Thursday, November 25, 2010

Eugene Koonin: The Pot Calls the Kettle Black

A paper written by an evolutionist from earlier this year, erroneously claiming to confirm common descent, has now been rebuked by other evolutionists. Unfortunately this is not a healthy sign of evolutionists turning to science, for the new paper is just as unscientific as the first.

In the new paper, entitled “The common ancestry of life,” evolutionists Eugene Koonin and Yuri Wolf state that “the evidence in support of [Universal Common Ancestry] provided by comparative genomics is overwhelming.” This non scientific claim is typical in the evolution literature. Evolutionists have plenty of arguments to back it up, and these arguments illustrate the metaphysics which run deep in evolutionary thought.

One of the chief problems with the original paper was its claim to have complete knowledge of all possible explanations for the origins of a set of proteins it analyzed. That is, of course, a non scientific claim. It is one of those little known, unspoken and unseen claims with huge ramifications. If I can make up a list of all possible solutions to a problem, and conveniently all are clearly false except my favorite, then I can claim my favorite to be the right answer—a fact.

This type of contrastive argument runs all through the evolutionary genre. It assumes there are no alternatives of which I have not conceived. And it is not limited to evolutionary thought. Philosopher Kyle Stanford has shown the importance of this problem of unconceived alternatives.

Evolutionists can present scientific-sounding results that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’re right. And they are right, if their claim is true. But that takes us outside of science, right where evolutionary thought began.

In committing itself to this metaphysic, the original paper falls squarely within evolutionary thought. And the new paper by Koonin and Wolf, though critical of the first paper, not surprisingly makes the same metaphysical commitment. Evolutionists argue amongst themselves about specks while missing the beam. Here is the relevant passage from the Koonin and Wolf paper:

The alternative to UCA [Universal Common Ancestry] is convergent evolution of highly similar sequences of the universal proteins … Several lines of evidence indicate that convergence is not a viable explanation for the extensive sequence similarity that is observed among universal proteins. First, … We believe that together this evidence makes convergent evolution of the highly similar sequences in over 100 proteins that are confidently traced back to the putative Last Universal Cellular Ancestor (a highly conservative estimate) a virtual impossibility.

There you have it. The only alternative to universal common ancestry is convergent evolution which is a virtual impossibility. No matter that universal common ancestry repeatedly generates false predictions and calls for natural laws to perform all manner of heroics. It must be the right answer. After all, convergent evolution is even worse. As philosopher Elliot Sober admits in his explanation of, as he puts it, Darwin’s Principle, it is not that the likelihood of common descent is high, but rather that the likelihood of the alternative is so low. Religion drives science, and it matters.

195 comments:

  1. From your earlier post: "This new paper will be erroneously celebrated far and wide as yet a new level of certainty for evolution. Let the worship begin."

    Nice of you to follow up with a post about how these evolutionists have, instead of worshiping these results, analysed it and rejected it.

    And from their conclusion "A formal demonstration of the Universal Common Ancestry hypothesis has not been achieved and is unlikely to be feasible in principle. Nevertheless, the evidence in support of this hypothesis provided by comparative genomics is overwhelming. "

    I am curious though, how do you go about comparing the evidence for one hypothesis to another hypothesis that hasn't been conceived?

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  2. Bill Bigge:

    ===
    I am curious though, how do you go about comparing the evidence for one hypothesis to another hypothesis that hasn't been conceived?
    ===

    Whereas empiricists recognize epistemological limitation, one of the many curious things about rationalists is how they hold their need to know above such limitations.

    They must have their truths, one way or another. If the philosophy gets in the way, then damn the philosophy, they'll make up their own.

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  3. Hunter:

    This type of contrastive argument runs all through the evolutionary genre. It assumes there are no alternatives of which I have not conceived.

    Indeed, as Bill noted, not-yet-conceived hypotheses are rather difficult to test. The only way out would be to conceive a new hypothesis. The door is wide open; come on in.

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  4. Who are those echtst empiricists that can get through their days hypothesis-free? Maybe they can be recognized by their utter confusion.

    From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Karl Popper:

    …all observation is selective and theory-laden—there are no pure or theory-free observations. In this way he destabilises the traditional view that science can be distinguished from non-science on the basis of its inductive methodology; in contradistinction to this, Popper holds that there is no unique methodology specific to science. Science, like virtually every other human, and indeed organic, activity, Popper believes, consists largely of problem-solving.

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  5. empirical evidence trumps all else in science!

    ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent - Paul Nelson - video - short version
    http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

    Estimating the size of the bacterial pan-genome – Pascal Lapierre and J. Peter Gogarten – 2008
    Excerpt: (i.e. the bacterial protein universe is of infinite size); a finding supported through extrapolation using a Kezdy-Swinbourne plot (Figure S3). This does not exclude the possibility that, with many more sampled genomes, the number of novel genes per additional genome might ultimately decline; however, our analyses and those presented in Ref. [11] do not provide any indication for such a decline and confirm earlier observations that many new protein families with few members remain to be discovered.
    http://www.paulyu.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Estimating-the-size-of-the-bacterial-pan-genome.pdf

    Human ORFan count:
    Excerpt: Applying this technique to nearly 22,000 genes in the Ensembl gene catalog, the analysis revealed 1,177 “orphan” DNA sequences.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/ethics-and-the-evolution-of-the-synapse/#comment-367842

    'Again I would like to emphasize, I’m not arguing Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems, the data on malaria, and the other examples, are a observation that it does not. In science observation beats theory all the time. So Professor Dawkins can speculate about what he thinks Darwinian processes could do, but in nature Darwinian processes have not been shown to do anything in particular.' Michael Behe - 46 minute mark of this video:

    Edge Of Evolution:
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/199326-1

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  6. A formal demonstration of the Universal Common Ancestry hypothesis has not been achieved and is unlikely to be feasible in principle. Nevertheless, the evidence in support of this hypothesis provided by comparative genomics is overwhelming.

    So, the takeaway is that the evidence supporting the hypothesis of Universal Common Ancestry is "overwhelming."

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  7. Cornelius,
    To back up what Bill and Pedant argue, I just want to point out (again) that all of science is based on contrastive reasoning and ignores unconceived alternative hypotheses. For example, a universally used statistical test like a t-test determines the likelihood of a hypothesis being correct by contrasting it with the likelihood of a null hypothesis being correct. There conceivably could be thousands of other unknown hypotheses, but the researcher ignores them and tests only 2, and positive results are universally seen as good evidence in favor of his hypothesis.

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  8. "As philosopher Elliot Sober admits in his explanation of, as he puts it, Darwin’s Principle, it is not that the likelihood of common descent is high, but rather that the likelihood of the alternative is so low"

    Just like in every statisticaL test; it is not that the probability of the alternative hypothesis being correct is so high, it is that the probability of the null hypothesis being correct is so low (p<0.05, usually).

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  9. Cornelius,
    "Whereas empiricists recognize epistemological limitation, one of the many curious things about rationalists is how they hold their need to know above such limitations."

    You really got a Ph.D. in biophysics so you can spout such gibberish? If you're saying that scientists think that they are discovering The Truth when they do their research, you should actually talk to a few. I think you would find that most have much more modest goals, and recognize the provisional nature of their findings.

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  10. Cornelius,

    I am curious. For the sake of clarity, what would you consider persuasive scientific proof of a)evolution, and b) universal common descent?

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  11. "For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. I greatly respect the work of my colleagues who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world. Although Darwin's mechanism-natural selection working on variation- might explain many things, however, I do not believe it explains molecular life. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small might change the way we view the less small."
    Darwin's Black Box, M. Behe (1996), Page 5&6

    "A rigorous theory of intelligent design will be a useful tool for the advancement of science in an area that has been moribund for decades."
    ibid, page 231

    It has been over 14 years and we are still waiting for evidence of "...a useful tool for the advancement of science".

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  12. Don't hold your breath, TP. Cornelius Hunter seems uninterested in providing positive evidence for ID. Instead, he prefers to bring down science to the level of religion. It's sad, but Cornelius might lose his job if he doesn't comply with the demands of his biblical propaganda employer. Dembski almost lost his job with his current employer when he was a little bit critical about Genesis. Bwahaha.

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  13. Does Intelligent Design Help Science Generate New Knowledge?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/11/does_intelligent_design_help_s040781.html

    Below are about a dozen or so examples of areas where ID is helping science to generate new knowledge. Each example includes citations to mainstream scientific articles and publications by ID proponents that discuss this research:

    # ID has inspired scientists to do research which has detected high levels of complex and specified information in biology in the form of fine-tuning of protein sequences. This has practical implications not just for explaining biological origins but also for engineering enzymes and anticipating / fighting the future evolution of diseases. (See Douglas D. Axe, "Extreme Functional Sensitivity to Conservative Amino Acid Changes on Enzyme Exteriors," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 301:585-595 (2000); Douglas D. Axe, "Estimating the Prevalence of Protein Sequences Adopting Functional Enzyme Folds," Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 341:1295-1315 (2004); Douglas D. Axe, "The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds," Bio-Complexity, Vol. 2010).)

    # ID has inspired scientists to seek and find instances of fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics to allow for life, leading to a variety of fine-tuning arguments including the Galactic Habitable Zone. This has huge implications for proper cosmological models of the universe, hints at proper avenues for successful "theories of everything" which must accommodate fine-tuning, and other implications for theoretical physics. (See Guillermo Gonzalez et al., "Refuges for Life in a Hostile Universe," Scientific American (October, 2001); D. Halsmer, J. Asper, N. Roman, T. Todd, "The Coherence of an Engineered World," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(1):47-65 (2009).)

    # ID has inspired scientists to understand intelligence as a scientifically studyable cause of biological complexity, and to understand the types of information it generates. (See Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); W.A. Dembski, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); A.C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy -- Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009).)

    # ID has inspired both experimental and theoretical research into how limitations on the ability of Darwinian evolution to evolve traits that require multiple mutations to function. This of course has practical implications for fighting problems like antibiotic resistance or engineering bacteria. (See Michael Behe & David W. Snoke, "Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues," Protein Science, Vol. 13 (2004); Ann K Gauger, Stephanie Ebnet, Pamela F Fahey, Ralph Seelke, "Reductive Evolution Can Prevent Populations from Taking Simple Adaptive Paths to High Fitness," Bio-Complexity, Vol. 2010).

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  14. # ID has inspired theoretical research into the information-generative powers of Darwinian searches, leading to the finding that the search abilities of Darwinian processes are limited, which has practical implications for the viability of using genetic algorithms to solve problems. (See: William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, Vol. 39(5):1051-1061 (September, 2009); Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, and Robert J. Marks II, "Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (October, 2009); William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Bernoulli's Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, (October, 2009); Winston Ewert, George Montanez, William Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle," 42nd South Eastern Symposium on System Theory, 290-297(March, 2010); Douglas D. Axe, Brendan W. Dixon, Philip Lu, "Stylus: A System for Evolutionary Experimentation Based on a Protein/Proteome Model with Non-Arbitrary Functional Constraints," PLoS One, Vol. 3(6):e2246 (June 2008).)

    # ID has inspired scientists to study proper measures of biological information, leading to concepts like complex and specified information or functional sequence complexity. This allows us to better quantify complexity and understand what features are, or are not, within the reach of Darwinian evolution. (See, for example, Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); Kirk K. Durston, David K. Y. Chiu, David L. Abel, Jack T. Trevors, "Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins," Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, Vol. 4:47 (2007); Chiu, David K.Y., and Lui, Thomas W.H., "Integrated Use of Multiple Interdependent Patterns for Biomolecular Sequence Analysis," International Journal of Fuzzy Systems, Vol 4(3):766-775 (September, 2002).)

    # ID has inspired scientists to investigate computer-like properties of DNA and the genome in the hopes of better understanding genetics and the origin of biological systems. (See Richard v. Sternberg, "DNA Codes and Information: Formal Structures and Relational Causes," Acta Biotheoretica, Vol. 56(3):205-232 (September, 2008); Ø. A. Voie, "Biological function and the genetic code are interdependent," Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, Vol 28(4) (2006): 1000-1004; David L. Abel & Jack T. Trevors, "Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models," Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 3:211-228 (2006).)

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  15. # ID has inspired scientists to see life as being front-loaded with information such that it is designed to evolve, expecting (and now finding!) previously unanticipated "out of place" genes in various taxa. (See, for example, Michael Sherman, "Universal Genome in the Origin of Metazoa: Thoughts About Evolution," Cell Cycle, Vol. 6(15):1873-1877 (August 1, 2007); Albert D. G. de Roos, "Origins of introns based on the definition of exon modules and their conserved interfaces," Bioinformatics, Vol. 21(1):2-9 (2005); Albert D. G. de Roos, "Conserved intron positions in ancient protein modules," Biology Direct, Vol. 2:7 (2007); Albert D. G. de Roos, "The Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell Based on Conservation of Existing Interfaces," Artificial Life, Vol. 12:513-523 (2006).)

    # ID helps scientists explain the cause of the widespread feature of "convergent evolution," including convergent genetic evolution. (See Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, "Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity," in Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., Dynamical Genetics (2004); Nelson, P. & J. Wells, "Homology in biology: Problem for naturalistic science and prospect for intelligent design," in Darwinism Design and Public Education, Pp. 303-322 (Michigan State University Press, 2003); John A. Davison, "A Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis," Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum 98 (2005): 155-166.)

    # ID helps scientists understand causes of explosions of biodiversity (as well as mass extinction) in the history of life. (See Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, "Dynamic genomes, morphological stasis, and the origin of irreducible complexity," in Valerio Parisi, Valeria De Fonzo, and Filippo Aluffi-Pentini eds., Dynamical Genetics (2004); Stephen C. Meyer, "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 117(2):213-239 (2004); Meyer, S. C., Ross, M., Nelson, P. & P. Chien, "The Cambrian explosion: biology's big bang," in Darwinism Design and Public Education, Pp. 323-402 (Michigan State University Press, 2003).)

    # ID has inspired scientists to do various types of research seeking function for non-coding "junk"-DNA, allowing us to understand development and cellular biology. (See Jonathan Wells, "Using Intelligent Design Theory to Guide Scientific Research," Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design, 3.1.2 (Nov. 2004); A.C. McIntosh, "Information and Entropy -- Top-Down or Bottom-Up Development in Living Systems?," International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, Vol. 4(4):351-385 (2009); Josiah D. Seaman and John C. Sanford, "Skittle: A 2-Dimensional Genome Visualization Tool," BMC Informatics, Vol. 10:451 (2009).)

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  16. # ID has inspired born-again lunatics to cut-and-paste loads of junk on blogs.

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  17. Troy:

    "Don't hold your breath, TP. Cornelius Hunter seems uninterested in providing positive evidence for ID. Instead, he prefers to bring down science to the level of religion. It's sad, but Cornelius might lose his job if he doesn't comply with the demands of his biblical propaganda employer. Dembski almost lost his job with his current employer when he was a little bit critical about Genesis."
    =======

    Interesting.

    The above post perfectly illustrates what this whole debate garbage is honestly all about in the first place. This never has been about Science. Science is a front, it's a crutch, an excuse for behavioral issues. For the majority it's about one intellect vrs another and who can shout down an opponant and win this stupid game playing. There's no interest in any truth here.

