Intelligent Design

Everything You Believe Is Based on Personal Experience and Testimony

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In other threads, certain people have claimed that personal experience and testimony are not as valid as other forms of evidence. In fact, some would dismiss thousands of years and the accumulation of perhaps billions of witness/experiencer testimonies because, in their view, personal experience and testimony is not really even evidence at all.

The problem with this position is that everything one knows and or believes is gained either through  (1) personal experience (and extrapolation thereof), or (2) testimony (and examination thereof), for the simple fact that if you did not experience X, the only information you can possibly have about X is from the testimony of others.

In a courtroom, for example, the entire case depends on testimony, even when there is physical evidence, because the jury relies upon the testimony of those that produce and explain what the physical evidence is, how it is relevant, and explains why it is important to the case. Unless the jurors are swabbing cheeks and conducting DNA tests themselves, the DNA evidence is in principle nothing more than the testimony of an expert witness. The jurors have no means of ascertaining the DNA “facts” for themselves; they entirely rely upon the testimony of what they assume to be a highly credible witness.

When a gun is entered into evidence, it is a meaningless fact – it’s a gun. The jurors rely entirely upon the testimony of law officers to inform them where the gun was found, if it was the right caliber, who owned it, etc. All of that information is presented through testimony.

Further, establishing motive and opportunity are forms of logical arguments, established via testimony, which counts as evidence.

Similarly, unless one is a research scientist in fields where one believes certain theories to be valid, he is (and we are as well) entirely dependent upon testimonial evidence – found in the form of research papers, books and articles written by such scientists. “Peer review” is nothing more to the reader than the testimomy of supposedly credible sources that the testimony of the authors is not blatantly false or contain factual errors.

Outside of what we personally experience, virtually all of our knowledge comes from testimony delivered via some form of media or another. We consider the source of the testimony, and the media it is delivered through, credible or non-credible to one degree or another – but that doesn’t change the fact that when we read or hear it, it is nothing more than testimony. If you are a scientist conducting research, you are personally experiencing the process and accumulation of data.  Beyond that, it is only testimony to others unless they perform the same experiments.  Often, the conclusions of scientific research hinge upon the testimony of other researchers, which may turn out to be fraudulent or mistaken.

So, when anyone says that testimony and personal experience are dismissible forms of evidence, they are obviously using (consciously or not) selective (and logically incoherent) hyperskepticism against an unwanted idea, because everything any of us believe or call ‘knowledge” is gained/extrapolated (hopefully using logic and logical arguments) via personal experience and/or information gained via testimony.

145 Replies to “Everything You Believe Is Based on Personal Experience and Testimony

  1. 1
    homerj1 says:

    Excellent points. You can also ask those raising that objection whether they have created all their own test equipment and replicated every single experiment upon which they rely. Since no one has done this, you can then point out how they rely on the credibility of eye witnesses all day, every day.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    Rejecting personal testimony is their only option, but of course, it just doesn’t make sense. Not all testimony is equally trustworthy of course, but they have to dismiss the bad with the good in order to maintain their own faith/religion concerning origins. It is their prerogative to reject whatever testimony they want. It may help them feel secure in their beliefs, but this is something they cannot test. It is a choice they must make and hope they are right. And their whole worldview rests on this choice!

    Science is presented as the ultimate arbiter of truth, but it rests on unprovable assumptions/beliefs such as “any personal testimony/experience having to do with God or the supernatural should be rejected because science cannot verify it.” Or some idea similar to this.

    That’s a big gamble in my mind – one that I am not willing to take.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    It is also especially ironic to note that neo-Darwinists have no empirical evidence whatsoever of unguided material processes creating any non-trivial functional information/complexity.

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    Biological Information – Loss-of-Function Mutations by Paul Giem 2015 – video playlist
    (Behe – Loss of function mutations are far more likely to fix in a population than gain of function mutations)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzD3hhvepK8&index=20&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

    Where’s the substantiating evidence for neo-Darwinism?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-PBeQELzT4pkgxB2ZOxGxwv6ynOixfzqzsFlCJ9jrw/edit

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel – 2011
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/9957206/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness_Scirus_Topic_Page_

  4. 4

    When you get right down to it, all evidence is a subset of personal experience – even testimony arrives through ones personal experience of others telling them something. All other kinds of evidence would be subsets therein; personally conducted/experienced science, or science that arrives via testimony; physical evidence would be the same; etc.

    The question cannot logically be if testimonial evidence counts, but rather can only be that testimonial evidence must be evaluated according to the credibility of those who are testifying and also according to how the testimony fits in with other personal experience.

    The problem is that materialists/atheists are not actually sorting evidence according to the actual type. They use these terms in value-laden, misleading context to create a false sense that these kinds of evidence are distinctly separate and of highly disparate value, when in fact it all ultimately boils down to personal experience and testimony.

    They apply the term “testimony” and “personal experience” to denigrate that evidence which contradicts their bias, ignoring the fact that any evidence they can point to must be subsets of those very categories. Scientific evidence might be recgonized as a more credible form of personal experience/testimonial evidence than other subsets, but it is not a separate category of evidence.

  5. 5
    Neil Rickert says:

    Apples and oranges.

    I cannot have your experiences. I can only have my own experiences. This is why your testimony about your experience is not of great evidential value to me.

    Expert testimony is different. The experts are not simply reporting personal subjective experience. Rather, they are reporting what can be tested and either confirmed or refuted by other experts. It is that potential repeatability that makes the important difference.

  6. 6
    Jerad says:

    tjguy #2

    Science is presented as the ultimate arbiter of truth, but it rests on unprovable assumptions/beliefs such as “any personal testimony/experience having to do with God or the supernatural should be rejected because science cannot verify it.” Or some idea similar to this.

    I don’t think this is a fair characterisation of science regarding religious experiences or in general.

    Science is about measurable, repeatable, witness independent results that can be reliably assumed to occur. If someone says: I can predict the value of a hidden playing card at a greater rate than given by chance and has done so on a given occasion then I’m not terribly interested in disproving that particular event as I am to see if they can replicate that achievement under controlled conditions on demand (or given set protocols).

    A miracle that can be predictably made to occur is part of science and will be studied and examined. Without repeatability reported events are interesting . . . maybe a suggestion of a line of possible research, like near death experiences . . . but not science if you can’t induce it reliably.

    That doesn’t mean such experiences aren’t valid in a moral or psychological sense. I completely understand why folks who go through a near death experience feel that it’s a consciousness changing event even while I don’t believe it’s an indication of a soul or consciousness surviving after death.

    Science is a good arbitrator of physical truth. What causes what. It is not meant to dictate your personal and emotional decisions.

  7. 7

    Neil Rickert said:

    Expert testimony is different. The experts are not simply reporting personal subjective experience. Rather, they are reporting what can be tested and either confirmed or refuted by other experts. It is that potential repeatability that makes the important difference.

    “Reporting” = “testifying”. Apples, apples. The inclusion of an expert and the promise of repeatability doesn’t change testimony into something else categorically; it just means that some forms of testimonial evidence are (1) more credible or (2) more convincing than others – as I said.

    If one wishes to dismiss all testimonial evidence, they are essentially taking everything except that which they personally experience off the table. That includes all published science papers as well as the Bible, news reports, history books, etc.

  8. 8
    JD Welbel says:

    indeed, at some level all belief appears to be essentially the same, at least in principal. At some point, whether one has amassed a wealth of validating evidence for their worldview or simply believes it, no holds barred, it seems to me there is a “leap of faith” necessary to complete the circuit. It is due to this apprehension, for one, that I try to view all belief system with equal respect as well as skepticism. Of course, some belief systems are repellent to me, some, I find downright frightening, still, I see value in trying to understand them.

    Somewhere along the line, I convinced myself that it would be more useful to model metaphysical beliefs as disposable, recyclable, “single-use”; in general, believing in anything for only as long as it suited or served me. This still makes sense to me, as, if I am certain about anything, it is that I still have a great deal to learn about pretty much everything.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerad at 6 states:

    “but not science if you can’t induce it reliably.”

    So, in your book, something is ‘not science if you can’t induce it reliably’?

    What is that quote from Gould?

    “if we could somehow “rewind the tape” of evolution and let it play again, chance would favor a different selection of that original multitude, and the world would be a very different place from the one we see around us. There is nothing “preordained” about the appearance of humanity or the human level of awareness”
    Gould

    Thus, according to your definition, since we can’t reliably induce evolution then evolution is not science?

    I’m sure you probably disagree now that you see evolution falls outside of science by your own definition, but, why are Darwinists allowed to appeal to unrepeatable ‘random’ events in history to explain the origin of life, and Theists aren’t allowed to appeal to unrepeatable ‘miracles’ in history to explain the origin of life?

    Pauli’s ideas on mind and matter in the context of contemporary science – Harald Atmanspacher
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.’”
    Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28)
    http://www.igpp.de/english/tda/pdf/paulijcs8.pdf

    Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness – Talbott – Fall 2011
    Excerpt: In the case of evolution, I picture Dennett and Dawkins filling the blackboard with their vivid descriptions of living, highly regulated, coordinated, integrated, and intensely meaningful biological processes, and then inserting a small, mysterious gap in the middle, along with the words, “Here something random occurs.”
    This “something random” looks every bit as wishful as the appeal to a miracle. It is the central miracle in a gospel of meaninglessness, a “Randomness of the gaps,” demanding an extraordinarily blind faith. At the very least, we have a right to ask, “Can you be a little more explicit here?”
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....randomness

  10. 10
    Jerad says:

    ba77 #9

    Thus, according to your definition, since we can’t reliably induce evolution then evolution is not science?

    Not at all. You can only generally predict the weather tomorrow but clearly climatology is a science. If a model has some random variation built in then you cannot rewind and expect to get the same outcome.

    I’m sure you probably disagree now that you see evolution falls outside of science by your own definition, but, why are Darwinists allowed to appeal to unrepeatable ‘random’ events in history to explain the origin of life, and Theists aren’t allowed to appeal to unrepeatable ‘miracles’ in history to explain the origin of life?

    When you can make some statistical arguments regarding theological events then your comparison might have some merit. The randomness in evolution is restricted to genetic variation not other general principles. You are oversimplifying the discussion.

  11. 11
    Zachriel says:

    bornagain77: Thus, according to your definition, since we can’t reliably induce evolution then evolution is not science?

    You can’t rewind the dice rolls at a craps table, but the long-term profit margin of a casino has little to do with luck, and much to do with having a sufficient volume of customers to cover the overhead.

  12. 12
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The origin of life on earth is a non-repeatable event. No one witnessed it. There’s no direct evidence that it ever occurred.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    So Jerad, since you can make ‘statistical arguments’ in favor of evolution then, according to you, that makes the materialistic origin, and evolution, of life science and makes invoking miracles for the origin and diversification of life not science?

    A couple of problems with your statistical definition of science. When we analyze the Origin of Life and Darwinian evolution ‘statistically’ we find both to be false.

    The Origin of Life is so fantastically improbable, ‘statistically’, that the human mind can’t even realistically imagine the unlikeliness of it (1 in 10^40,000 conservatively!).

    As for the evolution of life after its origin, when we analyze neo-Darwinism statistically it is also found to be false.

    Biological Information – Loss-of-Function Mutations by Paul Giem 2015 – video playlist
    (Behe – Loss of function mutations are far more likely to fix in a population than gain of function mutations)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzD3hhvepK8&index=20&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

    So under you definition of science, (which I am willing to accept in this limited case), Darwinism and the materialistic origin of life or both found to be false. Why do you not accept the statistical falsifications?

    Another problem with your ‘statistical’ definition of science is that the Big Bang was a once in history event and thus can’t be realistically analyzed ‘statistically’ and thus fails to be ‘science’ under your definition.

