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.

95 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.

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