Intelligent Design

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

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

  1. 1
    mahuna says:

    Well, gee, wow.

    Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” was my introduction to Intelligent Design, and I really liked the way he so very carefully presented scientific facts about biological systems and then explained some of the MANY problems with trying to get those systems to work with even 1 of the subsystems missing.

    My favorite remains Blood Clotting. The system only works if every single subsystem is up and running on Day 1. If any of the components is not fully functional, you don’t get degraded performance. You get INSTANT death. So there is no possible path that gets you part way to blood clotting (which includes the blood UN-clotting subsystem) and still produces a viable individual on which Natural Selection can act.

    And of course Behe is open to anyone explaining, in clear bio-chemical terms, how any of his examples of Irreducibly Complexity are wrong. After all, he’s a Scientist proposing a Theory. But as far as I know, in 10 years no one has ever produced any alternate explanations of the bio-chemistry.

    So why is there so much ink spilled on String Theory and Dark Matter and so little discussion of Irreducible Complexity? Makes ya kinda think some vast conspiracy is controlling the public forum…

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    It is almost a compliment for a Darwinist to say ‘design arguments are both bad science and bad religion’.
    If anyone should know about bad science and bad religion it should be Darwinists.
    As far as science is concerned, there is simply no experimental falsification that Darwinists will ever accept.
    Every other overarching theory of science has a rigid falsification criteria that can be tested against to greater and greater levels of accuracy to potentially falsify the theory. Darwinism simply has no such falsification criteria to test against:

    “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

    No matter what contrary evidence comes along, Darwinists simply subsume it within their theory. Never is the core theoretical framework of Darwinism allowed to be challenged and/or falsified by contrary empirical findings:

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    “When their expectations turn out to be false, evolutionists respond by adding more epicycles to their theory that the species arose spontaneously from chance events. But that doesn’t mean the science has confirmed evolution as Velasco suggests. True, evolutionists have remained steadfast in their certainty, but that says more about evolutionists than about the empirical science.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    Darwinism simply does not have a ‘hard core’

    A Philosophical Question…Does Evolution have a Hard Core ?
    Some Concluding Food for Thought
    In my research on the demarcation problem, I have noticed philosophers of science attempting to balance (usually unconsciously) a consistent demarcation criteria against the the disruptive effects that it’s application might have with regard to the academic status quo (and evolution in particular)… Few philosophers of science will even touch such matters, but (perhaps unintentionally) Imre Lakatos does offer us a peek at how one might go about balancing these schizophrenic demands (in Motterlini1999: 24)
    “Let us call the first school militant positivism; you will understand why later on. The problem of this school was to find certain demarcation criteria similar to those I have outlined, but these also had to satisfy certain boundary conditions, as a mathematician would say. I am referring to a definite set of people to which most scientists as well as Popper and Carnap would belong. These people think that there are goodies and baddies among scientific theories, and once you have defined a demarcation criterion. you should divide all your theories between the two groups. You would end up. for example, with a goodies list including Copernicus’s (Theory1), Galileo’s (T2), Kepler’s (T3), Newton’s (T4) … and Einstein’s (T5), along with (but this is just my supposition) Darwin’s (T6). Let me just anticipate that nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific, but this is exactly what we are looking for.”
    So basically, the demarcation problem is a fun game philosophers enjoy playing, but when they realize the implications regarding the theory of evolution, they quickly back off…
    http://www.samizdat.qc.ca/cosm.....ore_pg.htm

    Lakatos, although he tipped toed around the failure of Darwinism to have a rigid demarcation criteria, he was brave enough to state that a good scientific theory will make successful predictions in science and a bad theory will generate ‘epicycle theories’ to cover up embarrassing failed predictions:

    Science and Pseudoscience (transcript) –
    “In degenerating programmes, however, theories are fabricated only in order to accommodate known facts”
    – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/philosop.....cript.aspx
    Here’s the audio:
    Science and Pseudoscience – Lakatos – audio lecture
    http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/phi.....nce128.mp3

    In his 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture 1[12] he also claimed that “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific”.
    Almost 20 years after Lakatos’s 1973 challenge to the scientificity of Darwin, in her 1991 The Ant and the Peacock, LSE lecturer and ex-colleague of Lakatos, Helena Cronin, attempted to establish that Darwinian theory was empirically scientific in respect of at least being supported by evidence of likeness in the diversity of life forms in the world, explained by descent with modification. She wrote that

    “our usual idea of corroboration as requiring the successful prediction of novel facts…Darwinian theory was not strong on temporally novel predictions.” …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....27s_theory

    And even in that ‘loose’ demarcation criteria of science that Lakatos uses (i.e. failed predictions), it is found that Darwinism is replete with failed predictions. Dr. Hunter lists 23 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory on the following site:

    Darwin’s (failed) Predictions – Cornelius G. Hunter – 2015
    This paper evaluates 23 fundamental (false) predictions of evolutionary theory from a wide range of different categories. The paper begins with a brief introduction to the nature of scientific predictions, and typical concerns evolutionists raise against investigating predictions of evolution. The paper next presents the individual predictions in seven categories: early evolution, evolutionary causes, molecular evolution, common descent, evolutionary phylogenies, evolutionary pathways, and behavior. Finally the conclusion summarizes these various predictions, their implications for evolution’s capacity to explain phenomena, and how they bear on evolutionist’s claims about their theory.

    *Introduction
    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Responses to common objections

    *Early evolution predictions
    The DNA code is not unique
    The cell’s fundamental molecules are universal

    *Evolutionary causes predictions
    Mutations are not adaptive
    Embryology and common descent
    Competition is greatest between neighbors

    *Molecular evolution predictions
    Protein evolution
    Histone proteins cannot tolerate much change
    The molecular clock keeps evolutionary time

    *Common descent predictions
    The pentadactyl pattern and common descent
    Serological tests reveal evolutionary relationships
    Biology is not lineage specific
    Similar species share similar genes
    MicroRNA

    *Evolutionary phylogenies predictions
    Genomic features are not sporadically distributed
    Gene and host phylogenies are congruent
    Gene phylogenies are congruent
    The species should form an evolutionary tree

    *Evolutionary pathways predictions
    Complex structures evolved from simpler structures
    Structures do not evolve before there is a need for them
    Functionally unconstrained DNA is not conserved
    Nature does not make leaps

    *Behavior
    Altruism
    Cell death

    *Conclusions
    What false predictions tell us about evolution
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/home

    Why investigate evolution’s false predictions?
    Excerpt: The predictions examined in this paper were selected according to several criteria. They cover a wide spectrum of evolutionary theory and are fundamental to the theory, reflecting major tenets of evolutionary thought. They were widely held by the consensus rather than reflecting one viewpoint of several competing viewpoints. Each prediction was a natural and fundamental expectation of the theory of evolution, and constituted mainstream evolutionary science. Furthermore, the selected predictions are not vague but rather are specific and can be objectively evaluated. They have been tested and evaluated and the outcome is not controversial or in question. And finally the predictions have implications for evolution’s (in)capacity to explain phenomena, as discussed in the conclusions.
    https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspredictions/why-investigate-evolution-s-false-predictions

    Of related note: Unlike the pseudo-science of Darwinism, Intelligent Design has a rigid falsification criteria:

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

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    Verse and Music:

    1 Corinthians 3:12-14
    Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.

    Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It7107ELQvY

  3. 3
    Upright BiPed says:

    The argument over irreducible complexity is dead. You cannot translate information without one arrangement of matter to encode the information and a second arrangement of matter to determine the physical effect of that encoding.

    Without IC there is no genetic information. There is no translation of genetic information. There is no heterogeneous living cell.

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    oh brother. Half wings for skimming the water!! Thats a appeal to the unlikely.
    Whats with the almost all biologists reject ID thing. Few biologists study it. they study living biology. oNly a few study the origin of biology and those processes.
    So ID thinkers are only taking on a few people. Then ID are saying that complexity is beyond chance. This is very common in mankind.
    The better idea usually starts out lonely . ID/YEC are already not that lonely.

  5. 5
    Box says:

    Jim Stump: The problem is Behe is implicitly appealing to a caricature of how evolution works that views complexity arising all at once.

    Jim Stump is a moron. I almost feel sorry for him.

  6. 6
    tjguy says:

    There is just no shame at all in what they do, is there? Rather than admit their error, they go into ultra-denial mode.

    At some point this has got to become pretty embarrassing for them because everyone can see right through their tactics. Yet they remain cocky and keep up the bluff hoping that will make the problem go away.

    But more and more, that doesn’t cut it any more. Now you have websites like this that disect and explain why their “just so stories” do not cut it.

    They are going to have to change tactics to remain in the game.

    I have an idea for them. How about dealing with the arguments instead of simply attacking the source of the argument in order to avoid having to answer it? That’s a novel idea for a scientist!

    I think that would win respect and people would be more likely to listen to what they say rather than just avoiding the argument by sneering at the supposedly ignorant right wing creationists who they claim are anti-science.

  7. 7
    ChrisM says:

    It is true I think the ‘blank cheques’ are drying up for Evolutionary theory. They are haemorrhaging status for sure, but it’s worth mentioning status and credibility are not conserved quantities. Their status going down does not translate to I.D. status going up.
    If some of you are authentic that you see I.D. in a productive scientific franchise, and you are willing to put the huge amount of thankless foundational commitment that it takes to forge a robust science, and feel I.D. has a large number of others just like you to make this happen, then you will have to make a real start on that, basically now.
    I want to be truthful and positive…and I’d be neither of those on a platform of denial and avoidance of the wall-to-wall institutional prejudice served with seconds now to I.D. track thinkers from the start.
    Prejudice obviously doesn’t translate to a positive for I.D. It’s a negative for evolutionary science and that’s all it is.
    The fairest I can be for the time I’ve got is I look at the content and focus where most of you appear to be most of the time, and draw inferences from that what you are saying with your feet.
    The content of this website for example, I would say is well over 90% negatively focused…basically with your feet you currently defined yourselves in terms of the problems in the mainstream science. That is not enough.
    Where is the fierce debating, the competing theories within and between your ranks? Where is the passion for discovery? Where are the noble failures – the great pioneers at the root and source, the men and women’s wholes lives given. The intrepid adventurers vanishing into the malarial foliages, next to be seen a gray rake crawling half mad from the bush clutching volumes of hand drawn intricacies of ecologic intimacy.
    I’m sorry to be harsh but the wares by your choices you display here, are negative and….disinterested almost…in I.D. itself.
    peace and love baby

  8. 8
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ChrisM

    If some of you are authentic that you see I.D. in a productive scientific franchise, and you are willing to put the huge amount of thankless foundational commitment that it takes to forge a robust science, and feel I.D. has a large number of others just like you to make this happen, then you will have to make a real start on that, basically now.

