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Jim Stump: “I almost felt sorry for design advocates”

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In his recent review of Benjamin Jantzen’s Introduction to Design Arguments (Cambridge University Press, 2014), evolutionist Jim Stump finds much to agree with because, as Stump argues, design arguments are both bad science and bad religion. For example, Michael Behe argues that evolution is challenged by the irreducible complexity of biological structures, but “almost all” biologists think Behe’s examples don’t hold water. The problem is Behe is implicitly appealing to a caricature of how evolution works that views complexity arising all at once. “In reality,” the ex Bethel professor explains, “natural selection operates on combinations of traits, not merely on isolated structures. Half-developed wings won’t help an insect fly, but they might help it do other things that contribute to its survival, like skim across the surface of water. Contrary to the ID claim about irreducible complexity, you don’t have to get the whole thing at once.”  Read more

Comments
Let me just close by saying; 1) Communication does not require that “information” must be “instantiated in matter”. 2) There is no evidence that suggests the DNA “code” was put there by an intelligent agent.
#1. Try communicating a message without instantiating that message in matter. #2. Refer to #1. a) You are in no position to assess the evidence because you still cannot allow yourself to properly conceptualize the issue in real-world terms. b) You don't know what the evidence is, which immediately places your conclusion into proper perspective.Upright BiPed
August 14, 2015
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Carpathian:
1) Communication does not require that “information” must be “instantiated in matter”.
Show us communication without that.
2) There is no evidence that suggests the DNA “code” was put there by an intelligent agent.
Codes only come from intelligent agents. THAT is the evidence.Virgil Cain
August 14, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
Carp, your desire to slide back off into your equivocation is duly noted. The honesty you’ve withheld from this conversation is no longer required.
I have no idea what you mean by this. Let me just close by saying; 1) Communication does not require that "information" must be "instantiated in matter". 2) There is no evidence that suggests the DNA "code" was put there by an intelligent agent.Carpathian
August 14, 2015
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Carp, your desire to slide back off into your equivocation is duly noted. The honesty you've withheld from this conversation is no longer required.Upright BiPed
August 13, 2015
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Carpathian
Show that an intelligence put it there.
Nothing else can explain it. If something else could explain it we wouldn't be having this discussion.
Show a reason why he would do that instead of engineering a means of “evolution”.
So you have absolutely no idea what is being debated. You couldn't even be a student in an ID class.Virgil Cain
August 13, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
From this, you’ve needlessly wasted all this time trying to claim the “movie night” information as that which was not instantiated in the text.
That is a very poor example but at least you're thinking about it now. A cell phone determining its position by evaluating the signal strength of nearby cells is much better. This is an ongoing useful demonstration of information that is not "instantiated in matter". Secondly, it is irrelevant to your "semiotic theory of ID". The DNA code is as much as a historical record as it is a means of "creation". Show that the DNA code was put there by an intelligent agent. Show a reason why he would do that instead of engineering a means of "evolution". It looks like that is what he has done, if he has done anything.Carpathian
August 13, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Only intelligent agencies can explain the existence of a code and the genetic code is a code in the same sense as Morse code.
Show that an intelligence put it there.Carpathian
August 13, 2015
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Carpathian is proof that a great deal of nonsense can be instantiated in matter.Mung
August 12, 2015
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Carpathian:
True, but the point is that the “information” we see “instantiated in matter” was not necessarily put there by an intelligent agent.
The tree rings aren't the information. We create the information using the data the tree recorded.
In the case of DNA, we see the “code” and we see the results of what it does, but that does not mean it was put there with that intent by an intelligent agent.
Only intelligent agencies can explain the existence of a code and the genetic code is a code in the same sense as Morse code.Virgil Cain
August 12, 2015
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Harry texts Sally and says "My fishing trip is cancelled this weekend" and Sally then thinks to herself, "Great, he can now take me to the movies". From this, you've needlessly wasted all this time trying to claim the "movie night" information as that which was not instantiated in the text. Good grief, what a stupendous waste of time. And you must do this just to protect your ideology from any scrutiny, all the while bathing yourself in the idea that you are the rationale one. It must be tiring for you after years and years. So now that the equivocation is over, are you going to provide an example of information that is transmitted without being instantiated in matter, or are you conceding the obvious point?Upright BiPed
August 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Tree rings are data that have to be interpreted via knowledge of trees.
