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. Nothing automatic about it. And you don’t know how any transition occurred.

    I’m saying NOT knowing how unguided processes did it doesn’t mean they didn’t.

    That alone proves we shouldn’t be teaching it as science. It isn’t a testable premise.

  75. 75
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: I did not ask you about semiosis, JVL. You full-well know that DNA is the heritable memory in the cell, and you know full-well that aaRS are synthesized from that memory.

    I just searched for ‘aaRS’ . . . . I got lots of disparate hits. What are you saying it is?

    I am asking you a question of simple rudimentary logic: In order to synthesize an aaRS from memory, does it not require the presence of the memory.

    After searching for ‘aaRS’ I’m not even sure what it means. So I’m not prepared to answer the query.

    You refuse to answer this simple question because – like dominoes falling – it leads to necessary entailments of your position, and those entailments fundamentally damage the defense of your position . So your play is to keep pretending the question is about semiosis, and now, to see if you can change the landscape where I ignore your question about my potential to be wrong. It’s all strategic dissembling on your part, to avoid the physical and logical entailments of your position. As I said, its just as obvious as the nose on your face.

    I’m still trying to understand what you are asking! Especiall since searching for ‘aaRS’ was not clear.

    At this point (as can been seen in your last post) the answer to my question has become so transparently obvious that you cannot even afford to acknowledge that to make a ham sandwich requires you to have access to ham. This is the level of denial you are forced to play out.

    You are making assumptions that your view of how the biological systems behave and interact is clear and I’m wondering if that is true.

    AND you haven’t answered my questions about whether or not your position is falsifiable. Perhaps I should start insisting.

  76. 76
    JVL says:

    ET: You don’t have any idea whose living quarters were found. No one has found the quarrying and transportation tools. And to pull off such a feat they would have had to have a system of writing.

    Idle supposition on your part. Based on . . .

    What an ignorant thing to say. The design inference is based on our knowledge of cause-and-effect relationships. Nothing automatic about it. And you don’t know how any transition occurred.

    You don’t understand it at all! You cannot say anything about it. And you duck and dodge behind the excuse that your idea is not deterministic. Which means you don’t have to be able to explain things. I guess.

    That alone proves we shouldn’t be teaching it as science. It isn’t a testable premise.

    When you can come up with something better that passes through the court system let me know. And if you haven’t got the courage to test the court system then why not?

  77. 77

    .
    oOO . . .

    (gee whiz, when Upright BiPed uses that acronym “aaRS“, I wonder if he means the Administrative Action Records System, or the American Acne and Rosacea Society, or that cute little town in Denmark, or any of those funky gene-related references? I just don’t understand!!!!)

  78. 78

    .
    aaRS – Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase

    From the RCSB Protein Database, funded by the National Science Foundation

    PDB 101:

    Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases

    Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases ensure that the proper amino acids are used to build proteins

    When a ribosome pairs a “CGC” tRNA with “GCG” codon, it expects to find an alanine carried by the tRNA. It has no way of checking; each tRNA is matched with its amino acid long before it reaches the ribosome. The match is made by a collection of remarkable enzymes, the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. These enzymes charge each tRNA with the proper amino acid, thus allowing each tRNA to make the proper translation from the genetic code of DNA into the amino acid code of proteins.

  79. 79
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: aaRS – Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase

    alright. I will have a look at that. But . . .

    You have not even acknowledged that I asked how someone could falsify your position. I think it’s fair for you to address that issue before I continue trying to answer your queries.

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, have you seriously considered the statistical foundations of the second law of thermodynamics? That which is logically and physically strictly possible can be so utterly implausible as to be appeal to repeated statistical miracle. Indeed, many things are not credibly observable on the gamut of the observed cosmos. That such huge fluctuations could be suggested as serious possibilities to explain ool etc speaks telling volumes. KF

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, falsification is obvious as has been on the table for decades: provide credible observation of spontaneous origin of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits . On the statistics issue and formerly having seen many attempts, I am not holding my breath just as I do not expect to see a perpetuum mobile. KF

  82. 82
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Idle supposition on your part.

    It’s a fact.

    You don’t understand it at all!

    I understand cause-and-effect relationships quite well.

    You cannot say anything about it.

    Like what? Everything archaeologists say comes after many years, even centuries, of research. The SCIENCE of ID is in the detection and study of design in nature.

    And you duck and dodge behind the excuse that your idea is not deterministic.

    Wrong again. Just because we don’t answer your irrelevant questions doesn’t mean we are ducking and dodging.

    When you can come up with something better that passes through the court system let me know.

    We have something better. We have something that makes testable claims. And only a moron thinks that science needs to go through the court system. You don’t have anything that passes the scientific system.

    And if you haven’t got the courage to test the court system then why not?

    Because only a moron thinks the courts can determine what is and isn’t science. In Dover the judge was fooled by the lies and bluffs of the evos. That trial proved that the courts aren’t the proper venue to determine scientific matters.

  83. 83

    .

    JVL at #79:
    You have not even acknowledged that I asked how someone could falsify your position.

    Which position of mine are you referring to?

    Is it the position I hold about there being no semantic qualities (a capacity to specify something among alternatives) listed among the physical properties of matter? I suppose someone could just get a Periodic Table and point them out.

    Or, is it my position on Charles Sanders Pierce, who reasoned 160 years ago that anything serving as a medium to signify something among alternatives must necessarily be part of a larger triadic relationship (including a symbol vehicle, a referent, and an independent “interpretant” to establish what is being signified)? Well, I suppose they could just look it up and see if there was ever a scientist / philosopher / logician named C.S. Peirce, son of Benjamin Peirce (a founding father of the Department of Mathematics at Harvard) who began writing a general theory of signs back in the 1860s.

    Or, is it my position that Alan Turing exemplified the physical and logical necessity of Peircean interpretants in his programmable computing machine; in that he included a “table of transitions” to systematically establish the rules that would be necessary to translate the symbols on the machine’s tape? I suppose they could look it up in Wikiworld and find out whether or not it says Turing’s machine “manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules”.

    Or, is it my position that John Von Neumann used the structure of Alan Turing’s symbol processing machine to predict the fundamental physical and organizational requirements of an autonomous open-ended self-replicator? I suppose on this one they could look up the history of Von Neumann’s association with Turing and his work, or they could just cut to the chase and listen to Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner’s words on the subject (the man who was advised of Crick and Watson’s discovery in DNA and travelled to Cambridge to meet them even before the first announcement of their discovery was published; the same Sydney Brenner who along with Crick experimentally established the triplet coding structure of the gene code). Brenner was unambiguously in Von Neumann’s court until he passed last year, even using von Neumann’s successful prediction to formulate what he called “Schrödinger‘s Fundamental Error” in his classic paper “What is Life?”. He clearly recognized that Turing’s machine preceded Von Neumann’s logic about open-ended automata. So, I defer to Brenner on the matter and stand ready to have my account falsified.

    Or is it my position that Francis Crick himself further exemplified and confirmed the reasoning of Peirce, Turing, and Von Neumann, i.e. his successful prediction of a separate set of adapter molecules to establish the gene code? A prediction which, by the way, was confirmed by Zamecnik and Hoagland in 1958, along with the fact that the association of anticodon-to-amino acid (establishing the genetic code) is indeed separate and dynamically independent of the codon-to-anticodon association. This organization, of course, allows the system to function as it does, enabling it with the physical freedom and capacity to specify itself, or any variation of itself, in a universe governed by unchanging and inexorable law. It is in fact Polanyi’s “harnessing of inanimate nature” and Von Neumann’s evolving “automata that are more complex and of higher potentialities” than the previous generation. Here again, I guess they could just go to the history and observations, and show that the systems in question don’t necessarily include one arrangement of matter to serve as a medium of specification and a second arrangement of matter to independently establish what is being specified. Frankly, on this count, I don’t really need to supply a method of falsification, I can assure you from personal experience that design critics have come up with their own attempts in the hundreds.

    Or, is it my position that physicist/biologist Howard Hunt Pattee, inspired by the physical capacities of the gene system, spent five decades carefully identifying and documenting the “Physics of Symbol Systems”, noting such things as the linear, one dimensional, rate-independent nature of the medium, the requirement of non-integral constraints to establish what is being specified in the system, the measurement problem, the epistemic cut, the complementarity required in physical descriptions of such systems, the fundamental requirement of semantic closure in biology, and so on. This of course includes the observation that the gene system and human language/mathematics are the only two physical systems to ever be described by science that exemplify these observations, to the exclusion of all other physical systems. Here again, they can simply go to the history and observations and do the work of showing Pattee incorrect in his dozens upon dozens of papers on the subject – which by the way, have become bedrock research to a great number of people with inter-related interests in symbol systems, ultimately conferring a great deal of respect for both he and his life’s work. I only add this last part because of the propensity of some folks on your side to denigrate and marginalize anyone who gets in the way, and I am hoping to perhaps counter that tendency upfront with the facts of the matter.

    Or, in fact!!! Is it my contention that when you touch something hot it is not heat that travels through your nerves to your brain, but is a biosemiotic representation of heat (a sensory signal), which upon reaching your brain, will then and there be interpreted as “hot”. I am probably way out over my skis on this, but I don’t know. Perhaps they could try sticking a temperature probe next to a nerve and see if it gets hot. If it gets hot I will immediately retract my position, but I really don’t think that will be necessary. A bunch of “descent and intellectually honest” people have pretty much confirmed that symbolic representations are a real, and indeed, context-dependent part of physical reality. It appears from the literature that they are required for life on earth to be specified among the many alternatives (as that Dawkins fella might say). Judging by what is clearly recorded in that literature, anyone wanting to falsify that conclusion will likely need to demonstrate semantic closure in an autonomous dissipative process; one that includes a set of objects serving as a specifying medium, and a second set of objects establishing what is being specified; as well as the capacity to read the medium, successfully produce its effects, and provide a copy of the description and a set of its interpretive constraints to the next generation. True falsification, of course, turns on semantic closure because it is the specific material condition that enables the system to persist over time, and is the only reason we are here to observe and measure it. That may sound like a steep hill for falsification, but you have to be realistic and view it in context, Firstly, forget semantic closure for a moment, no one on your side has even come close to establishing a rate-independent medium via a set of independent constraints, so no one is actually holding you to any high standards when it comes to producing physically-relevant evidence. The only reason to bring up semantic closure is in exchanges with folks like yourself who come here to argue against recorded science and history in order to prop up the respectability of their worldview, and would rather not be bothered with the science and history while doing so. For someone like yourself, you in particular, someone who glibly announces there is clearly and emphatically no evidence whatsoever of design in biology (while openly refusing to address that evidence), you’re likely to hear about semantic closure more than most.

  84. 84
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:

    I must sincerely thank you for taking the time to respond so fully. I would like to read it carefully and think about how to respond respectfully and meaningfully. So if you don’t hear from me on this matter for a while it’s because you’ve given me a lot to chew on as it were.

    Again, I really appreciate your effort and I do not want to ignore it.

  85. 85
    JVL says:

    ET:

    I must apologise, rereading my comments to you I feel that I traipsed into rudeness which I am trying hard to avoid. Sadly, I’m still a dopey human being that makes mistakes sometimes.

    We’ve gone over all this ground many times and we’re heading down a well-worn path. So I think I’ll let it drop for the time being.

  86. 86
    ET says:

    JVL- No harm, no foul. And thank you for continuing to point out several possible research questions that arise from the Design inference.

  87. 87
    JVL says:

    ET: No harm, no foul. And thank you for continuing to point out several possible research questions that arise from the Design inference.

    Cool. I will keep trying to hold your feet to the fire of course!!

  88. 88
    ET says:

    As I have said, if I had the $$$ my lab would be working on the questions raised by immaterial information- as in what else is there to living organisms that physics and chemistry cannot account for? We would follow Venter’s lead by synthesizing parts to see what works and what doesn’t. I have a feeling we will find something in the charges and forces of the macromolecules involved as to how the interaction plays out and how it is stored.

  89. 89
    jawa says:

    UB @83,

    Excellent summary! Thanks.

    BTW, did you mean “decent” in the below statement?

    A bunch of “descent and intellectually honest” people have pretty much confirmed that symbolic representations are a real, and indeed, context-dependent part of physical reality.

  90. 90

    .
    JVL at #84

    I must sincerely thank you for taking the time to respond so fully. I would like to read it carefully and think about how to respond respectfully and meaningfully.

    You asked me how someone might falsify my position. It is not a question I have a need to avoid. I offered a few answers to your question based on the things I argue for, and you will now seek to respond in a way that leaves your prior conclusion (i.e. emphatically no evidence of design in biology) justifiably intact, either effectively or ineffectively, or perhaps not respond at all.

    So if you don’t hear from me on this matter for a while it’s because you’ve given me a lot to chew on as it were.

    By all means. Given the science and history, I hope you will not see it as an afront for me to suggest that you are most likely to seek an “undecidable” (or something non-falsifiable) as the basis of your response. That is the well-established tradition in the defense of ignoring science and history.

    If it will help jumpstart your efforts, I will post here the abstract and opening portion of an unusual paper by HH Pattee, one that came after 30 years of research on the physics of symbol systems. It is unusual in that he spends a good amount of time on the different perspectives of various disciplines’ treatment of the symbol-matter relation. It is not a topic he particularly ignored or avoided in other papers, but he is somewhat more explicit in this instance – perhaps something like a review after 30 years of description and analysis. As an example, at the end of the text below, Pattee states that the origin of symbols “is not considered one of the central problems in any area of philosophy or science”. That’s a strong statement in my mind. It might make someone think of the various OoL researchers who must resolve the issue of getting from dynamics to symbols in order to validate the only paradigm allowed in their field of research. Some might imagine how their work must be in some way focused on that inevitable requirement. But upon thinking about it, I’d challenge anyone who believes that rosy assumption to provide examples from any paper by Szostak, Joyce, Lincoln, Sutherland, etc where they actually address the issue in earnest. It’s a sad test, but does the issue even come up? Perhaps it is there somewhere, but I’ve never seen it (and I have read quite a lot over the years). It’s actually not there, and that’s an ugly blemish on empirical reasoning. It violates the first principles of science and its defenders collectively couldn’t care less.

