# Coming to grips with specified complexity

One of the central requirements of design arguments is to evaluate the probability of patterns emerging through undirected processes. Examples of evaluation schema have included Behe’s irreducible complexity, Ewert et al.’s algorithmic specified complexity (ASC), and Hazen et al.’s functional information. In my previous article, I focused on the last measure. All of these approaches attempt to quantify what is termed specified complexity, which characterizes complex patterns containing meaningful (i.e., specified) information. The various approaches have been generalized by computer scientist George Montañez (see here and here). He enumerated the core steps for constructing and evaluating any measure of specified complexity:

1. Determine the probability distribution for observed events based on assumed mechanisms. In other words, identify for each possible event the probability for it to occur.

2. Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value.

3. Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

4. Determine the likelihood for an event to occur resulting from any proposed mechanism with the assumed probability distribution. The upper probability is equal to the kardis. If the probability is exceedingly small, the claim that the outcome occurred through the proposed mechanism can be rejected with high confidence.

Brian Miller, “The Information Enigma: Going Deeper” at Evolution News and Science Today:

Provided we are still allowed to have the discussion, of course.

## 128 Replies to “Coming to grips with specified complexity”

1. 1
AaronS1978 says:

So many chemical reactions in different type of mechanisms inside of nature happen Occur all the time

Why is life such a rare event if it was based off of a chemical reaction

Even our structures and our body would be built in and predicted by physics and yet it only seems to happen once

As a simplistic parallel an acid and a bases mixed will always create precipitant

Alex Rosenberg tried to make this point by paralleling the formation of quartz crystals to the formation of life

But here’s the reality these things happen all the time and they happen all around us

Life grows and changes but it looks like it requires life to continue that process

And even though we have many many studies going to abiogenesis why has it been that we cannot get it to produce life

Yet everything has to follow the ideology of Ochmans razor

2. 2
JVL says:

This seems to be extremely similar to Dr Dembski’s metric give in his 2005 paper Specification: the Pattern that Signifies Intelligence.

It seems like some of the factors listed would be very hard to come up with:

1. Determine the probability distribution for observed events based on assumed mechanisms. In other words, identify for each possible event the probability for it to occur.

Plausible in some circumstances.

2. Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value.

How would that work? What is the range for a specificity value?

3. Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

I don’t think ‘kardis’ is a common word for a mathematical expression but he goes with ratio so it’s clear. What kind of scaling factor?

4. Determine the likelihood for an event to occur resulting from any proposed mechanism with the assumed probability distribution.

Not sure how you could assign a probability for ‘any proposed’ mechanism . . .

Anyway, if any one has an example of this particular procedure being followed I think it would be illustrative to bring it to this thread.

3. 3
Bob O'H says:

Has anyone in the ID community actually done this? I’ve not seen step 1 done for any realistic assumed mechanisms.

4. 4
kairosfocus says:

JVL, it is a context for setting up models for discussion. In effect, the frameworks already discussed imply or give such models, e.g. surveys of AA patterns in observed p[rotein families giving refinements on flat 1 in 20 distributions, etc. KF

5. 5
ET says:

Earth to Bob O’H- Have you and yours done anything? You don’t even have a methodology to test your claims. You don’t have anything and that is why probability arguments exist- because you don’t have anything.

You chumps need to forget about ID and get to work on your own claims.

6. 6
ET says:

1. Determine the probability distribution for observed events based on assumed mechanisms. In other words, identify for each possible event the probability for it to occur.

As Dr Donald Johnson has written “they” don’t even deserve a seat at the probability table. The only reason anyone has to figure out the probability distribution is because “they” don’t have any evidence nor a methodology to test their claims.

So the whole thing is moot. By even attempting a probability distribution we are giving them more than they deserve.

7. 7

.
What was that fella’s name that tried to put forth the math on a non-ID origin of life? I remember that he had to figure in (what he openly admitted) were incredibly generous, even comical, assumptions into his calculations. If I remember correctly, he ended up concluding that actual physical reality would require an infinite multiverse just to get the needle to move. All this, coming from a recognized expert in computational biology; a committed materialist who is regularly invited to peer-review OoL papers submitted for publication into the scientific literature, not to mention being some big-shot lead investigator at some prominent research organization. I can’t remember his name, but it sounded something like “Eugene Koonin”, or something like that. I wonder if any of the ID critics have ever followed up on that? I wonder if those kinds of calculations actually mean anything to materialists?

8. 8
ET says:

Yes, they did follow up on that, UB. They realized their position was worse than hopeless so they ignored what they saw and went back to the attack.

9. 9

.
It appears that’s exactly what they did. Perhaps one of the more math-conscious ID critics will step in here to suggest that this is all more proof of a multiverse?

10. 10
bornagain77 says:

Upright, “What was that fella’s name that tried to put forth the math on a non-ID origin of life? ”

That would be Eugene Koonin,

Eugene Koonin and the Origin of Life 3-7-2015 by Paul Giem

Eugene Koonin wrote an article arguing that even for the RNA world hypothesis the origin of life was hopeless from a statistical standpoint and could only be saved by an appeal to an infinite set of universes (a multiverse) where anything physically possible could happen. The article and its implications are discussed.

1. Koonin E. V. 2007. The cosmological model of eternal inflation and the transition from chance to biological evolution in the history of life. Biology Direct 2:15 doi:10.1186/1745-6150-2-15. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892545/

Excerpt: By way of example of the probabilistically impossible odds of abiogenesis, consider the May 31, 2007 paper published by Eugene V. Koonin of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Peer reviewed and published in Biology Today,[18] Koonin calculated the probability of the most simple life form arising by natural processes, with the following conclusion:
The requirements for the emergence of a primitive, coupled replication-translation system, which is considered a candidate for the breakthrough stage in this paper, are much greater. At a minimum, spontaneous formation of:
– two rRNAs with a total size of at least 1000 nucleotides
– ~10 primitive adapters of ~30 nucleotides each, in total, ~300 nucleotides
– at least one RNA encoding a replicase, ~500 nucleotides (low bound) is required. In the above notation, n = 1800, resulting in E <10-1018.
That is, the chance of life occurring by natural processes is 1 in 10 followed by 1018 zeros. Koonin's intent was to show that short of postulating a multiverse of an infinite number of universes, the chance of life occurring on earth is vanishingly small, and we can understand the practical import to be that life by natural processes in a universe such as ours to be impossible.
https://www.conservapedia.com/index.php?title=General_and_Special_Evidence_for_Intelligent_Design_in_Biology#Origin_of_Life

Origin of life both one of the hardest and most important problems in science – November 2011
Excerpt: 'Despite many interesting results to its credit, when judged by the straightforward criterion of reaching (or even approaching) the ultimate goal, the origin of life field is a failure – we still do not have even a plausible coherent model, let alone a validated scenario, for the emergence of life on Earth. Certainly, this is due not to a lack of experimental and theoretical effort, but to the extraordinary intrinsic difficulty and complexity of the problem. A succession of exceedingly unlikely steps is essential for the origin of life, from the synthesis and accumulation of nucleotides to the origin of translation; through the multiplication of probabilities, these make the final outcome seem almost like a miracle.'
– Eugene V. Koonin, molecular biologist
http://www.uncommondescent.com.....lution-is/

11. 11
Seversky says:

From the Talk Origins Archive:

Specified complexity does not indicate intelligence agency; it merely indicates copying. When a pattern matches a specification, that can happen only by coincidence, by the causes of both patterns following the same constraints, or by some kind of copying of information. The specified complexity criterion explicitly rules out the first two possibilities (Dembski 2002, 6-13), leaving only copying.

Consider the following scenario: A person accidentally spills some ink and creates a complex inkblot on a page of a report. The spill goes unnoticed until several copies of the report have been made. The inkblot images in the copies of the report exhibit specified complexity, as they are complex, and they match a specification (the original spill). But they achieved specified complexity by copying, not by deliberate choosing.

Nonintelligent processes also select between different possibilities. The machines that select lotto numbers are an example.

12. 12
bornagain77 says:

Seversky references “Nonintelligent processes also select between different possibilities. The machines that select lotto numbers are an example.”

LOL, do you really think that referencing intelligently designed machines, which were intelligently designed by thousands, in not millions, of intelligent choices between possible options. by intelligent human minds no less, helps you in the least?

Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
“If decision-node programming selections are made randomly, or by law,
(chance and/or necessity), rather than with purposeful intent, no nontrivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification.
After fifteen years of continuous republication of this null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been forthcoming.
The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal unequivocal scientific prediction:
“No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
http://www.davidabel.us/papers.....iTopic.pdf

Artificial Intelligence + Origin of Life Prize, \$10 Million USD
Origin of Life is the hardest question in science. No one knows how the first cell came about. But there’s a simpler, more fundamental question: Where did the information come from? An answer will trigger a quantum leap in Artificial Intelligence. This may be as big as the transistor or the discovery of DNA itself. A new \$10 million prize seeks a definitive answer.,,,
What You Must Do to Win The Prize
You must arrange for a digital communication system to emerge or self-evolve without “cheating.” The diagram below describes the system. Without explicitly designing the system, your experiment must generate an encoder that sends digital code to a decoder. Your system needs to transmit at least five bits of information. (In other words it has to be able to represent 32 states. The genetic code supports 64.)
https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

13. 13
ET says:

Talk Origins is a bastion for willful ignorance. No one would suggest an ink blot exhibits specified complexity. That said, it is obvious that nature did not create the ink. Nature did not produce the copies.

The machines that select lottery numbers are the product of intelligent design. Blind and mindless processes have nothing to do with it.

14. 14
JVL says:

It seems to me the OP (from The Discovery Institute) is supportive of ID.

So, do you think the post has a point? Is it necessary to be able to complete the mentioned calculations?

15. 15
ET says:

If the calculations cannot be completed it is due to your sides complete failure. The post has a point. That is if your side ever does provide the numbers that failure will be verified.

The post is supportive of ID as ID is still the only scientifically viable explanation for our existence. The only treason IDists came up with the equation is because the alternative has nothing else.

16. 16
JVL says:

ET: If the calculations cannot be completed it is due to your sides complete failure. The post has a point. That is if your side ever does provide the numbers that failure will be verified.

Why does an iD proponent discuss a method for measuring specified complexity that depends on measurements that have not been made by ID’s opponents? The full length post at the Discovery Institute’s site does not mention that at all.

The post is supportive of ID as ID is still the only scientifically viable explanation for our existence. The only treason IDists came up with the equation is because the alternative has nothing else.

IDists came up with an equation they could not compute and that’s in support of ID? If they wanted to support ID then surely they would have come up with an equation that could be computed (and the post at the DI’s site mentions some methods that could be used) irrespective of what the other side does.

And if the equation was created and uncomputable owning to a failure of ID opponents then surely that point would have been made loudly and clearly.

17. 17
ET says:

JVL:

Why does an iD proponent discuss a method for measuring specified complexity that depends on measurements that have not been made by ID’s opponents?

In the hope that someday someone will step up and provide the probability. But that is doubtful as what they are asking for is impossible.

IDists came up with an equation they could not compute and that’s in support of ID?

ID is based on our knowledge of cause-an-effect relationships. The equation proves there isn’t any scientifically viable alternative.

And if the equation was created and uncomputable owning to a failure of ID opponents then surely that point would have been made loudly and clearly.

It is, but it falls upon the deaf ears of our opponents.

Again, the ONLY reason probability arguments exist is because of the total failure to figure out some way to test the claims of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes. The peer-reviewed paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” should have been a wake-up call but, again, those deaf ears get in the way.

18. 18
JVL says:

ET: In the hope that someday someone will step up and provide the probability. But that is doubtful as what they are asking for is impossible.

So, an advancement of ID is stuck because non-ID supporters haven’t done something that is impossible?

ID is based on our knowledge of cause-an-effect relationships. The equation proves there isn’t any scientifically viable alternative.

The equation proves nothing if it can’t be carried out. It’s like an optical illusion.

It is, but it falls upon the deaf ears of our opponents.

No, that point is not even hinted at in the full post at the Discovery Institute’s site.

Again, the ONLY reason probability arguments exist is because of the total failure to figure out some way to test the claims of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes.

The supporter of the equation suggests making a couple of probability arguments!! In order to support specified complexity!

The peer-reviewed paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” should have been a wake-up call but, again, those deaf ears get in the way.

That paper makes probability arguments!! Kairosfocus makes lots and lots of probability arguments in favour of ID!! In fact, one of Kairosfocus main points is that randomly finding islands of function is too widely improbable to have happened randomly. That’s not blaming evolutionary scientiests for not doing a calculation or finding an alternative explanation; that’s saying they can’t because of the improbability. That’s a stand-alone argument.

19. 19
ET says:

JVL:

So, an advancement of ID is stuck because non-ID supporters haven’t done something that is impossible?

That doesn’t follow. The only reason ID is “stuck” is because it can’t get a fair hearing.

The equation proves nothing if it can’t be carried out. It’s like an optical illusion.

The equation proves that you and yours have absolutely nothing but unmitigated rhetoric.

No, that point is not even hinted at in the full post at the Discovery Institute’s site.

It’s a fact.

The supporter of the equation suggests making a couple of probability arguments!! In order to support specified complexity!

Right. We go with a probability of 0 (zero) when it comes to undirected processes ability to create coded information systems from the bottom up. How many times do I have to tell you this? We substitute a 0 for “P” for biological structures no one has any idea how undirected processes could have done it.

That paper makes probability arguments!!

I know!!!!!!11!!1! Those probability arguments prove that undirected processes cannot do what your side claims they did. It proves that you have nothing. It proves there isn’t enough time in the universe for undirected, blind and mindless processes to produce trichromatic vison, for example. You can forget about those processes producing regulatory genes and networks.

You have to be in total denial to read that paper and still think blind and mindless processes can produce the appearance of design.

KairosFocus is right- they can’t because of the improbability, which is a ZERO. No chance at all.

20. 20
JVL says:

ET: That doesn’t follow. The only reason ID is “stuck” is because it can’t get a fair hearing.

That’s right, it doesn’t follow. But you said: “If the calculations cannot be completed it is due to your sides complete failure. ” So, the equation proposed by ID supporters cannot be computed because the opponents of ID haven’t done their job. Why would someone propose an equation that depends on their opponents doing something?

The equation proves that you and yours have absolutely nothing but unmitigated rhetoric.

The equation proves nothing if you cannot use it.

It’s a fact.

Show us where that point is made then.

Right. We go with a probability of 0 (zero) when it comes to undirected processes ability to create coded information systems from the bottom up. How many times do I have to tell you this? We substitute a 0 for “P” for biological structures no one has any idea how undirected processes could have done it.

“We substitute a 0 for “P””. Really? That’s not what the post says at all. It says to compute the probability of some thing happening by a process and by all processes. It doesn’t say: just put a zero there. If you did put a zero there then the specified complexity ‘kardis’ would be zero. And then take the ‘negative log base 2’ of that. What is the negative log base 2 of zero?

Those probability arguments prove that undirected processes cannot do what your side claims they did. It proves that you have nothing. It proves there isn’t enough time in the universe for undirected, blind and mindless processes to produce trichromatic vison, for example. You can forget about those processes producing regulatory genes and networks.

Then why did you say: “they” don’t even deserve a seat at the probability table. The only reason anyone has to figure out the probability distribution is because “they” don’t have any evidence nor a methodology to test their claims.” Who were you talking about?

You have to be in total denial to read that paper and still think blind and mindless processes can produce the appearance of design.

It’s not my fault your side has proposed a measure that you cannot cannot compute. What about the “specifity value” mentioned? Do you need to figure that out?

KairosFocus is right- they can’t because of the improbability, which is a ZERO. No chance at all.

Then why propose the equation at all?

Just to reiterate . . .. the post says:

3. Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

ET says the event’s probability is zero which means the ‘kardis’ is zero. What is the negative log base 2 of zero? Is ET right or is the equation right?

And what the heck is a ‘kardis’ anyway?

21. 21
ET says:

JVL:

Why would someone propose an equation that depends on their opponents doing something?

To PROVE that they have NOTHING. They are too lazy to defend their own position. Or they can’t.

I say the probability of undirected processes doing it are ZERO. And the peer-reviewed paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” supports my claim. Dr Behe wrote a book about it. That paper tried to refute him but ended up proving him to be correct.

22. 22
Ed George says:

JVL

And what the heck is a ‘kardis’ anyway?

A time travelling ATM. I thought everyone knew that.

23. 23
ET says:

In “A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information,” George D. Montañez introduces a new framework that brings together various specified complexity models by uncovering a shared mathematical identity between them. This shared identity, called the common form, consists of three main components, combined into what is called a kardis function. The components are:

1 a probability term, p(x),
2 a specification term, ?(x), and
3 a scaling constant, r.

