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Author Topic:   Building life in a lab - Synthetic Biologists
AnEmpiricalAgnostic
Inactive Member


Message 136 of 152 (241049)
09-07-2005 12:59 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by iano
09-07-2005 11:22 AM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
AEA writes:

Okay, now I think you are just arguing for argument’s sake. Do you NOT think acquiring knowledge about the universe we live in the “right direction”?


I am not arguing for arguings sake - although that is a trap to be avoided. Acquiring knowledge about the universe is no bad thing in itself. But it is open to debate as to whether the OUR acquisition of knowledge has been a good thing or a bad thing. You call it advancement and it has, no doubt, led to improvement for mankind. However there is an undoubted and very significant downside - as a result of this self-same knowledge. There are as many grounds to say the glass is half full as it is the glass is half empty. Every bit of knowledge gets used for both 'good' and 'bad'. As 'right directions' go I don't think the case for 'acquiring knowledge is the right direction' is a clear cut as you say.

(I work in the food industry and in 12 years I have yet (in all the many meeting I have been at) to hear the word 'nutrition' mentioned (yield increase, drip loss, binding fats within meats, how to disguise useful but undesirable ingredients in labelling etc etc do form the area of interest - money) . I could talk abit about the appliance of science in this field - but I don't want to put you off your dinner :) )

You can’t put a “good” or “evil” label on knowledge. Knowledge is impartial in and of itself. It is how we use the knowledge that can be judged. Labeling knowledge itself is as ridiculous as positing that fire is evil because it has destroyed buildings and taken lives.

Actually, one species turning into another IS speciation.

http://www.biology.duke.edu/rausher/lec18_05.html.
The following is from an interesting article (linked above) on experiments to see if speciation could occur (the text includes statements in the context that presumes evolution is occuring so it is, I take it, not a creationist website)
I. Experimental evidence for allopatric speciation.
A. Speciation in laboratory populations
1. Speciation as a process in nature is very difficult to study because one is never sure exactly where it is occurring; it can also take a long time.
2. For these reasons, some investigators have attempted to try to bring speciation into the laboratory. In effect, they have set up experiments in which they have tried to cause speciation to occur, and observed what happens. The first example I wish to discuss today is an experiment of this type.

Okay iano, here’s one that scientists have observed outside of a lab:

London Times writes:

From: GENTECH archive NEW species of mosquito is evolving on the London Underground in a development that has astonished scientists.

You now officially have no reason to deny that speciation has and is occurring (unless you move the goalposts again).

Which brings us back nicely to the issue of abiogenesis. I posed that manipulating elements to create life says nothing about whether abiogenesis occurred. No experiment could produce life in an undirected and unintelligent way. Scientists applying the full force of intelligence, time and money can do it but that is a quite different thing altogether. One could say the space shuttle could appear out of a pile of nuts and bolts because the application of intelligence time and money showed it could be done. In fact, the appearance of a space shuttle from junk must be considered more likely given that the application of intelligence, time and money has produced a result - whereas abiogenesists haven't. (If you think I'm arguing for arguing sakes by producting such a patently absurd comparison then by all means indicate where it is patently absurd).

I have seen this argument before. It’s a variation of the “tornado in a junkyard” argument (machine ‘x’ resulting as a product of a random shuffling of junk parts etc.)

TalkDesign writes:

From: TalkDesign It does not take into account any non-random effects. Most significantly, it ignores natural selection, the central principle of evolution theory. The hypothesis of purely random combination is already universally rejected by biologists (it is the old creationist "tornado in a junkyard" straw man), so Dembski's consideration of this hypothesis serves no useful function, and the probability calculation which he uses to reject the hypothesis is irrelevant.

The argument doesn’t hold weight.

