Intelligent Design

Evolutionist: Let’s Admit it, We Don’t Fully Understand How Evolution Works

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Philip Ball’s opinion piece in this week’s Nature, the most popular science magazine in the world, is news not because he stated that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level, but because he urged his fellow evolutionists to admit it. On this 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix, Ball reviews a few of the recent findings that have rebuked the evolution narrative that random mutations created the biological world. Unfortunately Ball fails to take his own advice and ends up doing precisely what he advises other evolutionists against—whitewashing the science.  Read more

109 Replies to “Evolutionist: Let’s Admit it, We Don’t Fully Understand How Evolution Works

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Neo-Darwinism is not ‘science’ because it has no rigid mathematical basis in which to make solid predictions so as to verify it as a accurate description of reality,

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    Furthermore neo-Darwinism can have no rigid mathematical basis within science to make accurate predictions with because of the random variable postulate at the base of its formulation:

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.” Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    Dr. David Berlinski: Head Scratching Mathematicians – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEDYr_fgcP8

    quote from preceding video:

    “John Von Neumann, one of the great mathematicians of the twentieth century, just laughed at Darwinian theory, he hooted at it!”
    Dr. David Berlinski

    “No human investigation can be called true science without passing through mathematical tests.”
    Leonardo Da Vinci

    Accounting for Variations – Dr. David Berlinski: – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE

    Despite its failure at establishing a rigid mathematical basis in which to make accurate predictions with, there are a few ‘mathematical’ relationships for Darwinists that do seem to hold up quite well:

    ,,,Subsequently the tactic was to attack individuals who doubted Darwin by calling them “creationists” — meaning “crackpots.” As one historian writes, the Darwinists’ attacks “have been in almost direct proportion to the shortcomings of the theory.”
    Terry Scambray

    “The perception of evolution’s explanatory power is inversely proportional to the specificity of the discussion.”
    – Eric

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    The reason why neo-Darwinism can have no rigid mathematical basis is best illustrated by Godel’s incompleteness theorem,,,

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, is shown to apply not only to mathematics but also to material objects in this following video:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356

    Godel’s theorem has been stated this way

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    As to the comment ‘anything you can craw a circle around cannot explain itself’, it is interesting to note something that was discovered after Godel passed on. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) of the universe is found to actually be a circular sphere

    Planck satellite unveils the Universe — now and then (w/ Video showing the mapping of the ‘sphere’ of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with the satellite) – 2010
    http://phys.org/news197534140.html#nRlv

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Here are a couple of other places where a ‘circle’ is found:

    Also of interest is two other places in the universe where ‘unexpected roundness’ is found:

    Sun’s Almost Perfectly Round Shape Baffles Scientists – (Aug. 16, 2012) —
    Excerpt: The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured. If scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest and narrow diameters would be much less than the width of a human hair.,,, They also found that the solar flattening is remarkably constant over time and too small to agree with that predicted from its surface rotation.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....150801.htm

    and this ‘unexpected roundness’:

    Bucky Balls – Andy Gion
    Excerpt: Buckyballs (C60; Carbon 60) are the roundest and most symmetrical large molecule known to man. Buckministerfullerine continues to astonish with one amazing property after another. C60 is the third major form of pure carbon; graphite and diamond are the other two. Buckyballs were discovered in 1985,,,
    http://www.3rd1000.com/bucky/bucky.htm

    Yet if one assumes randomness to be ‘outside the circle’, instead of God, to explain something, then epistemological failure results. This is born out by Boltzmann’s Brain,,,

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

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * 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.

    God Is the Best Explanation of the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMBcc2aTqcE

    And this epistemological failure that randomness forces upon science is also clearly illustrated by Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN)

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    Philosopher Sticks Up for God
    Excerpt: Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12.....wanted=all

    Even the, ahem, ‘world’s greatest thinker’, Richard Dawkins, agrees with the overall principle that our cognitive faculties are undermined by randomness:

    Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True – video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs

    Thus one must either choose God to be ‘outside the circle’ or randomness, but if you choose randomness to be ‘outside the circle’ then kiss goodbye to your sanity!

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The reason why neo-Darwinism can have no rigid mathematical basis is best illustrated by Godel’s incompleteness theorem,,,

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, is shown to apply not only to mathematics but also to material objects in this following video:

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356

    Godel’s theorem has been stated this way

    Gödel’s Incompleteness: The #1 Mathematical Breakthrough of the 20th Century
    Excerpt: Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem says:
    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle – something you have to assume to be true but cannot prove “mathematically” to be true.”
    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......pleteness/

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

    As to the comment ‘anything you can craw a circle around cannot explain itself’, it is interesting to note something that was discovered after Godel passed on. The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) of the universe is found to actually be a circular sphere

    Planck satellite unveils the Universe — now and then (w/ Video showing the mapping of the ‘sphere’ of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation with the satellite) – 2010
    http://phys.org/news197534140.html#nRlv

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Also of interest is two other places in the universe where ‘unexpected roundness’ is found:

    Sun’s Almost Perfectly Round Shape Baffles Scientists – (Aug. 16, 2012) —
    Excerpt: The sun is nearly the roundest object ever measured. If scaled to the size of a beach ball, it would be so round that the difference between the widest and narrow diameters would be much less than the width of a human hair.,,, They also found that the solar flattening is remarkably constant over time and too small to agree with that predicted from its surface rotation.
    via- Science Daily

    Bucky Balls – Andy Gion
    Excerpt: Buckyballs (C60; Carbon 60) are the roundest and most symmetrical large molecule known to man. Buckministerfullerine continues to astonish with one amazing property after another. C60 is the third major form of pure carbon; graphite and diamond are the other two. Buckyballs were discovered in 1985,,,
    http://www.3rd1000.com/bucky/bucky.htm

    Yet if one assumes randomness to be ‘outside the circle’, instead of God, to explain something, then epistemological failure results. This failure is born out by Boltzmann’s Brain,,,

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

    Here is the last power-point slide of the preceding video:

    The End Of Materialism?
    * 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.

    God Is the Best Explanation of the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMBcc2aTqcE

    And this epistemological failure that randomness forces upon science is also clearly illustrated by Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN)

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    Philosopher Sticks Up for God
    Excerpt: Theism, with its vision of an orderly universe superintended by a God who created rational-minded creatures in his own image, “is vastly more hospitable to science than naturalism,” with its random process of natural selection, he (Plantinga) writes. “Indeed, it is theism, not naturalism, that deserves to be called ‘the scientific worldview.’”
    via- NY Times

    Even the, ahem, ‘world’s greatest thinker’, Richard Dawkins, agrees with the overall principle that our cognitive faculties are undermined by randomness:

    Why No One (Can) Believe Atheism/Naturalism to be True – video
    Excerpt: “Since we are creatures of natural selection, we cannot totally trust our senses. Evolution only passes on traits that help a species survive, and not concerned with preserving traits that tell a species what is actually true about life.”
    Richard Dawkins – quoted from “The God Delusion”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4QFsKevTXs

    Thus in conclusion, one must either choose God to be ‘outside the circle’ or randomness to be ‘outside the circle, but if you choose randomness to be ‘outside the circle’ then kiss goodbye to science and your sanity!

  4. 4
    PeterJ says:

    “Philip Ball’s opinion piece in this week’s Nature, the most popular science magazine in the world, is news not because he stated that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level, but because he urged his fellow evolutionists to admit it.”

    Not another one (Philip Ball) who doesn’t understand evolution at the molecular level!

    Nick Matzke is going to be a busy man jetting off all over the world trying to enlighten these poor misguided souls.

    And before any one suggests it, and as much as I might like to, I can’t afford to pay his fare 😉

  5. 5
    Joealtle says:

    I like how you conveniently leave out “at the molecular level” in your title.
    Sensationalism at its best.

  6. 6
    Barry Arrington says:

    Joe@5. Are you suggesting that someone can understand how evolution works generally while having no idea how it works at the molecular level? You funny Joe.

