Friday, May 17, 2013

Look at This Incredible Insect Wing Design

A Rational Design

It is intuitively obvious that insect wings, such as these shown from the desert locust, did not evolve from random chance events as evolutionists insist they did, and new research is helping to elucidate the underlying reasons. One glance at the insect wings pictured here reveals something special, but what is it? There is a definite pattern revealed by the crisscrossing veins and the new research demonstrates that the cells formed by the intersecting veins are optimized to minimize the weight of the wing while maximizing the wing’s resistance to cracks. Specifically, the cell’s are sized according to the so-called “critical crack length” which is the length at which a crack becomes a structural threat—a property of the wing material. Cracks shorter than this length tend not to grow and so need not be stopped. So the mechanical properties of the wing material (cuticle), and the structural design of the veins, work together to form an optimized wing. As the research concluded:

the biomechanical properties and the morphology of locust wings are functionally correlated in locusts, providing a mechanically ‘optimal’ solution with high toughness and low weight.

The research also found that distribution of the cell size across the wing followed the pattern of smaller cells tending to cluster along the wing edges where cracks might be more likely to begin. As one of the researchers concluded:

Thanks to this precise spacing of the cross veins, the cracks are always stopped before they can reach this critical length and start growing themselves. Nature has found a mechanically “optimal” solution for the locust wings, with a high toughness and a low weight.

It is another example that, as William Bialek has pointed out, biological designs are rational. That is, rather than explaining that the species are the way they are because that is the way they happened to evolve, the species have designs that can be understood according to the underlying engineering and physics principles.

And so using this rational, mathematical, approach to biology the researchers were able to do something that consistently eludes evolutionists—produce a successful prediction:

An optimal cell size of a grid-like structure such as the wing can be predicted using the “critical crack length” of the membrane, which is determined by the material’s fracture toughness and the stress applied. … An “optimal” wing cell should have a diameter of around 1132 µm. Is this the case in locust wings? Our results show that the distribution of the wing cell size in locust wings corresponds very well to this prediction, with the most common wing-cell “class” being between 1000 and 1100 µm.

These wing designs enable the desert locust to achieve tremendous feats of flying, and the designs are yet another example of evolution’s anti-realism. Biological structures certainly appear to be designed but, evolutionists insist, it is a case of false appearances. The designs are that way because that is how they happened to evolve. That, evolutionists say, is a scientific fact that we must not question.

127 comments:

  1. Does the concept "trial and error" make any sense to you, Dr. Hunter?

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    1. with a probability of 1 / 10^10000000000000000000000000000000000000000 or less, there is no time for tials and errors. Only telling stories can have faith in those absurdities

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    2. To me make sense but there is no trace of old errors or new trials.

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    3. Juan,

      Can you show your work in calculating that probability?

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    4. V, can you show yours? And without such calculations, is there anything knowably true or false about you claiming your view is more objectively plausible than an alternative view?

      What is knowable is this: The DNA sequence space is utterly huge. Thus, it is not knowable or plausible by any relative plausibility criteria any of you have articulated that the probability of naturalistic UCA is greater than 0. Thus, no one is any less rational for believing that probability to BE zero. That's where we stand, epistemologically, given our current knowledge. And all the bluff and bluster in the world will not change that.

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    5. v, have you made an attempt at calculating the probabilities? If so, let us have a look. If not, would you be interested in giving it a go? If not, why not? Possible results might not support a preferred world view? May not be consistant with your "confirmation biases"?
      Afraid the alleged evolutionary MECHANISMS you want to be responsible, would continue to empirically be demonstrated to be impotent?

      Insufficient mathematical support, lack of supporting calculations of probabilities, vast amounts of undemonstrated speculation equals insufficiently supported CONJECTURE. That is NDE.

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    6. Jeff,
      V, can you show yours? And without such calculations, is there anything knowably true or false about you claiming your view is more objectively plausible than an alternative view?


      Since I didn't provide any calculation to proven how unlikely a event was I cannot prove my non calculation is correct.But proving something is impossible with probabilities requires accurate knowledge of all parameters, to prove something is possible is easier.

      What exactly is the alternate view? That an unknown designer with unknown capabilities and some unknown time for unknown reasons preformed an unknown action.

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    7. Elizabeth Liddle said

      "Dead locusts tell no tales :)"

      All the ToE|is build on tales of dead locusts.

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    8. V: What exactly is the alternate view? That an unknown designer with unknown capabilities and some unknown time for unknown reasons preformed an unknown action.

      J: There are tons of them. Myriads of SA histories. Myriads of non-genealogical views. Regardless, once you reject parsimony (minimizing ad-hoc hypotheses, etc) and calculable probabilities, what relative plausibility criteria comes into play? And if none, then how do you demarcate science from non-science to argue that "scientific" is "better." And better in what sense and for whom?

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    9. BPRAGMATIC ,
      Insufficient mathematical support, lack of supporting calculations of probabilities, vast amounts of undemonstrated speculation equals insufficiently supported CONJECTURE. That is NDE.


      Do have any supported conjecture beyond not NDE? Again, to prove something is impossible you have to know all the parameters. For each unknown the error bars on the probability increase.

      have you made an attempt at calculating the probabilities? If so, let us have a look. If not, would you be interested in giving it a go? If not, why not? Possible results might not support a preferred world view

      That why I was hoping Juan would show his work, I am hardly qualified to compute such a complex probability, are you?

      My world view is there are unknown unknowns, and any designer would be free to chose his method of design including NDE. And any argument from optimal design would require that non optimal design would be evidence against it, avoiding the" heads I win,tails you lose" fallacy

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    10. Alan

      "Does the concept "trial and error" make any sense to you,..."

