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L&FP, 55: Defining/Clarifying Intelligent Design as Inference, as Theory, as a Movement

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It seems, despite UD’s resources tab, some still struggle to understand ID in the three distinct senses: inference, theory/research programme, movement. Accordingly, let us headline a clarifying note from the current thread on people who doubt, for the record:

[KF, 269:] >>. . . first we must mark out a matter of inductive reasoning and epistemology. Observed tested, reliable signs such as FSCO/I [= functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information, “fun-skee”] beyond 500 – 1,000 bits point to design as cause for cases we have not observed. This is the design INFERENCE.

A classic example of FSCO/I, the organisation of a fishing reel
A von Neumann, kinematic Self Replicator, illustrating how an entity with
self-replication reflects considerable additional FSCO/I, where
the living cell embeds such a vNSR
The metabolic network of a cell exhibits FSCO/I in a process-flow, molecular nanotech self replicating system
Petroleum refinery block diagram illustrating FSCO/I in a process-flow system
The design inference reduced to a flowchart, the per aspect explanatory filter

Note, inference, not movement, not theory.

Following the UD Weak Argument Correctives under the Resources tab, we can identify ID Theory as a [small] research programme that explores whether there are such observable, testable, reliable signs, whether they appear in the world of life and in the cosmos, whether we may responsibly — notice, how duties of reason pop up naturally — use them to infer that cell based life, body plans, the cosmos etc are credibly the result of intelligently directed configuration . . . and that’s a definition of design. This, in a context where the proposed “scientific” alternative, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity has not been observed to actually produce things exhibiting FSCO/I etc.

Logically, this is an application of inductive reasoning, modern sense, abduction.

Which is common in science and is commonly held to ground scientific, weak philosophical sense, knowledge. Weak, it is open ended and can be defeated by further analysis and evidence, warranted, credibly true [and so reliable] belief.

Going beyond, where we have further information, evidence and argument we may explore whodunit, howtweredun, etc.

Such is after all commonplace in technical forensics, medical research, archaeology, engineering [esp. reverse engineering], code cracking etc. I guess, these can be taken as design-oriented sciences. Going back to 4th form I remember doing natural science explorations of springs. Manufactured entities. So are lenses, mirrors, glass blocks, radio systems, lasers etc.

Beyond the theory, there is a movement, comprising supporters and friendly critics as well as practitioners consciously researching design theory or extending thinking on it and applying same to society or civilisation, including history of ideas.

The first major design inference on record in our civilisation is by Plato, in The Laws, Bk X:

Ath [in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity, contrasted to “the action of mind” i.e. intelligently directed configuration] . . . .

[[T]hese people would say that the Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them . . . .

Then, by Heaven, we have discovered the source of this vain opinion of all those physical investigators . . . . they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods.

Cle. Still I do not understand you.

Ath. Nearly all of them, my friends, seem to be ignorant of the nature and power of the soul [[ = psuche], especially in what relates to her origin: they do not know that she is among the first of things, and before all bodies, and is the chief author of their changes and transpositions. And if this is true, and if the soul is older than the body, must not the things which are of the soul’s kindred be of necessity prior to those which appertain to the body?

Cle. Certainly.

Ath. Then thought and attention and mind and art and law will be prior to that which is hard and soft and heavy and light; and the great and primitive works and actions will be works of art; they will be the first, and after them will come nature and works of nature, which however is a wrong term for men to apply to them; these will follow, and will be under the government of art and mind.

Cle. But why is the word “nature” wrong?

Ath. Because those who use the term mean to say that nature is the first creative power; but if the soul turn out to be the primeval element, and not fire or air, then in the truest sense and beyond other things the soul may be said to exist by nature; and this would be true if you proved that the soul is older than the body, but not otherwise.

[[ . . . .]

Ath. . . . when one thing changes another, and that another, of such will there be any primary changing element? How can a thing which is moved by another ever be the beginning of change? Impossible. But when the self-moved changes other, and that again other, and thus thousands upon tens of thousands of bodies are set in motion, must not the beginning of all this motion be the change of the self-moving principle? . . . . self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second. [–> notice, the self-moved, initiating, reflexively acting causal agent, which defines freedom as essential to our nature, and this is root of discussion on agents as first causes.]

[[ . . . .]

Ath. If we were to see this power existing in any earthy, watery, or fiery substance, simple or compound-how should we describe it?

Cle. You mean to ask whether we should call such a self-moving power life?

Ath. I do.

Cle. Certainly we should.

Ath. And when we see soul in anything, must we not do the same-must we not admit that this is life?

[[ . . . . ]

Cle. You mean to say that the essence which is defined as the self-moved is the same with that which has the name soul?

Ath. Yes; and if this is true, do we still maintain that there is anything wanting in the proof that the soul is the first origin and moving power of all that is, or has become, or will be, and their contraries, when she has been clearly shown to be the source of change and motion in all things?

Cle. Certainly not; the soul as being the source of motion, has been most satisfactorily shown to be the oldest of all things.

Ath. And is not that motion which is produced in another, by reason of another, but never has any self-moving power at all, being in truth the change of an inanimate body, to be reckoned second, or by any lower number which you may prefer?

Cle. Exactly.

Ath. Then we are right, and speak the most perfect and absolute truth, when we say that the soul is prior to the body, and that the body is second and comes afterwards, and is born to obey the soul, which is the ruler?

[[ . . . . ]

Ath. If, my friend, we say that the whole path and movement of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it along the good path. [[Plato here explicitly sets up an inference to design (by a good soul) from the intelligible order of the cosmos.

Earlier in the same Bk X, he had noted just how old and how philosophically loaded evolutionary materialism and its appeal to chance and/or necessity are, drawing out consequences for law, government and community:

Ath[enian Stranger, in The Laws, Bk X 2,360 ya]. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos — the natural order], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity; observe, too, the trichotomy: “nature” (here, mechanical, blind necessity), “chance” (similar to a tossed fair die), ART (the action of a mind, i.e. intelligently directed configuration)] . . . .

[Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made . . .

We see the wider setting and the more specific themes.>>

U/D May 14, to promote from 470 below and onward, a summary of kernel ID theory as a cluster of postulates — based on clips from the UD Resources tab:

The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds

[–> key, evidence backed postulate, cf those of Newtonian dynamics and special then general relativity, thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics, postulational cores can be brief but sweeping in impact]

that

[First, Evidence-backed Programmatic Postulate:] certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained [–> explicit reference to logic of abductive reasoning] by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

In a broader sense,

[2nd, Operational Postulate:] Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). [–> design oriented sciences. Signal to noise ratio in telecommunications is based on a design inference.]

[3rd, Empirical Warrant/Point of test or potential falsification postulate:] An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.

[Evidence Corollary:] Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the “messages,” and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life . . . .

Intelligent design [ID] – Dr William A Dembski, a leading design theorist, has defined ID as “the science that studies signs of intelligence.” That is,

[4th, Designs and Signs Postulate:] as we ourselves instantiate [thus exemplify as opposed to “exhaust”], intelligent designers act into the world, and create artifacts. When such agents act, there are certain characteristics that commonly appear, and that – per massive experience — reliably mark such artifacts. It it therefore a reasonable and useful scientific project to study such signs and identify how we may credibly reliably infer from empirical sign to the signified causal factor: purposefully directed contingency or intelligent design. [–> definition of design, note, abductive inference from observed sign to signified cause.]

Among the signs of intelligence of current interest for research are:

[Supplement, on evidence:] [a] FSCI — function-specifying complex information [e.g. blog posts in English text that take in more than 143 ASCII characters, and/or — as was highlighted by Yockey and Wickens by the mid-1980s — as a distinguishing marker of the macromolecules in the heart of cell-based life forms], or more broadly

[b] CSI — complex, independently specified information [e.g. Mt Rushmore vs New Hampshire’s former Old Man of the mountain, or — as was highlighted by Orgel in 1973 — a distinguishing feature of the cell’s information-rich organized aperiodic macromolecules that are neither simply orderly like crystals nor random like chance-polymerized peptide chains], or

[c] IC — multi-part functionality that relies on an irreducible core of mutually co-adapted, interacting components. [e.g. the hardware parts of a PC or more simply of a mousetrap; or – as was highlighted by Behe in the mid 1990’s — the bacterial flagellum and many other cell-based bodily features and functions.], or

[d] “Oracular” active information – in some cases, e.g. many Genetic Algorithms, successful performance of a system traces to built-in information or organisation that guides algorithmicsearch processes and/or performance so that the system significantly outperforms random search. Such guidance may include oracles that, step by step, inform a search process that the iterations are “warmer/ colder” relative to a performance target zone. (A classic example is the Weasel phrase search program.) Also,

[e] Complex, algorithmically active, coded information – the complex information used in systems and processes is symbolically coded in ways that are not preset by underlying physical or chemical forces, but by encoding and decoding dynamically inert but algorithmically active information that guides step by step execution sequences, i.e. algorithms. (For instance, in hard disk drives, the stored information in bits is coded based a conventional, symbolic assignment of the N/S poles, forces and fields involved, and is impressed and used algorithmically. The physics of forces and fields does not determine or control the bit-pattern of the information – or, the drive would be useless. Similarly, in DNA, the polymer chaining chemistry is effectively unrelated to the information stored in the sequence and reading frames of the A/ G/ C/ T side-groups. It is the coded genetic information in the successive three-letter D/RNA codons that is used by the cell’s molecular nano- machines in the step by step creation of proteins. Such DNA sets from observed living organisms starts at 100,000 – 500,000 four-state elements [200 k – 1 M bits], abundantly meriting the description: function- specifying, complex information, or FSCI.)

[(f) evidence of the fine tuned cosmos.] . . . .

Thus, ID can be framed on postulates, and we may draw forth from such that cells using memory structures storing coded algorithms and associated execution machinery are strong evidence of the design of cell based life. With Drexler, we are looking a bit at nanotech issues.>>

Food for thought and for clarification. END

U/D May 8th, to allow another thread to return to its focus:

>>THE FOLLOWING COME FROM THE LEAK CASE THREAD:

F/N May 7: As tangential objections to the design inference have been taken up (in obvious subject switching) I pose p. 5 from Sir Francis Crick’s March 19, 1953 letter to his son:

Crick’s letter

And, here is the protein synthesis process in outline:

Protein Synthesis (HT: Wiki Media)

Together with a summary of the information communication system involved, as outlined by Yockey:

Yockey’s analysis of protein synthesis as a code-based communication process

F/N, May 8: As the tangent continues, it seems a further illustration is advisable:

It seems more is needed, so here is how this fits into protein synthesis and the metabolic network and how we see prong height coding:

In for a penny, in for a pound, here is a video:

Notice, we are actually dealing with a storage register. Say, each shaft with pins is set for five positions, four elevated, one on the ledge. This is directly comparable to GCAT, and as the video shows there are five digits:

| X1 | X2 | X3 | X4 | X5 |

The key is encoded to the correct string of digits that in combination will open the lock, say 13213. The resting fully locked position is of course 00000.>>

U/D May 14: As a side chain appeared in another thread that is more appropriate here, I cross post a footnote added there:

It being now an obvious tactic to sidetrack non technical UD threads into ID debates (even where there is a thread that is live on the topic with relevant information, graphics and video) I will augment basic correction below by adding here a chart showing tRNA as a Drexler style molecular nanotech position-arm device:

We may expand our view of the Ribosome’s action:

The Ribosome, assembling a protein step by step based on the instructions in the mRNA “control tape”

As a comparison, here is punched paper tape used formerly to store digital information:

Punch Tape

We should tabulate”

The Genetic code uses three-letter codons to specify the sequence of AA’s in proteins and specifying start/stop, and using six bits per AA

In Yockey’s communication system framework, we now can see the loading [blue dotted box] and how tRNA is involved in translation, as the AA chain towards protein formation is created, step by step — algorithm — under control of the mRNA chain of three base codons that match successive tRNA anticodons, the matching, of course is by key-lock fitting of G-C or C-G and A-T or T-A, a 4-state, prong height digital code:

Yockey’s analysis of protein synthesis as a code-based communication process

Further to this, DNA has been extended with other similar monomers, and DNA has been used as a general purpose information storage medium for digital codes, apparently even including for movie files.

The point of this is, for record, to expose and correct how hyperskeptical objectors have inappropriately tried to deny that D/RNA acts as a string based digital information storage unit, that it holds algorithmic code used in protein synthesis, and latterly that tRNA acts in this process in the role of a position-arm nanotech robot device with a CCA tool tip, CCA being a universal joint that attaches to the COOH end of an AA.

Speaking of which, AA structure, with side branches [R] and chaining links, i.e. NH2-alpha Carbon + R – COOH:

F/N, May 14, it is worth the while to add, regarding layer cake communication architectures and protocols:

Where, underlying this is the Shannon model, here bent into a U to show how layers fit in, this also ties to Yockey:

A communication system

We may then extend to Gitt’s broader framework:

Gitt’s Layer-cake communications model

As an illustration, the ISO model:

OSI Network “layer-cake” model

Similarly, here is a layer cake view of a computer (network ports can be added):

These layers, of course, are abstract, only the physical layer is hardware we can see directly. Even for that, we cannot easily see all the design details for compatibility and function.

These may be compared to Yockey, to draw out the framework of codes, protocols and communication requisites.

U/D May 21, on illustrating one aspect of cosmological fine tuning:

Barnes: “What if we tweaked just two of the fundamental constants? This figure shows what the universe would look like if the strength of the strong nuclear force (which holds atoms together) and the value of the fine-structure constant (which represents the strength of the electromagnetic force between elementary particles) were higher or lower than they are in this universe. The small, white sliver represents where life can use all the complexity of chemistry and the energy of stars. Within that region, the small “x” marks the spot where those constants are set in our own universe.” (HT: New Atlantis)

529 Replies to “L&FP, 55: Defining/Clarifying Intelligent Design as Inference, as Theory, as a Movement

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    L&FP, 55: Defining/Clarifying Intelligent Design as Inference, as Theory, as a Movement

    –> for the record

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    Inference – definitely yes and the real power of ID. Impossible to deny the extremely high likelihood of a creator.

    Theory – doubtful, in fact it gets in the way of inference

    Movement – about 30 people comment on this site and many are incoherent and malcontents- hardly a movement. Where the real action? It’s certainly not here. The real shining light – Denyse.

    Aside: while denying religion, this site is mainly about religion, either for or against. It’s not primarily about ID.

  3. 3
    William J Murray says:

    IMO the fundamental question here isn’t if intelligent design occurs or is the best explanation for the existence of thing. Unless you’re in total ideological denial, the answer to that is painfully obvious.

    The main question this forum keeps returning to is whether or not one can say that “the universe” as space-time can be said to have been designed-created. To design-create something in space-time is a categorically different proposition than to say space-time itself was designed-created. These two proposals do not represent equivalent statements, yet they are treated as though they do by many here.

    The very idea of a design-create process absolutely requires a pre-existent space-time continuum for its meaning. You cannot take “design-create” out of a space-time continuum context and retain any valid meaning for the use of that phrase.

    Now, let’s think about the term “intelligence.” That term also has no valid meaning outside of a space-time context, especially the “time” part. Intelligence is not an inert commodity; it is an active process. You can put all of the knowledge in the world on a hard drive and the hard drive is still not an active intelligence. Intelligence has no meaning outside of mental activity; mental activity, such as “designing,” is necessarily a process that occurs over time.

    Furthermore, to create something requires not only a pre-existing time construct, it requires a pre-existing space or else there is no “place” to provide for the existence of the thing being created. Creating “space” is as self-refuting a concept as “creating time.”

    A space-time continuum is a fundamental condition that allows for any intelligent design-creation to occur. It cannot be rationally said that some being design-created space-time. It’s a logical impossibility.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, UD is not the heart of ID as a movement, I would think the Discovery Institute, Centre for Science and Culture or whatever its current name, would be. And the underlying framework for this blog is design theory. There is a problem of breakdown of logic, inductive form and related themes. This affects science including science of origins. Thus key philosophical themes arise not just scientific. Where, as the Christian Synthesis is foundational to our civilisation, religion will come up and will be seized upon to poison the atmosphere. But in the end the theme is design theory and its intellectual, scientific and civilisational context. KF

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I suggest the key is that were there ever utter non being, as that has no causal powers, such would forever obtain, i.e. there would be no reality. So, SOMETHING always was, World Zero, W0, reality root. The issue then is, of what nature. In which light, the evident cosmological fine tuning, the message implicit in thermodynamics [entropy], the problem that a causal temporal thermodynamic domain [CTThD] succeeding by years cannot have traversed a transfinite past stepwise all point to a beginning. Yes, even through a quantum foam with fluctuations or the like. That beginning exhibits strong signs of design and prior cause, W0 is or contains a necessary being capable of designing and instantiating a world fine tuned for C Chem, aqueous medium cell based life. That is a start point. KF

  6. 6
    William J Murray says:

    KF,
    I suggest that none of the evidence you refer to matters wrt the logical problem I outlined in #3. If the way you interpret your evidence results in a theory that is a logical impossibility, then your theory is wrong, probably based on a faulty premise to begin with. I suggest you go back to the drawing board and reorganize your evidence into a theory that doesn’t end up logically invalidating itself.

    I can help: you’re trying to fit the evidence into a certain ontological framework that cannot logically reconcile how you are interpreting your evidence. Space-time is a necessary condition for anything to be said to be an intelligent design-creation process.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I have laid out the relevant core logic. Speculate as you will about W0 — notice is or contains — but W0 there is, on logic of being vs non being. KF

    PS, a simple point on how our hidden concepts can mislead is, riddle me this, riddle me that, guess me this riddle and p’rhaps not: is there a single point on Earth’s surface due North of London UK, NY City and Tokyo, Japan? It seems strange, until we reframe and recall the shape of the earth, so the North Pole is just that. Ponder the eternity point E as at the north pole of time and space.

  8. 8
    jerry says:

    UD is not the heart of ID as a movement, I would think the Discovery Institute, Centre for Science and Culture or whatever its current name, would be

    Agreed but still a blip on a blip.

    That this attracts something close zero commenters says it all. Thus, a total failure.

    And the underlying framework for this blog is design theory.

    Another total failure.

    Especially since this site is mainly about two things, trashing Darwin and religion.

    There is no design theory. That was one of Dembski’s original objectives but not fulfilled. There is however a clear inference that supports the existence of one or more designers.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, fair comment: argument by adverse assertions with no substantiation fails. There is a design inference (see OP . . . try this, what is signal to noise ratio?), there is or indeed always has been a design theory, admittedly not the “mainstream,” but that mainstream is self referentially incoherent. And the movement is real. KF

    PS, for fun, Wiki:

    Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR or S/N) is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. SNR is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power, often expressed in decibels. A ratio higher than 1:1 (greater than 0 dB) indicates more signal than noise.

    SNR, bandwidth, and channel capacity of a communication channel are connected by the Shannon–Hartley theorem.

    Where,

    In signal processing, a signal is a function that conveys information about a phenomenon.[1] Any quantity that can vary over space or time can be used as a signal to share messages between observers.[2] The IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing includes audio, video, speech, image, sonar, and radar as examples of signal.[3] A signal may also be defined as any observable change in a quantity over space or time, even if it does not carry information.[4]

    Notice how they tip toe around, how does one recognise a signal, and what is such but the product of intelligently directed configuration?

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Incoherence, following Haldane as outlining the problem:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For

    if

    [p:] my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain

    [–> taking in DNA, epigenetics and matters of computer organisation, programming and dynamic-stochastic processes; notice, “my brain,” i.e. self referential]
    ______________________________

    [ THEN]

    [q:] I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true.

    [–> indeed, blindly mechanical computation is not in itself a rational process, the only rationality is the canned rationality of the programmer, where survival-filtered lucky noise is not a credible programmer, note the funcionally specific, highly complex organised information rich code and algorithms in D/RNA, i.e. language and goal directed stepwise process . . . an observationally validated adequate source for such is _____ ?]

    [Corollary 1:] They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically.

    And hence

    [Corollary 2:] I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. [–> grand, self-referential delusion, utterly absurd self-falsifying incoherence]

    [Implied, Corollary 3: Reason and rationality collapse in a grand delusion, including of course general, philosophical, logical, ontological and moral knowledge; reductio ad absurdum, a FAILED, and FALSE, intellectually futile and bankrupt, ruinously absurd system of thought.]

    In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209. Cf. here on (and esp here) on the self-refutation by self-falsifying self referential incoherence and on linked amorality.]

  11. 11
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, I have laid out the relevant core logic. Speculate as you will about W0 — notice is or contains — but W0 there is, on logic of being vs non being. KF

    I’m not speculating about “World 0,” if that’s what you mean by W0. I’m pointing out a glaring logical contradiction in the speculation of others that assert that some being “outside of space and time” has any capacity to intelligently design-create anything.

    Now, if one concedes to the logical necessity that this being necessarily exists in a space-time continuum in order to be said to intelligently design-create something, but is the “original” intellgent design-creator of everything else that has come to exist in that space-time continuum, we are still faced with a logical problem: the infinite regress of time in that space-time continuum for the being proposed to have always existed there. Meaning, you can’t ever get to the point in time where that being intelligently design-creates anything.

    Appealing to “God” as outside of space-time and being the intelligent design-creator of space-time is appealing to a logical impossibility; appealing to an original ID-Cer within a space-time continuum runs into the absurdity of infinite regress.

    This means your interpretation of the thermodynamic evidence results in one of two logical absurdities. Therefore, your interpretation of that evidence is necessarily wrong.

  12. 12
    JHolo says:

    I find myself agreeing with Jerry@2. I hope this doesn’t cause Jerry any anxiety. 🙂

    ID is certainly an inference, but a very weak one. It is an inference from comparison to human design. Yes, humans, thanks to our large brain, are able to design and then realize these designs through a clearly observed chain of mechanistic processes. Extrapolation from this single example to the ultimate cause of biological structures is an extremely weak inference.

    As a theory, with the exception of human designed artifacts (ie, archaeology), it simply doesn’t exist, for the reason inferred above. It does not propose or conduct research on the nature of the designer or the mechanisms he/she/it used/uses to bring the designs to fruition. In fact, it actively resists any attempt to discuss this lack. Those who theorize a natural origin, even if they are wrong, propose mechanisms and conduct research to test these hypotheses. In this sense, even failed theories, such as phlogistone, alchemy, phrenology, geocentrism, etc, were better science in that their proponents conducted research to test their theories.

    ID is definitely a movement, a religious movement. I draw this inference from the fact that the vast majority of proponents are people of faith. This inference is strongly supported by evidence such as the wedge document, an earlier draft of Of Pandas and People That used the term “scientific creationism” rather than ID, and by the opposition at UD to any arguments that could even remotely have a religious link. Things like abortion, same sex marriage, transgendered rights, the nature of morality, self-evident truths, secularism, etc.

    All of this being said, ID could end up being true. That is something that those who don’t currently accept ID all have in common. Is there any adamant proponent of ID here who can honestly say that there is any evidence that would change their minds on ID?

  13. 13
    chuckdarwin says:

    WJM @ 12

    ID is definitely a movement, a religious movement…. All of this being said, ID could end up being true.

    No kidding. ID is such amorphous cod-science that you can use it to explain anything, you know, like fishing reels…….

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    Is there any adamant proponent of ID here who can honestly say that there is any evidence that would change their minds on ID?

    ID is testable. Thus far, no non-intelligent causes have been demonstrated that can produce the effects in question. Intelligent causes have been proven to produce the effects.
    So, the challenge remains. Just show random material causes producing multi-level, logic-based functional code. You could just write some basic software using a random character generator – that would do it.

  15. 15
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    The real shining light – Denyse

    Indeed she is.
    I donate to the DI in the hope that she’ll get a salary-increase.
    She’s truly amazing. A rare journalist, brilliant writer and true professional.
    I don’t think I could read this blog without her. The quality of her research and commentary – daily – is remarkable and greatly appreciated.

  16. 16
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    ID is definitely a movement, a religious movement. I draw this inference from the fact that the vast majority of proponents are people of faith.

    Does the religious orientation of evolution-proponents tell you something about evolution?

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    No kidding. ID is such amorphous cod-science that you can use it to explain anything, you know, like fishing reels…….

    Own goal.

    Also, I’ve noticed that ID detractors are nearly always the ones introducing religion into many/most discussions, ignoring the fact that ID takes no position on the source of design.

    I believe the motivation of ID detractors is two-fold:

    1. Attempting to conflate ID with Creationism or “unmask” ID specifically as a Christian apologetic. However, ID, in my frequently expressed opinion, reduces simply to a presumption of design applied to living organisms. Darwinism reduces simply to a presumption of random processes and junk, some of which is useful to living organisms. Pragmatically speaking, ID has repeatedly and consistently been shown to advance science faster than Darwinism.

    or

    2. Attempting to rationalize their desperate attempts at preserving their own rejection of a Creator that threatens their self-centered lifestyle that’s cloaked in a pretension of a scientific basis. ID detractors seem to be on a mission to deflect the discussion into religion or troll the other participants in a manner often consistent with “troll bots.”

    In fact, I’m getting very tempted to introduce a “counter troll bot” . . .

    -Q

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    Aside: while denying religion, this site is mainly about religion, either for or against. It’s not primarily about ID.

    Over the last 20 articles posted here I don’t recall any on religion.
    It’s a good reminder to consider and read the actual articles and not go directly to comments to see what everyone has to say about them (because many don’t read the article they’re commenting on anyway).

    about 30 people comment on this site and many are incoherent and malcontents- hardly a movement.

    “Many” – out of 30? I’ll guess you’re talking about 10 or so.
    I can’t think of any of the pro-IDists here who are incoherent malcontents.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Attempting to rationalize their desperate attempts at preserving their own rejection of a Creator that threatens their self-centered lifestyle that’s cloaked in a pretension of a scientific basis.

    True. Arguments against the ID inference usually stop after a while and then the target turns against religion or the nature of the designer. We never hear a better argument against ID itself.
    Just show the power of blind unintelligent entities to produce functional code. It should be easy. The entire materialist worldview is based on the claim that it happens and has happened.
    But that’s where the arguments stop and then it turns to an attack on religion.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    JH,

    oh that awful Bible thumping fundy Christofascist — not — Plato.

    Your resort to attempting to brand, stigmatise and marginalise inadvertently tells us that you haven’t got a clue as to how to respond via evidence and logic to the observation that FSCO/I on trillions of actually observed cases routinely, indeed uniformly, comes about by design. Where, we can see from needle in a haystack blind search space challenge, why that is so.

    What you need to do is to provide reliably, actually observed cases where FSCO/I comes about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    You would have trumpeted to the heavens if you could.

    Your attack religion tactic therefore tells us the balance on merits.

    CD

    But of course fishing reels, text strings, oil refineries and for that matter a single gear in them manifest FSCO/I. So does the metabolic network of the living cell (a much better job of it than the oil refinery too).

    FSCO/I is about information manifested in coherent functional organisation, not random strings fuyhgrs6uigutgcdt or repetitive crystal like patterns, adadadadadadadad. It should be no surprise to see it popping up in many contexts, with equal relevance to its known, tested, reliable source: intelligently directed configuration.

    Your attempt to dismiss inadvertently exposes your failure to understand what you object to.

    KF

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, when we actually turn to who Darwin was trying to overturn, a Deacon — shudder — named Paley and go to Ch 2 of his — the horror — Natural Theology — we find a very thought provoking argument:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch [in a field and stumbled on the stone in Ch 1 just past, where this is 50 years before Darwin in Ch 2 of a work Darwin full well knew about] should after some time discover that, in addition to

    [–> here cf encapsulated, gated, metabolising automaton, and note, “stickiness” of molecules raises a major issue of interfering cross reactions thus very carefully controlled organised reactions are at work in life . . . ]

    all the properties [= specific, organised, information-rich functionality] which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself [–> i.e. self replication, cf here the code using von Neumann kinematic self replicator that is relevant to first cell based life] — the thing is conceivable [= this is a gedankenexperiment, a thought exercise to focus relevant principles and issues]; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose [–> it exhibits functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information; where, in mid-late C19, cell based life was typically thought to be a simple jelly-like affair, something molecular biology has long since taken off the table but few have bothered to pay attention to Paley since Darwin] . . . .

    The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art

    [–> directly echoes Plato in The Laws Bk X on the ART-ificial (as opposed to the strawman tactic “supernatural”) vs the natural in the sense of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity as serious alternative causal explanatory candidates; where also the only actually observed cause of FSCO/I is intelligently configured configuration, i.e. contrivance or design]

    . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use [–> i.e. design].

    . . . . We might possibly say, but with great latitude of expression, that a stream of water ground corn ; but no latitude of expression would allow us to say, no stretch
    cf conjecture could lead us to think, that the stream of water built the mill, though it were too ancient for us to know who the builder was.
    What the stream of water does in the affair is neither more nor less than this: by the application of an unintelligent impulse to a mechanism previously arranged, arranged independently of it and arranged by intelligence, an effect is produced, namely, the corn is ground. But the effect results from the arrangement. [–> points to intelligently directed configuration as the observed and reasonably inferred source of FSCO/I] The force of the stream cannot be said to be the cause or the author of the effect, still less of the arrangement. Understanding and plan in the formation of the mill were not the less necessary for any share which the water has in grinding the corn; yet is this share the same as that which the watch would have contributed to the production of the new watch . . . .

    Though it be now no longer probable that the individual watch which our observer had found was made immediately by the hand of an artificer, yet doth not this alteration in anywise affect the inference, that an artificer had been originally employed and concerned in the production. The argument from design remains as it was.

    Marks of design and contrivance are no more accounted for now than they were before. In the same thing, we may ask for the cause of different properties. We may ask for the cause of the color of a body, of its hardness, of its heat ; and these causes may be all different. We are now asking for the cause of that subserviency to a use, that relation to an end, which we have remarked in the watch before us. No answer is given to this question, by telling us that a preceding watch produced it. There cannot be design without a designer; contrivance, without a contriver; order [–> better, functionally specific organisation], without choice; arrangement, without any thing capable of arranging; subserviency and relation to a purpose, without that which could intend a purpose; means suitable to an end, and executing their office in accomplishing that end, without the end ever having been contemplated, or the means accommodated to it. Arrangement, disposition of parts, subserviency of means to an end, relation of instruments to a use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind. No one, therefore, can rationally believe that the insensible, inanimate watch, from which the watch before us issued, was the proper cause of the mechanism we so much admire m it — could be truly said to have constructed the instrument, disposed its parts, assigned their office, determined their order, action, and mutual dependency, combined their several motions into one result, and that also a result connected with the utilities of other beings. All these properties, therefore, are as much unaccounted for as they were before.

    Nor is any thing gained by running the difficulty farther back, that is, by supposing the watch before us to have been produced from another watch, that from a former, and so on indefinitely. Our going back ever so far brings us no nearer to the least degree of satisfaction upon the subject. Contrivance is still unaccounted for. We still want a contriver. A designing mind is neither supplied by this supposition nor dispensed with. If the difficulty were diminished the farther we went back, by going back indefinitely we might exhaust it. And this is the only case to which this sort of reasoning applies. “Where there is a tendency, or, as we increase the number of terms, a continual approach towards a limit, there, by supposing the number of terms to be what is called infinite, we may conceive the limit to be attained; but where there is no such tendency or approach, nothing is effected by lengthening the series . . . ,

    And the question which irresistibly presses upon our thoughts is. Whence this contrivance and design ? The thing required is the intending mind, the adapted hand, the intelligence by which that hand was directed. This question, this demand, is not shaken off by increasing a number or succession of substances destitute of these properties; nor the more, by increasing that number to infinity. If it be said, that upon the supposition of one watch being produced from another in the course of that other’s movements, and by means of the mechanism within it, we have a cause for the watch in my hand, namely, the watch from which it proceeded — I deny, that for the design, the contrivance, the suitableness of means to an end, the adaptation of instruments to a use, all of which we discover in the watch, we have any cause whatever. It is in vain, therefore, to assign a series of such causes, or to allege that a series may be carried back to infinity; for I do not admit that we have yet any cause at all for the phenomena, still less any series of causes either finite or infinite. Here is contrivance, but no contriver; proofs of design, but no designer. [Paley, Nat Theol, Ch 2]

    He anticipated where von Neumann would go 150 years later.

    KF

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, here is a case where Wikipedia confesses inadvertently, in re the infinite monkeys theorem:

    The theorem concerns a thought experiment which cannot be fully carried out in practice, since it is predicted to require prohibitive amounts of time and resources. Nonetheless, it has inspired efforts in finite random text generation.

    One computer program run by Dan Oliver of Scottsdale, Arizona, according to an article in The New Yorker, came up with a result on 4 August 2004: After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t” The first 19 letters of this sequence can be found in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”. Other teams have reproduced 18 characters from “Timon of Athens”, 17 from “Troilus and Cressida”, and 16 from “Richard II”.[27]

    A website entitled The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator, launched on 1 July 2003, contained a Java applet that simulated a large population of monkeys typing randomly, with the stated intention of seeing how long it takes the virtual monkeys to produce a complete Shakespearean play from beginning to end. For example, it produced this partial line from Henry IV, Part 2, reporting that it took “2,737,850 million billion billion billion monkey-years” to reach 24 matching characters:

    RUMOUR. Open your ears; 9r”5j5&?OWTY Z0d

    Oh, configuration space a mere factor of x 10^100 or so short of the 500 – 1,000 bit FSCO/I threshold.

  23. 23
    davidl1 says:

    ChuckDarwin@13,

    I don’t want to nitpick, but I think you cited JHolo and attributed WJM. They have drastically different views on ID.

  24. 24
    Sandy says:

    After the group had worked for 42,162,500,000 billion billion monkey-years, one of the “monkeys” typed, “VALENTINE. Cease toIdor:eFLP0FRjWK78aXzVOwm)-‘;8.t”

    🙂 Serious question :Who pay the bill for electricity?

    @Kairosfocus: you mention Neumann but what about Howard Pattee ,Michael Polanyi?

  25. 25
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @19,

    Arguments against the ID inference usually stop after a while and then the target turns against religion or the nature of the designer. We never hear a better argument against ID itself.

    So true, and usually in the first few posts in response to any new topic.

    So, perhaps instead of my defending my Christian beliefs against ill-informed detractors, I should simply respond something like this:

    “How does your objection to belief in a Judeo-Christian God have any relevance to the presumption of biological design as expressed in the ID paradigm?

    What do you think?

    -Q

  26. 26
    chuckdarwin says:

    DavidI1 @ 23
    You are correct. Thanks for catching it. My apologies to WJM and JHolo.

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Sandy, it counted as university type research. KF

    PS, It is von Neumann’s 1948 kinematic self replicator — see OP — that Paley’s self replicating watch anticipated in 1802. In turn 1963 showed the information tape and others further on built on it. JvN BTW keeps coming up in all sorts of interesting places along with others. I am 1/4 inclined to take on the story of the colony of Martians on the Danube.

  28. 28
    jerry says:

    ID is certainly an inference, but a very weak one

    Completely uninformed assessment.

    Quite revealing though. Why make such a dumb comment?

    How does your objection to belief in a Judeo-Christian God have any relevance to the presumption of biological design as expressed in the ID paradigm?

    This has been my position for years except I would just say “design” and leave “biological” out.

    The strongest design inference is to creation of the universe with its fine tuning.

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    Over the last 20 articles posted here I don’t recall any on religion.
    It’s a good reminder to consider and read the actual articles and not go directly to comments to see what everyone has to say about them

    It’s the comments that indicate interest.

    I generally read the outline of every OP to see if it represents a place to make a comment. So I stand by my comment that it’s the comments that show what people are interested in.

    Also I can point to several comments I have made about ID that no one even asked a question about. I have some very specific non religion opinions about ID that have never been answered/addressed.

    I’m not pushing that they be addressed. I’m just showing that the true interest lies elsewhere.

    I have some strong opinions that have religious connotations and they get pushback but not logical pushback. It’s all emotional or religious based. It’s what people are interested in.

    Then there is non ID and non religious issues and it is interesting to watch the responses strictly based on emotional beliefs and investments.

  30. 30
    JHolo says:

    David: I don’t want to nitpick, but I think you cited JHolo and attributed WJM. They have drastically different views on ID.

    Probably not as drastically different as you think.

  31. 31
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    I should simply respond something like this:

    “How does your objection to belief in a Judeo-Christian God have any relevance to the presumption of biological design as expressed in the ID paradigm?

    I agree. It takes a lot of discipline to stay on that narrow topic, but that’s really all ID can do.

  32. 32
    JHolo says:

    JHolo: ID is definitely a movement, a religious movement. I draw this inference from the fact that the vast majority of proponents are people of faith.

    KF’s response: oh that awful Bible thumping fundy Christofascist — not — Plato.

    Plato was a person of deep faith.

  33. 33
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    I generally read the outline of every OP to see if it represents a place to make a comment. So I stand by my comment that it’s the comments that show what people are interested in.

    Well, it shows what the people who write the comments are interested in. But there are not that many commentators here and there are a lot more readers of the blog than that.
    But most importantly, if we didn’t have any anti-ID people here there would be practically no discussion. If people generally agree with you, as most IDists do agree with you, they’re not going to just start arguing against your idea, even if it conflicts with theirs. You’re a friendly voice, and every IDist has a unique idea or two – so your comment will be read but nobody is going to start a conversation with you, unless what you have to say is very compelling.
    On the other hand, a person who opposes ID will engage in a debate at least, of sorts – not of the highest quality, but at least there will be some discussion.
    For example, David Coppedge’s blog which has excellent and unique ID articles every day, gets maybe one comment per day, Most often his posts get zero comments.
    Or we could look at Cornelius Hunter’s blog. If it wasn’t for the rabid anti-IDists, he would have about zero comments per day also. Very often, his posts get no responses.
    That’s what would happen here without anti-IDists. They’re the ones keeping the discussion lively.
    Again, people who agree with 90% of what you have to say are not going to bother to argue about the 10% – unless it’s really significant. Arguments here are meant to create a significant worldview change. Your worldview is the same as all the rest of the IDists, so there’s not that much motive to get involved with an argument with you. With an anti-IDist, there’s at least the hope that they’ll change their mind.

    Also I can point to several comments I have made about ID that no one even asked a question about.

    As above, if people agree with you they’re not going to say “great post” unless they really like what you have to say, or they like you a lot – or you are really helping them in a big way. Good posts that you offer will be appreciated by your friends here, but they’re not going to say anything.
    I’ll look at a guy like Polistra who offers excellent posts on just about every article – sometimes he’s the only guy to respond. A large number of them are unique and challenging ideas he throws in there. Maybe 10% of his comments get a reply – because we all agree or else we enjoyed what he said, but nobody just wants to say “great post” every day.
    Consider Denyse – in my view she says some brilliant stuff just about daily, but I’d embarrass myself if I just said that every day, but I really could do it.

    I have some very specific non religion opinions about ID that have never been answered/addressed.

    I’ve read your ideas in those areas, and in all honestly, I’ve just decided it’s not worth it. You are pro-ID in some ways, and whatever disagreements you have with ID or the DI or this blog, to me, seem very personal to Jerry and I just let you go with it. I can’t see what good it will do me to start arguing with you about it.
    I feel the same about WJM. I agree with most of his pro-ID views, but his worldview I don’t accept — but that doesn’t really matter as far as ID goes.

    I’m not pushing that they be addressed. I’m just showing that the true interest lies elsewhere.

    I don’t agree with that. I think the true interest lies in trying to convince people that ID is correct – that’s why anti-IDists keep the conversation lively and going. When we see someone making a gross error or who is very badly informed, then it’s worth the time to explain ID to them. Those conversations are of interest.

    I have some strong opinions that have religious connotations and they get pushback but not logical pushback. It’s all emotional or religious based. It’s what people are interested in.

    Again, I don’t agree, but if you feel that way – you’ve made your opinion known. I can’t see what more you could do about it. If people are interested in something you object to, or you don’t think is right – that can be frustrating and grounds for complaint. Maybe you can change things for the better – I don’t know.

    Then there is non ID and non religious issues and it is interesting to watch the responses strictly based on emotional beliefs and investments.

    Well, it’s important to keep at least one eye on our own behavior and interests also. None of us is perfect, we can all stand some improvement. If there’s an opportunity to teach people, that requires quite a lot of patience – and that’s an area where I need a lot of improvement myself.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, first, Plato more accurately was a person of deep philosophy, one of the all time greats. That you have to try a stunt like that says a lot on want of a sound case. And when it comes to worldviews, it is easy to see that for every A accepted we can ask why, so B. Repeat, C, D . . . This leads to the Agrippa Trilemma: in effect, infinite (impossible) regress, circularity. or finitely remote first plausibles; hopefully accepted on balance of comparative difficulties. Our worldviews — all of them — have faith points resting on first plausibles. So, we ALL are people of faith the issue is in what, why, thus reasonable, responsible worldviews. As I noted above, as Haldane observed, and as Plato long ago saw, evolutionary materialism is not such a view, it undermines itself fatally regarding both reason and responsibility. Never mind how nowadays it likes to dress up in a lab coat. KF

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: it would be instructive to look across the course of the day. Notice, the OP answers to three ID realities, the inference and why it is responsible, the theory that extends as a small research programme [before about the 1940’s all basic sciences were like that], a movement of people who support. One hopes there is at least willingness to acknowledge that these are reasonable descriptions. Beyond, it is clear that many wish to debate, often off on tangents. However, the issue is key. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, back to 11. It is evident our spacetime, causal-temporal, thermodynamic domain had a beginning, and on analysis of observations, comes from a vanishingly small singularity about 13.8 BYA. So spacetime that we observe came from a singularity. One may speculate on a quantum foam and fluctuations but that in turn cannot have traversed a transfinite actual past. We are left with a rot world, W0 for reference. It is or contains a necessary being competent to cause worlds. But such is certainly antecedent to our spacetime domain, to quantum foams, cannot be composite with detachable parts and more. We may not know many things but these come to us from the logic of being and evidence we do have. KF

  37. 37
    hnorman42 says:

    SA and Q at 25 and 31.

    I think it’s great. I wouldn’t mind seeing it on T-shirts. Seriously.

  38. 38
    JHolo says:

    Querius: “How does your objection to belief in a Judeo-Christian God have any relevance to the presumption of biological design as expressed in the ID paradigm?

    It doesn’t. But the lack of a strong inference, the lack of testable hypotheses about the nature of the designer, the lack of testable hypotheses about the mechanisms for realizing the designs certainly are of relevance.

    As I mentioned, the design inference with respect to biological life is based on the comparison to a single source of design, human design. This world is full of species with various and measurable levels of intelligence, but only one that indisputably is able to design.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, can you kindly provide for us an actually directly observed case where, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity acting without intelligently directed configuration [IDC], actually produced functionally specific, complex organisation and/or information [FSCO/I]? ________ I note we have trillions of observed cases where IDC is directly observed as cause for such. Start with the text for your last comment, as an example, contrasted with the failure of chance text generation efforts as noted above. I predict, you will not be able to give such an example. KF

    PS, we are not the only designing kind of creature on earth, as beavers will demonstrate. Nor, is it correct to lump our species as though we were a single case of designers. Each designer counts. Going further, what we as contingent designers show is that designers are possible, we do not exhaust the class of possible designers.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, what is of interest is design, the IDC process. Can we detect IDC on observable, reliable signs? Trillions of tested cases in point say yes. Designs do imply designers and there are and always have been ways to infer characteristics of designers from their work. Inference to design as you manifestly know, is not inference to identity of designer, as say detection of murder or of arson is not equivalent to identification of a perpetrator much less adequate proof of guilt.

  41. 41
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @36,

    One may speculate on a quantum foam and fluctuations but that in turn cannot have traversed a transfinite actual past.

    If space-time had a beginning, then neither quantum foam nor quantum fluctuations or probabilities could bring space-time into existence since they require time to exist, right?

    -Q

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    This world is full of species with various and measurable levels of intelligence, but only one that indisputably is able to design.

    We can recognize the difference between a beaver dam (designed) and a log jam in the stream (not designed). So, we have examples of purposeful design from animal intelligence. We also recognize that Stonehenge was designed even though we do not know the designer.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    PS, we are not the only designing kind of creature on earth, as beavers will demonstrate. Nor, is it correct to lump our species as though we were a single case of designers. Each designer counts. Going further, what we as contingent designers show is that designers are possible, we do not exhaust the class of possible designers.

    Exactly. SETI research is based on the inference that there are other non-human intelligences out there. It’s exactly the same inference. We look for evidence of a designing intelligence, even though we know it would not be human design.

    Designs do imply designers and there are and always have been ways to infer characteristics of designers from their work. Inference to design as you manifestly know, is not inference to identity of designer, as say detection of murder or of arson is not equivalent to identification of a perpetrator much less adequate proof of guilt.