  7. 7
    Joealtle says:

    Im suggesting that you can understand evolution with a moderate level of understanding at both the molecular level and above. The fact that we dont know EVERYTHING about molecular mechanisms of evolution, does not mean much of anything, nor is it much of an argument against evolution.

  8. 8
    Barry Arrington says:

    Joe, with someone whose faith commitments are as strong as yours, it is hard to imagine any argument against Darwinian evolution that you would find remotely plausible, much less convincing.

  9. 9
    bpragmatic says:

    “The fact that we dont know EVERYTHING about molecular mechanisms of evolution, does not mean much of anything, nor is it much of an argument against evolution.”

    What is it that is “known” about so called molecular evolution that gets such speculation to the status of requiring “an argument against” it in the idea’s refutation?

  10. 10
    JDH says:

    I love the principle in one of the articles from the comments about complexity of biological systems.

    Finally, consider the Complexity Principle: Biological systems are almost always more complex than you think – even when you allow for the fact that they are more complex than you think.

    Of course there is the corollary to this that most people have personal experience with – The Moving Principle: Any move almost always takes much longer than you think — even when you allow extra time for the fact that the move will take longer than you think.

    I am sure there are other corollaries.

  11. 11
    Barry Arrington says:

    JDH @ 10. Indeed there are. I tell my clients when I am estimating the amount of time their trial will take, that a make my most gloomy estimate and then double it and after that I am usually off by half.

  12. 12
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    OT: What is Phenotypic Plasticity and Why is it Important?

    http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/Agr.....nsects.pdf

    [1] Department of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University

    [2] Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

    Abstract

    Phenotypic plasticity, the capacity of a single genotype to exhibit variable phenotypes in different environments, is common in insects and is often highly adaptive. Here we review terminology, conceptual issues, and insect plasticity research, including variance partitioning, reaction norms, physiological mechanisms, adaptive value, and evolution. All plasticity is physiological, but can manifest as changes in biochemistry, physiology, morphology, behavior, or life history. Phenotypic plasticity can be passive, anticipatory, instantaneous, delayed, continuous, discrete, permanent, reversible, beneficial, harmful, adaptive or non-adaptive, and generational. Virtually any abiotic or biotic factor can serve to induce plasticity, and resulting changes vary from harmful susceptibilities to highly integrated and adaptive alternative phenotypes. Numerous physiological mechanisms accomplish plasticity, including transcription, translation, enzyme, and hormonal regulation, producing local or systemic responses. The timing, specificity, and speed of plastic responses are critical to their adaptive value. Understanding plasticity requires knowing the environment, physiological mechanisms, and fitness outcomes. Plasticity is thought to be evolutionarily favored under specific conditions, yet many theoretical predictions about benefits, costs, and selection on plasticity remain untested. The ecological consequences of plasticity range from simple environmental susceptibilities to mediating interspecific interactions, and extend to structuring of ecological communities, often through indirect effects. Phenotypic plasticity, through its ecological effects, can facilitate evolutionary change and speciation. Plasticity is important because it is an encompassing model to understand life on earth, it can increase fitness, generate novelity, and facilitate evolution, it structures ecological communities, and it has numerous practical applications. As such, all biologists should understand phenotypic plasticity.

    Introduction

    A young caterpillar feeds on oak flowers and develops into a stunning mimic of an oak catkin (Fig 1b.). A second caterpillar from the same egg batch feeds on leaves and becomes a twig mimic (see Chapter 4, this volume). In response to low-quality, fibrous food, a grasshopper develops larger mandibles and mandibular muscles (Thompson 1992), and another develops a larger gut (Yang and Joern 1994). A different grasshopper alters the number of chemosensilla on its antennae in response to the number of plant chemicals it encounters (Chapman and Lee 1991, Rogers and Simpson 1997). In a nearby aphid colony, females are busy adjusting the future morphology and behavior of their offspring in response to predator threats. When ant bodyguards are absent, females rapidly produce soldier offspring (Shingleton and Foster 2000), and produce winged offspring when predators invade the colony (Weisser et al. 1999). Close by, a gravid fly, unable to locate her normal host plant, deposits her eggs on a novel host. Surprisingly, the larvae survive on the new host, and chemically imprint on it before dispersing as adults. The flies subsequently orient to the novel plant to mate and oviposit, instead of their ancestral plant (Feder et al. 1994, see Chapter 18, this book). In the same tree, a caterpillar bites into a leaf. A plant sensory mechanism detects the caterpillar saliva and signals the entire plant to begin synthesis of anti-herbivore toxins and the release of volatile pheromones. The latter dissipate to neighboring plants, alerting them to the presence of herbivores, and stimulating them to synthesize their own chemical defenses. But, the plant’s clever counter-ploys do not go unchallenged; in response to increasing plant toxins, the caterpillar synthesizes detoxifying gut enzymes, effectively negating the plant’s chemical escalation (see Chapter 7). On the ground below, a Drosophila maggot, feeding inside a sun-exposed fruit, responds to near-lethal temperatures by mounting a full-fledged biochemical counter-response. Rapid transcription and translation floods the cells with protective heatshock proteins that stabilize thermal-labile proteins, preventing death. In a nearby shaded sibling, no heat shock proteins are produced (Chapter 17). Across the meadow, a different insect is trapped on a poor-quality host. This inadequate diet profoundly alters her life history and fecundity by reducing her development and growth rates, body size (Figs. 1f, 4i), number of ovarioles, and clutch size and egg size, which, in turn, alters the life history and fecundity of her offspring (Chapter 11). A beetle larva, sensing its fungal competitor, accelerates its development (Roder et al. 2008). As fall turns to winter, the adult, exposed to short day lengths, radically switches its behavior and physiology. It stops feeding, burrows into the soil, changes color, dramatically lowers its metabolism, and fortifies its tissues with cyroprotectants, enabling survival at frigid temperatures. Its sibling, kept in long-day conditions, exhibits none of these changes and is killed by mildly cold temperatures (Chapter 16).

    This is all quite fascinating.

    Some plastic responses are highly specific in either requisite stimuli or response. For example, some plants possess receptor proteins that detect only their most common natural enemy (Zhao et al. 2005). Such specificity is seen in corn plants that increase defense in response to saliva from young, but not old armyworm caterpillars, perhaps because the plastic defense is only effective against young caterpillars (Takabayahshi et al. 1995). Elm trees produce volatiles attractive to egg parasitoids, in response to oviposition by its primary beetle herbivore, but not to beetle feeding (Meiners and Hilker 2000). Following fires, some grasshoppers will respond to altered light quality by adaptively changing their body color to black (see Uvarov 1966). Other grasshopper species fail to respond to light, but change color specifically in response to temperature, humidity, food, or crowding, or to some combination of these cues (Rowell 1971, Tanaka 2004, Chapters 5, 6).

    I wonder if industrial soot could possibly trigger a similar response in this or other species of insects. One must also wonder if plasticity mechanisms can respond to specific environmental conditions which alter things like beak morphology in certain bird species. 😉

  13. 13
    Joealtle says:

    I dont accept abiogenesis on faith, I accept it on the grounds of scientific evidence for it. Yes there may be competing ideas, yes we do not have the whole story yet, but it is the best hypothesis on how life arose. It has a good amount of scientific evidence that backs it, which is a lot more than and ID argument can say.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    “which is a lot more than any ID argument can say.”

    says the man who just produced more functional information by his own intelligence than anyone has ever observed being produced by purely material processes.

    Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009.
    Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome.
    So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/docume.....k_726.html

    The Theist holds the Intellectual High-Ground – March 2011
    Excerpt: To get a range on the enormous challenges involved in bridging the gaping chasm between non-life and life, consider the following: “The difference between a mixture of simple chemicals and a bacterium, is much more profound than the gulf between a bacterium and an elephant.”
    (Dr. Robert Shapiro, the late Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, NYU)

    To clarify as to how the 500 bit universal limit is found for ‘structured, functional information’:

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,

    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.

    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.

    How many bits would that be:

    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits

    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)
    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski
    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    Here are the slides of preceding video with the calculation of the information content of the preceding sentence on page 14
    http://www.blythinstitute.org/.....t_info.pdf

  15. 15
    bpragmatic says:

    “It has a good amount of scientific evidence that backs it, which is a lot more than and ID argument can say.”