      Does the concept 'trial and error' not imply intelligence to you? Even if the process was trial and error, it could not be carried out by blind, purposeless and directionless forces. Error can only be detected if one knows what is not an error.

      The logic of your argument is really bad. That's the simplest way to put it, just really bad.

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    11. velikovskys
      "Do have any supported conjecture beyond not NDE?"

      Looking at living organisms, the organs, tissues, cells the integration and coordination requirements, and "information processing" systems etc, I observe "design". Materials configured in such ways as to be an assemblage with properties highly differentiated from inert chemicals. Doesnt matter if the organism can be reduced to chemicals. It is the vast, functioning, correlating, perpetuating CONFIGURATIONS in and of the organism that defy NDE explanations as to how these came about soley by "naturalistic" (ordinary, observable and measurable, perceptible by human senses) forces alone.
      So, yes. I OBSERVE design in living organisms. It is an inference to a valid explanation resulting from my repeated and uniform experience, as Stephen Meyer would say. And anybody could say that.


      velikovskys
      "Again, to prove something is impossible you have to know all the parameters. For each unknown the error bars on the probability increase."


      I think I can agree with you on that. But let us hope that science will not often be required to prove that something is impossible. My understanding is that funding is tight enough as is.



      Velkoskys
      "That why I was hoping Juan would show his work, I am hardly qualified to compute such a complex probability, are you?"


      No. In order to come to any conclusions, I would have to rely on information from someone who is qualified in making complex probability calculations within that specific context.

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    12. Jeff,
      There are tons of them. Myriads of SA histories. Myriads of non-genealogical views. Regardless, once you reject parsimony (minimizing ad-hoc hypotheses, etc) and calculable probabilities, what relative plausibility criteria comes into play?


      Pick one.


      And if none, then how do you demarcate science from non-science to argue that "scientific" is "better." And better in what sense and for whom

      Everyone is free to believe what they want, however every belief is not equally supported by observed reality. That is were faith comes in.

      Personally, science is more interesting than the alternatives to me. Of course that is not to say that the emotional aspects of life are valueless. But when push comes to shove I would take my child to a doctor not a Christian Scientist.

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    13. ""Again, to prove something is impossible you have to know all the parameters. For each unknown the error bars on the probability increase.""

      I've seen everything now. Vel essentially making an argument that if he thought about it for a few minutes would tend to validate the "God of the gaps" argument since the "bars on the probability increase" for each unknown.

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    14. V: Personally, science is more interesting than the alternatives to me.

      J: Me too. But how do you define science? Atheism?

      V: every belief is not equally supported by observed reality.

      J: The consensus view of the consensi is the "quantum wierdness" view which basically denies the existence of "observations" in the classical sense of that term. How do you define "observation?"

      I define it as a subjective phenomenological experience caused by one or more extra-self entities with material properties like volume such that those specific properties are conditions of the specific nature of the experience(s). Interpreting your meaning from your putative words, for example, is not an observation by my definition of "observation."

      V: But when push comes to shove I would take my child to a doctor not a Christian Scientist.

      J: I'm not arguing for Christian Science. I use inductive relative plausibility criteria plus the axioms that ground them to make such decisions. I don't see how that's counter-scientific.

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    15. Trial and error is a teleological process. You can't have it both ways.

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  2. What is the 1 and what is the big number in your probability? It's not the old "tornado-in-a-junkyard" routine is it?

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    1. Mr. Fox,, This animation has a Dragonfly wing in it:

      Nature by Numbers
      http://vimeo.com/9953368

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    2. Evolution vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791

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  3. Only an atheist can look at that and claim it came about by trial and error! It's amazing how much faith they are able to muster up when called upon. Seems like nothing is too difficult for the god of atheists. (Evolution)

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    1. TJ,
      Only an atheist can look at that and claim it came about by trial and error


      Unless the Catholic Church is an atheistic organization, then theists certainly can believe those wings came about from trial and error.

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    2. Trial and Error is a very good way of solving problems. It's how many intelligent creatures learn.

      And while the Trials may be Chance, in the usual sense, the "Error" is far from "Chance". If it was, we wouldn't call it an "Error"!

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    3. Elizabeth, a trial, in normal parlance, is a volitional action. When you define as non-volitional, it is incumbent on you to explain how the end result can be attained by purely non-volitional events in the posited time-frame. This is what you can't begin to do. Thus, you can't prove your view is even logically possible. Thus, your view is grounded in nothing but your own personal credulity.

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    4. Jeff,
      a trial, in normal parlance, is a volitional action.


      There is a difference between choosing to conduct a trial and the trial itself. If it was purely volitional then the outcome is chosen, trial and non error

      In biology the design is created by reproduction, it's success or failure is judged by it ability to produce offspring

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    5. velikovskys
      "In biology the design is created by reproduction, it's success or failure is judged by it ability to produce offspring"


      Your definition of "reproduction" in this instance would fill libraries with volumes upon volumes of DESCRIPTION. Now that is "biology".

      What you are explaining here seems to be closely related to a trite NDE adage. I think the real underlying concern, in this context, involves REAL scientific explanations as to how all of the components of a living organism came to be and to do all that it does, including reproduce.

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    6. V: In biology the design is created by reproduction, it's success or failure is judged by it ability to produce offspring

      J: Again, success and failure sound very much like teleological language, there. Regardless, your assertion adds not one iota of plausibility to the claim that the degree of genealogical plasticity you posit for the posited time-frame has a probability greater than 0. And you have provided zero evidence that the probability for that claim IS greater than zero.

      The debate by CH is not that naturalistic UCA is falsifiable. It's NOT. The debate is whether there is any objective evidence for it. There isn't.

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    7. Jeff: Elizabeth, a trial, in normal parlance, is a volitional action.