    I honestly believe that if they(probably includes YOU) could get away with it, most of Cornelius's foes here would just as soon take an AK47 Assault Rifle and blow the man away and end what they consider this incessant mental torment that frustrates their comfortable insecure worldview.
    --------

    Troy:

    "Bwahaha."
    ======

    This is funny, when it's all said and done, this is the best any of you can usually come up with.

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  18. Troy:

    "# ID has inspired born-again lunatics to cut-and-paste loads of junk on blogs."
    =======

    Spoken like a true cornered and wounded animal with nowhere else to run and hide. Why don't you just murder him as well and be done with the torment ??? It's okay for you to cut N paste, but anyone else giving references is demonized and vilified. And it's ironic because your side is constantly insisting evidence by condescendingly starting off sentences with "Please provide such evidences . . . " and then when they do you accuse them of cutting and pasting.

    Nice job Troy. Find any gems in your research for reversing Global Warming and Climate Change ??? Oh that's right, you could care less about Global Climate Change because you're trying to prove your god does exist because a lizard changed it's spots and grew a fur coat.

    *eyes rolling*

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  19. Cornelius Hunter,

    when I read you posts I always assume and hope that you are not only brining up the semantic issue of a fact in science not being an absolute truth but when it comes to theories and explanations something that is always open to revision.

    Aside from that when you talk about rationalists and empiricist, what do you really mean? Are nearly all evolutionary biologist rationalists in contrast to the rest of scientists that are all empiricists? Why would that be? And what about the strong majority of other scientists that accept evolution? Are they only being rationalists when it comes to the ToE but are empiricists the rest of the time?

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  20. Eocene I honestly believe that if they(probably includes YOU) could get away with it, most of Cornelius's foes here would just as soon take an AK47 Assault Rifle and blow the man away and end what they consider this incessant mental torment that frustrates their comfortable insecure worldview.

    Not that there was any doubt before, but you are a truly deranged individual.

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  21. Derick:

    "Not that there was any doubt before, but you are a truly deranged individual."
    ======

    Funny!!!

    I'm not the one who has aligned and allied myself with the spiritually dead ideology and proudly shouts it in public.

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  22. Derick Childress:

    " . . but you are a truly deranged individual."
    ======

    LOL - I almost forgot, this is after all the

    "The Pot Calls the Kettle Black" comment thread.

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  23. Eocene Funny!!! I'm not the one who has aligned and allied myself with the spiritually dead ideology and proudly shouts it in public.

    It's much worse than that, you think people who disagree with you would literally murder their opponents in cold blood, given the chance. Like I said, you are delusional.

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  24. Derick Childress:

    "It's much worse than that, you think people who disagree with you would literally murder their opponents in cold blood, given the chance. Like I said, you are delusional."
    ======

    You need to take a close look at the people you choose to keep company with and actually look at their hate speech. Yes, not all, but many of your brothers would defintely do it if they had opportunity. Go ahead and save them Derick. You made your own bed, now sleep in it.

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  25. Eocene: Yes, not all, but many of your brothers would defintely do it [murder opponents in cold blood with an AK-47] if they had opportunity.

    You are completely, thoroughly insane.

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  26. Childish:

    "You are completely, thoroughly insane."
    ======

    "Pot Calling Kettle Black"

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  27. Eocene wrote:

    I honestly believe that if they(probably includes YOU) could get away with it, most of Cornelius's foes here would just as soon take an AK47 Assault Rifle and blow the man away and end what they consider this incessant mental torment that frustrates their comfortable insecure worldview.

    Yes, not all, but many of your brothers would defintely do it if they had opportunity.


    Delusional is the technical term.

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. CH wrote:

    Unfortunately this is not a healthy sign of evolutionists turning to science, for the new paper is just as unscientific as the first.

    Using your supposed definition, please explain how it's scientific to assume the numerous empirical observations of phenomena we attribute to gravity is actually caused by one unified force that operates naturally.

    For example, we must assume that phenomena that causes apples to fall and causes the motions of the planets is not actually caused by two different forces that just so happen to act the same way. In fact, we must assume the actual cause does not change during from observation to observation. We also must assume that phenomena we attribute to gravity isn't actually caused by one or more intelligent agents that just so happened to have constantly pushed had pulled on objects accruing to their mass for billions of years, but might change their mind a million years from now, one thousand years from now or even 10 seconds from now. We simply cannot know these things from empirical observations alone.

    In other words, gravity is NOT an empirical observation. At best, you have a number of observations of phenomena. That they are actually caused by the same force is a rational theory.

    Furthermore, the explanation of phenomena we attribute to gravity assumes there are no alternatives of which I have not conceived.

    Given the above, I was about to note that it was unclear why you're not ranting and raving about metaphorical fallacies involved in gravitational theory. But then I realized that your personal theological position mostly likely does not hold that an army of slide rule toting demons push and pull on objects due to their mass. Therefore, it's unlikely you do not consider the act of discarding this likely, yet logically possible, theory as metaphysical.

    If this is the case, this would be a clear example of hypocrisy on your part.

    So, again, I invite you to explain how gravity actually falls within the realm of science while evolution does not.

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  30. Oleg wrote:

    Delusional is the technical term.

    Eocene most likely assumes we would do this because we've aligned ourselves with what he considers the wrong side of the evolution / design debate.

    Eocence probably thinks design is so obvious that acceptance of evolutionary theory means we're either under the influence of evil forces or God has hardened our hearts to the extent that we would commit murder.

    Eocence, would that be an accurate assumption on my part? If not, then perhaps you could explain your comment.

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  31. Scott, Oleg,

    There's the distinct possibility that we're seeing the extreme consequences of black-and-white-thinking. It may be that Eocene's thought process is something along the lines of: "Well, I know I'm right about this topic, and I'm on the side of God; they disagree with me, so therefore they must on the side of Satan." I'm sure there are more complex factors than that, but I suppose only Eocene could explain the motivation for such a paranoid delusional statement.

    A less likely, but horrifying possibility is that he assumes that everyone thinks like him; that since he would have no qualms about murdering his 'enemies' given the chance, that his 'enemies' would do likewise. I don't think that's the case, but again, only he can explain himself.

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  32. Oleg:

    "Delusional is the technical term."
    ====

    Why don't you treat us to a shortened bedtime story of how Soviet Atheism use to take care of business in the good'ol days Mr Tchernyshyov ???
    ----

    Scott:

    "Eocene most likely assumes we would do this because we've aligned ourselves with what he considers the wrong side of the evolution / design debate."
    ====

    Seriously it's hardly been a debate at all.
    -----

    Childiesh:

    Scott, Oleg,

    "I don't think that's the case, but again, only he can explain himself."
    =====

    Once again, nice sucking up to your Panel of Peers.

    *wink*

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  33. second opinion:

    ===
    when you talk about rationalists and empiricist, what do you really mean?
    ===

    Rationalists place more emphasis on their axioms whereas empiricists may have fewer axioms, but in any case are more willing to forego their axioms. If the data seem to contradict the axiom, how hard do you hold onto the axiom, say by constructing increasingly elaborate and complex theories to explain the data, versus dropping the axiom?

    But the labels need to be handled with care. Theories and people don't always fit nicely. Aristetelian physics, for instance, began as fairly empirical, but by the 16th c. was quite rationalistic. David Hume is often thought of as an empiricist, and for good reason in certain areas, but sometimes was as rationalistic as they come. The philosophy textbooks categorize some thinkers as rationalists and empiricists, and no doubt often for good reason, but I think we're on safer ground speaking of particular ideas, movements, theories, etc as empirical or rationalistic.

    Also, it is more of a continuum than an either/or. You could argue that all ideas and theories require at least some axioms, and at the same time all follow the data and are willing to drop or at least tweak the axioms, to some extent. Nonetheless, there are tendencies, and often strong tendencies, toward one or the other. Speaking of rationalists and empiricists is probably something like speaking of massless rods or frictionless ball bearings. Useful for modeling but not to be taken absolutely literally.

    So when I use these terms, I do not mean them in the historical sense. That is, I do not say person X is a rationalist because the history of philosophy professor and textbooks say so. I prefer to say an idea or movement is rationalistic because it weighs heavily on certain, less than compelling, axioms.

    Here are an analogy. Consider the problem if histogramming data. You have a long list of numbers ranging between some minimum and maximum values, say 0 to 100. You have no idea how the numbers are distributed. Do they mostly fall into a couple of places, like 10-20 and 30-40? Are they uniformly distributed between 0 and 100? etc. So plot a histogram, which shows how many of the numbers fall into equally spaced bins, ranging from 0 to 100. Anyone who has ever done this knows how crucial is the choice of bin spacing. For instance, if the numbers are mostly between 10-20 and 30-40, yet you choose two bins, one from 0-50, and the other from 51-100, then you will completely miss the fact that there are two peaks between 0 and 50.

    OTH, if you choose too many bins, say each bin has a width of 0.0000001, then each bin will have either 0 or 1 number in it, and no trend will be evident. The resulting histogram is merely a tautology, telling you nothing more than what the original data told you.

    The trick is to find that happy medium. When you hit the right number/width of bins, then suddenly a clear and striking pattern reveals itself. You can think of this as increasing the number of degrees of freedom in your model of the data. Both too few, and too many, DOFS are misleading or useless.

    So in this analogy, rationalism is like having too few DOFs because it imposes its own ideas, not allowing you to discover what is in the data. Empiricism, OTH, is like having too many DOFs. Yes it follows the data, but fails to learn anything from it.

    Here is an example. Einstein said quantum mechanics was faulty because god doesn't play at dice. Obviously he imposed his own axiom, in this case about god, that constrained how the data were to be interpreted, and argued against QM.

    Notice that it is not clear that QM, if true, mandates that the world is truly random to god. Perhaps Einstein meant something closer to this. God wouldn't create a world that rests on a stochastic foundation, regardless of whether god is subject to that randomness or not.

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  34. second opinion:

    ===
    Are nearly all evolutionary biologist rationalists in contrast to the rest of scientists that are all empiricists?
    ===

    Evolutionary biologist are rationalists insofar as they are evolutionists. They may be, and likely are, more empiricist in the particular work they do. But here again, we need to be careful. At this point, 150+ years after Darwin, there is a tremendous amount of textbook orthodoxy, social pressure, grant pressure, etc, that muddies the water. Just as one can "learn" quantum mechanics without learning all the details, so too one can "learn" evolution, and that it is an obvious fact, without rigorously working through the reasons why. In fact, a great many biologists are unaware of the nuances of the claim that evolution is a fact. The earth is billions of years old and bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics. Evolution is obviously true.



    ===
    And what about the strong majority of other scientists that accept evolution? Are they only being rationalists when it comes to the ToE but are empiricists the rest of the time?
    ===

    Yes, that is entirely possible and I think often the case. In fact, privately they may not even accept the fact of evolution. Yes a strong majority accept evolution, but many are deep into their work and steer clear of the question of evolution. They'll privately agree the question is much deeper, but they're not of a mind to go there. They're just not interested.

    Much of this lies in how the debate is framed. If you define evolution as "change over time," then yes, they'll check the evolution box. But those that will take the time and energy to understand the nuances have more thoughtful views.

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  35. Cornelius Hunter:

    "At this point, 150+ years after Darwin, there is a tremendous amount of textbook orthodoxy, social pressure, grant pressure, etc, that muddies the water."
    ======

    I agree with these three major obstacles which colour the truth.

    Textbook Orthodoxy:
    This first obstacle on this list is the exact mirror image of the way Dark Ages Churches took care of business. They stifled any newly discovered truths and the exposure of previous flawed traditional understanding . Yet today the same thing exists as exampled in this over 2 years old research which touches on epigenetic machinery and flaws with epigenetic componants which cause disease.
    "Re-Write The Textbooks: Key Genetic Phenomenon Shown To Be Different Than Believed"

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701131316.htm

    Back to your Epigenetics article and Marcus Pembrey is considered another Heretic by the Scientific Orthodoxy because of his discovery of behavioral consequences which lead to further flaws of descendants inheriting the consequences of decisions/actions(smoking/over drinking/etc) undertaken by their forefathers. Which naturally leads us to your second problem on that list.

    continued below . .

    ReplyDelete
  36. contimued from above . .

    Social Pressure:
    This is where social, political, ideological and philosophical biases muck up the supposed pure waters of truth. Is there any real need to expound on this ??? No need. Just read many of the numerous excuses given in your own comments sections under various blog entries. Then finally your third point.

    Grant Pressure:
    Ah yes, follow the monies. There's an old saying rewritten which goes like this.
    "Remember the Golden Rule. The one with the Gold makes the Rules."
    The obsession and pursuit at any and all costs(fudging the Facts/Truth in any grant application to impress whatever Sugar-Daddy ideologue being courted) for the $$$MONEY$$$.

    ReplyDelete
  37. A thoughtful and nuanced essay, Dr Hunter. A welcome contrast from your customary take-no-prisoners, black-or-white arguments. Hopefully this change in tone will continue.

    A cavil: You employed the word “axiom” ten times in place of ”hypothesis” in referring to scientific guesses about how nature might work. Axiom is a term used in mathematics and deductive logic to refer to an essential or self-evident proposition. Since math and logic are non-empirical, purely rational enterprises, it begs the question to apply the term axiom to scientific hypotheses,which are putative explanations of empirical data .

    As you said, “Much of this lies in how the debate is framed.” Labeling hypotheses as axioms is a framing operation.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Cornelius Hunter: Rationalists place more emphasis on their axioms whereas empiricists may have fewer axioms, but in any case are more willing to forego their axioms.

    Then evolutionary biologists, like nearly all scientists, are empiricists.

    Cornelius Hunter: For instance, if the numbers are mostly between 10-20 and 30-40, yet you choose two bins, one from 0-50, and the other from 51-100, then you will completely miss the fact that there are two peaks between 0 and 50.

    Not the best example. The data would be concentrated in the 0-50 range suggesting a closer look. A better example would be peaks between 10-20 and 60-70. That could show the same amount in bins 0-50 and 51-100. It might lead to a naïve conclusion of an even distribution. Even then, a reasonably skeptical and curious researcher would want to examine the data more closely. If she didn't, her colleagues would.

    Cornelius Hunter: Here is an example. Einstein said quantum mechanics was faulty because god doesn't play at dice. Obviously he imposed his own axiom, in this case about god, that constrained how the data were to be interpreted, and argued against QM.

    In science, it's called a hypothesis, and is held tentatively in order to draw out and test its empirical entailments.

    Cornelius Hunter: Notice that it is not clear that QM, if true, mandates that the world is truly random to god. Perhaps Einstein meant something closer to this.

    No. Einstein thought there were physical mechanisms that could explain quantum weirdness. In other words, he thought his claim had empirical merit, and he worked to this end. Even though he was apparently wrong on this, his deep questions (e.g. Einstein–Podolsky–Rosen) on the matter spurred others to investigate.

    A well-constructed scientific hypothesis should have clear empirical entailments, and then, even when it fails, it can lead to new insights. This is as opposed to ID, which makes no significant empirical claims, and is scientifically sterile.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Cornelius Hunter,

    thanks for answering my questions. It clarified things to some extent but I have to look deeper into the issue.

    ReplyDelete
  40. troy: Don't hold your breath, TP. Cornelius Hunter seems uninterested in providing positive evidence for ID.

    What is it about Darwinists that leads and even compels them to propose and dream that inanimate, stupid matter just has this built-in, unstoppable urge to clump together and become spectacularly functional and intelligent? What is the positive evidence that this DRIVE toward creative construction is an intrinsic aspect of matter? Where is this DRIVE located and how does it work?

