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# Keith S Shows Learned Hand How a Design Inference Works Using CSI

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In comment 58 to my Actually Observed thread ID opponent keith s shows ID opponent Learned Hand how the design inference works.

To use the coin-flipping example, every sequence of 500 fair coin flips is astronomically improbable, because there are 2^500 possible sequences and all have equally low probability. But obviously we don’t exclaim “Design!” after every 500 coin flips. The missing ingredient is the specification of the target T.

Suppose I specify that T is a sequence of 250 consecutive heads followed by 250 consecutive tails. If I then sit down and proceed to flip that exact sequence, you can be virtually certain that something fishy is going on. In other words, you can reject the chance hypothesis H that the coin is fair and that I am flipping it fairly.

Keiths then goes on to with some mistaken interpretations of Dembski’s work.  But that’s all right.  The important thing is that even one of our most inveterate opponents agrees with the basic thrust of the design inference. We are making progress.

Ironically, later in the post Learned Hand writes:

I think I’ll start a clock on any ID supporter actually testing whether CSI can detect design without knowing (or assuming) in advance whether the subject is designed.

Well, LH, he is far from an ID supporter, but will keiths example work?

hang on, let me help wd400 and keiths move those goalposts again. They must be tired by now. Mung
Rather, I am referring to calculations that many people have done. ... which relate in no way to CSI as Demski defines it, or processes that are proposed to create biological sequences. We understand your "nuance" well enough, we also understand that its irrelevant. wd400
"You claimed to be able to do a calculation that no one has done." No. That is false. I never claimed to be able to do a calculation that no-one has done. Rather, I am referring to calculations that many people have done. I am referring to calculations on the basic underlying informational requirements. I am referring to the fact that even if we cannot do a precision calculation of all natural processes (something that you acknowledged was not necessary anyway), then we can at least do a basic calculation showing that some of the basic underlying components of such systems are beyond the universal probability bound. Such calculations have been done by many people. Please understand the nuance and do not misrepresent my position again. Now, if you would like me to "admit" that no-one has calculated the odds of a complex biological system like the bacterial flagellum arising under all natural processes, including Darwinian evolution, then I am more than happy to do so. This is true, in part, because Darwinists have not offered any kind of probability analysis of their own theory that RM+NS can produce such a system. They have not offered any grounded reason for believing that something like Darwinian evolution has any reasonable likelihood of producing the systems in question given the resources of the known universe. The implications of this fact are quite interesting as I detailed @166, but are somehow lost on the faithful Darwinist. There remain issues to discuss if you are interested. Namely, are there natural processes that you would propose are responsible for producing biological systems that are not chance-based? If so, I for one would be very interested to hear about them. And if you can describe them in some detail, then perhaps we could even get a sense of the probabilities of such processes actually producing biological systems. The ironic thing in all of this is that your basic argument, when we cut through all the rhetoric, is essentially that because the alleged natural processes (Darwinian evolution and otherwise) are too unknown to be calculated with any confidence, then we cannot say that they didn't produce the system in question. Sure. And because my kid's theory about space vortices in my garden producing the bacterial flagellum is too unknown and vague to calculate the probabilities, then we cannot say his theory isn't true. The lack of clear probability calculations for something like Darwinian evolution is primarily and foremost a problem for, and a failing of, Darwinian evolution, not intelligent design. You want someone to take Darwinian evolution (or whatever other natural process you have in mind but have never mentioned) seriously? Great. Provide us with some evidence and some calculations that such a process has a reasonable probability of producing biological systems within the resources of the known universe. If you can't do it, then your alleged mechanism is just a story. Remarkably, it seems to be only folks like Behe who are actually doing work to see what Darwinian evolution can in fact do. The materialist just accepts it as an article of faith. ---- By the way, part of the problem here seems to be that you are focused in on all possible natural scenarios, even vaguely described ones and unnamed ones. Even if we take the view that CSI has to provide some precision calculation of all natural processes (a view that is questionable, but that is a discussion for another time), this is obviously limited to known natural processes, not imaginary ones. By everyone's admission, apparently, Darwinian evolution cannot be calculated because it is too vague and unknown to do so. Therefore the probability of a Darwinian process does not constitute a known number that needs to be taken seriously or included in any CSI calculation. Again, the way around this is to provide some reasonable probability analysis of Darwinian evolution. Behe has done some work in this area and provided some initial results. And the results are quite clear and strongly support the argument that many biological systems lie far beyond the capabilities of Darwinian evolution. Eric Anderson
Eric, The issue is simple. You claimed to be able to do a calculation that no one has done -- not you, not me, not Dembski, no one. We simply don't have the required information. Now you are trying to substitute an easy but useless calculation for the impossible one that you said was "trivial". The probability of "a system arising through purely natural processes" (your own words) is not the same as the probability of a system arising purely by chance. This is Evolution 101. How long have you been involved in the ID debate, again? A decade? If you can't back up your claim -- and we both know you can't, because no one can -- then just admit it. keith s
I have been away for a couple of days and have not been able to follow up on comments. Time permitting, I may get through most of the comments in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, I just wanted to correct a potential misrepresentation by keith of my position. This jumped out at me as I was scrolling below my prior comment @166. @167, keith claims that CSI is useless and that I should eat crow. He further claims that I failed to support my claim and that I even backtracked on what I said. Let us review the conversation, disjointed though it may be: @98 I questioned whether it was necessary to calculate with precision the precise probability of a problem arising before determining whether CSI exists.
I hope you aren’t saying that we have to be able to calculate, with precision, the precise probability of a system arising through purely natural processes before we can determine whether CSI exists.
keith responded with a very reasonable statement:
You don’t need a precise value, but you do need to show that it is less than Dembski’s UPB.
This is a reasonable position to take (and, as a side note, I would add that it avoids the flaw Elizabeth Liddle has incurred in the past). To this I responded that it [meaning, again, dear reader, a non-comprehensive, non-precision-value calculation with respect to any biological system] “is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times.” At this point keith demanded a link (and has continued to do so). Such calculations are legion (do an internet search for “odds, origin of life” or “odds, protein formation” or any similar such searches and you will find dozens, if not hundreds of results). Such calculations can also be found in numerous books, including Meyer’s Signature In the Cell, books on origins, etc. There is no shortage. Rather than play this game, I attempted to have a focused conversation with keith by homing in on the real issue. Specifically @131 I homed in on calculations that have been done regarding amino acid sequences for proteins or nucleotide sequences for DNA. After all, under any theory of biological construction, these are a minimum complement of complexity that would be required to construct whatever biological system we are talking about. And these easily exceed the universal probability bound by orders of magnitude. keith then refocused his attention on some statement Bill Dembski apparently made in which he declined to try to calculate the odds of the bacterial flagellum forming by purely natural processes. (I should state categorically here that I have not even bothered to track down the Dembski quote keith is referring to, as it is not germane to the point I am making, and a battle over 'he-said, she-said' would only be a distraction. I am perfectly happy to assume, for purposes of the present discussion, that Dembski said he couldn’t calculate the odds of the bacterial flagellum forming by purely natural processes.) Finally @150, I laid out a detailed response to the issue, noting that the chance formation of even a modest protein lies beyond the universal probability bound number proposed by Dembski. @156 keith accused me of changing the question. That was the exchange. ----- Now, it is certainly possible that keith and I have miscommunicated with each other. Goodness knows it is easy enough to do, particularly with short bursts of weblog activity. I have endeavored to home in on whatever keith’s specific objection is, but have not yet been able to put a finger on it. I am happy to continue a rational discussion toward that end. In either case, I believe his accusation about me changing the question and failing to answer does not hold. Again, we know that at a minimum what is required for any biological system are the relevant DNA sequences and/or amino acid sequences. Further, keith and I have agreed that we don’t need to be able to calculate the precise probability of the entire system arising through natural processes. Fine. I’m even happy to assume that no-one can do so because we simply don’t know all the required parameters to build such a biological system. So let’s at least calculate what we do know is required. The existence of information in DNA and protein structures is a well-known problem for naturalistic biological theories. Many researchers (ID opponents though they may be) have recognized that such structures cannot have arisen by chance. This is precisely why the hunt is on for some other cause. Is there perhaps some kind of natural law that brings them together? Perhaps arising out of the chaos, a la Kauffmann? Perhaps some kind of combination of chance and natural law? This is a well known issue and the hunt is on in the research community – and very actively indeed – for some cause, any naturalistic cause that can account for such structures. Much of the effort has been focused on OOL, but it is not limited to that arena. Now, as I carefully outlined @150, the logical and appropriate response to these awful probabilistic odds that beset any naturalistic theory is for the materialist to claim that he has discovered some kind of designer substitute which can breach the gaping chasm of the universal probability bound. This was Darwin’s approach; and Dawkins’ as well. But to deny that biological systems are wildly improbable structures – something that we would never otherwise hope to see arise in the real world – would be a strange position to take (though some who fear neither rationality or logic have indeed taken such a position). Now perhaps keith simply objects to my reference to a “chance” process. If keith has some other natural process in mind that is not chance-based (note that law-based processes are irrelevant for purposes of creating information-rich structures), then I am certainly open to hearing about it. wd400, for example, has specifically acknowledged that Darwinian evolution is chance-based. ----- I should add that there are a couple of remaining interesting issues on this whole topic that merit thoughtful discussion: First, is it true that the concept of CSI requires a complete and full knowledge of all probabilities under all imaginable naturalistic scenarios? Second, what are the odds of a particular biological system arising under Darwinian evolution? Third, if we don’t know the odds of a particular biological system arising under Darwinian evolution (or any other naturalistic scenario), but we do know that similar systems have arisen through design, then what is the most reasonable inference that can be drawn? (Note that the issue wd400 and I have been briefly discussing relates to the second and third questions above – namely, is Darwinian evolution a chance-based process and, if so, what are the odds of a biological system arising through such a chance-based Darwinian evolution? And what reasonable inferences can be drawn? These are related to, but different from the specific point I have been focusing on with keith.) Eric Anderson
Helpful tips are always welcome. Do you have any, keith? We're waiting Joe
Thank you, Silver Asiatic. I hope Upright won't find it too painful to accept editorial tips from a Darwinist. :-) keith s
keith s @ 226 That seems to me to be quite considerate and helpful. For myself, I would appreciate editorial corrections on my work, from friend or foe. I hope our on-going battles don't cause us to overlook a friendly gesture. Silver Asiatic
I might respond by saying "Anytime you're ready Keith", but that appears to be an empty provocation where you are concerned. Upright BiPed
Don't kid yourself, Upright. If I had been criticizing content instead of style it would have taken me hours to type everything in. Don't change a thing about the content itself. Please. keith s
Well it appears that Keith's dramatic refutation of semiosis is now complete. Somehow, I imagine he was hoping for more than punctuation. (btw, I spelled Thomas Sebeok's name the same way his mother did) Upright BiPed
The sets {0,1,2,3,…} and {1,2,3,4,…} can be placed into such a correspondence, so they have the same cardinality.
It is a contrived correspondence, keith. The derived one-to-one correspondence is given when determining if one set is a proper subset of the other. Do you understand the difference between contrived and derived, keith? Joe
1. Dembski’s CSI is not the same as Orgel’s specified complexity.
It is an extension of it. The difference is Dembski's is more technical.
2. Dembski’s CSI requires the consideration of “chance hypotheses”.
3. The use of CSI to detect design is circular.
No- well only if all scientific methodology is circular
4. Your challenge is empty and cannot be met (the current OP notwithstanding). 5. In Dembski’s equation, P(T|H) stands for the probability of reaching the target T by means of any of the chance hypotheses represented by H. 6. H includes “Darwinian and other material mechanisms”, which means that you have to consider all possible evolutionary pathways.
It is up to you and yours to supply H, you have failed miserably and now you want to blame ID? Really?
7. No one can calculate P(T|H) for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon like the flagellum, which means that no one knows whether life exhibits CSI under Dembski’s definition.
LoL! You conflate a definition with an equation and you are obviously willfully ignorant of the fact that you and yours need to provide H. It is obvious from your failure that H is 0 and you lose, infinitely. Joe
Actually keiths, you aren't any good at those. For one you don't understand ID and for another you are very challenged in most every way. Heck you can't even learn when spoon fed. All you can do is spit up and mess yourself. Why is that? Joe
Joe, Besides proofreading, I'm also good at teaching ID to IDers and explaining infinity to the mathematically challenged. keith s
Well now we know what keith s is almost good for. He is almost good enough to proof-read someone else's work. :razz: Joe
Upright, Some corrections for your website. Under "An Operational Definition of Intelligence", you misuse the word "intractable":
It is an intractable fact that a dimensional semiotic system is used to encode organic polymers inside the cell.
I've pointed this out before. Why not look it up this time? Under "An Easy Understanding of Semiosis": 1. The following needs to be rephrased:
The physical conditions required to translate an informational medium into physical effects are coherently understood.
As opposed to incoherently? 2. This...
Because these unique conditions can be found in any instance of translated information,
...is self-contradictory. Replacing 'unique' with 'essential' might help. 3. It should be bats "homing in", not "honing in". 4. This clause is a bit too dramatic:
we would eviscerate the word “information” of all its meaning,
Try 'strip' or 'empty' instead. Under "A Timeline of Semiosis", 1) the semicolon should be replaced with a comma here:
American logician Charles Sanders Peirce began writing on “semiosis”; the study of signs.
2) You italicize the names of Peirce and Miescher for some reason, but not the other names in your timeline. Also, your italicization of Nobel Prizes is awkward. 3) Of Miescher, you write:
The importance of his discovery would be decades away.
That would be better phrased as follows:
The importance of his discovery would not be recognized for decades.
4) You misspell Thomas Sebeok's last name as "Sebock". I'll pass along any others I see, but those are the ones that jumped out at me. You're welcome. keith s
Man UB that sucks. Hopefully no harm will come of it. Mung
UB:
I would not want to leave the impression that RB has any of the, er, motivations of some that argue from his point of view. At least to my mind, there is a clear distinction.