    You’re underestimating several things: 1. the impact of Darwin’s Doubt. 2. The shift that will take place when religious believers realize that evolutionism has collapsed. 3. The conjectures that attempt to fill the gap of the dead theory will be even more laughable than Dawrin himself. 4. ID scientists don’t just emerge suddenly — they’re being fostered in schools now and will appear later. 5. ID itself as a science program is very limited. It doesn’t claim to be a replacement for biology or physics — but merely an important component of both. 6. There is already considerable ID science available now, with all signs indicating it will increase

    Prejudice obviously doesn’t translate to a positive for I.D. It’s a negative for evolutionary science and that’s all it is.

    Not for people who have been following the debate. Unsuccessful and unfair attacks on ID are strengths for ID. Novelist Tom Wolfe, for example, a pop culture icon is writing a new book defending ID from those very same unfair attacks. This was mentioned in passing in the New Yorker magazine without any raised-eyebrows, as if it was just a normal thing (credit Ben Stein’s Expelled also). This whole thing would have been unthinkable 10 years ago.

    The content of this website for example, I would say is well over 90% negatively focused…basically with your feet you currently defined yourselves in terms of the problems in the mainstream science. That is not enough.

    Perhaps so, but if ID can continue to take down mainstream evolution, then that’s a massive achievement and anyone who views things fairly will know it was ID’s victory.

    Where is the fierce debating, the competing theories within and between your ranks? Where is the passion for discovery? Where are the noble failures – the great pioneers at the root and source, the men and women’s wholes lives given. The intrepid adventurers vanishing into the malarial foliages, next to be seen a gray rake crawling half mad from the bush clutching volumes of hand drawn intricacies of ecologic intimacy.

    We see none of that in the evolution camp. And Dembski, Behe and Meyer for example have been revolutionary.

    I’m sorry to be harsh but the wares by your choices you display here, are negative and….disinterested almost…in I.D. itself.

    Every attack against evolution here contains a defense of ID. Usually, it’s unspoken, but you have to read carefully. The design inference is offered positively as the only reasonable alternative to evolutionary insanity.

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    follow up … just take a look at how idiotic this thing from Jim Stump is.

    They’re still trying to debate Behe’s argument and they haven’t even understood it yet. That’s willful ignorance because they can’t afford to understand it since it’s the death of their theory.

  10. 10
    ChrisM says:

    Hi Silver Asiatic – These replies I much appreciate…I have some things to think about – I hope to talk to you again about this if that’s ok. It’s because I’m not sure how long I’m going to be, I wanted to mention in parting the manner and content of your reply characterizes an openness of the right kind which is about plainness, you see a game well into play perhaps I wasn’t aware of at all; and an eye for the ball that I’d have to compliment. Later.

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Thanks, Chris. Sure, I’ll be glad to respond any time. I’ll add that you did a nice job taking a serious look at the bigger issues. It’s important because that often gets lost in the noise of the daily battle. While I’m confident in what I see, you raised some warning flags that are significant. We can’t afford to lose sight of that.

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    What’s to argue about intelligent design, ChrisM, among people who all have at least the minimal requisite common sense to identify intelligent design of unimaginable sophistication throughout the natural world? And, moreover, see it repeatedly confirmed by the science – even to the extent of coded information relating to designs.

    Intelligent design is a primordial paradigm. It’s either wholly true or wholly false.

    There can be no vibrant world of ever more desperate fantasists among IDers projecting riotously fanciful micro conjectures to support their primordial paradigm. Retro-engineering affords the most comprehensibly compelling proof, if one were, indeed, ever needed.

    Intelligent Design qua the scientific concept, is simply gilding the lily.

  13. 13
    Axel says:

    The weirdest thing is that there are so many knock-out arguments against naturalism, any one of which, in a sane Academy, would be QED! A kind of obverse of Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan concept.

    It is not as if they were each only small parts of a gigantic compendium of evidences of the one solution to a gigantic puzzle. Each one on its own is comparable to a dialectical H-bomb on a small island in a river.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Casey Luskin weighs in here:

    The Danger of Capitulating to “Settled Science”: Cambridge University Press Book Misrepresents ID
    Casey Luskin August 3, 2015
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98231.html

    also of note: Here is the new podcast from DI:

    podcast – Debating Darwin’s Doubt: Casey Luskin on BioLogos’ Responses
    http://www.discovery.org/multi.....responses/

  15. 15
    tragic mishap says:

    “In reality,” the ex Bethel professor explains, “natural selection operates on combinations of traits…”

    Walking right into Behe’s Princess and the Pea analogy in Edge.

  16. 16
    Popperian says:

    UB:

    You cannot translate information without one arrangement of matter to encode the information and a second arrangement of matter to determine the physical effect of that encoding..

    Again, are you referring to the circularity on Shannon’s theory of information? If so, this has been addressed in constructor theoretic terms, which brings information into fundamental physics.

    To quote the abstract of the paper Constructor Theory of Information.

    We present a theory of information expressed solely in terms of which transformations of physical systems are possible and which are impossible – i.e. in constructor-theoretic terms. Although it includes conjectured laws of physics that are directly about information, independently of the details of particular physical instantiations, it does not regard information as an a priori mathematical or logical concept, but as something whose nature and properties are determined by the laws of physics alone. It does not suffer from the circularity at the foundations of existing information theory (namely that information and distinguishability are each defined in terms of the other). It explains the relationship between classical and quantum information, and reveals the single, constructor-theoretic property underlying the most distinctive phenomena associated with the latter, including the lack of in-principle distinguishability of some states, the impossibility of cloning, the existence of pairs of variables that cannot simultaneously have sharp values, the fact that measurement processes can be both deterministic and unpredictable, the irreducible perturbation caused by measurement, and entanglement (locally inaccessible information).

  17. 17
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop, Claude Shannon has nothing to do with my statement. It’s an Olympic non-sequitur.

  18. 18
    johnnyb says:

    chrisM –

    I largely agree with you, however, I also think that you have underestimated the hurdles in front of Intelligent Design. ID work is moving forward, just at a snail’s pace. Why? Because the Darwinists have killed all institutional support. Dembski holds a theology post, where I imagine he has very little time to do much. Another person (who I will not name), can’t find research partners because whenever their superiors catch wind of collaboration they get fired. Baylor was supposed to have the Polanyi center but it got shut down by the Darwinist outcry. Guillermo Gonzalez got fired from his job after the Darwinists witch-hunted him, and now he is at a smaller university which I imagine has a much smaller research budget. In such an environment, what budding scientist in their right mind would go into such a field, where you have entire organizations (such as the NCSE) whose sole purpose is to get your fired?

    So that means that nearly everyone working in ID is doing it in their spare time. I don’t know if you realize this, but doing science in your spare time is *really*, really slow. Those that pursue ID full-time are all supported by lay efforts, as the Darwinists have control of pretty much every professional funding source. Therefore, full-time ID work is mostly dedicated to the lay-facing part of ID.

    I don’t know if you have ever tried to do science without access to labs, equipment, data, other researchers, or even time, but it is terribly difficult. If you have a day job, and you have an experiment that needs to be tended to at a certain time, even if you block out that time, what happens if your boss calls? What are you gong to say? “Sorry boss, I can’t help you because I’ve got E. coli that needs to be applied to a selection media right now.” And where are you going to do it? There are a tiny number of public biolabs in the entire U.S.

    In any case, I understand your frustration, but you should be understanding of why it is that work in ID is so slow. Imagine how slow the development of genetics would be if all geneticists had to work from their house!

    Nonetheless, in the background, there is important work being done. For instance, I bet you were unaware that Winston Ewert revisited the concept of Specified Complexity started from Algorithmic Information Theory, and found that starting from that basis it was mathematically equivalent to Kirk Durston’s “Functional Information”? Are you aware of my own work re-establishing Irreducible Complexity on computatability theory, or adapting Dembski/Marks Active Information to biology? Are you aware of Ewerts work looking at Irreducible Complexity in computer simulations of evolution? Are you aware of my applications of ID to software project management?

    These things are happening, they just aren’t very loud, and certainly not very fast. This site is run by non-specialists, for non-specialists. Most of these things are totally uninteresting for non-specialists. And, it certainly isn’t happening frequently enough to support a popular blog, even if we did spend the time talking about it that was necessary.

    I understand your frustration – I share it! But there is, alas, good reason for the way things are. I have nothing but hope for the future of Intelligent Design, as I think its applications to biology are extremely interesting, and its applications to software complexity management also potentially revolutionary. Nonetheless, because we have no funds or support, it will take quite a bit of time to get there.

    By the way – if you want to see some interesting advances in ID, you should check out my edited volume, Engineering and the Ultimate, based on a conference I ran a few years ago. We are hard at work, but when you have a more-than-full-time job, children that you homeschool, classes that you teach, and a Church you are starting, it leaves less time for ID work than is preferable, but that’s life.

    If you have a faster way forward, I would love to hear it!

  19. 19
    Popperian says:

    @UB

    I’m referring to Shannon’s theory of information, not Claud Shannon, the human being.

    Are you saying your objection does not intersect with his theory of information at all? If not, then why is it relevant?

  20. 20
    Popperian says:

    @UB

    Let me see if I can translate for you into Shannon’s theory.

    You cannot translate information without one arrangement of matter to encode the information and a second arrangement of matter to determine the physical effect of that encoding..

    What you seem to be saying successful translation requires encoding the information. Otherwise, it cannot be distinguished as information after translation. How to successfully perform that translation in such a way that it can be distinguished (your other arrangement of matter) is itself information. So, the theory is circular in that it appeals to information itself.

    Is that about correct?

