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Author Topic:   NvC-1: What is the premise of Naturalism in Biology?
GDR
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Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 181 of 240 (876522)
05-21-2020 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by AZPaul3
05-21-2020 1:32 PM


AZPaul3 writes:

It is where to be gathered? In what form is this information before it is gathered?

It isn't a case of where it is, it just exists. It exists in the same way that mathematical formulas exist.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
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ringo
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From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 182 of 240 (876524)
05-21-2020 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by WookieeB
05-21-2020 2:34 PM


Wookie B writes:

Are you saying that for other non-human minds there is nothing akin to information?


There may be dolphin information and even ant information. When you learn to read it you can compare it to human information. In any case, it's still just a dolphin interpretation or an ant interpretation of dolphin reality or ant reality. It has no inherent existence.

Wookie B writes:

The parts/matter is still there, but the (purposeful) arrangement of those parts has an effect independent of the properties of the matter itself.


First, there is no "purposeful arrangement". DNA does not have a purpose.

Second, how is it even possible for some mystical message to be written on the atoms themselves, independent of the atoms themselves? What is the ink?

I use the word "mystical" very deliberately because there is no real message other than the arrangement of the atoms.

Edited by ringo, : Fixed attribution


"I'm Fallen and I can't get up!"

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GDR
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Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 183 of 240 (876525)
05-21-2020 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by Stile
05-21-2020 3:49 PM


Stile writes:

If we take multiple measurements across vast amounts of time, and the grass is always 530nm... this lends confidence to the following assumptions:
The grass "was 530nm" before we measured it
The grass "will remain 530nm" after we measure it
The grass "was always" 530nm and we only identified it at some point and became aware of it

-whatever part of that you want to call "information" doesn't really matter
-the grass is what it is
-our measurement of the grass is what it is
-our perception of the grass (individually or in groups) is what it is
-our perceptions and measurements always include certain assumptions and it's wise for us to not confuse such assumptions with the grass "being whatever it is."

I think that maybe you are saying is that what we arguing depends on our understanding of the term "information" and also that the argument is philosophical and not scientific.

In my case I contend that information exists without the perception of sentient life. I would even say that it exists outside of our perceived universe. I would like to point out that if I am right it does NOT support any particular religious belief, nor does it preclude atheistic belief.

On the other hand, what it does do though is go against strict materialism. It does mean that there is something beyond the material world.

In some ways it is the same discussion about what is an idea. You can scan the brain of someone taking a walk, as they decide whether to turn right or left. You can observe the physical effects on the brain but you can't tell whether the walker decided right or left until they you actually see them turn.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by Stile, posted 05-21-2020 3:49 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by Stile, posted 05-21-2020 4:36 PM GDR has responded
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Stile
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Posts: 3943
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 184 of 240 (876526)
05-21-2020 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by GDR
05-21-2020 4:15 PM


GDR writes:

I think that maybe you are saying is that what we arguing depends on our understanding of the term "information" and also that the argument is philosophical and not scientific.

I'm not sure if I'm saying anything other than what I said

...but this seems close enough for me to agree with - sure.

In my case I contend that information exists without the perception of sentient life.

If you're talking about the grass being "whatever colour it is" - then I agree.
If you're talking about the grass being "530nm" - then I disagree (a human created what a "nm" is...)
If you're talking about the grass being "green" - then I disagree (a majority collection of humans agreed on what we identify "green" is...)
-which means that what you are talking about certainly depends on your definition of "information"
-as that word can have various valid meanings to various people ("530nm" and "green" certainly are "information" - just not the kind you seem to be talking about here,) and this discussion is getting into specific details, I would suggest avoiding the word "information" and just explain the context you intend to be using instead

I would even say that it exists outside of our perceived universe. I would like to point out that if I am right it does NOT support any particular religious belief, nor does it preclude atheistic belief.

That I agree with, yes.

On the other hand, what it does do though is go against strict materialism. It does mean that there is something beyond the material world.

