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Author Topic:   Have complex human-made things been designed?
mike the wiz
Member (Idle past 28 days)
Posts: 4617
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 61 of 85 (512376)
06-17-2009 6:41 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by andorg
09-03-2008 10:12 AM


All that matters to me is that "if there was no human involvement, then there would be no windows XP".

It's a nice way of looking at it, an interesting way, that might perhaps alleviate the concerns of a Theistic evolutionist, if they are to believe in an active God making new species, (new programs).

But logically, ultimately, you do not get anything at all without the intelligence-factor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by andorg, posted 09-03-2008 10:12 AM andorg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Teapots&unicorns, posted 06-27-2009 8:17 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Teapots&unicorns
Member (Idle past 2783 days)
Posts: 178
Joined: 06-23-2009


Message 62 of 85 (513329)
06-27-2009 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by mike the wiz
06-17-2009 6:41 AM


Hi all. I'd like to step in at this point.

All that matters to me is that "if there was no human involvement, then there would be no windows XP".

In this universe, your claim is absolutely true. However, this depends on the universe having the exact same physical laws as now. If the 4 main forces had been any different, reality might be hugely different. I've read somewhere that if the parameters were changed, the universe might be made up of numbers and the dominant species would be self-generating algebraic equations.

By the way, have you heard of the Ultimate Boeing 747 Gambit?

Dawkins' name for the statistical demonstration that God almost certainly does not exist is the Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit. This is an allusion to Hoyle's fallacy. Fred Hoyle reportedly stated that the "probability of life originating on Earth is no greater than the chance that a hurricane, sweeping through a scrapyard, would have the luck to assemble a Boeing 747."[2] The basic argument against empirical theism dates back at least to David Hume, whose objection can be popularly stated as "Who designed the designer?", but according to Daniel Dennett the innovation of Dawkins' argument is, first, to show that where design fails to explain complexity, evolution by natural selection succeeds and is the only workable solution, and, second, to argue how this should illuminate the confusion surrounding the anthropic principle.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Boeing_747_gambit

But logically, ultimately, you do not get anything at all without the intelligence-factor.

I would like to point out that this is the perception that there is a staunch difference between life and inanimateness (yes, it is now a word), as well as a difference between intelligence and...well...lack of intelligence. The truth is: there isn't. All things are made up of certain chemicals and reactions and life just takes it one step further. As for intelligence, all animals, not just humans, have brains and some like monkeys or dolphins can find patterns or use of cognitive thinking. In addition, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria have the ability to reproduce and use food, so that is at least some form of unconscious action.

Please define what you think "intelligence" is.


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

I'm a polyatheist - there are many gods I don't believe in
- Dan Foutes

"In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has widely been considered as a bad move."
- Douglas Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by mike the wiz, posted 06-17-2009 6:41 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5583
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 63 of 85 (513401)
06-28-2009 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by andorg
09-02-2008 8:09 AM


Design from evolution
So the conclusion is that all human-made complex things have been evolved and not designed.

A more accurate description would be that they were designed from an evolving state of ideas. They were both designed and evolved.

What's your point, though?


"The problem with Socialism is you eventually run out of other people's money." --Margaret Thatcher--
This message is a reply to:
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Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 64 of 85 (516287)
07-24-2009 1:12 PM


quote:
The idea that living organisms were designed comes from a common belief that complex human-made things have been designed. But is this correct?
The observations would seem to confirm this statement.

quote:
Let's see examples of the most complex human-made things like: modern Nokia mobile phone, Boing 747 airplane, Windows-XP operating system, and let's asks the following question: have these very complex systems been designed?
It seems they were. All observation points to human intelligence designing those objects.

quote:
It is not easy to trace the history of living organisms emerging on earth and to prove if they were designed or evolved, as it is not possible to find all the required evidences.

But for the human-made things the history of their emergence is well known.


