Intelligent Design

More Astonishing Things Materialists Say

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In response to my last post, Sev gives us an astonishing double down:

Yes, a microscopic living cell is immensely complex when you look at it closely but comparing one to a factory based on some similarities in the internal processes is an analogy not necessarily evidence of design. To judge the value of an analogy you should also consider the differences. For example, a human factory is vastly larger than a living cell. It’s also made of refined metals, plastics and glass which you don’t find in the cell. Judged by those attributes of known design, the cell is not designed.

OK, lets consider the differences that you point out.

1.  Cells are smaller than factories.  Sev, you didn’t think this one through.  Think of the original computers.  They were the size of a room and less powerful than today’s handheld smart phone.  So which is the more sophisticated design, UNIVAC or my Galaxy Edge 7?  The inference from miniaturization goes in the opposite direction you seem to think it does.  Even the simplest cell is a marvel of nano-technology.  The “nano” part of that phrase increases the confidence we can have in the design inference.

2.  Cells are made from different materials.  So?  Mount Rushmore is a designed object that uses stone as a material.  The computer I am typing this on is a designed object made of metal, plastic and silicon.  The messages Craig Venter encoded in DNA were designed objects using DNA as the medium.  The design inference is based on an analysis of whether the object is characterized by specified complexity, not the material of which it is made.

 

99 Replies to “More Astonishing Things Materialists Say

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    The design inference is based on an analysis of whether the object is characterized by specified complexity, not the material of which it is made.

    This is not that dissimilar to the part of Seversky’s comment that you omitted:

    We recognize design only where it looks something like that we might design and because we don’t observe anything like it occurring through natural processes.

    (if one accepts the claim that specified complexity isn’t observed in anything occurring through natural processes)

    I think the issue is to decide what are the relevant similarities, i.e. what aspects of the specification should be used. Seversky’s point (I think – he can correct me if I’m wrong) is that this decision is important, and if the wrong decisions are made, you can come to the wrong answer.

    One problem with using the space station as an analogy is that space stations don’t reproduce, whereas living things do. So perhaps reproduction could be an important difference …?

  2. 2
    Barry Arrington says:

    Bob @ 1:

    “One problem with using the space station as an analogy is that space stations don’t reproduce, whereas living things do.”

    Yes, Bob that is an important difference. Our most sophisticated technology is not even close to being able to create a von Neumann self-replicator. But you don’t seem to understand the inference that should be drawn from that fact.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    Who says what inference *should* be drawn from that? I draw a different inference from the one you do. Until we can definitely show either how OOL occurred, or that it is not possible, I don’t see how we can say for definite which inference is correct.

  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    [The following is something that I wrote before, on another thread, which is worth is repeating here.]

    The origin of life is like the origin of the universe. It appears to be a singular, non-repeating, highly improbable event which occurred very early in earth’s history. Furthermore all the clues of how and why it occurred have been lost. But then added to that problem are other problems: how does chemistry create code? What is required to create an autonomously self-replicating system which has the possibility of evolving into something more complex? The naturalist/ materialist then compounds the problem by demanding a priori that the origin of life must be completely natural– undirected without an intelligent plan or purpose.

    That does seems like it was a miracle… Well, maybe it was.

    One of my pipe dreams as a real life (now retired) machine designer is to design a self-replicating machine or automata– the kind that was first envisioned by mathematician John von Neumann. My vision is not a machine that could replicate itself from already existing parts but a machine– well actually machines– which could replicate themselves from raw material they would find on a rocky planet in some distant star system.

    One practical advantage of such machines is they could be sent out in advance some far-in-the-distant-future expedition to terraform a suitable planet in another star system preparing it for colonist who might arrive centuries or millennia later.

    By analogy, this is what the first living cells which originated on the early earth had to do.

    Even the simplest prokaryote cell is on the sub-cellular level a collection of machines networked together to replicate the whole system. To suggest that somehow the first cell emerged by some fortuitous accident is betray an ignorance how really complex primitive cells are.

    Try thinking this through on a more macro level, as I have described above, and I think you will begin to appreciate how really daunting the problem is.

  5. 5
    harry says:

    Karl Popper describes what he saw as an insurmountable problem for origin of life theorists:

    What makes the origin of life and of the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; that is, unless it leads to the synthesis of the proteins whose structure is laid down by the code. But … the machinery by which the cell (at least the non-primitive cell, which is the only one we know) translates the code consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in the DNA. Thus the code cannot be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a baffling circle; a really vicious circle, it seems, for any attempt to form a model or theory of the genesis of the genetic code. Thus we may be faced with the possibility that the origin of life (like the origin of physics) becomes an impenetrable barrier to science, and a residue to all attempts to reduce biology to chemistry and physics.

    Popper didn’t consider the fact that there was no problem at all if intelligent agency was included among the causal factors in the emergence of life.

    I invite all the atheists here to explain how the machinery by which the cell translates the code could have had its own assembly instructions encoded in the DNA mindlessly and accidentally.

    I further invite them to explain, since intelligence is a known reality, why it can’t be considered among the possible causal factors in the emergence of life.

    Intellectually honest, relentlessly objective, genuine science must admit that currently, intelligence agency must be included among the causal factors in the emergence of life simply because there is no plausible explanation for its emergence without doing so, not to mention the fact that there are no known instances of digital information-based, significant functional complexity coming about mindlessly and accidentally. Such phenomena are always the result of intelligent agency.

    Genuine science doesn’t have to know the identity of the intelligent agent to know that intelligent agency was a causal factor in some phenomenon coming about. Science admitting the necessary involvement of an intelligent agent in the emergence of life isn’t proclaiming belief in the God of the Christians and Jews, it is only remaining intellectually honest, relentlessly objective, genuine science.

    Contemporary science perverted by atheism treats the origin of life in manner that is as absurd as insisting that an extraterrestrial, unmanned (un-aliened) drone that had landed on planet Earth was really just an extremely strange meteorite simply because they didn’t like the thought of other intelligent agents existing anywhere else in the Universe. That would be ridiculous. So is science perverted by atheism when it comes to the origin of life.

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    harry –

    I invite all the atheists here to explain how the machinery by which the cell translates the code could have had its own assembly instructions encoded in the DNA mindlessly and accidentally.

    My simple answer is that I don’t know. You would do better to ask that of a scientist who studies OOL, whatever their religious views.

    I further invite them to explain, since intelligence is a known reality, why it can’t be considered among the possible causal factors in the emergence of life.

    I think it could be if there were any evidence specifically for the existence of intelligence during that time. As it is, the only evidence I am aware of is writings from billions of years later, and the evidence that they use is sketchy, to say the least.

  7. 7
    harry says:

    Bob O’H @6,

    I further invite them to explain, since intelligence is a known reality, why it can’t be considered among the possible causal factors in the emergence of life.
    — Harry

    I think it could be if there were any evidence specifically for the existence of intelligence during that time. As it is, the only evidence I am aware of is writings from billions of years later, and the evidence that they use is sketchy, to say the least.
    — Bob O’H

    If the landscape looked marked with water erosion on a waterless, barren planet, one would assume that water had once existed on that planet. In the same way, when we see effects only known to be brought about by intelligence — like digital information-based functional complexity — that is evidence specifically for the existence of intelligence.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    BobO’H: Do you not see that you are refusing to accept ain inference tot he best, empirically anchored — and known — explanation of FSCO/I? Not to mention, algorithmically functional coded information — text and language? That speaks, volumes on how evidence in front of us suddenly is transmuted into no evidence, as it will not sit comfortably with a given a priori, materialistic ideology. I think we test our ideas by the evidence and not whether we will allow it to be reckoned as evidence by our ideas. KF

  9. 9
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H:

    Harry: … since intelligence is a known reality, why it can’t be considered among the possible causal factors in the emergence of life.

    I think it could be if there were any evidence specifically for the existence of intelligence during that time.

    You have it backwards. The nano-technology in life is the evidence for the existence of intelligence. If SETI observes a certain radio signal then this radio signal is evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence. You do not tell SETI “it could be if there were any evidence specifically for the existence of intelligence during that time.”

  10. 10
    Otangelo Grasso says:

    Factory and machine planning and design, and what it tells us about cell factories and molecular machines

    The Cell is a Factory

    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....r-machines

    The cell is like a factory, that has various computer like hierarchically organized systems of hardware and software, various language based informational systems, a translation system, hudge amounts of precise instructional/specified, complex information stored and extract systems to make all parts needed to produce the factory and replicate itself, the scaffold structure, that permits the build of the indispensable protection wall, form and size of its building, walls with gates that permits cargo in and out, recognition mechanisms that let only the right cargo in, has specific sites and production lines, “employees”, busy and instructed to produce all kind of necessary products, parts and subparts with the right form and size through the right materials, others which mount the parts together in the right order, on the right place, in the right sequence, at the right time, which has sophisticated check and error detection mechanisms all along the production process, the hability to compare correctly produced parts to faulty ones and discard the faulty ones, and repeat the process to make the correct ones;

    highways and cargo carriers that have tags which recognize where to drop the cargo where its needed, cleans up waste and has waste bins and sophisticated recycle mechanisms, storage departments, produces its energy and shuttles it to where its needed, and last not least, does reproduce itself. The salient thing is that the individual parts and compartments have no function by their own. They had to emerge ALL AT ONCE, No stepwise manner is possible, all systems are INTERDEPENDENT and IRREDUCIBLE. And it could not be through evolution, since evolution depends on fully working self replicating cells, in order to function. How can someone rationally argue that the origin of the most sophisticated factory in the universe would be probable to be based on natural occurence, without involving any guiding intelligence ? To go from a bacterium to people is less of a step than to go from a mixture of amino acids to a bacterium. — Lynn Margulis

    Molecular machines in biology
    http://reasonandscience.heaven.....in-biology

    It is now clear that most functions in the cell are not carried out by single protein enzymes, colliding randomly within the cellular jungle, but by macromolecular complexes containing multiple subunits with specific functions (Alberts 1998). Many of these complexes are described as “molecular machines.” Indeed, this designation captures many of the aspects characterizing these biological complexes: modularity, complexity, cyclic function, and, in most cases, the consumption of energy. Examples of such molecular machines are the replisome, the transcriptional machinery, the spliceosome, and the ribosome.

    The Cell is a factory. the Nucleus is the control office. The cell membrane the security guard and wall. The cytoskeleton is like the support structures. The Cytoplasm is like the Air and the Factory FloorThe endoplasmic reticulum is like the Assembly Line. Ribosomes are information translation devices. The Golgi Apparatus is like the Alpha and Beta Testers. Lysosomes are like the Janitors. Vacuoles are the Storage Units. The Mitochondria is the Powerplant. Cloroplasts are like the Solar Panels.

    The Nucleus is like the control office.
    Stores the information for our body/ the factory
    controls the cell/factory
    most important part of the cell/company

    The cell membrane is like the security guard
    only lets certain things enter and leave the cell/factory
    makes sure the things the cell/factory needs comes in.
    makes sure the things that would be bad for the cell/factory can’t come in

    The cytoskeleton/ the cell wall is like the support structures
    Gives support to the building
    Gives the building a shape

    The Cytoplasm is like the Air and the Factory Floor
    Takes up most of the cell’s volume
    Covers almost all of where the work is being done

    The endoplasmic reticulum is like the Assembly Line
    The E.R. serves as the site of production for proteins
    The assembly line is where all of the products are made

    Ribosomes are like the Employees on the Floor
    Ribosomes make the proteins, so they are the employees of the cell
    The Employees on the floor are the people who make all of the products that are shipped out

    The Golgi Apparatus is like the Alpha and Beta Testers
    The Golgi Apparatus makes sure the Products put out by the E.R. will work
    The alpha and Beta testers are there to make sure the Factory’s products come out the way they should

    Lysosomes are like the Janitors
    The Lysosomes contain digestive enzymes to clean up the cell and get rid of waste
    The Janitors always make sure the factory is clean

    Vacuoles are like the Storage Units
    The vacuole is there for storage
    The storage units in a factory store the thing that will be needed for future use

    The Mitochondria are like the Powerplant
    The Mitochondria break down food molecules to create energy for the cell
    The Powerplant of the factory creates energy for the Factory

    The Cloroplasts are like the Solar Panels
    The cloroplasts are only in some cells (plant cells) and they create energy from sunlight
    Not everyone has Solar Panels, and they soak up the energy made by the sun

  11. 11
    john_a_designer says:

    In his book, The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins tried to argue that biology was “the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Notice that to explain away design he has to concede that there is the appearance or intuition of design. But is it merely just all appearance– just an illusion?

