Intelligent Design

Difference between Organization and Order

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In my previous post Silver Asiatic asked:

“What do you mean by organization being of a higher order than simple order? Why don’t these [natural] forces produce organization? Those are better areas for discussion, in my opinion.” (comment #122)

Organization

I think the distinction organization vs. order is fundamental in the design / evolution debate. Perhaps the easiest way to help us understand this difference is to consider computer software. Software clearly implies the four basic aspects of organization I listed there: hierarchy of functions and tasks, control-power, inter-process communication. Also biological systems, from cells to higher organisms, show all these aspects (“organ-isms” contain organs). Life is software. (Disclaimer: obviously here I consider only the cybernetic aspects of biology, I am not dealing with mind, soul, spirit, etc..) Organisms are organized as computer networks. This sort of isomorphism (similar mathematical structure) between software and biology is also the reason why one needs the former to understand, model and simulate the latter.

Organization is what gives a multiplicity of parts an organic unity. In other words, organization is an holistic concept, according to which a true whole is higher than the sum of its parts (see here). The parts of an airplane per se don’t fly, their organization causes this capacity of the whole airplane. Analogously, the chemicals per se don’t make life, their organization causes the life capacity of the whole organism. Life is organization.

Box rightly said:

“These arguments from organization stem from holism. When we observe an organism, we observe a whole. We do not observe a bag of chemicals, as materialism/Darwinism wants us to believe.” (comment #82)

Similarly:

“The living being has inside himself his own principle of unity, superior to the multiplicity of the elements that take part in his constitution.” (René Guénon, “Autorité spirituelle et pouvoir temporel”, chap. 5 [my translation])

Order

Differently, order is lower in essence than organization. Order means simply configuration, pattern, layout of elements in the space. Examples: my books are ordered in their book-shelf; atoms are ordered in the crystals; cars are ordered in the parking. No one of the above aspects of organization is present. Order is simple static patterns, organization is complex dynamic systems. In computer programming order can be formalized by means of mere definition and assignment of variables (the simplest thing of software). Example, the bookshelf layout can be described (in Perl language) by means of a single variable $bookshelf:

$bookshelf = <<EOV;
BB BBBBB BB
———————–
BB BBB
———————–
BBBBB BBBB
———————–
EOV

No function, no task, no control, no communication is necessary to describe the bookshelf layout. In general, order needs simply the definition of variables and the assignment of values, which the computer will store in its memory. If to define order implies only the simplest software concept, while to define organization we need all the more complex stuff of software, that means that order has inferior rank than organization.

If we have to model the working of a biological cell we need all the organizational power of a programming language: functions, processes, controls, communication and many other advanced features. Example, in computer programming the simplest decision instruction able to perform a control or regulation has the structure:

# prior situation
if (_conditions_) {
_action1_
} else {
_action2_
}
# after situation

Note that decision implies choice among two or more alternatives, depending on conditions. A decision breaks the causal chain and inserts a choice discontinuity between "prior situation" and "after situation". These kind of decisional constructs can be nested ad libitum in a program to create complex control chains. Software is control. But "complex control/regulation chains" is a ritornello you find also countless times in the texts on cellular biology or systems biology. Norbert Wiener defines cybernetics as the science that deals with "control and communication in systems and organisms". Similarly, in Mike Behe's "Darwin's black box" the string "control*" appears 66 times and the string "regulat*" 62 times. Behe explicitly writes:

“The essence of cellular life is regulation: the cell controls how much and what kinds of chemicals it makes; when it loses control, it dies.” (“Darwin’s black box”, chap 9, pag. 191)

Why don’t natural forces produce organization?

Natural laws can be described by means of a basic set of equations. These equations represent the direct relations between variables, and directly assign values to these variables. Here a key point is the term “direct” and “directly”. Example, in classical physics the Newton’s formula “f=m*a” assigns a value to “f” (or “m” or “a”) when the other two are known. That’s simple. The formula doesn’t contain the least control structure, implying a discontinuity. In fact Newton’s second law of motion is not something like this:

# prior situation
f= {if (_conditions_) {_action1(m) _} else {_action2(m) _}} * a
# after situation

Note that in the original formula f=m*a, between a “prior situation” and an “after situation”, there is no discontinuity due to decisions that break the causation by introducing choices (as massively exist in software). This is an important point: in natural laws there aren’t decisions; natural laws have no choices. This is true for all physical laws, also when they are expressed as differential equations (wave equation, Maxwell’s equations, Schrödinger equation…). This lack of decision-control-choice implies that natural laws potentially contain no organization, in the sense I defined at the beginning.

Since natural laws contain in potency no organization to greater reason they cannot create organization. In fact in general what creates must always be higher in essence and more powerful than what is created. Otherwise we would have an illogic situation where more comes from less. In a similar sense Thomas Aquinas said “Since in the world there are many intelligent causes, the first Motor couldn’t cause unintelligently.” (Summa contra Gentiles, I, 44 [my translation]). If the organizational potential of the cause is zero, a fortiori the organization of its effects is zero. In Aristotelian terms, if a thing is null “in potency”, is also null “in act”. So it is impossible that natural laws, as we know them, produce organization.

Obviously if natural laws (necessity) are unable to create organization, to greater reason randomness (chance) is unable. In fact, randomness not even has the minimum power that natural laws have and provide. Chance is lower in rank than laws. If chance and necessity, taken alone, are incapable of organization, also considered working together they are incapable (the sum of two zeroes is zero).

Conclusion: given chance and necessity per se are incapable to produce organization, the best explanation for the formidable organization of the universe and its living beings is a designing Intelligence (Source of knowledge), who has thought it as an overall organic unique project.

175 Replies to “Difference between Organization and Order

  1. 1
    EugeneS says:

    An excellent post!

    Matter is inert to organization. Organization is synonymous to irreducibility. Matter does not choose, it does not care if anything works, it is insensitive to pragmatic goals. Strikingly though, living systems can be modeled as decision making systems. Why? Because they are intelligently designed.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I agree with EugeneS – superb work niwrad! You offered a lot of clarity on a very difficult subject.

    The key point, I think, as ES stated is that organization refers to a “decision making system”. There is something active in organization, vs the static condition of order.

    With order there is: “No function, no task, no control, no communication is necessary to describe the bookshelf layout.”

    Communication — a communication system or network requires an active relationship. There’s a feedback loop from sender to receiver back to sender.
    Control — in an organized system, there is an ordering-principle.

    Natural laws do not communication information since they don’t require a feedback loop to validate success or failure. Gravity moves the rock downhill (so to speak) but does not require feedback from the rock to know if it reached its goal. Clouds cause rain to fall, but there is no informational relationship between the rain and cloud – nothing is reported back to the cloud when the rain hits the ground.

    Living systems are organizational. Every living system from the simple cell to human beings, have this informational network internally — and an ordering principle.

    Order is simple static patterns, organization is complex dynamic systems.

    The parts of a dynamic system cannot create their own organization.

    “The essence of cellular life is regulation …”

    Regulation is that if/then construct you provided. It’s contingent like a decision-making process.

    The only concern I’d have is this … can you reference this understanding of order vs organization in the scientific literature somewhere? I don’t doubt the correctness of what you said, but I wonder if your view is shared in science.

    If not, that’s still ok – although instead of order vs organization (if people dispute your definitions), you could replace “organization” with “dynamically organized systems” or something like that, to indicate the active (non-static) quality of what natural laws cannot produce.

  3. 3
    niwrad says:

    Thanks EugeneS and Silver Asiatic, very good comments, we are tuned on the same frequency. I was afraid to be unclear, but your comments confirm me that my ID message, with all its defects, has reached good ears, able to extract something good from it after all, and add also some significant elaborations.

  4. 4
    Vishnu says:

    But given enough time anything can happen in the multiverse, right? 😀 Such as fitness functions poofing into existence by just the right accidents, and then going on to build wonderously complex systems and processes.

    Uh huh.

    Of course, incredulity is not an argument, but the OOL researchers haven’t a foggy clue. It’s ID’s most powerful position.

    I like what vjtorley said about building a large model of the inner workings of a cell. Most people haven’t a clue about it. Let people see what’s really going on and let them decide and take whatever action they deem appropriate.

  5. 5
    Zachriel says:

    Weather is an example of self-organized complexity.

  6. 6
    DATCG says:

    Nice subject to post and good explanation. There’s a paper in Theoretical Biology by David Abel and Jack Trevors on this subject of defining and identifying levels of complexity.

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information

    From the abstract…
    Random, Ordered and Functional Sequence Complexity:

    Genetic algorithms instruct sophisticated biological organization. Three qualitative kinds of sequence complexity exist: random (RSC), ordered (OSC), and functional (FSC). FSC alone provides algorithmic instruction.

    No empirical evidence exists of either RSC of OSC ever having produced a single instance of sophisticated biological organization. Organization invariably manifests FSC rather than successive random events (RSC) or low-informational self-ordering phenomena (OSC).

    They elaborate on definitions and address the issues of complexity of life as not being a simple pattern developed by random or ordered sequence complexity. That only Functional(Organized) Sequence Complexity can account for life.

    The fundamental contention inherent in our three subsets of sequence complexity proposed in this paper is this: without volitional agency assigning meaning to each configurable-switch-position symbol, algorithmic function and language will not occur. The same would be true in assigning meaning to each combinatorial syntax segment (programming module or word). Source and destination on either end of the channel must agree to these assigned meanings in a shared operational context. Chance and necessity cannot establish such a cybernetic coding/decoding scheme [71].

    I’m curious to know if anyone has falsified their four proposed Null Hypotheses

  7. 7
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #5

    Weather is an example of self-organized complexity.

    Weather is entirely subject to the equations of fluid dynamics (Navier-Stokes…) and thermodynamics (Boltzmann, Gibbs…). There is no organization in the sense I mean it, functional and task hierarchies, control-decision, communication among tasks…

    Weather doesn’t “self-organize” at all, because the above physical equations governing fluids and gases give it all the potentialities it develops in the atmosphere. Even weather “self-nothing”, because it is not properly an active “self”, an agent, rather is a mere passive object.

  8. 8
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Weather is entirely subject to the equations of fluid dynamics (Navier-Stokes…) and thermodynamics (Boltzmann, Gibbs…).

    We know that now, but before we had a simplifying explanation, the chaotic tendencies of weather were attributed to the chaotic tendencies of an intelligent designer.

    niwrad: There is no organization in the sense I mean it, functional and task hierarchies, control-decision, communication among tasks…

    Oddly enough, people who study self-organization consider weather to be self-organizing.

    Storm cells function to move water from one place to another. There are hierarchies within the cell involved in fulfilling this task, storms seemingly make decisions as to which path to follow, and areas of the storm cell obviously must communicate in order to generate the organization entailed in the cell.

    While the level of organization in a storm cell is nowhere near as complex as in a biological cell, it is certainly organized, and calls into question your argument.

  9. 9
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #8

    While the level of organization in a storm cell is nowhere near as complex as in a biological cell, it is certainly organized, and calls into question your argument.

    You said it yourself, “is nowhere near as complex as”. A storm cell is an air mass containing movements of warm or cool air. These movements are not hierarchies of devices. No control exists in the sense I mean control, or control as exists in the biological cell. No communication exists between systems by means of signals as exists in software or cells. A storm cell is not a cybernetic system, while a biological cell is. You can describe the process of a storm cell by means of the fluid-dynamics equations, while you cannot do that for describing the biological cell. If a storm cell is organized then nothing in nature is really not organized.

  10. 10
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: You said it yourself, “is nowhere near as complex as”.

    Sure.

    niwrad: A storm cell is an air mass containing movements of warm or cool air. These movements are not hierarchies of devices.

    Devices is a term of art. A storm cell has what can be considered components, though they are not as distinct as those in cells or human machines.

    niwrad: No communication exists between systems by means of signals as exists in software or cells.

