Intelligent Design News

Why we have a News desk

Spread the love
Bio_Symposium_033.jpg
credit Laszlo Bencze

Bornagain77 kindly writes, in response to: November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID,

Thanks for all your hard work. You probably don’t know it as much as you should because of all the insults from Darwinists, but you are very much appreciated!

Actually, I find Darwin’s followers, and naturalists generally, amusing—and normally judge them by whether they could possibly contribute to our site numbers in some legitimate way.

(True, some people might visit our site only to read The Best of Joe Troll and Joe Moron. But we think Joe + Joe’s fans would be happier at another site… and we would not want serious commenters of any sort to be discouraged by those guys’ slow-class antics. So I am happy with serious commenters whatever their orientation—but am a mod and can borf the Joes.)

I started writing news for Uncommon Descent a while back because it seemed that no one was telling the ID community’s story from the perspective of the ID community as such.

Having been a newsie all my life, I saw that as a significant gap.

Various publications, friendly or hostile, were fronting news about us. But there was no generic news stream for us. So I started one.

As always, some like it, some hate it, and most either read it or not. Anyway, if you heard news of interest here first, that’s my job.

See also: Who just wouldn’t be accepted in the ID community?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

93 Replies to “Why we have a News desk

  1. 1
    rvb8 says:

    Serious commenters are attracted by serious comments. Ooops, as I don’t believe this self-promotional speil to be a serious comment am I therefore, as night follows day, not serious myself?

    The ‘first job’ of this entire site is to teach the ID point of view, and the second is to explain its latest research. The first was achieved in April 2005, with the first post, when Dembsky had not yet flown. The second has never happened,we’re still waiting for something, anything.

    Pointing out, and linking to news stories that diss Darwin and Evolutionary Biology does not make you a ‘newsie’, it makes you a curmudgeon for ID. Fair enough, defending something that is as yet not clearly defined (ie how is design detected? at what microscopic level can we say, ‘stop here, beyond this structure evolution is replaced by design’), is your right as you constantly point out, but some positive news about ID from any recognised, renowned, source would be a start. (Recognised? Renowned? A university, government lab, private lab, research institute. Not youtube, ICR, AIG, EvoNews or a Church.)

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    RVB8, I find your tone and failure to appreciate the significance of news, views and issues coverage in the teeth of a patently hostile institutional establishment inadvertently, sadly revealing. Please, think again. KF

  3. 3
    Upright BiPed says:

    we’re still waiting for something, anything

    Are you familiar with the general axiom that information requires the arrangement of a material medium for it to be instantiate in? From that arrangement of the material medium it is then translated into a physical effect?

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    rvb8 @ 1

    Talking about serious commenters, please, keep in mind that you have failed to produce a valid document (i.e. to point to the required text), in order to support your accusatory claims against another person, which you wrote in another thread.

    See posts # 41 and 42 in the thread pointed to by the following link:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-540202

    You may want to look at this once more and try to resolve it correctly, so that I don’t have to continue reminding you about it every time I see you posting in this blog.

  5. 5
    hrun0815 says:

    KF, I Find your failure to recognize the ‘significance of news, views and issues coverage’ here at UD ‘sadly revealing.’

    But, of course, I will not encourage you to think again. Wouldn’t do any good anyway.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    From Merriam-Webster

    Full Definition of NEWS

    1
    a :
    a report of recent events

    b : previously unknown information

    c : something having a specified influence or effect

    2
    a
    : material reported in a newspaper or news periodical or on a newscast

    b : matter that is newsworthy

    or

    Full Definition of PROPAGANDA

    1 capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions

    2 : the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

    3 : ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

  7. 7
    News says:

    It beats me why Darwin’s followers act as if they think the news around here is written for them. I made explicit the fact that it isn’t.

    They have the pop science media for that.

    They do a good Grelber the Free Insults Troll routine, but it is hardly original (1970):

    “Grelber was a part of the original cast in Broom-Hilda. It was never seen what Grelber really looked like, he was only a face in a log and all he did was coming with rude and obnoxious comments on the situation at hand.”

    http://www.weirdspace.dk/RussellMyers/Grelber.htm

    You can buy it, but you can’t sell it.

  8. 8
    CharlieM says:

    rvb8:

    …at what microscopic level can we say, ‘stop here, beyond this structure evolution is replaced by design

    Here you show your ignorance of ID. Evolution and design are not mutually exclusive.

    Go and watch a bird building a nest where you will see a demonstration of something being designed. You are welcome to believe that this has come about through a series of unguided changes to the genomes of its ancestors. But this would be a matter of faith which is in no way demonstrated. What it does demonstrate is that nature is capable of producing designed objects in advance of the need for them. We humans are also capable of designing objects for future use and this process begins in the mind and is then realised physically.

    I have no problem with seeing the merits of ID and I have no problem with believing that life evolves. What I do have a problem with is the unjustified assumption that evolution must be a blind, unguided process.

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    Seversky

    please, would you mind answering the question I asked you in post #12 in the thread pointed to by the following link?
    Thank you.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-539940

    BTW, if you read the above linked post #12, you may want to read also post #14 for additional clarification.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-539943

  10. 10
    Dionisio says:

    #5 hrun0815

    …failure to recognize…

    Since you mentioned “failure to recognize”, let’s hope that you will not fail to respond to what I wrote to you in posts # 39, 43 and 45 in the thread pointed to by the following links:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-540045

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-540209

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-540212

    BTW, you don’t have to respond my questions. It’s fine if you choose to leave them unanswered. 🙂

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    Upright BiPed

    I’m trying to heed your advice to change my approach to posting here. I should refrain from producing massive “blitzkrieg” interrogation or unnecessary “Dresden bombardment” posting.

    After you brought it up to my attention in a nice manner, I realized my mistake. Please, accept my apologies.

    Please, let me know if you notice that I’m overdoing in my posting again. Thank you.

    🙂

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    Dionisio, I’m guessing that where you went off the rails was in posting the same thing repeatedly. Did you know you were doing that?

    There is that one thread you are keeping alive with quotes from and references to various papers, and I really don’t think anyone has a problem with that.

    It’s spamming and hijacking that people find unseemly.

    Cheers

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    What will be newsworthy here would be when the critics respond seriously to any number of the challenges currently on the table. Instead we get trolls.

  14. 14
    hrun0815 says:

    Really, Dionisio? You use a total non-sequitur to point me to three other posts where your ‘question’ to me was to answer for other posters?

    Ah, right, you are supposedly giving me a ‘taste of my own medicine’?

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8 at 1 you ask,,,

    “how is design detected?”

    Although there are various methods for scientifically detecting design, basically, at its most foundational level, ‘design detection’ is an inbuilt, ‘natural’, ability that humans possess because of the ‘image of God’ that they have within themselves.

    In the following video Dr. Behe quotes Richard Dawkins himself from his book ‘The Blind Watchmaker’, in noting that ‘design detection’ is ‘natural’ for humans:

    “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 1

    “We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent knowledgeable enguineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose… Any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed… simply by looking at the structure of the object.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    “Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.”
    Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 21

    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – 2010 – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    Moreover, Richards Dawkins is not the only atheist who seems to be afflicted with this mental illness of seeing the ‘illusion of design’ pervasively throughout life.

    living organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”
    Lewontin

    “The appearance of purposefulness is pervasive in nature.”
    George Gaylord Simpson

    Indeed, the atheist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA, seems to have been particularly haunted by this illusion of seeing design everywhere he looked in molecular biology:

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit

    “Organisms appear as if they had been designed to perform in an astonishingly efficient way, and the human mind therefore finds it hard to accept that there need be no Designer to achieve this”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit – p. 30

    Thus, since these atheists are seeing the ‘illusion of design’, (seeing this illusion of design with what they claim to be to be is the ‘illusion of their mind’ I might add 🙂 ), without ever conducting any scientific experiments to ever rigorously ‘detect design’, then of course the ID advocate would be well justified in saying that these atheists are not really suffering from a mental illness after all but they are in fact ‘naturally detecting design’ because of the inherent ‘image of God’ that they have within themselves.