Obviously that's true.

quote:
If one looks at the history of the above mentioned human-made complex things, it becomes obvious that all of them have been evolved.
Actually, none have been evolved in the sense you are thinking of.

quote:
Airplanes, mobile phones, computer products have been evolved step-by-step, by trial-and-error method.
With or without an intelligent input? With an anitelligent input, obviously. That is why they are called designed. The mechanism of how they were actually designed is irrelevant. But they did infact come about by directed intelligent cause. Not an undirected natural cause, like people assert that is evolution.

quote:
No single human and even not a huge group of humans is able of designing a complex thing that never have existed before.
But they are able to design. And natural processes are not. That's the point.

quote:
Any complex thing appears upon a base of another complex things that already exist.
Yes, with a constant input form an intelligent source. Not an undirected natural source. Again, that is the point.

quote:
The most intelligent persons like Leonardo Da Vinchi, Newton or Aristotle could never have designed an airplane, a mobile phone or a computer program.
But they did design other thing.

quote:
And Bill Gates with his team could not have designed Windows XP in 1981, when they created DOS.
But they did eventually design XP and Vista, and soon, Windows 7. Nature has never been observed to come close to that.

quote:
And not because of the short of intelligence or small amount of people. In order to appear, Windows XP required a long series of steps, where the product of each step had to be checked by the environment: the market.
Actually it was the intelligence of the programmers who built Windows XP. You are going of track here. The availability and profit-gain of a program has nothing to do with human ability to make one. If the market is not ready for some piece of software, it's not going to be made. But that doesn't mean it can't be made. On the other hand, there were no observations of nature ever doing anything as complex as Windows XP.

quote:
Lots of computer programs improved by small changes, then were exposed to the market and those which survived became a basis for the future programs.
Again, this has nothing to do with intelligence's abillity to actualy make the program. This has more to do with profits. Is the program profitable or not. If it is, it's going to be released, if not, than it's not going to be released. This has nothing to do with undirected natural processes making complex objects like Windows XP.

quote:
This is the only way that could allow Windows XP to appear.
Yes, through an effor of a lot of intelligent sources, i.e. people.

quote:
All inventions in the world are actually very small steps based on something that already exists.
Again, yes, and the next invention is the improvemnet of the previous one by an intelligent input. Not an unintelligent one.

quote:
No invention can create something much more complex than currently existing.
Depends on what you mean by "much more complex".

quote:
So the conclusion is that all human-made complex things have been evolved and not designed.
Depends on how you define evolved, and designed. If by evolved you mean undirected nautral cause, than no, you are obviously wrong. If by evolved you mean sligh intelligent inouts over time, that yes, you are right. But int that case, that is also the definition of a designed object. Regardless of the mechanism that brought it about.

quote:
And if it is true from human-made complex things - why should it be wrong for the natural complex things (the living organisms)?
Exactly, seems, they were all designed. The only thing we don't know is by which mechanism and how long did it take. But they were designed.
Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Simonster, posted 07-27-2009 4:05 AM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Simonster
Junior Member (Idle past 3241 days)
Posts: 3
Joined: 03-10-2009


Message 65 of 85 (516714)
07-27-2009 4:05 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Smooth Operator
07-24-2009 1:12 PM


quote:

Again, this has nothing to do with intelligence's abillity to actualy make the program. This has more to do with profits. Is the program profitable or not. If it is, it's going to be released, if not, than it's not going to be released. This has nothing to do with undirected natural processes making complex objects like Windows XP.


I think this is the equivalent of natural selection. Without natural selection evolution wouldn't make much progress.
It is the same with market selection, if every product could be sold, there wouldn't be much incentive to make a better one (see communism).

quote:

Actually it was the intelligence of the programmers who built Windows XP. You are going of track here. The availability and profit-gain of a program has nothing to do with human ability to make one. If the market is not ready for some piece of software, it's not going to be made. But that doesn't mean it can't be made. On the other hand, there were no observations of nature ever doing anything as complex as Windows XP.


I agree with the first part, Windows XP was intelligently designed from existing parts by humans. And although I think there are a lot of similarities to evolution, like selection and mutation, there are also many differences.

The product and "designer", for example, is one and the same in nature. Changes between one "stable version" and the next are thus very small. Human made products on the other hand, can change dramatically between stable versions, because man made products aren't subject to selection before they are finished (ignoring exceptions for brevity's sake).