    There is another very notable thing about this situation. This issue not a matter of the words we use to describe the observations, and it does not matter if someone insists this is all just a “useful analogy” in play. It doesn’t matter if we call these things symbols and constraints or aardvarks and kumquats, the physical states of these objects are measurable, and their required relations and non-relations to one another remain as a uniquely identifiable physical organization; one with an output that is not exemplified by any other type of physical organization.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    EVOLVING SELF-REFERENCE: MATTER, SYMBOLS, AND SEMANTIC CLOSURE
    Howard H. Pattee

    Abstract:
    A theory of emergent or open-ended evolution that is consistent with the epistemological foundations of physical theory and the logic of self-reference requires complementary descriptions of the material and symbolic aspects of events. The matter-symbol complementarity is explained in terms of the logic of self-replication, and physical distinction of laws and initial conditions. Physical laws and natural selection are complementary models of events. Physical laws describe those invariant events over which organisms have no control. Evolution by natural selection is a theory of how organisms increase their control over events. A necessary semantic closure relation is defined relating the material and symbolic aspects of organisms capable of open-ended evolution.

    1. What is self-reference?
    Self-reference has many meanings. In symbol systems, like logic and language, self-reference may lead to well-known ambiguities and apparent paradoxes as in, “This sentence is false.” In material systems, like molecules and machines, self-reference is not clearly defined but may describe causal loops such as autocatalytic cycles, feedback controls, and oscillators. At the cognitive level, self-reference occurs in introspection and is often considered one aspect of consciousness. I define a specific form of self-reference that applies to a closure relation between both the material and the symbolic aspects of organisms. I argue that this view of self-reference is necessary to understand open-ended evolution, development, and learning at all levels of organization from the origin of life to the cognitive level. This is not an entirely new view, but is an elaboration and integration of ideas from several well-established areas of physics, logic, computation theory, molecular biology, and evolution theory. To state my position as briefly as possible, self-reference that has open-ended evolutionary potential is an autonomous closure between the dynamics (physical laws) of the material aspects and the constraints (syntactic rules) of the symbolic aspects of a physical organization. I have called this self-referent relation semantic closure (Pattee, 1982) because only by virtue of the freely selected symbolic aspects of matter do the law-determined physical aspects of matter become functional (i.e., have survival value, goals, significance, meaning, self-awareness, etc.). Semantic closure requires complementary models of the material and symbolic aspects of the organism. This brief statement requires much more elaboration.

    I have emphasized in many papers (e.g., Pattee, 1969, 1972, 1982) that the matter-symbol distinction is not only an objective basis for defining life but a necessary condition for open-ended evolution. My reasoning is based not only on biological facts but on the principled epistemic requirements of physical theory. In other words, I require that models of living systems must be epistemologically consistent with physical and logical principles. It is well known that replication and evolution depend crucially on how the material behavior of the organism is influenced by symbolic memory. Biologists call this matter-symbol distinction the phenotype and genotype. Computationalists call this the hardware-software distinction. Philosophers elevate this distinction to the brain-mind problem. What is not as well known is that even in the formulation of physical theories a form of matter-symbol distinction is necessary to separate laws and initial conditions. I will explain this further in Sec. 4.

    The logical necessity of this matter-symbol complementarity was first recognized by von Neumann (1966) in his discussion of self-replicating automata that are capable of creating more and more complicated automata. This is often called emergent evolution. Von Neumann noted that in normal usages matter and symbol are categorically distinct, i.e., neurons generate pulses, but the pulses are not in the same category as neurons; computers generate bits, but bits are not in the same category as computers, measuring devices produce numbers, but numbers are not in the same category as devices, etc. He pointed out that normally the hardware machine designed to output symbols cannot construct another machine, and that a machine designed to construct hardware cannot output a symbol. This was a simple observation about actual machines and the use of natural language, not an ontological or dualistic assertion. Von Neumann also observed that there is a “completely decisive property of complexity,” a threshold below which organizations degenerate and above which open-ended complication or emergent evolution is possible. Using a loose analogy with universal computation, he proposed that to reach this threshold requires a universal construction machine that can output any particular material machine according to a symbolic description of the machine. Self-replication would then be logically possible if the universal constructor is provided with its own description as well as means of copying and transmitting this description to the newly constructed machine.

    As in the case of the universal computing machine, to avoid the ambiguities of self-reference, logic requires the categorical distinction between a machine and a description of a machine. This logic does not differ if the machine is a material machine or only a formal machine. To avoid the ambiguities of self-reference requires two logical types or categories. This is the logical basis of the symbol-matter distinction. It is significant that his so-called kinetic model required primitive parts with both symbolic functions (i.e., logic functions) and material functions (e.g., cutting, moving, etc.). I will discuss this argument in Sec. 9. Von Neumann made no suggestion as to how these symbolic and material functions could have originated. He felt, “That they should occur in the world at all is a miracle of the first magnitude.” This is the origin of life problem.

    2. What is matter?
    For my argument here, I will mean by matter and energy those aspects of our experience that are normally associated with physical laws. These laws describe those events that are as independent of the observer as possible, i.e., independent of initial conditions. The laws themselves are moot until we provide the initial conditions by a process of measurement. Laws and measurements are necessarily distinct categories. Laws do not make measurements, individuals make measurements. Measurement is an intentional act that has local significance and hence involves symbolic aspects usually in the form of a numerical record. This is the physical basis of the matter-symbol distinction. I elaborate on this in Sec. 5. This well-established distinction between the physical and symbolic aspects matter we have no trouble recognizing in practice. Whether one is a material reductionist or a formalist, in practice we rarely have difficulty distinguishing our descriptions of matter using physical laws and our descriptions of symbols using syntactical rules and programs. Also, we all know the difference between formulating theories, constructing instruments, making measurements, and computing.

    The difficulty begins when we try to describe how these complementary material and symbolic aspects are related. Traditional philosophy sees this relation as the problem of reference, or how symbols come to stand for material structures (e.g., Whitehead, 1927; Cassirer, 1957; Harnad, 1990). I have always found the complementary question of how material structures ever came to be symbolic much more fundamental. From the origin of life and evolutionary perspective the most difficult problem is how material structures following physical laws with no function or significance were gradually harnessed by syntactical rules to provide function and significance as symbols (e.g., Pattee, 1969; 1992). I will not say much more about the origin problem here. For several reasons, one of which is its difficulty, the origin of symbols is not considered one of the central problems in any area of philosophy or science. Another reason is that for most scientific models it is not necessary to know the nature or origin of symbols. Natural language, logic, mathematical symbol systems, and computers are most commonly treated simply as well-
    developed tools, and for most models there is no need to ask how they originated.

    – HH Pattee 2001

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Semantic closure is the physical state of the system that enables it to begin functioning and to persist over time. It rests on the observed reality that, in order to function, the system must successfully specify itself as well as specify how to successfully interpret its specification. In short, semantic closure requires the simultaneous coordination (relation) between a) the physical state of the sequences that specify the constituents of the process, with b) the physical state of the sequences that specify the interpretive constraints, and c) inexorable law — i.e. that whatever products result from those iterations of sequences must have the physical properties required to cause them to read the sequences, produce the products, make a copy of the descriptions, and provide it to the next generation along with a set of its interpretive constraints. If this coherence does not exist, the system cannot begin to function and cannot persist over time. The nature of issue should be evident.

  91. 91

    .
    #89

    Yes! thank you.

    Autocorrect also changed “non-integrable” to “non-intregral” and I did not catch it.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I am out for the holiday.

  92. 92
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Thank you for the follow-up. I think most of us tend to cling to ideas they’ve held for a long time; it’s hard to admit you’ve got it wrong after years and years and some ideas are comforting to us.

    I don’t know how I’ll react but I will try and be openminded.

    Enjoy the holiday! Mowing for me later.

  93. 93
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:

    I read through you comments and the excerpt from a work by Howard H Pattee. He’s quite an interesting fellow. I wanted to read the rest of that work so I did some searching and was able to find the entire paper. His writing is dense in that each sentence takes some processing. But I will get through it!

  94. 94

    .
    Five full days have now past, JVL.

    I believe your benefit of the doubt has run out.

    In my last comment to you I predicted (based on common history here) that you would seek an “undecidable” (or something non-falsifiable) as the basis of your response, or perhaps not respond at all.

    It appears we have our answer.

  95. 95
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: Five full days have now past, JVL. I believe your benefit of the doubt has run out.

    I do apologise; I’ve been rather busy this last week. I figure I need to spend a solid couple of hours concentrating to understand the paper and I haven’t had that luxury. I will try and do so this week though.

    In my last comment to you I predicted (based on common history here) that you would seek an “undecidable” (or something non-falsifiable) as the basis of your response, or perhaps not respond at all. It appears we have our answer.

    I will try and do better but I have to give priority to my daily life.

  96. 96

    .
    JVL, you’ve mistaken the territory.

    It was not your absence from the forum that prompted my comment in #94. It was your return to the forum over the weekend (with something like ten comments Sat/Sun) without addressing this conversation.

    It is therefore idle theater to tell me that you’ve been too busy to comment here, or that you’ll try to do better in the future, (good grief). It is also nonsense to pretend that you don’t yet understand the content of the conversation. There is no doubt that life must be specified among alternative in order to exist. There is also no doubt as to how that is accomplished in a physical system. That system is both measurable and identifiable, and has been thus identified.

    What is at issue now is how does one respond to undeniable evidence against a protected position, and that is on full display.

  97. 97
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:

    I made a few quick, sardonic comments but nothing that took time or much thought. Whereas the Pattee paper deserves greater consideration.

    I did have a quick skim through earlier today and some passages caught my attention:

    Similarly, but more objectively, some of the cell’s behavior, like reading base sequences, is symbolic, but most of its behavior, like protein folding, is not. That is, DNA symbolically describes only the linear sequence of amino acids, while physical laws take care of folding, self-assembly, and catalysis.

    So, some of the protein building is purely chemical and physical reactions.

    The genetic code, natural language, logics, formal mathematics, and computer programming languages are the best known examples of such symbol systems. As I have emphasized, all symbol systems must have material embodiments that obey physical laws.

    Because all organisms depend on intrinsic symbolic controls and the origin of life requires a symbolic genetic code as a crucial step, biologists should be much more interested in the matter-symbol problem. However this is not the case. Most biologists are material reductionists, and the discovery of the material structures that correlate with the symbolic activity and function is the only level of explanation they are looking for. Consequently, experimental or material discoveries, not theory, play the primary role in biology. For example, the biologist finds the chemical structure of DNA and the molecular basis of coding a satisfactory descrip¬tion and feels that this fully explains the gene’s symbolic behavior. This material reductionism is even extended to cognitive activity where discovering the material neural correlates of thought would be considered by many as a satisfactory reduction of conscious behavior (e.g., Crick, 1993; Hopfield, 1994).

    Knowing how protein synthesis works we might conclude that construction was the first function of symbols. However, construction requires the classification and control of parts. Also, construction would be of no evolutionary value unless there was hereditary transmission. This certainly requires communication. In other words, at the primitive levels none of these functions can be isolated as primary nor even objectively distinguished from each other. This is one reason that the origin of symbols and life is such a difficult problem.

    Passages such as these are clearly parallel to some of your own statments.

    However, this hereditary process does not have open-ended evolutionary potential, because first, all mutant parts must also have this intrinsic hereditary property. In other words, for this process to achieve open-ended evolution we must assume that the universal heredity property is a rather general intrinsic property of macromolecules. This is not the case.

    I require that theories of life be epistemologically consistent not only with logic but with fundamental physical principles. The most fundamental epistemological classification is between things that do not change and things that change. In physics this principle is used to define laws and initial condi¬tions. This implies a self-referent impotency principle that unchanging events cannot com¬pletely describe changing events. That is, laws cannot complete¬ly describe measure-ments. More precise¬ly, the clas¬sifica¬tion function of measure¬ment cannot be derived from laws. Otherwise, the laws could derive their own initial condi¬tions by computation. The cor¬respond¬ing self-referent impotency in formal systems is that they cannot prove their own con¬sistency, let alone assign a truth value to their own axioms. This implies that formal symbol systems also cannot make measure¬ments. Symbolic computation can never realize measurement.

    And finally:

    Kauffman (1993) in his exploration of nonselective ordering processes points out that no established field of study incorporates the nonselective physical order into evolution theory. To some extent this may be another case of cultural bias in scientific models inherited from the classical physicist’s categorical distinction of matter and symbol. Perhaps it is also because until recently there has been a lack of specific theories of physical self-organization that appeared to be relevant to biological organisms. This is no longer the case. As I mentioned in Sec. 8, there have been many recent dis¬coveries of complex physical systems that exhibit emergent order that to many appear lifelike. However, the matter-symbol distinction is rarely addressed in these studies. Only theories of the origin of the genetic code appear directly relevant to the matter-symbol distinction (e.g., Bedian, 1982). As in the case of artificial in¬telligence, computational models of emergent evolution while stimulating new interest in the classical mattersymbol problem, have rarely addressed the physical basis for the distinction or how matter and symbol are related by measurement.

    For all these reasons, I find that a productive approach to the theories of life, evolution, and cognition must focus on the complementary contributions of non-selective law-based material self-organization and natural selection-based symbolic organization. To some degree the nature of this complementary relation is an empirically decidable issue. However, it is also a foundational issue. The semantic closure of dynamical laws and symbolic constraints is a necessary epistemological condition for information, knowledge, models, and theories at all levels of evolution from the genes to the brain.

    That last paragraph does not seem to imply a materialistic approach to the origin of life is not doomed to failure, just that it must include some of the more recent work examining self-organisational examples in non-living systems. Which is why, I suspect, some biologists have been looking at crystal formations under specific circumstances.

    Anyway, very interesting stuff. Every time I look it over pieces continue to connect together. As I said it takes time.

  98. 98
    ET says:

    Except that we know, thanks to prions, chaperones and genetic engineering, that protein folding is NOT a purely chemical and physical reaction.