Thanks, UB. (I think.) Reciprocating Bill
Ah, one more thing before I move on. I would not want to leave the impression that RB has any of the, er, motivations of some that argue from his point of view. At least to my mind, there is a clear distinction. Upright BiPed
Thanks WMJ, I had not even gotten that far. Upright BiPed
It protects websites, wordpress blogs, etc. William J Murray
UB, I don't know what kind of security software you use, but I use this company and have been very satisfied: http://sucuri.net/ William J Murray
RB, I used the term "dimensional" to describe the system, in place of the term "one-dimensional", which has been used in the literature to appropriately describe the codon code. Surely this doesn't form the basis of a counter-argument. People may call whatever they wish. The physics remain the same. - - - - - - - - - - - WJM, thanks. I only had the site up to do some testing. Bill found it, and you see the outcome. Upright BiPed
Oh what a lovely morning. The sun is out, the sky is bright, and some unknown “entity” tried to run my credit a couple of times overnight. Ain’t it great? But it’s my fault, I left the door open to do a little testing of back-end functionality and I will certainly pay for my mistakes. There is no doubt about that. Upright BiPed
I don’t see the link. UB – do you have a website up? I’ve been waiting for this for years! Where’s it at?
He disabled it a few minutes after Reciprocating Bill gave a reference to it. Of course you can search for Google cache of the website. Me_Think
I don't see the link. UB - do you have a website up? I've been waiting for this for years! Where's it at? William J Murray
We seem to be atcross-purposes, UB. I thought you were saying: IC has existed on earth since information organized the first living cell. is "…predicted in theory and confirmed by experiment." Never mind, I can see there is a history, here, and we can all wait for the grand opening of your website. I echo RB in congratulating you on a neat layout. Alicia Renard
Although there are no author credits on the site, it took me about 2 minutes to learn UB’s name and even view a nice photo of him (neither of which I’ll share).
He should at least remove his name from source code. There is no point hiding an ip address registrant information without removing author from source code , and there is always those other 3 domains and sites which archive the ip address owners from days when it was not hidden. Me_Think
RB can't even understand English! RB are you saying that you can't figure out what UB is referring to? Really? And RB says that evolutionists get 50 points for claiming to have a theory but giving no concrete testable predictions. Joe
UB:
Dimensional semiotic memory is found nowhere else in the natural world...
Even better: that terminology found is nowhere else the the English speaking world.* Don’t you see the problem, UB? You claim to describe “mankind’s most profound scientific discovery,” yet characterize that discovery in terms like “dimensional semiotic memory” that, apparently, no one in the world has ever used. Mankind’s most profound scientific discovery is one of which no scientist in the world is aware. Add the fact that you have ascribed to this profound discovery no testable predictions and you are squarely in Crackpot Index territory: “50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.” (The highest point award of the index). Keith s:
Ha, ha! UB’s website is suddenly “down for maintenance”.
Although there are no author credits on the site, it took me about 2 minutes to learn UB’s name and even view a nice photo of him (neither of which I'll share). I tipped him off to that above. Perhaps he thought better of exposing that information. As soon as he fixes the problem, he'll be back! *As indexed by Google. Reciprocating Bill
It is very telling that all the evolutionists can do is attack ID and they cannot defend evolutionism. keith s has proven to be a total FAILure and he is afraid to admit it. RB is a total loser who couldn't support evolutionism if his life depended on it. And Alicia just oozes with ignorance. Well they all do. Life is good Joe
I found the website in Google's cache. Man, is it ever funny. Good work discovering it, RB. Here's the exact wording of the quote I mentioned above:
Semiosis at the origin of life is perhaps mankind’s most profound scientific discovery.
I am honored to know Upright Biped. keith s
Ha, ha! UB's website is suddenly "down for maintenance". But not before I got a look at it. RB's description is accurate. I liked the part where UB announces that "biosemiosis at OOL is perhaps the most profound scientific discovery of all time", or something like that. I can't quote it verbatim because he yanked the site down. This has the feel of the overwhelmingevidence.com fiasco to me. keith s
Bill,anow you can stop asking me about the website. :) Upright BiPed
Hey Keith s: There’s a comment section! All the while you’ve been requesting a dedicated discussion venue, UB has been hatching a website of his own, complete with comments.
They don't work:
This site is down for maintenance. Please check back again soon.
probably waiting for the board of directors.
A process is underway to form a Board of Directors for Biosemiosis.org. An announcement regarding the board is tentatively scheduled for March 1st 2015, at which time Articles of Incorporation will be filed.
Me_Think
UB:
...Dimensional semiotic memory…
I googled this phrase and found just one other page on the entire internets on which those words occur together (no mean feat, that). Not exactly a current term of art. But I’m thinking that UB has at least one kindred soul out there. But stop the WordPresses! Biosemiosis.org is UB's very own website! It’s all there - the four entailments of the apocalypse, the music box, even an information tetrahedron! Well, triangles within a triangle, but it could be folded into a tetrahedron! Very dimensional. It’s pretty good looking (really), but a little thin, just three pages, some pretty pictures and a timeline. Obviously a work in progress. I especially liked that new members of biosemiosis.org are offered green Alka-Seltzers. Very thoughtful. And I enjoyed following the “Why this is Important” link to nowhere. Somehow fitting. But again, a work in progress, so I'm buying a round of slack for all involved. Congratulations on sticking your neck out a bit farther, UB. Hey Keith s: There’s a comment section! All the while you’ve been requesting a dedicated discussion venue, UB has been hatching a website of his own, complete with comments. (Cool shades, GV!) Reciprocating Bill
wd400,
Is tossing a coin a chance process?
If Dembski's p(H|T) says it is then it is, else the toss is directed by ID agent :-) Me_Think
Is tossing a coin a chance process? wd400
note to self: there are no chance processes, there are only deterministic processes, some of which can be described by a probability distribution in which the probability is neither zero nor one. Mung
wd400, did you just say that a process is a chance process if it is determined? Mung
Mung, Yes -- a process is a chance (i.e. stochastic) process if future states of that process are determined probablistically (excluding the silly case when one state has a probability of one). wd400
thank you Mung Upright BiPed
p.s. I loved @ 176. Mung
Upright BiPed, if it is any help at all, there are those of us who do read your posts with interest and appreciate the way you address your critics. It is not without notice. Mung
wd400, I am interested in what makes a process a chance process. Is it the existence of a probability distribution? Is that why evolution is considered to be a chance process? Mung
RB,
What I said was that your ad hoc solution doesn’t follow in any way from semiotic theory.
My “ad hoc” solution to what, Bill? I have nothing to resolve.
What Darwinian evolution requires is replication with variation that biases further success in replication. Nowhere in Darwinian theory does it follow that replication requires all of the apparatus (which you characterize as “semiotic”) that characterizes replication in modern organisms.
Yes Bill, we all know you say this. The problem is that you have nothing else to say. You offer nothing whatsoever by which to judge the merit of your statements. Tell us Bill, tell us something about this imaginary thing. Is it a cell? Does it have a cell wall under its constraint? Does it have parts? Does it require nourishment? Is it homeostatic? What is it made of Bill? Can you say anything at all that would assist in an empirical endeavor? If not, then truly, what use is it beyond a rhetoric?
It’s an accurate characterization, as your more recent argument above was tacked on to rescue your semiotic theory from irrelevance (even to ID!)
I'm sure it must be the constant repeated banning of Reciprocating Bill here at UD that has prevented him from presenting his refutation of Upright BiPed's argument. Mung
UB:
But because I did not assert nor assume what cause or causes can and cannot be the source of semiosis, does not mean that there are no observations of reality that might illuminate potential answers to that question. One does not follow from the other.
Nor did I say that it does. What I said was that your ad hoc solution doesn’t follow in any way from semiotic theory. That, in part, is what makes it “ad hoc.”
As for Darwinian evolution, the conclusion that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the system arises directly from the fact that Darwinian evolution requires the translation of the genome into a phenotypic result. These do not exist without semiosis.
As pointed out many times before, this argument assumes its conclusion, and turns on a mischaracterization of what Darwinian evolution requires. What Darwinian evolution requires is replication with variation that biases further success in replication. Nowhere in Darwinian theory does it follow that replication requires all of the apparatus (which you characterize as “semiotic”) that characterizes replication in modern organisms. Simpler Darwinian replicators may be possible, and therefore the current highly complex system of replication may have arisen as a result of Darwinian processes operating across those simpler replicators. The conclusion you’ve assumed is that simpler replicators capable of Darwinian evolution are not possible - but nothing in your semiotic theory forbids that, other than the conclusion you assume. Whether there were simpler replicators and how they functioned is both a theoretical and empirical question, not one that can be answered from the armchairs of UD (or the armchair of UB).
As for your “ad hoc” characterization, it’s a throw away comment as far as I am concerned.
It’s an accurate characterization, as your more recent argument above was tacked on to rescue your semiotic theory from irrelevance (even to ID!)
Your characterization appears to be more about your need to impute a motivation on me, rather than the generally understood definition of “ad hoc”.
The generally understood definition of “ad hoc” in a scientific context implies motive - specifically a desire to rescue a theory from observations that threaten its disconfirmation. In your case the situation is worse, because no predictions with observational consequences follow from your theory; your add-on is an attempt to rescue it from the complete irrelevance that follows from its erstwhile silence on causation - which, apart from your more recent ad hoc additions - you have already conceded. Reciprocating Bill
Bill, regarding your definition of "ad hoc". Is it your position that any improvements made to the observations, or additional information gained over the past two years is "ad hoc" as well? Upright BiPed
RB,
The notion that Darwinian evolution “can’t be the source of the system” does not arise from and has no relationship to semiotic theory (as you conceded, semiotic theory neither requires nor excludes particular forms of causation).
I gave you an argument for semiosis in the cell. The point of the argument was obviously to demonstrate those observations that illuminate the semiotic state. But because I did not assert nor assume what cause or causes can and cannot be the source of semiosis, does not mean that there are no observations of reality that might illuminate potential answers to that question. One does not follow from the other. As for Darwinian evolution, the conclusion that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the system arises directly from the fact that Darwinian evolution requires the translation of the genome into a phenotypic result. These do not exist without semiosis. . As for your “ad hoc” characterization, it’s a throw away comment as far as I am concerned. The observation that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the system does not alter the argument in any way. The idea that an observation made subsequent to the main argument (which does not alter that main argument) is “ad hoc” is just rather silly, frankly. Your characterization appears to be more about your need to impute a motivation on me, rather than the generally understood definition of “ad hoc”. Upright BiPed
Bill, you think the notation that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the system is because I didn’t make any prior assumptions about the cause of the system? Really?
Quite the contrary. The notion that Darwinian evolution "can't be the source of the system" does not arise from and has no relationship to semiotic theory (as you conceded, semiotic theory neither requires nor excludes particular forms of causation). Your resort to this argument was an ad hoc addition, not something that follows from semiotic theory as you present it. That's why I've repeatedly characterized it as "ad hoc." That said, your conundrum vis causation obviously motivated the reconsideration that resulted in your resort to that ad hoc solution. Reciprocating Bill
Bill, you think the notation that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the system is because I didn't make any prior assumptions about the cause of the system? Really? You see some vast significance in that which I do not see. Apparently you think that if I do not assume or assert what mechanisms can and cannot produce a semiotic state then the identification of a semiotic state is useless. I do not see it that way, but you are welcome to do as you wish. Upright BiPed
UB:
If you are suggesting that my account of events is inaccurate if I appeared on TSZ past the 11th of June, then you are welcome to your belief.
I'm not "suggesting" it, I'm stating it. You didn't merely "appear past the 11th of June," you continued in discussion for nearly six weeks as I enjoyed my citrus drinks, then left in mid-discussion for obvious reasons.
I never felt trapped at TSZ. Whatever “escape” you think I need is only in your head.
The escape you needed was not from TSZ, but from the self-constructed conundrum that "semiotic theory" as you presented it has nothing useful to say about causation. Hence the ad hoc addition a year later - essentially a concession that my characterization was correct. Reciprocating Bill
Upright, Why are you afraid of a dedicated thread? You don't appear to be very confident about your ability to defend your "theory". keith s
Keith, you linked to your counter-argument above. I went to the link, posted it in here and dismantled it. If you had something to say, then you would have said it. Upright BiPed
Upright, I know your "theory" is weak, so I want a discussion on a dedicated thread. You also know that your "theory" is weak, so you don't want a discussion on a dedicated thread. Want to prove me wrong? Ask Barry for a dedicated thread. He'll likely give you one, and then we'll see if you're capable of defending your ideas without running away. It will be much harder for you to flee a dedicated thread, because everyone will be watching. How about it? Are you feeling brave? keith s
If you think I’m bluffing
Hilarious. Upright BiPed
Bill, your last concession took place on the 10 of June and I responded to it on the 11th. You immediately started to make lemonade from the lemons. If you are suggesting that my account of events is inaccurate if I appeared on TSZ past the 11th of June, then you are welcome to your belief. The truth is that you were still trying to save face all the way into the second week of July. And despite whatever mind reading skills you have, I never felt trapped at TSZ. Whatever "escape" you think I need is only in your head. Upright BiPed
Unsay. Like, the above. But the point of my post is to illustrate that your representation of the chronology of your flight from TSZ, and the reasons for it, is inaccurate. You didn't leave when you say you left; you left following six weeks of further discussion, at the conclusion of which you found yourself painted into a corner. You saw no out other than to flee in mid-dicussion with pointed questions pending. The fact that you've since concluded, following a year of reconsideration, that you've found an escape from that corner (you haven't, but that's another discussion) makes it clear that you did, in fact, perceive yourself as a cornered in July 2012. Ad hoc solutions devised a year later can have had no bearing upon on the fact of, or the cause of, your retreat in July of 2012. Reciprocating Bill
Upright Biped:
Watching the comments here and on other threads over these past days, I find it interesting that our emotionally-entangled critic doesn’t need a thread of his own to engage his foes in any of his other dubious claims. He defends his claims to Stephen, and William, and Barry, and Eric, and Winston, and Vincent, and any other, without nary a hint of needing a thread of his own to stage a defense. This seems to be a condition he reserves only when asked to defend his supposed rebuttal of my observations and argument.
