Jan 262007
 

Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being and searches outer space for confirming material evidence?

Answer: A scientist.

Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being and searches inner space for confirming material evidence?

Answer: A religious nut.

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The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes a human-like extraterrestrial intelligent being who want to communicate with us, speculates as to how that communication might be achieved, then sets up a research program to search outer space for confirming material evidence? And does not claim his hypothesis is science – at least until that evidence is found.
Answer: A scientist.
Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being, but refuses to speculate about the nature of this unseen intelligent being because it is presumptuous to think mere hmans can ponder God, searches the literture for quotes that can be taken out of context to support the hypothesis, rather than doing any sort of original research? And that uses politics to get the hypothesis taught as science in schools.
Answer: A religious nut.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

there is a thin line between humor and sarcasm

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being, but refuses to speculate about the nature of this unseen intelligent being because it is presumptuous to think mere hmans can ponder God,

This is a cliche critique. IDers talk about the nature of a creator/designer all the time. They just make a distinction between what can be established empirically and what is contingent on other forms of evidence.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

Sarcasm is a type of humour. Let me guess… You think my post was sarcastic, and yours was not. I suspect the reasoning goes something like this: When you say it it is humour, when your opponents say it it is sarcasm. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe you have an objective rationale for making the determination.

Bradford

Of course it is a a cliche. That does not make it wrong. I have been accused of being presumptuous a few times on this blog for daring to consider how the design might go about the design process. I think the reality is that IDists like the luxury of being able to discuss the nature of the design when it suits them, and making the discussion taboo when non-IDists gets too close to calling Him God.

That is a generalisation, I appreciate. Actually, I would be interested to see any web pages when IDists discuss the nature of the designer and the design process. They are out there, Mike Gene at TelicThoughts, for example, is positing a human-like intelligence front-loading information in at the creation of first life. I have not come across any others.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

I think the reality is that IDists like the luxury of being able to discuss the nature of the design when it suits them, and making the discussion taboo when non-IDists gets too close to calling Him God.

No, The Pixie, problem is not in discussing God being designer. Problem is using theological arguments to support your “scientific” theory.

Links that you asked for and some additional material:

http://www.werner-gitt.de/down_eng.html

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/natureofdesigner.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Design-Science-Natural-Philosophy/dp/0791448940 (this is a book)

http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1147

However you will not find many IDist’s sites that discuss this as it is not part of ID proposals. Most if not all Creationist sites will be happy to oblige you.

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

sar·casm

1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain
2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm

Hi The Pixie, please let me know how did I derogatory described SETI researchers. Unlike your sense of humor there was not a trace of offense in my post nor any kind of accusations.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Unlike your sense of humor there was not a trace of offense in my post nor any kind of accusations.

It sure sounded like an accusation of double standards to me.

You know, like giving the thread the title “Double standard”. Maybe I am missing something here?

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

Thanks for the links. The first of these was not what I would call ID, but rather was a collection of essays that were creationism or Christian apologetics or just philosophy, and of course these have a fine tradition of considering the nature of God (and you noted this too). I was thinking more about specifically ID. I did not read the book either.

The second link was called “Information Theory and DNA – Nature of the Designer”. This seemed more hopeful, but the auther calls the designer the “uncaused coder” and a “supernatural force”. Interestingly, he also say “My claim is that God is immaterial, not material”, so is this really ID if the say the G. word? Hmm, maybe I am thinking that if they start describing God then – by definition – it is not ID. The author also says we cannot determine much about the designer “The supposed complexity or details of God cannot be determined from my syllogism, nor is there any need for my syllogism to make such determinations.”

The IDEA web page would seem to agree with me! “One need not fully understand the origin or identity of the designer to determine that an object was designed. Thus, this question is essentially irrelevant to intelligent design theory, which merely seeks to detect if an object was designed.”

Bradford

The contention that a designer must be IDeed before one can make a design inference is a canard.

But this is my point! ID has done its very best to try to convince everyone that you can detect design, without knowing and without determining anything about the designer. It is like supposing that an archaeologist could unearth an artefact and declare that it was designed, and somehow he managed to determine that without finding anything out about the culture the produced the artefact. Just finding a piece of pottery tells him the culture could make pots, just finding an arrow head tells him the culture used arrows. It is like a forensic scientist determining that the deceased was murdered, without noticing that he had been shot! I cannot imagine how a forensic science could determine “design” without also determining how it was done.

ID is different, I know. Specifically, ID is different because the usual arguments rely of elimination, and claiming the default position. Indeed, we can see that in your comment “BTW, let me know when you identify the blind watchmaker who utilized a selection pathway to the first cell”, which seems to say we should accept ID because the naturalistic explanation is lacking. I guess this is like a forensic scientist going through a checklist; not heart attack, not brain tumour… and so on, eliminating all the known natural causes. Once he has done that he can be sure it must be “design”. Or an unknown natural cause.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

I would be interested to see any web pages when IDists discuss the nature of the designer and the design process.