  99. 99
    JVL says:

    ET and UPright Biped: Except that we know, thanks to prions, chaperones and genetic engineering, that protein folding is NOT a purely chemical and physical reaction.

    I’ll leave it up to you guys to sort this out. I’m just trying to understand Upright Biped‘s views.

    I can see how Dr Pattee supports Upright Biped‘s views . . . .up to a point. But he doesn’t go so far as to say that a naturalistic orgin of life is impossible.

  100. 100
    EugeneS says:

    JVL @97

    “does not mean that a materialistic approach is doomed to failure”

    I would point out that there is a huge distinction between “materialistic naturalism” and “methodological naturalism” which must not be confused. Materialistic naturalism runs into immense epistemological problems. Metholological naturalism is just a means of inquiry that may or may not be appropriate. In my opinion, it is not appropriate when dealing with the question of origins (the origin of life, the origin of matter, the origin of consciousness). However, irrespective of the success of OOL research, materialistic naturalism is an epistemological self-defeating failure.

  101. 101

    .

    he doesn’t go so far as to say that a naturalistic origin of life is impossible.

    Is this the extent of your critique?

    Can you tell me why you would expect HH Pattee, as a physicist, to add an unnecessary and non-falsifiable conclusion to his papers?

    So let’s take stock:

    Pattee’s papers (along with von Neumann’s, and Peirce’s, and Turing’s, and Crick’s, and Nirenberg’s, and Zamecnik’s, and Hoagland’s, and Brenner’s, and Polanyi’s, etc) validates exactly what I have told you – BUT — the unsupported and non-falsifiable proposition that it may have all fallen into place by an unknown natural mechanism remains, so…

    Does that sound familiar? Perhaps discussed in comment #90 or #94?

    Your position here, as stated, is that there is no evidence of design in biology. However, you now know, based on the science and history of science, that this is completely false. But can you retract your claim? Can you integrate the actual facts with your preferred beliefs? Allow me to show how it is done: ”Based on the physical nature of the gene system, there is clear evidence of design in biology, but I personally believe that someday we may find that Life may have been organized by some unknown natural process”.

    Good luck.

  102. 102

    JVL @99:

    “I can see how Dr Pattee supports Upright Biped‘s views . . . .up to a point. But he doesn’t go so far as to say that a naturalistic orgin of life is impossible.”

    JVL can see how UB’s views are supported, but not to the point where another explanation is impossible.

    “Well …. it’s not impossible!” … is that really where you’re going to plant your flag?

  103. 103
    JVL says:

    WilliamJMurray: “Well …. it’s not impossible!” … is that really where you’re going to plant your flag?

    I was merely pointing out something I gleaned from a paper that Upright BiPed suggested I look at in order to understand the underpinnings of his views. I’m not planting flags anywhere.

  104. 104
    JVL says:

    WilliamJMurray:

    By the way, the link associated with your username is dead.

  105. 105
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Is this the extent of your critique?

    No, but since you seemed to want a reaction from me I thought I’d say something based on the conclusion.

    Can you tell me why you would expect HH Pattee, as a physicist, to add an unnecessary and non-falsifiable conclusion to his papers?

    I think he definitely left the door open for further research and even tried to point out a direction for it to go. I think he thought carefully about his conclusion and said what he wanted to. He doesn’t seem like the type to care much what other people think!

    the unsupported and non-falsifiable proposition that it may have all fallen into place by an unknown natural mechanism remains,

    I would say it was not ruled out by Dr Pattee, not in that paper anyway.

    However, you now know, based on the science and history of science, that this is completely false.

    Dr Pattee makes no comments about design in biology in that paper.

    “Based on the physical nature of the gene system, there is clear evidence of design in biology,”

    I would not make that statement and I don’t think that particular paper makes that point or even tries to make that point. I’m happy to have another look though.

    “I personally believe that someday we may find that Life may have been organized by some unknown natural process.”

    I don’t know if the research will ever get that far but yeah, I think we MAY find that life MAY have come about via unguided processes.

  106. 106

    .
    “oh yes yes, it is a demonstrated fact that the cell requires an irreducibly complex symbol system and an encoding structure that is physically measured to be exactly like the physical system required of language, which is a universal correlate of intelligence — BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF DESIGN IN BIOLOGY”

    par

  107. 107
    Seversky says:

    Is this the Pattee being cited?

    Pattee, H. H., & R?czaszek-Leonardi, J. (2012). Biosemiotics: Vol. 7. Laws, language and life: Howard Pattee’s classic papers on the physics of symbols with contemporary commentary. Springer Science + Business Media.

    Abstract

    The present volume provides Pattee’s in-depth treatment of the physical basis of symbolic functions. Understanding the physical preconditions for the origin of symbols is essential al all levels, from the origin of life to the measurement problem of physics. The entire field of biosemiotics depends on understanding the physical nature of structures that can have a symbolic function. The importance of Pattee’s work lies not only in its clarification of biosemiotics’ scientific bases. By relating symbols to dynamics it becomes relevant to cognitive science, which today acknowledges the importance of embodied cognition in a physical and social environment. Pattee’s views forge links between dynamical, continuous processes and symbolic thought that create a basis for a viable third way-combining the purely symbolic, computational models of cognition and purely dynamic, non-representationalist models. It is a step toward showing that the unfeasibility of reductionism may have different reasons than proposing non-material entities. Howard Pattee is an active, publishing scientist; however his early fundamental, now classic, papers are difficult to access. They are not present in large databases, nor reprinted in other widely accessible journals or books. The book aims at making those papers available for a wider public with contemporary Introduction by the Author and Afterword by Joanna R?zaszek-Leonardi, which link the original papers to current discourse in biosemiotics and the cognitive sciences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

  108. 108
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: “oh yes yes, it is a demonstrated fact that the cell requires an irreducibly complex symbol system and an encoding structure that is physically measured to be exactly like the physical system required of language, which is a universal correlate of intelligence — BUT THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF DESIGN IN BIOLOGY”

    Look, you provided me with some research that helped support your views. I’ve looked at one paper and noted that that particular paper said nothing about design in biology AND, in my view, implied that fruitful work could be done teasing out the origin of life via unguided processes. That was made very clear. I found that interesting so I mentioned it.

    It seems to me that your interpretation of Dr Pattee’s work is counter to his own. He has no fear of losing tenure or his position, he can say what he likes. Now, if he’s said something about design in biology in some other piece of work then I’d be very interested to read it.

    Just looking over the abstract that Seversky kindly posted (yes, that’s the Dr Pattee) it seems, in fact, that Dr Pattee’s view is the opposite of yours.

    If you have other work of his that says something different then please, by all means, share it here.

  109. 109

    .
    Sev, just posted a foreword of Pattee’s classic papers written by a professor of psychology attempting to understand the workings of symbol systems in the brain.

    Were you aiming for your foot Sev?

  110. 110

    .
    JVL, what views of mine were supported?

    That the cell uses a symbol system?

  111. 111

    .
    You can answer the question JVL, does the cell use a symbol system?

  112. 112
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: what views of mine were supported?

    I reproduced some passages above I thought paralleled some of the statements you’ve made here.

    I’m not sure what you want me to say: Dr Pattee seems to agree with your version of some of the biological systems found in living cells but he does not mention or support the view that that means they were designed. And I think he knows a lot about such things; in fact he is clearly considered an expert in that field. I’m happy to agree with everything I’ve read of his so far and yes he does refer to a symbol system.

    “Again, if you can find a piece of his work that has been published that takes that extra step to conclude that the symbol systems in the cell are designed then I’ll be happy to read it.

  113. 113

    .
    JVL, you refuse to answer a simple question because answering means all your rhetoric and obfuscation comes tumbling down.

    This is the hard distinction between the rational defensibility of our two positions. You attempt to defend your position based not on the content of the findings, but on the personal ideology of the scientist performing the measurement. Whereas I defend my position based on the content of the measurement, not on the personal ideology of the scientist. You are doing it right now in plain sight. It is your defense.

    Let me ask you, does the proper practice of science and reason turn on ideology or measurement? Will this be another question you refuse to answer?

  114. 114

    JVL @112:
    “Again, if you can find a piece of his work that has been published that takes that extra step to conclude that the symbol systems in the cell are designed then I’ll be happy to read it.”

    Other than the example being debated, do you have ANY examples of symbol systems that were not intelligently designed, or a theory about how a symbol system could have been created and implemented by a non-intelligent process, other than “well …. it’s not impossible?”

  115. 115

    .
    JVL, does the cell use a symbol system?

  116. 116

    .
    JVL, also to WJM’s point, if the hypothesis is that the gene system came about by an unknown natural process, how can we test that proposition for its scientific validity? There is no test that it can fail and be ruled out, isn’t that correct?

  117. 117
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: you refuse to answer a simple question because answering means all your rhetoric and obfuscation comes tumbling down.

    I said I found everything Dr Pattee wrote was sensible and believable and he said it’s a symbolic system so I agree with that.

    This is the hard distinction between the rational defensibility of our two positions. You attempt to defend your position based not on the content of the findings, but on the personal ideology of the scientist performing the measurement.

    I have no idea what Dr Pattee’s ideology is which is why I was interested if you could point to some other piece or work where he agreed with you that his work implied biological systems were designed. All I have to go on as far as his opinion goes is this one paper where he clearly pointed out directions origin of life research could go.

    Whereas I defend my position based on the content of the measurement, not on the personal ideology of the scientist. You are doing it right now in plain sight. It is your defense.

    And my point is that the experienced, well-respected, expert in the field seems to NOT come to that conclusion. Maybe he has done privately but not in that paper. THAT is all I am saying.

    Let me ask you, does the proper practice of science and reason turn on ideology or measurement? Will this be another question you refuse to answer?

    Mostly measurement of course. Sometimes people are driven to look at certain topics based on their personal views. But, again, Dr Pattee makes that point but does NOT come to your conclusion in that paper.

    JVL, does the cell use a symbol system?

    I’ve already said I agree with Dr Pattee’s view that it does.

    if the hypothesis is that the gene system came about by an unknown natural process, how can we test that proposition for its scientific validity? There is no test that it can fail and be ruled out, isn’t that correct?

    At the moment there is no single test (unless you could manage to rerun the whole shebang again!) but small steps can be tested. My impression is that the whole thing is very difficult and will take years and years even if it fails.

  118. 118
    JVL says:

    WilliamJMurray: Other than the example being debated, do you have ANY examples of symbol systems that were not intelligently designed, or a theory about how a symbol system could have been created and implemented by a non-intelligent process, other than “well …. it’s not impossible?”

    Nope. But that’s not evidence that this particular symbol system was designed. Remember how all swans were white until someone found a black one?

    Just because no one has figured out if it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s not possible and therefore designed.

    I really don’t know what you want me to say. Origin of life research has been going on for a few decades now, new data, new procedures, new hypotheses and new techniques are turning up all the time. Maybe, someday, it’ll turn out that it could not have happened (although I don’t see how you can ‘prove’ a negative), maybe someday we’ll end up admitting we’ll never know for sure. I’m happy to let the work churn on and see what happens! It’s not a matter of me having faith in something, it’s a matter of letting the scientists get on with their work and seeing what they find.

  119. 119

    .
    So you agree that the cell requires a) an irreducibly symbol system, and b) and arbitrary language structure, in order to specify itself among alternatives. Additionally, you agree that this system must be semantically closed in order to begin to function, which entails a three-way simultaneous coordination between the sequences describing the system, and b) the sequences describing the interpretive constraints, and c) inexorable law. Additionally, you agree that the gene system and human language are the only two physical systems described by science that meet these unique criteria, and you further agree that a viewpoint such as “the gene system is just chemistry” enabling life on earth is false. And finally, you agree that there is no way to falsify the hypothesis that life came about by natural means, but you are both willing and able to minimize and wordsmith this glaring problem away, as a means to justify ignoring all prior facts, and you will do this openly on this forum, even as I successfully predict your actions right in front of you..

  120. 120

    JVL @118 said: “Nope. But that’s not evidence that this particular symbol system was designed. Remember how all swans were white until someone found a black one?”

    The problem with that analogy is that it doesn’t address the theoretical cause of an observed phenomena, which is the essential root of the conversation here.

    BTW, I don’t “want” you to say anything in particular. I don’t know why you’re asking me that.

    Let’s look at another analogy. Let’s say that in every prior observation, when we see extra-solar planetary systems following elliptical orbits, we find a solar body at roughly the center of those orbits that provides the gravity necessary for those orbits. Let’s say that we then find an elliptical planetary system but cannot find a solar body at the center. In fact, we don’t observe anything there at all.

    How should scientists proceed under the assumption that all they currently have to work with is the above observation and the prior precedent? Should they say, “there is no evidence that a central source of gravity is causing this system, so we need to find out some other process or model that explains this particular case of an elliptical, planetary system?

    Or, should scientists assume that a central gravity source also explains this system, but for some reason it is hidden from their observations? Should they proceed down the path of trying to find a new force, mechanism or law as a cause, or should they perhaps design equipment and experiments based on the assumption that there is a currently hidden or non-observable central source of gravity for that system?

  121. 121

    The interesting thing here is the refusal to consider known precedent as working explanatory evidence to continue forward in research. More simply, if in every other case the phenomena “B” is either known or assumed to be caused by “A”, why would any reasonable person insist that “A” should not be assumed as a valid theoretical model as the theoretical cause when an additional “B” phenomena is observed somewhere?

    It’s not like every instance of “B” (in this case, a symbolic representational system) has an observed, known “A” cause (prehistoric markings on cave walls, for example); we assume “A” is the cause. Yet. when scientists directly observe “B” in biology, they insist “A” cannot be the cause.

    Why?

  122. 122
    EugeneS says:

    ==Nope. But that’s not evidence that this particular symbol system was designed. Remember how all swans were white until someone found a black one?==

    IMO, abductively, it points to design very strongly. It is a mystery to me why people like Pattee hold their evolutionist views. But in the actual fact, the beauty of science is that, if it is done properly, the cognitive bias of a researcher is very small.