    Many contend that there is a much much greater degree of speculation based on unobserved assumptions behind the conjecture. Whereas the applicable hallmarks of design have been shown over and over and over again to have significant relevance. Real “science” doesn’t required neodarwinian evolution. However, what is really a philosophy, nde, requires the guise of science to claim legitimacy.

  16. 16
    lifepsy says:

    “Of course we don’t fully understand evolution, that’s how science works. We admit when we don’t understand something. What DO we understand? Well, we’re still hashing out the details, a bunch of stuff happens over millions of years I guess.. oh yea, natural selection, too. It is definitely evolution, though.”

  17. 17
    Joealtle says:

    So again, let me just get this straight? That all of your arguments are based on the fact that because scientists currently cannot explain how some cellular machinery and processes arose, that this means there has to have been an intelligent designer? Sorry, but thats a terrible argument based on lack of evidence. I accept abiogenesis because we have numerous ideas about how it could have happened, all plausible and supported by scientific evidence from studies and observation.

  18. 18
    shader says:

    Joe, there is absolutely ZERO evidence for abiogenesis. Perhaps you need to re-learn what the word “evidence” means.

  19. 19
    shader says:

    You accept abiogenesis because you have many ideas about how it could have happened. You should have stopped there. The statement that these ideas are “plausible and supported by scientific evidence” is a complete lie.

  20. 20
    lifepsy says:

    Joealtle, scientists can’t even demonstrate how a single protein evolves. Why so much blind faith in the darwinian campfire legends about the evolution of complexity which is magnitudes higher than that?

  21. 21
    Joealtle says:

    Really? So mutation of DNA means nothing? Because Im pretty sure that is the basis of evolution of a protein, look at sickle cell disease.
    Or was that a joke? I hope it was a joke.

  22. 22
    lifepsy says:

    Joealtle: Loss or slight modification of existing protein function does not explain the origin of a novel protein function. Does that really need to be spelled out for you?

    To all:
    Great lecture on how biology is destroying neo-darwinism.
    Someone left it in comment on that nature article.

    http://www.voicesfromoxford.or.....iology/184

  23. 23
    Joealtle says:

    It most certainly is. Look at lysozyme and alpha-lactalbumin.

  24. 24
    Barry Arrington says:

    Joe, again, stop it please. We are embarrassed for you. You seem to be suggesting that mutation of DNA as in sickle cell is evidence for abiogenesis. You don’t seem to realize how utterly absurd this statement is.

    Surely you realize that mutation of DNA cannot explain how DNA arose in the first place.

    Again, it is abundantly evident that your commitment to Darwinism has nothing to do with evidence and everything to do with blind faith. Please, do yourself a favor. Go read up on some of these issues before you comment on them.

  25. 25
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    lifepsy @22, thanks for that, looking forward to watching.

  26. 26
    Joealtle says:

    No buddy, again you genius IDers are taking my words out of context. The sickle cell example was about protein evolution.
    Anything else youd like to be wrong about?

  27. 27
    JDH says:

    Joealtie. It’s bad enough that you lie to us. The real disaster is that you lie to yourself.

    Just look at it from a rational perspective for a little bit.

    1. No one believes in instant abiogenesis. We just don’t see life appear spontaneously. If people sterilize an environment, and they find life in it. They assume contamination, not abiogenesis.

    2. Now here is the kicker, life would have to originate by chance. OK, but wouldn’t life being created once be enough to explain the existence of “climbing mount improbable”. Here is the dirty little secret all real scientists know. You can’t build a probability ratchet by random processes. This is because any process that can randomly move up the probability ladder, must have equal probability of moving down the probability ladder.

    But what about the great expanses of time. Time does not help you because you can’t have random processes build a probability ratchet. All you get for great expanses of time is more fluctuations from equilibrium. We are obviously not a fluctuation from nothing. We live in a created universe. Only fools deny this.

  28. 28
    Joealtle says:

    Where did I lie?
    How do you know that no one believes that? That would mean you know what everyone believes, wouldnt it? Look bud, You are glossing over the ideas of abiogenesis. You think that your few sentences stating that abiogenesis is impossible, proves that it is impossible? No, again, another argument from ignorance.
    Do you have any evidence that this world is created by an intelligent designer? NO you dont. You have nothing.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Joealtle you state:

    Do you have any evidence that this world is created by an intelligent designer? NO you dont. You have nothing.

    How do you know what evidence we have before you give a chance to answer? Are you omniscient like God?

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” –
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – paper delivered at Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation
    http://www.evidenceforchristia.....38;id=3594

    “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
    George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

    “Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
    Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

    ,,, ‘And if you’re curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events’
    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere; video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347236

    “I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite intelligence. I believe that the universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. Why do I believe this, given that I expounded and defended atheism for more than a half century? The short answer is this: this is the world picture, as I see it, that has emerged from modern science.”
    Anthony Flew – world’s leading intellectual atheist for most of his adult life until a few years shortly before his death
    The Case for a Creator – Lee Strobel (Nov. 25, 2012) – video
    http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/ee32d/

    The Privileged Planet – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnWyPIzTOTw

    The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery – book By Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Wesley Richards
    http://books.google.com/books?.....38;f=false

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    Does the Probability for ETI = 1? – Hugh Ross
    Excerpt; On the Reasons To Believe website we document that the probability a randomly selected planet would possess all the characteristics intelligent life requires is less than 10^-304. A recent update that will be published with my next book, Hidden Purposes: Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, puts that probability at 10^-1054.
    http://www.reasons.org/does-probability-eti-1

    Linked from Appendix C from Dr. Ross’s book, ‘Why the Universe Is the Way It Is’;
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate ? 10^324
    longevity requirements estimate ? 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters ? 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe ? 10^22

    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracles.
    http://www.reasons.org/files/c....._part3.pdf

  30. 30
    Joealtle says:

    Except for the fact that Genesis states that god created everything at once, but for some reason new stars are being born?

  31. 31
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    The video that lifepsy posted at #22 is quite good. It’s going to take a few views to really absorb the material, but anyone with an interest in the state of biological science should check it out. It’s also very well annotated, with references to the books and papers that Denis Noble mentions all showing up on screen as they’re made. This is worth a headline, imo.

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Chance and lifepsy! 🙂 You guys really come up with some gems!

  33. 33
    Robert Byers says:

    NATURE is just editors and writers writing on subjects they are not experts on I presume.
    Nature giving thumbs up or down to evolution is worthless.
    Only the merits of the evidence justify’s a scientific theory as opposed to somebody’s hunch.
    Nature should not just allow questioning of certain ideas in evolutionism but should examine whether evolution is a scientific theory.
    A scientific theory should not be so open to criticism by anyone.
    IS evolutionary biology in its great and near great claims based on biological scientific evidence??
    If its not true fellow YEC’ers or ID’ers then the answer must be NO.
    So the target should be the methodology and not just failure of evidence.
    NATURE has failed as a scientific magazine on the big ideas.

  34. 34
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    “You guys really come up with some gems!”

    …says the King of coming up with gems. Hehe 😀

  35. 35
    bpragmatic says:

    “So again, let me just get this straight? That all of your arguments are based on the fact that because scientists currently cannot explain how some cellular machinery and processes arose, that this means there has to have been an intelligent designer?”

    Now I am convinced you are a discovery institute plant. what a bunch of crap. “currently cannot explain”?

    What an absolute crap head. So when do you think or even speculate when “scientists” will be able to “explain” how some cellullar machinery and processes “arose”? You do not have to even bring up an “intelligent designer”. It is just another strawman that you think is easy to knock down to support your stupid position. What a load of unsubstantiated conjecture.

    I have noticed your lack of response to my previously expressed statements.

    Leads me to believe you are a discovery institute proponent or a fricking coward. So which is it?