    Moreover, whenever we do try to statistically analyze the likelihood of the Big Bang happening, ‘randomly’, we find that materialism winds up in epistemological failure:

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Roger Penrose of Oxford University has calculated that the odds of our universe’s low entropy condition obtaining by chance alone are on the order of 1 in 10^10(123), an inconceivable number. If our universe were but one member of a multiverse of randomly ordered worlds, then it is vastly more probable that we should be observing a much smaller universe. For example, the odds of our solar system’s being formed instantly by the random collision of particles is about 1 in 10^10(60), a vast number, but inconceivably smaller than 1 in 10^10(123). (Penrose calls it “utter chicken feed” by comparison [The Road to Reality (Knopf, 2005), pp. 762-5]). Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....n-argument

    The Fine Tuning of the Universe – drcraigvideos – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpIiIaC4kRA

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    The End Of Materialism? – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale.
    For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Why do you not accept that statistical falsification Jerad?

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    To try to bring the thread back to the topic of the OP, what is the ‘statistical’ likelihood of human intelligence and consciousness randomly evolving from a material basis?

    I put the statistical likelihood at zero, how about you?

  15. 15
    ppolish says:

    Material basis BA77? 50/50 imo. Randomly? Zero have to agree. Really, you have to. Not “have to” because of determinism, but “have to” because of logic, rationality, and Love.

    Heck, the statistical likelihood of our Universe existing is more than 10 raised to the 500 against. Human consciousness is icing on the Impossible Cake.

  16. 16
    Cross says:

    Jerad @ 6

    “Science is about measurable, repeatable, witness independent results that can be reliably assumed to occur.”

    So you would confirm that “multiverse” is not science, but interestingly, is a theory given to explain away the fine tuning of our universe for life, which is measurable.

    Cheers

  17. 17
    Neil Rickert says:

    The inclusion of an expert and the promise of repeatability doesn’t change testimony into something else categorically; it just means that some forms of testimonial evidence are (1) more credible or (2) more convincing than others – as I said.

    Increasing credibility is important. If credibility can be sufficiently increased, then it becomes evidence and not merely testimony.

  18. 18
    Cross says:

    Neil Rickert @ 17

    “If credibility can be sufficiently increased, then it becomes evidence and not merely testimony.”

    Interesting, then what is the measurable “credibility factor” that once reached, turns mere testimony into evidence?

    Cheers

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    As to the superiority of ‘personal experience’. Decartes infamously stated, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ The reason he stated this was because he could reasonably doubt the reality of everything else but he could not doubt the fact that he himself had doubted material reality:

    “Descartes remarks that he can continue to doubt whether he has a body; after all, he only believes he has a body as a result of his perceptual experiences, and so the demon could be deceiving him about this. But he cannot doubt that he has a mind, i.e. that he thinks. So he knows he exists even though he doesn’t know whether or not he has a body.”
    http://cw.routledge.com/textbo.....ualism.pdf

    Alvin Plantinga has an interesting, and humorous, twist on Decartes’s line of thought, in that he employs the modal argument to prove he has a mind separate from his material brain by imagining that he has a ‘beetle body’:

    Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0

    I think our own William J. Murray has done a better job articulating the insurmountable problem for materialists in regards to explaining mind than anyone else I have read on the subject:

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
    – William J. Murray

    In a development that would have pleased Decartes very much, material reality has now been demoted by quantum mechanics as being merely derivative, secondary to mind, and even being called an ‘illusion’ by many leading experts in quantum mechanics:

    “No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
    Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

    “Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
    (Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

    “It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” –
    Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Violated, as of 2011, to 120 standard deviations)
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    Moreover, for those who still demand experimental evidence to know that mind is primary and material reality is secondary, there is plenty of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics confirming what is intuitively obvious, i.e. that consciousness precedes material reality

    A Short Survey Of Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness
    Excerpt: Putting all the lines of evidence together the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:
    1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.
    Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect)
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uLcJUgLm1vwFyjwcbwuYP0bK6k8mXy-of990HudzduI/edit

    Quote, Verse and Music:

    “Descartes said ‘I think, therefore I am.’ My bet is that God replied, ‘I am, therefore think.'”
    Art Battson – Access Research Group

    John 8:58
    Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – Great I Am (Lyrics)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_VR-zwp2KA

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, more excellent work. KF

  21. 21
    bFast says:

    What is more interesting is that my personal experience is, in many cases, solidly contrary to the testimony of my college textbooks. For me, personal experience solidly trumps testimony.

  22. 22
    Jerad says:

    BA77 #13

    Aside from your mixing confusing probability and statistics you seem determined to interpret my comments to your own end. Further discussion on the matter seems pointless.

    Cross #16

    I would not say there is a ‘theory’ of a multiverse. I’m not sure there is even a decent hypothesis yet. People are tossing ideas about and looking for confirming data. I would say that kind of speculation and testing is science because all scientific theories go through that stage before becoming established. IF they become established. I remain highly skeptical of a multiverse. I’m waiting to see if they come up with real supporting data and results.

  23. 23
    Mark Frank says:

    Everything you believe is indeed based on your personal experience or testimony. It does not follow that testimony is always good grounds for belief. It depends on many things but most importantly the process that lies behind the testimony – the credibility of the person giving the testament and how they came to their conclusions. That is why it is still a good objection to dismiss something as mere testimony.

  24. 24
    JD Welbel says:

    also, it occurs to me, that to some extant our belief systems may be formed for us by accidents in our pre-verbal environments. Our basic manner of neuro-biological mediation of sense data likely shapes our realities in ways we can’t easily change or comprehend. These accidents, or chance encounters at critical moments of imprint vulnerability can severely limit our options regarding belief construction. In other words, no matter how much evidence (or lack) we are given for the existence of a thing, unless we have the framework to support it, it will fall through the cracks like so much dust.
    I am heartened to think that we may be able to reform some of these basic internal structures using any number of a vast array of tested techniques ranging from meditation and yogas to dramatic mental and physical therapies and beyond. I mention this mostly as a reminder to us (myself especially) that unconscious bias and pre-verbal psychological infrastructure might play a role in what we allow ourselves to believe at any given time

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    As Mark Frank points out, everything you believe is indeed based on your personal experience or testimony.

    But not all testimony is equal.

    In a criminal trial, if one witness testifies they saw the accused commit the offense while another testifies the accused was with them elswhere at the time the offense was committed, clearly both cannot be right. How do we decide between them?

    Many people have testified they saw Uri Geller bend spoons by just stroking them with his finger or Harry Houdini make an elephant disappear. Are these sufficient evidence to compel a belief in supernatural powers or miracles? Or could there be more mundane explanations?

    Could it be that one of the roots of what we now call science lies in a need to find a way to discriminate between all these stories, this personal testimony, and get to the truth of the matter?

    If there are accounts from around 2000 years ago concerning the son of a local carpenter in Nazareth who became an itinerant preacher, that he gathered a small band of followers and toured around the Galilee region in the Middle East, that he spoke to crowds large and small, that he fell foul of local religious and political machinations, that he was arrested on trumped-up charges and executed by crucifixion, I would have no problem believing that happened. It does not stretch credulity.

    If the accounts also tell us that he turned water into wine, fed a crowd of 5000 with a couple of loaves and a few fish, that he walked on water, that he raised the dead, that he himself rose from the dead then I would need more than just those accounts to convince me that those events occurred and that they were supernatural in origin.

    The vast body of testimony concerning religious beliefs over thousands of years is certainly indicative of some phenomenon in play. But they attest not to one faith or one god but to a wide range of beliefs and a wide range of gods. Are they all true? Are any of them true? How do you tell? Is it reasonable to suspend judgment until more evidence becomes available if you find existing accounts intriguing but but not compelling?

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Jerad you are the one trying to interpret things to your own end: For instance you state:

    “your mixing confusing probability and statistics”

    That is like saying I’m mixing confusing water with H2O.

    You can’t talk about one without talking about the other

    Statistics is related to probability because much of the data we use when determining probable outcomes comes from our understanding of statistics.
    https://www.khanacademy.org/math/probability

    Statistics and Probability
    Statistics and probability are sections of mathematics that deal with data collection and analysis. Probability is the study of chance and is a very fundamental subject that we apply in everyday living, while statistics is more concerned with how we handle data using different analysis techniques and collection methods. These two subjects always go hand in hand and thus you can’t study one without studying the other.
    http://www.wyzant.com/resource.....robability

  27. 27
    Cross says:

    Seversky @ 25

    “If the accounts also tell us that he turned water into wine, fed a crowd of 5000 with a couple of loaves and a few fish, that he walked on water, that he raised the dead, that he himself rose from the dead then I would need more than just those accounts to convince me that those events occurred and that they were supernatural in origin.”

    There is further evidence, at least 8 of the disciples who were eye witnesses to these events were willing to be martyred, two by crucifixion. Would you die for a cause you knew was a fake?

    Cheers

  28. 28
    Cross says:

    Jerad @ 22

    “I would say that kind of speculation and testing is science because all scientific theories go through that stage before becoming established.”

    If you give this leeway to “multiverse” with no actual evidence, what about ID theory?

    Cheers

  29. 29

    Seversky said:

    As Mark Frank points out, everything you believe is indeed based on your personal experience or testimony.

    Really? Mark Frank “pointed that out”?

    **Checks title of thread.**

  30. 30
    AnimatedDust says:

    “In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”

    – William J. Murray

    Highly amused that commenters can blow by something like this without giving the slightest pause.

    There’s no getting around it. No explaining it away. No argument about anything without first either accepting it, or collapsing into worldview level incoherence.

    I don’t like to be incoherent and I wonder if those who espouse other than that postulated above by WJM are at least privately likewise so.

    WJM thank you for that. An elegant statement, with bulging intellectual muscle, obviously born of a well-exercised mind.

  31. 31
    OldArmy94 says:

    I would like to hear the SCIENTIFIC evidence that George Washington was the first President of the United States. I have every reason to believe he was, of course, but is there an empirical study that establishes his presidency as fact?

  32. 32
    tjguy says:

    Jerad @6

    I don’t think this is a fair characterisation of science regarding religious experiences or in general.
    Science is about measurable, repeatable, witness independent results that can be reliably assumed to occur.

    I see. When is the last time that someone demonstrated how sex evolved in a measurable way and with repeatability?

    Go ahead and replace the word sex with any number of words such as:
    – a bird lung from a dinosaur lung
    – a three chambered heart from a 4 chambered
    – heart
    – abiogenesis
    – language
    – DNA and other soft tissue can last for 65 million yrs?
    – multicellarity
    – eukaryotes evolved from prokaryotes
    Etc etc etc

    A miracle that can be predictably made to occur is part of science and will be studied and examined. Without repeatability, reported events are interesting . . . maybe a suggestion of a line of possible research, like near death experiences . . . but not science if you can’t induce it reliably.

    I see. Then what about abiogenesis? It is literally a miracle! It cannot be studied or examined. Repeatability is not possible. Can it be induced reliably? Really? Why or why not? Who gets to decide that?

    So you are open to miracles, even supernatural miracles, if they can be induced reliably? That’s why I believe in the resurrection!

    That doesn’t mean such experiences aren’t valid in a moral or psychological sense.

    But not in a literal historical sense, right? Actual miracles are not possible in your worldview, right? So, if someone claims to have had some type of spiritual experience, you would not seek to disagree with them, but you would question the validity of that experience as to it’s connection to reality and “physical truth” if it cannot be repeated on demand, right? You would chalk it up to some type of coincidence, psychological phenomenon, or find some other explanation, even if it cannot be conclusively explained, right?

    At least you were smart enough to say that things have to be induced reliably, but that is a subjective thing. What is reliable to some may not seem reliable to others. Abiogenesis would be one very good illustration of this. So, now whether something qualifies as science or not is subject to someone’s subjective and arbitrary decision as to whether or not it can be reliably induced? That’s what science is?

    Whatever happened to the good old days when scientists used the scientific method? When dealing with unobservable unrepeatable events, we are limited to induction and this is why historical science is so much more subjective and far less reliable than real experimental science.

  33. 33
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Science is about measurable, repeatable, witness independent results that can be reliably assumed to occur.

    That is exactly why unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution is not science.

    Thank you.

  34. 34
    Joe says:

    OldArmy94-

    A case can be made for John Hanson as the first President

  35. 35
    Jerad says:

    Joe #35

    That is exactly why unguided/ blind watchmaker evolution is not science.