If you think I'm bluffing, then call my bluff. Ask Barry for a dedicated thread to discuss your "Semiotic Theory of ID". You'll be able to show the world that you can defend your theory against Reciprocating Bill, and me, and other ID critics. And since you're confident in your ability to do so, you won't be tempted to run away when the going gets tough -- right? keith s
Upright Biped:
Take as look at Eric’s comment in #150 where he patiently answers Keith direct question, yet Keith responds by not saying a single word about Eric’s response.
Yes, take a look at #150, in which Eric calculates "the odds of it [a 300-amino-acid protein] coming together by chance"... [Emphasis added] ...instead of answering the actual question, which in Eric's own words was to calculate the "probability of a system arising through purely natural processes." Eric can't do it, despite claiming that he could. You can't do it. Dembski, by his own admission, can't do it. If no one can do the calculation, then CSI is worthless. If any ID proponent out there thinks that CSI is actually valuable in detecting biological design in nature, then show us how it's done. Calculate P(T|H). keith s
Does the probability of Reciprocating Bill successfully rewriting the past increase with each new attempt? Mung
“unsay”, Bill? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Here are Bill’s comments immediately after the last time he flew this flag:
Does semiotic theory per se assert that a particular class or classes of mechanism is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state? UB: No. Conversely, does semiotic theory per se assert that a particular class or classes of mechanism cannot create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state? UB: No.
These concessions establish that semiotic systems (as you define them) neither require design nor exclude other classes of causation. If semiosis were an exclusive signature of design, it would follow that a particular class of causation (namely, design) is required to originate semiotic systems. But you have conceded that semiotic theory does not assert that a particular class or classes of mechanism is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state. Therefore, while you have presented an argument for design in nature, you haven’t present a valid argument, as nothing in your argument requires design nor excludes other forms of origination.
Bill, when I presented my argument to TSZ, I adopted the narrowest of conclusions that finding a semiotic system in protein synthesis “will require a mechanism capable of establishing a semiotic state”. You mocked the narrowness of that conclusion, after having to concede that your two primary counterarguments were invalid. On the other hand, I argued that the formulation of the argument made no assumptions about what could or could not establish that state. Then after another year of consideration, I have retained the narrowness of my original conclusion, but have added that Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of that system because it requires the system in order to exist.
Upright BiPed
UB:
I left TSZ after I had overturned the two main objections from the person I was debating. The remainder of the gallery, including yourself, had not presented anything of substance. This has not changed.
The exchange to which you refer occurred on June 10, 2012. After considerable further discussion, you fled TSZ some time after this question was posed to you on July 21, nearly six weeks later:
Upright Biped, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, assert is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.  Also, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, claim cannot create the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state? Why? And why not?
On August 1, after waiting 11 days, I observed:
UB exits. So it goes.
And so you had. And no wonder. You evaded the question a few more months, but when I found that my posting privileges at UD (along with those of several others) had been restored in November, I was able to directly press the question again: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/ub-sets-it-out-step-by-step/#comment-438609 The outcome was your concession:
RB: Does semiotic theory per se assert that a particular class or classes of mechanism is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state? UB: No. RB: Conversely, does semiotic theory per se assert that a particular class or classes of mechanism cannot create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state? UB: No.
Which you tried to unsay ever since. Reciprocating Bill
Eric, I remind you that you said that calculating P(T|H), a requirement for apply CSI was trivial. When asked to explain how to do so you produced an utterly irrelevant calculation. Have you backed away from your original claim? I don't know how to calculate the probability of the bacterial flagellum or something like it arising by evolution, any more than I know the probability of the grand canyon arising by erosion, rainfall, plate tectonics and the rest. Niether biologists or geologists give up at this point. Because we not need the probability of this specific outcome to investigate the adequacy of our theory to explain the more general pattern. We can use phylogeny to show the falgellar proteins descend from variour motor proteins, and are related to those involved in secretion sytems. We can use our knowledge of protein evolution to see how well selection explores fitness lansdscapes and we can use lab studies to show ho well bacteria do with many of the flagellar proteins mutated or knocked out. So, science moves on. On the other hand, CSI relies on this calculation which no one can make. So what worth is there in CSI? wd400
AR, I take it that your response in #175 means that you do not take issue with my questions in #174.
Until you provide the link to the theory and the experiment that supports it, it is a bit difficult to provide a counter-argument.
Nothing I said is even controversial. In 1955 at Cavendish Francis Crick proposes a yet unknown set of “adapter” molecules to connect the nucleic acids in DNA to the amino acids they represent during translation. In 1958, Mahlon Hoagland and Paul Zamecnik discovered tRNA; the adapters that Crick predicted three years earlier. They also found the complex proteins required to bind those tRNA with their individual amino acid cargo - establishing the genetic code while preserving the discontinuity between the nucleic representations and their amino acid effects. In 1961, Marshall Nirenberg and Heinrich Matthaei began the actual process of breaking the genetic code. Because of the discontinuity established in the organization of the system, their methodology would mean that they would have to demonstrate the arbitrary relationships between the input and output of translation, which is exactly what they did. And what they demonstrated at the output could not be derived from the input – even in principle. Again, if you have a counter=argument to what I am saying, I will be happy to respond. Upright BiPed
UB, you asserted:
...predicted in theory and confirmed by experiment.
Until you provide the link to the theory and the experiment that supports it, it is a bit difficult to provide a counter-argument. Assertions are two-a-penny. Alicia Renard
AR,
Then you must mean something different by “know” than I do.
Do we know that DNA is an informational medium? Do we know that it is translated into physical effects? Do we know that there is a translation apparatus that is not the DNA? If you have a counterargument to what I said, please make it. Upright BiPed
I answered this question in the very post you are quoting from.
Then you must mean something different by "know" than I do.
On my screen, the answer is about 15mm above the sentence you quoted.
Is it this?
... if you have an informational medium to be translated into a physical effect (such as DNA organizing the cell), it will require a second arrangement of matter to perform the translation while it simultaneously preserves the physicochemical discontinuity between the arrangement of the medium and its post-translation effect. This is both a logical necessity and a universal observation – predicted in theory and confirmed by experiment.
If so, I suggest you mean "assert" when you say "know". I especially like "predicted in theory and confirmed by experiment". It has the ring of Joe and "we gave you the CSI calculation, already". Do you have a link to an experiment that confirms the - what - theory? Alicia Renard
AR,
Excellent demonstration of the ad hominem
The man foists the idea that I am afraid to take on his counter-argument, while he simultaneously refuses to engage me in that counter-argument. I can simply choose to leave the room (which I have done) only to have him tell me I'm running away. I suppose I can comment on his shoes.
How do you know this?
I answered this question in the very post you are quoting from. On my screen, the answer is about 15mm above the sentence you quoted. Upright BiPed
Oops messed up tag, trying again: Upright Biped at 168, Excellent demonstration of the ad hominem you write: And that response will not engage the details of the argument… It’s hard to spot amongst the smoke! Your argumenst?
IC has existed on earth since information organized the first living cell.
How do you know this? Alicia Renard
Upright Biped at 168, Excellent demonstration of the ad hominem you write: And that response will not engage the details of the argument... It's hard to spot amongst the smoke! Your argumenst?
IC has existed on earth since information organized the first living cell.
How do you know this?
Alicia Renard
Upright Biped #168
Take as look at Eric’s comment in #150 where he patiently answers Keith direct question, yet Keith responds by not saying a single word about Eric’s response.
Thanks for pointing that out. Eric's response in #166 was excellent also - beautifully illustrating the absurdity of the chance/materialist position. Silver Asiatic
Eric, You are following the well-worn ID path: 1. Make a confident claim. 2. Get challenged on it. 3. Fail to substantiate it. 4. Eat crow. You claimed that it was "trivial" to calculate P(T|H) for a biological phenomenon and that it had been done "many times". I asked you for an example or a link, and you couldn't provide one. I kept asking. You stalled for several comments in a row. Now you admit:
Perhaps we cannot do a full calculation.
Not only can't you do a full calculation, you can't even do a partial calculation well enough to establish design by Dembski's criteria. Dembski can't do it either, as he admits. You are just one more in a long line of ID proponents who have vividly demonstrated the uselessness of CSI for identifying biological design in nature. If no one can do the calculation, the tool is worthless. How does that crow taste? keith s
It’s very hard to see how you could calculate that, which is why CSI, which requires that calculation, remains kind of useless.
Just to make sure I'm understanding, it is your position that (i) Darwinian evolution is a chance-based process, (ii) it is, as a practical matter, impossible with our current state of knowledge to calculate the odds of something like the bacterial flagellum coming about via Darwinian evolution, and, therefore, (iii) we cannot say that the bacterial flagellum meets the "complexity" prong of CSI? Would you say that something like the bacterial flagellum meets the complexity requirement for CSI? What about an entire organism, like a human? What about an initial self-replicating organism in the OOL context? Do any of these qualify as "complex" for purposes of complex specified information?
It’s very hard to see how you could calculate that . . .
Which also means, I presume you would agree, that no-one, including the most ardent promoter of evolutionary theory, has any idea whether evolutionary processes could produce a bacterial flagellum? We have no idea whether such a thing is certain, or likely, or possible, or unlikely, or wildly improbable? So the Darwinist is left to take a very contorted position: We have (i) a system that even folks like Dawkins acknowledge clearly appears designed, (ii) no idea of the likelihood that such a system could ever come about via a Darwinian process, (iii) a good idea (from our experience with technology and other systems) that such a thing could have come about by design. Yet in the face of these facts, the Darwinist says it must have come about by a chance-based process like Darwinian evolution. Hmmmm . . . And what is the reason for rejecting the possibility of design and claiming that a Darwinian process is the right answer? Well, the reason is that the Darwinist has no idea whether his theory has any reasonable probability of producing the system in question. "Ergo," he thinks to himself, "we can't say that my idea is wildly improbable. Therefore, my idea must be right." Talk about cognitive dissonance.
It’s very hard to see how you could calculate that . . .
Perhaps we cannot do a full calculation. Which is part of the point Dembski was apparently making (and which keiths keeps harping on, all the while missing the larger issue). Yet we do know something that is required at a bare minimum: namely, a certain number of proteins of length X. We can leave out for a moment all the difficulties with contemporaneous availability, integration into the cellular systems, construction, feedback, etc. All of those would add layers and layers of complexity and radically reduce the odds of such a system coming about through a chance-based process. But let's be generous and grant all those for now. Let's just take the sequences required for the proteins themselves. Maybe we can't get an exact answer, but we start to get a sense for the scope of the problem and the combinatorial challenge that a Darwinian process would have to overcome. And it doesn't look at all promising. It is highly ironic that Darwinists seem to studiously avoid even analyzing whether these kinds of creative events are remotely possible under their theory. Michael Behe took a good look at what Darwinian processes can actually accomplish in his book, Edge of Evolution. We could argue with Behe's numbers, challenge a number here, nitpick a calculation there. But in contrast to Behe's efforts, so many Darwinists rarely even ask the question; they just assume with blind faith that Darwinian evolution is capable of all this creative work, so they don't even bother checking to see if it is reasonably probable that such a thing could occur. Those who have looked at it, like Behe, have found the power of Darwinian processes to be substantially less than what is required, under even exceedingly generous assumptions for the evolutionary storyline. Eric Anderson
wd400:
Of course — there are many possible outcomes from an evolutionary process, each with some probability. That’s a chance process.
So if there is a probability distribution that means it is a "chance" process? How do you know that? Is a process in which the probability distribution admits only a single outcome therefore a chance process? Don't get me wrong. I think you've made an interesting claim. I'd like to see where it leads. You've admitted the existence of possible outcomes that differ in some way. So if there is no known probability distribution it follows that the process is not a chance process? Mung
Eric, You yourself said that such calculations were "trivial" and had been done many times. When are you going to provide one or link to one? keith s
It's very hard to see how you could calculate that, which is why CSI, which requires that calculation, remains kind of useless. wd400
And what would the probability be of a chance-based evolutionary process (for simplicity say the traditional Darwinian RM+NS process) stumbling upon the 40 or so proteins that makeup the bacterial flagellum? Eric Anderson
Of course -- there are many possible outcomes from an evolutionary process, each with some probability. That's a chance process. wd400
wd400 @154: There is an important nuance here that we might be talking past and that might be worth delving into. But just to make sure I'm understanding, are you saying that Darwinian evolution (and other proposed evolutionary mechanisms) constitutes a "chance" based process? Eric Anderson
Yes, 'Darwinism' is also analogous to the Black Knight. That's a keen insight. It is also bleeding out. And it, too, is in denial. It is only being propped up by its sycophants' delusions, or worse, by their deliberate choice to ignore its wounds for ideological reasons. I predict that in the not too distant future, it will be replaced by panspermia as the anyone-but-God crowd feels Darwinism crumbling beneath their feet. Dawkins is but the first of many. Phinehas
Yes, Phinehas, and 'Darwinism' is going to crumble any day now. :-) keith s
keiths:
I’ve offered to debate you on a dedicated thread here at UD, with everyone watching. Why won’t you accept my offer?
In other words, “Come back here and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!” Don't you get it keiths? Don't you understand why Arthur eventually walks away from the Black Knight? Don't you see that this inevitably becomes the only rational response? There's nothing else one can do when faced with an internal narrative that is so hopelessly disconnected from reality. Phinehas
Eric, to wd400:
The question was, what are the odds of a biological system (DNA sequence, protein, etc.) coming about by chance.
No, it wasn't. 'Chance' is not the same as 'natural processes'. Here is the question:
Eric Anderson:
I hope you aren’t saying that we have to be able to calculate, with precision, the precise probability of a system arising through purely natural processes before we can determine whether CSI exists. [Emphasis added]
keiths:
You don’t need a precise value, but you do need to show that it is less than Dembski’s UPB.
Eric:
Which is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times.