  36. 36
    Joealtle says:

    Sorry im dealing with your friends who are probably making better arguments than you.
    The fact is that ID is an argument from ignorance. I cant tell you when science will be able to explain everything, but it probably wont be for a very long time. This is good for you IDers, who love to play on the lack of scientific facts as evidence for ID.
    But, newsflash, a lack of evidence is not proof of anything.
    The fact is that abiogenesis is the best idea says to how life arose and evolution is the best idea as to how the biological diversity we see today came about.

  37. 37
    bornagain77 says:

    lifepsy and Chance, they loaded part 2 of this gem:

    The Miracle of Development Part 1 – Origins with Dr. Paul A. Nelson – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JD9qMvz6T90

    The Miracle of Development Part 2 | Origins with Dr. Paul A. Nelson
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vz12PI3BkQ4

  38. 38
    Box says:

    JDH #27: Here is the dirty little secret all real scientists know. You can’t build a probability ratchet by random processes. This is because any process that can randomly move up the probability ladder, must have equal probability of moving down the probability ladder.

    JDH, thank you for that insight. It has some correlation with S L Talbott’s question about the remarkable reselience of life: (..) the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    There seems to be a ratchet in place. What is it? The particles have no concept of (are not interested in) the organism as a whole (which according to naturalism does not exist).

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    JoeA, you claim:

    The fact is that ID is an argument from ignorance. I cant tell you when science will be able to explain everything, but it probably wont be for a very long time. This is good for you IDers, who love to play on the lack of scientific facts as evidence for ID.
    But, newsflash, a lack of evidence is not proof of anything.
    The fact is that abiogenesis is the best idea says to how life arose and evolution is the best idea as to how the biological diversity we see today came about.

    JoeA, you are severely confused about many things here. The root cause for your confusion is to conflate the philosophy of reductive materialism with your definition of ‘science’, i.e. when you state the word science I could just as easily insert the the term ‘reductive materialism’ and your sentence would mean exactly the same thing!,, but number 1, quantum mechanics, especially quantum teleportation, has shown reductive materialism to be false, and number 2, ‘science’, as in the systematic study of nature, is not possible without Theistic presuppositions. Presuppositions as to the intelligibility of nature and the ability of man’s mind to fathom this intelligibility. These presuppositions that are necessary to do science do not arise from the a-priori belief that the universe and all life in it arose from random chaotic events, but from the a-priori belief that man is made in the image of God who created a rational universe that is able to be approached and deeply comprehended by the mind on man. In fact JoeA, by the fact that you yourseld are on UD arguing for the reasonableness of your position you are in fact making necessary Theistic presuppositions about free will and reason,,

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

    Professor John Lennox | The God Debate | Oxford Union
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....SqE#t=238s

    Moreover JoeA, your argument that ‘science’, as you have it defined to a reductive materialistic basis, will someday answer all questions about reality is known as the ‘materialism of the gaps’ argument, or as ‘promissory materialism’, but, much contrary to how you imagine the state of evidence to be, the gaps that reductive materialism is promising to explain have been growing ever wider and wider, and the few areas we thought materialism did explain are now disappearing. As Professor John Lennox has stated, “God is not a God of the gaps, He is God of the whole show”

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    The ratchet is active, information driven system behaviour. As long as it is intact, it proceeds on programs and responds to maintenance challenges, but as it breaks down gradually in any case or as something disrupts critical functions, it collapses the system, and the parts then lose that sustaining integration and disintegration proceeds apace. And so we come back to the pivotal issue: whence those critical functions depending on information-rich coordination and integration. The obvious clue staring us in the face and backed up by billions of inductive test cases, is that FSCO/I has one empirically warranted adequate cause, design; so it is reasonable to infer on the sign of FSCO/I to the credible best explanation, design, whether or no this sits comfortably with certain commonly seen ideologies. But, design is exactly the cause the likes of JA seemingly CANNOT accept per a priori ideological impositions that they have used to even redefine science. So, they are sacrificing the key goal of science, truth seeking based on evidence, in favour of ideology. Sad. KF

  41. 41
    Joealtle says:

    If ID isnt an insertion of a creator in the gaps of scientific evidence for abiogenesis, then provide some scientific work that studies and shows how cells were designed.

  42. 42
    cheshire says:

    Joe, I’m asking this sincerely: what are the numerous ideas out there in the field of abiogenesis that you find so compelling? I’ll admit, my understanding of this field is vastly different from yours and far less optimistic. As I see it, even in reading interviews with origin of life researchers themselves, this is hardly a field the NDE crowd should be hanging their hat on.

    The problem is simply that DNA has no explanation for it’s origin. It can’t be explained via evolution or mutation since those concepts can’t kick in until you already have DNA. It is information, pure and simple, and I’m yet to see anyone come close to an explanation for how information can arise from nothing. I can, however, arise from intelligence, which is why i’d argue your “ID is an argument from ignorance” claim doesn’t hold water since it’s actually an argument from the uniformity of observation, not ignorance.

    If there’s something out there i’ve missed, I would sincerely be interested in hearing what it is.

  43. 43
    Joe says:

    Joeatle:

    The fact is that ID is an argument from ignorance.

    Yet it is based on our KNOWLEDGE of cause and effect relationships.

    OTOH your position is based on our ignorance.

  44. 44
    cheshire says:

    Joe, in comment 41, you’re asking for 2 different things.

    As I stated in the next comment, ID is an argument based on the uniformity of observation. We see information arise from intelligence – it is in fact the only known cause of information. So I don’t see how that’s an argument from ignorance at all. It seems that arguing for information as having a purely naturalistic origin is far more an argument from ignorance since it’s based on no known mechanism.

    Second, you state that in order to prove that it’s not an argument from ignorance, you require a step by step explanation of “how” it was designed. But these are two completely different topics – whether something was designed vs. how it was designed. To state whether something was designed doesn’t require evidence of how it was designed. This is something you deduce on your own all the time. If you’re walking through the woods and see a series of wooden steps, you know it was designed without having to understand who built it, what kind of wood they used, how long it took them, etc. Even if i’d never seen a car before in my life, the first time I saw one i’d know it was designed without having to see the manufacturing floor.

    So I think you’re making a rather severe category error there.

  45. 45
    bornagain77 says:

    JoeA, watch how this works:

    If ID isnt an insertion of a creator in the gaps of scientific evidence for abiogenesis

    If ID isnt an insertion of a creator in the gaps of reductive materialistic evidence for abiogenesis

    Notice any difference in the sentence JoeA? I don’t! i.e. Begging the question! assuming your conclusion! Science IS NOT reductive materialism JoeA! Moreover quantum mechanics has shown reductive materialism to be false!

  46. 46
    Joealtle says:

    Still waiting for some scientific research done on ID. You guys tote this as a scientific website, that provides scientific evidence, do you not?

  47. 47
    cheshire says:

    I’m not toting it as anything – i’m trying to understand how it’s an argument from ignorance to state that information comes from intelligence instead of arising naturally when the only known cause of information is intelligence.

  48. 48
    Joealtle says:

    What about the carbon cycle? Rock formations and moraines? These provide us with information about carbon sequestration and erosion/glaciation. These are created by nature. Whether nature has an inherent intelligence or not is up to you.

  49. 49
    cheshire says:

    Rock formations are information? On what basis are you making that statement? What information is contained in a rock formation? Rock formations and anything random or even repetitive are the exact opposite of information. There is no complexity in the informational sense, no specificity, and no message contained within. A rock itself isn’t information, but it can be a pallet upon which information is expressed, such as Mt. Rushmore. Saying a rock is information is like saying letters are information – it’s not the letters themselves that make them informational but the arrangement and expression.

    And the carbon cycle is not information… it’s a cycle. A process isn’t information. You wouldn’t call the process of natural selection information. You may say it adds to DNA information, but the process or mechanism is not in and of itself information. When I write a book, I’m creating information, I would not call the process of writing itself information but a mechanism for creating or gaining information. Again, I think you’re making a category error between a mechanism for producing information and information itself.

    So I’m still unclear as to how asserting information comes from intelligence is an argument from ignorance when it’s observed all the time, but stating information comes about from purely naturalistic/random processes isn’t an argument from ignorance when it’s never been observed. It would seem to me that the exact opposite is true.