      EL: It certainly isn't when you are characterising Darwinian mechanisms as trial and error!

      Which tokyojim, correctly, was. Clearly nobody suggests that Darwinian "trials" are "trials" by a volitional agent. It just means - this genome is a little different (trial) does it work better or worse? (error).


      Jeff:When you define as non-volitional, it is incumbent on you to explain how the end result can be attained by purely non-volitional events in the posited time-frame. This is what you can't begin to do. Thus, you can't prove your view is even logically possible. Thus, your view is grounded in nothing but your own personal credulity.

      EL: of course I can. It's all in Darwin's book, for a start, and there is a vast amount of research supporting it since then: random variation (small genetic differences between parent and offspring) are "tried" in the environment. Those that lead to greater chance of reproduction, are, by definition, reproduced more, and those that lead to reduced chance of reproduction, are, by definition, reproduced less often. So the more successful "trials" are multiplied and the less successful (the "errors") are weeded out.

      You might personally doubt that the variants are really blind or random, or non-volitional, but we know there are variants, we know that some lead to greater reproductive success, and some to less ("error"). And we know (it must be the case) that the ones that lead to greater reproductive success become more prevalent in the population.

      And it turns out that random trial rather than informed trial often works better for certain kinds of problems.

      But that doesn't means that whether a variant succeeds of fails is simply "chance". If a variant gives you slightly longer legs, and slightly longer legs let you catch your prey better, or escape from predators faster, then that's not chance - that's a direct result of your longer legs.

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    8. EL: But that doesn't means that whether a variant succeeds of fails is simply "chance". If a variant gives you slightly longer legs, and slightly longer legs let you catch your prey better, or escape from predators faster, then that's not chance - that's a direct result of your longer legs.

      J: Elizabeth, if all that is meant by CH by "chance" is non-teleological, then, yes, your view is a "chance" view. And positing the few truisms you do doesn't remotely imply that the specific UCA lineages you posit would have occurred, much less in the posited time-frame.

      Let's assume for the sake of argument that CH believes (and I doubt he does) that the Genesis account in the first 3 chapters implies that God originally created no snakes or other critters that slithered on the their belly. That means that all the extant and extinct critters that have a snake form and mode of locomotion are all conceivably evolved from one snake and possibly some devolved lizards, etc, either totally naturally or not.

      That's a lot of evolution he would be positing. But it's not UCA. There's nothing we know that says naturalistic UCA is probable or possible for the posited time frame. And that means there's no objective evidence for it that anyone has provided.

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    9. Elizabeth,

      "Trial and Error is a very good way of solving problems. It's how many intelligent creatures learn."

      The key word in your comment is 'intelligent'. Evolutionary processes are not intelligent. In fact, they're not even stupid, they're simply processes. So, no, trial and error is not a factor in the process, as trial and error must involve intelligent processes.

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    10. "Unless the Catholic Church is an atheistic organization, then theists certainly can believe those wings came about from trial and error."

      The day that it is the official stance of the Catholic church that life came about with out direction and design it would most definitely be an atheistic organization so the above sentence is pointless.

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    11. Nic: how would you describe Darwinian processes if not as "trial and error" processes?

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    12. Elizabeth,

      "Nic: how would you describe Darwinian processes if not as "trial and error" processes?"

      A shot in the dark with an unloaded gun.

      You see, Elizabeth, not everyone presumes evolution to be true, and therefore they don't see the need to explain a process they don't believe occurred, or is occurring.

      As for trial and error, as I said earlier, error can be detected only through a process which can recognize what is not an error. Blind, purposeless, goalless processes such as evolution cannot do that. Evolution would be just as prone to continually repeat an error, as to correct it.

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    13. Well, no, Nic. The whole point of Darwin's idea was that if a variation appears that reduces an organisms chance of reproducing it is less likely to be repeated - by definition! Whereas if it increases it, it is more likely to be repeated - by definition! The error-feedback is built-in.

      It's basically this:

      New variant appears (by "chance" if you like).
      Does the variant increase the probability of reproduction?

      If yes, more copies of that variant will be made - variant will be repeated.
      If no, fewer, or no, copies of that variant will be made - variant will not be repeated.

      The mechanism by which "errors" are detected is simply that the "errors" ARE those variants that are less likely to be repeated!

      It's so simple, that it's easy not to see it. Do you see it now?

      I mean, you don't need to believe that it works, but do you see the principle? That's why tokyojim, not a "Darwinist" nonetheless, rightly, called Darwinian evolution a "trial and error" process. That's exactly what it is.

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    14. Elijah,
      The day that it is the official stance of the Catholic church that life came about with out direction and design it would most


      The claim was " only an atheist can look at that and claim it came about through trial and error"

      Are you saying it is impossible for a designer to use trial and error as a design tool? Humans do, and since ID extrapolates human design to organisms ,which design methods are acceptable?

      definitely be an atheistic organization so the above sentence is pointless.

      Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.

      I doubt the CC worries about your view, after all until recently they probably considered you as a heretic

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    15. Vel.

      What I have learned about you is that you cannot read worth a lick AND you have the totally dishonest penchant of trying to lay down a false fact and then build an argument based on it . to your reading problem this is what I wrote

      "The day that it is the official stance of the Catholic church that life came about with out direction and design "

      to your dishonesty issue

      if a designer used trial and error along with intellect it would NOT be true to say it came about by trial and error. No more so than saying the Wright brothers invented modern flight from just trial and error. C is right and as usual on the logic you are wrong.

      "Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution"

      Pope Pious confirmed that they could be compatible with each other not that one would give way to the other. You are fudging again. It has never been the position of the RC thatr life came about without direction or design so my point stands.