  21. 21
    johnnyb says:

    Popperian –

    I am quite interested in the paper you cite, and plan on reading it later. However, I should point out that there is nothing inherently flawed in circularity. Much of modern science is built on such circulars. For a good read on the subject, you should read For and Against Method, which points out numerous times when the very foundation of science was built on circulars.

  22. 22
    Upright BiPed says:

    What you seem to be saying successful translation requires encoding the information.

    Information requires encoding in a material medium.

    Otherwise, it cannot be distinguished as information after translation.

    Encoding is not what distinguishes information from noise or error.

    How to successfully perform that translation in such a way that it can be distinguished (your other arrangement of matter) is itself information.

    If that were true, then you would be able to describe the second arrangement of matter in the same terms as the encoded information. Describe it in the same terms as the encoded medium. You can’t. They are not the same thing. They do not have the same relational properties in the system, nor do they serve the same role. And thus your counter-argument (such that it is) falls apart.

  23. 23
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    The argument over irreducible complexity is dead.

    No it’s not.

    The ID claim of IC is simply not valid.

    As the simplest argument against IC, look at the following string of DNA:

    10 01 01 00 11 01 11

    If one bit changed per generation, in X generations, the target would be reached.

    The point is that until the target is reached, the construction doesn’t have to work.

    There is no guarantee that any part of it may appear until all the information is present.

    There is no guarantee that if it appears piece by piece that it will function until the last bit is added/changed.

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    Perry Marshall directly compares Claude Shannon’s communication model and Hubert Yockey’s DNA communication channel model on the following site.

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall (Shannon Channel Capacity)
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

    Notice that Yockey’s model contains the exact same components as Shannon’s – the two systems are isomorphic.
    On the same site, Perry Marshall challenges anyone to, “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”

    “Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery. We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.”
    Perry Marshall

    Marshall’s, (nor Meyer’s, Dembski’s, Behe’s etc..), challenge to show unguided material processes producing coded functional information/complexity has ever been met by Darwinists (or by anyone else).

    Shannon channel capacity also shows us mathematically why it is impossible to evolve the ‘optimal’ genetic code, (or any of the other optimal codes), we find in life:

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    The falsification criteria/challenge that Marshall issued for Intelligent Design (ID) is certainly very easy to understand:

    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    – Perry Marshall

    As mentioned previously in post 2, Darwinism simply has no such rigid falsification criteria as ID does:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-574343

    And without any such rigid falsification criteria, Darwinism does not even qualify as a real science but should be more realistically classified as a pseudo-science. (And I hold that it would be classified a pseudo-science if it were not for the semi-direct Theistic implications involved).

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

  25. 25
    Upright BiPed says:

    As the simplest argument against IC, look at the following string of DNA:

    10 01 01 00 11 01 11

    good grief

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Also of note, as if the preceding was not devastating enough for neo-Darwinists, the codes found in life are found to, in many instances, directly overlap one another:

    Second, third, fourth… genetic codes – One spectacular case of code crowding – Edward N. Trifonov – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDB3fMCfk0E
    In the preceding video, Trifonov elucidates codes that are, simultaneously, in the same sequence, coding for DNA curvature, Chromatin Code, Amphipathic helices, and NF kappaB. In fact, at the 58:00 minute mark he states, “Reading only one message, one gets three more, practically GRATIS!”. And please note that this was just an introductory lecture in which Trifinov just covered the very basics and left many of the other codes out of the lecture. Codes which code for completely different, yet still biologically important, functions. In fact, at the 7:55 mark of the video, there are 13 codes that are listed on a powerpoint, although the writing was too small for me to read.
    Concluding powerpoint of the lecture (at the 1 hour mark):
    “Not only are there many different codes in the sequences, but they overlap, so that the same letters in a sequence may take part simultaneously in several different messages.”
    Edward N. Trifonov – 2010

    In what should be needless to say, overlapping coding greatly exasperates the ‘information problem’ for Darwinists:

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – published online May 2013
    Excerpt: In the last decade, we have discovered still another aspect of the multi- dimensional genome. We now know that DNA sequences are typically “ poly-functional” [38]. Trifanov previously had described at least 12 genetic codes that any given nucleotide can contribute to [39,40], and showed that a given base-pair can contribute to multiple overlapping codes simultaneously. The first evidence of overlapping protein-coding sequences in viruses caused quite a stir, but since then it has become recognized as typical. According to Kapronov et al., “it is not unusual that a single base-pair can be part of an intricate network of multiple isoforms of overlapping sense and antisense transcripts, the majority of which are unannotated” [41]. The ENCODE project [42] has confirmed that this phenomenon is ubiquitous in higher genomes, wherein a given DNA sequence routinely encodes multiple overlapping messages, meaning that a single nucleotide can contribute to two or more genetic codes. Most recently, Itzkovitz et al. analyzed protein coding regions of 700 species, and showed that virtually all forms of life have extensive overlapping information in their genomes [43].

    Conclusions: Our analysis confirms mathematically what would seem intuitively obvious – multiple overlapping codes within the genome must radically change our expectations regarding the rate of beneficial mutations. As the number of overlapping codes increases, the rate of potential beneficial mutation decreases exponentially, quickly approaching zero. Therefore the new evidence for ubiquitous overlapping codes in higher genomes strongly indicates that beneficial mutations should be extremely rare. This evidence combined with increasing evidence that biological systems are highly optimized, and evidence that only relatively high-impact beneficial mutations can be effectively amplified by natural selection, lead us to conclude that mutations which are both selectable and unambiguously beneficial must be vanishingly rare. This conclusion raises serious questions. How might such vanishingly rare beneficial mutations ever be sufficient for genome building? How might genetic degeneration ever be averted, given the continuous accumulation of low impact deleterious mutations?

    38. Sanford J (2008) Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome. FMS Publications, NY. Pages 131–142.
    39. Trifonov EN (1989) Multiple codes of nucleotide sequences. Bull of Mathematical Biology 51:417–432.
    40. Trifanov EN (1997) Genetic sequences as products of compression by inclusive superposition of many codes. Mol Biol 31:647–654.
    41. Kapranov P, et al (2005) Examples of complex architecture of the human transcriptome revealed by RACE and high density tiling arrays. Genome Res 15:987–997.
    42. Birney E, et al (2007) Encode Project Consortium: Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project. Nature 447:799–816.
    43. Itzkovitz S, Hodis E, Sega E (2010) Overlapping codes within protein-coding sequences. Genome Res. 20:1582–1589.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    Biological Information – Overlapping Codes 10-25-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OytcYD5791k&index=4&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

  27. 27
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Carpathian: As the simplest argument against IC, look at the following string of DNA:

    10 01 01 00 11 01 11

    Upright BiPed: good grief

    Are you implying I can’t represent DNA as digital codes?

    How do I store ACTG in computer memory?

    Do I stuff Cheerios in the USB port?

    Should I use a computer that works on base 26?

    Do you have one?

  28. 28
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: I almost feel sorry for Darwinists:

    Spectacular Discovery Reveals Power Grid in Muscle Cells; Design Implications Are Profound – August 4, 2015
    Excerpt: We knew about ATP synthase — that rotary engine that uses proton flow to create “batteries” of energy-packed ATP molecules. Those motors in the mitochondria are arranged along folds (cristae) in the mitochondrial membranes to maximize their output.
    Now researchers have learned that the mitochondria themselves are connected by electrical wires in a vast intracellular network. This allows us to see, for the first time, another level in the hierarchy of design in the cell.,,,
    “Robert Balaban and colleagues explore whether the mitochondria themselves — as well as actually generating the energy — also have a role in its distribution. They find that they do, by forming a conductive pathway throughout the cell in the form of a proton-motive force. Throughout this network, the mitochondrial protein localization seems to be varied, allowing optimized generation and utilization of the mitochondrial membrane potential. This energy distribution network, which depends on conduction rather than diffusion, is potentially extremely rapid, thereby enabling muscle to respond almost instantaneously to new energy demands.”,,,
    “The researchers used 3D electron microscopy as well as super-resolution optical imaging techniques to show that most of the mitochondria form highly connected networks in a way that resembles electrical transmission lines in a municipal power grid.”,,,
    “Structurally, the mitochondria are arranged in such a way that permits the flow of potential energy in the form of the mitochondrial membrane voltage throughout the cell to power ATP production and subsequent muscle contraction, or movement,” Dr. Balaban explained. Mitochondria located on the edges of the muscle cell near blood vessels and oxygen supply are optimized for generating the mitochondrial membrane voltage, while the interconnected mitochondria deep in the muscle are optimized for using the voltage to produce ATP, Balaban added.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....98271.html

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: The ID claim of IC is simply not valid.

    This statement is meaningless.

  30. 30
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Are you implying I can’t represent DNA as digital codes?

    Sure you can. Now find a way to do so without a system that is IC.

  31. 31
    Upright BiPed says:

    Mung at #30 is absolutely correct Carp.

    You were setting up to use an IC system to demonstrate to me that IC systems don’t exist. That’s not particularly convincing. You assume the very concept you’re trying to dismember.

  32. 32
    Sebestyen says:

    Carpathian: As the simplest argument against IC, look at the following string of DNA:

    10 01 01 00 11 01 11

    And this is what happens when we let morons like Richard Dawkins publish books…

  33. 33
    tjguy says:

    Chris,

    Some valid points, but I think we have to remember the nature of the beast that we are dealing with.
    We are dealing with history that cannot be repeated, observed firsthand, or really even tested.

    It is impossible to scientifically test for miracles. So IF the Designer used miracles in any part of the process, that will be beyond science. I think ID is still not sure how the Designer did the designing. I don’t think there is a consensus there at all.

    You have some who argue for a front loading of the information and then letting it all play out according to the program – but how do you test for that?

    Others think the Designer intervened at various points along the way – but how do you test for that?

    Behe seems to believe in common descent, while many others do not.

    Creationists believe that the Designer did a lot of creating in the very beginning and then allowed micro-evolution to take over and produce various species, but how do you test for that?

    I think Behe’s work on irreducible complexity and on the Edge of Evolution, Stephen Meyer’s work on the Cambrian Explosion and on the information in the cell(Signature of the Cell), ICR’s continuing work on radio halos and helium diffusion in zircons, carbon 14 tests on diamonds, coal, fossils, etc. are some good examples of positive research.

