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UD Commenter (and US Navy veteran), ayearningforpublius, on: “The Challenge of Design in Nature”


UD commenter, ayearningforpublius [AYP], has his own blog where he has many interesting posts informed by a lifetime of varied experiences. He is also an advocate for the idea that nature shows compelling observable signs of design, and in “dialog with folks at and surrounding the National Center for Science Education (NCSE)” has encountered a typical challenge, which he noted on in a March 27, 2014 comment in a current OOL thread, i.e.:

“Mac: Wrong question, since as a YECist IDiot you cannot conceive of undesigned systems like all life forms have proven to be to the point where evolution is a scientifically acknowledged fact. Show me just one life form that was designed top down, with the evidence, process & theory to explain the outcome?”

Of course, those of us with experience of making designs know by that experience that as a rule:

a: a functional design based on interacting parts exhibits a purpose and

b: requires a coherent, organised and information-rich process logic (often visualised using flowcharts and/or block diagrams) that

c: moves from initial states and inputs through activities to yield outputs and a targetted end state, which

d: requires detailed bottom-up technical steps and interactions between components and parts that

e: are required for and exist in the context of the top-down process logic and purpose.

So, it is no surprise at all to see that both top-down and bottom-up approaches are necessary for a successful design.

In his comment, AYP requested “I would like to offer up my essay to this community for further comment.”

Without further ado, let us clip (for what now has to be categorised as one of UD’s guest posts):


>> The Challenge of Design in Nature

Mac: Wrong question, since as a YECist IDiot you cannot conceive of undesigned systems like all life forms have proven to be to the point where evolution is a scientifically acknowledged fact. Show me just one life form that was designed top down, with the evidence, process & theory to explain the outcome?

The  challenge presented above is typical of that presented to those of us who hold to a position of the Intelligent Design of things that have an “appearance” of design in nature – the mammalian eye is an example.

So let me step up to that challenge in a way that correlates such supposed “illusions” of design to design we can all agree is “real” no kidding undisputed design . . .  namely all of the created artifacts of human endeavor from the pyramids of old to modern electronic devices.

I will take the eye as my example of a “design” from nature, and from my own hands-on experience in the systems and software development field, I will follow the design and implementation of a data link system as part of a larger Tactical Aircrew Combat Training System (TACTS).

{Let’s insert as Fig. A, a clip from a description manual for this system, which has a familiar looking name among the authors, which illustrates process logic using a flowchart:}

ACM flowchart (USN)
ACM flowchart, illustrating features of TACTS (HT: USN)

The particular piece of TACTS I will focus on is the data link interface between the downlinked aircraft data and the computer systems on the ground that take that real-time aircraft data and produce visual images that are used for real-time live monitoring of missions as well as post mission aircrew debrief.

As a designer and developer of the interface, one must first of all obtain an understanding of the nature and detailed characteristics of the incoming data. This includes research in the procurement of a device that is capable of electrically interfacing with the incoming data stream, capturing it and passing it on to downstream software processes and algorithms that will produce the final visual product.

Once that proper hardware interface device is installed into the host computer system, the interface software must be conceived, designed, written and debugged to successfully capture the data incoming data packets.

As an aside here, note here that I am focusing on the tasks of  software interfacing with the data. The hardware aspect of this interface must accommodate such physical things such as frequency band tuning and antenna characteristics such as polarization, bit clocking rates, error detection and correction and more.

The interface software is presented with a continual stream of data, in the form of bits (0 or 1) and bytes (8 bits). A fair amount of this data is noise having nothing to do with the business of tracking high speed maneuvering jets, but some of it actually describes this maneuvering in a great deal of detail. The task of the interfacing software is to pick out this specified data from the non-specified noise and pass the maneuver data to the “brains” of the TACTS system for transformation into visual images, and storage for later debrief as well as passing the processed data to remote debriefing sites.

In some of the tasks I describe I have actually been the designing, programming, and debugging agent transforming this data stream into human useable forms. But I have not been the sole such agent as many other design and manufacturing entities are necessarily involved in such a complex endeavor.  Also note, as in this article, that I as the agent am for the most part anonymous and unknown as are the other participants . . .  but I and the other intelligent agents (designers) can be found if one searches for our  identities. But knowing who I am specifically is unnecessary in the context of understanding that what I have described and left behind in some software somewhere is an Intelligently Designed (sub)system.