    The funny thing is that irrespective of whether a naturalistic process or processes can be found in a test tube that lead to life, we can never know scientifically how it actually happened. Now let’s suppose that they find such a naturalistic explanation. How will this change the abductive nature of inference with regard to the origin of life?

  123. 123
    ET says:

    If life was reducible to physics and chemistry, humans should have easily made life in a test tube. So either our scientists are a bunch of clueless rubes or life is not reducible to physics and chemistry.

  124. 124
    FourFaces says:

    ET,

    I’m a Christian and I believe that life is reducible to physics and chemistry. Whether or not scientists can make life in a test tube is irrelevant in my opinion.

  125. 125
    asauber says:

    “I’m a Christian and I believe that life is reducible to physics and chemistry. ”

    FourFaces,

    This makes 0.0 sense. What kind of Christian are you? One who doesn’t know anything about Christianity?

    Andrew

  126. 126

    .
    JVL, as a free agent, no one can make you do anything. My only goal in this exchange was to demonstrate once again the irrationality and hypocrisy inherent in the modern materialist position on the OoL and ID.

    Irrational, because a fully materialistic OoL on earth can be consistent with the design hypothesis (allowing materialists to actually integrate the science if they so choose), but modern materialist like yourself cannot stomach an honest assessment of the documented physical evidence (and history) because it logically supports theism (the true intellectual enemy).

    Hypocritical, because you wrap yourselves in the flag of science and reason, and then very deliberately do everything you can to subvert them for your sociopolitical and ideological causes, often while casting stones at theists who are neither attacking the boiling point of water, nor telling you that you must believe in their God.

    I am satisfied that both of these things have been abundantly recorded in this exchange, but you will no doubt have another calm and confectionary spin on what is otherwise completely clear. Ultimately, you will be forced to stand on your illogical and non-falsifiable objection (regardless of how weak it is) because you quite clearly have nothing else. If you are going to stay here at UD to act out your indifference to physical evidence, perhaps you should take a page from people like Ed and Sev, and just stay out of conversations that involve physical evidence. I think you will find that peppering your intellectual opponents with lazy remarks about supreme beings is more comfortable and rewarding that having to tiptoe through physics and logic.

    With that, I will retire from the conversation, and will be gone for a couple of days My mother has passed away and her only wish was to be taken back to our family hometown and be buried next to her husband (my father) who died on the same day 57 years ago.

    Peace out.

  127. 127

    .
    By the way JVL, when the Covid crisis first broke out, I stated that my family had our mother tested for possible infection and then immediately removed from the facility caring for her. That facility recently appeared in the local newspaper under the title “Deathtrap”, where they suffered a high infection rate and have averaged three fatalities per week. You used my comment as an opportunity to score a cheap rhetorical point at the time. I would appreciate it if you did not comment further on the subject.

  128. 128
    FourFaces says:

    Asauber,

    What kind of Christian are you?

    LOL. I am the kind that believes that life is reducible to physics an chemistry. It says somewhere in the OT that the life of the flesh is in the blood, doesn’t it? Blood is physics and chemistry, isn’t it?

  129. 129
    asauber says:

    FourFaces,

    Try Genesis 2:7

    Andrew

  130. 130
    FourFaces says:

    Asauber,

    We’re playing Bible quotes ping-pong now? I said what I wanted to say. Take care.

  131. 131
    asauber says:

    “I said what I wanted to say.”

    FourFaces,

    Good boy. Run along now. 😉

    Andrew

  132. 132
    FourFaces says:

    Asauber,

    Fake Christian. 😀

  133. 133
    asauber says:

    FourFaces,

    Real idiot. 😉

    Andrew

  134. 134
    Ed George says:

    Andrew

    This makes 0.0 sense. What kind of Christian are you? One who doesn’t know anything about Christianity?

    And I have been told that ID had nothing to do with Christianity. Was I mistaken?

  135. 135
    asauber says:

    “And I have been told that ID had nothing to do with Christianity. Was I mistaken?”

    Ed George,

    TwoFaced and I weren’t talking about ID.

    Andrew

  136. 136
    FourFaces says:

    LOL, I must have struck a rather sensitive nerve. Fake Christians remind me of fake Jews for some reason. 😀

  137. 137
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, whisling while walking by the graveyard. The key issue is not only the trillions of observed cases on origin of FSCO/I but also the search challenge vs Sol System and Observed cosmos gamuts. KF

  138. 138
    JVL says:

    upright Biped: So you agree that the cell requires a) an irreducibly symbol system,

    I’m not sure Dr Pattee said that so NO I do not agree to that. I’d be happy to be proved incorrect.

    Additionally, you agree that this system must be semantically closed in order to begin to function, which entails a three-way simultaneous coordination between the sequences describing the system, and b) the sequences describing the interpretive constraints, and c) inexorable law.

    Oddly enough you had a point b> and c) but not a). I think I agree but I’m still not full cognisant with the theory.

    Additionally, you agree that the gene system and human language are the only two physical systems described by science that meet these unique criteria,

    Uh, no, I do not agree to that. I’m not saying I have a counter-example but I am saying I haven’t looked yet.

    and you further agree that a viewpoint such as “the gene system is just chemistry” enabling life on earth is false.

    Nope, I do not accept that.

    And finally, you agree that there is no way to falsify the hypothesis that life came about by natural means, but you are both willing and able to minimize and wordsmith this glaring problem away, as a means to justify ignoring all prior facts, and you will do this openly on this forum, even as I successfully predict your actions right in front of you..

    Nope, I do not agree to that. And, I’m quite sure that Dr Pattee did not assert that in his paper.

  139. 139
    JVL says:

    WilliamJMurray: The problem with that analogy is that it doesn’t address the theoretical cause of an observed phenomena, which is the essential root of the conversation here.

    I’m interested in reality, what actually happens. You can argue all you like about what we haven’t observed but that doesn’t tell us completely what might be true.

    Let’s look at another analogy. Let’s say that in every prior observation, when we see extra-solar planetary systems following elliptical orbits, we find a solar body at roughly the center of those orbits that provides the gravity necessary for those orbits. Let’s say that we then find an elliptical planetary system but cannot find a solar body at the center. In fact, we don’t observe anything there at all.

    Could be a black hole then.

    How should scientists proceed under the assumption that all they currently have to work with is the above observation and the prior precedent? Should they say, “there is no evidence that a central source of gravity is causing this system, so we need to find out some other process or model that explains this particular case of an elliptical, planetary system?

    No, of course not. I see what you’re heading towards: you want to say that since our experience says that only intelligent beings, humans in fact, have produced complicated information dense code systems then we should fall back on that explanation. BUT we have no other solid physical evidence that anything like a human was around at the pertinent time. And that’s not calling you to task for not saying when design was inplemented.

    The interesting thing here is the refusal to consider known precedent as working explanatory evidence to continue forward in research. More simply, if in every other case the phenomena “B” is either known or assumed to be caused by “A”, why would any reasonable person insist that “A” should not be assumed as a valid theoretical model as the theoretical cause when an additional “B” phenomena is observed somewhere?

    Because of the complete lack of evidence that any of ‘A’ criteria were met|!! You keep making this arguement but there is no evidence, except for your disputed design inference, that any kind of intelligent being was around . . . . when was it again? And what did they do exactly?

    Give us some hard data! Find some uncontroversial evidence! If there were designers about then where are their ships, their living quarters, their latrines, their labs, their equipment, their energy sources? Where is any of that evidence?

    Give me that, show me even a small part of that and my opinion would be very, very weakened. And, if you can’t provide that, then explain to me why that is the case.

  140. 140
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: JVL, as a free agent, no one can make you do anything. My only goal in this exchange was to demonstrate once again the irrationality and hypocrisy inherent in the modern materialist position on the OoL and ID.

    I’ve just been trying to understand your thoughts and reasoning. I am not trying to overturn your beliefs.

    Irrational, because a fully materialistic OoL on earth can be consistent with the design hypothesis (allowing materialists to actually integrate the science if they so choose), but modern materialist like yourself cannot stomach an honest assessment of the documented physical evidence (and history) because it logically supports theism (the true intellectual enemy).

    I’m sorry but I have not seen the hard physical evidence to support your view.

    Hypocritical, because you wrap yourselves in the flag of science and reason, and then very deliberately do everything you can to subvert them for your sociopolitical and ideological causes, often while casting stones at theists who are neither attacking the boiling point of water, nor telling you that you must believe in their God.

    I have been trying to have a dialogue with you. We have been discussing a particular paper by a particular researcher and we have come to the point where you feel he has said something which I think he pretty clearly has not said. Where do we go from there?

    I am satisfied that both of these things have been abundantly recorded in this exchange, but you will no doubt have another calm and confectionary spin on what is otherwise completely clear. Ultimately, you will be forced to stand on your illogical and non-falsifiable objection (regardless of how weak it is) because you quite clearly have nothing else.

    Sorry . . . what? We were discussing a particular paper which I think clearly does not say what you think it says. Shall we just stick to that?

    If you are going to stay here at UD to act out your indifference to physical evidence, perhaps you should take a page from people like Ed and Sev, and just stay out of conversations that involve physical evidence. I think you will find that peppering your intellectual opponents with lazy remarks about supreme beings is more comfortable and rewarding that having to tiptoe through physics and logic.

    Just hang on. That’s rubbish. We were talking about a particular paper. When I pointed out that the paper did not say what you thought it said then you get all defensive and claim I am denying something.

    Fine. You tell me: how can I have a conversation with you about these issues and still disagree with you without being labelled a denialist?

    With that, I will retire from the conversation, and will be gone for a couple of days My mother has passed away and her only wish was to be taken back to our family hometown and be buried next to her husband (my father) who died on the same day 57 years ago.

    Peace be with you and your family. If I could help I would. I’m not a praying person but I hope you find the strength and courage you need to get you through the next few days and weeks. Remember: you never get over such a lose: you just learn to work around it. You have my sympathy and support.

    By the way JVL, when the Covid crisis first broke out, I stated that my family had our mother tested for possible infection and then immediately removed from the facility caring for her. That facility recently appeared in the local newspaper under the title “Deathtrap”, where they suffered a high infection rate and have averaged three fatalities per week. You used my comment as an opportunity to score a cheap rhetorical point at the time. I would appreciate it if you did not comment further on the subject.

    I’m sorry to say I don’t remember the comment but I shall certainly respect your request. And, I am sincerce, I hope you find the strength and courage to deal with your situation. I sincerely would help if I could. Take care of yourself and your family. <3

  141. 141
    JVL says:

    Out of respect for Upright BiPed and his family I shall not be commenting on this thread until he returns, if he chooses to do so. Some things are much, much more important than our arguments and Upright BiPed‘s situation is such a thing. Please join me in wishing him and his family the strength and courage and insight to get through the next few days.

    No matter what our disagreements we all agree that we need to look after each other. Let’s hope we never forget that.

  142. 142
    ET says:

    FourFaces:

    I’m a Christian and I believe that life is reducible to physics and chemistry.

    As long as you understand it is only a belief.

    Whether or not scientists can make life in a test tube is irrelevant in my opinion.

    In my opinion they should be able to if it was so reducible.

  143. 143
    FourFaces says:

    ET,

    As long as you understand it is only a belief.

    I can say the same thing to anybody.

    In my opinion they should be able to if it was so reducible.

    This is a weak argument. For centuries, many people were convinced that humans will one day be able to build flying machines. Were they wrong because the science was not yet ready? I don’t think so.

  144. 144
    ET says:

    We built airplanes. We will NEVER be able to produce a living organism without also having the ability to impart the required immaterial information into it.

  145. 145
    FourFaces says:

    ET,

    You’re not arguing out of good will. There’s no immaterial information being imparted into living organisms. You’re making this up. You convinced yourself of something long ago without evidence and you won’t let go. You’re like those Christians who believe that the mind does not need a brain to think. You are wrong.

  146. 146
    ET says:

    LoL! There is immaterial information running the day-to-day happenings of cellular life. The genetic code just doesn’t run itself. Editing, splicing, proof-reading and error-correction all require knowledge that bare molecules just do not have.

    You are the one not arguing out of good will. Scientists have synthesized a genome. They have synthesized other biological macromolecules. So if life was reducible as you say, they should have no problem making life in a lab.

  147. 147
    FourFaces says:

    Is there a programming code in your computer that needs some immaterial substance to run it? Of course not. It’s just zillions of atoms and molecules doing their thing.

    You keep repeating the same talking point that I already refuted. Not being able to do something is not proof of anything and it is certainly not a valid argument against the physical nature of living organisms. This is my last post in this thread. Good luck.

  148. 148
    ET says:

    The programming code arose from immaterial information. You haven’t refuted anything, Lou. All you have done is handwave.

    Read “The Programming of Life” by Dr Donald Johnson

  149. 149
    asauber says:

    “This is my last post in this thread. ”

    FakeFaces,

    Goodbye again. 🙂

    Andrew

  150. 150
    ET says:

    And it still remains that the genetic code just doesn’t run itself. Editing, splicing, proof-reading and error-correction all require knowledge that bare molecules just do not have.

    Moar handwaving, Lou?