    So, you’re saying that over 150 years of research and publications are NOT based on repeatable and observer independent results? Are you sure? Do you really think that there is no research that is, at least partially, a duplication of other work? That there isn’t at least a core aspect that has been checked and checked and verified over and over again? Do you really think it’s all just made up? Just-so stories?

  36. 36
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    So, you’re saying that over 150 years of research and publications are NOT based on repeatable and observer independent results?

    There aren’t any such things when it comes to say prokaryotes evolving into something other than prokaryotes. There aren’t any such things when it comes to evolving molecular machinery. So obviously you have no idea what you are talking about.

  37. 37

    Jerad,

    While sets of data have been collected via the scientific method, as far as I know none of that data has been put through any mathematical model that predicts what we can and cannot expect from unguided natural and random forces/mechanisms. What are the entailments of an evolutionary process manufactured entirely by random & natural forces?

    Evolution isn’t particularly being challenged here; Darwinian evolution is. Evolution (to at least one degree or another) is supported by all kinds of evidence. The evolution of the wolf into many breeds of dog is supported by all kinds of evidence – but such evolution is not sufficiently explained by random mutation and natural selection.

  38. 38
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 31

    Seversky said:
    As Mark Frank points out, everything you believe is indeed based on your personal experience or testimony.
    Really? Mark Frank “pointed that out”?

    **Checks title of thread.**

    Yes, he did but, to be fair you did point it out first so my apologies for not making that clear.

  39. 39
    velikovskys says:

    Wjm:
    Evolution isn’t particularly being challenged here; Darwinian evolution is. Evolution (to at least one degree or another) is supported by all kinds of evidence. The evolution of the wolf into many breeds of dog is supported by all kinds of evidence – but such evolution is not sufficiently explained by random mutation and natural selection.

    How does design explain evolution more sufficiently?

  40. 40
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @

    Evolution isn’t particularly being challenged here; Darwinian evolution is. Evolution (to at least one degree or another) is supported by all kinds of evidence. The evolution of the wolf into many breeds of dog is supported by all kinds of evidence – but such evolution is not sufficiently explained by random mutation and natural selection.

    So evolution is okay as long as it includes a handy (and carefully-undefined) god-sized gap in the explanation.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky, an explanation that pivots on inference to best explanation per a trillion member basis of observations, that FSCO/I etc are reliable signs of design, is not a gaps explanation. Your dismissive appeal to god of the gaps, is therefore a strawman caricature and projection, kindly correct it. Stubbornly clinging to false and loaded narrative, ideological talking point dismissive agendas such as the long since exploded “ID is a god of the gaps creationist argument designed to evade US Court rulings, and dressed up in a cheap tuxedo . . . ” thesis . . . agitprop talking point, is a sign of want of good faith and of failure of intellectual and ethical duties of care, thus closed minded indoctrination, which are not healthy signs. KF

  42. 42

    seversky said:

    So evolution is okay as long as it includes a handy (and carefully-undefined) god-sized gap in the explanation.

    Actually, no. Evolution as a scientific theory is okay if it is presented as such free of unsupported and unnecessary ideological blinders of any sort. There’s no reason, logical or evidential, to characterize selection as “natural” and mutation as “random”. It unnecessarily biases the entire scientific process wrt evolutionary biology.

    To my knowledge, the selection and mutation sequences necessary to generate what evolution has theoretically wrought have never been remotely quantified, even in principle, as being plausibly attributable to natural (non-directed by intelligence) or random processes. Certainly no falsifiable mathematical, predictive Darwinian metric has ever been offered.

    Anti-IDists themselves insist there is no method by which to quantify processes assumed to be natural and/or random in nature as sufficient to the task, because it would be the same metric that would also indicate ID as the converse.

    So no, I’m not insisting a god-gap be left in the theory; I’d like the unsupported, unnecessary ideological blinders be removed.

  43. 43

    velikovskys asks:

    How does design explain evolution more sufficiently?

    What does “more sufficiently” mean? A process is either sufficient, or it is not.

    RM/NS is not sufficient to explain wolf-to-dog-breed evolution. The existence of dog breeds requires selective breeding and artificially maintaining environments that allow for the continued existence of the breeds. ID, in the forms of humans deliberately acting to help generate and maintain the breeds from the original wolf stock, is required for a sufficient explanation.

  44. 44
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: There’s no reason, logical or evidential, to characterize selection as “natural” and mutation as “random”.

    We can directly observe both natural selection and random mutation, so we can clearly characterize them as “natural” and “random”.

  45. 45

    Zachriel said:

    We can directly observe both natural selection and random mutation, so we can clearly characterize them as “natural” and “random”.

    (1) How can you directly observe whether a selection event was natural or not?

    (2) How can you directly observe whether a mutation event was natural or not?

    (3). How can you quantify whether or not accumulations of such events are even in principle capable of generating what they are claimed to have generated – all biological features (outside of human interference) that we see?

  46. 46
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: (1) How can you directly observe whether a selection event was natural or not?

    By observing a persistent correlation between morphological traits, a shifting environment, and reproductive success.

    William J Murray: (2) How can you directly observe whether a mutation event was natural or not?

    The question was whether it was random, meaning random with respect to fitness. A classic experiment is Lederberg & Lederberg, Replica Plating and Indirect Selection of Bacterial Mutants, Journal of Bacteriology 1952. Also, take a look at Lenski’s E. coli Long-term Experimental Evolution.

    William J Murray: (3). How can you quantify whether or not accumulations of such events are even in principle capable of generating what they are claimed to have generated – all biological features (outside of human interference) that we see?

    Let’s make sure we understand what we’re talking about first.

  47. 47

    Zachriel said:

    By observing a persistent correlation between morphological traits, a shifting environment, and reproductive success.

    How does that correlation quantify the selection event as natural?

    There is a persistent correlation between the morphological traits of dog breeds, the shifting environment of human capacity and predilections, and the reproductive success of such breeds, very little of which is natural (as opposed to artificial/intentional). I don’t see how the mere correlation indicates such selections are quantifiable as “natural”.

    The question was whether it was random, meaning random with respect to fitness. A classic experiment is Lederberg & Lederberg, Replica Plating and Indirect Selection of Bacterial Mutants, Journal of Bacteriology 1952. Also, take a look at Lenski’s E. coli Long-term Experimental Evolution.

    Please provide the pertinent quotes here, or at least summarize how you think these references have quantified mutation events as non-directed with respect to function.

    Let’s make sure we understand what we’re talking about first.

    Uh-huh.

  48. 48
    gpuccio says:

    William J Murray:

    Thank you for the interesting discussion. I agree with you, even if I have not read everything in detail.

    My simple personal view is that each of us has his own world-view, his map of reality. And that map is based on his personal experience and on his personal reactions to that experience. IOWs, our map of reality is in large measure a choice, not only a cognitive process.

    Of course, our personal experience includes testimony from others, thoughts from others, the observation of the choices and of the maps of reality made by others, and so on. It includes everything which touches our consciousness. And each reaction to those things.

    Science is an interesting category, but it has no special right to be the foundation of a map of reality, unless one chooses that way. Others choose to use science in a wider context of cognitive processes (that would be more my personal attitude). What science is, and what is its importance, are very personal conclusions, different, probably, for each one of us. Including the supporters of scientism, however they may believe that they share a same faith. don’t believe that we can share “the same faith” with anyone, be it religious, philosophical, politic, scientific or else. Our faith is our faith: a choice we make, different from the choices of everyone else.

    Obviously, there are many parts of our world maps which can be compared, shared, or which can be incompatible with parts of other’s maps. That’s what makes the game interesting.

    But it is important to remember the importance of personal choices. The myth of pure cognition is, IMO, a myth. Cognition and feeling are always intertwined. Free choice is the final ruler of everything.

  49. 49
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: How does that correlation quantify the selection event as natural?

    Because the mechanisms are natural. Furthermore, we can emulate natural selection under artificial conditions.

    William J Murray: There is a persistent correlation between the morphological traits of dog breeds, the shifting environment of human capacity and predilections, and the reproductive success of such breeds, very little of which is natural (as opposed to artificial/intentional).

    The environment for domestic dogs is artificial. However, the variation is largely natural.

    William J Murray: Please provide the pertinent quotes here, or at least summarize how you think these references have quantified mutation events as non-directed with respect to function.

    Here’s a simplified explanation:
    http://evolution.berkeley.edu/.....berg.shtml

  50. 50

    Zachriel said:

    Because the mechanisms are natural. Furthermore, we can emulate natural selection under artificial conditions.

    Asserting they are natural is not demonstrating they are natural. How do you determine the mechanisms (1) are natural, and (2) are behaving naturally?

    The environment for domestic dogs is artificial. However, the variation is largely natural.

    How do you determine if an environment is natural or artificial? How do you determine if the variation is “largely” natural or artificial?

    Zachriel said:

    Here’s a simplified explanation:

    I don’t see how the experiment determines whether or not the mutations are random wrt function. Just because some bacteria did not develop mutations that were later useful, and some did, doesn’t mean the mutations were random wrt the function (penicillin resistance). It just means that some colonies did develop that particular mutation and others did not. That doesn’t indicate that the mutations were random, even wrt that particular function.

    Wouldn’t one also have to know all possible mutations, mutation rates and the likelihood that such combinations would survive the selection process and replicate throughout the colony in order to assess the likelihood that any particular mutational success into a new, useful colony-wide function could be properly characterized as meeting what could be statistically expected from natural/random processes?

  51. 51

    gpuccio @50:

    I completely agree with everything you said.

  52. 52
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: Asserting they are natural is not demonstrating they are natural.

    Are you suggesting that, for example, cyclical changes in rainfall are not natural? Thought Æolus retired before Apollo did.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UxBjmuxh2Y

    William J Murray: How do you determine if an environment is natural or artificial?

    If humans select dogs for certain traits, that’s artificial — by definition.

    William J Murray: It just means that some colonies did develop that particular mutation and others did not.

    That’s right. Which colonies developed resistance was random with respect to fitness.

    William J Murray: That doesn’t indicate that the mutations were random, even wrt that particular function.

    That’s exactly what that means.

    William J Murray: Wouldn’t one also have to know all possible mutations,

    No.

    William J Murray: mutation rates

    No.

    William J Murray: and the likelihood that such combinations would survive the selection process and replicate throughout the colony

    Which is observed.

    William J Murray: in order to assess the likelihood that any particular mutational success into a new, useful colony-wide function could be properly characterized as meeting what could be statistically expected from natural/random processes?

    Random with respect to fitness means a lack of correlation between the advent of the adaptation and the environment, i.e. which colony will have the adaptation is no better than a random guess.

    The Lenski Experiment observed every possible mutation, so there’s no question about whether mutations are random in that case. This is most evident with their observation of adaptive contingency. See Blunt et al., Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, PNAS 2008.

  53. 53
    Box says:

    Zachriel: The Lenski Experiment observed every possible mutation, so there’s no question about whether mutations are random in that case.

    Every possible mutation“? That’s an awful lot of mutations. Does that mean that Lenski has terminated the experiment, since ‘every possible mutation’ has already been observed and the effects are known? If not, why not?

  54. 54

    Zachriel said:

    Are you suggesting that, for example, cyclical changes in rainfall are not natural? Thought Æolus retired.

    I’m not aware of any “theory of rainfall” that explicitly claims that all rainfall mechanisms and patterns are natural and/or random.

    Evolution by natural selection and random mutation are specific positive claims about the nature of mechansims, patterns and results we find in biology; if you cannot back it up beyond mere assertion, then you are admitting you cannot support that explicit claim.

    If humans select dogs for certain traits, that’s artificial — by definition.

    How do you determine if an environment was/is natural or artificial if it is not known that humans are/were manipulating the environment?

    No.

    No.

    Random with respect to fitness means a lack of correlation between the advent of the adaptation and the environment, i.e. which colony will have the adaptation is no better than a random guess.

    But then you say:

    The Lenski Experiment observed every possible mutation, so there’s no question about whether mutations are random in that case.

    So your “no, no, etc.” left possible questions open?

    Just because a mutation didn’t occur due to the presence of penicillin doesn’t necessariy mean that the mutations are random wrt to function or even a particular function; it just means that some of the colonies had that particular mutation and others did not.