Now lets return to the challenge:

Show me just one life form that was designed top down, with the evidence, process & theory to explain the outcome?

The life form I choose to highlight is the Human life form, and a particular subsystem of that life form, the visual subsystem.

{As Fig. B: HT Gray’s Anatomy & Wikipedia, the human visual system, which invites comparison with the above flowchart:}

The human visual system (HT: Wiki and Gray's Anatomy)
The human visual system (HT: Wiki and Gray’s Anatomy)

And what I will attempt to illustrate is not the design and development of a material thing . . . the eye, but rather a functional thing . . . the visual experience which necessarily includes the material thing, and thus the material thing becomes part and parcel an artifact of the functional thing.

As in the case of TACTS, the end product is not the individual material parts, or even the material whole . . . but rather the functional end product of a debrief product in the case of TACTS, and any number of functional end products of the human visual experience such as the double play in baseball, a great painting such as  one by Vermeer, a great musical/theatrical experience such as Les Miserables or Handel’s Messiah . . . or the Osprey’s dive from high altitude to catch an unawares fish.

As in the case of the TACTS data link interface, the designer of the eye must have extensive and detailed knowledge and understanding of that which it is interfacing with –of the physical characteristics of the electro-magnetic spectrum and the particular frequency band in which to interface with. At the very detailed and smallest unit of interface with this spectrum, I understand that the eye is capable of detecting individual photons. Now I don’t claim to understand photons, but suffice it to say that if this is true, then the designers knowledge of the requirements of the eye are detailed and immense . . . and necessary.

So the designer of the eye accounts for the vastness of the electro-magnetic spectrum (EMS) and designs the eye such that its subsystems (the retina) are able to differentiate and isolate the portions of the spectrum of interest for the targeted life form (human, eagle, shark . . . ) so those various life forms can perform the functions necessary for its day to day, minute by minute life.

But that fundamental EMS interface is  not the end-all of the visual experience. The captured data must be processed and re-formatted for downstream use – in the case of TACTS for monitor and debrief, and passing processed data to remote locations . . . for the animal the captured data is packaged for transmission to the brain via optics nerves. An interesting parallel between the naturally designed visual systems and the human designed systems such as TACTS, is the aspect of data compression,  engineers have long recognized that data streams often contains gaps and repeated patterns that can be compressed, thus increasing the  available bandwidth (capacity) of the transmitting media. Likewise, it appears that researchers are discovering a sort of data compression taking place in the eye prior to the data being passed to the optic nerves and then transmitted to the brain. Read this fascinating article Image Processing in the Eye: Like “Magic”

So as in the case of the TACTS, the designers must be constantly aware of the downstream requirements of the data being processed at the interface level, the designers must also keep foremost in mind, the intended functional use of the data as it flows through the system (the life form). That functional use is as diverse as is the human experience.

The idea of Intelligent Design very nicely parallels the human generated designs we all  experience on a regular basis. Naturalistic explanations such as Darwinian Evolution of necessity struggle with presenting a convincing argument, let alone evidence, for the development of a complex life form such as our own human body – in spite of the claim of fact and mountains of evidence.

*  *  *  *

What I have hoped to accomplish is to describe in broad terms a response to the challenge presented:

Show me just one life form that was designed top down, with the evidence, process & theory to explain the outcome?

and because I was actually there and participated in the design, development and deployment of a human designed system, I am able to present it as a reasonable analog to a similar naturally developed system. However, I was not there to witness or participate in the design, development and deployment of a naturally designed system, but I believe I have adequately outlined reasonable analogies and responses to the challenge:

  • the evidence  — the eye itself
  • the process – a commonly accepted design methodology prevalent in the engineering world.
  • process – stating requirements >> understanding requirements >> designing to requirements >> building to requirements >> testing to requirements >> successful use by end users.
  • theory – accepted design, engineering and manufacturing methodologies taught in most university engineering degree curricula.
  • who is the designer – not explicitly stated in the challenge, but I believe I have made the argument that the identity of a designer is tangential to the argument of design. Should one seek out such an identity is an individual choice and one I hope individuals would do so.

