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Author Topic:   Biological Evidence Against Intelligent Design
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2603
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 64 of 264 (544545)
01-27-2010 12:16 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Percy
01-23-2010 7:53 AM


Re: Let's Argue Against a Real Theory of Intelligent Design
I think Percy made a very good point way back in Message 21:
A truly scientific IDist, one who excluded the supernatural, would be one who believed* that conditions on the earth were insufficient to produce the diversity and complexity of life's history over the last 4 billions years. That wouldn't mean he's advocating an infinite regression. He would recognize that there would be planets in the universe where conditions were conducive not only to life but to complex and very intelligent life. He would simply be arguing that Earth is not one of those planets, and he would be looking for evidence of intelligent intervention in life's history.
*Note: Italics mine
This grabs it in a nutshell for me, with the caveat that I would use a different word than the loaded believed. I might suggest hypothesized or even theorized, or maybe just suspected. The procedure to measure this would also measure the other ID views in a simple 1, 0 manner. In other words, if experiments to test this out found evidence one way or the other, it would either rule out or rule in ID of any stripe you want, except RAZD's dude. Later on in the thread (sorry to be late to the fun) we finally get to the concept of randomness versus directed (non-random) changes.
SO:
I would propose that the body of evidence would have its randomness** measured. By appropriately measuring the myriad of variables, dropping data points into histogram bins of tiny size, but not too tiny, we can examine the results and compare them against a pure random system. If there is no difference of even faint consequence, then all we have is the RAZD dude at the beginning that set everything into motion - untestable, unfalsifiable and unusable for this thread purpose.
Now, I profess ignorance of the actual data analysis going on - however, I am certain that if a significant departure from randomness had ever been observed repeatedly, we would know about it by now. So I have to assume that currently nothing has given evidence of a departure from the Random Model. To use Rrhain's terminology, the Model works. And using another branch of statistics that's often used to predict the Mean Time Between Failure of various complex systems and the current sample size of the data in question, I currently arrive at my positive evidence against Intelligent Design of the kind Percy describes with a Confidence Factor that is acceptable for me at the moment.
**Note: Complex systems in constant agitated, perturbed, repeated motion tend to sort things, but in a predictable way most of the time. They can be evaluated in a way that would reveal randomness/non-randomness.

- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Percy, posted 01-23-2010 7:53 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2603
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 181 of 264 (546106)
02-08-2010 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 180 by Straggler
02-08-2010 4:30 AM


Re: Complexity
Straggler writes:
Modulous writes:
I agree that if you rely on the terms 'simple' and 'complex' to communicate something then you have to at some point explain what you mean by the terms. I suspect that it may end up being circular: A complex thing being defined as being many simple things interacting with one another.
And that was my problem. The more I thought about this in terms of simple and complex the more it seemed I was applying circular reasoning.
I offer this definition of complexity, C:
C = log( sizeof( compress( D ) ) ),
where
log() is the logarithm,
sizeof() is the number of bytes of,
compress() is the current best known compression algorithm acted upon a file, D,
and D is the complete description of the population under consideration, all the way down to the genetic level, possibly even specifying the shape of probability curves of each type of variation in the population, in a manner sufficient to secure identification of any individual of the population to that population (which may be a subset of the species or the whole species or the whole genus, or any population grouping you want), written in a manner as to be compressed to the smallest size.
C can rise and fall over time, unlike system entropy, S. There is no thermodynamic analogy applicable here, at all.
To insist so would be vulgar....

- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Straggler, posted 02-08-2010 4:30 AM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 182 by Percy, posted 02-08-2010 2:17 PM xongsmith has replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2603
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 183 of 264 (546145)
02-08-2010 8:16 PM
Reply to: Message 182 by Percy
02-08-2010 2:17 PM


Re: Complexity
Percy writes:
I think your equation is more representative of the amount of information rather than the complexity.
Which means it is precisely analogous to thermodynamic considerations.
Well, I haven't bought into that information/thermodynamic. For one, I think a closed system can lose information. However, I'm willing to let that slide for the moment.
How would you define "complexity" in biology?
My guy is not measuring just the amount of information - it's the information needed to describe the population's characteristics and variation and specific details. Over time the description may become simpler if a sub-population goes extinct and no longer contributes to the variation. Or take the walking sticks losing wings - it's possible their description got easier to compress.
But then I am only trying to establish something that we can use for complexity. The way "complexity" gets used around here by some of the contributors, it can be as vague as "kinds".

- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by Percy, posted 02-08-2010 2:17 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by RAZD, posted 02-08-2010 11:30 PM xongsmith has not replied
 Message 185 by Percy, posted 02-09-2010 8:49 AM xongsmith has not replied

  
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