      "I doubt the CC worries about your view, after all until recently they probably considered you as a heretic"

      Pointless. I could care less even if it were so. The Bible never worries about the CC's views so why should anyone.

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  4. It is intuitively obvious that insect wings, such as these shown from the desert locust, did not evolve from random chance events as evolutionists insist they did,...

    In other words, this is the argument from incredulity: you cannot imagine how it could happen by evolutionary processes so it didn't. But that could be as much a failure of imagination as of evolution.

    It is another example that, as William Bialek has pointed out, biological designs are rational. That is, rather than explaining that the species are the way they are because that is the way they happened to evolve, the species have designs that can be understood according to the underlying engineering and physics principles.

    Why should that be surprising? Evolution, like a designer, can only work within the limits of available materials and energy sources. "Designs", whether by evolution or an intelligent designer are forced by those limits.

    And so using this rational, mathematical, approach to biology the researchers were able to do something that consistently eludes evolutionists—produce a successful prediction:...

    Do you have any reason to believe that these researchers do not subscribe to the theory of evolution?

    Biological structures certainly appear to be designed but, evolutionists insist, it is a case of false appearances. The designs are that way because that is how they happened to evolve. That, evolutionists say, is a scientific fact that we must not question.

    No, they don't.

    What they say is that the theory of evolution, in its current iteration, is the best available explanation for the existing evidence. That evidence includes observations of processes that must exist for evolution to happen at all.

    Anyone can question and criticize the theory but, to overturn it, something rather stronger than the argument from incredulity will be required.

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    1. Ian: In other words, this is the argument from incredulity: you cannot imagine how it could happen by evolutionary processes so it didn't. But that could be as much a failure of imagination as of evolution.

      J: And it's your own personal credulity that causes you to believe someone will one day imagine how naturalistic UCA could have occurred consistently with any of the natural "laws" we believe are in play today. So does that make you as unscientific as you are implying CH is? It sure does, if science is something that can be demarcated from non-science.

      Ian: What they say is that the theory of evolution, in its current iteration, is the best available explanation for the existing evidence.

      J: But it's not known to be the best explanation. That could only mean that it involves less ad-hoc hypotheses than other views, but no one has demonstrated that. No one has even demonstrated that those millions of ad-hoc'ly posited causal properties of past events are consistent with any laws of nature supposed to be currently in effect. Their claim is a bald-faced lie.

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    2. "In other words, this is the argument from incredulity: you cannot imagine how it could happen by evolutionary processes so it didn't. But that could be as much a failure of imagination as of evolution."

      As fine an admission as I have ever seen that a great deal of Darwinism relies on flights of fancy with imagination.

      However the whole thing is a strawman. IDist do not negatively assert we cannot imagine therefore a designer. We see the design while you live in denial appealing to imagination as a rebuttal to the obvious. You tacitly admit to seeing the evidence of design by making up such words as "designoids" but imagine that you designating design as designoids translates to their being no evidence for design.


      You really are an illogical set.

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    3. Jeff May 18, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      [...]

      J: And it's your own personal credulity that causes you to believe someone will one day imagine how naturalistic UCA could have occurred consistently with any of the natural "laws" we believe are in play today. So does that make you as unscientific as you are implying CH is? It sure does, if science is something that can be demarcated from non-science.


      Yes, I believe common ancestry is the best current explanation for the available evidence. Does that mean I believe it is proven beyond a shadow of doubt? No, of course not. But let me put a question to you and CH and the anti-evolutionists here.

      If someone were to find compelling evidence that an alien intelligence had been involved in the appearance of life on the ancient Earth, perhaps "seeding" the planet with various species in acts of separate creation, I would have no problem in accepting it as a huge and fascinating discovery. To have evidence of life from elsewhere in the universe, of a more advanced intelligence which presumably had some sort of interstellar travel capability, that would be enormously exciting, opening up all sort of intriguing possibilities.

      Now, suppose that the gradual accumulation of data continues to point towards common ancestry, to life appearing on Earth through unaided natural processes, would there ever come a point at which you would accept that to be the better explanation or is there nothing and no one that could persuade you to abandon your beliefs?

      J: But it's not known to be the best explanation.

      "Know" is tricky. It's not thought to be The Truth ™, it's not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's not "entire and whole and perfect" by any means. It is, however, accepted as the best currently available working explanation by the overwhelming majority of those best placed to judge, the community of professional biologists. Since nobody seems to have anything better to offer, that's as good as it gets for the moment. Stick to philosophy if you want absolutes.

      That could only mean that it involves less ad-hoc hypotheses than other views, but no one has demonstrated that.

      If you look back to that list I posted from the philosopher William Newton-Smith, you'll find that "smoothness" - meaning the least number of auxiliary hypotheses - was just one of eight criteria which could be used to define a good scientific theory. Even if the theory of evolution scores low on "smoothness" - and you have yet to put numbers on that claim - it would still qualify based on the other criteria.

      No one has even demonstrated that those millions of ad-hoc'ly posited causal properties of past events are consistent with any laws of nature supposed to be currently in effect. Their claim is a bald-faced lie

      I'm sorry, which claim is that exactly?

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    4. Elijah2012 May 18, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      [...]

      As fine an admission as I have ever seen that a great deal of Darwinism relies on flights of fancy with imagination.


      No, the widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution relies on the evidence not something like the speculative excesses of evolutionary psychology.

      However the whole thing is a strawman. IDist do not negatively assert we cannot imagine therefore a designer.

      Are you denying that there are EID proponents who argue strongly that because naturalistic explanations are inadequate the only plausible alternative is ID?

      We see the design while you live in denial appealing to imagination as a rebuttal to the obvious. You tacitly admit to seeing the evidence of design by making up such words as "designoids" but imagine that you designating design as designoids translates to their being no evidence for design.