I asked you to link to an example. You couldn't. Now you are calculating something entirely different and trying to pass it off as an answer to the question. Can you supply an answer to the original question, or not? keith s
Upright Biped, You're running away again. I've offered to debate you on a dedicated thread here at UD, with everyone watching. Why won't you accept my offer? If you're not willing to defend your "theory", why should anyone take it seriously? keith s
You are just... horribly wrong about this. The question here is about CSI, which is meant to include all "relevant chance hypothesis". You are talking about an hypothesis that has precisely no relevance to anything in biology. wd400
And by the way, if we expand the universal probability bound calculation to include all non-teleological processes, then we need to have some sense as to what those non-teleological processes are and enough detail about how they operate to do a calculation. Unfortunately, proponents of materialist evolution have never provided any numerical support for the formation of something like a bacterial flagellum under their designer-substitute theory. Just asserting that "natural selection" did it or equivalently vague proposals doesn't cut it. If someone thinks they have an alleged natural mechanism that can do the job, they need to provide support for it. Eric Anderson
We have a medium-sized 300-sequence amino acid chain that forms a protein. What are the odds of it coming together by chance? Easy. We take 20^300.
That's the chance of drawing 300 amino acids at random, with equal probability that each one is any 20 different AAs, and prefectly matching a specified target, on one draw. No one things that's how proteins came about,but that's the calculation you want to make. And you're telling us biologists are being silly? wd400
keiths: There are several different conversations going on, so I realize you may not have understood my point amid the others on the thread. The fact that biological systems -- many biological systems -- exceed the universal probability bound is well understood in origin of life research, as well as any discussions about DNA sequence formation or protein formation. Anyone who has ever looked at these issues is well acquainted with the basic, initial calculations, which are trivial and easy to understand. It is often the starting point for trying to come up with a naturalistic explanation for their existence. We have a medium-sized 300-sequence amino acid chain that forms a protein. What are the odds of it coming together by chance? Easy. We take 20^300. Well beyond the probability bound. Even an amino acid chain half that long gives us a probability of 1.4*10^195, beyond Dembski's universal probability bound. And any system that utilizes more than one protein (as most do, including the bacterial flagellum), lies that much farther beyond the UPB, with the odds quickly compounding. You seem to be arguing that because Dembski declined to calculate the precise odds of the bacterial flagellum arising through all natural processes, that therefore we cannot know that any biological system lies beyond the UPB. That is both a misrepresentation of Dembski's point, as well as a misunderstanding of the UPB. The logically correct response (that is, from a materialist evolutionist standpoint) to the fact that biological systems lie beyond the UPB is not to deny that they do. That is to deny the basic math that even the most ardent evolutionists have acknowledged for decades. Rather, the approach needs to be either: (a) deny that there is any specification; or (b) show that there is a natural process that can act as a designer substitute and which can go beyond the UPB. (a) is a very common approach which basically insists that nothing special is going on because "Hey, improbable things happen all the time and this protein is no more special than any other amino acid sequence." (b) is also a very common approach, typically by invoking natural selection as some kind of directional force, or in the OOL context by imagining some hypothetical, never-before-seen simple "self-replicating molecule" that would arise by chance (presumably by some odds that are not so long) and permit the magic of natural selection to kick in. Both of these are nonsense, ID proponents argue. But at least we can have a rational, evidence-based discussion about their merits. But arguing that a long chain of amino acids or a long string of DNA nucleotides (both of which are necessary for any biological system, including your bacterial flagellum) do not have initial odds of chance formation that lie beyond the universal probability bound is just silly. Eric Anderson
keith, What is "obvious to everyone" is that you posted a link in #132 to your rebuttal of my argument, but you won't engage me to defend it. So I cut and pasted your rebuttal in #137 and dismembered it right in front of you anyway. Your response was to avoid #137 like the plague, and instead you cling to a vision you've created for yourself whereby all your opponents bow down. It's an embarrassment. The consequence for you is that your response looks more like an intellectual disorder than a clever strategy. This, in turn, only makes you even less interesting than you were before. Goodbye. Upright BiPed
keiths: Hey, before you take on too many more challenges, maybe you should go over to the dedicated thread HeKs started and engage him. I see that you've already posted there a number of times without ever really engaging his points. Maybe that's because you don't have a leg to stand on? :) Phinehas
keiths:
That’s exactly why I want to debate you on a dedicated thread here at UD. If you run away from your own thread, it will be obvious to everyone that you can’t defend your “theory”.
In other words, “Come back here and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!” Phinehas
keiths:
In other words, you can’t do it.
In other words, "Come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!" Phinehas
You can do it yourself. Take any protein of modest length and calculate the odds of that that amino acid sequence arising by chance. Same for any DNA sequence.
Evolutionary biologists do not think that long functional proteins arise purely by chance. That's why Dembski says that the H in P(T|H) represents "Darwinian and other material mechanisms" instead of "pure chance". This is ID 101. It's amazing to me that in all the years you've been involved in the ID debate, you still don't understand something that's completely obvious to Dembski and the rest of us. keith s
Eric, I've asked you twice to link to an example of a P(T|H) calculation for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon. I've pointed out that even Dembski admits that he couldn't do it for the flagellum. You say:
Which is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times.
If it's "trivial" and "has been done many times", then link to an example. It's like pulling teeth to get some of you to back up your claims. keith s
You can do it yourself. Take any protein of modest length and calculate the odds of that that amino acid sequence arising by chance. How on earth could you calculate this? wd400
Phinehas #139, In other words, you can't do it. keith s
Upright Biped,
I left TSZ after I had overturned the two main objections from the person I was debating. The remainder of the gallery, including yourself, had not presented anything of substance. This has not changed.
I see. So you were bravely running away from TSZ. That's exactly why I want to debate you on a dedicated thread here at UD. If you run away from your own thread, it will be obvious to everyone that you can't defend your "theory". keith s
keiths: You can do it yourself. Take any protein of modest length and calculate the odds of that that amino acid sequence arising by chance. Same for any DNA sequence. This is basic 101 stuff regarding OOL or new DNA sequence formation or protein formation. Anything of even modest length quickly exceeds the UPB. This isn't even controversial. The only controversial part is that materialists try to find various loopholes to convince themselves that such a sequence could arise anyway, notwithstanding it being beyond the UPB. The "explanations" usually relate to some as-yet-undiscovered natural law or, just as often, a flat out denial that we are dealing with a specification ("Improbable things happen all the time." or "There is nothing special about this sequence, because many sequences are functional." etc.). (And, please, stop it with your misrepresentations about what Dembski said.) Eric Anderson
keiths:
If so, then why not go to this thread and express their bone-crushing arguments in your own words?
Why not? I would think that would be obvious. Perhaps it is only obvious to everyone but you. Why not? Because you are impervious to refutation. Note that I am not saying that your argument is impervious to refutation. It clearly is not. I am saying that you, on multiple points of empirical observation, have demonstrated yourself to be completely and totally impervious to refutation. There's even a thread about it. You are the black knight of debate. The limbs of your argument are severed again and again until they lie scattered about on the ground, yet you go on and on and on and on and on and on and on as though nothing ever happened. The black knight: I'm invincible! Arthur: You're a loony. There comes a point where one realizes the futility of certain actions and has to simply walk away. I predict that you will continue to "win" all of your arguments and continue to tell yourself that this is why everyone else stops engaging with you. I'm sure the limbless black knight is bleeding out somewhere telling himself something very similar. Phinehas
keith s finally admits that unguided evolution is nonsense and he doesn't even realize it:
The reason I can’t calculate P(T|H) for the flagellum is the same reason that Dembski can’t do it. Nobody has the knowledge required to do the calculation.
That is because unguided evolution is total nonsense and cannot provide H. No one knows how to model such a thing as unguided evolution producing any flagellum. No one can even produce a testable hypothesis for such a thing. Thank you for finally admitting unguided evolution is total crap. Joe
Keith, you should refrain from trusting your rhetoric as truth. I left TSZ after I had overturned the two main objections from the person I was debating. The remainder of the gallery, including yourself, had not presented anything of substance. This has not changed. But since you are reluctant to engage your "refutation" of my argument, let me help you get started. Here is your powerhouse summary of my argument:
1. Evolution requires a mechanism for the transfer of recorded information. 2. The transfer of recorded information depends in all cases on an irreducibly complex core. 3. The core cannot be provided by evolution, because evolution cannot even begin unless the core is already present. 4. The core cannot be provided by ‘chance and necessity’, because it is too complex. 5. Therefore, the Designer did it.
One at a time: 1. Evolution requires a mechanism for the transfer of recorded information. In 2011 and 2012 when I was making my argument to Dr Liddle (here and on her blog) I was very clear that I was using the term “transfer” as shorthand for the transfer of information from a medium to a physical effect, requiring both transcription and translation. I do in fact believe that Darwinian evolution is based on the transcription and translation of heritable information. 2. The transfer of recorded information depends in all cases on an irreducibly complex core. The translation of an informational medium allows physical effects to be produced that cannot be derived from the physical properties of the medium. This phenomenon is made evident in the cell, where nucleotides are used to constrain the ordering of amino acids during protein synthesis. The IC nature of the system was actually secondary to the observation that the system is semiotic, but it does indeed require an irreducibly complex system. 3. The core cannot be provided by evolution, because evolution cannot even begin unless the core is already present. Darwinian evolution, as you’ve acknowledged “requires traits to be recorded in the genome, expressed in the progeny, and filtered by selection” which requires translation. Darwinian evolution cannot be the source of the translation system if it requires the translation system in order to exist. If A requires B for A to exist, then A cannot be the source of B. 4. The core cannot be provided by ‘chance and necessity’, because it is too complex. Chance and necessity are not prohibited from being the source of the system; they have to be demonstrated as being capable. 5. Therefore, the Designer did it. The conclusion of the argument is the same as it was in 2012: “the conclusion of the argument is that protein synthesis is observably semiotic and requires a mechanism capable of creating a semiotic state”. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - And here at last is your devastating refutation:
In reality, evolution can begin as soon as there is heritable variation with differential reproductive success. Molecules that self-replicate with imperfect fidelity fit the bill
The translation of a representation into a physical effect has a very specific material signature, which I’ve presented numerous times. There are four interdependent elements observed in all translation systems. 1) You have to have a representation, defined as an arrangement of matter to evoke a functional effect within a system where the arrangement of the medium and the effect it evokes are physicochemically arbitrary. 2) You have to have a protocol, defined as an arrangement of matter to establish the otherwise non-existent relationship between the arrangement of the representation and its post-translation effect. 3) The natural discontinuity between the arrangement of the medium and its post-translation effect must be preserved by the organization of the system. 4) The effect produces function in the being and/or survival of a living organism. A thing cannot be a representation of something else if there is no protocol to establish what it’s a representation of. In other words, what a representation represents is not established by the arrangement of the medium, its established by the arrangement of a physical protocol. The protocol establishes the post-translation effect of a representation while preserving the natural discontinuity between them. This not only enables a representation to be a representation, but it makes informational constraint possible. If the post-translation effect of a representation had to be derived from the physical properties of the medium itself, then it would be so by the forces of inexorable law, and those forces would limit the system to only those effects that can actually be derived from the arrangement of the medium. It is the absence of an inexorable connection between a representation and its effect that allows the input of informational constaint into the system. That’s how leucine gets added to a polypeptide by the presentation of CTA. Leucine cannot be derived from the nucleic pattern CTA. It has to be translated. There is no (cough, cough) “self-replicating” molecule that achieves translation. Transcription and translation are two entirely different physical processes. The remainder of your “refutation” is wholly based on your fundamental misunderstanding of this readily demonstrable fact. You can now climb off your high horse. Upright BiPed
Keith S Same applies to you.... lets discuss PCD.... here on UD Andre
Upright, Don't forget that you were the one who bailed out of the discussions at TSZ while I wanted to continue. So yes, I'm waiting for a dedicated thread where you will have no excuse for taking off when things get difficult for you, as they inevitably will. keith s
Oh, I see. You're just waiting on a dedicated thread. And I can prove my bravery if I remove my finger from your chest and go fetch you one. :| Upright BiPed
Eric Anderson:
I hope you aren’t saying that we have to be able to calculate, with precision, the precise probability of a system arising through purely natural processes before we can determine whether CSI exists.
keiths:
You don’t need a precise value, but you do need to show that it is less than Dembski’s UPB.
Eric:
Which is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times.
keiths:
Are you sure about that? As I just pointed out, even Dembski admits that he hasn’t done it. Can you link to an example?
Eric:
I presume you are familiar with calculations that have been done regarding amino acid sequences for proteins, or nucleotide sequences in DNA? That is, at a minimum, what is required in terms of specification to produce the biological system in question. And there are numerous cases that easily pass the UPB. It isn’t even a close call.
Can you link to an example? By his own admission, Dembski hasn't done it. I'm curious to know who has, and to see how they performed this "trivial" calculation, as you put it. (Nice putdown of Dembski, by the way.) :-) keith s
Upright, Ask Barry for a dedicated thread. He likes your argument, so he should be happy to feature it prominently. I rebutted your argument two years ago, and I would be happy to do it again. I want our discussion to happen on a dedicated thread, so that when you run away, people will notice that you are abandoning your own argument. In the past, you have run away but then presented your argument at another blog or forum as if nothing had happened. I want everyone to be watching this time. Be brave and ask Barry for a dedicated thread. keith s
keiths: I presume you are familiar with calculations that have been done regarding amino acid sequences for proteins, or nucleotide sequences in DNA? That is, at a minimum, what is required in terms of specification to produce the biological system in question. And there are numerous cases that easily pass the UPB. It isn't even a close call. Eric Anderson
You can start by answering this question: So that would entail some sort of informational medium being passed from parent to progeny, where it would be translated into phenotypic traits of some sort and lead to the differential reproductive success that drives evolution. Is that correct? Upright BiPed
Keith S When will you address PCD? You need to show us how unguided processes created a guided process to prevent unguided processes from happening.... Please Keith! Andre
keiths:
I can back up my claims.
Mung
sez keiths who asserts he can defend his claims. Mung
Says the guy who's been avoiding my questions for years. keith s
Upright, Why don't you get one of the UD authors to open a thread for discussion of your "semiotic theory of ID"? I'd love to pose all of those unanswered questions to you in a venue where it will be harder for you to run away from them. keith s
Keith you said:
The problem with the argument from IC is not that it’s circular — it’s that IC is not a barrier to evolution. ... I am talking about evolution as described by modern evolutionary theory. Essentially Darwinian evolution as you described it plus drift.