There are plenty of sites willing to discuss the nature of God. There are plenty of sites willing to discuss the nature of physical evidence. The contention that a designer must be IDeed before one can make a design inference is a canard. BTW, let me know when you identify the blind watchmaker who utilized a selection pathway to the first cell.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Going back to the thread topic, and leaving aside accusations of accusation making…

The message from the OP seems to be:

SETI is considered science
SETI is searching for signs of intelligence
ID is searching for signs of intelligence
Therefore ID should be considered science

Personally, I think that reasoning is spurious. Consider this:

Bananas are considered fruit
Bananas are yellow
Custard is yellow
Therefore custard should be considered fruit

Pretty clearly this is nonsense. The reason it is nonsense is that there are certain criteria we use to determine if something is a fruit. And being yellow is not one of them. Just because something is yellow, that does not make it fruit. It is the same for science. There are certain criteria for deciding if something is science or not, and a search for intelligence is not one of them.

The thing about science is not so much what it is searching for, but how. This is why we have a thing called the scientific method. The scientific method is how to search, if you want to be called a scientist, and not a religious nutter.

Of course, this thread was posted under the “Homur” category, so perhaps the author was fully aware of this, but wanted to post his fallacious argument anyway.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

But this is my point! ID has done its very best to try to convince everyone that you can detect design, without knowing and without determining anything about the designer. It is like supposing that an archaeologist could unearth an artefact and declare that it was designed, and somehow he managed to determine that without finding anything out about the culture the produced the artefact. Just finding a piece of pottery tells him the culture could make pots, just finding an arrow head tells him the culture used arrows.

This example illustrates why the immediate inference of not simply design, but intelligent design, is justified before further information is acquired. Future space travellers would immediately make that supposition upon finding an artefact on a previously unvisited planet, even if no intelligent life were otherwise evident. The better question is why someone would assume an incremental, unguided, unobserved and larely unspecified process would be a more plausible explanation.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

This example illustrates why the immediate inference of not simply design, but intelligent design, is justified before further information is acquired.

What is the difference between simple design and intelligent design?

Future space travellers would immediately make that supposition upon finding an artefact on a previously unvisited planet, even if no intelligent life were otherwise evident.

Okay, no problem. But that artefact would immediately lead to conjectures about the sort of intelligence that created it. They would not spend years looking at numerous artefact and eventually conclude design, and then move on to stage two, assessing what the intelligence was like. The two processes naturally go hand in hand. As they discover each possible artefact, they will consider whether it was designed at the same as they consider how it was made, what its purpose was and so on. Sometimes they may not be able to answer those questions, but no serious, scientific investigation starts off by saying the questions are irrelevant.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

But that artefact would immediately lead to conjectures about the sort of intelligence that created it. They would not spend years looking at numerous artefact and eventually conclude design, and then move on to stage two, assessing what the intelligence was like. The two processes naturally go hand in hand. As they discover each possible artefact, they will consider whether it was designed

That question is already answered. Any fool who sees inscribed symbols on an object found on another planet and has to think it might not be designed because natural forces might have caused the symbols and their sequential order qualifies as an atheist.

at the same as they consider how it was made, what its purpose was and so on. Sometimes they may not be able to answer those questions, but no serious, scientific investigation starts off by saying the questions are irrelevant.

The nature of the designer can be inferred from the nature of the data itself. It is secondary to making a design inference. If we are all agreed that DNA is designed then we can explore reasonable inferences based on the genetic code, nucleic acid function, DNA repair mechanisms…

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

Once he has done that he can be sure it must be “design” . Or an unknown natural cause.

I agree fully with you. However we have to ask ourselves the question which hypotheses fit data better based on the things that we know now. That also means that ID might be proven or shown to be wrong.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

ID is different, I know. Specifically, ID is different because the usual arguments rely of elimination, and claiming the default position.

Wrong. Test hypotheses against the same natural selection paradigm. The only thing eliminated would be the faulty concept of a sifter.

Indeed, we can see that in your comment “BTW, let me know when you identify the blind watchmaker who utilized a selection pathway to the first cell” , which seems to say we should accept ID because the naturalistic explanation is lacking.

You missed my point which was that your own blind designer remains unidentified. If questions about the designer are legit then the BTW question is right on target.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

The nature of the designer can be inferred from the nature of the data itself.

That is pretty much my point. There is no scientific reason (as opposed to political reason) to divorce determining the existence of the designer to determining the nature of the designer. The same data are used for both.

Pix: ID is different, I know. Specifically, ID is different because the usual arguments rely of elimination, and claiming the default position.
Bradford: Wrong. Test hypotheses against the same natural selection paradigm. The only thing eliminated would be the faulty concept of a sifter.

