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Author Topic:   Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 85 of 138 (619723)
06-11-2011 4:38 PM


Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
"Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?"

Referring to the first post, to say that natural selection can lead to specified complexity simply does not make sense. Natural selection refers to the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. It refers to survival of the fittest, which is in fact quite broad rather than specific.

Natural selection has no mind, no drive, no goal...It simply happens. To say that it leads to "specified complexity" would be ridiculous because that would in fact point to an intelligence. To be short, the "specified complexity" your referring to is in fact, a figment of your imagination, it only appears to result in "specified" complexity.

Speaking as an ID supporter, I would have to point out that I'm being sarcastic. I believe that natural selection is the result of an intelligence; a result of mechanistic processes created & put in place by an intelligence for life's system to adapt & survive. As my teacher taught me in computer science (artificial intelligence), "the best system is one that is able to learn from & adapt to any scenario."

It is not simply the selection process that allows organisms to adapt & survive, but the underlying processes & mechanisms inside the organism....which just happens to be very "specific".


Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Wounded King, posted 06-11-2011 5:00 PM SavageD has replied
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 88 of 138 (619733)
06-11-2011 7:28 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Wounded King
06-11-2011 5:00 PM


Re: Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
Wounded King writes:

While the general concept of 'survival of the fittest' may be broad, the exact adaptations that confer fitness in a given context can be quite specific.

True, but, it is because these mechanism are specific that it points to an intelligent agent. Systems created by an intelligent agent tend to be very specific.

A lot of us would agree with you, but it is a figment created by IDists suited to produce a need for the very sort of intelligent agency you suggest.

Your not making sense here...

This would be a good time to show some evidence suggesting this. The vast majority of evidence shows that the mechanisms creating genetic variation, basically the various different forms of mutation, are not very specific at all and that the principle constraints are applied post hoc by natural selection. For example look at experiments for the evolution of bacterial resistance where the trait can be shown to arise in cultures not exposed to the antibiotic in line with the frequency expectations of random mutation.

Fair enough, though, I'll like to point out that your contradicting the first point you made here: "the exact adaptations that confer fitness in a given context can be quite specific." by saying:

"The vast majority of evidence shows that the mechanisms creating genetic variation, basically the various different forms of mutation, are not very specific at all."

As to why the underlying processes & mechanisms inside the organism are very "specific":

(1) The same mechanisms can found in many other organisms (namely ones of the same taxonomic group).

(2) Altering one of more of these mechanisms (DNA for example) can lead to the organisms death or can leave them at a major disadvantage to the environment (a deformed leg for example).

(3) These mechanisms are connected to other intricate components, these components must also be connected in a certain sequence. Without this sequence of interconnected parts the organism may die or it may not function properly.

I can go on, but this should be sufficient.

Edited by SavageD, : No reason given.


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (lol!) The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 90 of 138 (619742)
06-12-2011 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by Dr Adequate
06-11-2011 9:10 PM


Re: Doesn't Natural Selection lead to Specified Complexity?
Dr Adequate writes:

But so do systems created by various other means. An antibody against measles, for example, seems as specific to that virus as is a key to its lock, yet there is no intelligent agent.

Your trying to obscure "specified complexity". This thread is about natural selection possibly leading to specified complexity, saying that something is simply "specific" won't suffice, your argument is a straw man. ie an antibody protects against a specific virus (measles), therefore specified complexity can be produced without an intelligent agent.....>_>

No, you're confusing two different issues; the specificity of the thing produced and the mechanisms that produce it.

Take antibodies as an analogy again. The exact antibodies conferring immunity to a given disease are very specific. The mechanisms which create them are not very specific at all; there is not one special mechanism for producing antibodies against measles and another one for mumps.

Another straw man. ie A specific antibody confers immunity against specific viruses. The specific mechanisms that create these antibodies are not specific at all because they can produce antibodies for other specific viruses as well. Therefore specified complexity is disproven

The underlying principle is that antibodies are used to counter act viruses and other foreign bodies, the mechanisms used to produce these antibodies could also be found within other organisms of the same specie. Many interconnected parts are used to create the immune system which leads to the production of different antibodies.

For these reasons we have "specified complexity," not simply because antibodies are created, but because an immense system of interconnected parts are needed to create these antibodies & these systems are not found in simply one organism, but many, because the mechanistic processes are carried on to new off spring.

Your point here is obscure.

Not surprising as you have cloudy judgment.

So the variation in these mechanisms is subject to natural selection...