    I'm truly looking for an answer. Surely there is a Darwinist around who has enough of a philosophical interest to think about this. What is this intrinsic property of matter, and the positive evidence that it exists? If it exists, has it been named and what is it called? If not, why not?

    ReplyDelete
  41. MSEE said...

    troy: Don't hold your breath, TP. Cornelius Hunter seems uninterested in providing positive evidence for ID.

    What is it about Darwinists that leads and even compels them to propose and dream that inanimate, stupid matter just has this built-in, unstoppable urge to clump together and become spectacularly functional and intelligent?


    It's an empirically observed phenomenon, just like gravity. Empirically observed physical reality trumps your ignorance based assertions every time.

    What is the positive evidence that this DRIVE toward creative construction is an intrinsic aspect of matter? Where is this DRIVE located and how does it work?

    What is the positive evidence that this so called GRAVITY causing mutual attraction is an intrinsic aspect of matter? Where is this GRAVITY located and how does it work?

    I'm truly looking for an answer.

    No, you're not. You're looking for enough empty rhetoric to dismiss the empirical observations that contradict your religious views. Good luck fooling yourself, because you vacuous ramblings sure are not having any effect on the scientific evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  42. thornton: Where is this GRAVITY located and how does it work?

    The drive of objects to attract caused men much greater than Darwin to ponder interminably, and you know which men of which I speak, men with much more respect for rigor than yourself. And men with more respect for philosophical rumination than you. As a consequence we know a lot about matter, space and time in this regard. If matter has a drive to become intelligent why not talk about it. You guys can't talk about it because you would rather shut down discussion of the philosophical implication of what is going on here. Typical shallow approach.

    thornton: You're looking for enough empty rhetoric to dismiss the empirical observations that contradict your religious views.

    Go look up the definition of rhetoric. Asking for a number from you guys, for not even a rigorous basis for this number for now, does not classify as rhetoric. It maybe classifies similarly to pulling teeth but not rhetoric. You disdain this question.

    Show me the empirical observations of macroevolution by RMNS. I'm open.

    Nothing said in any of my posts about religion, excepting yours that is, regarding that 19th century demigod/icon that has a hold of you.

    thornton: Good luck fooling yourself.

    Wow. As if the people in a debate who do not resort to invective, attempted insult and slander are the ones fooling themselves.

    Students take note. These are the kinds of people who would like you to think like them.

    ReplyDelete
  43. CH: "s, that is entirely possible and I think often the case. In fact, privately they may not even accept the fact of evolution. Yes a strong majority accept evolution, but many are deep into their work and steer clear of the question of evolution. They'll privately agree the question is much deeper, but they're not of a mind to go there. They're just not interested."

    How do you know this CH? How many scientists have you spoken with on this matter? How do you happen to know what they may think privately? Is this assertion based on any empirical data (e.g., surveys)?

    ReplyDelete
  44. MSEE: Show me the empirical observations of macroevolution by RMNS.

    We start with the nested hierarchy and the Theory of Common Descent. This provides the historical framework to understand the mechanisms involved.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Zachriel:

    "We start with the nested hierarchy and the Theory of Common Descent. This provides the historical framework to understand the mechanisms involved."
    =====

    He didn't ask you to go down your old time favourite spin road with regard that Religious Iconic Tree symbol again. All roads leading to Darwin does not example your imaginary Macro-evolution. Your opinion does NOT translate as a FACT, FACTOID maybe, but FACT definitely NOT.

    ReplyDelete
  46. MSEE said...

    The drive of objects to attract caused men much greater than Darwin to ponder interminably, and you know which men of which I speak, men with much more respect for rigor than yourself. And men with more respect for philosophical rumination than you. As a consequence we know a lot about matter, space and time in this regard. If matter has a drive to become intelligent why not talk about it. You guys can't talk about it because you would rather shut down discussion of the philosophical implication of what is going on here. Typical shallow approach


    LOL! First you bragged about what a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer you are, and how you wanted to discuss the technical details of evolution. But when I tried to discuss the details with you you cut and ran. Now you want to play armchair philosopher.

    Asking for a number from you guys, for not even a rigorous basis for this number for now, does not classify as rhetoric. It maybe classifies similarly to pulling teeth but not rhetoric. You disdain this question.

    Demanding a meaningless number that science hasn't bothered wasting time and money on researching shows just how scientifically ignorant you actually are. MSEE, I again demand you provide a detailed list of every footstep you took going to and from classes in the last 15 years. If you can't provide it, then you admit you are lying about having any kind of college degree.

    Show me the empirical observations of macroevolution by RMNS. I'm open.

    I can and have provided ample evidence that the process of genetic variation filtered by selection produces biological evolution. The Lenski long term E coli experiment is a good example. If you think there is some magic barrier that limits the amount of variation that can accumulate over time, use your mathematically competent and highly trained engineering skills and provide it.

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  47. Eocene: He didn't ask you to go down your old time favourite spin road with regard that Religious Iconic Tree symbol again.

    Ignoring the pattern doesn't make it go away. The nested hierarchy has been considered crucial biological evidence since Darwin. There is an entire field of study concerning the historical divergence of organisms, Systematics.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Eocene wrote:

    Seriously it's hardly been a debate at all.

    If that's your only quibble, l'll take it that my assessment was accurate as expected.

    Not much of a surprise. Will you interpret this as another complement?

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  49. Pendnt wrote:

    A cavil: You employed the word “axiom” ten times in place of ”hypothesis” in referring to scientific guesses about how nature might work.

    Pedant,

    In the same way that he has diverged from the textbook meanings of empiricism and rationalism, it appears that Hunter uses the term 'axiom' when referring theological or metaphysical assumptions that supposedly form the underlying foundation for specific theories.

    To quote Hunter,

    That is, I do not say person X is a rationalist because the history of philosophy professor and textbooks say so. I prefer to say an idea or movement is rationalistic because it weighs heavily on certain, less than compelling, axioms.

    First, to use a phrase he himself often uses, it's funny how Hunter is willing to admit this when it's clearly pointed out to him. His original post was void of this sort of disclaimer and context is indeed important.

    Second, Hunter is quite vague regarding how he defines more or less compelling in regards to axioms. For example, one could say it's compelling to think the concrete biological complexity we observe was specifically designed as a part of an elaborate grand scheme of things. After all, this would include us. Nor is it compelling to think that demons are pushing and pulling on objects according to their mass. If one finds the former compelling, then the latter is not since these two axioms are at odds with each other. However, it's unclear how this is anything more than Hunter's preferred theological position which is based on additional theological axioms.

    In other words, it seems that Hunter makes the naive assumption that what he finds compelling is not based on his personal theological views regarding God's goals and the specific means by which he actually brought those goals about. For example, hunter wrote..

    Notice that it is not clear that QM, if true, mandates that the world is truly random to god. Perhaps Einstein meant something closer to this. God wouldn't create a world that rests on a stochastic foundation, regardless of whether god is subject to that randomness or not.

    But, on the other hand, I'm guessing that Hunter assumes human choices are genuinely independent from God because he is both capable of and intentionally decided to be hands off regarding our ability to make choices. Holding both of these views simultaneously appears arbitrary. They only become 'compelling' in light of a foundational theological axiom which is not an empirical observation.

    Furthermore, science isn't in the business of posting theories that are compelling in sense as above. We say a theory is compelling when it provides good explanations for the phenomena it encompasses, rather than bolsters or intuitions or personal theological views, or common-sense interpretations of the world around us.

    ReplyDelete
  50. CH wrote:
    This type of contrastive argument runs all through the evolutionary genre. It assumes there are no alternatives of which I have not conceived. And it is not limited to evolutionary thought.

    However, In a comment on a previous post, I wrote:

    For example, take last Thursday-ism, which is a claim that God created the universe, and everything in it, last Thursday. This includes implanting us with false memories of lives we never lived, creating mountains and other geological formations fully formed, etc.

    A claim that God would not create the universe last Thursday is a claim that an "intelligent designer wouldn't do things that way." Under Hunters' definition, this would necessitate absolutely everything a theological argument.


    CH responded:

    If you claim god did not create the universe last Thursday with the appearance of age, then any science you do which incorporates this premise, entails a metaphysical premise. Fortunately, scientific theories do not incorporate this premise. They can go either way. Regardless of whether or not god created the universe last Thursday with the appearance of age, my Theory X predicts Y. And so according to Occam's razor, we don't worry about the last Thursday-ism. Your argument that the last Thursday-ism renders all of science metaphysical is false.

    Wouldn't Last Thursday-ism be one the un-conceived alternatives Hunter is referring to in this post? If so, why are they not important as well?

    Again, it's because they do not conflict with Hunter's personal [favorite] theological views.

    To rephrase….

    This type of contrastive argument runs all through the [Hunters's blog] . It assumes there are no [theological] alternatives of which [he has] not conceived.

    Should we truly be objectively open the fact that there are a near infinite number alternatives in the case of an abstract designer or personal theological views, we realize that favoring one over another without an underlying explanation for that choice is irrational. ID simply does not provided explanations for the concrete biological complexity we observe. That's just what the designer must have wanted. Therefore we discard them.

    In science, we reject Last Thursday-ism because there is no explanation as to why a designer would create the universe last Thursday with the appearance of being billions of years old. So, we discard this theory as well.

    Hunter reaches the same conclusions in regards to Last Thursday-ism, yet he objects in regards to evolution. Why is this?

    Again, what differentiates these two scenarios is that that Last Thursday-ism does not conflict with his theological views, while evolution does.

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  51. Cornelius wrote:

    As philosopher Elliot Sober admits in his explanation of, as he puts it, Darwin’s Principle, it is not that the likelihood of common descent is high, but rather that the likelihood of the alternative is so low.

    So, why doesn't Cornelius offer an ID alternative that has a high likelihood?

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  52. "So, why doesn't Cornelius offer an ID alternative that has a high likelihood? "

    He is not interested in that. He just wants to whine that evolutionists don't consider other not-yet-conceived hypotheses, while not mentioning that no other branch of science considers not-yet-conceived hypotheses, because, well, how do you test hypotheses that don't exist? It's worth mentioning that this little pseudo-philosophical flim-flam is a new addition to CH's repertoire, and is apparently a modification of his earlier argument that evolution is metaphysical because Darwin discussed separate creation by god as a null hypothesis. apparently he realized that separate ancestry does not equal separate creation and has retreated to this completely anti-science rhetoric as a result.

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  53. What Cornelius has done is shown examples of where religious bias has been injected into a research papers by the use of metaphysical storytelling where physical naturalistic FACTS are incapable of filling the Grand Canyon-like GAPS and are in need of FABLES/MYTHS to prop up a religious dogma(both sides fail here). There is no excuse for either side. If science is truly all about physical, observational and naturalistic explanations ONLY, then if any religious emotional bias is added, then it should be so admitted in a citation or footnote, but it's not. The major reason Cornelius focuses on Evolutionists is because they are the very ones who claim that ONLY they hold to the "Scientific Method" with it's naturalistic physical observational evidence, yet as Cornelius has shown by citing numerous examples in this blog, they don't back up biased claims they've injected into many research papers with actual physical facts and proofs but rather opt for gut felt emotionlism of their worldview infecting what could otherwise be good scientific research for the benefit of mankind.

    The local Evolutionist faithful here, rather than admitting this, go and demonize the man and make justification excuses for their own Ecclesiastical Hierarchies use of metaphysical ONLY proposals. Go back to every entry in his blog and not only read his typical example entries, but the faith-based comments by the clearly jihadistic parishioners (people with a holywar-like materialist mission) who do nothing but make excuses, make outlandish definition shell games and debates about words/terms and opt for political solutions to silence their critics.

    It should be noted that most of Christendom in the past history when they controlled Academic higher learning ran their educational programs very much the same way. They expelled, fired and at times even executed those labled as Heretics who went against the religious ruling Orthodoxy of the times. This is what makes the modern Evolutionist movement the exact mirror image of other religions past and present.

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  54. Hawks:

    "So, why doesn't Cornelius offer an ID alternative that has a high likelihood?"
    =====

    If you've followed his blog for sometime, he has explained his position in that Science should remain neutral as far as offering purely "Naturalistic Explanations" ONLY as opposed to the constant "Metaphysical" being offered when no such explanation is even close to being available. That's why he's not even in favour of even wanting a Creationist or Intelligent Design er approach which wouldn't fair any better and I agree. By definition Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is supposed to build and organize knowledge, of which the "Scientific Method" (which is supposed to be a foundation corner stone of science) is used to form testable explanations and predictions about the natural world for which to draw conclusions that can also be independently outside unbiasedly tested by others to see if indeed the conclusions drawn are true facts. The most major obstacle to this is rather than an unbiased "Panel of Peer Reviewings", we get instead biased "Panel Approvals" by individuals with ideological and philosophical worldview agendas. At that point pure true understanding goes nowhere and both sides fall victim to their own out of touch with reality worldviews.

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  55. The other problem with this subject for both sides is pure unadulterated knowledge becomes contaminated with biased philosophy, ideology and religion. Here's what I mean. Take a look at where many here on these boards will go way out of their way to obtaining their version of truth with regards scientific knowledge.

    creation.com, talkrigins.org, answersingenesis.org, infidels.org, conservapedia.com, richarddawkins.net and the list is endless.
    All of those websites and more are strictly biased and predjudicial religious websites with agendas to promoting any number of various denominational worldviews. Both sides also lack any cohesiveness necessary for pure unity. This unity lack beautifully illustrates why our world of humankind and the Earth's multiple ecosystems are such a mess. Thus far I see very few from either side really caring about this because their focus for the most part is their constant attention deficit obsession is with each other.

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  56. Hawks:

    So, why doesn't Cornelius offer an ID alternative that has a high likelihood?

    nanobot74:

    He is not interested in that.

    Hunter has repeatedly denied that he is an ID advocate, so he’s cut off any such alternative. He’s painted himself into a corner that leaves him with nothing, except that which has not yet been conceived.

    Reductio ad absurdum.

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  57. I wonder if Eocene thinks anyone reads his continuous stream-of-consciousness walls of gibberish text.

    Probably as many who follow BA77's disjointed ramblings.

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  58. I'm trying to imagine what science would look like under Cornelius' strict definitions and it seems to me it would consist of nothing more than lists of observable facts. Any over-arching theory that attempted to provide an explanatory framework for these facts (i.e. give them "meaning") would constitute an unwarranted introduction of metaphysics.

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  59. Eocene,

    Cornelius is bemoaning the fact that common descent was only compared to convergent evolution and not other possible alternatives. As he puts it:

    The only alternative to universal common ancestry is convergent evolution which is a virtual impossibility.

    Obviously, Cornelius must feel that there are other alternative hypotheses (and there are). Why then, doesn't he propose such a hypothesis and pit it against common descent? As you yourself say, science is used to make testable explanations. What has ID (or something else) got to offer here?

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  60. Norm,

    I suggest it is the next logical step. So far they have tried...

    Creation Science is science - S.C.O.T.U.S. quashed that
    Intelligent Design is science - Dover finished that
    Teach the controversy - fizzled, no passion
    Darwinism is religious!

    I'm still deciding how far they can get with this. Other attempts at claiming openness to multiple religions have had mixed results. Having a huge picture of Jesus next to smaller pictures of Mohammed and Moses just doesn't cut it.