    There are not nearly as many ID scientists or creationist scientists as there are Materialist scientists. And funding is a huge issue as well for IDers and creationists, so besides the fact that we are dealing with historical science that doesn’t lend itself easily to the scientific method, there are these other factors that seriously hinder research as well.

    As Silver pointed out, poking holes in the Materialistic paradigm is also important and it should help to give people more of an open mind to consider ID and creationism.

    You are right in saying that holes in the consensus view does not necessarily mean that ID is right, BUT, If there were no holes in the consensus view, then that would be a problem – a negative – for ID/creationism, would it not?

    If either ID or creationism is correct, then a corollary of that should be that the opposing models have holes in them.

    In doing historical science, where using the scientific method is very limited, often we must be settle for what seems to be the best explanation of the data.

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Michael Behe – Observed Limits of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    Of note, last year Dr. Behe was vindicated on his 1 in 10^20 number for the ‘Edge of Evolution’

    Guide of the Perplexed: A Quick Reprise of The Edge of Evolution – Michael Behe – August 20, 2014
    Excerpt: *Any particular adaptive biochemical feature requiring the same mutational complexity as that needed for chloroquine resistance in malaria is forbiddingly unlikely to have arisen by Darwinian processes and fixed in the population of any class of large animals (such as, say, mammals), because of the much lower population sizes and longer generation times compared to that of malaria. (By “the same mutational complexity” I mean requiring 2-3 point mutations where at least one step consists of intermediates that are deleterious, plus a modest selection coefficient of, say, 1 in 10^3 to 1 in10^4. Those factors will get you in the neighborhood of 1 in 10^20.)
    *Any adaptive biological feature requiring a mutational pathway of twice that complexity (that is, 4-6 mutations with the intermediate steps being deleterious) is unlikely to have arisen by Darwinian processes during the history of life on Earth.,,,
    What’s more, Nicholas White’s factor of 1 in 10^20 already has built into it all the ways to evolve chloroquine resistance in P. falciparum. In the many malarial cells exposed to chloroquine there have surely occurred all possible single mutations and probably all possible double mutations — in every malarial gene — yet only a few mutational combinations in pfcrt are effective. In other words, mutation and selection have already searched all possible solutions of the entire genome whose probability is greater than 1 in 10^20, including mutations to other genes. The observational evidence demonstrates that only a handful are effective. There is no justification for arbitrarily inflating probabilistic resources by citing imaginary alternative evolutionary routes.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89161.html

    Moreover, as hard as it is for Darwinian processes to account for chloroquine resistance in the malaria parasite, to add insult to injury, the adaptation came at a loss of fitness for the parasite, not a gain.

    Metabolic QTL Analysis Links Chloroquine Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum to Impaired Hemoglobin Catabolism – January, 2014
    Summary: Chloroquine was formerly a front line drug in the treatment of malaria. However, drug resistant strains of the malaria parasite have made this drug ineffective in many malaria endemic regions. Surprisingly, the discontinuation of chloroquine therapy has led to the reappearance of drug-sensitive parasites. In this study, we use metabolite quantitative trait locus analysis, parasite genetics, and peptidomics to demonstrate that chloroquine resistance is inherently linked to a defect in the parasite’s ability to digest hemoglobin, which is an essential metabolic activity for malaria parasites. This metabolic impairment makes it harder for the drug-resistant parasites to reproduce than genetically-equivalent drug-sensitive parasites, and thus favors selection for drug-sensitive lines when parasites are in direct competition. Given these results, we attribute the re-emergence of chloroquine sensitive parasites in the wild to more efficient hemoglobin digestion.
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar.....en.1004085

    Here is a podcast and video on the subject

    “The real question here is not whether the arguments ID makes are correct or whether they’re supported by the science when you look at it objectively. This resistance to ID is solely a sociological phenomenon. That the folks in science — at least the ones who have the microphones — don’t like it, don’t like it one bit. And they will do whatever they can, fair or foul, to suppress it.”
    podcast – Michael Behe: Vindication for ‘The Edge of Evolution,’ Pt. 2 @ ~12:20 minute mark
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_19-07_00

    “The Edge of Evolution” Strikes Again 8-2-2014 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnO-xa3nBE4

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    Michael Behe – 25:56 minute quote of note

    Michael Behe – Observed Limits of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    relevant Feynman quote:

    The Scientific Method – Richard Feynman – video
    Quote: ‘If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL6-x0modwY

  36. 36
    Virgil Cain says:

    The ID claim of IC is simply not valid.

    Your position and you don’t have any arguments that are valid.

    OTOH the IC argument for ID is based on observations and experience, ie science.

  37. 37
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Mung at #30 is absolutely correct Carp.

    You were setting up to use an IC system to demonstrate to me that IC systems don’t exist. That’s not particularly convincing. You assume the very concept you’re trying to dismember.

    Again IDists fail to find that border between the map and the territory.

    The concept you’re trying to avoid at all costs is biological IC.

    Computers don’t sexually reproduce and pass on modified circuit boards to their “children”.

    Computers use software to model systems, not be those systems.

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    Computers use software to model systems, not be those systems.

    Persons use computers and software to design and/or model systems.

  39. 39
    Carpathian says:

    Dionisio:

    Persons use computers and software to design and/or model systems.

    True, but that doesn’t mean I add “design” to a potato if I measure its resistance with a meter.

    I also don’t add an element of “design” to a waterfall if I take its picture with a digital camera.

    The “device under test” does not take on the attributes of the equipment or people that investigate it.

  40. 40
    Virgil Cain says:

    Carpathian- Your position cannot explain biology, let alone biological IC. Also basic asexual reproduction is IC.

    The concept you are trying to avoid at all costs is if your position had something then ID would be a non-starter.

  41. 41
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp:

    Again IDists fail to find that border between the map and the territory.

    The concept you’re trying to avoid at all costs is biological IC.

    Computers don’t sexually reproduce and pass on modified circuit boards to their “children”.

    Computers use software to model systems, not be those systems.

    I made the comment upthread that the battle for IC is dead – i.e. the translation of genetic information requires irreducible complexity, and you can’t organize the heterogeneous living cell without translation.

    In your first swing at that comment you went for the “translation can evolve” thing, then you went for the weird “I can represent codons as base-2 code” thing, and now in your last pass you go for the “computers don’t have babies” nonsense.

    All of this seems fairly par for the course where you are concerned, in that you operate with a supreme sense of certainty about virtually any issue, and you commonly respond by trying to jump three places ahead of your conversation partners and put up some argument-killing roadblock to cut them off — basically demonstrating that no mere mortal can ever get over on a vast intellect like yours. The only problem is that your comments betray the simple fact that you have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, or moreover, you have no idea what I am talking about. I doubt seriously you’ve ever studied the issues with any intent to understand them, and it shows.

    What makes things even worse is that you are not merely boringly combative, but you have a firmly closed mind and you appear to be constitutionally unable to accept concepts that don’t conform to your ideological preferences.

    Let me ask you a question: Are you familiar with the concept that information requires a material medium in order to exist?

  42. 42
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed: Are you familiar with the concept that information requires a material medium in order to exist?

    Carpathian denies this, actually.

    He has a theory that information can be transmitted as immaterial “something” as long as it’s above the physical later of the ISO model. Strange but true.

  43. 43
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, the way the ISO’s OSI layercake works is by passing up and down the layers, with transmission a physical layer process. Peer-peer communication is virtual. KF

  44. 44
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carpathian denies this, actually.

    Hmmm. That’s too bad.

    Oh well.

  45. 45
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    kairosfocus: Mung, the way the ISO’s OSI layercake works is by passing up and down the layers, with transmission a physical layer process. Peer-peer communication is virtual. KF

    You should get a quick primer on programming from kairosfocus as he understands things you don’t.

  46. 46
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    In your first swing at that comment you went for the “translation can evolve” thing, then you went for the weird “I can represent codons as base-2 code” thing, and now in your last pass you go for the “computers don’t have babies” nonsense.

    Your grasp of how computers work is as bad as Mung’s.

    The last thing you want to do is look at ID as something to do with “information”, since you don’t seem to understand how “information” is handled.

  47. 47
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Let me ask you a question: Are you familiar with the concept that information requires a material medium in order to exist?

    Not only is this statement irrelevant, it is untrue.

    If you are talking about “raw logged data”, then yes I agree.

    Information however, is a virtual entity.

    For instance, if you see a cup that is half-full, where is that information stored in a material medium?

    Where is the information stored that it is actually half-empty?

    They should both be there if “information” requires a material medium.

    When it comes to the economy, the “data” we get could return new “information” as we apply new statistical tools, yet the raw data and the medium it resides in have not changed even though the “information” we derive has grown.

    You are trying to use the term “information” to imply that “data” was stored in a medium by an intelligence, therefore ID.

  48. 48
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp at 46

    Your grasp of how computers work is as bad as Mung’s.

    I havent said anything about “how computers work”.

    The last thing you want to do is look at ID as something to do with “information”, since you don’t seem to understand how “information” is handled.

    Well okay. Next month marks six straight years that I have researched nothing but “how information is handled”. I’ve researched what is required for one thing to represent another thing in a material system, the physical conditions of translation, memory, and heredity. I’ve also been very fortunate and very grateful to have been in substantial contact with some of the more prominent scientists and researchers in these areas. But perhaps you are correct, that I know nothing of it. I suppose we can find out.

  49. 49
    Upright BiPed says:

    Carp at 47

    Information however, is a virtual entity.

    For instance, if you see a cup that is half-full, where is that information stored in a material medium?

    Really!?!

    Oh man. I think the only gracious thing to do at this point is to end this conversation.

    Best of luck to you.

  50. 50
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Oh man. I think the only gracious thing to do at this point is to end this conversation.

    Yes you should.

    Any student presented with ID as you have been doing would quickly abandon it as a scientific possibility.
    Let me just repeat what I said in closing:

    When it comes to the economy, the “data” we get could return new “information” as we apply new statistical tools, yet the raw data and the medium it resides in have not changed even though the “information” we derive has grown.

    You are trying to use the term “information” to imply that “data” was stored in a medium by an intelligence, therefore ID.

  51. 51
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    Carpathian: Your grasp of how computers work is as bad as Mung’s.

    Upright BiPed: I havent said anything about “how computers work”.