    And in support of that inference that atheist may not be suffering from mental illness after all when they see this ‘illusion of design’ pervasively throughout life, a tantalizing clue that we are indeed made in the image of God is our unique ability to process information.

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Ian Tattersall, Jeffery H. Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    Moreover, the three Rs, reading, writing, and arithmetic, i.e. this unique ability to process information, are the very first things to be taught to children when they enter elementary school. And yet it is this information processing, i.e. reading, writing, and arithmetic that is found to be foundational to life:

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer – video clip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVkdQhNdzHU

    As well, as if that was not ‘spooky’ enough, information, not material, is found to be foundational to physical reality:

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.”
    Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/archi.....linger.pdf

    Thus in conclusion, the atheist, without one shred of evidence that unguided material processes can create non-trivial information, is forced to say he is mentally ill because he can’t help seeing the ‘illusion of design’ everywhere he looks in life. Whereas the Theist can hold, because life and reality itself are both information theoretic in their basis, and because humans uniquely possess the ability to understand, create, and communicate information, can hold that the atheist is not really mentally ill after all, but that the design the atheist imagines he sees in life is not an illusion at all but is, in fact, really real!

    Verses and Music:

    Genesis 1:26
    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

    Casting Crowns – The Word Is Alive
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9itgOBAxSc

    of supplemental note:

    Stephen Meyer – The Scientific Basis Of Intelligent Design
    https://vimeo.com/32148403

    “The central argument of my book is that intelligent design—the activity of a conscious and rational deliberative agent—best explains the origin of the information necessary to produce the first living cell. I argue this because of two things that we know from our uniform and repeated experience, which following Charles Darwin I take to be the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. First, intelligent agents have demonstrated the capacity to produce large amounts of functionally specified information (especially in a digital form). Second, no undirected chemical process has demonstrated this power. Hence, intelligent design provides the best—most causally adequate—explanation for the origin of the information necessary to produce the first life from simpler non-living chemicals. In other words, intelligent design is the only explanation that cites a cause known to have the capacity to produce the key effect in question.”
    Stephen Meyer –

    “Charles Darwin said (paraphrase), ‘If anyone could find anything that could not be had through a number of slight, successive, modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Well that condition has been met time and time again. Basically every gene, every protein fold. There is nothing of significance that we can show that can be had in a gradualist way. It’s a mirage. None of it happens that way. –
    Doug Axe PhD. – quoted from video “Nothing In Molecular Biology Is Gradual”

    Indeed, the constraints on unguided processes, via ‘numerous, successive, slight modifications’, evolving even one protein into another protein are found to be severe. The estimated waiting time for unguided processes changing one protein of one function into a very similar protein of a different, but similar, function is found to be on the order of one quadrillion years.

    “Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – January 1, 2015
    Excerpt: The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92291.html

  16. 16
    Jerad says:

    Denyse:

    (True, some people might visit our site only to read The Best of Joe Troll and Joe Moron. But we think Joe + Joe’s fans would be happier at another site… and we would not want serious commenters of any sort to be discouraged by those guys’ slow-class antics. So I am happy with serious commenters whatever their orientation—but am a mod and can borf the Joes.)

    “[B]orf the Joes”? What does that mean? And are you suggestion that Joe could be categorised as a troll or a moron? And what are ‘slow-class’ antics?

    Are you distancing yourself from some of your uncensored commentators?

    Actually, I find Darwin’s followers, and naturalists generally, amusing—and normally judge them by whether they could possibly contribute to our site numbers in some legitimate way.

    Do you mean helping you to increase your hit rate? More readers is good, fewer readers means looking for work someplace else?

    I would have thought you’d be more interested in meaningful dialogue, but, as you say, it’s about the numbers. If your paper sells more, you win.

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    #14 hrun0815

    Whining now?
    Did you forget that you initiated the ‘chat’ with me in your post #25 in that same thread?
    Here’s the evidence:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-539993

    If you do not address your comments to me, and don’t mention me in your comments, perhaps your odds of not being addressed in my comments will increase tremendously. Try to go undetected under my radar, and maybe that’ll help you to remain undisturbed. 🙂

  18. 18
    DATCG says:

    “Full Definition of PROPAGANDA” = NCSE, Richard Dawkins, and many others who are Propagandist for the failed Darwinian paradigm.

    NCSE’s primary propaganda leader issued warnings to scientist at one time on what is improper to say.

    So much for freethinkers. Darwinist propagandist like NCSE constantly seek to oppress others, while propagandizing their world views. Even lecturing scientist how they must write their papers. Don’t think for yourselves, only say what NCSE propagandist tell you to think, say and do.

    When scientists in a field are instructed to avoid publicly admitting when they’re wrong, and are advised that improving the public’s perception of science is not best served by doing better science, then you know that field is steeped in intolerance towards dissent, and political pressure to give assent to orthodoxy. These are not the signs of a healthy science.

    What field? Evolution as Eugenie Scott of NSCE advised scientist to oppress their own thoughts…

    Eugenie Scott Coaches Scientists to Talk About Evolution Without Revealing Any Weaknesses

    Don’t speak freely, openly, don’t talk about the failed Darwinian Tree of Life… CENSOR thyself! Lest the Darwinian high priest cometh down upon you…

    There is no reason to provide anti-intellectual, anti-evolutionists with quotes like “The Darwinian paradigm is dead”, because this complexity only enhances Darwin’s most profound insight – the universal common ancestry of life.

    Quote above from Rose and Oakley in response to Dr. Koonin’s comments on the failed Darwinian TOL paradigm.

  19. 19
    DATCG says:

    More attempt at thought control by Darwinist who now seek to disassociate themselves from Darwinism…

    Don’t call it Darwinism or Neo-Darwinsim

  20. 20
    DATCG says:

    Darwinist Propagandist awarding Darwinist Propagandist…

    Atheist Alliance of America Will Honor Top Darwin Lobbyist

  21. 21
    Dionisio says:

    #12 Mung

    I’m guessing that where you went off the rails was in posting the same thing repeatedly. Did you know you were doing that?

    Yes, I knew I was doing that. It was intentionally done to make sure the interlocutors don’t miss seeing my questions, after several preceding occasions where they had failed to respond or responded in a manner that was not clear to me.

    I tried to imitate an ancient tradition from another culture that repeated a word 3 times to indicate that it was very important. But that was my mistake. I shouldn’t have done that. Looking back now I see that I wasted much time.

    BTW, my wife does not like to see me participating in this blog. She says that it takes precious time away from working on my main current project, which is behind schedule. I think she’s right. But I kind of like to look what’s going on here every now and then. 🙂

    If I disappear from this site, chances are that she either convinced me or gave me an ultimatum. 🙂

    Thank you for your advice. Will keep it in mind.

    Happy 2015!

  22. 22
    Dionisio says:

    I enjoy reading many of the news OPs, though can’t afford to read them all, due to limited time. Since the variety of subjects is quite wide, a few of the news OPs are about things I may not interested in, but I think there have not been many news OPs in that category.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Straight vs spin in news, views, edu and opinion-shaping, here.

    When one faces a lot of message dominance tactics and ideological domineering on an issue of culturally significant controversy, a consistent “force in being” alternative serves a very useful function, as is inadvertently testified to by those who repeatedly come to try to impose the dominant narrative.

    In response, let me put up the same basic point I did in a related thread.