    That’s how forensics work. As you say, the inference to design does not require the identity of the designer.

  44. 44
    ram says:

    Argue, bite and bicker. But, with a little bit of luck…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jfkaf70SYM

    –Ram

  45. 45
    Querius says:

    Without space-time, there’s no luck and no probabilities.

    -Q

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, a quantum foam world extends space time and thermodynamics contexts beyond the singularity. So it is a CTThD, thus subject to the issue of traversing transfinite actual time in cumulative, finite stage steps being an infeasible supertask on logic of being applied to structure and quantity, i.e. I just conceptually defined Mathematics and identified its logic of being roots. Time, at cosmological level becomes a thermodynamic, energy flow and dissipation/dispersal process. The forward time direction is that where the spontaneous trend is that of increased entropy i.e. greater degradation of energy concentrations. The driving force there is that macro states are consistent with clusters of microstates and there is a strong stochastic pressure to clusters of micro states with higher statistical weight, hence identification of dominant clusters with equilibrium. KF

    PS: Consider a model world, 1,000 micro domains of a paramagnetic substance in a weak B field as an array, with two alignment states up/down, 1/0, equiprobable. (I am using the model material that opened my statistical mechanics u/grad textbook, Mandl.) This is of course formally substantially equivalent to 1,000 coins and will fit a binomial distribution.

    Assume enough thermal energy — random distribution, to allow changes.

    The predominant cluster will be near 500:500 U/D, with no particular order and fluctuations that essentially run +/- 50 or so. That is the equilibrium and it is a strong stochastic trend. Once there, the system will tend to sit there for the same reason.

    I am in effect inferring equiprobable states, which is reasonable and obviously can be adjusted by going to Gibb’s model rather than Boltzmann.

    Translating to a storage medium, we readily see bits, 1/0, 1,000 bits here.

    The equilibrium state remains, and we see why noise corrupts data so readily. Now the config space has in it 1.07*10^301 possibilities, in ASCII code terms, every 143 character code string is in it but the overwhelming pattern is gibberish. If we clustered as two bits then three groups of two, we have a model of bases and three base codons. The space spans that of 167 codons, rounding up.

    The blind search resources of our observed cosmos 10^80 atoms, 10^17 s, maybe 10^12 to 10^14 states per second [fast organic chem reaction rates] would sample 10^111 states, 1 in 10^190 of the space, negligible search.

    Were we to come upon such a medium, with a meaningful message, i.e. FSCO/I, we would have excellent reason to infer intelligently directed configuration as most plausible cause. This, is inference on tested, reliable sign to signified cause. If one doubts, identify, please, a case where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity has been observed to generate a meaningful string of 143 ASCII characters.

    We know above, random document search has got to 17 to 24 characters, a configuration space corresponding to that for 168 bits. 2^168 is 3.74*10^50, a factor of 1 in 10^100 short of the 500 bit end of the threshold, and 1 in 10^250 short of the 1,000 bit end we are using.

    So, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and needle in haystack search are not good candidates for explaining FSCO/I. Intelligent, language using action is. And yes, every significant instance of speech beyond about 20 words in English or equivalent for other languages is a case of FSCO/I, part of our trillions.

    Analysis on bit strings is WLOG as — say using a von Neumann Kinematic Self Replicator with embedded universal constructor — we can specify functional organisation in description languages. For instance, AutoCAD. The result is general.

    As for the tendency to suggest that biofunction comes in an incrementally accessible continent in the config space so a tree of life model applies as incremental cumulative change, nope. Start with the distribution of protein strings in AA sequence space then wider C-chain compound space. A typical protein average is 300 AAs, i.e, 900 base pairs for D/RNA. We know fold domains, c 6,000 are deeply isolated without stepping stones. This pattern of islands of function extends to even the different sex determination systems.

    We can see why inferring design on FSCO/I is well warranted, never mind selectively hyperskeptical objections.

    F/N: Though presumption can include

    pre•sump•tion (pr??z?mp ??n)

    n.
    1. the act of presuming.
    2. belief on reasonable grounds or probable evidence. [–> vs.]
    3. something that is presumed; an assumption.
    4. a ground or reason for presuming or believing.
    5. Law. an inference permitted as to the existence of one fact from proof of the existence of other facts.
    6. an assumption, often not fully established, that is taken for granted.
    7. unwarrantable or impertinent boldness; audacity; effrontery.
    [1175–1225; Middle English: effrontery, supposition < Latin praes?mpti? anticipation, supposition]
    Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

    . . . it invites the connotation, mere assumption or assertion.

    This is the context in which it is advisable to point to the form of inductive logic [modern sense] that infers a best explanation, abductive reasoning. Inference to the best [current] explanation is a deeply embedded framework in scientific theorising.

    The reference to abduction and its deeply embedded presence in theorising draws out the scientific nature of what is being done and it throws the spotlight on selective hyperskepticism used to deny or belittle that inference.

    Let the objector put forth another inference on observed pattern that is known 100% reliable on a base of trillions of observations. As in, kindly fill in________ (And trying to rhetorically reduce trillions of cases to singularity is a mark of ideological desperation.)

    Thus, my emphasis on the design inference, not “presumption.”

  47. 47
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 43

    “Designs do imply designers and there are and always have been ways to infer characteristics of designers from their work. Inference to design as you manifestly know, is not inference to identity of designer, as say detection of murder or of arson is not equivalent to identification of a perpetrator much less adequate proof of guilt.”

    That’s how forensics work. As you say, the inference to design does not require the identity of the designer.

    But, of course, the whole point of forensics is not to simply establish a crime but to identify the perpetrator. To say that the “inference to design does not require the identity of the designer” makes the whole exercise pointless. That’s the problem with ID–99% of the time ID merely states the obvious, that something was designed. Nothing more. It’s like reading an Agatha Christie novel but omitting the last chapter….

  48. 48
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    @Chuckdarwin #47

    Creationists are addicted to the illusion, and the brain endorphins it triggers.
    They don’t dare take that next step to identify the designer, because going down that path risks breaking the spell.

  49. 49
    JHolo says:

    KF: Inference to design as you manifestly know, is not inference to identity of designer, as say detection of murder or of arson is not equivalent to identification of a perpetrator much less adequate proof of guilt.

    Your analogy fails. An inference to murder or arson is never made until a mechanism for the observed outcome is identified (eg, gunshot wound, forced entry, presence of an accelerant, etc.). And the sole purpose for investigating to see if an inference is valid is to eventually identify the perpetrator. ID follows an inverted and truncated approach. They make the inference before a mechanism is identified, with no intention of attempting to identify a mechanism or the perpetrator. And rather than addressing these very obvious flaws in ID, they go on the offensive against anyone who has the audacity to point out these weaknesses.

  50. 50
    JHolo says:

    PK: They don’t dare take that next step to identify the designer, because going down that path risks breaking the spell.

    To be fair, this is because the designer is beyond the comprehension of mere humans.

  51. 51
    Pater Kimbridge says:

    JHolo: To be fair, this is because the designer is beyond the comprehension of mere humans.

    Which leaves it up to each individual to make the leap to whatever sort of entity that person already believes in.

    Wink, wink..

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, the FIRST duty of a forensics team is to establish that tweredun. Otherwise they become little more than footsoldiers of injustice. The point you wish to belittle, sideline or evade stands. KF

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, the “analogy” as you put it — actually, it is inference on reliable signs in both cases, is apt. The signs of arson or murder may differ but once a reliable sign is detected, it points to its signified. It so happens that there are particular, strong signs of design . . . we cannot but note that you cannot come up with a credible observed case where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity did give rise to FSCO/I, undercutting the pattern of trillions of observed cases by IDC [or, you would trumpet to the high heavens] . . . that appear in functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information. We are epistemically warranted to infer design on reliable sign, even without having seen or identified the designers at work. KF

  54. 54
    EugeneS says:

    PK #51

    Problem is, we can say a lot about the designer by analyzing their design. I hope you don’t mean to say that you expect from us to tell the full name, address and nationality of a designer, by their design. Other than that, by looking at X, if X exhibits functional complexity, we can say:

    – If it was designed top-down or self-organized bottom-up.
    — If it was designed top down, it can be reverse engineered. Despite the fact that complex functional things are usually claimed to be self-organized, self-organization of complex function has never been observed.
    – What criteria were chosen to pursue in multi-criteria optimization
    – What constraints/controls were instantiated into physicality to make X work
    – What stages (and sometimes even time frames) were involved in planning and implementing X, and then glean the logic behind that staging.

    I would say that is non-trivial.

    Each hypothesis, if it claims to be scientific, should have more than one independently testifiable consequents. Otherwise, by Occam’s razor, hypotheses can be safely removed as unnecessary.

    BTW, evolutionary theory (name it the way you like, to avoid me treading on Darwinists’ sensitive spots) is not up to this standard. The junk DNA hypothesis is a spectacular illustration of this.

    Evolutionary theory is a misnomer. There is no such theory, for exactly the above reason: RV + NS has no independently identifiable consequents to offer for analysis. On the contrary, there are a plethora of testifiable consequents from the design hypothesis. Ironically, an army of Evolutionists de-facto use the design hypothesis in their research without duly acknowledging it, because if they don’t there is nothing to work with, no theory at all, no predictions, nothing… Evolution is just smoke and mirrors, an ideology, a unifying idea that is at odds with reality.

  55. 55
    Belfast says:

    PK, JH, et al; Chuck has own-goaled your team with his remark that 99% of the time design is obvious. Indeed, he is supported by tens of thousands like him who state something similar – that life has millions of examples of things that look designed.
    The counter argument to design is laughable – that life began by lifeless chemicals mixing to produce an astonishing molecule with the power of reproduction. Afterwards, the astonishing molecule accidentally hit on making its own power by trapping photons of light while a different astonishing molecule devised voltage-gated pores to incorporate loose ions and basically produce electrical energy to sustain itself.
    Over 25 years ago, Harvard set aside 100,000,000 dollars to prove this absurd claim of yours; there is still no answer, neither from Harvard, a few hundred universities, nor NASA.
    As Chuck writes, design is obvious; however, the appearance and sustaining of life, is not. Not even the very first step in the chain os accidents is known.
    Go and giggle in the playground and conjure arch remarks about people who are not as smart as you.

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    PK,

    Predictable, sadly so.

    What does it require for you to simply move your pointer to and click on the Resources Tab, then go to UD Weak Argument Correctives to clarify what ID thinkers actually believe and why we believe such is well warranted?

    For example, on the world of cell based life, from its origin on, we note copious FSCO/I, starting with D/RNA and proteins. Indeed, molecular nanotech is an apt description. And, right from Thaxton et al in TMLO, 1984 — now in an updated extended edition — it was acknowledged that the technology of life does not allow us, by itself, to infer to the ontological status of the designer. In a world with gene technologies on our store shelves, and with Venter et all regularly grabbing headlines, molecular nanotech design of life is a reality. Indeed, genetic tinkering to provide gain of function is a prime suspect for origin of CV19. That’s why for quite some years I have noted that a molecular nanotech lab some generations beyond Venter et al would be enough to explain what we see. Indeed, intelligently directed configuration of life is an established fact, not speculation to be waved away.

    As Wikipedia concedes:

    John Craig Venter (born October 14, 1946) is an American biotechnologist and businessman. He is known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genome[1][2] and assembled the first team to transfect a cell with a synthetic chromosome.[3][4] Venter founded Celera Genomics, the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), where he currently serves as CEO. He was the co-founder of Human Longevity Inc. and Synthetic Genomics. He was listed on Time magazine’s 2007 and 2008 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Craig Venter at 14th in the list of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010”.[5] In 2012, Venter was honored with Dan David Prize for his contribution to genome research.[6] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2013.[7] He is a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Advisory Board.[8]

    I have gone on record here at UD, several times, that I believe that within a century, indeed within this one, we will fully synthesise a living cell. (Also, that someone will figure out how to make a unicorn.)

    The interesting level of design inference is cosmological, and that has been so since Plato. Starting, since 1953, with cosmological fine tuning. For that, your quarrel is not with me, it is with for example the late Sir Fred Hoyle:

    >>[Sir Fred Hoyle, In a talk at Caltech c 1981 (nb. this longstanding UD post):] From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has “monkeyed” with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16.]>>

    . . . also, in the same talk at Caltech:

    >>The big problem in biology, as I see it, is to understand the origin of the information carried by the explicit structures of biomolecules. The issue isn’t so much the rather crude fact that a protein consists of a chain of amino acids linked together in a certain way, but that the explicit ordering of the amino acids endows the chain with remarkable properties, which other orderings wouldn’t give. The case of the enzymes is well known . . . If amino acids were linked at random, there would be a vast number of arrange-ments that would be useless in serving the pur-poses of a living cell. When you consider that a typical enzyme has a chain of perhaps 200 links and that there are 20 possibilities for each link,it’s easy to see that the number of useless arrangements is enormous, more than the number of atoms in all the galaxies visible in the largest telescopes. [ –> 20^200 = 1.6 * 10^260] This is for one enzyme, and there are upwards of 2000 of them, mainly serving very different purposes. So how did the situation get to where we find it to be? This is, as I see it, the biological problem – the information problem . . . .

    I was constantly plagued by the thought that the number of ways in which even a single enzyme could be wrongly constructed was greater than the number of all the atoms in the universe. So try as I would, I couldn’t convince myself that even the whole universe would be sufficient to find life by random processes – by what are called the blind forces of nature . . . . By far the simplest way to arrive at the correct sequences of amino acids in the enzymes would be by thought, not by random processes . . . .

    Now imagine yourself as a superintellect working through possibilities in polymer chemistry. Would you not be astonished that polymers based on the carbon atom turned out in your calculations to have the remarkable properties of the enzymes and other biomolecules? Would you not be bowled over in surprise to find that a living cell was a feasible construct? Would you not say to yourself, in whatever language supercalculating intellects use: Some supercalculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. Of course you would, and if you were a sensible superintellect you would conclude that the carbon atom is a fix. >>

    . . . and again:

    >> I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the [–> nuclear synthesis] consequences they produce within stars. [“The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]>>

    Time to stop tilting at strawmen.

    KF

  57. 57
    JHolo says:

    KF: JH, the “analogy” as you put it — actually, it is inference on reliable signs in both cases, is apt. The signs of arson or murder may differ but once a reliable sign is detected, it points to its signified.

    With arson and murder the reliable signs that lead to the inference of “intelligent design” are direct physical evidence of the cause of the act. A bullet hole. Gas cans. Eye witnesses. Your inference of design for biological structures completely lacks any direct physical evidence of “intelligent design”. As such, your comparison to forensic investigations is a complete fail.

    we cannot but note that you cannot come up with a credible observed case where blind chance…

    I am not the one making a claim. The burden of proof lies with those claiming ID.

    We are epistemically warranted to infer design on reliable sign, even without having seen or identified the designers at work. KF

    Then your definition of warrant differs from that of the rest of the world.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky, quite so. As you are a Russian [a people I greatly respect], I yield to you the first option on breaking the news regarding the theory of inventive problem solving, TRIZ, of course, apart from a humble link to that site we link or cite ever so often when it testifies against interest. Which TRIZ — say, trees, it comes from Russian — is of course a highly relevant design oriented science. KF

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, red herring and strawman. In the living cell we have complex alphanumeric string data structures bearing coded algorithmic information. Coded, so LANGUAGE. Algorithmic — ponder how proteins are made — so, finite, halting, step by step goal directed procedures. We may not know the specifics of how such strings were originally synthesised but they may legitimately be deemed artifacts, demonstrating language using intelligence in action, specifically of a coder of embedded systems also synthesising execution and maintenance machinery using molecular nanotech. Systems, which are self replicating. This, on a topic that won multiple Nobel Prizes, decades ago and which is now in just about every biology curriculum. You cannot be ignorant of this, but this sees accelerants and a rigged fire starter, or bullet holes and bullets with striations from a known gun or fingerprints and raises them, any day. Worse, just as Paley foresaw 200+ years ago, this is in the heart of the vNSR facility of the cell. That you try to distract from, belittle and dismiss things like this speaks volumes, not in favour of what you are trying to advocate. KF

  60. 60
    JHolo says:

    KF: JH, red herring and strawman.

    How so? You were the one who compared the ID inference to forensic inferences. I simply pointed out that one inference is based on direct causative evidence, and never come to an inference of arson or murder without direct physical causative evidence, and the other is based on a poorly thought out comparison to human design with zero causative evidence to back it up. Incredulity is not evidence. “I don’t know” is the only honest conclusion.

    You and other ID proponents are free to continue limiting your argument to a weak inference based on a single intelligence but I would think that you would like to search for actual forensic type evidence to support the inference.

    That you try to distract from, belittle and dismiss things like this speaks volumes, not in favour of what you are trying to advocate. KF

    I have not advocated for anything. I have simply pointed out the serious flaws with the ID argument.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, it is obvious you are refusing to respond to evidence on the table. Let’s roll the tape from 59, the very next words after your convenient clip out of context:

    In the living cell we have complex alphanumeric string data structures bearing coded algorithmic information. Coded, so LANGUAGE. Algorithmic — ponder how proteins are made — so, finite, halting, step by step goal directed procedures. We may not know the specifics of how such strings were originally synthesised but they may legitimately be deemed artifacts, demonstrating language using intelligence in action, specifically of a coder of embedded systems also synthesising execution and maintenance machinery using molecular nanotech. Systems, which are self replicating. This, on a topic that won multiple Nobel Prizes, decades ago and which is now in just about every biology curriculum. You cannot be ignorant of this, but this sees accelerants and a rigged fire starter, or bullet holes and bullets with striations from a known gun or fingerprints and raises them, any day. Worse, just as Paley foresaw 200+ years ago, this is in the heart of the vNSR facility of the cell.

    I then closed off 59: “That you try to distract from, belittle and dismiss things like this speaks volumes, not in favour of what you are trying to advocate” — which of course you tripled down on red herrings and strawman tactics by snipping out of context and going on to try to suggest that there is no substance behind it.

    In fact, you doubled down on precisely the same tactic.

    And given what was glided over so strategically, I have every right to here make a design inference that this was willful action on your part.

    So, here’s your challenge, kindly answer, point by point to what you just tried to leave out _______.

    KF

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    PS, in fact, let me give my own point by point:

    KF, 59: >>In the living cell we have complex alphanumeric string data structures>>

    1 — KF, commenting: aka, DNA and RNA bearing inter alia protein assembly instructions, with start by adding methionine, extend codon by codon, stop . . . with three different stop codes.

    2 — Further, such strings are processed to make proteins.

    3 – where in multicellular creatures, the strings as initially transcribed are edited to make the algorithms passed to the ribosomes shown, top left in the illustration of the cellular metabolic network. I am tempted to add another image that illustrates protein synthesis in further detail.

    >> bearing coded algorithmic information.>>

    4 – So recognised since the 1950’s.

    >>Coded, so LANGUAGE.>>

    5 – Codes are an expression of language using intelligence, and language is a direct expression of intelligent cause. This is already a smoking gun.

    >> Algorithmic — ponder how proteins are made — so, finite, halting, step by step goal directed procedures.>>

    6 – Kindly ponder a definition of an algorithm, admission against interest by Wiki:

    In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (/?æl??r?ð?m/ (audio speaker iconlisten)) is a finite sequence of well-defined instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific problems or to perform a computation.[1] Algorithms are used as specifications for performing calculations and data processing.

    7 – Purpose or goal is shown by the to XYZ.

    >> We may not know the specifics of how such strings were originally synthesised>>

    8 – There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

    >> but they may legitimately be deemed artifacts,>>

    9 – I exercised epistemic rights, having laid an adequate foundation. We have smoking gun, we have bullet extracted from the victim, we have test rounds matching striations from being fired as a test.

    >>demonstrating language using intelligence in action, specifically of a coder of embedded systems>>

    10 – coding, check, embedded, check, so embedded systems design check. Only, this is the living cell.

    >> also synthesising execution and maintenance machinery using molecular nanotech.>>

    11 – Cellular machinery, check.

    >> Systems, which are self replicating.>>

    12 – The cell is a class of machine we have analysed for 70+ years, actually von Neumann predicted what would be found.

    >> This, on a topic that won multiple Nobel Prizes, decades ago>>

    13 — in the 50’s to 70’s IIRC. Start with Crick and Watson then go on.

    >>and which is now in just about every biology curriculum.>>

    14 – Patent, and accessible just about everywhere so we are dealing with a Wilson, Arte of Rhetorique willful side step. That speaks.

    >> You cannot be ignorant of this,>>

    15 – Patent.

    >>but this sees accelerants and a rigged fire starter, or bullet holes and bullets with striations from a known gun or fingerprints and raises them, any day.>>

    16 – That is, several means by which design was effected are immediately known: coding and effecting molecular nanotech embedded self replicating systems.

    17 – Huge domains of background knowledge are implicated.

    >>Worse, just as Paley foresaw 200+ years ago, this is in the heart of the vNSR facility of the cell. >>

    18 – 50 years before Darwin, this was pointed out in Ch 2 of Paley’s book, so this is not an after the fact result. Paley was quoted above, in 21 above.

    19 – This, of course is in your presence and if you were going to object you had a duty to attend to it.

    20 – I do notice that Ch 2 seldom comes up when we see dismissive remarks about Paley’s Watch. I call this, a grand red herring and strawman exercise sustained for over a century.

    KF

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, it’s your turn now _________ KF

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    That’s the problem with ID–99% of the time ID merely states the obvious, that something was designed. Nothing more. It’s like reading an Agatha Christie novel but omitting the last chapter….

    You’ve got several responses to look at on this already so I won’t repeat what others have said.
    There’s a dead body on the ground. The first question is:
    Murder? (intelligent design) or Accident (unintelligent/chance)

    The first question is not: “Do we know who the murderer is?”
    We also do not say “Since we don’t know who the murderer is, we don’t know if it was murder”.
    There’s a gun on the floor, the body has three bullet holes. It’s not an accident. It’s not suicide.
    Forensics tells us it is murder. The identity of the killer or even who the suspects might be are irrelevant. The gun could not have fired itself and hit three shots. The dead person could not fired three deadly shots to himself. It’s murder.

    ID stops at intelligent design. If that’s “obvious” as you point out, then we need candidates for the designer.

    Deists say it is God.
    Theists say it is God.
    Polytheists say it is God.
    Muslims say it is God.
    Jews say it is God.
    Christians say it is God.
    Atheists say: Maybe some kind of panpsychic universal consciousness
    ID says: Take your pick. We’re a science project, not religious or philosophical

    So, why blame ID for not going beyond its own field of inquiry?
    ID eliminates material cause as a candidate.
    One group of the forensics team eliminates blind chance as the cause of death. They hand the investigation over to the team that looks through criminal profiles, fingerprints, DNA sampling.
    Do they get criticized because they divide the work among different teams?
    ID does one part of the work. Other specialties outside of ID can look at candidates for the designer.

  65. 65
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    Your inference of design for biological structures completely lacks any direct physical evidence of “intelligent design”.

    None of what you offered was “direct physical evidence” of murder. A gas can, a bullet hole – those are indirect evidences. We make inferences from them.
    The complexity of the cell is exactly the same. Show us how it was created by accident. We know that intelligence can create complex, functional systems as with software – a living cell is a system. Randomization cannot even produce one Shakespearean sentence, and the cell is immensely more complex than that.
    That’s the inference. It’s exactly the same as looking at a bullet hole. We did not directly witness a murder. We’re looking at evidence from which we have to draw an inference.
    Often we don’t have the identity of the murderer, but the inference to murder stands.

  66. 66
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    What does it require for you to simply move your pointer to and click on the Resources Tab, then go to UD Weak Argument Correctives to clarify what ID thinkers actually believe and why we believe such is well warranted?

    I think it requires a certain level of sincerity and honest inquiry and respect for other people.

  67. 67
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    But, of course, the whole point of forensics is not to simply establish a crime but to identify the perpetrator

    You are right. “The perpetrator” wants to be caught that’s why He inserted intentionally a personal signature in the cell that helps you identifying the main dogma and even the specific Church .

    1 genome contains approximately 3 billion of these base pairs
    1 amino acid is coded by 3 bases
    The Christian doctrine of the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, 3 distinct persons sharing 1 homoousion (essence)

    one genome consists in 23 pairs of chromosomes
    Watch what is the meaning of 2(Adam, Eve) and 3(Trinity) and the power of 23. Search in what church is made that sign and you found the real Church .

  68. 68
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EugeneS

    Each hypothesis, if it claims to be scientific, should have more than one independently testifiable consequents. Otherwise, by Occam’s razor, hypotheses can be safely removed as unnecessary.

    BTW, evolutionary theory (name it the way you like, to avoid me treading on Darwinists’ sensitive spots) is not up to this standard.

    That’s a fascinating argument – I had not seen it before.
    Evolutionary theory would need to propose that all biological life evolved by RM & NS (drift, HGT … any material cause) or … it didn’t.
    That’s the only way it could be tested. But evolutionists do not propose an alternative. So it is never tested against another possibility.
    The best they do is say “it either evolved by RM & NS, or it evolved by some other means”.
    But that’s obviously not testing for evolution since evolution is assumed in both cases.

  69. 69
    JHolo says:

    KF: JH, it’s your turn now _________ KF

    For what? Your entire list of points boils down to, life is very complicated, and because DNA codes for proteins, and humans use codes, life must be designed. The leaps of logic here are Olympian in breadth. What is so hard with simply saying that we don’t know how life originated.

    From what I can see there are two possibilities.
    1) Life was designed.
    2) Life arose through natural processes.

    Of the two, only one is being actively researched by developing hypotheses and testing these hypotheses. What is preventing ID from doing so?

  70. 70
    Seversky says:

    We infer design based on the extent to which an object of unknown origin is similar to human artefacts. A digital camera and the human eye have some similar properties so we infer that the camera’s property of having been designed can also be attributed to the eye. This is argument by analogy but the strength of the inference depends on weighing both the similarities and differences of the two objects being compared.

    In the case of William Paley’s walker on the heath who finds a clockwork watch laying on the ground, even if he had never seen a watch before, he might infer it was a human artefact based on the component cogs, springs and wheels and the refined metals and glass of which it was made.

    But, suppose that the walker found something that looked like a crystal on the ground. In fact, it is a data storage device accidentally left behind by a time-traveler from Babylon 5. The walker might think it was a naturally-occurring crystal or he might wonder if it was a piece of costume jewelry somebody had dropped But he would have no way of inferring what it really was.

    Suppose an advanced alien intelligence was monitoring life in Georgian England and could disguise their monitoring devices and computers to look like lumps of granite. Would the walker even give it a second glance let alone wonder if it was an artefact?

    Suppose an advanced alien race had something similar to Star Trek replicators and could manufacture whatever device they needed from raw materials and energy and once the device was no longer needed it could be dematerialized back to the raw materials and energy from which it was originally made. There wouldn’t even be a trace of anything designed at all, certainly nothing that could be detected by the walker.

    The point is that when we try to infer design we may be working from a narrow database of design properties. We cannot exclude alien design as a possible explanation of what we observe but we have no evidence for it either. It’s weak inference at best.

  71. 71
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky

    We cannot exclude alien design as a possible explanation of what we observe but we have no evidence for it either.

    ID only proposes that what we observe was designed by intelligence. Whether it was alien life or God or some other intelligent agent is a different research project.
    It’s the inference to the best explanation. So, it’s testable against competing hypotheses.

    This is argument by analogy but the strength of the inference depends on weighing both the similarities and differences of the two objects being compared.

    It also requires an alternative proposal. We capture signals from space, observe that they are composed of a complex, repeating pattern with slight variations. So, first – it resembles intelligently-designed, coded language like languages we are familiar with. Then second, the competing hypothesis to design is that they’re just chance signals from space.
    SETI researchers have already worked out what they’re looking for to give evidence that the signal was designed by non-human (alien) intelligence. They built that criteria on what we know about human language (analogy) and what one can expect from a chance output (alternative hypothesis).
    ID does the same thing with observations from nature.

  72. 72
    Querius says:

    JHolo @38,

    But the lack of a strong inference, the lack of testable hypotheses about the nature of the designer, the lack of testable hypotheses about the mechanisms for realizing the designs certainly are of relevance.

    Let’s explore an a priori argument that God doesn’t exist, nor do space aliens or any other intelligent sources of design, but that all life has an entirely natural explanation.

    Intelligent Design is still demonstrably superior than Darwinism in that the presumption of intelligent design even without a design source pragmatically advances scientific progress more rapidly than the presumption of randomness and evolutionary junk.

    Historical evidence of the pragmatism of ID includes the presumed non-functional vestiges of evolution called “vestigial organs” at the time (including the thyroid and other ductless glands) and “junk DNA” (now renamed to non-coding DNA).

    -Q

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    JH:

    I see your hit at a strawman evasion:

    Your entire list of points boils down to, life is very complicated, and because DNA codes for proteins, and humans use codes, life must be designed. The leaps of logic here are Olympian in breadth. What is so hard with simply saying that we don’t know how life originated.

    Of course, you side stepped the fact that codes express language, that coding for proteins is algorithmic, expressing finite stepwise goal-directed procedure. All of which are signatures of intelligence. Where, humans exemplify language using intelligence but as contingent creatures cannot exhaust it.

    Oh yes, Wiki testifying against interest, again:

    Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for abstraction, logic, understanding, self-awareness, learning, emotional knowledge, reasoning, planning, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. More generally, it can be described as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.

    Intelligence is most often studied in humans but has also been observed in both non-human animals and in plants despite controversy as to whether some of these forms of life exhibit intelligence.[1][2] Intelligence in computers or other machines is called artificial intelligence.

    Lurking in the background is the — err, ahh — background technical knowledge applied to the relevant molecular nanotech. Which a certain ignoramus Chemist — not — James Tour [the molecular car guy] admits is pretty difficult to do. As in it puts the “mystery” in Chemistry.

    Then of course coding is intelligently directed configuration.

    Your strawman fallacy evasive response tells us you have the worse of the case on the merits.

    KF

  74. 74
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    You can’t make this stuff up!
    http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/1
    http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/2

    ID inference is the only logical inference . The materialist inference is a joke and the only question should be why is not yet in the garbage of history ? And the answer is:
    “Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.“All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”
    “Away from Me, Satan!” Jesus declared.

  75. 75
    vividbleau says:

    LCD
    Thanks for those links. Isn’t trial ( natural selection) and error ( mutations) a wonderful thing?

    Vivid

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    LCD & Vivid, those are an expanded version of the process-flow network in the OP, which recall fits into a cell about 20 microns across. It is far more sophisticated than the comparative oil refinery, which of course tends to be a large facility. KF

  77. 77
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, obviously, if I do not have context to see the FSCO/I I would likely commit a false negative error. For relevant purposes that is a non problem. The issue is cases where we do see FSCO/I. BTW, a classic case was the living cell, thought in late C19 to be simple. Contrast the biochem process flow network we now know. Further, I find it interesting that you too do not go on to Paley’s Ch 2 as I excerpted in 21 above. I suspect a watch like that with C19 technology would be of considerable size. If one encountered and explored such would s/he infer no, blind chance and necessity adequately explain? Now, reduce scale to 20 microns, shift to molecular nanotech and address the process flow network, including coded algorithmic information and associated execution machinery. Come back to us on where that credibly comes from. KF

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, kindly note 46 above on the key ambiguity in the word presumption. KF

  79. 79
    William J Murray says:

    KF @36,
    Repeating that same bit over and over doesn’t change the logic I’ve laid out one bit. It doesn’t even address the logic I’ve laid out.

    Querius @41,
    Exactly. I’m not the one speculating about W0, as KF calls it. I’m discussion the logic of the being others claim exists at W0, and their core claimed attributions of that being. I’ve shown that to say either that being is “outside of space-time” or “created space-time” are necessarily absurd attributions.

    It is interesting that KF keeps referring to the logic that leads to “root of being” uncaused cause to logically justify a deliberate, design-creator God, and keeps repeating that interpretation the thermodynamic evidence as if it answers the logic I’ve laid out. Those are the very things that lead to the logical absurdities.

    The problem is that time cannot “begin” or “always occur” in a linear fashion, and space cannot be created or spontaneously “come into existence.”

    As I’ve said, the only understandable, available candidate for “ground of existence” is potential. It’s “behind” even any concept of a deliberate creator-God because even God can only create that which it has the potential to create. Potential is necessarily the root of everything that can possibly occur.

    But, potential is not deliberate; it doesn’t do anything. Potential is not a cause; it’s what provides for any cause and any effect. Even consciousness must be provided for by the potential or else it cannot become active.

    The question is, what actualizes potential? How is it actualized, what is actualizing it, and how can that be arranged to avoid the same logical absurdities? What does it even mean for some potential to become actual? Is that a proper way of understanding what is going on?

    This is where you have to be really careful to not pre-suppose an ontology, or carry in any a priori concepts/baggage about what it is we must account for in terms of the essential minimum necessary. IOW, we don’t have to account for an @15 billion-year-old material universe because that is an interpretation of evidence. All we actually have to account for is how the “now” experience occurs in consciousness; where that information comes from, how it and not other information is made active in some aspect of consciousness.

  80. 80
    EugeneS says:

    KF

    Thank you so much. Yes, I am aware of TRIZ, – teoria reshenia izobretatelskih zadach (the theory of inventive problem solving). In fact, I know personally people working in TRIZ at the University of Bath, Nicholai and Olga Bogatyrev ))

    Yes, it is highly relevant to ID.

  81. 81
    EugeneS says:

    SA # 68

    Yes, I think the argument is obvious, when you think of it, but I can refer to Richard Feynman, who articulated it, if I remember right.

    I will take an example from this very good note: https://livelogic.livejournal.com/3391.html Unfortunately, it is in Russian and needs to be translated. Here is what it is about.

    E.g. we need to explain the fact that your slipper is missing.

    We want to propose a scientific theory involving aliens, because aliens are known as kidnappers.

    To build it, we construct two items: a postulate and a hypothesis.
    Postulate 1: “X is stolen by aliens therefore X is missing”.
    Hypothesis 1: “The slipper is stolen by aliens”.
    Consequent 1: “The slipper is missing”.

    You can check the consequent empirically, which was our purpose 🙂

    Is it a good theory? Well, not sure. Because we had to explain one item (expressed as the consequent). But now we have introduced two more.

    This is as much as we can do really given what we know about aliens. Now, can we propose a competitor theory? Let’s have a look at what we know about dogs. In fact, we know a lot more about dogs than about aliens.

    Postulate 1: “X is stolen by the dog therefore X is missing”
    Postulate 2: “X is stolen therefore can be found behind the wardrobe”
    Postulate 3: “X is stolen therefore has saliva on it”

    Hypothesis 1: “The slipper is stolen by the dog”

    Consequent 1: “The slipper is missing”
    Consequent 2: “The slipper can be found behind the wardrobe”
    Consequent 3: “The slipper has saliva on it”.

    Now we have 3 consequents, two of which appear dependent: “The slipper is missing” and “The slipper is behind the wardrobe”. Well, at least we now have 2 independent consequents. However, the postulates have one corresponding consequent each. Can we improve the situation? Yes. We can introduce further consequents and hypotheses, for example:

    Hypothesis 2: “A sock is stolen by the dog”.
    Consequent 4: “The sock is missing”.
    Consequent 5: “The sock can be found behind the wardrobe”.
    Consequent 6: “The sock has saliva on it”.

    Our postulates now have more than one consequent each. Our theory is beginning to resemble a scientific theory.

    Now, let’s take a look at the situation with evolution. All explanations involving evolution, are akin to our aliens based theory: explananda are multiplied at a higher rate than the explanations our ‘theory’ provides. Let’s have an example and say we want to explain the existence of metazoa.

    Postulate 1: “Metazoa is a result of evolution”.
    Hypothesis 1: “Life on Earth is a result of evolution”.
    Consequent 1: “Life on Earth has metazoa”.

    The structure is exactly the same as in the aliens theory: to explain one thing we use two items. Can we help by involving more observables? Let’s see if we can incorporate the diversity of life.

    Postulate 1: “Metazoa is a result of evolution”
    Postulate 2: “The diversity of life is a result of evolution”
    Hypothesis 1: “Life on Earth is a result of evolution”.
    Consequent 1: “Life on Earth has metazoa”.
    Consequent 2: “Life on Earth has diversity”.

    Now we have two postulates leading to one consequent each. To explain two observations we introduce three things, and we have no predictions.

    These flaws of evolution as a theory were pointed out by Karl Popper. Later on, the author goes on to say, Popper renounced his own views on this, but it is a different story.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky, yes, a whole theory of technological, transformative evolution . . . by design. TRIZ dot org. Where, our world is so orderly that there are intelligible principles of design.

    They note:

    As can be learned from his biography, Genrick Altshuller analyzed thousands of worldwide patents from the leading engineering fields. He then analyzed solutions that were, in his judgment, most effective. This work provided the first understanding of the trends, or patterns, of evolution for technical systems. It also laid the foundation for the development of an analytical approach to solving inventive problems, later becoming the foundation for TRIZ, his theory of inventive problem solving, with its axiom: The evolution of all technical systems is governed by objective laws. [–> we can hear the cries already!]

    These laws reveal that, during the evolution of a technical system, improvement of any part of that system having already reached its pinnacle of functional performance will lead to conflict with another part. This conflict will lead to the eventual improvement of the less evolved part. This continuing, self-sustaining process pushes the system ever closer to its ideal state.

    [–> Thus, well structured win-win solutions are best but may be challenging, compromises that dissatisfy everyone are unsustainable — hence, why we get niches. A Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman multitool will sacrifice tool performance to gain compact but adequate performance for moderate loads . . . to get top performance on a specific task go for specialist tools, look in any good technician’s or artisan’s tool kit, but note the weight penalty]

    Understanding this evolutionary process allows us to forecast future trends in the development of a technical system.

    Who were the investment house with the ad series, “wisdom is everywhere”? They have a point, yes even a tool box can be a source for relevant observations.

    Wiki notes:

    The research has produced three primary findings:

    1: Problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences
    2: Patterns of technical evolution are also repeated across industries and sciences
    The innovations used scientific effects outside the field in which they were developed

    TRIZ practitioners apply all these findings in order to create and to improve products, services, and systems.

    Key ideas:

    Ideal final result (IFR) – the ultimate idealistic solution of a problem when the desired result is achieved by itself.[15] Note that the Ideal Final Result is also an ARIZ term for the formulation of the inventive problem in the form of a Technical Contradiction (IFR-1) and a Physical Contradiction (IFR-2);
    Administrative contradiction – contradiction between the needs and abilities;
    Technical contradiction – an inverse dependence between parameters/characteristics of a machine or technology;
    Physical contradiction – opposite/contradictory physical requirements to an object;
    Separation principle – a method of resolving physical contradictions by separating contradictory requirements;
    Vepol or Su-field – a minimal technical system consisting of two material objects (substances) and a “field”. “Field” is the source of energy whereas one of the substances is “transmission” and the other one is the “tool”;
    Fepol or Ferfiel – a sort of Vepol (Su-field) where “substances” are ferromagnetic objects;
    Level of invention;
    Standard solution – a standard inventive solution of a higher level;
    Laws of technical systems evolution;
    Algorithm of inventive problems solving (ARIZ), which combines various specialized methods of TRIZ into one universal tool;
    Talented Thinking or Thinking in Time and Scale;
    Effect : Scientific knowledge to solve problem listed by not alphabetical order but functional order

    KF

    PS, nice summary https://web.archive.org/web/20160309225551/https://www.triz.co.uk/files/trizzwhizz.pdf

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Selensky,

    We could augment with things like, evolution takes long, is necessarily incremental and gradual leading to a branching tree pattern; and some life forms get fossilised in a more or less random selection statistically. So, we should expect fossil sampling of the history of life to show this.

    Of course the trade secret of paleontology is we don’t (start with Cambrian revolution); hence the missing links concept, protected by auxiliary hyps that lock out alternatives such as design.

    Which is of course where observing coded algorithms as key to the cell’s architecture blows the scheme up from the root.

    KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I am starting where we are and am exerting logic of being, through structure and quantity leading to World 0, a root. Next, you speak of uncaused cause and potentiality: the latter is better termed capability or power or ability, the former is needlessly negative and vague when necessary being is on the table. Note too, the classic four causes, capability is a cause, contrary to the tendency to only perceive physically actuating causes: non being having no capability cannot source a world. Where, it is relevant to note that we often pose perceived but not actual contradictions due to incomplete or inadequate concepts. For example, London, New York and Tokyo are thousands of miles apart yet a single point is due north of all. I invited you to ponder the north pole of reality involving all possible and actual worlds as a first step to pondering mysteries of eternity. Designs of material entities are effected in a physical space, but are conceived in a virtual one, mindspace — and any plane mirror divides our universe effecting behind it a virtual half universe with points that can be physically plotted . . . did you do the pins and images exercise in school physics? Physical sight is in a physical space at least insofar as optics and neurological processing are concerned, seeing in the mind is in mindspace. There are those who can transcend from one sense to another e.g. hearing colours etc. There may be in W0 analogues of sequence and location but they are not thermodynamically bound. There is much that we don’t know starting with a cosmos 90+ percent invisible to us. It would be advisable to recognise that black swans are possible. God as inter alia infinite mind is transformative. KF

    PS, Riemann Sphere, Wiki:

    In mathematics, the Riemann sphere, named after Bernhard Riemann,[1] is a model of the extended complex plane: the complex plane plus one point at infinity. This extended plane represents the extended complex numbers, that is, the complex numbers plus a value ? for infinity. With the Riemann model, the point “?” is near to very large numbers, just as the point “0” is near to very small numbers.

    The extended complex numbers are useful in complex analysis because they allow for division by zero in some circumstances, in a way that makes expressions such as 1 /0 = ? well-behaved. For example, any rational function on the complex plane can be extended to a holomorphic function on the Riemann sphere, with the poles of the rational function mapping to infinity. More generally, any meromorphic function can be thought of as a holomorphic function whose codomain is the Riemann sphere.

    In geometry, the Riemann sphere is the prototypical example of a Riemann surface, and is one of the simplest complex manifolds. In projective geometry, the sphere can be thought of as the complex projective line P1(C), the projective space of all complex lines in C2. As with any compact Riemann surface, the sphere may also be viewed as a projective algebraic curve, making it a fundamental example in algebraic geometry. It also finds utility in other disciplines that depend on analysis and geometry, such as the Bloch sphere of quantum mechanics and in other branches of physics.

    The extended complex plane is also called the closed complex plane.

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Pondering the singularity and recoiling in horror from fine tuning:

    extrapolating beyond the limits of your measurable evidence is a dangerous, albeit tempting, game to play. After all, if we can trace the hot Big Bang back some 13.8 billion years, all the way to when the universe was less than 1 second old, what’s the harm in going all the way back just one additional second: to the singularity predicted to exist when the universe was 0 seconds old?

    The answer, surprisingly, is that there’s a tremendous amount of harm — if you’re like me in considering “making unfounded, incorrect assumptions about reality” to be harmful. The reason this is problematic is because beginning at a singularity — at arbitrarily high temperatures, arbitrarily high densities, and arbitrarily small volumes — will have consequences for our universe that aren’t necessarily supported by observations.

    For example, if the universe began from a singularity, then it must have sprung into existence with exactly the right balance of “stuff” in it — matter and energy combined — to precisely balance the expansion rate. If there were just a tiny bit more matter, the initially expanding universe would have already recollapsed by now. And if there were a tiny bit less, things would have expanded so quickly that the universe would be much larger than it is today.

    And yet, instead, what we’re observing is that the universe’s initial expansion rate and the total amount of matter and energy within it balance as perfectly as we can measure.

    Why?

    If the Big Bang began from a singularity, we have no explanation; we simply have to assert “the universe was born this way,” or, as physicists ignorant of Lady Gaga call it, “initial conditions.” . . .

    We can go on:

    The big bang is an event that we do not understand. It is thought to have happened about 13.75 billion years ago. What occurred, as we understand it, is mind blowing. The entire universe as we know it today seemed to have come out of nowhere and very quickly. This is currently described by the theory of inflation, which estimates that within 1*10^-36 and 1*10^-32 seconds [counted from 0 of course and thermodynamically controlled of course] the universe expanded by a factor of 10^78 in volume.

    Where did all this energy come from? One way to account for this energy is offered by the cyclic universe theory that basically says that prior to the big bang, there was another universe that contracted down in a “big crunch,” which then gave rise to the big bang. [–> entropy issues, no more than 100 cycles, ever bigger expansions] This process could have occurred over and over, where our universe is just one universe in the process. The cyclic universe theory has been studied by Gott and Lin (1998), Steinhard and Turok in many papers using a string theory formulation, and by many others. In the treatment of the cyclic universe theories, it is an open problem to understand how one universe could smoothly be continued into another, since the differential equations that describe the inflation become undefined (singular) at the big bang itself . . .