    Notice the logic Dawkins wants us to accept. He wants us to implicitly accept his premise that that living things only have the appearance of being designed. But how do we know that premise is true? Is it self-evidently true? I think not. Why can’t it be true that living thing appear to be designed for a purpose because they really have been designed for a purpose? Is that logically impossible? Metaphysically impossible? Scientifically impossible? If one cannot answer those questions then design cannot be eliminated from consideration or the discussion.

    I have said this here before, the burden of proof is on those who believe that some mindless, purposeless process can “create” a planned and purposeful (teleological) self-replicating system capable of evolving further though a purposeless mindless process (at least until it “creates” something purposeful, because, according to Dawkins, living things appear to be purposeful.) Frankly, this is something our regular interlocutors consistently and persistently fail to do.

    As a theist I do not claim I can prove (at least in an absolute sense) that my world view is true. Can naturalists/ materialists prove that their world view is true? Personally I believe that all worldviews rest on unprovable assumptions. No one can prove that their world view is true. Is that true of naturalism/ materialism? If it can someone with that world view needs to step forward and provide the proof.

  12. 12
    Aeneas Pietas says:

    Materialists say the darndest things.

  13. 13
    groovamos says:

    RVB: Thank god (heh:), the obvious has been consigned to the rubbish bin of understanding, and we now prefer evidence, experimentation, and the unobvious, to the vacuous, empty, ‘obvious’. [previous thread]

    Thank goodness we know metamorphosis came to be by random mutation and not because it was obvious but because it was proven. “Heh” that’s right scientists have identified the one genetic random mutation that caused caterpillars, who needed to fly to survive, to spin cocoons and obliterate themselves and reassemble from the goo another completely different creature. That random mutation is very famous and made the researchers famous, I just can’t remember their names right now if you would help me out. Someone else also proved that the winged creatures benefited from selective advantage over caterpillars, proving they had better survival statistics than caterpillars. They invented whole branch of statistics to do the proof. Those guys are famous too but I’m stuck right now trying to remember who they were. If you guys could help me out.

    Thank goodness we don’t have to just rely on intuition here, this is settled.

  14. 14
    bb says:

    JAD @11

    It’s interesting that materialists demand tangible evidence for God, or design, yet deny what they see before their own eyes, i.e. Richard Dawkins. By his own observation, and admission, life looks designed, but he dismisses his observation as illusion and embraces his a priori conviction that it isn’t despite. I think one way selective hyperskepticism is demonstrated is when one dismisses his own observation as illusion.

    EDIT:
    King David’s statement in Psalm 14:1, that the fool says there is no God, really is manifestly true.

  15. 15
    Seversky says:

    1. Cells are smaller than factories. Sev, you didn’t think this one through. Think of the original computers. They were the size of a room and less powerful than today’s handheld smart phone. So which is the more sophisticated design, UNIVAC or my Galaxy Edge 7? The inference from miniaturization goes in the opposite direction you seem to think it does. Even the simplest cell is a marvel of nano-technology. The “nano” part of that phrase increases the confidence we can have in the design inference.

    I wasn’t referring to a trend towards miniaturization, just pointing out that in any analogical comparison you should take note of the differences as well as the similarities. The analogy of the cell as a factory may illustrate how the internal processes are organized but it doesn’t necessarily warrant an inference to design if you consider all the differences as well as the similarities

    2. Cells are made from different materials. So? Mount Rushmore is a designed object that uses stone as a material. The computer I am typing this on is a designed object made of metal, plastic and silicon. The messages Craig Venter encoded in DNA were designed objects using DNA as the medium. The design inference is based on an analysis of whether the object is characterized by specified complexity, not the material of which it is made.

    I still say that at an instinctive level we recognize design – or at least the appearance of design – based on the kind of “pattern-matching” I described. The ID project of estimating specified complexity or FSCO/I has yet to show it is a reliable measure of design, regardless of the source. It may work but we don’t know that yet.

  16. 16
    Seversky says:

    harry @ 5

    I invite all the atheists here to explain how the machinery by which the cell translates the code could have had its own assembly instructions encoded in the DNA mindlessly and accidentally.

    I can’t and I doubt anyone else can. We admit we simply don’t know. But even if we allow that life on Earth was created or seeded or placed here by some extraterrestrial intelligence that doesn’t answer the question of origins. The question would then become one about the origins of the designer.

    I further invite them to explain, since intelligence is a known reality, why it can’t be considered among the possible causal factors in the emergence of life.

    I don’t exclude intelligence as a possible cause but, since it wasn’t us and there is no evidence of an advanced intelligence other than us on Earth in the past, it would have to be an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Unfortunately, we don’t have any evidence of ETI either so it’s hard to say which is the more likely explanation, nature or artifice.

    Contemporary science perverted by atheism treats the origin of life in manner that is as absurd as insisting that an extraterrestrial, unmanned (un-aliened) drone that had landed on planet Earth was really just an extremely strange meteorite simply because they didn’t like the thought of other intelligent agents existing anywhere else in the Universe. That would be ridiculous. So is science perverted by atheism when it comes to the origin of life.

    I would be absolutely fascinated if an alien probe or spaceship landed on Earth and I’m pretty sure every scientist in the world, whether atheist or theist, would be even more so. The possibility of ETI is exciting not alarming. If anything, it seems to Christians who seem to feel at least ambivalent about the prospect, possibly because it could threaten their assumed position as the pinnacle of God’s creation.

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    john_a_designer @ 11

    I have said this here before, the burden of proof is on those who believe that some mindless, purposeless process can “create” a planned and purposeful (teleological) self-replicating system capable of evolving further though a purposeless mindless process (at least until it “creates” something purposeful, because, according to Dawkins, living things appear to be purposeful.) Frankly, this is something our regular interlocutors consistently and persistently fail to do.

    The burden of proof for a claim rests with the person making that claim.

    If I claim that life on Earth is entirely the outcome of natural processes then it is for me to provide a descriptive theory of how it happened supported by observational evidence or at least a method by which such evidence could be obtained.

    If you claim that life on Earth was the product of intelligent design then you need to provide a descriptive theory of how it was done again supported by observational evidence or at least a method by which such evidence could be obtained.

  18. 18
    john_a_designer says:

    bb @ 14,

    Here is another stunning admission by Richard Dawkins:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8

    The first life on earth, says Dawkins, could have been intelligently designed– as long as it was an ET intelligence not God.

    Of course other atheists have admitted the same thing. See the following paper (Icarus, 1973) written by Francis Crick and British chemist Leslie Orgel.

    http://www.checktheevidence.co.....0Orgel.pdf

    I believe it was Crick and Orgel who coined the term directed panspermia.

    To be fair I think Dawkins later tried to walk back his position. Maybe Crick and Orgel did as well. But the point remains, until you prove how life the first originated, intelligent design is a logical possibility.

    Ironically, in the Ben Stein interview Dawkins said that if life were intelligently designed (by space aliens) that scientific research may be able to discover their signature. Didn’t someone write a book about the origin of life with the word signature in the title? Who was that? I wonder if he picked up the idea from Dawkins.

  19. 19
    Bob O'H says:

    harry @ 7, kf @ 8 & Origenes @ 9 – the evidence that you’re citing is evidence that something interesting happened, but the inference from that evidence to intelligence being involved is really indirect. You don’t have any other evidence for the existence of an intelligence during the times it would need to be around.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H:

    Not so.

    We have a trillion-member observational base on the known cause of functionally specific complex organisation and/or associated information. Uniformly it is intelligently directed configuration.

    We have precisely zero cases of origin of FSCO/I beyond the 500 – 1,000 bit threshold by any pattern of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity. (For instance, random document generation tests are a factor of 10^100 or so short of the lower end of that range, insofar as config space scale is concerned. And this brings up the underlying analysis of blind search challenge in large spaces of possibilities, which at the threshold overwhelm sol system scale to observed cosmos scale resources, reducing possible scope of blind search based on atomic resources, to a fraction negligibly different from zero.)

    In this context, the deep past of origins is unobservable, we are forced to investigate by examining traces and inferring the best current empirically warranted explanation. For such, Newton aptly counselled that we should infer based on factors shown to cause the like effects in the here and now. For reasons of anchoring explanation to empirical reality rather than what could easily become ideologically loaded speculative hypothesising.

    What has happened is that the FSCO/I rich traces of origins would point one way, the demands of evolutionary materialist ideology push in another direction. And today’s dominant elites prefer that self-refuting, self-falsifying system to a responsible inference on prudent principles of induction.

    Sad, but telling.

    KF

  21. 21
    Marfin says:

    Does anyone know of anything that looks designed but we know for a fact was not designed.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Marfin, an interesting point, given that cosmological fine tuning points to design of the laws and circumstances of the universe. Yes, that level of design needs to be part of the whole discussion. KF

  23. 23
    critical rationalist says:

    @Barry

    Sevensky wrote…

    The problem for creationists is that positing an intelligence that is able to create life out of inanimate materials is to claim that life can be created out of non-living materials. The question then becomes, if it’s possible at the hands of a creator then why not through natural causation?

    Barry wrote…

    if the space station is possible at the hands of a creator then why not through natural causation

    if a computer is possible at the hands of a creator then why not through natural causation

    if the comment rvb8 wrote is possible at the hands of a creator then why not through natural causation

    if the sonnets of Shakespeare are possible at the hands of a creator then why not through natural causation

    There are significant differences between organisms and the human designed things in your quote.

    First, biological organisms are template replicators. Organisms are not assembled externally. Rather they contain a recipe which, when executed, creates a copy of itself and the recipe. If something is not prohibited by the laws of physics, the only thing preventing it from occurring is knowing how. Since organisms do not appear out of thin air, their construction is not prohibited by the laws of physics. IOW, it’s a question of knowledge. The origin of those features is the origin of that knowledge. That’s what needs to be explained.

    Second, you’re presenting a very parochial view of knowledge. Specially, I would agree that some kinds of knowledge can only be created by people. Only people can conceive of problems, conjecture explanatory theories of how the world works to solve them, then criticize them. So only people can create explanatory knowledge. And it has significant reach. However, that’s not the kind of knowledge contained in organisms.

    Both explanatory and non-explanatory knowledge is created by variation and selection. Only explanatory knowledge can be crated by people. Evolution is an example of the former, not the latter.

  24. 24
    Barry Arrington says:

    CR @ 23:

    “There are significant differences between organisms and the human designed things in your quote. First, biological organisms are template replicators.”

    I will quote my response to Bob @ 2:

    “Yes, Bob that is an important difference. Our most sophisticated technology is not even close to being able to create a von Neumann self-replicator. But you don’t seem to understand the inference that should be drawn from that fact.”

  25. 25

    BA @ 24: Nice response. Unfortunately, these a/mats cannot comprehend the inference. You can explain it to them, but you cannot comprehend it for them.

  26. 26
    Marfin says:

    CR – Organisms do not appear out of thin air , Laurence Krauss , first there was nothing not even thin air,now we have organisms , so please tell me how organism do not appear out of thin air , seeing that once all there was , was nothing, and now we have organisms.

  27. 27
    AnimatedDust says:

    TWSYF @25. My sense is that they comprehend it just fine. They just refuse to admit they do, because of where the entailments lead.

  28. 28
    critical rationalist says:

    Yes, Barry.