I would welcome corrections, additions and further insights to my response to Mac’s challenge.  Civility is always welcome.>>


So, now, what do we think? END

PS: It’s budget speech week here and so many of us budgies have been busily cheeping away. If I missed a link to Petrushka’s claimed earlier response to the essay challenge do understand why; and note that I have had no notification in my inbox, and of course the spam box will be on offers for regrowing hair or helping widows of bank vice presidents as usual.

Note that in this article, as well as my previously published article https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ive-grown-accustomed-to-your-face-headlining-a-comment-by-ayearningforpublius-to-pose-the-question-of-origin-of-a-significant-a-case-of-fscoi/, it is possible to trace in great detail the design of the human designed analogs to the naturally designed systems of which I speak. This has not been done, except at the very superficial level, (e.g. the supposed evolution of the shape of the eye)in the case of natural systems. The evidence presented by the Darwinists is non existent unless hand waving "just so stories" are considered to be mountains of evidence. No one even attempts to answer my questions on these designs in nature - and I'm just the son of an immigrant Norwegian TV repairman from Butte Montana. I believe it was Carl Sagan who said "extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence." I disagree - extraordinary claims require the ordinary evidence that even the common man can grasp and understand. ayearningforpublius
B>Alan Chumley Fox sez:
Our visual perception system developed in an evolutionary manner and has been designed by the environment in which we evolved.
Of course he can't say how nor how many mutations it took, but he "knows". Obviously science is NOT the only way of knowing. The freaking brilliance of evolutionary thought. Joe
173,594 and 32, 092, the trend continues . . . kairosfocus
PS: This case should remind us that there is a whole world of classified sci-tech out there that is a valid part of the picture. So also is the similar world of proprietary stuff done for big firms. kairosfocus
173,140 and 32,069 overnight. Gives us a longitudinal pic on audience. kairosfocus
Folks: Pardon, but if you go to AYP's blog, you will see the banner image is of IIRC the Destroyer he served in. His access to relevant -- and formerly quite seriously classified info on targetting systems starts there, with naval gunfire control analogue computers (where the Ford Company . . . not the auto mfg one . . . long ruled the roost for the USN). The Ford machines were originally developed for naval gunfire with ship and target moving at maybe up to 20 - 35 kts each, but were extended to handle aerial ones at up to about 400 kt, enough for WW II dive bombers and Kamikazes -- which did a lot of damage to the USN. But Jet power moved to 600 - 1300 kt (and today, with high speed sprint missiles well beyond that). BTW, the Kamikazes were first generation improvised cruise missiles, and showed the challenge such could pose. At sad cost, they also show how the eye-brain stereoscopic vision system and linked eye-hand coordination and skilled control of a nonlinear dynamic object, can be addressed by the biological servo systems we are born with. In short, we have a point of quite direct comparison. C. 1960's, AYP would have been at the cusp of the transitions, including introduction of digital technologies. (BTW, I recall here my pleasant surprise in Ja when I learned that a fancy Radar bought from the French at significant cost, used 6800 8-bit mpus to control, c mid 80's.) In short, AYP has a rich, relevant background to understand the 3-d moving target and world interpretation plus servo control challenge our visual system routinely and reliably carries out solutions to. Or, have we forgotten the importance of eye-hand coordination? We are honoured to have someone with that sort of background enriching our discussion, even with the sort of humility that he just outlined his expertise. (And, we must appreciate that there is a world of detailed, highly classified technical knowledge and painfully acquired experience and skill behind those words too, which must be respected. Men paid with their lives to get some of that, and inappropriate disclosure can cost lives, so kindly go light on inappropriately dismissive skepticism and demands for proof.) Let us accept this as a baseline. From that background, AYP went on to deal with the sort of aircraft and missile target acquisition and fire control training system he featured in his essay. Which I did a bit of Google search on and clipped a handy flowchart for that illustrates the problem . . . though it does not give the details on noise vs signal, reconstruction of 3d dynamics and paths for planes and missiles in detail. Let it suffice to say that each of those blocks with short phrases is a top-down view of a major cluster of sub-systems with complex bottom-up challenges. That is, we have here an apt, highly relevant comparative case to the human visual system. So, it should be plain that I gave a bit of backdrop to say: this guy knows whereof he speaks on the comparative case. (He obviously does, but the circles of objectors we deal with are prone to ad homs and dismissiveness, I gave a hint that this is a case where we