    Notice, how speculative and philosophical things get as t –> 0.

    Food for thought,

    KF

  86. 86
    JHolo says:

    I have never found the fine-tuning argument to be very compelling. Fine-tuning requires that the the physical constants can be “tuned”. In short, that they can be changed. But we have no evidence that this is possible.

    It has often been said here that everything that begins must have a cause. And I don’t disagree with that. But there is no evidence that there has ever been a “time” when nothing existed. How do we know that the physical constants haven’t always existed? The absence of light doesn’t affect the speed of light.

  87. 87
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 64
    Couple points. I did not state that the first question in a forensic investigation asks is “who the murderer is?” What I actually said was:

    But, of course, the whole point of forensics is not to simply establish a crime but to identify the perpetrator. (emphasis added)

    From your perspective, ID, unlike forensics, is content to simply establish a crime, i.e., demonstrate design over natural causes. That is ID’s raison d’etre, so to speak.

    Which leads to my second point, that the ultimate job of forensics is to identify the perpetrator if a crime is established. As you put it:

    ID stops at intelligent design. If that’s “obvious” as you point out, then we need candidates for the designer.

    And then you list a slate of candidates as ancient and predictable as the sun rising in the east.

    My second point in the post is that we really haven’t done anything different or unique that would warrant ID being dubbed a scientific methodology because (1) we don’t need ID theory to see that something was or is designed and (2) ID theory apparently doesn’t help us select the best candidate for a designer because ultimately it is simply “take your pick.” Take your pick? Grab someone off the street and tailor presentation of your forensic analysis to convict this poor soul to suit your whim? Perhaps KF @ 52 is indeed correct that your forensic team becomes “little more than footsoldiers of injustice.”

    So, ID really has not advanced the game beyond Plato and Aristotle. All it accomplishes is to put ID on par with other pseudo-sciences that either confirm the obvious or advocate a philosophical position and in the process dress themselves up in impenetrable jargon designed (LOL) to create a patina of technological sophistication for the gullible. My two favorite examples are economics, the dark science, and reparative therapy….

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, where was it ever established that incredulity rooted in dismissive hyperskepticism holds default, rather than exposes itself as self-referentially incoherent and self serving? BTW the evidence — much discussed in your presence, just conveniently side stepped — is that our causal-temporal, thermodynamic domain and its antecedents must be finite in the past leading to a beginning. KF

    PS, On fine tuning, the interested person may go here:

    “One striking thing about the fine tuning is that a force strength or a particle mass often appears to require accurate tuning for several reasons at once. Look at electromagnetism. Electromagnetism seems to require tuning for there to be any clear-cut distinction between matter and radiation; for stars to burn neither too fast nor too slowly for life’s requirements; for protons to be stable; for complex chemistry to be possible; for chemical changes not to be extremely sluggish; and for carbon synthesis inside stars (carbon being quite probably crucial to life). Universes all obeying the same fundamental laws could still differ in the strengths of their physical forces, as was explained earlier, and random variations in electromagnetism from universe to universe might then ensure that it took on any particular strength sooner or later. Yet how could they possibly account for the fact that the same one strength satisfied many potentially conflicting requirements, each of them a requirement for impressively accurate tuning?” [Our Place in the Cosmos, The Royal Institute of Philosophy, 1998 (courtesy Wayback Machine) Emphases added.]

    AND:

    “. . . the need for such explanations does not depend on any estimate of how many universes would be observer-permitting, out of the entire field of possible universes. Claiming that our universe is ‘fine tuned for observers’, we base our claim on how life’s evolution would apparently have been rendered utterly impossible by comparatively minor alterations in physical force strengths, elementary particle masses and so forth. There is no need for us to ask whether very great alterations in these affairs would have rendered it fully possible once more, let alone whether physical worlds conforming to very different laws could have been observer-permitting without being in any way fine tuned. Here it can be useful to think of a fly on a wall, surrounded by an empty region. A bullet hits the fly Two explanations suggest themselves. Perhaps many bullets are hitting the wall or perhaps a marksman fired the bullet. There is no need to ask whether distant areas of the wall, or other quite different walls, are covered with flies so that more or less any bullet striking there would have hit one. The important point is that the local area contains just the one fly.” [Emphasis his.]

    Then, here, for starters:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    more on the anthropic principle from Lewis and Barnes https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hitchhikers-guide-authors-puddle-argument-against-fine-tuning-and-a-response/#comment-729507

  89. 89
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, you are evading the manifest point that it is a momentous result to provide warrant for inferring intelligently directed configuration as key causal factor; based on observable, reliable sign. A point you cannot but know, so the issue becomes why the evasion, apart from resistance to duties to truth, right reason and warrant. While I am at it, what is your explanation for linguistic code and stepwise goal directed processes in the cell backed by evident deep technical facility with polymers? ________. Beyond a certain point, you too will invite a confession by projection analysis. KF

  90. 90
    EugeneS says:

    KF

    Yes, but the problem is that even if the fossil record showed graduality, which it does not, it does not provide evidence of the mechanism behind the observed changes.

  91. 91
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    From your perspective, ID, unlike forensics, is content to simply establish a crime, i.e., demonstrate design over natural causes. That is ID’s raison d’etre, so to speak.

    I wrote about this and you either skipped it or didn’t understand. A forensics team is not merely one functional group. There’s a team of specialists on fingerprints, for example. Another can analyze fibers. Another can analyze DNA. You want the fiber analysts to do the fingerprints and facial profiling also. Then you’re saying that the fiber analytics is useless because they’re not doing fingerprinting.
    ID has a specific role. It’s not a religion. It doesn’t answer all the questions in the universe. It’s a science project that looks at observed evidence. There are several fields of science. The archeologist does not study the mating rituals of fish. The oceanographer does not study mountain terrains. You’re wanting ID do take on every task, including philosophical and religious projects.

    And then you list a slate of candidates as ancient and predictable as the sun rising in the east.

    Please feel free to list whatever candidates you want. It’s up to you, not ID. Go ahead.

    My second point in the post is that we really haven’t done anything different or unique that would warrant ID being dubbed a scientific methodology because (1) we don’t need ID theory to see that something was or is designed

    We don’t need forensics to see if something was purposeful or accidental?

    ID theory apparently doesn’t help us select the best candidate for a designer because ultimately it is simply “take your pick.”

    The fiber analysis team doesn’t tell us if the fingerprints match. So, we should just get rid of fiber analytics? No. They’re just saying “you guys have to decide on whether fingerprints match, it’s not our area of focus” — so therefore they’re useless? Sounds like you want the old idea of a “scientist” who is a guy who administers medicine, tells you where the stars are moving in the sky and explains which direction birds will fly for the winter. But we have specializations now. Scientists don’t do every possible thing.

    Take your pick?

    You want ID to tell you about God and what religion you should believe in? It can’t do that. it’s a science project analyzing for design.

    Grab someone off the street and tailor presentation of your forensic analysis to convict this poor soul to suit your whim?

    It’s up to you, CD. You want ID to do your religious analysis for you.
    But it can’t and won’t. You have to start with candidates. You didn’t like mine, so what are yours?
    You’re sympathetic to deism, so maybe start there? ID doesn’t know what to tell you there, and I don’t know what you’re complaining about. ID has scientific evidence of intelligent design, which you admit is obvious. Now, what is your next step?

    Perhaps KF @ 52 is indeed correct that your forensic team becomes “little more than footsoldiers of injustice.”

    Again, there are specializations. Empirical science cannot evaluate immaterial entities.

    All it accomplishes is to put ID on par with other pseudo-sciences that either confirm the obvious

    You’ve said it before and have not walked it back. 99% of what ID says is “obvious”.
    I don’t think you realize what you just said there.
    Do you know what percentage of biologists, for example, accept the “obvious” findings of ID?

  92. 92
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ES @81
    That is excellent. Thank you for translating. The examples and explanation make it very clear.
    Evolution only offers nothing predictive since its postulates move only to one consequent each. There is never a true comparison of hypotheses.

  93. 93
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JH

    But there is no evidence that there has ever been a “time” when nothing existed. How do we know that the physical constants haven’t always existed? The absence of light doesn’t affect the speed of light.

    As you agreed, everything that begins to exist must have a cause. The universe began to exist. Now you have to propose some agent of that cause. Since the universe is all physical reality, time, space and energy – the cause cannot be any of those things.
    As for the physical constants existing without physical matter, for example, ok but those constants are oriented towards physical effects. If there is no physical universe, time or space – then where did the constants come from, why are they existing, they can’t act on anything so where are they?
    The speed of light is aligned with the existence of light. You could say “the speed of light exists without light existing” although the speed of light is factored by the physical universe. But you’re still trying to explain where light and the physical universe came from.
    Proposing that the physical constants are eternal does not provide a cause for the universe itself. Those constants do not possess the power to cause a physical universe to begin to exist.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, the issue is, necessary being reality root, as we cannot get cosmos from non being, circular retrocausation is that in another form, and transfinite actual causal temporal thermodynamic past is an infeasible supertask. It is a struggle to wrap one’s head around that. KF

  95. 95
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD @47

    That’s the problem with ID–99% of the time ID merely states the obvious, that something was designed.

    This is a good comment. You’re accepting ID’s proposals that there is, indeed, scientific evidence of intelligent design in nature. You’re saying it is obvious.
    So, what do you propose as the cause of that intelligent design? We know it is not a material cause – ID has eliminated that.

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    I find it interesting how little has responded substantially to the framing of ID:

    Design Inference –> Design Theory

    With

    ID movement as a broader phenomenon.

    Attempts to undermine the basic inference manifestly fail,

    KF

  97. 97
    JHolo says:

    KF: Attempts to undermine the basic inference manifestly fail,

    It is the refusal to go beyond the initial weak inference that is undermining ID.

  98. 98
    jerry says:

    the refusal to go beyond the initial weak inference

    Again you repeat nonsense.

    The inference from fine tuning is pretty much irrefutable.

  99. 99
    JHolo says:

    Jerry: The inference from fine tuning is pretty much irrefutable.

    I was discussing life, not the universe. But if you want to talk about fine-tuning, I am OK with that. The fine-tuning argument is a non-starter. Can any of the physical constants be modified? If they can’t, there is no tuning involved, there is just physical constants.

  100. 100
    jerry says:

    The fine-tuning argument is a non-starter. Can any of the physical constants be modified? If they can’t, there is no tuning involved, there is just physical constants

    You got to be kidding.

    You just made the most irrefutable argument for ID I have ever seen.

    Thank you.

  101. 101
    kairosfocus says:

    JH, we cannot but note that apart from doubling down on saying “weak inference,” you have been unable to provide a single actually observed case where blind chance and/or mechanical necessity acting without intelligently directed configuration, have caused FSCO/I. There are trillions of observed cases by design. So, we are entitled to a confession by projection reading. You have indulged a fallacy of confident manner and have spoken with disregard to truth, because of the weakness of your hoped for case. You also are doubtless well aware of the revolutionary import of signs of intelligently directed configuration in the world of life, starting with coded algorithms in the cell. Therefore, we have a right to infer that due to ideological commitment — likely to evolutionary materialistic scientism and/or one of its fellow travellers — you refuse to acknowledge the force of the case on the merits. KF

  102. 102
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, turning to the observed cosmos, it is obvious that starting with Hoyle et al, more and more signs have emerged over the past seventy years. All we need to do is to realise that even the precise mass at the singularity was fine tuned. The parameters, quantities and laws are fine tuned and as Leslie noted often for separate reasons. The denial we see is a sign that the force of the case cannot be conceded, for ideological reasons. KF

  103. 103
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @46,

    Q, a quantum foam world extends space time and thermodynamics contexts beyond the singularity. So it is a CTThD, thus subject to the issue of traversing transfinite actual time in cumulative, finite stage steps being an infeasible supertask on logic of being applied to structure and quantity, i.e. I just conceptually defined Mathematics and identified its logic of being roots. Time, at cosmological level becomes a thermodynamic, energy flow and dissipation/dispersal process.

    But a CTThD (causal-temporal-thermodynamic domain) is not starting with nothing . . . non-existence.

    Despite Laurence Krauss’ ridiculous objectification of “nothing,” he still starts with gravity, a field, or a word salad. Nothing means complete non-existence. Even gravity is something.

    If, according to Einstein, gravity is a deformation of space-time, then one has conjure space-time for gravity to actually exist.

    With a universe the “size of a point” (neither math nor physics do very well with points) (how do you define size in volume or length without some type of ruler or time without something periodic???), then gravity either stretches (or is the result of deformed) space-time existing solely in a 4th linear dimension. Again, any field, even one that accommodates “a thermodynamic energy flow and dissipation/dispersal process,” is something, not nothing. Not to mention mass-energy or probability requiring time to exist.

    One escape hatch is to conjure an independent time clock ex nihilo before the Big Bang and then it’s turtles all the way up and elephants all the way down again.

    -Q

  104. 104
    Querius says:

    Regarding the argument from fine tuning, I agree that it’s utterly remarkable, but I’d be remiss in not to add that we’re not sure whether they’re each independent rather than emergent (right now we assume they’re independent). However, even if they reduce down to one constant, the fine tuning is impossibly precise.

    -Q

  105. 105
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, assume, for argument, that there are as yet undiscovered super laws of the underlying quasi physical world, say, the quantum foam. That is, fluctuations are constrained to be in the close ballpark, in parameter space, of where our observed cosmos is, and thus have support for C-Chem, aqueous medium, cell based life written into them. All that would do is shift fine tuning up one level. The underlying point is, this is a scientific-mathematical exercise based on what we observe. We observe an array of so far well confirmed laws, never mind the current storm in a teacup over the standard model and a fifth force. We can see that Mathematics is the study of the logic of structure and quantity, i.e. a technical quantitative extension of logic of being, which invites possible world analysis. Vary the parameters in the configuration space, boom, we are at a locally sharply fine tuned operating point. It matters not, that other zones might be carpeted with Lewis’ flies, we have a patch with just the one fly and splat, it’s swatted by a bullet. The reasonable thing is to infer precise aiming, then go on to look for a marksman with a first class, tack driver of a rifle set up on a bench rest. The design inference is the first step, the second is a worldviews level forensics exercise. KF

  106. 106
    asauber says:

    I agree with Jerry at 100. JHolo rammed the rocks. Turn that boat around, son. …after you get a new boat.

    Andrew

  107. 107
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    The universe began to exist.

    That’s a theory, not a fact.

    Since the universe is all physical reality, time, space and energy

    This depends on what one means by “universe” and “all physical reality, time, space and energy.”

    – the cause cannot be any of those things.

    Part of the problem here is that these arguments about “first” or “ultimate” cause are made from ontological premises that may or may not be true; and the logic, as I’ve outlined in this thread, demonstrates that such ontological premises cannot be true or else they logically end in one of two absurdities.

    When that is the case, you have one of two options: find a different premise, or hold onto your current one out of ideological commitment.

  108. 108
    William J Murray says:

    SA, the issue is, necessary being reality root, as we cannot get cosmos from non being, circular retrocausation is that in another form, and transfinite actual causal temporal thermodynamic past is an infeasible supertask. It is a struggle to wrap one’s head around that. KF

    The problem with the current conceptualization of “time,” in that it is part of an external, existential framework, is that it is innately, inescapably incoherent. There are two possible conceptual models of “time” under that paradigm; either (1) time began, or (2) an infinite regress of time.

    Both models are logical absurdities. Whatever time is, it cannot be an aspect of any external, existential framework for being. This calls into question the very idea of contingent beings, things or events, and the current model of causation itself.

  109. 109
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM & SA, before getting a move on a day that deals with grave-equivalent inscriptions etc, I pause. That the physical cosmos we inhabit had a beginning is a logical necessity given its CTTHD nature and the infeasible supertask of traversing the transfinite in finite stage steps . . . years for convenience. I prefer the term suggested, wider universe or the like or will accept proposed multiverse, recognising a common view but its lack of actual observation. As for W0, I don’t care whether it has succession or quasi space, it is not a CTThD, as necessary or containing necessary being. And I note conceptual spaces — the overwhelming majority of PW’s — do not have physical extension. Design is a matter of mind quasi space, not a physical space. More can be said but there is just an endless spinning out of tangential issues. For today, frankly, I have to face implications of being the literal last man standing of my birth family. Literal, keeper of the crypts, including nigh on 200 year old ones. KF

  110. 110
    chuckdarwin says:

    SA @ 95

    This is a good comment. You’re accepting ID’s proposals that there is, indeed, scientific evidence of intelligent design in nature. You’re saying it is obvious.
    So, what do you propose as the cause of that intelligent design? We know it is not a material cause – ID has eliminated that.

    I didn’t say anything about “scientific evidence of intelligent design in nature.” That is your spin. I simply said that ID states the obvious, that we see design in the world around us. What I am saying is that we don’t need ID to “detect” design–it is an immediate perception. ID is the proverbial “solution” looking for a problem.

    This leads to your question “what do you propose as the cause of that intelligent design?” I would re-frame the question–what is the cause of our existence in the broadest sense? My response is that I don’t know, nor does anyone else. People claim to know, but that is simply self-delusion. Thus, my “deism” is simply a matter of convenience, an imperfect (and likely, wrong, who knows) explanation, not a theological belief.

  111. 111
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Part of the problem here is that these arguments about “first” or “ultimate” cause are made from ontological premises that may or may not be true

    Yes, I understand that people may adopt different ontological premises, as yours differs from mine. A person may believe that one’s own personal mind is all that exists – there is no external reality, there are no other minds. Everything is just thought generated within one’s own mind. Some Hindu beliefs follow this concept. My views align with realist ontology.

    Part of the problem here is that these arguments about “first” or “ultimate” cause are made from ontological premises that may or may not be true; and the logic, as I’ve outlined in this thread, demonstrates that such ontological premises cannot be true or else they logically end in one of two absurdities.

    You’re assuming that logical consistency is necessary to support your ontology. But as I pointed out, the fact that all humans understand an external reality, and it is the most basic intuition, and even idealists must couch their ideas in external-world-reality concepts — and in spite of one’s best efforts, idealism is convoluted and impossible to explain (and therefore understand) – then it’s a clear indication that the entire framework of idealism is illogical. One has to propose some kind of illusory world existing for some unknown reason – an illusory “real world” which is not external but is projected by a mind somehow.
    If it’s built on the findings of quantum mechanics then the idea that it is based on logic is going to be a major challenge to prove.

    But aside from that, why should all of reality be entirely conformable to human logic?

  112. 112
    Silver Asiatic says:

    CD

    I didn’t say anything about “scientific evidence of intelligent design in nature.” That is your spin.

    When you said: “That’s the problem with ID–99% of the time ID merely states the obvious, that something was designed.” – I didn’t have to spin it to point out that it refers to scientific evidence of intelligent design. That’s what ID states. But ok, you have a different explanation for that statement.

    I simply said that ID states the obvious, that we see design in the world around us.

    But we don’t say that the arrangement of grains of sand on a deserted beach are an example of “design”. That’s just the random collection of sand that occurs on the shore and ocean bottom.
    When we study the bacterial flagellum, however, or the human eye, or the activity of bees in a hive – ID proposes those as evidence of design and not comparable with with an array of sand.

    What I am saying is that we don’t need ID to “detect” design–it is an immediate perception. ID is the proverbial “solution” looking for a problem.

    We don’t need forensics to observe design either. But forensics is a means of organizing thought around what is designed and what is accidental. We can call that “detecting” (detective work) design from what we observe. The clues are analyzed and determined to indicate purpose or accident. It’s the same with ID. We can look at what is there and propose a blind, material cause. That’s what Michael Behe has done with lab data. Can random mutations account for the thing being observed (which appears in observation to be designed)? If so, then we don’t consider it to be evidence of design in that context.

    This leads to your question “what do you propose as the cause of that intelligent design?” I would re-frame the question–what is the cause of our existence in the broadest sense?

    I think you’re re-framing of the question takes it far beyond what ID would propose. All ID is saying is that the best inference is an intelligent cause.

    My response is that I don’t know, nor does anyone else.

    Well, you have the inference to work with. “This is evidence of an intelligent (not material) cause.”
    You can respond with “I don’t know” but that’s not addressing the inference given.

    Thus, my “deism” is simply a matter of convenience, an imperfect (and likely, wrong, who knows) explanation, not a theological belief.

    Deism would be more specific and more comprehensive an explanation than what ID proposes.
    You’re choosing deism because you correctly see that some explanation is needed and that one works. ID is saying the same thing. Some explanation is needed and the best explanation is that the thing in question was designed by intelligence. Whether its deism or something else is not for ID to sort out, but rather for philosophy or theology.

  113. 113
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    That the physical cosmos we inhabit had a beginning is a logical necessity given its CTTHD nature and the infeasible supertask of traversing the transfinite in finite stage steps

    No, it’s not a logical necessity because CTTHD is a theoretical model rooted in a disproved ontological assumption – IOW, realism.

    I see you still have no answer for the time dilemma.

  114. 114
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    My views align with realist ontology.

    Unfortunately for you, realism has been disproved.

  115. 115
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Unfortunately for you, realism has been disproved.

    The act of disproving something is an expression of realism.

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, we need formalisation of detection by inference on reliable sign, specifically for those who will insist on a formal method. KF

  117. 117
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, reality is, whatever it is. It seems you wish to deny the reality of the physical world, especially macro phenomena. That becomes self referentially self defeating. KF

  118. 118
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    The act of disproving something is an expression of realism.

    No, it isn’t. This just means you don’t understand idealism.

  119. 119
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    WJM, reality is, whatever it is. It seems you wish to deny the reality of the physical world, especially macro phenomena. That becomes self referentially self defeating. KF

    Well, what it seems to you I wish to do isn’t really much in the way of an argument or rebuttal; but, even so, what I am arguing against is your ontological characterization of what “reality” is and what the nature of the “physical world” is. You can’t use your ontology to judge whether or not my ontology results in “self-referential” absurdity; that can only be assessed from within the framework of my ontology, at least accepted arguendo for the purpose of evaluating that logic.

    You’ve never shown any interest in actually understanding MRT; you just keep condemning with the same rote evaluation from your own ontological perspective. This is why your criticisms of MRT have never held any weight: because you don’t understand it well enough to substantively criticize it.

  120. 120
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    You’re assuming that logical consistency is necessary to support your ontology. But as I pointed out, the fact that all humans understand an external reality, and it is the most basic intuition,

    You say that as if it is some kind of meaningful argument. You keep making arguments with other people that logic is the means by which we discern true statements. It now appears, however, that when logic and evidence fail to support your views, you abandon them for … intuition?

    …and even idealists must couch their ideas in external-world-reality concepts —

    I don’t know that this is true. I think it’s more the case that idealists are largely talking with realists, and in order for any meaningful communication to occur, the idealist attempts to use the language and conceptual model of those they are talking to in order to help them understand the idealist model.

    …and in spite of one’s best efforts, idealism is convoluted and impossible to explain (and therefore understand) – then it’s a clear indication that the entire framework of idealism is illogical.

    One might level the same claim against various religious ontologies. Just because you don’t understand a thing doesn’t mean it is illogical or impossible to understand for everyone.

    One has to propose some kind of illusory world existing for some unknown reason – an illusory “real world” which is not external but is projected by a mind somehow.

    Just prior to this, you have admitted you do not understand idealism. Why then are you attempting to characterize it as if you understand it? If you have no interest in making an attempt to understand it, surely you realize you are not equipped to criticize it?

    If it’s built on the findings of quantum mechanics then the idea that it is based on logic is going to be a major challenge to prove.

    How would you know if you admit you don’t understand it?

    But aside from that, why should all of reality be entirely conformable to human logic?

    You realize you’ve just undermined every objection you just made? Are you going to only accept logic where it doesn’t interfere with your preferred ontology? Are you only going to follow the evidence and the logic when it suits what you want to believe?

  121. 121
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    I think it’s more the case that idealists are largely talking with realists, and in order for any meaningful communication to occur, the idealist attempts to use the language and conceptual model of those they are talking to in order to help them understand the idealist model.

    If your worldview is couched in language that makes “any meaningful communication” impossible with 99% of humanity, then I’m suggesting that there’s a problem with the worldview, not with everyone else. You need to be able to communicate what you mean, in the language that aligns with your view – that’s the challenge.

    Just because you don’t understand a thing doesn’t mean it is illogical or impossible to understand for everyone.

    If I don’t understand it because it is illogical then there’s a problem. A worldview that references external reality to validate itself and then denies that external reality exists is illogical.

    Why then are you attempting to characterize it as if you understand it?

    I’m explaining why it is incomprehensible. Instead of attacking my lack of understanding, maybe you could try to explain it in some other manner?

    If you have no interest in making an attempt to understand it, surely you realize you are not equipped to criticize it?

    When I say “everything that begins to exist has a cause” that connects with people, not because it is a logical deduction but because it is intuitive. A person could say “nothing exists except my mind and everything I see in my mind is an illusion – so things can happen without a cause’. There’s no way to refute that. Most people who would say such a thing would not get much of an audience, but they’re free to proclaim that all they want. Eventually, almost nobody will care because it’s entirely self-centered and if true, then so what? If not true, as you say, it’s difficult to talk with that person.

    So, your worldview cannot be demonstrated logically. You’re proposing entities that cannot be accessed empirically, and which are speculative philosophically.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, anything that asserts or invites inference of grand delusion can safely be set aside as absurd and self defeating. KF

  123. 123
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    If your worldview is couched in language that makes “any meaningful communication” impossible with 99% of humanity, then I’m suggesting that there’s a problem with the worldview, not with everyone else. You need to be able to communicate what you mean, in the language that aligns with your view – that’s the challenge.

    The inability of some, many or most people to understand a worldview does not make that worldview less likely to be valid.

    If I don’t understand it because it is illogical then there’s a problem. A worldview that references external reality to validate itself and then denies that external reality exists is illogical.

    I don’t reference external reality for validation. I reference evidence that, under your paradigm, is part of an external world that exists independently of mind/consciousness/experience. That’s not where the evidence exists in my paradigm; that evidence exists the same place that logic and mathematics exists: in mind, internal of us.

    In your paradigm, you, me and the scientists/evidence I’m referencing all exist in external independence. In my paradigm, all of “those things” exist internally of each other in an information entangled state, much like the “the whole hologram” exists within each “part” of the hologram, or much like the internal entanglement of photons defies being described as the two being external of each other, meaning independent qualities, that “are what they are” regardless of the state of the other. It only appears that they are two independent commodities; but they are not.

    The main point being: you’re interpreting what I say through your worldview and saying that I’m implying your worldview by what I’m saying. This is the same thing that is happening in #122 where KF interprets what I’m saying through his worldview; under his ontology, what I say means “grand delusion.”

    Now, is it my fault that you and KF and others keep making this same fundamental error of reasoning over and over, taking what I say and then telling me what it means under your ontological paradigm? This is exactly like militant anti-Christians taking what the Bible says, or anything that you and KF and others here say, and regurgitating what those things mean under their own materialist/physicalist or anti-ID or anti-Christian perspective.

    This us why I spent so much effort trying to understand KF’s “duties’ argument; understanding what something means under someone else’s paradigm can be very hard. I had to work to understand the argument someone here (I can’t remember his name right now) made about the instantiation of semiotic processes in living cells. It was hard. Once you understand it, it’s clear and irrefutable; but it was something you had to be willing to make the effort to understand. No anti-IDist made that effort.

    Also, understanding the argument and evidence someone presented here for actual geocentrism was difficult, but I made the effort and agreed with him that he made his case. Understanding some things is just hard; it’s impossible if one is not willing to make the effort, and it’s not the fault of the person presenting the evidence and the argument if the person receiving it is fundamentally unwilling to make that effort.

    I’m explaining why it is incomprehensible. Instead of attacking my lack of understanding, maybe you could try to explain it in some other manner?

    I can’t make this easy for you or anyone because it’s hard.

    I spent the better part of a year trying to understand what KF could be talking about by the term “duty.” I posed hundreds of questions and countless times I rephrased my understanding to ask him if I was on the right track. I came at the problem from several different conceptual angles. Eventually, I concluded that I just had to tackle the problem on my own because KF’s explanations were just not something I could understand. That’s not saying he wasn’t explaining it well; that’s just saying that I had to find a different way to understand it. Perhaps I had a cognitive/psychological barrier. I wanted to see if I could overcome it.

    It took a while, but I think I’ve come up with a way to understand “first duty” conceptually. I think KF is right that we have a general, inescapable “first duty,” but it is not “to truth.” I think finding true statements via logical principles is inescapably, whether we do that badly or well, how we go about carrying out our duty; it’s not what our duty is about. “True statements” are always about something.

    Anyway, here’s the thing: I don’t actually expect anyone here to be interested or motivated enough to pursue trying to understand MRT on it’s own ontological/conceptual terms. Non-Mental Reality Theories work well enough for most people. What difference does any evidence or argument to the contrary matter, then? If it ain’t broke, why try to fix it?

    I’m motivated to “fix it,” because a lifetime of experiences eventually broke “reality” for me, or at least every concept of reality I had any familiarity with, at around the age of 30. That’s when I first started trying to find some model of reality that could explain my experiences.

    So, I’m highly motivated, and I understand why most people aren’t. Reality didn’t break for them, or if it did, they found some other model that satisfied them.

    So, your worldview cannot be demonstrated logically. You’re proposing entities that cannot be accessed empirically, and which are speculative philosophically.

    Says the guy who admits he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.

  124. 124
    William J Murray says:

    So, your worldview cannot be demonstrated logically. You’re proposing entities that cannot be accessed empirically, and which are speculative philosophically.

    I want to explore this a bit.

    So, your worldview cannot be demonstrated logically.

    The essential qualities and commodities of my worldview are necessary for any worldview to get off the ground. In fact, it’s logically inescapable that all we know or can access of “reality” is what occurs in some form of experience, that has some kind of informational content, in some state of consciousness (which includes unconscious, subconscious, aware conscience, and altered states of consciousness.) Every other worldview proposes something additional to that, but must begin with at least that. “Demonstrating” my worldview logically takes no more than stating what is self-evidently true and necessary before any other worldview can even get off the ground.

    You’re proposing entities that cannot be accessed empirically, …

    The entities I’m referring to are the only entities that can possibly be accessed empirically; they are the inescapable root of empiricism itself. Without some form of conscious, informational experience, there is no such thing as “empiricism.” There is no logic. There is no science. There are no theories. There is no self. There is no concept of anything. There are no sensations of anything. There is no information.

    ..and which are speculative philosophically.

    No. They are inescapably necessary for any and all philosophy. Is consciousness speculative? Is experience speculative? Is information speculative? What is inescapably a matter of “speculation” is that something exists independently external of those necessary commodities.

  125. 125
    Sandy says:

    Kairosfocus
    SA, anything that asserts or invites inference of grand delusion can safely be set aside as absurd and self defeating. KF

    …and evil.

  126. 126
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    The inability of some, many or most people to understand a worldview does not make that worldview less likely to be valid.

    It makes it less likely to be comprehensible. Yes, it does not matter if anyone at all except yourself understand what you’re saying. But if you use your own particular worldview, which is not shared or understood by anyone else, to critique everyone else, then that makes for an unsuccessful and worthless conversation. It’s like someone saying they’ve invented their own system of logic, known only to themselves (as some physicists attempted in response to quantum theory). But the challenge is to communicate with other people.

    That’s not where the evidence exists in my paradigm; that evidence exists the same place that logic and mathematics exists: in mind, internal of us.

    If it is internal to you, then I cannot access your means of validation. As I pointed out twice already, a worldview that says that the only thing that exists is the individual’s mind cannot be refuted by logic or evidence. It’s an entirely self-centered view, and eventually nobody wants to listen to it because – so what and who cares? You have your own mind, things happen in your mind, everything you see in your mind is an illusion projected by yourself for yourself … again, there’s no reason to talk about that. The fact that someone would be interested in communicating that worldview to anyone else is an argument against it. I think yours is similar to that – not as extreme, but it faces the same problem.

    Now, is it my fault that you and KF and others keep making this same fundamental error of reasoning over and over, taking what I say and then telling me what it means under your ontological paradigm?

    Perhaps we are not able to view the world through your paradigm, so that would not be your fault. At the same time, I think the idea that you’re referring to me, KF and others would normally mean that we exist external to you. However, you deny that. But to prove that we really do not have an external existence to whatever is in your own mind – you have to go through (what I see as) a convoluted and unclear explanation that still ends up in the end with you referring to people as if we are external to your mind.
    That is illogical. It would be better, I think, to use terminology that does not indicate an external reality. You may have to create your own terms or your own mental structure for that, but as it stands you’re using our realist-ontology in all of your conversation, and then just backing out of it with complex explanations about why what you said is not really true about reality.

    Understanding some things is just hard; it’s impossible if one is not willing to make the effort, and it’s not the fault of the person presenting the evidence and the argument if the person receiving it is fundamentally unwilling to make that effort.

    The problem is that there has to be some good reason to make the effort. A lot of people believe things that are hard to understand. They probably think they have the truth about reality or whatever it may be. But there’s no reason to make a grand effort to understand the person if there are no consequences to what they believe. It’s easy enough to ignore the person.
    However, if a person’s view represents a widespread idea that has big consequences, or is supported by an academic consensus somehow, or has political or social implications in a significant way, or like religion is a matter of salvation – heaven or hell, then it’s more worth the effort.
    Your view, as an IDist, has some value. I’d like to understand it if it didn’t require a lot of reading and analysis and discussion. But it’s like my interest in Hinduism – a 5000 year old religion affecting hundreds of millions of people. I’m interested in Hinduism but not enough to spend years studying it. I think my own religious views are better and I haven’t seen anything to make me question that.
    If I could sense that you had a better view of reality than mine, then I’d take more interest.

    Says the guy who admits he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.

    I’m not going to go any farther with this, WJM. If you can find someone else who is interested in your ideas, that’s great and I may join in. But until then, I wish you the best.

  127. 127
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sandy

    Agreed – because in that view there is no reason to care for anyone else, and not even for oneself.

  128. 128
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @105,

    Q, assume, for argument, that there are as yet undiscovered super laws of the underlying quasi physical world

    I’d suggest that this is indeed highly probable. But let me use an analogy to make my point clear.

    Consider the “fine tuning” of a ball of diameter 1.0000… Notice that the radius also is finely tuned to 0.5000… and the circumference is finely tuned to 3.1415926… Should the fine tuning of these three parameters be considered amazing?

    But, the diameter of the ball still has a highly improbable value of 1.0000… Of course, one could counter-argue that the shape of the ball is oscillating in shape such that the additional parameters, while related, are changing over time and are therefore significant because only one set of such parameters is precisely a sphere rather than, for example, an ellipsoid.

    Again, probabilistic quantum foam cannot exist without the prior existence of space-time in some form (not to mention mass-energy). Suggesting a probabilistic space-time would similarly need a hyper space-time within which to appear and it’s turtles all the way up or elephants all the way down. Gravity is also requires deformable space-time and mass-energy for it to be identifiable.

    Some humor: In today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s a cartoon with a theoretical physicist telling a dog and a cat, “Okay, String Theory has stalled, I think we’re finally ready to look into Chew-Toy Theory.”

    -Q

  129. 129
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, many of the relevant parameters seem largely independent, and forcing super laws would themselves be fine tuned. Of course one can go to the Agrippa trilemma and point to infinite regress of cause vs circular retro causation vs root world. Traversal of the transfinite in finite steps is an infeasible supertask, a matter we hammered out here over three years. Circular retrocausation is a form of appeal to a world from utter non being, and direct appeal to such is manifestly absurd. We are left with finitely remote, necessary being worlds root. We do not understand or have ability to articulate everything about that, but we must never make the fatal error of making what we don’t know lead us to sideline what we do know. That sort of spreading hyperskepticism is self defeating. KF

  130. 130
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    I’m not going to go any farther with this, WJM. If you can find someone else who is interested in your ideas, that’s great and I may join in. But until then, I wish you the best.

    It’s okay, there are other forums I’m currently in where people do understand and discuss MRTs.

    However, you and KF still haven’t answered the time problem with your ontologies that I outlined earlier. Should I assume this is something else you don’t wish to discuss further?

  131. 131
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “Traversal of the transfinite in finite steps is an infeasible supertask a matter we hammered out here over three years”

    KF, no one ever said that you could “traverse the transfinite in finite steps.” That didn’t need to “get hammered out.” That’s obvious. It’s amazing how much you don’t understand and/or misremember about the situation about what was actually being discussed.

  132. 132
    jerry says:

    no one ever said that you could “traverse the transfinite in finite steps.”

    Since there is no such thing as transfinite, traversing it is a meaningless concept.

  133. 133
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Regarding the time/space problem we exists as human beings through a linear process of time within finite space. If you disagree with that, I’m open to your explanation and evidence.
    In order to speak about anything – to communicate from one person to another – we are required to do that within linear time and finite space. If you have some other way to speak to me in a non-linear, timeless, spaceless manner, then I’m open to that experience also.
    Failing that, however, we use a communication method that exists in time to explain that which is not bound by a linear process (timelessness).
    Our rational process itself is that of “apprehending” concepts or aspects of reality. That also requires a finite, time-bound reality. To “grasp something” even a concept indicates that there are boundaries and limits and those cannot exist in a spaceless reality. We cannot have a rational process that does not move from one thing to the next. In fact, we cannot have any “process” at all in a timeless existence.

    So, what is it that you can explain about the condition of timelessness, that you can communicate to me without using a rational, time-bound, sequential thought process?
    So far, all of your writing uses that which is inherent in my ontology.
    But if you can communicate to me something about your idea of timelessness that does not use a linear (and therefore inappropriate) process that would be interesting.
    But I predict you cannot do it.
    So, your critique would not hold up. In ontological realism, we use terms like designed and created because those are analogous and we have no other or better terms for what happens outside of time and space.

  134. 134
    Silver Asiatic says:

    The belief that the physical universe is infinite is refuted because that kind of infinite entity cannot be traversed in time from eternity to the present day.

  135. 135
    jerry says:

    The belief that the physical universe is infinite is refuted because that kind of infinite entity cannot be traversed in time from eternity to the present day.

    I don’t think that would convince anyone.

    All this is saying is there isn’t anything infinite because there isn’t a beginning. The response would be “Duh.”

    There is a much much better way to refute infinity. Assuming it, leads to absurdities.

  136. 136
    Silver Asiatic says:

    If there is no beginning, then you couldn’t have a sequence of events over time.
    That’s why physical entities that exist in a sequence of days from past to present are not infinite in eternity.

  137. 137
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, as a mathematical concept, what “absurdities” does infinity present. Does the fact that there are just as many even numbers as prime numbers count as an absurdity? What examples do you have?

  138. 138
    jerry says:

    What examples do you have?

    The real world not imaginary ones.

    No one can point to anything infinite except in their imagination.

    That’s why physical entities that exist in a sequence of days from past to present are not infinite in eternity.

    That’s saying it isn’t because it isn’t.

    Duh!

  139. 139
    Viola Lee says:

    So it’s not infinity as a mathematical concept (in our imaginations) that has absurdities, but rather the possible instantiation of infinity in reality that is absurd. Is that an accurate summary of your position?

  140. 140
    jerry says:

    So it’s not infinity as a mathematical concept (in our imaginations) that has absurdities, but rather the possible instantiation of infinity in reality that is absurd. Is that an accurate summary of your position?

    Yes to both.

    The only mathematics that exists in the real world are addition and subtraction of whole numbers. It is extremely useful and no need of infinity or anything like it.

    Now using our imaginations helps us solve practical problems with mathematics besides addition and subtraction. But that does not mean they are examples in the real world. A good example is that there is no such thing as a straight line or a circle or an angle. There are incredibly close approximations and these approximations make life “almost infinitely” simpler.

    Now to an infinite amount of time – anything possible will happen. If something possible did not happen explain why?

    Again I suggest everyone read Asimov’s “The Last Question.”

    The Last Question
    By Isaac Asimov
    This is by far my favorite story of all those I have written.
    After all, I undertook to tell several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story and I leave it to you as to how well I succeeded. I also undertook another task, but I won’t tell you what that was lest l spoil the story for you.
    It is a curious fact that innumerable readers have asked me if I wrote this story. They seem never to remember the title of the story or (for sure) the author, except for the vague thought it might be me. But, of course, they never forget the story itself especially the ending. The idea seems to drown out everything — and I’m satisfied that it should.

    https://www.physics.princeton.edu/ph115/LQ.pdf

  141. 141
    Viola Lee says:

    Good, then I understand your position.

    And I think Asimov’s “The End of Eternity” is a great time travel story: the best I can recall having ever read.

  142. 142
    jerry says:

    Good, then I understand your position.

    Both based on irrefutable logic.

  143. 143
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @129,

    Q, many of the relevant parameters seem largely independent, and forcing super laws would themselves be fine tuned.

    We simply don’t know which are dependent or independent parameters. Yes, you’re right about the “super laws.” That’s why I said in my analogy that even a single finely-tuned law is extremely unlikely. For example, take the inverse-square law. Why is the power exactly 2.0000… ? Why the inverse cube law of the interaction between magnetostatic fields with coincident poles with a power of exactly 3.0000…?

    In my opinion, these imply a geometric rather than a measurement relationship.

    Traversal of the transfinite in finite steps is an infeasible supertask, a matter we hammered out here over three years.

    Agreed! Especially when we’ve supposedly traversed an infinite amount of time to arrive at the present. Mathematically, we can do this with any infinite series. Of course, one can argue that there’s an infinite number of points between the times T1 and T2, but this is an “inverted” infinity, bounded at both ends.

    . . . but we must never make the fatal error of making what we don’t know lead us to sideline what we do know.

    It always rankles me when ignorance is proudly deployed as a shield both pro and con any assertion. For example

    – “There’s no evidence that unicorns exist” or

    – “There’s no evidence against the existence of unicorns”

    -Q

  144. 144
    Viola Lee says:

    Q writes, “Of course, one can argue that there’s an infinite number of points between the times T1 and T2, but this is an “inverted” infinity, bounded at both ends.”

    But that’s a different order of infinity: that of the real numbers, not the integers. There are no “steps” between the real numbers.

  145. 145
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Especially when we’ve supposedly traversed an infinite amount of time to arrive at the present.

    True – there’s no way that could happen.

    Mathematically, we can do this with any infinite series. Of course, one can argue that there’s an infinite number of points between the times T1 and T2, but this is an “inverted” infinity, bounded at both ends.

    Right because if it is bounded then there has to be something causing the boundaries and therefore something outside of the boundaries.

  146. 146
    Viola Lee says:

    I think the boundedness is not as significant as the type of numbers. Consider the interval [0, 100]. There are a finite number of integers (101), a countably infinite number of rationals, and an uncountably infinite number of reals. The rationals and reals are dense. There are no “steps” between them, a rational or real has a no “next” rational or real, as the integers do.

    Also, I don’t understand the phrase “inverted” infinity. Again, as described above, it’s the kind of number being considered and not the boundedness that is relevant to whether the set contains a finite or infinite number of some type of number.

  147. 147
    EDTA says:

    Ben Waters’ argument for the finitude of the past hasn’t been refuted as far as I know. (And not by anyone here that I know of.) I can look up a reference to it if anyone needs. As I recall, it does not rely on the “inability to traverse” any infinite spans of time.

  148. 148
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, it was not said, it was implied, as it was claimed that in effect at any specific actual past stage p, there were any number of prior actual past stages, which is a way to imply the transfinite. Such cannot be traversed in finite, cumulative, successive steps; use years for convenience. Which, we both understand or should understand quite well. KF

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we both know that years etc are countable finite, successive spans. Look at a calendar. KF

  150. 150
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, similarly we all know the difference between a potential and an actualised transfinite in the physical, causal-temporal thermodynamic world. Future days may be unbounded but we will never amount to a transfinite sum from any given reference stage t. Once one posits a past of extension of any number of stages beyond any actual p, one implies such a traversal happened already. I say implies as we see the attempt to evade the import of no finite limit to negative integers, which can be used to tag and count days or years etc. KF

  151. 151
    Viola Lee says:

    No, KF. Let’s just talk about the integers. What you are saying is that for “any specific [negative integer], there [are] any number of prior [negative integers.].

    That is a true fact. Do you agree?,

    Now, what does this imply? It implies there are an infinite number of negative integers. That is true.

    However, if you choose any negative integer K, no matter how small, it is a finite number and only a finite number of steps from any other integer whatsoever.

    No infinite distance is ever traversed if you travel between any two integers, no matter what they are.

    People who were discussing this never said, nor implied, that an infinite traversal would, or could, take place.

  152. 152
    Viola Lee says:

    to EDTA.
    H EDTA; As I’ve made clear, I’m sure, I’m just interested in the mathematics of infinity, not arguments about time. But I thought you might be interested in this article (which I have not read).