    A case could be made that the Theory of Gravity is religious. At this point we do not understand gravity. For all intents and purposes it is an appeal to a supernatural force. Public school children are being told things are fact when, in truth, they are guesses, or worse, lies.

    However, there isn't an organization like the Discovery Institute trying to generate a religion movement against teaching the Theory of Gravity.

    As with all good propaganda, there is a grain of true buried in it, "Religion drives science, and it matters". What matters is getting people to believe teaching science, especially Evolution, is equivalent to teaching religion. It could help in legal pleadings.

    What has me curious is what presumptions are held be each individual Discovery Institute fellow.

    1. As science progresses, the Intelligent Design argument grows stronger.
    2. Science needs to be constrained for the moral health of the nation.
    3. As science progresses it confuses people into thinking God isn’t necessary.
    4. Atheism needs to be seen as a religion so it can be fought with religious arguments.
    5. ????

    There are probably more. Cornelius spends a lot of time arguing that religion drives science. I’m getting more interested in understanding his “and it matters” part. Why does it matter?

    To prepare for the next Dover case?

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  61. TP,

    Cornelius says "religion drives science", but since he focuses exclusively on the science of evolutionary biology, it would have been more honest of him to say "religion drives evolutionary biology". I suggest the reason he doesn't do that is because it would show that he has double standards regarding evolutionary biology and other branches of science.

    Why does that matter? If evolution is driven by by religion, then it's ok to teach other religion-driven ideas in science class. Or exclude all of them.

    Anyway, I wouldn't trust anything Cornelius says, since he is bound by his contract with a biblical propaganda mill to deny a lot of evolutionary biology.

    ReplyDelete
  62. And what do evolutionists do when the data DOESN'T fit their darwinian myth? They omit it like all respectable 'scientists' R.I.P Science

    Three observations generally hold true across metazoan datasets that indicate the pervasive influence of homoplasy at these evolutionary depths. First, a large fraction of single genes produce phylogenies of poor quality. For example, Wolf and colleagues [9] omitted 35% of single genes from their data matrix, because those genes produced phylogenies at odds with conventional wisdom (Figure 2D). Second, in all studies, a large fraction of characters—genes, PICs or RGCs—disagree with the optimal phylogeny, indicating the existence of serious conflict in the DNA record. For example, the majority of PICs conflict with the optimal topology in the Dopazo and Dopazo study [10]. Third, the conflict among these and other studies in metazoan phylogenetics [11,12] is occurring at very “high” taxonomic levels—above or at the phylum level.

    Antonis Rokas & Sean B. Carroll, "Bushes in the Tree of Life," PLOS Biology, Vol 4(11): 1899-1904 (Nov., 2006)

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  63. troy:

    I suggest the reason he doesn't do that is because it would show that he has double standards regarding evolutionary biology and other branches of science.

    Double standards, you say? That seems unlikely.

    And yet, it is curious that he says things like:

    Evolutionary biologist are rationalists insofar as they are evolutionists.

    But he doesn't say things like "Nuclear physicists are rationalists insofar as they are nuclear physicists."

    Hunter went on to say (but only about evolutionary biology):

    But here again, we need to be careful. At this point, 150+ years after Darwin, there is a tremendous amount of textbook orthodoxy, social pressure, grant pressure, etc, that muddies the water.

    As if all of those factors do not apply to every other branch of science. (And are not subject to correction by keen competitiveness among scientists.)

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  64. hardy:

    And what do evolutionists do when the data DOESN'T fit their darwinian myth? They omit it like all respectable 'scientists'.

    A scandal? No, considering that all of the quoted omissions were clearly stated by the authors of the relevant papers. So Rokas and Carroll did not have to enlist the FBI in their search for examples to critique.

    You have no idea how science works, do you?

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  65. I've not ever heard a convincing argument for evolution. I know they must exist, but I've only been presented with various "so, in-your-face", lol, factoids.

    I think that philosophy is the first science worth studying. If there is no meaning, then I'm not interested in anything else. In my quest for truth I've found the most logical answer to be the one which exludes things which also seem to have merit(like evolution). Many brilliant people believe in it. Fewer brilliant people do not. I don't believe in it. I have no expert scientific opinion worth heeding. Someone could present every fact and I still wouldnt believe it. I would look it in the eye and deny it.

    Its not because I can't take reason, but its because I'm aware of my own ignorance and, now harnessing the main thrust of your entry, I also believe in the uninvented hypothesis.

    Your entry was well written and I enjoyed reading it.

    http://starcarver.blogspot.com

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  66. StarCarver: Someone could present every fact and I still wouldnt believe it. I would look it in the eye and deny it.

    Enough said. You have nothing to add to this conversation.

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  67. Norm :"I'm trying to imagine what science would look like under Cornelius' strict definitions and it seems to me it would consist of nothing more than lists of observable facts. "

    you definitely couldn't test hypotheses bc that involves using a contrastive approach (comparing hypotheses to one another), which ignores all the other unconcieved hypotheses that are floating around in the ether, and hence makes such tests metaphysical. Yes, CH is seriously arguing this.

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  68. Zachriel and Derick,

    To review:

    A nested hiearchy structure must show entire containment of the lower member(s) in their superior(s).

    Ordering objects according to their hierarchical
    relations (genealogies) is different from the hierarchical classification of ordering into a hierarchical system of categories or classes.

    Cladistic classification is really a contradiction of terms. Phylogenetic trees are not nested hierarchies. Fully Nested hierarchies need ranking. Genealogies and such trees are not nested hiearchies. Someone that does not understand what a nested hiearchy is could easily mistake a nested hierarchy with a non-nested tree because they do not consider containment to be necessary.

    Genealogy hiearchies must be redefined into ranks in order to be a fully nested hiearchy.

    Redefinition of the genealogical tree according to an arbitrary measure of "phylogenetic asymmetry" is necessary in order for more than two clades to be assigned the same rank even though they are not so called genealogical sister groups. This arbitrary ranking means that numerous classifications can be constructed for a single ao called phylogeny

    Linnaeus was a creationist and the founder of modern taxonomy. His classification system is a fully nested hiearchy structure. He classified life without the slightest notion of evolution in mind.

    Furthermore, speciation does not involve a species splitting into two halves. Right? Even using evolutionary terms the sum of the two new species is greater than than the single ancestral species. Right?

    Your concept of containment is further shattered. That is, if you even considered containment relevant to nested hierarchies.


    If it had not been for Linnaeus and like minded creationists the whole concept of fully nested hiearchical with Ranking of life into categories probably would not have been developed. Evolutionists often prefer the more evolutionary systematics of cladistics to show descent and relationships and they have difficulty in reconciling this with a ranking type hierarchy.

    I am a bit amused as to why you make such a big fuss over the nested hierarchy stuff since it is kind of a square peg in a round whole thing in order to take a cladistic model and transform it into a hierarchy with ranks.

    And IPODS can be ordered into a logical and non-arbitrary grouping. The Apple.com website groups the IPODS into a basic and logical hiearchy for their customers. Evolutionists think that grouping by memory size is as logical as grouping by IPOD brands. The silliness that they will go to in order to prove a point that isn't even relevant is amusing.

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  69. Thorton:

    "I wonder if Eocene thinks anyone reads his continuous stream-of-consciousness walls of gibberish text. "
    ====

    Well I have the satisfaction of knowing you read it all and that's what counts. Not to mention the 100s of lurkers out there.

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  70. Hawks:

    "As you yourself say, science is used to make testable explanations. What has ID (or something else) got to offer here?"
    =====

    Hawks, why do any of the three (evolutionism-creationism-IDism) have to infect science ??? All three are politically , ideologically, philosophically and religiously motivated by zealots. All three are motivated by pursuit of power, wealth and climbing the social ladder for celebrityhood status.

    The natural world couldn't give a Tinkers damn about any of the three and is far better off without any of them. Numerous science articles have appeared in journals over the past year reporting on amazing things without any mention of any of the three. Especially without mentioning any of the three dogmas, the information found in those articles is even more fascinating and helpful to humankind.

    This whole debate is really NOT about science so much as it is about the same tired old Right-Wingers vrs Left-Wingers and that is the heart felt motivation behind all of the three. Politics is destroying this planet and neither has shown themselves to be the most caring as to our planet's future. The only viable option is removal of all three and their self-serving politics. Neither however has the answer for that, since the trouble is considered caused by the others guys, not my guys.

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  71. Hardy:

    "And what do evolutionists do when the data DOESN'T fit their darwinian myth? They omit it like all respectable 'scientists' R.I.P Science"
    ====

    Unfortunately science is driven by money and ideology. No money and the Evo-Steam Roller stops dead in it's tracks. In research work and in writing up a Grant Application(especially on this subject) you cannot include material findings negative to your Evo-Goal, especially when courting institutions shackled by ideology-Philosophy-politics-religion. You formulate an application which appeases the emotional senses of those you are trying to protitute yourself to for favours. In this case you omit any negative findings your research brought against your Theories/Hypothesis and you don't necessarily have to proceed with outright fraud or lying, but you simply fudge/embelish on evidences deemed favourable to your pursuit of grant monies.

    You see, there are Careers to be maintained, Academic Professorships to be kept as positions, not of learning and helping to educate others(like any other organized crime cartel that's just a front), but looked upon as key positions of political power to hedge off any unconventional outdated thought which may infect or even destroy the modern philosophical movement. However, fear not. It's almost finished, this experiment at self-determination.

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  72. Eocene:

    "You see, there are Careers to be maintained, Academic Professorships to be kept as positions, not of learning and helping to educate others(like any other organized crime cartel that's just a front)"

    Careful now, or I'll make you an offer you can't refuse.

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  73. Troy:

    "organized crime cartel that's just a front)"

    Careful now, or I'll make you an offer you can't refuse."
    =====

    You do realize that for me it applies to all three groups(Evo-Creo-IDeo) *wink*

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  74. Eocene said...

    Thorton:

    "I wonder if Eocene thinks anyone reads his continuous stream-of-consciousness walls of gibberish text. "
    ====

    Well I have the satisfaction of knowing you read it all and that's what counts. Not to mention the 100s of lurkers out there.


    LOL! But I don't. You demonstrated your scientific ignorance and emotional unbalance months ago. I just take one quick scan of your first saliva spewing, vulgarity-laden sentence and skip the rest of your repetitive bleating.

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  75. Neal Tedford: Fully Nested hierarchies need ranking.

    No. Fully nested hierarchies need summativity.

    Neal Tedford: Genealogies and such trees are not nested hiearchies.

    A nested hierarchy is simply a a hierarchical ordering of nested sets. Depending on the level of analysis, a genealogy can be a tree or a non-summative nested hierarchy.

    Neal Tedford: Someone that does not understand what a nested hiearchy is could easily mistake a nested hierarchy with a non-nested tree because they do not consider containment to be necessary.

    The leaves on a tree form a fully nested hierarchy when grouped by branch and stem. Extant organisms form a discernible nested hierarchy when grouped by character traits. In any case, it's not the name, but the pattern that is at issue.

    Neal Tedford: Redefinition of the genealogical tree according to an arbitrary measure of "phylogenetic asymmetry" is necessary in order for more than two clades to be assigned the same rank even though they are not so called genealogical sister groups.

    So? That just means there are innumerable arbitrary ranking classifications consistent with phylogeny.

    Neal Tedford: Furthermore, speciation does not involve a species splitting into two halves. Right? Even using evolutionary terms the sum of the two new species is greater than than the single ancestral species. Right?

    That isn't quite clear. But a patriarch and his male descendants form a nested hierarchy, but it's non-summative. In other words, a father's sons does not equal the entire set. The difference is the father. Nevertheless, it forms a non-summative nested hierarchy.

    Neal Tedford: And IPODS can be ordered into a logical and non-arbitrary grouping.

    You've never shown that, even after repeated requests. You are the one claiming the classification is non-arbitrary. It's up to you, then, to support your claim.

    Neal Tedford: Evolutionists think that grouping by memory size is as logical as grouping by IPOD brands.

    Memory is certainly an important trait. Indeed, if we look at the memory in more detail, we will find vast similarities of linked traits.

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  76. Thorton:

    "LOL! But I don't. You demonstrated your scientific ignorance and emotional unbalance months ago. I just take one quick scan of your first saliva spewing, vulgarity-laden sentence and skip the rest of your repetitive bleating."
    =====

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhh! hold it down.

    Your girlfriend is making a play for Neal.

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  77. Zachriel,

    A "non-summative nested hierarchy" is simply a non-nested hierarchy. You are adding adjectives like "non-summative" to keep your argument on life-support. What you really have is an oxymoron. You are destroying the standard definition and usage of a nested hierarchy.

    You said, "in any case, it's not the name, but the pattern that is at issue"

    You are misleading your whole argument by using the wrong term. A name is important. You need to find accurate terms to support your theory and not hijack straightforward terms. Nested hierarchy has a straightforward definition that the rest of the world uses.

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  78. Neal Tedford:

    "A name is important. You need to find accurate terms to support your theory and not hijack straightforward terms."
    ======

    What I usually find incredible is that more often than not they have to be reminded of just exactly what their own Theory is. They are quite prone to say things that make absolutely no sense in the light of what their religious worldview is all about. For example, they are often prone to hijacking & plagiarizing design words which contradict their own core beliefs. That's when you need to interupt and bring them back down to earth and remind them of the reality of blind pointless undirectedness and without purpose or intent. They don't like being reminded of this, but hey, it is after all their own fogma. We didn't make it up. They did.

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  79. Eocene, you're blithering again.

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  80. Thorton:

    "Eocene, you're blithering again."
    =====

    I see you can't help yourself again but read my posts. Thanks for playing.

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  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  82. Eoncene said, "They don't like being reminded of this, but hey, it is after all their own fogma. We didn't make it up. They did. "

    Yes. Instead of simply explaining the patterns in nature they have to hijack the straightforward definition of a nested hierarchy and use it as a kind of proprietary buzz word. When they are called out on it, they say something like, "it's not the name, but the pattern that is at issue". Can you believe this? Zachriel has used the "nested hierarchy" term for months and now he is saying "it's not the name". No doubt he will continue to backpedal ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Evolutionists like to fog up the argument with muddled terms so that they that don't have to deal with reality. His whole, "it's not the name" non-summative, non-slopping hill, non-round circle nested hierarchy term is absolute nonsense from the get go.

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  83. blip blip
    blip blip

    Oh, that's me on Pedants radar again.

    How are you buddy? Are you still pissed off at me?

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  84. comments are disappearing again...

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  85. Neal Tedford: A "non-summative nested hierarchy" is simply a non-nested hierarchy.

    Matryoshka dolls are hierarchically nested, but the contents of a doll do not add up to the containing doll.

    Neal Tedford: You are adding adjectives like "non-summative" to keep your argument on life-support.

    Knox, The use of hierarchies as organizational models in systematics, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 1998: a fully nested hierarchy displays the property of summativity.

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  86. Neal, you never cease to amaze me.

    Sometimes I think you have an extra chromosome. You parrot back things that we've been telling you as if you're informing us:

    Neal: Linnaeus was a creationist and the founder of modern taxonomy. His classification system is a fully nested hiearchy structure. He classified life without the slightest notion of evolution in mind.

    Why, that's strikingly similar to the last thing I said on the "Ethics and the Evolution of the Synapse" thread:

    ME: I'm not talking about evolution. As you'll see at the bottom of the chart, no hereditary relationship is assumed. It is possible to classify animals into a nested hierarchy independent of evolution, based solely on traits, as Linnaeus, a creationist, showed.