The problem with ID supporters isn't natural selection, but the way by which it is used by evolutionists.

e.g (1) a group of reptiles ran up ramps flapping their arms while running from predators, those that were able to sprout wings over millions of years were naturally selected, they became birds.

e.g (2) a mammal decided to catch fish in the ocean because there was no food on land. Over millions of years it was able to grow flippers, develop sonar capabilities & grow a blow hole to the top of it's head, these features were all naturally selected for.

Edited by SavageD, : mistake in first point


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (lol!) The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-11-2011 9:10 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 95 of 138 (619780)
06-12-2011 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 93 by PaulK
06-12-2011 5:13 AM


Re: A call for clarity
PaulK writes:

Your post seems very unclear about the concept of specified complexity.

Under Dembski's definition "specified" means that the thing in question has a more "interesting" description than a simple listing of parts and relationships. e.g. A list of the lottery numbers is not specified in itself. You winning the lottery would be and if the last five winners of the lottery were friends with a director of the company running the lottery, that would definitelybe interesting.

Any system that performs a useful function qualifies as specified under this definition, because performing that function is a suitable description.

Complexity is a bit different in that Dembski's definition is odd. To Dembski, a thing is "complex" if and only if it is incredibly unlikely that anything other than intentional design could produce it. Naturally, that includes evolution (i.e. you can't show that something actually is complex by Dembski's definition unless you can show that it could not have evolved - which is the wrong way round for the argument you want to make)

I hope that the ordinary definition of "complex" is well understood enough that it needs no discussion.

Is all that clear ? Can you explain the definition that you are using ?

Well to be honest I'm using a twist on dembski's definition. I was actually working on my own model regarding intelligent design, though, it isn't completed. There's still a lot more info that I have not added to my model and definition....You could see my model here. Basically I define an object of design as:

Any object which entails an intricate and ordered system of functionality(ies), consists of many different and inter-connected parts & contains structural integrity both on it's physically observable level(s) & sub-system level(s) (if any). These objects may also contain components unique to the natural environment (eg metal).

As for specified complexity I would say that it is:

Any object which exhibits an intricate and ordered system of functionality(ies) (or sequential functionality), consisting of many different and inter-connected parts, which may also be comprised of materials unique to the natural environment (eg metal). This specified complexity must also be shown to exist in many other objects of the same type/kind.

Take the mazda rx8 car for example:

It is comprised of many different interconnected & intricate parts. These parts must operate in a certain sequence for the vehicle to function properly. It consists of material unique to our natural environment (metal). There's also many other copies of the rx8 out there which contains the same series of interconnected & intricate components. In this way the rx8 exhibits "specified complexity" or rather it exhibits a specified system of complexity.

Edited by SavageD, : No reason given.

Edited by SavageD, : No reason given.

Edited by SavageD, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2011 5:13 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-12-2011 11:02 AM SavageD has replied
 Message 97 by Percy, posted 06-12-2011 11:36 AM SavageD has replied
 Message 102 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2011 12:38 PM SavageD has replied

  
SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 98 of 138 (619788)
06-12-2011 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Dr Adequate
06-12-2011 11:02 AM


Re: A call for clarity
Dr Adequate writes:

So by this definition an object of design is not necessarily an object which has been designed by anyone.

In which case the name is somewhat misleading.

how so? please clarify

So by this definition an object can possess specified complexity without its complexity having been specified by anyone.

In which case the name is somewhat misleading.

how so? please clarify

What does this mean? Can you clarify? What would be an example of a material which is not "unique to the natural environment"?

I'm referring to synthetic materials, materials that are not naturally found within a given environment, these materials are usually man made. Spiders create silk for example, it is unlikely that you would find silk randomly in our given environment, they require prior intelligence to be made (eg the spider)....It is unlikely that you would find a river of dna (Deoxyribonucleic acid) for example, such things aren't exactly found in our natural environment. In this way the materials are unique to the environment.

How many? For example, it seems that when the first pendulum clock was made, it did not possess specified complexity, since it was the only one of its kind. When the second was made, there still weren't many of them. But after a certain point, after a certain number of them had been manufactured, suddenly they all acquired this property, including the first one if it was still extant.

Similarly it would seem that the aardvarks on Noah's Ark would have lacked specified complexity, being the only two of their kind; but their descendants would have acquired it after the aardvark kind had bred sufficiently; which would be a clear instance of specified complexity being produced by an unintelligent process.

Finding the 'specified complexity' in 2 objects is good, finding it in 3 objects even better, finding it in 4 objects even better....by now you should catch my drift.

.....I do not believe in noahs ark, I'm agnostic....