Are you saying my claim is wrong because, while ID arguments rely on elimination, this is no different to other hypotheses?

You missed my point which was that your own blind designer remains unidentified. If questions about the designer are legit then the BTW question is right on target.

Presumaby you appreciate that the blind designer is just a metaphor, and what you want is the mechanism that produces the diversity of life seen today? That would be the processes of inheritance, variation and selection. They are actually pretty well identified.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

I agree fully with you. However we have to ask ourselves the question which hypotheses fit data better based on the things that we know now. That also means that ID might be proven or shown to be wrong.

That is how it should be done, yes. But the classic ID arguments – the EF, IC structures and CSI come to mind – make no attempt at an ID hypothesis, no attempt to fit data to a hypothesis. All they do is claim Darwinian evolution could not do it, then insert ID as the default. And such arguments do not allow ID to be proven wrong. If it can be shown that Darwinian-type evolution can produce CSI, it would still be possible that ID was true.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

Are you saying my claim is wrong because, while ID arguments rely on elimination, this is no different to other hypotheses?

They don’t rely on elimination. There is nothing to eliminate when a theory rests on illusory evidence (see below).

You missed my point which was that your own blind designer remains unidentified. If questions about the designer are legit then the BTW question is right on target.

Presumaby you appreciate that the blind designer is just a metaphor, and what you want is the mechanism that produces the diversity of life seen today? That would be the processes of inheritance, variation and selection. They are actually pretty well identified.

Sorry, but that does not cut it. There is none of the above until life first exists. Pathways to life invoking the above are non-existent. There is nothing to eliminate. Paley’s argument was never dealt with directly. The argument against Paley has been: “Assume that a watch already exists which can be adjusted and modified in the following ways. As to how the watch got there, we’ll issue a promissory note on that one. Get back to us if we find the answer.”

teleologist
13 years ago

If you’re trolling you are a waste of time and I’m surprised these bloggers put up with that. Pixie is a he?

To borrow a phrase that my friend Salvador likes to use — Pixie is good for “batting practice” , but it does get old. 😀

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

One of the interesting things about abiogenesis is that it is based on things we know – the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature, and I suspect that does give it an edge over the ID claim.

ID is based on “the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature.” That’s how inferences are made.

How would you decide it was a murder without at the same time determining something about how the murder was done?

Irrelevant to my point that establishing the designed event preceeds speculation as to whodunnit. Prove Teleologist wrong by acknowledging the design and I’ll gladly proceed to the next step. If you’re trolling you are a waste of time and I’m surprised these bloggers put up with that. Pixie is a he?

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

The difference between ID and science is that sience is actually looking for the answer – there are a of of scientists working on abiogenesis right now – while ID declares the questions on the nature of the designer and the design process to be irrelevant. Science offers the promissory note, and does the work to attempt to fulfil the promise. ID makes excuses for why it does not have to.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

inunison, bradford and other posters, you must not take Pixie seriously and try to reason with him. He is not interested in logic or sincere debates like others who have visited this blog. Pixie is only interested in obfuscating a thread until the readers lose interest. Therefore it is important to expose Pixie for what he is doing. From now on I will only respond to Pixie by pointing out his tactics with this information page .

Ah, nice. A whole post dedicated to my character assassination. Poisoning the well, and ad hom. too. Ooh, and no chance for me to defend myself. How very Christian. I guess that is what I get for asking Tel to support his laughable claim that creationists are “Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists” (Post 15). So much easier to make false accusations on a closed thread, than find a creationist who is a strict empirical evidentialist!

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

The difference between ID and science is that sience is actually looking for the answer – there are a of of scientists working on abiogenesis right now –

Wrong. The difference between “scientific” ideologues and those who favor a truthful answer, no matter where it leads, is the former group restricts a range of acceptable conclusions in advance of testing. The amount of scientists working with a concept has nothing to do with the viability of it.

while ID declares the questions on the nature of the designer and the design process to be irrelevant.

I said they were relevant once design has been inferred. You don’t start looking for the one who designed a murder without a murder. If you are ready to acknowledge the reality of design, we can discuss what conclusions can be drawn as to the designer’s nature based on the data. If you wish to harp on false objections, then keep repeating the above mantra.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

Wrong. The difference between “scientific” ideologues and those who favor a truthful answer, no matter where it leads, is the former group restricts a range of acceptable conclusions in advance of testing. The amount of scientists working with a concept has nothing to do with the viability of it.

If there are a load of scientists – or even just one – researching a concept using the scientific method, then that is scientific research. Sure, that does not of itself make the concept any more true.

