Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

They Won’t Dance; They Won’t Mourn

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“We played your a melody, but you would not dance, a dirge but you would not mourn.”

When we are discussing philosophy as it relates to ID, some A-Mat will invariably jump into the combox and howl “I thought this was a science blog; let’s get back to the science.”

Well, a few weeks ago GP put up an extraordinary brilliant science-heavy post. The Ubiquitin System: Functional Complexity and Semiosis joined together.  As of today, there were 414 comments.  I scrolled through the combox and noted there were ZERO comments from A-Mats.

Keep that in mind next time the A-Mats howl.  We put up science posts, and they ignore them.  We put up philosophy posts and the criticize them for not being science posts.  Proving once again that coherence is not the A-Mats’ strong suit.

Comments
Barry,
When you skipped right over the first question, that was answer enough. Although it would have been less cowardly of you to actually admit that you’ve got nothing.
Actually, if you had read my response to your last question you would have realized that you first question was made superfluous. Would you like me to spell it out or are you smart enough to figure it out for yourself?Allan Keith
March 23, 2018
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Allan Keith, When you skipped right over the first question, that was answer enough. Although it would have been less cowardly of you to actually admit that you've got nothing.Barry Arrington
March 23, 2018
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Allan Keith@
Allan Keith: The lack of any testable hypotheses with regard to mechanism.
Barry Arrington: What is the mechanism by which you created the post at 125? How would we test that?
Allan Keith: ... the inference that it was written by an intelligent human is strong.
That's unresponsive, Keith. The question is about the mechanism.Origenes
March 23, 2018
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I think I was clear in my statement:
Pi is a symbolic expression that stands for something. The physical requirements of pi have been unequivocally found in a biological object, yes.
...and subsequent statements. The physical conditions of language are unequivocally found inside the cell. They were required in order to describe the constraints that establish the system (semantic closure), allowing the constraints to persist over time, which we now call the genetic code.Upright BiPed
March 23, 2018
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Mung,
Barry Arrington:
What is the mechanism by which you created the post at 125?
Allan Keith:
[non responsive reply excised]
Except that my response was to Barry’s last question. The part that I bolded. My response was very responsive to that question.
Allan Keith
March 23, 2018
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to UB: I now understand that when you wrote "“the physical requirements of pi has been unequivocally found in a biological object", you didn't really mean the number pi itself. That is all I was referring to in my original response back at 63.jdk
March 23, 2018
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Barry Arrington:
What is the mechanism by which you created the post at 125?
Allan Keith:
[non responsive reply excised]
Mung
March 23, 2018
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jdk at 92,
jdk: Seems like you are saying that written or spoken representations of pi, and by extension all mathematics I would think, don’t have a physical nature subject to the laws of physics, in the same way a molecule does. If that’s what you’re saying, that seems pretty clear. UB: I don’t think replacing a more explicit explanation with a less explicit explanation is particularly useful jdk: my “more vague/less specific” summary of what you said was an attempt to see if I understood the main point you were trying to make. Paraphrasing someone else’s point to see if you understand is a good, constructive discussion technique.
You want to repeat back to me a vague paraphrase of my explanation in order to see if you understand the more explicit details of what I said? That seems rather odd to me. Perhaps it would be all fine and good, except for the fact that I didn’t say anything whatsoever about a distinction between written words and molecules. Did you read what you wrote? I made a distinction between a rate-independent medium and a rate-dependent medium. A written word is a rate-independent representation in a system that is capable of high capacity and transcribability -- and so is a molecule of DNA if it’s organized in a system of specific constraints to make it so. This is what I was referring to when I commented about important details coming into play in a fuller analysis of such systems.
I still don’t see that you have explained how “the physical requirements of pi have been unequivocally found in a biological object.”