So that would entail some sort of informational medium being passed from parent to progeny, where it would be translated into phenotypic traits of some sort and lead to the differential reproductive success that drives evolution. Is that correct?
Is that correct? Upright BiPed
Upright Biped, Every time we discuss your "semiotic theory of ID" you flee the discussion when things start going badly for you. What I'm trying to avoid is wasting time refuting you, only to see you bail out of the discussion yet again. Here's the latest example: A (repeated) challenge to Upright Biped There are a lot of unanswered questions for you in that thread and others at TSZ. Are you brave enough to answer them? keith s
Tim, If you want calculations of CSI in Hamlet, there is a whole thread dedicated to calculating something similar : dFSCI for Sonnets here The author of that thread too is grappling with specification problem. May be you can help. Me_Think
Mung @ 117 You determine a pile of rocks is Roughly equally probable by Thermodynamic ??! Me_Think
You noticed too Mung? It appears that Keith does not want to have his claim about IC scrutinized, and does not care to defend it. This is not in the least bit surprising. Upright BiPed
wd400:
How do you determine if states are “Roughly equally probable”?
Thermodynamics. Mung
Upright BiPed:
So that would entail some sort of informational medium being passed from parent to progeny, where it would be translated into phenotypic traits of some sort and lead to the differential reproductive success that drives evolution. Is that correct?
Let me quote Wagner, who keiths seems so enamored of lately:
One of them [life's mysteries] was left in especially deep shadows: the mechanism of heritability. Without some mechanism that guarantees faithful inheritance from parents to offspring, adaptations ... cannot persist over time. And without inheritance, natural selection would be powerless.
"The laws governing inheritance are for the most part unknown." - Charles Darwin But now, now that we understand what is required to store and transmit information, not so much. Is that your point? Is that what keiths is avoiding? Mung
Tim:
I have offered you an opportunity to really set us straight, but you ignore it and editorialize. Why?
Tim, I ignore the "opportunity" because I don't need it. I can show the uselessness of CSI for detecting biological design without jumping through your hoops. How useful is a method that's been around for more than a decade but has never been used to demonstrate the existence of biological design -- even by its inventor? keith s
Tim, If you think that CSI is useful, it's up to you to demonstrate it (or to point to someone else's demonstration of it's usefulness. Eric is presumably off looking for such a demonstration right now). If you don't think that CSI is useful, then we're in agreement. If you think that CSI is useful but can't be calculated for naturally occurring biological phenomena like the flagellum, then you're in the same boat with Dembski. The reason I can't calculate P(T|H) for the flagellum is the same reason that Dembski can't do it. Nobody has the knowledge required to do the calculation. And it is sad: Dembski proposed a method for identifying biological design, but his own method defeated him. keith s
You can call it whatever you want "handholding, etc . . ."; I've offered you an opportunity to demonstrate as opposed to being merely argumentative. It is useless on your part to change the game, now suggesting that I call CSI "valuable". Your refusal to walk us through, handholding or not, the most rudimentary example of a NON-naturally occurring biological phenomena when it could prove your point of this whole discussion just makes your stance, still unjustified, nothing more than mere assertion. Give us one stupid, easy-to-follow example, draw distinctions, and that's that. Again, not the whole exact calculations, just an outline of the method to get us started. You waste more time twisting moving about, etc . . . why not just go for the throat? Believe me, we all know that you are happy to critique. The problem lies in the fact that you think your critiques up to this point are devastating to the ID concept, but they are not. I have offered you an opportunity to really set us straight, but you ignore it and editorialize. Why? No, don't answer that! Just do the project. Tim
Phinehas, According to you, my argument has suffered "humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat" at the hands of folks like WJM and Box. If so, then why not go to this thread and express their bone-crushing arguments in your own words? I'll respond, and you can savor another resounding victory -- or more likely, you'll limp away, chastened. keith s
A thing is Complex if it has many (roughly) equally probable states/configurations. E.g. a pile of 500 stones, half black, half white, all mixed together. The set of all possible states/configurations can be considered the search space for our probability calculation. How do you determine if states are "Roughly equally probable"? wd400
A thing is Complex if it has many (roughly) equally probable states/configurations. E.g. a pile of 500 stones, half black, half white, all mixed together. The set of all possible states/configurations can be considered the search space for our probability calculation. How do you determine if states are "Roughly equally probable"? wd400
Tim, I'm not willing to hand-hold you through a calculation of CSI for Hamlet or anything else. If you think that CSI is valuable, it's up to you to demonstrate it. Do you think CSI can be used to detect design in naturally occurring biological phenomena? If so, then show us. I'll be happy to critique your work once you've done that, but I am not going to do the work for you. keith s
Learned Hand:
Yeah, like you say I think our approaches are fairly similar. I think that puts me further away from understanding, though, because I don’t think that this has much in common with CSI. I don’t see where you’re really even considering complexity or specification. Maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of explanatory filter? Dembski says specified complexity is just an extension of the EF, I think, but I don’t see the extended parts in your approach.
You probably didn't see the extended parts because I was describing it in a generalised manner. The uniquely identifiable feature of the kinds of things I do/create that are a result of my ability to reason, is CSI. I can certainly do/create things that do not exhibit CSI, but they cannot consistently be distinguished from events that were not the result of my actions (leaving other humans to the side for the moment).
My point in that paragraph was just what Keith and others have been trying to explain for quite a while: you can’t calculate CSI formally until you know whether or not the subject could have come about through non-design means (such as random chance or evolution). So if you can’t calculate CSI until you’ve already ruled out everything but design, CSI doesn’t actually detect design. Ewert made this point recently, which was interesting because I didn’t realize anyone inside the ID movement acknowledged this issue. I don’t quite understand what the point of CSI is to Ewert, but obviously most people here do think of it as a design detector.
You say that CSI can't be calculated until after you have ruled out non-design, but but CSI is the calculation that rules out non-design. You need to know both the Complexity of the thing in question and its Specification in order to do any probability calculation at all. A thing is Complex if it has many (roughly) equally probable states/configurations. E.g. a pile of 500 stones, half black, half white, all mixed together. The set of all possible states/configurations can be considered the search space for our probability calculation. The Specification is the target space. One we have both the the search space and target space we can perform the probability calculation. The result, when expressed in bits, is the Information. StephenA
keith s @102 you were non-responsive and argumentative:
For any phenomenon whatsoever, whether biological or not, P(T|H) represents the probability of that phenonemon’s arising via “Darwinian and other material mechanisms”. Obviously, that means you have to consider all relevant non-design mechanisms.
If it is so obvious, it will be no problem for you to be clear. Furthermore, I did not ask you to put your "evolutionary biologist hat on." Just outline the following: given Hamlet, what non-design mechanisms would you consider in calculating CSI using P(T|H)? just a rough outline of what you would do . . . I'll ask the bystanders not to nitpick. See, one possibility is that you'll outline the CSI using a method folks find plausible AND that you'll point out how it couldn't in principle work for biological phenomenon and you score BIG POINTS, but one possibility is that your outline of steps in the calculation for Hamlet would not be any different than the steps for a biological phenomenon (personally I think this is the case), one other possibility is that according to your prerequisites, it is impossible for the CSI even for Hamlet to be to be calculated (thus exposing either your method or prerequisites as a sham.) Editorializing with "Sad, isn't it." is tiresome. Just be clear and score your points. Try not to be a troll. Tim
Eric, I do hope you'll provide a link. I'm quite curious to see how this "trivial" calculation is carried out. keith s
keiths:
A lot of people say things like that. Then they try to refute the argument, and fail. It’s been almost a month now with no refutation.
Only according to keiths' distorted internal narrative is the above even close to the truth. The rest of us have watched it suffer humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat, most notably at the hands of WJM and Box. The fact that keiths remains impervious to these defeats says more about keiths than about his "argument." Phinehas
Eric,
Which is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times.
Are you sure about that? As I just pointed out, even Dembski admits that he hasn't done it. Can you link to an example? keith s
keiths:
You don’t need a precise value, but you do need to show that it is less than Dembski’s UPB.
Which is trivial to do with many biological systems and has been done many times. Eric Anderson
Tim, For any phenomenon whatsoever, whether biological or not, P(T|H) represents the probability of that phenonemon's arising via "Darwinian and other material mechanisms". Obviously, that means you have to consider all relevant non-design mechanisms. Good luck with that.
And then, what would be really cool, would be for you to identify which of those protocols, algorithms, definitions, etc within the calculations for determining the CSI of Hamlet are proscribed when dealing with natural organisms. Otherwise, I am afraid that your assertion remains more like “jello” on the wall. Not only tough for us to nail down; but also tough for us to care about, either, as it slides down the wall under its own weight.
You're forgetting something obvious: evolutionary biologists don't use CSI. Why would they? It's a useless concept for them. The only people who use CSI are IDers, so they are the ones who are saddled with calculating P(T|H). Dembski was rather foolish. He imposed a requirement on himself that he could not meet. As he admits, he tried and failed to calculate P(T|H) for the flagellum, and as far as I know he hasn't even attempted to calculate it for any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon. It's sad, isn't it? keith s
HeKS,
I went and read your article at TSZ as requested. Having done so, I now think your argument is worse than I originally thought...
A lot of people say things like that. Then they try to refute the argument, and fail. It's been almost a month now with no refutation.
...so why don’t you start by addressing what I said and we can go from there as we have time.
Repost your comment on this thread, which is the most recent thread discussing my argument. I'll respond there. keith s
keith s @85, I am not disputing your claim. I am asking you to clarify it. You wrote,
To calculate CSI, you need to be able to calculate P(T|H). No one has ever been able to do that for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon.
I am asking for you to comment on the calculation of CSI using P(T|H) which you require according to what you wrote. But instead of using a "naturally occurring biological phenomenon", I'd like you to discuss the methods of something, almost anything, else. (Yes. Let's use Hamlet.) I mean, you obviously believe CSI exists as you have even told us how it must be calculated. I just want you to outline, even roughly, how that calculation would look for Hamlet. And then, what would be really cool, would be for you to identify which of those protocols, algorithms, definitions, etc within the calculations for determining the CSI of Hamlet are proscribed when dealing with natural organisms. Otherwise, I am afraid that your assertion remains more like "jello" on the wall. Not only tough for us to nail down; but also tough for us to care about, either, as it slides down the wall under its own weight. Tim
Eric Anderson:
I hope you aren’t saying that we have to be able to calculate, with precision, the precise probability of a system arising through purely natural processes before we can determine whether CSI exists.
You don't need a precise value, but you do need to show that it is less than Dembski's UPB. keith s
keiths: I hope you aren't saying that we have to be able to calculate, with precision, the precise probability of a system arising through purely natural processes before we can determine whether CSI exists. That is an argument Elizabeth Liddle has been putting forth for a long time. And it is a terrible argument. Indeed, it is hardly even an argument. It is a cop-out position to take in order to avoid dealing with the evidence for design. I hope you are putting forth something more substantive with your repeated references to calculating P(T|H). Eric Anderson
keith s:
To calculate CSI, you need to be able to calculate P(T|H).
No, you don't. One can calculate CSI by the methodology in "No Free Lunch" The other equation pertains only to S. Also your position needs to provide H and it has FAILed miserably. Joe
keith s:
I await any ID proponent’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed.
And we have done so. OTOH you have not been able to demonstrate that unguided evolution can do anything beyond causing disease and deformities. The whole world has been waiting over a century for that demonstration. And we understand why people like you avoid such a thing. Joe
keith s:
I pointed out that no one has been able to compute P(T|H) for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon,
And we have pointed out that is a problem for unguided evolution. That you choose to ignore that fact says quite a bit about you. Joe
Heks @93 Don't get your hopes up..... I'm (little twerp) on ignore for asking a simple question..... I hope he would reconsider but alas nothing.......... Andre
@keiths #84 I went and read your article at TSZ as requested. Having done so, I now think your argument is worse than I originally thought, so why don't you start by addressing what I said and we can go from there as we have time. HeKS
Me_Think The more we get to learn about biological systems the more we become knowledgeable that they have been engineered. Now you guys are welcome to try and dispute this, with ideological drivel that it was caused by unguided processes, you are entirely entitled to your own opinions on this but you are not entitled to your own facts. Andre
Apologies @90 is for Me_Think Andre
Learned Hand Just to put this into perspective...... try and find the idea of unguided evolution in this paper...... *Mapou, this one is also for you :) http://www.dtic.ua.es/asignaturas/STF/art18.pdf Andre
Me_Think If you know anything about engineering you would know one properties applied to designed systems is fault tolerance. Biological systems have a degree of fault tolerance built-in. Andre
Keith S @84 You have been refuted numerous times....... Andre
Me_Think..... Are you being obtuse? I made it clear it is a problem for unguided evolution.......... Andre
Andre @ 71,
I conclude that it is all front loaded.
So PCD too is front loaded. If ID agent can 'frontload' it and still mimic evolution,why do you think PCD is a problem for ToE ? Me_Think
Tim #73, I pointed out that no one has been able to compute P(T|H) for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon, and you started talking about Hamlet. If you're disputing my claim, you need to come up with a biological example. keith s
HeKS, You might want to do some background reading on my argument before you tackle it. I originally formulated the argument two years ago at TSZ: Things That IDers Don’t Understand, Part 1 — Intelligent Design is not compatible with the evidence for common descent I would have presented it here at UD, but I was banned until Barry's so-called "general amnesty" a few weeks ago. I linked to it here three and a half weeks ago, and UDers have been trying to refute it ever since, on a bunch of different threads. keith s
Learned Hand #70,
Maybe I’m reading too much into his [Ewert's] comments. If he’s tying CSI to extraneous arguments that make evolution impossible, though, isn’t that disclaiming CSI as a design detector?