    There’s communication, or the storm cell couldn’t form. That’s what is meant by organization.

    niwrad: A storm cell is not a cybernetic system, while a biological cell is.

    Again, cybernetic is a term of art. There is communication and control in a storm cell. If there weren’t, it couldn’t form an organized structure. It’s just ‘alien’ to someone who expects it to look a certain way.

    niwrad: You can describe the process of a storm cell by means of the fluid-dynamics equations, while you cannot do that for describing the biological cell.

    You can describe all the physical processes in computer cybernetics.

    We don’t want to argue the parallels too strongly, because there are obvious differences, but the parallels exist nonetheless, and it seems more a matter of degree than of kind.

  11. 11
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #10

    We don’t want to argue the parallels [between storm cells and bio-cells] too strongly, because there are obvious differences, but the parallels exist nonetheless, and it seems more a matter of degree than of kind.

    Evolutionism is based on an alleged total “continuity” of substantial degree between order and organization. But organization is eminently essential kinds. It is an (unlimited) hierarchical series of conceptual discontinuities. Being a product of intelligence, organization is all a matter of kind, not a matter of simple degree.

    For example, a communication based on signals of a language or protocol, as in organisms, is something of different kind than a “communication” between masses of air, as in storm cells.

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    niwad: Evolutionism is based on an alleged total “continuity” of substantial degree between order and organization.

    Not sure what you are saying. No one doubts that cells are highly organized.

    niwad: For example, a communication based on signals of a language or protocol, as in organisms, is something of different kind than a “communication” between masses of air, as in storm cells.

    As we said, it’s of an ‘alien’ kind to someone expecting discrete components. But there has to be communication or the storm cell couldn’t organize.

    niwad: Note that decision implies choice among two or more alternatives, depending on conditions. A decision breaks the causal chain and inserts a choice discontinuity between “prior situation” and “after situation”.

    A storm cell may go this way or that way. It looks just like choice.

  13. 13
    Joe says:

    But there has to be communication or the storm cell couldn’t organize.

    How are you defining “communication” and how is it present in the formation of a storm cell?

  14. 14
    Joe says:

    A storm cell may go this way or that way.

    BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

    Nice one, Zach

  15. 15
    Mung says:

    Zachriel: Weather is an example of self-organized complexity.

    Nonsense.

  16. 16
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #12

    But there has to be communication or the storm cell couldn’t organize.

    Sorry, but if you deny the essential difference between a language communication and a “communication” between air masses I doubt I can convince you about anything related to organization wrt intelligent design.

  17. 17
    Zachriel says:

    Zachriel: Weather is an example of self-organized complexity.

    Mung: Nonsense.

    Actually, weather is a canonical example of a self-organizing system.

    niwrad: if you deny the essential difference between a language communication and a “communication” between air masses I doubt I can convince you about anything related to organization wrt intelligent design.

    Sure they are different. Language is generally composed of discrete elements, while the components of communication within a storm complex are distributed. Nonetheless, storms are self-organizing systems.

    Let’s look at your argument again.

    niwrad: Why don’t natural forces produce organization? Natural laws can be described by means of a basic set of equations… This is an important point: in natural laws there aren’t decisions; natural laws have no choices.

    And yet a hurricane seemingly can either go one way or another. We may have a good handle on the specifics of how it makes its choice; but perhaps we just don’t understand how a brain or organism or genome makes a choice, and that if we did, it would be like predicting a hurricane. Not arguing that’s the case, but just pointing out that your argument is not as strong as you make it to be.

  18. 18
    DATCG says:

    Quotes from David Abel and Jack Trevors paper link above in #6

    “Physical phase changes cannot write algorithms.”

    Weather is self-ordered, not self-organized.

    Organization describes higher level algorithmic function(s) with elaborate, formalized communications systems. These systems incorporate prescriptive information and feedback loops, along with error detection and correction.

    A weather “system” is an informal pattern which cannot compute algorithmic functions or purpose them with intention of communication to the ground. Nor the ground to the weather “system.” The ground does not say to the weather above, “I am dry” therefor rain, nor does the weather “system” receive any such claim and based upon message send out complex feedback loops to determine if the ground is dry, how dry and how much rain should fall in what specific location, for specific period of time. There is no formal communication between ground and weather “system.”

    We would never claim a hurricane “self-organized” and built a high-rise condominium in Miami with designer colors and features of latest technological achievements by master builders, architects, artist, engineers, electricians, and software coders for electronic monitoring systems, and climate control.

    A hurricane appears over time as self-ordered. It wipes out everything in it’s path, destroying what is organized by intelligent beings and then dissipates.

    Weather is not organized. This blog is organized.

    From Abel and Trevors paper(link posted #6):

    “Self-ordering phenomena are observed daily in accord with chaos theory. But under no known circumstances can self-ordering phenomena like hurricanes, sand piles, crystallization, or fractals produce algorithmic organization. Algorithmic “self-organization” has never been observed [70] despite numerous publications that have misused the term [21,151-162]. Bone fide organization always arises from choice contingency, not chance contingency or necessity.”

  19. 19
    Vishnu says:

    DATCG @6, thanks for the link

  20. 20
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #17

    My argument was based on parallelism between true organization and software. You continue to say that weather is organized, it is like to say that weather is software. Don’t you realize the enormity? It is likely your job is not in the computer industry..

  21. 21
    logically_speaking says:

    How about this,

    Bricks in a row is order. Two layers of bricks become organisation.

    The more layers of bricks the higher the order, and thus there must be higher organisation.

  22. 22
    Zachriel says:

    DATCG: Weather is self-ordered, not self-organized.

    While we understand that niwrad is trying to draw a distinction, the fact is that weather is considered to be a self-organized system by researchers in both meteorology and researchers in complex systems.

    DATCG: A weather “system” is an informal pattern which cannot compute algorithmic functions or purpose them with intention of communication to the ground.

    No, weather doesn’t have intention, but it’s not clear that bacteria do either. Intention seems to be a property of higher mental states.

  23. 23
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #22

    Weather is considered to be a self-organized system by researchers in both meteorology and researchers in complex systems.

    Go figure, also Darwinism is considered to be organizing by researchers in biology and instead it is an absurdity. Weather is neither organized nor self-organized. As Mung says shortly, weather organization is “nonsense”.
    But of course you continue to claim weather “organization” because you know that the concept of organization destroys your Darwinism.

  24. 24
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Weather is neither organized nor self-organized. As Mung says shortly, weather organization is “nonsense”.

    We agree that the level of organization in a cell is far and away greater than in weather or other non-biological examples. And while self-organization already has an established meaning which includes weather, certainly you can draw a distinction between that and the organization found in biology.

    Your argument was that you can’t get from F = ma to organization. But that sort of handwaving can just as easily be used to argue you can’t get from F = ma to the type of ordering found in many non-biological examples.

  25. 25
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #24

    Your argument was that you can’t get from F = ma to organization. But that sort of handwaving can just as easily be used to argue you can’t get from F = ma to the type of ordering found in many non-biological examples.

    F=ma was only a simple example of an equation of physics. So, we should try to generalize by considering the set of all physical equations. These equations govern matter and energy, both at the macro and micro levels. As such they are responsible of all the “ordering found in many non-biological examples”. Comes to mind the example of crystals. The process of crystal formation from a fluid is explainable by those equations and the environment parameters. At the macro level an example could be the ordered shape of spiral galaxies. Again, we have a sort of geometrical order coming from the astrophysics equations.

    My argument doesn’t refute at all such ordering, which can be also spectacular per se. My aim is not to depreciate order. But distinctions are necessary. Organization is far beyond any sort of order, because entails countless levels of increasing conceptual sophistication, which transcend all what is potentially contained in whatever equation.

  26. 26
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: F=ma was only a simple example of an equation of physics.

    Yes, we understood it to represent the equations associated with physical processes.

    niwrad: My argument doesn’t refute at all such ordering, which can be also spectacular per se. My aim is not to depreciate order.

    But your argument is the same whether refuting your notion of organization, or someone who refutes “spectacular” ordering. There’s a gap in your argument which comes done to incredulity.

  27. 27
    Upright BiPed says:

    Formulations like f=ma are based on the exchange of energy and the rate of exchange of energy. But the physical constraints placed on, for instance, the organization and production of enzymes inside the cell, stem from physical structures that are rate-independent (what Pattee refers to as energy-degenerate structures). It’s not incredulity, it’s physics.

  28. 28
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel

    But your argument is the same whether refuting your notion of organization, or someone who refutes “spectacular” ordering. There’s a gap in your argument which comes done to incredulity.

    No, it isn’t the same. Atomic equations don’t forbid that atoms align in crystals. There is nothing in them forbidding the alignment. So, I have no incredulity about this sort of alignments. My argument maintains that such equations contains potentially the alignments to form crystals, given a certain environment.

    But the same equations don’t contain the potentiality to form — say — a computer, which is an example of organization as considered here. You can get from Schrödinger’s equation the explanations of many atomic phenomena, but you cannot get the explanation of a computer. Because such explanation implies tons of theories that aren’t contained in such differential equation, like matrix algebra — e.g. — is not contained, neither explicitly nor implicitly, in F=ma.

  29. 29
    Box says:

    Niwrad, thank you for yet another great article.

    Semi-related: you may be interested in this article by Stephen Talbott which deals with the causal role of form in biology. If there is one ID-proponent who is interested in this subject it must be you.

  30. 30
    niwrad says:

    Box #29

    Thanks, also for the link to Talbott’s article. You are right, it is really an important one, it intelligently deals with what we could call the “analog information” aspects of organisms. We often focus on the “digital information” aspect (genomics), less often we think that those engineering masterpieces necessarily involve “form” in its highest meaning, which is exactly what Talbott’s article speaks about.

    Good suggestion yours, which leads all us to very interesting ID meditations…

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Box, thanks,,,

    How Does an Organism Get Its Shape? – The Causal Role of Biological Form – Stephen L. Talbott – November 11, 2014
    Excerpt: The scientifically educated person today, bound by irresistible conviction, “knows” that the causes of material phenomena are rooted solely in physical things, and that the interactions among these causal things explain the forms we see in the world. Any claim that a principle of form can itself be causal — that it explains the appearance of physical things rather than being explained by them — would be met by incredulity.
    Such a claim, however, was ventured by the late philosopher, Ronald Brady, in a 1987 paper* that some day, I suspect, will be viewed as a forward-looking and foundational document for twenty-first century biology.,,,
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ady_24.htm

  32. 32
    Zachriel says:

    Upright BiPed: Formulations like f=ma are based on the exchange of energy and the rate of exchange of energy. But the physical constraints placed on, for instance, the organization and production of enzymes inside the cell, stem from physical structures that are rate-independent (what Pattee refers to as energy-degenerate structures).

    Most researchers understand that life requires a genetic memory, but it doesn’t necessarily represent a barrier if the storage molecule can also directly act as an enzyme, and later evolve into a more complete separation of phenotype and genotype.

    niwrad: So, I have no incredulity about this sort of alignments.

    We didn’t say you were incredulous. We said the argument was of the same form.

  33. 33
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel

    We didn’t say you were incredulous. We said the argument was of the same form.

    Your objection is that my argument contra natural laws producing organization is well contra natural laws producing order? I don’t even understand why you put forward such unbelievable objection.

    I try to explain it for the n-th times, with a practical example, why my argument doesn’t do that.

    Let’s consider a giant billiard, let’s make fall upon it 1000 billiard balls and wait for they stop in certain 1000 final positions. What deters that 5 balls be sequential and aligned on a straight line? Obviously nothing, that is improbable but not impossible. The mechanics laws (F=ma included) work in few seconds and nothing in them deters in principle the alignment.

    My argument would be really stupid if it refuted such phenomena, don’t you think?