      We know there is design in the Universe because we do it ourselves. What we don't know is whether there is anyone or anything else out there also doing it.

      We see design in nature because we see structures that are analogous to things we design but that doesn't mean necessarily that they were designed by us or anyone else. For example, canals and rivers are analogous in some ways. they both serve to channel water from one place to another. We know canals were designed because we designed and built them. Does that also mean rivers were designed?

      Of course we can't rule out the possibility that some alien race came along and terraformed the planet at some point in the past, which would include making the rivers, presumably. But to persuade others like me that it actually happened you'll have to come up with some pretty convincing evidence. Otherwise, you're just jumping to conclusions.

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    5. "No, the widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution relies on the evidence not something like the speculative excesses of evolutionary psychology."

      If at multiple points in a vain attempt to prop up a theory filled with holes you appeal to imagination or lack of it then yes it most certainly relies on imagination unless you do not know the meaning of "relies".

      "Are you denying that there are EID proponents who argue strongly that because naturalistic explanations are inadequate the only plausible alternative is ID?"

      Of course I am. I know of not a single IDist that states "it shows no evidence of being designed but since we cannot explain it ID it is"

      Present even one IDist that makes such a preposterous claim. You cannot because Idist appeal to design they observe as an explanation rather than in the absence of explanation claim design. You are fibbing.


      "We know there is design in the Universe because we do it ourselves. "

      The History of human design rebukes your premise. Much of our "design" has been based on mimicry of nature. We are also guided at every turn by a universe based on functional and interacting logic. In many senses the prexisting logical order of the universe forces us to conclusions that result in our inventions. So your claim is hollow. IF the universe orders our designs as it most definitely does the attempt to exclude design existing anywhere but with us is just an extreme form of begging and a powerful example of arrogance.

      Your canal argument is a perfect illustration of our mimicry (in this case of rivers and other natural water conduits) and of the circularity of your arguments. Essentially its based on air that design can only be achieved by humans.

      This has been rebutted before but if we must again so be it. IF we one day do encounter an alien race then according to you we should not be able to identify even with study their machines and designs because they are unfamiliar to us and we did not design them.

      Horse fodder. We will be able to identify them by how they use them, and the purpose they fulfill and how their various parts fit together just as surely as we mean to detect designed signals by how they fit together within a context and pattern with SETI. ;)

      "But to persuade others like me that it actually happened you'll have to come up with some pretty convincing evidence."

      Sorry Sped. You've deluded yourself by the ability to post on an ID blog that you are where the action is at for the IDist, or that you stand as any arbiter to whom we must convince. Atheism is in the vast minority across the world. Its you that must do the convincing and its you that has been failing. The majority does not have the overwhelming duty to convince the minority. You've got it backways. If you hadn't noted the obvious its you that is at an ID blog not us at yours. So exactly who is trying to convince who?

      and please spare us the claims of jumping to conclusions. Who jumps more? From concluding that abiogenesis is achieveable without design to the cambrian explosion being preceded by fossils we have no evidence of to claiming that that despite nature coming up with the same solutions over and over again its "converged evolution" rather than an indication of a controlling LAW toward the same solutions.

      Your side does nothing but jump to conclusions so you are in no position to lecture on jumping to conclusions.




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    6. Elijah2012 May 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      [...]

      If at multiple points in a vain attempt to prop up a theory filled with holes you appeal to imagination or lack of it then yes it most certainly relies on imagination unless you do not know the meaning of "relies".


      All scientific theories have holes. What's important is not the holes or the bits around them but the whole thing. If you just concentrate on the holes and ignore the rest, you're getting - and giving - a false picture.

      And yes, if you try to fill the holes or gaps with untestable speculations - such as some unspecified designer or God, assuming they're not the same thing - it's not much help.

      [...]

      ... I know of not a single IDist that states "it shows no evidence of being designed but since we cannot explain it ID it is"

      Present even one IDist that makes such a preposterous claim. You cannot because Idist appeal to design they observe as an explanation rather than in the absence of explanation claim design. You are fibbing.


      Michael Behe.

      Wrote a whole book about it.

      The History of human design rebukes your premise. Much of our "design" has been based on mimicry of nature.

      No, it doesn't - and isn't.

      Tanks, trains, tablet computers, guns, bicycles, iPods, ships, can-openers etc, etc, aren't mimicking anything in Nature.

      Some human designs have been inspired by nature. The designer of the Spitfire fighter aircraft of WWII and the trophy-winning seaplanes that preceded it was inspired by birds. But attempts to mimic birds flight by attaching feathered wings to human arms or powered "ornithopter" designs have failed dismally.

      We are also guided at every turn by a universe based on functional and interacting logic. In many senses the prexisting logical order of the universe forces us to conclusions that result in our inventions.

      Which is saying pretty much the same as I did when I pointed out that designers are constrained by the nature of the resources - materials and energy - available to them.

      Same applies to evolution. It has to work with what is there, it can't pick and choose from all possible options only the much smaller sample around at that time and in that region.

      So your claim is hollow. IF the universe orders our designs as it most definitely does the attempt to exclude design existing anywhere but with us is just an extreme form of begging and a powerful example of arrogance.

      Who's excluding design!? I just acknowledged it's there. We do it. Like I said before, what we don't know yet is if there is anyone or anything elsewhere in the Universe doing it and whether any of them were doing it on Earth some time in the past.

      I happen to believe there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Maybe some of them beamed down a few billion years ago. Who knows? It's fascinating speculation but, as hard evidence goes, the fact that there are things in Nature that look something like things we design today doesn't really cut it.

      Your canal argument is a perfect illustration of our mimicry (in this case of rivers and other natural water conduits) and of the circularity of your arguments. Essentially its based on air that design can only be achieved by humans.