    Upright BiPed: In your first swing at that comment you went for the “translation can evolve” thing, then you went for the weird “I can represent codons as base-2 code” thing, and now in your last pass you go for the “computers don’t have babies” nonsense.

    Clearly you don’t understand how computers work.

  52. 52
    Upright BiPed says:

    😐

  53. 53
    Carpathian says:

    🙂

  54. 54
    Barry Arrington says:

    UB, I’m sorry you had to go through that with Carp. There is a time to answer a fool and there is a time not to answer him. You have observed both. Thank you.

  55. 55
    Box says:

    Carpathian, you have no clue as to what you are arguing against. You may want to start here.

  56. 56
    Mung says:

    Information is virtual, says Carpathian, until it passes through the physical link layer, then it’s physical, then it becomes virtual again. A true dualist.

    We’re still waiting for Carpathian to explicate the mechanisms that bring about these conversions from virtual to physical and back again.

    Maybe once he applies himself to that task he’ll gain some inking of what Upright BiPed is talking about.

  57. 57
    Popperian says:

    @UB,

    Had a busy week at work. Just now getting back to the thread.

    UB:

    If that were true, then you would be able to describe the second arrangement of matter in the same terms as the encoded information. Describe it in the same terms as the encoded medium. You can’t. They are not the same thing. They do not have the same relational properties in the system, nor do they serve the same role. And thus your counter-argument (such that it is) falls apart.

    First, you have confused my request for clarification with a counter argument.

    Since it’s always possible to misinterpret what someone says, I’m starting out with a guess as to what you actually mean. So, for now, I’m just trying to distinguish my idea of your argument from your idea of your argument so I can discard errors my idea contains.

    What I’m trying to understand where your argument fits into existing theories of information. That’s the first step, which I’ve found problematic in the past.

    To continue this process, Shannon’s theory has the practical goal of making unreliable transmissions more reliable and more efficient. However, what we seem to be concerned with are more fundamental issues that remain even if error rates are reduced to the minimum physically possible and the need for redundancy is eliminated. In this case, receiving the message in Shannon’s merely becomes a matter of distinguishing it from all other possible messages. As such, his theory is inadequate for our use in two ways.

    First, it cannot describe information in the realm of quantum physics due to prohibitions that quantum theory imposes, as it is incompatible with the interoperability required by Shannon’s theory. As such, it is limited to describing classical information.

    Second, and what I think is more relevant to your argument, is that Shannon’s theory starts out with and has the goal of information in a distinguishable state, but does not explicitly indicate what it means to distinguish something physically. That is, it implicitly assumes that a receiver knows one state is distinguishable from another. In this sense, Shannon’s theory is circular.

    IOW, it would seem that your argument is reflected in the fact that no theory of information provides a non-circular account of what it means for a set of physical states to be mutually distinguishable.

    Are we getting closer?

  58. 58
    Popperian says:

    @UB

    I’d also point out that you’re argument seems to fall into the camp that claims evolution is not compatible with no-design laws of physics. Namely, that what defines the results the second arrangement of matter would have itself build into the laws of physics.

    Is that an accurate assumption on my part?

  59. 59
    Mung says:

    Popperian: Is that an accurate assumption on my part?

    In a word, no.

    Darwinian evolution depends on a system which incorporates the elements described by Upright BiPed, a system which is itself irreducibly complex.

    The claim is not that Darwinian evolution could not bring about an IC system, but rather that Darwinian evolution cannot even take place without the prior existence of an IC system. IOW, the claim is not that the two are at odds, the claim is one of priority.

    The question for an advocate for “no-design laws of physics” is, how is this IC system which is necessary for Darwinian evolution to take place, constructed by these “no-design laws”?

    Now I don’t presume to speak for Upright BiPed, but I would wager that I have fairly represented what he would say, and if I can understand his argument, then so can you.

  60. 60
    Popperian says:

    Let me be more specific.

    To say the appearance of design depends on the effect of this second arrangement in an Irreducibly complex way is to say that at least some part of the appearance of design was already present, at the outset, in the laws of physics. IOW, UB’s argument seems to be claiming the specific physical effect of the second arrangement of matter is both more fundamental and actually contributes to the appearance of design, but something that evolutionary theory cannot explain. In the sense that evolutionary theory is incomplete, it is incompatable with “no design-laws of physics.

  61. 61
    Popperian says:

    To clarify. It’s one thing to claim that the laws of physics are finely tuned to allow life to form or that the laws of physics are finely tuned to allow information. However, it is another thing to claim that the laws of physics actually contribute to the appearance of design, in that part of that appearance was somehow already present, at the outset, in the specific effects of the second arrangement of matter.

  62. 62
    Virgil Cain says:

    Saying that the laws of physics “just are (the way they are)*” is not science yet that is all the anti-IDists have.

    * Hawking “A Briefer History of Time”

  63. 63
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    We’re still waiting for Carpathian to explicate the mechanisms that bring about these conversions from virtual to physical and back again.

    Please take a closer look at what kairosfocus wrote.

    It is obvious you don’t understand what he was trying to tell you.

  64. 64
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    UB, I’m sorry you had to go through that with Carp. There is a time to answer a fool and there is a time not to answer him. You have observed both. Thank you.

    I’m a fool?

    For what, disputing UB’s theory just like IDists dispute “Darwinian” evolution?

    Have you come to the conclusion it is better to store an A as “A” instead of 01?

    I bet kairosfocus knows why but you and UB don’t.

    You must have come to the same conclusions as UB if you’re going to make the determination that I am a fool.

    Here’s a question for you then that UB probably can’t answer.

    The growth rings in a tree can tell you how old the tree is.

    Were those rings put there as “information” to inform people how old the tree is or are they the result of growth?

    If they were not put there by an intelligent agent as “information” then there is no reason to presume that the genetic code is “information” either but rather the result and reason for future DNA configurations in an ongoing feedback loop.

    If a student in a biology class that was teaching ID asked this question, what kind of answer would he get?

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mung

    The claim is not that Darwinian evolution could not bring about an IC system, but rather that Darwinian evolution cannot even take place without the prior existence of an IC system. IOW, the claim is not that the two are at odds, the claim is one of priority.

    The question for an advocate for “no-design laws of physics” is, how is this IC system which is necessary for Darwinian evolution to take place, constructed by these “no-design laws”?

    That’s a very clear clarification. 🙂
    And so far, it hasn’t been countered.

    But also, regularities and processes of physics (as measured by or called ‘laws’) are part of the IC system.

    So, the no-design laws have to create and also be an integral part of the evolutionary system.

    If the system is not IC, then it’s reducible. Thus the question: where is the evidence that no design laws create (from a prior state) and become integral part of biological systems?

  66. 66
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop at 57

    Shannon’s theory has the practical goal of making unreliable transmissions more reliable and more efficient.

    Agreed.

    However, what we seem to be concerned with are more fundamental issues that remain even if error rates are reduced to the minimum physically possible

    I’m not sure I was concerned with that, but okay. 🙂

    In this case, receiving the message in Shannon’s merely becomes a matter of distinguishing it from all other possible messages.

    This would seem to indicate that the system is functioning fine. I think there is something you need to understand here. A communication is an arrangement of matter, a representation. But a communication doesn’t achieve the status of being a representation by any property of its own. It only achieves that status by being associated in a system with some other arrangement of matter that determines what is being represented. If we live in a world where representations are flying about and there is no one, or no thing, that “knows” what they mean, I am not aware of it.

    As such, his theory is inadequate for our use in two ways.

    Again, I am not sure why you want to talk to me about Shannon, nor do I know what “our use” is supposed to be.

    First, it cannot describe information in the realm of quantum physics due to prohibitions that quantum theory imposes, as it is incompatible with the interoperability required by Shannon’s theory. As such, it is limited to describing classical information.

    Again, I don’t see the issue. It’s not a limit that a tool functions as it was intended. Why should it be otherwise?

    Second, and what I think is more relevant to your argument, is that Shannon’s theory starts out with and has the goal of information in a distinguishable state, but does not explicitly indicate what it means to distinguish something physically.

    It’s difficult to understand what you are driving at here. If you are asking how a representation is distinguished, it’s accomplished by means that are appropriate to its individual system (i.e. a pheromone needs a receptor capable of recognizing the pheromone and establishing a downstream effect). If you mean something more than that, you’ll need to explain it.

    That is, it implicitly assumes that a receiver knows one state is distinguishable from another.

    Why should a theory of communication do anything else? Again, are you imagining that there are clouds of representations — their arrangements of translatable information unknown to any system – being communicated to no one and nothing? Surely you have something else in mind.

    In this sense, Shannon’s theory is circular.

    Give me a break

    IOW, it would seem that your argument is reflected in the fact that no theory of information provides a non-circular account of what it means for a set of physical states to be mutually distinguishable.

    Distinguishable from what?

  67. 67
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop at 58

    I’d also point out that you’re argument seems to fall into the camp that claims evolution is not compatible with no-design laws of physics. Namely, that what defines the results the second arrangement of matter would have itself build into the laws of physics.

    Is that an accurate assumption on my part?

    My argument doesn’t claim that evolution is not possible. Instead, it describes the physical conditions of evolution (as an informational process).

  68. 68
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop at 59

    To say the appearance of design depends on the effect of this second arrangement in an Irreducibly complex way is to say that at least some part of the appearance of design was already present, at the outset, in the laws of physics.

    My argument assumes the laws of nature are regular. Nothing more, nothing less.

    IOW, UB’s argument seems to be claiming the specific physical effect of the second arrangement of matter is both more fundamental and actually contributes to the appearance of design, but something that evolutionary theory cannot explain. In the sense that evolutionary theory is incomplete, it is incompatable with “no design-laws of physics.

    This is a mis-conceptualization of the argument. It’s a dead end.

  69. 69
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop at 60

    To clarify. It’s one thing to claim that the laws of physics are finely tuned to allow life to form or that the laws of physics are finely tuned to allow information. However, it is another thing to claim that the laws of physics actually contribute to the appearance of design, in that part of that appearance was somehow already present, at the outset, in the specific effects of the second arrangement of matter.

    My argument does not make the claim you are attributing to it. What more can be said?