24. 24
Retired Physicist says:

Are you guys familiar with the Raleigh-Jeans Catastrophe? Classical physics models would tell you that a black body should emit infinite energy. Obviously it was wrong. But the classical physics models were useful for a lot of other things, so of course they were not thrown out. Scientists don’t throw out a useful working theory just because you find a problem with it in some cases. Theories are models, and there’s always some problem with them. But they’re still useful. Max Planck came along and made some weirdo assumptions and derived a better formula and it wound up becoming an important part of the new quantum mechanics. (And, you should know that he came up with a formula, an equation, that people could actually calculate. That’s kind of important.) Evolution is a tremendously successful theory that covers a whole lot of stuff successfully. If you think you’re going to point out some real or imagined problem with it and scientists will just say well that’s it, we are going to quit publishing tens of thousands of papers a year using this successful framework because KrunkDumpster1998 found a hole! Then your understanding of science is… to be charitable… incomplete.

25. 25
Retired Physicist says:

The people who discovered Pluto didn’t just keep re-proving the existence of Pluto over and over, they calculated its orbital period, they predicted when it would appear in what places, they started taking measures of its composition, the science continued to make more progress. They didn’t just re-prove the existence of Pluto over and over and over and over and over and over. All I see with intelligent design is they just keep trying to prove that somehow evolution is wrong, over and over and over and over, they’re not making any progress.

26. 26
ET says:

Wow. ID is NOT anti-evolution. And evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is untestable nonsense. Clearly RP doesn’t understand ID. RP doesn’t understand what is being debated.

No one has to try to prove evolution by means of blind and mindless processes is wrong. That’s because no one can come up with a methodology to test its claims. It is outside the realm of science.

27. 27
Retired Physicist says:

Using evolution, scientists have made numerous discoveries about the coronavirus, such as that the cases in New York mostly came from Italy, not China. What have the intelligent design scientists figured out about coronavirus? Anything?

28. 28
ET says:

Evolution is NOT a successful theory. There isn’t any scientific theory of evolution. Darwin’s claims have never panned out. The peer-reviewed paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” helps explain why.

No one uses the concept of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes for anything. the concept hasn’t added anything to our understanding of the universe- oops, they do explain genetic diseases and deformities.

29. 29
ET says:

RP:

Using evolution, scientists have made numerous discoveries about the coronavirus, such as that the cases in New York mostly came from Italy, not China.

Your clueless equivocation is duly noted.

30. 30
Ed George says:

From the perspective of a few centuries ago, the probability that my specific arrangement of DNA would exist is astronomically small. Therefore, I can’t exist. ID approaches probabilities in the same flawed way that I just used.

31. 31
ET says:

Acartia Eddie:

From the perspective of a few centuries ago, the probability that my specific arrangement of DNA would exist is astronomically small.

And Acartia Eddie is also completely ignorant of probability arguments.

ID approaches probabilities in the same flawed way that I just used.

Only in the minds of total fools.

Again, the only reason probability arguments are used is because you and yours have absolutely NOTHING else. And if you don’t like the probability arguments you and yours have all the power to refute them! All you have to do is step up and actually demonstrate blind and mindless processes are capable of producing CSI or SC.

But you won’t. You will only whine, lie, bluff and equivocate

32. 32
ET says:

The probability arguments used in the peer-reviewed paper Waiting for TWO Mutations are in line with what IDists use. The arguments in that paper were widely accepted when people thought they refuted Dr. Behe’s argument. Now the paper lays in obscurity because it kills the concept of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes being responsible for the diversity of life.

33. 33
Seversky says:

Ed George @ 30

From the perspective of a few centuries ago, the probability that my specific arrangement of DNA would exist is astronomically small.

And there’s upwards of 7 billion astronomically improbable beings just like you and that’s not counting the uncounted trillions of other astronomically improbable beings big and small on this planet alone. Someone tell me again how we got to the conclusion that we are all astronomically improbable.

34. 34
Bob O'H says:

ET @ 17 –

In the hope that someday someone will step up and provide the probability. But that is doubtful as what they are asking for is impossible.

Isn’t that pretty disastrous for ID if it can’t even do the calculations that are at step 1 of one of its fundamental ideas?

35. 35
JVL says:

ET:

I have no problem with people like Dr Dembski, Dr Behe, Kairosfocus, Upright Biped, Bornagain77 and others making probabilistic arguments, when done correctly they can be quite powerful. Not saying I agree with the arguments they’ve made but it’s not because they used probability and probability distributions. That’s fine.

What I find amusing is you saying (at comment 6):

As Dr Donald Johnson has written “they” don’t even deserve a seat at the probability table. The only reason anyone has to figure out the probability distribution is because “they” don’t have any evidence nor a methodology to test their claims.

So the whole thing is moot. By even attempting a probability distribution we are giving them more than they deserve.

Blaming evolutionary biologists for you guys having to come up with probabilistic arguments in the first place! And then later saying (at comment 15):

If the calculations cannot be completed it is due to your sides complete failure. The post has a point. That is if your side ever does provide the numbers that failure will be verified.

Saying you can’t complete your own equation because someone else hasn’t provided you with the necessary information!

So, it’s someone else’s fault you have to come up with an equation which you can’t computer because those other people haven’t given you the stuff you need.

I have never heard someone opposing ID coming up with something that they can’t complete and blaming ID proponents for their failure.

And, again, getting back to the original post . . .

Can anyone tell me what: Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value means, mathematically. What’s its range for example.

Since ET thinks the probability of some of the studied events is zero then that means that the “kardis” is zero and you’re supposed to take the negative log base 2 of the “kardis”. What is the negative log base 2 of zero? Anyone? Is ET right or not?

I’m sure Kairosfocus and Upright Biped and Bornagain77 can answer that query if they choose to.

36. 36
ET says:

Bob O’H:

Isn’t that pretty disastrous for ID if it can’t even do the calculations that are at step 1 of one of its fundamental ideas?

Why would it be disastrous for ID that your position has absolutely nothing? No one your side knows how to test their own position’s claims.

So why would proving that your side is devoid of science be disastrous for ID?

37. 37
ET says:

JVL:

Blaming evolutionary biologists for you guys having to come up with probabilistic arguments in the first place!

Clearly you are completely clueless. No is blaming anyone for anything. I am just pointing out the obvious- that you and your have absolutely NOTHING.

That you try to turn that around to be ID’s fault just proves that you are a scientifically illiterate troll.

Saying you can’t complete your own equation because someone else hasn’t provided you with the necessary information!

Your side has NOTHING, Jerad. Your side doesn’t have a methodology to test its claims. If it did then we wouldn’t be talking about probabilities.

Evos must be desperate losers to think that since they have nothing then that somehow reflects poorly on ID.

JVL- good luck with your willful ignorance and scientific illiteracy.

38. 38
ET says:

seversky:

Someone tell me again how we got to the conclusion that we are all astronomically improbable.

You are clueless fools.

39. 39
ET says:

I blame evolutionary biologists for their total failure at testing the claims of mainstream evolution. I blame them for their failure at providing a scientific theory of evolution. I blame them for keeping their obviously unscientific scenarios in science classrooms. And I blame them for being pathological liars and losers on many levels for doing what they are doing- promoting lies and BS as science.

40. 40
ET says:

Functional information is a special type of specified information pertaining to biology. Functional information and the emergence of biocomplexity– that paper shows you how to measure it.

What you will never find is a peer-reviewed paper that demonstrates blind and mindless processes can produce proteins from scratch.

41. 41
daveS says:

Yes, of course. If you wish to make a protein from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

42. 42
JVL says:

ET: That you try to turn that around to be ID’s fault just proves that you are a scientifically illiterate troll.

You guys came up with an equation you cannot use. That’s your fault.

Your side has NOTHING, Jerad. Your side doesn’t have a methodology to test its claims. If it did then we wouldn’t be talking about probabilities.

There’s nothing wrong with probabilities when done correctly. Like when you can compute them.

Evos must be desperate losers to think that since they have nothing then that somehow reflects poorly on ID.

You’re making ID look foolish well enough on your own.

ET: I blame evolutionary biologists for their total failure at testing the claims of mainstream evolution

Which has nothing to do with some ID proponents coming up with an equation they cannot compute.

I blame them for their failure at providing a scientific theory of evolution.

Which has nothing to do with some ID proponents coming up with an equation they cannot compute.

I blame them for keeping their obviously unscientific scenarios in science classrooms.