The same appears to be true of speciation. In reading the above section I would ask you to note the following:
In nature (where evolution has supposedly happened a) one is never sure if it occuring b) it takes a very long time for it to happen (which makes it unlikely that anyone will ever know). Yet the (evolutionary) author says it is going on. Why? Classic evolutionary thinking. Evolution is assumed from the outset therefore speciation must be going on. Now a scientist in a lab who starts out with a theory that speciation happens and sets up an experiment to cause it to happen can expect, quite often, to be rewarded with the result he has caused to happen. I design machinery from time to time to fit a specific purpose. Although I enjoy doing it and am taxed in dealing with all the constraints which push in on my initally simplistic Occams Razor style design, I am not surprised (although I am pleased) when eventually the final product does what I am trying to make it do.
But so what? Concluding that something happens in nature from a completely artificial (and massively simplistic lab experiment, the conditions of which don't happen in nature, says nothing about the thing actually happening in nature. It's another could be - not another is. Science has brought it's full might to bear to design a space shuttle.
This all fits the theory but I can't help wondering what couldn't fit the theory if enough effort is employed in order to cause it to fit. Don't you see even a touch of science-of-the-gaps here? Is this knowledge not in fact pseudo-knowledge? An experiment whose conclusions (man can design a situation whereby flies undergo 'speciation') are extrapolated to say speciation is occurring (without mans directed intervention) in nature. The word speciation appears to describe the lab result. Is there a reason to transpose it into the natural world?

See above.

Before we move on I think you’ll have to admit that speciation occurs no matter what the implications are to your philosophical views. I also think you are going to have to start looking a little more crucially at these arguments that other creationists have circulated. I know that, because they coincide with your belief, they are tempting to accept without critical analysis but they are ultimately deceitful. Here is a creationist site with an archive of arguments that have been thoroughly refuted and should not be used. Arguments we think creationists should NOT use You may want to check it out and see if there’s any other arguments that you’ve accepted as truth without critical examination.

This message has been edited by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, 09-07-2005 01:03 PM


"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-- Stephen Roberts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 11:22 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 4:31 PM AnEmpiricalAgnostic has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 137 of 152 (241086)
09-07-2005 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by ramoss
09-07-2005 11:41 AM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
ramoss writes:

Not quite right. While we won't know how it happened from a historical point of view, the experiments can show it MIGHT have happened. There are probably many paths to get from just plain organic chemical reactions to the condition we can reconise as life. It won't be a 'brute force' method, but only observing what happens to various chemicals in certain conditions. That won't say that things happened exactly that way, but it will show how things very well could have happened without the need of some mythical being tampering with things.

I admire your willingness to place some limits on what can be deduced from experiment. Could I push a little more. Looking at your own words:

"probably" how probably? Is it one chance in 10 to power 20,20,40,50,60? And if there is an actual figure given for the probability, how was it arrived at? I'd stand to be corrected but my guess is there isn't one

"might" again this is a shot in the dark. With no knowledge as to conditions then, any conditions now as to what was happening then is sheer guesswork. There is nothing for probability to get a grip on

"probably many paths..." At the moment there are none. Thus again, no way to say anything about probability of them. If life (say we start at a single strand of self-replicating RNA) could be created easily and under a wide range of conditions then this statment would have some basis for being considered reasonable. At the moment there is no reason to hold to it. So it shouldn't be held.

"various chemicals in certain conditions..." ie: lab made life. Which is the same with lab-made speciation: There is a sign posted outside it saying "Intelligence at work". If life is created it will only because if this - life designed by intelligence. I'm not trying to paint you into a corner here but I must reiterate that such life can say nothing about the accidental origin of life then, It is a sheer impossibility. They are two different things altogether. Apples and pears. Ne'er the twain shall meet.

"it will show how things very well could" Very well implies reasonably. But there can be no basis to say this. Unless perhaps someone trips over a dead simple way of creating life. At the moment it looks as if the conditions and sequence of events is staggeringly complex - otherwise 40 years of trying concoct life would have come up with something other that proteins and amino acids. And the more complexity is added the more remote those conditions could even be speculatively said to have been the conditions around at the start of life.

Folk can speculate about what science will find out in future. But at the moment the situation is that life could not have occurred accidentally as their is no basis for making that positive statement - and it is a positive statment. If one was basing their position on the evidence at the moment, then that is the conclusion they must come to. There is nothing evident now that indicates that the problem is going to get easier over time. No basis for hope.

If folk want to plug away and investigate it thats fine. But talking about probably is philosophy not science.


