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Author Topic:   Existence of God
NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 151 of 213 (62675)
10-24-2003 9:24 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by Joralex
10-24-2003 8:34 PM


A small note, I didn't say you or others didn't know what they are talking about. I did however imply that your sources might not since when I have attempted to read some of the material it wasn't apparant to me that they did. It may be that the quality of the explanation or my ability to absorb it is a problem. It may require some questions and answers on my part to help me sort it out.

So wiht that in mind, my questions start:

Jorolex writes:

'Complex' as in the number of 'bits of information' and this in turn measured by the 'probability of an event' such as a particular arrangement. All of these things are purely mathematical and scientific - no theology here - so, what's your problem?

This suggests that "complexity" and "Shannon information" are identical. Is that true? I have to ask since there are separate attempts to define a quantifiable concept of "complexity". This is felt to be needed since the Shannon information content of a random string is very high but it is not intuitively felt to be what we are talking about in terms of "complexity".

If "complex" is something more than Shannon information will you clearly distinguish the two?

"Specified"

'Specified' as in correlating with a criterion that is independent of the event itself.

As I read you example the sonnet is "specified" because it can be read using a set of rules that are "specified" separatly from the particular ink pattern.

Is it true then that something may have "speicificity" quantified? How would I calculate the "specificity" of an particular pattern of words or letters? How about a particular pattern of ink which may or may not be close to letter forms?

Can you know carry this over to where it applies to evolution? Does it? Or does it only apply to abiogenesis?

[This message has been edited by NosyNed, 10-26-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Joralex, posted 10-24-2003 8:34 PM Joralex has responded

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16320
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 152 of 213 (62708)
10-25-2003 8:02 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by Joralex
10-24-2003 8:34 PM


Just to puincture your little superior act, let me remind you that you only recently found out all this yourself. In fact you were putting forward your own misinformed ideas on this forum not so long ago, on one of the threads you abandoned - after I pointed out the real facts.

SO here's another fact for you. The number of proven examples of CSI is zero. Nobody has even come close to actually applying the concept to biology at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by Joralex, posted 10-24-2003 8:34 PM Joralex has not yet responded

  
Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 153 of 213 (62714)
10-25-2003 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by crashfrog
10-24-2003 7:08 PM


Let's turn it around - would the notions of general and special relativity EVER have been proposed if it weren't for an intractable difference between the predictions of Newtonian physics and actual observation of celesital objects?

In consistent fashion, you have either missed the point or are twisting the argument so as to not concede the point.

The point wasn't how science advances through new discoveries/observations. The point is that evolution shall be retained rgardless of any discrepancy that may appear. It shall be retained because it represents the ONLY alternative to a Creator. Any discrepancy that appears will either be shelved as a "problem to be later solved... as new evidence comes in" OR it will be 'solved' by the introduction of some ad hoc 'scientific' hypothesis (such as Goldschmidt's Hopeful Monster notion - what else do you think Goldschmidt was doing?). Such actions are at the essence of irrefutability.

One other point : Einstein's Special and General Theory of Relativity do not present a metaphysical challenge (certainly not on a first-term basis). OTOH, the evolutionary paradigm presents not just a scientific observation, but extends that observation into metaphysical realms. This is the point that people such as yourself either cannot see or refuse to see (because that would be the end of your game).

In short, your analogy is very poor - comparing earth worms to space shuttles.

Since the answer is probably "no", can we assume therefore that you reject all modern physics in favor of the "invisible angels" theory? If not, why not? Why do you give physics a pass on refining their models through change, and not evolution? Is it because evolution uniquely challenges your personal faith? If so, how is that evolution's problem?

Answered above.

As to "how is that evolution's problem" - it isn't.
Neither is it Hinduism's problem that it challenges the sovereignty of Jesus Christ... nor is it Buddhism's... nor Taoism's... nor Snake Worshipping... nor Scientism's... nor Materialistic Positivism's... nor Naturalism's... nor any other METAPHYSICAL SYSTEM'S problem.

Catch the meaning?

You seem insistent on condemning only evolution for acting just like science -

Not so... read above.

revising theory in the light of new observation.

We all "revise" upon learning. That's not the point and you know it.

So which is it? Does science change in the light of new data, or is it supposed to remain static and dogmatic, like your religion?