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (lol!) The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by Dr Adequate, posted 06-12-2011 11:02 AM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 100 of 138 (619791)
06-12-2011 12:19 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by Percy
06-12-2011 11:36 AM


Re: A call for clarity
Percy writes:

Intelligent design is a nifty and intriguing hypothesis, that the results of the efforts of intelligence are recognizable and quantifiable. I think if IDists provided an analytical technique for measuring the effects of intelligent effort that the entire scientific world would be tremendously excited, but all they do is claim a technique, they never provide one. After the initial claim it's all mumbo-jumbo. There's no body of technical literature describing how they developed and refined the technique through years of research, experimentation and analysis. Behe's, Gitt's and Dembski's popular press books spring fully formed from their own minds and not from a foundation of research efforts. Here's hoping that SavageD and his team are hard at work performing the necessary research before publishing their results in Nature and Science while jaws drop in stunned amazement 'round the globe.

The scientific world is prepared to accept results for which there is evidence. No one ever expected that the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating, but that's what the evidence said, so that's what the scientific world accepted. Science follows the evidence where it leads.

The biological world does not expect that there's an intelligent designer behind life and evolution, but if that's what the evidence says then like the accelerating expansion of cosmology, biology will accept it. Like the rest of science biology will follow the evidence where it leads. It would be a stunning and exciting development. It would revolutionize biology. It would probably lead to new research avenues in all fields of science. Fantabulously successful careers and Nobels would be in the works for scientists at the vanguard of the new field of intelligent design research. Opportunities for fame and fortune would abound. There is no lack of motivation for scientists to build reputations by blazing the path in a new field.

But to most biologists intelligent design looks like a dead end, a neat idea but with no evidence that might encourage anyone serous about biology (as opposed to religion) to pursue it. The only people interested in intelligent design are those interested in advancing religion (their own religion, in fact), not science.

Yes, the chemistry of life is extremely complex. Yes, it appears designed. And yes, it appears that imperfect reproduction combined with selection and time produces this effect.

Humans see patterns in everything, both meaningful like shared characteristics between species, and unmeaningful like dogs in clouds and Jesus in a slice of pizza. If we researched cloud shapes we'd discover that there really is no meaning in shapes that resemble something familiar. When we research shared characteristics between species we discover the tree of life.

So when we research the appearance of design in nature, what do we find? This question is what intelligent design is presumably researching, except that they don't appear to be actually doing any research. And in the meantime, the effects of random mutation and natural selection that we observe happening before our very eyes today appear to be precisely what accumulates over time to produce the appearance of design. Environment is a harsh task master, and using chemistry driven by the energy of the sun it compels and guides matter into forms of increasingly amazing complexity.

--Percy

O Good, I should give up all hope in defining intelligent designs because no other scientist is willing to look into that area....your my hero good sir


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Percy, posted 06-12-2011 11:36 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 101 of 138 (619793)
06-12-2011 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by Panda
06-12-2011 12:12 PM


Re: A call for clarity
Panda writes:

SavageD writes:

It is unlikely that you would find a river of dna (Deoxyribonucleic acid) for example, such things aren't exactly found in our natural environment.

I thought I would point out that plants have DNA so, although you wouldn't find a river of DNA, you would find a forest of DNA.

True your gonna find within plants, however your not exactly gonna find it within the natural environment laying about on the ground somewhere in great abundance now would you. I said that an intelligent design is:

An object which entails an intricate and ordered system of functionality(ies), consists of many different and inter-connected parts & contains structural integrity both on it's physically observable level(s) & sub-system level(s) (if any). These objects may also contain components unique to the natural environment (eg metal).

This includes the plant.

Edited by SavageD, : needed to clarify


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 Message 99 by Panda, posted 06-12-2011 12:12 PM Panda has replied

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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 104 of 138 (619796)
06-12-2011 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by PaulK
06-12-2011 12:38 PM


Re: A call for clarity
PaulK writes:

So basically you are just talking about complex, functional systems. Well that's OK, but you still need more than that to establish design.

One thing to consider. Iterative change is pretty good at producing complexity - in fact a designer using that approach has to work hard to avoid unnecessary complexity. So, it seems to me that a process of iterative change unguided by intelligent design would be more prone to producing complexity than a designer using iterative change - while a designer starting from scratch each time would produce even simpler designs.

The thing is I'm not merely speaking about complexity, the term complexity itself is too broad a term, I've even left it out of my new definition. So...I can't really see what your talking about, none the less I would look into iterative change as I've never really heard of it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by PaulK, posted 06-12-2011 12:38 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 106 of 138 (619798)
06-12-2011 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Panda
06-12-2011 12:45 PM


Re: A call for clarity
Panda writes:

SavageD writes:

Panda writes:

SavageD writes:

It is unlikely that you would find a river of dna (Deoxyribonucleic acid) for example, such things aren't exactly found in our natural environment.