    Wanting, intending or planning to make a template replicator and actually constructing on are two different things. We do not have template replicators because we do not yet possess the knowledge of how to build one. And when we do, it will be because we created the knowledge of what transformations of matter are required.

    Again, the origin of an organism’s features, including its ability to self replicate, is the origin of that knowledge, which exists independently inside organisms, not in some external designer. How do you explain how that knowledge got into organisms?

    A designer copied it there from, umm, somewhere?

    A designer that, “just was” complete with this knowledge already present, doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose. That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with that knowledge already present.

    The appearance of design is being well adapted to serve a purpose. That is, if it was modified it would no longer serve that purpose nearly as well, if even at all. This was clarified by William Palley when he compared a rock and a watch. The rock can be a paperweight, a weapon, a building material, etc. It is not well adapted to any of those purpose. And it’s explanation is that it was formed along with the earth via geological theory. But the watch couldn’t have just been lying there. Nor is it a raw material. It is well adapted to the purpose of telling time. And it couldn’t have come about though any other explanation than knowledge.

    However, at the time, Paley couldn’t imaging anything other than a designer as being the explanation. The problem is that designers themselves exhibit the appearance of design. They are complex, knowledge laden entities that are well adapted to the purpose of designing things. As such, they exhibit the very same property that needs to be explained. it’s unclear how being well adapted to serve a purpose (design things) can be the explanation for being well adapted to serve a purpose.

  29. 29
    Origenes says:

    critical rationalist

    CR: A designer that, “just was” complete with this knowledge already present, doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose.

    So, according to you, Leonardo da Vinci doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose wrt the Mona Lisa?

    CR: That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with that knowledge already present.

    One could more efficiently state that the Mona Lisa “just appeared” and dispense with Leonardo da Vinci?

  30. 30
    harry says:

    Seversky @ 16

    the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; … the machinery by which the cell … translates the code consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in the DNA. Thus the code cannot be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a baffling circle …
    — Karl Popper

    I invite all the atheists here to explain how the machinery by which the cell translates the code could have had its own assembly instructions encoded in the DNA mindlessly and accidentally.
    — harry

    I can’t and I doubt anyone else can. We admit we simply don’t know. But even if we allow that life on Earth was created or seeded or placed here by some extraterrestrial intelligence that doesn’t answer the question of origins. The question would then become one about the origins of the designer.
    — Seversky

    Of course you don’t know how it could have happened mindlessly and accidentally. You don’t know how a laptop PC could be assembled mindlessly and accidentally, either.

    A metabolizing, self-replicating cell containing large quantities of intricate machinery used to do that metabolizing and replicating, machinery that was assembled according to massive quantities of extremely precise, functionally complex, digitally stored assembly instructions, provides more evidence that the cell could only have been intelligently designed than does the much simpler technology found in a laptop PC (much simpler in that the laptop PC doesn’t manufacture more laptop PCs from available resources) provide evidence that the laptop PC could only have been intelligently designed.

    We don’t know how to build robotic equipment that constructs copies of itself from available resources according to instructions stored in its memory. If we don’t know how to build something like that on purpose we are in no position to claim that the much more functionally complex, self-replicating nanotechnology of life could be assembled mindlessly and accidentally. You have to know at least one way to assemble something yourself before you can begin to explain how the required process might have happened mindlessly and accidentally.

    Until self-replicating robotic equipment is built, or until scientists can do something like constructing a small package that when placed in the earth will grow into something the size of, say, a bush, and produce more packages like the one we started with — until then, we won’t even have an analogous process to study, one the functional complexity of which we understand, in order to determine how such a process might take place mindlessly and accidentally.

    If we don’t have the knowledge to create a given instance of functional complexity ourselves, we have no basis whatsoever for claiming such functional complexity could be arrived at without knowledge.

    As for your diversion about the “origin of the designer,” that is not the question at all. The question is whether intelligent agency was necessarily a causal factor in the emergence of the digital information-based, self-replicating nanotechnology of life. There is overwhelming evidence that it was necessary, and there is no basis whatsoever for claiming that it wasn’t necessary.

  31. 31
    Bob O'H says:

    kf @ 20 – I think you made my point that “[y]ou don’t have any other evidence for the existence of an intelligence during the times it would need to be around” rather nicely. All you do is cite the same evidence, and as you are aware few people think there is validity to the inference that you make from that evidence.

  32. 32
    john_a_designer says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @ 25,

    BA @ 24: Nice response. Unfortunately, these a/mats cannot comprehend the inference. You can explain it to them, but you cannot comprehend it for them.

    Or maybe they are just here to obstruct and obfuscate. From what I can tell from their response’s they are either ignorant, willfully ignorant or just plain dishonest. (None of those are good.)

    Here is an opinion about the current state of origin of life research by one of the world’s leading chemists:

    We have no idea how the molecules that compose living systems could have been devised such that they would work in concert to fulfill biology’s functions. We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled in proper sequences, and then transformed into the ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex system, and eventually to that first cell. Nobody has any idea on how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those who say that they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis.

    From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot even figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks, let alone assembly into a complex system.

    That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues: National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners. I sit with them in offices. Nobody understands this. So if your professor says, “It’s all worked out,” [or] your teachers say, “It’s all worked out,” they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

    Please notice these key points:

    “…no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks, let alone assembly into a complex system…

    “From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot even figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life…

    “That’s how clueless we are. I’ve asked all of my colleagues: National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners. I sit with them in offices. Nobody understands this. So if your professor says, ‘It’s all worked out,’ [or] your teachers say, ‘It’s all worked out,’ they don’t know what they’re talking about. It is not worked out….”

    Again, that is the expert opinion of a leading chemist who actually who does cutting edge experimental research in a well-known, well-staffed university laboratory.

    But then some internet troll drops by and tells us all what to believe and think. Who are you going to believe?

  33. 33
    harry says:

    john_a_designer @ 32,

    James Tour makes clear that there is no basis whatsoever for the claim that life came about mindlessly and accidentally like nobody else does.

    He is never refuted by the atheists, only ignored.

  34. 34
    groovamos says:

    Seversky: If I claim that life on Earth is entirely the outcome of natural processes then it is for me to provide a descriptive theory of how it happened supported by observational evidence or at least a method by which such evidence could be obtained.

    Problem is you live and worship by a theory that its originator claimed to be exhaustive, who claimed that every form and structure down to the last detail was “explained” hee hee whatever that means, by mistakes making things better.

    That means you should have a theory that can turn its magnificent powerful lens on anything I mention and “explain” it. If the “theory” can’t do it then it should be falsified but of course we know it is not falsifiable, just as is any religion. But I’m going to lay one on ya anyway.

    OK you know that famous icon, the famous fish-like animal with legs on bumper stickers and the name of the revered 19th century figurehead of materialism, right?

    So you know the whale testes are inside the body cavity by somehow moving there from a previously extant scrotum on the fish with legs. Problem was, keeping the cool so they could do the job. So how by slight modifications did the scrotum retract and keep the testes cool? Seems like the modification would have to be drastic, spermatogenesis would not work once inside all that insulating blubber. Also where they are is surrounded by exothermic muscle so you need to show the “random mutations” that built by slight modifications the solution to the problem. By slight modification so that a slight modification allowed the spermatogenesis. But we know the truth here. The modification was drastic, not slight, involving the invention of a heat transfer system transferring heat from the testes to the fins, the vascular CCHE (counter current heat exchanger)

    So do it Seversky. Show us that your revered guy was correct, that every detailed system like the one described, arose by “slight modification”. If you can’t do it then your religion is unfalsifiable.

    Here is a reference to help you out: http://richardhartersworld.com.....ker13.html

  35. 35
    Origenes says:

    Critical Rationalist @28

    CR: Again, the origin of an organism’s features, including its ability to self replicate, is the origin of that knowledge …

    No, you have it backwards. The knowledge of how to build an organism precedes organisms.

    CR: … which exists independently inside organisms, not in some external designer.

    Again, you are simply mistaken.

    CR: How do you explain how that knowledge got into organisms?

    Roughly the same way as how knowledge got into computers: by some manufacturing process.

    CR: A designer copied it there from, umm, somewhere?

    I imagine that next to original design, during the manufacturing phase, some copying processes took place. Why do you have a problem with that?

    CR: A designer that, “just was” complete with this knowledge already present, doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose.

    You are not making sense. An intelligent designer most certainly does serve an explanatory purpose.

    CR: That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with that knowledge already present.

    That’s simply ludicrous. Why do you say that? You do not make sense at all.

    CR: The problem is that designers themselves exhibit the appearance of design.

    That’s not a problem at all.

    CR: They are complex, knowledge laden entities that are well adapted to the purpose of designing things. As such, they exhibit the very same property that needs to be explained.

    Even if you are correct, then this is no problem at all for ID. ID is not about the ultimate origin of everything. ID is compatible with aliens as intelligent designers without offering an explanation for the origin of those aliens.
    Similarly, if life has a material origin, it makes little sense to object that this is no explanation because matter and laws are not explained.

  36. 36
    Barry Arrington says:

    CR @ 28:

    Wanting, intending or planning to make a template replicator and actually constructing on are two different things. We do not have template replicators because we do not yet possess the knowledge of how to build one.

    That’s right. We cannot even begin to understand, much less copy, the nano-tech inside these von Neumann self-replicators. Yet you insist on attributing this staggeringly sophisticated design to blind, unguided, purposeless forces. And you don’t seem to understand there is a disconnect there.

    As I say, astonishing.

  37. 37
    critical rationalist says:

    Barry,

    Seversky asked, if a designer can create biological organisms, why can’t nature?

    Again, the recipe in organisms makes a copy of the replicator vehicle (the organism) and the recipe itself. So, the nano-tech you speak of is being constructed anew during replication.

    Are you saying the recipe is not nature? If so, why not? what is it instead?

  38. 38
    john_a_designer says:

    Bob O’H @ 19,

    the inference from that evidence to intelligence being involved is really indirect. You don’t have any other evidence for the existence of an intelligence during the times it would need to be around.

    We have absolutely no evidence as to how the first self-replicating living cell originated abiogenetically (from non-life). So following your arbitrarily made-up standard that’s not a logical possibility, so we shouldn’t even consider it.

    As the saying goes, “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    When you argue that life originated by some “mindless natural process,” that is not an explanation how. Life is not presently coming into existence by abiogenetically, so if such process existed in the past it no longer exists in the present. Therefore you are committing the same error which you accuse ID’ists of committing. That’s a double standard, is it not?

    This kind of reasoning on your part also reveals that you don’t really have any strong arguments based on reason, logic and the evidence. If you do, why are you holding back?

  39. 39
    Vy says:

    Again, the recipe in organisms makes a copy of the replicator vehicle (the organism) and the recipe itself. So, the nano-tech you speak of is being constructed anew during replication.

    So the recipe created itself? The replication system created itself? The process of replication created itself? And “nature” created itself?

  40. 40
    Bob O'H says:

    JAD @ 38 –

    We have absolutely no evidence as to how the first self-replicating living cell originated abiogenetically (from non-life).

    This is true, although we are developing evidence for how it might have happened (which isn’t terribly satisfactory, but without a time machine is probably the best we can do)

    So following your arbitrarily made-up standard that’s not a logical possibility, so we shouldn’t even consider it.

    Eh? I’ve never applied that standard, and have never argued that. I accept it’s possible that life was created by some intelligence, but I just don’t find the evidence put forward for this at all convincing.

  41. 41
    Origenes says:

    Bob O’H: This is true, although we are developing evidence for how it might have happened (which isn’t terribly satisfactory, but without a time machine is probably the best we can do).