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by ramoss, posted 09-07-2005 11:41 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by ramoss, posted 09-10-2005 3:03 PM iano has responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1497 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 138 of 152 (241087)
09-07-2005 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic
09-06-2005 11:40 AM


Re: the tailor or the cook, you decide
quote:
Are you suggesting that the ToE depends on some mathematical distribution based on the origin of man to be valid? I really don’t see how this line of reasoning is valid much less useful to our current discussion but maybe I’m dealing with a language barrier. Please explain.

no it is not a language barrier.

You may feel free to think that random silicon molecules creates carbon-based life but I took it that this thread is about the cbs REPORT. Evolutionary theory that I call in question pertains only to its hierarchicalization but IF it is TO BE hierarchical there can be less simple statments made about any olds rates of changes. It is only the thoughts that leave a range of change rates open rather than attempting to close them that opens up my responsibility to respond.

I have no notion that there must be distribution of human origins as I full admit non-god designers for any thus more than potential changes the hierarchicalization brought to my mind or brings in general rather it is the the failure to incorporate the artifical selectability within the human lineage IN any Future, that likely seperates your and mines rather constant positions.

As for how the analysis ACTUALLY distributes and thus contrains either an evo or a creo synthetist, well, try searching around some of my posts on EvC. There is a failure to even find the analytics. I have left clue after clue as to how to do more than explore the subject.
It is too much for me to guess about what an average of posters does or does not understand in my posts. I have some posting history with Crashfrog so I might be able to guess what he missed but with you are new and it would not be a very ideal thing to keep up the word by word dissection of each others posts here unless it is clear how they relate to the thread head.

You referred to "our current discussion" I dont know what that is.

I can go back and easily point out how I answered, the thread head, found out where you stood, disagreed a bit with iano and am now simply explaing things that I dont know if they are relevant to the thread or simply a matter of a difference of opinion, between you and me for instance. I think the seperation into magesterias is wrong but that doesnt matter for my guess on how creationists respond or might respond to advances that are themselves not welldrawn up or down.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 09-07-2005 03:59 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-06-2005 11:40 AM AnEmpiricalAgnostic has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 4:52 PM Brad McFall has responded
 Message 143 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-08-2005 2:57 PM Brad McFall has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 139 of 152 (241092)
09-07-2005 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic
09-07-2005 12:59 PM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
AEA writes:

You can’t put a “good” or “evil” label on knowledge. Knowledge is impartial in and of itself. It is how we use the knowledge that can be judged. Labeling knowledge itself is as ridiculous as positing that fire is evil because it has destroyed buildings and taken lives.

Hmmm. Pursuit of knowledge was the "right track". Why?

Okay iano, here’s one that scientists have observed outside of a lab. You now officially have no reason to deny that speciation has and is occurring (unless you move the goalposts again)

I think a request to read something something with a bit more punch to it than what is written in newspapers about "The insects are believed to be the descendants of...". is not moving the goalposts. Like would you accept a newspaper report about a moving statue of the virgin mary seriously? I know I wouldn't.

I would go straight to the part in the scientific paper which deals with the reasons why if "This usually happens only when species are isolated for thousands rather than tens of years.", how it can be explained to happen so quickly. Given that such an explaination would not be forthcoming I would have the time to surmise that this statment about timescales was derived from artifical lab experiments which were aimed to cause the speciation and which were then transferred (without any scientific justification) to describe what happens in nature. A bit of extrapolation and hey presto!! "(nature) usually takes...."

I don't know if I'm being too flippant here, maybe speciation does occur in nature - but I can't see a way of setting up and experiment to test for it

The (tornado in a junkyard) argument doesn’t hold weight."It does not take into account any non-random effects. Most significantly, it ignores natural selection, the central principle of evolution theory".

I don't see how natural selection is applicable to building blocks of life. What 'advantage' can a non-living (and thus non-replicating) piece of material have in order to pass it's advantage on to successors it can't make. Abiogenesis has to assemble all the parts (either in stages (a series of random accidents) or all at once (a single random accident). Either way, it is all random.

You've say speciation occurs. It does: in a lab. It occurred in a lab because the experiment was designed to achieve that goal. That says nothing about whether it occurs in nature. A newspaper report doesn't change that

Abiogenesis is a tornado in a junkyard.

'Creationist' is often employed as a dirty word. But it is not a magic wand that will somehow make the issues go away. If you think you can argue that speciation occurs in nature (where folk seem to assume it does) or that abiogenesis is other than a tornado in a junkyard, then I'll discuss them with you. But it will have to be discussion based on reason - not smear.