Scientists have some idea of how abiogenesis happened, and have done science to support that, but it would be fair to say that at the moments there are some holes in that knowledge. One of the interesting things about abiogenesis is that it is based on things we know – the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature, and I suspect that does give it an edge over the ID claim.

I said they were relevant once design has been inferred. You don’t start looking for the one who designed a murder without a murder.

How would you decide it was a murder without at the same time determining something about how the murder was done?

teleologist
13 years ago

inunison, bradford and other posters, you must not take Pixie seriously and try to reason with him. He is not interested in logic or sincere debates like others who have visited this blog. Pixie is only interested in obfuscating a thread until the readers lose interest. Therefore it is important to expose Pixie for what he is doing. From now on I will only respond to Pixie by pointing out his tactics with this information page .

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Teleologist, I guess what you are saying is either I agree I was naughty, or get banned. Sounds like blackmail to me, and as a point of principle I do not submit to blackmail. Besides which, I disagree; I stand by all my posts. But you did not expact me to comply, did you? This is an excuse to get me banned.

Interesting that top of the list of misdemeanors on that page (the one I am not allowed to defend my character on) is the quoting-mining accusation. Hopefully anyone reading the linked thread will notice that you had to change the details of the accusation as it became apparent you had misread what I meant. Of course, in your head it still had to be quote-mining however I represented Behe, eh?

And how does this compare to your laughable claim that “Creationists are strict empirical evidentialists”? You know the one, the claim you have so failed to suppport that your only choice is to ban me? Ooh, and there is the claim by Inunison that common descent can produce something other than a nested hierarchy, and yet when he is challenged, he cannot produce a single example. And his bizarre claim that in the OP to this thread “there was not a trace of offense in my post nor any kind of accusations“, for a thread entitled “Double standard”; that sure sounds like an accusation to me. I cannot help think that you want to ban me because I ask too many embarassing questions.

Oh, and thanks to Salvador for the comment, I would expect no more from a guy who used to quietly delete threads at ARN if he was losing an argument, and when that got stopped he invented a rule to stop his opponents even posting on his threads.

So I guess you guys can go back to your self-congratulatory back-slapping, without fear of being asked to support your claims. Just please do not delude yourselves that what you discuss here is anything to do with science.

Ironic this happened on a thread called “Double Standard”.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

ID is based on “the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature.” That’s how inferences are made.

That is not too accurate, is it? Abiogenesis is based solely on the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature, while ID invokes an unknown intelligence as well. Surely the latter is a significant part of ID?

Or are you referring to the eliminative arguments? ID is based on the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature, and from these the inference is made that natural processes could not have done it… Therefore it must have been God? You must believe mankind has an incredible knowledge of the interaction of atoms and molecules to be able to make that determination. We do not. Consider Dembski’s probability calculation for the bacterial flagellum for how very far we have to go (his calculation ignored evolution for one thing).

B: I said they were relevant once design has been inferred. You don’t start looking for the one who designed a murder without a murder.
P: How would you decide it was a murder without at the same time determining something about how the murder was done?
B: Irrelevant to my point that establishing the designed event preceeds speculation as to whodunnit. Prove Teleologist wrong by acknowledging the design and I’ll gladly proceed to the next step.

You do not look for the murderer in step one, no, but you inevitably collect information about him even while you determine it was murder. If you observe a gunshot wound on the corpse, you infer design, but the evidence that allowed you to determine design has already told you something about the design process, i.e., shot by a gun, and thus something about the designer, he shot a gun at the victim. Sure, that is not much about the designer, but it is a start. ID denies that, and declares it irrelevant.

And as soon as you have one bit of evidence, you look further for what that evidence tells you about the designer. What sort of gun, where was it fired from, and so on. Is there any evidence for ID? If so, why has no one followed up on it to see what it tells you about the designer? Because ID has declared that question to be off-limits.

These are tricky issues, so you will probably want to join the crowd and call me a troll, rather than have to deal with them – I understand that.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford, see my second paragraph in my previous post to you. “Or are you referring to…”

Also, how do we know that the laws of nature alone do not generate encoding conventions and information ex nihilo? Indeed, does anyone claim the laws of nature generated an encoding convention (decoding, perhaps, but not encoding)? And what do you mean by information, anyway? I guess you realise there are numerous definitions, some requiring an intelligent agent and some not, so this is not a trivial question. Is this Shannon information, or complexity or what? I think the laws of nature do generate information according to some definitions.

I have started a thread at ARN that is mildly related to what we were talking about earlier, by the way.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

What do you think it means? Any configuration of nucleotides that enhances reproductive capacity would qualify.

Okay, so you are still talking about genetic information, just not in DNA. I am not sure why you could not spell that out, instead of using the term “precellar” as though that somehow tells me something.

The difficulty is experimental results do not show a natural acquisition of such properties in self-replicators.

Sounds like interesting research, do you have a link?