    I therefore ask such to ponder, slowly and carefully without the usual dismissive talking points, the implications of the following longstanding remark, from a member of the scientific elites, Richard Lewontin:

    . . . the problem is to get them [hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations [–> note attitudes, perceptions and presumptions] of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations [–> notice, the worldview level assumptions or even presumptions, cf here on for an alternative that needs to be heard], 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]. . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us 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. [“Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. If you imagine, dismissively, that all of this is “quote-mined” etc, kindly cf the fuller annotated cite, here.]

    Then, think carefully about what you would think if you were on the receiving end of that sort of ideological establishment.

    Then, think about how those who may not have been so privileged as you have been educationally and otherwise, and have had to fight their way up in life (perhaps, as a US Navy/ Army/ Air Force Tech or the like . . . and we have at least three fitting that exact profile in and around UD) will try to express their objections to that sort of domineering.

    Then, try to see, actually see the point they have tried to make.

    Next, go to a fishing tackle shop, and ask to inspect an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500 C3 or similar fishing reel.

    Yes, a humble little fishing reel — and I have noticed the sneering dismissiveness that refuses to acknowledge the basic fact such an entity unquestioningly demonstrates. Appeal to something not anywhere so sophisticated as a so-called, living cell but moderately so as a Jumbo Jet to illustrate a commonplace reality, and that is dismissed. Go to something very simple such as a fishing reel and that is also shut out from being allowed to point to an unwelcome fact. It begins to look like the conclusion is written before the argument is heard.

    Ponder the functionally specific, complex interactive organisation the reel reveals and the linked information implied by the nodes-arcs wiring diagram. Try to bring yourself to the point where you can acknowledge some simple facts linked to the manifest FSCO/I in that fishing reel:

    1 –> FSCO/I is an apt descriptive summary of a readily observable phenomenon (the fishing reel being a particularly simple and intuitive case in point)

    2 –> There is only one actually observed cause of such entities, intelligently directed configuration, aka design.

    3 –> A back of the envelope estimate of a plausible configuration space will show how atomic and temporal resources of solar system or observed cosmos will be massively overwhelmed in a blind search for FSCO/I, at just 500 – 1,000 bits. The upper end being all of 125 bytes of info, or 143 ASCII characters, the length of a Twitter comment. So, FSCO/I beyond that threshold is a tested, reliable index or sign of design as cause.

    4 –> Life forms are full of such cases of FSCO/I, and the von Neumann self replicator (vNSR) involved from the cell upwards, is even more of the same.

    5 –> Consequently, no-one has been able to provide a serious, empirically adequately grounded account of the spontaneous origin of life in Darwin’s pond or the like pre-life environment.

    6 –> Similarly, no-one (given info requirements of 10 – 100+ nm bases) has been able to give an adequately empirical observation grounded detailed account of origin of major body plans, features, organ systems etc, that fits well with reasonable pop sizes, generation spans, and mutation rates.

    7 –> Instead, we see a fundamentally ideological imposition, backed up by some very familiar and too often ugly tactics, turning origins sciences and linked science education into a morass of politically tainted, too often quite ruthless and censoring institution dominance.

    Then, please think again.

    KF

  24. 24
    Seversky says:

    News @ 7

    It beats me why Darwin’s followers act as if they think the news around here is written for them. I made explicit the fact that it isn’t.

    We understand that. We just question whether it should be called ‘news’ when it is pretty obviously intended to disparage science that you don’t like for some reason. That’s more like commentary than news reporting.

  25. 25
    Seversky says:

    DATCG @ 18

    “Full Definition of PROPAGANDA” = NCSE, Richard Dawkins, and many others who are Propagandist for the failed Darwinian paradigm.

    I see Dawkins and others rather as counter-propagandists. They counter anti-evolution and anti-science propaganda with pro-evolution and pro-science propaganda of their own.

    NCSE’s primary propaganda leader issued warnings to scientist at one time on what is improper to say.

    So much for freethinkers. Darwinist propagandist like NCSE constantly seek to oppress others, while propagandizing their world views. Even lecturing scientist how they must write their papers. Don’t think for yourselves, only say what NCSE propagandist tell you to think, say and do.

    When scientists in a field are instructed to avoid publicly admitting when they’re wrong, and are advised that improving the public’s perception of science is not best served by doing better science, then you know that field is steeped in intolerance towards dissent, and political pressure to give assent to orthodoxy. These are not the signs of a healthy science.

    What field? Evolution as Eugenie Scott of NSCE advised scientist to oppress their own thoughts…

    Eugenie Scott Coaches Scientists to Talk About Evolution Without Revealing Any Weaknesses

    Don’t speak freely, openly, don’t talk about the failed Darwinian Tree of Life… CENSOR thyself! Lest the Darwinian high priest cometh down upon you…

    Now this is quite a nice example of propaganda.

    First, there is no mention of the source of this criticism of Eugenie Scott’s position. In fact, it is culled from Evolution News and Views, the blog of the Discovery Institute which advocates Intelligent Design. The piece is written by Casey Luskin, a paid employee of the DI and, hence, a propagandist for ID. Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with any of that. So why not disclose it?

    Could it be that if it were know, it might raise a red flag about the objectivity and accuracy of what Luskin wrote? If you read the interview with Eugenie Scott published in Science Week you can judge for yourself.

    As I read it, Scott was not warning scientists to censor themselves, to say nothing other than to parrot some Darwinist party line in order to present a united front in public. What she advised was to be wary about making extravagant claims which might not be warranted by the science and which could be turned against them by their critics. Advising people to “think on” is hardly the same as censorship.

  26. 26
    Dionisio says:

    #12 Mung
    [Follow-up to post #21]
    FYI – You may look at posts 4, 9, 10, 14, 17, and note how to deal directly with some interlocutors.

  27. 27
    Seversky says:

    Dionisio @ 9

    Seversky

    please, would you mind answering the question I asked you in post #12 in the thread pointed to by the following link?
    Thank you.

    I thought I had but let me try again.

    In “The mystery at the heart of life” thread, you wrote @ 7

    Well, there are some folks out there who have decided for everybody else to tell our kids in public school textbooks that it’s a known fact that it all happened by the power of the magic formula RV+NS+T=E!
    As you well said, there are still mysteries at the heart of the biological systems.

    As I read it, you were objecting to children being taught in public school that evolution, in the form of “RV+NS+T=E” was hard fact when it was anything but. In other words, you felt that those children were being indoctrinated in a politically-correct scientific orthodoxy at the behest of some unaccountable ruling elite rather than being taught just the science.

    I wrote in reply:

    Then you’ll be happy to know that there are a few so-called science teachers who are failing in their duty to their students by teaching them in the science classroom that the theory of evolution is wrong and Christian creationism is right, the world was created by God out of nothing in six days flat. Which is the more magical? And what happened to the Christian duty not to bear false witness?

    In other words, if you believed that the teaching of evolution was foisting unsubstantiated dogma on students then you should be happy that there were teachers prepared to resist that imposition and teach what they believed to be the truth rather than what the curriculum required them to teach.

    That was all.

  28. 28
    Dionisio says:

    #27 Seversky

    In other words, if you believed that the teaching of evolution was foisting unsubstantiated dogma on students then you should be happy that there were teachers prepared to resist that imposition and teach what they believed to be the truth rather than what the curriculum required them to teach.

    Well, now that you’ve finally responded to my question in easier for me to understand terms, I think I can see why you wrote that.

    I have bad news for you on this: your conclusion is wrong.

    I will not be happy to know that someone is disobeying the official institutional (public school system) rules and requirements implemented by their employers in order to teach what they believe to be correct.

    Perhaps you have been mislead by some kind of general misconceptions about true Christianity that abound out there, even among many who call themselves Christians. I encourage you to find what it means to be a Christian. The only source for that information is the Christian Bible.