So I agree with everything you've said about human made products. But I disagree with the following:

quote:

quote:
And if it is true from human-made complex things - why should it be wrong for the natural complex things (the living organisms)?


Exactly, seems, they were all designed. The only thing we don't know is by which mechanism and how long did it take. But they were designed.


Why do you think that?

Comparison:

Human design:
Humans change existing products to form new products that are different from the old one.
Market selection weeds out the bad products, only the good remain. As a result, products get better and better.

Natural "design"
Organism change when they reproduce to form new organism that are different from the old one.
Natural selection weeds out the bad organisms, only the good remain. As a result, organism get better and better (at reproducing).

So while there are completely different mechanisms at work and a different goal, the result (change of products or organisms over time) is the same. So a natural explanation (the ToE) explains what we see without the need for a designer.

Edited by Simonster, : No reason given.

Edited by Simonster, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Smooth Operator, posted 07-24-2009 1:12 PM Smooth Operator has responded

Replies to this message:
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Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 66 of 85 (518068)
08-03-2009 10:25 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Simonster
07-27-2009 4:05 AM


quote:
I think this is the equivalent of natural selection. Without natural selection evolution wouldn't make much progress.
It is the same with market selection, if every product could be sold, there wouldn't be much incentive to make a better one (see communism).
But in the case of market, the product's lifespan is guided by an intelligence of consumers. In nature, no intelligence is guiding natural selection.

quote:
So while there are completely different mechanisms at work and a different goal, the result (change of products or organisms over time) is the same. So a natural explanation (the ToE) explains what we see without the need for a designer.
It doesnt' since natural selection is not guided by an intelligence. And if it is not, it can't perform any better than blind chance. It's useless.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Simonster, posted 07-27-2009 4:05 AM Simonster has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Coyote, posted 08-03-2009 11:27 PM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Coyote
Member (Idle past 1 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 67 of 85 (518082)
08-03-2009 11:27 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Smooth Operator
08-03-2009 10:25 PM


Useless, eh?
It doesnt' since natural selection is not guided by an intelligence. And if it is not, it can't perform any better than blind chance. It's useless.

Useless, eh?

OK, here is the challenge--roll 25 dice and get all sixes from them.

Your approach seems to require rolling all 25 dice over and over again until they all come up sixes. You'll be there for years.

Another approach, and that followed by natural selection, is to roll the dice and then re-roll only those that are not sixes. You'll be done in a couple of minutes.

This is analogous to natural selection as in each generation (each roll of the dice) those that don't measure up are eliminated, while those that are adequate survive.

Doesn't sound that useless to me, eh?


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
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Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 68 of 85 (518096)
08-04-2009 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Coyote
08-03-2009 11:27 PM


Re: Useless, eh?
quote:
Useless, eh?
OK, here is the challenge--roll 25 dice and get all sixes from them.

Your approach seems to require rolling all 25 dice over and over again until they all come up sixes. You'll be there for years.

Another approach, and that followed by natural selection, is to roll the dice and then re-roll only those that are not sixes. You'll be done in a couple of minutes.

This is analogous to natural selection as in each generation (each roll of the dice) those that don't measure up are eliminated, while those that are adequate survive.

Doesn't sound that useless to me, eh?


That's a great way to get there I agree. The only problem is that natural selection is not working that way. I mean, it is, but for fitness. It selects this way for fitness. But fitness is not correlated with biological functions. Therefore natural selection is not selecting single nucleotides and building new biological functions, it's is selecting for fitness.

Therefore natural selection is still useless for evolving new biological functions.


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Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Straggler, posted 08-04-2009 7:34 AM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 69 of 85 (518137)
08-04-2009 7:34 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Smooth Operator
08-04-2009 12:18 AM


Clarifications
Therefore natural selection is still useless for evolving new biological functions.

Can you clarify as to what exactly you mean by "biological functions".

It selects this way for fitness

Can you clarify as to exactly what you mean by "fitness"?