I can make that claim because I’ve spent a good portion of the last decade studying and reading the relevant literature, and I am already well aware of the conclusion that the physical embodiment of a language structure (such that allows the symbol “pi” to exist) is also required (and documented) in the function of the genetic code. That is to say, a physicist can document the exclusive material requirements for a written language structure to exist (i.e. symbol vehicles, rate independence, non-integrable constraints, etc) and can demonstrate that those same things exist in the reading-frame code of the gene system. Indeed, they must exist there (as predicted) in order for the gene system to physically serve as the platform for open-ended “Darwinian” evolution. Moreover, those requirements are required to create semantic closure (the self-reference of the gene, i.e. it requires the product of its translation in order to be translated) establishing the origin of the system. I’ve discussed these physical requirements on the pages many many times already (a recent example is here). You are well aware of this, as you’ve already sought to brush it all aside as merely my “pet project” and have said that such things don’t interest you anyway. So? Do you want me to go through data that doesn’t interest you, or do you want to just move forward to pretending the literature doesn’t exist, or that the physics is wrong, or that I am perhaps lying about it? You can ponder your choice, as my access to UD will be limited over the weekend.Upright BiPed
March 23, 2018
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I'm a little dubious of Early Evolution vs. Current Evolution. Current Evolution continues to churn out countless generations of bacteria. ... ... So Early Evolution had some creative properties that Current Evolution appears to lack as far as bacteria is concerned. Did Early Evolution do it's job and then retire? Sounds a liiittle like storytelling. Andrewasauber
March 23, 2018
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successive duplications and subsequent diversification during the early evolution of Bacteria
Allan Keith, I hope you understand that just using the word 'evolution' doesn't mean you have scientifically explained something. In this case, 'evolution' is being used as The Black Box. You could have said "successive duplications and subsequent diversification during the Black Box Era of Bacteria" and achieved the same scientific level of explanation. Andrewasauber
March 23, 2018
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Allan Design inference is based almost solely on a comparison to human design. Allan, ponder this: design inference is based solely on a comparison to design.tribune7
March 22, 2018
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Barry,
What is the mechanism by which you created the post at 125? How would we test that? If we are unable to test it, would the inference that your post at 125 was the product of intelligent design by weak?
The fact that it is written in English (although poorly), that it conveys a coherent message (even if you disagree with it), that it is posted on a site that requires password authentication and an anti-bot question, that the person writing it has been interacting with other commenters, the inference that it was written by an intelligent human is strong. However, the inference that it may have been written by a non human intelligence is very weak.Allan Keith
March 22, 2018
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Allan @ 125: "The lack of any testable hypotheses with regard to mechanism" What is the mechanism by which you created the post at 125? How would we test that? If we are unable to test it, would the inference that your post at 125 was the product of intelligent design by weak?Barry Arrington
March 22, 2018
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Allan Keith:
1) IC may be the best argument that ID has. But even the poster-child for IC, the flagellum, is suspected to have “originated from “so simple a beginning,” in this case, a single gene that underwent successive duplications and subsequent diversification during the early evolution of Bacteria.” http://www.pnas.org/content/104/17/7116
Oh my, and you really think that blind and mindless process pulled it off? Really? Do you know what has to happen- the duplicated gene needs a binding site or else it doesn't matter. Then you need specific mutations to alter the function. There just isn't enough time in the universe. See waiting for two mutations And it isn't just getting the right genes. You need to have them expressed correctly to produce the right number of residues required. Then you need to configure them properly avoiding any cross-reactions. There are chaperones for this. To top it all off once you have it configured there has to be some sort of command and control otherwise the new assembly is useless.
4) The lack of any testable hypotheses with regard to mechanism, nature of the designer, etc. Evolutionary theory has proposed mechanisms by which change over time can accumulate and result in complexity.
Nonsense. For one design is a mechanism. For another we don't need any testable hypotheses in regard to the mechanism or nature of the designer. Those all come AFTER design is detected. And evolutionism is a mechanistic concept. ID is not. Evolutionism doesn't have a testable mechanism capable of producing any bacterial flagellum. Darwin's original concept wasn't testable and neither are any of the concepts that followed.ET
March 22, 2018
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Tribune7,
The only thing beyond we would suggest would be for you to be able to understand and articulate the methodologies we advocate for design inference and, if you should continue to doubt them, provide specific criticisms.