  70. 70
    Upright BiPed says:

    Popper,

    If you are going to try and criticize the argument, you should try to understand it before you start cramming things into it that it does not concern. My suggestion would be to think of it in a real world example until you have a grasp of the issues. There is nothing difficult about that exercise. After all, there is nothing even controversial about the observations I am making.

  71. 71
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed:

    If you are going to try and criticize the argument, you should try to understand it before you start cramming things into it that it does not concern.

    Can you possibly give a brief 10 line overview of your argument?

    It might help everyone if you gave a very simple explanation.

    The details could be fleshed out later.

  72. 72
    Mung says:

    1. There is no such thing as “virtual” information.

    2. An implementation of the OSI model does not convert “virtual information” at some “non-physical layer” into “physical information” so that it can be transmitted over a “physical layer.”

    There. And it only took two.

  73. 73
    Popperian says:

    @UB# 66

    P:

    Second, and what I think is more relevant to your argument, is that Shannon’s theory starts out with and has the goal of information in a distinguishable state, but does not explicitly indicate what it means to distinguish something physically. That is, it implicitly assumes that a receiver knows one state is distinguishable from another. In this sense, Shannon’s theory is circular.

    IOW, it would seem that your argument is reflected in the fact that no theory of information provides a non-circular account of what it means for a set of physical states to be mutually distinguishable.

    UB:

    Distinguishable from what?

    Other physical states.

    UB,

    If you’re talking about an aspect of information, I would expect you to distinguish that aspect from what it’s not, such as part of an existing theory of information and terms it uses, which could be equivocated. After all, if the only possible state of a message is “1”, then it cannot be distiquished from any other message in the form of a counterfactual of what it could have been, but was not.

    For example, you wrote:

    But a communication doesn’t achieve the status of being a representation by any property of its own.

    Being a “representation” could be what it means to say a message can be physically distinguished in Shannon’s theory, or have nothing to do with it at all. As such, I can guess a more specific usages that you can either accept or disagree with. In this case, I’m using the more specific form of “distinguish” as found in Shannon’s theory of information as a starting point.

    IOW, what you’re referring could be included in Shannon’s theory, a specific aspect that is absence from Shannon’s theory because it is curricular, or some other aspect that is neither. The later being most difficult to distinguish.

    To make progress faster, we devise tests that exclude the most in the least amount of effort. If you’re familiar with information theory, that seems to be the most logical course of action. Even if you’re not, there are volumes on the subject you can refer to, which I don’t have to present here in a comment.

    So, no, I’m not saying your argument is circular. I’m using a circularity in an aspect of Shannon’s theory to try to distinguish parts of your argument in relation to existing theories of information.

    For example, you wrote:

    If we live in a world where representations are flying about and there is no one, or no thing, that “knows” what they mean, I am not aware of it.

    Again, Shannon’s theory is circular in that it somehow implicitly assumes the sender also communicates some way to physical distinguish the message to the receiver, such as though some form of redundancy, etc. It’s absence is a key criticism of his theory. This also seems to be a reflection of you pointing out there is no communications “flying about that ‘knows’ what they mean.” – the absence of which sees to be a key aspect in your argument as well.

    So, apparently, parts of your argument are the same, but somehow not the same. If they are not the same this is your chance to distinguish them further, by telling me where they do not intersect.

    This is how we’ll make progress. I can’t simply extrapolate what you wrote because words are ultimately undefined. So, we only need to make a distinction (determine what they do not mean) to the degree that is sufficient for solving the program at hand, rather than to search for some perfect, ultimate definition to end all definitions. That doesn’t actually solve any problems, other than possibly satiating one’s need to justify their beliefs, which doesn’t actually seem worth solving.

  74. 74
    Popperian says:

    @mung

    1.There is no such thing as “virtual” information.

    Agreed. Exactly how is this a problem?

    Before observations can be said to be compatible or incompatible, you need some other theory by which to extrapolate those observations. That’s what I’m trying to determine by making distinctions.

    Furthermore, this seems like a problem for non-materialism, what ever that means. For example, you couldn’t “explain” the knowledge (useful information) in biological organisms as having originated / been copied from one place, in a non-material designer, to another place, inside material organisms, because non-material designers cannot not possess virtual information in the first place.

    Apparently, organisms “just appeared” complete with that information, already present. But, would’t that be the spontaneous generation of knowledge (useful information)?

    2. An implementation of the OSI model does not convert “virtual information” at some “non-physical layer” into “physical information” so that it can be transmitted over a “physical layer.”

    Yet, this has nothing to do with Shannon’s theory of information, which is designed for exactly this sort of scenario? Color me confused.

    There. And it only took two.

    So, you think it’s obvious from those two points? I sure don’t

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I always find this an interesting topic because I hardly ever understand what either side is saying, as in this case. That keeps it fresh. 🙂 And I’m willing to be educated, so thank you.

  76. 76
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The good ol’ UD Glossary helps …

    Information — Wikipedia, with some reorganization, is apt: “ . . that which would be communicated by a message if it were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message . . . . In terms of data, it can be defined as a collection of facts [i.e. as represented or sensed in some format] from which conclusions may be drawn [and on which decisions and actions may be taken].”

    First thought … “… that which would be … if it were sent”.

    Can a person generate information that cannot be sent to a receiver? I would think so. I generate sensory impressions and therefore thoughts that I cannot express.

    As far as “a collection of facts” … even fictional ideas are informational.

    Information is the relationship that defines what “meaning” is. It’s teleological. Information is “for” something. It’s an expression of purpose.

  77. 77
    Upright BiPed says:

    Pop,

    You start by suggesting that my argument is circular in the same way that you say Shannon’s theory of communication is circular. In the course of making this claim, you betray several misconceptions about my argument.

    I point out some of your misconceptions, and suggest that you set aside your comparison to Shannon’s theory until you understand my argument. Shannon’s work removes the meaning from communication in order to focus on the transmission of that communication. My observations are focused elsewhere – what are the material conditions involved when meaning is communicated. You now tell me that a comparison to Shannon is the only path to progress, whatever that means to you.

    Thus, you are needlessly going in circles. And you don’t need me for that.

    *** If it helps you at all, I will leave this link up for a short amount of time. It’s clipped from an upcoming website dedicated to the subject.

    An Easy Understanding of Semiosis

  78. 78
    Silver Asiatic says:

    UB

    Thanks for that one-page but detailed overview.

    I started out pretty good but I couldn’t get past this:

    “The physical conditions required to translate an informational medium into physical effects …”

    I don’t get how an informational medium is translated — that is, I don’t get what that means. There are physical conditions, a medium, and physical effects. Is the medium non-physical?

    Actually, even before that I didn’t quite get how what is described is a physical process entirely since it involves information which has the non-physical aspect of meaning.

    Just some comments from an interested reader – not meant as criticism.

  79. 79
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I read it more carefully and I’ve got it now … please disregard previous.

  80. 80
    Popperian says:

    @sliver

    Wikipedia:

    “ . . that which would be communicated by a message if it were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message. . . ”

    However, Shannon’s theory does not indicate the means by which the receiver knows how to physically distinguish messages. If the means was transmitted and received between the sender and receiver, that would meet the definition of information as defined be the theory itself, which makes it circular.

    UB’s seems to mirror this in part of his argument. From an earlier comment.

    If we live in a world where representations are flying about and there is no one, or no thing, that “knows” what they mean, I am not aware of it.

    IOW, it seems to me that “Knowing what they mean” would be useful information. I.E. knowledge. And you could not send that to a receiver without it first knowing knowing that that message means, etc. That receivers know this is accepted as a given in Shannon’s theory, despite the fact that it would itself be information.

    Yet, we know what messages mean. So, there has to be some other explanation for our ability to distinguish messages send from senders to receivers independent of information transfer.

    How this actually differs from the component missing in Shannon’s theory is not clear yet. It seems to me, these criticisms could the same or mistaken for each other, and that further clarification would be useful before moving forward.

    Information is the relationship that defines what “meaning” is. It’s teleological. Information is “for” something. It’s an expression of purpose.

    If I write a message for the purpose of telling a the story of my life to a person who only speaks Russian, but I don’t know how to speak or write in Russian, the purpose for which I wrote that message is not sufficient for that message to be successful.

    If I received a book that I claimed to serve the purpose of allowing me to translate my life story in Russian, but it did not actually contain accurate translations, it would be unsuccessful as well. This is would the case even if author created the book with the intention of allowing me to do just that, but didn’t actually know how.

    In this sense, knowledge is independent of anyone’s belief or intention.

    This is why I keep returning to the idea of Knowledge as useful information that plays a causal role in it being retained / preserved when embedded in a storage medium. It solves a problem.

  81. 81
    Popperian says:

    @UB,

    No, I’m not saying your argument is circular. I’m trying to take my conjectured idea of what your argument might be seriously for the purpose of criticism. So we can make progress. It should conflict with your’s in specific ways that I can discard as errors.

    I don’t believe that is your argument, but I need somewhere to start.

    Merely saying it’s wrong doesn’t get us any closer. I’m looking for the delta between Shannon’s theory and your theory, because in doing so that’s how we make progress.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    UB: File not found error on the gif. Site is under construction, access limited — understandably. I obviously missed the window. Why not get a google docs account or dropbox etc for sharing, or set up a small blog? Or do a FYI post here at UD> I’d host it if you have not got posting power. KF

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    SA:

    Note the subjunctive.

    I would suggest that if you have formed a concept it can be sent at least as some level of description as a message, or a sketch etc.

    Secondly, the restricted form, DATA as facts encoded in a representation (when organised in structured communicable patterns, info; when warranted and credibly true, knowledge . . . ) and useful towards decision, action etc, that is the basis for the world of computing, info or signal processing, communication, control and more.

    The restriction, DATA, is operative, in short.

    Hope that helps.

    KF

    PS: Anyone else have a prob where the you are live test is looping on incorrect answers, e.g. 9 * 2 = 18 is not an error?

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    Popperian, if you cannot speak Russian, get a translator. In short go to a layercake stack process, pass down, across then up creating a virtual peer to peer link. Translation is part of the info flow etc process. KF

  85. 85
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Popperian

    Interesting points and discussion.

    If I write a message for the purpose of telling a the story of my life to a person who only speaks Russian, but I don’t know how to speak or write in Russian, the purpose for which I wrote that message is not sufficient for that message to be successful.