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-07-2005 12:59 PM AnEmpiricalAgnostic has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-08-2005 3:33 PM iano has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 140 of 152 (241096)
09-07-2005 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by Brad McFall
09-07-2005 3:57 PM


Re: the tailor or the cook, you decide
disagreed a bit with iano

Remind me not to annoy you would you Brad? One day you might take it upon yourself to blow me outta the water! :)

Serious question though. Quite often you refer (it seems) to concepts as if these are known to others. Maybe they are but not to me. Reading your posts makes me feel dumb because I haven't got the first clue about the nodal points on which you build your post. You mention "cbs Report". Me goes "cbs report " then goes "Google" and goes "blimey!! where do I start?" Could you not spell it out more. Like take account of the way it is...."Brad McFall-Lite or summit"

I have left clue after clue as to how to do more than explore the subject.

And there I think you have the nub of the issue. Folk are, it seems probably more inclined (and I put my own hand up here) to argue to the death to support their own position than they are to genuinely trek along the path to "knowledge and understanding through discussion" I reckon there is knowledge and understanding through discussion alright: the Evo gets to see what a unyielding and dogmatic bunch of folk the creationists REALLY are. And the Creationist gets to see what an unyielding and dogmatic bunch the Evos really are - and what a house of cards the whole edifice really is (oops - couldn't resist it :))

How much are folk here to really objectively explore the evidence and learn. Hmmm....


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Brad McFall, posted 09-07-2005 3:57 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Brad McFall, posted 09-07-2005 7:18 PM iano has responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1497 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 141 of 152 (241138)
09-07-2005 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by iano
09-07-2005 4:52 PM


Re:in the begining of this was a thread post #1
The first post in this thread begins there.
two clicks below
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=10&t=150&m=1
or click once. your choice.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/08/19/tech/main787749.shtml

You are not "annoying" me.

If you look at enough EVC threads you will see that if thread meanders for a while often posters can and will return to the original points being made just to ensure that personal asides do not dominate the topic inter thread alia. Both you and AEA were "new" to me so I had to do a little more exploration than is want probably in a thread. Chat like this can go elsewhere. I know you need a bit more of the details filled in and if I choose to post under your signature later, I am now cognizant of that to an extent.

As for refering to concepts in general, well, I am not just posting here for the fun of it. I am trying to shape the thoughts somewhat, and I do it rather crudely. This also however is a function of "getting a feel" on a responder. The bigger words one uses the easier it is to see if the person is cranking or just cranky. Once I get it in my mind who the person is, I dont need much, I try to be sensitive to their character or personality.

I am happy to go back and search EVC for relevant posts of mine but the discussion rather works at the fast pace of society so I tend to just guarentee a more friendly reply the second time around. Some people are droit at this circuit so it annoys me when I end up cutting up my sentences to an undue degree but hey that is what makes the internet not Darwin's telephone.

This message has been edited by Brad McFall, 09-07-2005 07:21 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 4:52 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by iano, posted 09-08-2005 6:00 AM Brad McFall has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 142 of 152 (241232)
09-08-2005 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 141 by Brad McFall
09-07-2005 7:18 PM


Re: Re:in the begining of this was a thread post #1
CBS report writes:

"Synthetic biology is like iron: You can make sewing needles and you can make spears. Of course, there is going to be dual use."

Which is kind of what you would expect after all.

Interesting article that and one which underlines the on-topic contention (thanks for the reminder) that in "creating life" folk are just (and I don't mean to belittle the effort and intelligence that goes in) using pre-existing elements and design types ('lego blocks' as the article referred to them) to create evermore complex bio-machines. Thus a creationist would have no reason to adapt his position were man to make 'man'. No 'gap' is being filled by this technology

As for refering to concepts in general, well, I am not just posting here for the fun of it. I am trying to shape the thoughts somewhat, and I do it rather crudely. This also however is a function of "getting a feel" on a responder. The bigger words one uses the easier it is to see if the person is cranking or just cranky. Once I get it in my mind who the person is, I dont need much, I try to be sensitive to their character or personality.