  50. 50
    JDH says:

    JoeA –

    I mean to say this kindly to help you. There are people who make meaningful arguments for materialism. You are not one. Most of your arguments are trite and result from logical misunderstandings and category errors. It really does no good putting a logical argument before you because you totally ignore it.

    I really am curious.

    1. What is your age range ( teens, 20’s, 30’s 40’s….)?
    2. What is your current level of education? HS, BS-BA, Grad?

    Hopefully, what you write is just youthful immaturity showing itself. Many of the people on this site have advanced degrees and/or teach. I am not interested in everyone agreeing with me, but I don’t think unlearned and ignorant statements help any debate.

    I hope your statements are just the exuberance of immaturity.

  51. 51
    shader says:

    JoeA, you are being silly. The universe exists. We exist. So somehow life arose. But to say science has any clue how that happened is a bold-faced lie.

    No one on this site can scientifically prove that God or any other intelligent designer did it.

    But neither can you. Science is no closer today than they were 50 years ago.

    In fact, true science only complicates things year after year as we learn more about the cell, DNA, etc.

    To many on this site, the evidence of a designer is as clear as day. It’s self-evident, logical, and just makes sense. Your asking for “proof” is just a silly request from someone that has no answers himself.

  52. 52
    Joealtle says:

    They are information on the process of erosion, moraines are information on receding glaciers. The carbon cycle is order without any intelligent design that provides information. How about binding affinities? They are a basic principle that your body constantly uses and are not the product of intelligence, but somehow they control jsut about every aspect of the cell.

    Education level is irrelevant, everything I post about is directly from things I have learned in science literature.

    The idea that a designer exists is completely illogical, as there is no evidence to support this. There is evidence that certain levels of biological function can arise from inorganic material, just because we havent found the exact steps taken by life to arise, you guys claim its impossible.
    Argument from ignorance.

  53. 53
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    #52 reads like satire. I’m starting to think we’re being taken for a ride. 😮

  54. 54
    Joealtle says:

    So no refutation of my claims? Just you saying its a joke?
    Yes, more ignorance and sarcasm, two of the hallmarks of the typical ID movement follower, along with scientific illiteracy.

  55. 55
    Joealtle says:

    Its been fun guys, but I have to return to the real world now. Enjoy whatever it is that you guys think you are doing on here, come visit earth whenever you get a chance. Just remember, leave the science to the scientists, because what you guys are doing is certainly not science.
    Adios.

  56. 56
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    “So no refutation of my claims?”

    I think if you put forward an actual argument you might get some takers. But making grand claims about the existence of evidence that you haven’t bothered to put forward is not the same thing. And after your comment #52, it’s even harder to take you seriously, because you appear to be a caricature of the materialist believer. I think it’s at least equally likely that you’re either sincere and full of bluster, or that you’re an ID proponent having fun playing the role of a stereotypical Darwinist and taking us all for a ride.

  57. 57
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    BA77 @37, those two episodes have some fantastic material. I think Paul Nelson’s focus on the issues with ontogenetic development is crucial to understanding where some of the greatest problems lie with Darwinian evolution.

  58. 58
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    I noticed a couple of commenters here I haven’t seen before, shader and cheshire — good comments from both of you.

  59. 59
    DunsScotus says:

    An honest evolutionist? That’s rare.

  60. 60
    cheshire says:

    Sorry to see Joe leave, assuming he did.

    But Joe, if you are reading this, you’re still not describing information. Bonding affinities are not information. Patterns are not information. Bonding affinities actually prevent information because they simply create redundant patterns. If you were to write a computer program and the code is just 1010101010 and goes on like that forever, that CAN’T be information because it can’t express anything except that single pattern. It’s not capable of expressing a message or a code, which requires carefully orchestrated variation. This is why all the examples the NDE crowd like to give of nature showing information (snowflakes, etc.) don’t hold water, because they don’t understand that order does not = information.

    What I find strange is that you keep claiming ID is an argument from ignorance, but you won’t say why…. as if just saying it over and over again makes it true. I’ll repeat again: ID is an argument based on the uniformity of experience and observation. Information comes from intelligence. It’s the only known cause (even if you won’t agree that it’s the only known cause, it is a known cause the most frequently observed cause). So i’m incredulous that anyone could claim asserting the only known cause of the information as an explanation for the information in every DNA molecule of your body is somehow an argument from ignorance.

    And what I find even odder is that you keep talking about how science has all of these other proposed mechanisms as if we’ve just about got abiogenesis solved… but you are yet to name a single one. ID proposes a mechanism based on uniformity of experience, the exact same principle Darwin used to formulate natural selection. You are yet to propose an alternative mechanism. So meaning this as respectfully as possible, can you understand why it’s a little hard for me to take seriously the claim that we’re the ones making the argument from ignorance?

  61. 61
    CharlieD says:

    JoeA said binding affinities, not bonding. Information can be defined many ways, using your own definition of it in an argument might not always be the best idea.
    Also patterns are very closely associated with information.

  62. 62
    cheshire says:

    Whether you call it binding or bonding doesn’t alter the point. In terms of defining information, If you think I’m specifically picking one definition at the expense of another to bolster an argument, please explain to me which definition I should be using instead and why that definition is more valid given the topic at hand.

    But in terms of information and information theory, it’s been written on extensively and the concept has very specific characteristics and parameters. I wouldn’t say that information has varying definitions as much as it does a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about what it is. You are correct, patterns are often associated with information, but typically in the act of confusing the two, which is what so many of these so called examples of “information appearing in nature” end up doing. As I stated above, patterns disrupt and suppress information. A pattern (“ABC ABC ABC ABC”) doesn’t convey anything because it’s just repitition, whereas information (“THE CAT IS BLACK”) does. One has specificity and orchestrated variation, the other doesn’t.

    All that being said, putting aside for a moment any debate about how to define information, let’s assume I agree with you. I still haven’t heard anyone explain what the naturalistic mechanism is that explains the origin of such a complex level of information in the DNA molecule (which is most certainly not a pattern regardless of how you want to define information). Joealtle indicates higher up in this thread that we have a lot of ideas that are supported by scientific evidence, but I’m yet to hear what the mechanisms are and what the evidence is that supports them. I’m also yet to hear it explained why using uniformity of observation is an argument from ignorance.

  63. 63
    CharlieD says:

    Binding affinity and bonding are two completely different things.

  64. 64

    joealtle:

    Argument from ignorance.

    Nope. An argument based on what we do know, not what we don’t know.

    As opposed to your argument, which is based on what you hope to discover one day and on a willingness to believe almost anything that supports your philosophy, no matter how absurd.

  65. 65
    cheshire says:

    CharlieD, as I stated above, it’s irrelevant. It’s not whether it’s binding or bonding that matters in the context of this conversation. The key word is “affinity”, which has to be overcome to create information. If you believe it does matter, please explain why, and if you believe there is a more accurate definition of information I should be using, please explain that as well.

    I’m still yet to hear anyone explain what the naturalistic mechanism is for the origin of information in DNA, or why arguing from the uniformity of observation is an argument from ignorance. As Eric points out above in 64, I think this conveys a severe misunderstanding of what an argument from ignorance really is. I find it further confusing that such grandiose claims are being made for naturalistic explanations of abiogenesis, and yet no one can seem to say what those explanations are.

  66. 66
    CharlieD says:

    I believe the argument was that the affinity of molecules for one another was the argument itself. Binding affinity between molecules and bonding between atoms are two different things.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    Here’s Ball’s entire article:

    “Sixty years on, the very definition of ‘gene’ is hotly debated. We do not know what most of our DNA does, nor how, or to what extent it governs traits. In other words, we do not fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level.” (DNA at 60: Still Much to Learn April 28, 2013)
    http://www.scientificamerican......h-to-learn

  68. 68
    cheshire says:

    The argument was that said affinity was an example of information in nature. My response was that it wasn’t. Whether it’s bonding/binding or molecules/atoms you’re talking about, it makes no difference.