I don't understand this at all.

Why does grass being-what-it-is go against strict materialism? (not that I believe in strict materialism... but the question remains...)
Isn't grass a material that fits directly within strict materialism?
Why can't grass exist without sentient life perceiving it?
If grass can exist without sentient life perceiving it - how does this lend credence to the idea that God might exist, or something that isn't strictly materialist?
Don't you end up with the same issue as before: God may exist without anyone believing in Him, or He may not exist at all?

In some ways it is the same discussion about what is an idea. You can scan the brain of someone taking a walk, as they decide whether to turn right or left. You can observe the physical effects on the brain but you can't tell whether the walker decided right or left until they you actually see them turn.

I know enough about brain scans and decision making to not like this example.
I also don't know enough about brain scans and decision making to explain why I don't like it.

...but if I can take a guess at what you're attempting to explain regardless of the example of it that I don't like... then I agree. With something. I guess


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Tangle
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Posts: 7614
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 185 of 240 (876527)
05-21-2020 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 180 by GDR
05-21-2020 3:50 PM


GDR writes:

but if the information wasn't there we couldn't perceive it. Our perception interprets the information.

The object is there, the information about its colour is created by the perceiver, green or grey or whatever, depending on the perceiving individual or wavelength depending on machine. It's probable that a bee sees it quite differently again.

Once again, it is that the observer perceived or interpreted the information differently.

The perceiver creates the information of green, grey or 540nm. Which is correct according to your object?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Taq
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Posts: 8270
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 186 of 240 (876528)
05-21-2020 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by Richard L. Wang
05-18-2020 5:00 PM


Re: Re-RAZD(98): Science articles please
RLW writes:

I submitted only one biological paper, “The Genetic Code was Designed”. As the paper’s conclusion leads to creationism, this paper was rejected by the editors of ten journals, as I expected.

In science, it is experimental results that lead towards conclusions. I'm guessing your paper didn't have a methods section, or even a results section. Am I wrong?

You really don't seem to understand how science is done. It really boils down to one simple rule: If I am right, then you will make these empirical observations and not those empirical observations. That's it. Science doesn't involve a belief that all of nature is just matter, nor does Darwinism or any other theory in science. Just a small note, I think energy is feeling a bit neglected since no one will talk about him.

If you don't think science is a useful tool for describing the universe around us, then create a new method and show how it is better. Until then, we will keep using science.


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GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 187 of 240 (876529)
05-21-2020 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 184 by Stile
05-21-2020 4:36 PM


Stile writes:

Why does grass being-what-it-is go against strict materialism? (not that I believe in strict materialism... but the question remains...)
Isn't grass a material that fits directly within strict materialism?
Why can't grass exist without sentient life perceiving it?
If grass can exist without sentient life perceiving it - how does this lend credence to the idea that God might exist, or something that isn't strictly materialist?
Don't you end up with the same issue as before: God may exist without anyone believing in Him, or He may not exist at all?

The point is simply that the world does have information, such as the colour of a daffodils, or the law of gravity that exists as information even if not perceived by sentient life. If I am correct I am not saying that it lends credence to God's existence, but I suppose that makes room for a non-physical intelligence outside of what we perceive.

I do wonder how the "observer principle" fits into this but again that is well above my pay grade.

I agree that God may exist without anyone believing in Him, or He may not exist as all.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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AZPaul3
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Posts: 4977
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 188 of 240 (876530)
05-21-2020 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by GDR
05-21-2020 3:56 PM


It isn't a case of where it is, it just exists. It exists in the same way that mathematical formulas exist.

Majik?

If something exists then it exists somewhere in some form.

Other than some BS conceptions of gods I don't know of anything that is said to exist yet to exist nowhere.

For math, we know where it exists - in the mind.

We gather information. It is there to be gathered.

So, again, *where* is this information that is "there" to be gathered?


Factio Republicana delenda est.