Which has nothing to do with some ID proponents coming up with an equation they cannot compute.

And I blame them for being pathological liars and losers on many levels for doing what they are doing- promoting lies and BS as science.

Which has nothing to do with some ID proponents coming up with an equation they cannot compute.

Evolutionary scientists did not force ID proponent to make probabilistic arguments and there’s nothing wrong with probabilistic arguments per say. as long as you do it correctly. Evolutionary scientists did not force ID proponents to come up with a measure of specified complexity that they can’t use because they don’t know how to compute some of the terms. If ID is science then it can’t blame other sciences for its inability to compute its own formula.

You think the probability of some structures under question arising via unguided processes is zero. If you use that in the formula it should at least give you a reasonable answer. Using that probability of zero you end up needing to take the negative log base 2 of zero.

What is the negative log base 2 of zero?

43. 43
Ed George says:

JVL

So, it’s someone else’s fault you have to come up with an equation which you can’t computer because those other people haven’t given you the stuff you need.

No wonder these guys are always having wet dreams about Trump. 🙂

44. 44
JVL says:

Ed George: No wonder these guys are always having wet dreams about Trump. ????

Great, there’s another image I won’t be able to get out of my memory.

45. 45
kairosfocus says:

Folks, this is mountain out of molehill stuff. It is manifest that randomness, order and functionally specific complex organisation are three distinct modes of contingent being. Let me cite Orgel from 1973:

living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

[HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:]

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

[–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant J S Wicken “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002, also cf here,

here and

here

— (with here on self-moved agents as designing causes).]

One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions.  [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes [–> Orgel had high hopes for what Chem evo and body-plan evo could do by way of info generation beyond the FSCO/I threshold, 500 – 1,000 bits.] [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196.]

That’s been on the table for nearly 50 years, and there are known models and metrics. Advancing such is fine but it is not definitive of the phenomenon.

In that context, the inference to design issue is actually conclusive long since. We have learned that the heart of the cell contains string data structures bearing algorithmic, alphanumeric (so, goal directed and linguistic) codes, as well as execution machinery. Goals and langfuage come from intelligently directed configuration, period.

KF

46. 46

.
JVL at #35,

I did not make a probabilistic argument to you. I made an argument based on recorded history and universal experience (as fully documented in the scientific literature). It is not a probabilistic argument to point out that there are no semantic qualities measured in matter. It is not a probabilistic argument to point out that the anticodon-to-amino acid association (during protein synthesis) is independent of the codon-to-anticodon association. It is not a probabilistic argument to point out that the fundamental symbolic requirements of the cell were first predicted by Von Neumann and then later confirmed through the experimental results of Crick, Brenner, Hoagland, Zamecnik, and Nirenberg. It is not a probabilistic argument to point out that open-ended self-replication requires a rate-independent medium as well as a set of non-integrable constraints; or that such systems require complimentary descriptions in order to be understood. It is not a probabilistic argument to point out that autonomous open-ended self-replication requires a simultaneous coherence between a) the sequences of the medium that describe the constituents of the system, and b) the sequences of medium that describe the its interpretive constraints, and c) natural law (i.e. that the products of these iterations of sequences must form an dissipative process that reads the medium, actualizes the constraints, produces a copy of the description, and provides that copy to a daughter cell along with a set of its constraints.

The only probabilistic statement I made was that – given the documented facts and irrefutable history on the matter – you would most-probably seek a non-falsifiable counterargument as the means to continue ignoring the science and history.

That prediction was unambiguously confirmed. It was the whole point of your defense.

47. 47
JVL says:

Kairosfocus:

I appreciate your input; I’m going to try and stay with the OP:

Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value. from the OP. What does this mean? What kind of function is that? What values can it take?

Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

ET thinks the event’s probability is zero which means the “kardis” is zero which mean the equation asks you to take the negative log base 2 of zero. What is that result?

48. 48
JVL says:

Upright BiPed:

I wasn’t thinking of a particular situation or response you made; I was thinking, in general, that you would probably agree with an argument partially based on probabilities. I PROBABLY overstated things a bit, saying you had made such arguments. And I was saying that I would not criticise a probabilistic argument unless I found fault with the probabilities but not the validity of making such an argument.

Anyway, I meant no offence to you and if it came across that way then I sincerely apologise.

I have to confess, I included you in my comments because I felt sure your understanding of such matters would mean you would have something valuable to share about the OP. I suspect the mathematics involved is well within your purview.

49. 49

.
JVL at #48,

So we can make a distinction between:

a) a probabilistic argument where you can endlessly challenge the assumptions within the argument,

b) an argument based on the history of science and facts appearing within the literature, where you are forced to rationalize with a non-falsifiable response in order to ignore the argument presented.

50. 50
JVL says:

Upright BiPed: a probabilistic argument where you can endlessly challenge the assumptions within the argument,

I am focusing on the OP and asking questions about the methodology elucidated in an attempt to understand if it’s a viable approach and how it could be carried out.

Do you think ET‘s assertion that the probability of events in question is zero in which case the methodology wants to compute the negative log base 2 of zero. What is that result and does that result make sense?

And, I’d sill like to know what Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value. means mathematically. If someone could actually define as in spell out what such a function would be I think it would be interesting.

an argument based on the history of science and facts appearing within the literature, where you are forced to rationalize with a non-falsifiable response in order to ignore the argument presented.

I was not addressing that or trying to compare and contrast the two, separate approaches. So, yes, I would acknowledge a distinction between them.

51. 51
EugeneS says:

Seversky #11,

Consider the following scenario: A person accidentally spills some ink and creates a complex inkblot on a page of a report.

This scenario has nothing whatsoever to do with what is discussed. In Dembski’s terms (as I understand his argument) one needs to explain a rare event that has a short description. A ‘complex’ enough ink blot does not have a short description. A scenario of value for this discussion would be to create a detailed portrait of a known politician by a single splash of ink on paper. The description in that case would just be the person’s full name. Obviously, this is practically impossible for precisely this reason: such a portrait can only be created by a mind armed with enough skill.

In a biological context, not every complex configuration counts but only functional ones (function is an analogue of a ‘short description’ of a complex ink blot).

Why do people keep repeating the same strawmen arguments?

52. 52

.
JVL at #50

I am focusing on the OP …

My name did not appear on this page until you wrote it.

Do you think ET‘s assertion …

I answered that question in our previous exchange.

I was not addressing that …

You invited the comparison when you brought me into this conversation. Let me offer you some advice: When you clearly lose an argument with someone based on the presentation of that argument, don’t bring them up in other arguments.

53. 53
JVL says:

Upright BiPed:

Okay. I thought you might have more interest and input. I apologise again.

54. 54
EugeneS says:

The bestseller of all times, in my opinion, is this:

“The best arguments against Intelligent Design were put forward by the Institute of Protein Design”.

55. 55
ET says:

JVL:

You guys came up with an equation you cannot use.

We use it to prove that you and yours are scientifically illiterate cowards. And it is working very well. Thank you.

Evolutionary scientists did not force ID proponent to make probabilistic arguments and there’s nothing wrong with probabilistic arguments per say.

Yes, they did. They did by their complete failure to come up with a methodology to test their claims.

Look, Jerad, obviously you are just a clueless troll. Good luck with that

56. 56
ET says:

It is very telling that the resident evos think it’s ID’s fault that they cannot test the claims of their own position.

How pathetic is that?

57. 57
ET says:

JVL:

You think the probability of some structures under question arising via unguided processes is zero.

Yes, and that means you lose. If undirected processes couldn’t have done it and it has specification, we infer intelligent design.

58. 58
ET says:

JVL:

If ID is science then it can’t blame other sciences for its inability to compute its own formula.

What other sciences? There isn’t any scientific alternative to ID. The equation you are bastardizing proves it.

59. 59
ET says:

JVL:

ET thinks the event’s probability is zero which means the “kardis” is zero which mean the equation asks you to take the negative log base 2 of zero. What is that result?

OK, wow. If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh.

60. 60
JVL says:

ET: We use it to prove that you and yours are scientifically illiterate cowards. And it is working very well. Thank you.

It’s not working at all if you can’t use it!!

Yes, they did. They did by their complete failure to come up with a methodology to test their claims.

You didn’t have to make probabilistic arguments! You could have made lots of arguments. Or you could have just shut up. Evolutionary scientists didn’t force you into anything. YOU chose to pursue a certain path. And now you’re blaiming evolutionary science because you proposed an equation which you cannot evaluate and it’s the evolutionary scientists’ fault?