    On the contrary, my argument does maintain that such phenomena are perfectly compatible with all the mechanics laws. In fact it does even assume that such laws contain the potentiality of such phenomena. Really I don’t understand why *you* deny such conceptual evidence (you use *we* but here only *you* do that).

    What my argument refutes for principle reasons is — e.g. — that such balls fall produce a mechanical computer running programs written in a language. That’s impossible because — in short — mechanics laws don’t contain “in potency” such organizing “act”. That’s my argument.

  34. 34
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Your objection is that my argument contra natural laws producing organization is well contra natural laws producing order?

    The objection is that it is an argument from incredulity.

    niwrad: Let’s consider a giant billiard, let’s make fall upon it 1000 billiard balls and wait for they stop in certain 1000 final positions. What deters that 5 balls be sequential and aligned on a straight line?

    If the table were slightly tilted, then the odds are increased considerably that many of the balls will be in a straight line. That’s an example of how laws can interact to produce unexpected results. Sometimes those interactions result in self-organization (as normally construed).

    niwrad: My argument would be really stupid if it refuted such phenomena

    As we stated previously, you don’t argue against weather being due to natural forces, though many people once thought capricious weather reflected capricious gods. Your argument was of the same *form* as an argument against ordering.

    niwrad: That’s impossible because — in short — mechanics laws don’t contain “in potency” such organizing “act”. That’s my argument.

    Yes, but it’s not an argument, just a restatement of your claim.

  35. 35
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel

    If the table were slightly tilted, then the odds are increased considerably that many of the balls will be in a straight line. That’s an example of how laws can interact to produce unexpected results. Sometimes those interactions result in self-organization (as normally construed).

    Indeed your example shows that my argument is ok. You tilt the table and get… surprise… more alignment, ie more order, not more organization. This result is not at all “unexpected”, rather is perfectly expectable if you tilt a billiard with balls. Differently it is not expectable that the balls form a computer running instructions…

    You are a perfect evolutionist. You believe in gratis organization, in “blood from a turnip” (as some say in my country), in more from less. I discussed many times with evolutionists about these illusions. They have never provided a single real example supporting them, but they have a big faith.

    I don’t pretend to convince you. If my ID companions have not succeeded in the task thus far, go figure if I do. For me is ok if you maintain your illusions. But, since I am a friend after all, I offer a warning: it is said that “illusions have the bad habit to knife us in the back”…

  36. 36
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: You believe in gratis organization

    No. We just pointed out that you handwave from point A to point B. You define niwrad-organization, which is fine, then jump right to saying niwrad-organization can’t happen naturally.

  37. 37
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel

    Premise: “niwrad-organization” is exactly the “organization” tout court you find everywhere where things are organized.

    I accuse you “You believe in gratis organization”, you reply “No”.
    Well, then you believe organization has a cost. What is such cost? Obviously the organizational potentiality that the system must have inside itself or that an organization source injects into it from outside. I affirm exactly that and you refute my affirmation. Do you see your inconsistency?

  38. 38
    Upright BiPed says:

    Most researchers understand that life requires a genetic memory, but it doesn’t necessarily represent a barrier if the storage molecule can also directly act as an enzyme, and later evolve into a more complete separation of phenotype and genotype.

    When I was a child I remember my grandmother having a doorstop in her kitchen made of cast iron. It was about 6 inches long and was cast in the shape of four English letters — eggs. It was an example of a symbolic representation, made of a specific material that served a function which had nothing whatsoever to do with its symbolic nature. The rate-independent structure of the representation was not explained by the rate-dependent structure of the iron that served as a weight.

    The rate-dependent enzymatic properties of RNA have nothing whatsoever to do with establishing a rate-independent representation in RNA. As a matter of universal observation, a representation is not established by the material properties of the representation at all. Appealing to the properties of a medium to explain the rise of a representation is a category error.

    Zachriel, with all due respect, your response is just a non-answer. It’s an appeal to authority and does nothing whatsoever to address the physics involved. In fact, it avoids those physics in lieu of investigator preference. Neither I nor anyone else is obligated to defer to obvious shortcomings in reason.

  39. 39
    Upright BiPed says:

    If you think my assessment in #38 is incorrect, then by all means, give me some conceptualization of how a minimal necessary set of representations arise from the physics involved. Give me some set of clarifying steps that causes this assembly to occur. Define when a set of energy-degenerate structures become formally and functionally established in a rate-dependent system, tell us of the forces that physically sustains this transitional event over the time required to accomplish it.

  40. 40
    EugeneS says:

    I just want to say thank-you to niwrad and to Upright BiPed for their excellent comments.

    I consider the point of this OP the real ID stuff that cuts to the heart of the ID vs. non-ID argument. Kolmogorov complexity and pattern-related discussions cannot achieve this, in my opinion. On the contrary, biosemiosis, prescriptive information, organization vs order/chaos do the job for us. Compressibility only relates to where we are along the order-chaos axis, whereas organization and function are altogether a different matter.

    To conflate order with organization is a gross category error.

  41. 41
    Upright BiPed says:

    Thank you Eugene S.

    Also, I agree with your assessment.

  42. 42
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Well, then you believe organization has a cost. What is such cost?

    Actually, pointing out a problem with your argument doesn’t imply any particular position, and that problem remains even if we are wrong on other points.

    The cost is energy, the same cost as for any activity.

    Upright BiPed: your response is just a non-answer

    The response to the claim concerning the necessity of genomic memory is to show that an evolutionary pathway connecting simple metabolism with genomic memory is possible. There are various nucleic acid candidates.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Quoting Michael Denton from VJ Torley’s recent post:

    On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the portholes of a vast space ship, opening and closing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings with find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and bewildering complexity. We would see endless highly organized corridors and conduits branching in every direction away from the perimeter of the cell, some leading to the central memory bank in the nucleus and others to assembly plants and processing units. The nucleus of itself would be a vast spherical chamber more than a kilometer in diameter, resembling a geodesic dome inside of which we would see, all neatly stacked together in ordered arrays, the miles of coiled chains of the DNA molecules. A huge range of products and raw materials would shuttle along all the manifold conduits in a highly ordered fashion to and from all the various assembly plants in the outer regions of the cell.

    We would wonder at the level of control implicit in the movement of so many objects down so many seemingly endless conduits, all in perfect unison. We would see all around us, in every direction we looked, all sorts of robot-like machines. We would notice that the simplest of the functional components of the cell, the protein molecules, were astonishingly, complex pieces of molecular machinery, each one consisting of about three thousand atoms arranged in highly organized 3-D spatial conformation. We would wonder even more as we watched the strangely purposeful activities of these weird molecular machines, particularly when we realized that, despite all our accumulated knowledge of physics and chemistry, the task of designing one such molecular machine – that is one single functional protein molecule – would be completely beyond our capacity at present and will probably not be achieved until at least the beginning of the next century. Yet the life of the cell depends on the integrated activities of thousands, certainly tens, and probably hundreds of thousands of different protein molecules.

    This is an organized system with variable control. If this was reducible to chemical processes alone, we should be able to recreate it in a lab setting, but that hasn’t happened.

  44. 44
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #42

    niwrad: “Organization has a cost. What is such cost?”
    You: “The cost is energy, the same cost as for any activity.”

    Then to create organization you provide energy *only*? To organize, say, an industry what it takes is only power supply, why not a cheap car battery? No need of skill, intelligence, knowledge, information whatsoever…! You evolutionists are priceless.

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    Silver Asiatic: If this was reducible to chemical processes alone, we should be able to recreate it in a lab setting, but that hasn’t happened.

    Nature isn’t constrained by human technical limitations. Just because Newton couldn’t manipulate the orbits of planets or launch an artificial satellite doesn’t mean he couldn’t propose a theory of their motions.

  46. 46
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Then to create organization you provide energy *only*?

    Human organizations can either be created by global planning (e.g. government), or unplanned through individual actions (e.g. markets). Ecosystems organize through a competition and cooperation between species. Storm systems organize once they reach a critical point. No one knows how life began, but evolution has increased the level of biological organization through natural selection and other mechanisms.

  47. 47
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel (#45),

    It’s the other way around, Zachriel. Nature is much more constrained than humans! Nature cannot create symbol systems as well as abstract protocols (i.e. rules) to interpret them in a way that is totally decoupled from the necessity of natural law. To create them takes the capacity of decision making, the capacity of choice from among equally physically indeterminate states.

    How can you explain the rules of chess using Newton’s laws of the motion of solids? You can’t! It is a different level of reality. Rules (abstract non-physical protocols) are NOT physical constraints (laws). Code can only be explained as a result of a decision making process. There are no physical laws that could possibly explain the existence of code. E.g. for genetic code to be of any use, it needs to be part of protein synthesis; for this to happen it needs to be translated; and for this to happen the translation process requires the existence of its own products. According to Popper, that is the vicious circle any coherent model of life must be able to address.

    Every material symbol system (including genetic code) is subject to the physical laws but is not reducible to them.

    Your example of weather as an information processing decision making organized system is totally nonsensical to me. This is because there is neither signal processing nor feedback control in nature outside of life and artificial information processing systems.

  48. 48
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Zachriel

    Nature isn’t constrained by human technical limitations.

    How do you know what is nature constrained by, and knowing that, what is it?

  49. 49
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EugeneS #47

    Excellent points.

    There are no physical laws that could possibly explain the existence of code.

    I’d like to hear a speculation on how a mindless natural process develops code. I’ve read a few of them but there must be others.

    Your example of weather as an information processing decision making organized system is totally nonsensical to me. This is because there is neither signal processing nor feedback control in nature outside of life and artificial information processing systems.

    Feedback control seems an essential part of the process. This is true in communication or the development of code- both sender and receiver have to agree. The process needs to be repeatable with symbols that retain meaning – so feedback on success is necessary. It’s the same with the if/then decisions in code. With no feedback, error checking and control, there’s no validation for success and the signal wouldn’t be repeated.

  50. 50
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Rules of chess, rules of logic, mathematics, language, truth vs falsehood …

    Again, I haven’t seen much if any explanation for the origin of these things by natural physical/chemical processes.

  51. 51
    EugeneS says:

    Thank you Silver Asiatic,

    As niwrad says, we are indeed on the same frequency!

  52. 52
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Nature cannot create symbol systems as well as abstract protocols (i.e. rules) to interpret them in a way that is totally decoupled from the necessity of natural law.

    That’s the claim.

    EugeneS: There are no physical laws that could possibly explain the existence of code. E.g. for genetic code to be of any use, it needs to be part of protein synthesis

    That is incorrect. RNA can act as an enzyme and as genetic memory.

    Silver Asiatic: How do you know what is nature constrained by, and knowing that, what is it?

    Just because Newton couldn’t manipulate the orbits of planets or launch an artificial satellite doesn’t mean he couldn’t propose a theory of their motions.

    Silver Asiatic: I’d like to hear a speculation on how a mindless natural process develops code.

    One hypothesis is RNA World. While this may or may not represent what actually happened, it does show that a priori arguments that a code can’t originate from simpler relationships are misplaced.

  53. 53
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    Please expound on #52, I am not a biologist and I can get details wrong (BTW that was taken from Karl Popper).

    More importantly, could you expound on how the existence of RNA explains the emergence of code. How can RNA ‘act’ without first being placed into the corresponding informational context? Will you be able to understand me if I suddenly switch to Russian?

    You are conflating two explanational layers. Matter does not ‘act’. Actors come into ‘play’ only at the level of decision making and information processing.

    Code presupposes the existence of an abstract protocol of encoding/interpretation.

    I’d like to repeat the challenge for you:

    Please explain the rules of chess using only Newtonian mechanics.

  54. 54
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    In addition to the challenge in 53,

    Please also explain why, when you have tilted the chessboard, it is no longer possible to play. What role the laws of nature have in helping organize a chess game in either case?