But fitness is not correlated with biological functions

Bearing in mind the clarifications above what exactly do you mean by this?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by Smooth Operator, posted 08-04-2009 3:20 PM Straggler has responded

  
Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 70 of 85 (518207)
08-04-2009 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Straggler
08-04-2009 7:34 AM


Re: Clarifications
quote:
Can you clarify as to what exactly you mean by "biological functions".
That is what proteins do in our bodies to keep us alive. For an example ATP synthase makes energy for the cell in the form of adenosine triphosphate.

quote:
Can you clarify as to exactly what you mean by "fitness"?
Here you go:

quote:
Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitness_(biology)

quote:
Bearing in mind the clarifications above what exactly do you mean by this?
It means that just becasue natural selection will select for the most fit, it doesn't mean it will in the same time be selecting to form new biological functions in the population. Simply because it is not doing that, it's selecting for most fit. And most fit have nothing to do with new biological functions.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Straggler, posted 08-04-2009 7:34 AM Straggler has responded

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 Message 71 by Straggler, posted 08-04-2009 3:25 PM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 71 of 85 (518208)
08-04-2009 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Smooth Operator
08-04-2009 3:20 PM


Re: Clarifications
And most fit have nothing to do with new biological functions.

What if a newly evolved or slightly modified "biological function" increases the fitness of an individual to survive and reproduce?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Smooth Operator, posted 08-04-2009 3:20 PM Smooth Operator has responded

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 Message 72 by Smooth Operator, posted 08-04-2009 5:03 PM Straggler has responded

  
Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 72 of 85 (518237)
08-04-2009 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Straggler
08-04-2009 3:25 PM


Re: Clarifications
quote:
What if a newly evolved or slightly modified "biological function" increases the fitness of an individual to survive and reproduce?
New biological functions do not evolve. But slightly modified functions do push the fitness up. That would still not make natural selection select for the evolution of new biological functions, because the fit ones that do get selected are not selected in a way to produce new biological functions. Natural selection only searches those who are more fit than others, without trying to select for evolution of new functions.
This message is a reply to:
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 Message 73 by Straggler, posted 08-04-2009 5:19 PM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 73 of 85 (518243)
08-04-2009 5:19 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Smooth Operator
08-04-2009 5:03 PM


Re: Clarifications
New biological functions do not evolve. But slightly modified functions do push the fitness up.

Well how many slight changes does it take before the function is "new" as compared to the original starting point?

That would still not make natural selection select for the evolution of new biological functions, because the fit ones that do get selected are not selected in a way to produce new biological functions.

Nope. I don't get it. If a modification of "function" results in increased "fitness" why will this change not permeate the population in time?

Natural selection only searches those who are more fit than others, without trying to select for evolution of new functions.

If "functions" increase "fitness" then I fail to see how natural selection would not promote both?

I am limiting myself to your terminology here.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Smooth Operator, posted 08-04-2009 5:03 PM Smooth Operator has responded

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 Message 74 by Smooth Operator, posted 08-06-2009 11:07 AM Straggler has responded

  
Smooth Operator
Member (Idle past 3009 days)
Posts: 630
Joined: 07-24-2009


Message 74 of 85 (518508)
08-06-2009 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Straggler
08-04-2009 5:19 PM


Re: Clarifications
quote:
Well how many slight changes does it take before the function is "new" as compared to the original starting point?
Never. Because no new information is added.

quote:
Nope. I don't get it. If a modification of "function" results in increased "fitness" why will this change not permeate the population in time?
It will. But it won't lead to evolution of new molecular machines like ATP synthase.

It's very simple. Natural selection selects for fitness, not for molecular machines that don't yet exist.

quote:
If "functions" increase "fitness" then I fail to see how natural selection would not promote both?

I am limiting myself to your terminology here.


That is because form better fitness you do not need new information. But for new functions you do. And natural selection can't get you new information.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Straggler, posted 08-04-2009 5:19 PM Straggler has responded

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 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 08-06-2009 3:40 PM Smooth Operator has responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10199
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 75 of 85 (518581)
08-06-2009 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Smooth Operator
08-06-2009 11:07 AM


Re: Clarifications
So you agree that "functions" can be modified.

You seem also to agree that modified "functions" that increase "fitness" will prevail. No?

That is because form better fitness you do not need new information. But for new functions you do. And natural selection can't get you new information.

Define information.

And why do you think it (whatever it is that you define as "information") cannot increase?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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