True, but the point is that the "information" we see "instantiated in matter" was not necessarily put there by an intelligent agent. In the case of DNA, we see the "code" and we see the results of what it does, but that does not mean it was put there with that intent by an intelligent agent. Just like the tree rings, we can examine and interpret the DNA data and what it means to the organism, but saying that it was put there is a big jump with no evidence to support it.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Silver Asiatic:
Moderators might want to review for useless trolling.
If you can't address the message, shoot the messenger. Typical censorship. Of course we don't want to censor ID in schools.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Tree rings are data that have to be interpreted via knowledge of trees.Virgil Cain
August 12, 2015
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Carpathian:
Of course there is another explanation.
You may think there is but tat is another story.
One of them is what you call “Darwinism”.
Darwinism cannot account for the origin of the genetic code. It cannot account for life.Virgil Cain
August 12, 2015
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UB showed quite a lot of patience in explaining this.
UB to Carp: You have denied this. Your counter-claim therefore must show that it is indeed possible to transfer information that is not instantiated in matter.
Carp responds ... You are insistent on the point that the only “information” we can transmit is fixed at transmission time.
I'm not sure if that's an outright, deliberate lie or if there's a mental disorder of some kind, but this should make it clear enough that there's no reason to continue trying to reason with this person. Moderators might want to review for useless trolling.Silver Asiatic
August 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
Carpathian: You are insistent on the point that the only “information” we can transmit is fixed at transmission time. Upright BiPed: I’ve never said anything like that. You cannot cut and paste anything I’ve said that makes that claim. You pulled that out of your ***.
When I say fixed, I mean "instantiated in matter". If you are saying that the "information" you are sending does not have to be the "information" that is "instantiated in matter", then we have reached a point of agreement.
You don’t have the guts to test your beliefs.
It is ID that has failed in the guts department. Not a single IDist has had the nerve to publish anything to demonstrate the possibility of ID. It ID is not possible than it clearly didn't happen. Do you know any ID advocate that has taken that step to attempt to show it can be done?Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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You are insistent on the point that the only “information” we can transmit is fixed at transmission time.
I’ve never said anything like that. You cannot cut and paste anything I’ve said that makes that claim. You pulled that out of your ***. This is why it is pointless to talk to you. You go from one thing to another and then another and then another … ANYTHING but deal with what was actually stated. You're an ideologue. You don't have the guts to test your beliefs.Upright BiPed
August 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
My claim is that it’s not logically possible to transfer information in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter. You have denied this. Your counter-claim therefore must show that it is indeed possible to transfer information that is not instantiated in matter.
You are insistent on the point that the only "information" we can transmit is fixed at transmission time. Look at the the word I've bolded. You didn't say physically possible, you said logically . I'm not going to fixate on your choice of words since I know that you really mean physically possible. Even that is wrong. Cell phones were not designed to provide information of our location but we can get that simply by processing signal strength from nearby cells. That information is implicit , not explicit as "information instantiated in matter" is. The "information" in our cells is also not explicit in the sense that no intelligent agent put it there. We can see that information exists that was never intended to exist, which suggests the same can hold for our DNA. If you can't provide an argument that shows intent on the part of an ID agent, you can't claim ID.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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What is wrong with the tree rings example?
My claim is that it’s not logically possible to transfer information in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter. You have denied this. Your counter-claim therefore must show that it is indeed possible to transfer information that is not instantiated in matter. Frankly, it is completely stupid that you’ve not accepted this simply point of material reality, but hey, that’s your thing. In any case, you have failed to support your counter-claim, and instead have repeatedly brought up irrelevant issues that, apparently, only confuse you further. When you look at the rings on a tree, the specialized organization of the eye transcribes that image into a neural representation which is then sent through your optic nerve to your visual cortex and brain, where it is processed by other neural patterns that already exist there. These existing neural patterns decode the incoming representation and establish a cognitive effect that reflects your experience (i.e. “20 rings means the tree has grown for 20 seasons”).
The tree rings are “semiotic” as they are a sign of how old the tree is. They were however, not put there for that purpose.
Irrelevant to (i.e. does not establish) your counter-claim.
In the same sense, there is no evidence to suggest what we call the DNA code was put there by an intelligent agent.
This is, again, irrelevant to (i.e. does nothing to establish) your counter-claim.
If you have an answer to this, I would rather see it than a statement of this type: “Sigh, you’re wrong”.
Typically, I would now tell you to either establish your claim or retract it. In your particular case, I simply don’t care.Upright BiPed
August 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain, None of this "transmission" talk helps Upright BiPed as far as ID goes. He has to prove that the "information" in the cell was put there by an intelligent agent. There is no evidence of that.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Mung:
Remind m again what is “implicit” information?