  55. 55
    Joe says:

    Just because Newton couldn’t manipulate the orbits of planets

    Newton knew that an intelligent agency set it all up and got it all running.

    Nice own goal, again

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky:

    Please explain the rules of chess using only Newtonian mechanics

    Well said as both a Russian and a physicist.

    KF

  57. 57
    EugeneS says:

    Kairosfocus,

    Many Thanks. Nice to hear from you.

  58. 58

    UB:

    The rate-dependent enzymatic properties of RNA have nothing whatsoever to do with establishing a rate-independent representation in RNA. As a matter of universal observation, a representation is not established by the material properties of the representation at all. Appealing to the properties of a medium to explain the rise of a representation is a category error.

    If a process has consequences that are visible to selection among replicators, selection can build it, “rate independence” notwithstanding. That is why the search is on for simpler replicators that combine functions that you insist must remain separate. Nothing in what you say precludes such replicators in principle. You’re entire argument reduces to, “We don’t see them now, so they have never existed.”

  59. 59
    Joe says:

    RB:

    If a process has consequences that are visible to selection among replicators, selection can build it, “rate independence” notwithstanding.

    Your bald assertion is duly noted and meaningless.

  60. 60
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Silver Asiatic: How do you know what is nature constrained by, and knowing that, what is it?

    Zachriel: Just because Newton couldn’t manipulate the orbits of planets or launch an artificial satellite doesn’t mean he couldn’t propose a theory of their motions.

    I wondered how you knew what nature was constrained by and

    What technical limitations prevent us from creating a living cell? You’re comparing it to Newton’s inability to manipulate the orbits of planets. Supposedly, the cell is reducible to chemistry and physics, but why would that process be as distant from us as the process of manipulating the orbits of planets?

  61. 61
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: More importantly, could you expound on how the existence of RNA explains the emergence of code.

    The claim above is that the existence of a code that is distinct from “normal” physical processes is not possible to have originated from those physical processes. Our response is that it is not impossible, and the way to show that is to provide a possible or even plausible pathway.

    In modern organisms, there is a distinction between the genome and phenome, or more specifically between the genome and the proteome. The genome is the memory of heredity, while the proteome does the work in terms of enzymes, as well as forming structural components. Indeed, the proteome is necessary for the replication of the genome. In other words, the system is irreducibly complex. Neither can persist without the other.

    The hypothesis, RNA World, bridges the gap between the metabolic world of chemistry, and the world of the genome, of hereditary memory. That’s because RNA can act as a genome, a memory of heredity, as well as act as an enzyme, even catalyzing its own reproduction.

    EugeneS: Code presupposes the existence of an abstract protocol of encoding/interpretation.

    RNA World precedes the genetic code. Other nucleic acid polymers have also been proposed. There is some indirect evidence of RNA World, such as autocatalysis, but no certainty concerning the actual history at this point.

    EugeneS: Please explain the rules of chess using only Newtonian mechanics.

    The question is incoherent.

    Silver Asiatic: What technical limitations prevent us from creating a living cell?

    Humans are clumsy.

    Silver Asiatic: You’re comparing it to Newton’s inability to manipulate the orbits of planets.

    We’re pointing out that you don’t have to be able to manipulate planets to be able to propose a valid scientific theory of planetary motion.

  62. 62
    Joe says:

    The claim above is that the existence of a code that is distinct from “normal” physical processes is not possible to have originated from those physical processes. Our response is that it is not impossible, and the way to show that is to provide a possible or even plausible pathway.

    And we are waiting. “Showing” means more than posting your imagination.

    The hypothesis, RNA World, bridges the gap between the metabolic world of chemistry

    That hypothesis hasn’t borne any fruit.

    That’s because RNA can act as a genome, a memory of heredity, as well as act as an enzyme, even catalyzing its own reproduction.

    That is incorrect. It can catalyze one bond between pre-existing RNA strands and it needs another RNA strand as a template.

    We’re pointing out that you don’t have to be able to manipulate planets to be able to propose a valid scientific theory of planetary motion.

    As long as it includes an intelligent designer to make it so. 😉

  63. 63
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #61

    EugeneS: “Please explain the rules of chess using only Newtonian mechanics. ”
    Zachriel: “The question is incoherent.”

    You are incoherent. In fact you claim biological codes arise from physical processes. That is *exactly* equivalent to rules of chess arising from mechanics, as EugeneS says. Bio-molecules cannot create codes *exactly* as chess pieces per se cannot create the rules of chess. Do you understand this simple concept?

  64. 64
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    Thank you for the responses. I still disagree with your treatment of my challenge as incoherent. In my opinion, this illustrates the inability of emergence theories (of which you appear to be a proponent) to bridge this gap between abstract protocols and physicality without making serious a priori assumptions regarding the properties of nature. Whether or not the assumptions reflect reality is another matter.

    This is simply because code is goal-oriented while nature isn’t. Intellectual constructs employing selection and chaos theory are incapable of bridging this gap because nature is non-telic. To properly address my challenge you would need to show that all sorts of chess-like games are capable of emerging by themselves of which just a single realization we have in biological life. How this is demonstrable without recourse to metaphysics, I don’t know.

    You might have overlooked my other post #54 (unless you are addressing it now). Physical laws can create a bias towards patterns with certain characteristics but they can never explain the emergence of code unless you bring in assumptions of not strictly physical nature.

    The only sensible cause of code I am aware of is choice contingency whereby choices are made from among multiple physically indeterminate states. That the states are physically indeterminate precludes the physical laws from being a plausible cause of code. By way of instantiating code into physicality it is possible to load meaning into certain configurations of matter. Meaning is altogether different from the physical determinism of the laws of nature. As soon as you wish to discuss meaning, you need to depart from the level of the physical laws and start reasoning at the level of information processing and decision making.

  65. 65
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Bio-molecules cannot create codes *exactly* as chess pieces per se cannot create the rules of chess.

    That’s your analogy. However, with the former, there is a plausible pathway from the metabolic universe to the genomic universe; while the latter seems to be associated with human culture.

    niwrad: Do you understand this simple concept?

    Yes, we understand the concept, but have shown you a relevant distinction.

  66. 66
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Intellectual constructs employing selection and chaos theory are incapable of bridging this gap because nature is non-telic.

    Rewording a claim doesn’t constitute an argument.

  67. 67
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #65

    …have shown you a relevant distinction. There is a plausible pathway from the metabolic universe to the genomic universe.

    There is no “relevant distinction” between the two cases. If a “plausible pathway from the metabolic universe to the genomic universe” existed and in the latter system there is a code then such code should exist potentially in the former system injected or frontloaded by an intelligence. Codes don’t arise from thin air.

  68. 68
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: There is no “relevant distinction” between the two cases (chess and biology).

    We provided the relevant distinction. There is a possible pathway from the metabolic to the genomic.

    niwrad: Codes don’t arise from thin air.

    Rewording a claim doesn’t constitute an argument.

  69. 69
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    Dismissal is no argument either.

    When you claim something is possible/plausible you need to be able to demonstrate. The burden of proof is on the one who claims possibility, not impossibility.

    All I am asking is demonstrate how code can in practice emerge from physical interactions of matter alone, i.e. how can an abstract protocol akin to the rules of chess or the codon table can arise from chance and the necessity of the physical laws. Protein life being too complex, I suggested a much simpler case. You are free to choose yours.

    I accept that my impossibility claim stems from conviction. It is based on what I believe about the world and what I know (however little). You seem to argue that your view is based purely on physics (tell me if otherwise, and I will concur – that is fair enough, since we all start from our metaphysical stand).

  70. 70
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Dismissal is no argument either.

    No, but we provided an argument. This is the discussion so far:

    Claim: It’s impossible.
    Objection: It’s possible. Here’s why.
    Claim: It’s not possible (same claim different words).

    EugeneS: The burden of proof is on the one who claims possibility, not impossibility.

    The burden of proof is on anyone making a claim. The primary claim on this thread is that of impossibility, which is based on a so-called conservation of a reified notion of “code”.

    EugeneS: All I am asking is demonstrate how code can in practice emerge from physical interactions of matter alone

    We already pointed out that RNA can act as a genome and as an enzyme, including the capability for autocatalysis.

  71. 71
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    Unfortunately, you have not shown anything. Your words “can act” don’t mean anything outside of the already existing information context. Semantics, pragmatics, interpretation, templates and protocols cannot be explained away by proposing hypotheses like the RNA World, the DNA World or any other worlds. The crucial problem is the one of signal coding and interpretation for a pragmatic purpose.

  72. 72
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: The crucial problem is the one of signal coding and interpretation.

    Yes, we understand your position. Restating it still doesn’t constitute an argument. RNA World represents a plausible pathway. If you want to argue it doesn’t, then you have to be grapple with the specifics. RNA is a molecule which can act as an enzyme and as a storage of genetic memory. This provides a plausible link between a world of dissipative chemistry to the world of genetics.

  73. 73
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel:

    Yes, we understand your position.

    I am beginning to doubt that.

    True, one needs to be able to grapple with the specifics. Nonetheless, the existence of a protocol is key even to these, however primitive, primordial RNA functions. As soon as you say ‘storage’, retrieval and interpretation are immediately entailed.

  74. 74
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: I am beginning to doubt that.

    Your position is that a code relationship can’t evolve from a non-code relationship.

    EugeneS: As soon as you say ‘storage’, retrieval and interpretation are immediately entailed.

    And with RNA, storage, retrieval and interpretation are all expressed in the one molecule.

  75. 75
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #69: “We provided the relevant distinction. There is a possible pathway from the metabolic to the genomic. Rewording a claim doesn’t constitute an argument.”

    Your distinction doesn’t work, chess rules are exactly a code as bio-codes.
    I provided the proof that codes don’t arise from thin air indeed in my article. In fact codes are a form of organization.

    Zachriel #46: “Human organizations can either be created by global planning (e.g. government), or unplanned through individual actions (e.g. markets).”

    Ah, you say organizations are planned when made by the government (composed of individuals) but are unplanned when made by individuals? If this is your logic power in simple issues I wonder what hell are your “pathways from the metabolic to the genomic”…

  76. 76
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: I provided the proof that codes don’t arise from thin air indeed in my article.

    We didn’t see such a proof. We saw a long restatement of the claim. We provided a simple counterexample to the claim, a molecule that bridges the gap between the metabolic and cybernetic worlds.

    niwrad: you say organizations are planned when made by the government (composed of individuals) but are unplanned when made by individuals?

    It’s standard economics. Investopedia: “The activity in a market economy is unplanned; it is not organized by any central authority and is determined by the supply and demand of goods and services. Alternatively, a command economy is organized by government officials who also own and direct the factors of production.”

  77. 77
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #76

    Don’t hidden yourself behind Investopedia. At the very end, organizations in any economy are always planned, ie designed, by individuals. Organization is always designed in any field, that’s was my point.

    Zachriel: “We didn’t see such a proof.”

    Here you are the only one who doesn’t see it.

    Zachriel: “We provided a simple counterexample to the claim, a molecule that bridges the gap between the metabolic and cybernetic worlds.”

    That is like to say that a molecule bridges the gap between a car battery and a computer.

  78. 78
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel,

    And with RNA, storage, retrieval and interpretation are all expressed in the one molecule.

    Last time you used the word ‘acts’ and now you say ‘expressed’. How and by means of what?!

    If by this phrase you mean to say you have managed to explain away the need for a protocol, you are mistaken.

    That this all is presented by a single material object does not change anything! You still need an abstract representation, storage, retrieval and interpretation according to a non-physical protocol.

    The game of chess can be played with cherry stones, muffins, bricks or what have you. In all those ‘implementations’ it will remain essentially the same game provided the rules are kept the same. Semantics is irreducible to media. I can convey the same message verbally, by plain text, or using Braille, Morse code or hand signs. A medium is important but secondary. The protocol comes first.