    So just FYI: See here

  153. 153
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    I’m just interested in the mathematics of infinity

    Flash news: the infinity does not exist therefore “the mathematics of infinity” IT’S A LIE. But you can prove me wrong. 🙂
    PS: Infinity is just an intuition of God.

  154. 154
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,
    So, what’s the smallest increment of time and how many are there when traversing from T=1 second to T=2 seconds?

    What I mean by “inversion” is, in this case, in the geometric sense of turning something inside out.

    So, if you randomly measure the coordinate of a point in time between T=1 and T=2, why type of numeric result is overwhelmingly what type of number? I’m sure you know.

    -Q

  155. 155
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @153,

    The mathematics of existence is even trickier. According to Kurt Gödel’s theorems, no single system of mathematics can arrive at all true statements. Thus, it’s entirely possible that the mathematical description of some aspect of reality is incompatible with a different system of mathematics.

    I think that a corollary is that not all statements in a single mathematical system have an application in nature.

    -Q

  156. 156
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, Assuming that we are talking about the real numbers, there is no smallest increment between them, and there are an uncountable infinite number of them between 1 and 2.

    If you randomly pick a number between 1 and 2, the probability that it is an irrational real is 100%, which is paradoxical, I know, because there are a countably infinite number of rationals between 1 and 2 also. But there are so many more irrationals than rationals that the probability of choosing a rational is effectively zero.

  157. 157
    Viola Lee says:

    to EDTA. Here’s something I’ve been thinking about. Waters uses a mapping of days to the integers in his proof. However, if his proof were rewritten to be just about the integers, and not couched in terms of days, he would prove that there is a first negative integer, and that the negative integers are not an infinite set, both of which are false.

    Therefore, if his argument is valid, he must be including some assumptions about time that are not just about the integers. I wonder what those assumptions are? They’re buried in his argument someplace, I think.

  158. 158
    EDTA says:

    VL,
    Thanks for the link to the critique of Waters’ argument. I had seen that, and later found Waters’ reply on-line. I cannot find the URL, but include his informal defense here:

    I thought I’d share with your readers a condensed version of my reaction, which I’ve already shared with you privately at greater length via e-mail, to these two very stimulating critiques of my argument that you’ve written. I hope you don’t mind.

    First of all, you claim here that my argument tacitly assumes what you are calling Assumption A, but this isn’t true. Rather, the fact that Methuselah will never write about future days follows from what I explicitly stipulate, not assume (implicitly or otherwise). My understanding is that you now retract this point, so I won’t pursue it any further.

    Secondly, you claim here that my argument is circular. The problem seems to be that (2) relies on a sub-claim to the effect that my Methuselah’s diary scenario is logically possible, but that is true only if D is finite and whether D is finite or not is precisely the point at issue. I don’t think this line of criticism works because it would entail that other perfectly valid arguments are circular as well. For example, the proof of Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem, which says (following Kleene 1967) that a broad class of formal systems can’t be both consistent and complete, relies on a sub-claim to the effect that within any such formal system there exists a proposition that is true if and only if it is not provable, but, of course, this sub-claim is true only if Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem is true. So, according to this logic, the proof of Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem would have to be considered circular as well, which can’t be right.

    That said, it may still be the case that my argument is (in some sense) circular if I have no good reason to think that my Methuselah’s diary scenario is logically possible and simply assume that it is. However, as you know, I do think there are good reasons for thinking that my Methuselah’s diary scenario is logically possible. In particular, I think the Methuselah’s diary scenario seems logically possible on the basis that Methuselah’s powers of memory and dispositions concerning his diary, although somewhat idealized in the former case and artificial in the latter case, are very much like the sorts of powers and dispositions we can have in the actual world, which suggests that the diary-keeping activities entailed by Methuselah’s powers and dispositions are eminently performable (hence also logically possible). Indeed, I suspect this line of reasoning cannot be denied without coming across as being overly skeptical. In any case, I chose not to explicitly record this last bit of reasoning in my article because I thought it should be obvious, but maybe that was a mistake on my part. In sum, I don’t think what you’ve said here gives us any good reason to think that my argument is in any sense circular.

    Unfortunately, google is not telling me where I found this (several years ago now)…

    For those just joining the sub-thread, Waters’ original paper is here: https://philarchive.org/archive/WATMDA-2

  159. 159
    Viola Lee says:

    It’s the first comment in the article I linked to, EDTA.

  160. 160
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you just inadvertently conceded the point: the number of steps between any two enumerated years t1 and t2 where t2 = t1 + 1, +1 . . . + 1 n times, n being an actually counted to value will be finite. Clipping, “No infinite distance is ever traversed if you travel between any two integers, no matter what they are,” notice your “travel,” implying stepwise traverse. I know you mean to suggest onward that as Z is infinite, i.e. without definable finite bounds L-ward and R-ward, one can label past years with Z- and infer traversal to now, but that misuses the transfinite ellipses that bracket any enumeration such as . . . , -2, -1, 0, 1, 2 . . . For what that actually implies is seen by bracketing through use of hyperintegers, cf PS. That is, while the future can continue without an ultimate limit, at any point t2 only a finite sum of years etc will have elapsed since ANY particular t1 an actual past time. Potential, onward transfinite, but only finite time so far. To claim instead that for any t1, there are any number of onward years [t1-1, t1-2, . . . without finite limit that were already traversed in succession is to claim to have already traversed the transfinite in finite successive steps, the same traversal that we logically cannot complete onward. There is no basis for this, whether we leave the transfiniteness explicit or implicit. And this can be seen by framing N and Z in the hyperreals line, R*, where Z* mileposts and Brackets N and Z. No transfinite actual traversal from H’ a transfinitely remote negative value can succeed in steps to 0. And one cannot hide behind the ellipsis of transfinite span, to suggest transfinite traverse between unspecified but finite t1 in the past and now t, the implicit term is that t1 and t2 are both finite integers. Without accepting a transfinite H’, we cannot have a transfinite span of specific integers to be traversed. Actual past years labelled with integers will have specific integers. KF

    PS, set h so 1/h = H, H’ + H = 0, where too h is less than 1/n for any n we can count to in steps. We see:

    . . . H’, (H-1)’ . . . -2,-1,0,1,2, . . . t [now] , t+1 . . . H-1, H . . .

    H’. (H-1)’, . . . (H-k)’ (H- [k+1])’ . . . clearly forms a potentially transfinite sequence but it will never complete to span an actual transfinite, the ellipsis to 0 cannot be bridged in steps. We are only warranted to speak of a finite completed span of years etc.

  161. 161
    William J Murray says:

    SA,

    Tossing the ball over to me doesn’t solve your space-time dilemma. The fact is, the concept of “time beginning” is just as absurd as the concept of “infinite regress of time.” You and others here have answered a logical absurdity with a logical absurdity. The answer “God created time and space” is not an answer to the space-time dilemma.

    Your challenge to me to explain my views on this outside of an experiential space-time sequence is a misunderstanding on your part. Once again, you are mistaking your ontology of space-time for the actuality of what space-time is. I did not claim we can remove from our experience the qualities of space-time; sentient beings require experiential space-time orientation and sequence of some sort. Those are necessary qualities of experience, but they are not necessarily qualities of anything outside of experience.

    The space-time dilemma only raises its ugly head when someone tries to conceptually instantiate the experiential qualities of space-time as something outside of experience itself.

  162. 162
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “VL, you just inadvertently conceded the point: the number of steps between any two enumerated years t1 and t2 where t2 = t1 + 1, +1 . . . + 1 n times, n being an actually counted to value will be finite. Clipping, “No infinite distance is ever traversed if you travel between any two integers, no matter what they are,” notice your “travel,” implying stepwise traverse.”

    Incredible! I didn’t “inadvertently concede a point! That is exactly what I meant to say: that no matter what integer you might pick, no matter how small, you are still just a finite numbers of steps from any other integer. I’m trying to make the point that NO ONE EVER SAID YOU COULD TRAVERSE AN INFINITE NUMBER OF STEPS.

    And I didn’t “imply” steps. I directly said, “However, if you choose any negative integer K, no matter how small, it is a finite number and only a finite number of steps from any other integer whatsoever.”

    Your ability to misunderstand and misrepresent what others are saying, and to respond with points that are off-target, amazes me.

    I’m not talking about time, I’m just talking about the integers.

    I’m not talking about the hyperreals, I’m just talking about the integers.

    ========
    To summarize, then: as far as I can tell, if we were clear that we were just talking about the integers (and not time and not hyperreals), you would agree on the following points.

    1. Given any negative integer K, no matter how small,

    1a. K is a finite number

    1b. The interval from K to any other integer whatsoever can be traversed, in steps one integer at a time, in a finite number of steps.

    2. K always has a predecessor K – 1

    2b. Therefore there is no limit to the number of integers which are smaller than K

    2c. However, no matter what integer smaller than K you might choose, call it K’, the points in 1 above would continue to be true.

    3. Therefore, in conclusion:

    a) There are a countably infinite number of negative integers, and

    b) Every one of them is a finite distance from every other integer

    Note again: nothing here is about time or hyperreals. It is just about the integers.

    Do you disagree about any of these statements?

  163. 163
    jerry says:

    There are a countably infinite number of negative integers

    Again, there is no such thing in the real world as a negative integer.

    There’s not one of them, let alone an infinite number of them. Again a useful concept but not a real one.

    Which brings up the proposition that there are imaginary concepts that make the real world easier to deal with. The problem is that we then conflate these imaginary concepts with reality. This also means that a lot of imaginary concepts have no use too.

    Aside: one could make the case that there are an infinite number of positive integers. The typical technique is to say whatever the integer is, there is always n+1.

    But that begs the question, what is that integer associated with. The answer is that it is associated with nothing real because we live in a finite world and there is an end of things to point to.

    Then there is the absurdity of specifying n and adding 1 to it and thinking this implies infinity. Eventually the universe ends and n will still be finite. In other word if one counts numbers to the end of the universe, the number reached will be finite. There will be an n with no n+1. Then the lights go out.

    Hopefully by that time we will understand that and no one will bother with these arguments.

    So maybe Kf does not disagree but I do.

  164. 164
    Viola Lee says:

    I’m not conflating anything, Jerry. I’ve already told you that I agree that you can’t have an instantiated infinity in the real world. But math, which you describe as a product of our imagination (a view I am sympathetic with), includes a well-developed theory of the real numbers, including that there are an infinite number of integers. That’s an idea, but it doesn’t map to anything in the real world. I know that.

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t develop the ideas, and make some use of them, even if we understand that an actual infinity in the real world doesn’t exist.

    I don’t think people (at least me) are as confused about this distinction as you think they are.

    I’ll point also, that some people find this world of mathematical ideas fascinating and fun to work with (me for instance) and some don’t (you for instance). Given that the mathematics we are talking about has led to the whole modern world of technology, for instance, which has involved people using the concepts of infinity and other non-instantiated mathematical ideas, I think we should be glad that there are people who like the mathematical world of ideas.

  165. 165
    jerry says:

    But that doesn’t mean we can’t develop the ideas, and make some use of them, even if we understand that an actual infinity in the real world doesn’t exist

    I think I said that. Actually many times. (Obviously finite number)

    The question becomes what in our imagination can be useful? Obviously many things but to use a math concept, a very small subset.

    some don’t (you for instance).

    Interesting comment.

    It’s so far from the truth, that it could be an infinite distortion.

    From a person who had fellowships in math and was once a student in good standing in a prestigious PhD program in math. And arguably had a perfect GRE score in math.

    Question: why the specific interest in negative integers? Is there something special about this imaginary infinity vs other imaginary infinities?

  166. 166
    Viola Lee says:

    Sorry I misrepresented you, Jerry, about your interest in math. I guess I took your lack of interest in some of the complexities of the idea of infinity and extrapolated.

    I apologize.

  167. 167
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry writes, “Question: why the specific interest in negative integers? Is there something special about this imaginary infinity vs other imaginary infinities?”

    The subject has come up many times over the years in the discussion about the integers as a model for time, and in conjunction with the nature of the past. In those discussions, various people have made arguments that to me showed some confusion about the nature of infinity in respect to the real number line. That’s why it has become a topic.

  168. 168
    jerry says:

    I guess I took your lack of interest in some of the complexities of the idea of infinity and extrapolated

    Lack of interest?

    Just trying to clarify things. I am interested in truth. That’s why I finished geometry book by mid October. Loved the logic.

    If I was teaching math again, I would definitely use the concept of infinity especially in Analysis, geometry and number theory. Probably every discipline.

    I actually have a very specific interest in the teaching of math at the elementary school level. There’s an almost foolproof way of teaching it so that all could be proficient. All you need is 100 pennies. No need of infinity.

    And thank you for your apology. It’s rare here.

  169. 169
    Viola Lee says:

    I loved teaching geometry, and I really like the series for sine, cosine, e, and their relationship to complex numbers.

  170. 170
    Sandy says:

    Given that the mathematics we are talking about has led to the whole modern world of technology, for instance, which has involved people using the concepts of infinity

    Could you bring an example that infinity helped modern world of technology or anything else?

  171. 171
    Viola Lee says:

    Sandy, the fact that e^(ix) = cos x + i sin x, which is proved using infinite series, is a very powerful and useful tool in understanding electricity and other phenomena involving electromagnetic waves, including the quantum behavior of light.

  172. 172
    Viola Lee says:

    And Jerry, of course I agree hat infinity is not a topic for elementary-level math. I think the first place I can remember it coming up in my teaching would have been in geometry in discussing Archimedes method of exhaustion in estimating the value of pi but successively creating more and more polygons inside a circle as an approximation which approaches a circle as the limit as the number of polygons goes to infinity.

    However, infinity probably shows up in 8th grade or so with the idea of the decimal representation of numbers, such 1/3 = 0.3333333… , introducing the idea of something going on forever with no end.

  173. 173
    EDTA says:

    VL,

    Waters uses a mapping of days to the integers in his proof…

    He makes use of “before” and “after” concepts, which we know about from observation of time, but does not assume that time maps to the integers. Then he creates a logically-possible scenario such that a contradiction would occur if time went infinitely into the past.

  174. 174
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    The fact is, the concept of “time beginning” is just as absurd as the concept of “infinite regress of time.

    If the physical universe had a beginning, then it had a cause for its beginning. The cause could not be a physical entity.
    If the physical universe did not have a beginning, then it existed for an infinite span of time.

    One way to resolve that dilemma is to say that the universe does not exist.
    That’s a very simple solution. In fact, one could say “nothing exists at all”.

    Philosophical realism is an attempt to use a common ground of human intuition to build some knowledge about reality.
    There’s no way to logically prove that “everything that begins to exist must have a cause for its existence”.
    There’s also no way to refute someone who says “nothing exists”. That person can just take a non-intuitive approach.

  175. 175
    jerry says:

    One way to resolve that dilemma

    There is a way.

    Assume, existence has been infinite. What would you expect to see?

    If you don’t see it, then it’s not infinite. That’s why I posted my reference to Asimov’s favorite story. See#140.

  176. 176
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, again. Duration is between particular separate steps of time, and by your acknowledgement, among integers [that are themselves finite] the separation can only be finite: “No infinite distance is ever traversed if you travel between any two integers, no matter what they are.” Where to resolve a strawman, I clip immediately following, [KF:] >>notice your “travel,” implying stepwise traverse,”>> which is an exactly correct understanding of “travel; it — the specific phrase I referred — implies, it does not STATE. Thus, as was said long ago, we are only warranted to speak of finite durations from past to now where any particular remote time has succeeded by steps to now. Indeed, this is consistent with the potential as opposed to the completed transfinite traverse. I already pointed out what happens if we expand our window on the numbers line to bracket R in R*, mileposted by Z*. Now, we can see there, that from an explicit negative transfinite H’ we will never be able to ascend to 0 in increments that are finite. Where from any finitely remote t1, the interval to now, n, is FINITE, i.e. we have traversed finitely many steps, if that t1 is a valid past year number, for convenience. We may say that integers can extend beyond t1 without definable upper limit, but that is not to bring in that if we have some further, but finite tf, suddenly the traversal to n has become infinite. only when we have a H’ can we speak of a transfinite span to n and that span cannot be traversed in finite stage steps. In short we are only warranted to speak of our causal temporat thermodynamic domain as potentially transfinite future wise, but only finite pastwise. That is, the past due to the stepwise succession to now is necessarily finite on the mere fact of actual completed traverse to n. The past years do not and cannot exhaust Z-, KF

  177. 177
    kairosfocus says:

    WJM, I suggest a difference of terminology. Were utter non being . . . no reality . . . the case, there being no causal power, such would ever be the case. What, then, is without beginning and without end is existence, the domain and character of reality. Our causal-temporal thermodynamic domain, a going concern, is thermodynamically running down as energy concentrations dissipate. Were our world thermodynamically isolated, this eventually ends in heat death, with energy concentrations exhausted. In a sense, time, as a feature of a CTThD, will end with that exhaustion. We already have good reason to hold that it has not traversed a transfinite span to now, as that would have been reached. We can even point to the singularity and propose an onward quantum foam etc, but that too would be a CTThD, and falls under the same. Beyond, of course the number of past years cannot be transfinite. We are forced to infer a deeper root of reality of a different order of existence. KF

  178. 178
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    If the interval between two numbers 1 and 2 is the Planck length there is no other number between 1 and 2. The Planck length make infinity what should be : a joke.

    e^(ix) = cos x + i sin x, which is proved using infinite series, is a very powerful and useful tool in understanding electricity and other phenomena involving electromagnetic waves, including the quantum behavior of light.

    There is nothing infinite in electricity /electromagnetism /quantum so infinity is useless in whatever “understanding” you say.

  179. 179
    Viola Lee says:

    Parsing and responding to KF at 176:

    KF writes, “By your acknowledgement, among integers [that are themselves finite] the separation can only be finite: “No infinite distance is ever traversed if you travel between any two integers, no matter what they are.” “

    Absolutely: that’s what I’ve been saying for years.

    KF then writes, “Where to resolve a strawman, I clip immediately following, [KF:] >>notice your “travel,” implying stepwise traverse,”>> which is an exactly correct understanding of “travel; it — the specific phrase I referred — implies, it does not STATE.”

    But, KF, you fail to acknowledge what I wrote, and then quoted: ““However, if you choose any negative integer K, no matter how small, it is a finite number and only a finite number of steps from any other integer whatsoever.”.

    I did not imply: i directly stated that we we talking about steps. No strawman here that I can see

    At this point in your post you bring up hyperreals. I am discussing the integers only. You write, “Now, we can see there, that from an explicit negative transfinite H’ we will never be able to ascend to 0 in increments that are finite.”

    Of course if you bring in hyperreals, where by definition every number H is larger than any integer, then you would have an infinite distance between H and any integer K, which would not be traversable in steps.

    But that is a different topic, and has never been a topic that I have discussed in this context.

    It appears that the only way you can bring in the issue of the existence of an infinite separation that cannot be traversed is to bring in the hyperreals. If you limit the discussion to just the integers, no infinite distance ever exists, so the question of an infinite traverse is not relevant.

    You also bring in time and our “causal temporat thermodynamic domain,” which is also separate from the topic of the integers. It seems like you can’t actually discuss just the integers.

    And last. you write, “That is, the past due to the stepwise succession to now is necessarily finite on the mere fact of actual completed traverse to n. The past years do not and cannot exhaust Z-“

    Ignoring the irrelevance of this to actual time, and translating into the language of integers, this says what has been said before: no matter what negative integer K we pick, no matter how small, there is a finite step-wise traversal to any other integer.

    The significant thing here is that we cannot pick a K that “exhausts Z-“, as there is always a smaller K we could pick. The question of “exhausting K” does not come up if one is interested in how one gets, in steps, from one integer to another.

    That is, the negative integers have no “beginning” – they comprise a countably infinite set, but every integer is finite, so there are no “infinite traversals” to even be considered because there is no integer that is an infinite distance away form the other integers.

    I don’t believe you can disagree with any of this if you limit your response to the mathematics of the integers only.

  180. 180
    Viola Lee says:

    LCD, in mathematics, numbers aren’t a Planck length’s apart: they are continuous in the mathematical sense. There is a possibility that the real world is discrete in time, space, and even gravity, but that just means that our mathematical models based on continuity are just approximations: that doesn’t make the math wrong in respect to itself. However, I am virtually certain that using calculus, which is based on continuity, is going to be more practical than trying to apply discrete math to billions of little distance and moments.

  181. 181
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @156,
    Exactly. But as Kairosfocus pointed out, you cannot traverse T=1 to T=2 in “steps.” Perhaps, you could argue that your steps are by halves. But my point about traversing bounded versus unbounded infinities still holds. BTW, do you teach your students that 0.999… is actually equal to 1? (smile)

    Silver Asiatic @174,
    Well said! Nature could not have been the cause of nature’s existence. And a universe with an infinite past will have reached maximum entropy. We haven’t, so it didn’t.

    Not to mention the direct red-shift evidence from stellar spectra that indicates an expanding universe that’s also been shown to be accelerating (eventually, the stars will fade to black).

    Yes, that nothing exists would indeed solve the “problem,” but at a much greater cost than anyone is truly willing to pay.

    -Q

  182. 182
    Viola Lee says:

    Yes, we talked about how 0.9999…. = 1 as an example of an infinite geometric series. However, we also talk about partial sums, and about limits, so you can say (I can’t type this compactly) the limit of 0.9 + 0.09 + 0.009 and so on as the number of terms goes to infinity is 1 is a more accurate way of understanding what the sum of an infinite series means.

    However the easy way is 0.3333 … = 1/3 and 0.6666 … = 2/3 (they know those from using long division to convert those fractions into decimals), so obviously 0.9999 … = 3/3 = 1.

  183. 183
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, I spoke to a narrow point from a specific quote, using “this” which is a specific word [and tied it to clarification of a given word], and one that in fact makes no material difference of meaning as regards what it says. Your quote mining insinuation, frankly, is needless and distractive fault finding. As to pick any given z’ a negative integer in Z, and z* any other integer in Z, by definition, once we specify or represent a particular pair, we may go beyond z* R-ward or L-ward by increments if + or – respectively, showing it to have a finite bound. Likewise z’ obviously has increments further L-ward. The result is the difference, span or traverse from z’ to z* is finite also: once we traffic in particular integers. But that does not exhaust the structure of Z, where the point is there is no definable last integer L-ward or R-ward from 0; what the ellipses mean. This is best appreciated from framing Z in R* the hyperreals, as I already did:

    . . . H’ . . . -2,-1,0,1,2 . . . H . . .

    The transfiniteness of Z pivots on the two inner transfinite ellipses. Obviously, such an ellipsis cannot be exhausted by successive steps, that is a key meaning to its being transfinite. That holds whether we start from the H’ side or the -2 side, for example. In that light it is reasonable to note that an explicit or implicit transfinite span cannot be traversed in successive finite steps. Relevant to time, every actual past moment or stage — year for convenience — traversed successively, causally and thermodynamically to now. The fact of traversal implies finitude of time span to now for any past stage t, and due to how traversal is inherently successive by finite stages . . . see the calendar . . . it cannot have exhausted the negative integers. Such are implicitly transfinite. Put another way, our world and any quasi physical antecedent that is thermodynamic, was finite. Of course, onward, in principle, we may continue increments without limit, a potential transfinite; in practice if our world were thermodynamically isolated in a finite time it will go to heat death, which BTW is another reason to see it was not transfinite in the past or heat death would have already occurred. A beginning was a reality, get used to it. KF

  184. 184
    Viola Lee says:

    I was right. KF cannot address the issue in terms of just the integers.

    But he agrees that the distance between any two integers is finite: He writes,” The result is the difference, span or traverse from z’ to z* is finite also: once we traffic in particular integers.” [Although I’ll note that all there ever is is “particular” integers.]

    He also agrees that there is no smallest negative integer, so that the integers have no “beginning”: he writes, “But that does not exhaust the structure of Z, where the point is there is no definable last integer L-ward or R-ward from 0; what the ellipses mean.”

    I consider the conversation, done.

  185. 185
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi EDTA. You write about Water, He makes use of “before” and “after” concepts, which we know about from observation of time, but does not assume that time maps to the integers.”

    But early in his paper he writes, “Furthermore, for any d in D and any positive integer n such that d precedes t by at least (n + 1) days let (d + n) represent the unique nth day following d in D, “ and then proceeds to reference the days d in terms of integers throughout. He also seems to use such terms as d – n for days before and d + n for days after.

    So it seems to me that he is thinking of the days d as represented by, or indexed by, integers. So in what ways is he not modeling the days as being represented by the integers?

  186. 186
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    using calculus, which is based on continuity, is going to be more practical than trying to apply discrete math to billions of little distance and moments.

    :)There is no meaning left for the numbers that are beyond the smallest distance /time that can be perceived/measured . Unicorns and fairies yes, maths not.

  187. 187
    Viola Lee says:

    There is no real-world meaning: I agree. But do you agree with my quote that “using calculus, which is based on continuity, is going to be more practical than trying to apply discrete math to billions of little distance and moments.”?

  188. 188
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, integers are in a context, a set with a structure which materially affects the outcomes. KF

  189. 189
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    How is more practical if you get aberration of “existence of infinity”?
    How would be broken the continuity if you apply a rule for a minimal value of distance/time?

  190. 190
    Viola Lee says:

    LCD, are you familiar with calculus?

  191. 191
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @182,
    An easier method is

    n = 0.999…
    10n = 10 x 0.999… = 9.999…
    10n – n = 9.999… – 0.999…
    9n = 9
    n = 1
    :. 0.999… = 1

    The problem is that while one can map mathematics to the universe, mathematics didn’t predict the Planck distance. Thus, mathematics is always a matter of choosing the mathematics that currently models the universe the best.

    However, the reverse cannot be asserted. Mathematics cannot predict, it can only describe and that imperfectly. For example
    https://aether.lbl.gov/www/classes/p10/gr/PrecessionperihelionMercury.htm

    -Q

  192. 192
    EDTA says:

    VL,

    So it seems to me that he is thinking of the days d as represented by, or indexed by, integers. So in what ways is he not modeling the days as being represented by the integers?

    Yes, he is using integers in his argument, but not (as far as I can tell) the assumption that time maps to the entirety of the integers, particularly in the negative direction.

  193. 193
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Q. Yes, that is the method that can be used for any repeating decimal, and I taught that. However for immediate results with beginning students, the 1/3, 2/3, 3/3 demonstration is quickest and introduces them to the general idea, I think.

    And I absolutely agree with your second paragraph: “Thus, mathematics is always a matter of choosing the mathematics that currently models the universe the best” is the key idea in understanding the relationship between pure and applied math. As Einstein is purported to have said, ““As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

  194. 194
    Viola Lee says:

    EDTA writes, “Yes, he is using integers in his argument, but not (as far as I can tell) the assumption that time maps to the entirety of the integers, particularly in the negative direction.”

    But that sort of points to the possible circularity his critic mentioned: if he is implicitly assuming that time doesn’t map to the entirety of the integers, then he is possibly building his conclusion into his premises, because the finite nature of the number of days is exactly what he is trying to prove. And if he is using the integers to index the days, as he appears to be doing, at what point, and how, and with what justification does he disallow the entirety of the negative integers from the situation?

    And if he is allowing the entirety of the integers into the situation, we are back to my original point that he is proving that there is a small negative integer corresponding to an earliest day.

  195. 195
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius @181

    Thanks!

    Nature could not have been the cause of nature’s existence. And a universe with an infinite past will have reached maximum entropy. We haven’t, so it didn’t.

    These are the problems with either an infinite universe or a universe created by itself. As you say also, red-shift evidence indicates expansion, which could not have happened for an infinity of time.
    We accept the assumption that the processes we see in the universe today have been the same from the beginning. But people come up with multiverse speculations where anything could happen, but these are just attempts to avoid the issue and not solve a problem. Leonard Susskind says that the universe gives “the Illusion of Intelligent Design” and he also says that his String Theory has to be correct or else ID will win.

  196. 196
    Viola Lee says:

    Oops. Last sentence of 194 should say
    And if he is allowing the entirety of the integers into the situation, we are back to my original point that he is proving that there is a smallest negative integer corresponding to an earliest day.

  197. 197
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    ViolaLee
    I finished school long ago . Think “calculus of minimals” instead of “calculus of infinitesimals” .
    Think about pixels as the Planck Length on the screen(for an area ).
    Or a bicycle chain and its links are the Planck Length(for a function). It’s about the limitation of “magnification” to 1.6 x 10 -35 meters and not going arbitrary toward an infinity of values/numbers.
    What am I missing?

  198. 198
    Viola Lee says:

    LCD, Here’s an example I used when teaching calc, to explain this issue in respect to discrete and continuous events.

    If you invest $1 at 10% interest you get $0.10 interest at the end of the year, and you have $1.10 at the end of the year. If you keep that in the bank, you get $0.11 interest and have $1.21, and so on. This is discrete exponential growth, with steps (intervals) of 1 year. The formula for the amount after t years would be simply (1.10) ^ t.

    However, banks usually pay you daily (interest compounded daily is how they advertise it), so now the steps are much smaller (1/365 of a year) but there are more of them (365). The formula for that amount after t years is now (1 +0.10/365) ^ 365 t = (1.027397260273973} ^ 365t which is a bit unwieldy.

    If we continue this process by compounded hourly, or by the second, we are getting closer to instantaneous, continuous exponential, and if we compound every moment we get (and this proof uses infinity) the simple formula e^(0.10 t), which is considerably more convenient that the discrete formula.

    And it turns out that for practical purpose the formula involving e is close enough to the discrete formula’s results that banks use the continuous exponential formula involving for its practical convenience.

    That’s an example of the point I’m making.

    Another example, you can prove that a sphere being influenced by a gravitational source acts as if the gravity was pulling on just the center of the sphere even though in fact every single point on the sphere is being pulled at a slightly different angle with a slightly different force. Now if you were going to prove this discretely with a real sphere you would have to sum up the effect on trillions (or more) of individual atoms, which would be impossible. However, if you treat the sphere as a continuous body of points you can use integral calculus to solve the problem.

  199. 199
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    Instructions for Inverting a Line Segment
    1. Using a pair of sharp scissors (actually, one will do), cut off a segment from T=1 to T=2.
    2. Grasp both ends of the line segment firmly (it’s quite springy).
    3. Bend both ends together until T= 1 and T = 2 touch. Have someone apply a touch of glue.
    4. Finally, using a fair amount of strength, straighten the two touching ends until they’re collinear. This will increase the radius of the circle ever larger until the radius is infinite. Let the glue dry overnight.

    There! The result is that you’ve inverted a line segment with a bounded infinite number of interior points into an unbounded line defined as a circle of infinite radius. (smile)

    -Q

  200. 200
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, you are well aware that the continuum of a line segment or the like is not relevant to countable, successive, finite stage steps. It becomes quite clear that views that are led to imply or invite or argue in support of a transfinite physical or quasi physical past are in serious trouble. KF

  201. 201
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, your attempt to suggest or invite inference of rather than actually show circularity on my part fails. A simple glance at the calendar will show that time (including past time) can be counted in discrete, finite stage, cumulative, causally connected, thermodynamically constrained steps. This implies that time on cosmological scale, is a thermodynamically tied phenomenon. Once we set a zero point we can map to the integers, the singularity is a good reference for a zero, say 13.8 BYA; -ve values would then be the quantum foam proposal or the like, which would also be thermodynamic, so too exhibit time. Of course this is already speculative, there is no observational base for such an onward quasi physical world. . The issue is whether such time for our cosmos and possible antecedents actually or never actually had a beginning. No beginning implies a transfinite past, a beginning implies a finite past. The problem is, then a logic of structure and quantity matter connected to the finite step succession, stage by stage. For, an explicit or implicit transfinite cannot be spanned in such steps, and as seen we are only warranted to speak of finite durations between two distinct stages. There is no good reason to infer that past time exhausts the -ve integers, and there is good reason to hold that the causal successiveness is inherently only a potentially transfinite phenomenon: finitely bound in the past, open to onward succession without bound, but never actually traversing more than a finite sum of stages at any given step. In representations of Z, especially using R* to give context, the ellipses . . . are representing transfinite spans. KF

    PS, from 160, set h so 1/h = H, H’ + H = 0, where too h is less than 1/n for any n we can count to in steps. We see:

    . . . H’, (H-1)’ . . . -2,-1,0,1,2, . . . t [now] , t+1 . . . H-1, H . . .

    H’. (H-1)’, . . . (H-k)’ (H- [k+1])’ . . . clearly forms a potentially transfinite sequence but it will never complete to span an actual transfinite, the ellipsis to 0 cannot be bridged in steps. We are only warranted to speak of a finite completed span of years etc.

    ]I add, that for any given negative integer z’ we can go leftward -1, -2, -3 . . . successively but run into the same problem of the potential as opposed to exhausted stepwise traversal of the transfinite. Obviously z’ z’-1, z’-2 etc can be mapped to the set N without finite limit but we can only ever point to rather than actually complete the steps. This also shows the concept that a transfinite set has that a proper subset can be mapped to the whole without finite limit. This is most easily seen from how one can transform even and odd number subsets of the counting numbers into the full set:

    0 1 2 3 . . .

    x2

    0 2 4 6 . . .

    x2 + 1

    1 3 5 7 . . .

    In none of these cases can we actually exhaust the ellipses step by step

  202. 202
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, and all of this is before we see that as time extends, energy concentrations dissipate so once the observed cosmos and suggested quasi physical extensions are thermodynamically isolated, in finite time we get to heat death, entropy dissipates energy to maximal degree. The old steady state cosmos model tried to escape this by positing continual injection of H atoms that pop into existence. It of course failed by the mid 60’s. More recent multiverse models all tie to trying to eliminate a beginning. Hence the relevance of the issue of transfinite span.

    F/N: Wikipediaas handy reference:

    In cosmology, the steady-state model is [–>WAS!] an alternative to the Big Bang theory of evolution of the universe. In the steady-state model, the density of matter in the expanding universe remains unchanged due to a continuous creation of matter [–> rejects energy-mass conservation], thus adhering to the perfect cosmological principle, a principle that asserts that the observable universe is practically the same at any time and any place.

    While the steady-state model enjoyed some minority[citation needed] support [–> it seems rather it was the MAJORITY especially at time of formulation of General Relativity] in the scientific mainstream until the mid-20th century, it is now rejected by the vast majority of cosmologists, astrophysicists and astronomers, as the observational evidence points to a hot Big Bang cosmology with a finite age of the universe, which the steady-state model does not predict.

  203. 203
    kairosfocus says:

    F.N2 notice the pattern by which both the steady state model and successors go beyond actual observation and work to get away from implications of thermodynamics and particularly entropy.

  204. 204
    William J Murray says:

    SA said:

    One way to resolve that dilemma is to say that the universe does not exist.
    That’s a very simple solution. In fact, one could say “nothing exists at all”.

    Or one could just agree their particular ontology is incorrect because of the logical absurdities it leads to.

    Philosophical realism is an attempt to use a common ground of human intuition to build some knowledge about reality.

    Would you please cite a source for your definition of “philosophical realism?” I’ve looked several places and I can’t find anything remotely like what you said here.

    There’s no way to logically prove that “everything that begins to exist must have a cause for its existence”.

    I don’t know how this is relevant to the conversation.

    There’s also no way to refute someone who says “nothing exists”. That person can just take a non-intuitive approach. Well, there’s no way to reason with insane, irrational people, but of course any sane person can refute “nothing exists” because (1) that’s a logically self-negating phrase, and (2) that experience exists is the fundamental, original self-evident truth every sentient being is aware of.

  205. 205
    Silver Asiatic says:

    WJM

    Would you please cite a source for your definition of “philosophical realism?” I’ve looked several places and I can’t find anything remotely like what you said here.

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/realism-philosophy
    Observe the phrase “common sense” as it is used. Then reread what I said just off the top of my head, I didn’t refer to a definition, but what I said is what philosophical realism is: “common ground of human intuition”. We observe an external reality from which we gain knowledge through our sense apprehension of entities.

    I don’t know how this is relevant to the conversation.

    You’ve been quite argumentative about the necessity of logic and in opposition to my view that intuition is an essential component in building the worldview. You proposed that I was just abandoning logic whenever I couldn’t defend my view.
    So now, you cannot see how it is relevant that the idea “whatever begins to exist must have a cause for its existence” is not the result of a logical deduction or inference?
    I’ll explain: That premise, which you’ve been arguing against, is an intuition. That premise “works” for many people who simply accept the common-sense intuition.

    that experience exists is the fundamental, original self-evident truth every sentient being is aware of

    Just because a person disagrees with your worldview, does not mean they are insane. So, just labeling themselves as such doesn’t help. Even the idea that logic is necessary to prove one’s sanity is, or that one must be consistently logical are common-sense intuitions, not logical deductions. So again, building one’s worldview as if it is entirely logical, and as if logic has no limits would not be correct.

    that experience exists is the fundamental, original self-evident truth every sentient being is aware of.

    An external reality is a fundamental truth that every sentient being is aware of. You, for example, disagree that an external reality is real, but you know what it is.
    The idea that an external reality exists is a universal human intuition.
    Why do you think that is the case?

  206. 206
    William J Murray says:

    KF said:

    What, then, is without beginning and without end is existence, the domain and character of reality.

    Agreed.

    We can even point to the singularity and propose an onward quantum foam etc, but that too would be a CTThD, and falls under the same. Beyond, of course the number of past years cannot be transfinite. We are forced to infer a deeper root of reality of a different order of existence.

    This is why the Root cannot logically be described in any linear-time fashion, n0r any linear-time dependent attributions, because it necessarily brings in infinite regress. Which is why it is a clear violation of logic to assert that the Root is a deliberate, sentient being; deliberate, sentient beings absolutely require a linear-time experience. As I have said, the words “choose” and “create” are nonsensical notions without presupposing linear time.

    What you call the CTThD world cannot “begin” from the Root because that places the Root in presupposed linear time. The Root cannot be said to “begin” anything, deliberately or not, or else you have presupposed the very thing – existential linear time – that can only end up being one of two logically absurd things – a beginning of time, or infinite regress.

    This is why “linear time” can only be an experiential commodity and not a characteristic of anything outside of experience, because as soon as you try to instantiate it as some form of external, existential commodity, it ends in logical absurdity. Appealing to some distinction between the CTThD and the Root of reality doesn’t change that problem if you’re going to claim that the Root caused, chose, or created the CTThD, because that presupposes the very issue you’re trying to avoid as a necessary aspect of the Root.

    You don’t get to, on the one hand, say the Root is “a different order of existence” that magically solves the linear time dilemma, while on the other hand you insert that same problematic commodity into the Root by saying it began, chose or created the CTThD.

  207. 207
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, you write, “VL, you are well aware that the continuum of a line segment or the like is not relevant to countable, successive, finite stage steps.”

    Of course I am, KF. Other people brought up the question of whether the concept of infinity was of any value, and LCD and Q brought up the subject of points on a line in an interval. We moved on to different subjects than the one you and I were discussing.

  208. 208
    Viola Lee says:

    KF , you write, “VL, your attempt to suggest or invite inference of rather than actually show circularity on my part fails.” KF, you don’t appear to pay very good attention to what people write. My remark about circularity was to EDTA about the Ben Waters paper. That remark had nothing to do with you.

  209. 209
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “No beginning implies a transfinite past, a beginning implies a finite past.”

    No.

    1. The distance from every integer to any other integer is finite.

    2. There is no smallest integer: the integers have no beginning.

    Therefore, the integers having no beginning does not imply that there is ever an infinite distance between two integers.

    You are correct that an actual infinite set of integers can not be exhausted, in your words, by any accumulative process. But having no beginning is different than saying the entire infinite set has been instantiated.

  210. 210
    jerry says:

    There is no smallest integer: the integers have no beginning

    I believe 1 is the smallest integer.

    I know this has been discussed ad nauseam. But why the continual bringing up of imaginary concepts?

    Aside: what do integers have to do with time? The whole time thing seems gobbledygook. It’s either limited or it isn’t. No one is going to buy one can not transverse infinite time as a reason it doesn’t exist. That’s part of the definition of infinite time, it never ends either way.

    It’s like saying something doesn’t exist because my interpretation of my definition says it cannot exist.

  211. 211
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    of course directly BW but let’s guess who else is in the penumbra? In short, there is an issue to be addressed on its full balance, not sliced in pieces and made to seem weaker than it is. It is but a small step from BW is maybe or actually begging questions to KF is doing much the same and of course is an ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked champion of the indefensible who cannot even understand what we are saying.

    (Do you wish for me to start characterising you?)

    In other words, a poisonous atmosphere taints everything and extraordinary care must be taken not to taint by invitation.

    Which is what I responded to, for cause given repeated tone.

    Again, the fundamental thermodynamics is not in doubt, but it also effectively tells us what time is at cosmological level. That bakes in that year by year we have finite stage succession to now.

    Some have tried again and again to inject the view that the physical and/or quasi physical world are without beginning. But that is deeply questionable thermodynamically, but lay that aside, there is a structure of quantities issue.

    For that, the ability to count years or the like lets us see the relevance of the structure of the number line, its extensions and associated sets. In particular, a beginningless past is implicitly transfinite, exhausting the negative integers . . . a set that has no definable last L-ward member.

    It is therefore directly relevant, on my part, to embrace the finite integers among the wider framework of hyperreals mileposted by hyperintegers and identify that a transfinite span can only be partly traversed, a potential but not completed transfinite.

    Which implies a definite, finitely remote beginning.

    BW takes a somewhat different tack, but there are fairly obvious links:

    Let t represent today, D the collection of all days prior to t [compare P, collection of former actual years, t is today, the now day or year as appropriate], LTE the
    total relation on D where d 1 LTE d 2 if and only if d 1 is earlier than or the same as d 2 , and = the
    relation on D where d 1 = d 2 if and only if d 1 LTE d 2 and d 2 LTE d 1 (i.e., d 1 is the same as d 2 ).
    Furthermore, for any d in D and any positive integer n such that d precedes t by at least (n + 1)
    days let (d + n) represent the unique nth day following d in D
    ; similarly, if d does not follow a
    possible earliest day of D [–> totality of past days] by less than n days let (d – n) represent the unique nth day preceding d in D
    .13

    Finally, let D F represent the sub-collection of all days in D that are finitely distant in the
    past so that D F only contains those days in D that are of the form (t – m) for some positive
    integer m and not [–> repeat, NOT] any possible days in D that are infinitely distant in the past
    . [–> explicitly or implicitly]

    With these conventions in mind, the argument is given as follows:

    (1) If there exists a function f from D F to D F such that f(d) LTE d for any d in D F and
    f(d + 2) = (f(d) + 1) for any pair d, (d + 2) in D F then D is finite.
    (2) There exists a function f from D F to D F such that f(d) LTE d for any d in D F and f(d + 2) =
    (f(d) + 1) for any pair d, (d + 2) in D F .
    (3) Therefore, D is finite by (1) and (2). [–> f is a lower bound on DF, i.e. a finite member of Z that is beyond a valid day that is the earliest valid day]

    I establish (1) by first noticing that D F is either a finite collection with an earliest day or the
    infinite collection {(t – n) | n is any positive integer} and assume that there exists a function f
    from D F to D F such that f(d) LTE d for any d in D F and f(d + 2) = (f(d) + 1) for any pair d, (d + 2) in
    D F .

    Suppose D F can be identified with the aforementioned infinite collection and observe that
    f(t – 1) = (t – m) for some positive integer m. [–> estimate for f as today less some natural counting number m] It follows that
    (t – m) = f(t – 1) = f((t – (1 + 2m)) + 2m) = (f(t – (1 + 2m)) + m) so that

    f(t – (1 + 2m)) = (t – 2m), which contradicts the fact that

    f(t – (1 + 2m)) LTE (t – (1 + 2m)).

    Hence, D F cannot be the aforementioned infinite collection so that it
    is a finite collection with an earliest day e.

    Now, if e is not also an earliest day of D [–> totality of the past] then it has a previous day (e – 1) in D F , which contradicts the fact that e is the earliest day of D F . Hence, e is not only the earliest day of D F but also the earliest day of D.

    However, if D has an earliest day
    that is finitely distant in the past then it follows that D is finite so that (1) is established
    .