    I’ll object here. There are two purposes in that example.
    1. To write the story of your life
    2. To communicate that story to a particular person

    Information is an expression of purpose or intention (it seems to me so far). In fact, purpose is embedded into the expression. That’s what makes it information versus noise.

    To fulfill purpose #1 above, you write your life’s story — and that can be in any language that you understand. Now, this remains information, even though it is not communicated. In fact, if you made up your own language, known only to you — it remains accurate information on your life story. It is information solely because you have embedded intention or purpose into what you wrote.

    To fulfill purpose #2, you want to communicate your story to someone else. In my opinion, this goes beyond what information is in itself. For example, your Russian speaker can receive a message in English, so therefore no communication. However, the receiver has the capability to decipher the message. It’s the same if you made up your own language. Any potential receiver could decipher it and discover the information (intention) embedded within.

    If I received a book that I claimed to serve the purpose of allowing me to translate my life story in Russian, but it did not actually contain accurate translations, it would be unsuccessful as well. This is would the case even if author created the book with the intention of allowing me to do just that, but didn’t actually know how.

    Whether the communication-loop from sender to receiver is successful is another matter. Information, purely as itself, does not need to intend to be communicated. Famous writers have personal notebooks that were not intended for anyone but themselves. Additionally, in your example, information can also be inaccurate or inconsistent. It may fail to communicate clearly (spelling errors or other errors). But it remains information, whether good or bad information, simply because purpose or intentionality was built into it.

    That’s how we would separate information from noise. If we find no teleology in a sequence of observations, then there’s no information.

    There is a significant objection that I can see to my own idea that information is purposeful:

    Do chemicals generate information?

    Here is where there’s a difference between ‘purpose’ and ‘intent’. With the idea of ‘intent’ it seems to indicate that whatever generated the information had a personal reason to do it. But that’s not what it should mean in this case — it means some underlying purpose or meaning.

    So, computers generate information. But does a computer ‘intend’ to do that? What it should mean is that the information a computer generates indicates a quality of purpose — what we observe is purposeful because it contains meaning.

    We could say “it communicates meaning” and that’s ok also except as above, the intention or purpose embedded in information is not necessarily to communicate (beyond the sender/originator) but to hold or preserve intention, meaning or purpose.

    We could say that an author’s private notes intend to communicate to the author, but that’s not really a communications-loop as such. It is communicated from the sender, to an information media, then back only to sender.

    In any case, I apologize if I sound more certain about all of this than I really am. These are just opinions that I’m exploring as we go along.

    I appreciate the discussion and the challenges — with a chance to clarify the various concepts.

    I didn’t address your point regarding knowledge because I’m not yet sure how it fits in. The difference between information and knowledge is important. But I don’t quite have that yet.

    On the question of chemicals – I would say that chemicals display information, thus purpose.

  86. 86
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Good clarification. Yes, I misread that.

    It’s interesting. That definition starts from the receiver.

    When there is a receiver that understands something, then anything that could be understood by that receiver is information.

    So, information versus noise … Noise is anything that is not capable of being understood as information by any receiver.

    I can see problems with that, but it’s also very good.

  87. 87
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Another attempt …

    “ . . that which would be communicated by a message if it were sent from a sender to a receiver capable of understanding the message . . . .

    If there is a receiver capable of understanding the message, then what is sent is information.

    Ok, I see why I’m having a problem with it. Who judges whether something is information or noise? The sender or the receiver? Or perhaps both?

    In some cases, the sender cannot know if there is any receiver capable of receiving the message.

    I create my own secret code and write private notes. If no receiver ever could understand it, would it be information?

    I guess we could say that the sender understands it so it communicates from sender to sender.

    The key here is ‘understanding’ whatever is communicated.

    Humans have the capability of being able to interpret things, and claim to understand.

    Are the position of stars informational? Well, there are receivers who believe that the positions communicate astrological prophecies — so then yes. But this would be true about chicken entrails or reading tea leaves also.

    I do believe star alignments are informational but for a different reason and not for horoscopes.

    So, perhaps that’s a new corollary in our understanding:

    Potential receivers can generate information from observations or data simply by imposing meaning upon them.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, the sender has an internal receiver, if it is reflexive. That also happens if it is capable of duplex communication, 2-way. So, making sense to the sender is in the context of reflexive capability of self-communication. To focus on the reception- demod- decode process is relevant as that allows discerning signal from noise. The point of communication is to be received in a way that is functionally apt, so starting from the end leads to the beginning through requisites, and from that information is understood in a way that makes functional sense. With data as a subset. KF

  89. 89
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF – starting from the end is a good way to understand it. Thanks. That’s classic teleology also. Purpose “has an end in mind”. The information is created with a receiver in mind — whether self or external. It has the purpose of communicating meaning. That can be discovered even if the precise meaning is not fully known (disciphering code only partially).

    One problem I stumbled into is where the receiver can create information out of noise, or interpret information where none was intended. But that’s just another example of self-referential information using sense data as a source. The information is generated in the mind of the receiver.

    I cannot think of an instance in nature where information is generated but there is no receiver capable of understanding it. Although, I suppose we wouldn’t know that. For example, if rocks actually try to communicate information, we might never know it. Rocks generate information. The rocks are unaware of it and there is no receiver capable of understanding it.

    It’s simpler with insects for example. Bees generate information. The bees do not appear to be self-reflexive but since they have other receivers capable of understanding what they generate, we recognize a communications-network of information tranferral. The same is true of plants or even communication at the cellular level.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    SA: This is why information definitions reckon with probabilities of distortion in light of signal to noise ratio, and it is why the detection of a message is inherently a design inference [indeed S/N ratio directly implies that], with some possibility of error. KF

  91. 91
    Virgil Cain says:

    Popperian:

    However, Shannon’s theory does not indicate the means by which the receiver knows how to physically distinguish messages.

    Shannon’s treatise applied to machines, ie the equipment that sent, received and stored the message. And machines don’t care about meaning they are just supposed to do as we tell them.

  92. 92
    Mung says:

    Popperian: And you could not send that to a receiver without it first knowing knowing that that message means, etc.

    Sounds like IC to me.

    And what might be the most obvious way to tell whether the receiver “knows” what the message means?

    I’ll take a stab at it. You observe. You try to see whether it brings about some physical effect.

  93. 93
    kairosfocus says:

    Popperian, how the system distinguishes messages is rooted in contrastive, distinct states, whether smoothly generated [analogue] or discrete [digital], and yes a comms sys is irreducibly complex. The exact how of that is 1 – 2 degrees in Electrical/Electronics &/or Computer engineering or Applied Physics or the like, rooted in several generations of research in a wide range of disciplines. The cell phone you hold in your hand is a treasury of skill and knowledge reduced to an industrial product that has a world of knowledge packed into it. It is skilled and highly creative interface design that makes it easy to use. KF

  94. 94
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    1. There is no such thing as “virtual” information.

    2. An implementation of the OSI model does not convert “virtual information” at some “non-physical layer” into “physical information” so that it can be transmitted over a “physical layer.”

    There. And it only took two.

    I never said that “virtual information” “exists” since by definition, it can’t exist.

    Please look at what kairosfocus wrote.

    He is on your side so there is no reason to discredit what he is saying before actually trying to understand it.

    It is the “peer to peer communications ” that is virtual, not the “information” .

    kairosfocus: Mung, the way the ISO’s OSI layercake works is by passing up and down the layers, with transmission a physical layer process. Peer-peer communication is virtual. KF

    Carpathian: You should get a quick primer on programming from kairosfocus as he understands things you don’t.

    What I saying is that implicit “information” exists that is not instantiated in matter.

  95. 95
    Mung says:

    Carpathian. You’re a dualist. Plain and simple.

    You have your “implicit information” existing in some “virtual” or ethereal plane of existence, you can’t say where, being transformed by some mechanism or other, you can’t say what or how, into physical information such that it can be transmitted over a physical later.

    Pardon me if I still wonder what your beef is with ID.

  96. 96
    Popperian says:

    @UB

    After reading your summary, it’s unclear how the necessity aspects of obtaining a particular result, such as playing a tune, also make it irreducible complex.

    While I would agree that information is at play, you seem to think that once someone admits this they have implicitly conceded IC and therefore design. However, it’s unclear how this is the case.

    Now, so there is no mistake, here’s where I’m conjecturing why you think biosemiosis supports the ID position. And I’m doing so because apparently there is some additional assumptions you’re making that are not explicitly present in your argument.

    Are you saying that it supports ID because it’s even possible to perform any transformation of this kind, independent of any particular result? Or does it support ID because to get specific results all of those conditions need to be in particular arrangements. Otherwise, you would get some other result or no result at all?

  97. 97
    Popperian says:

    @KF

    Popperian, if you cannot speak Russian, get a translator. In short go to a layercake stack process, pass down, across then up creating a virtual peer to peer link. Translation is part of the info flow etc process. KF

    Which completely ignores my second scenario. I though I had a way to translate to Russian. But the translation was mistaken, and therefore, so was I. I had a specific purpose, but it wasn’t successful because the necessary knowledge was not present. My actions to “Get a translator”, had a purpose, but it failed because I was mistaken about what steps were necessary to get a translation that actually worked.

    @SA #85

    I’ll object here. There are two purposes in that example.

    While I appreciate your feedback, your objections do not appear to be focused on issues that are relevant to my point. My purpose was to communicate in Russian. Either I will always be successful, because I was acting purposefully, or I will not always be successful. However, in my example, I am not successful, despite exhibiting purpose, free will, etc. This is because the necessary knowledge of how to perform that translation was not present.

    [01] At the level of individuals, I, as the sender, already know how to distinguish the message. So, I’m sending it to myself. In this case, the problem of how the receiver knows how to distinguish the message not present.

    [02] I stated that the receiver doesn’t already know english. I could change my mind and choose to write my life’s story in english as a way to work around the problem. But that ignores my original purpose, which is supposedly what underlies the entire argument ID presents.

    Furthermore, I’ve already presented a theory of knowledge that doesn’t require a knowing subject, intent or purpose. It is universal in that it describes knowledge found in brains, books and even genomes of organisms.