I thought I would point out that plants have DNA so, although you wouldn't find a river of DNA, you would find a forest of DNA.

True your gonna find within plants, however your not exactly gonna find it within the natural environment laying about on the ground somewhere in great abundance now would you.


Sorry.
I thought that plants were part of the natural environment.
I must be mistaken.

So...are plants not natural or are they not part of the environment? (Or both?)

Plants are found within the natural environment therefore, by all means plants are natural in that sense. Though some of the materials (dna for example) of which they are comprised of, are by all means unique to the environment.


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 Message 103 by Panda, posted 06-12-2011 12:45 PM Panda has replied

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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 108 of 138 (619800)
06-12-2011 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by PaulK
06-12-2011 12:54 PM


Re: A call for clarity
PaulK writes:

You may not have explicitly used the word but it is pretty clearly what you mean.

Iterative change is simply a process of continually adding changes. It's normal with software sold as a product. Think of all the changes Windows has gone through - the same for Internet Explorer or Firefox, or whichever browser you use. But it's also the way evolution works. Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker is pretty good on this point.

Surely my definition includes the prospect of complexity, but it does not stop at that point. doing a quick look at Iterative design it seems to refer to tweaking? I could be wrong.

Not this tweaking isn't necessarily performed by mindless forces, but through laziness as one merely tweaks his program to compensate for what ever problem he can see offhand, without looking at the wider picture, again I could be wrong.


This message is a reply to:
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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 110 of 138 (619810)
06-12-2011 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Panda
06-12-2011 1:14 PM


Re: A call for clarity
Panda writes:

SavageD writes:

Panda writes:

So...are plants not natural or are they not part of the environment? (Or both?)

Plants are found within the natural environment therefore, by all means plants are natural in that sense. Though some of the materials (dna for example) of which they are comprised of, are by all means unique to the environment.

It seems that you are saying that plants are natural and part of the environment, but plant DNA is not natural or part of the environment.
This makes little sense to me.

Would this also mean that plants are not 'designed', but their DNA is?

No, it would mean that plant is there as a result of an intelligent designer. DNA isn't found in the environment in the sense that you cannot look within a rock formation, river or air and say hay look I found dna here. DNA is found within a plant, yes, the plant is found within the environment, yes, however dna cannot be found outside the organism, or rather it isn't found within the natural environment.

Simply saying dna is natural because plants are natural does not cut it as that would be a, truism, it goes much deeper than that.

Take a clay cup for example....Clay can be found within in a lot of places in the environment, not only within the cup, but outside it as well. (a mountain for example)

Intelligent agents usually create new (or unique) materials in an environment (metal, silk etc.) and they may use these new materials to create objects, a car & spider web (silk) for example.

Because the plant also fits within the scope of a designer (intricate & interconnected parts, unique materials etc) it is highly likely that it was created by an intelligent agent.

Or rather it is highly likely that an intelligent system was ordained to produce such creations, as plants depend on other life forms to survive.

Though I must admit that I see a need to refine what I mean by "unique or synthetic materials." For now it is a general concept.


Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose. (lol!) The Blind Watchmaker (1996) p.1

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Panda, posted 06-12-2011 1:14 PM Panda has replied

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SavageD
Member (Idle past 3020 days)
Posts: 59
From: Trinbago
Joined: 04-16-2011


Message 114 of 138 (619836)
06-12-2011 4:26 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Percy
06-12-2011 3:45 PM


Re: A call for clarity
Percy writes:

Not sure what you mean by "defining intelligent designs". Is that a synonym for developing a model of intelligent design, which is what you claimed you wanted to do and is what I was responding to?

?

Anyway, my main point was that if you go off half-cocked then what will happen to you is what has already happened in this thread - you'll get caught up in multiple inconsistencies and contradictions because not only have you not thought anything through, you don't yet have enough knowledge to be worth thinking through (something easily remedied with study).

What contradictions and inconsistencies?...I came here to refine my idea. If it is that I cannot prove a point I would admit it out rightly. Right now I'm caught up with some people who simply do not understand what synthetic materials are and how such a concept could be served as evidence for an object of intelligent design.

The suggestion to do your research first and go public second was a sincere and serious one. Your performance here is only proving the advantages of this advice.

Hard to tell when ever your being sincere or not, I take it that your predominantly insincere. Also, who are you to judge me...

A side issue: It's not necessary to quote 40 lines if your reply addresses a mere few.

Often times only a few words are necessary to some up the some up the reply of an individual.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Percy, posted 06-12-2011 3:45 PM Percy has replied

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