    We Christians are sinful humans like everybody else, but we have been forgiven by the grace of God, through our saving faith in the redemptive effect of the blood of Christ, poured for our sake. We have been justified. Through Christ’s righteousness we have been reconciled with God. Our eternal hope is in the promise of God through the resurrected Christ.

    Christ tells us to love God with all our strength and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. In terms of image (i.e. what others can see in me), I’m a Christian wannabe. Still far from reaching the desired maturity. Still doing things I don’t want to do and not doing things I want to do. All I want to do is to bring glory to God and enjoy His presence forever. Not there yet. The transformation process is called sanctification (which is not to be confused with the traditional Roman church ritual that most people are familiar with). It concludes right at the moment we are called to be home with our Maker.

    God’s saving grace is available to all who have that saving faith. But that availability should expire at the end of this age. Then Christ will come and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

    Christ has told us to submit to the authorities, as long as we are not forced to act against God’s will or in any manner that does not bring glory to Him.

    If I were a science teacher in a public school, I would try and present the required material to the students with the caveat that I personally don’t agree with everything I’m going to teach them, and will let them know that there’s much more to the current biology discussion besides that what is covered in the course they have to learn from me.

    In other words, I would encourage them to learn well the material included in the official course, so that they could understand it well and also pass the exams, but I will let them know that the course we are going to cover is just the current predominant hypothesis in academic circles, but they are free to search -after they have completed their homework assignments and studied their lessons well- for alternative explanations to what I’m going to teach them.

    I would make emphasis in the need for having an open mind and thinking out of the box, but will be clear on making sure they understand very well that they should learn well the material I will teach. Obviously every time they’ll ask me a question about things that appear in obsolete terms in the textbook, I will refer them to the current state of scientific discoveries, including the ones that contradict the material in the textbooks, but will try to stick to the latest papers from peer-reviewed journals, making constant emphasis in their frequent use of terms like ‘poorly understood’ or ‘incompletely understood’ etc.

    As you can see, appearances are deceiving.

    Perhaps it would have been more productive if you had asked me what I think about those rebellious teachers, instead of jumping so prematurely into the wrong conclusion. Well, now you know for next time. 🙂

  29. 29
    rvb8 says:

    “Well, now that you’ve finally responded to my question…”. Seversky responded in his first reply, to your first question, in the aforementioned post, dullard.

    Let’s paraphrase so that you can keep up: You said, ‘state schools are indoctrinating children towards Darwiniac science.’
    Seversky replied, ‘actually a lot of science in evil state schools is bastardised by Christian woo meisters; you will be happy to know this.’ You said, ‘show me the evidence for this claim, and “why would I be happy to know?”‘ I gave you the specific example of Mr John Freshwater (creationist public school ning-com-poop), Seversky gave you statistics. You either can’t read or are lying for Jesus.

    Please, one reply and an apology to Seversky are wanted.

  30. 30
    Dionisio says:

    Denyse,

    Is the last word in the first paragraph in post # 29 an acceptable term for referring to another person in your thread and in this site?

  31. 31
    Upright BiPed says:

    Aurelio Smith,

    Can anyone answer?

    Apparently rvb8 isn’t interested.

    Didn’t know there was an explicit axiom.

    Perhaps you haven’t thought about it.

    It is of course, from my human perspective, self-evident.

    I’m certain that if you were an ant, bee, or bacteria trying to communicate with another of your kind, you’d still need an arrangement of matter to exchange information.

    Though the dualist assumptions of many ID-proponents suggest it is not universally agreed to be so.

    Given that any instance of information we can see being exchanged requires the arrangement of a medium, dualist assumptions seem to have little to do with it.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    If you grasp this much and agree, do you also recognize that in order for the arrangement of the medium to be translated into a physical effect, a system capable of producing that effect must recognize the arrangement of the medium and produce the specified effect among alternatives?

    As an example, an ant exchanging a pheromone to signal an alarm response, requires that the ant receiving the pheromone have a specific receptor system that individually recognizes the arrangement of the alarm pheromone and is mapped to producing that specific response, say, as opposed to either not producing that response, or producing some other response in its place (i.e. it is a specific temporal effect).

  32. 32
    Joe says:

    Well, if you consider that hormones are chemical signalling proteins that are important in control and regulation of many cellular processes

    Unguided evolution cannot explain any of that.

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    Dionosio:

    #12 Mung
    [Follow-up to post #21]
    FYI – You may look at posts 4, 9, 10, 14, 17, and note how to deal directly with some interlocutors.

    I’m not here to baby-sit you. Most of us at most times exercise self-moderation and that seems to work – most of the time.

  34. 34
    Mung says:

    Aurelio Smith:

    Communication between bacteria? Not sure what you are alluding to?

    okay. How about communication within bacteria?

    Wetware: A Computer in Every Living Cell

  35. 35
    Upright BiPed says:

    Aurelio Smith,

    Lightly sprinkling your comments with such asides may result in Aurelio also losing interest.

    No offense is intended by asking you if you grasp what Upright BiPed is saying.

    Communication between bacteria? Not sure what you are alluding to?

    Bacteria communicate with one another through the exchange of informational media, no differently than any other organism. They use an arrangement of matter to serve as a representation of form, and they have the means to receive those arrangements and translate them into the physical effects specified within their systems.

    The word “representation” here is materially defined as: an arrangement of matter that evokes an effect within a system, where the arrangement of the medium and the effect it evokes are physicochemically arbitrary.

    This merely acknowledges the (universally) observed fact that within all semiotic systems, there is a physical (natural, and necessary) discontinuity that exists between the arrangement of the medium and its post-translation effect.

    This is to say that you cannot, for instance, take the alarm pheromone from an ant, and using physical law, derive “attack the intruder” from it. In other words, in all semiotic systems, the effect that a material medium evokes within a system is not established by the physical arrangement of the medium, but is instead established by a separate arrangement within the system of receiving and identifying that medium.

    In the case of the ant’s pheromone, the effect is not established by the arrangement of the pheromone itself, but is instead established by the arrangement of the receptors and their downstream integration into the ant’s sensory system.

    Another way to understand it is to say that the arrangement of the medium only evokes the effect, but does not physically determine what that effect will be. This systems architecture is ubiquitous in all semiotic systems, where information is translated into physical effects – including within the genome (during protein synthesis, for example).

    Do you understand these concepts?

  36. 36
    Upright BiPed says:

    Aurelio Smith,

    At best it is redundant.

    Again, it is neither offensive nor redundant to ask if you understand what I am saying.

    I’m glad you have attempted to define a few terms

    Actually, I did more than just attempt a definition. I defined the term with every word in the definition selected for the specific purpose of isolating the concept in material space.

    I’m out for the rest of today

    No problem. Take all the time you need.

  37. 37
    Dionisio says:

    #36 Mung

    I’m not here to baby-sit you.

    Why did you write that?

    Did anyone ask you to babysit?

    🙂

  38. 38
    Dionisio says:

    #29 rvb8

    Why did you get so upset and angry?

    Was it necessary?

    Did you gain anything by doing that, other than venting your visible frustration?

    🙂

  39. 39
    Dionisio says:

    News,

    Is the last word in the first paragraph in post #29 acceptable for labeling another commenter in your OP threads and in this whole site?

  40. 40
    rvb8 says:

    I doubt strongly that any ‘god botherer’ could in any way get me angry, excited, or in any feasible situation, ‘het up’. You are a case in point.

    I pointed out that Seversky had answered your simpleton question about teaching evolutionary bioilogy in public schools, and you lied by saying he had yet to answer it. As an atheist I abhor dishonesty on the moral foundation that it impedes human understanding. Apparently as a religious person you have no such restraints.