  69. 69
    CharlieD says:

    It most certainly does make a difference. Bonding of atoms occurs more often than naught to produce the same pattern which as you say cannot be used as information. Because it is only repetition of the same thing. Binding affinities however is information in nature, it is information as to which molecules can form lasting interactions or not, it is the basis of molecular pharmacology. Your definition of information requires a mind to comprehend it, but information on the molecular level can be presented and comprehended through interactions between molecules which leads to an effect such as catalysis of a reaction simply by placing two molecules within close proximity for a longer period of time.

  70. 70
    cheshire says:

    Okay, you seem to be asserting that because you can deduce facts from an entity via observation, that’s the same thing as saying it carries information. So yes, you’re correct, we’re using very different ideas of information here.

    Let’s go back to the example I used above: the string 010101010101 has certain facts that are inherent to it. It has 2 characters in it. Those characters repeat. There are 12 of them. It even has affinity to it in that a 1 will always attract a 0 after it, which will then always attract a 1 after it. It’s a pattern. So yes, just like saying “hydrogen bonds to oxygen”, those are facts about the string that can be observed… but the string expresses nothing in an informational sense. It can’t. That’s far different from a computer code in which 0s and 1s are placed in certain intervals for the sake of specific expressions. So deducing facts about the string says nothing about whether the string carries any information within it.

    I think the problem here Charlie is that you want to get into a debate about how we define information, and you’re obviously welcome to do that. It’s a valid discussion in the right context, and you may even convince me you’re right. But it misses the original point of why the topic of information was raised. The code of DNA is not analogous to the idea that two atoms may have an affinity to bond together, which is why I disagree that it’s information. So the definition of information you fault for me for using is the only one that makes sense given the reality of what DNA is, which is the mathematical equivalent of a written code that can’t be explained via affinity any more than this sentence can be. That’s why I’m using it.

  71. 71
    CharlieD says:

    Your not getting it, it seems you have never taken a biochemistry or cell bio class as you would have a much better understanding of the phrase “binding affinity” and how it has nothing to do with atoms covalently bonding. Binding affinities can be comprised of an almost infinite number of variations of non-covalent interactions, it is a basic type of information that governs the interactions between almost everything in the cell.

  72. 72

    CharlieD:

    Binding affinities however is information in nature, it is information as to which molecules can form lasting interactions or not

    No. When someone studies and then describes these binding affinities, that description becomes information. You need to distinguish between information about a physical object and information contained in a physical object. Physical objects, by their mere existence, do not contain information in the sense that is meaningful for understanding living systems. The kind of “information” that you argue is present in binding affinities has nothing to do with the kind of information contained in, for example, DNA.

    This should help:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-450676

  73. 73
    CharlieD says:

    Ah gotcha, so only what UD defines as “information” can be classified as actual information. That’s all I needed to hear!

  74. 74
    cheshire says:

    I get that Charlie, but you’re missing my point: I’m not debating the definition of “binding affinity” with you. What i’m asking is, given binding affinity as an example, how is that analogous to information as it’s expressed in a DNA molecule?

    Again, you seem to be interpreting information as observed properties or “rules that govern things”, and if you want to define it that way, then so be it. But what you seem to be suggesting is “hey, that’s information, and so is DNA, so same thing!” That’s like me saying “rocks exist and have certain properties that govern them”, then concluding that those properties are information in the same sense that the carving of Mt. Rushmore is information. Or more specific to the topic at hand, it’s like stating that guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine have certain properties and rules that govern them, then concluding that those properties/rules are the same concept as the specific arrangement of GATC in billions of lines of code that convey specific expressions. Those are clearly not the same concepts… even if you want to label them both “information”, they are not information in the same sense at all.

    Again, the DNA molecule is the mathematical equivalent of a language. And that is NOT reasoning by analogy. It has words, sentences, and very specific rules and expressions that aren’t simply the result of natural interactions, at least none that are known. It fits squarely into the definition of information as defined by information theory. It is a code. It is not brought together by anything resembling binding affinity. So simply appealling to non-covalent interactions as an analogy doesn’t IMO hold water. One is simply the result of inherent properties, but that is not true of DNA.

    That’s why the original point of this discussion came up – Joe seemed to be suggesting there WERE naturalistic properties or explanations that could explain DNA, and I asked what they were. So far, i’m yet to get an answer. If you have an explanation as to what that is, please share it. I’m asking that sincerely, not trying to score any debate points.

  75. 75
    cheshire says:

    No, no, no… Charlie, that’s not what Eric is saying at all, and you know it. In a sense, he’s actually agreeing with you by acknowleding your original point that there are different definitions for information.

    What he’s saying though is similiar to what i’m saying, which is that your analogy of binding affinity as information isn’t at all compatible with information as it’s contained in a DNA molecule. You’re mixing up two very different concepts and calling them both “information”.

    Eric, if i’m putting words in your mouth, my apologies. But I think that’s what you’re getting at.

  76. 76
    CharlieD says:

    Either way they are both information and both the product of nature. You guys sure know how to tailor your arguments so that only you can win, but in the end it doesnt really matter because you guys will still be just a skidmark in science’s underwear. Enjoy the ego-stroking circlejerk you guys have here!
    See ya

  77. 77

    CharlieD:

    Stop being obtuse. This is not a question of me making stuff up and coming up with novel definitions. Spend some time studying information theory, please.

    Let’s cut to the chase to see if we can get past your red herring objection to the concept of information. Simple yes or no:

    Is there a difference between the information contained in DNA and the “information” contained in a pile of rocks or the rings of Saturn?

  78. 78
    cheshire says:

    What a bizarre thread. I’ve asked the same question about 4 times – “What is the naturalistic mechanism that explains the origin of information in DNA?”

    The first guy claims science has got a bunch of evidence to back it up, but when asked to present it, he runs away.

    The second guy gives me this as a response: “Either way they are both information and both the product of nature”. No defense of that statement, no explanation – just throwing it out there as a fact. Of course, not before avoiding the question multiple times, then tossing out some weird insult involving skid marks. Then I presume he ran away too.

    I haven’t been on this site very long, but is that how all the Darwinists who come here act?

  79. 79
    PeterJ says:

    Hi Cheshire,

    Welcome to you UD, and thank you for your contribution (no, I’m not a moderator or anything of that nature, just someone who enjoys this site and apprecaites good open discussion).

    To answer your question: the likes of CharlieD and Joealtle do sometimes crop up but thankfully not too often. Although having said that people like them are welcome to voice their opinions too, and as you can see from their posts, can provide a little entertainment 😉

    Concerning CharlieD and Joealtle, I have a sneeky feeling they may be roomies, possibly aged somewhere in the regions of 14-17. I think they honestly believed that they were onto something and were all set to completely turn UD onto its head. They may or may not be back.

    Whatever they do I really hope that they look a little deeper into what it is they believe and therefore experience some form of enlightenment on the various subjects discussed here.

    One thing is for sure though, their ilk will come around again 🙂

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    Cheshire (etc):

    The basic problem CS, JA et al have is that they have to process the fact that DNA, since Crick from 1953 — yes, sixty years ago –on, has been known to be a medium that stores a digital code, one that is expressed in complex algorithmic, step by step recipes for making proteins and for regulating the making of proteins.

    Here is a letter Crick wrote to his son, March 19, 1953, shortly after he and Watson had elucidated the double helix structure of DNA:

    “Now we believe that the DNA is a code. [elucidated, 1957 on into the 1960’s] That is, the order of bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page of print is different from another)”

    In short, language, code based communication networks, algorithms, programming, implementing molecular nanotech machines, and so also evident purpose, are embedded inextricably in the core of cell based life.

    All of this, in a gated, encapsulated, metabolising automaton that has self-replication capacity using the relevant codes.

    That’s a lot to swallow as produced by blind, chance and mechanical necessity driven physical and chemical processes in some warm little pond or other or the like suggested prebiotic environment. One, where the routinely resorted to differential reproductive success on chance variation — so-called natural selection — is off the table as that is part of what has to be explained.