    There are other factors that have to be considered before the distribution of that mutation or even the mutation itself can be considered “random”, as you yourself agree when you say:

    This [“no question about whether mutations are random in that case” – WJM] is most evident with their observation of adaptive contingency. See Blunt et al., Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, PNAS 2008.

    You really should pick up the habit of providing quotes from the material you reference which support your argument and a brief description of how the material quoted supports your position in this debate. It’s not my job to go running out blindly to sources to try to figure out how they might support your claims.

    Please provide the quote(s) and a explanation of how that paper supports your contention that mutations have been (1) shown to be random, and (2) shown to be, as random, sufficient to explain what we find in biology as a whole.

    You might also throw in, just for the fun of it, an explanation of what random mutations are **not** capable of producing, evolution-wise. After all, if you are going to confidently assert that a thing is achievable via random mutations and natural selection, you should also be able to tell us what RM&NS cannot achieve. Right?

  55. 55
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 43

    Seversky, an explanation that pivots on inference to best explanation per a trillion member basis of observations, that FSCO/I etc are reliable signs of design, is not a gaps explanation. Your dismissive appeal to god of the gaps, is therefore a strawman caricature and projection, kindly correct it. Stubbornly clinging to false and loaded narrative, ideological talking point dismissive agendas such as the long since exploded “ID is a god of the gaps creationist argument designed to evade US Court rulings, and dressed up in a cheap tuxedo . . . ” thesis . . . agitprop talking point, is a sign of want of good faith and of failure of intellectual and ethical duties of care, thus closed minded indoctrination, which are not healthy signs. KF

    It was WJM who called for the expulsion from the theory of evolution of the Darwinian process of random mutation and natural selection on the grounds that it was inadequate to account for observed changes in living things over time. If that were to happen it would create an explanatory gap in the theory. One candidate to fill that gap could be an intelligent designer and one candidate for the role of such a designer would be the Christian God.

  56. 56

    I didn’t claim that natural selection and random mutation were inadequate to account for anything; I said that unless you can demonstrate them sufficient via some rigorous, falsifiable metric, you have no business claiming they are sufficient, much less insisting it as a matter of scientific fact.

  57. 57
    Zachriel says:

    Box: “Every possible mutation“? That’s an awful lot of mutations.

    About a billion mutations occurred during the course of the experiment across a genome of about five million base pairs, so each site was mutated more than a hundred times. About a hundred of those mutations reached fixation, of which about 10 to 20 had a known beneficial effect.

    Box: Does that mean that Lenski has terminated the experiment, since ‘every possible mutation’ has already been observed and the effects are known?

    No. A particular mutation might have no particular effect, or an unknown effect, or might potentiate a later adaptation. See Blunt et al., Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli, PNAS 2008.

    William J Murray: I’m not aware of any “theory of rainfall” that explicitly claims that all rainfall mechanisms and patterns are natural and/or random.

    There’s a science called meteorology concerning the mechanisms of rainfall. They have journals and stuff.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/

    There’s some limited anthropogenic influence on climate, but changes in rainfall patterns long predate human industrial society.

    William J Murray: How do you determine if an environment was/is natural or artificial if it is not known that humans are/were manipulating the environment?

    Humans have not had the capability to change the weather until recently. They have, however, been changing the environment for domestic animals for thousands of years.

    William J Murray: Just because a mutation didn’t occur due to the presence of penicillin doesn’t necessariy mean that the mutations are random wrt to function or even a particular function; it just means that some of the colonies had that particular mutation and others did not.

    They’re clones. The mutations occurred during the course of the experiment. The Lederbergs showed that the mutations occurred independently of environmental fitness.

    William J Murray: You really should pick up the habit of providing quotes from the material you reference which support your argument and a brief description of how the material quoted supports your position in this debate.

    You might try to read the abstract. Blount et al. showed that the potentiating mutation occurred in some lineages, but not others, independent of the environmental fitness. As recounted above, the overall experiment studied the results of a billion mutations over twenty thousand generations.

    William J Murray: You might also throw in, just for the fun of it, an explanation of what random mutations are **not** capable of producing, evolution-wise.

    Evolution works incrementally, so new adaptations have to be modifications of existing structures.

  58. 58
    Seversky says:

    William J Murray @ 44

    Actually, no. Evolution as a scientific theory is okay if it is presented as such free of unsupported and unnecessary ideological blinders of any sort. There’s no reason, logical or evidential, to characterize selection as “natural” and mutation as “random”. It unnecessarily biases the entire scientific process wrt evolutionary biology.

    It seems to me perfectly reasonable to characterize selection as “natural’ if you want to distinguish it from “artificial” and mutations as “random” with respect to survival . In other words, mutations happen regardless of whether they subsequently prove to be beneficial or detrimental to the organism

    There is no bias involved. An explanation is offered based on certain assumptions. Science is free to accept or reject it. If intelligent design proponents have an alternative explanation of how living things changed over time they are free to table it for serious consideration..

    To my knowledge, the selection and mutation sequences necessary to generate what evolution has theoretically wrought have never been remotely quantified, even in principle, as being plausibly attributable to natural (non-directed by intelligence) or random processes. Certainly no falsifiable mathematical, predictive Darwinian metric has ever been offered.

    This is called setting the evidence bar impracticably high or selective hyperskepticism. There seems to be no chance, at least for the foreseeable future, that science will be able to delineate a causal chain at the genetic level which links a parent species with a descendant. But it is akin to arguing that, because we cannot describe the trajectories of every piece of circumstellar debris that coalesced into the planet Earth, the theory of gravity is unfounded.

    So no, I’m not insisting a god-gap be left in the theory; I’d like the unsupported, unnecessary ideological blinders be removed.

    If anything, you could say that a/mat emerged when religious blinders were removed, when there was no longer any need for science to be religiously – as distinct from politically – correct, no pressure for its findings to be consistent with Christian theology.

  59. 59
    Box says:

    The idea that mutations are random wrt to function is based on naturalistic assumptions. There are many experts in the field, e.g. Shapiro and Wagner, who argue against it. Zachriel pretends to be unaware of this fact or hasn’t been able to connect the dots.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky,

    I responded to your:

    Sev, 42: So evolution is okay as long as it includes a handy (and carefully-undefined) god-sized gap in the explanation.

    This is an outrageous strawman tactic projection, one loaded with a raft of false accusations and insinuations. (The UD Weak Argument Correctives, accessible under resources at the top of this and every UD page, exposes and answers many of these. You need to read it and take it to heart.)

    I therefore repeat from 43, as it has plainly not soaked in: >> an explanation that pivots on inference to best explanation per a trillion member basis of observations, that FSCO/I etc are reliable signs of design, is not a gaps explanation. Your dismissive appeal to god of the gaps, is therefore a strawman caricature and projection, kindly correct it. Stubbornly clinging to false and loaded narrative, ideological talking point dismissive agendas such as the long since exploded “ID is a god of the gaps creationist argument designed to evade US Court rulings, and dressed up in a cheap tuxedo . . . ” thesis . . . agitprop talking point, is a sign of want of good faith and of failure of intellectual and ethical duties of care, thus closed minded indoctrination, which are not healthy signs. >>

    How can you and so many others like you continue to do this sort of stunt, then pretend to outraged innocence when you are called on it?

    Come on man, do better than that.

    A lot better.

    KF

  61. 61

    Just to point out the ideological bias that runs so deep that apparently the a/mats cannot see it, note how Zachriel (and others, including scientists, he has linked to) conflate “indepedent from environmental fitness” with “random wrt to function”.

    Obviously, one would have to run a massive probability study in order to determine if mutations were indeed “random wrt function”; something along the lines of what Axe and Gauger are doing in terms of establishing the search space and the subset of function and what that function space requires in terms of accumulated mutations in order to determine if mutations that were random wrt function space were likely to develop what we see in biology in the time frame alotted.

    The interesting thing is that all it takes for Zachriel et al to conclude that mutations “have been observed and are knwon to be random wrt function” is if research indicates that mutations occur independent of environmental pressures – independent of currently needed new function.

    In other words, in their minds, there are only two options; either a mutation occurs in correlation to environmental pressures/needed new function, or it is random wrt function; that is a logical non-sequitur. Their conceptualization of what would organize mutations non-randomly is constrained by a/mat ideology; it either occurs in correspondence with/as a result of environmental pressures (the limit of their conceptualization of the possibilities leading to non-random mutations), or it doesn’t and so is “necessarily” random.

    Both are entirely compatible with a/mat philosophy; the problem is that the non-random nature of the mutations may be set in a different manner than “as a result of” environmental pressures. “Independent of environmental pressures” only means “random wrt function” if that is the limit of one’s concept of what could possibly be going on (under a/mat ideology) – as Box points out in #61.

    (In the same way, religious ideology biased research and ins some ways limited the advance of science by insisting on a limited perspective of how god would construct things. Even though the theistic perspective was necessary to properly ground scientific investigation, limited, idiosyncratic conceptualizations of what was possible unnecessarily constrained conceptualization and progress.)

    Mutations and selection could still be weighted heavily in favor of function, just not any particular function at any particular time, and just not as a result of environmental pressures. But, there’s no current means of conceiving such a weighted system without bringing in some form of teleology that is manipulating mutations against the mean.

    This points to the issue of how a/mat philosophy puts blinkers on scientific research that are not even recognized as such by those doing the research; they reach conclusions that are necessary according to a/mat philosophy but which are not logically necessary, then insist (as Zachriel does) that the a/mat conclusion is what the research means.

    It’s not what the research necessarily means; it’s just the limit of what a/mats can conceive under the bias of their ideology. Before the big bang evidence theory, all a/mats could conceive was a universe that always existed; the idea of an actual beginning to the universe was preposterous. Similarly, the a/mat perspective of the genome insisted that most of the DNA would be “junk” and that biology was full of “bad design”, and that there would be a relatively smooth gradient of evolutionary evidence.

    Eventually the mounting evidence forced a/mats to change their views; they developed new a/mat explanations for these things, regardless of how clumsy and unlikely those explanations were – like “universes from nothing, gravity for free” from Stephen Hawking, and the backtracked junk DNA rewriting of history.

    They don’t even see that the increasing library of facts is herding them farther and farther into a corner that grows less and less tenable all the time, forcing them into ever-increasing contortions as they attempt to defind their atheism/materialism.

  62. 62
    Zachriel says:

    Box: The idea that mutations are random wrt to function is based on naturalistic assumptions. There are many experts in the field, e.g. Shapiro and Wagner, who argue against it.

    What the Lederbergs showed was that at least some mutations are random with respect to fitness. The Lenski experiment delves into considerably more detail, again supporting random mutation.

  63. 63
    Joe says:

    What the Lederbergs showed was that at least some mutations are random with respect to fitness.

    What they failed to show is that mutations are undirected, chance events.

    The Lenski experiment delves into considerably more detail, again supporting random mutation.

    Actually Lenski supports Spetner.

  64. 64
    Zachriel says:

    William J Murray: note how Zachriel (and others, including scientists, he has linked to) conflate “indepedent from environmental fitness” with “random wrt to function”.

    The function of antibiotic resistance confers environmental fitness in the presence of antibiotics. The mutation that provides the function of antibiotic resistance occurs independently of the presence of antibiotics, that is, the environment.

    William J Murray: Obviously, one would have to run a massive probability study in order to determine if mutations were indeed “random wrt function”; something along the lines of what Axe and Gauger are doing in terms of establishing the search space and the subset of function and what that function space requires in terms of accumulated mutations in order to determine if mutations that were random wrt function space were likely to develop what we see in biology in the time frame alotted.

    No. The Lederberg experiment is a straightforward demonstration that the evolution of the given function is random with respect to fitness.

    William J Murray: Mutations and selection could still be weighted heavily in favor of function, just not any particular function at any particular time, and just not as a result of environmental pressures.

    Variations are naturally weighted in favor of functions in the sense that they are changes to existing functional structures. For instance, resistance to a particular antibiotic may coopt a function that pumps some other poison out of the organism. That’s the nature of evolution. Furthermore, organisms which often experience a varying set of environments during the course of generations will tend to evolve strategies that cope with those various environments. This is all consistent with evolution as normally construed.