  41. 41
    Querius says:

    Dionisio,

    Thanks for posting your thoughts despite the vacuous flack that you have to endure. Like you, I’m busy up to my eyeballs with my projects, and I have similar reservations as you do for the same reasons.

    I really don’t have the time to respond to the vituperation here, especially since much of it either makes no sense, is trivial, or consists primarily of fact–free personal attacks.

    Thanks again for your posts, which I appreciate.

    All the best on your projects,

    -Q

  42. 42
    Dionisio says:

    Querius

    Thank you for your very encouraging words. I really appreciate them.

    Many blessings to you.

  43. 43
    Dionisio says:

    #29 rvb8

    “Well, now that you’ve finally responded to my question…”. Seversky responded in his first reply, to your first question, in the aforementioned post, dullard.

    Why did you misquote my comments by omitting the last part of my sentence taken from post #28?

    The part you omitted is very important to the whole meaning of the given sentence, but you left it out:
    “…in easier for me to understand terms,”

    Was that an intentional omission, in order to support your personal attacks and false accusations?

    I pray that your unjustified anger gets replaced with true joy.

    Remember, as a human being, you’re most probably better than I am. God loves you. Seriously you may want to consider His graceful invitation to reconcile with Him forever. He’s the only source of true joy.

    Perhaps some anonymous readers of this thread will pray for you too.

  44. 44
    Mark Frank says:

    Interesting OP. I have often wondered why some OPs were published as News. The only differences I can detect are:

    * You can’t be sure who wrote them
    * They are frequently sarcastic and/or mocking of people or institutions

    It is of course highly debateable as to what counts as news. Some criteria I might have expected include:

    * Oriented to fact as opposed to opinion (I appreciate nothing is totally devoid of opinion)
    * Original information about events  rather than  comments on other reports
    * Up-to-date

    My overwhelming impression is that none of these are true of News on UD. As a check I looked at the 7 News OPs written since this OP. Below is the list and the prime subject matter. They were all highly opinionated. They were all about things other people had written (two of them responses to book reviews so in a sense they were about things other people had written about what other people had written). Four of them were about things written in the last two weeks. One referred to material written in November, one to February, and one to 2013.
     

    No God, no science?
    2013 book

    The physicists who worked under Hitler
    26 Dec 14 book review

    Why atheist megachurches are a great thing, and should be encouraged
    10 Nov 14 Article

    Religion can certainly be without God but it can’t be without consequences
    25 Dec 14 article

    NPR tries its hand at the science of consciousness
    30 Dec 14 blog post

    This is exceptionally silly even for current cosmology
    4 Feb 14 book review

    Longtime commenter Bob O’H preens himself at the expense of the Biologic Institute
    response to comment on UD made 1/1/15

    Denyse and others are of course welcome to write anything their readers find interesting but is “News” really a good description?

  45. 45
    phoodoo says:

    Did Kairofocus decide he was going to have the last word on the Zero is Even thread and the discussions about Cantor, by giving his lengthy declaration about what he believes is true, and then promptly close the thread to any other opinions-with no explanation as to why?

    If so, that is really truly bad form, and smacks of some of the complaints others with opposing views have made about this site. Very bad Kairofocus,

  46. 46
    Axel says:

    Well, Mark, unless it’s just the title that causes you distress, I would suggest that many of us would prefer to scan and if of interest, ponder, just about any intellectual pabulum, pending Seriously Heavy material directly concerning uncommon descent; or, if really ‘pushing the boat out’, ID.

  47. 47
    Axel says:

    ‘Remember, as a human being, you’re most probably better than I am. God loves you. Seriously you may want to consider His graceful invitation to reconcile with Him forever. He’s the only source of true joy.

    Perhaps some anonymous readers of this thread will pray for you too.’

    Ha! Ha! If I know atheists, Dionisio, he’ll think you’re winding him up!

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    Ph, I just popped by. Saw your comment. I don’t own the thread, but I do think the thread had gone into serious trouble long since on tone. Which is what I said. KF

    PS: Actually, again.

  49. 49
    Axel says:

    rvb8

    ‘As an atheist I abhor dishonesty on the moral foundation that it impedes human understanding. Apparently as a religious person you have no such restraints.’

    Evidently, a view of morality shared by the late Dr Mengele. Have you never heard of the Fall? Tut! Tut! Nothing holy about knowledge, ipso facto. Anyway, what would an atheist Dumbo understand about morality?

    But the wonderfully pompous, nay, grandiose, terms in which you couch your ignorance, makes the humour that bit more special for the amused onlooker.

  50. 50
    Dionisio says:

    #53 Axle

    he’ll think you’re winding him up!

    Axle, please, help me to understand what you wrote.
    My knowledge of English language is still poor, but I want to keep learning it. Just looked for the term ‘winding up’ and found this:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com.....winding-up

    However, I assume what you meant is more context-based?

    Thank you.

    🙂

    PS. Feel free to laugh at my poor vocabulary if you want to. That’s fine. I won’t take it as an offense. It certainly is kind of funny. BTW, recently one of the interlocutors got very upset and called me a liar, just because he could not accept my claims that my mind does not process information as fast as most average people out there do (specially women!). It looks as though sincerity is not easily welcome in this world these days. 🙁

  51. 51
    Dionisio says:

    #54 kairosfocus

    Well stated! Thank you.

  52. 52
    Dionisio says:

    #55 Axle

    I have really enjoyed reading your latest comments.

    I could not have been able to express it as well as you did. Not even close.

    Thank you. I do appreciate it very much!

    Many blessings to you.

    🙂

  53. 53
    Mung says:

    Upright BiPed.

    I could not help but notice how Aurelio went right to the heart of your argument.

    How can you possibly refute that? What on earth will you do now?

  54. 54
    Axel says:

    Your English is excellent, Dionisio, but there’s always plenty to learn whatever we’re ‘into’, isn’t there? Especially with English, which has such a rich vocabulary – apart from being very difficult and full of anomalies. I don’t make allowances for your English, because I’m sure you’d refer to learn.

    To ‘wind’ someone ‘up’, Dionisio means to ‘tease’ them. Like tightening a spring in a watch! A wonderfully comical metaphor, don’t you think? I think an even better word than tease may be ‘to bait’ someone.

    But there’s nothing quite like a ‘wind-up’, such as BA77 does regularly to atheists, by ending his posts with songs, hymns, biblical quotes, etc, apparently in a mood of great elation.

    He is supposed to be cowed by their puerile taunts about creationism, fundamentalism, etc.

  55. 55
    Axel says:

    ‘recently one of the interlocutors got very upset and called me a liar, just because he could not accept my claims that my mind does not process information as fast as most average people out there do (specially women!). It looks as though sincerity is not easily welcome in this world these days. 🙁

    Dionisio, atheists are like the driver of the car in front of us, according to my brother-in-law’s assessment. He said, see the guy driving that car in front of us? It’s not that he doesn’t know where he’s going… he doesn’t who he is….

    Funny thing is, as Christians, we know that that is literally true !

  56. 56
    phoodoo says:

    Kairofocus,

    What does that mean you don’t own the thread? Are you being obtuse with wording again? Did you close the thread or not? If not who did?

    Why were you allowed to post your lengthy rebuttal as if its the final conclusion BEFORE it was closed.

    Who closed the thread without explanation, kairofocus?

    You have been accused of other kinds of strange moderation efforts here, by those who disagree with you, is this more of that?

  57. 57
    Upright BiPed says:

    Aurelio Smith, I get the impression you’d like to move past the pesky details and go straight to denying the conclusion. I say this only because you’ve managed to make yet another post without addressing a single point made to you. First you start with duality, then immateriality, then chickens and eggs, and now you want to know why I didn’t just tell you what I said in a conversation 3 or 4 years ago (which frankly makes no sense to me at all). It appears you’d prefer talk about anything rather than get into the physical details.