Thank you for the kind response. I have several issues with ID that I would certainly like to discuss further, possibly in threads dedicated to them. But here is a brief list: 1) IC may be the best argument that ID has. But even the poster-child for IC, the flagellum, is suspected to have "originated from “so simple a beginning,” in this case, a single gene that underwent successive duplications and subsequent diversification during the early evolution of Bacteria." http://www.pnas.org/content/104/17/7116 2) Design inference is based almost solely on a comparison to human design. This can certainly be used to infer design in biology, but with only one known source of intelligence as a frame of reference, the inference is weak. That is statistical reality speaking, not me. But even a weak inference can strengthen support for ID if there were other avenues of examination that support ID. 3) The combinatorial explosion. The faulty assumptions used with regard to the use of probability in this argument have been pointed out in great detail by people much smarter than me. I have not read any counter arguments that would change this. 4) The lack of any testable hypotheses with regard to mechanism, nature of the designer, etc. Evolutionary theory has proposed mechanisms by which change over time can accumulate and result in complexity. These have been tested to the ability that they can given the time frames involved. These tests and observations have led to modifications of the theory over time, but nothing has yet arisen that undermines the foundation of Darwin's original theory. 5) Fine tuning of the universe. It is an interesting mental excercise to postulate what our universe would look like if any one of our physical constants were even marginally different. ID has latched on to this and twisted the term that some physicists have used (the universe is fine tuned) to apply the verb tense of the phrase to imply that some intelligence was doing the tuning. And maybe an intelligence was involved. I don't know, and neither does anyone else. But unless we can show that any of these constants can be different than what they are, it will remain a mental exercise and not be testable. But, I admit that I am not a physicist, so I may be off base on this.Allan Keith
March 22, 2018
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Allan Keith I am not suggesting that ID is not a viable explanation. Just that the efforts to date to demonstrate this have been hit and miss. That's a fair statement and (almost) all we can ask for. The only thing beyond we would suggest would be for you to be able to understand and articulate the methodologies we advocate for design inference and, if you should continue to doubt them, provide specific criticisms.tribune7
March 22, 2018
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We don't even ask about the who and how until after we have determined (intelligent) design exists. And it still stands that any given (intelligent) design inference can be falsified just by demonstrating that natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless process could produce what we say is (intelligently) designed. Newton's four rules of scientific reasoning applyET
March 22, 2018
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Allan Keith:
Just that the efforts to date to demonstrate this have been hit and miss.
That is your opinion and it appears to be based on ignorance.ET
March 22, 2018
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Barry,
So now we have countless trillions of examples of functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity from humans on account of their intelligence.
Agreed.
We have observed exactly ZERO instances of any other cause accounting for functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity.
A qualified agreement. We may have observed trillions of instances that may have another cause but we do not know the step by step processes that were followed.
Put it together Allan. Human intelligence is the only certainly known source of functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity.
Agreed.
Therefore, when we see functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity whose origins we do not know, we have a choice: 1. Attribute it to the only cause known with certainty to produce it, i.e. intelligence. 2. Attribute it to causes that have never been observed producing it. Answer 1 is obviously best.
Option 1 does not follow from your logic. The logical option 1 would be:
Attribute it to the only cause known with certainty to produce it, i.e. Human intelligence.
And I don't hear anyone suggesting that this is the most likely explanation. But, regardless, there are many things that we have attributed causes to that we have never observed the causes actually creating. Plate tectonics and mountain formation is one. Others include black holes, diamond formation, fossilization, etc. I am not suggesting that ID is not a viable explanation. Just that the efforts to date to demonstrate this have been hit and miss.Allan Keith
March 22, 2018
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Upright BiPed:
Hola! Mung
Greets mate!Mung
March 22, 2018
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“Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.” It is our knowledge of cause and effect relationships that gives us the design inference. No absurd assumptions required.ET
March 22, 2018
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GPuccio: And, of course, some form of interface to matter, in particular to biological matter, because the forms represented in consciousness must be outputted to the designed object, in some way.