In the things of God there are absolutes - these things are "static". In the transitory, natural, Fallen world we find that things never remain the same. Furthermore, man will always operate on imperfect and incomplete knowledge - this demands that we are constantly revising what we thought was the case. God, being omniscient, has no need for "revisions".

You are again comparing parakeets to bazookas - hardly appropriate.

Joralex


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by crashfrog, posted 10-24-2003 7:08 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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sidelined
Member (Idle past 4459 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 154 of 213 (62729)
10-25-2003 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Joralex
10-25-2003 10:36 AM


Hey Joralex

"the evolutionary paradigm presents not just a scientific observation, but extends that observation into metaphysical realms."

Can you please define for me what is meant by meatphysical?

Is it:1 a : METAPHYSICS b : a particular system of metaphysics
2 : the system of principles underlying a particular study or subject : PHILOSOPHY 3b
- metaphysic adjective

Or one of these:1 : of or relating to metaphysics
2 a : of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses b : SUPERNATURAL
3 : highly abstract or abstruse; also : THEORETICAL
4 often capitalized : of or relating to poetry especially of the early 17th century that is highly intellectual and philosophical and marked by unconventional imagery

Or?


This message is a reply to:
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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4563 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 155 of 213 (62761)
10-25-2003 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Joralex
10-25-2003 10:36 AM


quote:
"The point wasn't how science advances through new discoveries/observations. The point is that evolution shall be retained rgardless of any discrepancy that may appear. "

That's what you want the point to be, but unfortunately for you the former is the point. I've explained how PE was motivated by evidence - that is, science advanced through new observations.

quote:
"(such as Goldschmidt's Hopeful Monster notion - what else do you think Goldschmidt was doing?)."

I find your fixation on Goldschmidt a little weird. Why focus on Goldschmidt's ideas as representative of biology, when Goldschmidt's ideas were soundly rejected, sometimes even ridiculed?

quote:
Such actions are at the essence of irrefutability.

You need to brush up on your philosophy of science; you're clinging to a cartoon version of the principle of falsifiability. It has never been suggested that a highly successful theory with many successful predictions should be 100% rejected because of a single or a small number of anomalies. ALL science tries to fix minor problems in successful theories by making changes that can then be tested. As long as the modifications themselves are testable, you're fine. It's only when you introduce an an untestable assumption, such as an intelligent designer, that you run into trouble.

quote:
This is the point that people such as yourself either cannot see or refuse to see (because that would be the end of your game).


Or, in my case, don't care one way or the other. Evolution plays by the rules of science. If it steps on the toes of someones non-scientific beliefs, so be it. Not. My. Problem.

For example - cult X believes the Earth is flat, based on their holy scripture, which they believe was written by their god, and thus is perfect.

Does the space shuttle orbiting the Earth "challenge the soveriegnty" (to use your words)of their god? Yep. Do I care? Nope.

[This message has been edited by Zhimbo, 10-25-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 156 of 213 (62822)
10-25-2003 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Joralex
10-25-2003 10:36 AM


The point wasn't how science advances through new discoveries/observations. The point is that evolution shall be retained rgardless of any discrepancy that may appear.

Evolution is retained because the "discrepancies" you refer to were not sufficient to falsify the theory. Just as relativistic effects were not sufficient to falsify kinetics, only to stimulate a revision.

Can you explain to me the difference between expanding kinetics with the theory of relativity and expanding evolution with the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium?

Such actions are at the essence of irrefutability.

Says you. On the other hand, we've already explained what conditions could falsify the theory of evolution, and none of these have been met. Clearly you need to examine the difference between a theory that isn't falsifiable, and one that just isn't false. The theory of evolution can't be made to explain all possible observations. It simply explains all the observations we've made so far.

You are again comparing parakeets to bazookas - hardly appropriate.

Not so - I'm comparing oranges to oranges and wondering why you see a difference. Science is science.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Joralex, posted 10-25-2003 10:36 AM Joralex has not yet responded

  
Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 157 of 213 (62829)
10-25-2003 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Rei
10-24-2003 8:59 PM


Kudos to Joralex, for answering a question! Now, let us pray, he will cease to dodge issues about the eye.

I always answer - you just don't understand or don't like what you hear.
Sorry, I can't help that.

Also, can you please explain what you feel this has to do with life?

You have to ask this?