Shape away. Brad Lite coming in loud and clear. Sensitive to character or peronality. Hmmm, must take a leaf (sic) out of your book

hey that is what makes the internet not Darwin's telephone.

I take it back, I had to Google Darwins Telephone. I would think this place can be exactly like Telephone myself


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Brad McFall, posted 09-07-2005 7:18 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by Brad McFall, posted 09-10-2005 10:01 AM iano has not yet responded

  
AnEmpiricalAgnostic
Inactive Member


Message 143 of 152 (241386)
09-08-2005 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by Brad McFall
09-07-2005 3:57 PM


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Brad McFall writes:

You referred to "our current discussion" I dont know what that is.

To be perfectly honest, in reviewing our posts, I’m not quite sure I know any more either. I try to reply to each and every post that is directed toward me as I think it is only polite to take the time to reply to someone that takes the time to direct a post toward me but since your first post…

quote:
It is completely cognizable that if ID ushers in a differen event for the synthetic biologist that ID contains a social environment LARGER than the current lab paradigm that drives, let one say, nanotech onwards.
It is going towards this area whether ID is true or if non-believers create a collopased ecological web in the future.
I hope you sense and realize that it takes LONGER than the areas'daily work week to pursue the consequences of positing God(if) and calling THAT a day, while it only takes a day's worth of work to work for the same day. Good day. This time is not indeterminate even if the thought IS.

…I have sincerely struggled to understand what you are trying to say. You say it’s not a language barrier but even when the typos are fixed I can not discern anything meaningful to me. I can see that you are a well read individual and that I could probably glean some good information from your posts if I only had the decoder ring. Unless we can communicate in plain English then I’m afraid any further communication will be an ongoing exercise in futility.


"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-- Stephen Roberts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by Brad McFall, posted 09-07-2005 3:57 PM Brad McFall has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by Brad McFall, posted 09-08-2005 10:53 PM AnEmpiricalAgnostic has responded

  
AnEmpiricalAgnostic
Inactive Member


Message 144 of 152 (241407)
09-08-2005 3:33 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by iano
09-07-2005 4:31 PM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
AEA writes:

You can’t put a “good” or “evil” label on knowledge. Knowledge is impartial in and of itself. It is how we use the knowledge that can be judged. Labeling knowledge itself is as ridiculous as positing that fire is evil because it has destroyed buildings and taken lives.

Hmmm. Pursuit of knowledge was the "right track". Why?

Without knowledge we will never advance.

Okay iano, here’s one that scientists have observed outside of a lab. You now officially have no reason to deny that speciation has and is occurring (unless you move the goalposts again)

I think a request to read something something with a bit more punch to it than what is written in newspapers about "The insects are believed to be the descendants of...". is not moving the goalposts. Like would you accept a newspaper report about a moving statue of the virgin mary seriously? I know I wouldn't.
I would go straight to the part in the scientific paper which deals with the reasons why if "This usually happens only when species are isolated for thousands rather than tens of years.", how it can be explained to happen so quickly. Given that such an explaination would not be forthcoming I would have the time to surmise that this statment about timescales was derived from artifical lab experiments which were aimed to cause the speciation and which were then transferred (without any scientific justification) to describe what happens in nature. A bit of extrapolation and hey presto!! "(nature) usually takes...."

I don't know if I'm being too flippant here, maybe speciation does occur in nature - but I can't see a way of setting up and experiment to test for it

Just reasonably examine the evidence iano. Where did the mosquitoes come from if not speciation? Did your god just think it’d be cool to make a new “kind” of mosquito in the subway tube? Is it some evil atheist conspiracy to make a new mosquito in the lab then set it free in the tubes? There is no more reasonable explanation. Just look at animals like the Kodiak Bear. Don’t you wonder why they only inhabit Kodiak Island? If geographic isolation and speciation isn’t the answer then what is? Did your god just decide to make a new “kind” of bear on an island?

The (tornado in a junkyard) argument doesn’t hold weight."It does not take into account any non-random effects. Most significantly, it ignores natural selection, the central principle of evolution theory".

I don't see how natural selection is applicable to building blocks of life. What 'advantage' can a non-living (and thus non-replicating) piece of material have in order to pass it's advantage on to successors it can't make. Abiogenesis has to assemble all the parts (either in stages (a series of random accidents) or all at once (a single random accident). Either way, it is all random.

