Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Memo to markf: Self-organization theory is not a threat to design

File:Snowflake - Microphotograph by artgeek.jpg
snowflake under microscope/Michael

Longtime stalwart commenter markf tells us, with respect to this new non-Darwinian proposal for evolution, currently climbing the charts,

As I keep on pointing out this is a new non-teleological mechanism for evolution and (using the ID definition) for accumulating “information”. As such it potentially expands modern evolutionary biology and drives yet another nail into the argument for ID.

markf misses the point. The Darwin lobby has made strikingly clear that they are interested in Darwin, and Darwin only. No explanation of evolution sounds genuine to them unless it can be explained by natural selection acting on random mutation.

This was made clear when lobbyist Eugenie Scott told investigative reporter Suzan Mazur that her pressure group opposes teaching self-organization theories because they sound too much like ID.

It’s hard to imagine a self-organization theorist agreeing with that.

Indeed, the Texas pressure group explained that self-organization must be opposed because it sounds too much like … Bill Dembski, who founded this ID community blog and is not a fan of self-organization theory.

Mere details. The mantra is, keep it simple, stupid, and Darwin. And go to court if that isn’t happening.

Which is why the Darwin lobby doesn’t get much face time in most of North America. (We can’t be responsible for what people overseas feel they must just shut up ‘n believe/pretend to believe/shout slogans for at rallies.)

All that said, there are many non-Darwin theories of evolution out there that explain, each, a small part of the picture, and we have covered here as many as we encountered. None of them do away with the necessity of design; indeed, only Darwin’s theory was developed with that in mind, which explains both its attraction and the reason that Darwinists cannot share the stage even with other non-design theories of evolution.

The author of the Heredity paper suggests some form of self-organization. That probably means that his paper will fall down the memory hole promptly, along with all the others, but we will do what we can to keep the spark alive.