It is very telling that the resident evos think it’s ID’s fault that they cannot test the claims of their own position.

All I’m talking about is your sides’ equation and whether or not you can use it.

Yes, and that means you lose. If undirected processes couldn’t have done it and it has specification, we infer intelligent design.

All I’m talking about is your equation and whether or not you can use it.

What other sciences? There isn’t any scientific alternative to ID. The equation you are bastardizing proves it.

Please try and stay on topic: we’re talking about the OP and the procedure discussed therein. And whether or not you can follow it.

OK, wow. If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh.

Then why propose the equation?

And, guess what: you still haven’t told me what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

And NO ONE has even tried to discuss what a function of specificity is.

I didn’t make the original post. News did. I’m responding to that original post. I’m asking questions about that original post and the procedures presented therein. Can you compute that equation for a particular example or not?

61. 61
ET says:

Oh my. I linked to a paper in which the equation is relevant. Grow up, already.

And, guess what: you still haven’t told me what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

Wow. Clearly you have reading comprehension issues or perhaps you are just an infant.

Please try and stay on topic:

Pfft. YOU brought up “other sciences”.

Wm. Dembski page 148 of NFL

Biological specification always refers to function. An organism is a functional system comprising many functional subsystems. In virtue of their function, these systems embody patterns that are objectively given and can be identified independently of the systems that embody them. Hence these systems are specified in the same sense required by the complexity-specification criterion (see sections 1.3 and 2.5). The specification of organisms can be cashed out in any number of ways. Arno Wouters cashes it out globally in terms of the viability of whole organisms. Michael Behe cashes it out in terms of minimal function of biochemical systems.

Then again, with your obvious reading issues and your agenda for obfuscation, you just won’t get it.

62. 62
ET says:

If the probability is zero, which it is for the genetic code, ribosomes, ATP synthase- well any structure requiring multiple different proteins- the equation is moot. Evos lose.

The paper I linked to that discusses functional information demonstrates cases where the equation is applicable.

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

63. 63
JVL says:

ET: Oh my. I linked to a paper in which the equation is relevant. Grow up, already.

That equation has different parameters and factors. Let’s stick to the OP shall we?

Wow. Clearly you have reading comprehension issues or perhaps you are just an infant.

Okay, what is the negative log base 2 of zero then?

Wm. Dembski page 148 of NFL

Yes but we’re talking about this particular post on Uncommon Descent. Can you compute the equation for a given example? Let’s say one where the probability of unguided mechanisms creating a specific structure is zero. Which means you’d have to take the negative log base 2 of zero. Which is . . .

If the probability is zero, which it is for the genetic code, ribosomes, ATP synthase- well any structure requiring multiple different proteins- the equation is moot. Evos lose.

The one time the equation should provide a clear and solid answer is when you’re sure something is designed. Which means you have to take the negative log base 2 of zero which is . .

The paper I linked to that discusses functional information demonstrates cases where the equation is applicable.

Different equation, let’s stick with the OP shall we?

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

Not the point. We’re talking about the OP on Uncommon Descent. And the procedure stated.

Can you say what the function of specificity is or what values it produces?

IF you’re right and the probability of the occurrence of a particular structure due only to unguided processes is zero then the procedure says you will have to take the negative log base 2 of zero. What does that calculation yield?

If the equation doesn’t make sense in a clear and unambiguous case then how do you know it’s good at all? If no one uses it at all then why was it proposed at all?

64. 64
bornagain77 says:

^^^^^
Nothing quite so self-refuting as a Darwinian materialist trying to use mathematics to try to prove that all of life is explainable by purely material processes.

Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”?,,, What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,,
Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

Simply put, Mathematics itself, (as well as logic itself). contrary to the materialistic presuppositions of Darwinists, does not need the physical world in order to exist. And yet Darwinian materialists, although they deny that anything beyond the material realm exists, need this transcendent world of mathematics in order for their theory to be considered scientific in the first place. The predicament that Darwinists find themselves in regards to denying the reality of this transcendent, immaterial, world of mathematics, and yet needing validation from this transcendent, immaterial, world of mathematics in order to be considered scientific, should be the very definition of a scientifically self-refuting worldview.

What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
Excerpt: In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

Moreover, the fact that man himself has access to, and can use, this transcendent, beyond space and time, immaterial world of mathematics, offers compelling evidence that man in not a purely material being but that man must also possess a transcendent, i.e. beyond space and time, immaterial mind and/or soul.

Dr. Ed Feser – The Immateriality of the Intellect – video
Excerpt:
1: Formal thought processes can have an exact or unambiguous conceptual content.
However,
2: Nothing material can have an exact or unambiguous conceptual content.
So,
3: Formal thought processes are not material.

As Charles Darwin’s contemporary, Alfred Russel Wallace himself stated, “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”

“Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
Alfred Russel Wallace – 1910
https://evolutionnews.org/2010/08/alfred_russel_wallace_co-disco/

Thus, the fact that JVL is using mathematics, in and of itself, refutes his entire materialistic Darwinian worldview, and furthermore, offers fairly compelling proof that he, JVL himself, must possess an immaterial mind and/or soul.

I have a question for you JVL,

Mark 8:37
Is anything worth more than your soul?

65. 65
EugeneS says:

JVL

you’re blaiming evolutionary science

It is not possible to blame something that does not exist. It is pseudo-scientific mythology. There is no theory of evolution because evolution does not entail anything and because it is non-falsifiable. The whole theory is this: ‘things evolve’. It does not bother people for whome evolution is bread and butter because anything can be explained by evolution and the beauty of this is that one can keep providing ‘explanations’ without being responsible for them. No figures. No predictions. Nothing.

66. 66
JVL says:

Bornagain77: Nothing quite so self-refuting as a Darwinian materialist trying to use mathematics to try to prove that all of life is explainable by purely material processes.

I’m not using mathematics to prove anything. I’m asking about a mathematical procedure which was posted by News.

Step 2 of the procedure says: Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value. Can anyone, anyone at all, tell me what kind of function that would be and what values it would produce? Anyone?

Step 3 of the procedure says: Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

ET says that the “event’s probability” of something like the creation of DNA via unguided processes is zero. The procedure says to take the ratio of that value with the undermined function value in step 2 times some undefined scaling factor and take the negative log base 2 of it. IF ET is right and the event’s probability is zero then the ratio is zero and you need to take the negative log base 2 of zero. Can anyone, anyone at all, tell me what the negative log base 2 of zero is?

I didn’t bring this up, News brought this up. I’m asking questions about it. So far, no one can answer my questions.

67. 67
JVL says:

EugeneS:

68. 68
ET says:

Too funny. Evos won’t present any probabilities because doing so would be an admission that they don’t have a methodology to test their claims.

If IDists present the probabilities evos will just argue that it isn’t fair.

Clearly you have reading comprehension issues or perhaps you are just an infant.

Okay, what is the negative log base 2 of zero then?

Thank you for proving that you are just an infant.

If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh. So stop asking your infantile question.

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

Not the point.

It is the point. Just because you fail to see it doesn’t mean anything to the rest of us.

The OP does NOT exist in a vacuum. It actually references other papers, which are relevant to the discussion. Jerad wants to just jump in when it is obvious he doesn’t even grasp the concept.

And AGAIN- If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh.

69. 69
ET says:

JVL:

IF ET is right and the event’s probability is zero then the ratio is zero and you need to take the negative log base 2 of zero.

Only if you are an insipid troll bent on an agenda of obfuscation.

70. 70
JVL says:

ET: Too funny. Evos won’t present any probabilities because doing so would be an admission that they don’t have a methodology to test their claims.

You guys came up with the mathematical procedure; you guys can’t use it.

If IDists present the probabilities evos will just argue that it isn’t fair.

You guys came up with the mathematical procedure, you guys can’t use it.

Thank you for proving that you are just an infant.

Hey, if you can’t tell me what the negative log base 2 of zero is that’s okay with me. I know what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh. So stop asking your infantile question.

That’s not what the procedure says. And, if the procedure can’t work in a very clear case then how do you know it works at all? Especially since you can’t even handle step 2.

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

Not the topic. The topic is the mathematical procedure published in the OP.

The OP does NOT exist in a vacuum. It actually references other papers, which are relevant to the discussion. Jerad wants to just jump in when it is obvious he doesn’t even grasp the concept.

Show me where the procedure in the OP says when it can and cannot be applied.