  65. 65
    Joe says:

    The function of antibiotic resistance confers environmental fitness in the presence of antibiotics. The mutation that provides the function of antibiotic resistance occurs independently of the presence of antibiotics, that is, the environment.

    LoL! The other bacteria are part of that same environment and we know they communicate. That alone means that you are just spewing nonsense, as usual.

    The Lederberg experiment is a straightforward demonstration that the evolution of the given function is random with respect to fitness.

    Also incorrect. All they showed was the mutations were not in response to the antibiotics.

    This is all consistent with evolution as normally construed.

    Your continued cowardly equivocation is duly noted.

  66. 66
    Joe says:

    vel:

    How does design explain evolution more sufficiently?

    Because design is the only explanation for what we observe. We can actually model intelligent design evolution- see evolutionary and genetic algorithms. We cannot model unguided evolution.

  67. 67
    Jerad says:

    Joe #68

    Because design is the only explanation for what we observe. We can actually model intelligent design evolution- see evolutionary and genetic algorithms. We cannot model unguided evolution.

    Show us a model of intelligent design evolution that gives a prediction of what we can expect in the next 10 millions years of life on this planet then. Show us its predictive power.

  68. 68
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Show us a model of intelligent design evolution that gives a prediction of what we can expect in the next 10 millions years of life on this planet then.

    Non-sequitur.

    Show us its predictive power.

    What’s the alternative?

  69. 69
    Jerad says:

    Joe #70

    Non-sequitur.

    You made a specific claim: that you could model intelligent design evolution which means you should be able to use it to predict future trends, in general. So I’m just asking you to show us that.

    What’s the alternative?

    Look, if you’ve got nothing to show then you shouldn’t be claiming you’ve got a model of intelligent design evolution.

  70. 70
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    You made a specific claim: that you could model intelligent design evolution which means you should be able to use it to predict future trends, in general.

    Organisms will continue to adapt or die- they adapt via built-in responses to environmental cues.

    Look, if you’ve got nothing to show then you shouldn’t be claiming you’ve got a model of intelligent design evolution.

    YOU have NOTHING, Jerad. Both evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution. No one can model unguided evolution. there aren’t even any analogies.

    You lose.

  71. 71
    Jerad says:

    Joe #72

    Organisms will continue to adapt or die- they adapt via built-in responses to environmental cues.

    What built-in responses? Show us the model.

    YOU have NOTHING, Jerad. Both evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution. No one can model unguided evolution. there aren’t even any analogies.

    Then show us how one works to support intelligent design evolution. It should be easy if you’re right.

    You lose.

    Just show us the model.

  72. 72
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    What built-in responses? Show us the model.

    Evolutionary and genetic algorithms. Take a look at Dawkins’ weasel program. that should be simple enough for even someone like yourself.

    Then show us how one works to support intelligent design evolution.

    Already have, many times. They work via goal-oriented targeted searches. Unguided evolution doesn’t have any goals nor is it a search.

  73. 73
    Jerad says:

    Joe #74

    Evolutionary and genetic algorithms. Take a look at Dawkins’ weasel program. that should be simple enough for even someone like yourself.

    Yes, I have looked at that and I do understand it. Is that your model for intelligently designed evolution? Does your model include locking certain positions? Does the designer just wait for a mutation that they like and then lock it down? If the mutations are guided then Dr Dawkins’ weasel program is not a good fit since the mutations in it are unguided.

    Already have, many times. They work via goal-oriented targeted searches. Unguided evolution doesn’t have any goals nor is it a search.

    So . . . the designer has a goal in mind . . . many of the programs you refer to have unguided mutations, are you sure that’s your model?

  74. 74
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    If the mutations are guided then Dr Dawkins’ weasel program is not a good fit since the mutations in it are unguided.

    They are guided towards the solution, duh.

    So . . . the designer has a goal in mind . . . many of the programs you refer to have unguided mutations, are you sure that’s your model?

    They are all guided towards a solution.

  75. 75
    Jerad says:

    Joe #76

    They are guided towards the solution, duh.

    So, let me get this straight . . . you think the designer sits around and watches random mutations occur and decides which ones to keep and which ones to throw away based on some plan? But, you’ve said the mutations aren’t random!! I am confused. Aside from being amused at the idea of a designer sitting somewhere monitoring billions and billions and billions of mutations, thinking: ooo, malaria . . . I’ll let that go. The plague . . . too bad eh? Ah but I like that this human can now digest cow’s milk. I’ll keep that. Polio . . . pass. TB . . . pass. Ebola . . . pass. MRSA . . . pass.

    They are all guided towards a solution.

    So, your designer doesn’t induce mutations at all? That’s your model. He just shifts out the ones he wants to keep.

    Funny, that does sound a bit like natural selection . . . except there’s some undetected and undefined designer trying to induce his design by picking and choosing mutations.

  76. 76
    Joe says:

    Jerad thinks that computer programmers sit around placing ones and zeros on the buss lines. How many times do I have to go over this with you, Jerad? Are you happily ignorant? Is that it?

    So, your designer doesn’t induce mutations at all?

    The program does.

    Natural selection has proven to be impotent. It can’t even make the dog breeds.

  77. 77
    Jerad says:

    Joe #78

    I asked you to provide a model of intelligent design evolution and so far you haven’t done so with any clarity.

    Jerad thinks that computer programmers sit around placing ones and zeros on the buss lines. How many times do I have to go over this with you, Jerad? Are you happily ignorant? Is that it?

    I’m just asking you to clarify your claim that you have a model, based on given algorithms, of intelligent design evolution. What is the problem? I would think you’d be proud to show it off.

    The program does.

    So, the mutations aren’t guided after all? But you said they were. I’m confused. Which is it? Are the mutations random or not?

    Natural selection has proven to be impotent. It can’t even make the dog breeds.

    Look, you’ve said you’ve got a model. I’m asking you questions about that model. I would think you’d be glad to spell it all out.

    In the model are mutations random or not??

  78. 78
    Joe says:

    Jerad, Obviously you are more dense than a singularity. You must be a walking black hole.

    The mutations are guided towards a solution. I have said that so obviously you are just an ass.

    The mutations are induced by the programming to actively search for solutions.

  79. 79
    Jerad says:

    Joe #80

    Jerad, Obviously you are more dense than a singularity. You must be a walking black hole.

    The mutations are guided towards a solution. I have said that so obviously you are just an ass.

    But you haven’t explained how mutations are guided. Or what ‘guided’ means. Where is your model?

    The mutations are induced by the programming to actively search for solutions.

    Buy what programming? Where is it? How is it stored? How is it encoded?

    How do the algorithms you cite model this? How are they induced?

    AGAIN, you said you have a model . . . can we see it.

  80. 80
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    But you haven’t explained how mutations are guided.

    By internal programming, just as with evolutionary and genetic algorithms.

    Or what ‘guided’ means.

    So your are super dense. And apparently willfully ignorant.

    Where is your model?

    Dawkins’ weasel is a good start.

  81. 81
    Jerad says:

    Joe #82

    By internal programming, just as with evolutionary and genetic algorithms.

    Where is this programming? How is is stored and encoded? How does it affect mutations? How is it transferred from parent to child? How is it changed from species to species?

    So your are super dense. And apparently willfully ignorant.

    You haven’t explained how the process works exactly. If you make a claim you have to uphold it.

    Dawkins’ weasel is a good start.

    Is that your model? The one you claim to have? Why not just give us the one that is correct?

    In that program, mutations occur randomly (something you’ve said is not true of biological systems) and then ‘good’ mutations are retained. Are you saying your designer has provided some kind of undetected and unfound programming which filters out bad mutations and keeps good ones that match a pre-existing, pre-ordained pattern?

    Why is it then that so many people die of cancer? Or MD? Or multiple schlerosis? Why do people get lupus? If the mutations are being ‘guided’ then why is there so much genetic disease and suffering? Things not caused by viruses or bacteria (which you’ve already admitted are NOT guided).

    IF there is some programming that keeps ‘good’ mutations and discards ‘bad’ ones based on some pre-programmed ideal then why did it take billions of years of documented life to get to human beings? Assuming that they are the ‘goal’ of the process? Considering that genome sizes vary considerably does the unseen and unfound programming need to wait for gene duplication, ERVs, etc to achieve the ‘goal’? If mutations are guided then why do humans have psuedo and broken genes? And large numbers of repeated sequences which have no affect on protein production? And why do the number of repeats vary from person to person? Is that part of the programming? If so how is that accounted for?

    AND how are mutations ‘induced’? How do you ‘induce’ mutations?

  82. 82
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Where is this programming? How is is stored and encoded? How does it affect mutations? How is it transferred from parent to child? How is it changed from species to species?

    It’s inside of the organism, some is stored in the DNA, it affects mutations by inducing them to happen and it passed on just as all inheritable material is passed on. I have no idea what you are talking about by changing from species to species.

    You haven’t explained how the process works exactly. If you make a claim you have to uphold it.

    Evos never uphold anything they claim, however if you read up on evolutionary and genetic algorithms then you will have an idea on how it works.

    In that program, mutations occur randomly (something you’ve said is not true of biological systems) and then ‘good’ mutations are retained.

    No, they occur because they are programmed to occur and then they are guided towards a solution.

    How do you ‘induce’ mutations?

    Targeted mutagenesis. Now grow up and get an education

  83. 83
    Jerad says:

    Joe #84

    It’s inside of the organism, some is stored in the DNA, it affects mutations by inducing them to happen and it passed on just as all inheritable material is passed on. I have no idea what you are talking about by changing from species to species.

    How, physically/chemically are the mutations induced? It can’t be via radiation because that would be detected. Is the programming the same from species to species?

    Evos never uphold anything they claim, however if you read up on evolutionary and genetic algorithms then you will have an idea on how it works.

    Evolutionary and genetic algorithms are attempting to model unguided evolution so I’m not really clear how they uphold your position. It would be better if you could be specific with an example, a particular algorithm and target.

    No, they occur because they are programmed to occur and then they are guided towards a solution.

    Again, you haven’t explained how they are programmed to occur, how the programming is stored, how the programming has so far eluded cell scientists, how the mutations are ‘guided’. In fact, I’m not sure what ‘guided’ means if they have been programmed to occur.

    Targeted mutagenesis. Now grow up and get an education

    Specifically, by what physical process are the mutations targeted and induced?

  84. 84
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    How, physically/chemically are the mutations induced?

    Biology 101, Jerad. Mutations happen. It’s a fact.

    Is the programming the same from species to species?

    Probably not.

    Evolutionary and genetic algorithms are attempting to model unguided evolution

    Wrong. They are guided programs. They use goal-oriented targeted searches to actively search for solutions to given problems.

    Again, you haven’t explained how they are programmed to occur, how the programming is stored, how the programming has so far eluded cell scientists, how the mutations are ‘guided’.

    So what? You can’t explain anything.

    In fact, I’m not sure what ‘guided’ means if they have been programmed to occur.

    Your ignorance is already a given.

    Specifically, by what physical process are the mutations targeted and induced?

    Programming. The same way ones and zeros are induced on a computer buss.

  85. 85
    Jerad says:

    Joe #86

    Biology 101, Jerad. Mutations happen. It’s a fact.

    But how does your model induce them? Do you or do you not know?

    Probably not.

    So . . . you don’t know.

    Wrong. They are guided programs. They use goal-oriented targeted searches to actively search for solutions to given problems.

    They don’t all do that. AND they are attempting to model unguided evolution or aspects of it.

    So what? You can’t explain anything.

    If you can’t uphold your claim then you’re going to be ignored.

    Your ignorance is already a given.

    You’ve been using words like ‘guided’ and ‘induced’ without explaining how those processes are carried out. You haven’t been able to even guess where the programming is or how it’s encoded or, specifically, how it affects development.

    Programming. The same way ones and zeros are induced on a computer buss.

    Clearly you can’t really support your contention with any clear processes or physical reactions. I guess we’ll just leave it at that.

  86. 86
    Joe says:

    Jerad, Why do I have to have all of the answers when your position doesn’t have any answers?