So working with already designed RNA would have to suffice. Decay is the prediction. It is observed in cells whose repair mechanisms are disabled. It should appear in extra-cellular nucleic acids as well.

But if the rate of decay is slow enough, that does not matter. If each cell has a 30% change of a fatal mutation before reproducing, then life will continue, because cells reproduce faster than they mutate. And that sort of rapid mutation is going to hit upon more stable options sooner rather than later, so you will quickly get better and better replicators.

Suppose in the pre-biotic world the formation of replicators is a likely event (that is, the chances of the right precursors coming together is billions to one, but the huge number of precursor molecules in a teaspoon of prebiotic soup is immense, and you have millions of years for this to happen, so at the macroscopic scale, it happens innumerable times). Some replicators mutate a lot, and die early. Some mutate slower, and survive. Hey, maybe it is just that one replicator was lucky and hit upon a couple of vital mutations, before the fatal ones got too frequent.

The answer is that we do not know what might or might not have happened back then. Some people are doing scientific research to learn more. Other people are doing probability calculations based on assumptions of events we know next to nothing about, deciding the probability is extremely low for the scenario they do not like, and without doing the calculation for the probability of their preferred scenario, declare that scenario to be the alternative by default. Check the OP to see how we label those two groups of people…

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

ID is based on “the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature.” That’s how inferences are made.

That is not too accurate, is it? Abiogenesis is based solely on the interaction of atoms and molecules, under the laws of nature, while ID invokes an unknown intelligence as well. Surely the latter is a significant part of ID?

Intelligence is invoked presicely because laws of nature alone to not generate encoding conventions and information ex nihilo.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

I think the laws of nature do generate information according to some definitions.

Thanks for your opinion. This is testable. Information has to be retained before it can accumulate. An ID hypothesis holds that this does not occur in the absence of genomic repair mechanisms. This would hold in a precellular world as well. The evidence is overwhelming on a cellular level.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Thanks for your opinion. This is testable. Information has to be retained before it can accumulate. An ID hypothesis holds that this does not occur in the absence of genomic repair mechanisms. This would hold in a precellular world as well. The evidence is overwhelming on a cellular level.

I assume you are talking specifically about genetic information? It might have been useful to state that. People around here have a nasty habit of, on the one hand, accusing me of misrepresentation, while, on the other hand, being rather vague about what they are talking about. But if you are talking about genetic information, what does this mean in a precellular world?

Clearly the world is far more complex today than 4 billion years ago. How big a genome are you thinking about back then? What is the probability of error for a short genome? If it is 70% for each cell divide, is that going to be show-stopper? I do not think so. Sure, just my opinion. I would be interested to hear where you think differently.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

But if you are talking about genetic information, what does this mean in a precellular world?

What do you think it means? Any configuration of nucleotides that enhances reproductive capacity would qualify. The difficulty is experimental results do not show a natural acquisition of such properties in self-replicators. So working with already designed RNA would have to suffice. Decay is the prediction. It is observed in cells whose repair mechanisms are disabled. It should appear in extra-cellular nucleic acids as well.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

But if the rate of decay is slow enough, that does not matter. If each cell has a 30% change of a fatal mutation before reproducing, then life will continue, because cells reproduce faster than they mutate.

This is a common misconception. Before replication, cells undergo an extensive checklist of to do tasks that include genomic integrity checks and corrections. If DNA damage is too extensive apoptosis or cellular suicide is opted for. Even if damage is repairable the cell division process is halted until repairs can be made. Most people do not realize how constant is the attacks on our DNA and how critical it is to maintain existing information. We cannot replicate our way out of genomic damage. The replication process itself engenders errors that need correcting.

Suppose in the pre-biotic world the formation of replicators is a likely event (that is, the chances of the right precursors coming together is billions to one, but the huge number of precursor molecules in a teaspoon of prebiotic soup is immense, and you have millions of years for this to happen, so at the macroscopic scale, it happens innumerable times).

Precursor molecules to DNA are limited to other nucleic acids and there is not good evidence for a prebiotic soup.

Some replicators mutate a lot, and die early. Some mutate slower, and survive. Hey, maybe it is just that one replicator was lucky and hit upon a couple of vital mutations, before the fatal ones got too frequent.

This sounds OK until you examine how repairs are actually made. There is an extensive array of enzymes needed to detect and repair damage. This clues us in on what a minimal amount of information is and how to set up an experiment. What is looked at is a directional arrow. Information must increase with time to mimick the standardized versions of natural history. Short circuits traced to genomic damage call for remedial intelligent input.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

This is a common misconception. Before replication, cells undergo an extensive checklist of to do tasks that include genomic integrity checks and corrections. If DNA damage is too extensive apoptosis or cellular suicide is opted for. Even if damage is repairable the cell division process is halted until repairs can be made. Most people do not realize how constant is the attacks on our DNA and how critical it is to maintain existing information. We cannot replicate our way out of genomic damage. The replication process itself engenders errors that need correcting.

