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# How to Land a Red Fish

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Short answer, stick a logic hook in his mouth and yank.  Long answer below:

In a prior post RDFish asserted:

The point is important because nobody believes that “matter in motion” can lead to complex form and function, the way ID folks pretend.

The obvious implication of RDFish’s assertion is that a monist such as himself can take comfort in the fact that there is something out there other than particles moving through space-time to account for the dizzying diversity and complexity of nature, including, space stations, Iphones and, not least, living things.  I believe that RDFish is bluffing.  Take any brand of monism you like, materialism, naturalism, physicalism; it does not matter.  RDFish knows that monist reductionism has failed to account for the observations.  Yet he does not want to abandon monism.  So what is a monist to do?  Why conjure up out of whole cloth a tertium quid – i.e., assert that there is a third physical (by which I mean “non-spiritual”) thing out there that is not space-time or matter/energy that explains it all.  Perhaps we do not yet understand how RDFish’s tertium quid explains it all, but we can appeal to its mere existence as a possible, indeed probable, explanation.

The problem, of course, is that asserting a tertium quid is meaningless speculation until you actually plausibly identify it.  Until you do plausibility identify it, it is no better, scientifically speaking, than an appeal to “gremlins.”  Such an appeal is nothing but obscurantism employed to disguise the failure of monist reductionism.

So I responded to RDFish with the following simple challenge:

Tell us what else there is besides space, time, matter and energy.

RDFish responded to my challenge here.

In this post, I shall fisk RDFish’s reply.

First, you should realize that time and space are not distinct; they are entwined as dimensions of a 4D spacetime manifold.

I do realize this.

Second, you should realize that matter and energy are not distinct; they are both manifestations of the same underlying “stuff”, and that we cannot conceive of what this “stuff” actually is because none of our classical conceptions fit:

I do realize this. So far you’ve gotten exactly nowhere except to condense “space, time, matter and energy” to “space-time and matter-energy.”

The fundamental “particles” of reality are not “things” that exist at one place at one time, or that obey locality and causality as we understand them.

It is well known that fundamental particles do not fit the classical “billiard ball” conception.  But whatever they may be, they are still “particles.”  So, you still have not identified anything other than space- time and matter-energy.

Third, there are lots of things described by modern physics that are not spacetime or mass-energy,

OK, now we’re getting somewhere:

such as the fundamental forces;

Wrong.  The fundamental forces are not “things” apart from space-time and mass-energy.  Mass-energy behaves in space-time in particular ways which we describe with mathematical models.   I challenge you to tell us what there is other than space-time and matter-energy and your answer is to reify abstract mathematical models.  Sigh.

properties like electric charge, color charge, or quantum spin;

Good grief.  The “property” of a something does not exist independently and in addition to that something.

phenomena that have no underlying conceptual explanation at all such as entanglement; and so on.

If it has no conceptual explanation then, by definition, you are not free to conceptualize it as something in addition to space-time and mass-energy.  It may well be, but you have no right to say that it is.  That would be pure speculation.  Your speculations do not count as evidence.

BA77 is right that these aspects of reality are fundamental and need to be comprehended in order to derive an accurate picture of the most important questions of existence, starting with ontology.

BA77 is right about a great many things, and yes this is one of them.  But until we do understand them, appealing to them as something other than properties of space-time or mass-energy is pure speculation.  Again, your evidence-free speculations do not meet the challenge.  They are the epistemic equivalent of appeals to quantum woo.

BA77 is completely wrong about what the implications of these things are, of course. To move forward we need to move the discussion past this ridiculous cartoon of people believing that “matter in motion” jostles around and results in planets, stars, snowflakes, and people.

To move forward based on your assertion that there is something other than space-time and mass-energy capable of resulting in planets, stars, snowflakes, and people, you need to actually identity something other than space-time and mass-energy capable of resulting in planets, stars, snowflakes, and people.  And you have not.