And AGAIN- If the probability is zero then we don’t need the equation, duh.

Show me where the procedure says that. You would never use the procedure ’cause you already thing you know what is designed and what isn’t. So, why was the procedure produced in the first place?

Only if you are an insipid troll bent on an agenda of obfuscation.

It’s clear, you don’t know what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

71. 71
ET says:

Look, Jerad, it’s obvious that we don’t need to use the equation in all cases. It is obvious that you and yours have nothing but belligerence and willful ignorance.

It’s clear, you don’t know what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

Only an infant would think that is a requirement.

The procedure shouldn’t need to tell someone that if the probability is zero then the equation is moot. You don’t have to continue to prove that you are an infant, Jerad.

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

Not the topic.

It is relevant to the topic as it discusses evolutionary probabilities. Again, your refusal to see all of the evidence just further exposes you as a lost child.

72. 72
bornagain77 says:

“I’m not using mathematics to prove anything. I’m asking about a mathematical procedure which was posted by News.”

DUH!

73. 73
JVL says:

ET: Look, Jerad, it’s obvious that we don’t need to use the equation in all cases. It is obvious that you and yours have nothing but belligerence and willful ignorance.

So, what’s it good for then? Why propose it at all? And why can’t it handle the case when something is clearly designed?

Only an infant would think that is a requirement.

It’s clear you don’t know what the negative log base 2 of zero is. Clear.

The procedure shouldn’t need to tell someone that if the probability is zero then the equation is moot. You don’t have to continue to prove that you are an infant, Jerad.

The procedure doesn’t say that because the procedure is suppose to help you decide if something is designed or not. You just decide without any kind of procedure or method. Where’s the science in that?

And the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations” demonstrates how hopeless the evos’ chances are at producing a scientific alternative to Intelligent Design.

Not the topic. Stick to the OP.

It is relevant to the topic as it discusses evolutionary probabilities. Again, your refusal to see all of the evidence just further exposes you as a lost child.

News copies and pastes part of a post put out by the Discovery Institute on its blog giving a procedure for determining the specified complexity. I’m asking questions about that procedure which no one can answer. Again . . .

Step 2 of the procedure says: Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value.

Can anyone, anyone at all, tell me what kind of function that would be and what values it would produce?

Step 3 of the procedure says: Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

ET thinks the event’s probability is zero which means the procedure dictates that you take the negative log base 2 of zero. There is NO caveat in the procedure for abandoning the process if the probability is zero.

You guys came up with this procedure, not me. I’m just asking you questions about it. You can’t answer those questions or even use the procedure in the simplest possible case when you’re sure something is designed.

74. 74
JVL says:

Bornagain77:

It’s okay with me if you can’t answer my questions about a procedure promoted by one of the most important ID advocacy groups on the planet.

If you have a problem with the procedure then you should take it up with The Discovery Institute.

75. 75
bornagain77 says:

^^^ Double DUH!

To even ask about a mathematical procedure is to refute Darwinian materialism.

You would think even meat robots could grasp that simple point!

“You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today”
Jerry Coyne – No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video
https://youtu.be/rQo6SWjwQIk?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1OmYcqv_yQSpje4p7rAE7-&t=20

76. 76
Mung says:

Upright BiPed:

…but it sounded something like “Eugene Koonin”, or something like that.

HaHaHaHa!

77. 77
EDTA says:

I see everyone is having a good time here. We all needed a nice distraction from covid…

Regarding old claims that low probabilities and specifications aren’t meaningful, folks need to be reminded that the specification has to be independent/separate, which rules out the silly case of copied ink blots. This was pointed out by EugeneS above, but I thought I’d re-emphasize it, since detractors here forget it each time the topic comes up.

The related argument about the improbability of each of us, or of random coin flips also comes up over and over again, needlessly. Simple improbability is not enough. It has to have a short description or be functional in some way. The genetic differences in us are enough to make us unique (as EG/Sev point out), but we still bear a common improbability of existence as a race because we are functional.

JVL et al, I recommend you read Montanez’ paper in detail. In it he explains that in cases where we cannot estimate certain probabilities (i.e., where nobody can*), we assume the uniform distribution as the default. If evolutionists think there is some mechanism that tips the probabilities in favor of life spontaneously forming, or finding a working protein, et al, then they should present the information or mechanism that supposedly does this. Otherwise, we can fall back to the uniform distribution, which makes no such assumptions, and thus makes the spontaneous occurrence of life essentially impossible.

(*It shouldn’t surprise anybody who is familiar with the theory of computation that there are some things can’t be computed. Demanding that everything be precisely computable thus makes no sense.)

78. 78
ET says:

JVL:

It’s clear you don’t know what the negative log base 2 of zero is.

No one does because it is undefined. Do you think that proving you are an infant helps your case? Really?

ET thinks the event’s probability is zero which means the procedure dictates that you take the negative log base 2 of zero.

Liar. Again, only a willfully ignorant troll on an agenda would use an equation pertaining to probability distribution when there isn’t any.

There is NO caveat in the procedure for abandoning the process if the probability is zero.

Of course there is

79. 79
JVL says:

Bornagain77: To even ask about a mathematical procedure is to refute Darwinian materialism.

Huh? What? You are really going off the rails. You argue for logic and reasoning and then when someone uses it you can’t address the issue.

The Discovery Institute published a post describing a procedure for helping to determine specified complexity.

News dutifully copied and pasted part of that post into a post on Uncommon Descent.

No one, really no one, can explain step 2 which says: Define a function that assigns to each event a specificity value.

Since no one can explain what that function might be the whole procedure is dead in the water at that point. But assuming the undefined and undetermined function gives out some kind of mathematical value . . . .

Step 3 says: Calculate the canonical specified complexity for an outcome by taking the negative log (base 2) of the specified complexity kardis, which is the ratio of the event’s probability to its specificity value multiplied by a scaling factor.

Skipping over the fact that “kardis” seems to be a made up term and that no one has any idea what the scaling factor is . . . ET has asserted that some of the events in question have a probability of zero meaning they were clearly designed. Surely the procedure can handle an unambiguous case like that? But in that case the procedure says you must take the negative log base 2 of zero. The procedure aside NO ONE has been able to tell me what the negative log base 2 of zero is. And that’s just simple, basic high school mathematics.

Why is The Discovery Institute promoting a procedure that no one can use or explain and doesn’t even work with the simplest possible case?

What is the specificity function? What is the scaling factor? What is the negative log base 2 of zero?

80. 80
Retired Physicist says:

@JVL “Okay, what is the negative log base 2 of zero then?”

I don’t even have Mathematica on any of my computers anymore, I just learned. Or Matlab, which is really more for complex matrix calculations than algebraic solving, anyway. (The MAT in MATLAB stands for Matrix, not math) Because it’s a very expensive program if the university isn’t paying for it. Or if you’re not a student. So I went to Wolfram Alpha to check my answer and it was what i thought it was. Catastrophic for the math procedure, sad to say.

81. 81
JVL says:

ET: No one does because it is undefined. Do you think that proving you are an infant helps your case? Really?

So, the procedure cannot handle the simplest possible case when you know something is designed. How do you know it works for other cases?

(mathematical aside: what is the limit as x goes to zero of the negative log base 2 of x?)

Liar. Again, only a willfully ignorant troll on an agenda would use an equation pertaining to probability distribution when there isn’t any.

Umm . . . we’re discussing the OP and a procedure I did not create or promote. So who’s the fool? It ain’t me.

Of course there is

Where?

82. 82
JVL says:

Retired Physicist: Catastrophic for the math procedure,, sad to say.

Yup, but the procedure was dead at step 2 ’cause no one knows what kind of function that would be.

Also, from step 3, know one knows what the scaling factor is.

83. 83
ET says:

JVL:

So, the procedure cannot handle the simplest possible case when you know something is designed.

So, you think that being a belligerent ass is an argument. Weird

So who’s the fool?

Probably me for trying to get through to you.

Of course there is

Where?

Only a willfully ignorant troll on an agenda would use an equation pertaining to probability distribution when there isn’t any.

It’s the wrong tool for the job. but if you want you can use something like 10^-100000000000, and see what you get.

84. 84
Retired Physicist says:

@jvl yeah and you can make the result as large as you want by including more and more and more and more lower probability events. This is not a useful procedure.

85. 85
ET says:

LoL! @ RP:

So I went to Wolfram Alpha to check my answer and it was what i thought it was. Catastrophic for the math procedure, sad to say.