  79. 79
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: Don’t hidden yourself behind Investopedia.

    We’re not hiding. We’re pointing to an economic resource on an economic question. We could point to economic scholarship instead; the answer would be the same.

    niwrad: At the very end, organizations in any economy are always planned, ie designed, by individuals.

    The global structure of markets are not planned. They are the result of individual decisions made based on local conditions without regard to global effects.

    niwrad: Here you are the only one who doesn’t see it.

    What we see is that you claim that code relationships can’t evolve from non-code relationships, ’cause.

    niwrad: That is like to say that a molecule bridges the gap between a car battery and a computer.

    No, because the molecule can act both metabolically and genomically.

    EugeneS: How and by means of what?!

    RNA is a sequence just like DNA, so it has genetic memory. However, RNA can also act as an enzyme. That means it can perform the actions of a gene and a protein.

  80. 80
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #79

    “The global structure of markets are not planned. They are the result of individual decisions made based on local conditions without regard to global effects.”

    What smoke screen. If you even continue to not recognize that *industries* (IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Google…) are organized by intelligence I will have an hard time to explain you organization in biology…

    The molecule can act both metabolically and genomically.

    The molecule per se does zero. If it acts metabolically and genomically it is only because of the surrounding cellular *organization*. But that is exactly what you continue to refute.

    P.S. Why don’t you meditate on the excellent EugeneS’ arguments?

  81. 81
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: If you even continue to not recognize that *industries* (IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Google…) are organized by intelligence I will have an hard time to explain you organization in biology…

    This isn’t controversial in economics. The global properties of free markets are unplanned. If you don’t understand that, then it will be difficult to explain to you organization in biology.

    niwrad: The molecule per se does zero.

    The molecule can autocatalyze; it does more than zero.

  82. 82
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #81

    The global properties of free markets are unplanned.

    Again. I am not speaking of the “global properties of free markets”. I am not interested at all about the “global properties of free markets”. In am interested only on the organization of *industries*, a topic that clearly you hate because you are somehow allergic to organization sensu lato

    The molecule can autocatalyze; it does more than zero.

    From the point of view of the organization of a complete cell, that is zero.

  83. 83
    Zachriel says:

    niwrad: I am not interested at all about the “global properties of free markets”. In am interested only on the organization of *industries*

    Is it usual for you to change a claim in order to argue against it? In any case, the global properties of industries in free markets are also unplanned.

    niwrad: From the point of view of the organization of a complete cell, that is zero.

    Is it usual for you to change your own claim in order to argue for it? You had argued that it was the inherently impossible for unorganized matter to self-organize (given “organization is an holistic concept, according to which a true whole is higher than the sum of its parts”), in which case, it doesn’t matter whether we’re considering modern cellular life, or something more primitive.

  84. 84
    Box says:

    Under materialism a cell is just a bag of molecules.
    In a cell all the molecules are involved in chemical processes, so there is a constant change of content of the cell. Different content requires different restraints (organization) – otherwise a cell will just fall apart.
    If organization (homeostasis) is maintained, while the content is ever changing, then there is continues synchronous apt change in the form of organization.

    So, it is not the case that a static set of molecules in condition ‘1’ needs to find one static matching organization form. No, it is something like this: a set of interacting molecules in ever changing conditions 1,2,3 and so forth needs to find a highly flexible ever changing matching organization form.

    Organization (homeostasis) is not a static equilibrium. It is a fluid shifting from one equilibrium to the next. It’s safe to say that during the life of a single cell, the cell is never the same.

    EDITED:
    IOW the task for molecules is not to “just” find a “static” organization (which is arguably impossible) but a miraculous highly flexible form of organization.

  85. 85
    niwrad says:

    Zachriel #83

    In any case, the global properties of industries in free markets are also unplanned.

    “Global properties of industries unplanned”. “Unplanned” is a fixation for you. But your posts are planned or unplanned? They at least are planned or no?
    You could make a movie titled “Unplanned”, so you should *plan* the *Unplanned*! Don’t you like the oxymoron?

    Is it usual for you to change your own claim in order to argue for it? You had argued that it was the inherently impossible for unorganized matter to self-organize (given “organization is an holistic concept, according to which a true whole is higher than the sum of its parts”), in which case, it doesn’t matter whether we’re considering modern cellular life, or something more primitive.

    Sorry but I don’t understand what you mean here, my fault. Anyway it is usual for me to be patient with evolutionists, so we can continue to happily discuss for eternity…of course without never converging to an agreement.

  86. 86
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Under materialism a cell is just a bag of molecules.

    A highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution.

    niwrad: But your posts are planned or unplanned?

    Planned. However, the global structure of free markets isn’t planned. This isn’t controversial. Individuals make decisions based on local conditions without regard to the global properties of the market. They even have a name for it. It’s called the invisible hand.

    niwrad: Sorry but I don’t understand what you mean here

    Your argument is based on a so-called conservation of organization. In other words, organization can’t come from something which isn’t organized. You really don’t argue it. You make some distinctions, then claim it as fact. You presumably think it is intuitively true.

  87. 87
    Box says:

    Box: Under materialism a cell is just a bag of molecules.

    Zachriel: A highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution.

    If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection, then there is an obvious problem with your statement. Do you understand what that problem is?

  88. 88
    Zachriel says:

    Box: If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection, then there is an obvious problem with your statement.

    There are many known mechanisms of variation, not just mutation and selection.

  89. 89
    Box says:

    Box: Under materialism a cell is just a bag of molecules.

    Zachriel: A highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution.

    Box: If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection, then there is an obvious problem with your statement. Do you understand what that problem is?

    Zachriel: There are many known mechanisms of variation, not just mutation and selection.

    If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection or any mechanism of variation, then there is an obvious problem with your statement. Do you understand what that problem is?

  90. 90
    Zachriel says:

    Box: If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection or any mechanism of variation, then there is an obvious problem with your statement. Do you understand what that problem is?

    No. However, we do note there is substantial evidence of evolutionary history.

  91. 91
    Box says:

    Box: If by ‘evolution’ you mean random mutation and selection or any mechanism of variation, then there is an obvious problem with your statement. Do you understand what that problem is?

    Zachriel: No. However, we do note there is substantial evidence of evolutionary history.

    You don’t understand the obvious problem with your statement. So, let me explain. Your statement is:

    Zachriel: [The cell is] a highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution.

    Evolution – random mutation and selection or any mechanism of variation – can only act on a “highly organized bag of molecules”. IOW “a highly organized bag of molecules” is a prerequisite of evolution.

    So, your statement boils down to:

    Billions of years of evolution produces what must be already present at the very start of evolution: “a highly organized bag of molecules”.

    Now you understand the problem?

  92. 92
    Zachriel says:

    Box: IOW “a highly organized bag of molecules” is a prerequisite of evolution.

    That is incorrect. Evolution can act on any replicator, such as a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle.

  93. 93
    Box says:

    Box: IOW “a highly organized bag of molecules” is a prerequisite of evolution.

    Zachriel: That is incorrect. Evolution can act on any replicator, such as a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle.

    Reference please.

  94. 94
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Reference please.

    By definition. If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

  95. 95
    Joe says:

    Populations don’t replicate. And there seems to be a lack of evidence for an evolutionary theory.

  96. 96
    Box says:

    Box: IOW “a highly organized bag of molecules” is a prerequisite of evolution.

    Zachriel: That is incorrect. Evolution can act on any replicator, such as a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle.

    Box: Reference please.

    Zachriel: By definition. If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    Don’t be shy, provide some reference please.

    – –

    BTW Zachriel, do you mean by your statement, “[The cell is] a highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution”, that it took evolution billions of years of goofing with “a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle” to produce “a highly organized bag of molecules” aka the cell? Because that seems to be what you are saying.

  97. 97
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #94,

    If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    I am afraid, there is a glaring gap of reasoning here. There is a conflation of meanings regarding ‘evolves’. Anything dynamically changing over time evolves in this sense. For something to evolve in this sense there is no need to be able to replicate. This conflation is the starting point of the dissent. Tornadoes evolve because they obviously exhibit a dynamic behaviour; they can even be thought in a sense to ‘replicate with variation’ because they demonstrate remarkable dynamic stability. Just recall the big red spot on Jupiter that has been around there for ages. However, what is missing from tornadoes and such like is exactly organization in the sense of the original post.

    This said, biological evolution means a very special kind of dynamic behaviours crucially different from the above meaning. Biological evolution is thought to be a source of organization.

    Any kind of biological selection can only act

    (a) within a concrete information context, and
    (b) on already existing functional systems.

    Biological selection cannot choose for a future function but from among existing functions.

    What is the basis for selection in a pre-biotic environment? Chemical stability? Replication? Or both? Crystals are chemically stable and replicate. Is that life?

    Autocatalysis is a form of constraint. Rules for extracting pragmatic utility from a multiplicity of dynamically inert states must be instantiated into the system in order for it to exhibit any biological behaviour. While constraints are always present, rules do not emerge from chaos in practice. You may regard this statement as a reworded claim but it does not change the fact that rules of pragmatic behaviour don’t arise out of chaos.

  98. 98
    Zachriel says:

    Box: do you mean by your statement, “[The cell is] a highly organized bag of molecules, the product of billions of years of evolution”, that it took evolution billions of years of goofing with “a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle” to produce “a highly organized bag of molecules” aka the cell?

    No one knows how long it took to become highly organized, but probably not that long in geological terms. We were just pointing out that evolutionary biologists don’t just look at cells as “just a bag of molecules”, but as a highly organized complex.

    EugeneS: Anything dynamically changing over time evolves in this sense.

    In the sense meant by evolutionary biologists, it means replication with variation.

    EugeneS: What is the basis for selection in a pre-biotic environment?

    If it replicates, it’s not prebiotic, but protobiotic. The basis of selection is competition for limited local resources, the same as it is now.

  99. 99
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #98,

    I know what evolutionary biologists mean. I am pointing out here that there is a gross category error involved in your using the same notions (evolve, compete, act, express) in two substantially different contexts: one void of organization (pre-biotic or proto-biotic, if you like) and one with organization loaded in it. You haven’t demonstrated the plausibility of any transition from one to the other based solely on chance and necessity without recourse to choice contingent guidance.

    Unfortunately, you haven’t been able to address a single one of our points.

  100. 100
    Box says:

    Zachriel: That is incorrect. Evolution can act on any replicator, such as a nucleotide strand in a simple lipid vesicle.

    Box: Reference please.

    Zachriel: By definition. If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    Box: Don’t be shy, provide some reference please.

    Zachriel #98: ….

    Hello?

  101. 101
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Hello?

    Hello.

    EugeneS: I am pointing out here that there is a gross category error involved in your using the same notions (evolve, compete, act, express) in two substantially different contexts: one void of organization (pre-biotic or proto-biotic, if you like) and one with organization loaded in it.

    EugeneS: Unfortunately, you haven’t been able to address a single one of our points.

    We did address your points. Your other uses of evolution do not concern replicators, the fundamental unit of evolution.

  102. 102
    DATCG says:

    EugeneS #47, 53 and 54…

    Excellent request that goes unanswered…

    “Please explain the rules of chess using only Newtonian mechanics.”

    #54 EugeneS

    Zachriel,

    In addition to the challenge in 53,

    Please also explain why, when you have tilted the chessboard, it is no longer possible to play. What role the laws of nature have in helping organize a chess game in either case?

    The problem exist in lack of definition or agreement to definition(s). Or, a refusal to admit distinction between Ordered Sequence Complexity and Functional(organized) Sequence Complexity.

    It appears materialist committed to unguided processes use a blurred definition of Organization and must if they are to remain adherents to a blind process that creates functional organization.