    That's my point, Neal. We observe this pattern independently of the theory of evolution. So here you seem to acknowledge that life can be classified into a best fit nested hierarchy (when it's proclaimed by a creationist, at least) but other creationists like Cornelius and Joe G claim that life doesn't fit into a nested hierarchy. So which is it? Does classification of life form a nested hierarchy, or not? Yes or no?

    And Neal, all this seems to be handwaving to distract from your original statement. You know, the one I've been calling you out on:

    Neal: And IPODS can be ordered into a logical and non-arbitrary grouping.

    OF COURSE THEY CAN BE ORGANIZED INTO A GROUP! No one has argued that they can't! What I'm arguing, is that they can't be organized into a NON-ARBITRARY, SINGLE, BEST FIT NESTED HIERARCHY. You have repeatedly said not only that they CAN be, but that doing so would be both EASY and STRAIGHTFORWARD; yet you have consistently FAILED to present such a hierarchy, even when I do all the work of drawing it out for you!

    Neal: Evolutionists think that grouping by memory size is as logical as grouping by IPOD brands.

    Yes, and so do many iPod Customers! I've spent enough time in electronics stores to overhear statements like the following:

    "Which iPod are you interested in?" "I don't care which one, as long as it will hold at least 1,000 songs."
    "Which iPod are you interested in?" "I don't care which one, as long as it's pink."

    Some people could care less about color, physical size, or even if it has a screen. The only feature they care about is how much music it holds, and that is determined solely by capacity. So yes, grouping by color, or even model, can be arbitrary, depending on what one deems the most important feature. (Even you mistook an iPod nano for a shuffle in my second example)

    continued below:

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  87. Neal: The Apple.com website groups the IPODS into a basic and logical hiearchy for their customers.

    Oh yeah? which one of these is the single nested hierarchy presented on apple.com/ipod? If the 'correct' one isn't drawn, feel free to present your answer in the form of: {nano {shuffle {classic, touch}}}.

    Neal: The silliness that they will go to in order to prove a point that isn't even relevant is amusing.

    Then Neal, shut me up ONCE AND FOR ALL by presenting your best fit nested hierarchy of iPods. You keep saying over and over and over again that it is 'easy' and 'straightforward' to do so, yet you have never done it, even when I draw the graphs for you and ask you to pick.

    Neal: Someone that does not understand what a nested hiearchy is could easily mistake a nested hierarchy with a non-nested tree because they do not consider containment to be necessary.

    Someone who does not understand what a nested hierarchy is could easily mistake an arbitrary sorting of iPods for one, because they would rather defend a profoundly stupid assertion than to admit that they picked a bad example.

    Neal, I wouldn't take lessons on singular, best fit nested hierarchies from anyone who thinks iPods form one any more than I'd take geology lessons from someone who thought the Grand Canyon was 4,600 years old.

    Again, you have ZERO credibility when discussing this subject unless you can take the 4.5 seconds it would take to back up your claim that iPods can be classified into an objective best fit nested hierarchy, by actually presenting it. I'm still waiting, but I'm not holding my breath.

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  88. Zachriel said...
    comments are disappearing again...



    Try this Zachriel


    I copied from Word ,pasted into Notepad .I guess it cleared up all the background coding . Than copied from Notepad to publishing box.

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  89. Zachriel: To return to the discussion of Common Descent. Given uncrossed branching descent, the leaves, when grouped by branch and stem, form a fully nested hierarchy.

    Zachriel, I'm afraid you're probably moving too fast. If someone can't understand why iPods (or cars) can't be classified in to a single 'best fit' nested hierarchy, it means they don't really understand what a nested hierarchy is, and it is therefore useless to go on.

    And I don't think it's just Neal. So far, no creationist as far as I know has disagreed with him.

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  90. ... In other words, if someone can't figure out what a nested hierarchy is, it's unlikely they'll be able to understand what it implies.

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  91. Derick Childress: Zachriel, I'm afraid you're probably moving too fast.

    Interesting. You're replying to a comment that no longer exists. That means you saw it before it disappeared.

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  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  93. Yeah, I guess I saw it in that small window of time it was visible. Of my comments that disappear, most show up for around 30 seconds or so, even after multiple refreshes.

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  94. Removed the link. (Also, thank you, Eugen, for the suggestion.)

    Neal Tedford: Instead Nested hierarchy has a straightforward definition that the rest of the world uses.

    Please search Wikipedia for "nested hierarchy": A nested hierarchy or inclusion hierarchy is a hierarchical ordering of nested sets.

    To return to the discussion of Common Descent. Given uncrossed branching descent, the leaves, when grouped by branch and stem, form a fully nested hierarchy.

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  95. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  97. thornton: Demanding a meaningless number that science hasn't bothered wasting time and money on researching shows just how scientifically ignorant you actually are. MSEE, I again demand you provide a detailed list of every footstep you took going to and from classes in the last 15 years. If you can't provide it, then you admit you are lying about having any kind of college degree.

    OK let's have a little review shall we? I'm going to address the reply to all the other readers, since thornton cannot understand ANY reasonable or rigorous words I put down. I'm not going to convince the dude of anything about my abilities. And I say dude because I know of no women who behave like this person, based on the name-calling and pejorative addiction.

    This reminds me of an August 22 posting where thornton thinks its time to flush out a scientific ignoramus, posting: You claim to be an EE - how often do you need to sample an analog voice signal to recreate it with enough fidelity to be understandable?

    Notice how the question is phrased, "enough fidelity to be understandable". Persons experienced in the rigor of the physical sciences will see this dude stepped in it, as evidenced by the question and my reply:

    There is not a mathematical definition of the condition you propose. You might try to argue this one and maybe even invoke an investigator, the well known Mr. H. N. Why don't you answer this little game yourself in your reply and then I will tell you why no correct answer exists, unless you tell me such. That is if you're interested in a little science.

    I have a good reason for saying this. A lot of cheap toys, greeting cards, and such, play back speech sampled at way below the Nyquist rate, for economics. Another example of this is not a toy or greeting card, but the Arriva blood glucose meter, which you can notice from the cable TV commercial, which actually features the screeching spectral alias distortion of the speaking meter. There are other examples of not so cheap devices sampling speech way below Nyquist, maybe at 50%. (the well known Mr. H. N. reference is to Dr. Harry Nyquist)

    I had been thinking that the absolute absence of rigorous logic in thornton's challenge question was a ruse to trip me up. That, since this was coming from either a scientist or a would-be scientist, but I'm leaning towards believing the latter.

    So then rigorous thornton comes back: LOL! In other words you don't have any understanding of sampling theory or Nyquist frequency either.

    And my reply:
    ... I was ready to offer you kudos for offering up a trick question in the earlier post for me to trip all over. But I will offer you anti-kudos for falling down on this one after a really sophomoric question that went like this: "...how often do you need to sample an analog voice signal to recreate it with enough fidelity to be understandable?" And my answer to you should have been a OBVIOUS clue to you-- and that is there is no mathematical definition of "enough fidelity to be understandable" LOL, I couldn't have come up with a better caution than what I said: There is not a mathematical definition of the condition you propose.

    OK it gets better, since the dude has not only stepped in it, he proceeds to get it in his face: I didn't ask you for a mathematical definition. I asked about the practical limits of the digitization rate to reproduce human voice just to see if you understood the issues with digital sampling of analog signals. It's obvious you don't.

    Notice how after I give the correct mathematically-based reply the dude complains: "I didn't ask you for a mathematical definition."

    And practical from whose viewpoint? A greeting card manufacturer or from Arriva's? Or from Sony's?

    (to be continued)

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  98. Cornelius wrote:

    As philosopher Elliot Sober admits in his explanation of, as he puts it, Darwin’s Principle, it is not that the likelihood of common descent is high, but rather that the likelihood of the alternative is so low.

    This is not what Sober was talking about. Darwin's principle refers to the notion that traits that are NOT under selective pressure are stronger evidence for common descent than are traits that ARE under selective pressure.

    Anyhow...

    I'm still waiting for Cornelius to supply a hypothesis that has a higher likelihood than common descent.

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  99. Eocene wrote:

    Hawks, why do any of the three (evolutionism-creationism-IDism) have to infect science ??? All three are politically , ideologically, philosophically and religiously motivated by zealots. All three are motivated by pursuit of power, wealth and climbing the social ladder for celebrityhood status.

    Whatever. Did I not write:

    "As you yourself say, science is used to make testable explanations. What has ID (or something else) got to offer here?"

    ?

    "Something else" could very well be "something else" besides evolution, ID or creationism. Go on, give it a go.

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  100. Do I get a prize for writing the 100th comment?

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  101. LOL!

    Looks like poor little MSEE got his delicate feelings hurt. His recent incompetence in both evolutionary theory and basic geology embarrassed him so much that he dug back 3 months to try to find a way to soothe his bruised ego. Well boo hoo hoo.

    Sorry MSEE, you failed to provide that list of detailed list of every footstep you took going to and from classes in the last 15 years. By your logic that means you have no formal schooling in that time at all.

    Unless you care to admit that demanding a meaningless number and yelling when it isn't provided isn't evidence for a position, that is.

    BTW, you keep avoiding this question:

    What in your "mathematically competent and highly trained" engineering background qualifies you as an expert in biological evolution?

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  102. Hawks said...

    Do I get a prize for writing the 100th comment?


    First prize is a free visit to Ken Ham's "Creation Museum" to see the display of Eve feeding carrots to the velociraptor.

    Second prize is two free visits.

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  103. (continued from above)

    If you look at thornton's replies to me you see how he likes to besmirch mathematical ability, but as you can see, his lack of such landed him in the above scenario. The last comment from me in August was a question to thornton which he ignored: ... the sample rate on CD's is 44.1 Ksps. Since the information content of the CD cannot be impacted positively by a player playing it back at a much higher sample rate than 44.1 Ksps, what, dear Thornton, is the mechanism, in mathematical or engineering terms, that would account for a better performance in a player operating at such (say 176.4 Khz) higher sample rate, and what parameter of such playback is impacted?

    If thornton had not ignored this question he maybe would have gotten that a person with long experience in classical and discrete-time signal processing, and the requisite degree, would have not only given but explained to him the answer, had thornton been curious enough to ask.

    So then last week I figure we can switch roles. I can ask thornton a couple of questions that would be very interesting to biologists, but that would maybe demand a little rigor and that an engineer or scientist would like, having to do with bat echolocation: What is the primary property of the echolocation process that affects range resolution, and what is the mathematical definition of range resolution?

    thornton: range resolution is limited by the accuracy in measuring time of arrival of reflected signals....

    MSEE: A scientist would know that range resolution and TOA resolution are identical, but for a constant, and that constant is what...

    Thornton seemingly didn't know that range resolution and TOA resolution are identical except by a constant factor, the speed of sound. I rephrased in terms of echo time-of-arrival (TOA):

    I'll rephrase to help you out: what is the definition of TOA resolution? And what is the main property of the system affecting TOA resolution?

    And I would add to that: what is the definition of time-of-arrival? A scientific one that is?

    Thornton doesn't care to answer these because, well maybe he can't, or won't. I think thornton might prove he can be a nice guy and do it since I was nice enough to address his sampling challenge question to me. I will say that the answers are readily available online. And maybe I will post a link to my work which has direct bearing on these questions. If Thornton will give it the ole college try. Then he would maybe have the answer to: If you can't provide it, then you admit you are lying about having any kind of college degree.

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  104. MSEE, why is it that everyone else is discussing evolution/intelligent design creationism, but all you want to talk about is yourself?

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  105. MSEE knows a bit of vector calculus and complex analysis. Great. How does this qualify you to criticize evolutionary biology?

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  106. thornton: What in your "mathematically competent and highly trained" engineering background qualifies you as an expert in biological evolution?

    I would be in really bad emotional shape if I had staked my career and daily activities (including constantly posting to this blog) around a science so lacking in rigor that scientists FROM MANY ADVANCED DISCIPLINES are compelled to attack it. For example: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2010/11/giving_thanks_for_dr_philip_sk040981.html#more

    Also I would be in pretty bad shape too if I were compelled to constantly, daily, be on the delivering end of slander, name-calling, pejorative and high verbal abuse. Its quite a sport for me to draw this out of you, out in the open so that the students can see it. Quite satisfying.

    "Sociobiology" was brought down by scientists. And none of them were expert in "Sociobiology"

    thornton: Looks like poor little MSEE got his delicate feelings hurt. His recent incompetence in both evolutionary theory and basic geology

    Oh yeah. Them rains not only built the seabeds, vents, and trenches but also everything in them, saltwater, and ecosphere too. Quite the builders those rains.

    thornton: embarrassed him so much that he dug back 3 months to try to find a way to soothe his bruised ego. Well boo hoo hoo.

    Yeah, you know I was really happy to do that, no boo hoos at all because at the time, that thread was only frequented by you and me, so I was happy to bring it out in the more trafficed thread and people could see what we said. I'm pretty glad about what I said in that recap, how about you regarding what you were quoted saying in that recap? Happy?

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  107. MSEE said...

    thornton: What in your "mathematically competent and highly trained" engineering background qualifies you as an expert in biological evolution?

    I would be in really bad emotional shape if I had staked my career and daily activities (including constantly posting to this blog) around a science so lacking in rigor that scientists FROM MANY ADVANCED DISCIPLINES are compelled to attack it.


    So the answer is NOTHING. In other words, when it comes to evolutionary theory you're an incompetent blowhard attacking the science you don't understand because you feel it threatens your religious beliefs.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

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  108. MSEE:

    "I would be in really bad emotional shape if I had staked my career and daily activities (including constantly posting to this blog) around a science so lacking in rigor that scientists FROM MANY ADVANCED DISCIPLINES are compelled to attack it."

    You don't know what you're talking about. Evolutionary biology is a very mathematical discipline. A lot of maths and statistics was invented to study evolutionary problems. Look up Ronald Fisher for example.

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  109. troy said...

    MSEE:

    "I would be in really bad emotional shape if I had staked my career and daily activities (including constantly posting to this blog) around a science so lacking in rigor that scientists FROM MANY ADVANCED DISCIPLINES are compelled to attack it."

    You don't know what you're talking about. Evolutionary biology is a very mathematical discipline. A lot of maths and statistics was invented to study evolutionary problems. Look up Ronald Fisher for example.


    But but but...MSEE told us he was a mathematically competent and highly trained engineer!!

    Besides, he also told us has a BIG freshman level statistics book on his coffee table, remember?

    That makes him a legend, at least in his own mind.

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  110. MSEE states:'"Sociobiology" was brought down by scientists. And none of them were expert in "Sociobiology"'

    Really? When did that happen again?

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  111. Thorton
    ---
    Do I get a prize for writing the 100th comment?

    First prize is a free visit to Ken Ham's "Creation Museum" to see the display of Eve feeding carrots to the velociraptor.
    ---
    LOL!

    (I mean real LOL)

    I had to take virtual tour.

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  112. Pendant, the fact evolutionists are so brazen about their lack of scientific integrity IS a scandal. The fact you don't think so, proves
    how UNscientific darwin worshippers truly are.