I wasn’t talking about Abiogenesis. I’m not well educated enough in that field to defend it properly. The “tornado in a junkyard” argument is used against evolution and that’s where I know that natural selection negates it as a valid argument.

'Creationist' is often employed as a dirty word. But it is not a magic wand that will somehow make the issues go away. If you think you can argue that speciation occurs in nature (where folk seem to assume it does) or that abiogenesis is other than a tornado in a junkyard, then I'll discuss them with you. But it will have to be discussion based on reason - not smear

I don’t mean to use creationist as a dirty word. My experience with creationists has taught me that most are all too quick to regurgitate these dishonest arguments like the “tornado in a junkyard”. Use of such tactics has worn my patience thin. I will attempt to keep my fervent disdain for most creationist in check as you are one of the most reasonable ones I have ever had the pleasure of discussing EvC with.


"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
-- Stephen Roberts
This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 4:31 PM iano has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1497 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 145 of 152 (241557)
09-08-2005 10:53 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic
09-08-2005 2:57 PM


Re: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
The question was, unless I need to reread it, what is a creationistic response to the domain of synthetic biology?

The quote you cited from me here, was in the cases where an IDist's ideas might govern the direction of synthetic biology itself.

I admit that economically, at present, this is an unlikely supply but the demand for it IS high, in my opinion.

I dont know if you are struggling to comprehend the cases were ID might so govern ( I fully realize that this is the place in the conversation that many people will raise at LEAST an eyebrow) or if it is rather due to a general lack of having yourself and the world at large supplied with information that had led me to exclaim that even just thinking the whole thing through takes more than 7 days in the week??

Given that you are still responding to me. I must commend you indeed. Thanks for the effort.

I am somewhat dismayed if your lack of apprehension (which could be as much my fault as yours) is of the latter variety for it would indicate that my posts over the past 1/2 year have been to no avail, but then again I doubt you have been lurking here for that long (sans what Ben recently asked me). The recent article in Science on the Kansas situation is a case in this point, which I will probably bring up elsewhere on EvC.

You see because I do not feel that there is a seperation of magesteria I full DO expect that creation scienists will contribute to changes that synthetic biology affords evolutionary theory. You dont want to call what they do or might do science. OK I understand that position. I think however the CBS article is a little over dramatic and not really expressive of what will actually happen to the discipline of biology even if it seems like "pockets" of biological research are following that somewhat blue perspective.

There is an extra level of control necessary to actually DO synthetic biology. I do not know that this is fully realized. It was not even thought to be an issue in 1992 when I was doing monoclonal antibodies and in vitro fertilization. I had found 1 out of 30 cells SQUASHED by me to be symmetrical. This could be telling me something about how cell development works OR it could be due to the shear forces I applied to the cell during the preparation to view it with tagged antibodies etc. The applied profs at Cornell were not even aware that this added extra data seperation was necessary to make determinative statements. I think this kind of engineering issue applies just about any time any ETHICAL feeling arises in this topic in this thread even if it is not completely justified.

It is smarter to let the ethics determine policy until the procedures are all under control and for this reason alone (no matter what the economics are) I am personally interested in the angle of creationists first. That is not what is happening as the link suggests. I am only saying I think it should be. I know you can keep things"" seperate and be "just" as ethical and if the controls were being controled for in the 'brave new world' of synthetic biology I would not protest from which side one leans tentatively but seeing that there is not even a widespread understanding of how ID *might* open the social possiblilites of synthetic biology I pray we come to some understanding sooner than later . You me and iano are not going to solve the world's problems trying to be the three musketeers.