    Again, quoting Abel and Trevors paper on Functional Sequence Complexity and Organization(See #6 above) They distinguish in their paper, “Three subsets of Sequence Complexity…”

    The fundamental contention… is this: without volitional agency assigning meaning to each configurable-switch-position symbol, algorithmic function and language will not occur. The same would be true in assigning meaning to each combinatorial syntax segment (programming module or word). Source and destination on either end of the channel must agree to these assigned meanings in a shared operational context. Chance and necessity cannot establish such a cybernetic coding/decoding scheme[71].

  103. 103
    DATCG says:

    # 22 Zachriel:
    While we understand that niwrad is trying to draw a distinction, the fact is that weather is considered to be a self-organized system by researchers in both meteorology and researchers in complex systems.

    I assume I’m in general agreement with Niwrad.

    What are the researchers definition of self-organization? Do they distinguish between self-ordered and self-organization? If not, why not?

    We need to know if there are clear definitions that they themselves are aware of for self-organization. Are we comparing apples and oranges?

    Do you agree or disagree there is a distinction between self-order and self-organization as defined by Abel and Trevors paper? If not, where do you disagree?

    Their paper defines “Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information.” Thus why I quoted specific paragraph from them about hurricanes being self-ordered, not self-organized.

    I’ll break up the paragraph for more clarity…

    “Self-ordering phenomena(weather) are observed daily in accord with chaos theory. But under no known circumstances can self-ordering phenomena like hurricanes, sand piles, crystallization, or fractals produce algorithmic organization.

    Are you aware of any “self-ordering phenomena” producing Functional Sequence Complexity as they define it?

    Above they distinguish hurricanes as self-ordered.

    Below they speak on misuse of the definition of self-organization as applied to weather. It might be many researchers and meteorologist are misusing the term self-organization without realizing distinctions between self-order and self-organization.

    Algorithmic “self-organization” has never been observed [70] despite numerous publications that have misused the term [21,151-162]. Bone fide organization always arises from choice contingency, not chance contingency or necessity.”

    I think they define well the distinction between self-order and self-organization.

  104. 104
    Zachriel says:

    DATCG: What are the researchers definition of self-organization?

    The usual definition is “a process where some form of global order or coordination arises out of the local interactions between the components of an initially disordered system.” Weather is a canonical example of a self-organized system.

    DATCG: Are we comparing apples and oranges?

    Sure. The original post uses a special definition. It’s generally best to coin a new term to avoid confusion. However, we did address the original post based on the special definition.

    DATCG: Do you agree or disagree there is a distinction between self-order and self-organization as defined by Abel and Trevors paper?

    We agree a distinction can be made, though it’s not clear the classes themselves are distinct.

    DATCG (quoting): Algorithmic “self-organization” has never been observed [70] despite numerous publications that have misused the term [21,151-162]. Bone fide organization always arises from choice contingency, not chance contingency or necessity.”

    Thank you for providing that quote. It’s a “you don’t use my special definition” argument.

  105. 105
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #104,

    What do you have to counter the claims in essence, the definition difference notwithstanding?

    Again your reasoning suffers from the same flaw others and I have already identified in a number of places above.

    The only difference is that now you use the word process without being aware that this word also has a telic connotation. ‘Stochastic processes’ is a very wide-spread oxymoron.

    It has been pointed out many times in this thread and elsewhere on this blog that emergence theories are based on assumptions that have no empirical support.

    Out of chaos arises order, not organization, because organization assumes the existence of a non-physical, formal, abstract protocol pre-loaded into the system. When no such protocol exists a priori, nothing except chaos, order or phase transitions between the two ever arises. In contrast, biological organization, motherboards, microchips and other sophisticated information processing systems (of human or animal origin) observably can only arise based on a given communication protocol.

    I am referring to your dismissal of my challenge above whereby I asked you to kindly provide an exclusively physical explanation of the rules of chess, i.e. one that is based on chance and law-like causation only. Unfortunately, you have failed to do so. Your appeal to the RNA world hypothesis is untenable because even in this case there is an absolute need to store, retrieve and interpret information at a later stage, the apparent difference being that what is denoted (the RNA molecule) is a token of itself.

    Sadly, your position is entirely untenable. You have not been able to demonstrate otherwise.

  106. 106
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Out of chaos arises order, not organization, because organization assumes the existence of a non-physical, formal, abstract protocol pre-loaded into the system.

    Most of your comment is just a restatement of your position.

    EugeneS: Your appeal to the RNA world hypothesis is untenable because even in this case there is an absolute need to store, retrieve and interpret information at a later stage, the apparent difference being that what is denoted (the RNA molecule) is a token of itself.

    An RNA replicator stores, retrieves and interprets the information.

  107. 107
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #106,

    Most of your comment is just a restatement of your position.

    Absolutely. And this applies to your posts as well :). We are talking past each other because you choose to disregard the common sense position that before anything is retrieved and interpreted there must be rules available in the system for how to interpret. In no cases have I encountered yet emergence theory proponents like yourself being able to explain how such a protocol could emerge de novo in practice, i.e. what it is in matter that gives it a pragmatic incentive to select for future organization.

    If you have such an explanation, I am willing to hear. To date you haven’t offered anything really, I am afraid.

  108. 108
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: We are talking past each other because you choose to disregard the common sense position that before anything is retrieved and interpreted there must be rules available in the system for how to interpret.

    Your position is that it is impossible for cybernetic organization to spontaneously form. We pointed out that it IS possible if a molecule can act as genetic memory and enzyme.

  109. 109
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #108,

    We pointed out that it IS possible if a molecule can act as genetic memory and enzyme.

    No matter how many times you repeat it, it is not getting anywhere near plausible without an a-priori protocol being set first ). You haven’t provided any empirical support whatsoever for your assumption that what you propose can account for ‘crystallization’ of physically inert and abstract rules out of chaos.

    After so many iterations, I haven’t seen that you at least start paying attention to my claim. I am not going to speculate why because it is pointless. Unfortunately, I don’t see any use in discussing this any further. I feel I am wasting my time.

  110. 110
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: No matter how many times you repeat it, it is not getting anywhere near plausible without an a-priori protocol being set first ).

    Not sure what you are saying. An RNA replicator stores, retrieves and interprets the information. The protocol is intrinsic to the molecule itself.

  111. 111
    EugeneS says:

    Zachriel #110,

    The protocol is intrinsic to the molecule itself.

    There we go. Matter has non-physical abstract properties intrinsic to it? That’s a metaphysical claim to me. You are obviously entitled to have your own metaphysical stand. I am simply pointing out it is metaphysical and should not be sold with a ‘chemistry’ label on it.

  112. 112
    Zachriel says:

    EugeneS: Matter has non-physical abstract properties intrinsic to it?

    The claim is that an RNA sequence can store, retrieve and interpret information.

  113. 113
    DATCG says:

    Exchange between EugeneS and Zachriel,

    110…
    EugeneS: No matter how many times you repeat it, it is not getting anywhere near plausible without an a-priori protocol being set first ).

    Not sure what you are saying. An RNA replicator stores, retrieves and interprets the information. The protocol is intrinsic to the molecule itself.

    —–
    and then 112…

    EugeneS: Matter has non-physical abstract properties intrinsic to it?

    The claim is that an RNA sequence can store, retrieve and interpret information.

    Zachriel, in 110 exchange and response you agree there is a “protocol.” How do you define protocol?

    I’ve read multiple definitions of protocol. Makes for interesting thoughts on what might be deemed appropriate for the protocol an RNA replicator intrinsic or otherwise relies on, that “interprets the information” as you state.

    What definition of protocol for you in the RNA replicator process of information suffices? Is it based upon communication protocol, computer-like logic or cybernetics protocol?

    How do you see the protocol contributing to the processing of information?

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky, very well said. KF

    PS: Locked up with local issues so I cannot focus here. Ah, well . . .

  115. 115
    Zachriel says:

    DATCG: How do you define protocol?

    A communications protocol is a system of digital rules for data exchange.

    RNA replicators are posited to precede the genetic code, the protocol, but provide an avenue for evolution of the genetic code.

  116. 116
    Joe says:

    RNA replicators are posited to precede the genetic code

    The evidence says that RNA replicators require an intelligent designer. And all codes also require an intelligent designer as they are not reducible to law and regularities (because they are arbitrary).

  117. 117
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    The claim is that an RNA sequence can store, retrieve and interpret information.

    Assume a can opener.

  118. 118
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    This doesn’t really do anything for your claims unless you equivocate on the meaning of “evolves.”

    If it replicates with variation, then it changes.

    OK. If it changes, then it changes. Got it. So?

    If it replicates with variation, then it advances in complexity and capability until new functionality emerges.

    This is the meaning that Darwinists are constantly trying to smuggle in. But can it be demonstrated to be true? Here’s where they’ll fall back on the equivocation and claim that change-over-time happens. But if that is all that is being said, if there is no claim for advancement being smuggled in, then why not phrase it this way?

    If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    Surely, there is at least as much evidence and more for this formulation.

  119. 119
    Box says:

    Z: The claim is that an RNA sequence can store, retrieve and interpret information.

    No way, however a blob of protoplasm can do all these things – see Darwin 1859.

  120. 120
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    As a follow up:

    Do you believe that the following is true?

    Replication with variation are entirely sufficient such that nothing else is required for the advancement in complexity and capability to the point that new functionality emerges.

    If not, then what else is required?

  121. 121
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: Assume a can opener.

    Robertson & Joyce, Highly Efficient Self-Replicating RNA Enzymes, Chemistry & Biology 2014.

    Phinehas: This doesn’t really do anything for your claims unless you equivocate on the meaning of “evolves.”

    That's what is meant by evolution in biology, the change in the inherited characteristics of populations.

    Phinehas: If it replicates with variation, then it advances in complexity and capability until new functionality emerges.

    It can also evolve to become more efficient or in response to changes in the environment.

  122. 122
    Zachriel says:

    Phineas: Replication with variation are entirely sufficient such that nothing else is required for the advancement in complexity and capability to the point that new functionality emerges.

    Evolution involves a competition for resources, so evolution necessitates an environment. Complex functions evolve in a complex and changing world.

  123. 123
    Mung says:

    Zachriel:

    Evolution involves a competition for resources…

    Except when it doesn’t.

    Zachriel:

    Complex functions evolve in a complex and changing world.

    Or not.

  124. 124
    Box says:

    Z: Robertson & Joyce, Highly Efficient Self-Replicating RNA Enzymes, Chemistry & Biology 2014.

    Evidence in a scientific paper is inversely proportional to the amount of bluffing in the title – long standing darwinian tradition, dating back to 1859.
    RNA-world only for the gullible.

  125. 125
    Zachriel says:

    Box: Evidence in a scientific paper is inversely proportional to the amount of bluffing in the title

    Did you have a specific objection?

    Box: – long standing darwinian tradition, dating back to 1859.

    Darwin’s theory has been accepted by the vast majority of biologists since 1859. Claiming it is mere bluff is simply not credible.

  126. 126
    Box says:

    Z: Did you have a specific objection?

    Well at least two:

    First, the ‘arrival’ of a self-replicating RNA is just about impossible.
    Biochemist Niles Lehman:

    “The odds of suddenly having a self-replicating RNA pop out of a prebiotic soup are vanishingly low.”

    And the next step, to evolve a DNA-protein world from a RNA-world, is impossible – see here.

  127. 127
    Phinehas says:

    Phin: Replication with variation are entirely sufficient such that nothing else is required for the advancement in complexity and capability to the point that new functionality emerges.

    Z: Evolution involves a competition for resources, so evolution necessitates an environment. Complex functions evolve in a complex and changing world.

    Competition for resources. Complex and changing environment. Got it.

    So, if I create a software program that prints out the character A, then replicates itself, but flips a bit so that the copy will print out the character B, then sends the replicated program via the internet to another computer (a complex and changing environment, to be sure), where it will compete for CPU resources to run and repeat the process, then this will be sufficient to get advancement in complexity and capability to the point that new functionality emerges?