Just watch a group of people playing poker. Some of the implicit information sent changes during the game, even though the material information that was sent doesn't. Sometimes the players can't help hiding their tells and other times they fabricate them in order to misdirect the other players. This "real" information does not exist in the transmission.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
The reason you continually make the same mistakes over and over again (ala tree rings) is because you simply will not stop your culture war long enough to actually grasp what is being debated.
What is wrong with the tree rings example? The tree rings are "semiotic" as they are a sign of how old the tree is. They were however, not put there for that purpose. In the same sense, there is no evidence to suggest what we call the DNA code was put there by an intelligent agent. If you have an answer to this, I would rather see it than a statement of this type: "Sigh, you're wrong".Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Carpathian: Secondly, it is irrelevant since your problem with your “semiotic” theory is to show that the “information” in organisms was put there intentionally. Virgil Cain: There isn’t any other explanation.
Of course there is another explanation. One of them is what you call "Darwinism". That is where the "information" changes one bit at a time across a large population over many generations.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Remind m again what is "implicit" information? Is that code for information that is not materially present but might be materially present if there were some as yet unidentified and undefined mechanism for turning immaterial "implicit information" into actual information taht is materially present? You know, so that humans can actually detect it with their material senses.Mung
August 12, 2015
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The fact that this counter-argument presents 100% hopelessly flawed reasoning will not matter one iota to those who present such reasoning.
:| The reason you continually make the same mistakes over and over again (ala tree rings) is because you simply will not stop your culture war long enough to actually grasp what is being debated. No one can force you to, its something you must want to do.Upright BiPed
August 12, 2015
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Carpathian:
GPS does not transfer the information of where you are, yet it is the message that you receive that “informs” you of where you are.
So what?
This is one example of UB being wrong and there are many others.
In what way does it show that UB is wrong?
Secondly, it is irrelevant since your problem with your “semiotic” theory is to show that the “information” in organisms was put there intentionally.
There isn't any other explanation.Virgil Cain
August 12, 2015
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Upright BiPed:
Satellites do not send location data of GPS receivers to the ground, and they were never designed to. They send out time/location data on the satellites themselves, and the receiver calculates its own location based on that data — and that entire process is accomplished by means of representation.
My point was that the location "information" is implicit and that a lot of "information" is and thus is not "instantiated in matter". Take the case of growth rings in tree stumps. They were never put there by an intelligent agent to show us how old the tree is. They are simply a "semiotic" sign of the tree's age. If you don't like the GPS argument, just look at early theft systems that determined the location of stolen cars using cell phones. The "information" of the car's location is never transmitted as it is never known by any single part of the system and the system was never "designed" to be used in that way. Your argument that "information" must be transmitted is not supported. Secondly, it is irrelevant since your problem with your "semiotic" theory is to show that the "information" in organisms was put there intentionally. You have never attempted to show why that would be true.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Satellites do not send location data of GPS receivers to the ground, and they were never designed to. They send out time/location data on the satellites themselves, and the receiver calculates its own location based on that data -- and that entire process is accomplished by means of representation. - - - - - - - This ranks as one of the more ridiculous attempts to avoid the evidence. The fact that this counter-argument presents 100% hopelessly flawed reasoning will not matter one iota to those who present such reasoning.Upright BiPed
August 12, 2015
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Virgil Cain:
Carpathian: In short, the “information” that determines location, is not instantiated in matter. Virgil Cain: It is once it reaches the device.
Virgil Cain: Look Carpathian, UB already agrees that information is neither matter nor energy but tat in this universe information requires matter and energy in order to be transmitted.
GPS does not transfer the information of where you are, yet it is the message that you receive that "informs" you of where you are. Look at what UB wrote:
2. It is not logically possible to transfer information (the form of a thing; a measured aspect, quality, or preference) in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter.
This is one example of UB being wrong and there are many others. They are all irrelevant to whether ID benefits from his "semiotic" argument. If no intelligent agency explicitly put "information" in our cells, then ID as a biological theory is wrong. Upright BiPed has never answered the key question of how you would get that "information" into us.Carpathian
August 12, 2015
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Carpathian:
In the case of GPS, the “information” sent by the GPS satellites do not contain any “information” about where that receiver is located on this planet.
That is irrelevant to what you were responding to.
In short, the “information” that determines location, is not instantiated in matter.
It is once it reaches the device. Look Carpathian, UB already agrees that information is neither matter nor energy but tat in this universe information requires matter and energy in order to be transmitted.Virgil Cain
August 12, 2015
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