need to acknowledge expertise, not all of which can be presented in open literature. I know enough on servo systems to see the overall picture, and AYP has chosen an extremely apt comparison, one richly informed by efforts that in aggregate involved at least US$ 100's of millions just in financial investment. And while you are at it ponder the results tables on comparative aspect-range performance of several models of AIM-9 Sidewinder, the AIM-7 Sparrow and the Russian -- or is this the Finnish IIRC version -- Atoll missiles in the linked.) Now, consider the task we routinely carry out in chasing and hitting say a tennis-ball with a racket on a Tennis court. Or, tracking and splatting a pesky mosquito, or trying to chase and catch a butterfly in a net. The human visual system faces pretty similar challenges to the training one AYP addressed. That system more than adequately highlights the scope of challenge to achieve a complex function though an effective organised array of components, manifesting the convergence of top down and bottom up approaches that we address. And, the notion that such complex integrated function arose without top down design and specification of interface functionality to interface components, loses all plausibility. At least to those not locked into a priori Lewontinian evolutionary materialism. If ever we had a case that screams, design, this is it. KF kairosfocus
Chris Haynes. His blog has navy stuff included in it. I don't think that point of the title more than a shout out to anyone interested in his blog. Nice of you to make it an issue though. Ahh... the smell of red herring in the morning. ;) JGuy
‘What does “US Navy veteran” have to do with anything? Being in the navy, does it make you smart? Does it mean that you’re virtuous wise or learned?
All of the above and more! Esp. if you have crossed both the equator and the international date line. Mung
Hello, AYP, No, I'd no idea your name was Johnson. I was talking about Samuel Johnson, the first English-language lexicographer, I believe, who, having his words and activities recorded in a diary by the Scotsman, Boswell, was also responsible for my becoming apprised of the word, 'amanuensis'; thereby satisfying through, this very post, for the first and possibly the last time, a life-long desire of mine to find an occasion to enunciate it, in all its glory. Sorry for that gratuitous digression. Incidentally, I suspected there was a little more to your reference to your naval service than 'esprit de corps'. Also, I was glad to see your dignified response - well, it was a tribute, even, to our friend's metier and its importance. Perhaps, I'd be more in tune with his geopolitics than yours, but its a mixed-up, old world, all right? Axel
BTW, 172,917 and 32,062. Steady use as references. The impact of the surge is plain. KF kairosfocus
Greetings everyone. I just came to say here that this is a good post, at least for reflection purposes. seventrees
As I said earlier put this together with Dr Behe's argument wrt the vision system and the design inference is sealed. Joe
Interesting what you can find out there. ayearningforpublius
AYP, Google -- cf the link I gave. It is mil domain and seems to have been declassified. And no, I have never belonged to any military. KF kairosfocus
I'm curious kariosfocus, where did you find the ACM flowchart? I worked the TACTS system software for close to 40 years, including the weapons simulations functions as shown in that flowchart, but I don't recall seeing such a chart. It looks like it may have come from the "Top Gun" syllabus, were you somehow involved? ayearningforpublius
Excellent post AYP! As an Avionics Design Engineer it was clearly presented in a language I could relate to. Thanks. clancampbell
Ah AYP: It was a pleasure to see you having an essay you wanted promoted. Paused and did so after waking up after a late nighter listening to budget debate talking points all day y/day. (Not my fav kind of listening, but so what . . . they never asked whether the important has to be enetertaining too.) As to conflicts, it seems we are now in an era where the info battlespace, the war of ideas and ideals, and perceptions is perhaps even more important for good or ill than the kinetic battlespaces. The US is the leading maritime power and if it is unwilling to hold the trade routes and choke points open, we are in for deep trouble, and if a big slice of your public not only does not understand geostrategic and geopolitical realities, but has been indoctrinated to assume the Western powers are always wrong, unless under control of "progressives," trouble. The events playing out in Crimea and in the shadows in and around the Persian Gulf speak volumes on that. You cannot take checkers, a checker playing mentality and checker rules to a geostrategic chess game -- especially with millions of lives on the line. As the bear-riding KGB Colonel is now teaching again. I guess Sir Winston Churchill's efforts and lessons for us, we are disinclined to hear much less digest. Sadly this time alone, nuclear fission is not a future discovery, as it was in 1938. But then that is a secondary issue, the primary one is documenting the clear implication of experience that design and development of functional systems that are complex is always a top down and bottom up process. And, if the objectors had a really good answer, we can be assured they would already be all over this thread swarming down the points in the OP. KF kairosfocus