Okay, but what are the numbers? How probable is the attack? What is a good estimate for the probability of such an attack in abiogenic conditions? What is the estimate based on? Do you actually have any figures, or is this just wishful thinking? Here is a good place to start. Research is going on to try to discover a solution, for example here and here, by the way.

Precursor molecules to DNA are limited to other nucleic acids and there is not good evidence for a prebiotic soup.

I know. That is why I was talking about precursors to replicators, and not specifically precursors to DNA.

This sounds OK until you examine how repairs are actually made. There is an extensive array of enzymes needed to detect and repair damage. This clues us in on what a minimal amount of information is and how to set up an experiment. What is looked at is a directional arrow. Information must increase with time to mimick the standardized versions of natural history. Short circuits traced to genomic damage call for remedial intelligent input.

Some scientists believe crystal growth is a simple way for early replicators to error correct. At the end of the day we do not know.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

Okay, but what are the numbers? How probable is the attack? What is a good estimate for the probability of such an attack in abiogenic conditions? What is the estimate based on? Do you actually have any figures, or is this just wishful thinking? Here is a good place to start. Research is going on to try to discover a solution, for example here and here, by the way.

Research is turning up more problems as I indicated at my blog this morning. The directional arrow for information change is headed in the wrong direction. But we all know that nothing can falsify the belief that life emerged in the absence of intelligent or telic influences. At least that is the faith of those who believe in abiogenesis despite evidence to the contrary. It is not science as envisioned by Popper.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

IDists believe intelligence is required. So what research are they doing?

This complaint is outdated since the DI funded lab hit the news. Go to your favorite MET website and come up with a new one.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

It is not a field of science. It is a faith. Organic chemistry presupposes what everyone knows exists- organic molecules. It does not certify theoretical outcomes in advance as does abiogenesis.

I think you kind of missed the point. No one “believes in organic chemistry”, no one thinks it is right or wrong. It is just a convenient way to collect together a load of ideas, theories and facts. Abiogenesis is just the same. Or theology, if you like. Theology collects together ideas about Islam, Buddism and Christianity. No one says (at least, no one should say) that theology itself is wrong, however much they disagree with some theological claims.

The reason abiogenesis is not scientific is it does not allow for the only possibility that can falsify it – an intelligent inference. As such it is not suitable to assess all possible causal pathways.

Abiogenesis researchers believe no intelligence is required, and do research on that basis. That seems like reasonable behaviour. IDists believe intelligence is required. So what research are they doing?

Have you heard of the bit?

Is that your rigorous definition? Okay…

Why are you concerned with information…

Because you keep bringing up as though it is important. But perhaps we can drop it now.

… when abio enthusiasts cannot generate RNA that has any of the functions we find in cells. To even perform an experiment illustrating the directional arrow one must intelligently design nucleic acid with functional sequences. OOLers cannot show such sequences arising from their fanciful soup.

It is early days. How can you be sure they will not do it some day?

You won’t believe anything other than that life arose in a prebiotic soup no matter what is shown to you.

Oh, I did not know that, thanks for the information.

Is it possible that other people might read this page, people perhaps more sympathetic to ID, who might have their minds changed if shown evidence? I know I will not change your mind, but I post links and explain things for anyone else passing by. They can look at Teleologist’s desparation to be rid of me, Inunison’s inability to prove common descent does not predict a nested hierarchy, your inability to define information, and draw their own conclusions.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

Do you actually have any figures, or is this just wishful thinking?

The wishful thinking is coming from your side. From the link you supplied:

Stochastic corrector model (Szathmory & Smith, 1995). In this proposed solution, a number of primitive molecules of say, two different types, are associated with each other in some way, perhaps by a capsule or “cell wall”.

LOL. The solution is a cell wall. Can you at least show how self-replicators arise first- not the intelligently designed ones used in labs.

If their reproductive success is enhanced by having, say, equal numbers in each cell, and reproduction occurs by division in which each of various types of molecules are randomly distributed among the “children”, the process of selection will promote such equal representation in the cells, even though one of the molecules may have a selective advantage over the other.

A conditional statement is phrased around the imagined cell wall- which came from where? What selection advantage might that be? This is why many scientists outside the OOL field do not take this all that seriously. There is an absence of rigor to supporting evidence.

Relaxed error threshold (Kun et. al., 2005) – Studies of actual ribozymes indicate that the mutation rate can be substantially less than first expected – on the order of 0.001 per base pair per replication. This may allow sequence lengths of the order of 7-8 thousand base pairs, sufficient to incorporate rudimentary error correction enzymes.