      For the second time, didn't say that.

      The majority does not have the overwhelming duty to convince the minority.

      That's right. The overwhelming majority of biologists subscribe to the theory of evolution. They should know. If you think they're wrong, you're going to have to convince them.

      Delete
  5. Time+matter+chance = the impossible becomes certain. This can be used to explain anything and everything.

    Our universe just happened by near impossible chance, to be just right for life to survive.

    @Ian H Spedding "Why should that be surprising? Evolution, like a designer, can only work within the limits of available materials and energy sources. "Designs", whether by evolution or an intelligent designer are forced by those limits."

    Atheist/Evolution has no design.... it's not intelligent but is a random unguided process. Any "design" would have to invoke intelligence/designer. No design and NO purpose on the atheist side since everything is random chance.

    If the creation of the universe was mere chance, then everything contained within the universe is also just mere chance. No design or purpose.

    I see purpose and design everywhere, so unless I'm being deceived by my senses, I can rationally say that the universe could be designed... but that would invoke some transcendent intelligent first cause.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarrok,
      I see purpose and design everywhere, so unless I'm being deceived by my senses,


      What exactly is the purpose of childhood leukemia? Is this an example of optimal design, as well? Perhaps the designer should have spent less time on locust wings

      Delete
    2. velikovskys

      "What exactly is the purpose of childhood leukemia? Is this an example of optimal design, as well? Perhaps the designer should have spent less time on locust wings"



      Are you saying that a purpose for a particular illness within a living organism needs to be shown in order to justify a design inference? Are you implying that something has to be optimal in order to be designed? I wish you would make that claim to the automobile industry. Might save a lot in car repairs if you were effective in convincing them that is the way it should be.

      Seems you might be making a comment along the lines of "God wouldn't have done it that way."

      I personally don't see where something has to be "optimal" in order to be designed.

      I don't think you believe that either.


      Delete
    3. bpragmatic,
      Are you saying that a purpose for a particular illness within a living organism needs to be shown in order to justify a design inference?


      No, though it would be interesting,why the designer makes particular choices. Certainly in human design that is a legitimate question.

      Are you implying that something has to be optimal in order to be designed?

      No

      I wish you would make that claim to the automobile industry. Might save a lot in car repairs if you were effective in convincing them that is the way it should be.

      Me too,just dropped 300 on the air conditioner in my car.

      Seems you might be making a comment along the lines of "God wouldn't have done it that way."

      Nope,not making that argument either. Though does the designer have to be God for you?

      personally don't see where something has to be "optimal" in order to be designed.

      Me either,

      I don't think you believe that either.

      Correct. It just proves that ID is unfalsifiable.

      As for leukemia , Sarrok says" I see purpose and design everywhere, so unless I'm being deceived by my senses"

      Since design is everywhere,just curious why the designer choose to prioritize locust wings.

      Delete
    4. "Are you implying that something has to be optimal in order to be designed? "

      Actually no he is not implying that. That would be an improvement on his logic. What he is implying is that if we muck up the world by not using the world in the way it was designed to be used then every consequence of our not doing so reflects on the designer.

      God/designer being responsible for every disease is an old tired and rebutted argument that he and others rely on in order to side step the overwhelming evidence of design.

      Its akin to claiming that the gasket blowing on your car was not properly designed because you drove the car three times the speed limit on the highway and blew it. No theology or position of ID claims that the human race does not accumulate defects in our DNA leading directly to a disease or a susceptibility to it. Most people using this argument know this full well. They are only attempting to elicit negative emotions in regard to the tragedy of certain diseases

      Delete
    5. Elijah,
      Actually no he is not implying that. That would be an improvement on his logic.


      Ouch, such a sharp tongue.

      What he is implying is that if we muck up the world by not using the world in the way it was designed to be used then every consequence of our not doing so reflects on the designer.

      Ah, a classic, original sin. What exactly did the child do to muck up the world? To deserve that consequence?
      Or is it because something his ancestors did?

      God/designer being responsible for every disease is an old tired and rebutted argument that he and others rely on in order to side step the overwhelming evidence of design

      So good stuff is designed, not so good stuff is free will. Or just bad luck?

      Then exactly how you tell one from another, Elijah?

      Locust wings designed, DNA designed until something goes wrong ?
      Personally I don't think God is responsible for every disease and disaster . That would seem to me to infringe on free will.

      Its akin to claiming that the gasket blowing on your car was not properly designed because you drove the car three times the speed limit on the highway and blew it.

      Was the child driving too fast?

      In human design, the greater the designer the better the design,right? The design of an object corresponds to the competence and knowledge of the designer as well as limitations in the aspects of the material world.

      If the designer is infinitely knowledgable, infinitely competent and can create with no limits of energy, in fact creates nature itself, it seem logical to hold that designer to a higher standard than the designer of a 3 dollar gasket,


      No theology or position of ID claims that the human race does not accumulate defects in our DNA leading directly to a disease or a susceptibility to it

      So I take it you believe the Garden of Eden thing is a myth. So are you saying that it was impossible for God to create a DNA that was stable? That there was not an alternative means of information not invoving DNA. That God must depend on natural means in order to create.

      That is the thing with an omnipotent designer, they are capable of anything not logically impossible.

      Most people using this argument know this full well. They are only attempting to elicit negative emotions in regard to the tragedy of certain diseases

      No,it merely points out that your position is unfalsifiable unless you can tell what is designed by God and what isn't in some sort of objective way other than that is what you believe. Once you open the door to the undesigned your position is undercut.