I thank everyone for the comments you have submitted to my article - and I especially thank kariosfocus for elevating it to a 'headline' status ... much appreciated. Now let me add some clarifications, and perhaps clear up some miss-conceptions: To Axel - thanks for the kind words, but if you are talking about me when you refer to Dr. Johnson, the promotion to Dr. is appreciated but not deserved. I am but the son of an immigrant TV repairman from Butte Montana, and have a Bachelors degree but nothing beyond that. However I would be pleased to stand on the esteemed platform and receive the honorary robes if you should happen to have a set to spare. To BA77 - always enjoy your input, your knowledge and your sense of where to get the latest information. And the references to research into the vision experience are especially insightful when placed in the context of an essay such as mine. There is just so much evidence and design packed into our tiny little heads that I am often awestruck in reading the latest articles (typically complements of this site I might add). Like many of us, I have these physical afflictions periodically, nothing serious, but just enough to set me off to learn more about my vision, my hearing, my sense of balance ... my kidney and more. And the more I learn about the marvels of the designed human system we call our body, the more I praise the Lord "for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." To all - as to my Navy service ... well I am proud and not ashamed for serving with the Navy off Vietnam in 1966. However, that is not the thrust of my article, and in fact not even a part of it. In my article I reach back on my post Navy days as a software developer on the TACTS system, and use that knowledge and experience to draw analogies between an obvious design of human origin and the designs we see in nature such as the eye (thanks again BA77). But I do thank Axel for coming to my defense. To cris Haynes - I don't think anyone was trying to thump a chest in calling out my veteran status, nor trying to elevate it at the expense of ... as you say "a horizontal drilling veteran." If that's what you are, I say good on ya!!! keep that oil and gas coming ... you are doing a valued service in providing much needed energy in this day and age. Honest work of most any sort is to be honored, and we should all be thumping our chests on your behalf. And finally a further word about TACTS. If you look at the Cubic site describing TACTS you will see that it is a training system for training Combat Aircrews, and not a combat system as such. It has been in existence since the early 1970s and is the main system that keeps US and allied aircrews the best prepared and trained air forces (Navy, Marines and Air Force)in the world. Talk to combat pilots you may know and ask them about the system. As to having lost two wars in the last dozen years, you can thank our left leaning folks in the Congress and the media as well as a couple of left leaning administrations for that ... the military did its part. In fact, did you know that the US and South Vietnam actually militarily won the Vietnam war only to have it given away in the halls of the US Congress ... at the expense of millions of Vietnamese and Cambodian lives? Maybe this is not the place for such discussions ... but it was brought up. ayearningforpublius
CH: Pardon a note but there is an issue of access to classified information that lies behind the system but is not apparent in what is revealed [having obviously been declassified and released online]. US Navy Vet is relevant to the design being used as a basis for comparison, as can be seen by clicking on the link. KF kairosfocus
'What does “US Navy veteran” have to do with anything? Being in the navy, does it make you smart? Does it mean that you're virtuous wise or learned? Yes. All of the above: more virtuous, wiser and probably in AYP's case, more learned. How does it compare to “horizontal drilling veteran”?' How does it compare with a 'drilling veteran'!!?? The kindest thing to do would be to pretend we didn't hear that. There can never be any excuse for mocking the afflicted. 'First, those Tactical Aircrew Combat Training Systems (TACTS) haven’t had a significant engagement since 1945. And second, the world’s most powerful military has lost two wars in the last dozen years.' What on earth has that got to do with the price of fish and chips! Dr Johnson once remarked that every man thought the less of himself for not having been a soldier. Perhaps he's a little proud of having served in the military. Is that all right with you? Maybe you wouldn't understand. Maybe Chris is short for Christine. It may be foolish to a myrmidon without any kind of male madness about him, but we like our folk here to have a human side. I joined the army partly to prove myself, but proved I was a lousy soldier. Well, it was peace-time. Who knows what dizzy heights of heroism I might have scaled, had the Commies not called off the confrontation in Borneo. Well, I might even have deserted to the other side - the fools. But then perhaps that was what they feared. You're out of your depth here, matey. Go back to sleep, there's good chap. Axel
Of related note:
If Odd Arrangements and Funny Solutions are the Proof of Evolution, Then What About These Optimized Designs? - Cornelius Hunter - March 2012 Excerpt: Photoreceptors operate at the outermost boundary allowed by the laws of physics, which means they are as good as they can be, period. Each one is designed to detect and respond to single photons of light — the smallest possible packages in which light comes wrapped. … In each instance, biophysicists have calculated, the system couldn’t get faster, more sensitive or more efficient without first relocating to an alternate universe with alternate physical constants. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/03/if-odd-arrangements-and-funny-solutions.html Retinal Glial Cells Enhance Human Vision Acuity A. M. Labin and E. N. Ribak Physical Review Letters, 104, 158102 (April 2010) Excerpt: The retina is revealed as an optimal structure designed for improving the sharpness of images. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482021 Optimized hardware compression, The eyes have it. - February 2011 Excerpt: the human visual processing system is “the best compression algorithm around”. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/optimised-hardware-compression-the-eyes-have-it/ Evolution Vs. The Miracle Of The Eye - Vision Cascade Molecular Animation http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4189562/
As to the claim that such a remarkable system evolved gradually:
‘Mother Lode’ of (Cambrian) Fossils Discovered in Canada – Feb. 11, 2014 Excerpt: Retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver were found. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mother-lode-of-fossils-discovered-in-canada/
And, of course, as atheist philosopher Nagel would ask, once you get done with all the visual processing, exactly what is it that is doing the perceiving of the visual signal?
How observation (consciousness) is inextricably bound to measurement in quantum mechanics: Quote: "We wish to measure a temperature. If we want, we can pursue this process numerically until we have the temperature of the environment of the mercury container of the thermometer, and then say: this temperature is measured by the thermometer. But we can carry the calculation further, and from the properties of the mercury, which can be explained in kinetic and molecular terms, we can calculate its heating, expansion, and the resultant length of the mercury column, and then say: this length is seen by the observer. Going still further, and taking the light source into consideration, we could find out the reflection of the light quanta on the opaque mercury column, and the path of the remaining light quanta into the eye of the observer, their refraction in the eye lens, and the formation of an image on the retina, and then we would say: this image is registered by the retina of the observer. And were our physiological knowledge more precise than it is today, we could go still further, tracing the chemical reactions which produce the impression of this image on the retina, in the optic nerve tract and in the brain, and then in the end say: these chemical changes of his brain cells are perceived by the observer. But in any case, no matter how far we calculate -- to the mercury vessel, to the scale of the thermometer, to the retina, or into the brain, at some time we must say: and this is perceived by the observer. That is, we must always divide the world into two parts, the one being the observed system, the other the observer. In the former, we can follow up all physical processes (in principle at least) arbitrarily precisely. In the latter, this is meaningless. The boundary between the two is arbitrary to a very large extent. In particular we saw in the four different possibilities in the example above, that the observer in this sense needs not to become identified with the body of the actual observer: In one instance in the above example, we included even the thermometer in it, while in another instance, even the eyes and optic nerve tract were not included. That this boundary can be pushed arbitrarily deeply into the interior of the body of the actual observer is the content of the principle of the psycho-physical parallelism -- but this does not change the fact that in each method of description the boundary must be put somewhere, if the method is not to proceed vacuously,,," John von Neumann - 1903-1957 - The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, pp.418-21 - 1955 Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience - Pim van Lommel - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/ Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2320/is_1_64/ai_65076875/
What does "US Navy veteran" have to do with anything? Being in the navy, does it make you smart? Does it mean that youre virtuous wise or learned? How does it compare to "horizontal drilling veteran"? Perhaps, before you thump your chest, you should remember two things. First, those Tactical Aircrew Combat Training Systems (TACTS) haven't had a significant engagement since 1945. And second, the world's most powerful military has lost two wars in the last dozen years. chris haynes
172,394 . . . slowing but becoming a clear point of reference, as is the WAC at now 32,043 kairosfocus
A guest post by AYP, on systems level design in naturally occurring systems. KF kairosfocus

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