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  113. Eocene said: Unfortunately science is driven by money and ideology. No money and the Evo-Steam Roller stops dead in it's tracks. In research work and in writing up a Grant Application(especially on this subject) you cannot include material findings negative to your Evo-Goal, especially when courting institutions shackled by ideology-Philosophy-politics-religion. You formulate an application which appeases the emotional senses of those you are trying to protitute yourself to for favours. In this case you omit any negative findings your research brought against your Theories/Hypothesis and you don't necessarily have to proceed with outright fraud or lying, but you simply fudge/embelish on evidences deemed favourable to your pursuit of grant monies.

    You see, there are Careers to be maintained, Academic Professorships to be kept as positions, not of learning and helping to educate others(like any other organized crime cartel that's just a front), but looked upon as key positions of political power to hedge off any unconventional outdated thought which may infect or even destroy the modern philosophical movement. However, fear not. It's almost finished, this experiment at self-determination.


    Couldn't have said it better myself.

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  114. hardy:

    "Couldn't have said it better myself."
    ======

    But keep in mind Hardy, this same problem is equally challenging for all three Political Pressure Groups (Evos - Creos - IDists). The dilema is equal for all when it comes to the motivation behind what they do, say and promote. If you are being paid to promote the subject of evolutionism - creationism - IDism , then which information/data/facts/evidences would you allow and which would you hold back if your career was on the line ???

    When Cornelius Hunter addresses the subject of Academic Careers being ruined and individuals being backballed for going against the mandated Orthodoxy, he is correct. However, the subject that is never touched on is that centuries ago when most of the powerful Churches in Europe and the United States influenced and in many cases ran Intitutions of higher education, they did things identically to what the Secularists/Materialists do when running these same institutions today. In fact it could be said that when the Materialists took over, they kept the Church's Playbook and plagerized it into something relfecting their own image.

    continued below . . .

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  115. continued from above . . .

    Take as an historical example a man who was truly a genius in his scholastic field, William Whiston (9 December 1667 – 22 August 1752) who suceeded his mentor Issac Newton as Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at University of Cambridge, England. This position was also once held by Stephen Hawking. He is best known for his translation of the "Antiquities of the Jews" and other works by Josephus, which is a work so well done, that no other real translation has replaced it.

    He's also known for his research and exposure of the Clergy's diliberately manipulated errors of the Authorized King James Version Bible's text of 1 John 5:7 and 1 Timothy 3:16 where changing the textual wording of the oldest manuscripts into their more modern translation of the time period were employed to promote the doctrine of Christendom's mysterious Trinity. The Ecclesiastical Hierarchies of the time mandated that the "Trinity" Doctrine was a FACT. Yet from the scholastic research William Whiston had done , he found this was an unsupported bibilcal fraud and hoax. His friend Sir Issac Newton had also arrived at the same conclusions in his own research.

    continued below . . .

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  116. continued from above . . .

    He paid the price for his discoveries and research and in 1710 he was deprived of his professorship and expelled from the university of Cambridge after a well-publicized hearing. William pleaded with Sir Issac Newton to come to his defense, but Newton was shackled by another human imperfection of Peer Pressure and fear of man. Newton, unlike Whiston was affraid to lose his academic career and kept his mouth shut on the matter. Only after his death and in the French language did Issac Newton have his Trinity research published which almost mirrored that of Whiston's.

    Interestingly, both Newton and Whiston were correct in their discoveries of the mistakes found in the King James bible. In fact this is how centuries later scholars have found the Book of Mormon to be a partially plagerized hoax because when Joseph Smith copied word for word these same textual spurious renderings some seven times in the Book of Mormon from the King James bible. Smith didn't realize he was actually plagerizing a mistaken fraud.

    The point here is not about the subject of the Trinity or anything else, but that in past history of academia, Churches also MANDATED certain foundational doctrines as FACT, when they were nothing of the sort and railroaded or in some cases murdered anyone who went against the mandates of the then in power Church Orthodoxy. The Churches and materialist Atheism mirror each other and it matters.

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  117. Eocene:

    "Academic Careers being ruined and individuals being backballed for going against the mandated Orthodoxy"

    Whose academic careers have been ruined? Names please. Since there are hundreds of thousands of career biologists, you should easily be able to provide dozens of names.

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  118. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  119. hardy said...

    Pendant, the fact evolutionists are so brazen about their lack of scientific integrity IS a scandal. The fact you don't think so, proves how UNscientific darwin worshippers truly are.


    Perhaps if you could provide some actual evidence for this systematic widespread fraud in the scientific community instead of just flapping your gums, you wouldn't come across as such an ignorant and immature blowhard.

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  120. Zachriel and Derick,

    Zach said, "Matryoshka dolls are hierarchically nested"

    Yes, good. So we all agree that the dolls were designed and they are an example of a nested hierarchy.

    Let's review what we agree on as I see it.

    1. Real life examples (Matryoshka dolls from Zachriel's quote) exist of Designed entities that can be grouped into a best fit nested hierarchy.

    2. Life can generally (but certainly not always) be grouped into best fit categories. Linnaeus and other creationists grouped life according to nested hiearchical categories.


    ---

    So, to use the hierarchical patterns detected in nature as some kind of evidence for evolution is not substantiated since those patterns are not unique to evolution.

    The ranking of entities is certainly not completely "singular" from top to bottom. Various classification systems exist and some have more or less ranking categories. There is no such thing as a singular tree of life that everything can only fit into one way.

    Furthermore, phylogenetic trees are NOT nested hierarchies. The grouping (of the "leaves" as Zach loves to say) must be put into categories and ranks and these categories given real names (Chordata, mammals, or whatever arbitrary names folks agree on). Does it make sense that no matter what you call "dogs" they are best grouped together? Yes.


    Nested Hierarchies must show containment of the lower levels. Matryoshka dolls show this containment in a physical (not just abstract) construct. Taxonomy names, like "mammal" show the containment in an abstract way. All dogs are mammals, for example, but dogs do not physically live inside a big "mammal".

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  121. Neal Tedford: So we all agree that the dolls were designed and they are an example of a nested hierarchy.

    Please note that Matryoshka dolls are non-summative. This contradicts your previous stance.

    Neal Tedford: Instead Nested hierarchy has a straightforward definition that the rest of the world uses.

    Neal Tedford: Instead A "non-summative nested hierarchy" is simply a non-nested hierarchy.

    If your point was that there are artifacts that form a nested hierarchy, then that was agreed by everyone long ago. If you wanted examples, you could have simply asked.

    Neal Tedford:1. Real life examples (Matryoshka dolls from Zachriel's quote) exist of Designed entities that can be grouped into a best fit nested hierarchy.

    Of course. This doesn't salvage your claim or release your responsibility to support your position regarding iPods.

    Neal Tedford:2. Life can generally (but certainly not always) be grouped into best fit categories. Linnaeus and other creationists grouped life according to nested hiearchical categories.

    There is a very strong signal of a nested hierarchy across many taxa. Linnaean taxonomy is certainly a nested hierarchy.

    Neal Tedford, with all respect, should anyone bother to consider your other points? Whenever you are shown to be wrong, you won't acknowledge it, but simply pretend it never happened, move on to another argument, then after the dust settles, return to the first argument, as if it were a new point.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Eocene said...
    continued from above . . .

    He paid the price for his discoveries and research and in 1710 he was deprived of his professorship and expelled from the university of Cambridge after a well-publicized hearing. William pleaded with Sir Issac Newton to come to his defense, but Newton was shackled by another human imperfection of Peer Pressure and fear of man. Newton, unlike Whiston was affraid to lose his academic career and kept his mouth shut on the matter. Only after his death and in the French language did Issac Newton have his Trinity research published which almost mirrored that of Whiston's.

    ---
    Thanks,interesting details.

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  123. Neal Tedford: So, to use the hierarchical patterns detected in nature as some kind of evidence for evolution is not substantiated since those patterns are not unique to evolution.

    No, they are not unique to biology. But they are evidence. We might posit a couple of hypotheses; uncrossed lines of descent, or the Creator wanted it that way for inscrutable reasons. While the former leads to testable and confirmed predictions, that latter is not subject to empirical verification.

    Now, let's try to propose hypotheses concerning Matryoshka dolls. The creator wanted to make a cute toy that contained a surprise which contained a surprise. We have evidence of the creators, called humans. We have evidence of manufacture, including paint and other aspects common to human artifacts. We can even trace the origin of many the dolls, by Vasily Zvyozdochkin in 1890. On the other hand, there is no evidence of reproduction among Matryoshka dolls.

    While the set of mammals contains and consists of the various orders within the class, a Matryoshka doll may contain, but does not consist of its contents. The former is summative, the latter is not.

    Neal Tedford: There is no such thing as a singular tree of life that everything can only fit into one way.

    In fact, there is evidence of a single phylogeny across most taxa, including bacteria, with some remaining ambiguity at the root. However, the overall pattern doesn't disappear. Is the Earth an oblate sphere?

    Neal Tedford: Furthermore, phylogenetic trees are NOT nested hierarchies. The grouping (of the "leaves" as Zach loves to say) must be put into categories and ranks and these categories given real names (Chordata, mammals, or whatever arbitrary names folks agree on).

    A tree is a tree. The leaves on a tree form a fully nested hierarchy, when grouped by branch and stem. If we include the nodes, they form a non-summative nested hierarchy. It doesn't require giving names to the various nodes, nor do they have to have distinct levels. But they are often named for convenience.

    You have already shown you were wrong about the "straightforward definition." But it doesn't matter what you call it. The pattern we are interested in is the pattern of sets formed of leaves on a tree grouped by branch and stem, that is, an ordered set such that each subset is contained within its superset.

    Neal Tedford: All dogs are mammals, for example, but dogs do not physically live inside a big "mammal".

    Dogs are a subset of canidae, which are a subset of carnivora, which are a subset of eutheria, which are a subset of mammalia, which are a subset of amniota, which are a subset of vertebrata, which are a subset of chordata, which are a subset of deuterostomia, which are a subset of animalia, which are a subset of eukaryotes.

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  124. Eugen:

    "Thanks,interesting details."
    =====

    You might also research an individual named Thomas Aikenhead (1676-1697) who was a young Scottish medical student at the University of Edinburgh. He was tried and hung for the same reason Whiston later lost his academic career. One has to wonder if Whiston was influenced by such an injustice since this happened during his lifetime.
    Even Michael Servetus is yet another prime example of the consequences of going against an Orthodoxy of any time period who establishes mandated dogmatic rules for belief.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Neal Let's review what we agree on as I see it.

    1. Real life examples (Matryoshka dolls from Zachriel's quote) exist of Designed entities that can be grouped into a best fit nested hierarchy.

    2. Life can generally (but certainly not always) be grouped into best fit categories. Linnaeus and other creationists grouped life according to nested hiearchical categories.


    Neal, no one ever disagreed on these two points to begin with! You post them like they're some sort of hard-won consensus, but those are the two points that we started with. The funny thing is, you couldn't come up with an example of designed objects that form a nested hierarchy; the matryoshka dolls were Zachriel's example.

    But Neal, you're still AVOIDING MY POINT: iPods cannot be grouped into a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy.

    There are two things you can do. You can either:

    1. Continue to make the assertion that iPods can easily form a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy and actually provide it. As I've repeatedly mentioned, I've already drawn examples for you to pick from.

    or

    2. Admit that iPods were a bad example. (and it's not even like it affects your point; we've never disagreed that designed objects can form a nested hierarchy)

    Until you can do one of these two things, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to listen to the slightest thing you have to say about nested hierarchies.

    Neal, you continuously make unsubstantiated assertions. I know that being a pastor, you're probably not used to having to back up things you say. But thats not how science works; that's not how rational discussion works. When you make a fact claim, you need evidence to back it up. When you say "These four objects can be classified into a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy," You need to actually provide that hierarchy. When you say "Many theologians had an old-earth interpretation of Genesis centuries before Darwin," The onus is on you to provide at least one example.

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  126. Zachriel, said "Please note that Matryoshka dolls are non-summative. This contradicts your previous stance. "

    ---

    Zachriel, various points have been made by you and Derick here, but for now I don't want the answer to this statement above to get lost in including it with other responses. In order for my other points to be understood, first both of you need to fully understand exactly what a nested hierarchy is according to its standard meaning.

    Nested Hierarchies are about CONTAINMENT. If you don't have CONTAINMENT you do not have a fully nested hierarchy. If you do not accept this statement then further discussion is fruitless, since you are holding to a non standard usage of the term.

    Nested Hierarchies can either exist physically in a nested hierachy structure or as an abstract organization structure.

    Matryoshka dolls are not an abstract nested hierarchy. They offer an excellent example of designed entities that physically exist as a nested hierarchy. If you remove the dolls from the dolls containing them, then you break the nested hierarchy.

    Matryoshka dolls are indeed summative. The SUM of the doll(s) matter (it's atoms, molecules, etc) are all CONTAINED within the larger doll(s). The point is CONTAINMENT. The largest doll CONTAINS the sum of all the matter of all the smaller dolls.

    Think of the Matryoshka dolls as a Venn diagram in 3-D. A Venn diagram can hold squares, triangles, circles, whatever. The outer line itself is not a conglomeration of all the shapes and properities of the smaller entities. It is a container.

    A bird's nest is a simple one level nested hierarchy, with the eggs CONTAINED in the bird's nest. Hence the name "Nest". A Nest is a Container. Think of a Nested Hierarchy as a Hierarchy of Containers.

    Nested Hierarchies are often abstract organizational models. If I have 2 eggs in the nest, the number 2 itself is abstract. There is not a physical character "2" in the nest. The number 2 represents how many eggs I have in the nest. Linnaean Classification is an abstract nested hierarchy. You know that Dogs and Lions do not physically exist in a bigger creature called a "Mammal". Mammal is an abstract category. Neither is "Mammal" a big creature that is a conglomeration of all the various traits of dogs, cats, and camels, etc. "Mammal" is a abstract container or category that contains the sum of all the physical species that have been included or nested in that category. When I say abstract, I do not mean fantasy or unreality. Just as the number 2 represents something real, "Mammals" represents something real.

    So geneologies and ancestry trees by their very nature do not have containers. You have to redefine or transform it. You need more than just species, you must create abstract categories to nest the species into.

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  127. Neal Tedford: Nested Hierarchies are about CONTAINMENT. If you don't have CONTAINMENT you do not have a fully nested hierarchy. If you do not accept this statement then further discussion is fruitless, since you are holding to a non standard usage of the term.

    Neal, can iPods be grouped into a best fit nested hierarchy?

    If so, what is that hierarchy?

    This is now probably the 25th time I have asked you to defend your original statement about iPods/nested hierarchies, and your next post will probably be around the 25th time you evade the question again.

    What's fruitless is talking to someone who makes unsubstantiated assertions, then will neither back up those assertions or back down from them.

    And by the way, who were those theologians who had an old earth interpretation of Genesis centuries before Darwin? Or were you pulling that out of your rear end along with your 'easy,' 'straightforward' iPod nested hierarchy? Anyone can make claims like that too: "Neal, did you know there were astronauts who walked on the moon centuries before Armstrong? Their names escape me right now, but trust me, they existed."

    Neal Tedford: Nested Hierarchies are about CONTAINMENT. If you don't have CONTAINMENT you do not have a fully nested hierarchy.

    So, the classification 'dog' isn't contained within the classification 'carnivora'? The classification 'carnivora' isn't contained within the classification 'mammalia'? What are you saying Neal? Are you saying that organisms don't form a nested hierarchy, or are you still claiming that iPods do?