    Do I have that right?

    Do you understand that to translate any form of recorded information into a physical effect requires two arrangements of matter; one to evoke an effect within a system and another to establish what the effect will be? If you are not offended by that question, I’d like an answer.

  58. 58
    Dionisio says:

    Axle @ 62 & 63

    Thank you so much for explaining those English terms which I didn’t know. Now I understand exactly what you meant @53 :). I think I see your point. However, I hope the interlocutor will realize how serious the given subject is. Also hope that some lost sheep reading that post will recognize the voice of the Shepherd and run to Him.
    I enjoyed reading your comments, which I appreciate.
    Rev 22:21

  59. 59
    Dionisio says:

    #65 Upright BiPed

    …to translate any form of recorded information into a physical effect requires two arrangements of matter; one to evoke an effect within a system and another to establish what the effect will be.

    Interesting description. Thanks. 🙂

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Ph, the thread author/owner has moderation powers. In addition the Blog owner and certain specific delegates; some of whom have been behind the scenes. (I have not seen Patrick surfacing for quite some time.) I have stood for the principle that we should be civil and should engage substance rather than seek to poison the atmosphere, which has obviously excited opposition from those whose first resort in argument is exactly that. And BTW, that includes in the very thread in question. And, the very fact that I commented at 1:29 (my summing up on tone) and 1:44 am (a brief note on time), then MF did at 3:17 am should suffice to show that I did not close the thread to award myself the last word. I suggest instead that the matter of tone should be seriously addressed. KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    UB (attn AS):

    to translate any form of recorded information into a physical effect requires two arrangements of matter; one to evoke an effect within a system and another to establish what the effect will be

    That is, communication systems of any consequence exhibit FSCO/I and point strongly to intentionality, and purposive, intelligently directed configuration, aka contrivance aka design.

    But of course if one is committed to a worldview that refuses to acknowledge design as a serious possibility for the origin of life forms that use information storage, codes and NC machines to assemble the workhorse protein molecules — predictably — the point will be “missed.”

    KF

  62. 62
    Dionisio says:

    Axel
    Sorry, I misspelled your name @66. Mea culpa.
    I’m sure you had forgiven me that fault, and know why you did it. 🙂

  63. 63
    Upright BiPed says:

    Golly, now it’s a truism!

    And do you understand that if a photon hitting a detector is going to translate information about the Big Bang, it will be physicochemically arbitrary to that effect?

  64. 64
    Axel says:

    Dionisio, sometimes, as I’m sure you know, we read what we expect to read, so I didn’t notice the misspelling!

    Yes, I know your words to ‘matey’ were sincere. More power to your elbow/heart, heart’s elbow… and so on! Would you kindly mention me in your prayers, when you remember? I’m sure you’ve got plenty on your plate already, prayerwise.

  65. 65
    Dionisio says:

    #71 kairosfocus

    [UB]…to translate any form of recorded information into a physical effect requires two arrangements of matter; one to evoke an effect within a system and another to establish what the effect will be

    [KF]That is, communication systems of any consequence exhibit FSCO/I and point strongly to intentionality, and purposive, intelligently directed configuration, aka contrivance aka design.

    But of course if one is committed to a worldview that refuses to acknowledge design as a serious possibility for the origin of life forms that use information storage, codes and NC machines to assemble the workhorse protein molecules — predictably — the point will be “missed.”

    Agree. Thank you.

    Indeed, we are seeing systems that appear to be preset to complex configurations that can produce -out of myriad of seemingly stochastic events- an amazing show of elaborate cellular and molecularly orchestrated choreographies (a.k.a. signaling pathways, regulatory networks, etc.), which can provoke the computer scientists, electrical engineers (specially the experts in control systems), mathematicians, physicists, everyone to look at all that in awe and drool incessantly. 🙂

    However, as you have indicated, some interlocutors may not be able to see it that way, and others may not want to see it that way. The latter are in much worse condition. We may want to pray for them all. Perhaps some of them will eventually get the sight to think outside the box and recognize the overwhelming evidences that point toward the unending revelation of the ultimate reality. We might not witness that hallelujah transformation, but it would be wonderful indeed. I know very well at least one person who undeservedly, through divine grace, went from complete spiritual blindness to seeing reality in true colors. That person just wrote this comment. 🙂
    It could have been extremely much worse, but it could not have been any better than that.
    Praise Adonai!

  66. 66
    Dionisio says:

    #74 Axle

    sometimes, as I’m sure you know, we read what we expect to read,…

    yes, I see what you mean… isn’t that one of the many cool features of the brain that -as we are told- just gradually appeared as the result of the powerful magic formula RM+NS+T?

    🙂

    Yes, I will remember you in my prayers. Please, remember me in yours too. We all are in need of the divine grace being over us constantly, and the spirit of truth, dwelling within us, making us humble and guiding us in the right direction at every step.
    Many blessings to you in the days to come.
    Rev. 22:21

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, the physics of the photon and its detector is distinct from how such becomes a part of an info-comms system. Take a fibre optic network as a “simple” case, with laser diode emitters and photodiode detectors, to see the point at first level. UB is right, as was Leibniz in Monadology, on how we need to look beyond gears grinding against gears. In short, we must ponder the functionally specific complex organisation on which function emerges from highly specific interaction across a network of components and how they are coupled together and associated information, FSCO/I for short, which of course is exactly what you will predictably [–> have already begun to] resist. KF

  68. 68
    Dionisio says:

    #79 kairosfocus

    Also the knowledge and expertise of software developers is distinct from how they get involved in a software development project for engineering design.

    Without the guiding mind of the project leader, in consultation with other specialists and potential customers, the best computer scientists of the world would not have been able to produce the successful software my former employer sold to engineering institutions.

    The final product ‘somehow’* existed in the mind of that brilliant engineer, who was the director of my department, long before my fellow programmers and I started to understand the tech specs required to write the software correctly, so it could produce the expected results.

    (*) ‘somehow’ is a term relatively often encountered in current biology literature describing how complex biological mechanisms operate and how they could have appeared. 🙂

  69. 69
    Dionisio says:

    #79 kairosfocus [#81 addendum]

    Interestingly, there were other software products used by design engineers at the time my project leader came up with a revolutionary approach that eventually displaced the established products aside and took over a substantial part of that niche market. NS survival of the fittest? 🙂

    The clever ideas of an engineer materialized in a software product that became the tool of many design engineers. The programming resources required for that project were wisely allocated and managed in order to achieve the goal that was in the main engineer’s mind long before the resulting programs were developed.

    Ideas preceded the materialization of the desired final product. The programmers, no matter how skillful they were, could not have done it without the guidance of the main engineer’s ideas, that were properly translated to the programmers in the form of tech specs, so that programmers could translate them to the computers in the form of programming languages (eg. C++/C# XAML .NET, etc.).

    Perhaps given enough time, a bunch of dedicated skillful programmers could have come up by themselves with a few interconnected cool apps, but not with the solid product that made engineering design much easier and productive. No way, José. 🙂

    Now, let’s apply those same concepts to what we see in biological systems today. Are they the result of a ‘long and winding road’ with gazillion unguided interactions of ‘skillful’ molecules that have many ‘cool’ properties, obviously required for the ‘final’ products?
    Really?

    My former boss would have said: nice try, but no, thanks… go back to your cubicle and think that again. 🙂

  70. 70
    Axel says:

    Cool, indeed, Dionisio. No end to the tricks RM and Co can get up to. Isn’t Darwin, Daddy Cool?

    Of course, I will try and bend God’s ear on your behalf, as well – and many blessings to you, old chap.

    Re your #81to KF :

    ‘Skilful’ molecules? Whoda thunk their animist faith would extend to molecules?