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4977
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 189 of 240 (876532)
05-21-2020 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by GDR
05-21-2020 4:15 PM


In my case I contend that information exists without the perception of sentient life. I would even say that it exists outside of our perceived universe.

Ahh, then it *is* majik!

Cue The Lovin' Spoonful.


Factio Republicana delenda est.

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WookieeB
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Posts: 112
Joined: 01-18-2019


Message 190 of 240 (876536)
05-21-2020 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 182 by ringo
05-21-2020 4:11 PM


ringo writes:

ringo writes:

I'm saying that prior to human existence no information existed. Just like no limericks existed.

WookieeB writes:

Are you saying that for other non-human minds there is nothing akin to information?


There may be dolphin information and even ant information. When you learn to read it you can compare it to human information.

I was responding to your claim that if humans didnt exist, then information didnt exist. I think it is obvious that information would exist for other minds, be it a dolphin or ant or whatever. Limericks might not exist if humans didnt, but limericks is just a part of information, while information can exist apart from limericks.

ringo writes:

In any case, it's still just a dolphin interpretation or an ant interpretation of dolphin reality or ant reality. It has no inherent existence.

Of course it would still exist as information for whatever creature mind is thinking it. If by "inherent existence" you are referring to it not being tied to matter, I would agree with you. Information is an abstract thing and not tied to matter, just like we've been saying. It is also the same for consciousness, mathematics, science, and any other concept of intentional thought. But if matter is all there is, and there really is no information, then there is also no consciousness, mathematics, science, and any other concept.

First, there is no "purposeful arrangement". DNA does not have a purpose.

Well, I think that is the greater question, isn't it? But I would disagree. DNA has a purpose to store and transmit information. If it does not as you ascribe, then by the same reasoning, there is no such thing as DNA.

Second, how is it even possible for some mystical message to be written on the atoms themselves, independent of the atoms themselves? What is the ink?

The message is instantiated on matter of course. But the message itself, the information, is independent of the atoms, or the molecules, or whatever physical medium is used to store and transmit the message. Shakespeare's Macbeth is information that can be written with ink on paper, chiseled into rock, heard audibly via sound waves, be communicated via points of light in a fiber optic cables, transmitted via radio waves throughout our planet and into space, and countless other manners. But no matter what different forms of matter are used to transmit it, be they ink, paper, rock, vibrating molecules in a pressurized space, photons, radio waves, the four base molecules of DNA, or many other types of media - Macbeth, the information, is the same. The information itself is not dependent on the matter.

I use the word "mystical" very deliberately because there is no real message other than the arrangement of the atoms.

And yet, there still is a message!


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Replies to this message:
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WookieeB
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 01-18-2019


Message 191 of 240 (876537)
05-21-2020 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 188 by AZPaul3
05-21-2020 5:09 PM


For math, we know where it exists - in the mind.

But you dont believe the mind exists. You cant have one without the other.


This message is a reply to:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4977
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 192 of 240 (876540)
05-21-2020 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 191 by WookieeB
05-21-2020 7:18 PM


But you dont believe the mind exists.

I don't? That's news to me.

But, then, you're a majik believer which means you believe everything since majik has no limits.

You believe you know what I believe just like you believe your god is Satan.


Factio Republicana delenda est.

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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4977
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 193 of 240 (876541)
05-21-2020 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by WookieeB
05-21-2020 7:11 PM


But no matter what different forms of matter are used to transmit it, be they ink, paper, rock, vibrating molecules in a pressurized space, photons, radio waves, the four base molecules of DNA, or many other types of media - Macbeth, the information, is the same. The information itself is not dependent on the matter.

If every copy of Macbeth on whatever medium, even the ones in our minds, were destroyed then Macbeth would cease to exist. There would be no idea, there would be no information, about any Macbeth.

The content of the information may not be dependant on the physical matter/energy media used but its very existence in this universe most definitely is. Without being embodied in some form of physical system information does not exist.


Factio Republicana delenda est.