  151. 151

    .
    JVL, the bottom line here is really very simple. You are being forced by science and history (just as I predicted) to argue for the unfalsifiable (and illogical) assumption that your conclusions are true. In case you are not aware of it, that is most certainly the short end of the stick within the practice of science and reason. That’s just the way empiricism works. You are not going to be marshaling forward any physical evidence, for instance, that Peirce’s fundamental observations about specification (the capacity to specify something among alternatives) are incorrect in some way. You won’t be demonstrating that the anticodon-to-amino acid association inside the cell is not spatially and temporally independent of the codon-to-anticodon association. You have no choice but to deal with the fact that Von Neumann used an irreducible system of symbols and constraints to predict the organizational requirements of cell, and further, that his predictions were famously confirmed by Crick, Brenner, Hoagland, Zamecnik, Nirenberg, and others. These are recorded historical facts that you simply can do nothing about. You also won’t be providing any evidence that Pattee’s 50-year material analysis of the gene system is not universally supported by physics, or that he doesn’t demonstrate that the expressive power of human language and of the gene system are both enabled by (and require) the same physical and relational organization. He specifically argues that very point. Likewise, you can repeat the many unsupported assumptions made by leading materialist OoL researchers (dissembling that the problem “is hard”, and “may take years” to resolve), but you can’t point to even a single paper where they physically model the details of the transition from dynamics to the semantically-closed symbol system actually required for life and evolution. To sum it up, you simply have to avoid and dismiss the entire range of documented physical evidence and history against your beliefs. In fact, you’ve even been forced to tacitly acknowledge that your position is unfalsifiable (I.e. there is no test it could fail and be proved wrong; and is therefore unscientific). So you are left, as I already pointed out, to do the dispassionate confectionary spin thing, if not commit outright denial. Just yesterday you said on another thread that a case for ID has “not been established”, when you know damn well that is not true — you’ve demonstrated it here yourself. We could ask the question, what does it look like when someone is clearly faced with scientific evidence against their beliefs, which they cannot refute, but decide to stick it out anyway. In the space of one blog post, you have demonstrated that for all to see. You’ve assumed your unfalsifiable conclusion against universal evidence to the contrary, just as I said you would. And you will continue to do so. As a strategy, you have no other choice. You are free to now join the other materialist ideologues on UD that avoid this topic altogether.

    Out of respect for Upright BiPed and his family…

    If you had intended to display even a modicum of respect, you would have simply honored my request.

  152. 152
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:

    I hope things are going as well as possible for you and your family. Losing a parent is never easy; it take a long time to stop thinking about it every minute.

    I’m sorry that I have offended you in some way. We were discussing a paper which seems pretty clearly to me to draw a conclusion different from your own and I pointed that out. I don’t consider that a blanket denial of reams of evidence and work which I haven’t commented on yet. I share the opinion with quite a few people that ID has not proven its case yet so I don’t see why you find that so annoying.

    You don’t seem inclined to have any further discussion but I will ask:

    Have you looked at this paper:

    Evidence for de novo production of self-replicating and environmentally adapted RNA structures by bacteriophage Qbeta replicase.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC432262/

    I’ll quote from The Ancestor’s Tale:

    M Sumper and R Luce, working the the laboratory of Manfred Eigen, Obtained a truly stunning result. Under some conditions, a test tube containing no RNA at all, just the raw materials for making RNA plus the Qbeta replicase enzyme, can spontaneously generate self-replicating RNA which, under the right circumstances, will evolve to become similar to Spiegelman’s Monster. So much, incidentally, for creationist fears (or hopes, we might rather say) that large molecules are too ‘improbable’ to have evolved. Such is the simple power of cumulative natural selection (so far is natural selection from being a process of blind choices) Spiegelman’s Monster takes only a few days to build itself up from scratch.,

    I haven’t followed through on that work but it seems like scientists have found productive lives of research so I think it’s too soon to say such work will never find a plausible unguided process wherein RNA may have arisen.

    If you want to abandon the conversation I’ll not take it up any further.

    Good luck!!

  153. 153
    ET says:

    LoL! @ JVL- You cannot use what needs to be explained- bacteriophage Qbeta replicase- to do the explaining. And Spiegelman’s Monster stops the process. Meaning it, the replicator, isn’t going to become more complex.

  154. 154
    ET says:

    The people who say that ID has not “proven” its case are the same people who don’t have any science to support their own claims. All they have is their dislike of ID. And that is due to personal biases.

  155. 155
    JVL says:

    ET: You cannot use what needs to be explained- bacteriophage Qbeta replicase- to do the explaining.

    The paper was trying to see if one particular step in a long process could have occurred. It was not trying to explain the whole kit-and-kaboodle. Are you sure that bacteriophage Qbeta and Qbeta replicase are the same thing?

    The people who say that ID has not “proven” its case are the same people who don’t have any science to support their own claims.

    In your opinion. Others think differently.

    All they have is their dislike of ID. And that is due to personal biases.

    What about the people who started out believing some kind of ID and then changed their minds? What would have caused that?

  156. 156
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Are you sure that bacteriophage Qbeta and Qbeta replicase are the same thing?

    I didn’t say they were. I cut an pasted what you posted.

    In your opinion.

    Nope, it’s a fact. You can’t even provide a testable hypothesis for unguided evolution with respect to producing protein machines.

    What about the people who started out believing some kind of ID and then changed their minds?

    What about them?

  157. 157
    EugeneS says:

    JVL:

    The paper was trying to see if one particular step in a long process could have occurred.

    That is the very thing! One particular step…

    The laws of nature (natural regularities) can explain how ink flows on paper but they are just not enough to explain the meaning of my comment. This is because the meaning of it is not reducible to physicality. As simple as that.

    It is possible to instantiate logic and meaning into physicality by arranging boundary conditions on the motion of matter in the system. But that requires foresight and planning.

    This irreducibility can easily be demonstrated: semantically the same message can be conveyed by entirely physically different means: as a gesture, with ink and paper, by voice or by RNA, for that matter.

    A bit of correction on your word usage:

    process: a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

    Nature does not do things like that because it simply lacks vision or foresight. It cannot process anything. Unfortunately, scientific terminology has adopted a misnomer, a random process, which, strictly speaking, is no process at all.

    OOL research is like someone climbing a tree and saying: I am getting closer to the moon, with every step. Yes, closer but it does not count because by climbing a tree you will never reach it.

  158. 158

    .
    JVL, this has been a discussion about the necessary conditions of autonomous open-ended self-replication, as established over documented history — from abstract theory and logic, to published prediction, to experimental confirmation, followed by complete physical analysis.

    Please, do tell us – how exactly does the experiment you reference have any impact on obtaining the required conditions for autonomous open-ended self-replication? Can you point to any details of actual substance?

  159. 159
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    Just as an illustration, the challenge that naturalists are facing is akin to this with the exception that in reality it is dynamic and more complex.

    Trying to explain the end result as just an interplay of selection and variation is a fool’s errand. You need foresight and other things which the naturalistic toolkit does not have.

  160. 160
    JVL says:

    ET & Upright BiPed

    As was stated in the quote Qbeta replicase (which is an enzyme and contains no genetic material) was put into a mix of the building blocks of RNA and was able to synthesise RNA which was then able to form into something like Spiegelman’s Monster which is a self replicator. It’s a very interesting experiment. The entire paper is available at the link provided. The point being that with the right combination of raw materials and the right enzyme you can get strands of genetic material without having any present.

    EugeneS: OOL research is like someone climbing a tree and saying: I am getting closer to the moon, with every step. Yes, closer but it does not count because by climbing a tree you will never reach it.

    I think it’s more like climbing a mountain and every time a step is shown to be possible a path up the entire thing becomes more plausible.

  161. 161

    .
    JVL, your cite appears to be a complete air ball. There is no claim here against dynamic processes. Take a molecule out of an extant cell, place it in a man-made environment and feed it raw materials. It will do what it does,

    And so?

  162. 162

    .

    I think it’s more like climbing a mountain

    Except of course, we already know its possible to climb a mountain, so lets just stick with reality: you have to get from dynamics to a semantically-closed system of symbols and constraints.

  163. 163
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: your cite appears to be a complete air ball. There is no claim here against dynamic processes. Take a molecule out of an extant cell, place it in a man-made environment and feed it raw materials. It will do what it does,

    The raw materials can be found outside of a cell, perhaps not in the same concentrations but they are ‘around’. If the enzyme (which contains no genetic material) can possibly generate outside of a cell then you have a possible generation point. And an enzyme is just a chemical molecule.

    Again, origin of life research checks out little tiny steps like this and then checks possible steps on either side. If one of the steps is highly improbable then that bit of path becomes less likely. I think such work is exciting and I don’t think it’s time to throw in the towel when progress is being made. The step from this to a self-replicator has been shown so it seems worth seeing if the path continues in the other direction.

    Except of course, we already know its possible to climb a mountain, so lets just stick with reality: you have to get from dynamics to a semantically-closed system of symbols and constraints.

    And people are testing bits of possible paths that will get you there. Surely it’s worth doing that research? Dr Pattee even had suggestions of where researchers should focus their attentions.

  164. 164
    asauber says:

    “I think it’s more like climbing a mountain”

    With Natural Selection, it’s not even climbing. It could be going sideways, down, or nowhere.

    Andrew

  165. 165
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    I think it’s more like climbing a mountain and every time a step is shown to be possible a path up the entire thing becomes more plausible.

    On the contrary! The more is known about how cell operates, the more desperate the case becomes for naturalists. The moon is getting further away from the person climbing a tree.

    You can’t get through the dynamically changing maze without knowledge, foresight, planning and control.

    Even to climb a mountain one needs planning, equipment, a map, and skill. The blind watchmaker paradigm has ended up in a fiasco.

    when progress is being made

    Oh, boy.

  166. 166
    JVL says:

    Asauber: With Natural Selection, it’s not even climbing. It could be going sideways, down, or nowhere.

    I think, eventually, unguided processes tend to check out every nook and cranny. The productive options tend to leave more offspring a bit further down a particular path than those a few generations back and start their ‘search’ from a different point.

  167. 167
    JVL says:

    EugeneS: You can’t get through the dynamically changing maze without knowledge, foresight, planning and control.

    The way I see it, life continues to expand into every niche. The ones that are more productive generate more generations to continue from their locations while others may be exploring a different path.

    It’s like filling a maze with water. Eventually an exit is found with no foresight or plan or control.

  168. 168
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, consider very large config spaces. The problem is not to climb a mountain but to get to a shoreline of function in a vast sea of non function. As was pointed out over and over, for years; functionality comes in isolated islands as very specific combinations are required to get coherent functionality, and vastly more possibilities will be non functional. Dynamic systems tend to have low contingency if dominated by mechanical necessity and stochastic disturbances do not provide resources to search config spaces of 500 – 1000+ bits. . It is obvious that there is not a genuine discussion here at this point. I am just noting unresponsiveness to key issues. That is the root problem. KF

  169. 169
    asauber says:

    “life continues to expand into every niche”

    I’m not sure what this means, but it’s more poetry than it is science.

    Andrew

  170. 170
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, more of the notion that there is a convenient vast continent of smoothly varying function, allowing hill climbing. Only, the evidence is for deeply isolated islands of function just on requisites of complex multipart coherent function. Where, remember life has to invent a machine code and execution machinery out of molecular noise on these models. Patent implausibility to maximal degree. It is ideological imposition so it MUST have happened and any questioning is pounced on that has locked in what Lakatosian thinking would identify as a degenerate research programme/paradigm. KF

  171. 171
    ET says:

    JVL- You don’t have a mechanism capable of producing the necessary enzyme.

    I think, eventually, unguided processes tend to check out every nook and cranny.

    Except for every case in which they don’t. Archaeology and forensic science prove that they don’t.

    Also, you should read about Spiegelman’s Monster.

  172. 172
    ET says:

    JVL:

    As was stated in the quote Qbeta replicase (which is an enzyme and contains no genetic material) was put into a mix of the building blocks of RNA and was able to synthesise RNA which was then able to form into something like Spiegelman’s Monster which is a self replicator.

    ‘Spiegelman’s Monster is not a self replicator. And it existence demonstrates that nature tends towards the more simple.

  173. 173
    JVL says:

    ET: You don’t have a mechanism capable of producing the necessary enzyme.

    Enzymes encourage chemical reactions but the reaction would happen anyway, just more slowly. So . . . you probably don’t even need the enzyme.

    Archaeology and forensic science prove that they don’t.

    Those aren’t studying unguided processes though.

    Also, you should read about Spiegelman’s Monster.

    If you’re referring to the fact that mostly it seems to shorten a genome then I still say it’s a self-replicator and the question is can such a thing arise without the supposed precursors. And it sounds to me like . . . yeah, maybe it can. Maybe chemistry can create a self-replicator upon which natural selection can act.

  174. 174

    .

    JVL: people are testing bits of possible paths that will get you there.

    You do not know this. You have no test to establish this. It is merely your non-falsifiable assumption against universal evidence to the contrary. It is just as I predicted from the start of this conversation; you are forced by documented science to defend your position by assuming a non-falsifiable conclusion.

    This is your defense against science.

  175. 175
    JVL says:

    ET: Spiegelman’s Monster is not a self replicator. And it existence demonstrates that nature tends towards the more simple.

    Alright, that particular example probably depends on the enzyme but, again, an enzyme just accelerates a chemical reaction.

    So, is it possible that an RNA chain could form even without an enzyme? It seems to be able to with the enzyme so why not without?

    I think it’s worth doing the research. I think it’s exciting! I’d like to know. I’m not going to prejudge the work. I’m not going to condemn it to failure util someone checks it out thoroughly.

  176. 176
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    I think, eventually, unguided processes tend to check out every nook and cranny.

    This is wishful thinking, I am afraid.

    It is possible to estimate the number of states an evolutionary random walk can visit. It is O(2^140) at best, which is an equivalent of 140 functional bits max. It is also possible to estimate independently, the amount of functional information in biological systems. There is a many orders of magnitude mismatch between the two…

    Search assumes a fitness function and control over system states by fitness function gradients. Evolution does not have that. All evolution has is a random walk. It can climb peaks but because the fitness landscape is rugged, evolution stagnates in local peaks. However, there is evidence suggesting that extant biological systems are globally optimized.

  177. 177
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: You do not know this. You have no test to establish this. It is merely your non-falsifiable assumption against universal evidence to the contrary. It is just as I predicted from the start of this conversation; you are forced by documented science to defend your position by assuming your conclusion.

    Research seems to have shown that the raw materials for building RNA combined with an enzyme will create a strand of genetic material which can lead to some kind of self-replicator (which may depend on that same enzyme but it already exists).

    Enzymes accelerate chemical reactions but the reactions might happen anyway. Probably much less often.

    That is all science.

    Why not pursue that avenue of investigation to see if more steps can be added to those? That’s the nature of research is it not? To see if something is possible. Dr Pattee seemed to think it was; he didn’t warn against it anyway.

    I’m in favour of trying stuff to see if it works. There were people in the 19th century that said it was impossible for humans to survive travelling more than 50 mph; their logic told them so. They were wrong because one of their underlying assumptions was wrong. Logic is great but if one of your axioms doesn’t hold then . . . .