Comments
Carpathian:
The parents released from jail would disagree with you.
The science is only as good as the scientists conducting it. The parents should have had better lawyers.
This would not have happened if the misguided doctor had spent more time investigating the so-called “agents of murder”.
A competent scientist would just need the bodies, all relevant evidence and science.
People went to jail and families were torn apart because the only evidence they considered was forensic.
A competent defence would have had experts to challenge that evidence. But anyway without all of the facts in the case all we have is your word for what happened. And that isn't detailed nor reliable. And it confirms my point. They looked for murderers because they had evidence for a homicide.Virgil Cain
September 15, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Carpathian: But the police don’t always know it is murder, Virgil Cain: The forensic scientists make that determination and they are very, very good at it.
The parents released from jail would disagree with you. I'm talking about events that actually occurred. The doctor agreed he was not as competent as he should have been. People went to jail and families were torn apart because the only evidence they considered was forensic. A tragic mistake for so many people.Carpathian
September 15, 2015
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Carpathian:
But the police don’t always know it is murder,
The forensic scientists make that determination and they are very, very good at it.
until they talk to possible suspects, i.e. possible “agents” of murder.
Nope, they can determine murder without talking to anyone. The dead body and other relevant evidence do all of the talking.Virgil Cain
September 15, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Police do NOT look for a murderer until a homicide has been determined. Police do NOT look for a criminal until it has been determined a crime has been committed.
But the police don't always know it is murder, until they talk to possible suspects, i.e. possible "agents" of murder.Carpathian
September 15, 2015
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Do the police look for murderers before or after they have determined there is a murder?
It would be exceptional for police not to investigate “agents”.
Nice non-response. Why would the police investigate "agents"?
If a body is found at a desk with a gun lying beside it, the detectives don’t conclude anything until they talk to everyone in the house.
Just in the house? loL! Thankfully you aren't an investigator.
If the agent is extremely unlikely to have caused an event,then it is extremely unlikely that that event was caused by that agent , and so you look for a more likely explanation.
You have no clue and it shows. Police do NOT look for a murderer until a homicide has been determined. Police do NOT look for a criminal until it has been determined a crime has been committed.Virgil Cain
September 15, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Do the police look for murderers before or after they have determined there is a murder?
It would be exceptional for police not to investigate "agents". If a body is found at a desk with a gun lying beside it, the detectives don't conclude anything until they talk to everyone in the house. It may be murder or suicide, but they will not make that conclusion before they talk to possible suspects. In Canada, there was a doctor whose evidence convicted many parents of the crime of murdering their children. The parents were released years later and exonerated. This would not have happened if the misguided doctor had spent more time investigating the so-called "agents of murder". The same thing applies to science. No scientist should ever refuse to attempt to falsify his conclusions. If there was an event supposedly caused by an agent, you investigate the agent to see if that conclusion is possible. If the agent is extremely unlikely to have caused an event,then it is extremely unlikely that that event was caused by that agent , and so you look for a more likely explanation.Carpathian
September 15, 2015
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Do the police look for murderers before or after they have determined there is a murder? Do the police look for criminals before or after they have determined there is a crime?Virgil Cain
September 14, 2015
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Except my method is the way scientists and professional investigators do it. Carpathian:
No it’s not.
Yes, it is.
When investigators believe they may have a case of murder, they look for a murderer.
That's what I said. Obviously you have other issues.
If due to their investigation, they believe it is not possible for any of their suspects to have committed murder, they don’t conclude murder.
They have already determined it was murder. They can't go back after that unless they find a natural cause of death. Again obviously you are a moron. Thankfully you are not an investigator.Virgil Cain
September 14, 2015
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SB: I answered all your mindless objections, even thought they didn’t rise to the level of an intellectual objection. RDFish
No, you didn’t. Let’s just take one example (there are many, as I’ve shown. You said that “able to arrange matter for a purpose” was a good inclusion criteria for the category of “art” (or “intelligence”).
Yes, intelligence is indicated when there is a purposeful arrangement of parts. So what?
I showed that the very same arrangement of matter could be for a purpose or not for a purpose,
No, you didn’t show any such thing. Here is what you said:.
A raincloud dumps water on a cornfield – is that for a purpose? A farmer dumps water on a cornfield – is that for a purpose? See what I mean?
The first example is a purposeless event the second is a purposeful event. Neither represents an arrangement of parts, so neither is an example of a purposeful arrangement of parts. You did not, therefore, show "that the very same arrangement of parts could be used for a purpose or non-purpose," because neither example qualifies as an arrangement of parts. That is why I said, and I quote, “that is not an arrangement of parts.” You responded by asking if "it was for a purpose." What you failed to understand is that it doesn’t matter if it does or does not have a purpose if it is not a legitimate arrangement of parts. Poured water is not an arrangement of parts. So, your examples were absurdly irrelevant. I didn’t want to take time by explaining all that, so I simply said that "it is not an arrangement of parts." Bottom Line: Your examples did not show what you said they showed. Clearly, I did respond. You just didn’t like the response because it was a concise refutation of your poorly conceived objection. The problem is, in spite of all your protests, you simply do not understand the argument that you are trying to refute.StephenB