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  128. Neal, perhaps my question that I've repeatedly asked you just gets lost in text. to simplify:

    1. Can you group iPods into a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy?

    2. If yes, what is that hierarchy?

    ReplyDelete
  129. Neal Tedford: Nested Hierarchies are about CONTAINMENT.

    Yes, that is correct. It was never in question.

    Neal Tedford: Matryoshka dolls are indeed summative. The SUM of the doll(s) matter (it's atoms, molecules, etc) are all CONTAINED within the larger doll(s). The point is CONTAINMENT. The largest doll CONTAINS the sum of all the matter of all the smaller dolls.

    Sorry, they are non-summative. The contents of the doll DOES NOT equal the doll plus its contents. This is unlike mammals where the sum of the various orders DOES equal the whole class. It's a subtle distinction, and not necessary to the discussion, but you had brought it up earlier.

    In any case, we agree that nested hierarchies are defined by containment. All that matters at this point is that the leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped by branch and stem.

    Neal Tedford: So geneologies and ancestry trees by their very nature do not have containers.

    Yes. How many times do we have to append "when grouped by branch and stem" before it sinks in?

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  130. Derick, as I said, biological classification is an abstraction. Dog's most certainly are contained within Mammals, etc. Matryoshka dolls are not an abstract nested hierarchy because their nesting is physical. Both are nested hierarchies. I was pointing out the difference between an abstract example and one that's not.

    Unlike Matryoshka dolls, dogs do not physically reside in a big creature called a "mammal". Do you see the difference? Dolls physically reside in other dolls. In biology the classification is an abstraction.


    You probably missed some of my posts regarding IPODS and I can review later, but first please review my previous post and even as Zachriel suggested the Wikipedia article on hierarchies. By the way, I brought up the Matryoshka dolls several times several months ago when I first started to discuss nested hierarchies.

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  131. Neal Tedford: the classification is an abstraction.

    So is the Earth's orbit.

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  132. Zachriel,

    As abstraction is a representation. The earth's orbit is a physical reality in realtime, but a picture of the orbit on a paper is an abstraction. Like I said, abstractions are not unreal or bad or make believe. As long as the representation is accurate, things are good.

    ---

    The Matryoshka dolls have summativity. The distinction is with comparing it to an abstract example.

    Anyway, moving on, we both agree to the requirement that nested hierarchies show containment.

    "when grouped by branch and stem"...

    Can you show me a basic fleshed out example from real life along with the properties of containment and real life naming conventions. If your example does not illustrate containment then it is incomplete and lacks the basic requirement that we both agreed to.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Neal: Unlike Matryoshka dolls, dogs do not physically reside in a big creature called a "mammal". Do you see the difference?

    No kidding? And just who was claiming that dogs physically reside in a big creature called a mammal? Neal, you're developing the habit of addressing points that no one was making. It's past the point of being comical, now it's just sad.

    Neal: You probably missed some of my posts regarding IPODS and I can review later,

    Uh, no this is about the 26th time I've asked over the course of several weeks, there's no reason you can't 'review' now:

    1. Can you group iPods into a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy?

    2. If yes, what is that hierarchy?

    I don't know how to make that question easier to answer. It is a yes/no question, followed up potentially with four words organized in brackets.

    Or, you could just say "iPods were a bad example. They can't be organized in a single, objective 'best fit' nested hierarchy, but my point still stands that some designed objects could be organized into one."

    My prediction: You will somehow yet again figure out a way to avoid answering the question(s)

    ReplyDelete
  134. Neal, I counted up how many times you've been asked to present your iPod nested hierarchy in one form or another, and between myself, Zachriel, and Thorton, you've been asked 28 times, including my last post. My guess of 26 was fairly spot-on. I've done nothing but trim down the question to its simplest, easiest-to-answer form. Let's see if you can make it to 30 aversions

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  135. Derick, the apple website already displays the IPOD product line in a best fit nested hierarchy. First you click on IPOD, then click on IPOD Shuffle or IPOD Nano. This is a logical nested hierarchy. Database programmers and web designers use this structure in their programming all the time.

    I'm not really sure you are understanding the nested hierarchy using its normal, standard and simple definition. You bring up arguments against the apple hierarchy because of things like memory size. This is odd. You say that some people go into the store and don't care about anything but memory. Okay, I'll not argue that. People also go into the Pet store and say I just want a pet that is friendly towards my kids. What's the point? When you look at the panoply of characteristics the IPOD brands exist for a reason.

    A grocery store or Walmart supercenter is organized hierarchically. Groceries are found in the grocery department. Then Aisles further group items. Then in the Aisles there is further grouping of coffees, teas, etc. Do they group strawberry yogurt with strawberry car air freshners or with other yogurt? Do you group black shoe polish with dark rye bread? Do you group dolls with black hair with either? There is a logical expectancy when you go to any store that products will be grouped in a coarse grained nested hierarchy. Should Dolphins be grouped with people that have little bodily hair and people with lots of body hair be grouped with gorilla's? If you say your going to look at the panoply of characteristics then you need to be consistent in your approach.

    But do you understand that nested hierarchies require containment? Do you understand what I mean about using a consistent approach?

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  136. 29! Almost there!

    Neal, have you never come across a yes/no question before? They're fairly simple. Someone asks a question that can reasonably only be answered with a yes or a no. The person being asked responds with either a yes or a no. For example, if someone asked me "Can the following digits be ordered in ascending numerical sequence: 1, 3, 4, 2", I would respond with a "Yes." If they had instead asked something like "Can the following digits be ordered in ascending numerical sequence: 1, 3, 4, 2, and if so, what is that sequence?" I would respond with something to the effect of "Yes. 1, 2, 3, 4."

    See? Not that hard. I've even numbered them so you can easily respond.

    1. Can you group iPods into a single, 'best fit' nested hierarchy?

    2. If yes, what is that hierarchy?


    Neal: Derick, the apple website already displays the IPOD product line in a best fit nested hierarchy. First you click on IPOD, then click on IPOD Shuffle or IPOD Nano

    Neal, it sounds like your answer is may be yes to number 1, and that your answer to number 2 is {nano, shuffle, classic, touch}. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but if I were to type {cat, fish, dolphin, penguin} that would be a list, not a hierarchy, let alone a nested hierarchy.

    Again, what I'm asking isn't really that hard to answer. I know you can do it, if you just put your mind to it. It only requires typing five words, at max.

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  137. Neal: What pattern or hierarchy do IPods form when grouped by firmware versions for one of their embedded controllers and the microchip manufacturing batch numbers?

    Your understanding of the topic is superficial, as is your claim about IPods - try taking a few IPods apart and see if you can classify them according to the electronics.

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  138. Neal Tedford: The earth's orbit is a physical reality in realtime, but a picture of the orbit on a paper is an abstraction.

    You can look all you want, but there is no such object. What you have is the Earth in motion. An orbit is an abstraction of its path, like your recounting of what you did yesterday.

    Neal Tedford: The Matryoshka dolls have summativity.

    You keep repeating that, but ignore the response. Summativity means the sum of the subsets is equal to the superset. With mammals, the sum of the orders is equal to the class. With Matryoshka dolls, it is not. A doll is not the sum of its contents. The difference is the doll itself. They are both nested hierarchies. The former is sometimes called a fully nested hierarchy. It's actually not that relevant to our general discussion.

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  139. Neal Tedford: The earth's orbit is a physical reality in realtime, but a picture of the orbit on a paper is an abstraction.

    You can look all you want, but there is no such object. What you have is the Earth in motion. An orbit is an abstraction of its path, like your recounting of what you did yesterday.

    Neal Tedford: The Matryoshka dolls have summativity.

    You keep repeating that, but ignore the response. Summativity means the sum of the subsets is equal to the superset. With mammals, the sum of the orders is equal to the class. With Matryoshka dolls, it is not. A doll is not the sum of its contents. The difference is the doll itself. They are both nested hierarchies. The former is sometimes called a fully nested hierarchy. It's actually not all that relevant to our general discussion.

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  140. Zachriel: All that matters at this point is that the leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped by branch and stem.

    Neal Tedford: Can you show me a basic fleshed out example from real life along with the properties of containment and real life naming conventions.

    Here's a very simplified tree with only three leaves. This is a topologically equivalent cladogram. These are the sets. Notice that the first set is contained in the first set.

    {B, C} ⊂ {A, B, C}

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  141. Here's a bit more complicated example.

    V = {Dinosaurs, Crocodiles}
    W = {Primates, Rabbits}
    X = {Dinosaurs, Crocodiles, Primates, Rabbits}
    Y = {Amphibians}
    Z = {Amphibians, Primates, Rabbits, Dinosaurs, Crocodiles}

    V ⊂ X
    W ⊂ X
    X ⊂ Z
    Y ⊂ Z

    The sets are also summative.

    V ∪ W = X
    X ∪ Y = Z

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  142. Post keep disappearing. Tried breaking them down. We'll see. Above, it should read, "Notice that the first set is contained in the second set."

    ReplyDelete
  143. Zachriel,

    I think you would agree then that biological classification is an abstract organizational structure and that Matryoshka dolls are physical entities that exist in a nested hierarchy structure when assembled. This is not implying that biological classification is fiction. Are you offended somehow by saying that biological classification is an abstract organizational model or a human conceptual construction?

    Matryoshka dolls physically exist as a nested hierarchical arrangement whereas biological species are not.

    --
    Looking at the definitions of summative yields a simple generic definition of "additive, cumulative". Viewed as a complete set of Matryoshka dolls the entire contents (molecules, atoms, etc) are contained within the set of dolls. If I hold the assembled doll set in my hands, I hold the sum total of all the dolls.

    Let a complete set of Matryoshka Dolls be represented as : a,b,c,d. It’s nested hierarchy is represented as : a(b(c(d)))

    “A” represents the largest doll and “d” the smallest. “A” by itself represents the sum of all the molecules, atoms, paint, etc that make up the largest doll. When the set is assembled, "A" also represents everything inside). It contains all the other dolls. When you assemble the dolls together and hold it in your hands you are hold the sum total of the whole set. When you hold A, you hold everything. Taken as a set it is summative.

    “Mammals” is a classification or "container" of various species as we both agree. However, it is also accurate to refer to an individual creature or species as a mammal. When we say the Dolphin is a mammal we are not disinheriting all the other mammals. So, "mammal" can be viewed as the entire set of animals or to simply one particular animal.

    Anyway, we both agree with the important point that "mammal" is a summative group.

    Thanks for your responses. Next I'll address your cladogram and set examples.

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  144. Neal Tedford: Anyway, we both agree with the important point that "mammal" is a summative group.

    The orders of mammals are summative, the union of the subsets equals the superset. Unlike Matryoshka Dolls.

    The important point is that they are both nested hierarchies.

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  145. Zachriel,

    I think we both agreed that your vertical cladogram is not a nested hierarchy. Cladograms require a transformation in order to be presented as a nested hierarchy.

    Nested Hierarchies by definition show containment. How is the transformation from a cladogram to a nested hierarchy achieved?

    Transformation Step 1: You took some of the orders (summative already), genera (summative), and family (summative) from your cladogram and further formed them into summative sets (V,W,X,Y,Z). Set X being more inclusive and finally superset z being the most inclusive. Now your criteria has been grouped "by branch and stem". They are grouped, but are not nested hierarchies yet.

    Transformation Step 2: You then took these sets and formed various nested hierarchies of them by showing the relationships between the sets.

    ---

    We both agree that anything can be grouped and summed together and then represented as a nested hierarchy. Can designed objects also be grouped objectively? You brought up the good example of matryoshka doll sets that are an "objective" nested hierarchy. The fella that created these dolls obviously wasn't doing it to prove evolutionists wrong.

    Theobald in his 29 evidences, states, "Real world examples that CANNOT be objectively classified in nested hierarchies are the elementary particles (which are described by quantum chromodynamics), the elements (whose organization is described by quantum mechanics and illustrated by the periodic table), the planets in our Solar System, books in a library, or specially designed objects like buildings, furniture, cars, ETC.

    Again he states, "Hierarchical classifications for INANIMATE OBJECTS DON'T WORK for the very reason that unlike organisms, rocks and minerals do not evolve by descent with modification from common ancestors."

    In his sweeping matter of fact statements, which are not qualified, he is presenting his case for evolution as the only cause of "objective" nested hierarchies. Slick, but obviously mistaken as he presented it.

    Interestingly he uses Languages as an example of an objective nested hierarchy. Does he realize that languages evolve by INTELLIGENT DESIGN?


    Scientific claims require precision or at least precise qualification rather than misleading matter of fact generalizations. The basis of his argument takes the form of:

    If A is the only cause of B, then when we see B, we know that A caused it. Failing to mention that C can also cause B is a gross error.

    ----

    Any super set of entities that possess decreasing inclusiveness of shared characteristics can be subgrouped and represented by an objective nested hierarchy.

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  146. Zachriel, it was a rhetorical question! Did you not read the rest of my post??? I answered the question!!!! Who's not following who here? LOL!

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  147. Neal Tedford: I answered the question!!!!

    Nope. This is the question.

    Zachriel: All that matters at this point is that the leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped by branch and stem.

    Neal Tedford: Can you show me a basic fleshed out example from real life along with the properties of containment and real life naming conventions.

    Your question did not concern phylogeny, but with the relationship between the leaves on a tree grouped by branch and stem and a nested hierarchy.

    Neal Tedford: Now your criteria has been grouped "by branch and stem". They are grouped, but are not nested hierarchies yet.

    That is incorrect. Grouping the leaves on a tree by branch and stem forms a nested hierarchy. Showing you the sets is what you asked for. This really shouldn't be so difficult. Start with the simple example first.

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  148. Zachriel,

    One must show the hierarchical relationships before you can call it a nested hierarchy. Which you did and which I explained in "Transformation Step 2". Why are you arguing about nothing?


    You took patterns that you perceive from observation and formed an organizational view using a nested hierarchy model. What's there to argue about here???

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  149. Neal Tedford: You took patterns that you perceive from observation and formed an organizational view using a nested hierarchy model. What's there to argue about here???

    Not sure if you don't understand or just can't understand. This is the statement: The leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped by branch and stem. Start with the very simple tree.

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  150. Here's another version of the more complicated tree. There are five leaves; A, C, D, P, R. Group them by branch and stem. What are the sets?

    V = {D, C}
    W = {P, R}
    X = {D, C, P, R}
    Y = {A}
    Z = {A, D, C, P, R}

    Please note that

    V ⊂ X
    W ⊂ X
    X ⊂ Z
    Y ⊂ Z

    The sets are also summative.

    V ∪ W = X
    X ∪ Y = Z

    When you group leaves on a tree by branch and stem, it forms a nested hierarchy — by necessity. Uncrossed divergence forms a tree — by necessity. Are we okay with this?

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  151. Hawks:

    ===
    Cornelius is bemoaning the fact that common descent was only compared to convergent evolution and not other possible alternatives.
    ===

    No, I was bemoaning the metaphysics parading as science. Evolutionists prove their theory is a fact using a contrastive approach. That is, they argue the data are more likely on their theory than other theories. The unspoken metaphysics is that those other theories are the only possible alternatives. So I'm not bemoaning that common descent is compared to convergence. From that you may conclude that CD is more likely that convergence. But you may not conclude that CD is a fact. That is an obvious fallacy to which evolution is wedded.