    I now establish (2) by considering the case of Methuselah, who has been alive for every d
    in D F and is the oldest living individual. More pertinently, Methuselah has maintained a diary of
    his previous activities throughout his long life; however, he only works on entries for his diary in
    the evenings and never on more than one entry per day, with each entry summarizing his past
    activities for some d in D F . Additionally, for any pair (d – 1), d in D F Methuselah has a perfect
    memory on d of everything he did on (d – 1) and whenever he works on an entry for his diary it
    is always at a rate of half an entry per day
    . [–> So he is always falling behind.]

    for any d in D F Methuselah will work on an entry for either d or one of (d ?
    m), ((d – m) + 1) for some positive integer m, but in any case he will work on an entry for a day
    in D F that is earlier than or the same as d. Hence, there exists a function f from D F to D F such that
    f(d 1 ) = d 2 if and only if Methuselah works on an entry for d 2 on d 1 for any d 1 , d 2 in D F with
    f(d) LTE d for any d in D F . Finally, I observe that f(d + 2) = (f(d) + 1) for any pair d, (d + 2) in D F since
    Methuselah always takes two consecutive days to finish writing an entry for his diary and he
    always works on subsequent days where he had left off at the end of previous days given his
    memory and the manner in which he works on entries for his diary in the evening of every d in
    D F . Hence, f satisfies all the conditions needed to establish (2).

    BW of course is fairly closely related, as highlighted.

    Now your 194:

    that sort of points to the possible circularity his critic mentioned: if he is implicitly assuming that time doesn’t map to the entirety of the integers, then he is possibly building his conclusion into his premises, because the finite nature of the number of days is exactly what he is trying to prove. And if he is using the integers to index the days, as he appears to be doing, at what point, and how, and with what justification does he disallow the entirety of the negative integers from the situation?

    BW actually, just as I did, addressed TWO options, where there is a first day attachable to a countable number, and where there is no such definable first day.

    My argument is driven by a thermodynamic view of cosmological time, with explanation through that of succession of years for convenience, days, seconds or cosmological stages work just as well. Succession to be without beginning has to have traversed stages map-able to the full set of negative integers. But that implies transfinite traverse which is an infeasible supertask.

    BW argues about D and DF, the latter a finite subset. He argues that, at core, you end up with inconsistencies on an infinite past model. My difference is an infeasibility.

    But if he is implicitly circular most likely so am I, and I doubt for cause that either of is will actually be circular, as we both mark the relevant distinction.

    KF

    KF

  212. 212
    kairosfocus says:

    I will come back and fix the symbols that were unrecognised by Word Press but that will be much later a full day is ahead.

  213. 213
    William J Murray says:

    If we’re going to avoid imaginary concepts and just talk about reality, time would only relate to the integer 1. There is only the now. The past and the future are imaginary concepts. Linear time is an error of thinking. The only “time” anyone actually experiences is “now.” Nobody actually experiences the “past” or the “future.”

  214. 214
    Viola Lee says:

    A while back I read Ben Waters proof, tried to decipher it, and couldn’t. I challenge you to carefully explain it, step-by-step.

    Also, you again say, “Succession to be without beginning has to have traversed stages map-able to the full set of negative integers.” Why do you never respond to my simple argument showing that this is not true, as in 209?

  215. 215
    Viola Lee says:

    to WJM, re 213: Wouldn’t that actually be 0, not 1, for now?

  216. 216
    jerry says:

    Absurdity begets absurdity.

    But this is UD where that is the norm for most. For example, any previous comment that appears on the screen does not exist because it’s imaginary and not of this moment which means this comment is also imaginary and the comment addressed is imaginary.

    And irrational because it addresses an imaginary thing. But don’t worry because everything is imaginary including south central Texas where the imaginary comment came from.

  217. 217
    Querius says:

    Re: Integers

    No, there’s no smallest integer unless you’re specifying their absolute values. If you want to argue about this, check the explanatory video below:

    https://tutors.com/lesson/integers-definition-examples

    -Q

  218. 218
    jerry says:

    there’s no smallest integer

    1 is the smallest integer. There is nothing smaller. There are examples of 1 that one can point to. Nobody can point to an example of zero or a negative of anything.

    Now zero and negative numbers are useful but they don’t represent anything real.

  219. 219
    Viola Lee says:

    I think we all know that, Q. KF acknowledges that there is no smallest integer.

  220. 220
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, you are defining integer in your own idiosyncratic way, which is incorrect. We know you think that only positive integers are real, and that negative integers don’t exist in the real world, but in the (to you imaginary) world of mathematics there are negative integers. I’m not quite sure why you keep bringing this up. If you had your way, it seems, no one would discuss mathematics at all! (Except for the natural numbers.)

  221. 221
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I still will have to come back to adjust, but I think some basics of structure and quantity need to be made explicitly clear. So, I note as below.

    First, von Neumann’s construction:

    {} –> 0
    {0} –> 1
    {0,1} –> 2

    . . . [ellipsis]

    {0,1,2 . . . } –> w

    That is w [omega] is the order type of the naturals constructed as ordinals, and N has cardinality, aleph-null.

    Now, let us do a comma separated value construction of a wx3 matrix, pardon limitations of Word Press:

    {0: , 0 –>1 , 1 –> -1
    1: , 2 –> 2 , 3 –> -2
    2: , 4 –> 4, 5 –> -3
    . . . , . . . , . . .
    w: , w , w’}

    Where clearly w + w’ = 0, as can be seen by decimation of the rows.

    We here see next, that the naturals, the integers, the evens and the odds as well as the negatives all have order type w. Where, a basic definition of a transfinite set is that a proper subset can be placed in 1:1 correspondence with the whole. Thus, the integers and particularly the negative integers can be seen to be transfinite, with the counting numbers as a metric.

    Therefore, to claim that past finite stages of time that cumulate to now are without beginning, thus can be mapped to the set of the negative integers exhaustively, is to imply that the traverse from the remote pass to now is transfinite. Implicitly, transfinite.

    That such a span cannot be traversed in cumulative, finite stage steps should be obvious and should be acknowledged. However, given the open or veiled acerbity that has generated a toxic climate surrounding origins in general and UD in particular, let us note for the simple case of counting onward from some k and its complement k’, again using a matrix:

    0: , k+0 , k’-0
    1: , k+1 , k’-1
    2: , k+2 , k’-2
    . . . , . . ., . . .
    w: , k+w , k’ – w}

    That is, counting on beyond any k we state or represent in N, with k’ in Z-, will continue transfinitely of order type w, just as for the col 1 case k = 0. This of course reflects the same transfiniteness. It also means that at any finite stage k, or k’ we may go on from there as though we had just begun.

    A labour of Sisyphus.

    This is how the futile supertask I have often spoken of arises.

    And if counting in Z- L-ward, counting down is transfinite, the same members will be just as transfinite were we to start somehow from L-ward and try to proceed in R-ward steps to 0 and beyond.

    We may therefore freely conclude that past time cannot have been transfinite, regardless of side debates as to how the difference between any two specific integers in Z we identify, state or represent, z1 and z2, will be finite as the two can be bounded by finite onward values. That is, the ellipsis is part of the structure of such sets and in part tells us that we can only execute stepwise a potential but not complete transfinite, and we use the ellipses to represent the actual main body of work, where the transfinite lives.

    So, again, using hyperreals only emphasises and makes this plainer for someone first seeing such a strange domain.

    We are only warranted to speak of a finitely remote past that has succeeded itself by finite stages to now. In principle, we may succeed onward in a potential infinity but at no particular stage will we exhaust such.

    However, if our cosmos and any prior q-foam etc were a thermodynamically isolated system, in finite time we would arrive at heat death due to dissipation of energy concentrations. Here, ponder the fate of the stars, generally 10^25 s is suggested as lifespan, about 50 million times the span typically suggested since the singularity.

    Here, white dwarfs will cool down.

    We may thus confidently accept that past time was finite, there was a beginning to our world and/or its quantum foam antecedents or whatever, if such ever find actual empirical support.

    This, is a consequence of the nature of time as a cosmological entity, and due to the logic of structure and quantity as an expression of logic of being. Aka, Mathematics.

    KF

  222. 222
    jerry says:

    you are defining integer in your own idiosyncratic way, which is incorrect

    I’m defining it in the only way that makes sense in the real world.

    but in the (to you imaginary) world of mathematics there are negative integers. I’m not quite sure why you keep bringing this up

    So are pink weightless elephants in the imaginary world.

    Everyone knows my position on the usefulness of these concepts. Just that when they are applied to the real world, they have no exemplars.

    If they do, what are they?

    Somehow time and negative integers are intermingled. One has nothing to do with the other especially when it seems like the objective to use one with the other.

    My guess is that everyone can play their silly games, but it seems they are being used in an attempt to influence people’s perception of truth when they have nothing to do with the truth.

  223. 223
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus,

    However, if our cosmos and any prior q-foam etc were a thermodynamically isolated system, in finite time we would arrive at heat death due to dissipation of energy concentrations. Here, ponder the fate of the stars, generally 10^25 s is suggested as lifespan, about 50 million times the span typically suggested since the singularity.

    Yes, exactly. And 10^25 s is the briefest blink of an eye in time relative to an infinite timescale. Thus, by far, the probable state of the universe should be heat death, where there are no stars and there’s no usable energy.

    And to claim that the past was infinite means that space-time was infinite in the past, leaving no antecedent except heat death and no natural cause except a magical probability of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe type involving surprised blue whales suddenly appearing in space and meeting its demise seconds later.

    In such a scenario, causality would last no longer than the lifespan of any virtual particle, and there still would be no explanation for why space-time exists as a probability field.

    -Q

  224. 224
    Querius says:

    Jerry @222,

    My guess is that everyone can play their silly games, but it seems they are being used in an attempt to influence people’s perception of truth when they have nothing to do with the truth.

    Sadly, a great point and well stated! What you’re describing is technically termed “a lie” or “a deception.”

    -Q

  225. 225
    EDTA says:

    VL @ 194,

    But that sort of points to the possible circularity his critic mentioned: if he is implicitly assuming that time doesn’t map to the entirety of the integers, then he is possibly building his conclusion into his premises, because the finite nature of the number of days is exactly what he is trying to prove. And if he is using the integers to index the days, as he appears to be doing, at what point, and how, and with what justification does he disallow the entirety of the negative integers from the situation?

    He does make use if the integers, but I don’t see any assumptions about time mapping exactly to the integers, or not mapping to the integers. He uses the integers, and uses a subset of them, which avoids embedding assumptions about strict finiteness, or infiniteness, which is exactly what he should have done. Without either of those assumptions, he finds a contradiction only about time, not about the integers. He is also not concluding that there is a smallest integer, nor can his argument (to my knowledge) be parodied to conclude that there is a smallest integer.

    Perhaps you can strike up a conversation with him on-line and put these doubts to him.

  226. 226
    jerry says:

    There is no smallest integer: the integers have no beginning

    I believe 1 is the smallest integer.

    I know this has been discussed ad nauseam. But why the continual bringing up imaginary concepts.

  227. 227
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, EDTA. I’m baffled how he can separate assumptions about time from his use of the integers for indexing the days, but I’m not going to pursue it further, and certainly wouldn’t try to discuss it with Waters, so I’ll let the matter drop.

  228. 228
    Viola Lee says:

    Jerry, “My guess is that everyone can play their silly games, but it seems they are being used in an attempt to influence people’s perception of truth when they have nothing to do with the truth.”

    Jerry, am I one of, or perhaps the main one of, the “everyone” to whom you refer?

  229. 229
    Fred Hickson says:

    Viola Lee writes:

    Jerry, am I one of, or perhaps the main one of, the “everyone” to whom you refer?

    I like Jerry. You must understand his sense of humour. He can be overly subtle.

    I enjoy your contributions too.

  230. 230
    Querius says:

    Jerry @226,

    I believe 1 is the smallest integer.

    I’m sure this is beside the point, but you’re probably thinking of counting numbers. Integers are positive, negative and 0. Rounded-off distances, velocities (not speed), accelerations, temperatures (C or F), and balances in overdrawn checkbooks can all be represented by integers: positive, negative, or zero.

    Please look up the definition of integer.

    In addition, so-called imaginary numbers can play an important role in electrical engineering and physics.

    -Q

  231. 231
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, imaginary numbers with reals allow us to represent 2-d vectors, integers are already 1-d vectors.[+/- gives directionality] . . . that then leads to rotation, oscillations and waves, all very real phenomena. KF

  232. 232
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, smallest has two senses. In magnitude the smallest integer is zero, algebraically, there is no definable most negative integer, that is finite. Which goes back to traversing in finite steps issues as I drew out earlier this afternoon. I am now back from an afternoon presentation. KF

  233. 233
    jerry says:

    I’m sure this is beside the point, but you’re probably thinking of counting numbers

    You mean integers

    When you can point to -2 anywhere, I would love to see it. Zero is all around, zero of a gazillion things. It’s amazing how they all can fit into my hand. Then I go into the next room and there are a gazillion more zeros of things.

    They’re everywhere. But no -2s or even a -1.

  234. 234
    Querius says:

    Jerry,

    I’m looking at the markings of my thermometer on the outside wall of my house. I see negative integers and zero on it.

    Please check out the definition of integer: https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/integer.html

    -Q

  235. 235
    jerry says:

    I see negative integers and zero on it.

    Great!

    Is that Celsius, Fahrenheit or Kelvin? What you are looking at is a symbol for vibration of matter. The negative integers you see just represent a positive number that’s lower than another positive number.

    I can write -2 on a piece of paper. Does not point to anything real.

    Aside: I have been down this road hundreds of times. I have logic on my side.

    At no time do I disparage the use of these concepts as extremely advantageous to a better life. It’s just that something that extremely useful gets turned into something that does not exist in the real world.

  236. 236
    Querius says:

    Jerry,

    Please. Just look at the definition of the word integer: https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/integer.html

    The thermometer I’m looking at is marked in degrees Fahrenheit and certainly not in Kelvin or Rankin. Fortunately, the current air temperature is not below zero!

    -Q

  237. 237
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, complex numbers and integers are cases of vectors, quantities where size and direction are relevant. Ten miles north is not as ten miles south, indeed the second can reverse the effect of the first displacement. Similarly, having $25,000 credit in your account is very different from having that much in overdraft; an economic and financial reality. Indeed that much would be required to get to zero balance and another like sum to get back to that balance. KF

  238. 238
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    I of course, point to my 221, just above, and on points from your 209″

    >>KF writes, “No beginning implies a transfinite past, a beginning implies a finite past.”>>

    1: This means, an ACTUAL past without a beginning will have cumulative finite stages to now constituting a mapping to the negative integers [and of course some positive ones, e.g. the singularity is an apt zero] and no finite actual past stage — year for convenience — k’ swill not be exceeded by onward stages without further limit by any finite value.

    2: This is the precise required character.

    >>No.>>

    3: This fails to agree with the relevant reason.

    >>1. The distance from every integer to any other integer is finite.>>

    4: I could quibble that first hyperintegers are valid, but that is just to emphasize that you are identifying integers that are specifically at finite remove.

    5: This is a quarter story, any two finite integers we may describe or represent, z1 and z2, can and will be exceeded on the relevant side going away from zero without definable finite limit.

    6: This is why it is important to reckon with the ellipses and what they mean, they bind us to finitude of particular cases we map, but also to onward cases without limit.

    7: Where, the metric involved is precisely numbers of years, so finitude of spans between z1 and z2 also comes with there are onward cases without limit.

    8: That is part of why attempts to assert a past without a beginning constitute such an extraordinary, bizarre claim that implies traversal of a transfinite span, not due to particular identified cases but due to the inherent onwardness.

    >>2. There is no smallest integer: the integers have no beginning.>>

    9: Which leads to what I just pointed out and the relevant metric is years count, where the required count is of years past without a beginning up to now

    >>Therefore, the integers having no beginning does not imply that there is ever an infinite distance between two integers.>>

    10: This comes down to, what is the implied metric? The answer is P, years count from the total past to now, which is being claimed as without a beginning.

    11: Where, in 221 above I showed that the negative integers are of order type w, thus cardinality aleph null. Thus, we have a metric for infinite past that reckons with the key structural element, the transfinite ellipsis.

    12: In short the proper metric is P, years to date including the ellipses beyond any particular z1 and z2.

    >>You are correct that an actual infinite set of integers can not be exhausted, in your words, by any accumulative process.>>

    13: In short, traversal of a transfinite span cannot be effected by cumulative finite stage steps. Where the ellipsis is there to tell us that the Integers have that character.

    >> But having no beginning is different than saying the entire infinite set has been instantiated.>>

    14: Nope, the character of years is that they are countable and cumulative to date. As integers, discrete, so count by comparison to N is an appropriate metric and clipping from 221 we see:

    w [omega] is the order type of the naturals constructed as ordinals, and N has cardinality, aleph-null.

    Now, let us do a comma separated value construction of a wx3 matrix, pardon limitations of Word Press:

    {0: , 0 –>1 , 1 –> -1
    1: , 2 –> 2 , 3 –> -2
    2: , 4 –> 4, 5 –> -3
    . . . , . . . , . . .
    w: , w , w’}

    Where clearly w + w’ = 0, as can be seen by decimation of the rows.

    We here see next, that the naturals, the integers, the evens and the odds as well as the negatives all have order type w. Where, a basic definition of a transfinite set is that a proper subset can be placed in 1:1 correspondence with the whole. Thus, the integers and particularly the negative integers can be seen to be transfinite, with the counting numbers as a metric.

    Therefore, to claim that past finite stages of time that cumulate to now are without beginning, thus can be mapped to the set of the negative integers exhaustively, is to imply that the traverse from the remote pass to now is transfinite. Implicitly, transfinite.

    That such a span cannot be traversed in cumulative, finite stage steps should be obvious and should be acknowledged.

    15: Y, years to date with 0 at singularity, on assertion that it is without beginning would have, say 13.8 BY R-ward of 0, and an unlimited number L-ward. That is, the L-ward part maps Z- and the metrics apply.

    16: Again, the transfinite continuation ellipses count.

    17: Wolfram Alpha:

    https://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=order+type

    Every totally ordered set (A, LTE) is associated with a so-called order type. Two sets A and B are said to have the same order type iff they are order isomorphic (Ciesielski 1997, p. 38; Dauben 1990, pp. 184 and 199; Moore 1982, p. 52; Suppes 1972, pp. 127-129). Thus, an order type categorizes totally ordered sets in the same way that a cardinal number categorizes sets. The term is due to Georg Cantor, and the definition works equally well on partially ordered sets.
    The order type of the negative integers is called * ?, although Suppes calls it ?*. The order type of the rationals is called eta. Some sources call the order type of the reals theta, while others call it lambda.

    Where toohttps://www.wolframalpha.com/input?i=transfinite+induction

    Transfinite induction, like regular induction, is used to show a property P(n) holds for all numbers n. The essential difference is that regular induction is restricted to the natural numbers Z, which are precisely the finite ordinal numbers. The normal inductive step of deriving P(n + 1) from P(n) can fail due to limit ordinals.
    Let A be a well ordered set and let P(x) be a proposition with domain A. A proof by transfinite induction uses the following steps:
    1. Demonstrate P(0) is true.
    2. Assume P(b) is true for all bLTa.
    3. Prove P(a), using the assumption in (2).
    4. Then P(a) is true for all a element A.
    To prove various results in point-set topology, Cantor developed the first transfinite induction methods in the 1880s. Zermelo extended Cantor’s method with a “proof that every set can be well-ordered, ” which became the axiom of choice or Zorn’s Lemma. Transfinite induction and Zorn’s lemma are often used interchangeably, or are strongly linked. Hausdorff was the first to explicitly name transfinite induction.

    18: See 221 for the relevant order types.

    KF

  239. 239
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I tried to add a comment on the number line, refused. I reconstruct.

    In effect when our HS teachers draw number lines with arrows pointing to infinity, it is better to see them as implying R* not R, embracing transfinite hyperreals and Robinson’s tamed infinitesimals. Where, any vector 0 –> r can become infinitesimally altered by shifting the infinitesimals cloud *0* to the tip, by 1-d vector addition. Thus r + dr, beloved from Calculus is in the infinitesimally altered r zone.

    Yes, I am highlighting that reals, like integers, are vectors with size and direction.

    Once we embrace R* we see that R is structurally locked in as expressing finite values within a fuzzy macro border zone beyond which lie the transfinites. Positive hyperreals:

    0* ——–>*r* ——- . . . —H ——>

    Where H beyond the ellipsis is the transfinite zone and 0* embraces the infinitesimals.

    The other side L-ward is just a mirror image.

    KF

  240. 240
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2, mapping where we are, we are on a tangent as an objector tried to re open the debates across three years on inherent finitude of the past. This connects to the issue of a beginning. We see that both thermodynamically and structurally, a finitely remote beginning stage is well warranted not only from the singularity but even on a speculative quasi physical extension such as a quantum foam with cosmi as fluctuation bubbles. Of course, that is philosophy there is no actual empirical evidence of such a multiverse. But, the urge to get rid of a credible beginning has been there ever since Einstein’s surprise that General Relativity expects an expanding cosmos. KF

  241. 241
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N3, 211 is updated fixing what WP cannot read. long minuses and less than equals. KF

  242. 242
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “we are on a tangent as an objector tried to re open the debates across three years on inherent finitude of the past.”

    No, KF, you “opened the debate” at 129 when you wrote, ” Traversal of the transfinite in finite steps is an infeasible supertask, a matter we hammered out here over three years.”

    I responded because of your mischaracterization: at 131 I replied, “KF, no one ever said that you could “traverse the transfinite in finite steps.” That didn’t need to “get hammered out.” That’s obvious.”

    Then at 148, 149, and 150 you made more comments addressed to me.

    So don’t blame me for “opening the debate.”

  243. 243
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    an objector tried to re open the debates across three years on inherent finitude of the past

    The debate was reopened with the discussion of negative numbers which are proposed as a model of a beginningless sequence where any two numbers selected have a finite distance between them, and this is a placeholder for the traversal of an infinite sequence.
    Otherwise, why is the math discussion relevant to anything.
    A: Negative numbers do not represent reality.
    B: Yes, true, but negative numbers are a sequence with no beginning and we can select a number ….
    A: But negative numbers do not represent reality.
    B: Of course, but they are a sequence with no beginning.
    A: But they cannot represent what is real
    B: I’m not interested in reality, only math

  244. 244
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @243,

    Haha! Maybe we should just cut to the chase with minimalist statements.

    Q: But we choose what math models reality sufficiently for our purposes.

    -Q

  245. 245
    Viola Lee says:

    And I agree with Q 100% on that in respect to applying math to reality. There is lots of math that has value and interest for its own sake, but if we want to apply it we create and test models that we have mapped to reality.

  246. 246
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Exactly! It’s been a game where the rules are changed as it is played.

  247. 247
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, Integers are vectors, as are reals and signed rationals. That is they express size and direction. This is part of the logic of structure and quantity of any possible world. Ten miles North is not equivalent to ten miles South, and this is as embedded into reality as anything else. A gallon of gas as physical quantity has size but not direction but transactions where one owes $21.25 EC for having just bought but not yet paid for a gallon do have a financial analogue of direction. I have already shown at 221 that the negative integers are transfinite of order type w, cardinality aleph null, and so any suggested model of the past which tries to represent that at any k’ there are any number of onward finite stages, years for convenience, is an attempt to model and map the claimed beginningless past to a transfinite set. Thus, the challenge of infeasibility of stepwise, cumulative, finite stage traversal of the traversal of the transfinite applies. See https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lfp-55-defining-clarifying-intelligent-design-as-inference-as-theory-as-a-movement/#comment-752456 That is, on logic of being considerations tied to structure and quantity, aka mathematics, the past of our causal temporal thermodynamic domain is inherently finite even as in principle its future may accumulate without limit but at any particular stage cumulative time would be finite. Potential as opposed to actualised transfinite. Where the metric is the count of stages as we see from a calendar. KF

  248. 248
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, kindly note 247 to SA at 243, and onward 221 https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/lfp-55-defining-clarifying-intelligent-design-as-inference-as-theory-as-a-movement/#comment-752456 KF

    PS, summarising accurately the result of a debate as warranted on substance is not re opening debate. I simply stated what was established and have again needlessly been dragged through outlining why it is established.

  249. 249
    Viola Lee says:

    If we consider the integers, the negative integers are just like the positive ones: they extend indefinitely (that is, accumulate without limit) although in doing so neither the positive nor the negative integers can accumulate to an actualized infinity. The positive integers are a potential infinity without an end and the negative integers are a potential infinity without a beginning.

    The issue here is an old one, going back to Aristotle: a potential vs an actualized infinity. An actualized infinity can only be considered as existing, in whatever way it might be said to exist, as a complete whole: you can’t build an actualized infinity through any type of accumulation, such as by adding elements one-by-one in stepwise fashion.

    That’s just mathematics.

  250. 250
    Viola Lee says:

    And, KF, I simply stated that your summary was inaccurate, in one short sentence. See 131.

    And nobody has “dragged you through” anything.

    You’ve chosen to respond. If you want to keep the discussion going, keep posting. If you don’t want to keep it going, quit posting. You’re in charge of yourself, so don’t keep blaming/accusing other people as if we were responsible for your behavior.

  251. 251
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, first, as I just noted, the beginningless past succession of stages clearly implies traversal of a transfinite in finite steps, of order type omega. I again point to 221. This was hammered out across three years. Your repeated claims notwithstanding, the matter was settled years ago now, was it 2019. Above at 221 I have taken time to explicitly show how the claimed or suggested traversal of Z- is necessarily a claim to traversal of a transfinite span of order type w:

    let us do a comma separated value construction of a wx3 matrix, pardon limitations of Word Press:

    {0: , 0 –>1 , 1 –> -1
    1: , 2 –> 2 , 3 –> -2
    2: , 4 –> 4, 5 –> -3
    . . . , . . . , . . .
    w: , w , w’}

    Where clearly w + w’ = 0, as can be seen by decimation of the rows.

    We here see next, that the naturals, the integers, the evens and the odds as well as the negatives all have order type w. Where, a basic definition of a transfinite set is that a proper subset can be placed in 1:1 correspondence with the whole. Thus, the integers and particularly the negative integers can be seen to be transfinite, with the counting numbers as a metric.

    Therefore, to claim that past finite stages of time that cumulate to now are without beginning, thus can be mapped to the set of the negative integers exhaustively, is to imply that the traverse from the remote pass to now is transfinite. Implicitly, transfinite.

    That such a span cannot be traversed in cumulative, finite stage steps should be obvious and should be acknowledged. However, given the open or veiled acerbity that has generated a toxic climate surrounding origins in general and UD in particular, let us note for the simple case of counting onward from some k and its complement k’, again using a matrix:

    0: , k+0 , k’-0
    1: , k+1 , k’-1
    2: , k+2 , k’-2
    . . . , . . ., . . .
    w: , k+w , k’ – w}

    That is, counting on beyond any k we state or represent in N, with k’ in Z-, will continue transfinitely of order type w, just as for the col 1 case k = 0. This of course reflects the same transfiniteness. It also means that at any finite stage k, or k’ we may go on from there as though we had just begun.

    A labour of Sisyphus.

    This is how the futile supertask I have often spoken of arises.

    Following up, once one claims, suggests or implies or just invites the supposition that for any past year [for convenience] k’ that has a negative value, e.g. effectively years BC or we could set singularity as zero point, that beyond k’ there are any number of further past actual years, one may properly be taken as proposing that the deep past of origins is transfinite, maps to Z- exhaustively, is of order type w. So, with years count as relevant metric, implicitly transfinite.

    It is therefore, again, a warranted conclusion, that proponents or enablers of claims of a beginningless past are advocating or enabling the claim, that a transfinite traversal of order type w has occurred as our actual past. But such traversal is an infeasible supertask so we may freely infer it never happened. That is, the causal temporal thermodynamic domain we inhabit and/or antecedents such as a q-foam with fluctuations, etc, had a definite beginning. This, even without being able to put a particular value now that q-foams etc have been used to inject a non-empirical extension of the claimed past beyond the singularity.

    That’s philosophy dressed up in a lab coat and it is in order to apply logic of being considerations.

    KF

    PS, the dragging continues. I am not going to let a mischaracterisation stand without at least making a statement for record.

  252. 252
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I find from the thread of three years ago this month:

    >>48
    kairosfocus
    April 18, 2019 at 1:11 am (Edit)

    F/N: The core issue being raised to WLC, which he is answering:

    (P) IF (i) the temporal series of all past events is actually infinite in its duration (as measured by equal temporal intervals), THEN (ii) there COULD be some mind/clock/counting machine/computer/angel/god which would SUCCESSIVELY pair all the past equal intervals (say, seconds) to all negative whole numbers in the corresponding order.

    Notice, this would imply that the past countable stages are of order w, where any particular definite stage -k will be a corresponding count of magnitude k in the past. Where of course, { . . . -k, . . . -2, -1, 0} is transfinite leftwards. Consequently, it is implied that at any -k finitely removed from us, the transfinite causal-temporal succession of stages up to -k in the past has already happened; as can be seen by taking a leftward mirror of the pink vs blue ribbon tapes in the OP. Craig goes on to summarise:

    The only hope for proponents of the infinite past is to insist that the series of past events has the order type ?* so that every event lies at only a finite distance from the present. In that way, forming an infinite past by successive addition doesn’t involve, they claim, traversing an infinite distance.

    Now, let us note his comment on a related question:

    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/is-a-beginningless-past-actually-infinite/

    . . . It might be said that at least there have been past events, and so they can be numbered. But by the same token there will be future events, so why can they not be numbered? Accordingly, one might be tempted to say that in an endless future there will be an actually infinite number of events, just as in a beginningless past there have been an actually infinite number of events. But in a sense that assertion is false; for there never will be an actually infinite number of events, since it is impossible to count to infinity. The only sense in which there will be an infinite number of events is that the series of events will go toward infinity as a limit.

    But that is the concept of a potential infinite, not an actual infinite. Here the objectivity of temporal becoming makes itself felt. For as a result of the arrow of time, the series of events later than any arbitrarily selected past event is properly to be regarded as potentially infinite, that is to say, finite but indefinitely increasing toward infinity as a limit. The situation, significantly, is not symmetrical: as we have seen, the series of events earlier than any arbitrarily selected future event cannot properly be regarded as potentially infinite. So when we say that the number of past events is infinite, we mean that prior to today ?0 events have elapsed. But when we say that the number of future events is infinite, we do not mean that ?0 events will elapse, for that is false. [emphasis mine]

    Similarly, another question poses:

    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/forming-an-actual-infinite-by-successive-addition/

    . . . I have a question concerning one of the philosophical arguments you offer in support of the view that the universe began to exist, namely the argument from the impossibility of forming an actual infinite by successive addition. You set up the argument as follows:

    1. A collection formed by successive addition cannot be actually infinite.
    2. The temporal series of past events is a collection formed by successive addition.
    3. Therefore, the temporal series of past events cannot be actually infinite.

    This argument exposes a feature in the notion of an infinite series of events that I find bewildering. To set the situation up, we’ll assume the past is infinite. By virtue of a tensed conception of time, every event in the infinite past up to the present was a real event that had to be “lived” through. But, if that’s the case, how could all those events have been lived through, one by one, up till now? Just how, exactly, could we reach the end of that beginningless series? How could the present event arrive if, before it could arrive, an infinite number of previous events had to arrive first?

    Like I said, this seems very puzzling. But I can’t quite put my finger on why. Is it simply that, on an intuitive level, I find the idea of traversing a beginningless series absurd? As you wrote in your reply to John Taylor, “The question is whether an infinite series of events, having no beginning and having an ending in the present, is metaphysically possible given a tensed view of time. Intuitively, this does not seem possible, for it seems that the present event could not arrive if its arrival had to be preceded by the successive arrival of an infinite number of prior events.” [“A Swift and Simple Refutation of the Kalam Cosmological Argument?” Religious Studies 35 (1999): 57-72. Footnote 26] This is exactly what impels me to accept the argument. But is there a way to analyze our intuition more deeply to find out exactly why such a traversal is impossible? Or is it somehow non-analyzable?

    The “traditional objection” to this argument is that it is only impossible to traverse infinity if one begins at some point. But, whatever this reply manages to do, it doesn’t seem to rebut our intuition or reduce the apparent absurdity engendered by the situation; after considering the objection, I’m still genuinely perplexed as to how such a traversal could happen.

    In his answer we find:

    . . . In the case of beginning with some finite quantity and adding finite quantities to it we can pinpoint the problem clearly: since any finite quantity plus another finite quantity is always a finite quantity, we shall never arrive at infinity even if we keep on adding forever. Infinity in this case serves merely as a limit which we never attain.

    What becomes truly puzzling, even mind-boggling, is the suggestion that we can, by adding only finite quantities, form an infinite quantity or collection–say, a certain collection of baseball cards–by never beginning but ending at some time! Here the impossibility cannot be analyzed as due to the impossibility of adding finite quantities to finite quantities and getting an infinite quantity, for in this case the quantity to which finite additions are being made is always and already infinite. We are successively adding finite quantities to an already infinite quantity, so of course the sum is an infinite quantity. Here infinity is not functioning as a mere limit but as a collection of concrete elements.

    Now notice that one still hasn’t explained how we are able to form our infinite collection of baseball cards by successive addition. For at any time in the past the collection is already infinite, and yet the total collection has not yet been formed . . . . Here’s the problem, it seems to me: in order for the collection [of an infinite number of successively added baseball cards] to be completed, we must have already enumerated, one at a time, an infinite number of previous cards. But before the final card could be added, the card immediately prior to it would have to be added; and before that card could be added, the card immediately prior to it would have to be added; and so on ad infinitum. So one gets driven back and back into the infinite past, making it impossible for any card to be added to the collection . . . .

    About the best that the critic of the argument can do at this point, I think, is to say that if one adds cards at a rate of, say, one card per second, then the collection can be completed because there has been an infinite number of seconds in the beginningless past. But clearly this response only pushes the problem back a notch: for the question then is, how can the infinite collection of past seconds be formed by successive addition? For before the present second could elapse, the one before it would have to elapse, and so on, as before. Because the problem is applicable to time itself, it cannot be resolved by appealing to infinite past time.

    Of course, proponents of a static or tenseless theory of time will deny that moments of time really do elapse, but then their objection is actually to premiss (2), not premiss (1).

    If one is not yet convinced by this argument, then I would offer a further defense of premiss (1) by arguing that if an actual infinite could be formed by succesive addition, then various absurditites would result . . . .

    Suppose we meet a man who claims to have been counting down from infinity and who is now finishing: . . ., -3, -2, -1, 0. We could ask, why didn’t he finish counting yesterday or the day before or the year before? By then an infinite time had already elapsed, so that he should already have finished. Thus, at no point in the infinite past could we ever find the man finishing his countdown, for by that point he should already be done! In fact, no matter how far back into the past we go, we can never find the man counting at all, for at any point we reach he will already have finished. But if at no point in the past do we find him counting, this contradicts the hypothesis that he has been counting from eternity. This shows again that the formation of an actual infinite by never beginning but reaching an end is as impossible as beginning at a point and trying to reach infinity.

    Thus, we see in effect a begging of the question by inferring that at any -k prior no now (set that n = 0), the succession involving the transfinite has already occurred. But, that was the problem, how is that so, how could it be feasible without a duration between some past actual stage Q and n being itself transfinite thus IMPLICITLY — as opposed to explicitly — requiring traversing a transfinite in successive steps? Saying that there is an infinity of finite succession, with the duration between any two events or stages t1 and t2 being finite only, seems to be dubious, even contradictory.

    I think instead, it is first reasonable to argue that we have no warrant to claim a transfinite actual past that would not involve an actually transfinite duration to now. Where, that would imply precisely the spanning the transfinite duration in successive stages that is a supertask. Instead, it seems to me, we are only warranted to speak of a finite span of succession between any two stages t1 and t2. This, implying that we are warranted only to speak of a finite actual past, and of course of a potentially infinite future (ignoring for the moment the heat death issue).>>

  253. 253
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “VL, first, as I just noted, the beginningless past succession of stages clearly implies traversal of a transfinite in finite steps.”

    It “clearly implies” that to you, but that’s because you find what you’re looking for rather than paying attention to what is actually said by someone else.

    I’ve made a clear distinction between the potential infinity produced by the negative numbers continuing indefinitely, with no beginning, and the incapability of that process to produce an actual, completed infinity.

    I took a very quick look at the old thread you posted, and saw this exchange early in the comments:

    ET: But please do tell how we can reach the present from an infinite past.

    DaveS: I didn’t claim to have such an argument. Let’s have no burden-shifting in this thread, please.

    That’s what’s going on here. I say one thing, and you say I implied something else. Well, I’m not obligated to accept what you think I implied, or suggested, or invited the supposition of or enabled the claim of or whatever vague terms you use to “burden-shift” the discussion. I’m only obligated to take responsibility for what I am actually saying, not for your Quixotic suppositions that what I am saying actually implies the opposite of what I say.

    Here’s another example: you write, “Therefore, to claim that past finite stages of time that cumulate to now are without beginning, thus can be mapped to the set of the negative integers exhaustively.”

    No. I have clearly said, and it is mathematically true, that the process of continuing indefinitely DOES NOT and CANNOT exhaust the entire set of negative integers. That’s mathematically true, and you know it.

  254. 254
    jerry says:

    How many angels can dance on the point of a pin?

    Quantum Gravity Treatment of the Angel Density Problem

    We derive upper bounds for the density of angels dancing on the point of a pin. It is dependent on the assumed mass of the angels, with a maximum number of 8.6766*10exp49 angels at the critical angel mass (3.8807*10exp-34 kg).

    If the angels dance very quickly and in the same direction, then the angular momentum could lead to a situation like the extremal Kerr metric, where no event horizon forms (this could also be achieved by charging the angels). Hence the number of dancing angels that can crowd together is likely much higher than the number of stationary angels.

    https://improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume7/v7i3/angels-7-3.htm

    Let the debate begin!

  255. 255
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, inference is personal, implication is objective. The description of a beginningless succession of years maps to the pattern of negative integers, which is transfinite of order type w. Beyond any k’ = [k+0]’ , we have [k+1]’ [k+2]’ and so forth without limit; to see Z- simply set k’ = 0. That precisely maps. At this point, it is clear where the weight on merits is, once the no beginning, plus year by year or stage by stage succession to today claim is made; where kindly note the metric, the same as in our calendar, which is an ordinal succession with zero point at approximate time of Jesus’ birth . . . notice how years BC descend to the zero point then ascend to now the twenty-FIRST century. Thus, my, go look at the calendar. As for setting zero at the singularity, much the same . . . except the onward is speculative not observational. A beginningless past of years etc, therefore implies exhaustion of Z-, and transfinite succession of order w, which is infeasible . . . to make it explicit. As I said, this was settled years ago. KF

  256. 256
    Viola Lee says:

    No, I’m sure this was not “settled years ago”. I seriously doubt that the people you were discussing with then went away saying, “Oh, KF is right!” In fact, from a very quick scroll through the thread you posted I see much that is similar to this thread: lots of tangents and lack of agreement about what is being discussed, including some frustration about not being able to focus on narrowing down the actual topic.

    So, no, the subject was not settled years ago.

  257. 257
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, objective warrant is not to be equated with willingness to agree. KF

  258. 258
    Viola Lee says:

    And who is to judge that your idea of what is objectively warranted is correct and mine isn’t, or vice versa. You don’t just get to declare this issue settled because you think you have provided “objective warrant” and someone else hasn’t. I’ve provided mathematically true statements that provide “objective warrant” for the distinctions that I’ve made. I think my objective warrant is valid, and yours isn’t. Therefore, there is disagreement, as there was in the thread from 2019.

  259. 259
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Kairosfocus
    VL, objective warrant is not to be equated with willingness to agree. KF

    …or with willingness to appear more mannered , courteous and considerate than those unrespectful Christians . “Peace worth 4 times more than justice”(a saint ) …except peace in falsehood worth nothing, it’s hypocrisy . If you say to a man that he is a woman if he thinks so this is not respect ,you hurt even more his already damaged mental health. Same thing with saying that all religions are the same , playing a false reconciliatory agent.

  260. 260
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the logic of structure and quantity decides. And the logic of the calendar has spoken. KF

  261. 261
    Viola Lee says:

    I am mathematically correct about the integers, so I have the logic of structure and quantity supporting my position.

  262. 262
    jerry says:

    structure and quantity

    What structure? What quantity?

  263. 263
    Viola Lee says:

    I have no idea what the calendar has to do with the integers, other than years are one real-world application of using integers, as are seconds, weeks, and any other measure of time. But when I talk about the integers they are just uniform, discrete elements of the number system: there is no need to think of them as any specific unit of time as I am just talking about pure mathematics, not time.

  264. 264
    Fred Hickson says:

    Viola, you are making the mistake of taking Jerry seriously. He’s joshing with you.

  265. 265
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, how are years AD and BC enumerated? Is it by accident that BC counts down and AC up? What is the import of arguing that K years BC will always be preceded by — actual past on this assertion — by k+1, k+2 etc without limit? What is the order type of such a set as compared with say Z-? And, has it suddenly become feasible to stepwise traverse finite stages of order type w? Where, if years BC do not amount to that order type is that not tantamount to implying that actual years past BC are finite and bounded? KF

    PS, Notice, too that if two years y1 and y2 are specified, the structure of a claimed beginningless past is such that the more remote in the past years onward will always exceed it without limit. Which underscores that such a claim impliestransfinite traverse of order type w. The relevant metric being count of years. Every time we specify y1 and y2 we specify a finite subset, with the context that there are ellipses beyond. Much more can be said.

  266. 266
    Viola Lee says:

    Hi Fred. I’m not paying attention to Jerry. I did once a few days ago, but not since then.

  267. 267
    jerry says:

    He’s joshing with you

    Actually, no.

    I’m serious about this and Viola Lee knows that. I just have some embarrassing observations that run counter to the conventional wisdom on mathematics.

    And I once was extremely well educated in advanced mathematics. And support anyone interested in a career in math. It’s an extremely useful discipline.

  268. 268
    Fred Hickson says:

    All good then. Pro-tip: don’t take me seriously either. Have fun…

    And when it’s no longer fun, stop. 😉

    ETA. This was to Viola.

    PS Twelfth Night is a play I’ve seen a few times (different productions) at the RSC.

  269. 269
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, I am echoing the definition that Math is the study of the logic of structure and quantity. KF

    PS, Integers and reals are vectors similar to complex numbers. The difference is, one dimensional.

  270. 270
    Fred Hickson says:

    And I once was extremely well educated in advanced mathematics.

    Jerry you are priceless. Well worth the price of admission. 🙂

  271. 271
    jerry says:

    Math is the study of the logic of structure and quantity

    But it’s in your imagination not the real world. There’s no actual correspondence to real world entities.

    For example, there’s no example of a line let alone an actual straight line in the real world. We can imagine one in our heads and assume the imperfect connection of dots is like one, but that does not mean it actually exists. Similarly with numbers.

    But you know this because it has all been said before.

    This is all to show infinity doesn’t exist. But I have shown you a much much better proof that infinity doesn’t exists.

  272. 272
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Viola Lee
    I am just talking about pure mathematics, not time

    Oh,”Pure mathematics” …then has no relevance about the “pure quantitative realities” of our universe .But who made the sleight of hand from “pure maths” to “our universe math”?

  273. 273
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “And, has it suddenly become feasible to stepwise traverse finite stages of order type w?”

    There is no problem in traversing finite stages of a countably infinite set. Of course you can’t traverse the entire set, but you can traverse any finite subset. Therefore, for any negative integer K

    a) you can traverse stages to 0, and b

    b) there is a smaller negative integer K -1 from which you can also traverse stages to 0, with just one more step.

  274. 274
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “And, has it suddenly become feasible to stepwise traverse finite stages of order type w?”

    There is no problem in traversing finite stages of a countably infinite set. Of course you can’t traverse the entire set, but you can traverse any finite subset. Therefore, for any negative integer K

    a) you can traverse stages to 0, and b

    b) there is a smaller negative integer K -1 from which you can also traverse stages to 0, with just one more step.

  275. 275
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, there is no good reason why abstracta should not be real entities that are part of the framework of our world, deep structures and quantities that are aspects of the logic of being. Yes, our physical representations are not exact, classically the sketches used as pictorial aids in Geometry; something highlighted to us at the opening of 3rd form Geometry. However, the algebras are quite exact. And here, I begin to think the fading of Geometry in school may be part of our problem. KF

  276. 276
    jerry says:

    there is no good reason why abstracta should not be real entities that are part of the framework of our world,

    So you include pink weightless elephants too?

    How about the 8 legged ones?

    I’m being facetious to make a point. You are picking and choosing what you personally believe is relevant. But the choice is arbitrary and are not part of any actual framework. The closer they come the more useful they are but close is not the same as actual.

    Nearly all mathematics is based on concepts of infinity but we live in a discrete finite world. But again this has all been said before.

    The irony is that your assumptions are not necessary to make your basic point which I assume is that there is not an infinite past.

  277. 277
    Fred Hickson says:

    Models, Jerry. All are wrong but some are useful.