    All sorts of distractive rhetorical stunts are routinely pulled to duck, distract from, side-track or evade; all, frankly, signs of clinging to an outdated but oh so conveniently advantageous ideology by any means deemed necessary. As you are seeing.

    What information is, is not in doubt, and information is not equivalent to state of affairs. We may deduce information about states of affairs, whether they are necessary or contingent, and what they are in details, but that is distinct form the states of affairs. Similarly, information can be coded in terms of discrete states of storage media, from ink on paper to punched tape to braille books, to DNA molecules with the sequence of AGCT bases coding for proteins to be formed in the ribosome.

    In short, the concept of information you have formed from living in an information age, is not false or wrong. The “problem” for the ideological materialists and fellow travellers, is that it points to the living cell being a sophisticated information system, where the abundant evidence is there is one known adequate source for such: intelligent design.

    (And in case a certain G wants to object, I care not one whit for his ideologically loaded attempts to discriminate tendentiously between using upper and lower case for those words. I am here describing a generic concept and process, not giving the proper name for a scientific theory, nor am I here pretending to identify any specific designer [given the patent distinction between that tweredun and whodunit], just, that we have per induction on reliable tested sign, a basis for inferring credible best causal explanation. I am here advised by Grammar and Syntax, not ideology.)

    As for what information is, the essential thing is that it is what is communicated by messages that may correspond to/describe states of affairs, instruct, etc. That is, that we have a contingent and controllable phenomenon that can store a signal or a code. Air pressure varies through sound, and by controlling our voice boxes we so create vibrations that we can speak and hear speech. Ink marks on paper can take various forms, so we define glyphs that represent sounds or concepts, and use these to communicate.

    Instantly familiar from the nature of these posts and ASCII coded textual messages of sufficient complexity that blind — undirected — chance and mechanical necessity are maximally implausible as explanations.

    But, we, as intelligent designers, routinely compose them. Including those who must compose cases in point to object to what he cases are pointing to. Yes, there is a bit of self referential absurdity at work here.

    If you want you can look at a bit of a more mathematical explanation at 101 level here on. (It does not materially alter the above.)

    OOL is decisive.

    KF

  81. 81
    tjguy says:

    @joe 36

    “The fact is that abiogenesis is the best idea says to how life arose and evolution is the best idea as to how the biological diversity we see today came about.”

    Hmm. I guess you are welcome to your opinion as much as the next guy.

    I think this opinion shows your Materialistic bias.

  82. 82
    tgpeeler says:

    It’s hard to understand and explain something that never happened. Does anyone else find it strange that what we OBSERVE is the massive destruction of species and very rarely the origination of a new species? Do that math. All of the species USED to exist but now only a fraction do. Explain that.

  83. 83
    cheshire says:

    Yeah, i’m not sure what Joe and Charlie’s backgrounds are. They could be 15 year old buddies, they could be professors with tenure at a major university. No idea, and I don’t really care because it’s irrelevant. You either have good arguments or you don’t.

    But I think this thread frustrates me because it’s a great example of why it’s so difficult to make progress in this area. If you’re going to make a charge such as “well, information is all over the place in nature”, you have to defend it. Kairos, the references you make above are exactly what i’m talking about when I say that DNA information isn’t remotely the same thing as something like a binding affinity or a pattern.

    But when you point that out to someone and their response is “yeah it is”, productive conversation becomes impossible. And guys like Joe and Charlie don’t seem unintelligent by any means, so I don’t see how they reconcile this issue in their head. If you can’t explain something, then why are you asserting it?

    And i’m not saying i’m right and they’re wrong – for all I know, they have some great arguments. But if you’re going to run away when someone asks you to present them, you’re not helping me understand you and you’re not helping your own position.

  84. 84
    DonaldM says:

    Yes, it is nice to see an evolutionist admit to something we don’t understand. But that doesn’t stop the Darwinian story telling. I recall back in 1996-97 right after Dr. Michael Behe first published Darwin’s Black Box that his claim that there were no peer reviewed research studies in any of the relevant science journals providing the Darwinian details to explain any of the irreducibly complex biological systems he described in the book set up a firestorm of protest in Darwinian circles. Long lists of supposed research studies were being posted all over the internet and elsewhere…studies that Behe apparently overlooked. Of course, close examination clearly revealed that not a single one of the studies provided the information Behe originally claimed was missing. And now, 17 years later, here comes Ball openly admitting we still don’t know, really. Yet, in all this time, I haven’t seen a single apology to Behe nor have I seen a single admission that he actually was right all along. And 17 years later, the claim is still essentially correct.

    Despite all that, we know that evolution is true.

  85. 85
    bornagain77 says:

    Genetics Is Too Complex for Evolutionists to Fake It Anymore – April 30, 2013
    Excerpt: Using the same amount of space, DNA can store 140,000 times more data than iron (III) oxide molecules, which stores information on computer hard drives.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....71621.html

  86. 86

    An interesting few days, to be sure.

    We’ve had three people (franklin, joealtle, CharlieD) come in with guns blazing and pounding the table about all the alleged evidence for things like abiogenesis, while, unfortunately, demonstrating very little understanding about the details of abiogenesis and fundamental principles like information and the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions.

  87. 87
    cheshire says:

    Donald, agreed, i’ve noticed that as well. The audacity people have had in their attitude toward Behe is amazing. He’s treated like this long discredited joke by those in the NDE camp, and yet when you try to find all this supposed evidence that refutes him, YOU CAN’T FIND IT! I’ve tried.

    What you will find is people like Ken Miller saying why they think he’s wrong, and then finding those refutations cited everywhere… but what gets conveniently swept under the rug are Behe’s responses to those refutations. All the ones i’ve read pretty much dismantle the refutation. And after that, complete silence. It’s as if the NDE camp reads the refutation, says “good enough for me!”, then puts their hands over their ears and refuses to listen anymore.

  88. 88
    Axel says:

    The more I read on her, the more evident it becomes to me that UDers are trying to deal with people with the mentality of juvenile delinquents, as if they were, not just adults, but scientists and philosophers. It’s a kind of mad-house.

  89. 89
    Axel says:

    … teachers of unruly, disaffected adolescents in a reformatory school (particularly unruly with regard to the rules of logic).

  90. 90
    tjguy says:

    @ Joealtie #30

    Except for the fact that Genesis states that god created everything at once, but for some reason new stars are being born?

    Here is an answer from creation.com on this issue:

    Given the right special conditions, it may be possible for a cloud of hydrogen to become a star — if it is first compressed to the right density so that the force of gravity is more powerful than the tendency for it to disperse. It will then irresistibly collapse, and the resultant heating of its interior should eventually ignite the process of thermonuclear fusion thought to power stars.

    The catch is that the conditions required to compress the gas to that point seem to require the shock waves from the explosion of a previously existing star.

    Some creationist astronomers have been thinking for a while that God may have set the first stars alight in a similar fashion, that is, by rapidly and supernaturally gathering together/compressing material made on the first day of creation. We see many of these today in various stages of ‘star death’, including some which explode. If the shock waves from some of these explosions were to ignite a few more such thermonuclear fires by gas compression, this would cause no discomfort to straightforward Genesis creation. However, such rare events would be insufficient to replace those stars dying off.

    Some have suggested that these appearances are caused by pre-existing stars being progressively revealed as ‘light pressure’ blows away the surrounding material. Actually, astronomers who believe these are stars forming have said that such ‘photo-evaporation’ has inhibited their growth, implying that these objects may never be able to develop into normal mature stars, anyway.

    Even if it could be shown for certain that stars really were forming in this nebula, it should be obvious that a mechanism which needs to first have a star in order to form more stars is not sufficient to explain how stars came to be.

  91. 91
    bornagain77 says:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    BA: The clip seems to be a strawman set up for ridicule. Is that what all or most Creationists, Old or Young Earth, think? KF

  93. 93
  94. 94
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, Now while Dr. Aaronson’s caricature of the YEC position is strawmanish in its formulation, the main point he is drawing out from quantum mechanics is a point that completely crushes the materialistic/atheistic conception of nature. To take offense that a, IMHO, scientifically indefensible position of YEC is improperly represented while missing the main fact that he crushes the atheistic/materialistic position in his very next statement is to ‘miss the forest for the trees’!