Consider a "simple" organism - an amoeba dubia. Would you happen to know the information content in this amoeba's genome? Stated differently, a human has about 3.3 billion base pairs in its genome. How many base pairs does an amoeba dubia have?

Now, do you know of any living organism that does not have a very specific sequence of base pairs in its DNA, said sequence determining that organisms' natural characteristics? FYI, that sequence is, by definition, CSI.

That is what this has to do with life.

Am I correct in assuming that you think that DNA is "complex specified information"? If so, why do you feel that it is as such?

Yes. For reasons that I've already presented in previous posts and here.

Joralex


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Rei, posted 10-24-2003 8:59 PM Rei has responded

Replies to this message:
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Joralex
Inactive Member


Message 158 of 213 (62834)
10-25-2003 8:35 PM
Reply to: Message 151 by NosyNed
10-24-2003 9:24 PM


This suggests that "complexity" and "Shannon information" are identical. Is that true? I have to ask since there are separate attempts to define a quantifiable concept of "complexity". This is felt to be needed since the Shannon information content of a random string is very high but it is not intuitively felt to be what we are talking about in terms of "complexity".

If "complex" is something more than Shannon information will you clearly distinguish the two?

"Specified"
'Specified' as in correlating with a criterion that is independent of the event itself.

As I read you example the sonnet is "specified" because it can be read using a set of rules that are "specified" separatly from the particular ink pattern.

Is it true then that something may have "speicificity" quantified? How would I calculate the "specificity" of an particular pattern of words or letters? How about a particular pattern of ink which may or may not be close to letter forms?

Can you know carry this over to where it applies to evolution? Does it? Or does it only apply to abiogenesis?

I'm going to make an assumption (for me, a large one) that you are genuinely interested in learning this matter.

In the interest of time and not re-inventing the wheel, I refer you to The Design Inference by William Dembski. Everything that you ask here is addressed in that work.

Let me direct your attention to something that you may (or not) be aware of. In his book Steps Towards Life, Manfred Eigen said (corrrectly) that the fundamental problem in origin-of-life research is that of explaining the origin of information. This problem is at an impasse for Naturalists since it is commonly accepted that neither chance nor natural laws are capable of generating information although the evolution diehards insist that it IS possible (without saying how). Their error (partly understandable) is that they are applying the strict statistical (Shannon) definition of information and not the more comprehensive (and correct) view.

OTOH, the only observation that is confirmed time and time again is that CSI is always the result of an intelligent agent. Therefore, the inference '(CSI) --> (Intelligent Agent)' is rationally justified whereas '(CSI) --> (natural events)' is totally without support (unless it is assumed that it happens).

You mention Shannon and the bottom line is that Shannon addresses a very limited perspective (the statistical aspect) of information since he was interested only in the transmission and storage of information. Shannon was not "wrong" - he was merely looking at a single aspect of information - there are several others.

Today, the concept of information is being expanded/revised as problems such as AI and origin-of-life are being researched. These investigations are part of what have shed light on the kinks in evolution's armor. Information is not as simple a concept as it once appeared to be.

Joralex


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 18 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 159 of 213 (62837)
10-25-2003 8:42 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Joralex
10-25-2003 8:35 PM


In his book Steps Towards Life, Manfred Eigen said (corrrectly) that the fundamental problem in origin-of-life research is that of explaining the origin of information.

Why is this a problem? There's no information in biological systems.


This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 160 of 213 (62848)
10-25-2003 9:53 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Joralex
10-25-2003 8:03 PM


I did have some further questions about "CSI". Are you going to explain the details?
Added by edit: Sorry I have not read ahead to your next post.
I will add to this if I had further questions.

Actually I really do want to understand this in detail. Not because I think it is right. If I think it is wrong it is necessary for me to understand it well before I can come to that conclusion.

You suggest that the base pair sequence in DNA is CSI. But how specified is it? Since, other than identical twins, no two humans have the same sequence and no two may ever have the same sequence it seems that it is not exactly specified. How do I determine the amout of specification?

The ID folk use, I think, some probability arguements. However, those must consider the fact that living things are NOT 100% specified. How specfied are they, using a number between 0% and 100%?

[This message has been edited by NosyNed, 10-25-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 161 of 213 (62849)
10-25-2003 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Joralex
10-25-2003 8:35 PM


Ok, I will have to get to that book.

However, you will notice that most of us here are still willing to supply some part of the material in things we reference.