Before they are incorporated they must first come into existence. These enzymes are identifiable and they have amino acid components. The assumption that catalytic RNA fills this role is the real wishful thinking.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Bradford

Research is turning up more problems as I indicated at my blog this morning.

Your posts are liberally sprinkled with unsupported assertions, with never a link to back them up. Even when you mention your own blog, there is no link. Does it really exist? Can you think of a good reason I should believe you?

The directional arrow for information change is headed in the wrong direction.

Prove it! Oh, and be sure to define information. Did I mention there are numerous definitions out there?

But we all know that nothing can falsify the belief that life emerged in the absence of intelligent or telic influences. At least that is the faith of those who believe in abiogenesis despite evidence to the contrary. It is not science as envisioned by Popper.

It is not, no. It is a field of science, not a theory. You cannot falsify organic chemistry, because a field of science, not a theory. What you hope are falsifiable are the theories within the field. And even then, all the abiogenesis theories can do is say how it might have happened. That is the nature of the problem, and hardly evidence that it is wrong.

LOL. The solution is a cell wall. Can you at least show how self-replicators arise first- not the intelligently designed ones used in labs.

I cannot. But scientists are working on it. Doing real science, proposing hypothesis, testing those hypotheses.

What is ID doing? As far as I can see ID is making a very dubious probability calculation for abiogenesis, but for reason ID gets a by.

A conditional statement is phrased around the imagined cell wall- which came from where? What selection advantage might that be? This is why many scientists outside the OOL field do not take this all that seriously. There is an absence of rigor to supporting evidence.

How does it compare to the evidence for ID? You seem incapable of defining information, though you invoke it often enough, then you complain of a lack of rigour?

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

It is not, no. It is a field of science, not a theory. You cannot falsify organic chemistry

It is not a field of science. It is a faith. Organic chemistry presupposes what everyone knows exists- organic molecules. It does not certify theoretical outcomes in advance as does abiogenesis. The reason abiogenesis is not scientific is it does not allow for the only possibility that can falsify it – an intelligent inference. As such it is not suitable to assess all possible causal pathways.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

How does it compare to the evidence for ID? You seem incapable of defining information, though you invoke it often enough, then you complain of a lack of rigour?

Have you heard of the bit? Why are you concerned with information when abio enthusiasts cannot generate RNA that has any of the functions we find in cells. To even perform an experiment illustrating the directional arrow one must intelligently design nucleic acid with functional sequences. OOLers cannot show such sequences arising from their fanciful soup.

Munson
13 years ago

I think you kind of missed the point. No one “believes in organic chemistry” , no one thinks it is right or wrong. It is just a convenient way to collect together a load of ideas, theories and facts. Abiogenesis is just the same.

Noone made the claim that people believe in organic chemistry. It looks like you missed the point. Organic chemistry is a field of study because no outcomes are specified in advance of research. Despite decades of research not showing that life arises and trillions of life forms observed to come only from other life forms abiogenesis insists that life comes from non-life. This is not science. This is doctrine. Science is built on empirical evidence. Abiogenesis is built on personal beliefs. The facts collected do not support the belief that life arises without intelligent guidance. They do not even show that a single nucleic acid arises that has any capacity to encode any cellular function. The essential nature of error detection and repair mechanisms is well documented and known to scientists. Noone seriously doubts that death results when they are not functional.

Bradford
Bradford
13 years ago

Even when you mention your own blog, there is no link. Does it really exist? Can you think of a good reason I should believe you?

You won’t believe anything other than that life arose in a prebiotic soup no matter what is shown to you.

http://intelligent-sequences.blogspot.com/

inunison
inunison
13 years ago

Hi The Pixie,

If teleologist is so desperate to get rid of you you wouldn’t be able to post here. If I was unable to show what you asked for I would not repeatedly link to relevant data that simply go against your adopted dogma. And now Bradford is all of the sudden unable to define information (you even question existence of his blog). But, hey I just realized, this whole thread is filed under humor.

However Information is:

From Wikipedia:

Information is a message, something to be communicated from the sender to the receiver, as opposed to noise, which is something that inhibits the flow of communication or creates misunderstanding. If information is viewed merely as a message, it does not have to be accurate. It may be a lie, or just a sound of a kiss. This model assumes a sender and a receiver, and does not attach any significance to the idea that information is something that can be extracted from an environment, e.g., through observation or measurement. Information in this sense is simply any message the sender chooses to create.

This view assumes neither accuracy nor directly communicating parties, but instead assumes a separation between an object and its representation, as well as the involvement of someone capable of understanding this relationship. This view seems therefore to require a conscious mind.

Information is dependent upon, but usually unrelated to and separate from, the medium or media used to express it. In other words, the position of a theoretical series of bits, or even the output once interpreted by a computer or similar device, is unimportant, except when someone or something is present to interpret the information. Therefore, a quantity of information is totally distinct from its medium.