September 13, 2015
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Coroner: Cause of death. Homicide. Cop Mung: That's just the coroner. What does he know. We have no evidence for disembodied homiciders. Donuts anyone?Mung
September 13, 2015
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Upright BiPed, LOL!!!Carpathian
September 13, 2015
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If due to their investigation, they believe it is not possible for any of their suspects to have committed murder, they don’t conclude murder.
Cop A: Have we found anybody who was capable of putting that kitchen knife in the middle of Mr Johnson's back and take his wallet and drive his car to Alabama. Cop Carp: Nope. Cop A: Then it can't be murder. Cop Carp: Nope.Upright BiPed
September 13, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Except my method is the way scientists and professional investigators do it.
No it's not. When investigators believe they may have a case of murder, they look for a murderer. They investigate possible murderers. If due to their investigation, they believe it is not possible for any of their suspects to have committed murder, they don't conclude murder. ID doesn't do that. ID does not investigate possible designers of life. So no, your method is not followed by professionals.Carpathian
September 13, 2015
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Carpathian:
When the police find a body hanging with a noose around it’s neck, they don’t assume it must be murder.
No, they don't. But that doesn't address what I said. We don’t even ask if we have a designer until after we have determined the design exists. And once we determine design exists then we have evidence that a designer existed.
If there is no motive and no one with opportunity , then it may well be suicide.
Another fail and there is no way to eliminate everyone for motive and opportunity. You have to look for signs of murder. Lacking that you look into the person's life and background.
So no, it is your method that is backwards.
Except my method is the way scientists and professional investigators do it.Virgil Cain
September 12, 2015
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Where did I say that?computerist
September 12, 2015
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computerist:
Two possible intelligent causes, as opposed to mere accidents.
You have two possible intelligent agents for biology?Carpathian
September 12, 2015
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Two possible causes, not one.
Two possible intelligent causes, as opposed to mere accidents.computerist
September 12, 2015
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computerist:
The difference between murder and suicide is that murder implies an external agent, while suicide implies an internal agent (aka: self). The agent is not absent.
Yes, an external cause or an internal one. Two possible causes, not one. The same applies to biology.Carpathian
September 12, 2015
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they don’t assume it must be murder.
and
If there is no motive and no one with opportunity , then it may well be suicide.
The difference between murder and suicide is that murder implies an external agent, while suicide implies an internal agent (aka: self). The agent is not absent.computerist
September 12, 2015
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@Carpathian ID explains in terms of sophisticated ways of choosing. The basic fact is that freedom is real, which means that everything in the universe is chosen. One cannot build up towards freedom, one cannot build up to a mechanism of creation. The mechanism of creation, choosing, is at the origins of everything including the universe. There is no known other mechanism of creation besides choosing. When we see the appearance of design, then what we mean is that all the parts have been chosen as a whole. It can be chosen as a whole at once, or it can be chosen bit by bit, where every decision is in consideration of the whole. Another theory would be that every part is chosen without consideration of the whole, that every part changes in every direction independent of all the other parts. And then natural selection would sort out towards a functional whole. How this choosing works. DNA has the same mathematical ordering as the physical universe. Which means the DNA provides for a 3 dimensional DNA world, just like a computersimulation. In this DNA world organisms are chosen as fully functional whole, in consideration of the environment that they are in. That's the way organisms are chosen to be the way they are at present. This theory also explains many aspects of development. All available evidence indicates that development of an organism proceeds guided by a full 3D representation of the adult organism.mohammadnursyamsu
September 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Carpathian- We don’t even ask if we have a designer until after we have determined the design exists. And once we determine design exists then we have evidence that a designer existed. Your method is backwards.
When the police find a body hanging with a noose around it's neck, they don't assume it must be murder. If there is no motive and no one with opportunity , then it may well be suicide. So no, it is your method that is backwards.Carpathian
September 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
Well said Carp. Nothing gets past you.
Thanks UB. Every time I help an IDist see his mistake, I get a little tear in my eye.Carpathian
September 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Carpathian: Until some IDist has the courage to attempt it, biological ID can be considered at least as improbable as “Darwinism”. Virgil Cain: Perhaps in your very limited mind that is true. But no one cares what you think. No one.
I notice that you don't have the courage to attempt an answer. This is what students need to see, that ID lacks the ability to explain.Carpathian
September 12, 2015
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Carpathian- We don't even ask if we have a designer until after we have determined the design exists. And once we determine design exists then we have evidence that a designer existed. Your method is backwards.Virgil Cain
September 12, 2015
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Well said Carp. Nothing gets past you.Upright BiPed
September 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
One last thing before I move on. After all the arguments fly, what RD wants us to know is that it is PERFECTLY OKAY for him to point out that we have no experience with disembodied designers. He is right about that of course; it is a perfectly legitimate data point. I, as just one person here, would in turn ask RD to acknowledge that that data point doesn’t make the indication of design less probable.