    I fully agree with Bob O’H. The evidence for intelligent design is mounting every day, while those who seek a naturalistic explanation are as clueless as they ever were:

    All right, now let’s assemble the Dream Team. We’ve got good professors here, so let’s assemble the Dream Team. Let’s further assume that the world’s top 100 synthetic chemists, top 100 biochemists and top 100 evolutionary biologists combined forces into a limitlessly funded Dream Team. The Dream Team has all the carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids stored in freezers in their laboratories… All of them are in 100% enantiomer purity. [Let’s] even give the team all the reagents they wish, the most advanced laboratories, and the analytical facilities, and complete scientific literature, and synthetic and natural non-living coupling agents. Mobilize the Dream Team to assemble the building blocks into a living system – nothing complex, just a single cell. The members scratch their heads and walk away, frustrated…

    So let’s help the Dream Team out by providing the polymerized forms: polypeptides, all the enzymes they desire, the polysaccharides, DNA and RNA in any sequence they desire, cleanly assembled. The level of sophistication in even the simplest of possible living cells is so chemically complex that we are even more clueless now than with anything discussed regarding prebiotic chemistry or macroevolution. The Dream Team will not know where to start. Moving all this off Earth does not solve the problem, because our physical laws are universal.

    You see the problem for the chemists? Welcome to my world. This is what I’m confronted with, every day.
    [James Tour]

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    BO’H: you have evidence staring you in the face. Because of a priori commitments, you set that aside and demand separate evidence. That tells all. KF

  43. 43
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    BO’H: you have evidence staring you in the face. Because of a priori commitments, you set that aside and demand separate evidence. That tells all. KF

    No. Bob, myself and others are simply asking for actual research, testing, peer reviewed papers, proposed mechanisms, evidence from multiple sources of inquiry. In short, evidence on a par with that supporting evolution.

  44. 44
    Axel says:

    @ john_a_designer, your no 11

    The very definition of empirical science, itself, hinges on both design and its appearance. As far as I know, there’s no field of empirical science or metaphysics designated, ‘randomology’ or ‘happenstance’.

    Crazy, crazy, crazy Dawkins, and even crazier proper scientists for not ridiculing the very title of the book.
    You should all be hanged, drawn and quartered for allowing it to gain traction among the myrmidon-numpties of atheism, by failing to ridicule it mercilessly the moment anyone got wind of its impending publication.

    It’s all a priori. Armand’s been off his meds again. The times I’ve told him not to ! It’s about meanng and logic, Armand, mon pauvre vieux. Not measuring physical gizmeters.

    Evidence for evolution !???!!! I’ve just spotted it. Call an ambulance, someone. He’s overdosed! And I thought he’d missed them…

  45. 45
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A list of 50+ papers has been repeatedly pointed out. But the matter is far more basic. In order to object as above, objectors have had to create examples of the source of FSCO/I, intelligently directed configuration. Literally staring them in the face. Beyond that demands are now being made up as a way to sidestep evidence in hand, starting with DNA’s coded copious text and the fine tuned cosmos. Unresponsiveness like that tells all. KF

  46. 46
    groovamos says:

    Armand:
    Bob, myself and others are simply asking for actual research, testing, peer reviewed papers, proposed mechanisms, evidence from multiple sources of inquiry. In short, evidence on a par with that supporting evolution.

    See here is how it works. Your master Darwin put forth the “slight modification” lemma.

    So that means that the advent of metamorphosis was a “slight modification” to the life of caterpillars since a partial advent of such would be a ‘deselective disadvantage’, in other words destructive. So like in post @13 we need to know who discovered the single ‘random mutation’ that generated the advent of metamorphosis. This is the kind of evidence that is required of you guys since it is your theory of life we discuss here. What was that ‘random mutation’?

    Actually this can be solved in another way if necessary, and you can sleep well tonight.

    If the single ‘random mutation’ couldn’t do it then it is up to you guys to show that a partially ‘evolved’ metamorphosis mechanism would not kill the creature. With links to the proof please, that it actually unfolded in the way described, that is as a series of mutations.

  47. 47
    bb says:

    Because of a priori commitment, Atheists are forced to dismiss what they see with their own eyes as illusion. How then can they function as scientists when observation has to be “purified” by a filter ready to block all evidence for what might challenge their religious viewpoint, and is dismissed as illusion when it doesn’t? Talk about a limited perspective: “All of reality must fit in this little materialist box.” or “I can’t see anything beyond what my self-imposed blinders permit.” or “I’m content to persist in the biological equivalent of alchemy, even though OOL studies are a 100 year old dead end.” Sad, but what you might expect from an incoherent belief system.

    Atheism is as bad for science as it is all other aspects of culture; from arts to education, morality and ethics to law and government. It’s parasitic and unsustainable and a key ingredient to cultural entropy.

    No wonder theists tend to make the best scientists and have done so much more to establish useful lines of inquiry through history. We’re free to make conclusions based on what we actually see with our own eyes. I just bought Douglas Axe’s book and I think he argues this in detail. Can’t wait to dig in.

  48. 48
    LocalMinimum says:

    And the materialists continue to astonish. Here we are, demanding proof that that which is obvious; that complex machinery doesn’t just appear from raw materials; has to have the one agency we know of; a designer; drug into the room by the collar, or get dismissed as an intolerable option against that which simply does not happen in our knowledge?

    “So, how did a US flag get on the moon?”

    “It floated up there from someone’s yard.”

    “Floated? But it would have to overcome all that negative gravitational potential?!”

    “Well, clearly, gravity isn’t in constant operation.”

    “Uhhhh, I’m pretty sure it is?”

    “Oh yeah? Well prove it! Until you have evidence, I have no interest in your claims.”

  49. 49
    LocalMinimum says:

    Yeah, I guess I’d have to frame this from the perspective of someone who has a sufficiently powerful telescope, didn’t recognize the flag, and haven’t heard of the space program; so, not implausible, but muddier than I wanted. Oh, well.

  50. 50
    Origenes says:

    Armand Jacks:
    Bob, myself and others are simply asking for actual research, testing, peer reviewed papers, proposed mechanisms, evidence from multiple sources of inquiry.

    You, Bob and others do not understand what ID is about.

    ID is not an attempt to answer all questions. It is a limited inquiry into whether something was designed. Questions about who, why, how, when are all interesting second-order questions that can be asked only after an inference to design is drawn. You may want, deeply in your heart of hearts, for ID to answer all of those questions. But that is a failure of your expectations, not ID itself.
    [Eric Anderson]

    Armand Jacks: In short, evidence on a par with that supporting evolution.

    There is zero evidence for blind watchmaker evolution.

  51. 51
    Marfin says:

    To BoH, CR , AJ, Can you please give 2 or 3 of the strongest reasons/evidence why you believe that life arose from non living materials by just blind ,non directed non designed processes.
    If you now say no, you show me 2 or 3 reasons why you believe in design, all you are doing is accepting and showing that you believe without evidence a blind faith so to speak.So come on prove me wrong show me the money.

  52. 52

    When one is asked to support the view that the most highly complex and sophisticated, precise, self-correcting, multi-level & interdependent software-controlled hardware machinery known to exist most likely did not come into existence by happenstance interactions of chemistry, you know that we are in an age of rampant, self-imposed, ignorant idiocy.

    Happenstance physical interactions are not up to the task of creating such sophisticated, information-driven nanotechnology. There is no rational contrary position. You simply cannot argue such willful idiocy out of its self-imposed state. Thankfully, such exchanges are useful for other onlookers with more reasonable perspectives.

  53. 53
    Armand Jacks says:

    Marfin:

    To BoH, CR , AJ, Can you please give 2 or 3 of the strongest reasons/evidence why you believe that life arose from non living materials by just blind ,non directed non designed processes.

    I have no idea how life originated. And neither does anyone else. But there is an entire field of research that is examining this question and they have produced hundreds of peer reviewed papers. I must have missed all of the peer reviewed papers that are examining the designed origin of life. Could you point me in their direction?

  54. 54
    Armand Jacks says:

    WJM:

    Happenstance physical interactions are not up to the task of creating such sophisticated, information-driven nanotechnology.

    Since nobody is suggesting this, I fail to see your point. Density gradients don’t happen by chance. Chemoklines do not happen by chance. Evaporation doesn’t happen by chance. I have no idea if any of these played a part in the origin of life but by referring to physical and chemical interactions as “happenstance” just demonstrated a woeful ignorance of physics and chemistry.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    Of course, the issue in Darwin’s pond or the like is forces and factors of blind chance and/or mechanical necessity working through physics, chemistry and thermodynamics. They simply are not adequate to explain the coded, textual algorithmically functional information at the heart of cell based life.

  56. 56
    asauber says:

    all of the peer reviewed papers

    Armand,

    Peer review is the sciencey version of legalism. It doesn’t prove anything. It’s appeal to an authority. That’s a fallacy, if you are interested in thinking about such things.

    Andrew

  57. 57
    Bob O'H says:

    groovamos @ 46 – This is another problem what we don’t have a full answer to, but there’s a summary of our ideas here:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/insect-metamorphosis-evolution/
    It’s a few years old, so things might have moved on since then.

    This isn’t my area of expertise, I’m afraid, so I probably can’t answer any more detailed questions.

  58. 58

    AJ said:

    Since nobody is suggesting this, I fail to see your point. Density gradients don’t happen by chance. Chemoklines do not happen by chance. Evaporation doesn’t happen by chance. I have no idea if any of these played a part in the origin of life but by referring to physical and chemical interactions as “happenstance” just demonstrated a woeful ignorance of physics and chemistry.

    Or perhaps it demonstrates that you don’t understand what I mean by the term “happenstance chemical interactions”. I suggest you head to Merriam Webster under the synonymous term “chance” and scroll down to the definition of the word “chance” used as an adjective, which is how I used it:

    happening without being planned

    Unless it is your position that the nanotechnology in question was the result of planning, I suggest you are the one that has “woefully misunderstood” my use of the adjective form of “happenstance” (as synonymous with the adjective use of the term “chance”).

  59. 59
    groovamos says:

    Bob This isn’t my area of expertise, I’m afraid, so I probably can’t answer any more detailed questions.

    Neither can the RM/NS proposition. Thanks just the same though, I did read it.

    The funny thing about Darwinism is that its proponents are sure that all questions of form and function CAN be answered by the RM/NS proposition no matter how ridiculous are the ‘proposed scenarios’ that are supposedly part of the ‘science’, and that essay was full of contingencies and speculations that can never be proven.

    And this is the crux of the problem with Darwinism really. The project was taken on as a science when science has no hope of ever giving us the picture of the advent of metamorphosis, or the human brain, the universe, or anything else. Reality is the ultimate ego smasher for materialists.

    So Darwinism is not falsifiable. It cannot be a science. It can be an underpinning for a philosophy of living for those holding on to it because everyone must have a creation story to live their life philosophy. But this is a creation story and philosophy that can be taught by the schools to the kids because it does masquerade as a science.

  60. 60
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    Peer review is the sciencey version of legalism.

    Nonsense. It is nothing more nor less than the publication of papers after constructive criticism by peers has been addressed. It is far from perfect but it is still a very effective means of presenting research conclusions.

    It doesn’t prove anything.

    I didn’t say it did. All it demonstrates is that the methodology used has been reviewed by those knowledgable in the subject and, in their view, the methodology is sound.

    It’s appeal to an authority.

    No it isn’t. It’s an appeal to rationality. The entire scientific community sees value in the peer review process, in spite of its flaws. ID claims to be science yet avoids it at all cost. One must ask why? What is the rational argument for KF refusing to draft his arguments for FSCO/I into a paper for publication in a peer reviewed journal? KF would argue that Einstein’s pivotal work was not published in a peer reviewed journal. I don’t know if this is true or not. But there are two things that I do know:
    1) this is 2017 and peer review is a valuable tool in advancing science.
    2) KF is no Einstein. I am tempted to make a Back to the Future reference here, but I will refrain.

  61. 61
    asauber says:

    It’s an appeal to rationality.

    Armand,

    Not necessarily. It’s mostly the opinion of the person doing the reviewing.

    I know you want to idealize the scientific community, as it acts as your church, but that would be the unscientific approach.