Figuring out how this works is the ultimate challenge.Origenes
March 22, 2018
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Origenes: Yes, the only real requirement for a designer is to be conscious, and to be able of having the subjective experiences of meaning and purpose. And, of course, some form of interface to matter, in particular to biological matter, because the forms represented in consciousness must be outputted to the designed object, in some way.gpuccio
March 22, 2018
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Obviously, Allan Keith is not interested in a serious conversation. He knows that beings, human or not, produce things that are designed. They range from simple to complex. Non-human designs are everywhere in biology, I bet Allan can even give us some good examples. He's just posing for his friends. Andrewasauber
March 22, 2018
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The 'we-can-only-imagine-human-design-argument' is typically made by people who have otherwise a rich imagination. They seem to have little problem imagining concepts like a multiverse, a universe coming from nothing, extraterrestrial intelligence and so forth. Oh wait! What about "extraterrestrial intelligence"? That is not human, right? One month ago, on richarddawkins.net:
Humans Will Hear from Intelligent Aliens This Century, Physicist Says
Origenes
March 22, 2018
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Allan Keith at #104: "Which is true for artifacts for which we have a reasonable understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the designer. Do you have a confirmed example for which this is not true." You don't understand. That is true for all known non design scenarios, and is a confirmation of what non-design scenarios cannot do, and design-scenarios can do. Do you have a confirmed example for which this is not true? IOWs, one single example where a non design scenario can be shown to generate new complex functional information? We have millions of examples where a design scenario can easily generate new complex functional information, whatever the limitations of the designer, or our understanding of them. Even the most limited human designer can easily exceed the 500 bit threshold which is the threshold of empirical impossibility for the whole universe! That's the point that you should address. Our understanding of the limitations of the designer has nothing to do with that. IOWs, known designers, whatever their limitations, can easily generate new complex functional information beyond the 500 bits threshold. No known non-design scenario can do that. Are those simple facts really not relevant for you?gpuccio
March 22, 2018
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Allan @ 111, You are still not getting it. I will make one more run at it. You admit that we have countless trillions of examples of functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity from humans. So far so good. What is it about humans that enables them to cause those things Allan? Intelligence. So now we have countless trillions of examples of functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity from humans on account of their intelligence. We have observed exactly ZERO instances of any other cause accounting for functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity. Put it together Allan. Human intelligence is the only certainly known source of functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity. Therefore, when we see functional complexity, semiosis and irreducible complexity whose origins we do not know, we have a choice: 1. Attribute it to the only cause known with certainty to produce it, i.e. intelligence. 2. Attribute it to causes that have never been observed producing it. Answer 1 is obviously best.Barry Arrington
March 21, 2018
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Allan You can’t infer biological design by comparing to human design. We are not saying that. We are saying that "design" is an observable phenomenon that has quantifiable characteristics. That's not something reasonable people should dispute. The quantified characteristics being claimed include IC and CSI. When we look at certain aspects of biology we see that they also have these characteristics hence it becomes reasonable to infer design. It is far more reasonable to say that the characteristics of design are universal rather than compartmentalized.tribune7
March 21, 2018
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Barry,
What are you talking about Allan? We have countless trillions of examples of functional complexity,
From human or other known animals for which we have a reasonable understanding of their capabilities, limitations and mechanisms for production.
semiosis,
From human examples.
and irreducible complexity arising from intelligent design.
From human design. Do you have any examples of any of these from known intelligent sources of which we don’t have a reasonable understanding of their capabilities, limitations and mechanisms of production? I’m not saying that ID is not a possibility. I just don’t see how it can be inferred without making absurd assumptions.Allan Keith
March 21, 2018
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Tribune7,
I don’t think it is unfair to describe your argument as design can’t be found in biology just because.
Not quite. I am just saying that you definitely have a tough road. You can’t infer biological design by comparing to human design. They are categorically different.Allan Keith
March 21, 2018
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