    Wrong. They are guided programs. They use goal-oriented targeted searches to actively search for solutions to given problems.

    They don’t all do that.

    Present one that does not.

    AND they are attempting to model unguided evolution or aspects of it.

    You are dense. You cannot model an unguided process by using a guided process. All evolutionary and genetic algorithms use goal-oriented targeted searches to actively search for a solution to the problems that are trying to be solved.

    If you are too stupid to see how this is a guided processes then yes, we should just leave it at that.

  87. 87
    Joe says:

    We can actually model intelligent design evolution- see evolutionary and genetic algorithms. We cannot model unguided evolution.

    That still stands, Jerad.

  88. 88
    JD Welbel says:

    Calling one another dense, stupid and ignorant seems counterproductive. However, in considering the origins and basis of our various beliefs these emotional and acrimonious comments appear illustrative. From what I’ve seen here and elsewhere on topics as diverse as “guided” vs. “unguided” evolution, God vs. no God, The existence of life after death, ghosts, ESP and cases for and against intelligent life in the known universe; It seems to me that on the whole, in the parlance of Dr. Leonard Orr, whatever The Thinker thinks, The Prover proves (each one of us containing a “thinker” function and a “prover” function). The Thinker, being a metaphor for our capacity to choose our pet beliefs, out of a universe of choices whether arbitrarily or after arduous searching and seeking; and, The Prover representing an individual’s inate ability to see REASONS to believe in these chosen models. As far as I can tell, over the ages, humans have believed in all manner of “wild notions” and at times have come to blows, even wars over these differing viewpoints, all parties sure that they have the “right” beliefs.

  89. 89
    Jerad says:

    Joe #88, 89

    Jerad, Why do I have to have all of the answers when your position doesn’t have any answers?

    YOU made a claim, I’m asking you to support it.

    Present one that does not.

    Dr Dawkins Weasel program DOES NOT guide or induce mutations as you are claiming is the way intelligent design works with some undefined and undetected programming somewhere in the cell. YOU said Dr Dawkins’ Weasel program was a good place to start but it does not have the same base assumptions that you said were essential.

    You can clear all this up by clearly and unambiguously showing the model you claim exists.

    You are dense. You cannot model an unguided process by using a guided process. All evolutionary and genetic algorithms use goal-oriented targeted searches to actively search for a solution to the problems that are trying to be solved.

    Regardless, will you provide the model for intelligent design guided evolution you claim exists or not?

    If you are too stupid to see how this is a guided processes then yes, we should just leave it at that.

    KairosFocus take note please.

    We can actually model intelligent design evolution- see evolutionary and genetic algorithms. We cannot model unguided evolution.

    Show us the actual algorithm you say supports your view. Clear all the questions and issues. Just show us the algorithm.

    That still stands, Jerad.

    As long as you clearly and explicitly show us the model.

  90. 90
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    YOU made a claim, I’m asking you to support it.

    I have.

    Dr Dawkins Weasel program DOES NOT guide or induce mutations

    Yes, it does.

    YOU said Dr Dawkins’ Weasel program was a good place to start but it does not have the same base assumptions that you said were essential.

    Yes, it does. There is no way the target phrase could be found if it was not actively sought out.

    As I said, you are dense.

    Regardless, will you provide the model for intelligent design guided evolution you claim exists or not?

    I have- all evolutionary and genetic algorithms.

    Goal-oriented targeted searches is an intelligent design mechanism. Natural selection is blind and mindless. It isn’t a search and it isn’t goal-oriented.

  91. 91
    Jerad says:

    Joe #92

    I have.

    You have not given us a clear indication of which algorithm or method is used to model intelligent design evolution. Hinting and suggesting is not being clear.

    Yes, it does.

    The algorithm allows mutations to occur ‘randomly’ (mathematically it’s not perfect but it’s close). You claim your model ‘induces’ mutations but you can’t say how. And you haven’t shown us a model which does that.

    Yes, it does. There is no way the target phrase could be found if it was not actively sought out.

    But it doesn’t mean the mutations were induced!!!

    As I said, you are dense.

    Kairos Focus take note.

    I have- all evolutionary and genetic algorithms.

    Pick a particular one and show us how to carry out the model. Pick an example. How about ATP synthase?

    Goal-oriented targeted searches is an intelligent design mechanism. Natural selection is blind and mindless. It isn’t a search and it isn’t goal-oriented.

    Look, can you pick a methodology and an algorithm and show specifically how it models intelligent design evolution? Can you show how it successfully models known examples? Can you run it forward and provide some predictions? Can you run it backwards and illuminates gaps in the fossil record? Can you do those things with your model?

  92. 92
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    You have not given us a clear indication of which algorithm or method is used to model intelligent design evolution.

    All of them, Jerad. Grow up.

    The algorithm allows mutations to occur ‘randomly’ (mathematically it’s not perfect but it’s close).

    The mutations are induced by the program and then guided towards the solution.

    But it doesn’t mean the mutations were induced!!!

    It’s part of the program. You have serious issues, Jerad.

    Goal-oriented targeted searches is an intelligent design mechanism. Natural selection is blind and mindless. It isn’t a search and it isn’t goal-oriented.

    Look, can you pick a methodology and an algorithm and show specifically how it models intelligent design evolution?

    I just did.

  93. 93
    Joe says:

    So I say exactly how evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution- via goal-oriented targeted searches- and Jerad asks me for that very thing right after I say it.

    Moderators, please take note, indeed.

  94. 94
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jared says.

    You have not given us a clear indication of which algorithm or method is used to model intelligent design evolution.

    I say,

    The contrast between Darwinism and ID is that Darwinism is algorithmic and ID is not.

    A Designer is free to use algorithms but his actions are not constrained in this regard can not be reduced to them.

    The tee shirt equation would look something like this.

    CSI=NCF

    Complex Specified Information is Not Computable.

    check it out

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

    peace

  95. 95
    Jerad says:

    Joe #94, 95

    All of them, Jerad. Grow up.

    Then pick one and show us how it works. How it explains the fossil, genomic, morphological and bio-geographical records. Show us how it predicts past and future life forms. Just pick one, plug in the appropriate parameters and show us how it works.

    The mutations are induced by the program and then guided towards the solution.

    How are they ‘induced’ by the programs?

    It’s part of the program. You have serious issues, Jerad.

    How do the programs ‘induce’ mutations?

    Goal-oriented targeted searches is an intelligent design mechanism. Natural selection is blind and mindless. It isn’t a search and it isn’t goal-oriented.

    Correct. Pick an algorithm, put in the appropriate values and show us how it works.

    I just did.

    You have not picked an algorithm, plugged in the appropriate values and shown us how it works. Back up your claim.

    So I say exactly how evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution- via goal-oriented targeted searches- and Jerad asks me for that very thing right after I say it.

    Show us how it works in action. Pick an algorithm, plug in the appropriate values and show us the results.

    Your claim, show us how it works.

  96. 96
    Jerad says:

    fifthmonarchyman #96

    The contrast between Darwinism and ID is that Darwinism is algorithmic and ID is not.

    Joe says intelligent design evolution can be modelled with an algorithm. Do you disagree with him then?

    Joe says ‘Darwinism’ cannot be modelled with an algorithm. Do you disagree with him about that then?

  97. 97
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jerad asks

    Joe says intelligent design evolution can be modelled with an algorithm. Do you disagree with him then?

    I say,

    I’m late to the conversation If he means that you can reduce design to an algroythym that I definitely disagree. If he means that a designer can use any algorithm he chooses then I would agree.

    Jerad asks,

    Joe says ‘Darwinism’ cannot be modelled with an algorithm. Do you disagree with him about that then?

    I say,

    If he is claiming Darwinism is not algorithmic then I would disagree.

    If he is claiming that Darwinian algorithms are insufficient to model the complexity we see around us then I would agree.

    Suppose I need to catch up real quick

    😉

    peace

  98. 98
    Jerad says:

    fifthmonarchyman #99

    I’m late to the conversation If he means that you can reduce design to an algroythym that I definitely disagree. If he means that a designer can use any algorithm he chooses then I would agree.

    Joe says a number of existing algorithms model intelligent design evolution. He says the algorithms induce mutations which are then guided to a goal.

    If he is claiming Darwinism is not algorithmic then I would disagree.

    He says it’s all down to dumb luck and ‘it just happened.’

    If he is claiming that Darwinian algorithms are insufficient to model the complexity we see around us then I would agree.

    But you said Darwinism was algorithmic. I’m confused.

    Is that your way of saying that Darwinian processes are algorithmic but life is more complex than that. Which I take it to mean that you think life as we see it arouse through some kind of guided process.

    IF the guider/designer fine tuned the universe for our existence. If ‘he’ set up all the laws to bring us about. Then why the obvious millions and millions of years of waste as illustrated by the fossil record? It looks like the designer had to continuously tweak genomes to get what ‘he’ wanted. But doesn’t that mean he didn’t set up the laws precisely enough in the first place?

  99. 99
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Then pick one and show us how it works.

    Do your own research. I am not here to teach you. It is more than enough to say they work by goal-oriented targeted searches and that is the very opposite of natural selection.

    You pick one and dissect it if you are really interested. If you want to make this personal, as you so always do, then this is not the proper forum.

  100. 100
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Joe says a number of existing algorithms model intelligent design evolution. He says the algorithms induce mutations which are then guided to a goal.

    No, Jerad, those are indisputable facts.

    He says it’s all down to dumb luck and ‘it just happened.’

    That is also true. 2 for 2.

  101. 101
    Jerad says:

    Joe #101, 102

    Do your own research. I am not here to teach you. It is more than enough to say they work by goal-oriented targeted searches and that is the very opposite of natural selection.

    Oh well, I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see if Joe changes his mind and decides to give us a concrete example of an algorithm modelling intelligent design evolution.

    You pick one and dissect it if you are really interested. If you want to make this personal, as you so always do, then this is not the proper forum.

    I just want to see you show us what you’re talking about. Nothing personal at all. I’m happy to let the other readers decide if you’ve proven your case or not.

    No, Jerad, those are indisputable facts.

    How do the algorithms ‘induce’ mutations?

    AND, more importantly, in the real world how does the ‘programming’ induce mutations? How does it ‘guide’ the mutations towards a goal? Where is the programming stored? How is it encoded? By what chemical and physical reactions does it affect development?

  102. 102
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jerad asks,

    why the obvious millions and millions of years of waste as illustrated by the fossil record?

    I say,

    Do you think the fossil record shows waste? I think it’s a fascinating display of the principle of plenitude. It’s cool just for the joy of discovery as well. Not mention it helps me to understand the thought process of the designer.

    Besides millions of years is hardly a waste if you are atemporal or immortal.

    you say.

    It looks like the designer had to continuously tweak genomes to get what ‘he’ wanted. But doesn’t that mean he didn’t set up the laws precisely enough in the first place?

    I say,

    I know you are a little familiar with my game. In it I find that I can design lots of cool patterns in a number sequence just by fiddling with the boundary conditions and then letting the algorithm take it’s course.

    The cool patterns are not the result of the algorithm and they are not “tweaked” in an ad hoc manner but are placed in the numbers themselves from the very beginning.

    Peace

  103. 103
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Oh well, I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see if Joe changes his mind and decides to give us a concrete example of an algorithm modelling intelligent design evolution.

    AGAIN- ALL evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution. Start with those discussed in Scientific Americans “Evolving Inventions” and stop whining.

    I just want to see you show us what you’re talking about.

    We have already demonstrated that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    How do the algorithms ‘induce’ mutations?

    The program forces them. Read the code, duh.

    AND, more importantly, in the real world how does the ‘programming’ induce mutations?

    Mutations happen, Jerad. And guess what? Your position can’t even explain basic cellular reproduction so it can’t even get started.

    You lose and all you can do is badger those with actual ideas. How pathetic is that?

  104. 104
    Jerad says:

    fifthmonarchyman #104

    Besides millions of years is hardly a waste if you are atemporal or immortal.