    ===
    So, why doesn't Cornelius offer an ID alternative that has a high likelihood?
    ===

    You are missing the point. Any alternative that I or anyone else might offer doesn't change the fact that evolution is a metaphysical theory, not open to the scientific interpretation of the evidence. In fact, your very question is yet another example of this committment to contrastive thinking.

    It is a common request. Evolutionists constantly ask for "your alternative" because they need to steer the discussion away from the scientific evidence. Evolution was founded on this thinking and is today maintained on this thinking. Evolution is, of course, absurd given the scientific interpretation of the evidence.

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  152. Hawks:

    ====
    Cornelius wrote:
    --
    As philosopher Elliot Sober admits in his explanation of, as he puts it, Darwin’s Principle, it is not that the likelihood of common descent is high, but rather that the likelihood of the alternative is so low.
    --

    This is not what Sober was talking about. Darwin's principle refers to the notion that traits that are NOT under selective pressure are stronger evidence for common descent than are traits that ARE under selective pressure.
    ====

    Yes it is what Sober was talking about. Traits that are not under selective pressure do not help common descent; rather, the unlikeliness of the data on CD is simply not as bad as the alternative. See:

    http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/12/elliott-sober-and-enemy.html

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  153. Zachriel,

    Evolutionist Eric Knox said, "The evolution of life, with its ongoing ecological interactions, has a complexity
    that is often seen as hierarchical in nature. It is a different claim, however, to state
    that life or nature is a hierarchy. It is hard to see what is gained by asserting that
    such a monumental organizational framework has an independent existence, and
    then devoting time to debating whether species or other entities are “prime candidates
    for a general level, a slot in the hierarchy” (Eldredge, 1985: 198), as if it is a contest
    and we get to judge the winners. Hierarchies are organizational models that are
    useful for keeping track of inter-level relationships among entities. To the extent to
    which we construct hierarchies that are isomorphic with nature, these models will
    provide abstracted representations that may be manipulated in our minds and used
    to organize our knowledge."

    Do you agree with him???

    I, of course, do not agree with the common descent cladograms, but I do understand the main part of what you are saying. I'm not sure if you agree with Knox's above statement or not. You seem to be among the evolutionists that would not agree with him on this. Whether you agree with him here or not would clarify my understanding of exactly what you are saying.

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  154. Knox: The evolution of life, with its ongoing ecological interactions, has a complexity that is often seen as hierarchical in nature.

    Yes, life has and is evolving.

    Knox: It is a different claim, however, to state that life or nature is a hierarchy.

    Life is not a hierarchy. Any classification can only represent part of the whole, especially something as diverse and complex as life.

    Knox: It is hard to see what is gained by asserting that such a monumental organizational framework has an independent existence, and then devoting time to debating whether species or other entities are “prime candidates for a general level, a slot in the hierarchy” Eldredge, 1985: 198).

    Eldredge is referring to rigid ranking in phylogeny, in this case, species. Yes, species reasonably deserve ranking, at least for much of life, even though they are not always distinct. Just like organisms are deserving of ranking, even though there may be cases where individual organisms may not always be distinct.

    Knox is correct to emphasize the distinction between our models and the thing being modeled. That's why even concepts that seem obvious categories, such as organisms, may have limitations to their utility and have to be considered carefully.

    Knox: To the extent to which we construct hierarchies that are isomorphic with nature, these models will provide abstracted representations that may be manipulated in our minds and used to organize our knowledge.

    Yes, models can be isomorphic with nature, at least to some degree. More specifically, models can be predictive.

    Neal Tedford: I, of course, do not agree with the common descent cladograms, but I do understand the main part of what you are saying.

    We haven't actually discussed common descent. We can't get past such basics as defining the patterns at issue, e.g. the leaves on a tree, when grouped by branch and stem, form a nested hierarchy.

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  155. Zachriel said, "Knox is correct to emphasize the distinction between our models and the thing being modeled. That's why even concepts that seem obvious categories, such as organisms, may have limitations to their utility and have to be considered carefully."

    Your oft repeated phrase "the leaves on a tree, when grouped by branch and stem, form a nested hierarchy" certainly does not win a prize for clarity. If you were shooting for ambiguity, you achieved it. Saying something like "the terminal nodes on a cladogram can be grouped into a nested hierarchy" would have taken you right to your point. After all, we are not debating horticulture, but evolution.

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  156. Neal Tedford: Saying something like "the terminal nodes on a cladogram can be grouped into a nested hierarchy" would have taken you right to your point.

    We're not discussing cladograms, but tree structures. A cladogram forms a tree structure. Uncrossed divergence forms a tree structure. A tree forms a tree structure. Leaf is the proper term for an end-node, whether it's an abstract tree or a real tree. The leaves on a tree, when grouped by branch and stem, form a nested hierarchy.


    Are we okay with this?

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  157. Zachriel said, "We're not discussing cladograms, but tree structures. A cladogram forms a tree structure. Uncrossed divergence forms a tree structure. A tree forms a tree structure."

    "A tree forms a tree structure".

    Well that explains everything! We are not even discussing evolution. We are discussing trees. What was I thinking?

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  158. Zachriel: A cladogram forms a tree structure. Uncrossed divergence forms a tree structure. A tree forms a tree structure.

    Neal Tedford: Well that explains everything!

    In the last example, we were obviously referring to the archtypical woody perennial plant. To recap (and this has been going on for weeks, over multiple threads):

    In order to discuss the evidence for Common Descent, we need to understand the basics of trees and nested hierarchies, in particular, that the leaves on a tree, whether a typical woody perennial plant, an abstract rooted tree structure or other topologically equivalent pattern, form hierarchically ordered nested sets when grouped by branch and stem. Are we okay with this statement?

    It's hard to comprehend how you can continue to be confused on this point.

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  159. It is hard to comprehend why you are stuck on the tree illustration. Of course you can group the "leaves on a tree" and show a hierarchical relationship. So, can you please continue?

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  160. Neal Tedford: It is hard to comprehend why you are stuck on the tree illustration.

    Darwin drew exactly one diagram in Origin of Species.

    Neal Tedford: Of course you can group the "leaves on a tree" and show a hierarchical relationship.

    If you group them by branch and stem, it *does* form a hierarchical ordering of nested sets. See this comment for an example.

    Are you okay with this?

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  161. Zachriel:

    Are you okay with this?

    Excuse me for butting in, but as entertaining as it is, I don't expect this exchange to end, ever.

    I give Tedford credit for engaging with Zachriel, but I think he realizes that if he concedes even the most elementary point to his mentor, he will start on a logical path that might undo his commitment to unnatural creation. And he doesn't want to consider where that might lead...

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  162. Zachriel,

    Per your above grouping:
    " {Amphibians, Primates, Rabbits, Dinosaurs, Crocodiles}"

    This simple grouping represents? A group!

    If you wrote your group names in the sky, would everyone say, "wow look at the cool nested hierarchy?"

    For some reason you believe, that you can ignore the standard format of a nested hierarchy. Isn't science supposed to be precise? This is a joke.

    It does not show the nested relationship and so you do not have a nested hierarchy. You grouped the "leaves" by "branch" and what do you have? A group. Where is the containment shown in the above group? No containment, no nested hierarchy. I'm not sure why you are splitting hairs on this. If you trying to make a solid case for an objective nested hierarchy of life, there are less ambiguous ways to do so. I'm ready to move on.

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  163. Pedant,

    I can't agree to Zachriel's sloppiness.

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  164. Tedford:

    I can't agree to Zachriel's sloppiness.

    Could you be more specific about your complaint?

    (For once?)

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  166. comments are disappearing again.

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  167. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  168. Neal Tedford: If you trying to make a solid case for an objective nested hierarchy of life ...

    Be happy to. First you need to understand the relationship between a tree and a nested hierarchy.

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  169. Neal Tedford: For some reason you believe, that you can ignore the standard format of a nested hierarchy.

    We not only provided the tree diagram, but also showed you the sets when the leaves are grouped by the various branches.

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  170. Zachriel said, "We not only provided the tree diagram, but also showed you the sets when the leaves are grouped by the various branches."

    Doing so is not an optional favor that you are providing but a necessity.

    It's not a nested hierarchy until you show a nested hierarchy. A nested hierarchy is a manmade organizational model. If you don't show the model in standard format you don't have a model. Simply lumping a bunch of entities together without showing the RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE ENTITIES is NOT a nested hierarchy.


    A tree organizational model needs to be transformed in order to become a nested hierarchy:

    As I stated before, the procedure is:

    "Transformation Step 1: You took some of the orders (summative already), genera (summative), and family (summative) from your cladogram and further formed them into summative sets (V,W,X,Y,Z). Set X being more inclusive and finally superset z being the most inclusive. Now your criteria has been grouped "by branch and stem". They are grouped, but are not nested hierarchies yet. (because you still need to show the relationships of the entities)

    Transformation Step 2: You then took these sets and formed various nested hierarchies of them by showing the relationships between the sets."

    The hierarchical relationship is formed easily from a tree structure into a nested hierarchy.

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  171. Our detailed comments keep disappearing. Please refer to this comment and <a href="http://www.zachriel.com/images/cladogram3.gifthis diagram</a>.

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  172. Neal Tedford: You grouped the "leaves" by "branch" and what do you have?

    Hierarchically ordered nested sets. On the diagram, we have named the branches for your convenience. Perhaps you don't have trees where you live. For example, if you cut the X branch, it isolates C, D, P, R from the root. Notice that the leaves of V are included in this. The leaves of V are contained in the leaves of X.

    V ⊂ {D, C }
    W ⊂ {P, R }
    X ⊂ {D, C, P, R }
    Y ⊂ {A }
    Z ⊂ {A, D, C, P, R }

    Please note the containment.

    V ⊂ X
    W ⊂ X
    X ⊂ Z
    Y ⊂ Z

    The sets are also summative:

    V ∪ W = X
    X ∪ Y = Z

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  173. The disappearing comments is leading to inaccuracies during reconstruction of comments. The first set of relationships above should be equal signs, not containments.

    V = {D, C }
    W = {P, R }
    X = {D, C, P, R }
    Y = {A }
    Z = {A, D, C, P, R }

    Normally, it would be best to delete and repost, but who knows whether they will disappear or not.

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  174. Zachriel: We not only provided the tree diagram, but also showed you the sets when the leaves are grouped by the various branches.

    Neal Tedford: Doing so is not an optional favor that you are providing but a necessity.

    Um, no. Saying to group the leaves on a branch is just one of many ways to unambiguously construct a set.

    {'leaves on branch V'} = {C, D}

    Neal Tedford: Simply lumping a bunch of entities together without showing the RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE ENTITIES is NOT a nested hierarchy.

    The relationships are shown. The relationships exist once we group according to the associated branch.

    Neal Tedford: They are grouped, but are not nested hierarchies yet. (because you still need to show the relationships of the entities)

    The relationships are there. {D, C} is contained in {D, C, P, R} whether or not we explicitly state it.

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  175. Zachriel, I'm okay with this, as I have from the beginning of this series of posts. As long as you show the relationships of the entities, your being accurate. If you revert back to the sloppy and ambiguous "leaves on a tree..." mantra, I will object once again. They don't form a nested hierarchy until someone visually shows it by grouping, showing relationships and containment.

    Are you ready to move on now?

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  176. My agreement was with your previous post where you showed the sets and relationships. A simple visual set of names like "{Amphibians, Primates, Rabbits, Dinosaurs, Crocodiles} alone is not in correct format.

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  178. Unless you explicitly state the relationships you don't have a nested hierarchy. The nested hierarchy is a manmade organization model. If you don't visually present the model in the correct format, you don't have one. Do you accept that?

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  179. Neal Tedford: Unless you explicitly state the relationships you don't have a nested hierarchy.

    We have two sets, the leaves of branch V = {C, D} and the leaves of branch X = {C, D, P, R}. Is {C, D} contained in {C, D, P, R}? Yes, of course it is. Saying it doesn't change the answer.

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  180. Neal Tedford: The nested hierarchy is a manmade organization model.

    So is a set. Group the leaves on branch V. Does that form a set? Of course it does. We don't have to use curly brackets {C, D} for it to be a set.

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  181. Nor do we have to use set notation to know that the leaves of a branch of a tree are a subset of the leaves of the limb that the branch grows from.

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  182. Zachriel, you formed the nested hierarchy directly from your grouping which is a direct consequence of your tree. It's a simple and direct transformation.

    My issues will be with the actual tree itself, not the mechanical grouping and transformation of it into a nested hierarchy. The simple transformation is a trivial procedure.

    Evolutionists determine the evolutionary tree by reasoning from a tautology of common descent and homology. It's a fundamentally flawed method.

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  183. Neal Tedford: Zachriel, you formed the nested hierarchy directly from your grouping which is a direct consequence of your tree. It's a simple and direct transformation.

    Leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped according to branch. Good.

    Next statement: Uncrossed branching forms a tree.

    Again, this is an obvious statement, but we want to be explicit.

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  184. Zachriel, you formed the nested hierarchy. The leaves don't have an independent existence to jump into a nested hierarchy model... if you want to be explicit.

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  185. Zachriel: Leaves on a tree form a nested hierarchy when grouped according to branch.

    Neal Tedford: Zachriel, you formed the nested hierarchy.

    It's the grouping according to branch that results in a nested hierarchy.

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  186. Zachriel said, "It's the grouping according to branch that results in a nested hierarchy." The results are not explicit and you are not showing a nested hierarchy until you show the relationships properly. Is this entertaining or what?

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  187. Neal Tedford: The results are not explicit and you are not showing a nested hierarchy until you show the relationships properly.

    Not sure why you are still having troubles with this. Can we talk about the set of leaves on branch V?

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  188. Zachriel, branch V looks to be the same branch as Z and X in your tree diagram link...do you see how your tree/cladogram is not self-evident?

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  189. http://www.zachriel.com/images/cladogram3.gif

    Neal Tedford: branch V looks to be the same branch as Z and X in your tree diagram link...do you see how your tree/cladogram is not self-evident?

    If you don't have woody perennial plants where you live, that's understandable.

    If you cut the tree at V, you will sever the leaves C and D from the root. But if you cut the tree at X, you will sever branches V and W, as well as the leaves C, D, P and R from the root.

    Now, can we unambiguously refer to the set of leaves associated with branch V? Branch X?

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  190. Zachriel said, "Now, can we unambiguously refer to the set of leaves associated with branch V? Branch X?"

    Go for it. You are the one defining the labels, so if that is what you want it to be then I'm fine with that too.

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  193. Zachriel: Now, can we unambiguously refer to the set of leaves associated with branch V? Branch X?

    gpuccio: Go for it. You are the one defining the labels, so if that is what you want it to be then I'm fine with that too.

    It's not a matter of opinion, or being fine with it.

    V is contained in X. Once having intensionally defined the sets, they form a nested hierarchy.

    To review: The sets are well-defined, and because of the structure of a tree, the leaves when grouped according to branch and stem form, by necessity, a nested hierarchy.

    -

    Next statement: Uncrossed branching forms a tree. Again, this is an obvious statement, but we want to be explicit.

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  194. Zachriel said, "Next statement: Uncrossed branching forms a tree. Again, this is an obvious statement, but we want to be explicit."


    Unless it is a Banyan tree or similar, but you are on a roll so please continue...

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  195. Zachriel: Next statement: Uncrossed branching forms a tree {structure}.

    Neal Tedford: Unless it is a Banyan tree or similar,

    Does that contradict the statement? Please be precise.

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