Yes. To Ewert, CSI is not a tool for detecting design. It's a label you apply after you have detected design (or equivalently, after you have determined that non-design causes are insufficient). You determine that X is specified, and you determine that X is sufficiently complex (by which Dembski means sufficiently improbable under "Darwinian and other material mechanisms"). That allows you to conclude that X is designed. CSI is just an afterthought -- a label you apply to X when it has passed through those hoops. keith s
And the same to you. Learned Hand
Fair enough. Have a safe trip. HeKS
Thanks--don't rush on my account, I fly to the east coast tomorrow and the west coast the day after that; won't be back home until Friday. I'll be in meetings so unless they wrap up early or I get wifi on the plane I may not be engaged until the end of the week. Learned Hand
@Learned Hand #74 I'll try to get back to you tomorrow night or Wednesday. I'll be out of town all day tomorrow. HeKS
@keiths #59 I haven't been around too much lately cause I've been busy with other stuff, but seeing your argument in #59, I have a few questions and then, if I have time, I might address it further in coming days. You say:
3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve
4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race.
We don't begin with a knowledge that the designer exists, but we do know that intelligent design exists as a form of causation, that it is capable of generating significant amounts of functional information, and that it is capable of arranging many parts into complicated relationships that carry out specific functions. We even know that human intelligent design is capable of building molecular machines, as in the work of Dr. James Tour. So, in terms of invoking some kind of causal force or mechanism that is actually known to exist and that could, in principle, explain what we see in nature at various nodes of the alleged ONH, including systems that would allow for the graceful degrading of genetic information, ID is far ahead in the race.
UE is literally trillions of times better than design at explaining the evidence .... 12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities.
What are these trillions of possibilities? How did you come up with "trillions", since you say "literally trillions"? Can you give me some examples of how else the designer might have designed life? How many ways might he have designed life if we don't assume that he designed every current species in its current form all at once? How many of those trillions of ways require that the designer ignore efficient and flexible design principles? Or that he endlessly reinvent the wheel? Also, what method are you using to reasonably constrain predictions of what approach the designer might use, and what pattern to life might ensue, without any knowledge or hypothesis of what the designer was wanting to achieve or even what degree of specificity the designer might have had in mind for the species we currently observe? Anyways, those are a few initial thoughts I have about your argument. There's probably not much point in going any further or addressing any other issues until I hear your thoughts on this stuff. HeKS
keiths @8: I haven't read this entire thread, but this jumped out at me and needs to be corrected forcefully:
Nick correctly replied “Not really”, and he pointed out a simple “chance hypothesis” that Salvador was overlooking: that the coins had heads on both sides.
Nonsense. Salvador's example assumed fair coins and coins with heads on one side and tails on the other. Any rational and reasonable individual would understand that this was the case in the example provided. Nick's response was not pointing out some substantive nuance that Sal missed. It was a juvenile, pedantic, hide-behind-word-games, refuse-to-address-the-question kind of behavior we have seen far too many times. Eric Anderson
...an intelligent [agent] is the cause StephenB
KeithS
To argue that something is designed because it is irreducibly complex is not circular, because you can determine that it is IC (according to Behe’s definition) without first determining that it is designed.
Yes, that is correct. So, I have two questions: [a] Did you know that irreducible complexity is a form of CSI? [b] Do you think the following argument is circular? In every known case where CSI is present in an object, an intelligent is the cause. This object contains CSI, Therefore, this object was probably designed by an intelligent agent. StephenB
HeKS @ 64: First of all, ID proponents do not exactly claim that something IS designed because it has CSI. Rather, they tentatively infer design as the BEST EXPLANATION for something that displays CSI. What's the difference? Second, you do not have to know that something is designed before you can attribute CSI to it. In order to attribute CSI to something (at least the type of CSI Dembski is talking about), you simply have to determine that it is highly improbable that it is the result of any known, relevant naturalistic process and that it conforms to some kind of independent specification. It's not just "highly improbable." Dembski treats things that are more improbable than the universal probability boundary as effectively impossible; if you can say they're beyond the boundary you can confidently say they never happened and never will in finite time. (Is that overstating it? I guess I don't actually know if you'd say something beyond the UPB won't ever happen up until the death of the universe, but it doesn't seem relevant.) If CSI requires determining that no cause other than design is viable, then you are making the conclusion that design exists part of CSI's predicate assumptions. Unless you really mean that CSI only takes into account "known" naturalistic processes. In that case, CSI isn't doing anything other than quantifying your assumptions. If you don't know the mass of an object, you can't calculate F=MA. Your limited knowledge doesn't make the term irrelevant, just incalculable. If CSI is really limited by the calculator's knowledge, then it can't claim to be free of false positives anymore--it's going to generate false positives whenever the calculator is ignorant of naturalistic causes that could cause the subject. Consider two people calculating the CSI of a fairy ring, for example. Alice knows all about fungus and says there's no CSI because she understands the naturalistic hypothesis. Beth fell asleep in biology class and has never heard of such a thing as a "fungus." Without any known naturalistic hypothesis, she may well conclude that the ring exhibits CSI--a false positive. The only difference is their relative knowledge. (This assumes that CSI is intended to be at least somewhat objective. If all it means is that something has CSI in the calculator's eyes, then I suppose this isn't as much of a problem, although it again begs the question of what CSI is supposed to be good for.) Excluding unknown causes as irrelevant is also an argument from ignorance. The fact that you don't know what could have caused an effect is not a valid reason for assuming there is no naturalistic explanation. "I don't know how it could have happened" does not logically support "I can assume it did not happen." We can distinguish that from, say, a locked room mystery. If Carol is stabbed in a sealed room and we have to discern how it happened, we won't consider the possibility that the killer teleported in and out of the room. The fact that we don't know for sure whether teleportation is possible doesn't justify ruling it out; the fact that we have independent reasons to believe it's impossible does. So does the fact that we're aware that much more mundane causes have been shown to create effects just as, and even more, surprising. That's a bit off the cuff, so you may find it unpersuasive. Rather, the argument is that we have not actually observed any natural processes ever producing the types of specified effects in question and overcoming the astronomical odds against them doing so, but that we have observed – and do observe – intelligent agency bringing about those kinds of specified effects all the time. Have we? Has anyone ever created a flagella from scratch? This argument might work in the realm of coin-flipping, but de novo creation of biological artifacts isn't something we've seen done by intelligent beings. I happen to think that it probably could be, but ironically I suspect most CSI fans would disagree. Learned Hand
keith s writes:
To calculate CSI, you need to be able to calculate P(T|H). No one has ever been able to do that for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon.
Here is where you sort of lose me. So, I will try to offer you a few simple examples to see if you can help me with the calculation of CSI. I think we all get complexity. The whole bit thing where we are all so lucky that the conservative UPB is agreed to be 500 bits. I also think we get the idea that the specification is prior to the event. Otherwise, we are left drawing targets around arrows already stuck into the wall. Where you lose me is that you SEEM to be saying that all information, because information itself comes out of design, makes the argument circular. keith s, Take, for example, something that is not a naturally occurring biological phenomenon, how about Hamlet, the whole thing. We have seen examples like this before. Could the CSI of Hamlet be calculated? How would you go about doing that WITHOUT first assuming design? Or are you saying it is impossible. If it is possible to calculate the CSI of Hamlet, what methods are used that are not allowed when considering a naturally occurring biological phenomenon? If you could lead me through that, I would appreciate it, and I think you would have actually explained something rather than, with all due respect, played word- and other games. Tim
Learned Hand Please take note; Nobody is saying evolution is impossible, we are saying unguided evolution is impossible....... Andre
Me_Think I conclude that it is all front loaded. The latest example of the collapse of the Galapagos finch species collapse seem to reinforce that, I did not hear or see of any agent coming into the universe to intervene...... Andre
What he’s saying, in a nutshell, is that since improbable things happen all the time, we can’t infer design from improbability alone. We also need a specification, and he credits Dembski for elucidating how specification augments improbability in establishing design. Maybe I'm reading too much into his comments. If he's tying CSI to extraneous arguments that make evolution impossible, though, isn't that disclaiming CSI as a design detector? Learned Hand
#66 So that would entail some sort of informational medium being passed from parent to progeny, where it would be translated into phenotypic traits of some sort and lead to the differential reproductive success that drives evolution. Is that correct? Upright BiPed
Andre @ 65
You see it’s really not so much about the material (matter) for me but the principles at play…….. When I look at biological systems and how they work and what they achieve I empirically recognise features that can only arise from an intelligent cause;
So would you please explain how, when and where the ID agent comes and fixes the evolutionary process? Do you think everything is front loaded by agent or it intervenes from time to time? Me_Think
Keith S PCD is an irreducibly complex system, apoptosis, necrosis and autophagy are independently regulated mechanisms that also work together via another unknown mechanism for the net benefit of the organism when they become dysregulated unguided processes take over and the organism dies. Just last week we had to bury a very dear friend of mine's kid because PCD stopped working. It took unguided processes 4 days to kill the little guy. Rip LK...... Andre
Upright Biped #61, I am talking about evolution as described by modern evolutionary theory. Essentially Darwinian evolution as you described it plus drift. Douglas Theobald explains why irreducible complexity is not a barrier to evolution. keith s
@keiths #58
To argue that something is designed because it exhibits CSI is circular, because you have to know that it is designed before you can attribute CSI to it.
Maybe I'm misreading you, but it seems to me like there's a lot of confusion being tossed about here over the issue of CSI. As I read your comment above, it does not seem to me to be correct. First of all, ID proponents do not exactly claim that something IS designed because it has CSI. Rather, they tentatively infer design as the BEST EXPLANATION for something that displays CSI. Second, you do not have to know that something is designed before you can attribute CSI to it. In order to attribute CSI to something (at least the type of CSI Dembski is talking about), you simply have to determine that it is highly improbable that it is the result of any known, relevant naturalistic process and that it conforms to some kind of independent specification. What needs to be understood is that this does not mean, by definition, that it could not have been produced by any natural process. It is not logically impossible that some natural process could cause the effect in question. Rather, the argument is that we have not actually observed any natural processes ever producing the types of specified effects in question and overcoming the astronomical odds against them doing so, but that we have observed - and do observe - intelligent agency bringing about those kinds of specified effects all the time. Hence, the reasoning goes that if some effect is calculated to display a high degree of CSI on all chance hypotheses - or, put another away, is found to match an independent specification and also be astronomically improbable with respect to every known natural process that might be proposed to explain it - then design is tentatively considered to be a better explanation of the effect (being the only kind of cause known to be capable of producing it) than an appeal to extreme good fortune that would not be expected to happen even once in the entire history of the universe. There are at least two ways this inference could be falsified: 1) A natural process could be discovered that shows the effect not to be improbable, thereby falsifying the claim that it demonstrates CSI; or 2) A natural process could be demonstrated to bring about specified effects that are highly improbable with respect to that particular natural process, thereby falsifying the claim that CSI implies design for similar and lesser degrees of complexity (improbability). What part of this do you think is a circular argument? HeKS
Learned Hand:
Ewert made this point recently, which was interesting because I didn’t realize anyone inside the ID movement acknowledged this issue. I don’t quite understand what the point of CSI is to Ewert, but obviously most people here do think of it as a design detector.
Here's how Ewert put it in his recent OP:
The notion of specified complexity exists for one purpose: to give force to probability arguments. If we look at Behe’s irreducible complexity, Axe’s work on proteins, or practically any work by any intelligent design proponent, the work seeks to demonstrate that the Darwinian account of evolution is vastly improbable. Dembski’s work on specified complexity and design inference works to show why that improbability gives us reason to reject Darwinian evolution and accept design. So Keith is right, arguing for the improbability of evolution on the basis of specified complexity is circular. However, specified complexity, as developed by Dembski, isn’t designed for the purpose of demonstrating the improbability of evolution. When used for its proper role, specified complexity is a valid, though limited argument.
What he's saying, in a nutshell, is that since improbable things happen all the time, we can't infer design from improbability alone. We also need a specification, and he credits Dembski for elucidating how specification augments improbability in establishing design. Ewert avoids the circularity problem, but the other flaws of CSI are still there. For example, Dembski's notions regarding specifications are problematic:
“Specification” is Dembski’s attempt at dealing with the fact that vastly improbable things happen all the time. Problem is, specifications are usually too specific. For example, Dembski knows that he would be committing the lottery winner fallacy if he claimed that the bacterial flagellum, exactly as it appears today, was evolution’s “target”. Instead, he broadens the specification to include any “bidirectional rotary motor-driven propeller.” But this is still far too specific. Even “propulsion system” is too specific, because evolution didn’t set out to produce a propulsion system. Evolution’s only “target” is differential reproductive advantage, and even then the word “target” is too strong.
keith s
tjguy, See Keith, this is something that cannot really be proven either way. We could say the same thing to you. We await any evolutionist’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological machine in the cell can evolve by totally natural unguided processes. There are a few ways to distinguish the positions. The most obvious one is that IDists have made the simple, clear claim that they can actually detect design with no false positives. Is there an equivalent "we can detect evolution algorithmically" claim? The clarity and specificity of the ID claim makes it pretty easy to test. Can IDists actually detect design? The last couple of days have made it very clear that they can't, at least not with CSI. Learned Hand
The problem with the argument from IC is not that it’s circular — it’s that IC is not a barrier to evolution.
What kind of evolution are you talking about here? Darwinian evolution, requiring traits to be recorded in the genome, expressed in the progeny, and filtered by selection? Or some something more ambiguous? Upright BiPed
Not really. It’s more like “These are the kinds of things I do/create that are a result of my ability to reason. Therefore, when I see others do/create similar things I can conclude they have a similar ability.” Yeah, like you say I think our approaches are fairly similar. I think that puts me further away from understanding, though, because I don't think that this has much in common with CSI. I don't see where you're really even considering complexity or specification. Maybe you're thinking more along the lines of explanatory filter? Dembski says specified complexity is just an extension of the EF, I think, but I don't see the extended parts in your approach. If I am reading you right, you are saying that out of ‘Complex Specified Information’, only the ‘Complex Information’ parts are necessary to identify design with no false positives. Is that correct? I don't think any version or component or application of CSI lets you identify design, and if it did I don't think it would exclude false positives. Nor do I understand how you can separate the C and S from the I; isn't the information the unit being calculated, with complexity and specification being characteristics of that information? In other words, we're not communicating on this point at all. My point in that paragraph was just what Keith and others have been trying to explain for quite a while: you can't calculate CSI formally until you know whether or not the subject could have come about through non-design means (such as random chance or evolution). So if you can't calculate CSI until you've already ruled out everything but design, CSI doesn't actually detect design. Ewert made this point recently, which was interesting because I didn't realize anyone inside the ID movement acknowledged this issue. I don't quite understand what the point of CSI is to Ewert, but obviously most people here do think of it as a design detector. Learned Hand
tjguy #56,
...you would think that you would at least allow the design option on the table. But you don’t. No bias there, right?