    I have to say I’m a bit skeptical that this will work. Are you sure there aren’t any additional requirements?

  128. 128
    Zachriel says:

    Box (quoting Lehman): “The odds of suddenly having a self-replicating RNA pop out of a prebiotic soup are vanishingly low.”

    Most researchers agree it couldn’t have suddenly appeared.

    Box (quoting vjtorley): how many science journalists have you come across who even knew about the Koonin threshold?

    The so-called “Koonin threshold” is not an empirical finding, but a toy model for purposes of discussion. It shows that it couldn’t suddenly appear in that form.

    Vjtorley also seems to conflate the requirement for replication with the requirements for translation. There is no a priori reason translation can’t evolve from simpler relationships, for instance, a replicator could also code for helper peptides.

    RNA World does not provide anywhere near a complete model. What RNA World does is remove the a priori objection concerning the genetic code, as well as providing an avenue of further research.

  129. 129
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Can you demonstrate that this…

    If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    …is a more appropriate formulation than this?

    If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

  130. 130
    Zachriel says:

    Phineas: So, if I create a software program that prints out the character A, then replicates itself, but flips a bit so that the copy will print out the character B, then sends the replicated program via the internet to another computer (a complex and changing environment, to be sure), where it will compete for CPU resources to run and repeat the process, then this will be sufficient to get advancement in complexity and capability to the point that new functionality emerges?

    Have no idea what you think that would accomplish. Computer viruses can coop a computer to transmit and replicate, but there is virtually no mutation during replication. In addition, such programs tend to be very fragile to mutation, unlike biological viruses which have a great deal of flexibility.

  131. 131
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    Devolve really has no meaning with regards to biology.

  132. 132
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Phin: If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    Devolve really has no meaning with regards to biology.

    Then it is a good thing we are talking about pre-biology. Otherwise, you might be able to dodge the question.

    As a reminder, we are talking about if it replicates with variation, and not about if life replicates with variation, since we are discussing how you get to the point where life emerges in the first place.

  133. 133
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: Then it is a good thing we are talking about pre-biology.

    That’s a semantic distinction. Call it proto-biology, if it makes you feel better.

    In any case, please define “devolve”.

  134. 134
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Have no idea what you think that would accomplish. Computer viruses can coop a computer to transmit and replicate, but there is virtually no mutation during replication. In addition, such programs tend to be very fragile to mutation, unlike biological viruses which have a great deal of flexibility.

    What do biological viruses have to do with how you get to biological viruses?

    You seemed to indicate that replication with variation was sufficient to get us to things like biological viruses. Then you added competition and a complex and changing environment to the mix. Are these sufficient or not? (They don’t appear to be sufficient, since you seem to agree with me that having all of these present doesn’t necessarily accomplish anything.) If not, then what would be sufficient? If you are saying that biological viruses are sufficient to get to biological viruses, then OK? How do you get to the biological virus?

  135. 135
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    In any case, please define “devolve”.

    “Devolve” means exactly the same thing as “evolve” but without the built-in assumption that replication plus variation automatically results in advancement.

    The point is that “evolution” depends on this assumption. Changing the word to “devolution” highlights this dependence.

  136. 136
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: You seemed to indicate that replication with variation was sufficient to get us to things like biological viruses.

    And you chose an example that lacks a connection between the sequence and it ability to reproduce (fitness), as well as a source of variation (mutation).

    Phinehas: Then you added competition and a complex and changing environment to the mix.

    Competition for resources is inevitable in a biological context.

    Phinehas: “Devolve” means exactly the same thing as “evolve” but without the built-in assumption that replication plus variation automatically results in advancement.

    Again, advancement isn’t meaningful in the context of biological evolution. Do you understand the theory of evolution?

  137. 137
    Box says:

    Z: The so-called “Koonin threshold” is not an empirical finding but a toy model for purposes of discussion.

    Well duh, of course it is not an empirical finding! It would be an empirical finding if it was shown that a coupled replication-translation system could stem from RNA-world – which happens to be impossible.

  138. 138
    Zachriel says:

    Box: It would be an empirical finding if it was shown that a coupled replication-translation system could stem from RNA-world – which happens to be impossible.

    It could also be a valid finding if you showed the toy model were the only possible way for such a system to evolve. That’s not been shown, so when you claim any path is impossible, and point to the so-called “Koonin-threshold”, you are making an unsupported claim.

  139. 139
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Again, advancement isn’t meaningful in the context of biological evolution.

    Of course it is. That’s why we talk about climbing Mt. Improbable instead of rolling down it. Advancement in complexity and the movement toward higher functionality are the heart and soul of what evolution is seeking to explain. No one is trying to demonstrate how man’s ancestors devolved into the chimpanzee. No one set out to explain how bacteria devolved from higher life forms. Denying this is naive at best. Otherwise, to ensure we excise the advancement connotations, let’s talk in terms of devolution instead.

    If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    But, robbed of the smuggled in assumption of advancement, the above doesn’t look nearly as impressive. Nor does it accomplish what evolutionist desperately want it to accomplish.

  140. 140
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: That’s why we talk about climbing Mt. Improbable instead of rolling down it.

    By the definition, evolution can either increase or decrease the complexity of an organisms. Returning to your original statement:

    Phinehas: If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    Not necessarily. evolution can either increase or decrease or, most likely, not change the overall complexity of an organism.

  141. 141
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Phin: You seemed to indicate that replication with variation was sufficient to get us to things like biological viruses.

    Z: And you chose an example that lacks a connection between the sequence and it ability to reproduce (fitness), as well as a source of variation (mutation).

    And if replication with variation were sufficient, you wouldn’t need to keep tacking on other requirements, such as (evidently) a connection between the sequence and its ability to reproduce, in addition to competition for resources and a complex and changing environment.

    I’m starting to suspect that you don’t really know what is sufficient or what is required. Perhaps you should take some time to think about it?

    What is required to get to life? Well, it would have to look an awful lot like life.

    If this is what you are saying, then OK? But if you need life to get to life, then stop pretending like replication with variation is all you need to get there. And stop pretending like saying “replication with variation” is an explanation for how you get there.

  142. 142
    Phinehas says:

    Z:

    Phin: If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    Z: Not necessarily. evolution can either increase or decrease or, most likely, not change the overall complexity of an organism.

    Absolutely! Based on what you’ve admitted above, any of the following formulations are appropriate.

    If it replicates with variation, then it stays the same.

    If it replicates with variation, then it changes.

    If it replicates with variation, then it devolves.

    If it replicates with variation, then it evolves.

    Of the four, the last is probably the least appropriate (least likely), but some people will continue to use it exclusively. They will do this because they have an agenda, and their agenda is best served by smuggling in a concept of advancement.

  143. 143
    Mung says:

    Phinehas, that’s correct. the more improbable a thing is, the more hill climbing that must be done, and evolutionists seem to have no problem with the miracle that is the path up the mountain, just waiting to be found. May as well believe that ‘the climber’ was ‘poofed’ to the top, imo.

  144. 144
    Zachriel says:

    Phinehas: And if replication with variation were sufficient, you wouldn’t need to keep tacking on other requirements, such as (evidently) a connection between the sequence and its ability to reproduce, in addition to competition for resources and a complex and changing environment.

    Sorry. We thought you were somewhat aware of the basic theory. See Darwin 1859.

    Phinehas: Of the four, the last is probably the least appropriate (least likely), but some people will continue to use it exclusively.

    That’s because when not using your “special” definition, evolution can refer to either an increase in complexity, a decrease in complexity, or changes where the complexity doesn’t change.

  145. 145
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says.

    That’s because when not using your “special” definition, evolution can refer to either an increase in complexity, a decrease in complexity, or changes where the complexity doesn’t change.

    I say

    I agree with Phinehas here. Using the term evolution for the result of RM/NS is a subtle linguistic trick.

    Before Darwin evolution meant gradual improvement over time

    from here

    https://www.google.com/search?q=evolution&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=evolution+definition

    quote

    the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

    end quote:

    or from here

    http://www.merriam-webster.com...../evolution

    quote:

    a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state :

    end quote:

    That is the subconscious understanding that we bring to the term evolution.

    Scientists today may or may not wish to bring this linguistic baggage along when they speak of evolution but the general public surely understands the term in that way.

    If you don’t wish to claim that the change is directional toward better and more complex you should find another term IMHO

    It would sure make communication easier.

    peace

  146. 146
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: I agree with Phinehas here.

    When Phinehas refers to how most knowledgeable people use the term, evolution can refer to either an increase in complexity, a decrease in complexity, or changes where the complexity doesn’t change. He is welcome to use a “special” definition, but you can’t then draw conclusions from that about what most people mean based on that definition.

    fifthmonarchyman: Using the term evolution for the result of RM/NS is a subtle linguistic trick.

    It’s a scientific definition.

    fifthmonarchyman: Before Darwin evolution meant gradual improvement over time

    The word “evolution” still retains its original meaning of “unfolding”, which may or may not indicated advancement. For instance, a stream bed may evolve through erosion.

    fifthmonarchyman: the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

    Yes, that’s a definition. If you want to discuss that aspect of evolution, that’s fine, but don’t insist that it’s the only meaning of term, certainly not the scientific meaning.

    fifthmonarchyman: If you don’t wish to claim that the change is directional toward better and more complex you should find another term

    The term evolution is from the Latin for unrolling, as of a scroll. It doesn’t necessarily mean for the better. A tragedy can unfold, a character can evolve to become evil. In any case, the term evolution was given its current scientific meaning in 1859, and is now well-established as a scientific term.

  147. 147
    Zachriel says:

    The terminology you want is “the evolution of complexity” or perhaps adaptation.

  148. 148
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    the term evolution was given its current scientific meaning in 1859, and is now well-established as a scientific term.

    I say,

    There is no reason that scientific terms can’t be modified or abandoned when they are shown to be inadequate.

    I would argue that even at the beginning the public and many scientists perhaps including Darwin himself assumed improvement or increasing in complexity when they heard the term evolution.

    I would also argue that that understanding of the term is a big part of the reason for so much continuing public controversy in this area.

    If Science simply said that life has “unfolded” since it’s beginnings I don’t think that you would have near the resistance in the public that you do for the term evolution.

    Events can “unfold” according to unknown but predetermined plan for instance but I don’t think they can “evolve” in such a way. Event’s can “unfold” to the good or the bad.

    “Evolution” on the other hand conjures up notions of spontaneous increases in value over time that are just not evidenced by what we see in nature.

    “Unfolding” works just as well whether we are talking about small changes or large ones. Evolution seems to require the addition of the prefix Micro or Macro to cover this semantic range.

    It’s just a poor term all around

    Just my opinion.

    peace

  149. 149
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: There is no reason that scientific terms can’t be modified or abandoned when they are shown to be inadequate.

    Sure, but word meanings usually change slowly, especially within a scholarly field.

    fifthmonarchyman: I would argue that even at the beginning the public and many scientists perhaps including Darwin himself assumed improvement or increasing in complexity when they heard the term evolution.

    Certainly, evolutionary theory was proposed to explain complexity, but the process of evolution can run in either direction. As the evolution of complexity was the primary problem that concerned early evolutionary biologists, evolution was often used in that sense. Modern biologists are more careful in their use of the term. This is an example of slow evolution of terminology.

    fifthmonarchyman: If Science simply said that life has “unfolded” since it’s beginnings I don’t think that you would have near the resistance in the public that you do for the term evolution.

    It’s the relationship of humans to the animal world that has generated the most controversy, not complexity. There’s no controversy about common descent, however, in the scientific community.

  150. 150
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    It’s the relationship of humans to the animal world that has generated the most controversy, not complexity.

    I say.