What’s important here is 1) information always involves a sender and a receiver; 2) an encoding / decoding mechanism; 3) a convention of symbols (“code”) which represent something distinct from what those symbols are made of. A paragraph in a newspaper is made of ink and paper, but the sentence itself may say nothing about ink or paper.

It may be very helpful here to point out the difference between a pattern and a code. Patterns (snowflakes, crystals, hurricanes, tornados, rivers, coastlines) occur in nature all the time.

A code is “A system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages.” Examples of code include English, Chinese, computer languages, music, mating calls and radio signals. Codes always involve a system of symbols that represent ideas or plans.

All codes contain patterns, but not all patterns contain codes. Naturally occurring patterns do not contain code.

teleologist
13 years ago

If teleologist is so desperate to get rid of you you wouldn’t be able to post here.

Thank you inunison for recognizing that. I have a loose guideline for banning people — lewd languages, profanity or harassment of pro-ID guests and contributors. I have never banned anyone for harassing, insulting or criticizing me personally, but my ID guests are off limit.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Inunison

If teleologist is so desperate to get rid of you you wouldn’t be able to post here. If I was unable to show what you asked for I would not repeatedly link to relevant data that simply go against your adopted dogma. And now Bradford is all of the sudden unable to define information (you even question existence of his blog). But, hey I just realized, this whole thread is filed under humor.

To be honest, I suspect the blog does exist, I just find it odd that he has such an aversion to supporting his claims with links. Maybe he just doers not want me posting there!

What’s important here is 1) information always involves a sender and a receiver; 2) an encoding / decoding mechanism; 3) a convention of symbols (” code” ) which represent something distinct from what those symbols are made of. A paragraph in a newspaper is made of ink and paper, but the sentence itself may say nothing about ink or paper.

Could you talk me through who (or what; are you allowed a what?) the sender is for the genetic code, and who the receiver is? What is the encoding mechanism? I can see a decoding mechanism, if we allow that there is a code, but not encoding. Is there a convention of symbols even? Surely a convention implies intelligent agents being in agreement.

It may be very helpful here to point out the difference between a pattern and a code. Patterns (snowflakes, crystals, hurricanes, tornados, rivers, coastlines) occur in nature all the time.
A code is “A system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages.” Examples of code include English, Chinese, computer languages, music, mating calls and radio signals. Codes always involve a system of symbols that represent ideas or plans.
All codes contain patterns, but not all patterns contain codes. Naturally occurring patterns do not contain code.

Ah, so genetic code is actually just a pattern, given that it occurs so much in nature, and does not represent letters or numbers.

The Pixie
The Pixie
13 years ago

Munson

Welcome to the debate. When I first looked, I thought you were Inunison! Must get my eyes tested.

Noone made the claim that people believe in organic chemistry.

Exactly.

It looks like you missed the point. Organic chemistry is a field of study because no outcomes are specified in advance of research.

No, no. It is a field of study because it collects together a whole bunch of related stuff under one label. It is really as simple as that.

As it happens, outcomes usually are specified in advance of research in organic chemistry. There are these things called “research proposals”, when scientists say what outcome they are looking for, and how they intend to research it. Chemists make observations, and based on the observations devise hypotheses. Based on the hypotheses they make predictions – that is, outcomes in advance of the research – and then do the research to test those predictions. In industry, chemists will be trying to make a certain material or compound, say a heat resistent polymer or a new pesticide. The outcome of the research – the polymer or pesticide – is specified, then they do the research to make it.

Despite decades of research not showing that life arises and trillions of life forms observed to come only from other life forms abiogenesis insists that life comes from non-life.

But they have made some progress.

This is not science. This is doctrine.

No, doctrine is when you have already decided abiogenesis cannot happen, and do not need to do any experiments to prove it. Luckily for you, Bradford will soon provide links to some ID research to show they are doing these experiments. Though I must admit, I am not holding my breath.

Science is built on empirical evidence. Abiogenesis is built on personal beliefs.

That is a little simplistic. Science starts wth a personal belief, which gets formalised as a hypothesis, which is used to generate predictions, and the predictions are tested giving empirical evidence (as opposed to non-empirical evidence is that… what would that be?). ID is at the personal belief stage (though we await Bradford’s links with baited breath for developments there). There are theories in abiogenesis that have gone a few more steps towards being science.

The facts collected do not support the belief that life arises without intelligent guidance.

The facts do not support the belief that there was even any intelligence back then, but there you go.

The essential nature of error detection and repair mechanisms is well documented and known to scientists. Noone seriously doubts that death results when they are not functional.

I do! I would like to see some data for simple bacteria about what happens when the error correction is turned off. What research are you basing your claim on?