  278. 278
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the problem glided over is that if the actual past was without beginning, every member of Z- maps to a physically actualised year, which leads to spanning a cluster of years with order type w and cardinality aleph null. That is a structural problem that will not go away if one points to or symbolises years y1 and y2 and says once we make specific we can go on beyond the farthest back and keep going. Namely, the boundlessness of keeping going. This is part of why I have kept pointing to the ellipsis. As was already noted 3 years ago and beyond, the ellipsis counts. We are only warranted to speak of finite spans to the past, and to imply a finite limit as the alternative is an infeasible supertask of stepwise spanning a cluster of years of order type w. At this point, it is clear there will be no agreement but that is not because the logic of a claimed beginningless past is unclear. And not because such a suggestion would not directly lead to an infeasible supertask. Let it stand clear that those who reject a beginning find themselves step by step forced to defend increasingly bizarre claims. Meanwhile, I have plenty reason to suggest that the number line should be set in the context of the hyperreals. KF

  279. 279
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, a pink weightless elephant is an abstract concept and is quite real as that, just no physically actualised elephant can be weightless, as made of atoms. An 8-legges weightless elephant is a valid concept but elephants would normally be quadrupeds. By contrast there is no coherent concept of a nine sided hexagon or a Euclidean square circle. And more. KF

  280. 280
    jerry says:

    Let it stand clear that those who reject a beginning find themselves step by step forced to defend increasingly bizarre claims

    Yes, most definitely.

    But you haven’t touched what these bizarre claims would be. You’re fixated on something no one is going to feel is an issue.

    there is no coherent concept of a nine sided hexagon or a Euclidean square circle

    There’s no example of a hexagon, circle or square in the real world.

    Anyway – back to work. The truth will not make any difference to anyone anyway.

  281. 281
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, models in the usual sense are not the same as frameworks of structure and quantity reflecting a cluster of key necessary entities found to be framework for any possible world. That said, that necessary status allows us to freely frame abstract logic model worlds with such entities and infer validly from them to our own world. As C S Lewis noted, if he put three pennies in a drawer Monday, two more Tuesday and finds but one Wednesday, it is not a breach of the laws of Mathematics but of the laws of England. KF

  282. 282
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, First, I have also pointed out the heat death problem, and that there is an inherent problem in a claimed completed transfinite traverse is also significant. That there are no physically instantiated objects that are perfect hexagons etc does not change the validity of the abstracta etc. KF

  283. 283
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, as a different topic than the one he and I have been discussing, “That there are no physically instantiated objects that are perfect hexagons etc does not change the validity of the abstracta etc..”

    I agree with KF on this one. Pure mathematics, abstract as it may be (and imaginary, to use Jerry’s term), still is about valid things that exist as concepts.

    Tying this into our discussion, a countably infinite set such as the integers exists as a concept even though a countably infinite number of things can’t be physically instantiated.

  284. 284
    Viola Lee says:

    re 268, to Fred. Thanks for the friendly and supportive advice. I sometimes feel like I’m too sucked into a morass of a discussion to be having fun, but usually that is with topics other than math.

  285. 285
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @281,

    As C S Lewis noted, if he put three pennies in a drawer Monday, two more Tuesday and finds but one Wednesday, it is not a breach of the laws of Mathematics but of the laws of England. KF

    Haha, love it, and I’m sure Viola Lee would agree.

    -Q

  286. 286
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/281

    As C S Lewis noted, if he put three pennies in a drawer Monday, two more Tuesday and finds but one Wednesday, it is not a breach of the laws of Mathematics but of the laws of England. KF

    In other words, if such a thing happened it would be evidence of an Intelligent Thief with all that implies about its moral status.

  287. 287
    Viola Lee says:

    re 285: Yes 3 + 2 = 5, not 1. Finally something to not argue about! 🙂

  288. 288
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, yup. Also, there is another theft going on, pennies used to count for something. Inflation. But on the main point, addition and subtraction here are vector operations for a 1-d vector space. 3 + 2 – x = 1, so x = 4 and -4 is a reverse direction to +. Yes, negative values have very useful real world implications once one accepts quantities based on size with direction. Of course there didn’t orter be an x factor, which leads to a simple design inference with character implications. KF

    PS, I gather the denarius started as a silver coin, but kept getting diluted with copper; ending up as a copper coin. Inflation . . .

  289. 289
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Wikipedia’s forced concessions on time:

    Time is the continued sequence of existence and events that occurs in an apparently irreversible succession [–> that is where energy dissipation and entropy enter, thus CTThD] from the past, through the present, into the future.[1][2][3] It is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.[4][5][6][7] Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.[8]

    Time has long been an important subject of study in religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a manner applicable to all fields without circularity has consistently eluded scholars.[7][9] Nevertheless, diverse fields such as business, industry, sports, the sciences, and the performing arts all incorporate some notion of time into their respective measuring systems.[10][11][12] [–> precising definition is difficult but we form the concept naturally through living in a CTThD]

    Time in physics is operationally defined as “what a clock reads”.[6][13][14] [–> Onward, what is a clock, but a device that uses oscillatory or predictable trend processes to monitor, accumulate and indicate the lapsing of time locally, with particular reference to relativity and inertial frames of reference]

    The physical nature of time is addressed by general relativity with respect to events in spacetime. Examples of events are the collision of two particles, the explosion of a supernova, or the arrival of a rocket ship. Every event can be assigned four numbers representing its time and position (the event’s coordinates). However, the numerical values are different for different observers. [–> hence, relativity] In general relativity, the question of what time it is now only has meaning relative to a particular observer. [–> this is extended to a cosmological time index as was already noted, in effect what a suitably located and constructed standardising clock would indicate since the singularity, which ties to the thermodynamic nature of time] Distance and time are intimately related, and the time required for light to travel a specific distance is the same for all observers, as first publicly demonstrated by Michelson and Morley. General relativity does not address the nature of time for extremely small intervals where quantum mechanics holds. At this time, there is no generally accepted theory of quantum general relativity.[15]

    Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in both the International System of Units (SI) and International System of Quantities. The SI base unit of time is the second. Time is used to define other quantities, such as velocity, so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition.[16] An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is highly useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life. To describe observations of an event, a location (position in space) and time are typically noted.

    The operational definition of time does not address what the fundamental nature of it is. It does not address why events can happen forward and backward in space, whereas events only happen in the forward progress of time. Investigations into the relationship between space and time led physicists to define the spacetime continuum. General relativity is the primary framework for understanding how spacetime works.[17] Through advances in both theoretical and experimental investigations of spacetime, it has been shown that time can be distorted and dilated, particularly at the edges of black holes.

    KF

  290. 290
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: 50 from 3 years ago:

    I should note on the “arrow of time” view, the thermodynamic, temporal-causal view of what temporal succession implies or at least requires. Here, an event requires a change and some transfer of energy (which in the typical case will render the energy in the cosmos less available or at least constant, i.e. energy is always gradually dissipated from its concentrations). That is, temporal-causal succession is an energy-driven transaction that on the whole gradually deteriorates the available energy to do work, impose forced ordered motion so dW = F*dx, F being the acting force which moves or affects some entity through dx along its line of action. This is the physical concept of work and is connected to thermal energy conceived as random molecular level motions. The famous second law boils down to, energy cannot spontaneously be wholly reduced from random to ordered motion. This extends to, succession of stages and lapse of time through caused change, are rooted in energy flows and degradation. Successive stages are stages unfolding as events play out cumulatively. Where, as certain events seem quite regular (e.g. oscillatory cycles in certain masers) we may designate certain structures and linked regular, countable or continuous processes as clocks, then reckon time from their cumulative change, taking some zero-point as a reference start. Time and energetic processes are inextricably intertwined, now compounded through Einstein’s energy-time form of uncertainty and the effects of relativity including mass concentrations and distortions of the spacetime fabric. In this sense, time has a ratchet, forcing a direction of natural progress, ultimately headed for heat death it seems, if left to itself. On this, the claim, no first event, is a claim that effectively implies infinite concentrations of energy in some quasi-physical domain, presumably with our observed cosmos as a temporary bubble that will end in local ultimate degradation thus no energy available to drive clocks. Of such a quasi-physical, effectively infinite energy reservoir grand cosmos, we have no observational evidence. This is philosophy (with mathematical apparatus) not science. At that level of discourse, it is reasonable to posit the eternal deity as the infinite behind the finite that we see.

    KF

  291. 291
    Viola Lee says:

    Dang, here I am dragged into further discussion when I thought maybe this thread had died!

    KF writes at 289, “F/N: Wikipedia’s forced concessions on time”

    I have no idea what “concessions” you think were “forced”. These are just comments about time as we understand it in our universe.

    Then, at 290, from three years ago:

    On this, the claim, no first event, is a claim that effectively implies infinite concentrations of energy in some quasi-physical domain, presumably with our observed cosmos as a temporary bubble that will end in local ultimate degradation thus no energy available to drive clocks. Of such a quasi-physical, effectively infinite energy reservoir grand cosmos, we have no observational evidence. This is philosophy (with mathematical apparatus) not science. At that level of discourse, it is reasonable to posit the eternal deity as the infinite behind the finite that we see.

    Well, yes, all this talk about time “before” our universe is philosophy, not science. I agree.

    But this reminds me of a question that I’ve been pondering that is philosophy/theology, not math.

    Let us assume the existence of the eternal deity (God, for short). Can God apprehend the entire infinite set of integers? Or is the never-ending nature of the integers such that apprehending the entire set is a logical impossibility, like your frequent example of a square circle, that even God can’t accomplish?

    As I understand our disagreement about the negative integers, the heart of the matter is the difference in views between a potential infinity and an actual, completed infinity.

    The idea that the set of all integers can be considered something that exists–a set of order type w, which we now call countably infinite,–began with Cantor, who declared that as a concept, the actual, completed infinity exists. We can comprehend it, to some extent, as a concept that encompasses all the integers at once, but we can’t comprehend the entirety of its content (and possibly neither can God).

    The entire set is “the infinite behind the finite that we see”, to use KF’s phrase. Any attempt by us to comprehend the content of the set necessarily moves us from the infinite to the finite: any time we attempt to discuss building the set by accumulating more and more integers (traversing it, to use KF’s term) we are in the domain of the potential infinite, not the actual, completed infinite.

    To succinctly summarize, I emphasize the potential infinite and KF the completed infinite. I emphasize that taken from the human viewpoint (the “finite we see”, the negative integers are a potential infinity, with no beginning. KF emphasizes the God’s-eye view of the negative integers as a completed infinity. However, in my opinion, once you take that viewpoint, the idea of “traversing” is meaningless. The only way we can think of the entire set as a completed infinity is to see it as existing in its entirety, all at once, not as something that can be considered in respect to its individual components. Once you start that, you are back in the human, finite perspective of the potentially infinite.

  292. 292
    Viola Lee says:

    I’ll add that once you try to apply the God’s-eye view of the integers to the real world, you bring in all of such a god’s other omni-attributes, such as the ability to infuse the completed infinity of existence with an “effectively infinite energy reservoir” and an eternal, infinite amount of time.

  293. 293
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we see interesting questions. Can God contemplate the integers? We can. Can he contemplate not only any particular subset but each member without exception? If that is possible, it would be so, if not — and I am not trying to determine so — then God would not be able to as it would be infeasible. Just as no one including God can create a Euclidean square circle. Why, because of contradictory requisites. Is that the same as being able to span the negative integers step by step [say, year by year] to now, in causal succession? No, such a task is infeasible inherently as the product of a stepwise process just now is finite and its successor will also be finite. Time — our CTThD — is inherently bounded in the past. It may be unbounded but will only be potentially transfinite at any attainable stage in the future. Where, as a necessary and maximally great being, God’s great-making attributes would be in him to maximally compossible degree. For instance The God who is truth himself will not lie as he is also goodness himself. And more. KF

  294. 294
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @291,

    Dang, here I am dragged into further discussion when I thought maybe this thread had died!

    Well, just put a few more bullet points into it . . . (wink)

    Well, yes, all this talk about time “before” our universe is philosophy, not science. I agree.

    Time as we know it cannot have existed before space-time inflated at the big bang. Perhaps we’re limited in our universe to three linear dimensions and one time dimension (?!), but who’s to say that there aren’t more linear dimensions and multiple time dimensions?

    My favorite analogy of the latter is our experience of two (2) time dimensions that become apparent when we watch a clock the same time we download a large file. When the internet connection slows down, we experience download time going negative (adding more time to the download).

    Let us assume the existence of the eternal deity (God, for short).

    Actually, GOD in arguments is short for Greatest Ontological Deity. (smile)

    It’s highly likely that our brains are incapable of truly understanding the mind behind the biochemistry that resulted in our immune system, our epigenome, and the overwhelming multitude of biochemical cycles in life, not to mention quantum mechanics and, in your specialization, of the various incomplete (Gödel) mathematical systems that we rely on as tools.

    One of my professors in college was a brilliant mathematician who came highly recommended with the caveat that “To Dr. -, all math is obvious,” and “a prerequisite to her class should be first year German” (to help you understand her heavy accent). She was not at GOD level, but sometimes in exasperation, she would raise her arms at us saying, “Isn’t it obvious?” Presumably to GOD, all mathematical functions appear no more complex than 1 + 1 = 2 and all infinities would appear as no more challenging than our tracing along a figure 8 on its side is to us.

    In my opinion, the difference between mathematical infinities and reality is that mathematical infinities are not bounded by space-time, mass-energy, entropy, Planck length, the speed of light, information content (i.e. conjugate variables according to Heisenberg), etc.

    -Q

  295. 295
    Silver Asiatic says:

    God understands Himself since his knowledge is perfect and cannot be limited by any real thing, since He is the source of being (I Am who Am).
    Understanding Himself, means he must fully comprehend an absolute infinite in every aspect.
    If God could not fully comprehend infinity of numbers, then His knowledge of them would have to stop at some particular integer. The task would simply be to add one more.
    We ourselves, even when in heaven (trusting we arrive there) will never fully apprehend the completeness of God, but our lives will be a continual growth in knowledge, love and goodness for eternity, never exhausting the beauty of God even while being in His presence.
    That is why God wants us to know Him while on earth.

  296. 296
    Viola Lee says:

    KF, I am not quite clear about what you are saying in respect to the integers, but here is a response.

    You write, “Can he [God] contemplate not only any particular subset but each member without exception? If that is possible, it would be so, if not — and I am not trying to determine so — then God would not be able to as it would be infeasible. Just as no one including God can create a Euclidean square circle. Why, because of contradictory requisites.”

    First, it’s not a matter of being able to contemplate each member: in theory we can do that. Its a matter of being able to contemplateevery member all at once: to really apprehend the infinite set. The question, which you are justifiably agnostic about, I think, is whether it is logically impossible, or infeasible, to even think about an omniscient being being able to apprehend an actual completed infinity. Or is a completed infinity an entity who existence can only be apprehended as an abstract holistic concept but not as something with specific content, for as soon as we think of any content we are (even God would be) contemplating a potential infinity with which all we can do is consider adding to the specific content we just contemplated.

    You then write, “Is that [???] the same as being able to span the negative integers step by step [say, year by year] to now, in causal succession? No, such a task is infeasible inherently as the product of a stepwise process just now is finite and its successor will also be finite.”

    If “that” refers to a total comprehension of the complete set of integers it (is not quite clear what you mean “that” to refer to), then I agree that is not the same as being able to “span the integers step by step.” As soon as you start talking about ‘spanning” or “traversing” you are back to taking about the integers as a potential infinity, not an actual one.

    But in that case, the negative integers are just as much a potential infinity as they get smaller–they have no beginning–just as much as the positive integers are a potential infinity with no end.

  297. 297
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @295,

    Exactly. While in college, I read a book titled, “Your God is too Small.” It influenced me a lot as the title might suggest. Lately, I’ve developed a profound appreciation and wonder of the design in mind-blowing complexities such as the heritable epigenome that’s been shown, for example, to include food aversions in the offspring of rats:

    EPIGENETICS & CHROMATIN STATES – An introduction to histone modifications & gene transcription roles
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dOFztY3VJY

    -Q

  298. 298
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, at once would be irrelevant to God, being present every- where and every- when. The issue is feasibility of the contemplation similar to build a euclidean square circle. Not a possible state of affairs. If anyone can, God will; if it is not possible, God won’t. I am agnostic as to possibility. That does not prevent us from knowing that the negative integers as a whole constitute a transfinite set of order type w. Such a set cannot be traversed stepwise in stages of finite scale. Therefore, we know that it was not, leaving on the table that past actual years or the like are a finite set. The question is how far back they go, e.g. whether there was a quantum foam beyond the singularity etc. Even such, once it is causal-temporal thermodynamic, is finitely bound in the past. By contrast we know there was a necessary being root pf reality that is because non being is not viable. This is a different order of being. KF

  299. 299
    Viola Lee says:

    Leaving aside all the causal-temporal thermodynamic stuff, which is not relevant to me because I am just talking about the idea of infinity, not time as it might relate to a physical or what you call a quasi-physical reality, is not the idea that God is eternal the same as saying God exists in a completed infinity?

  300. 300
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I think I should note how calculus and antecedents cried out for infinitesimals, which in turn point to transfinite values through the 1/x catapult function. Then, from that lay out some concepts.

    There is an extension of the reals, R-bar, that incorporates points at +/- infinity, let’s call this +/- M, for Mobius, the sideways 8 symbol being a stylised Mobius strip. R-bar = R UNION {+M, -M}. We are familiar with, e.g. integrals ranging to the M points, from even Schools Calculus; this is a natural issue once Calculus is on the table.

    This of course points onward to the tamed hyperreals, where we can take up a mod to Newton’s h, apply catapult where as h is LT 1/n for any n in N we may count to, we have H = 1/h as for argument an integer greater than any n in N we can count to stepwise from 0. Where integers, finite and transfinite, milepost the extended number line continuum, the hyperreals. So, we see the hyperreals emerging as a natural extension of the reals once Calculus is fully on the table. And we need infinitesimals to handle rates of flow or change, so R* is a natural understanding of the number line as we tend to think of it.

    Where we may now move from H as an integer to K as a representative extended number line transfinite that needs not be an integer.

    K and M, obviously, invite being seen as synonyms.

    Of course, along the way we have the isomorphism between hyperreals and surreals, the later being essentially a binary stepwise construction process that captures any particular number, great or small, by a successive stepwise pincer process, that at w steps creates the full reals then keeps going without limit. We then can see how N,Z,Q,R and even C, are only one province of the family of framework quantities core to any possible world. Where, beyond N, every set’s members have size and direction so strictly they are vectors.

    Yes, +/- are directional, Virginia.

    (As in there is a real St Nick — onetime Bishop of Smyrna — and just so there is reality to negatives, and to complex values. Also, transfinites. They are natural quantities with interesting structural patterns that invite exploration and discovery. Their universality gives core Math its universal power.)

    C just goes to two dimensions and helps us capture rotation so too oscillation. imaginary is an unfortunate term.

    From that perspective, the cluster of sets just given, N,Z,Q,R,C, is a province at the w-point of surreals construction [the j axis of the complex numbers is simply R rotated by the J* operator, which doubly applied to 1 gives -1 so naturally means sqrt – 1], where the relevant span is the number continuum mileposted by N and its mirror image in 0, i.e. Z.

    Inherently, the order type of N and Z is w, and equally inherently once we have specifically transfinite integers and hyperreals they milepost, we are beyond the finite bound pattern.

    We cannot count down from the transfinites in steps mileposted by hyperintegers and we cannot count up to the transfinites in steps mileposted by finite integers. So, the intensity of debates can be toned down.

    line:

    . . . -H’- . . . -2- -1 -*0*- 1-2 . . . H . . .

    The domains, however, are unified by the surreals construction and by the 1/x catapult.

    Indeed, every point along the line, but especially zero, has a cloud of infinitesimally near values. We see that from *0* — 0 surrounded by h and kin — which can be vector added to the tip of the vector to any finite or transfinite real. This turns calculus into an extension of algebra as non standard analysis shows. It also rehabilitates Euler and so forth back to Newton and Leibniz using infinitesimals. But the taming was a major job.

    With this in hand I think we can take a much more relaxed view of N,Z,Q,R,C and R*, even opening the door to ijk vectors and to quaternions. Which last have come back into play.

    The debates of 3 to 6 years past have brought forth a basis for a fuller appreciation of the logic of structure and quantity.

    KF

  301. 301
    kairosfocus says:

    Vl, no we cannot lock out CTThD as it is the thermodynamics of energy dissipation that is at the centre of time. A temporal domain is one of physical cause involving dynamic stochastic systems and so too energy, entropy and dissipation. This can be seen locally and cosmologically. Without such a context, at least of recognising temporality and its ties to cause effect chaining thus past, present, future, we don’t have a clear conceptual beginning point. That God is core to World Zero and is necessary being entails that he is without beginning or end, is framework to any possible world, is root of reality, is transtemporal and eternal. How that is and what it fully entails, we can but see through a glass darkly for now. But the few things we can see from logic of being we do see validly. Such includes that W0 is not a thermodynamically dominated domain, so issues of a claimed completed physical infinity are not relevant. KF

  302. 302
    Viola Lee says:

    KF writes, “Vl, no we cannot lock out CTThD as it is thermodynamics of energy dissipation that is at the centre of time.”

    I can certainly choose whatever topics I wish to discuss. Metaphysical speculations about whether a quasi-physical causal-temporal thermodynamic reality with energy, entropy and dissipation exists other than in our universe is NOT one of the things I am interested in, and I can “lock it out” if I wish, which I do.

  303. 303
    Viola Lee says:

    I see, KF, that you just added to 301: “Such includes that W0 [the root of reality, I believe you refer to] is not a thermodynamically dominated domain, so issues of a claimed completed physical infinity are not relevant.”

    To the extent that this is a metaphysical speculation about the ultimate nature of whatever exists, I agree: it is very unlikely, I think, that the root of reality is anywhere close to being like our universe in terms of such physical qualities as energy, entropy, causality, and the passage of time.

    And, as I have repeatedly said, I think the general consensus is that an actual, completed infinity can not be instantiated in physical reality. My posts at 292 and 296 tried to elaborate on the difference between a potential and actual, completed infinity in purely mathematical terms, although I did bring in a hypothetical Greatest Ontological Being (God – thanks Q) in order to try to comprehend what a completed infinite set such as the set of all integers means.

  304. 304
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, when things are dynamically connected, locking them out distorts ability to soundly understand. The point is, time is a physical phenomenon intimately and inextricably entangled with energy and its dissipation, i.e. entropy and the second law. This is even present in a form reflected at microscopic level, there is an energy-time form of the uncertainty principle. The suggested but not observed pre-singularity domain would be one in which particles, virtual particles, fluctuations etc would be applicable. Where, from statistical thermodynamics, a key driver of entropy is probability associated with clusters of microstates. So, once time is invoked and in a context where such issues are in the literature, they cannot be avoided. KF

  305. 305
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, a completed set has been contemplated in terms of stepwise, finite stage traverse in our world and a possible or at least speculative q-foam extension; where stages bear tags of successive integers much as with our calendar of years. That is a mapping. Such a succession can be potentially but not actually transfinite, and here I am implying that core math is substantially an expression and extension of logic of being. That is, there is a substance we study, the logic of structure and quantity. That logic allows us to identify N,Z,Q,R,C etc and recognise that these are fabric to any possible world, any sufficiently complete statement of a possible state of affairs for this or another world. So, we can freely suggest an abstract model, infer from it and expect applicability in our world. As I showed in outline above, this also extends to R* which is not an arbitrary invention but reflects issues that seriously surfaced once calculus was on the table, especially integral calculus with ranges to infinity. We can profitably speak of finite and transfinite integers, both of which may be even or odd for example. Such milepost the extended number line, especially if we go to:

    -M_ . . . _-2_-1_*0*_1_2_ . . . M

    then:

    . . . _H’_ . . . _-2_-1_*0*_1_2_ . . . _H_ . . .

    and onward to K as discussed, K not being an integer:

    . . . _K’_ . . . _-2_-1_*0*_1_2_ . . . _K_ . . .

    This grand extension of Hyperreals maps to the surreals. Which come out as a construction similar to von Neumann.

    So we can contemplate and represent though obviously we cannot exhaustively list the sets. However, as abstracta they are fully there, available for reference and showing what are in the end logic of being requisites, resources and constraints on any possible world. Notice, not directly causal as if they were active agents.

    KF

  306. 306
    Viola Lee says:

    Warning: theological speculation: One of the possibilities is that God has been eternally present (i:e, within a completed infinity) and that one of his characteristics is to have always been creating energy which at times coalesces into a universe: that is, the “quantum foam” that you speculate might exist is itself eternal as the bottom-line expression of God’s manifestation in reality.

    Just a thought.

  307. 307
    Sandy says:

    What happens when somebody tries to make some abstract concepts of maths to fit into reality ? Modify the reality . 🙂

  308. 308
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    While in college, I read a book titled, “Your God is too Small.”

    That’s a great title – thanks! Yes, I can take it to heart myself. And also, various people here atheists or not, bring up the topic of God, but that title applies. In fact, I think atheists should take the time and effort to have a good understanding of God and to reflect on it. Too often, there are ideas about God that are far “too small” and not only don’t make any sense, but do not even match the standard theistic understandings of God. So, being an atheist on that basis is just rejecting a misunderstanding of God and not taking the time to learn what the nature of God is and the logical support we have for that understanding.
    Accept it or not, but it’s best to learn about what it actually proposed.

  309. 309
    Silver Asiatic says:

    God has been eternally present (i:e, within a completed infinity)

    Yes, because there is nothing that could limit God’s existence and there could not be “nothingness” outside of His being. So, he is a completed infinite presence unbounded and just “is” existence to the most perfect completeness of reality.

    and that one of his characteristics is to have always been creating energy

    Yes, or that “created energy” which sustains the universe is an expression of His own power which is always manifested – “shining”; as in Sanskrit “dyu”, then Greek “zeus”, Roman “Ju” (Jupiter) and “deus”.

    which at times coalesces into a universe

    Interesting concept. Open theology might say that the energy just spontaneously coalesces “without God knowing when it would happen”. But that’s hard to reconcile with an actual infinity which would include perfect knowledge of the present (since a lack of knowledge could not exist in an infinite actuality).
    The idea of a “creation act” matches with the idea that the universe was an act of love, and therefore an act of will – so God has a relationship with all that is created.

  310. 310
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,

    . . . although I did bring in a hypothetical Greatest Ontological Being (God – thanks Q) in order to try to comprehend what a completed infinite set such as the set of all integers means.

    That would be Greatest Ontological Deity (God rather than Gob). So, now take a shot at explaining a “completed infinite set of all integers” in light of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems.

    -Q

  311. 311
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @209,

    The idea of a “creation act” matches with the idea that the universe was an act of love, and therefore an act of will – so God has a relationship with all that is created.

    To try to make an analogy between us and mathematics, I’d imagine myself creating a cool infinite series, say {0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 . . .} with a “golden” application. (smile)

    Then, someone asks where I get the energy to add these numbers to the series “out of thin air” or whether I myself am present in the series or can be contained in the series or why there seems to be a -4 that was inserted in the series.

    -Q

  312. 312
    JVL says:

    Sandy: What happens when somebody tries to make some abstract concepts of maths to fit into reality ? Modify the reality

    Why don’t you take a Calculus course and find out? Or a Number Theory course. Or an Abstract Algebra course. Or a Topology course. Or a Graph Theory course (lots of modelling there). Or even a basic Statistics course.

    Heck, you don’t even have to take the courses; just go down to the bookstore for your local university or community college and buy a textbook for a particular math subject and read it. One of my favourites for applications is Differential Equations but Linear Algebra is really good too.

  313. 313
    Querius says:

    JVL @312,

    Is there anything in your comment that’s not derogatory? Sandy made an observation that the interpretation of reality is too dependent on the math used to try to describe it.

    Isn’t this exactly the point theoretical physicist, Sabine Hossenfelder, made in her book, Lost in Math?

    Here’s an interview with her on the subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SppMiRPPQ3Q

    -Q

  314. 314
    JVL says:

    Querius: Is there anything in your comment that’s not derogatory? Sandy made an observation that the interpretation of reality is too dependent on the math used to try to describe it.

    But is that correct? Sometimes scientists do look at a mathematical model and see what ramifications that model would have and do we see those ramifications in reality. It sounded to me like she was saying that the academics are too wed to their theories to be real. As is usual, the ability to predict actual, real, observable results is the goal.

    Isn’t this exactly the point theoretical physicist, Sabine Hossenfelder, made in her book, Lost in Math?

    Dr Hossenfelder has been there and experienced the actual academic and scholarly process. She doesn’t just condemn the whole process. It seemed to me that Sandy was casting all abstract and theoretical work into question. Maybe Sandy wasn’t doing that but, based on their previous comments, that’s the interpretation I came to.

    If I’m wrong then I will concede the point. Let’s hear from Sandy.

  315. 315
    Querius says:

    JVL @314,

    Thanks for replying. Yes, I have comments regarding your reply, but I’ll defer to Sandy first.

    -Q

  316. 316
    Sandy says:

    Maths is just a tool ,nothing more . I don’t worship maths or mathematicians they are no more special than an electrician or a carpenter , they do a job . I have other values that superseed maths . My problem is when a mathematician or evolutionary biologist or whatever car mechanic spin/use their knowledge (taking advantage that is not common knowledge) to push for an unfair advantage money/worldview or just for winning an argument by lying.

  317. 317
    JVL says:

    Sandy: My problem is when a mathematician or evolutionary biologist or whatever car mechanic spin/use their knowledge (taking advantage that is not common knowledge) to push for an unfair advantage money/worldview or just for winning an argument by lying.

    I’m not sure I understand what kind of situation you are referencing. Could you give an example?

  318. 318
    Sandy says:

    Actually the original message was adressed to Viola Lee that troll KF for years.

  319. 319
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sandy

    I don’t worship maths or mathematicians they are no more special than an electrician or a carpenter , they do a job .

    I agree.

    My problem is when a mathematician or evolutionary biologist or whatever car mechanic spin/use their knowledge (taking advantage that is not common knowledge) to push for an unfair advantage money/worldview or just for winning an argument by lying.

    That is very good. Again, I fully agree.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_universe_hypothesis

    I think of a mathematical genius like Blaise Pascal who knew that math was just an instrument and he knew that people would use it for their own unjust and arrogant purposes. His book Pensees, which he didn’t even intend to publish is a masterpiece, written in the simplest terms giving wisdom on life.
    That is far more important than esoteric mathematical fantasy worlds like a imaginary multiverse.

  320. 320
    JVL says:

    Sandy: Actually the original message was adressed to Viola Lee that troll KF for years.

    Okay. I was just curious. I’d like to understand what you’re thinking.

  321. 321
    Upright BiPed says:

    . Hi JVL

    Perhaps the sense of frustration many people feel towards the dishonesty and lack of integrity among the popular academic class comes from exchanges like this:

    JVL: I would not be surprised at all if we find electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings in other solar systems

    UB: How would we know if we found “electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings”? What would that be?

    JVL: Something like in the movie Contact. A signal that’s very clearly NOT produced by unguided processes. A signal which, after inspection, was shown to have compressed data.

    UB: So you accept encoded symbolic content as a universal inference to the presence of an unknown intelligence in one domain, while immediately denying that same physical evidence in another domain.

    Why the double standard?

    JVL: Because there is no plausible designer available

  322. 322
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Perhaps the sense of frustration many people feel towards the dishonesty and lack of integrity among the popular academic class comes from exchanges like this:

    Hi Upright BiPed! If you really want to hash over all that old material again than I suppose I can once again explain the reasons I responded the way I did.

    Or, perhaps, you’d like to find some more productive, common ground that we could discuss.

  323. 323
    Querius says:

    Upright BiPed @321,

    Wow, what a revealing exchange! Of course JVL doesn’t want to “rehash over all that old material again” (notice the emphatic redundancy). The exchange cuts to the heart of the OP on why ID even exists!

    Silver Asiatic @319,
    Thanks for including the link to the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis, which is compelling when one considers the profound control that information, human measurement, and free will choice have in relation to the collapse of a wavefunction and even time (as in the quantum zeno effect).

    Even Dr. Hossenfelder is honest enough to point out that whether electrons in a quantum wave state have gravity is a huge open question in quantum mechanics.

    -Q

  324. 324
    JVL says:

    Querius: Wow, what a revealing exchange! Of course JVL doesn’t want to “rehash over all that old material again” (notice the emphatic redundancy). The exchange cuts to the heart of the OP on why ID even exists!

    If you want to rehash over things I thought we had fully discussed then please, let’s do so. But since you weren’t part of the original discussion I’m not sure how productive that will be. But, if you want to, okay.

  325. 325
    Upright BiPed says:

    .
    lol oh good grief JVL. You never disappoint.

    What’s funnier? You pretending that you actually have a legitimate reason to apply an ad hoc double-standard fallacy in science —or— you threatening me with a “rehash” of our conversations?

  326. 326
    Upright BiPed says:

    Just to put JVL’s response above into perspective, particularly given the question of the frustration people have over academic dishonesty.

    From 2021…

    JVL: “I take responsibility for my actions”

    You do??

    Do you remember this double-standard fallacy?

    JVL: I would not be surprised at all if we find electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings in other solar systems

    UB: How would we know if we found “electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings”? What would that be?

    JVL: Something like in the movie Contact. A signal that’s very clearly NOT produced by unguided processes. A signal which, after inspection, was shown to have compressed data.

    UB: So you accept encoded symbolic content as a universal inference to the presence of an unknown intelligence in one domain, while immediately denying that same physical evidence in another domain.

    Why the double standard?

    JVL: Because there is no plausible designer available.

    When asked about this double-standard, you went off on a diatribe about ID folks need to name the designer!!

    When I asked you ‘who is the designer’ of your ‘signal from space’ … do you remember how you answered it?

    Suddenly you figured out that you could not answer that question without clearly demonstrating the double standard you put in place … but did you “take responsibility” for it?

    No, instead you answered “There isn’t one”. (thud)

    That’s right JVL, you were willing to say or do anything but “take responsibility” — including going into full-tilt incoherence and making a fool out of yourself.

    And just to make the point crystal clear: Will you take responsibility for this fallacy now?

    No, of course not. You have no intension of doing that, and never have had.

    How perfectly true to form. Actually acknowledging the fallacy in your reasoning is simply impossible.

  327. 327
    Querius says:

    Rather than rehashing a painfully obvious contradiction in what’s acceptable as evidence for intelligent beings or intelligent design, why not follow up with Sandy’s comment and consider the points made by Eric Hedin regarding academic denial of any science (and the mathematical underpinnings) that seem to support intelligent design?

    Eric Hedin has a PhD in Physics who got in trouble at Ball State for awhile for teaching an honors course that encouraged students to think about and discuss ontology and the limits of science.

    https://youtu.be/TA4QutvxX88?t=1473

    -Q

  328. 328
    jerry says:

    A comment made on another thread

    This has nothing to do with ID but describes an anti ID person almost perfectly.

    No effort whatsoever on her part to defend the truth of the statement, acknowledge that she made it, or show any remorse for saying something she cannot & will not defend as true,

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/another-species-of-hominin-still-alive-cue-the-flores-people/#comment-752902

  329. 329
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Sometimes it’s important not to rehash but just to remember the previous discussions …
    Thanks, UBP for reposting that.
    It’s exactly like what DogDoc was saying. He couldn’t imagine any other kind of intelligence except biological (human). But for SETI it’s ok. The same double-standard:

    So you accept encoded symbolic content as a universal inference to the presence of an unknown intelligence in one domain, while immediately denying that same physical evidence in another domain.

    Quite amazing. There’s no problem at all making the inference in one case, but it’s supposedly impossible in a parallel one because we don’t know who the designer is.

  330. 330
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed:What’s funnier? You pretending that you actually have a legitimate reason to apply an ad hoc double-standard fallacy in science —or— you threatening me with a “rehash” of our conversations?

    Threatening? Really?

    I said there were some things I would consider pretty strong evidence of some kind of design but then I also said there would have to be some kind of design candidate around at the time. Which is a perfectly reasonable approach. You can’t have design without a designer!

    How is that a double standard?

    I understand why you want to press certain perceptions as being slam dunk evidence that some kind of designer exists but I think an important question like that should be subject to strong criteria.

    You think I would just immediately accept certain detected signals as being a clear indication that they came from some kind of alien intelligence and that is not the case. I would consider any possible candidate signal as potential evidence subject to lots of intense queries and investigations.

    That’s why I don’t see what else there is to say about the issue. We’ve both had our say and I don’t see what there is to add to the discussion.

  331. 331
    JVL says:

    Querius: Rather than rehashing a painfully obvious contradiction in what’s acceptable as evidence for intelligent beings or intelligent design, why not follow up with Sandy’s comment and consider the points made by Eric Hedin regarding academic denial of any science (and the mathematical underpinnings) that seem to support intelligent design?

    Again, I don’t think there is a contradiction. I would carefully and thoroughly examine any evidence of some kind of alien intelligence especially considering whether there are possible candidates for having produced the evidence.

    I have/am attempting to follow-up on Sandy’s comments; I’ve asked for clarification. I await a reply.

    I haven’t denied anything. An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary care and consideration as anyone would expect.

    The particular question about the SETI effort . . . so far we haven’t detected any signal that is clearly and unambiguously encoded symbolic content. So, it’s important to consider another question: do we have any clear additional evidence of there being other beings capable of producing the signals we have detected? No, there is not.

    Apply that thinking to the claims for intelligent design. So far, none of the theorists working in the semiotic field have declared that the material we have discovered is unambiguously and clearly indication of design, they just haven’t supported that conclusion. So, we need to consider other possible lines of evidence for there being designers present at the time with the pertinent capabilities. And there is no such evidence.

    I will try and address any further queries but, as it is late where I live, you might have to wait a while now.

  332. 332
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    So far, none of the theorists working in the semiotic field have declared that the material we have discovered is unambiguously and clearly indication of design, they just haven’t supported that conclusion.

    Multi-level, complex functional code – in a communication circuit with logic-gates.
    That is unambiguously and clearly an indication of design.
    UBP can give you the relevant details and scholarship on that as has already been done in previous conversations.

  333. 333
    Querius says:

    Imagining a cartoon-like conversation . . .

    SETI: We have some good news and some bad news.

    JVL: What’s the good news?

    SETI: We’ve finally received a signal from space that seems to contain information that we’ve been able to decode.

    JVL: And the bad news?

    SETI: The message starts out with, “In the beginning was the Word . . .”

    SA: Hah! That is unambiguously and clearly an indication of design.

    VL: But IS this message really from the Greatest Ontological Deity?

    JVL: Yeah exactly. That’s impossible, so it can’t be!

    SETI: I have even worse news. Yes, and the additional information in the message seems to indicate that God is a mathematician.

    VL: Yay!

    JVL: No, this has absolutely GOTTA be a fraud, and if it’s real, then we’ll eventually need to find a way of proving that it can’t be from God. Oh, I know. The message musta happened purely by chance!

    Sandy: What were you saying about needing an example of academics being too wed to their theories to be real?

    JVL: Why don’t you take a Calculus course and find out? Or a Number Theory course. Or an Abstract Algebra course. Or a Topology course. Or a Graph Theory course (lots of modelling there). Or even a basic Statistics course.

    (wink)

    -Q

  334. 334
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    consider the points made by Eric Hedin regarding academic denial

    Thanks for posting that video – an excellent talk.
    I’ve been wanting to read his book. Now I will definitely get it.

  335. 335
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Q @333 Ha ha – excellent!

  336. 336
    Viola Lee says:

    Well, this thread took off in an entirely new direction, reviving what seems to an old feud from previous threads, while I was gone today. Another opportunity for me to bring my engagement to an end, but looks like I won’t! 🙂

    Back at 306 I offered a theological speculation: That the eternal Greatest Ontological Deity (thanks for the correction, Q) has also eternally manifested itself in reality by creating energy in a” quantum foam” which at times coalesces into a universe.

    SA replied at 309: “Interesting concept. Open theology might say that the energy just spontaneously coalesces “without God knowing when it would happen”. But that’s hard to reconcile with an actual infinity which would include perfect knowledge of the present (since a lack of knowledge could not exist in an infinite actuality).

    SA brings up one of the dilemmas/paradoxes/contradictions related to the concept of an omniscient deity: if the deity knows everything for the entirety of eternity, can anything really happen by chance? Just limiting our discussion to what we know about quantum mechanics in our universe, I think the consensus (or at least majority) view is that, from our perspective, true probabilistic quantum events happen without any underlying hidden cause: they happen by chance.

    Do they happen by chance from God’s perspective? That is, does does God truly let chance happen, or does he cause the chance events as he wills, but that causation is beyond our experience and comprehension, so it just looks like chance to us?

    And is there a difference between knowing that X has happened because God can see the result after the fact, so to speak, and God actually having caused the event? These questions are all involved in my theological speculation about universes arising out of the quantum foam. My speculation is that God let’s true chance happen (even though he can also see the result: there is no way around this paradox, I think) because in that way the history of a universe is not pre-determined.

    Another issue. On the one hand, the standard religious view is that there has been only one universe created, not out of the quantum foam but rather by direct creation. On the other hand, if there is “something” that is an eternal manifestation of God in reality that creates universes, either by probabilistic chance (like when an atom has a half life of a year so it has a 50% chance of decaying this year) or by some set of laws unknown to us, then, given God’s eternal presence in a completed infinity, there will have been or are or will be an infinite number of such universes. Even if universe creation has a half life of a trillion years, or a trillion trillion years, over eternity there will be an infinite number of universes.

    Or, it may be that the quantum foam doesn’t in fact create a universe unless it get a willful infusion of energy from God (that is, it doesn’t happen by chance), in which case the number of universes could range from one (ours) to infinity.

    Also, to be clear in respect to various fine-tuning arguments, it might be that all universes which arise from the quantum foam have the same fine-tuned structure, but given both the initial energy conditions and the playing out of probabilistic quantum dynamics, every universe would have a different history.

    None of these scenarios would preclude such as God from also intervening in the universes that arose, as I am not speculating that God’s manifestation in a quantum foam as the physical basis of reality is its only attribute.

  337. 337
    Viola Lee says:

    Short comment: at 310 Q wrote to me, “So, now take a shot at explaining a “completed infinite set of all integers” in light of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems.”

    I don’t think I see the connection. Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems don’t call into question established features of a logical system, such as the existence of a countably infinite set build from the counting numbers, but it does say that there may be true facts about those numbers that are nevertheless not provable.

    Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems are based on some pretty esoteric ideas about sets of sets, and while they are philosophically important, they don’t topple the foundations of the number system, or any other axiomatic system.

    That is my understanding, at least.

    So maybe you can explain why the idea of a complete infinity, a la Cantor, is jeopardized by Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems.

  338. 338
    Fred Hickson says:

    *cough* RNA World *cough*

  339. 339
    Upright BiPed says:

    JVL @ 330

    How is that a double standard?

    There is no need to be deceptive, JVL. It just doesn’t fly.

    You know exactly why it’s a double-standard. That’s why you refused to answer the question “who is the designer” in your signal-from-space scenario. Instead, you prostrated yourself by answering “There isn’t one”, rendering your entire conversation incoherent.

    Just play it out in your head:

    JVL: I would not be surprised at all if we find electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings in other solar systems

    UB: How would we know if we found “electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings”? What would that be?

    JVL: Something like in the movie Contact. A signal that’s very clearly NOT produced by unguided processes. A signal which, after inspection, was shown to have compressed data.

    UB: Wow … well, who is the “intelligent being” sending this signal?

    JVL: There isn’t one.

  340. 340
    Fred Hickson says:

    DNA/protein egg/chicken?

    RNA: egg and chicken?

  341. 341
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, “*cough* RNA World *cough*” . . . long since dead. There is no viable, empirically warranted scenario that gets to a cell by blind forces. And BTW the call has string data structures expressing alphanumeric codes so language, algorithms so goal directed process and molecular nanotech driven by deep understanding of polymers. KF

  342. 342
    Fred Hickson says:

    Ribosomes, KF. The essential ingredient of ribosomes is a ribozyme. RNA World survives.

  343. 343
    Sandy says:

    RNA World survives.

    🙂 Finally somebody will show us a scientific study about how coded functional information emerge by chance then is building more and more complex systems by chance. Popcorn!
    PS: I’m not sure if it’s about a fantasy movie or a dream but certainly is not related to science.

  344. 344
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Sandy

    Nobody has an answer for when, where and how life got started on Earth. There are lots of ideas on abiogenesis but no ways have yet emerged to test them.

    The theory of evolution is an incomplete but overarching explanation for the diversification from an initial population of self-sustaining self-replicators. So far, ToE is the only theory with such ambitions. Being such an easy target, being so overarching, it is perhaps surprising that it survives. And there’s no obligation on anyone to accept ToE as the best explanation, though in my view, coming up with a better-performing explanation would be the way to administer the coup de grace.