I hope this style of posting was better for you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-08-2005 2:57 PM AnEmpiricalAgnostic has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by AnEmpiricalAgnostic, posted 09-12-2005 9:08 AM Brad McFall has not yet responded

    
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 1497 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 146 of 152 (242068)
09-10-2005 10:01 AM
Reply to: Message 142 by iano
09-08-2005 6:00 AM


Regarding duality and conscience vs consciousness
quote:
Yet in truth, the absolute subect, I, remains forever unique, not-withstanding the objective equivalence of the various subjects. This is in agreement with the facts as I find them. On purely congnitive grounds conscientalism is irrefutable, it can be carried through completely. But for all this the regonition of 'thou' is demanded of me not only in the sense that im my thinking I yield to the abstract norm of 'objectivity' , but in an absolute sense: Thou art for theyself once more what I am for myself, conscious-exsiting carrier of the world of phenomena. This step can be taken in our analogy only if we pass from the algebraic model of affine vector geometry to its axiomatic description, where the concepts of a vector and of the two fundamental operations enter as undefined terms. In the axiomatic system it is no longer necessary to enforce the equilvalence of all coordinates by abstraction...Pattern and source of any such demonstrative act is the word 'I.' Thus axiomatics reveals itself once again...which posits a trascendental world but is content to recreate it in symbols.

Weyl Space and Time p.124 in Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science.
I passed or was passing through this undefined duality of defintions under the expanded basis of a priori ness read from Husserl as persented by Derrida in 1987, but FROM *any* axiomatics one must notice, that there is NOT a comparable duality of functionality and use of the spear and the sowing needle extending BACK towards either the affine intuition or the non-vector developement of the synthetic modality, even though from the former directum there appears to be due to the simple indications of language needs to be recognized.

Weyl had expressed it elsewhere as the "ego" moving through space (historically justified (so he thought)) but he differentiated Newton and Kant. I think this is NOW mistaken. It does explain however (in Weyl's comparison of Hegel and Newton) why Derrida refused to respond to my questions as to what "science" was, that he JD referring to(1988). He would not let his ego GO through. OK, but synthetic biologists do JUST that or rather they need to do it justly not just due dually. Making a clone from three geneotypes does not a posteriori qualify as I SAW it. This was recently approved over on your side of the waters or nearly. It is necessary to enforce or legislate the different genomic contributions to the cardinal vs ordinal dispute in graphing the results. This becomes the same problem as formerly was displayed eugenically only we have to give ALL the varities justice rather than elimiate some cuttable races or mismeasures of man. This does not mean "any" category but only those analytic with respect to the "experimental space". Surely appearence of aliens will change our judgements overnight but macoreconomic visions providing the environment for biology today do not, so far. It would be mistake to create a leisure of recreating life intstead of the symbols FIRST.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by iano, posted 09-08-2005 6:00 AM iano has not yet responded

    
ramoss
Member
Posts: 2809
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 147 of 152 (242107)
09-10-2005 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by iano
09-07-2005 3:54 PM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
How probable? We can show that the pathways follow the observed behavior of organic chemistry, in a repeatable fashion. THere will undoubtable many different paths to the same results.

If 1000 different paths to the same results are found, does it matter which path is actually taken, except as a historical curiousity?

When we find out a path that is totally naturalistic, why do we have to invoke the supernatural for an explaination?

Can you show me a way to test that any god exists?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by iano, posted 09-07-2005 3:54 PM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by iano, posted 09-12-2005 5:57 AM ramoss has not yet responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 148 of 152 (242391)
09-12-2005 5:57 AM
Reply to: Message 147 by ramoss
09-10-2005 3:03 PM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
Ramoss writes:

How probable? We can show that the pathways follow the observed behavior of organic chemistry, in a repeatable fashion.

Analysing a motor car and understanding all the stages that go into it's existance: metallurgy, thrmodynamics, manufacturing processes etc are what you describe here. What makes life can indeed be analysed. The question is however, could it arrive accidently and if so what are the probabilities of it doing so?

There maybe s sequence of conditions and events that will be discovered in which life arises, but you can be sure (given that it hasn't happened yet) that these are complex - extremely so. No matter. How does one, given an extremely complex series of events work out any probability that these were the conditions then? One can't. All one could say is that WE manufactured life and that it is very difficult to do.

There will undoubtable many different paths to the same results.
If 1000 different paths to the same results are found, does it matter which path is actually taken, except as a historical curiousity?

I admire your faith. At the moment there isn't even one that has been found. And when there is there is nothing to be said about it as far as history goes. Man will have made life - not shown that it could have arisen accidently. That door will remain shut forever - curiosity or no.

When we find out a path that is totally naturalistic, why do we have to invoke the supernatural for an explaination?