Especially one not formulated for that task. So yes, misusing the math procedure leads to catastrophic results.

Very good. (golf clap)

86. 86
Retired Physicist says:

@JVL

Yup, but the procedure was dead at step 2 ’cause no one knows what kind of function that would be.

Well it’s a Riemann zeta function of course.

(Math people will get that joke)

87. 87
ET says:

Earth to RP- The procedure only works when probabilities can be assigned. In the case of evolution by means of blind and mindless processes, the paper “Waiting for TWO Mutations”, provides some insight. And it isn’t good for anyone wanting to refute ID.

The procedure is useful in that it renders ID’s opposition to the hopeless position of having to actually test their claims.

88. 88
ET says:

JVL:

Yup, but the procedure was dead at step 2 ’cause no one knows what kind of function that would be.

And yet it is discussed in the article. Strange, that…

89. 89
ET says:

OK. so JVL hasn’t read any of the papers, not even the article the OP refers to.

I apologize for feeding the trolls.

90. 90
ET says:

JVinfant:

what is the limit as x goes to zero of the negative log base 2 of x?

There isn’t any limit- as x approaches 0 the log x decreases, without any limit- besides someone stops caring about it. So the real limit would be our attention span.

91. 91
Retired Physicist says:

We really need an open thread around here so we can talk about off-topic things. For instance, everybody’s complaining about the market crashing, but it’s not so bad for me, because my daughter is putting 30% of her income into a 401(k), and she said she’s buying index funds, so I want the market to be cheap. I don’t need the money, she needs it a lot more than me. My father grew up in the great depression and I inherited a surprising amount of money from him that she doesn’t have yet. When he died we found out that he had hoardes of money stashed in CDs in multiple banks across four states because his experience in the depression was so terrible. He was the kind of person who wouldn’t throw away a rubber band, because you might need it in the future, so he’d put it in a drawer. Racist as hell, and so was my mom, but
I deprogrammed in college and am still learning to combat the racist instincts they taught me. You really don’t want to hear what my mom said when my son wanted to buy a Nike shirt with Michael Jordan on it.

92. 92
EDTA says:

JVL,
“Skipping over the fact that “kardis” seems to be a made up term and that no one has any idea what the scaling factor is . . .”

“Kardis” is a term which Montanez defines on page 2 of his paper. It sounds like you haven’t read the paper yet. The scaling constant is also defined on page 2. It’s not a fixed constant, which is why it is assigned a letter name.

Still waiting for a substantive refutation of anything in the Montanez paper…{crickets} from someone who’s actually read the paper….{crickets…}

93. 93
bornagain77 says:

JVL states, “Huh? What? You are really going off the rails. You argue for logic and reasoning and then when someone uses it you can’t address the issue.”

Read slowly if it helps, the existence of mathematics, logic and reasoning refutes Darwinian materialism.

Naturalism and Self-Refutation – Michael Egnor – January 31, 2018
Excerpt: Mathematics is certainly something we do. Is mathematics “included in the space-time continuum [with] basic elements … described by physics”?,,, What is the physics behind the Pythagorean theorem? After all, no actual triangle is perfect, and thus no actual triangle in nature has sides such that the Pythagorean theorem holds. There is no real triangle in which the sum of the squares of the sides exactly equals the square of the hypotenuse. That holds true for all of geometry. Geometry is about concepts, not about anything in the natural world or about anything that can be described by physics. What is the “physics” of the fact that the area of a circle is pi multiplied by the square of the radius? And of course what is natural and physical about imaginary numbers, infinite series, irrational numbers, and the mathematics of more than three spatial dimensions? Mathematics is entirely about concepts, which have no precise instantiation in nature,,,
Furthermore, the very framework of Clark’s argument — logic — is neither material nor natural. Logic, after all, doesn’t exist “in the space-time continuum” and isn’t described by physics. What is the location of modus ponens? How much does Gödel’s incompleteness theorem weigh? What is the physics of non-contradiction? How many millimeters long is Clark’s argument for naturalism? Ironically the very logic that Clark employs to argue for naturalism is outside of any naturalistic frame.
The strength of Clark’s defense of naturalism is that it is an attempt to present naturalism’s tenets clearly and logically. That is its weakness as well, because it exposes naturalism to scrutiny, and naturalism cannot withstand even minimal scrutiny. Even to define naturalism is to refute it.
https://evolutionnews.org/2018/01/naturalism-and-self-refutation/

94. 94
EDTA says:

Mung,
Nice to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

95. 95
Mung says:

EDTA, thank you very much.

Just thought I’d pop in to check on responses to a recently introduced topic and came across this thread. Noticed my good friend Upright BiPed was commenting in that style which uniquely belongs to him and it brought a smile to my face.

96. 96
kairosfocus says:

Folks,

the idea of impossibility thus probability zero is meaningful. That which is strictly impossible can never be in any possible world. Confined to our world (or a model of it) that comes down to an unattainable condition. The idea of somehow achieving what cannot be the case [square circles etc] or is so maximally implausible of attainment that it is effectively the same for our world, is intelligible. Such a case will not be reached and the log function’s discontinuity at 0 simply becomes an unattainable polar point.

The neg log metrics of information then inherit the implicit forbidden point.

The coherence becomes two things: [a] a vastly improbable but possible event has exceedingly high surprise thus information, [b] the unattainable will not occur so is irrelevant to information metrics. Rhetorical stunts pivoting on b as we see above, reflect a failure to address the matter seriously.

If we have a case where attaining an observed result R on hyp X is maximally implausible, but case R is quite readily demonstrated on an alt hyp Y, then (especially with effective closure of options) we have good reason to infer Y as best current explanation. Life based on cells uses string data structure, alphanumerically coded algorithmic (thus linguistic and goal directed) information in copious quantities. This even includes editing and overlapping codes.

A simple assessment of search challenge on blind chance and mechanical necessity in relevantly large config spaces will instantly show the maximal implausibility of the too often insisted on explanation. There are zero observed cases of such FSCO/I coming about that way. We have an observation base of trillions of cases of such coded algorithmic information or linguistic information by design.

Besides, language and goals are signatures of intelligence at work.

Rhetorical huffing and puffing notwithstanding, the balance on merits is conclusive at this point and frankly has been so for decades since the DNA functionality was elucidated.

The remaining issue is ideological blindness.

KF

97. 97
EugeneS says:

JVL:

Your best bet is Dr Dembski himself. If you ping him, he can explain what he means. But that is beside my point. The point I raised in response to your comments is that there is no such thing as ‘evolutionary science’. How can science be based on something completely without entailment?

98. 98
JVL says:

EDTA: Kardis” is a term which Montanez defines on page 2 of his paper. It sounds like you haven’t read the paper yet. The scaling constant is also defined on page 2. It’s not a fixed constant, which is why it is assigned a letter name.

I know he defined “kardis” but I can find no other use of it so I guess he made it up.

I have downloaded the paper and will attempt to digest it before commenting further.

EugeneS: The point I raised in response to your comments is that there is no such thing as ‘evolutionary science’. How can science be based on something completely without entailment?

I disagree with you but I doubt we’ll get anywhere rehashing all that again and this thread is about something else.

ET: There isn’t any limit- as x approaches 0 the log x decreases, without any limit- besides someone stops caring about it. So the real limit would be our attention span.

The normal way of describing the limit in this case is that it goes to negative infinity but you are saying the same thing. Good.

99. 99
kairosfocus says:

JVL, you are evading the substance. Kardis is simply another term for core or heart, here: >>Accordingly, we demon-strate the connection for canonical specified complexity models, where the model core (called a kardis) plays the same role as a p-value under a null distribution.>> In short the point is that we have FSCO/I which is maximally implausible under blind chance and/or mechanical necessity, but is quite readily explained on intelligently directed configuration. Where this core point manifests itself in various models and metrics. He (UD’s Atom) then goes on:

De?nition 2 (Common Form and Kardis). For any probability distribution p(x) on space X , any strictly positive scaling constant r [in] R_+ and any nonnegative function v : X –> R GRT/EQ 0 , we de?ne a common form model as

SC(x) := – log_2 r *{p(x)/v(x)} (2)

with specified complexity kardis

k(x) = r(p(x)/v(x)).

Thus, k(x) is given a specific definition. Specified complexity is the info value corresponding to k, in bits.

KF

100. 100
ET says:

JVL:

The normal way of describing the limit in this case is that it goes to negative infinity…

That doesn’t make any sense as negative infinity isn’t a place to go to.