In particular I would like to see the "expanded" definition of information that is being used. Since it is clear that Shannon information can be added by evolutionary processes.

It should be possible in this space to supply the definition of complexity being used too.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8933
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 162 of 213 (62853)
10-25-2003 10:36 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Joralex
10-25-2003 8:35 PM


Edited to remove duplication

[This message has been edited by NosyNed, 10-26-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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nator
Member (Idle past 721 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 163 of 213 (62860)
10-26-2003 12:51 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Joralex
10-24-2003 9:06 PM


quote:
Are creationists rationally / scientifically justified in our position or, as your questions appear to imply, must we abandon our position because of the fact that certain limitations exist today and may always exist?

If we have to abandon our position, then so do Naturalists and for the same cause. Stated differently, ultimately we must all stand on faith given the epistemological limitations that are always present.


Incorrect.

Methodological naturalism operates within the tenet that we never have perfect, complete knowledge about the natural world.

We may be very convinced by the existing evidence that the Earth is a sphere, for instance, but if evidence came forward from many sources which showed that it was not actually spherical, science would change.

That is why ID is not a scientific concept, but a philosophical or religious one.

ID claims have been made since humans started asking questions about how and why things in nature are the way they are. It used to be that humans thought that gods and supernatural beings controlled everything quite directly (Apollo and his firey chariot pulls the sun across the sky); now, this same argument has been reduced to a few microbiological or biochemical systems which we do not currently understand fully.

What ID does is attempt to come to a conclusion based upon a lack of understanding, which is not scientific.

In science, no conclusion can ever be based upon a lack of understanding; conclusions are based upon positive evidence or falsifications of predictions.

quote:
Understanding something doesn't eliminate (or establish) whether or not it's been intelligently designed.

But you just said that we could tell when something was ID because it couldn't be explained by natural law.

This is what I mean by "understand".

Since this is an obvious contradiction of what you said initially, please clarify.

quote:
Regardless, ID systems are recognized by the presence of CSI. God is arrived at in a very straighforward manner : huge quantities of CSI are present in nature and neither chance, natural laws, or combinations thereof are able to explain the origin of this CSI. So what are the options?

If what you are saying above is valid, then the scientific answer is, "We don't know."

To say anything else is meaningless from a scientific standpoint.


This message is a reply to:
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Rei
Member (Idle past 5564 days)
Posts: 1546
From: Iowa City, IA
Joined: 09-03-2003


Message 164 of 213 (62866)
10-26-2003 1:11 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by Joralex
10-25-2003 8:03 PM


quote:
I always answer - you just don't understand or don't like what you hear.
Sorry, I can't help that.

So, where did you answer the probability question about sensor rhodopsins mutating into photorhodopsins?

quote:
Consider a "simple" organism - an amoeba dubia. Would you happen to know the information content in this amoeba's genome?

Yes. Zero. Biological systems don't have information. Isn't that the very point of contention here?

quote:
Stated differently, a human has about 3.3 billion base pairs in its genome. How many base pairs does an amoeba dubia have?

That's about as relevant as asking how many branching points there are in a particular snowflake, or how many sub-Mandelbrot sets there are in a given region and given resolution; base pairs aren't information, they're a way of representing a chemical formula. If the ability to chain more pieces to a chemical is information, then all plastics are filled with tons of information.

quote:
Now, do you know of any living organism that does not have a very specific sequence of base pairs in its DNA, said sequence determining that organisms' natural characteristics?

In the exact same way that the combination of the linkages in a particular plastic determine its natural characteristics.

------------------
"Illuminant light,
illuminate me."


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 16320
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 165 of 213 (62887)
10-26-2003 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 161 by NosyNed
10-25-2003 9:58 PM


The Design Inference is expensive and probably hard to find - it may even be out of print. I very much doubt that Joralex has read it (his recent misrepresentation of the explanatory filter certainly shows that he lacked even a basic understanding).

I was lucky enough to find a remaindered copy.

To make things simple Dembski uses improbability as his measure of information (the base 2 logarithm of the inverse of the probability to get to "bits" - so 2 bits is a probability of 0.25). It is not the same as Shannon information at all.

Specification is a description which is (supposedly) independant of the data being considered.

The fact is that nobody has done the specification let alone calculated the relevant probabilities for DNA. Any claim that DNA is an example of CSI is pure speculation.


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