      Delete
    6. "What exactly did the child do to muck up the world? To deserve that consequence?"

      alas the fleeting moment of insight with mention of original sin crashed under the weight of straw stored up in the mind for a life time. Though you seem to have looked up the term "original sin" you still have no idea what is being referred to. The children need do nothing but live in a world where their fathers mucked it up. I know I know. If the father breathes tobacco smoke into the face of his child and the child becomes sickly then yes we can't have the father being held responsible it MUST be the designer. After all for a designer to be a designer he cannot possible hold humans responsible to other humans. Right?

      So if we drop a nuclear bomb on a city the DNA damage cant be the consequences of us being war like with each other the designer should still swoop in and correct all the consequences of our actions immediately or we could not be designed.

      Course in logic anyone?

      Any more metaphysical propositions in order to make the designer responsible for all our actions? You do know that it is the theist position for thousand of years that misuse of the gifts given result in effects on the entire planet regardless of personal sin. Its not just an environmentalists proposition ;)

      "Was the child driving too fast?"

      well I suppose if he were sitting on telephone books and had large platform shoes perhaps. truly a silly counter.

      "In human design, the greater the designer the better the design,right?"

      Wrong and obviously wrong. Good night..Surely you can do better thinking than this? Doesn't matter how great the designer is if it is his wish that we not drive at 180 MPH in our cars in defiance of the speed limit the gasket has no reason to hold at that speed no matter how great the designer is. In human design we limit our ingenuity and the capabilities of our inventions all of the time to the environment we expect it to function in. We do not design things in order for them to be used in a way contradictory to what we want them used for. Think. The fact that paper burns when we put it on a lit stove in no way indicates any inferior designer was behind it and a better designer need never make the paper indestructible. Your point is immeasurably weak.

      "So I take it you believe the Garden of Eden thing is a myth."

      At this point you are drifting of into your intellectual dishonesty again and can take whatever you wish. Where did I make any such statement or imply that in any way?

      "So are you saying that it was impossible for God to create a DNA that was stable? That there was not an alternative means of information not invoving DNA. That God must depend on natural means in order to create"

      again thats dishonest on your part. Nowhere did I imply that. Instead you are rather hopelessly and purposely confusing your own position with mine. It may be you assertion that DNA has a natural origin but it is not mine nor of the great majority of theists. You know this perfectly well so you are without excuse. As for the rest of that nonsense I implied nowhere that God couldn't do this or that.

      Every design a human makes is according to the goals he or she has - not to merely show the greatness of his design capabilities. Your premise taken to its logical conclusion would argue that unless human bodies or even the universe lasts forever (regardless of how we use and or abuse it) it could not have been designed. That may be in keeping with your own ideas on materialism but it holds no weight logically. Its just you trying to push your own theology upon theists none of who have the slightest issue with A God that does not see the eternal physical as the be all and end all of existence.

      So your point fails on multiple fronts. Proposing a designer with your values may be satisfying to rebut but it does nothing to rebut a designer without your materialistic point of view.

      Delete
    7. "No,it merely points out that your position is unfalsifiable unless you can tell what is designed by God and what isn't in some sort of objective way other than that is what you believe. "

      You are desperately begging bread is all. We can tell what is designed in an objective manner particularly in reference to the very kinds of disease you mention. We find over and over again genetic changes that lead to susceptibility to several diseases and we even find some human being with resistances showing that they arise by RELATIVELY recent changes not present at the time of initial design. In your desperate appeal to emotions regarding disease rather than facts you just skipped over all those many examples that we have and the fact that thankfully most humans do not experience those diseases.

      Delete
    8. Elijah,
      You do know that it is the theist position for thousand of years that misuse of the gifts given result in effects on the entire planet regardless of personal sin. Its not just an environmentalists proposition ;)



      Correction,some theists' position.

      In human design, the greater the designer the better the design,right?"

      Wrong and obviously wrong. Good night..Surely you can do better thinking than this


      You want to think a bit about that, yourself? DaVinci is considered a great designer on the basis of his designs. Design reflects a designer, that is CH's argument, nature cannot design in certain ways therefore a more competent designer ,equipped with the tools of intelligence and knowledge and capability, is required.

      In human design we limit our ingenuity and the capabilities of our inventions all of the time to the environment we expect it to function in.

      Correct,humans are finite creatures, knowledge,the tools and time ,cost force us to modify designs. Is your designer so encumbered that He must design as a human would?


      We do not design things in order for them to be used in a way contradictory to what we want them used for. Think. The fact that paper burns when we put it on a lit stove in no way indicates any inferior designer was behind it and a better designer need never make the paper indestructible.

      Yes exactly, humans by their nature are limited in their capabilities. Tradeoffs are necessary,but a paper that does not preform it's purported function is considered inferior design.

      DNA which is susceptible to errors is not as good a design as dNA which is not,unless there is a reason for the errors and one is willing to tolerate a percentage of failures that results

      Your point is immeasurably weak.

      All that is necessary to defeat a even weaker point.

      Delete
    9. At this point you are drifting of into your intellectual dishonesty again and can take whatever you wish. Where did I make any such statement or imply that in any way

      No theology or position of ID claims that the human race does not accumulate defects in our DNA leading directly to a disease or a susceptibility to it

      I stand corrected,if we exclude before the Fall when DNA had no defects

      Delete
    10. So are you saying that it was impossible for God to create a DNA that was stable? That there was not an alternative means of information not invoving DNA. That God must depend on natural means in order to create"

      again thats dishonest on your part. Nowhere did I imply that. Instead you are rather hopelessly and purposely confusing your own position with mine. It may be you assertion that DNA has a natural origin but it is not mine nor of the great majority of theists. You know this perfectly well so you are without excuse. As for the rest of that nonsense I implied nowhere that God couldn't do this or that. "


      So let's review,
      DNA was designed by a designer capable of designing DNA with perfect fidelity as well as the ability to correct any errors

      DNA does not have perfect fidelity

      DNA does not have perfect fidelity from a design choice

      Agreed?