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Self-organization cannot explan semiotic information transfer either. The individual arrangements of matter (codons) that make up the representations within DNA, and the resulting effect of those arrangements, have a break in the physical chain of events that exists between them. It is what Woese has talked about as (paraphrasing) the connection between the nucleic world and the world of polypeptides. The physical object that actually connects those two worlds (aaRS) has no interaction with either domain. It is isolated from both by space and time. Therefore, there is an observable discontinuity that exists in the physical chain as a result of the genetic information system being semiotic. It is the fatal flaw for self-organization. Upright BiPed
UBP: "Of course, the idea of “self-organization” is vacuous for the simple fact that it doesn’t even require a mechanism – it is supposed that it just happens." ==== It's a term closely associated to "self-replicators" and the idea and purpose behind such terms is convey the thought of lifeless molecules magically coming to life. Well, at least in those cartoony 'warm little pond' YouTube clips they do. But even still material substrate displaying a changing reaction as a result of some chemcial catalyst introduced into the suop is not the informational driven replication that defines life as we observe it. To Soothsay and pimp otherwise is another faith-based conjecture on the part of evolutionary believers who in the end continue to deny they have any such thing as faith. Eocene
You're right. One could argue that I was begging the question. And in doing so I place more of the burden of explanation on myself than is necessary. The burden should be to explain or demonstrate self-organization. ScottAndrews2
I usually try to be careful not to conclude that a mind or a person is required for organization - at least not at the level of making the observation. (eg. - weather organizes itself into a temporal system, for instance, is a common counter-argument). Instead, I say that a mechanism is required, since the source of the organization is in question. It then follows, as has been noted already, to consider what qualities are required for a particular organization to occur (foresight, intent, etc). Of course, the idea of "self-organization" is vacuous for the simple fact that it doesn't even require a mechanism - it is supposed that it just happens. ...poof there it is. Upright BiPed
Self-organization cannot explain ATP synthase- The ATP Synthase is a system that consists of two subsystems-> one for the flow of protons down an electrochemical gradient from the exterior to the interior and the other (a rotary engine) that generates ATP from ADP using the energy liberated by proton flow. These two processes are totally unrelated from a purely physiochemical perspective- meaning there isn't any general principle of physics nor chemistry by which these two processes have anything to do with each other. Joseph
Sorry, I should have said I cut & pasted this chunk of text from my blog (hence the words "examples of which we saw earlier" &c), and this is not a quote from the said publication. Not intended to be a quote manipulation. Eugene S
David Abel, for one, distinguishes self-organisation from self-ordering (see D. Abel, The Capabilitties of Chaos and Complexity, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 247-291; doi:10.3390/ijms10010247.): - Self-organisation assumes hierarchical relationships between components of a system while self-ordering does not; - Self-organisation is characterised by formal processes as opposed to physico-dynamic processes that allow for self-ordering; - While spontaneous self-ordering without the help from intelligent agency, examples of which we saw earlier, is observable in systems "on the edge of chaos", self-organisation is not. At least, it has not been observed anywhere to date. Examples of self-ordering are crystallisation, chemical clock, &c. Examples of genuine self-organisation have not been found to date (putting aside the disputed example of life). Eugene S
Organizing one's home is a far simpler task (and not much of an analogy.) But has a single person reading this ever accidentally organized his or her home? Organization begins with the intent to organize and the abstract imagination of an organized state. It is mental before it physical. ScottAndrews2
This is common sense. But common sense is not allowed in naturalistic materialism. It is a bad bad tone there. Nature is said to compute itself constantly, trouble is why it is doing it we can't know because it is intractable :) Wonderful reasoning. Eugene S
Felipe, welcome to UD. Thank you for sharing your website. Upright BiPed
Self organization without a guiding program of some type is absolute foolishness. There is absolutely no way that could be possible. We're talking about pure chance - pure chance! Even with a supposed selection mechanism of new darwinism, it is a far far fetched story, but self organization without a guiding program? What a joke! Is this what we have come to? It takes a brain to organize things, even if you are organizing yourself! tjguy
NEWS: "markf misses the point. The Darwin lobby has made strikingly clear that they are interested in Darwin, and Darwin only. No explanation of evolution sounds genuine to them unless it can be explained by natural selection acting on random mutation.# ==== I think it's telling when some want to break away from RM & NS because they themselves can see organization and directedness, but they'll still never admit in the possibility of a designer. So we get words/terms like directed evolution & guided evolution which is actually apostacy of sorts with true Darwinian worship. ---- NEWS: "This was made clear when lobbyist Eugenie Scott? told investigative reporter Suzan Mazur that her pressure group opposes teaching self-organization theories because they sound too much like ID." ==== She is clearly a part of the Darwinian Orthodoxy and Fundamentalism movement. The man is worshipped like a god and it amazes me how after so many mistakes on his part are pointed out, they rush to his defense and proceed to tell us what he actually meant or any number of excuse making in defense of the man. How could anyone possibly have the uncanny power to channel this man for his true thoughts on any matters. ---- Eric Anderson: "What is self-organization?" ==== It's a recently often used term to gloss or mask over a creator of information driving replication and spin it as a just so story of life magically morphing from the 'warm little pond'. For example, the term "Self-Replicator" is diliberately used in any and all Gerald Joyce experiments to hide the FACT that Gerald Joyce is actually an intelligent designing Creator. Eocene
This is a variation on neutral drift, which has been mainstream for 50 years. Petrushka
Self-organization is an impossible logical conundrum An organized complex biological system might be the product(outcome) of an organizing process. But it can not be at the same time its own cause. Neither "Nature" can be said to be the causal agent of any process. To organize is a transitive verb; someone must organize something. felipe
What is self-organization? It means something comes together without guidance or outside direction -- it comes together all by itself. In other words, in the broad sense it means that something comes together by necessity of law or by chance. Either the thing came about by law, by chance or by design, which is what we started with in the first place. Therefore, self-organization doesn't constitute a new explanatory category, but rather a subcategory of law, chance, or a combination of the two. My sense is that most self-organization theorists are using a definition of self-organization that can ultimately be understood as some kind of law, or a combination of law and chance. "Emergent properties," for example, is a common term in self-organization theories, usually coupled with the idea that there is a synergistic new property that emerges when lots of particles get together that didn't exist with the individual particles. Millions of water droplets coming together to form clouds, for example, where the sum of the parts makes something new that has properties the individual particles themselves didn't have. This is good as far as it goes, and it is clearly true that there are many things in nature and in life where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is true, however, regardless of the explanation for how the whole came to be, law, chance, design or some combination. Ultimately, self-organiztion must be understood as either (i) a law (i.e., inevitable organiztion), or (ii) a law acting upon chance changes. Self-organization is not a new category of cause; it is simply a descriptor applied to certain kinds of law/chance processes. The question remains: What can chance and necessity accomplish by themselves? Self-organization is subject to the same limitations as any other law/necessity theory, and it certainly does not do away with the ID argument. Eric Anderson

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