  71. 71
    Dionisio says:

    #83 Axel

    ‘Skilful’ molecules? Whoda thunk their animist faith would extend to molecules?

    Yes, that’s quite intriguing. 🙂

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    Dionisio, could you email me through using the contact in the page linked through my handle? Let’s talk some serious things. KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    AS, not me.

    Orgel:

    . . . In brief, living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals are usually taken as the prototypes of simple well-specified structures, because they consist of a very large number of identical molecules packed together in a uniform way. Lumps of granite or random mixtures of polymers are examples of structures that are complex but not specified. The crystals fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; the mixtures of polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity . . . .

    [HT, Mung, fr. p. 190 & 196:] These vague idea can be made more precise by introducing the idea of information. Roughly speaking, the information content of a structure is the minimum number of instructions needed to specify the structure. [–> this is of course equivalent to the string of yes/no questions required to specify the relevant “wiring diagram” for the set of functional states, T, in the much larger space of possible clumped or scattered configurations, W, as Dembski would go on to define in NFL in 2002, also cf here, here and here (with here on self-moved agents as designing causes).] One can see intuitively that many instructions are needed to specify a complex structure. [–> so if the q’s to be answered are Y/N, the chain length is an information measure that indicates complexity in bits . . . ] On the other hand a simple repeating structure can be specified in rather few instructions. [–> do once and repeat over and over in a loop . . . ] Complex but random structures, by definition, need hardly be specified at all . . . . Paley was right to emphasize the need for special explanations of the existence of objects with high information content, for they cannot be formed in nonevolutionary, inorganic processes. [The Origins of Life (John Wiley, 1973), p. 189, p. 190, p. 196. Of course, that immediately highlights OOL, where the required self-replicating entity is part of what has to be explained (cf. Paley here), a notorious conundrum for advocates of evolutionary materialism; one, that has led to mutual ruin documented by Shapiro and Orgel between metabolism first and genes first schools of thought, cf here. Behe would go on to point out that irreducibly complex structures are not credibly formed by incremental evolutionary processes and Menuge et al would bring up serious issues for the suggested exaptation alternative, cf. his challenges C1 – 5. Finally, Dembski highlights that CSI comes in deeply isolated islands T in much larger configuration spaces W, for biological systems functional islands. That puts up serious questions for origin of dozens of body plans reasonably requiring some 10 – 100+ mn bases of fresh genetic information to account for cell types, tissues, organs and multiple coherently integrated systems.]

    . . . and Wicken:

    ‘Organized’ systems are to be carefully distinguished from ‘ordered’ systems. Neither kind of system is ‘random,’ but whereas ordered systems are generated according to simple algorithms [[i.e. “simple” force laws acting on objects starting from arbitrary and common- place initial conditions] and therefore lack complexity, organized systems must be assembled element by element according to an [[originally . . . ] external ‘wiring diagram’ with a high information content . . . Organization, then, is functional complexity and carries information. It is non-random by design or by selection, rather than by the a priori necessity of crystallographic ‘order.’ [[“The Generation of Complexity in Evolution: A Thermodynamic and Information-Theoretical Discussion,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 77 (April 1979): p. 353, of pp. 349-65. (Emphases and notes added. Nb: “originally” is added to highlight that for self-replicating systems, the blue print can be built-in.)]

    Some pretty serious stuff.

    KF

  74. 74
    Upright BiPed says:

    Aurelio Smith,

    You’re an intelligent person; there is no need to make this complicated. It’s basically on the same level as that which you’ve already described as “self-evident” and as “a truism”.

    It simply needs a little light shined on it.

    Let’s take your example of a photon hitting a detector, where this event tells an observer something about the characteristics of the cosmos. Think about how this would occur. Perhaps you envision an observer staring at a console monitor hooked up to photon detector. When the photon hits the detector, the detector registers the strike and the observer then sees it displayed as a particular representation on the LED monitor. This results in the cognitive effect “A photon just hit my detector” and the observer then goes on to make claims about the cosmos based on what has been observed.

    Now imagine taking out a piece of paper and writing at the bottom of the page exactly what the effect of this event is.

    So you write down: Effect: the cognition “A photon just hit my detector”.

    Now imagine writing at the top of the page exactly what happened to cause the observer to have this effect.

    You write down: Representation: an arrangement in the output of an LED monitor.

    Now… this should be rather easy. Remember what my claim is: if a photon hitting a detector is going translate information about the cosmos, then it will be physicochemically arbitrary to that effect. So my question to you is, can you connect the top of the page with the bottom of the page using physical law alone. In other words, can you take the physical properties of the arrangement of light coming from an LED monitor and (using physical law) derive from it the effect “A photon of light just hit my detector”?

    Of course you can’t. The reason is obvious, just as I stated it earlier. The effect of translated information is not established by the arrangement of the representation; it’s established by an arrangement within that which receives the representation and translates it into an effect.

    Just recently I was having a pleasant conversation with Noam Chomsky about a very similar subject. We were talking about the processes of learning and language, and I was trying to convey this perspective:

    I imagined a scenario where I, as an English-speaking adult, had no connection whatsoever with the simple word “apple” or the fruit that is its referent. In that scenario, a day would come when a person would have me hold an apple in my hands, hear the crack of an apple as I bite into it, taste an apple, and read to me the recipe for an apple pie. At the end of that day I would not physically be the same as the day before. In my brain and sensory cortex there would be new neural patterns that reflect my experience of the concept “apple”. Those neural arrangements would then serve as a physical protocol that would help constrain and interpret my future response to the sensory input of “apple”. These neural arrangements would also be subject to new experience as well. This is to say; the next time I see and recognize the word “apple”, the specialized organization of my optical system would mechanically transcribe that image into a representation (an arrangement of neural medium) traveling to my visual cortex and brain, where it will be translated by the arrangement of those neural protocols that reflect my experience. The product of that translation will be a physical-cognitive effect which cannot be derived from the material properties of the neural arrangement traveling through my optical nerve – even in principle.

    All instances of translated information have this same architecture, regardless of the specific system in question. One arrangement of matter serves as a representation, and another serves as a protocol to translate that representation into a functional effect. One adds form, then other adds specification.

    The same thing happens when the cell translates the information contained in DNA. The physical effect of having a particular amino acid presented for binding at a particular point in time is not something that is derivable from the arrangement of bases in a codon. Instead, it is established in temporal and spatial isolation by the arrangement of the aaRS. The organization of the system thereby establishes the genetic code, while simultaneously preserving the discontinuity required for the system to function. Why must the discontinuity be preserved between the arrangement of a representation and its post-translation effect? It is because inexorable law would otherwise limit the system to only those effects that can actually be derived from the material properties of the medium, thus making informational constraint impossible to obtain.

    You can’t derive the cognitive effect “a photon” from changes in the arrangement of light on a LED display. You can’t derive a song from the pins on a music box cylinder. You can’t derive “attack the intruder” from the surface properties of a pheromone compound. And you can derive an amino acid from the arrangement of three nucleic acids. None of these things is derivable from mere matter, they each require a very specific organization in order to come into physical being. And any system that produces these effects will have a natural discontinuity between the representation and its effect – it’s a physical necessity.

    All of these (and all other instances of translated information) requires a specific system of two arrangements of matter: one to input form into the system, and the other to establish what the effect of that input will be. And in all of the cases, the discontinuity between the arrangement of the informational medium and its post-translation effect must be preserved by the organization of the system – or the system simply cannot function.

    Does that help clarify the issue?

  75. 75
    Zachriel says:

    Upright BiPed: And any system that produces these effects will have a natural discontinuity between the representation and its effect – it’s a physical necessity.

    With a ribozyme, the representation and the effect are one-and-the-same.

  76. 76
    Upright BiPed says:

    Zach, I told you how the system must function.