It will not be naturalistic when/if it is found. It will involve the application of intelligence, carefully assembled conditions and countless failed experiments which are modified to push nearer a result. Naturalistic this is not. Life, when man makes it, will be designed and in such a way, as to require the answer (how is life assembled) before one can attempt the question. When I was in college this method of passing exams was called cheating :)

But I predict that if/when scientists do manage to design life the headlines will splash "Life occurred accidently on Earth" across the world ("..and these were the conditions then too....")

Can you show me a way to test that any god exists?

I don't know about any god but as far a God is concerned, sure. And you will be pleased to know it involves elements of scientific method. But that would be another threads work.

Hint: some central elements in it, just like in any scientific endeavor are:

you'd have to want to find the answer
you'd have to be prepared to dispense with predisposition and deal with the evidence as it presents itself to you.
you'd have to go looking for the answer on it's terms not yours (ask any ornotologist whether this is a sensible thing to do)

Somehow though, I suspect in reality your not all that interested. I think that the remark was intended to imply that science could provide hard evidence (it can't and never will) and that since there was no hard evidence for God (there is but of course you've got to look for it) Science wins. I'm glad (for you) that it ain't that cut and dried.


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by ramoss, posted 09-10-2005 3:03 PM ramoss has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 149 by Wounded King, posted 09-12-2005 7:37 AM iano has responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 559 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 149 of 152 (242399)
09-12-2005 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by iano
09-12-2005 5:57 AM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
It will not be naturalistic when/if it is found. It will involve the application of intelligence, carefully assembled conditions and countless failed experiments which are modified to push nearer a result. Naturalistic this is not.

Oh of course, I forgot about all those little fairies and goblins that run about casting magic spells to help out in the lab. I wonder if my pet leprechaun can produce some nanogold for me.

Where is the supernatural element in this? The distinction is not between naturalistic and artificial but between the natural and the supernatural.

No matter how tortuous or finagled the neccessary mix of elements and pathways needed for abiogenesis to occur are they will still be more parsimonious than positing a supernatural being interceding in the event. To my mind the leap in credibility is many orders of magnitude.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by iano, posted 09-12-2005 5:57 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by iano, posted 09-12-2005 9:06 AM Wounded King has responded

    
iano
Member (Idle past 110 days)
Posts: 6163
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 150 of 152 (242422)
09-12-2005 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 149 by Wounded King
09-12-2005 7:37 AM


Re: How do you eant an elephant?
woundedking writes:

Oh of course, I forgot about all those little fairies and goblins that run about casting magic spells to help out in the lab. I wonder if my pet leprechaun can produce some nanogold for me.

No better man for the IPU argument :). One of these days you might come up with an argument that addresses the evidence as it is: millions of people believe in God (and have done so all through the ages) Not many believe in fairies. To compare the two as you frequently do (if memory serves me correctly), to be or the same order is do YOU no justice.

(ps: if delusion and indoctrination are the next best things you can offer to explain then some evidence - for that is were we deal - then some non-assertion style argument would be useful)

No matter how tortuous or finagled the neccessary mix of elements and pathways needed for abiogenesis to occur are they will still be more parsimonious than positing a supernatural being interceding in the event. To my mind the leap in credibility is many orders of magnitude.

The thread has to do with the effect of man 'creating' life on the creationist. The answer for the creationist is no effect - he has all the evidence he needs, and life-from-the-lab is almost amusingly feeble in how little it would scratch the knowledge the creationist has. For the athiest (you presumably) it would be a different matter altogehter, I agree.

You may chose to see it as opening up to probabilites something which currently appears improbable. For you it would be a step forward in copperfastening your existing belief (No God). It is illustrative that you might be looking forward to the day when life-in-the-lab occurs will give you further assurance.

However man-designs-life says nothing about it-could-have-occurred-by-accident. Apples and Pears. Nothing at all. It doesn't make it more probable to presume by even one iota. Not one shred of a hand-up is offered towards the conclusion of life-by-accident by man -designing - life.

The only help it offers is if you chose to ignore that fact and see it indeed to be something that it is not. Blind faith. Nothing designed can be taken to indicate something by accident. That would be, I'm sure, a form of non-sequitur.

By all means chose it WK. Give me the rational anyday

:)


Romans 10:9-10: " if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved....."
This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Wounded King, posted 09-12-2005 7:37 AM Wounded King has responded

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