  178. 178
    JVL says:

    EugeneS: It is possible to estimate the number of states an evolutionary random walk can visit. It is O(2^140) at best. It is also possible to estimate independently, the amount of functional information in biological systems. There is a many orders of magnitude mismatch between the two…

    Which evolutionary random walk? Remember, when biology finds something that works it tends to pursue it even if it’s not optimal.

    Search assumes a fitness function and control over system states by fitness function gradients. Evolution does not have that. All evolution has is a random walk. It can climb peaks but because the fitness landscape is rugged, evolution stagnates in local peaks. However, there is evidence suggesting that extant biological systems are globally optimized.

    Evolution can be climbing all peaks at the same time!! Life spreads out wherever it can. Again, I think of it like water, it seeps and flows everywhere it can.

  179. 179
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    Remember, when biology finds something that works it tends to pursue it even if it’s not optimal.

    I am referring to the differences between a search in a parametric space and a random walk. The differences between the two are large. Evolution does not pursue future function. It cannot search for it either. It can just stumble upon it randomly. It can only select from among existing functions. I hope you can see already what challenge you are up against.

    Evolution can be climbing all peaks at the same time!!

    If you can’t explain the starting point, it is no use discussing what may or may not follow.

    And surely not all peaks, but only available ones: reachable and, remember, selectable. There is a limited number of organisms on earth and there is a limited amount of time available to evolution. Again, the amount of functional information explainable by evolution is dwarfed by comparison with observed biological functional complexity.

  180. 180

    .
    So, no details whatsoever connecting dynamics to the necessary conditions of symbols, constraints, and semantic closure.

    There has perhaps not been a more clear recent example on these pages of an ideologue being confronted with documented science and history that they cannot refute, and transparently choosing to assume their conclusion anyway – even while being told upfront what their next move will be. And you’ll be back here again tomorrow, doing the same thing.

  181. 181
    JVL says:

    EugeneS: I am referring to the differences between a search in a parametric space and a random walk. The differences between the two are large. Evolution does not pursue future function. It cannot search for it either. It can just stumble upon it randomly. It can only select from among existing functions. I hope you can see already what challenge you are up against.

    I am also saying that it’s possible for biology to be pursuing many avenues at the same time! It’s not searching for anything, it’s just expanding. And the expansion flows along viable lines.

    If you can’t explain the starting point, it is no use discussing what may or may not follow.

    I was presenting a passible starting point.

    And surely not all peaks, but only available ones: reachable and, remember, selectable. There is a limited number of organisms on earth and there is a limited amount of time available to evolution. Again, the amount of functional information explainable by evolution is dwarfed by comparison with observed biological functional complexity.

    The organisms that arose were not a goal. You are making the sharp-shooter fallacy. The chance of arriving at a particular goal is minuscule, the chance of arriving at a goal is much greater.

  182. 182
    JVL says:

    Uprigtht BiPed: So, no details whatsoever connecting dynamics to the necessary conditions of symbols, constraints, and semantic closure.

    That’s because I argued for a plausible origination for the precursor of a self-replicator. Once you have that then the real show starts.

    There has perhaps not been a more clear recent example on these pages of an ideologue being confronted with documented science and history that they cannot refute, and transparently choosing to assume their conclusion anyway – even while being told upfront what their next move will be. And you’ll be back here again tomorrow, doing the same thing.

    You think the existing biological system could not have arisen via purely chemical processes. I have presented research which suggests it could have. Perhaps you should address that research.

  183. 183

    .

    That’s because I argued for a plausible origination for the precursor of a self-replicator. Once you have that then the real show starts.

    A de facto acknowledgement of the empirical case made for ID.

    You think the existing biological system could not have arisen via purely chemical processes.

    No, that is not the argument I have presented.

    I have presented research which suggests it could have. Perhaps you should address that research.

    I already have. It’s a purely dynamic reaction. The existence of dynamic reactions are not under debate. The system of symbols, constraints and semantic closure is the target you must avoid. Getting from dynamics to that system is the issue at hand. It is the issue you are avoiding in each and every comment you make.

  184. 184
    Ed George says:

    JVL

    So, is it possible that an RNA chain could form even without an enzyme? It seems to be able to with the enzyme so why not without?

    And why does it have to be a protein based enzyme? An enzyme is nothing but a catalyst, and the world is full of very simple catalysts. Elements catalyze chemical reactions trillions of times every day.

  185. 185
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    I was presenting a passible starting point.

    You haven’t presented anything.

    The organisms that arose were not a goal.

    All you have to do now is demonstrate that this is possible without forethought and planning. You haven’t even started. The only thing you have really produced is the flawed analogy between living organisms and water. That is not even wrong. Water obeys the laws of nature (gravity, surface tension, which leads to the capillary effect; all of this can be described as a tendency towards states with min potential energy) and it is nowhere near the complex functionality of life required at its start, i.e. before biological evolution even begins. This is not a serious discussion.

    Life involves non-homogeneous autonomous structures with complex function, metabolism, computation, control, response to stimuli and, finally, replication, which includes read/write from/to symbolic memory and semantically closed self-assembly by instructions from memory.

    EG

    And why does it have to be a protein based enzyme? An enzyme is nothing but a catalyst, and the world is full of very simple catalysts.

    It should then be very easy for you to win this competition.

  186. 186
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: A de facto acknowledgement of the empirical case made for ID.

    So, let me get this straight . . . do you think it’s possible the first basic replicator arose through purely chemical processes? Okay, you answered that.

    I already have. It’s a purely dynamic reaction. The existence of dynamic reactions are not under debate. The system of symbols, constraints and semantic closure is the target you must avoid. Getting from dynamics to that system is the issue at hand. It is the issue you are avoiding in each and every comment you make.

    Okay, so we ;have a basic self-replicator, possibly using some form of RNA. All done through basic chemical reactions. So we get inheritance and variation assuming ‘mistakes’ could be made in the reproduction.

    IF one particular combination of RNA ALSO happened to synthesise a protein owning to chemical affinities then you could get the genetic code. It’s just an idea but do you think it’s a possibility?

  187. 187
    JVL says:

    EugeneS: All you have to do now is demonstrate that this is possible without forethought and planning. You haven’t even started. The only thing you have really produced is the flawed analogy between living organisms and water. That is not even wrong. Water obeys the laws of nature (gravity, surface tension, which leads to the capillary effect; all of this can be described as a tendency towards states with min potential energy) and it is nowhere near the complex functionality of life required at its start, i.e. before biological evolution even begins. This is not a serious discussion.

    I have presented a possible origin of the first basic self-replicator. Assuming ‘mistakes’ could be made and passed on does that not introduce the idea of descent with modification?

    Life involves non-homogeneous autonomous structures with complex function, metabolism, computation, control, response to stimuli and, finally, replication, which includes read/write from/to symbolic memory and semantically closed self-assembly by instructions from memory.

    Eventually but could it not have started with a basic self-replicator which could pass on its ‘genome’ and possibly some variations?

  188. 188
    Barry Arrington says:

    JVL:

    but do you think it’s a possibility?

    See this article in which Jerry Coyne states:

    The error is taking what is possible and making people think that this is what’s common or probable.

    Sure, from the point of pure possibility, it is possible to toss heads 500 times in a row. It is possible that all of the air molecules in the room will congregate in one corner and you will suffocate.

    But when you come to the point where you cling to bare possibility to prop up your materialist religious commitments, you have crossed over into the “snake handler” stages of fideism.

  189. 189
    asauber says:

    “It’s like filling a maze with water. Eventually an exit is found with no foresight or plan or control.”

    JVL,

    If there is a ‘maze’, with an ‘exit’ you are assuming design.

    Analogy fail. And for your own good, JVL, analogies don’t demonstrate anything.

    Andrew

  190. 190
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Enzymes encourage chemical reactions but the reaction would happen anyway, just more slowly. So . . . you probably don’t even need the enzyme.

    Timing is key.

    Alright, that particular example probably depends on the enzyme but, again, an enzyme just accelerates a chemical reaction.

    Timing is key, though.

    So, is it possible that an RNA chain could form even without an enzyme? It seems to be able to with the enzyme so why not without?

    Yes, they can. However the odds of the right RNAs forming spontaneously has never been calculated. We know there are 5 nucleotide RNAs that can catalyze a reaction. But so what if all that comes of it is just more RNAs that do nothing? Magic is somehow going to make more that catalyze reactions? And the what?

    Lincoln and Joyce had a sustained replicating RNA scenario- two designed RNAs of 35 nucleotides each. One was a template and one could catalyze a reaction joining two smaller (engineered) RNAs. Nothing came of it beyond a faster reaction time was conceived.

  191. 191
    ET says:

    There aren’t any molecular “self-replicators”. You need, at a minimum, one catalyst and one template. Unless you are in the matrix and your name is Agent Smith.

  192. 192
    ET says:

    RNA chains can be formed without a biological catalyst. So what? Also, just because a particular sequence forms a catalyst doesn’t mean it is a wild card that can catalyze any and all required reactions.

  193. 193
    EugeneS says:

    JVL

    Eventually but could it not have started with a basic self-replicator

    No. The starting point of life requires a fully functional semantically closed translation system. It is NOT a single process but an orchestrated suite of processes. No translation means no life. No semantic closure means no life. RNA must specify not only a protein but also an interpreter of this specification.

    Another crucial requirement is error correction. As the length of DNA grows, the copying error rate increases catastrophically. However, the length of the code for the simplest error corrector is greater than the maximum DNA length that can be copied without errors (the so called Eigen paradox).

    IF one particular combination of RNA ALSO happened to synthesise a protein owning to chemical affinities

    In other words, if a symbolic specification just happened to arise together with a symbolic specification of its interpreter?

    The naturalistic OOL does not stand up to scrutiny.

  194. 194

    .
    JVL, with the questions you ask, it appears you want me to simply ignore the physical conditions of the system; ignore all the science and history that informs our universally-coherent (and irrefutable) model of autonomous open-ended self-replication. I am not certain why you would want me to do that, other than the obvious reason that if my selective ignorance were to match yours, it would serve your ideological purposes by removing the documented empirical facts and logical reasoning that illustrate its flaws.

  195. 195
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: with the questions you ask, it appears you want me to simply ignore the physical conditions of the system; ignore all the science and history that informs our universally-coherent (and irrefutable) model of autonomous open-ended self-replication.

    I’m not asking you or ET or EugeneS or Asauber or Barry to do anything. I’ve seen and presented some evidence that synthesis of an RNA chain could possibly occur with no precursor to copy. This seems like an interesting if not promising result to work with, to see what follows from it and also to see if you can back things up another step.

    Maybe all this research will topple to the ground and come to nothing. But I don’think Dr Pattee was saying that in the paper discussed earlier in this thread. I was listening to an interview with Dr Francis Collins, director of the NIH, founder of the BioLogos Institute and recent winner of the Templeton prize. He doesn’t say that origin of life research is pointless and doomed to failure. I know the general feeling on this site is that it is pointless but clearly some well known people along with hundreds of working researchers (and funding agencies) think otherwise. I’ve always admired explorers, folks who try to find out things we don’t know, people who expand our horizons by taking risks and chances. Maybe all those researchers will be retooling their research agendas in five or ten years but I think it’s worth letting them continue to work the problems. On that I guess we’ll just have to disagree.

  196. 196
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, no. While in principle all reactions are an equilibrium process that potentially run both ways, some are so energetically unfavourable that effectively, sans catalysts and pushing circumstances . . . Le Chatelier’s principle . . . generally, they would not go in certain ways. The reactions of life are enzyme catalysed and ATP enabled for a reason. Absent such scaffolding to control the Chemistry — often using a coded control tape also — the reaction would not go that way spontaneously. The spontaneous direction would be to disorder and dis-INTEGRAT-ion. There is a pivotal misconception of thermodynamics on your part, here. KF

  197. 197

    .
    JVL, your entire comment in #195 displays a stunning level of dissembling.

    You start by reminding us that you’ve presented a 46 year-old experiment where molecules are taken from an extant cell, placed in a laboratory environment and fed raw materials. This is relevant to the necessary physical conditions at the origin of life … in what way exactly?

    You then try once more to weave something significant out of the rather ordinary fact that competent researchers don’t typically add non-falsifiable comments to their research papers, yet you never answer the question of “why they would”. It is non-falsifiable to say that a natural origin of life is not possible. It is also non-falsifiable to say that someday we will discover the natural process behind the origin of life. What is it about these things that you find so difficult to comprehend?

    You then go into this silly positioning statement about your admiration for the struggling researcher who is “taking chances” in order to expand our horizons of knowledge. Good grief. If (upon being confronted with irrefutable science and history; i.e. a logically coherent model that you then acknowledge and agree with) you decide to stick your head in the sand anyway, at least you can do so with the flags of exploration waving in the background, eh JVL?

    I guess we’ll just have to disagree.

    You were confronted upthread with the documented facts and scientific history behind our universal experience of autonomous open-ended self-replication. It caused you to actually shut up for several days. But before you went silent, you had this to say: ” I think most of us tend to cling to ideas they’ve held for a long time; it’s hard to admit you’ve got it wrong after years and years and some ideas are comforting to us.”

    Since that time, we have literally watched you choose (as an act of will) to ignore the science right in front of you, ending with your comments at #195. But it doesn’t really stop there, does it JVL? You will be back here again tomorrow saying that there is “no evidence of design in biology”. It is the nature of denial when the subject is important to us. It often requires regular maintenance.

  198. 198
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: You start by reminding us that you’ve presented a 46 year-old experiment where molecules are taken from an extant cell, placed in a laboratory environment and fed raw materials. This is relevant to the necessary physical conditions at the origin of life … in what way exactly?

    It shows you might be able to get on one of the early rungs of the ladder to life with no precursors and no guidance.

    It is non-falsifiable to say that a natural origin of life is not possible. It is also non-falsifiable to say that someday we will discover the natural process behind the origin of life. What is it about these things that you find so difficult to comprehend?