    Andrew

  62. 62
    Origenes says:

    Groovamos @13 @46

    Regarding caterpillars, Stephen L.Talbott points out the challenge they pose for the neo-darwinian gene-centric view.

    S.L.Talbott: Millions of species consist of such improbably distinct creatures, organized in completely different ways at different stages of their life, yet carrying around the same genetic inheritance. Isn’t it a truth inviting the most profound meditation by every biologist?

    He goes on citing British physician and evolutionary scientist, Frank Ryan:

    We only have to consider the dramatic difference between a feeding grub or caterpillar and a flying butterfly or a beetle to grasp that the old mouth is rendered useless and must be replaced with new mouthparts, new salivary glands, new gut, new rectum. New legs must replace the creepy-crawly locomotion of the grub or caterpillar, and all must be clothed in a complex new skin, which in turn will manufacture the tough new external skeleton of the adult. Nowhere is the challenge of the new more demanding than in the nervous system — where a new brain is born. And no change is more practical to the new life-form than the newly constructed genitals essential for the most important new role of the adult form — the sexual reproduction of a new generation. The overwhelming destruction and reconstruction extends to the very cells that make up the individual tissues, where the larval tissues and organs are broken up and dissolved into an autodigested mush . . . To all intents and purposes, life has returned to the embryonic state with the constituent cells in an undifferentiated form.
    [Ryan 2011]

  63. 63
    Armand Jacks says:

    Andrew:

    Not necessarily. It’s mostly the opinion of the person doing the reviewing.

    Really? How many papers have you published in peer reviewed journals. My experience is that the reviewers have generally provided constructive criticism and, on occasion, pointed out a serious flaw in my methodology. The number of comments that have been what I would call unsupported opinion have been very few.

    I know you want to idealize the scientific community, as it acts as your church, but that would be the unscientific approach.

    Nobody is idealizing it. It is a process with strengths and weaknesses. And it’s practitioners have all of the same strengths and weaknesses as is found elsewhere in society.

    But I am confused. If many on the ID side think that the scientific community is so bad, why do they want to have ID taught in the science class?

  64. 64
    asauber says:

    If many on the ID side think that the scientific community is so bad, why do they want to have ID taught in the science class?

    Armand,

    I don’t think the scientific community and science education are always found to be the same resource. I don’t know why you would smear the two together.

    Andrew

  65. 65
    john_a_designer says:

    Here are some excerpts from a 2007 book review, by Gary S Hurd, critiquing the book, Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolution Models Face Off, by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross:

    The standing of evolutionary biology is independent of the origin of life. This has been true from the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859. In that work, Darwin allotted less than a page toward the end of 670 pages of text to the question. The last two sentences of the sixth edition read:

    “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved…”

    Do we know how life originated on earth? No. Is every one of the innumerable chemical and geological events that led to the origin of life preserved? No. Is this “proof” of a supernatural origin of life? No. Nevertheless, the origin of life will be the last refuge for “God of the gaps” arguments in decades to come.

    https://ncse.com/library-resource/review-origins-life

    Apart from the last sentence, I agree completely with the first and last paragraph.

    However, let me explain, without the pejorative language used in the last sentence, what Dr. Hurd actually believes. He believes that, there is no possibility that an intelligent designer exists or created life. But he doesn’t know that; that is what he believes. In other words, he is making a leap of faith, totally contrary to the evidence we do have that even the simplest living things have the “appearance of having been designed for a purpose”.

    That is the same irrational mindset exhibited by most of our regular interlocutors. They believe there is a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life, because they have an a priori commitment to a naturalistic world view.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    I of course pointed out an historical fact concerning a key journal and Nobel Prize-winning revolutionary work [notice the reaction of willful dismissive ignorance above], as a case that underscores that appeal to the authority of an anonymous panel (which can become ideologically tainted) — on relevant cases — does not short-circuit how warrant works. No individual or collective authority is better than the underlying assumptions, facts and reasoning. It so happens that the relevant reasoning that undergirds the design inference is well within reach of common sense everyday science. The evasiveness and excuses to ideologically lock it out as we have seen over many years constitute demonstrations, not of how the design inference on tested sign [trillions of cases!] is unscientific, but instead of how science as institutionalised can and does become unfortunately ideologised. In this case, the self-refuting, self-falsifying ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism and fellow traveller thought have become the yardstick imposed. When falsity is used as the criterion to judge truth, truth cannot ever pass, as the truth will not agree with a relevant falsehood. Hence many of the dilemmas of our time. KF

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I point out Lewontin’s telling admission:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    PPS: The US National Science Teachers Association Board, trying to impose the same on school science education:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts [–> ideological imposition of a priori evolutionary materialistic scientism, aka natural-ISM; this is of course self-falsifying at the outset] . . . .

    [S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific [–> loaded word that cannot be properly backed up due to failure of demarcation arguments] methods, explanations, generalizations and products [–> declaration of intent to ideologically censor education materials] . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work [–> undermined by the question-begging ideological imposition and associated censorship] . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements [–> question-begging false dichotomy, the proper contrast for empirical investigations is the natural (chance and/or necessity) vs the ART-ificial, through design . . . cf UD’s weak argument correctives 17 – 19, here] in the production of scientific knowledge.

    PPS: The US National Academy of Science is a little subtler, but the point still comes through. I modify to bring out key concerns and show the sounder path being locked out:

    In science, explanations must be based on naturally occurring phenomena [–> accurate and reliable, confirmed observation, description and sound analysis]. Natural [–> reliably empirically observed] causes [–> add: meet Newton’s vera causa, actually observed cause test and so] are, in principle, reproducible and therefore can be checked independently by others. If explanations are based on purported forces that are outside of nature,

    [–> the false choice, natural vs supernatural, when the real and readily empirically testable choice since Plato in the Laws Bk X c 360 BC has been natural ( = blind chance and/or mechanical necessity) vs the ART-ificial working by intelligently directed configuration, aka design. This is a case of irresponsible red herring distraction from the real issue to a convenient strawman creationism target set up to be soaked with the ad hominems of anti-scientific motivation and underlying between the lines insinuations of right wing theocratic “christofascist” impositions, etc]

    scientists have no way of either confirming or disproving those explanations. Any scientific explanation has to be testable — there must be possible observational consequences that could support the idea but also ones that could refute it.

    [–> observe a case of configuration-based specific functionality beyond 500 – 1,000 bits of complex organisation emerging by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity and the design inference principle would collapse. the strawman tactic is used in a context where it is easy to see that on a trillion observation base, such FSCO/I is an empirically reliable sign of intelligently directed configuration, AKA design, as key causal factor]

    Unless a proposed explanation is framed in a way that some observational evidence could potentially count against it, that explanation cannot be subjected to scientific testing. [Science, Evolution and Creationism, 2008, p. 10. Emphases added.]

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, there is also a false projection there. For example, the Discovery Institute specifically holds and has long held that it is inappropriate to force teachers to give expositions of design theory in the class room; though there should be academic freedom for students, teachers and researchers to discuss views and alternatives. Instead, origins science should not be taught in a manner set up to indoctrinate in evolutionary materialistic scientism, and an honest examination of strengths, limitations and weaknesses is appropriate. Indeed, that is the gateway for opening up the principle that scientific knowledge is inherently provisional and open-ended [due to inductive logic etc], a key reason for onward investment in research. Which is an important thing for future voters to understand. KF

  69. 69
    Armand Jacks says:

    KF:

    I of course pointed out an historical fact concerning a key journal and Nobel Prize-winning revolutionary work…

    But none of this explains your fear of the peer review process. Is it because you must respond to their criticisms before your paper can be published? Surely they would accept your Plato’s cave argument in response to their questions. Or Lewontin. And if that fails you could simply provide an interminable list of cut and paste. Or accuse them of side tracking, red herrings, strawmanning, projection or any one of your cliches.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    Trollish rhetorical projection of fear as unworthy motive, compounded by unfounded speculations. I again point out the existing record here, and note that despite the facts that attention has been repeatedly called to, the false narratives continue. The conclusion is, mere evidence, facts and logic have no effect on fixed evo mat scientism and/or fellow traveller ideologies. And of course, the substantial issue of a trillion member evidence base on the origin of FSCO/I — design, just added to to create a sidetracking comment, has been again evaded. Were objectors in command of clear counter-examples demonstrating on observation that FSCO/I is produced by blind chance and/or mechanical necessity that would long since have been triumphantly trotted out. Such would kill design theory in one shot. The rhetorical tactics we have seen year after year and as we see today, are implying that in fact we are dealing with an ideological commitment in the teeth of the weight of the evidence on the source of FSCO/I. KF

  71. 71
    critical rationalist says:

    @WJM

    Again, as I pointed out in #28 William Paley clarified the appearance of design as being well adapted to serve a purpose. The rock could have been lying there since the formation of the earth. But this explanation is not sufficient for the watch. Why? Because it not only serves a purpose, but is well adapted to serving that purpose.

    Paley wrote…

    For this reason, and for no other, viz., that, when we come to inspect the watch, we perceive (what we could not discover in the stone) that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose, e.g., that they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion so regulated as to pour out the hour of the day

    We cannot explain the watch’s configuration of matter without referring to its purpose of keeping time and doing so accurately. It’s not a coincidence that it keeps accurate time, or that its individual parts are well suited for this task, or that they are put together in this configuration, rather than another. Therefore, people must have designed that watch.

    The only thing that could result in the watch is knowledge. Namely, what transformations of matter are required to adapt raw materials into the watch.

    Of course, Paley’s argument implied this is even more true in the case of biological organisms. He could simply point to the human eye to make his point. Specifically, the evidence for the appearance of design is not only that all parts serve that purpose, but if they were slightly altered they would serve it less well, or not even at all. In other words, a good design is hard to vary.

    However, the case of the biosphere, the knowledge of what adaptations to perform is in organisms themselves, not in an external designer. They build copies of themselves from raw materials, by following a recipe. Both the replicator vehicle and the recipe is literally constructed anew. This includes the “nano-machines” in question.

    Unless it is your position that the nanotechnology in question was the result of planning, I suggest you are the one that has “woefully misunderstood” my use of the adjective form of “happenstance” (as synonymous with the adjective use of the term “chance”).

    Again, the only thing that could result in the necessary adaptations that make up an organisms is knowledge, which is present in organisms themselves. That’s what needs to be explained.

    Knowledge is not “chance”. That is because it plays a causal role in being retained when embedded in a storage medium. It solves a problem. Despite being an “intelligent agent”, if I want to build a car I cannot choose to perform any steps except those that will actually result in a car. Sure, I can pick the color of the paint and a number of different body shapes, materials, power plants and power trains. But if I do not perform steps that result in a light weight and aerodynamic shape, the car will not perform as well or be as efficient. I cannot merely choose to make a more efficient car. I must possess the requisite knowledge. I can devise plan after plan, day after day. But unless my plans actually contain that knowledge, I will not end up with a car, regardless of the intent or purpose I had in mind.

    IOW, raw materials become well adapted when the requisite knowledge is present there. And it’s present in organisms themselves, not an external designer, unlike other designed thing we’ve observed. So, the proximate cause for an organism’s features is that knowledge, not a designer. As such, the origin of the organism’s features is the origin of that knowledge.

    So, what is the origin of that knowledge? Saying a designer merely copied it there doesn’t explain how it possessed it in the first place.

    A designer that, “just was” complete with this knowledge already present, doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose. That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared”, complete with that knowledge already present. But that would be the spontaneous creation of knowledge.

    Why don’t you start out by explaining how human designers posses that knowledge, then point out how neo-darwnism doesn’t fit that explanation. Please be specific.

  72. 72
    critical rationalist says:

    @Origenes

    So, according to you, Leonardo da Vinci doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose wrt the Mona Lisa?

    The Mona Lisa isn’t a template replicator. It doesn’t contain a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials without assistance from an external agent. Da Vinci (and other people) transformed raw materials into the Mona Lisa, as apposed to the painting transforming raw materials itself.