101. 101
Retired Physicist says:

@ET oh you poor fella. JBL has shown that the mathematical procedure ID supporters have claimed is mathematically impossible. Nobody here has explained how it’s actually possible with a living organism. It’s fake math, designed for show. The responses to the thread demonstrate that nobody can actually calculate it for a real life event. It’s not real math, and you guys apparently can’t demonstrate otherwise.

102. 102
EDTA says:

RP,
You are drawing a conclusion that makes you happy from a spat between two people, one of whom hasn’t even read the paper (JVL). Some things (such as the algorithmic complexity of something) cannot be computed exactly, even in principle. The information content of a cell can’t be computed exactly by anyone to this day. Bounds can be set, and they will get tighter. You should temper your excitement.

103. 103
Retired Physicist says:

So you can’t do the procedure either, huh. You really should consider what that means.

104. 104
JVL says:

ET: That doesn’t make any sense as negative infinity isn’t a place to go to.

Yeah, I know; but that’s what is said. I think some people say “tends to negative infinity”. Anyway, I guess you go towards something even if you never get there. Which ever way, it does all make it sound like ‘infinity’ is a place or endpoint which it isn’t.

105. 105
Retired Physicist says:

JVL you claim that steps two and three of this procedure don’t make any sense and aren’t workable. In all of the replies to you, has anybody shown you that they are workable?

106. 106
JVL says:

Retired Physicist: you claim that steps two and three of this procedure don’t make any sense and aren’t workable. In all of the replies to you, has anybody shown you that they are workable?

Not that I recall. I was castigated for not having read the source paper behind the Discovery Institute post and I have got that now and will try and see if some of my questions were answered.

I first wanted to know if any of the frequent commenters here understood the parts that confused me better than I did and they didn’t seem to have any explanations. Or chose not to offer them. I don’t know if that means they hadn’t read the source paper either (except to point out that the author defined “Kardis” which I still think is a weird term to use but whatever) or they had read it and still couldn’t address my queries. Which could mean even the original paper doesn’t clear up those issues or those who read it didn’t understand it.

I’m going to have a go right now while it’s raining where I am and see if something become clearer.

107. 107
ET says:

RP you poorer fellow:

JBL has shown that the mathematical procedure ID supporters have claimed is mathematically impossible.

No, he has not.

Nobody here has explained how it’s actually possible with a living organism.

Why do we need to? There isn’t any probability that undirected processes can produce a living organism. There isn’t a way to test the claim.

The information content of a cell can’t be computed exactly by anyone to this day.

We do not need do it exactly. As I said no one has a scientific alternative to ID, period.

That said I did link to a peer-reviewed paper that calculates the functional information of some proteins.

108. 108
ET says:

RP:

JVL you claim that steps two and three of this procedure don’t make any sense and aren’t workable. In all of the replies to you, has anybody shown you that they are workable?

The article discusses it. The article neither of you have read.

109. 109
ET says:

JVL:

I first wanted to know if any of the frequent commenters here understood the parts that confused me better than I did and they didn’t seem to have any explanations.

Wow. YOU are supposed to read the article so it can be discussed. Don’t blame us for your willful ignorance.

It means we are not here to explain things to you that you can read for yourself.

110. 110
JVL says:

ET: It means we are not here to explain things to you that you can read for yourself.

In the original paper: A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information by George Montañez there’s an applied example in section 6.2. In that example what is g(3)?

111. 111
ET says:

A fair coin toss.

112. 112
JVL says:

ET: A fair coin toss.

One toss or a sequence of coin tosses? What’s the difference between g(3) and g(4)?

113. 113
ET says:

JVL:

One toss or a sequence of coin tosses?

You are not making any sense:

The function g : X ? R?0 therefore measures the degree to which the sequence diverges from the expected number of heads, which can be formally computed by
g(x) = |k – L`/2|
where k is the number of heads observed in a sequence of L` flips.

114. 114
JVL says:

ET:

Yes, I know, I read the pertinent part of the paper. You initially said g(3) was a coin toss.

So, in the definition of g(x), what is x? Can it be a number? What is the maximum and mininum values that g(x) can take?

115. 115
ET says:

JVL:

Yes, I know, I read the pertinent part of the paper.

You need to read the entire paper. It is all pertinent.

You initially said g(3) was a coin toss.

A fair coin toss. Only because I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

g(x) is 0 or 1 or any positive number between 0 and 1:

We assume function g is scaled so that maximum function occurs when g(x) = 1 and g(x) = 0 corresponds to no detectable core function activity.

116. 116
JVL says:

ET: A fair coin toss. Only because I don’t have any idea what you are talking about.

I was very clear.

g(x) is 0 or 1 or any positive number between 0 and 1:

That is incorrect for that particular example. Read that particular definition of g(x) again. Pick a value for l and try different values of k and answer again.

Also, you failed to say what x could be.

117. 117
ET says:

No, you are not clear. You are playing games. And I told you what you can do with that.

118. 118
JVL says:

ET: No, you are not clear. You are playing games. And I told you what you can do with that.

If you can’t even do the basic math in the example then I guess we’re done.

It’s dead easy to figure out what the minimum and maximum values of g(x) are in terms of i for that particular example. And it’s not 0 and 1 no matter what else the paper says in other places. If it contradicts itself it’s not my fault. All you have to do is pick a value for l and try different values of k. Simple.

It’s a bit harder to say what x can be considering how badly written the paper is.

119. 119
ET says:

LoL! If YOU can’t do the basic math, then we are done. You keep moving the goalpost.

In the equation I cited- g(x) can be as large as L/2 or as low as zero.

120. 120
JVL says:

ET: In the equation I cited- g(x) can be as large as L/2 or as low as zero.

Correct! See, that wasn’t so hard.

What is x in g(x) then?

121. 121

.

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.

Perspective.

122. 122
OLV says:

Forget probabilities.
The real equation that Darwinian macro-evolutionary ideas fail to satisfy is the widely documented “evo-devo” conundrum: Dev(d) = Dev(a) + Delta(a,d)

123. 123
OLV says:

Upright BiPed @121:

I see your student failed the simplest question twice?

124. 124
ET says:

JVL, when the proper question is asked the answer is easier to give.

What is x in g(x) then?

The variable which is the defined sequence- configuration x with respect to g

It looks like plotting different sequences of coin flips to determine if the electronic coin flipper is fair. The more samples, ie sequences, you have the better your analysis will be.

125. 125
JVL says:

ET: The variable which is the defined sequence- configuration x with respect to g

With respect to g? Nope.

It looks like plotting different sequences of coin flips to determine if the electronic coin flipper is fair. The more samples, ie sequences, you have the better your analysis will be.

It’s assumed the coin flipper is fair! Duh!!

More math lessons tomorrow, it’s late here.

126. 126
ET says:

JVL:

With respect to g? Nope.

The paper:

note 7: Here, as in other parts of the paper, we abuse notation slightly so that g(x) denotes the level of function for configuration x with respect to g.

JVL:

It’s assumed the coin flipper is fair!

The paper:

We would like to test the hypothesis that our coin flipper is fair using a canonical specified complexity model.

JVL:

More math lessons tomorrow,

Also, when someone says “decreases without any limit” the “for infinity” is understood and doesn’t have to be stated. The only added word is “any”. Decreases without limit is how the big boys say it.

127. 127
JVL says:

ET: note 7: Here, as in other parts of the paper, we abuse notation slightly so that g(x) denotes the level of function for configuration x with respect to g.

Good catch! That is a real abuse of notation! So, again, what is x? For the particular example with coin flips.

We would like to test the hypothesis that our coin flipper is fair using a canonical specified complexity model.

Yup, you were right, I got that wrong. I was thinking about a null hypothesis but that’s not their approach. ET: 2 points.

Also, when someone says “decreases without any limit” the “for infinity” is understood and doesn’t have to be stated. The only added word is “any”. Decreases without limit is how the big boys say it.

I won’t quibble, we’re talking about the same phenomena and I was just remembering how I heard it referred to.

128. 128
JVL says:

Before this thread dies out completely can I just say that . . .

The underlying paper: A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information by George D Monañez is badly written and overly dense. It’s way too hard to figure out what he’s saying or to follow his examples. I can do it but its ideas could have been presented much more clearly.

I don’t think anyone will be using the outlined procedures to measure CSI. There is a really simple example but applying the same technique to a biological example . . . I wish the person making the attempt the best of luck.

Anyway, if anyone else wants to discuss the mathematics let me know.