  98. 98
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Popperian

    [02] I stated that the receiver doesn’t already know english. I could change my mind and choose to write my life’s story in english as a way to work around the problem. But that ignores my original purpose, which is supposedly what underlies the entire argument ID presents.

    Your example is not reasonable. Your stated purpose is to communicate in a language that you know your receiver doesn’t understand. But beyond this, when you created information by writing in the Russian language, you expressed purpose, even if a particular receiver doesn’t understand. The Russian language is purposeful. It can be distinguished from noise because it is purposeful.

    Furthermore, I’ve already presented a theory of knowledge that doesn’t require a knowing subject, intent or purpose. It is universal in that it describes knowledge found in brains, books and even genomes of organisms.

    I’m sorry I haven’t seen that – could you point to it again? Keeping in mind, we’ve been discussing information here and there’s a distinction with that and knowledge.

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    Popperian

    First, the comms system framework is itself irreducibly complex.

    Second, the info transfer metric also reckons with issues of not correctly receiving what was sent.

    KF

  100. 100
    Carpathian says:

    Mung,

    kairosfocus has tried to explain to you and you simply refuse to read what he has written.

    Please actually read what he has written.

    Mung: He has a theory that information can be transmitted as immaterial “something” as long as it’s above the physical later of the ISO model. Strange but true.

    kairosfocus: Mung, the way the ISO’s OSI layercake works is by passing up and down the layers, with transmission a physical layer process. Peer-peer communication is virtual. KF

    I’ve highlighted a key point in what he is trying to explain to you.

    I agree with him 100%.

    I can understand you ignoring what I have to say but kairosfocus is on the ID side.

    Please dwell on the fact that both of us, from both sides of the ID debate recognize that you do not understand a key point.

    Mung: You have your “implicit information” existing in some “virtual” or ethereal plane of existence, you can’t say where, being transformed by some mechanism or other, you can’t say what or how, into physical information such that it can be transmitted over a physical later.

    Pardon me if I still wonder what your beef is with ID.

    The comment above is a result of your inability/refusal to make an attempt to learn something.

  101. 101
    Carpathian says:

    Upright BiPed,

    I have gone to a link Box gave me days ago entitled, “UB Sets It Out Step-By-Step” and found this:

    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.

    The above is not true.

    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.

    The “information” that is sent however, is essential in determining that receiver’s location despite the fact none of that information that is sent contains location information.

    In short, the “information” that determines location, is not instantiated in matter.

    I’m going to agree, for the sake of this argument, that RF energy is actually matter.

  102. 102
    Popperian says:

    @SA

    Your example is not reasonable. Your stated purpose is to communicate in a language that you know your receiver doesn’t understand.

    It only seems unreasonable to you because this is a thought experiment and we have a vantage point that the hypothetical “Me” in the experiment doesn’t. Namely, the book “I” thought would allow “me” to successfully write in Russian was inaccurate. While we know this, the “Me” in the thought experiment doesn’t not.

    Furthermore, the message only actually serves that purpose if the requisite knowledge of how to perform the transition is present. The “Me” in the story intentionally created a message with the specific purpose of communicating my life story to a person who only speaks Russian. My intent or purpose for the message simply is insufficient on its own.

    In fact, to further illustrate, imagine “I” ordered a book for translating Russian, but was accidentally shipped a faulty printing in which the actual contents of the book contains translations in French instead. Again, “I” believe it will let “Me” translate into Russian, but am mistaken.

    Does my intent and purpose for my message magically make the message readable in Russian? No. It does not. In this sense, knowledge is independent of anyone’s belief or intent. it is knowledge because it plays a causal role in being preserved or retained when embedded in a storage medium. It solves a problem And does so independent of by belief or or intent.

    But beyond this, when you created information by writing in the Russian language, you expressed purpose, even if a particular receiver doesn’t understand. The Russian language is purposeful. It can be distinguished from noise because it is purposeful.

    Something exhibits the appearance of design when it is well adapted to serving a purpose.

    For example, take the rock and watch that Paley hypothetically came across in a field. The rock can be used as a paper weight, a weapon or even a means to store heat, even if its material arrangement is significantly changed. However, the watch is a rare configuration of matter. It is well adapted to the purpose of telling time. And if would fail to serve this purpose nearly as well if the key aspects of it which served that purpose were modified even slightly. IOW, the watch is hard to vary, but the rock is not.

    Furthermore, designers are also well adapted to serve a purpose: designing things. As such, they too exhibit the very same property of things they themselves design. And if a designer is the explanation for that property, then the designer would itself need a designer to explain it, which would also be well adapted to the purpose of designing designers. They too would be hard to vary without significantly reducing their ability to design designers, which means they exhibit the same property, etc.

    That is, unless you’re suggesting that this ultimate designer is not well adapted to the purpose of designing things and could be varied significantly whiteout impacting its ability to design things. Is that what you’re suggesting?

    IOW, while Paley did help identify what it means to say something has the appearance of design, he failed to identify a solution, as some ultimate designer cannot be the explanation for that appearance.

  103. 103
    Popperian says:

    @KF

    First, the comms system framework is itself irreducibly complex.

    This doesn’t answer my question as it’s unclear in what context it is IC.

    Are you saying that it supports ID because it’s even possible to perform any transformation of this kind, independent of any particular result? Or does it support ID because to get specific results all of those conditions need to be in particular arrangements. Otherwise, you would get some other result or no result at all?

    Nor is it clear how this is a problem for evolutionary theory. IOW, it’s only a problem if design was already present in the laws of physics at the outset. Is that what you’re claiming?

  104. 104
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Popperian

    I’m not following the distinctions you’re making. Again, it seems that you’re combining all the aspects of a communication-network under the heading of information and/or knowledge and then noting that purpose is not required at certain steps in the process.

    As I see it, information is one aspect of the process. There is:

    1. The generation of information by sender (via Thought, Ideas)
    2. The external expression of information, so it empirically exists somehow
    3. The communication or sending of the information
    4. The receiver – with various purposes and capabilities

    In your example, a purposeful message was created in Russian. Purpose or intent was necessary there. When the Russian language was created, information and purpose was present. Then, there was an additional decision to communicate or send the message to a receiver. But that doesn’t create the information — it’s only the means of transferring. That indicates a separate and independent purpose – so send to a particular receiver (or even intend to publish to the entire world). Choosing an audience or receiver is independent of the purposeful creation of information.

    Knowledge is a result — using information and cognition as inputs and processing.

    Does my intent and purpose for my message magically make the message readable in Russian? No. It does not.

    Actually, yes it does. Your first intent and purpose was to write in Russian. A particular receiver couldn’t read it, but anybody who reads Russian could. The infomration-intent was built into the choice of the language and the use of it. The sending and receiving to a particular person was a different intent or purpose which really has nothing to do with the creation of the information itself.

    In this sense, knowledge is independent of anyone’s belief or intent. it is knowledge because it plays a causal role in being preserved or retained when embedded in a storage medium. It solves a problem And does so independent of by belief or or intent.

    Here’s where I lost you again. “It is knowledge because it plays a causal role in being preserved or retained when embedded in a storage medium”.

    I would think that just about anything could be preserved or retained in a storage medium. So, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish noise from information in that case.

    However, the watch is a rare configuration of matter. It is well adapted to the purpose of telling time. And if would fail to serve this purpose nearly as well if the key aspects of it which served that purpose were modified even slightly. IOW, the watch is hard to vary, but the rock is not.

    I think that expresses the design argument fairly well. I had not considered the qualifier “hard to vary” before, but that’s basically irreducible complexity so yes. I follow this.

    And if a designer is the explanation for that property, then the designer would itself need a designer to explain it, which would also be well adapted to the purpose of designing designers. They too would be hard to vary without significantly reducing their ability to design designers, which means they exhibit the same property, etc.

    Ok, infinite regress — however, you’re on an ascending scale of values, two most importantly: Power and Simplicity. The power it takes to create an artifact is less than the power required to create the designer of that artifact. The power to create the designer of the designer is greater still. So, with an infinte regress of designers or designers — we reach a designer with infinite maximum power (although the regress never stops). Avoiding this regress it’s more parsimonious to propose One Ultimate Designer with the maxium power.

    It’s the same with “hard to vary”. The more powerful, more sophisticated, more elegant the function, the harder it is to vary. A rock can be varied, as you mention. A watch, less so. A space shuttle, less so (worse consequences). A universe finely-tuned for life even less.

    So again, we ascend a scale of values and capabilities on an infinite regress to a maximum point.

    So that happens in many ways – it’s a scale of perfection.

    That is, unless you’re suggesting that this ultimate designer is not well adapted to the purpose of designing things and could be varied significantly whiteout impacting its ability to design things. Is that what you’re suggesting?

    “Being adapted” to things is a function of change. A rock is more adapted to a variety of things than a watch is. A stick is more adapted to many different things than a human heart is. So, that which is more changeable is actually less sophisticated. This is your ‘hard to vary’ criteria. The ultimate designer actually needs no adaptability at all — since adapting is a function of change and there’s no reason for the ultimate designer to adapt. In fact, creating a sequence of designers of designers requires more precision and less adapting/changeablenesss.

    IOW, while Paley did help identify what it means to say something has the appearance of design, he failed to identify a solution, as some ultimate designer cannot be the explanation for that appearance

    A solution for the design that is observed is that which has the capability of producing the design.

  105. 105
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  106. 106
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  107. 107
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

  108. 108
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  109. 109
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  110. 110
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

  111. 111
    Mung says:

    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.

  112. 112
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  113. 113
    Carpathian says:

    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”.

  114. 114
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  115. 115
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  116. 116
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

  117. 117
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  118. 118
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

  119. 119
    Carpathian says:

    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?

  120. 120
    Silver Asiatic says:

    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.

  121. 121
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  122. 122
    Virgil Cain says:

    Tree rings are data that have to be interpreted via knowledge of trees.

  123. 123
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  124. 124
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  125. 125
    Upright BiPed says:

    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?

  126. 126
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  127. 127
    Mung says:

    Carpathian is proof that a great deal of nonsense can be instantiated in matter.

  128. 128
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  129. 129
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  130. 130
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  131. 131
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

  132. 132
    Carpathian says:

    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.

  133. 133
    Virgil Cain says:

    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.

  134. 134
    Upright BiPed says:

    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.

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