    Furthermore, we have a good explanation for the knowledge of which transformations were necessary to end up with the Mona Lisa: variation and criticism.

    One could more efficiently state that the Mona Lisa “just appeared” and dispense with Leonardo da Vinci?

    You seem to have mistakenly assumed the more efficient statement is evolution. It’s not. I’m pointing out that both fail to explain that knowledge. The latter is not net-Darwinism.

    Imagine da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa, but did not possess the knowledge of what transformations the painting should make and how it would execute them. If the painting was still capable of making a copy of itself, the Mona Lisa would have “just appeared”, complete with the knowledge of how to make copies of itself, already present. That would be the spontaneous creation of knowledge.

  73. 73
    Mung says:

    CR:

    The rock could have been lying there since the formation of the earth. But this explanation is not sufficient for the watch. Why? Because it not only serves a purpose, but is well adapted to serving that purpose.

    The rock serves a purpose. It not only serves a purpose, but is well adapted to serving that purpose.

  74. 74
    Origenes says:

    Critical Rationalist @72

    CR: The Mona Lisa isn’t a template replicator.

    That doesn’t help you. Upright Biped has explained to you, over and over, that a replicator points to intelligent design, recently here:

    However, evolution requires a very special type of physical system in order to exist in nature (meaning that it requires a known threshold of organization in order to function). Physicists have thoroughly studied this necessary system, and have related it directly to the material laws that govern nature. And they have determined that the only other place that such a system can be found (anywhere else in the cosmos) is in written language and mathematics – two universal correlates of intelligence.
    [Upright Biped]

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines,

    it has been years and years that the implications of a von Neumann kinematic self replicator were put on the table, especially in the context of being an additional aspect of something that carries out a separate function.

    Indeed, it seems to have been overlooked for 150 years that right after briefly speaking to finding a watch in a field vs a stone, Paley went on to Ch 2 in which he discussed at length the import of a time-keeping, self-replicating watch:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself — the thing is conceivable; 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 . . . .

    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 . . . . 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.

    [[Emphases added. (Note: It is easy to rhetorically dismiss this argument because of the context: a work of natural theology. But, since (i) valid science can be — and has been — done by theologians; since (ii) the greatest of all modern scientific books (Newton’s Principia) contains the General Scholium which is an essay in just such natural theology; and since (iii) an argument ‘s weight depends on its merits, we should not yield to such “label and dismiss” tactics. It is also worth noting Newton’s remarks that “thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy [[i.e. what we now call “science”].” )]

    It seems to me there is a habitual pattern among objectors to design theory of failing to attend carefully to the actual evidence and arguments design thinkers have used since Plato, Cicero and Paley down to today’s investigators.

    The effect is, they come across as closed, indoctrinated and attacking strawman targets. Of course, when one has institutional dominance, willful resort to ideologisation and indoctrination in evo mat scientism and a track record of the sort of censorship, locking out and expulsion of dissidents, one can get away with a lot for a time. Latest tactic seems to be search engine and social media suppression.

    But, then cometh the day of hard reckoning when the ordinary people wake up and say, enough. (And that is what seems to be happening with things like Brexit and the rise of what is being scorned as populist nationalism and “fake news” etc.)

    A day of reckoning is coming.

    Here, and more importantly (whether you mock or not), hereafter.

    KF

  76. 76

    CR,

    What “transformations” does matter have to undergo in order to be “well adapted” as a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials”?

    Because of several brilliant researchers over the past 150 years, the answer to that question is already known. I am just wondering if you actually know — given that your argument assumes an answer. Perhaps you’d like to start by discussing the material distinctions and limitations between the unknown template replicator you assume began the process, and the recipe replicator required at the origin of the heterogeneous cell?

  77. 77
    Origenes says:

    Kairosfocus @75

    KF: It seems to me there is a habitual pattern among objectors to design theory of failing to attend carefully to the actual evidence and arguments design thinkers have used since Plato, Cicero and Paley down to today’s investigators.

    The effect is, they come across as closed, indoctrinated and attacking strawman targets.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but, on this forum, I have never witnessed a single case of a materialist winning an argument or even a part of an argument. Whoever they are, whatever they put forward, they are always wrong and they are always losing.
    And somehow we all, both sides, have grown used to this situation.

    KF: But, then cometh the day of hard reckoning when the ordinary people wake up and say, enough. (And that is what seems to be happening with things like Brexit and the rise of what is being scorned as populist nationalism and “fake news” etc.)

    Let’s hope so for the people in this world.

    KF: Here, and more importantly (whether you mock or not), hereafter.

    Let’s hope that there is no place for materialism in the hereafter. 🙂

  78. 78
    critical rationalist says:

    @Mung

    The rock serves a purpose. It not only serves a purpose, but is well adapted to serving that purpose.

    It does? So, what is that purpose and in what ways can it not be varied without reducing its ability to serve that purpose?

    A rock can be used as paper weight, a weapon, a building material, a means to to prevent a car from rolling away when changing a tire on a car, an uncomfortable seat, etc. It is not well adapted to perform any of these purposes because it could by modified significantly without impacting its ability to serve those them. For example, many rocks of entirely different compositions can be used and still serve those purses just as well. The knowledge of how to use a rock in those scenarios is in us, not the rock.

  79. 79
    critical rationalist says:

    @UB,

    Again, von Neumann terms, the vehicle and the recipe are copied anew when the cell reproduces. It is a constructor as outlined in the paper I referenced on an earlier thread. So, the proximate cause is that knowledge. All of this was spelled out in detail in the constructor theory preprint paper I referenced in an earlier thread. So, the origin of those features, including the replication functionality, is that knowledge.

    A designer that “just was” complete with that knowledge, already present, doesn’t serve an explanatory purposes. That’s because one could more efficiently state that organisms “just appeared” with that knowledge, already present.

    IOW, without an explanation for how “intelligent action” results in knowledge, even in human beings, adding them to the mix doesn’t serve an explanatory purpose. It just pushes the problem up a level without actually improving it.

    Portraying a designer as an abstract authoritative source of knowledge is bad philosophy.

    Given that theists have a commitment to portraying God as a foundational source of authoritative knowledge, it comes as no surprise theists find this philosophical view unproblematic. However, one need not think that knowledge comes from authoritative sources to be a theist. Empiricism was the idea that all knowledge comes from observations. So, observations was an authoritative source of knowledge. (While this was an improvement, as it helped emphasize the importance of empirical observations in science, it got the role wrong).

    IOW, this criticism isn’t specific to theism (not biased against it) because theism is a specific case of that philosophical view.

  80. 80
    critical rationalist says:

    KF quoted..

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself — the thing is conceivable; 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 . . . .

    Nothing in that quote conflicts with Paley having clarified the appearance of design. After all, those implements would be well adapted to serve a purpose of making a copy of the watch. Right? And if they were modified their ability to serve that purpose would be reduced, or rendered inoperable.

    Moreover, all of those implements would sit idle without a recipe from which raw materials should be transformed into a copy of the watch. Furthermore, that recipe would also need to contain the transformations of raw materials necessary to build the complex “lathes, baffles”, etc. in the copy of the self-replicating watch. Otherwise, they would be absent in subsequent generations. Right?

    Knowledge, when embedded in a storage medium is an example of matter being well adapted to serve a purpose. If you modify it physically, it will serve that purpose significantly less well, if even at all.

    In the same sense, good expansions consist of long chains of hard to vary, independently formed explanations about how the world works. If you modify them, they will no serve that purpose nearly as well.

    To put in another way, good explanations cannot be easily varied without significantly impacting their ability to explain the phenomena in question.

    For example, “An abstract designer did it” is a bad explanation, in that it’s similar to the Greek myth of the seasons: they are both shallow and easily varied, the cast of characters are only connected to seasons though the myth itself, and the roles they play could be varied without significantly reducing it’s ability to explain seasons, or the biosphere, respectively.

    This is in contrast to our current explanation of the seasons, which represents a long chain of hard to vary explanations across multiple fields. The earth’s rotation is titled in respect to it’s orbit around the sun. A spinning sphere retains it’s tilt. Surfaces titled away from radiant heat are headed less. The origin of star light (nuclear fusion), etc. If we break any part of this chain, there is no easy way to vary this explanation without significantly impacting it’s ability to explain the seasons. There is no where go. Furthermore, these links were formed independently of each other.

    Our explanation for the seasons is good not only because it’s falsifiable, but because it’s hard to vary.

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, self-replication per von Neumann kinematic self replicator is not mere “copying.” We are talking recorded information guided construction. The point was anticipated by Paley, who pondered a time keeping, self-replicating watch. And, in both cases the involved FSCO/I handily accounts for the indication of contrivance based on composing or selecting, arranging and coupling many parts to form a non-obvious harmonious whole that carries out functions based on specific configuration [any rock will do, more or less, not any config will) and then uses stored instructions to replicate itself including the self replication facility. We can conceive this class of machine, but NASA was daunted by what it would take to effect such. BTW, effecting such would transform the global economy. I repeat, FSCO/I is a tested, reliable sign of design. KF

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    Origines, it is really hard to fight against the evident, easily observed truth that FSCO/I is a common phenomenon and is readily seen to be a reliable sign of design as cause. There was once a brilliant man who –knocked off his high horse — was told that it is hard to kick against the pricks. KF

  83. 83

    CR, you failed to answer the question. You didn’t even try.

    Instead, you point to a paper that also doesn’t provide an answer.

    This is made very plainly evident by the fact that the paper doesn’t even mention the issue.

    So I’ll ask again: What “transformations” does matter have to undergo in order to be “well adapted” as a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials”?

  84. 84

    CR, is it your intent now to just leave these questions unanswered and unaddressed? What is this, the 3rd or 4th time you’ve walked away when your argument comes under scrutiny? You seem awfully willing to merely assume your conclusions, particularly for someone so prone to lecture others about science and philosophy.

    I’ll ask again: What “transformations” does matter have to undergo in order to be “well adapted” as a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials”?

    The question is critical to conclusions you are wanting to draw. Why are you so reluctant to engage it?

  85. 85
    critical rationalist says:

    @UB

    Yet again, in von Neumann terms, both the replicator vehicle and the recipe are constructed when the cell reproduces. So, the transformations matter has to go thought is defined in that recipe.

    That’s my point. Nothing external to the cell “decides” or “chooses” what transformations should occur when a cell replicates. It occurs when the requisite knowledge is present there.

    Nor does an organism’s cell contain explanatory knowledge. For example, nothing in a tiger’s genome understands (contains an explanatory theory of) how stripes on its fur result in improved ability to hunt due to optically camouflaging It in a specific environment.

    Is there some part of the above that you disagree with?

    Furthermore, that issue is addressed at length in the paper, so if that’s not what you mean then your question is ambiguous and needs to be expanded to clarify what you mean.

  86. 86
    critical rationalist says:

    The question is critical to conclusions you are wanting to draw. Why are you so reluctant to engage it?

    When you ask the same ambiguous question, without clarify what you mean, I have to guess what you mean and try to expand on that on your behalf.

    I cannot merely repeat what you wrote, because anyone can do that without having any understanding.

  87. 87

    Ahem.

    I think we can now safely say that you have no idea what “transformations” matter must undergo in order to be “well adapted” as a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials” — i.e. the core of your argument.

    And without any idea what is physically required of the system, you have no way of knowing if your explanation is up to the task of being an explanation. Moreover, in the most bizarre response possible, your answer to this problem seems to be that — since the necessary organization of the system is encoded in the system itself — it explains itself merely because it exist. WTF? You do realize that von Neumann’s system didn’t organize itself, right?

  88. 88
    critical rationalist says:

    @UB

    Apparently, you disagree with some part of this statement. The question is, where?

    in von Neumann terms, both the replicator vehicle and the recipe are constructed when the cell reproduces. So, the transformations matter has to go thought is defined in that recipe.