    In return, you assumed your conclusion.

  77. 77
    Zachriel says:

    Upright BiPed: I told you how the system must function.

    You provided the example of an amino acid. As ribozymes can act as both enzyme and genetic memory, it means there is not a discontinuity between representation and its effect.

  78. 78
    Upright BiPed says:

    Ah, not only then did you assume your conclusion, but you don’t seem to actually understand the the topic.

    Try describing the function of your system, Zach. Tell us how it works. Then describe how you don’t assume the validity of your counter. I’ll return when I get home to see.what you’ve done.

  79. 79
    Zachriel says:

    Upright BiPed: Tell us how it works.

    Perhaps we don’t understand your question.

    Ribozyme: The 1982 discovery of ribozymes demonstrated that RNA can be both genetic material (like DNA) and a biological catalyst (like protein enzymes)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribozyme

  80. 80
    Upright BiPed says:

    Zach,

    I returned late to see what you came up with, but as expected, you came up with nothing. Pointing me to a wiki page on a ribozyme? Wha?

    The dynamic properties of an informational medium have nothing whatsoever to do with the non-dynamic properties of a representation. Write that down. Electricity can be sent down a wire to power a light bulb, or it can be sent down a wire to carry a message to a receiver. The function of the latter does not stem from the capacity of the former. Pointing to the fact that they both exists does nothing to make your case; it only demonstrates your willingness to assume your conclusion.

  81. 81
    Upright BiPed says:

    what do you mean by physicochemically arbitrary?

    ?!

    Don’t sweat it.

    cheers…

  82. 82
    Zachriel says:

    Upright Biped: Pointing to the fact that they both exists does nothing to make your case

    We merely pointed out that in the case of a ribozyme, there is no “discontinuity between the representation and its effect”.

  83. 83
    Upright BiPed says:

    We merely pointed out that in the case of a ribozyme, there is no “discontinuity between the representation and its effect”.

    Well that’s the assertion, isn’t it?. You sure aren’t fleshing it out because you’ve run out of letters on your keyboard.

  84. 84
    Querius says:

    LOL. So, that’s what happened to my keyboa

  85. 85
    EugeneS says:

    UB,

    I have always enjoyed reading your comments. They are among the best and most insightful ones on this blog. Looking back, for me they were pivotal in getting my head around the central problem of all information processing systems, i.e. the problem of a representation and the denoted. The physical discontinuity and arbitrariness are the whole point. Without this discontinuity no information interchange is even possible. This is what David Abel means when he says that physicality is inert to function, meaning, pragmatic gain, utility, etc. No law of nature exists to cause with necessity any information interchange to happen because if it did there would be no freedom to assign meaning to various concrete configurations of matter. The laws of nature serve as a prerequisite, they only allow for it without imposing any physico-chemical determinism on the the system’s behaviour.

    I would only add an important specific case of semiotic state systems. In any system able to control its state there arises the same problem of sign and protocol to interpret it. This is simply because to control its state the system needs memory to record representations of former states for later retrieval in order to generate control responses.

  86. 86
    EugeneS says:

    That the problem of imparting meaning is separate from the physical/chemical underpinnings of information systems (and hence cannot be derived from them) is perhaps most clearly seen by considering a possibly countless multiplicity of ways a single message can be conveyed: with Braille code, Morse code, pen and paper, oral transmission, gesticulation, hieroglyphs, the dancing men code from Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle etc. The same meaning is conveyed irrespective of the many ways to physically transmit it. It simply means that there is something to a message that does not depend on the physicality of the medium alone.

    The ‘how’ of the information system is totally decoupled from the ‘what’ of it. In other words, the problem of the installation/physical realization of the logical relationship between the symbol/sign, on the one hand, and its referent/the denoted, on the other, is irreducible to a description of how a particular physical transmission channel operates. Logic, non-physical formalism come first; concrete aspects of their physical implementation come second. Not the other way round. A new meaning can only be detected by an intelligent enough system capable of deriving it from data. Data becomes data only when there is a processor for it.

  87. 87
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Eugene 101

    I agree. UB has done a great job.
    I’ll offer this in addition though – I think we need to keep improving the descriptive language used to explain the concept. Discontinuity is a good word, but maybe there is something better.

    As you said:

    This is what David Abel means when he says that physicality is inert to function, meaning, pragmatic gain, utility, etc.

    The concept is there but the terminology might not be quite right.

    The laws of nature serve as a prerequisite, they only allow for it without imposing any physico-chemical determinism on the the system’s behaviour.

    It’s important for discussions on the human mind and behavior also. When deciding something is true or false or some mixture of the two, that can’t be determined or linked into the sender and receptor.

  88. 88
    EugeneS says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Thanks for your input. I am not entirely getting what you said in your last couple of sentences though. I think that the ‘truth table’ is provided by the interpretation protocol. Its implementation does not matter but it has to exist. Once the protocol is there, it unambiguously determines how to interpret the meaning of messages coming in. Unless, of course, I am missing something. Please elaborate if you find that I am.

  89. 89
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I think that the ‘truth table’ is provided by the interpretation protocol. Its implementation does not matter but it has to exist. Once the protocol is there, it unambiguously determines how to interpret the meaning of messages coming in. Unless, of course, I am missing something. Please elaborate if you find that I am.

    I just think philosophically, a truth table has to exist before a truth table interpretation protocol can be created. There has to be some reason to distinguish truth from falsehood. There can even be reasons to intend a falsehood and interpret the intention.

    Is the truth table itself correct (true) or false? That’s established by a different process – it can’t be linked physically to an interpretive mechanism.

  90. 90
    EugeneS says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Re: 105,

    True. First comes logic, intention, idea followed by its embodiment, realization, installation, implementation. Not the other way round. Our interlocutors seem to believe that the reverse process, a sort of crystallization of meaning is possible merely out of physicality alone, some kind of magical ‘edge of chaos’. It is an entirely philosophical assumption. Of course, they are free to believe whatever they choose. But it has to be exposed that this philosophy has zero empirical support.

  91. 91
    Silver Asiatic says:

    EugeneS

    That’s excellent – thanks. Logic, intention and idea are necessarily immaterial and can’t emerge from physicality alone – as you stated. The physical processes would not have or be able to create the protocols to interpret outputs.

  92. 92
    Upright BiPed says:

    Eugene,

    Thank you very much for your kind words. I know I’ve been a bit of a broken record on this issue. Perhaps working towards an clear understanding of the system in public was not the best choice, but then again, what better way than to throw it out there. The fact remains, there are huge (massive) holes in the general understanding of information by a great number of people who come here to argue over it. There is also a great unwillingness to accept universal observations that are a) a huge impediment to materialism, and b) cannot be ignored when presented as a coherent system. These observations have been around for decades on end, but rarely assembled.

    In any case, I’m very grateful to know that others have picked up what I’ve been saying. When my website goes live I hope that many more will join them. Again, thank you.

  93. 93
    Axel says:

    When you have been on Robert Jastrow’s mountain top, in the company of theologians and churchmen – not to speak of the vast body of mankind for centuries, the nature of your news concerning the intelligent design of the natural world (not to speak of the theists’ supernatural one)is hardly likely to be POSITIVE in a NEWSY sense, for the very reason that we’ve been here for a very long time.

    Indeed, the metaphysical/physical vindication of Intelligent Design to which you advert is, in truth, ‘gilding the lily’. Moreover it is what it is, and what it is, is conclusive to people with a sincere open mind, and thus fodder for limited explanatory development.

    It is surely a stroke of good fortune, in the circumstances, that y’all provide a positive, if Sisyphean, cornucopia of ‘Tries hard. Could do better’ palette of scientism. Much of life is unspectacular, isn’t it, at least to our jaded, personal palettes.

Leave a Reply