    Or immoral. The fossil record is a clear statement of millions and millions of years of extinct species. That’s a lot of dying. And then there’s some of the great die offs. Do you think that’s when the designer just got fed up and wiped away a bunch of his creations like God did in the Bible with the great flood? Do you destroy your creations because they’re not doing what you want them to do? Give them free will and then punish them for that?

  105. 105
    Jerad says:

    Joe #105

    AGAIN- ALL evolutionary and genetic algorithms model intelligent design evolution. Start with those discussed in Scientific Americans “Evolving Inventions” and stop whining.

    I’m just asking you to pick one of the algorithms, plus in the appropriate values and show us how it models intelligent design evolution. Show us how the results are consistent with intelligent design precepts and expectations.

    We have already demonstrated that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Can you pick one of the algorithms and show us how it can be used to model intelligent design evolution?

    The program forces them. Read the code, duh.

    Show me some code where the mutations are forced.

    Mutations happen, Jerad. And guess what? Your position can’t even explain basic cellular reproduction so it can’t even get started.

    I know they happen but you are saying that there is some programming in the cell that induces mutations which is saying they don’t ‘just happen’. I’d just like you to explain how the programming induces mutations.

    You lose and all you can do is badger those with actual ideas. How pathetic is that?

    I’d just like you to flesh out your ideas by showing us how things work in your model.

    Can you pick an algorithm, plug in the appropriate values and get results consistent with intelligent design evolution?

    Can you discuss the programming that you claim exists in the cell that induces and guides mutations? How is the programming encoded and stored? How is it ‘read’ and translated into action. How does it work in other words.

    I’m just asking for some solid clarification.

  106. 106
    Joe says:

    Jerad, obviously you are just an obtuse arse. Do your own research. Everyone else in the world understands what I said- well perhaps there are other evos just as willfully ignorant as you are.

    My ideas are fleshed out in evolutionary and genetic algorithms. Don’t blame me for your ignorance, Jerad.

    Can you pick an algorithm, plug in the appropriate values and get results consistent with intelligent design evolution?

    Yes- ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH id AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLKUTION.

    What part of that are you too stupid to understand?

  107. 107
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jerad says,

    That’s a lot of dying. And then there’s some of the great die offs.

    I say,

    dying and death only have meaning to things that are temporally bound. From a perspective outside the universe death is an illusion. Every single creature that has ever existed still exists in the designers perception.

    You say,

    Do you destroy your creations because they’re not doing what you want them to do? Give them free will and then punish them for that?

    I say,

    You sure have a twisted idea of what folks like me believe. I’m not even sure where to start.

    Death is not punishment for your choices it’s the inevitable result of being a finite entity on your own in a temporal universe.

    To not die you only need to somehow transcend the universe or be “entangled” with something/someone that does.

    peace

  108. 108
    Jerad says:

    Joe #108

    Jerad, obviously you are just an obtuse arse. Do your own research. Everyone else in the world understands what I said- well perhaps there are other evos just as willfully ignorant as you are.

    I just want to make sure that your case/claim is presented as you intended. You are the one that brought it up. And you are the one that always requests other to make their case. I’m just asking you to make yours.

    My ideas are fleshed out in evolutionary and genetic algorithms. Don’t blame me for your ignorance, Jerad.

    Just show us how would use one. That’s all.

    Yes- ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH id AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLKUTION.

    Then show us an example. Make sure no one twists your intentions.

    What part of that are you too stupid to understand?

    I just want to see you make your case clearly and without ambiguity. Pick an algorithm and a particular case we can all look at and show us what you get. It’s better to talk about particulars than abstractions don’t you agree?

    You and others here are always saying un-guided evolution can’t prove anything, that’s it’s all just-so stories. Well, I’m just asking you to establish your claim at the same level you expect from others. What’s wrong with that?

    It’s up to you. You can leave it if you wish.

  109. 109
    Jerad says:

    fifthmonarchyman #109

    dying and death only have meaning to things that are temporally bound. From a perspective outside the universe death is an illusion. Every single creature that has ever existed still exists in the designers perception.

    I live in the here and now. And I see a lot of suffering and dying and waste.

    You sure have a twisted idea of what folks like me believe. I’m not even sure where to start.

    I only speak for myself not for others. I have no idea what you think the reasons for all the extinctions are.

    Death is not punishment for your choices it’s the inevitable result of being a finite entity on your own in a temporal universe.

    So . . .dropping an asteroid and killing off the dinosaurs is okay? Much like letting the whole earth flood and only saving one extended family?

    To not die you only need to somehow transcend the universe or be “entangled” with something/someone that does.

    I think I’ll just leave it for now. Our ways of looking at things are too far apart to be worth trying to find a bridge. I think.

  110. 110
    Joe says:

    Jerad, I made my case and you are choking on it. OTOH you can’t make one.

    I am OK with that.

  111. 111
    Jerad says:

    Joe #112

    Jerad, I made my case and you are choking on it. OTOH you can’t make one.

    I am OK with that.

    Too bad you couldn’t pick an algorithm and show us how your get results that are consistent with intelligent design evolution. I guess that claim will have to go unestablished.

  112. 112
    Joe says:

    Earth to Jerad:

    ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH ID AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLUTION.

    What part of that are you too stupid to understand?

  113. 113
    Jerad says:

    Joe #114

    ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH ID AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLUTION.

    Then give us an example. First tell us an expectation of intelligent design evolution and then show us how an algorithm that you pick is consistent with that. And then let others have a look at it and ask some questions.

    Seems fair to me.

  114. 114
    Joe says:

    So Jerad refuses to answer my question. Typical. Jerad is too stupid to understand my explanations. Typical. Jerad thinks his stupidity and ignorance is an argument. Typical.

  115. 115
    Jerad says:

    Joe #116

    So Jerad refuses to answer my question. Typical. Jerad is too stupid to understand my explanations. Typical. Jerad thinks his stupidity and ignorance is an argument. Typical.

    I guess we’ll leave it at that then. I think my request for you to give us a specific example of an expectation of intelligent design evolution and then show how an algorithm that you picked (that induces and guides mutations) can give us results consistent with that was fair. But if you won’t you won’t.

    It would have been interesting to see and could have led to some interesting discussion. Ah well.

  116. 116
    Joe says:

    Jerad, You aren’t interested in a discussion. So please spare us your spewage.

    ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH ID AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLUTION.

    You can pick one and walk yourself through it. Or you can continue to choke. The choice is yours.

  117. 117
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jerad says,

    I have no idea what you think the reasons for all the extinctions are.

    I say,

    In a finite world extinctions are inevitable. There is no way to avoid them

    You say,

    So . . .dropping an asteroid and killing off the dinosaurs is okay?

    I say,

    Inevitable does not equal OK. I wish it was possible that nothing would ever cease to exist from my perspective inside the universe but it is not logically possible

    You say,

    I think I’ll just leave it for now. Our ways of looking at things are too far apart to be worth trying to find a bridge. I think.

    I say,

    I completely understand. I just hope you can understand that your way of looking at things is not the only or best way.

    peace

  118. 118
    Jerad says:

    Joe #118

    Jerad, You aren’t interested in a discussion. So please spare us your spewage.

    ALL EVOLUTIONARY AND GENETIC ALGORITHMS GET RESULTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH ID AND CONTRARY TO UNGUIDED EVOLUTION.

    You can pick one and walk yourself through it. Or you can continue to choke. The choice is yours.

    Then show us that. What is the problem? I wouldn’t want to misrepresent your claims. You said something was true, why not just show that to be the case and nail the coffin lid shut?

    I really cannot understand why you don’t just give us an example and be done with it. But, I can’t make you do it.

    Perhaps we should really just leave it.

  119. 119
    Jerad says:

    fifthmonarchyman #119

    I completely understand. I just hope you can understand that your way of looking at things is not the only or best way.

    I know I can only speak for myself and that sometimes I will not understand another point of view. All I ask is that people be honest and clear about their views as I try to be with mine.

    I think you and I are far apart in some basic assumptions. It would be interesting to work all that out but this is really not the place for such discussions.

  120. 120
    Joe says:

    I have provided EXAMPLES, Jerad. So what is YOUR problem?

  121. 121
    Jerad says:

    Joe #122

    I have provided EXAMPLES, Jerad. So what is YOUR problem?

    You didn’t give a specific example nor did you pick an algorithm and work it through with appropriate values.

    Pick an example of a prediction of intelligent design evolution and then pick an algorithm, plug in the appropriate values and then show us how the algorithm models the theory. Especially the part about mutations being induced and guided. That’s the bit I’m most interested in.

    You don’t have to keep responding. If you want to quit that’s fine with me.

  122. 122
    Joe says:

    Jerad, Dawkins’ weasel suffices. The changes in the sequence occur exactly when the program tells them to and the selection coefficient directs those changes towards the goal.

    That is how they all work, Jerad. Seeing that you cannot grasp that simple reality you aren’t in any position to discuss them.

    “Evolving Inventions” SciAm, 2003- pick any one and walk yourself through it. If you have a specific question come back and ask it.

    So perhaps you should learn about evolutionary and genetic algorithms and come back when you think you can show they support unguided evolution. I have made my case that they support intelligent design evolution. You can ignore it if you like, but we all know why you do.

    This is a place for discussions, not a place to be educated on the subject.

  123. 123
    Jerad says:

    Joe #124

    Jerad, Dawkins’ weasel suffices. The changes in the sequence occur exactly when the program tells them to and the selection coefficient directs those changes towards the goal.

    My reading of his program (based on his discussion of it) is that changes occur randomly. If you can point to some evidence or a line of code that proves that wrong then I’d be grateful.

    That is how they all work, Jerad. Seeing that you cannot grasp that simple reality you aren’t in any position to discuss them.

    I don’t want to put words into your mouth. I might run the same algorithm and interpret its output in a way you would disagree with. That’s why I’d like to see your usage. Your example.

    “Evolving Inventions” SciAm, 2003- pick any one and walk yourself through it. If you have a specific question come back and ask it.

    Again, I’ll probably interpret things in a way you would disagree with. But I will have a look.

    So perhaps you should learn about evolutionary and genetic algorithms and come back when you think you can show they support unguided evolution. I have made my case that they support intelligent design evolution. You can ignore it if you like, but we all know why you do.

    Actually, you made a claim, I’m just asking you to uphold it. I said nothing about those algorithms. I didn’t even bring it up. I have my views but we’re discussing yours at the moment.

    This is a place for discussions, not a place to be educated on the subject.

    I’m not asking to be educated. I’m just wanting to make sure that I have a case that you are happy with, that does what you say it does, to look at and analyse. I think that’s fair. I can’t make your case for you. AND I will probably be biased in your eyes. Best if you do it.

  124. 124
    Joe says:

    Jerad, Dawkins’ weasel suffices. The changes in the sequence occur exactly when the program tells them to and the selection coefficient directs those changes towards the goal.

    My reading of his program (based on his discussion of it) is that changes occur randomly

    That response proves that you do not belong in this discussion. What is wrong with you?

    There is a part of the program that executes the change in the parent sequence. There is another part of the program that checks to see which change is more closely matched to the target sequence and then it is selected. Repeat until target sequence is matched 100%.

    I made my claim and I have upheld it, Jerad.

  125. 125
    Jerad says:

    Joe #126

    Jerad, Dawkins’ weasel suffices. The changes in the sequence occur exactly when the program tells them to and the selection coefficient directs those changes towards the goal.

    My impression is that the program assigns a certain chance of mutation to each position for each step. NOT when the programs tells them to but when the chance number comes up.

    That response proves that you do not belong in this discussion. What is wrong with you?

    Well, if you can point to a section of the code of the program or a discussion of it that proves your point then I’ll back down.

    There is a part of the program that executes the change in the parent sequence. There is another part of the program that checks to see which change is more closely matched to the target sequence and then it is selected. Repeat until target sequence is matched 100%.

    I agree with the second part but, again, mu impression is that the program assigns a chance for each position to mutate at each step. It doesn’t induce or dictate a change, it just generates a random number to see if something happened.

    If you can find the section of code which upholds your view or a description by Dr Dawkins which supports your interpretation then I’ll concede.

  126. 126
    fifthmonarchyman says:

    Jerad

    I think you and I are far apart in some basic assumptions. It would be interesting to work all that out but this is really not the place for such discussions.