Of course it makes ID less plausible. If you don't have a designer, then it is quite logical to say the object under question was not designed. There is no evidence of a disembodied designer, thus there is no evidence of design, before there were bodies, like usCarpathian
September 12, 2015
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we have no experience with disembodied designers
But we do have experience with disembodied designers. One example is automation, and these "designers" perform tasks that resemble end products/outcomes of intelligent embodied agents. The designer can utilize mediums of intelligence which makes the designer transparent from the design process itself.computerist
September 12, 2015
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One last thing before I move on. After all the arguments fly, what RD wants us to know is that it is PERFECTLY OKAY for him to point out that we have no experience with disembodied designers. He is right about that of course; it is a perfectly legitimate data point. I, as just one person here, would in turn ask RD to acknowledge that that data point doesn’t make the indication of design less probable.Upright BiPed
September 12, 2015
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Here I ask RD to address the observations, using his own words and descriptions:
1) In our uniform and repeated experience, CSI-rich systems invariably arise from intelligent activity, and thus there is a low a priori likelihood that CSI-rich systems have arisen by other means. 2) In our uniform and repeated experience, intelligent activity invariably arises from CSI-rich systems, and thus there is a low a priori likelihood that intelligent activity can arise in the absence of such complex mechanisms.
His final statement on this was:
#1 contradicts any form of abiogenesis, and #2 contradicts any form of intelligent causation.
So RD, you already know that Life on Earth is a specific example where design is indicated by your #1 regardless of whether or not your #2 is necessarily indicative of anything. So design, as a provisional explanation for this one-time event in the deep unobservable past, is not irrational, is it? j/k RD. I know better than to ask you to deny your own words.
UB: Neither you, nor anyone else, can demonstrate the existence of a dimensional semiotic code that is not also the product of intelligent input. RD: Yes, and I agree
Upright BiPed
September 12, 2015
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ID must indeed posit something that is unknown to science – something that we would call “intelligent” but lacking a brain.
RD knows this is false, and he knows why it’s false. But he can’t give it up. We’ve already been here. In 2013, I was already asking RD back then if he remembered that we’ve already been here. His argument is that any form of ID must jump over his Disembodied Brain objection (which in turn was born from his disastrous “good theory bad theory” gambit, as well as his earlier attack on Meyer’s “universal experience” comment). In any case, RD, in his typical stiff upper lip style, was forced to revise his disembodied brain argument to include only those formulations of ID claims that attempted to explain the rise of CSI in any context whatsoever – including the CSI inside the agent that caused the CSI on earth. From his perspective, ID is a “good theory” because it is our universal experience that all CSI comes from a designing intelligence. But it then becomes a “bad theory” because we have no universal experience of disembodied designers creating CSI. For this reason, Meyer is all but a liar and any design inference must first explain disembodied designers before it can be taken seriously in science. The problems for RD’s argument seem to be numerous enough to be placed evenly around the cosmos. He has already acknowledged that his disembodied brain argument does nothing whatsoever to alter our universal observation that ”all CSI-rich systems invariably arise from intelligent activity” (as he puts it). So even on its face, using his own logic, his argument isn’t even germane to the vast majority of design claims being made – i.e. any design claim that doesn’t require a disembodied brain. He therefore revised the scope of his argument to “show that at least one version of ID (the one that attempts to explain the very first CSI in the universe) is not consistent with our universal experience”. That is, in his own words, only "one version of ID". This shoots a rather large gaping hole in his claim here today (being repeated yet again years later) that “ID must indeed posit something … lacking a brain”. He clearly already knows this is false. But it gets even worse for RD. Leaving aside the vast majority of design claims that don’t require a disembodied brain, those that remain, at his insistence, are “bad theory” because they posit something outside our universal experience. But this is a ridiculous concept from the start. As I said to him two years ago:
You’ve spent a great deal of time on UD talking about how the very proposition of something beyond our universal experience makes ID a “BAD THEORY”. You’ve repeated this position over and over again. Apparently, it has never occurred to you that under this rubric, the only ”good theory” of life’s origin would be one that is already a part of our universal experience. This doesn’t leave much room for the investigation of a historical event from the deep unobservable past – does it? In fact, one has to wonder if your idiosyncratic naming convention for historical theories makes one bit of sense at all. In any case, I think we can say with complete confidence, that if any of us were to suddenly be given the knowledge of how life on earth came into being, we would be coming into the possession of knowledge BEYOND OUR UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE. This should be rather obvious, but here again; you seem to lack any rational perspective on such things. It’s as if you’ve never really thought things through.
And finally, he has the same conceptual problem of matter and energy as anyone else. Out of one side of his mouth he tells us no one has any idea how matter works, but then he assumes that he can recognize the necessary material conditions of intelligence and that they probably (has a "low priori likelihood" -RD) do not exist outside of our universal experience of organic embodiment. It was pointed out to him that his conceptions of material and immaterial could be useless, and it is (at least) conceivable that the designing intelligence could be just as “material” as the energy that created this universe. So even after being whittled down to virtually nothing, and after applying an absurd standard of evidence, even in the extreme, his argument simply fails.Upright BiPed
September 12, 2015
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