  345. 345
    Fred Hickson says:

    PS @ Sandy

    The theory has a non-random element, initially called natural selection by its proposer. It is the effect of design by the niche environment leading to differential reproductive success within a population of organisms.

  346. 346
    Sandy says:

    Where is the scientific study? Instead of a scientific study you bring more word salad and just so stories ? What a surprise .

  347. 347
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, there is no evidence for a world of RNA life, just for RNA machinery as part of the nanotech of life. KF

    PS, the Shapiro-Orgel exchange here, will help us understand mutual ruin of the approaches.

    Let me clip Shapiro:

    RNA’s building blocks, nucleotides, are complex substances as organic molecules go. They each contain a sugar, a phosphate and one of four nitrogen-containing bases as sub-subunits. Thus, each RNA nucleotide contains 9 or 10 carbon atoms, numerous nitrogen and oxygen atoms and the phosphate group, all connected in a precise three-dimensional pattern. Many alternative ways exist for making those connections, yielding thousands of plausible nucleotides that could readily join in place of the standard ones but that are not represented in RNA. That number is itself dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands to millions of stable organic molecules of similar size that are not nucleotides . . . .

    The RNA nucleotides are familiar to chemists because of their abundance in life and their resulting commercial availability. In a form of molecular vitalism, some scientists have presumed that nature has an innate tendency to produce life’s building blocks preferentially, rather than the hordes of other molecules that can also be derived from the rules of organic chemistry. This idea drew inspiration from . . . Stanley Miller. He applied a spark discharge to a mixture of simple gases that were then thought to represent the atmosphere of the early Earth. [“My” NB: Subsequent research has sharply undercut this idea, a point that is unfortunately not accurately reflected in Sci Am’s caption on a picture of the Miller-Urey apparatus, which in part misleadingly reads, over six years after Jonathan Wells’ Icons of Evolution was published: The famous Miller-Urey experiment showed how inanimate nature could have produced amino acids in Earth’s primordial atmosphere . . .] Two amino acids of the set of 20 used to construct proteins were formed in significant quantities, with others from that set present in small amounts . . . more than 80 different amino acids . . . have been identified as components of the Murchison meteorite, which fell in Australia in 1969 . . . By extrapolation of these results, some writers have presumed that all of life’s building could be formed with ease in Miller-type experiments and were present in meteorites and other extraterrestrial bodies. This is not the case.

    A careful examination of the results of the analysis of several meteorites led the scientists who conducted the work to a different conclusion: inanimate nature has a bias toward the formation of molecules made of fewer rather than greater numbers of carbon atoms, and thus shows no partiality in favor of creating the building blocks of our kind of life . . . I have observed a similar pattern in the results of many spark discharge experiments . . . . no nucleotides of any kind have been reported as products of spark discharge experiments or in studies of meteorites, nor have the smaller units (nucleosides) that contain a sugar and base but lack the phosphate.

    To rescue the RNA-first concept from this otherwise lethal defect, its advocates have created a discipline called prebiotic synthesis. They have attempted to show that RNA and its components can be prepared in their laboratories in a sequence of carefully controlled reactions, normally carried out in water at temperatures observed on Earth . . . . Unfortunately, neither chemists nor laboratories were present on the early Earth to produce RNA . . . .

    The analogy that comes to mind is that of a golfer, who having played a golf ball through an 18-hole course, then assumed that the ball could also play itself around the course in his absence. He had demonstrated the possibility of the event; it was only necessary to presume that some combination of natural forces (earthquakes, winds, tornadoes and floods, for example) could produce the same result, given enough time. No physical law need be broken for spontaneous RNA formation to happen, but the chances against it are so immense, that the suggestion implies that the non-living world had an innate desire to generate RNA. The majority of origin-of-life scientists who still support the RNA-first theory either accept this concept (implicitly, if not explicitly) or feel that the immensely unfavorable odds were simply overcome by good luck.

  348. 348
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS, Orgel’s remarks:

    If complex cycles analogous to metabolic cycles could have operated on the primitive Earth, before the appearance of enzymes or other informational polymers, many of the obstacles to the construction of a plausible scenario for the origin of life would disappear . . . Could a nonenzymatic “metabolic cycle” have made such compounds available in sufficient purity to facilitate the appearance of a replicating informational polymer?

    It must be recognized that assessment of the feasibility of any particular proposed prebiotic cycle must depend on arguments about chemical plausibility, rather than on a decision about logical possibility . . . few would believe that any assembly of minerals on the primitive Earth is likely to have promoted these syntheses in significant yield. Each proposed metabolic cycle, therefore, must be evaluated in terms of the efficiencies and specificities that would be required of its hypothetical catalysts in order for the cycle to persist. Then arguments based on experimental evidence or chemical plausibility can be used to assess the likelihood that a family of catalysts that is adequate for maintaining the cycle could have existed on the primitive Earth . . . .

    Why should one believe that an ensemble of minerals that are capable of catalyzing each of the many steps of [for instance] the reverse citric acid cycle was present anywhere on the primitive Earth [8], or that the cycle mysteriously organized itself topographically on a metal sulfide surface [6]? The lack of a supporting background in chemistry is even more evident in proposals that metabolic cycles can evolve to “life-like” complexity. The most serious challenge to proponents of metabolic cycle theories—the problems presented by the lack of specificity of most nonenzymatic catalysts—has, in general, not been appreciated. If it has, it has been ignored. Theories of the origin of life based on metabolic cycles cannot be justified by the inadequacy of competing theories: they must stand on their own . . . .

    The prebiotic syntheses that have been investigated experimentally almost always lead to the formation of complex mixtures. Proposed polymer replication schemes are unlikely to succeed except with reasonably pure input monomers. No solution of the origin-of-life problem will be possible until the gap between the two kinds of chemistry is closed. Simplification of product mixtures through the self-organization of organic reaction sequences, whether cyclic or not, would help enormously, as would the discovery of very simple replicating polymers. However, solutions offered by supporters of geneticist or metabolist scenarios that are dependent on “if pigs could fly” hypothetical chemistry are unlikely to help.

    Yes, traces have been found, of various compounds [conveniently in the right chiralities? Another factor . . .] but the reality is complex assemblage in an integrated, encapsulated, smart gated network with alphanumeric code [language] and algorithms [goal directed stepwise process] with integral von Neumann kinematic self replicator vNSR. See the metabolism summary in OP. That points to functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information [FSCO/I] as key.

    Until you have a good, empirically backed explanation of such, what you have is gross, ideologically backed speculation.

    F/N: Recall, the more complete charts:

    http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/1

    http://biochemical-pathways.com/#/map/2

  349. 349
    Fred Hickson says:

    Sandy asks:

    Where is the scientific study?

    On a ribozyme being the central catalytic component of the ribosome in all organisms that possess ribosomes? I’ll dig something up if you like. It’s not a secret.

  350. 350
    Fred Hickson says:

    I see KF refers to chemist Robert Shapiro, (lovely guy, incidentally) who died in 2011. Although he was skeptical of RNA World, I am unaware of any research he carried out on the subject. He was keen on the idea of looking for life’s origins elsewhere, as his last book, Planetary Dreams, advocates.

  351. 351
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, the exchange . . . and Orgel is the other side (I have his 1973 work on OoL not 10 ft from me as I type) . . . was a significant one. The underlying issues as outlined continue. The process-flow network for the cell has to be explained, including the set of machines and use of algorithms based on coded instructions. KF

  352. 352
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    Ribosomes, KF. The essential ingredient of ribosomes is a ribozyme. RNA World survives.

    There isn’t any evidence for any RNA World. You lose.

  353. 353
    ET says:

    Fred Hickson:

    The theory has a non-random element, initially called natural selection by its proposer.

    Natural selection is a process of ELIMINATON. It is nonrandom in a trivial sense in that not all variants have the same odds of being eliminated.

    It is the effect of design by the niche environment leading to differential reproductive success within a population of organisms.

    That was the propaganda. However there isn’t any evidence for it and there isn’t even any way to test that claim.

    Fred Hickson is just willfully ignorant and apparently proud of it.

  354. 354
    ET says:

    The ribosome is a genetic compiler, complete with error detection. Not one anti-ID troll can tell us how blind and mindless processes produced error detection.

  355. 355
    William J Murray says:

    VL @336,

    The problem with beginning with “quantum foam” is that it is not, and cannot be, the “root of reality.” Quantum foam is described as “virtual particles” (also wavelengths) that pop into existence from “nothing” and then quickly disappear back into “nothing.”

    Of course, the potential for the appearance of “virtual particles/wavelengths” must exist “underneath” their actual appearance. Ultimately, you can’t get behind or under potential.

  356. 356
    Viola Lee says:

    WJM, my very speculative theological idea, which I offered mostly to respond to the idea of God existing in a completed infinity, is that the “quantum foam” (of the hypothetical kind that could produce universes and not just virtual particles) is the manifestation of God in reality, not that the quantum foam itself would be the root of reality. I’m mostly trying to show that there are possibilities (of which we have absolutely no evidence whatsoever) that address the difference between the existence of potential and completed infinities in respect to reality: if one thinks that God (of whatever sort) is eternal and one thinks of existence as somehow being measurable with the integers, then one is positing a completed infinity.

  357. 357
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson,
    Regarding abiogenesis and the “RNA world” theory, synthetic chemist James Tour recorded a great introduction to the topic that I’d recommend to you:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqoVxwdWWpg

    If you’re interested in the topic, Dr. Tour created an entire video series on the topic, and he has a standing challenge to any scientist to show him how abiogenesis might work. I don’t believe any of them have taken up his challenge.

    -Q

  358. 358
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @337,

    Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems don’t call into question established features of a logical system, such as the existence of a countably infinite set build from the counting numbers, but it does say that there may be true facts about those numbers that are nevertheless not provable.

    Yes, exactly. So here’s the rub. We use mathematical systems to model reality, but we have no assurance that our reality is completely consistent with any one of them. In fact, there’s a well-known disconnect between the GTR and and QM, both of which have been experimentally verified many times to ridiculous levels of precision.

    Conversely, there are mathematical systems incompatible with our experimental results on reality.

    Arguably, the number line has a smoothness that cannot be mapped to the reality of Planck lengths: fractional Planck lengths are not accessible, nor can the number line map onto finite space-time if you believe the consensus estimate that the universe is about 13.8 billion years old, which fits the CMB radiation and red shift data.

    Bear in mind that without space-time, probability cannot exist. You’ll need to redefine a version of “quantum foam” outside of space-time.

    Also, you might be aware of the Mathematical Universe Theory, which is supported by the interpretation that the “wave nature” of all matter is not electromagnetic but rather probabilistic based on information and the conscious choice of what to observe or measure!

    -Q

  359. 359
    Viola Lee says:

    Q, I was just commenting on your remark that “So, now take a shot at explaining a “completed infinite set of all integers”, which I don’t see relates to what you just wrote. I was speculating on God being an eternal being: that is, existing in some way in a completed infinity. This was a theological speculation (majorly), not something about the real world that we know. Probably no need to try to think about this further.

  360. 360
    Fred Hickson says:

    Querius writes:

    If you’re interested in the topic, Dr. Tour…

    James Tour is a chemist who made a great career in nanotechnology. I’m not convinced he has put the same effort into understanding biology. There have been some interesting discussions at Josh Swamidass blog and he seems to have moderated his skepticism somewhat.

  361. 361
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, abiogenesis is pre biological. You have to get TO a metabolic process-flow network, with algorithms and codes, with a von Neumann kinematic self replicator and with encapsulation including smart gating. Tour is addressing those, Darwin warm pond [etc] problems. Your attempt to dismiss Dr Tour’s relevance, fails. KF

  362. 362
    Sandy says:

    I’m not convinced he has put the same effort into understanding biology.

    How do you know that when you know nothing about biology? 🙂

  363. 363
    Fred Hickson says:

    Sandy, I wonder how you feel yourself qualified to make any such judgement. I admit my formal education in biochemistry at degree level was a long time ago but I try to keep up on developments. What is your field of expertise?

  364. 364
    ET says:

    Well, Fred, you definitely don’t have any clue about natural selection.

  365. 365
    Sandy says:

    What is your field of expertise?

    My field of expertize is common sense.

    I observe that a complex system full with codes inside other codes that interact with each other in a meaningful way( protein folding code-Levinthal paradox, translation pausing code, fast adaptation code, genome segmentation code, etc.) are not the result of physical laws.
    But the “experts” tell us they are the result of physical laws without proving that (only just so stories). We should believe them only because they are called “experts” without providing evidences ? Clown world.

  366. 366
    kairosfocus says:

    VL & Q, there is the second Godel result. Not only, 1: any coherent, finite axiomatisation of adequate power will have true results unreachable from it; but, 2: there is no constructive procedure that guarantees that such nontrivial axiomatisations are coherent. SEP, as a marker:

    Gödel’s two incompleteness theorems are among the most important results in modern logic, and have deep implications for various issues. They concern the limits of provability in formal axiomatic theories. The first incompleteness theorem states that in any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of arithmetic can be carried out, there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F. According to the second incompleteness theorem, such a formal system cannot prove that the system itself is consistent (assuming it is indeed consistent). These results have had a great impact on the philosophy of mathematics and logic.

    That’s a pretty strong, broadly humbling result showing limitations of the core mathematical method. Mathematicians, too, live by faith; the issue being reasonable, responsible faith. For me, a key point of reference is how Euler’s identity unifies whole fields of math and related studies to infinitely precise interlocking coherence, 1 + e^i*pi = 0. KF

  367. 367
    Viola Lee says:

    The broader result is e^(ix) = cos x + i sin x, from which follows e^(i*pi) = -1. The standard way of showing this involves infinite series, so this is only true if we admit completed infinities. I don’t see how this relates to Godel’s theorems, though.

  368. 368
    Fred Hickson says:

    I seem to remember being taught de Moivre’s identity in the dim and distant past.

  369. 369
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, the issue is that given Godel incompleteness, evidence of coherence of several key domains counts, here, fit to infinite precision. As for completed infinities, power series are about limits and convergence so that for the sequence of partial sums {Sk}, beyond some n the onward error is below a threshold e, and of course n can get arbitrarily large and e arbitrarily small though for practical reasons one wants fast convergence. So, we are again dealing with the potential rather than completed transfinite in the sequence of partial sums, and with the identifiable property, convergence. KF

    PS, for those who need it, place value notation decimal numbers are actually power series in disguise as units are a ^ 10^0, tens b * 10^1, hundreds c * 10^2 etc, and 1/10’s are d * 10^-1, 1/00;s are f * 10^-2 etc. And the writing out is as cba-dot-df is a way of saying, add them up. Something like pi, requires w places to specify exactly, which we cannot complete but can converge to. 3.14159 . . .

  370. 370
    Viola Lee says:

    I understand the limit idea, KF: used to teach it. But, to take a simple example, 1/3 is only exactly 0.33333… if we consider the completed infinity. However, I know that we can’t instantiate a completed infinity, and of course for any practical purpose some finite number of 0.3333…3 will suffice.

    As for Godel, my point above someplace was that despite the significant philosophical implications of Godel, his theorems don’t cause us to doubt well established results such as the meaning of e^ix.

  371. 371
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 368. De Moivre’s theorem can be easily proved by taking e^(ix)^n = e^(inx).

  372. 372
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, we may have confidence in various facts of mathematics but that does not remove the force and import of Godel’s result. Mathematics has here an irreducible complexity and an irreducible uncertainty. So, our knowledge even of Mathematical systems, becomes weak form, warranted, credibly true (thus, reliable but potentially defeasible) belief. Certain things such as 2 + 3 = 5 are self evident, others we have high confidence in but in grand axiomatisations we see a very familiar pattern of trust in first plausibles. KF

  373. 373
    Viola Lee says:

    So is e^(i*pi) = -1 any more in doubt than 2 + 3 = 5? If so, where do things become less than certain?

  374. 374
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, 1 + e*^i*pi = 0 is considerably more inferential and derivative than || + ||| –> |||||. The latter is self evident, a big difference. Both are before grand axiomatisations of provinces of Mathematics in C19 [going well beyond Euclid and Geometry, in part triggered by recognition of other systems of geometry]. It is those axiomatisations, hoped for as being grand unifying schemes that fell to Godel’s work. As a result we can neither know beyond doubt that axiomatisations are guaranteed coherent, nor that any true fact of math will be captured by our favoured schemes. That is, there are undecidable propositions. In that context the Euler identity expressed as I gave it, explicitly integrates the five most pivotal numbers to infinite precision, and shows the coherence of related domains in Math and related fields. I know there is an itch to suggest oh it’s an unremarkable result that drops out for wt = pi radians, but it is far more than that. BTW just this form points to the nature of a good oscillatory clock, steady angular velocity w as a rate and accumulating to give time. A little further down that road lies the ball and disk integrator that allows variable rates. And more. KF

  375. 375
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    So is e^(i*pi) = -1 any more in doubt than 2 + 3 = 5? If so, where do things become less than certain?

    As I understand it’s not about uncertainity , it’s about the point in which your system (room) to be explained completely need the injection of new information(new axioms) from outside the room . Like you couldn’t explain the functioning of the electrical outlet(from your room) because you need the electricity from outside the system to completely explain your system.

  376. 376
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson @360,

    Have you watched Dr. Tours presentations on abiogenesis?
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DrJamesTour

    -Q

  377. 377
    Fred Hickson says:

    No. As I said, it’s not his field of expertise. Nick Lane is a better source of current research and ideas. I’m with Bob Shapiro. If there are answers, we may find them elsewhere (but not in my lifetime).

  378. 378
    Fred Hickson says:

    Duplicate deleted

  379. 379
    Fred Hickson says:

    Math is fiction, not fact. Reality is not governed by rules. We create mathematical models that sometimes predict aspects of reality accurately enough to be useful.

  380. 380
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, As was already pointed out to you, abiogenesis is plainly prior to biology: Darwin’s warm pond, some undersea vent or the like, even asteroids or molecular gas clouds in interstellar space etc. What is highly relevant expertise would be organic chemistry synthesis, which is a specific expertise of Dr Tour. We therefore duly note your tactics of evasion, attempted one liner discredit, dismissiveness even in the face of cogent correction. KF

  381. 381
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, there are many facts of structure and quantity that are deniable only on pain of absurdity; e.g. that two fingers and three fingers put together reliably yield five, just use your hand to confirm to yourself. Other accurate descriptions of states of affairs regarding structure and quantity are more derivative, but all relate to circumstances tied to the logic of structure and quantity and results established by our study. Which, is a definition of Mathematics. Of course, logic is addressed by reasoning and apprehension of truth is equally mental, as is confidence in warrant thus knowledge. If that is your problem, that is a self-referential problem, and one that fails to see that abstract states of affairs can be as factual as any concrete, factual experience; where experience is itself mental. KF

  382. 382
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF writes:

    What is highly relevant expertise would be organic chemistry synthesis, which is a specific expertise of Dr Tour.

    No , I don’t agree that Nobel-level skills in synthetic chemistry are pivotal in considering abiogenesis hypotheses. I’m pretty sure James Tour has done no research whatsoever on abiogenesis.

  383. 383
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, let’s observe:

    a + bio + genesis = not- + life + origin

    That is, we have C-Chem, aqueous medium, informational polymer chemistry, cell based life, which is claimed by some to have arisen spontaneously from organic chem. Wikipedia, as usual on such ideologically charged matters is utterly predictable:

    In biology, abiogenesis or the origin of life is the natural process by which life has arisen from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds. [–> Notice we are dealing with physics and chemistry here, not biology — organic compounds is about C-chemistry] The prevailing scientific hypothesis is that the transition from non-living to living entities was not a single event, but an evolutionary process [–> where was the reproduction to get to “evolution”? Nowhere, but of course neatly side stepped] of increasing complexity [–> origin of complex, functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated information sidestepped] that involved the formation of a habitable planet [–> physics, chemistry, FYI and the rare, privileged planet and fine tuning issues are ducked], the prebiotic synthesis of organic molecules [–> as in pre + bio, before life, so still physics and chemistry, focus on — tada — organic synthesis, thus right up Tour’s street, that’s the organic chem nano car guy], molecular self-replication [–> vNSR skipped], self-assembly [–> vNSR skipped again], autocatalysis [–> getting to such . . . ], and the emergence of cell membranes [–> that empty word, emergence, more side stepping, including metabolic process-flow networks, molecular nanotech, FSCO/I by the ton etc]. Many proposals have been made for different stages of the process. [–> speculative, consistently grossly inadequate]

    The study of abiogenesis aims to determine how pre-life chemical reactions gave rise to life under conditions strikingly different from those on Earth today. [ –> notice the built in ideological agenda, “how” as in this is what must have happened] It primarily uses tools from biology [–> studying what came once we had cells as a going concern] and chemistry[ –> so, chem is admitted relevant], with more recent approaches attempting a synthesis of many sciences. Life functions through the specialized chemistry of carbon and water [–> aqueous medium organic chem . . . ], and builds largely upon four key families of chemicals: lipids for cell membranes, carbohydrates such as sugars, amino acids for protein metabolism, and nucleic acids, DNA and RNA for the mechanisms of heredity. Any successful theory of abiogenesis must explain the origins and interactions of these classes of molecules. [–> as in not achieved, by implication] Many approaches to abiogenesis investigate how self-replicating molecules, or their components, came into existence. [–> the how trick again] Researchers generally think [–> think, not know, i.e. lack of warrant] that current life descends from an RNA world [–> speculation inserted], although other self-replicating molecules may have preceded RNA.

    The classic 1952 Miller–Urey experiment demonstrated that most amino acids, the chemical constituents of proteins, can be synthesized from inorganic compounds under conditions intended to replicate those of the early Earth. [–> flat out falsehood, evidence undermines the sort of atmosphere suggested] External sources of energy may have triggered these reactions, including lightning and radiation. Other approaches (“metabolism-first” hypotheses) focus on understanding how catalysis in chemical systems on the early Earth might have provided the precursor molecules necessary for self-replication.

    See the point?

    Tour’s expertise is highly relevant and his critique comes from that expertise.

    Strawman game fails.

    KF

  384. 384
    Fred Hickson says:

    KF, your comment 383 (you should edit the Wikipedia article if you think it is incorrect). Not that I disagree that Wikipedia articles can be poorly written but they are often useful as a source of primary literature.

    Anyway the stuff you put in square brackets is typical of an ID approach.

    Bear in mind I am quite clear there are no abiogenesis hypotheses that yet have evidentiary support. I’m not selling one, either. The only facts we are sure of is Earth was once molten and sterile and life is abundant here now.

  385. 385
    Sandy says:

    🙂 Somebody here claim that emergence of life is possible even there is NO scientific evidence. He believes that because is atheist and he “prefers” the insane hypothesis that information is a property of molecules. This is the sign that he knows nothing about subject. Anyway at least he knows how to post messages .

  386. 386
    Fred Hickson says:

    Somebody here claim that emergence of life is possible even there is NO scientific evidence.

    But the fact life is here on Earth and couldn’t have been here when the Earth prior to the condensation of water is evidence of an abiogenesis event. When, where, how is unknown.

    PS at least one event but all life descents from the one that was successful.

  387. 387
    Sandy says:

    But the fact life is here

    🙂 How do you deduce from “life is here” that “life emerged by chance” (and not by intelligent design)? Could you explain your logic inference?
    Tesla is here! Therefore Tesla emerged by chance.

    …when the Earth prior to the condensation of water is evidence of an abiogenesis event.

    🙂 So this is how an darwinist make a fool of himself? Where is the scientific evidence I’m not asking for your religious beliefs . Do you know what the science is , right?

    When, where, how is unknown.

    Finally I got your scientific evidence :Unknown. Then maybe you should make more modest claims about origin of life about what really can be proven and not about your subjective “preferences” ? 😆

  388. 388
    jerry says:

    Then maybe you should make more modest claims about origin of life about what really can be proven and not about your subjective “preferences

    These are not preferences.

    There is no original thought. They are just the party line that is being mimicked.

  389. 389
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, even articles pivoting on slander are such that any attempted correction will rapidly be returned to falsehood and slander, with those who try to set the record straight often being further smeared and driven out. That is why on ideologically charged matters I cite it as forced to admit against interest, or as reflecting a certain line of thought, and in no wise as responsible or actually authoritative. The libertarian founders were utterly naive. On this matter, the record is blatant. KF

    PS, my annotations are on matters that are readily checkable and shown to be well warranted. that they are “typical” of ID supporters simply means that such are better informed than those parroting the party line and dominating moderation at Wikipedia.

  390. 390
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Contrast, New World Encyclopedia — oh how I miss Colliers:

    The origin of life, in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences, is the process by which life originated on Earth from non-living matter. It addresses questions of how, when, and what, and includes a variety of hypotheses regarding this development.

    Abiogenesis (Greek a-bio-genesis, “non biological origins”) is, in its most general sense, the generation of life from non-living matter, and includes both the archaic concept of spontaneous generation and the modern concepts of origination of life on Earth. Classical notions of abiogenesis, now known as spontaneous generation, held that complex, living organisms are generated by decaying organic substances, for example, that mice spontaneously appear in stored grain or maggots spontaneously appear in meat. Today, abiogenesis is primarily used to refer to hypotheses about the chemical origin of life, such as from a primordial sea or in the vicinity of hydrothermal vents, and most probably through a number of intermediate steps, such as non-living but self-replicating molecules (biopoiesis).

    The topic “origin of life” also encompasses possible extra-planetary or extra-terrestrial origin of life hypotheses.

    This article will focus on modern scientific research on the origin of life. In this respect, the various models ignore religious or spiritual beliefs, such as creation by a Supreme Being, whether working through natural law or supernatural agency. Lee (1981), for example, advances the notion that the physical process from abiotic minerals to life is the external manifestation of a process guided by internal spiritual forces.

    The various scientific models are necessarily speculative. Proposals for the origin of life remain at the stage of hypotheses, meaning they are working assumptions for scientists researching how life began. If test results provide sufficient support for acceptance of a hypothesis, then that is the point at which it would become a theory.

    Contents

    1 Spontaneous generation
    2 History of the concept of the origin of life in science
    3 Current models
    3.1 Origin of organic molecules
    3.1.1 Miller’s experiments
    3.1.2 Eigen’s hypothesis
    3.1.3 Wächtershäuser’s hypothesis
    3.2 From organic molecules to protocells
    3.2.1 “Genes first” models: The RNA world
    3.2.2 “Metabolism first” models: Iron-sulfur world and others
    3.2.3 Bubble theory
    3.2.4 Hybrid models
    4 Other models
    4.1 Autocatalysis
    4.2 Clay theory
    4.3 “Deep-hot biosphere” model of Gold
    4.4 “Primitive” extraterrestrial life
    4.5 The Lipid World
    5 References
    6 Credits

    Origin of life studies is a limited field of research, despite its profound impact on biology and human understanding of the natural world. Progress in this field is generally slow and sporadic, though it still draws the attention of many due to the eminence of the question being investigated. A few facts give insight into the conditions in which life may have emerged, but the mechanisms by which non-life became life are still elusive.

    But, but, but, the Moonies . . . !

    When the Moonies do better than you do, what does that say?

  391. 391
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson,

    Math is fiction, not fact. Reality is not governed by rules.

    So far, all you’ve made are unsupported assertions from behind the impenetrable shield of your admitted ignorance. Why?

    Yes, I agree that we create mathematical models that are useful, and when we discover deviations through experimental results, these model are sometimes amended or even replaced.

    For example, this was the case with orbital mechanics until Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was applied to accurately account for the missing orbital precession of Mercury. Here are the calculations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GjG6-eawno

    However, mathematics and reality might even be more closely associated with the constructive and destructive interference of wavefunction in quantum mechanics. In this case, the “wave nature” of particles are actually intangible, mathematical waves of probabilities! This experimentally verified observation was a profound shock to the scientific community for its implications that reality itself is fundamentally mathematical and closely related to information and conscious observation.

    So, if you want to persist in assertions such as “math is fiction, not fact,” you really need to be able to support it with some new experimental evidence or interpretive theory to support your case.

    -Q

  392. 392
    jerry says:

    For the math aficionados

    There’s a fine line between a numerator and a denominator.

    Only a fraction of the people will find this funny

  393. 393
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, indeed^2

  394. 394
    Querius says:

    Haha! Love it!

    Ok, here’s my favorite one.

    Two mathematicians were at a bar together. The first one complains to the other about how the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, claiming that most people actually do know a reasonable amount of math.

    While the first mathematician goes to the washroom, the second one calls over their waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, he’s going to call her and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer “one third x cubed.”

    She repeats “one third x cubed?”

    He says, “Yes, one third x cubed”.

    She agrees, he gives her a tip, and off she goes.

    When the first mathematician returns from the washroom, the second one proposes a bet that most people do know something about basic math. To prove his point, he says he’ll ask their waitress for the solution to a simple integral. The first mathematician laughingly agrees. They call the waitress and then the second mathematician asks her, “What is the integral of x squared?”

    The waitress answers “one third x cubed” to which the one mathematician nods to the other triumphantly. But while she walks away, the waitress turns back and adds dryly “plus a constant.”

    -Q

  395. 395
    Viola Lee says:

    Lol. That’s a good one!

  396. 396
    Fred Hickson says:

    Querius writes:

    So, if you want to persist in assertions such as “math is fiction, not fact,” you really need to be able to support it with some new experimental evidence or interpretive theory to support your case.

    Don’t see why I’m under any more obligation to support assertions than anyone else here. Math is modeling. It does not exist independently from human thought (or in the thoughts of other adequately sentient beings). It’s a point mathematicians disagree on and I think fictionalism makes most sense.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fictionalism-mathematics/

  397. 397
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson @396,

    Don’t see why I’m under any more obligation to support assertions than anyone else here.

    So you really think that everyone here also makes unsupported assertions?

    Thank you for providing a link to fictionalism as a philosophical response to mathematical platonism.

    How familiar are you with the wavefunction in quantum mechanics?

    -Q

  398. 398
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @395,
    Glad you liked it. Maybe I’ve already shared this, but it’s my second favorite and something you can try on your math students . . .

    Hotel Math
    Three guys were traveling together and to save a lot of money, they decided to find a seedy hotel and share a room. “How much for a room?” they asked the night clerk. “thirty bucks,” says the night clerk. Did I mention it was seedy? So the guys each paid ten bucks and went upstairs to the room. A few minutes later, the manager came in and said to the night clerk, “I just ran into the three guys that you rented the room to. You know our rooms are only twenty five dollars. Go back and refund the three guys the five dollars you pocketed.” So, the night clerk went upstairs trying to figure out five divided by three and decided to tip himself two bucks to make it easy. So each guy got a dollar refund reducing the amount they paid to nine bucks each.
    3 x 9 = $27 plus the $2 tip = $29. What happened to the other dollar?

    Yes, I tried it out on some poor hotel clerks when travelling. Heh heh.

    -Q

  399. 399
    Fred Hickson says:

    Well, I was able to juggle with Fourier syntheses many years ago, in relation to x-ray crystallography and electron density maps when we used to work with felt tips and perspex. I’ve forgotten most of that, these days. I am very old.

  400. 400
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    @Fred Hickson:
    Maybe is time to learn something new (2021 ) about genetics instead to re-read darwinist fables from 1860-1880. Incredible easy to understand .

    DNA Transcription:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrCx98CtJ_4
    DNA Translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80kxa1zApUM

  401. 401
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson @399,

    . . . in relation to x-ray crystallography and electron density maps

    Out of curiosity, what were you analyzing (if you don’t mind).

    You’re probably aware that matter has both particle and wave properties as confirmed by the famous double-slit experiment. Are you aware that the “waves” are not electromagnetic waves, but rather mathematical probability waves that can be collapsed by human observation/measurement? For example . . .

    June 3, 2015
    The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.

    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.

    “Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.”

    https://phys.org/news/2015-05-quantum-theory-weirdness.html

    This is strong experimental evidence for the Mathematical Universe theory of reality (in contrast to purely philosophical conjectures).

    -Q

  402. 402
    Fred Hickson says:

    @ Queries
    The iconic work on whale myoglobin:
    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspa.1959.0179
    was being taught to students then.

    Are you aware that the “waves” are not electromagnetic waves, but rather mathematical probability waves that can be collapsed by human observation/measurement?

    Well, there you are making my point. 😉 The phenomenon hasn’t changed, only the model.

    A

  403. 403
    JVL says:

    Querius: Hotel Math

    That is one of my favourites as well! I won’t spoil it for others who may wish to figure it out for themselves.

  404. 404
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Fictionalism at SEP:

    Fictionalism, on the other hand, is the view that (a) our mathematical sentences and theories do purport to be about abstract mathematical objects, as platonism suggests, but (b) there are no such things as abstract objects, and so (c) our mathematical theories are not true. Thus, the idea is that sentences like ‘3 is prime’ are false, or untrue, for the same reason that, say, ‘The tooth fairy is generous’ is false or untrue—because just as there is no such person as the tooth fairy, so too there is no such thing as the number 3. It is important to note, however, that despite the name, fictionalist views do not have to involve any very strong claims about the analogy between mathematics and fiction. For instance, there is no claim here that mathematical discourse is a kind of fictional discourse. Thus, fictionalists are not committed to the thesis that there are no important disanalogies between mathematics and fiction. (We will return to this issue below, in section 2.4.) Finally, it should also be noted at the start that fictionalism is a version of mathematical nominalism, the view that there are no such things as mathematical objects . . . .

    When one first hears the fictionalist hypothesis, it can seem a bit crazy. Are we really supposed to believe that sentences like ‘3 is prime’ and ‘2 + 2 = 4’ are false? But the appeal of fictionalism starts to emerge when we realize what the alternatives are. By thinking carefully about the issues surrounding the interpretation of mathematical discourse, it can start to seem that fictionalism is actually very plausible, and indeed, that it might just be the least crazy view out there.

    As in, IOU and this is my pre payment.

    The problem first is, why are there stable quantitative patterns and structures? If it is not true that 3 + 2 = 5, then why is that always so when I split my fingers into a two and a three then bring them together again? Would it not be better to say, that numbers, quantities and structures are aspects of thought that correctly and reliably describe states of affairs and so are entities that though abstract hold that further abstract property truth or fact.

    For related example show us the null set on display in a museum, or show us how an empty set is fiction, a false claim about entities and states of affairs, or else accept it as quantitative-structural abstractum no 1, then feed it into von Neumann’s construction.

    Indeed, arguably, they are aspects of the logic of being.

    The fictions that keep being accurate to reality. Maybe, they are not fictions then.

    KF

  405. 405
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson @402,

    Well, there you are making my point. ? The phenomenon hasn’t changed, only the model.

    Sorry, could you elaborate on what you meant?

    How familiar are you with quantum mechanics?

    Thanks,
    – Q

  406. 406
    Querius says:

    JVL @403,

    Hmm. Looks like no takers.

    -Q

  407. 407
    Fred Hickson says:

    Queries:

    How familiar are you with quantum mechanics?

    Thanks,

    Hydrogen atom orbitals as probability functions were a basic element of stereochemistry. Forgotten most of it. Hybrid shells and hydrogen bonds is pretty essential. Quantum mechanics in general, not so much.

    Would you like to elaborate on your expertise or is my impression there no quid pro quo here correct.

  408. 408
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, in the classic Copenhagen view, the wave function is indeed an index of probabilities. KF

    PS, as an example:

    https://www.vedantu.com/physics/wave-function

    The Physical Significance of Wave Function

    There is no physical meaning of wave function as it is not a quantity which can be observed. Instead, it is complex. It is expressed as PSI (x, y, z, t) = a + ib and the complex conjugate of the wave function is expressed as PSI* (x, y, z, t) = a – ib. The product of these two indicates the probability density of finding a particle in space at a time. However, PSI^2 is the physical interpretation of wave function as it provides the probability information of locating a particle at location in a given time.

  409. 409
    Fred Hickson says:

    So KF, what area of academia is your field? I have gained the impression, possibly an inaccurate one, that you were a high school teacher, perhaps specialising in mech. eng.

  410. 410
    Viola Lee says:

    Re the hotel problem. I understand it, but hadn’t bothered to write it up. The correct math is (3 x 9) = 27 minus 2, = 25, not plus 2. The guys paid $2 too much because the clerk kept an extra $2. The hotel got its $25, the clerk got $2, and the guys paid $9 each so all is well.

    The fact that they started by paying $10 is irrelevant. Suppose they had paid $20 each, or $60 total. The clerk has to return $35, so he decides to give each guy $11 back and keep $2. By the erroneous logic of the problem we would ask (3 x 9) + 2 = 29: what happened to the other 31? Obviously the starting value is not relevant to the eventual resolution, which is as I stated in the first paragraph.

  411. 411
    kairosfocus says:

    FH, physics (as should be obvious), especially electronics related applications, also with an MBA and of course a fair bit of Math as opposed to Physics Math that too often degenerates into playing tricks with math; e,g. I was glad when I ran across nonstandard analysis with tamed infinitesimals. Other things are informal. KF

  412. 412
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, a problem pivoting on ambiguous, poorly phrased statement. Of course, problem identification is over half the problem. I once threatened to set an exam: Pose five interesting questions, 60%. Attempt solutions to three of same, 40%. KF

  413. 413
    JVL says:

    Viola Lee: Re the hotel problem. I understand it, but hadn’t bothered to write it up. The correct math is (3 x 9) = 27 minus 2, = 25, not plus 2. The guys paid $2 too much because the clerk kept an extra $2. The hotel got its $25, the clerk got $2, and the guys paid $9 each so all is well.

    Very nicely stated!! Viola: two points.

  414. 414
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks. Here’s another, perhaps better, way to look at it.

    We start with $30, which is too much. Each of the guys get $1 back, for a total of $3. The clerk keeps $2. The hotel gets $25. $3 + $2 + $25 = $30. The whole $30 is accounted for.

    This math is the same as 3(10 – 1) – 2 = 30 – 3 – 2 = 25.

  415. 415
    Querius says:

    Good explanations!

    A chemistry professor of mine once reminded us–a paraphrase of skeptic H.L. Mencken’s famous statement in The Divine Afflatus (1917):

    “For every problem, there’s a solution. Neat. Plausible. And wrong.”

    In my opinion, this should be posted as a sign above every laboratory door (and many other places).

    -Q

  416. 416
    Querius says:

    Fred Hickson @407,

    Hydrogen atom orbitals as probability functions were a basic element of stereochemistry. Forgotten most of it. Hybrid shells and hydrogen bonds is pretty essential. Quantum mechanics in general, not so much.

    There have been profound advancements in QM since your early involvement in x-ray crystallography and electron density maps.

    Would you like to elaborate on your expertise or is my impression there no quid pro quo here correct.

    No, not correct. At the university level, I studied physics, including quantum mechanics and astrophysics. However, more recent experimental results and their interpretations resulted in some radical shifts in perspective. Thus, I’ve caught up to many of the latest findings in published papers and I’ve read books on the subject by Lee Smolin, Leonard Susskind, Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Thomas Marcella, Carlos Rovelli, Anil Ananthaswami, Sabine Hossenfelder, Philip Ball, and some others. All of these are in my library and I’d recommend any of them to you.

    You might want to consider boning up on quantum mechanics to appreciate our modern view of the nature of reality, which now seems to be fundamentally based on the following:

    • Information and conjugate variables
    • Probability waves (aka the wavefunction or psi)
    • Conscious choice, observation/measurement
    • Chaos theory
    • Space-time
    • Causality at some deeper level?
    • Other stuff about which we’re clueless

    Many of the authors listed above focus on preserving determinism despite strong evidence to the contrary. I particularly respect Lee Smolin for plainly stating this and why, and Sabine Hossenfelder for identifying the lack of experimental support for most theories and over-reliance on mathematical symmetry and “beauty.”

    -Q

  417. 417
    Viola Lee says:

    Thanks, Q.

    You write, ““For every problem, there’s a solution. Neat. Plausible. And wrong.”

    This is true, but it is also true that for many problems there is a solution that is neat, plausible, and right.

    Witness your hotel problem.

  418. 418
    Viola Lee says:

    Here is one of my favorites, which I stole from some place. Beware: the solution involves infinity!

    The Shooting Problem

    Adapted from a column by Marilyn Vos Savant, Parade Magazine, July 16, 1995

    The Problem

    Three players, A, B, and C, are placed at the vertices of an equilateral triangle, armed with “guns”. They are to take turns shooting at each other, one shot per turn. If a player shoots at another player and hits him, the second player is out of the game (i.e., “dead”). At each turn a player can shoot at any other person, or pass by not shooting. The contest continues until one player wins by being the only survivor.

    A has a 1/3 chance of hitting on any shot (33 1/3%), B has a 1/2 chance of hitting on any shot (50%), and C always hits (100%).

    A gets to shoot first. If B is still alive, he gets to shoot second. If C is still alive then he gets to shoot next. The rotation continues between the surviving players until only one person is left.

    The question is: who has the best chances of being the winner? – that is, of being the last surviving player?

    Some Additional Assumptions

    We assume that each player knows the accuracy level of each of the other players (e.g., both players know that C is a sure shot, A knows that B is a 50% shooter, and so on.)

    We assume that each player will adopt the strategy which maximizes his own chance of survival, and we assume that each player knows that the other players will act so as to maximize their own survival.

    With these additional assumptions in mind, the question can be expanded:

    a) given that everyone plays to maximize their own chances of survival, who has the best chance of being the winner?

    b) what is the best strategy for each player?

    c) what are the exact odds of each person surviving if everyone follows their best strategy?

  419. 419
    Viola Lee says:

    Re 416. I’ve read some of the books you mention, but not Smolin. I found this paragraph from Wikipedia interesting:

    Cosmological natural selection

    Smolin’s hypothesis of cosmological natural selection, also called the fecund universes theory, suggests that a process analogous to biological natural selection applies at the grandest of scales. Smolin published the idea in 1992 and summarized it in a book aimed at a lay audience called The Life of the Cosmos.

    Black holes have a role in natural selection. In fecund theory a collapsing[clarification needed] black hole causes the emergence of a new universe on the “other side”, whose fundamental constant parameters (masses of elementary particles, Planck constant, elementary charge, and so forth) may differ slightly from those of the universe where the black hole collapsed. Each universe gives rise to as many new universes — its “offspring” — as it has black holes, giving an evolutionary advantage to universes in which black holes are common, which are similar to our own. The theory thus explains why our universe appears “fine-tuned ” for the emergence of life as we know it. Because the theory applies the evolutionary concepts of “reproduction”, “mutation,” and “selection” to universes, it is formally analogous to models of population biology.

    When Smolin published the theory in 1992, he proposed as a prediction of his theory that no neutron star should exist with a mass of more than 1.6 times the mass of the sun.[citation needed] Later this figure was raised to two solar masses following more precise modeling of neutron star interiors by nuclear astrophysicists. Smolin also predicted that inflation, if true, must only be in its simplest form, governed by a single field and parameter. Both predictions have held up, and they demonstrate Smolin’s main thesis: that the theory of cosmological natural selection is Popper falsifiable.

  420. 420
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee @417,
    The problem is when someone find a N&P solution, they stop there.

    Viola Lee @418,
    Cute problem and it might be N.P. &W. (I didn’t check online)

    a) B
    b) A->C, B->C, C->B, A->C, C->A
    c) Using a probability tree, C wins on a 2/3 x 1/2 x 2/3 odds or 2/9. That leaves 7/9. A wins on a 3/9 odds plus tiny increments, B wins on odds of 1 – 2/9 + (3/9 + tiny increments) = 1 – (5/9 + tiny increments) = 4/9 – tiny increments.

    BUT, If A targets B instead (we assume that A may not intentionally miss), then A wins on odds of 2/3 x 1/2 x 1/3 plus 2/3 x 1/2 x 1/3 = 2/9 + tiny increments and C still wins on odds of 2/9. Worse for A and not in A’s interest.

    IF A is allowed to shoot in the air, then C still wins with odds of 2/9 and B wins on odds of 1/2 x 2/3 = 1/3 plus increments, slightly better, so also not in A’s interest.

    Viola Lee @419,
    The books I read by Lee Smolin were Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution (2019) and Time Reborn (2013).

    -Q

  421. 421
    Viola Lee says:

    Neat, plausible, and wrong! 🙂 But thanks for thinking about it.

    However, I don’t understand your last line. How can C win with odds of 2/9 when B’s odds of 1/3 = 3/9 is greater? (And that would leave 4/9 for A?)

    As to your statement, “The problem is when someone find a N&P solution, they stop there”, if I’m really trying to solve a problem I try to find a second route to the solution and/or at least try to mesh the solution with an understanding of what the math and solution mean.