    I say,

    I agree. You know how you can reach me if you want to discuss.

    in the meantime have fun with Joe 😉

    peace

  127. 127
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    My impression is that the program assigns a certain chance of mutation to each position for each step.

    Your impression is wrong.

    Weasel

  128. 128
    Jerad says:

    Joe #129

    Your impression is wrong.

    My impression is correct. From the Wiki[edia article you linked to:

    Start with a random string of 28 characters.

    Make 100 copies of the string (reproduce).

    For each character in each of the 100 copies, with a probability of 5%,replace (mutate) the character with a new random character.

    Compare each new string with the target string “METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL”, and give each a score (the number of letters in the string that are correct and in the correct position).

    If any of the new strings has a perfect score (28), halt. Otherwise, take the highest scoring string, and go to step

    As is clear in the third statement the program is assumed to assign a certain chance of mutation at every step for each position. Further more, even the ‘good’ positions are allowed to mutate again.

    I agree there is a ‘goal’ in this model. But there is no inducing of mutations. They happen according to a certain chance value. As I surmised.

  129. 129
    Joe says:

    No Jerad- you said:

    My impression is that the program assigns a certain chance of mutation to each position for each step.

    And that is NOT what is happening. It is going exactly how I said it does:

    There is a part of the program that executes the change in the parent sequence. There is another part of the program that checks to see which change is more closely matched to the target sequence and then it is selected. Repeat until target sequence is matched 100%.

  130. 130
    Jerad says:

    Joe #131

    There is a part of the program that executes the change in the parent sequence. There is another part of the program that checks to see which change is more closely matched to the target sequence and then it is selected. Repeat until target sequence is matched 100%.

    And, as I’ve already posted, the program assigns a certain probability for a mutation at each position at each step. In other words . . . mutations are not dictated or induced. They happen if and when a certain value turns up.

    Executing the change, as you’ve quoted, is AFTER it’s determine if a random mutation has occurred.

    I agree with you that the Weasel Program has a target, not argument there. But it does NOT induce or influence mutations. Clearly.

  131. 131
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    And, as I’ve already posted, the program assigns a certain probability for a mutation at each position at each step.

    So while it is at the step that checks the sequences it is doing that? Or are you just babbling?

    In other words . . . mutations are not dictated or induced.

    Yes, they are, jerad. The program is what causes the changes to happen.

    Clearly the weasel program includes the code for producing the change, ie inducing the mutations. The changes would not happen if it was not explicitly coded to happen.

    Clearly.

  132. 132
    Jerad says:

    Joe #133

    So while it is at the step that checks the sequences it is doing that? Or are you just babbling?

    That question makes no sense. Please try again.

    As the Wikipedia article clearly states: there is a set probability that each position will ‘mutate’ at each iteration. EVEN IF the position is in the desired state.

    Yes, they are, jerad. The program is what causes the changes to happen.

    Clearly the weasel program includes the code for producing the change,. The changes would not happen if it was not explicitly coded to happen.

    Clearly.

    The program clearly assigns a certain probability of a mutation for each position at each iteration. It doesn’t dictate it or induce it. It just says it will happen, on average, so many times out of a hundred. This is very, very clear.

    It’s a simulation so nothing would happen in the simulation if not for the program. But that’s not the same thing as the program dictating what mutations will happen and when.

    That’s the issue. The mutations are not known or proscribed a head of time. No one knows what positions will mutate or when. Every time you run the program you will get different steps in the process because the mutations are NOT induced or proscribed.

  133. 133
    Joe says:

    Jerad an iteration is not a step. Each iteration contains many steps. An iteration is running the program- all steps- from start to the end.

    The mutations are induced by the program. Just because we don’t know what they will be doesn’t mean anything.

    And the changes happen exactly when the program says.

    Intelligently designed to reproduce
    Intelligently designed to change
    Intelligently designed to find solutions

  134. 134
    Jerad says:

    Joe #135

    Jerad an iteration is not a step. Each iteration contains many steps. An iteration is running the program- all steps- from start to the end.

    From Wikipedia:

    Iteration is the act of repeating a process with the aim of approaching a desired goal, target or result. It is also known as Amiration. Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration”, and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.

    An iteration is a step in a loop in an algorithm.

    The mutations are induced by the program. Just because we don’t know what they will be doesn’t mean anything.

    The program allows mutations to occur at every position about once every 20 iterations. That is NOT being induced. It’s a random variable.

    And the changes happen exactly when the program says.

    The program has no predetermined time when mutations are set to occur. No one can say ahead of time when they will occur. If you ran the program again you would get different steps towards the same goal. I admit the weasel program has a preset goal in mind.

    In the weasel program the mutations are not predetermined or induced. They occur unpredictably at a certain rate.

  135. 135
    Joe says:

    An iteration is a run of the entire program- period, end of story. If the target is not reached it is run again.

    The program allows mutations to occur at every position about once every 20 iterations. That is NOT being induced.

    Yes it is. Also the changes are very constrained- they can only be letters of the English alphabet or spaces.

    Everything that happens is by design.

  136. 136
    bpragmatic says:

    So Jerad and Joe,
    I have somewhat loosely followed the dialogue and havent seen answers to a questions that come to mind. Maybe they have been addressed. If so, let me express them again please. These man made computer simulations representing a conjectural path of nde evolution, do any of these allow for the extinction of the replicator? How is that implemented in the software? How are the probabilities determined? What are the “starting points” of the simulations? How are the laws of physics and chemistry integrated into such a simulation? How can it be tested and demonstrated that such a simulation is a reliable representation of what occurs in real life? etc. etc.

  137. 137
    bpragmatic says:

    Jerad says:
    “Do you destroy your creations because they’re not doing what you want them to do? Give them free will and then punish them for that?”

    Now I am confused. Is this a theological discussion? Or are we discussing “intelligent design” as apposed to unguided “evolution”?

  138. 138
    Jerad says:

    Joe #137

    An iteration is a run of the entire program- period, end of story. If the target is not reached it is run again.

    That is one iteration, one run through a loop.

    From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/iteration

    “Computers

    a. The process of repeating a set of instructions a specified number of times or until a specific result is achieved.

    b. One cycle of a set of instructions to be repeated: After ten iterations, the program exited the loop.”

    Note the second definition.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iteration

    “Each repetition of the process is also called an “iteration”, and the results of one iteration are used as the starting point for the next iteration.”

    Yes it is. Also the changes are very constrained- they can only be letters of the English alphabet or spaces.

    Of course the changes are constrained! What does that have to do with anything?

    Everything that happens is by design.

    It’s a designed algorithm but there is no way ahead of time to predict what positions will mutate and when.

    You say it’s consistent with intelligent design evolution. Does that mean that in intelligent design evolution mutations occur at a certain rate but unpredictably at any given step?

  139. 139
    Joe says:

    Jerad, I know what an iteration is. You didn’t.

    It’s a designed algorithm but there is no way ahead of time to predict what positions will mutate and when.

    We know when, Jerad. The mutations occur only when the program tells them to.

    You say it’s consistent with intelligent design evolution.

    And I have explained why. And all you can do is ignore that.

  140. 140
    Jerad says:

    Joe #141

    Jerad, I know what an iteration is. You didn’t.

    I’ll leave that for the other readers to decide.

    We know when, Jerad. The mutations occur only when the program tells them to.

    According to the link you gave each position has a 5% chance of mutation at every step/iteration. Which is not the same thing. But, since you refuse to back down even though you’ve clearly made a mistake I’ll leave it there.

    And I have explained why. And all you can do is ignore that.

    I haven’t ignored that. I’m merely asking: since the weasel programs allows positions to mutate at a 5% rate per position per iteration are you saying that that is also true for intelligent design evolution?

    Also the weasel program seems to make 100 copies of the string before checking to see if any position mutates. Is that also an accurate reflection of intelligent design evolution?

  141. 141
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    According to the link you gave each position has a 5% chance of mutation at every step/iteration.

    The STEP that checks the sequence is not a STEP that changes the sequence. Obviously you have no clue what a step is and what an iteration is.

    I’m merely asking: since the weasel programs allows positions to mutate at a 5% rate per position per iteration are you saying that that is also true for intelligent design evolution?

    If that is what the program says.

    Also the weasel program seems to make 100 copies of the string before checking to see if any position mutates.

    That is possible- as long as it is doing so in software.

    There is a part of the program that executes the change in the parent sequence. There is another part of the program that checks to see which change is more closely matched to the target sequence and then it is selected. Repeat until target sequence is matched 100%.

    That is how it is consistent with IDE.

  142. 142
    Jerad says:

    Joe #143

    If that is what the program says.

    Okay, if Dr Dawkins weasel program is a good model for intelligent design evolution then how is it that we have fossil evidence of a lot of ‘failed’ designs? Designs that were allowed to go extinct? I mean if the designer was keeping stuff he liked and throwing away stuff he didn’t like then why hundreds of millions of years of life forms that don’t even exist anymore?

    And the dinosaurs .. . . did the designer think they were the bees-knees for millions and millions of years and then change his mind? If they were a necessary intermediate step then why let them stick around for so long. And why kill them off with an asteroid? Why not just select mutations that made them weak and vulnerable?

    Also, why not just create humans from the start? Why go through all the intermediate steps? I mean if the designer was monitoring every singly mutations and deciding what to keep. It sounds a bit . . . time consuming.

    Also, what role does the programming you say must exist play in the process if the designer is filtering out mutations that occur at a set rate?

    Also, why do some plants have genomes that are much, much bigger than human beings? I mean if the designer is picking and choosing. Surely it doesn’t take such huge genomes to make ferns.

  143. 143
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Okay, if Dr Dawkins weasel program is a good model for intelligent design evolution then how is it that we have fossil evidence of a lot of ‘failed’ designs?

    LoL! That is the question your position needs to answer.

    I mean if the designer was keeping stuff he liked and throwing away stuff he didn’t like then why hundreds of millions of years of life forms that don’t even exist anymore?

    Who said anything about the designer keeping anything?

    And the dinosaurs .. . . did the designer think they were the bees-knees for millions and millions of years and then change his mind? If they were a necessary intermediate step then why let them stick around for so long. And why kill them off with an asteroid? Why not just select mutations that made them weak and vulnerable?

    LoL! If an asteroid killed them off then we would see the fossils in and above the impact boundary. Yet we do not.

    Also, why not just create humans from the start? Why go through all the intermediate steps? I mean if the designer was monitoring every singly mutations and deciding what to keep. It sounds a bit . . . time consuming.

    Again no one said the designer is doing anything. And I would say that terraforming is important. You appear to be ignorant.

    But anyway obviously you have no clue and choose to flail about like a little baby.

  144. 144
    Jerad says:

    Joe #145

    LoL! That is the question your position needs to answer.

    Are you saying all the extinct animals present in the fossil record were not intelligently designed?

    Who said anything about the designer keeping anything?

    Well, you said the Weasel program was a good model for intelligent design evolution. So, since the Weasel program weeds out variation that is further away from the ultimate goal then who/what is doing the weeding out in intelligent design evolution? Some of the less desired variants may be completely viable after all.

    LoL! If an asteroid killed them off then we would see the fossils in and above the impact boundary. Yet we do not.

    I’ll just let that comment go.

    Again no one said the designer is doing anything. And I would say that terraforming is important. You appear to be ignorant.

    Then who or what is doing the selecting of variations as happens in the weasel program which you said was a good model for intelligent design evolution. By why mechanism are variants closer to the goal singled out and allowed to reproduce more in the next generation as happens in the program?

    But anyway obviously you have no clue and choose to flail about like a little baby.

    I’m just asking for clarification since I don’t see how the weasel program model is implemented in the real world.

  145. 145
    Joe says:

    Jerad:

    Are you saying all the extinct animals present in the fossil record were not intelligently designed?

    No one says that all organisms were intelligently designed. Most would be descendants of the originally designed populations.

    Well, you said the Weasel program was a good model for intelligent design evolution.

    And I explained why, so my job is finished. Apparently you cannot understand my explanation. That is not my fault nor my problem.

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