I do allow design on the table. And when I treat design and unguided evolution equally, I find that UE is literally trillions of times better than design at explaining the evidence. My rejection of design is based on evidence, not bias. Here's an earlier comment of mine, to Box. Read it carefully and you will see that I'm treating the two hypotheses equally:
You want to give ID an unfair advantage. I want to treat ID and unguided evolution equally, to see which one prevails on a level playing field. Of course that is “unacceptable” to you, because ID loses on a level playing field, and you don’t like that. You want to rig the game so that ID will win despite being an inferior hypothesis. That is unacceptable to any honest, science-minded person. Let me try once more to explain this to you. 1. “Unguided evolution produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then unguided evolution must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either unguided evolution doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. 2. “A designer produced the ONH” is a hypothesis. It might be true; it might be false. If it’s true, then a designer must exist, and it must have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. If it’s false, then either the designer doesn’t exist (or was prevented from operating), or else it doesn’t have the capabilities needed to produce the ONH. 3. We know that unguided evolution exists. Even the most rabid IDer/YEC will admit that antibiotic resistance can evolve, though there are people who actually believe that natural selection is a tautology, including UD President Barry Arrington, believe it or not. 4. We don’t know that the putative designer exists, so ID is already behind in the race. 5. We cannot prove that unguided evolution could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know unguided evolution’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach. 6. We cannot prove that the designer could accomplish every single step required to produce the ONH. That would require not only that we know every single step, which is impossible — it would also require us to know the designer’s capabilities well enough to decide if each step was within its reach. 7. If we assume that the ONH is out of unguided evolution’s reach, then of course unguided evolution cannot explain the ONH. 8. If we assume that the ONH is out of the designer’s reach, then of course ID cannot explain the ONH. 9. If we took that attitude, then we’d have to rule out both ID and unguided evolution! That would be a ridiculous conclusion, because one of them might actually be the correct explanation. 10. Are we stuck? Of course not. Instead of assuming that they don’t work, we can assume that they do. Then we can see if one of them fits the evidence better than the other. 11. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that unguided evolution is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that unguided evolution predicts an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities. 12. If we take that approach and assume, temporarily and for the sake of argument alone, that the designer is responsible for the diversity of life, we can see that ID does not predict an objective nested hierarchy out of the trillions of possibilities. We have treated ID an unguided evolution exactly the same, and evaluated them on a level playing field. If we assume that neither works, then of course neither can explain the ONH. If we assume that they do work, then unguided evolution makes a spectacularly successful, one in trillions prediction: the existence of the ONH. Meanwhile, ID falls flat on its face. None of the possibilities are ruled out, so under an ID hypothesis, we would expect with 99.999… % probability to find that there was not an objective nested hierarchy. If you treat them equally, unguided evolution blows ID out of the water. It isn’t even close. ID is a profoundly irrational position.
keith s
keiths:
Using CSI to detect design is circular.
StephenB:
Is that always the case?
Using Dembski's definition of CSI, yes. I think it's instructive to compare irreducible complexity to CSI in this respect. To argue that something is designed because it exhibits CSI is circular, because you have to know that it is designed before you can attribute CSI to it. To argue that something is designed because it is irreducibly complex is not circular, because you can determine that it is IC (according to Behe's definition) without first determining that it is designed. The problem with the argument from IC is not that it's circular -- it's that IC is not a barrier to evolution. keith s
KeithS
Using CSI to detect design is circular.
Is that always the case? StephenB
Keith S @4
I await any ID proponent’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed.
See Keith, this is something that cannot really be proven either way. We could say the same thing to you. We await any evolutionist's demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological machine in the cell can evolve by totally natural unguided processes. So, given that this is something that cannot really be demonstrated either way, we are in the same boat, aren't we? You believe it happened all on it's own. We believe it shows clear evidence of design. I'm sure you are familiar with the arguments as to why that is the case. Indeed, it really isn't so extraordinary to assume design when we see rotary engine, amazing speed, extremely fast capability to change directions, all the moving parts and how they are assembled together, and the fact that the machine probably would not work properly until all the parts are properly assembled, etc. So, while that may not impress you, it does impress many engineers. It does impress many people who are not bias against design, but are open to it. Again, given the fact that you cannot demonstrate that it could design and assemble itself all on it's own, and given the complexity of it, the efficiency of it, and it's resemblance to machines designed by intelligent agents, you would think that you would at least allow the design option on the table. But you don't. No bias there, right? Neither IDers or creationists claim that we can prove design. Neither can we prove that it was not designed. How could you ever do that? We are dealing with history here and it can't be repeated or observed. It happened once in the distant past. I think the design hypothesis is clearly the superior and natural explanation for the phenomenon. But when it comes to which one is superior to the other, obviously we will have a wide range of opinions on that so I understand that you might not agree. That's your prerogative as it is mine to choose the design hypothesis over the chance hypothesis. It may be hard to understand why many folk just cannot see it your way, but just so, people on the other side find it difficult to understand why you can't see it our way. And, I have a feeling that until you can demonstrate that your belief is accurate, most of us will have a hard time mustering up the faith to believe in the miraculous power of random natural processes. And the same can probably be said about you. Until we can demonstrate that it is actually designed, you will probably have a hard time mustering up the faith to believe that a Mind is behind that machine. Fair enough! Cheers! tjguy
I think Dembski’s core idea, that some things are so improbable that they can’t have happened naturally, works for me as long as you actually know the relevant probabilities. But since knowing all the relevant probabilities lets you determine design without calculating CSI, it’s kind of an empty formalism.
Took me a little longer to parse this bit. If I am reading you right, you are saying that out of 'Complex Specified Information', only the 'Complex Information' parts are necessary to identify design with no false positives. Is that correct? StephenA
As I thought more about it, I think I have to distinguish the ability to reason from the possession of a subjective sense of self. When you say “intelligence,” do you mean one or the other or both or neither?
The ability to reason. The ability to have experiences is a different, though highly correlated, attribute.
I’m starting to understand your position better, I think. Would it be right to say that you’re looking at other people’s actions, asking whether there’s an explanation other than intelligence, and if not concluding intelligence exists? That’s possibly an oversimplification.
Not really. It's more like "These are the kinds of things I do/create that are a result of my ability to reason. Therefore, when I see others do/create similar things I can conclude they have a similar ability." I can't say "These effects have no explanation other than intelligence." because I have not yet concluded that intelligence is something that anything other than myself can have.
As I’m reasoning it out now, I think I could say that I reason out from their actions to generate a model of what their intelligence is like. Since I can model out an intelligence like my own, I assume they’re intelligent barring disproof.
Doesn't sound very different from what I have laid out here. StephenA
wd400:
Keith makes an inference based on the specification and a specific chance hypothesis.
Interesting. Let's say that the specification part is not in dispute and concentrate on the "specific chance hypothesis" bit. How does that help keiths? How many chance hypotheses did keiths have to chose from? Why did he choose the one he chose? Mung
keiths:
I can back up my claims.
This would be more believable if you actually did back up your claims. Mung
keiths:
I can back up my claims.
When will you back up your claim that evolution is unguided? Mung
keiths:
I can back up my claims.
When will you back up your claim that ID is incompatible with the evidence for common descent? Mung
Barry:
So I ask him, even if I have did not fairly represent in 16 what you previously said, does what I said in 16 fairly represent your position.
No. You are wrong on both counts. Learned Hand got it right. keith s
keiths:
Dembski attempted to do it for the flagellum in No Free Lunch, but he erred by treating the flagellum as a “discrete combinatorial object” that had to form all at once. I believe that even he now admits that his calculation was bogus. I’ll see if I can find the quote.
Here's the Dembski quote:
(2) The challenge for determining whether a biological structure exhibits CSI is to find one that’s simple enough on which the probability calculation can be convincingly performed but complex enough so that it does indeed exhibit CSI. The example in NFL ch. 5 doesn’t fit the bill. The example from Doug Axe in ch. 7 of THE DESIGN OF LIFE (www.thedesignoflife.net) is much stronger.
I think I have The Design of Life at home. I'll check to see if Axe manages to pull it off. Don't hold your breath. keith s
What sorts of things? Eating? Growing? Those aren’t enough to establish intelligence as we commonly think of it, unless you want to say that a venus fly trap is also intelligent. No, talking and reasoning and feeling emotions and such things that are, in my experience, unique to humans. (Obviously a lot of those are present to a certain extent in animals too, but for the sake of discussion I think we can draw a clear enough line.) When I took the time to think about CSI and understand it, I realized that it was not a new process but something I have been doing subconsciously all along. We don’t usually think of complexity as a form of probability (or improbability), and if it helps we could just use the term complexity for now. I think Dembski wants CSI to seem natural and obvious like that; I'm not convinced that it is, partly because as far as I can tell he's never been able to add anything of actual substance to any real-world design detection process. Whatever CSI does, and however natural it feels, when it's formalized it's useless in the real world. (As Dembski agrees; when I asked him how we'd test CSI he basically said that you can't. That has dire implications for its future as a real design-detection tool.) I'd rather think of it in terms of probability than complexity; I think Dembski's core idea, that some things are so improbable that they can't have happened naturally, works for me as long as you actually know the relevant probabilities. But since knowing all the relevant probabilities lets you determine design without calculating CSI, it's kind of an empty formalism. Anyway, just saying "complexity" doesn't do us any good since the idea is all about probability. I don’t think that the process you describe is exactly CSI (doesn’t seem complex enough). It also doesn’t seem like a good way to determine if a being is intelligent since, as you note, it generates false positives (as well as false negatives if the being conceals or is unable to express it’s emotions). Is it your position that there is no reliable reason to think that other humans are intelligent? I presume not. Yeah, I don't think it's possible to quantify these things, so it's going to be subjective. My main point was that a broad sense of "other people do the same things I do" is too loose to say, "That's CSI." As I thought more about it, I think I have to distinguish the ability to reason from the possession of a subjective sense of self. When you say "intelligence," do you mean one or the other or both or neither? What exactly is the logic that gives you such confidence that other humans are intelligent? I don't know how logical my approach is in practice. I've always assumed that other humans are intelligent. As I'm reasoning it out now, I think I could say that I reason out from their actions to generate a model of what their intelligence is like. Since I can model out an intelligence like my own, I assume they're intelligent barring disproof. That's not very well articulated, but hopefully it's clear enough. I'm starting to understand your position better, I think. Would it be right to say that you're looking at other people's actions, asking whether there's an explanation other than intelligence, and if not concluding intelligence exists? That's possibly an oversimplification. Learned Hand
Learned Hand:
I can’t speak for Keith, but I have a hard time aligning this with what he has been saying. What do you mean that he believes CSI does not exist? That it’s not calculable, or that it’s an incoherent concept? I think his position is the former, but that’s not the same thing as saying it doesn’t exist.
Exactly right. To calculate CSI, you need to be able to calculate P(T|H). No one has ever been able to do that for a naturally occurring biological phenomenon. Dembski attempted to do it for the flagellum in No Free Lunch, but he erred by treating the flagellum as a "discrete combinatorial object" that had to form all at once. I believe that even he now admits that his calculation was bogus. I'll see if I can find the quote. So you are right about my position, and Barry is wrong, again. That's why he was unable to back up his statement. He's had a pretty bad day today. keith s
Learned Hand, to Barry:
Perhaps you could discuss it with him rather than dictating it to him and giving him “last chances.”
I think the "last chances" bit was Barry's lame attempt to bluff me out of my position by flashing the ban hammer. It won't work, because I'm in a better position than Barry, and he and I both know it. If he bans me, he is admitting defeat. If he doesn't ban me, then he has to face (or run from) my challenges. I've already challenged him 1) to admit that he was wrong about chance hypotheses; 2) to admit that he fell into the circularity trap; 3) to admit that his challenge is empty, because it can't be met, by definition; and 4) to admit that his "summary" of my position was a fabrication. He is squirming to avoid all of those challenges. keith s
My gut answer is that I think I am intelligent, and I see other people doing the same sort of things I do. I ascribe to them the same qualities I see in myself. I think. But probability never enters into my thinking about it.
What sorts of things? Eating? Growing? Those aren't enough to establish intelligence as we commonly think of it, unless you want to say that a venus fly trap is also intelligent. When I took the time to think about CSI and understand it, I realized that it was not a new process but something I have been doing subconsciously all along. We don't usually think of complexity as a form of probability (or improbability), and if it helps we could just use the term complexity for now.
I typed the above without reading your last paragraph! You anticipated me. But I don’t think you’re right. Nothing about my process requires CSI, but that you name it so. Here’s an example: I see other people feeling emotions, and conclude they’re intelligent. Many humans have falsely perceived emotions in unintelligent things, such as the weather and chance forces. They ascribed intelligence to unseen movers such as Zeus. Isn’t that the kind false positive that CSI is never supposed to generate?
I don't think that the process you describe is exactly CSI (doesn't seem complex enough). It also doesn't seem like a good way to determine if a being is intelligent since, as you note, it generates false positives (as well as false negatives if the being conceals or is unable to express it's emotions). Is it your position that there is no reliable reason to think that other humans are intelligent? I presume not. What exactly is the logic that gives you such confidence that other humans are intelligent? StephenA
Barry, If your comment in 16 is meant to represent Keith's quoted in the OP then your paraphrase missed a rather important part. Keith makes an inference based on the specification and a specific chance hypothesis. wd400
7 keith s November 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm People infer design all the time — sometimes correctly, sometimes incorrectly.
Good so far...
The question isn’t whether design can ever be inferred. It’s whether it can be inferred in the cases under dispute, particularly those involving biological phenomena.
...still good...
I await any ID proponent’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed.