  422. 422
    Querius says:

    Viola Lee,
    Last line:

    IF A is allowed to shoot in the air, then C still wins with odds of 2/9 and B wins on odds of 1/2 x 2/3 = 1/3 plus increments, slightly better, so also not in A’s interest.

    Ok, expanding the explanation, for C to win, then

    1. A fires into the air (I still don’t know whether this is allowed).
    2. B fires at C with 1/2 probability of missing.
    3. C eliminates B.
    4. A misses at a 2/3 probability.
    5. C eliminates A.

    1/2 B misses x 2/3 A misses = 1/3 chance of C winning (an improvement), not 2/9 as I misread my messy scribbles. But B’s chance of winning are 1/2 to hit C x 2/3 to get missed by A x 1/2 to hit A plus an increment = 1/6 plus increments–much worse for B! If allowed, that would be A’s best strategy to win over the others.

    -Q

  423. 423
    Viola Lee says:

    The problem does say that a shooter can pass and not shoot.

  424. 424
    kairosfocus says:

    VL, sadly, there’s many a slip twixt many and most or worse most interesting. The story my stat mech prof of yore loved was the two drunks late one night. A came across B down on knees, obviously searching. Why? Lost my contacts. So, A joined B for a few loops around the pool of light. Then, he asked, are you sure you lost your contacts just here? Oh, no I lost them over there in the dark but this is where the light is. KF

    PS, for the not mathematically inclined, the lamp post is that shed by mathematically tractable theories, especially yielding tractable solutions, not a given.

  425. 425
    kairosfocus says:

    VL,

    Black holes have a role in natural selection. In fecund theory a collapsing[clarification needed] black hole causes the emergence of a new universe on the “other side”, whose fundamental constant parameters (masses of elementary particles, Planck constant, elementary charge, and so forth) may differ slightly from those of the universe where the black hole collapsed. Each universe gives rise to as many new universes — its “offspring” — as it has black holes, giving an evolutionary advantage to universes in which black holes are common, which are similar to our own. The theory thus explains why our universe appears “fine-tuned ” for the emergence of life as we know it. Because the theory applies the evolutionary concepts of “reproduction”, “mutation,” and “selection” to universes, it is formally analogous to models of population biology.

    This implies first a network of universes under physics including statistical thermodynamics. That brings to bear and illustrates the points on the past.

    First, what feeds energy into each budded off through a worm hole universe? Unless energy drains from a transfinite source and feeds through each cascaded wormhole, the process self limits. That’s on law 1 already. Where black hole collapse implies finite time to feed energy through to the next daughter cosmos.

    Next, on law 2, absent transfinite source, each node in the wormhole network is part of the grand degradation of rich energy sources, so self limiting in time as well by heat death and so too finite in the past.

    KF

  426. 426
    Sandy says:

    They try to find third-parties that would “excuse” them from explaining perpetuum-mobile or required infinity of resources/energy or infinite regress. You can’t blame them they are slave of their worldview. It’s very bad to be slave of your worldview…when your worldview is false.

  427. 427
    Viola Lee says:

    re 421. You are correct about the odds of C being 1/3, and you are correct that A missing on the first shot allows him to win. The part about the “increments” is what would allow you to figure the exact odds for A and B. They come to 5/12 for A, 3/12 (1/4) for B, and 4/12 (1/3) for C. I think it is just a coincidence that we have 3:4:5 here.

  428. 428
    Querius says:

    Re: Black holes
    I’m with Sabine Hossenfelder on this one. Show me some experimental data in support. The rest is science fiction chosen for its compatibility to a particular philosophy such as deterministic materialism. Incidentally the first time I ran across this hypothesis, was in a Scientific American article from the 1960s, in which the author speculated that the block hole would eventually form a droplet shape at the “bottom,” which would break off and float away as a new universe.

    Viola Lee @427,
    Thanks. I forgot about the part where you wrote that a player could pass. Also, what if the players weren’t located on an equilateral triangle but on a 3-4-5 right triangle? That would be funny!

    -Q

  429. 429
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I will now respond to points raised in the leaks thread, here as it is better to keep focus. I have transferred updates (apart from a YT vid that is giving trouble). KF

  430. 430
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Observe, a response to JVL at 480 from the other thread:

    >>JVL,

    You claim to have cited Wikipedia, why then did you skip over how the article begins? With some telling admissions against known interest:

    The genetic code is the set of rules used by living cells to translate information encoded within genetic material (DNA or mRNA sequences of nucleotide triplets, or codons) into proteins. Translation is accomplished by the ribosome, which links proteinogenic amino acids in an order specified by messenger RNA (mRNA), using transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to carry amino acids and to read the mRNA three nucleotides at a time. The genetic code is highly similar among all organisms and can be expressed in a simple table with 64 entries.
    A series of codons in part of a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. Each codon consists of three nucleotides, usually corresponding to a single amino acid. The nucleotides are abbreviated with the letters A, U, G and C. This is mRNA, which uses U (uracil). DNA uses T (thymine) instead. This mRNA molecule will instruct a ribosome to synthesize a protein according to this code.

    The codons specify which amino acid will be added next during protein synthesis. With some exceptions,[1] a three-nucleotide codon in a nucleic acid sequence specifies a single amino acid. The vast majority of genes are encoded with a single scheme (see the RNA codon table). That scheme is often referred to as the canonical or standard genetic code, or simply the genetic code, though variant codes (such as in mitochondria) exist.

    Now, you allude to speculation — not actual observation on the origin of codes as described at the outset, and as I have also separately described. I look and clip how that section begins, adding highlights and notes on key points you should have disclosed:

    The genetic code is a key part of the history of life, according to one version of which [–> speculation, in diverse schools of thought, not knowledge] self-replicating RNA molecules preceded life as we know it. This is the RNA world hypothesis [–> 50c word for big guess]. Under this hypothesis, any model for the emergence of the genetic code is intimately related to a model of the transfer from ribozymes (RNA enzymes) to proteins as the principal enzymes in cells. In line with the RNA world hypothesis, transfer RNA molecules appear to have evolved before modern aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, so the latter cannot be part of the explanation of its patterns.[71] [–> and how were they loaded with enough reliability to reproduce viable life, in short, further unacknowledged speculation]

    A hypothetical randomly evolved genetic code [–> speculation, shortly to become galloping hypotheses] further motivates a biochemical or evolutionary model for its origin [–> further speculation]. If amino acids were randomly assigned to triplet codons, there would be 1.5 × 10^84 possible genetic codes.[72]:?163? This number is found by calculating the number of ways that 21 items (20 amino acids plus one stop) can be placed in 64 bins, wherein each item is used at least once.[73] However, the distribution of codon assignments in the genetic code is nonrandom.[74] In particular, the genetic code clusters certain amino acid assignments. [–> indeed, and just as Enigma was solved in part because Germans do things systematically so the patch board most likely was in alphabetical order, non random is often a feature of design]

    Amino acids that share the same biosynthetic pathway tend to have the same first base in their codons. [–> true enough] This could be an evolutionary relic [–> galloping speculation] of an early, simpler genetic code [–> more galloping and of course note how code is used] with fewer amino acids that later evolved to code a larger set of amino acids.[75] It could also reflect [–> galloping on] steric and chemical properties that had another effect on the codon during its evolution. Amino acids with similar physical properties also tend to have similar codons [–> true enough],[76][77] reducing the problems caused by point mutations and mistranslations.[74] [–> so, we can see a good design reason but of course design has been ruled out a priori per Lewontin]

    Given the non-random genetic triplet coding scheme, a tenable hypothesis for the origin of genetic code [–> nope, hypotheses galloping on, and notice, code] could address multiple aspects of the codon table, such as absence of codons for D-amino acids [–> a huge leap into imagining away homochirality], secondary codon patterns for some amino acids, confinement of synonymous positions to third position, the small set of only 20 amino acids (instead of a number approaching 64) [–> have you considered how much more complex metabolism would become?], and the relation of stop codon patterns to amino acid coding patterns.[78]

    So, whatever further speculation on origins of an exceedingly complex integrated system may occur onward we can see here that you failed to frankly acknowledge speculative character and viability of other alternatives.

    In that context, further spreading or enabling of arguments rooted in or associated with the Forrest-ACLU-NSTA false accusations that have harmed people is rightly regarded as persistent slander. Recall, you are talking here to someone who has been stalked and harassed online and on the ground for the thought crime of thinking Thaxton et al make good thermodynamic sense.

    KF>>

    His onward reply, 484:

    >> JVL
    May 8, 2022 at 6:30 am (Edit)

    Kairosfocus: You claim to have cited Wikipedia, why then did you skip over how the article begins? With some telling admissions against known interest:

    Because the point I was discussing was how the genetic code came into being and that, if it arose because of chemical affinities, then it’s not a purely abstract or arbitrary code. That would say it is the way it is because of the chemistry instead of by some intelligent design. So I didn’t think I had to rehash all the material describing what the code does; that wasn’t my point.

    Like I said, discussing ongoing and published research is not slanderous or lying. It’s just pointing out that there is speculation and work being done addressing the issue.>>

    MY RESPONSE:

    1: Manifestly, the opening remarks confirm that my usage — and that of others — of code [see definitions at 459] is accurate.

    2: After that, all else is moot, save we are owed apology which I do not expect.

    3: Further, the concessions and speculative nature of the section on origins as seen in opening words only serve to show that there is no firm knowledge, just research on a paradigm backed by a priori materialism and fellow travellers that arbitrarily locks out design.

    4: It bears repeating that complex, algorithmic code as found in the living cell expresses both language and goal directed stepwise process, thus directly pointing to design. The number of cases of complex codes and algorithms coming about by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity is? ______ Correct answer, ZERO. By contrast many times over we see machine code by design.

    5: Further to such, History begins with record, especially text. Text being recognised as the artifact of agents. So, we have here a trace, in fact, of the first text. Accordingly, at 412 I noted:

    . . . what Crick knew from the outset. Alphanumerical code, so, language and text, that is, writing. This is literally the first piece of history, to see that computer machine code text expressing algorithms is found in the heart of cell based life. Algorithms are goal directed stepwise process and so are demonstrative of purposeful, intelligently directed configuration. Design, using polymer nanotech and expressing deep knowledge of polymers. Quite literally, our first artifacts, our first record, our first line of history. History begins where written record begins and that is found in the cell; that is decisive in interpreting all that follows. But, we are ideologically blinded to it and its import, cell based life is designed, designed with purpose built in.

    KF

  431. 431
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: ET at 487 is also relevant:

    >>487
    ET
    May 8, 2022 at 6:39 am (Edit)

    “Each day our DNA is damaged by UV radiation, free radicals and other carcinogenic
    substances, but even without such external attacks, a DNA molecule is inherently unstable.
    Thousands of spontaneous changes to a cell’s genome occur on a daily basis. Furthermore,
    defects can also arise when DNA is copied during cell division, a process that occurs several
    million times every day in the human body.
    The reason our genetic material does not disintegrate into complete chemical chaos is that a
    host of molecular systems continuously monitor and repair DNA. The Nobel Prize in
    Chemistry 2015 awards three pioneering scientists who have mapped how several of these
    repair systems function at a detailed molecular level.
    In the early 1970s, scientists believed that DNA was an extremely stable molecule, but Tomas
    Lindahl demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that ought to have made the development of
    life on Earth impossible. This insight led him to discover a molecular machinery, base
    excision repair, which constantly counteracts the collapse of our DNA.”
    (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2015/press.html )

    Got that? DNA based life is impossible without existing error detection and error correction machinery. It has to be there from the get-go. You lose.>>

  432. 432
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    See, JVL is disingenuous, he contradicted himself and can’t admit it.

    I will propose that you know very well it is a contradiction and also that you have not answered it. You have to first admit that it’s a contradiction. Instead, you say it’s “cherry picked”. The dialogue is crystal clear. You’ve done nothing to clarify it.

    JVL: I would not be surprised at all if we find electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings in other solar systems

    Here you affirm that we could determine the evidence of unknown “intelligent beings”.

    UB: How would we know if we found “electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings”? What would that be?

    You are asked how we would know that such unknown intelligent beings exist – what would be the evidence?

    JVL: Something like in the movie Contact. A signal that’s very clearly NOT produced by unguided processes. A signal which, after inspection, was shown to have compressed data.

    You state that we could observe a signal – coded information that was shown to have compressed data. That is evidence that it is clearly not produced by unguided processes. For you, that’s evidence that some unknown intelligent beings produced the signal.

    UB: So you accept encoded symbolic content as a universal inference to the presence of an unknown intelligence in one domain, while immediately denying that same physical evidence in another domain.

    UBP illustrates the contradiction. You then clam there’s no contradiction
    “Because there is no plausible designer available.”

    So, in one case, you accept that coded-information from an unknown designer is evidence of intelligence.
    In the other case, you reject that coded-information from an unknown designer is not evidence of intelligence.

    Why the difference? You explain:

    It MAY indicate design!

    In one case, you said it would indicate design. You were asked directly:

    “How would we know if we found “electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings”? What would that be?”

    You said that if the signal showed compressed data it was clearly not produced by unguided processes. There’s no “might be designed” here. But now you’ve backed away and are changing your story. So now, apparently, a signal that “clearly could not be produced by unguided processes” actually could have been produced by unguided processes and is not evidence of design?
    Again, this is contradictory.

    Then you smoke test that possibility including considering if there are any possible designers.

    First of all, you don’t have any direct evidence of possible designers for the ET code. But more importantly, as your first inference correctly stated, we don’t need to know anything about possible designers to recognize that the symbol-language could not have been produced by unguided forces. That’s what you said and it’s clearly true. The fact that the code exists means there is a designer for it. On what basis do you claim “there are no possible designers”? You can’t prove the negative. You have the evidence of design – so there must be a designer. It’s the same with a signal in space. The designer is unknown. We have no direct evidence of any such. But we an infer a designer based on what we see in the code.

    The reason for that is that some suspect signals turned out to have originated from earth! So, yes, there were designers around. Us.

    This contradicts your claim about intelligent beings in other solar systems.

    JVL: I would not be surprised at all if we find electromagnetic evidence of intelligent beings in other solar systems

    Again, as I said before, you really need to sort this out. If you were caught red-handed in a double-standard and now you want to change it, just make that clear. But it will tell us that you’re running from the evidence that you clearly understood (at one time) and now you don’t like the implications of it.

  433. 433
    JVL says:

    KairosfocuS: After that, all else is moot, save we are owed apology which I do not expect.

    You want me to apologise for pointing out that some researchers are doing work that suggests that the genetic code was not designed? Am I not just making a factual statement? And is not an implication of that work that the genetic code is not arbitrary or abstract?

    Further, the concessions and speculative nature of the section on origins as seen in opening words only serve to show that there is no firm knowledge, just research on a paradigm backed by a priori materialism and fellow travellers that arbitrarily locks out design.

    Sure it’s speculative; that’s how science progresses! Someone has an idea and then they check it out telling other people what they’ve found.

    It’s not a a priori commitment to one view or another; it’s asking the question: could this structure have arisen sans design? Why not check out that possibility? What is wrong with seeing if that’s possible? What harm does it do to see if something is possible?

    I really do not understand your antipathy regarding this speculative research. Science is about seeing what’s possible and what actually works. Shouldn’t it check out all the nooks and crannies, checking the edge of our understanding? Shouldn’t it question any assumption and put it to the test? Surely that’s a good thing? If you were the one to make the call would you pull the funding for such work? If yes, then on what basis?

  434. 434
    JVL says:

    ET: Got that? DNA based life is impossible without existing error detection and error correction machinery. It has to be there from the get-go. You lose.

    I disagree. The systems that evolved more stable reproductive techniques would have had an advantage in that they would have generated more offspring that were viable since the parent was already viable. It doesn’t mean there weren’t a lot of precursors who had very bad reproductive procedures.

  435. 435
    JVL says:

    Silver Asiatic: I will propose that you know very well it is a contradiction and also that you have not answered it. You have to first admit that it’s a contradiction. Instead, you say it’s “cherry picked”. The dialogue is crystal clear. You’ve done nothing to clarify it.

    I think I have clarified my thinking, not once but several times. I understand that for you the genetic system is a slam-dunk indication of design. I don’t agree with you and I’ve tried to explain why I disagree with you. Why not just leave it at that?

    Here you affirm that we could determine the evidence of unknown “intelligent beings”.

    Eventually. But probably not based on just one detected signal. I’d be very reluctant to jump to that conclusion without a lot of supporting data.

    You state that we could observe a signal – coded information that was shown to have compressed data. That is evidence that it is clearly not produced by unguided processes. For you, that’s evidence that some unknown intelligent beings produced the signal.

    Again, if it passed intense amounts of scrutiny and was clearly shown NOT to have originated on Earth.

    So, in one case, you accept that coded-information from an unknown designer is evidence of intelligence.?In the other case, you reject that coded-information from an unknown designer is not evidence of intelligence.

    Because it’s not yet clear that DNA could not have arisen via unguided and natural processes. There is a lot of ongoing work checking out that possibility. And the members of the semiotic community have not put the kibosh on such work. So, I ask, is there any other evidence of a designer around at the time with the prerequisite abilities? I ask that question because the case for design has not been made based on the current state of research and data.

    You said that if the signal showed compressed data it was clearly not produced by unguided processes. There’s no “might be designed” here. But now you’ve backed away and are changing your story. So now, apparently, a signal that “clearly could not be produced by unguided processes” actually could have been produced by unguided processes and is not evidence of design?
    Again, this is contradictory.

    No because it’s not been demonstrated or shown or accepted that genetic could not have arisen via unguided and natural processes. You think that case has been made. I disagree. So I look around for more data that would give support for the existence of a designer.

    First of all, you don’t have any direct evidence of possible designers for the ET code. But more importantly, as your first inference correctly stated, we don’t need to know anything about possible designers to recognize that the symbol-language could not have been produced by unguided forces.

    As I have said over and over again: I would want to heavily scrutinise and examine any signal received before coming to the conclusion that it was designed. So far, the only ones that have been determined to have been designed were from us. Now, if we had some other kind of knowledge that there were designers out there somewhere then the probability of picking up on one of their signals becomes more tenable.

    This contradicts your claim about intelligent beings in other solar systems.

    I didn’t say there were intelligent being in other solar systems! I just think it’s a possibility and one that I think is worth looking into.

    Again, as I said before, you really need to sort this out. If you were caught red-handed in a double-standard and now you want to change it, just make that clear. But it will tell us that you’re running from the evidence that you clearly understood (at one time) and now you don’t like the implications of it.

    I have taken the time, several times, to clarify and expand upon my initial statements. If you choose not to respect my attempts in good faith to explain myself more fully then I’m not sure if there is any point in continuing the discussion. But, if that is the case, then I would ask you and Upright BiPed to let the matter settle and stop bringing it up. I’m happy to agree to disagree, are you?

  436. 436
    ET says:

    Got that? DNA based life is impossible without existing error detection and error correction machinery. It has to be there from the get-go. You lose.

    JVL:

    I disagree.

    Of course you do. You are desperate.

    The systems that evolved more stable reproductive techniques would have had an advantage in that they would have generated more offspring that were viable since the parent was already viable.

    What a load of willfully ignorant gibberish. There isn’t any reproduction without the error detection and correction.

    Again, DNA based life is impossible without the existing error detection and error correction machinery that keep as a viable information carrier. And it has to be there from the start.

  437. 437
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Because it’s not yet clear that DNA could not have arisen via unguided and natural processes.

    So, you are ignorant of science. Science demands that the claims being made must not only be testable, but they have to have been tested and confirmed. You don’t have any of that. YOU need positive evidence. No one has to refute a claim that doesn’t have any support.

  438. 438
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    So, you are ignorant of science. Science demands that the claims being made must not only be testable, but they have to have been tested and confirmed. You don’t have any of that. YOU need positive evidence. No one has to refute a claim that doesn’t have any support.

    You don’t understand …JVL reasoning start with materialism must be true therefore (follow secondary reasoning) must be a method of atoms who make a meeting and decide what goals they will have ,then they think about a function that will provide for their goals, then think about how to implement that function by creating code/functional information then writting that code on chemical substances, then

  439. 439
    JVL says:

    ET: What a load of willfully ignorant gibberish. There isn’t any reproduction without the error detection and correction.

    Maybe. That is just an assertion. There may have been a very inefficient and error-prone system at first.

    Again, DNA based life is impossible without the existing error detection and error correction machinery that keep as a viable information carrier. And it has to be there from the start.

    Well, why not wait and see what the research actually says? You seem determined to call the whole question done and dusted when clearly it isn’t. Your hypothesis/idea is refutable, why not wait to see if it is before claiming victory?

    So, you are ignorant of science. Science demands that the claims being made must not only be testable, but they have to have been tested and confirmed. You don’t have any of that. YOU need positive evidence. No one has to refute a claim that doesn’t have any support.

    I’m saying that it hasn’t been made clear that the genetic system could not have arisen via natural, unguided processes. I’m not saying it did; I’m saying it hasn’t been shown that it couldn’t.

    You ARE claiming it couldn’t have arisen via natural processes. And those who are looking to refute that claim are doing research and work to see if that claim is true.

    What is wrong with that? Your claim is being tested. As you suggest. That’s how science works so what’s the problem?

  440. 440
    ET says:

    JVL:

    There may have been a very inefficient and error-prone system at first.

    Saying that blind and mindless processes can produce error detection and error correction is nothing but pure desperation.

    Well, why not wait and see what the research actually says?

    I referenced the research. It says that you are clueless and desperate.

    You ARE claiming it couldn’t have arisen via natural processes.

    Wrong again. I am saying that there isn’t any evidence for it and there isn’t even any way to test the claim. Hitchens says to dismiss such claims.

    By JVL’s “logic” the people looking into a natual origin for Stonehenge are doing scientific research.

    I am all for more research. The more we know the better Intelligent Design looks.

  441. 441
    JVL says:

    ET: Saying that blind and mindless processes can produce error detection and error correction is nothing but pure desperation.

    Still, there’s nothing wrong with checking it out. Just in case. And, as I have pointed out, a lot of researchers disagree with you. Just sayin’.

    I referenced the research. It says that you are clueless and desperate.

    Don’t think they’d be doing it if they thought it was pointless. Maybe you misinterpreted the work?

    Wrong again. I am saying that there isn’t any evidence for it and there isn’t even any way to test the claim.

    Well, I think there is evidence and, regardless, there’s no harm in checking it out.

    How can it possible that ‘there isn’t even any way to test’ the notion that natural and unguided processes are up to the task? IF someone was able to show a possible step-by-step process all achievable via unguided processes why wouldn’t that be sufficient?

    By JVL’s “logic” the people looking into a natual origin for Stonehenge are doing scientific research.

    That’s different though partly because we also have evidence of the people who designed and ‘built’ Stonehenge. In other words we know there were designers around at the time with the requisite skills and tools.

    I am all for more research. The more we know the better Intelligent Design looks.

    So what are you complaining about then?

  442. 442
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Still, there’s nothing wrong with checking it out. Just in case. And, as I have pointed out, a lot of researchers disagree with you.

    Stuff your bluffs. Every researcher knows that this is a HUGE problem.

    Don’t think they’d be doing it if they thought it was pointless.

    They NEED to in order to keep their dreams alive.

    Well, I think there is evidence and, regardless, there’s no harm in checking it out.

    No one cares what you think. You are biased and delusional.

    How can it possible that ‘there isn’t even any way to test’ the notion that natural and unguided processes are up to the task?

    Because sheer dumb luck is the antithesis of science. And your misunderstanding of natural selection doesn’t help.

    IF someone was able to show a possible step-by-step process all achievable via unguided processes why wouldn’t that be sufficient?

    Unless they can demonstrate that the process can actually do it, they don’t know if it’s possible.

    That’s different though partly because we also have evidence of the people who designed and ‘built’ Stonehenge. In other words we know there were designers around at the time with the requisite skills and tools.

    Wow! We “know” they had the capabilities because of Stonehenge. If Stonehenge didn’t exist no one would think they had the capabilities. The people and tools could have come after, when people settled the area.

    So what are you complaining about then?

    I am pointing out your nonsense, gullibility, hypocrisy and desperation.

  443. 443
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    JVL
    it hasn’t been made clear that the genetic system could not have arisen via natural, unguided processes

    🙂 Is not about genetic code only. It’s about codes AND (related ) functionality that the codes operate in cell. Cells are functioning ok but is only a “trivial” level as we go up to the organs then to systems then to whole organism. Are you saying all these levels of organisation are the result of random chemicals ? I mean is allowed to think without having evidences but your name is worshipper in the Church of Magical Matter .

  444. 444
    kairosfocus says:

    JVl, twisted into a strawman, wheel and tun an come again betta dan dat. (Ghost of Miss Lou, forgive my butchery of J/ca talk.) KF

    PS, when Wikipedia is forced to admit highly speculative nature, that should be enough. The concern remains, people and movements are being rhetorically trashed without sound response on the point that FSCO/I, language and algorithms as we see in life are strong signs of design.

  445. 445
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    it hasn’t been made clear that the genetic system could not have arisen via natural, unguided processes

    Others have already pointed this out to you, but I’ll just say again – you have to demonstrate it, not just claim it. Even in a lab environment, there’s nothing to support the idea that the functional, logic-based, communication network in the cell could have arisen by natural causes.
    By intelligent design we can created functional code.
    The inference is that the code and related functions we observe are caused by intelligence.
    That’s the ID proposal. To falsify the ID claim, you have to demonstrate your claim.
    You can’t just say “it could have arisen by unguided processes” – that doesn’t falsify the ID claim where we know that intelligence can produce the effect (as with software).

  446. 446
    Silver Asiatic says:

    JVL

    Your hypothesis/idea is refutable, why not wait to see if it is before claiming victory?

    That’s fine. You can keep trying to refute the ID hypothesis. But until you do, ID stands as the best explanation – supported by positive evidence that we can, by intelligent design, build similar functional code. So, we can do it by intelligence. You can claim that natural processes can do it but until you show it, ID is the best explanation.

  447. 447
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, scroll up to the OP, noting the process-flow network and the need for genetics to be coordinated with and code for the required materials etc. Then, you have to invent machine code, algorithms and implementing machinery out of in effect lucky noise filtered by success. The cumulative, integrated complexity is such that I am highly confident that the suggestions don’t scratch the surface of what is really needed. Spontaneous OoL has been off the table since the 1950’s and 60’s, or at least it would be in a less ideologically driven age. KF

  448. 448
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    The cumulative, integrated complexity is such that I am highly confident that the suggestions don’t scratch the surface of what is really needed

    Agreed. Someone would have to claim that a random letter generator could create perfectly functioning software code that operates an AI system., like a self-driving car.

  449. 449
    JVL says:

    ET: Stuff your bluffs. Every researcher knows that this is a HUGE problem.

    Guess that’s why they’re working on it. Scientists like working on big problems.

    They NEED to in order to keep their dreams alive.

    I rather doubt that.

    No one cares what you think. You are biased and delusional.

    Nonetheless, a lot of people are spending a lot of time and money working on these issues.

    Because sheer dumb luck is the antithesis of science. And your misunderstanding of natural selection doesn’t help.

    No one is depending on sheer dumb luck.

    Unless they can demonstrate that the process can actually do it, they don’t know if it’s possible.

    I guess that’s why they are working on showing it’s possible.

    Wow! We “know” they had the capabilities because of Stonehenge. If Stonehenge didn’t exist no one would think they had the capabilities. The people and tools could have come after, when people settled the area.

    Except there are a lot of other stone circles in Britain, one is even bigger than Stonehenge. And they are all dated to the same era and show the same signs of work and such. So we have many examples of the work the people around at the time wanted to do and were capable of doing.

    I am pointing out your nonsense, gullibility, hypocrisy and desperation.

    Whatever trips your trigger.

  450. 450
    Querius says:

    JVL,
    I also see many reasons and advantages to experiment with both natural and artificial systems that capture and process data involving the environment and their responses.

    This might include experiments involving radioisotopes and bacteria to simulate millions of years of evolution. Bacteria quickly reproduce and are incredibly tolerant of high doses of ionizing radiation (but not heat) and so would provide a nearly ideal laboratory for tracking the effects of mutations over simulated eons of time.

    Machine learning is also a great laboratory for purposes of studying the nature of information. Alpha Zero and the code behind it is a prime example.

    Computers could provide an environment for the spontaneous generation and artificial evolution of a coding system such as RNA and DNA from a rules-based parameterized system involving artificial amino acids and other basic components of life. Random interactions in a variety of changing environments could simulate the early earth for the equivalent of billions of years of Monte Carlo simulation. Random interactions could be used to trace the spontaneous emergence of functional cell membranes and some type of code for cell metabolism and replication.

    I think science would benefit greatly regardless of the outcomes.

    -Q

  451. 451
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    Computers could provide an environment for the spontaneous generation and artificial evolution of a coding system such as RNA and DNA

    🙂 Not really. You have to simulate with all codes from cell and surprise, surprise DNA, RNA don’t make 10% of all codes from cell. You can’t brake a code by brute force if you don’t even know where are located all the cyphers or worse you are not aware of their existence.

  452. 452
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @451,

    Good point. It seems that epigenetic data and other forms of information associated with cells (as you’ve been advocating) would be expected to emerge in any successful Artificial Evolution ™ simulation.

    Thus, AE ™ would provide powerful clues about the efficacy of transposition, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, symbiogenesis, genome duplication, a previously unknown mechanism, or possibly even random mutation, unlikely as that seems. But all depending on whether AE is successful.

    -Q

  453. 453
    kairosfocus says:

    U/D: I have now got a video on pin tumbler Yale type locks to load. Such keys and locks show how prong height coding can work. KF

  454. 454
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, I just got word fenced for trying to fix a typo that messed up a URL. KF

  455. 455
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    Thus, AE ™ would provide powerful clues about the efficacy of transposition, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, symbiogenesis, genome duplication, a previously unknown mechanism, or possibly even random mutation, unlikely as that seems. But all depending on whether AE is successful.

    🙂 I wouldn’t trust to much to the interpretations that darwinist give to transposition, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, symbiogenesis, genome duplication after they affirmed that 98% of genome is non-functional(!!!) . Do you see the problem when darwinists declared that the most important and the most complex part of the genome (regulatory regions for cell organisation ) is junk? Secondly if we check what we know for sure(process details of DNA-RNA-protein) we will conclude that nothing is random in cell and all interpretations of darwinists( how functional info can appear because of errors, faults, mistakes, miscarriages) is just storytelling . We know how DNA through a very strict ,complex and stable stages is transcribed/then translated to functional proteins .

    Let’s not forget also the background of a process DNA-RNA-protein (functional machine) that escape to our focus: energy required, cell signalling codes(detection of “the need”(?) for X protein, followed by mail order for product , then search function through 3 billion nucleotides to find the right region that correspond to the blueprint of the specific type of machine that is required by the cell, then deliveries of protein to the exact adress and the exact time to be useful, not too early to not impede over other processes and not too late because cell could die/became disfunctional if order is coming too late 😆

  456. 456
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Thus, AE ™

    This is AE: :)))
    https://twitter.com/iamraisini/status/1523622815630385152

  457. 457
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data,

    Many years ago, I tried simulating a simple ecosystem. I was disappointed that despite many tweaks, my ecosystems took wilder and wilder swings until the carrying capacity of the biome quickly went to zero. Multiple outcomes like this was discouraging until I learned that it is was typical. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from my failures.

    Perhaps, the same will be true for AE ™ simulations that attempt to build the spectacular complexity within a cell from randomly combining common elements, ratcheting up information out of chaos.

    The process requires many experiments and careful documentation, and the process is not dissimilar to that for making gold out of lead. It’s a biological analog to the study of alchemy.

    But don’l knock it. According to historical sources Alchemy was liberally funded by wealthy courts and provided a comfortable living to many aspiring alchemists (just as today).
    https://johnastewart.org/networked-narratives/a-brief-history-of-alchemy/

    Hmmm. I wonder whether universities would accept funding for a department of Alchemy. (smile)

    -Q

  458. 458
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    Lieutenant Commander Data,

    Many years ago, I tried simulating a simple ecosystem.

    🙂 Interesting.

  459. 459
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, actually, IIRC, they did make gold [79] from mercury [80] by irradiation. Not commercially viable of course. Lead is 82, end point for natural radioactivity chains. And yes ecosystems in part are complex networks with energy and material flows, you ran into nonlinearities and instabilities. And there are significant numbers of boom bust cycles, striped bass populations are a well known case. KF

  460. 460
    ET says:

    JVL is clueless. Without Intelligent Design all there is to try to explain our existence is sheer dumb luck. His flailing is never going to change that.

  461. 461
    ET says:

    Wow! We “know” they had the capabilities because of Stonehenge. If Stonehenge didn’t exist no one would think they had the capabilities. The people and tools could have come after, when people settled the area.

    JVL:

    Except there are a lot of other stone circles in Britain, one is even bigger than Stonehenge.

    The same thing applies to them, duh. And they aren’t anything like Stonehenge so yours is a false equivalence.

  462. 462
    JVL says:

    ET: And they aren’t anything like Stonehenge so yours is a false equivalence.

    As usual, it’s pretty easy to show that you are unaware of the number of stone circle extant in the world and particularly in the NW of Europe. And, as usual, if you bothered to look you would find evidence that shows that Stonehenge is, like the pyramids at Giza, an example of a developing and wide-spread craft.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_circle

    The particular ‘bigger’ one I was referring to, and one I have actually visited, is at Avebury.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury

    It’s so big that the village is now partly inside the circle. I stayed at a bed-and-breakfast in that village.

  463. 463
    Querius says:

    JVL @462,
    Yes. Stonehenge and similar stone calendars (IMHO) and also many megaliths worldwide demonstrate technologies that don’t align to the low IQ image of ancient humans, likely including Neanderthals. As I’m sure you know, the Antikythera mechanism from the first century BC (BCE) is particularly astonishing!

    On a side note, did you see the post by Kairosfocus indicating to you that he was also locked out of a thread.

    -Q

  464. 464
    JVL says:

    Querius: On a side note, did you see the post by Kairosfocus indicating to you that he was also locked out of a thread.

    Yes, I did. He should do something about it.

  465. 465
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, all I could do is ask, as you are free to do. However, knowing the toxic environment UD faces — every now and then I get email inquiries from WP indicating an attack — I tend to shrug and put up with occasional problems. KF

  466. 466
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @465,

    Thanks for letting us us know about the attacks. I hope JVL sees your reply, since he’s complained about being locked out of a thread incorrectly as being some sort of censorship. It occasionally happens to many of us here.

    -Q

  467. 467
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, as a matter of fact some of the recent attacks trace to a specific location in a certain North American city that shall be nameless. Other attacks have involved online and on the ground stalking and attempts to damage livelihood as well as to implicitly threaten even fairly remote relatives. KF

  468. 468
    Querius says:

    When someone can’t win an argument, and ad hominem attacks just aren’t as satisfying as they once were, there’s always the option to attack the forum instead . . .

    -Q

  469. 469
    kairosfocus says:

    Update added to bring here a side debate on another thread. KF

  470. 470
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I bring here from yet another sidetracked thread, a summary of kernel ID theory as a cluster of postulates — based on clips from the Resources tab:

    The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds

    [–> key, evidence backed postulate, cf those of Newtonian dynamics and special then general relativity, thermodynamics and statistical thermodynamics, postulational cores can be brief but sweeping in impact]

    that

    [First, Evidence-backed Programmatic Postulate:] certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained [–> explicit reference to logic of abductive reasoning] by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.

    ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

    In a broader sense,

    [2nd, Operational Postulate:] Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection — how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose.

    Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). [–> design oriented sciences. Signal to noise ratio in telecommunications is based on a design inference.]

    [3rd, Empirical Warrant/Point of test or potential falsification postulate:] An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

    ID is controversial because of the implications of its evidence, rather than the significant weight of its evidence. ID proponents believe science should be conducted objectively, without regard to the implications of its findings. This is particularly necessary in origins science because of its historical (and thus very subjective) nature, and because it is a science that unavoidably impacts religion.

    [Evidence Corollary:] Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the “messages,” and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation. Other evidence challenges the adequacy of natural or material causes to explain both the origin and diversity of life . . . .

    Intelligent design [ID] – Dr William A Dembski, a leading design theorist, has defined ID as “the science that studies signs of intelligence.” That is,

    [4th, Designs and Signs Postulate:] as we ourselves instantiate [thus exemplify as opposed to “exhaust”], intelligent designers act into the world, and create artifacts. When such agents act, there are certain characteristics that commonly appear, and that – per massive experience — reliably mark such artifacts. It it therefore a reasonable and useful scientific project to study such signs and identify how we may credibly reliably infer from empirical sign to the signified causal factor: purposefully directed contingency or intelligent design. [–> definition of design, note, abductive inference from observed sign to signified cause.]

    Among the signs of intelligence of current interest for research are:

    [Supplement, on evidence:] [a] FSCI — function-specifying complex information [e.g. blog posts in English text that take in more than 143 ASCII characters, and/or — as was highlighted by Yockey and Wickens by the mid-1980s — as a distinguishing marker of the macromolecules in the heart of cell-based life forms], or more broadly

    [b] CSI — complex, independently specified information [e.g. Mt Rushmore vs New Hampshire’s former Old Man of the mountain, or — as was highlighted by Orgel in 1973 — a distinguishing feature of the cell’s information-rich organized aperiodic macromolecules that are neither simply orderly like crystals nor random like chance-polymerized peptide chains], or

    [c] IC — multi-part functionality that relies on an irreducible core of mutually co-adapted, interacting components. [e.g. the hardware parts of a PC or more simply of a mousetrap; or – as was highlighted by Behe in the mid 1990’s — the bacterial flagellum and many other cell-based bodily features and functions.], or

    [d] “Oracular” active information – in some cases, e.g. many Genetic Algorithms, successful performance of a system traces to built-in information or organisation that guides algorithmicsearch processes and/or performance so that the system significantly outperforms random search. Such guidance may include oracles that, step by step, inform a search process that the iterations are “warmer/ colder” relative to a performance target zone. (A classic example is the Weasel phrase search program.) Also,

    [e] Complex, algorithmically active, coded information – the complex information used in systems and processes is symbolically coded in ways that are not preset by underlying physical or chemical forces, but by encoding and decoding dynamically inert but algorithmically active information that guides step by step execution sequences, i.e. algorithms. (For instance, in hard disk drives, the stored information in bits is coded based a conventional, symbolic assignment of the N/S poles, forces and fields involved, and is impressed and used algorithmically. The physics of forces and fields does not determine or control the bit-pattern of the information – or, the drive would be useless. Similarly, in DNA, the polymer chaining chemistry is effectively unrelated to the information stored in the sequence and reading frames of the A/ G/ C/ T side-groups. It is the coded genetic information in the successive three-letter D/RNA codons that is used by the cell’s molecular nano- machines in the step by step creation of proteins. Such DNA sets from observed living organisms starts at 100,000 – 500,000 four-state elements [200 k – 1 M bits], abundantly meriting the description: function- specifying, complex information, or FSCI.)

    [(f) evidence of the fine tuned cosmos.] . . . .

    Thus, ID can be framed on postulates, and we may draw forth from such that cells using memory structures storing coded algorithms and associated execution machinery are strong evidence of the design of cell based life. With Drexler, we are looking a bit at nanotech issues.

    KF

  471. 471
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: UB’s case, 2012:

    UB’s argument:

    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ub-sets-it-out-step-by-step/

    1. A representation is an arrangement of matter which evokes an effect within a system (e.g. written text, spoken words, pheromones, animal gestures, codes, sensory input, intracellular messengers, nucleotide sequences, etc, etc). [–> preliminary note]

    2. It is not logically possible to transfer information (the form of a thing; a measured aspect, quality, or preference) in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter.

    Let’s insert a citation of what, likely, was a C1 Rhetoric 101 example, showing how distinct identity and physical states are used in linguistic communication:

    1 Cor 14:7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

    3. If that is true, and it surely must be, then several other things must logically follow. If there is now an arrangement of matter which contains a representation of form as a consequence of its own material arrangement, then that arrangement must be necessarily arbitrary to the thing it represents. In other words, if one thing is to represent another thing within a system, then it must be separate from the thing it represents. And if it is separate from it, then it cannot be anything but materially arbitrary to it (i.e. they cannot be the same thing). [–> sign != signified, AND sign –> signified, through modulation or code etc]

    4. If that is true, then the presence of that representation must present a material component to the system (which is reducible to physical law), while its arrangement presents an arbitrary component to the system (which is not reducible to physical law).

    5. If that is true, and again it surely must be, then there has to be something else which establishes the otherwise non-existent relationship between the representation and the effect it evokes within the system. [–> the protocol] In fact, this is the material basis of Francis Crick’s famous ‘adapter hypothesis’ in DNA, which lead to a revolution in the biological sciences. In a material universe, that something else must be a second arrangement of matter; coordinated to the first arrangement as well as to the effect it evokes.

    6. It then also follows that this second arrangement must produce its unambiguous function, not from the mere presence of the representation, but from its arrangement. It is the arbitrary component of the representation which produces the function.

    7. And if those observations are true, then in order to actually transfer recorded information, two discrete arrangements of matter are inherently required by the process; and both of these objects must necessarily have a quality that extends beyond their mere material make-up. The first is a representation and the second is a protocol (a systematic, operational rule instantiated in matter) and together they function as a formal system. They are the irreducible complex core which is fundamentally required in order to transfer recorded information. [–> See Shannon in OP above]

    8. During protein synthesis, a selected portion of DNA is first transcribed into mRNA, then matured and transported to the site of translation within the ribosome. [–> 101 stuff] This transcription process facilitates the input of information (the arbitrary component of the DNA sequence) into the system. The input of this arbitrary component functions to constrain the output, producing the polypeptides which demonstrate unambiguous function. [–> code, execution step by step]

    9. From a causal standpoint, the arbitrary component of DNA is transcribed to mRNA, and those mRNA are then used to order tRNA molecules within the ribosome. [–> yup] Each stage of this transcription process is determined by the physical forces of pair bonding. [–> anticodon to codon, but note the AA is attached at a universal joint, CCA tool tip, cf OP] Yet, which amino acid appears at the peptide binding site is not determined by pair bonding; it is determined by the aaRS.[–> loading enzyme, see Yockey etc in OP] In other words, which amino acid appears at the binding site is only evoked by the physical structure of the nucleic triplet, but is not determined by it. Instead, it is determined (in spatial and temporal isolation) by the physical structure of the aaRS. This is the point of translation; the point where the arbitrary component of the representation is allowed to evoke a response in a physically determined system – while preserving the arbitrary nature of the representation.

    10. This physical event, translation by a material protocol, as well as the transcription of a material representation, is ubiquitous in the transfer of recorded information.

    CONCLUSION: These two physical objects (the representation and protocol) along with the required preservation of the arbitrary component of the representation, and the production of unambiguous function from that arbitrary component, confirm that the transfer of recorded information in the genome is just like any other form of recorded information. It’s an arbitrary relationship instantiated in matter.

    KF

    PS, Animation HT BA77 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fiJupfbSpg

  472. 472
    JVL says:

    It happened again. After a long pause between posts and without me trying to edit my post or doing anything wrong as far as I can determine. Too bad no one from the site admins will stand up and explain their security settings. They should also apologise to the commenters whose question do not get answered because the person expected to answer cannot because of some unexplained security protocol.

    A potentially unsafe operation has been detected in your request to this site
    Your access to this service has been limited. (HTTP response code 403)

    If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance.

    Block Technical Data
    Block Reason: A potentially unsafe operation has been detected in your request to this site
    Time: Sat, 14 May 2022 18:09:57 GMT
    About Wordfence
    Wordfence is a security plugin installed on over 4 million WordPress sites. The owner of this site is using Wordfence to manage access to their site.
    You can also read the documentation to learn about Wordfence’s blocking tools, or visit wordfence.com to learn more about Wordfence.

  473. 473
    kairosfocus says:

    JVL, it’s the same problem, potentially unsafe operation. KF

  474. 474
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Blocking Troubleshooting

    What to do if you locked yourself out or are experiencing unwanted blocks.

    https://www.wordfence.com/help/blocking/troubleshooting/

    403 Forbidden. A potentially unsafe operation has been detected in your request to this site.

    If you see this message it means Wordfence has blocked you for violating a firewall rule. If you are an administrator on the site, check the “Tools” > “Live Traffic” page feed and locate the request that was blocked. If you are sure that the request is safe and should not be blocked, you can add the blocked request to the allowlist. If you are not an administrator on the site then contact the site owner for assistance.

  475. 475
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: it’s the same problem, potentially unsafe operation.

    What unsafe operations? Can someone tell me what it is I’m doing that is tripping the WordFence security warnings?

    Kairosfocus doesn’t actually know, does anyone know?