    Not sure who you talk to but folks around here have known that humans were animals long before Darwin came around.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_animal

    quote:

    I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
    (Ecc 3:18-21)

    end quote

    peace

  151. 151
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Not sure who you talk to but folks around here have known that humans were animals long before Darwin came around.

    The relationship we’re talking about is kinship. That should have been obvious. Do we really need to provide support concerning the controversy over the kinship of humans to other apes?
    http://recreatingcannae.files......artoon.jpg

  152. 152
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc said,

    It’s the relationship of humans to the animal world that has generated the most controversy, not complexity.

    I say,

    NO, most folks have no problem with the similarities between themselves and animals.

    They have issues with the claim that the obvious differences between humans and animals (among other things) can be accounted for by the sort of spontaneous increases in complexity that the term evolution implies.

    again just my opinion

    peace

  153. 153
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: NO, most folks have no problem with the similarities between themselves and animals.

    We didn’t say similarity, but kinship, common ancestry.
    http://recreatingcannae.files......artoon.jpg

  154. 154
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    The relationship we’re talking about is kinship

    I say,

    The Bible says that Humans are beasts
    The Bible says that we share a common origin and a common destination with the animals (dust).

    I’m not sure how much more kinship you could possibly claim.

    Perhaps by kinship you mean moral equivalence or that there are no differences whatsoever between humans and animals.

    If that is what you are claiming then it is not just the public but science itself that you have a problem with

    peace

  155. 155
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: The Bible says that we share a common origin and a common destination with the animals (dust).

    They’re both made of star dust. That doesn’t mean they share a common ancestor.

    fifthmonarchyman: Perhaps by kinship you mean moral equivalence or that there are no differences whatsoever between humans and animals.

    No, we mean that somewhere in your past you share an ancestor with a baboon; you know, sperm and egg and mating and all that. Why are you playing with words?

  156. 156
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac,

    You need to keep in mind that till the mid 19th century spontaneous generation was still very much a live option.

    In that intellectual environment Humans and animals sharing the same origin (dust) was the equivalent of common decent in that we all come from the exact same place.

    The controversial thing that Darwin seemed to claim was not that we all shared the same origin but that the obvious differences we see could be explained by something like spontaneous increases in complexity.

    Folks did not buy it then and they still are not buying it

    peace

  157. 157
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: You need to keep in mind that till the mid 19th century spontaneous generation was still very much a live option.

    Which was disproven by Pasteur just about the same time as Darwin published “Origin of Species”.

    The controversy over human-ape kinship was rampant in the aftermath of “Origin of Species”, and continues today. Indeed, it’s hard to pin anyone down on this blog. So, do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?

  158. 158
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    So, do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Frogs?

    I say,

    In the era of HGT I have no idea what common decent even means any more.

    for example

    Would you consider two individuals that shared 20% of their genome but differed in the other 80% due to genetic additions or manipulations to be “siblings”?

    What about 10/90 or 50/50?

    what do such characterizations even mean in a world where a gene in a particular soybean is just as likely to have come from a firefly as from its “Parents”?

    It makes a lot more sense scientifically while equally humbling in my view to hold to a universal common origin.

    but I have no problem with the idea that Adam had a bellybutton if that is what you mean.

    Peace

  159. 159
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: In the era of HGT I have no idea what common decent even means any more.

    With regards to humans and apes, there’s virtually no ambiguity. It means that you distant father was also a distant father to a chimpanzee.

    fifthmonarchyman: what do such characterizations even mean in a world where a gene in a particular soybean is just as likely to have come from a firefly as from its “Parents”?

    We didn’t ask about soybeans.

    In any case, you provided sufficient evidence of the public controversy associated with common descent.

  160. 160
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac said,

    With regards to humans and apes, there’s virtually no ambiguity.

    I say,

    Suppose a human embryo was transplanted into a chimp

    would the surrogate be the “mother” of the child?

    I’m not sure Here is what I do know.
    When the baby was born we would give him all the rights afforded to any human child even though his surrogate would not be so entitled.

    Who his parents (genetic or otherwise)were makes no practical difference as far as I can tell

    you say

    In any case, you provided sufficient evidence of the public controversy associated with common descent.

    I say,

    Again the controversy is about the differences between the human and the chimp not about the similarities. Unless you are claiming that there are no differences

    peace

  161. 161
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: Suppose a human embryo was transplanted into a chimp

    The human embryo would not share direct ancestry with the chimp, not that it matters because it doesn’t relate to the question.

    Gee whiz. You’re working really hard to avoid answering.

  162. 162
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    This might help to clarify

    Suppose I invented a time machine and went back in time to 100 years before the first human was born and killed an individual from the ancestor species.

    Would I be guilty of murder?

    If you say yes then you are demonstrating that you believe there is no relevant difference between humans and animals. This is what the public suspects that Darwinists believe.

    If you say no then you are acknowledging that you recognize a difference that must be explained other than by the equivalent of “spontaneous improvement”.

    Either way you show that the controversy is about the differences and not the similarities

    peace

  163. 163
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: If you say yes then you are demonstrating that you believe there is no relevant difference between humans and animals.

    Who said there were no relevant differences. We said they shared a common ancestor. You, on the other hand, keep avoiding the topic.

  164. 164
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc,

    I have no idea how you got the idea that I’m avoiding the topic

    I’ve said

    1) I don’t know what common decent even means in the era of HGT

    2) I have no problem with Adam having a bellybutton

    3) Humans share a common origin with other animals

    4) There are vast and relevant differences between humans and other animals. It’s these differences that demand explanation not the similarities

    Not sure how much more I can say about the topic.

    If you are looking for a strait up yes or no you need to quantify how large of a difference you could accommodate under the paradigm of common decent

    If it is large I have no problem getting on board if it is not then not so much

    peace

  165. 165
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: 1) I don’t know what common decent even means in the era of HGT

    It means that humans share a common ancestor with other apes; you know, sperm and egg and mating and all that.

    fifthmonarchyman: 2) I have no problem with Adam having a bellybutton

    That’s not the question.

    fifthmonarchyman: 3) Humans share a common origin with other animals

    That’s not the question.

    fifthmonarchyman: 4) There are vast and relevant differences between humans and other animals. It’s these differences that demand explanation not the similarities

    There are similarities and differences. Many of the similarities are posited to be due to descent from a common ancestor.

    fifthmonarchyman: Not sure how much more I can say about the topic.

    You could answer the question.

    fifthmonarchyman: If you are looking for a strait up yes or no you need to quantify how large of a difference you could accommodate under the paradigm of common decent

    That’s not the question.

  166. 166
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    That’s not the question.

    I say,

    I thought the question was

    quote:

    do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?

    end quote:

    And my answer to that question depends on how how large of a difference you could accommodate under the paradigm of common decent

    For example could a frog in theory give birth to a prince?

    If you say that such a thing is possible in theory then I have no problem with the hypothesis of common decent.

    If on the other hand you demand that “like” must give birth to “like” I’m not sure how the evidence could ever support common decent.

    Now I have no problem with frogs giving birth to princes given divine influence. So for me common decent is not an issue

    I suspect that you on the other hand believe that “like” must produce “like” so I would have to say that in your world view common decent is impossible

    peace

  167. 167
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: I thought the question was, “do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?”

    Yes, that’s it.

    fifthmonarchyman: And my answer to that question depends on how how large of a difference you could accommodate under the paradigm of common decent

    And we replied that we were asking you that question!

    fifthmonarchyman: For example could a frog in theory give birth to a prince?

    Not in theory, but in principle. Is that your answer then? That humans were born from frogs? Or what?

    fifthmonarchyman: I suspect that you on the other hand believe that “like” must produce “like” so I would have to say that in your world view common decent is impossible

    Well, that’s obviously false. Our view is that common descent is not only possible, but strongly supported by the evidence.

    In any case, it’s rather obvious that it’s the relation of humans and apes that causes so much consternation, most Intelligent Design advocates can’t even give a straight answer.

  168. 168
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Zac says,

    Is that your answer then? That humans were born from frogs? Or what?

    I say

    My answer is I don’t much care.

    It adds nothing to my knowledge of the prince to know that the prince’s father was a frog unless I hold that “like” must always give birth to “like”.

    On the other hand the interesting thing. The thing that needs to be explained is not what humans have in common with frogs but what is different between the two species.

    You can explain the similarities between me and Barack Obama by appealing to common decent or by or by common design or pointing out that we are both humans

    It seems to me that all these explanations are equally fruitful and equally uninteresting.

    What is interesting is the differences between us

    you say,

    most Intelligent Design advocates can’t even give a straight answer.

    I say

    Is my answer not strait?

    peace

  169. 169
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: My answer is I don’t much care. It adds nothing to my knowledge of the prince to know that the prince’s father was a frog

    Your lack of caring is not an answer, or evidence of any sort. Most people would find that important information about the prince, certainly biologists would.

    In any case, you won’t answer the question. The point has been made.

  170. 170
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc said,

    Most people would find that important information about the prince, certainly biologists would.

    I say,

    Why?

  171. 171
    Zachriel says:

    Mapou: Why?

    Because it would provide evidence concerning the origin of the prince.

    In any case, your level of interest is not evidence, and just seems devised to avoid answering the question. The close kinship of humans and other apes clearly causes you consternation.

  172. 172
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    ZAc says

    Because it would provide evidence concerning the origin of the prince.

    I say,

    What???

    So saying the the prince is the son of a frog is interesting because it provides evidence concerning the origin of the prince.

    That makes no sense to me. It’s not interesting to know that my copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets finds it’s origin in a tree farm in Georgia.

    What is interesting is what separates a particular bundle of papers from all the others.

    Zac says,

    The close kinship of humans and other apes clearly causes you consternation.

    I say,

    Not at all. not in the slightest

    What ever gave you that idea? I find it to be very awe inspiring to contemplate that despite being just an animal made of dust I have “eternity in my heart”

    Peace

  173. 173
    Zachriel says:

    Oops. The last quote should be attributed to fifthmonarchyman.

    fifthmonarchyman: So saying the the prince is the son of a frog is interesting because it provides evidence concerning the origin of the prince.

    Obviously.

    fifthmonarchyman: It’s not interesting to know that my copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets finds it’s origin in a tree farm in Georgia.

    Again, your level of interest is not relevant. As for the physical copy, it’s origin may be in Georgia, but the sonnets have their origin in England.

    fifthmonarchyman: Not at all. not in the slightest

    Good, then you won’t mind answering the question. So, do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?

  174. 174
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    zac says,

    As for the physical copy, it’s origin may be in Georgia, but the sonnets have their origin in England.

    I say,

    As far as the phyiscal body of Adam it’s origin may be in the womb of some African hominid, but the interesting parts have their origin in God.

    Zac says,

    So, do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?

    I say,

    If you rule out common design as an explanation then yes. I’ve already said as much beginning in 158.

    If on the other hand you allow for common design the evidence is not quite as strong.

    If you allow common design and HGT then the evidence is probably inconclusive at this time.

    Again none of this is interesting to me at all.

    Congratulations on derailing the conversation once again this time from the interesting topic of the meaning of the word evolution to the boring topic of Adam’s bellybutton.

    As long as you wish avoid the real issues and dwell on these sorts pedantic subjects you will never convince the public.

    I’ll let you again have the last word.

    peace

  175. 175
    Zachriel says:

    fifthmonarchyman: As far as the phyiscal body of Adam it’s origin may be in the womb of some African hominid, but the interesting parts have their origin in God.

    Not just the womb, but the egg and sperm and genome.

    fifthmonarchyman: If you rule out common design as an explanation then yes.

    We haven’t ruled anything out. The hypothesis is branching descent; human ancestors branching along with the ancestors of other apes from a common ancestor; human ancestors branching along with the ancestors of frogs from a common ancestor. We’re talking eggs and sperms and mating and all that. So, do you accept that the evidence strongly supports common descent of humans and other apes? Humans and frogs?

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