    When replication is complete, do we not end up with a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials”? Did the recipe not consist of the transformations those raw materials must undergo? Did some external designer dictate when transformation should occur?

    Moreover, in the most bizarre response possible, your answer to this problem seems to be that — since the necessary organization of the system is encoded in the system itself — it explains itself merely because it exist. WTF? You do realize that von Neumann’s system didn’t organize itself, right?

    You mean, I haven’t presented an explanation for that knowledge? Being well adapted to serve a purpose cannot be the explanation for being well adapted to server a purpose? But that’s my point, UB.

    Again, the only explanation for how the watch and the cell became well adapted to serve a purpose is knowledge (which transformations to perform to adapt raw materials). So, the question is, what is the origin of that knowledge? I keep asking for one and you haven’t provided it.

    Is it safe to say you have no idea which designer was in involved and how it knew which transformations matter in a cell must undergo in order to be “well adapted” as a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials? That knowledge would be a recipe of which physical transformations ID’s designer needed to perform to well adapt the storage medium in a cell to end up with that recipe.

    It’s possible that a designer could performed the transformations in that recipe in a different order, but would it be free to perform just any transformations and end up with the vehicle / recipe? That transformation only occurs when the requisite knowledge is present there.

    This is what I mean when I say a designer that “just was” compete with the recipe of which transformations of matter necessary to create the vehicle and recipe serves no explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that the vehicle “just appeared”, complete with that recipe, already present.

    They both fail to explain the origin of that knowledge (And, “No.”, Neo-Darwinism is not the latter.)

    IOW, you have the very same problem. Adding an abstract designer merely just pushes it up a level without improving it. I don’t know why you cannot see this, unless you hold some additional assumptions you have yet to explicitly disclose, like knowledge in specific spheres comes from authoritative sources, which is bad philosophy, and not science.

    And if the designer didn’t possess that recipe, then how did it end up in organisms it created? That would be like an industrial robot coming of the assembly line pre-programed to build a car, when the knowledge of how to build cars wasn’t present anywhere in factory. That would be the spontaneous creation of knowledge.

  89. 89

    CR,

    Apparently, you disagree with some part of this statement … When replication is complete, do we not end up with a entity that “contains a recipe which is used to make a copy of itself from raw materials”?

    For the life of me, I don’t know why you keep bringing this up. The system contains a symbolic (rate-independent) description of itself, as well as the contingent (non-integrable) constraints that it must have in order to interpret the description. There is no phone, and no need for one.

    Being well adapted to serve a purpose cannot be the explanation for being well adapted to serve a purpose? But that’s my point, UB.

    I’m glad you see it that way. I‘d like you to hang on to that thought.

    Again, the only explanation for how the watch and the cell became well adapted to serve a purpose is knowledge (which transformations to perform to adapt raw materials). So, the question is, what is the origin of that knowledge? I keep asking for one and you haven’t provided it.

    Sure I did, long ago — an of intelligence. Not only that, but I gave you a factual outline of why the inference to intelligence is valid, and I am perfectly capable of expanding that outline in critical detail. The empirical support that powers the inference isn’t even controversial. In other words, you would have to deny well-documented physical reality to argue that the inference isn’t empirically supported.

    Your response to all this is to tell me that an “act of intelligence” at the origin of life on earth is not an explanation for any ultimate source of knowledge, which is why I keep trying to bring you back around to the core claim of ID – i.e. that an act of intelligence is detectable in the origin of life on earth.

    But as I predicted, you simply refuse to integrate the actual claim of ID into your reasoning. To do so would put you into the position of agreeing with ID – the very idea that you are attempting so hard to criticize. But your criticisms have failed, and failed, and failed again.

    Thus far, you have done exactly what I’ve predicted you would do to save your argument from its inevitable end. There isn’t the slightest bit of mystery in any of this.

  90. 90

    My prediction at this point is that you will a) continue to refuse to integrate ID’s core claim into your reasoning, B) continue to ignore the physical requirements of an autonomous self-replicator, and C) continue to assume your conclusions.

  91. 91
    critical rationalist says:

    @KF

    CR, self-replication per von Neumann kinematic self replicator is not mere “copying.” We are talking recorded information guided construction.

    Again, I don’t see how that disagrees with what I wrote….

    But the watch couldn’t have just been lying there. Nor is it a raw material. It is well adapted to the purpose of telling time. And it couldn’t have come about though any other explanation than knowledge.

    The knowledge of what transformation of matter is information that causes itself to be retained when embedded in a storage medium. When Information is embedded in a storage medium that medium is well adapted to serve a purpose. That’s not random.

    You wrote:

    And, in both cases the involved FSCO/I handily accounts for the indication of contrivance based on composing or selecting, arranging and coupling many parts to form a non-obvious harmonious whole that carries out functions based on specific configuration [any rock will do, more or less, not any config will) and then uses stored instructions to replicate itself including the self replication facility.

    Yes, KF. Any rock will do, because it’s not well adapted to serve that purpose. On the other hand, the watch is well adapted to serve that purpose. It can only be explained by knowledge. So, is a template replicator. Again, nothing you’ve said conflicts with that. It’s unclear how human beings taking advantage of the laws of physics via symbols means that organism with symbols were designed. That direction isn’t “evident” in observations.

    Knowledge is not “chance”. That is because it plays a causal role in being retained when embedded in a storage medium. It solves a problem. Despite being an “intelligent agent”, if I want to build a car I cannot choose to perform any steps except those that will actually result in a car. Sure, I can pick the color of the paint and a number of different body shapes, materials, power plants and power trains. But [there are aspects of a “car” that are non-negotiable that I cannot choose otherwise without making the car less efficient.] I must possess the requisite knowledge. I can devise plan after plan, day after day. But unless my plans actually contain that knowledge, I will not end up with a car, regardless of the intent or purpose I had in mind.

    You wrote:

    We can conceive this class of machine, but NASA was daunted by what it would take to effect such.

    Unless something is prohibited by the laws of physics, the only thing would prevent us from doing so is knowing how. This includes building self replicating machines.

    Furthermore, are you suggesting that engineers at NASA not intelligent agents? They are literally rocket scientists, yet, as you pointed out, they are currently unable to build self replicating machines. Why?

    NASA engineers cannot build self replicating machines because they do not posses the necessary knowledge of what transformations of matter are necessary to construct one out of raw materials. And when we do build self replicating machines, we will have done so because we have created the necessary knowledge. Not because they decided one day that they wanted or intended to.

    You wrote:

    I repeat, FSCO/I is a tested, reliable sign of design. KF

    Since the streets are wet, it must have been raining? Rain isn’t just a prediction that surfaces will be wet. It represents an explanation by which we can compare other explanations about how

    Both creationism, ID and induction share the same fatal flaw. Their explanation for the knowledge is either supernatural, absent or irrational. In the case of the supernatural, it’s inexplicable. And in case of being irrational, it’s effective absent. All of which are bad explanations.

    Why don’t you start out by explaining how knowledge grows, then point out that that evolution doesn’t fit that explanation. Merely saying that evolution isn’t an authoritative source of knowledge isn’t a good criticism because the idea that knowledge comes from authority is bad philosophy.

    One mistake of indiction is that the future (and the distant past) resembles the past. But that’s simply not the case. We only experienced birds flying. They were the only “source of flight” we explained. We tried to fly over and over again and experienced nothing but falling. Then, one day, we came up with a good explanation for flight. Then we flew. In that order.

    Appealing to the fact that we’ve only experienced “designers” well adapting things to serve a purpose without an expansion as to how that occurs is highly flawed.

    It’s as if you think designers merely have the property of “design” and that somehow explains it. But that’s like saying fire has the property of dryness.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    CR, again, you exemplified the intelligently designed origin of FSCO/I involving symbol strings in order to cast doubts up about that. The vNSR is a case in point of such an entity; where the failings of NASA while we see cells all around carrying out the architecture points to how advanced the technology in the cells is. Where, BTW, intelligence involved in intelligently directed configuration patently implies requisite knowledge and skills, it is time for you to move beyond strawman caricatures such as you just set up; I already pointed you to the ABET definition, which is suggestive as to how designs are done; though it is readily shown that we recognise designs from their features such as FSCO/I without necessarily knowing specific techniques, strategies, processes etc. Long since, you have been pointed to TRIZ as one approach that points to principles and strategies. And I don’t know how many times we have suggested a need to update and upgrade your understanding of inductive reasoning. Birds fly, they show flight is possible. They do not exhaust the class of possible flying entities. KF

  93. 93
    critical rationalist says:

    @UB

    an “act of intelligence” at the origin of life on earth

    Again, please unpack this. Apparently I’ll have to help you…

    an “act”

    An act implies a verb and a noun being acted upon. What is this act?

    “of intelligence”

    Apparently, this act was caused by intelligence. This implies there is some explanation as to how intelligence translates into the verb that occurred on a noun. Otherwise, why do you think intelligence was the case?

    at the origin of life on earth

    If ID does not explain the origin of life and since we seem to disagree on what the origin of life is, it would behove you to specify at what point that verb supposedly occurred in some kind of inverse timeline that starts when we have self replicating cells with recipes that include the transformations of matter required to build them from raw materials.

    Finally, what was the noun, present at that time, which was acted upon?

  94. 94

    CR,

    Again, please unpack this.

    I already did. You ignored it.

    An act implies a verb and a noun being acted upon. What is this act?

    The formalization of a symbol system using a set of spatially-oriented (rate-independent) symbol vehicles along with the set of non-integrable constraints required to interpret the symbols – i.e. a language. In an autonomous self-replicator, this formalization is required to achieve semantic closure, allowing self-replication to occur via a medium of information.

    Why do you think intelligence was the case?

    1) There was a system that was predicted as being necessary to establish an autonomous self-replicator capable of open-ended evolutionary potential. This is a well-documented historical fact, and is widely held as both coherent and correct. That system was a language system, which was then verified by its physical properties to actually exist within the cell. 2) Recorded language is a universal correlate of intelligence.

    If ID does not explain the origin of life …

    As predicted above, you keep misstating the ID core claim, thus avoiding it altogether.

    There is something I’d like to know. Von Neumann was a keen fan of Turing’s architecture, and used that system in developing his own universal constructor concept. As a part of that architecture, Turing provided to the system (as its intelligent organizer) a set of “state transformations” (his term) that are not derived from the dynamic properties of the system. They are, in fact, the logical principles by which such a system can function. Indeed, the system would not function without them.

    In von Neumann’s version of Turing’s system, these “state transformation” are certainly no less critical. In fact, they are even more critical because without them the system cannot even start to function. Interestingly, neither Turing nor von Neumann presented their systems along with the “physics” required in their operation, but physicists have come behind them and filled in those blanks – noting for instance, that the genetic system is the only other general purpose language system other than human language, and that the constraints that determine the system’s function are not integrable with a microscopic (lawful) physical description of the system operation itself. In other words, the “state transformation” are indeed not determined by the system’s dynamic properties. They also note that the specific architecture of the system is the actual source of open-ended evolutionary potential within a physical system – just as Von Neumann envisioned it to be. Yet, you haven’t provided one iota of reason to believe that the system is – against all observations to the contrary – actually established by its dynamics, or that it somehow evolved prior to the onset of its evolutionary potential.

    Do you grasp what is going on here? First you misunderstand and misuse the actual claim of ID, then you ignore the physical requirements of the system in question, then you posit as an explanation the very thing that needs to be explained. Perhaps you should take a break and do some further study.

  95. 95
    critical rationalist says:

    I’m in the middle of a product launch, so I’m unable to respond in detail at this time.

    However, I did not ignore what you wrote. From the same thread…

    Without an explanation about how “intelligent processes” bring about symbols, it’s unclear how it can be the only source of them. What you’re left with is just induction: every “symbol” we’ve observed was correlated to “intelligent processes”. Thats simply bad philosophy.

    Furthermore, you seem to be referring to a jumps of universality, which I’ve addressed elsewhere.