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 Message 190 by WookieeB, posted 05-21-2020 7:11 PM WookieeB has responded

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WookieeB
Member
Posts: 112
Joined: 01-18-2019


Message 194 of 240 (876542)
05-22-2020 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 193 by AZPaul3
05-21-2020 9:41 PM


f every copy of Macbeth on whatever medium, even the ones in our minds, were destroyed then Macbeth would cease to exist. There would be no idea, there would be no information, about any Macbeth.

So what? If X didn't exist, then X doesn't exist.

But Macbeth does exist. And the content of that information does not depend on the physical medium.

The content of the information may not be dependent on the physical matter/energy media used...

Yes, that is my point.

.... but its very existence in this universe most definitely is. Without being embodied in some form of physical system information does not exist.

There are some key words in there.... but again, so what? The point is, information exists, and the information itself, is independent of the matter media. The reverse order is also true: the matter media is not dependent on the information.


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dwise1
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Posts: 4163
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 195 of 240 (876544)
05-22-2020 2:12 AM
Reply to: Message 187 by GDR
05-21-2020 5:06 PM


The point is simply that the world does have information, such as the colour of a daffodils, or the law of gravity that exists as information even if not perceived by sentient life.

No, that is not information, but rather that is data. Data is not information.

If I am correct I am not saying that it lends credence to God's existence, but I suppose that makes room for a non-physical intelligence outside of what we perceive.

You are not correct, ergo ... .

 

I have a pattern for you, a string of 32 binary bits which contain information. Ah, but what information? Is that information inherent in those bits? Or is that information arbitrarily decided by whoever is using that data, those bits?

quote:
1100 0011 0111 1001 1110 0011 1110 1101 (expressed in hex as C379E3ED)

Ok, so tell me what the information is that that bit string contains. They're right there in front of you. So what is the specific information that they contain?

Well, that all depends on how you decide to interpret those bits. Because "bits are bits" (as per an old dog food commercial from a few decades ago). The bits do form a definite pattern, but the actual information contained in that pattern depends entirely on how you choose to interpret that pattern. IOW, there is no single cosmic information being transmitted here, nothing to see here, move along, move along.

So just what information does that bit string contain? Here are a few possibilities:

  • Maybe it's a signed long integer (ie, 2's Complement with the MSB being the sign bit), in which case it would be -1015421971.

  • Or maybe it's an unsigned long integer, in which case it would be 3279545325.

  • Or maybe it's a 32-bit floating-point representation as per IEEE 754, in which case the information would be -249.890335.

  • Of maybe it's a floating-point value using some other form of encoding. I have encountered a couple non-IEEE-754 floating-point encodings being used by GPS satellites (and had to write conversion functions to convert them to IEEE-754 and back -- those conversion functions involved a lot of intricate bit swapping and resizing -- taking into account the satellite's big-endianness and the computer's little-endianness (ie, Intel) --, all of which I worked out while serving as the door for a ladies' styling dance class, so my code review was extra rigorous and it passed with flying colors).

  • Or maybe it's a pointer, which is a memory address, 0xC379E3ED.

  • Or maybe it's a character string fragment, which raise a plethora of possibilities:
    1. What character codeset are we to use? EBCDIC? (8-bit) Extended ASCII? (8-bit, but with many different extended code-sets). Baudot? (7-bit). Unicode? Something else completely different?

    2. For that matter, if the applicable character set is, for example, something like octal, then we'd have to regroup the bits into the octal number 030336361755.

  • Some arbitrary bit-field encoding. For example, some I/O devices have input command registers in which specific bits of a command have specific arbitrary meanings.

Beginning programmers often have a common initial problem. They think that those data bits must have some kind of inherent meaning. They do not! Any and all meaning that any data bits have depends directly on how the program uses them.

Therefore, data has no inherent meaning until somebody uses it and turns it into information.

So all this twaddle is just nonsense. Information is not supernatural in origin!

Edited by dwise1, : -- taking into account the satellite's big-endianness and the computer's little-endianness --


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