    I also noted out that Dr Pattee clearly pointed out some possible directions that origin of life researchers should consider, a statement he did not have to make so I think he must have made it intentionally. I have also looked into John von Neumann’s attitude towards evolution and unguided origin of life and he was NOT dismissive of the work or further efforts.

    You then go into this silly positioning statement about your admiration for the struggling researcher who is “taking chances” in order to expand our horizons of knowledge. Good grief. If (upon being confronted with irrefutable science and history; i.e. a logically coherent model that you then acknowledge and agree with) you decide to stick your head in the sand anyway, at least you can do so with the flags of exploration waving in the background, eh JVL?

    I acknowledged the model and pointed out that your interpretation of the model seems to be at odds with the modeller who would, I assume, understand it and its implications pretty well. I do not apologise for wanting to support basic research.

    You were confronted upthread with the documented facts and scientific history behind our universal experience of autonomous open-ended self-replication. It caused you to actually shut up for several days. But before you went silent, you had this to say: ” I think most of us tend to cling to ideas they’ve held for a long time; it’s hard to admit you’ve got it wrong after years and years and some ideas are comforting to us.”

    Yes, I think that applies to most of us, yourself included. But that’s why I wanted to look into some of the work that you found foundational to your outlook. I wanted to ‘see where you were coming from’.

    Since that time, we have literally watched you choose (as an act of will) to ignore the science right in front of you, ending with your comments at #195. But it doesn’t really stop there, does it JVL? You will be back here again tomorrow saying that there is “no evidence of design in biology”. It is the nature of denial when the subject is important to us. It often requires regular maintenance.

    I looked at one paper and said the author has pretty clearly come to a different conclusion regarding his work than you did. Yes, I still think ID has not proven its case (and I share that view with a lot of other people so it’s not just be being pig-headed) but that comment was made in a different thread.

    You interpret some research in a way I think is contrary to that of the author’s own opinion. I have asked if you can show me something else he wrote that upholds your interpretation and you haven’t done so; I can’t tell if that’s by choice or because it doesn’t exist.

    I have done a little bit of work trying to track down John von Neumans’s opinion regarding origin of life and evolution and what I’ve found so far leads me to believe he was also not disparaging of people trying to figure that stuff out.

    You keep saying I’m denying evidence. I’m wondering if your interpretation of some non-biological research matches that of the authors of that research. I’m happy to consider any evidence you have regarding those authors’ opinions on your interpretation.

  199. 199

    .
    JVL, swinging for the fences now?

    You now want to sell the notion that I have added something extra to the physical measurement of the gene system that, in particular, Howard Pattee, did not put in his measurements.

    But Howard Pattee’s physical measurement of the gene system does not change when viewing it from his personal worldview or from mine. That is the way physical measurement and analysis is supposed to work (which is not a flaw as you seem to suggest, but is the deliberate end goal of the practitioner). The measurement is the same, so we can clear this up quickly. Here is the passage from upthread that you must avoid at all costs:

    Semantic closure is the physical state of the system that enables it to begin functioning and to persist over time. It rests on the observed reality that, in order to function, the system must successfully specify itself as well as specify how to successfully interpret its specification. In short, semantic closure requires the simultaneous coordination (relation) between a) the physical state of the sequences that specify the constituents of the process, with b) the physical state of the sequences that specify the interpretive constraints, and c) inexorable law — i.e. that whatever products result from those iterations of sequences must have the physical properties required to cause them to read the sequences, produce the products, make a copy of the descriptions, and provide it to the next generation along with a set of its interpretive constraints. If this coherence does not exist, the system cannot begin to function and cannot persist over time. The nature of issue should be evident.

    I know that this is correct and entirely in-line with Howard Pattee’s measurement and analysis of the system. It is precisely what he intended to convey. I know this from both reading his work over the past decade and from personal correspondence. (And I should probably note here that people who have read Pattee extensively know very well that he never resolved the symbol-matter problem, and indeed he makes very clear throughout his work that the symbol-matter problem it remains unresolved from any materialist or reductionist point of view).

    So, since you claim that I have added something to Pattee’s measurement of the gene system, would you please point of what I have added to Pattee’s writings on semantic closure? I also spoke of Pattee’s discussions on rate-independence. So, in addition, would point of what I have added to Pattee’s measurement and discussion of rate independence. Additionally, I spoke of Pattee’s measurement and discussions on the fundamental requirement of a set of non-integrable constraints operating in the system. Please point out what I have added to that topic as well. Further, I spoke of Pattee’s discussions of the requirement of an epistemic cut (via Von Neumann); also the need for complimentary descriptions of the system, and so on. I’d like to hear from you what I have added to each of those topics as well.

    What we will find at the end of this discussion is not that I have added anything to Pattee’s words, but that you are forced to add something to mine. We will also find that you must ignore the distinction between the Pattee’s recorded measurements and analysis versus his own personal worldviews. You have already indicated that you intend to commit this fallacy by saying that you are looking for Von Neumann’s personal worldview as a means to source your defense instead of his published scientific work. How can anything be made more clear? In willfully tying Pattee’s published measurements to his worldview, you are explicitly saying that they are one in the same, i.e. that if his worldview had been different his measurement and analysis would have been different as well – perhaps even, as you seem to require, he would have added non-falsifiable statements to his work in order to champion his worldview. That is an insult to Howard Pattee that I will allow you to make all on your own. Everyone with even a lick of sense in their head can see that is exactly how you intend to defend your avoidance of semantic closure and the other critical requirements of the system. And I will be here to point it out.

  200. 200
    JVL says:

    Upright Biped: You now want to sell the notion that I have added something extra to the physical measurement of the gene system that, in particular, Howard Pattee, did not put in his measurements.

    As I have said many times now: I think you have come to a conclusion that Dr Pattee himself did not agree with.

    I know that this is correct and entirely in-line with Howard Pattee’s measurement and analysis of the system. It is precisely what he intended to convey. I know this from both reading his work over the past decade and from personal correspondence. (And I should probably note here that people who have read Pattee extensively know very well that he never resolved the symbol-matter problem, and indeed he makes very clear throughout his work that the symbol-matter problem it remains unresolved from any materialist or reductionist point of view).

    I have asked you several times to give examples of other things he has written which shows he agrees with your interpretation of his results regard origin of life research. Him saying it was unresolved is NOT the same thing as saying it was unresolvable. And, once again, in the paper we looked at he specifically pointed towards areas he thought research should look.

    Yes, I know you have spoken of all those things but, as far as I can judge, you came to a different conclusion from him regarding origin or life research. And, I ask you again, can you provide any evidence regarding his opinion, that shows him to be in agreement with your view? Yes or no?

    There is evidence in a letter von Neumann wrote that he did not consider origin of life research to be futile.

    I am not insulting anyone or putting words in their mouths. I consider Dr Pattee and von Neumann to be the best source of interpretations of their works. So yes, I am interested in their own interpretations of the implications of their research. I am not saying Dr Pattee’s work would have been different if his worldview were different. I am saying I think his worldview matched his work and that, based on what I’ve read, he disagreed with you. But I am open to correction if you can show me something he wrote or published where he agrees with you.

    That’s all it takes. Show me the evidence that he agrees with your interpretation and extrapolation of his work. He’s the authority, he did the work, how does he view it?

  201. 201
    ET says:

    LoL! Who cares if he agrees with UB? What is more important is does he have anything that can refute it? Does he say that nature did it and demonstrate how?

    If not your objection is that of an infant.

  202. 202

    .
    JVL,

    I am happy to respond to your comments in #200, but first we must be clear. Are you now saying that you cannot actually point out (cut and paste if you like) anything I have stated about Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system that is any different than Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system?

  203. 203
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: I am happy to respond to your comments in #200, but first we must be clear. Are you now saying that you cannot actually point out (cut and paste if you like) anything I have stated about Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system that is any different than Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system?

    I am talking about your extension and interpretation of his work as it applies to origin of life research. You say one thing, based on the conclusion of this one paper Dr Pattee seems to say another. So I am interested to know if Dr Pattee clarified his views on that particular aspect of his theories.

    You can step through his paper and ask me if I agree with what it says; and I have already acknowledged that I do accept his work. It’s your extension and application which seems contrary to his that I would like clarified by him. If you’ve got some clarification then please just present it.

  204. 204

    .
    And what is that thing that I said – just copy and paste it if you don’t mind.

  205. 205
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: And what is that thing that I said – just copy and paste it if you don’t mind.

    I am not disagreeing with anything Dr Pattee said in his paper. If you have any supporting evidence for your interpretation and extension of his work, considering that I think your conclusions differs from what he himself stated, then I would be pleased to consider it and change my view.

    Do you have evidence coming from him that supports your interpretation of his work? Yes or no? It’s a simple question.

  206. 206

    .
    So, quite clearly, you can’t point to anything I’ve stated about Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system that is any different than Howard Pattee’s measurement of the gene system? Has it occurred to you that you are left to argue with something and cannot even state what it is? Do you suspect that I already knew that?

  207. 207
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Has it occurred to you that you are left to argue with something and cannot even state what it is? Do you suspect that I already knew that?

    I have stated, clearly and repeatedly, what my case is. You haven’t even tried to answer it which just takes a yes or no answer with supporting evidence if your answer is yes.

    Have you got that evidence, yes or no?

  208. 208

    .
    You stated very clearly that I have added something to Pattee’s measurement of the gene system, but cannot even say what it is, even after repeated requests.. As far as my opinion of OoL research, I have very clear. I stated upthread:

    It might make someone think of the various OoL researchers who must resolve the issue of getting from dynamics to symbols in order to validate the only paradigm allowed in their field of research. Some might imagine how their work must be in some way focused on that inevitable requirement. But upon thinking about it, I’d challenge anyone who believes that rosy assumption to provide examples from any paper by Szostak, Joyce, Lincoln, Sutherland, etc where they actually address the issue in earnest. It’s a sad test, but does the issue even come up? Perhaps it is there somewhere, but I’ve never seen it (and I have read quite a lot over the years). It’s actually not there, and that’s an ugly blemish on empirical reasoning. It violates the first principles of science and its defenders collectively couldn’t care less.

    If you find that comment in some way a contradiction of Pattee’s measurement, then just provide the cites.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Until then, I am going to jump in the lake and have a sunset swim with my wife and daughter. I’ll check back later.

  209. 209
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: You stated very clearly that I have added something to Pattee’s measurement of the gene system, but cannot even say what it is, even after repeated requests..

    I did not say ‘added’. I said you had a different interpretation regarding origin of life research.

    I know your opinion but we are talking about your use of this particular paper to support your view. I still say that your conclusion seems to me to run contrary to that of the author. And you have not been able to provide any supporting evidence which indicates that the author agrees with your conclusion.

    The contradiction, as I have already said many times, is that he clearly points to areas of research which he thinks would be lucrative. He did not need to make that statement, he deliberately chose to include it which was not necessary.

    I hope you enjoy your time with your family. I envy your opportunity and I’m sure you will not waste it.

  210. 210

    .
    Returning … so where are we now? You were asked to provide an example of my words that are in conflict with Pattee’s measurement of the gene system. Being unable to provide any such comments, we then clarified for the record that I’ve said nothing whatsoever in contradiction to Pattee’s measurements. Perhaps it should have simply occurred to you that my argument is not in any contradiction with those measurements. And as far as materialist OoL research is concerned, characterizations such as being “doomed” and “condemned to failure” and the like, are all things you have said, and nothing I’ve said. My view of all OoL research (as I already clearly indicated at the top of this conversation) is that it should openly acknowledge that speculative precursors to the living cell must be capable of specifying a semantically-closed open-ended self-replicator, since that is — via Peirce, Turing, Von Neumann, Crick, universal experience, physical law, and Pattee — what it must actually do. If you think this requirement is somehow at odds with Pattee’s views, or if you think his comments about any particular research program implies that this requirement is somehow unnecessary, or needn’t be met, then you are just simply mistaken. There is absolutely nothing in Pattee’s words that even begins to suggest that a state of semantic closure is not fundamental to the origin of life, regardless of prebiotic precursors. And with that fact in hand, your entire diatribe about mistaken interpretations goes up in smoke. (Note: I am speaking here about logic and reason, I recognize you will never give it up rhetorically). You will spin spin spin, but the physical realities remain the same. The fact that the science and history behind the argument given here is not logically altered by the endless prebiotic speculation of materialist is not something you can ever ever acknowledge (or alter). You can’t make the symbol-matter problem go away by ignoring it, and unfortunately for you, you can’t go to the frontline OoL researchers and find how they intend to address the problem, because they don’t. That in itself should tell you something, but I know it can’t. The disparity can’t be allowed to matter, and so it doesn’t.

    This now brings us back to you and your religious commitment to ignore the science and history on the origin of life — all spun up as the only rational thing to do. As I said at the top of the conversation, you will seek a non-falsifiable defense against reason, and here we are. Surprise, surprise.

  211. 211

    .
    JVL, when the first ever aaRS constraint was synthesized from memory, how many of the other aaRS constraints had to be in place?

  212. 212
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: so where are we now?

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Marrakesh Express.

    You were asked to provide an example of my words that are in conflict with Pattee’s measurement of the gene system

    I don’t think you’re in conflict with the work in the paper, I think you extrapolated Dr Pattee’s research to a place he himself did not venture. For all I know he does agree with you which is why I asked if you had any evidence to that effect.

    Being unable to provide any such comments, we then clarified for the record that I’ve said nothing whatsoever in contradiction to Pattee’s measurements.

    Again, I think you went past his ‘measurements’ to a point he chose not to go, at least not in that paper.

    Perhaps it should have simply occurred to you that my argument is not in any contradiction with those measurements.

    Yes, but, again, Dr Pattee did not indicate that he agreed with your extrapolation of his work.

    And as far as materialist OoL research, characterizations such as being “doomed” and “condemned to failure” and the like, are all things you have said, and nothing I’ve said.

    Okay.

    My view of all OoL research (as I already clearly indicated at the top of this conversation) is that it should openly acknowledge that speculative precursors to the living cell must be capable of specifying a semantically-closed open-ended self-replicator, since that is what — via Peirce, Turing, Von Neumann, Crick, universal experience, physical law, and Pattee — it must actually do.