    For example, while the Arabic number system is universal, human beings started out with tallies. Counting sheep by reeling out string as they go out of a barn, and reeling it back in as they return would result in errors in measurement that would build up. This is inherent in analog systems. However, even tallies would be an improvement they allow for error correction inherent in digital system. Then we moved on to number systems, but their reach was very limited to the set of numbers encountered at the time. Even the Roman numeral system had limits. And one predecessor actually was universal, but additional rules were added that prevent it. The same can be said for the universality of computation, which only emerges when all of the requisite computations are present. This represents a disproportional jump to universality. We started out with devices designed to solve specific problems, like adding or calculating artillery shell trajectories, etc. But when the final computation is added, the system makes a disproportional jump to universality.

    IOW, we (human beings) stumbled upon universality while trying to solve other problems. It’s unclear how this disproportional jump is attributed to intelligent agents when it is an emergent phenomena of physical systems.

    Again…

    In addition, I’ve referenced a deeper, universal explanation for knowledge, including the knowledge in biological organisms, that does not require a knowing subject and references to a theory of information that resolves the circularity in Shannon’s theory in regards to distinguishability, which you seem to be eluding to in regards to symbols that mediate gene expression, etc.

    If you think that

    The second is that Shannon’s theory is about information represented in distinguishable states, but does not specify what distinguishing consists of physically. So, consider the non-perturbing measurement that distinguishes two possible messages x and y. It has the following effects in those two cases:
    message receiver message receiver x x0 ? x x y x0 ? y y
    (1)
    where x0 is a receptive state of some medium capable of instantiating the outcome x or y. But this does not in fact distinguish message x from message y unless the receiver states x and y are themselves distinguishable. Therefore (1), considered as a definition of distinguishability, would be circular. Indeed, no existing theory of information provides a non-circular account of what it means for a set of physical states to be mutually distinguishable. The theory that we shall present here does (Section 4).

    It’s unclear if you think a designer is necessary to somehow “ specify” that x and y are distinguishable, therefore playing some crucial role. But the referenced theory does not exhibit that circularity.

  96. 96
    critical rationalist says:

    Do you grasp what is going on here? First you misunderstand and misuse the actual claim of ID, then you ignore the physical requirements of the system in question, then you posit as an explanation the very thing that needs to be explained. Perhaps you should take a break and do some further study.

    So, ID does claim to detect the origin of life? I suggested it didn’t, but you seem to think I misunderstood. Which is it?

    And, for the umpteenth time, what physical theory of information are you referring to? Asking you to provide such a theory is the opposite of ignoring it. In fact, it seems if anyone is doing the ignoring, it’s you.

    From the referenced paper…

    1 Introduction
    In some respects, information is a qualitatively different sort of entity from all others in terms of which the physical sciences describe the world. It is not, for instance, a function only of tensor fields on spacetime (as general relativity requires all physical quantities to be), nor is it a quantum-mechanical observable. But in other respects, information does resemble some entities that appear in laws of physics: the theory of computation, and statistical mechanics, seem to refer directly to it without regard to the specific media in which it is instantiated, just as conservation laws do for the electromagnetic four-current or the energy-momentum tensor. We call that the substrate-independence of information. Information can also be moved from one type of medium to another while retaining all its properties qua information. We call this its interoperability property; it is what makes human capabilities such as language and science possible, as well as biological adaptations that use symbolic codes, such as the genetic code.

    Again, I’m suggesting the origin of the knowledge (the recipe) is the origin of life. The interoperability of information allows knowledge to be represented as symbols. The origin of an organism’s features is the origin of that knowledge. Even if, for the sake of argument, we assume some designer defined symbols that can represent it that wouldn’t be the origin of that knowledge.

    After all, defining a language doesn’t define content written in that language. You don’t end up with the contents of every possible book in the process of defining a language that can be used to write books. Right? Those are two different things.

    So, You still have the problem of explaining the origin of the knowledge in ID’s designer. The knowledge it would needed to posses to transform raw materials into organisms would have been the same recipe they now contain. That’s the interoperability property of information at work. It’s would just have been copied from one place, in a designer, to another, in the organism. Nothing new was actually created.

    This is why creationism is a misnomer. If God has always existed with that knowledge, already present, there would have been no genuine creation. This is because, due to the interoperability property of knowledge, the recipe in organisms would have always existed. it would be the same knowledge that would have been always present with God. So, creationism denies that creation occurred.

    That is, unless you assume that organisms “just appeared” with that knowledge already present. But that’s the spontaneous creation of knowledge.

  97. 97
    critical rationalist says:

    To clarify, defining a language allows the content of every existing book to be translated in that language, but that doesn’t define the content of those books. It’s a way of representing the same knowledge in a different form. That is a property of information, not the “act of intelligence”.

    IOW, If a designer wanted to construct an organism out of raw materials, the transformations of matter required would be the recipe that exists in that organism, or the the functional equivalent. In principle, the replication mechanism of cells could be replaced by nano machines that performed equilvent steps, including replicating the nano machines themselves, even if that knowledge was stored in binary form in those nano machines as opposed to DNA. Or they could receive that binary data from an external source. In each case, the explanation for that organisms features would be that knowledge. Nano machines can emulate the job of the cells replcation mechanism (constructing the same replicator vehicle) due to the universality of computation.

    Translating that knowledge into DNA so it can be performed by the cell itself doesn’t create new knowledge that is relevant to the outcome or the organism.

    Did I learn something new when I learned that “noir” means “black” in French? Yes, but that isn’t relevant to the content itself. The act of translating exisitng instructions to build a boat from English to French doesn’t require an individual to actually know how to build a boat. That knowlege is in the English content. (Although it’s very helpful in detecting errors in your translation)

    IOW, what you seem to be suggesting is that a designer created the a set of macro functions in the form of DNA molecules that is a domain specific language (DSL) for creating organisms, in the way that the Ruby on Rails developers built a DSL on top of the Ruby programming language for creating web applications. However, the developers needed to first possess the knowledge of how to build web applications before they could abstract it into a DSL. And there is the matter of the knowledge in the ruby programming language itself.

    So, in the case of biological organisms, what is the origin of that knowledge?

  98. 98
    critical rationalist says:

    When I ask with the origin of that knowledge, I’m looking for an explanation for how intelligence results in a designer possessing it that knowledge. What is that explanation?

    Specifically I’m looking for criticism along the lines of “The explanation for that knowledge is X, Y and Z. However, evolution doesn’t fit that explanation.” This is in contrast to an appeal to induction by saying “every time we’ve experienced knowledge, it has been accompanied by intelligent agents.” and since the future (and distant past) resembles the (recent) past, the designer of organisms was an intelligent agent.

    But the future is unlike the past in a vast number of ways. It’s our explanations of how the world works that indicates what we will experience. For example, if our long chain of independently obtained explanations for how our sun works indicated it would suddenly grow cold when its fuel supply is exhausted and that will occur in roughly 4.6 billon billion years after it was formed, we wouldn’t expect the sun to rise tomorrow despite having experienced it rising every day for the entirety of human existence.

    In the absence of such an explanation, it’s unclear how you can say a designer is the best explanation for that knowledge. Not to mention that a designer merely being an authoritative source of knowledge is a bad explanation.

    However, I can see why a theists wouldn’t find that explanation problematic as theism is based on the philosophical idea that knowledge in specific spheres comes from God, who is an authoritative source. As does empiricism, which says that knowledge comes from observations. These two views simply exchange one authoritative source for another.

    “Atoms or random chance isn’t an authoritative source of knowledge” is a bad criticism because it’s applicable to everything. An authoritative source of knowledge has no explanation. It “just was” complete with that knowledge. ID’s designer is abstract and has no such explanation. It is capable of designing things by nature of having the vague property of “design”, which is basically a tautology. At best, this is the Aristotelianism in the sense of saying fire has the property of dryness. Again, the flaw in creationism, ID and inductivism is that the explanation for knowledge is either inexplicable (supernatural), absent or irrational.

    On the other hand, I’m saying that the explanation for how human designers create the knowledge they posses is variation and criticism. We create both explanatory and non-explanatory knowledge. Evolution does fit this explanation, in that the non-explanatory knowledge in genes is created by variation and selection. Both fall under the universal explanation for the growth of knowledge.

  99. 99
    critical rationalist says:

    @UB

    An act implies a verb and a noun being acted upon. What is this act?

    The formalization of a symbol system using a set of spatially-oriented (rate-independent) symbol vehicles along with the set of non-integrable constraints required to interpret the symbols – i.e. a language. In an autonomous self-replicator, this formalization is required to achieve semantic closure, allowing self-replication to occur via a medium of information.

    To which I responded…

    IOW, what you seem to be suggesting is that a designer created the a set of macro functions in the form of DNA molecules that is a domain specific language (DSL) for creating organisms, in the way that the Ruby on Rails developers built a DSL on top of the Ruby programming language for creating web applications. However, the developers needed to first possess the knowledge of how to build web applications before they could abstract it into a DSL. And there is the matter of the knowledge in the ruby programming language itself.

    So, it’s a question of knowledge, which is why I keep asking you for the origin of that knowledge.

    Why do you think intelligence was the case?

    1) There was a system that was predicted as being necessary to establish an autonomous self-replicator capable of open-ended evolutionary potential. This is a well-documented historical fact, and is widely held as both coherent and correct. That system was a language system, which was then verified by its physical properties to actually exist within the cell. 2) Recorded language is a universal correlate of intelligence.

    Yes, UB. The explanation for the watch cannot be the same as the rock. It could only be knowledge. In the case of organisms the knowledge is a recipe in organisms themselves, which defines which transformations of matter are required to transform raw materials into entire cells. We seem to be in agreement on (1). However, you make a leap in (2). Correlation does not equal causation.

    Human designers are not magic. We have an explanation for how they create knowledge. And that explanation is compatible with natural selection.

    and that the constraints that determine the system’s function are not integrable with a microscopic (lawful) physical description of the system operation itself. In other words, the “state transformation” are indeed not determined by the system’s dynamic properties.

    Still not clear what you mean here. In regards to gene expression mediated by other parts of the system, those parts represent knowledge as to what mediations should occur. If you’re referring to the fact that what it means to be distinguishable is circular in Shannon’s theory of information, that is resolved in the theory of information I referenced. Again, what theory of information are you referring to?

    Yet, you haven’t provided one iota of reason to believe that the system is – against all observations to the contrary – actually established by its dynamics, or that it somehow evolved prior to the onset of its evolutionary potential.

    Again, we have concrete examples of the evolution of number systems, languages and computation. Each of which started out solving very limited, specific problems (limited reach) which was varied and improved. Then a disproportional leap to universality occurred, which we stumbled upon. And we have a concrete example in RNA, which is like Babbage’s Difference Engine, which was a precursor to a universal Turing machine, or Roman numerals.

    Since it depends on specific kinds of chemicals, such as proteins, DNA is presumably not a universal for specifying any kind of life form. However, it can also “program” organisms (give them instincts) to construct things outside of its bodies, such as nests, dams, etc. And utilize inorganics, such as calcium phosphate in bones, or the magnetite in a pigeon’s brain.

    What I’m referring to is a principle that all knowledge growth is by incremental improvement. It’s universal explanation for the growth of knowledge. But, in a number of fields, a threshold is exceeded when an improvement in the system causes a sudden, disproportional increase in reach, which makes it universal system in that relevant domain. When people brought about such leaps to universality in the past they rarely attempted to achieve it. That is, until the enlightenment, in which the universality of explanations people can create has become a priority.

    Note: this is why I keep asking for a explanation for the knowledge in organisms, not merely predictions or inductive inferences. We are universal explainers and that gives our knowledge reach that has allowed us to make rapid, open-ended potential to explain phenomena.

    The necessary physical proprieties necessary for replication is outlined in both papers I referenced. For example, this includes the ability to store information digitally, as it allows for error correction, etc.

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