Train wreck. I await any Darwin Fundamentalist's demonstration that the blind watchmaker made the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon. cantor
You’ve given away the store today. I understand if you are a little testy. Calm down. That's a powerful piece of projection. I am seriously interested in understanding your position. Perhaps you could discuss it with him rather than dictating it to him and giving him "last chances." Learned Hand
Barry, I can back up my claims. Can you back up yours? You claimed that this was a "summary" of one of my "conflicting positions":
CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does not exist.
keith s @ 18. Look above.
So according to you, there is a comment somewhere in this thread in which I say something equivalent to your "summary". Where is it? Your claim. Your responsibility. Back it up or withdraw it. keith s
Last chance: Have I misrepresented your position? Do you in fact believe that CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does exist? If so, I will happily withdraw the claim. It is a pretty simple question. You've given away the store today. I understand if you are a little testy. Calm down. Take a deep breath. I am seriously interested in understanding your position. If you insist on being petulant and refusing to tell us what your position is, then that will be your choice. BTW everyone already knows what the answer is. :-) Barry Arrington
KS: "I didn't say that Barry! Strawman!" BA: "Did I misrepresent your position?" KS: "I didn't say that!" StephenA
CSI detects intelligent design because it only comes from intelligences, who are intelligent because they generate CSI, which detects intelligent design because it only comes from intelligences, who are intelligent because they generate CSI, et cetera ad infinitum.
So how would you suggest we break out of the circle (assuming I accept your charge that CSI is a circular argument)? I was aware when I made the challenge that I might be proved wrong, but you have not done so yet. We obviously do know that some things were designed, but how do we know that? What logical process led you to conclude that other humans are intelligent? Whatever process you use I expect we will find that you are using the concept CSI, though not by that name. Addendum - breaking the circle: There is one case where we can each observe CSI and have independent knowledge that the designer was intelligent. The case where the CSI observed was produced was ourselves. Since we each produce CSI, then when we observe others also producing CSI we can conclude that they have something in common with us. This attribute that we all have in common is what we refer to when we speak of intelligence. StephenA
Barry, You made the claim. Can you back it up? If not, then withdraw it. Everyone is watching. keith s
ks, I'm not interested in playing games. Have I misrepresented your position? Do you in fact believe that CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does exist? If so, I will happily withdraw the claim. Barry Arrington
And while you're at it, be brave and admit these mistakes. keith s
Barry, Show me exactly where I have said something equivalent to that. Link, please. You made the claim. If you can't back it up, then withdraw it. keith s
keiths @ 27:
CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does not exist.
Show me exactly where I have said something equivalent to that
Have I misrepresented your position? Do you in fact believe that CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does exist? If so, I will happily withdraw the claim. Barry Arrington
The sort of thing that gets kairosfocus pounding the keyboard about strawmen soaked in oil of red herring and ignited in an ad hominem bonfire to create choking clouds to distract and obfuscate the obvious truth as explained in the always-linked . . . . Keith's points are clear and concise. Your summaries are muddled and inaccurate. But they're surely easier to respond to than his actual statements. Learned Hand
Barry, It's fun to watch you tap dance. You claim that this is a "summary" of one of my "conflicting positions":
CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does not exist.
Show me exactly where I have said something equivalent to that. Link, please. keith s
keiths:
Neither of those quotes exists in this thread.
I would have bet a million dollars that you would play the "you misquoted me" card. You don't disappoint. Here, let me help you out: The statements are presented as summaries of the conflicting positions you've taken. Everyone knows this. It is amusing to watch you pretend that you don't. Barry Arrington
PaV, DNA_Jock isn't even commenting in this thread. Who are you responding to? keith s
Then, based on the cellular machinery and biological laws that apply to the construction of proteins and protein assemblies, we calculate the improbability. If it surpasses the UPB, then it is CSI, and we can conclude that “design” was involved in its construction.
Let me rephrase: "Then, based on the cellular machinery and biological laws that apply to the construction of proteins and protein assemblies, we conclude that this is a highly improbable event. Now the task of calculating CSI lies before us. Based on what we know of the genetic code and how genetic machinery works, in a simplified form, we calculate the improbability of the flagellum, beginning with any 'unique' proteins it contains, and then of the likelihood of the proteins chemically linking to one another so as to form a "rotator" assembly, etc. If this improbability exceeds 1 in 2^500, then we can conclude that "design" was involved in its construction." PaV
ppolish:
BA77, you misread my emotions. I’m in love with your posts – seriously.
Awwwww. How sweet. :-) keith s
DNA_Jock:
CSI and Specified complexity do not help in any way to establish that the evolution of the bacterial flagellum is improbable. Rather, the only way to establish that the bacterial flagellum exhibits CSI is to first show that it was improbable. Any attempt to use CSI to establish the improbability of evolution is deeply fallacious.
Let me take a try at explaining this quote. What Winston is saying is precisely that a "pattern must be recognized" before CSI can be established. It's really as simple as this. Put another way, we could say that the "specification" does NOT exist, unless a "pattern" is first observed. This is the meaning of Winston saying: "Rather, the only way to establish that the bacterial flagellum exhibits CSI is to first show that it was improbable." How do we "show that it [is] improbable"? Well, first we have to notice something about the flagellum, that it has different parts, that the parts themselves are built in a particular way, and noticing the interaction of its component parts. Then, we ask the question: is this a probable event? How do we determine this? We ask ourselves: given the way the cell functions, how likely is that to have happened simply by "chance." Then, based on the cellular machinery and biological laws that apply to the construction of proteins and protein assemblies, we calculate the improbability. If it surpasses the UPB, then it is CSI, and we can conclude that "design" was involved in its construction. Your example of 500 coin flips. In his book, NFL, Dembski gives us the probabilities of various degrees of repetition in coin flips. Obviously, the longer the string, the more improbable. With this as a bit of "background knowledge," we see 250 consecutive flips resulting in 250 H's followed by 250 T's. We say, this is highly improbable. We look at the first set of 250 flips, and know, immediately, that it represents a likelihood of happening of 1 in 2^250, or 250 bits. The same is true of the second 250 "flips." Now there's the question of whether or not the second 250 flips are "dependent" on the first 250. The answer is that they are not. Hence the maximum improbability of the entire event is 1 in 2^251, which is well below the UPB. Hence, we are unable to say that this event is due to "design." PaV
BA77, you misread my emotions. I'm in love with your posts - seriously. But reading Arrival of the Fittest was an easy and informative read. Dembski's Being as Communion is a much better/deeper explanation that underlies Wagner's work. Wagner sneaks in lots of stuff and ignores lots of stuff too. I'm going to reread Dembski and appreciate it even more. ppolish
keith s @ 18. Look above. Barry Arrington
Barry, I realize it may be some time before you can summon the courage to admit your mistakes. In the meantime, do you have other confusions about ID that you would like the critics to correct? keith s
keith s: Here’s how you make a design inference based on the combination of 500 bits of information and a specification. keith s: CSI defined as a highly complex pattern (such as one with 500 bits of information) that conforms to a specification does not exist. Amusing really. Barry Arrington
Is an explanation really necessary? It should be common sense. Just look at the flagellum, it is so obviously designed. It boggles the mind that there could be any doubt.
That about sums up ID. Meanwhile, in universities and laboratories all over the world scientists are engaged in the hard intellectual work of testing their beliefs. Learned Hand
People infer design all the time . . .The question isn’t whether design can ever be inferred.
It’s whether it can be inferred in the cases under dispute . . .
That is certainly the issue. And when, as you say, people infer design “all of the time,” each time they do so the issue is whether design can be inferred in that particular case under dispute. Again, I am glad to hear you admit that. That is the basic thrust of the design argument. Welcome to the ID camp.
I await any ID proponent’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed
And I await any non-question begging demonstration that it evolved by strictly chance/law mechanisms. Barry Arrington
Barry has said elsewhere that if we observe him laying out 500 coins all heads up, we don’t need to check the CSI since we observed the pattern being intelligently designed. But how do we know that Barry is intelligent? More generally, how do we know that humans are intelligent? We infer intelligence when a being communicates with us. What is communication? Communication is the sharing of information. If the information communicated is complex enough (if the being only ever communicates very simple bits of information we conclude that it is, at best, of vastly inferior intelligence), and if the information matches an independent specification (most commonly, it accurately describes the world around us) we then infer that the being is intelligent.
CSI detects intelligent design because it only comes from intelligences, who are intelligent because they generate CSI, which detects intelligent design because it only comes from intelligences, who are intelligent because they generate CSI, et cetera ad infinitum. It's not quite as circular as assuming non-design to conclude design, but it's pretty close. Learned Hand
Keiths you say "I await any ID proponent’s demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed." Is an explanation really necessary? It should be common sense. Just look at the flagellum, it is so obviously designed. It boggles the mind that there could be any doubt. humbled
My response to keith s was to say: Thanks, that makes sense. I guess I fell into the trap of oversimplifying a probability calculation to make it match my intuition! I think that's an appropriate way to acknowledge someone who corrects your errors. Barry Arrington will not do that. There is virtually no chance that he will ever acknowledge that keith s is correct, and that he is wrong, about how CSI is calculated or whether it is actually used to detect design. In answer to the question in the OP: no, keith's example won't work. It should be obvious why not. As he says, he's not calculating CSI to see whether design exists. He's concluding that non-design is impossible and then using that assumption to determine whether CSI exists. CSI doesn't work to detect design. It starts with a design assumption and then calculates that the assumption was correct. That may be one reason why no one outside the creationism tent finds it useful or has adopted it. It's also probably why no one inside that tent has ever bothered to test it: they're as aware as the rest of us that it doesn't work to detect design. Learned Hand
keiths, to Barry:
By the way, are you ever going to admit that you were wrong about the need for chance hypotheses in establishing the presence of CSI and about the non-circular use of CSI to detect design?
I love the irony. Barry K. Arrington, the self-described "President" of UD, doesn't understand ID and requires tutoring from ID critics. keith s
I would go so far as to say that CSI is not merely one way we detect intelligent design, but is in fact the ONLY way we detect intelligent design. Barry has said elsewhere that if we observe him laying out 500 coins all heads up, we don't need to check the CSI since we observed the pattern being intelligently designed. But how do we know that Barry is intelligent? More generally, how do we know that humans are intelligent? We infer intelligence when a being communicates with us. What is communication? Communication is the sharing of information. If the information communicated is complex enough (if the being only ever communicates very simple bits of information we conclude that it is, at best, of vastly inferior intelligence), and if the information matches an independent specification (most commonly, it accurately describes the world around us) we then infer that the being is intelligent. Maybe I am wrong and there is in fact some other way of finding if a being is intelligent. Consider it a challenge if you like. Prove to me that humans (or any other being) is intelligent without sneaking in Complex Specified Information. StephenA
Barry,
You should tell Nick “Not Really” Matzke. He didn’t get the memo.
It looks like Nick understood it far better than you and Salvador. Here is Salvador's question:
If you came across a table on which was set 500 coins (no tossing involved) and all 500 coins displayed the “heads” side of the coin, would you reject “chance” as a hypothesis to explain this particular configuration of coins on a table?
Nick correctly replied "Not really", and he pointed out a simple "chance hypothesis" that Salvador was overlooking: that the coins had heads on both sides. keith s
Barry, People infer design all the time -- sometimes correctly, sometimes incorrectly. The question isn't whether design can ever be inferred. It's whether it can be inferred in the cases under dispute, particularly those involving biological phenomena. I await any ID proponent's demonstration that the flagellum or any other naturally occurring biological phenomenon is designed. By the way, are you ever going to admit that you were wrong about the need for chance hypotheses in establishing the presence of CSI and about the non-circular use of CSI to detect design? keith s
And, as you say, "be virtually certain that something fishy is going on" thereby concluding "design." Barry Arrington
Barry:
Keiths, you admit that the combination of low probability and a specification leads to a design inference. That is all I’ve been saying.
No, it isn't. You've been claiming that chance hypotheses are unnecessary to establish the presence of CSI, which is wrong. You've also been claiming that CSI can be used to detect design, which is wrong, too.
You don’t want to call it CSI. OK.
Calling it CSI isn't the problem. It's the circularity that is the problem. See Winston's advice above.
By the way, the logic of your example to LH is unassailable.
That's right. We can reject the hypothesis that the coin is fair and is being flipped fairly. keith s
OT: ppolish, I noticed you were a bit like a teenager in love with 'Arrival of the Fittest'. Here is bit more sober look at the book that may temper that unbridled enthusiasm: Arrival of the Fittest: Natural Selection as an Incantation - November 17, 2014 Excerpt: "In Arrival of the Fittest, renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner draws on over fifteen years of research to present the missing piece in Darwin's theory (funny how Darwinists only admit that evolution has a 'missing piece' when they think they can explain that 'missing piece'). Using experimental and computational technologies that were heretofore unimagined, he has found that adaptations are not just driven by chance, but by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take." Once again, as with Avida and all the other computer models, we find that Wagner has snuck extra information into the system. As Dembski showed in No Free Lunch, no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search. Without design, there is no shortcut to the treasure (i.e. to new functional complexity/information). http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/11/arrival_of_the091261.html bornagain77
Keiths, you admit that the combination of low probability and a specification leads to a design inference. That is all I’ve been saying. You don’t want to call it CSI. OK. Call it whatever you want. You’ve conceded the basic thrust of the design inference. By the way, the logic of your example to LH is unassailable. You should tell Nick “Not Really” Matzke. He didn’t get the memo. Barry Arrington
Designer Bacteria show specified complexity right? http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news61501.html Nature is a sucker for design. ppolish
Barry, You're missing Learned Hand's, and Winston's, and practically everybody else's point: in that example, I am not calculating CSI and then using it to determine that something fishy is going on. Rather, I have to determine that something fishy is going on first (that is, that P(T|H) is extremely low under the chance hypothesis) in order to attribute CSI to it. Using CSI to detect design is circular. As Winston Ewert put it:
CSI and Specified complexity do not help in any way to establish that the evolution of the bacterial flagellum is improbable. Rather, the only way to establish that the bacterial flagellum exhibits CSI is to first show that it was improbable. Any attempt to use CSI to establish the improbability of evolution is deeply fallacious.
keith s