  95. 95
    kairosfocus says:

    BA: I think there is a level two game there, of setting up a strawman caricature meant to stereotype and scapegoat; though I think that the good prof in question is echoing “conventional wisdom.” I have been particularly aware of it in light of recent attempts to project such here at UD. KF

  96. 96
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, perhaps it is good to go thru a bit of a review. Here Dr. Zeilinger, arguably the best experimentalist in quantum physics today, goes over the double slit experiment with Morgan Freeman:

    Quantum Mechanics (QM) – Double Slit Experiment. Is anything really physical? (Prof. Anton Zeilinger) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayvbKafw2g0

    In the preceding video Dr. Zeilinger states:

    “The path taken by the photon is not an element of reality. We are not allowed to talk about the photon passing through this or this slit. Neither are we allowed to say the photon passed through both slits. All this kind of language is not applicable.”

    Of course, all this ‘quantum weirdness’ is revealed to us by physicists trying to explain why the wave collapses in the double slit experiment simply by us simply observing it. Materialist, of course, are at a complete loss to explain why conscious observation should have any effect at all on material reality. Whereas the Theist is quite comfortable with consciousness having a central role in the experiment. But rather than the mainstream atheists/materialists accepting falsification for their worldview from the double slit experiment, they invented the unverifiable many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics to try to ‘explain it away’. A view of reality that drives atheistic naturalism even further into epistemological failure than it already was (Boltzmann’s Brain; Plantinga’s EAAN). To make it even worse for materialists, further advances in the experimental techniques of Quantum Mechanics, experimentation which, by the way, could care less if the atheist is able to maintain his a priori worldview or not, have only dramatically underscored this ‘weirdness’ that is highlighted by the double slit experiment:

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    A team of physicists in Vienna has devised experiments that may answer one of the enduring riddles of science: Do we create the world just by looking at it? – 2008
    Excerpt: So Zeilinger’s group rederived Leggett’s theory for a finite number of measurements. There were certain directions the polarization would more likely face in quantum mechanics. This test was more stringent. In mid-2007 Fedrizzi found that the new realism model was violated by 80 orders of magnitude; the group was even more assured that quantum mechanics was correct.
    http://seedmagazine.com/conten....._tests/P3/

    As well, as with any robust theory of science, there are several different ways consciousness is confirmed to be ‘central’ to reality by quantum mechanics:

    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/1G_Fi50ljF5w_XyJHfmSIZsOcPFhgoAZ3PRc_ktY8cFo/edit

    There are other lines of evidence for QM omitted for the sake of brevity.

    But to the main point, besides all this evidence being completely contrary the atheist’s/materialist’s starting presuppositions, it is interesting to note just how tightly all this evidence fits into the Theist’s starting presuppositions. For prime example:

    The argument from motion is known as Aquinas’ First way. (Of note, St Thomas Aquinas lived from 1225 to 7 March 1274.)

    Aquinas’ First Way – (The First Mover – Unmoved Mover) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qmpw0_w27As

    Aquinas’ First Way
    1) Change in nature is elevation of potency to act.
    2) Potency cannot actualize itself, because it does not exist actually.
    3) Potency must be actualized by another, which is itself in act.
    4) Essentially ordered series of causes (elevations of potency to act) exist in nature.
    5) An essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act cannot be in infinite regress, because the series must be actualized by something that is itself in act without the need for elevation from potency.
    6) The ground of an essentially ordered series of elevations from potency to act must be pure act with respect to the casual series.
    7) This Pure Act– Prime Mover– is what we call God.
    http://egnorance.blogspot.com/.....t-way.html

    Or put more simply:

    “The ‘First Mover’ is necessary for change occurring at each moment.”
    Michael Egnor – Aquinas’ First Way
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....first.html

    As well, not only is motion dependent on a “Prime Act”, i.e. on a ‘first mover’, but quantum non locality also provides empirical confirmation for the ancient philosophical argument for ‘being’, for ‘existence’ itself!

    Aquinas’ Third way – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V030hvnX5a4

    God Is the Best Explanation For Why Anything At All Exists – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjuqBxg_5mA

    kf, to me, as a Theist, finding QM to fit hand in glove to what was postulated centuries before is, of course, something to be very excited about. But even as a unbiased person, who believes in the objectivity of science to reveal truth to us about reality, I can only wonder as to what sinister motive would drive a atheist, who claims to believe in ‘rationality’, to fight so hard against what is so obvious from our science?

  97. 97
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note, even though QM takes precedence over the space-time of General relativity as to being a more complete description of reality,,,

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must ex­plain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamental­ly spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    ,,,It seems that most Atheists, at least the ones I’ve interacted with, will not even accept the overwhelming evidence which is coming from looking at space-time itself:

    “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston – paper delivered at Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday party (Characterized as ‘Worst Birthday Present Ever’)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....beginning/

    Music and verse:

    Kari Jobe – Revelation Song – Passion 2013
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dZMBrGGmeE

    REVELATION 4:11
    “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    BA: I am simply saying that there is a twofer here. G

  99. 99
    bornagain77 says:

    kf, Never really catering to the YEC position myself, I don’t see Aaronson’s statement that way. I see it as another amazing confirmation of a major Theistic premise.

  100. 100
    Axel says:

    Your #91, Phil.

    But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

    Bingo!

    I’ve just been on about their refusal to take on board the implications of QM on another thread.

  101. 101
    Axel says:

    I wonder when Aaronson gave that lecture, because I made that same point, last week, about the dolts scoffing at the YE Creationists, when the precedence of mind over matter renders the whole question of the age of the earth, to put it at its most kindly, academic.

  102. 102
    Axel says:

    I expect it was his having learnt about QM that prompted Chaim Weizmann to say that anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles isn’t a realist.

  103. 103
    bornagain77 says:

    Axel: The argument from beauty needs no words…
    http://www.boredpanda.com/amazing-places/

  104. 104
    bornagain77 says:

    Romeo and Juliet – Act II. Scene II.,,,
    Juliet. ’Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
    What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
    And for that name, which is no part of thee,
    Take all myself.
    Romeo. I take thee at thy word.
    Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
    http://www.bartleby.com/70/3822.html

  105. 105
    Chance Ratcliff says:

    Yes indeed, the argument from beauty is compelling.

    Here’s one formulation that I find persuasive: The Argument from Beauty. 😛

  106. 106
    bornagain77 says:

    Quote: “It appears that the Creator shares the mathematicians’ sense of beauty.”
    – Alexander Vilenkin
    http://rfforum.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3754268

  107. 107
    Axel says:

    Re your #103, Phil, as you’re wont to say over there: ‘You got that right, buddie!’

  108. 108
    Axel says:

    And re my #102, I believe it was David Be Gurion, who said, ‘Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist’; not Chaim Weizmann.

  109. 109
    Axel says:

    In that same article by Aaronson, Phil, he goes on to say:

    ‘Even if we don’t know all the details, is there necessarily some fact-of-the-matter about what happened in history, about which trajectory the world followed to reach its present state? Or does the past only “exist” insofar as it’s reflected in memories and records in the present?

    The latter view is certainly the more natural one in quantum mechanics. But as John Bell pointed out, if we take it seriously, then it would seem difficult to do science! But as John Bell pointed out, if we take it seriously, then it would seem difficult to do science! For what could it mean to make a prediction if there’s no logical connection between past and future states.’

    Note the penultimate sentence:

    ‘But as John Bell pointed out, if we take it seriously, then it would seem difficult to do science!’

    In effect, he’s iterating the joke about someone asking what’s the best way to get to Tresrockdanson, and being told, ‘Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here!’

    Only this bloke, a materialist, is serious. Atheism leads down some very curious highways and byways, when it finds truth, an obstacle that fer sure.

    What he should say is, well, the metaphysics of QM is undeniably the ultimate truth here, but we can still use our geology, paleontology, etc, to good effect. But of course, the metaphysics comes far too close to allowing Luwontin’s God to get his foot in the door.

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