    I know that’s what you’ve said. I’m wondering if there isn’t some way to get there via unguided and natural processes. If you agree that is possible then we are not actually disagreeing.

    If you think this requirement is somehow at odds with Pattee’s views, or if you think his comments about any particular research program implies that this requirement is somehow unnecessary, or needn’t be met, then you are just simply mistaken.

    I just wonder how that requirement could be met in a precursor, unguided state.

    There is absolutely nothing in Pattee’s words that even begins to suggest that a state of semantic closure is not fundamental to the origin of life, regardless of prebiotic precursors.

    It’s too bad he didn’t address the issue directly isn’t it?

    And with that fact in hand, your entire diatribe about mistaken interpretations goes up in smoke. (Note: I am speaking here about logic and reason, I recognize you will never give it up rhetorically).

    Perhaps so. I admit I might be completely mistaken.

    You will spin spin spin, but the physical realities remain the same. The fact that the science and history behind the argument given here is not logically altered by the open-ended prebiotic speculation of materialist is not something you can ever acknowledge (or alter).

    Perhaps so.

    You can’t make the symbol-matter problem go away by ignoring it, and unfortunately for you, you can’t go to a single frontline OoL researcher and find how they intend to address the problem, because they don’t.

    Perhaps so. But they do seem to be doing a lot or work nonetheless.

    That in itself should tell you something, but I know it doesn’t. It can’t be allowed to matter, and so it doesn’t.

    Everything is allowed. As long as the empirical evidence takes the day in the end.

    This now brings us back to you and your religious commitment to ignore the science and history on the origin of life — all spun up as the only rational thing to do. As I said at the top of the conversation, you will seek a non-falsifiable defense against reason, and here we are. Surprise, surprise.

    I hear you saying one thing and, it seems to me, I hear other highly knowledgeable people being less concerned about the same issues. I am not ignoring anything; I am arguing for letting researchers have a go and see what they can discover. I have acknowledged that the work might completely collapse at some point or that we might not ever have a definitive answer. But I still think it’s worth trying. Just to be sure. Especially when it seems to be there is some disagreement as to the outcome.

    Ten or twenty or one hundred years from now you may have your moment of vindication telling everyone else that you had it right. I don’t know where the research is going to lead. So I’m willing to pay for it to continue.

    Are we really in that much of a disagreement? I don’t think we are. Not really. I’m just not as sure as you are about certain aspects of the development process.

    when the first ever aaRS constraint was synthesized from memory, how many of the other aaRS constraints had to be in place?

    You already asked me that and I already replied: I don’t know. Does anyone know for sure?

  213. 213
    DATCG says:

    Great question UB.
    Contraints, what constraints? DarwinLand is a wild world of multiple choice! 😉

    I’m sure given enough time in the universe, Darwinist will figure it out by chance.
    A boulder will roll down a mountain, hit a tree, causing an acorn to fall on a scientist head,
    and he will go…
    aHa! Time and Chance! Voila!

    Speaking of constraints, why the need for specificity? If everything was created by blind chance?

    Superspecificity!
    “The accuracy of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase is so high that it is often paired with the word “superspecificity” when it is compared to other enzymes that are involved in metabolism.”

    In case readers are interested, Darwinist believes this happens all by blind, unguided steps
    over time,
    Aminoacyl_tRNA_synthetase

    and aaRSs are involved in more than one function…
    “Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are enzymes that join amino acids to tRNAs. Although they are housekeeping enzymes essential for protein synthesis, aaRSs are now known to participate in a wide variety of functions, including transcription, translation, splicing, inflammation, angiogenesis and apoptosis.

    So which function did it first magically perform, by chance? Apoptosis? 😉
    It’s a magic dance in Darwin land.

  214. 214

    .

    I don’t know

    To physically specify a thing from memory requires a) a memory, and b) the means to decode it.

    I once asked you if the memory itself was necessary, you actually answered “I don’t know”.

    Now when asked if the means to decode it is necessary, again you say “I don’t know”

    It’s a good thing you weren’t around to advise Francis Crick in 1953, 1955, or 1958.

    ”Silly Francis, how does that make any sense?“

    With well over half a century of hindsight, you still can’t get it right.

    This is an another clear example of the dislocated intellect required to say “no evidence of design in biology” in light of the science and history of Pierce, Turing, Von Neumann, Crick, Brenner, Hoagland, Zamecnik, Nirenberg, and Pattee.

  215. 215
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: This is an another clear example of the dislocated intellect required to say “no evidence of design in biology” in light of the science and history of Pierce, Turing, Von Neumann, Crick, Brenner, Hoagland, Zamecnik, Nirenberg, and Pattee.

    I have found no evidence that von Neumann or Turing or Pattee believed there was intelligent design in nature. Crick probably has, he’s quite a maverick. I don’t know the others off hand (I’m sure yu mentioned some of them before) except maybe Hoagland . . if you mean Richard C Hoagland. The man who authored the book The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever. By just about any standard Hoagland is a first class crank whose work is classic pseudoscience. Please, please tell me you mean another Hoagland.

  216. 216

    .
    Yawn

    Still deliberately conflating measurement and metaphysics In order to rationalize yourself, eh JVL?

    Are you unable to stop yourself?

    It’s Mahlon Hoagland, hotrod … Mahlon.

    But you already knew that.

  217. 217
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Still deliberately conflating measurement and metaphysics In order to rationalize yourself, eh JVL?

    If I’m doing so it’s not deliberately.

    It’s Mahlon Hoagland, hotrod … Mahlon.

    That does make a lot more sense.

    How are things going? It can be hard making all the arrangements and dealing with all the legal issues. And then sometimes the emotions rush up on you just when you think you’ve got them sorted out.

  218. 218

    .
    How unexpected of you JVL. As famous last words go, I am not certain you could have come up with anything more revealing that’s what you have. Congratulations.

  219. 219
    jawa says:

    Any news on Dr Cronin’s progress to get closer to the Evo 2.0 OOL $10M award? What about Dr Szostak? Is there a possibility that they might have to split the prize? Is there a third candidate on the horizon that could make it to the finish line ahead of Dr Cronin and Dr Szostak?
    🙂

  220. 220
    Retired Physicist says:

    Tree rings are a natural example of Read Only Memory.

  221. 221
    jawa says:

    Alexa rank update:
    EN:………….254,573…….0.3%
    UD:…………729,637…….0.8%
    TO:…………756,395…….0.8%
    SW:…………931,717……….1.0%
    PT:………..1,463,797…….1.5%
    PS:……….2,629,359…….2.7%
    TSZ:…….6,823,407…….6.9%

  222. 222
    jawa says:

    EugeneS @193:

    Good point.

  223. 223
    ET says:

    Joshua Swamiass is over on Peaceful Science lying about codes. They even have an evo claiming that tree rings are a code! Too bad there isn’t any expert in codes who would agree with him.

    Read Joshua’s nonsense for yourselves. Peaceful science is ignorant when it comes to science.

  224. 224
    daveS says:

    Swamiass

    Heh. I haven’t read much of his stuff, but he seems like a bit of a weasel. Do they let us UD riff-raff post over there?

  225. 225
    Retired Physicist says:

    @Jawa: google trends is illuminating.

  226. 226
    ET says:

    You can try. As long as you agree with whatever they say you should be OK.

  227. 227
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    Interlocutor: fact that the only known cause of coded information in our experience is intelligence

    JS: That isn’t a fact. It is a false. Very commonly apparently non-intelligent causes produce coded information. One such example is the evolution of cancer:

    Really?

    Of course, the person left off complex beyond 500 – 1,000 bits, and should include origin of the linguistic system and execution machinery. But, never let a strawman opportunity go to waste, it seems.

    Every actually observed origin of FSCO/I is by design; trillions of cases. Search challenge in config spaces beyond 500 – 1,000 bits brings out why very plausibly.

    Where of course, when we deal in an environment prone to pouncing like that we see why statements have to be carefully constructed to anticipate rhetorical pathologies.

    Cancer is a corruption of information, not de novo unintelligent creation of FSCO/I beyond 500 – 1,000 bits and we find nowhere a blind watchmaker explanation for origin of the underlying system. When I did rad phys, a point of note is that if too much damage is done, the cell and perhaps the creature dies. Cancer pops up when there is moderate damage, sufficient to derange but not outright destroy.

    And JS should know that.

    KF

    PS: SFM is just as significant: “I haven’t seen any “argument for ID” with any strength yet.” Translation, I am not looking or have recategorised as not science and am exerting selective hyperskepticism. The first argument for design is cosmological fine tuning, which is strong save to the committed. The second is the coded, alphanumeric, algorithmic — thus goal directed and linguistic — complex and often interwoven information in the heart of the cell, along with molecular nanotech execution machinery. But, many close their eyes to the force of such manifest signs.

  228. 228
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, it gets worse, fast:

    TH: There are many natural processes known to encode information without the use of external intelligence. Tree rings encode information about local environmental conditions in ring widths. Spectral lines in starlight encode information about the elements in the star. In the same way arrangements of base pairs in genomes encode information about the local environment the creature lives.

    Notice the rhetorically deceptive use of “encode” leading to a patently false comparison?

    There is no communication system in the creation of either tree rings or spectral lines. These are phenomena which do reflect forces and circumstances of formation. It is when an intelligent observer armed with an empirically grounded theory comes along that information if created, then interpreted as carrying significance due to the force of the relevant theory.

    By contrast, there are information and cybernetic systems using molecular nanotech machines all across the protein synthesis system in the cell.

    THIS is how we get to no evidence or weak arguments etc.

    Sad.

    KF

  229. 229
    ET says:

    By Timothy Horton’s logic, blood, fecal matter and urine are all codes. All have encoded information which can be gleaned by the right people using the proper technologies.

    On another note, too bad Joshua won’t come here to try to support his trope.

  230. 230
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, oddly, they do have in them coded information, insofar as they contain DNA, RNA or proteins. That’s the point, in the heart of the cell, we find alphanumeric code, i.e. language. KF

  231. 231
    ET says:

    Yes, but we know that isn’t what TH is referring to. He thinks that because we can glean information from blood, fecal matter, urine and tree rings, they contain that encoded information.

    I then inquired as to the method of encoding and was promptly told “life’s processes”. And when I told him that the life is an intelligent agency, well, you can imagine the hissy fit.

  232. 232
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, he refuses to acknowledge what a code is and wishes to blur it over, blunting the force of codes in DNA etc. That is suspicious behaviour. KF

  233. 233
    EugeneS says:

    KF

    Rhetorical pathologies

    Bravo. Taking it onboard.

  234. 234
    kairosfocus says:

    ES, we have to recognise the polarisation and the determination to fend off a design inference by any means thought effective. We have to be careful in phrasing and we must realise that this is, by and large, not a fair-minded conversation. KF

  235. 235
    ET says:

    It is all own to ignorance, kairosfocus. Both TH and Joshua are ignorant of codes.

  236. 236
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, as codes are pivotal, responsible scholarship would first seriously address that subject. KF

  237. 237
    ET says:

    It appears that Joshua doesn’t understand science:

    The innovation of ID, however, is to consider design without considering a designer, but that doesn’t work in science. That’s the problem in the end.

    1- We don’t even consider the designer until AFTER intelligent design has been determined to exist.

    2- Reality dictates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the ONLY possible way to make any scientific determination about the designer or the processes used, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    I would say that Dr. Swamidass has never conducted a root-cause investigation.

    Then he lies about ID by saying that what we say is designed has fallen apart upon scrutiny. Except that is a lie as no one has ever demonstrated that what ID says is designed can be produced by blind and mindless processes.

    read the nonsense for yourselves. Joshua is safe @ his heavily moderated forum. He would get pummeled if he ever came here.

  238. 238
    ET says:

    Npw we have the following gem- moar nonsense:

    If you are claiming that DNA contains information, which is reasonable, then the above statement is trivially wrong. Information in DNA is not caused by intelligence. Actually, there are countless forms of information that do require intelligence. Why did my vet ask for a stool sample when I took my dog in for a check up? Because it contained information. No intelligent force put it there. Or do you disagree?

    ‘These people are a joke!

  239. 239
    EugeneS says:

    KF

    Sure. They don’t want to allow ID as a paradigm. Any rhetorical device is okay for this purpose. The most popular ones are: ‘this is not science’ and ‘there is no evidence for design in nature’. This one is a very good thread, which I marked in my browser. We can see one of those alleged arguments in action right here.

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    ET, see why I speak of alphanumeric, algorithmic code and of its goal directed, linguistic character? KF

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    ES, telling. Especially when we see the sort of counter examples being put up. Blood cells of various sorts have proteins and DNA, so reflect coded information at that level. That apart, when a blood sample is taken, it is a sample. From this, through instruments, interventions and theories, we infer explanations of various phenomena, drawing conclusions about diseases etc. the actual intelligible information comes from the work of minds. That a blood sample has in it antibodies reacting to CV19’s SARS2 viruses is something we have worked out through much investigation. The blood itself does not sit up and emit a coded message. It exhibits phenomena that we have reliable causal explanations for — based on generations of investigation — and we issue said explanations as diagnosis. KF

  242. 242
    EugeneS says:

    ET

    ‘These people are a joke!

    I agree. I find It hard to believe that these things could be said in earnest.

  243. 243
    jawa says:

    ET @237:
    I don’t get JS’ point.
    Did he mean that Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t classify a crime as murder before he could characterize the murderer?

    🙂

  244. 244
    jawa says:

    In addition to the code that gets transcribed to pre-mRNA, which gets edited into mRNA, that gets translated to proteins, the DNA also contains code that gets transcribed to different types of (mostly regulatory) ncRNA, and code (motifs) in the TF binding sites by the promoter regions that affect the tissue patterning through logic gates.
    That’s all in the DNA nucleotide sequences. Apart we also have the epigenetic markers and the histone code.
    Can the ID objectors give us a hint how would they put all that to work assuming we provide the purified materials and the best lab technology available. Any clue?
    Gimme a break!
    It’s pathetically sickening to read all that nonsense so frequently.
    Can’t they wake up and smell the flowers? Get a life!

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