      Delete
    11. That may be in keeping with your own ideas on materialism but it holds no weight logically. Its just you trying to push your own theology upon theists none of who have the slightest issue with A God that does not see the eternal physical as the be all and end all of existence.

      Human suffering while regrettable is a necessity. Not a materialist either

      Delete
    12. So your point fails on multiple fronts. Proposing a designer with your values may be satisfying to rebut but it does nothing to rebut a designer without your materialistic point of view.

      On the contrary, I think attributing human attributes to a designer is unwarranted.

      Delete
    13. You are desperately begging bread is all. We can tell what is designed in an objective manner particularly in reference to the very kinds of disease you mention.

      Are all mutations undesigned?



      Sickle cell, are these resistances designed?

      In your desperate appeal to emotions regarding disease rather than facts you just skipped over all those many examples that we have and the fact that thankfully most humans do not experience those diseases.

      No, just looking for the most unambiguous example, lest I be accused again of dishonesty are you saying that beneficial genetic mutations are designed and lethal genetic mutations aren't designed.

      Just curious,all those lethal bacterial diseases, design or non design?

      Delete
    14. "nature cannot design in certain ways therefore a more competent designer ,equipped with the tools of intelligence and knowledge and capability, is required."

      As usual. Hopelessly confusing your argument with ours. Nature is designed it does not design.

      "Correct,humans are finite creatures, knowledge,the tools and time ,cost force us to modify designs. Is your designer so encumbered that He must design as a human would?"

      and where did I say he did. You quote me saying Human design and then claim I mean Divine design? Back to your old games again? Human design is merely analogous and it demonstrates that design is in keeping with purposes not merely the brilliance of the designer. Your desperate attempt to exclude that fact of Logical design is an abject failure. They cannot be divorced.

      "DaVinci is considered a great designer on the basis of his designs."

      and does Davinci design anything that operates otpimally under any circumstance he did not design for? Stop trying to dance around from a point you are not equipped to answer. just admit it is not something you can counter. Designs are toward the purpose intended of a designer not merely the brilliance of the designer. the presence of disease makes no point against design unless its a failure working under the guidelines it was designed to be used for. In all your rambling answers your failure to address that part of design is noted

      "So let's review,
      DNA was designed by a designer capable of designing DNA with perfect fidelity as well as the ability to correct any errors"

      Lying by any other name is still lying VEL. You can wrap it in sophistry but it is still a character issue. that is no review that is your thesis. DNA need never be designed to correct all errors. Your argument that unless a design can survive its being used in a manner it was not designed to be used for it was not designed remains an illogical nonsense argument.

      "Are all mutations undesigned?"

      completely separate issue. How a design breaks down or an invention degrades IS a product of how it was designed but it cannot be argued that the degradation is the original design. Again THINK.

      "On the contrary, I think attributing human attributes to a designer is unwarranted."

      IF you did then you would not argue the metaphysical claim that a designer would not create a design susceptible to disease exactly as you do. Are you not trying to attribute Your own human logic? You can deny it all you wish but you most certainly are. So cease with the hypocrisy. we both reference human intelligence as a starting point to evaluate design. I don;t think the designer is limited to human power but yes since the theist position is that man is made in the image of God it IS warranted to discuss ways in which Human intelligence has faint mirrors to the universes designer.

      its no stretch to look at Human design specific to a particular purpose and environment and see that any designer would be subject to the same logical constraints of a design fulfilling how the designer intended the design to be used.

      "All that is necessary to defeat a even weaker point."

      True - For a defeat that happens only within your mind. Any weak argument will do but alas not in any debate with me.






      Delete
    15. velikovskys asked:

      "Are all mutations undesigned?"

      And elijah barfed up this contradictory, evasive mess:

      "completely separate issue. How a design breaks down or an invention degrades IS a product of how it was designed but it cannot be argued that the degradation is the original design. Again THINK."

      So, it's not 'God's' fault that 'his' design breaks down and 'his' invention
      degrades, even though 'God' is allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and perfect, eh?

      You'll conjure up any asinine BS to defend your imaginary sky daddy, won't you? If your imaginary sky daddy is so perfectly all-powerful and all-knowing, why does it need impotent, ignorant IDiots like you to defend and promote it?

      Delete
  6. CH: It is intuitively obvious that insect wings, such as these shown from the desert locust, did not evolve from random chance events as evolutionists insist they did

    Here CH is presenting the same false dilemma.

    Knowledge is information that tends to remain when instantiated in a material medium.

    Locus wings represent biological adaptations that are built from raw materials. The steps of how to perform this transformation of matter, which are found the genes of loci, represent knowledge.

    As such, Cornelius is claiming that, if I do not not accept that origin of this knowledge is an authoritative source (If I do not embrace justificationism) then I must assume locus wings formed merely due to random chance events, rather than the genuine creation of knowledge (then I must be a disappointed justificationist).

    This is the same sort of argument that claims: if I do no think God is the source of moral knowledge (If I do not embrace justificationism) then there can be no moral knowledge (then I must be a disappointed justificationist.)

    But these are all false dilemmas of the same kind. They are parochial in that they deny we have made progress in explaining the growth of human knowledge.

    Apparently, Cornelius cannot recognize justificationism is an idea that is subject to criticism, as are all ideas.

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    Replies
    1. I think Cornelius regards "Chance" as meaning "non-intended".

      But I do wish he'd make that clear.

      Delete
    2. Elizabeth, all it takes for CH to be right in his claim that there is no overwhelming evidence for UCA is that "chance" means "non-intended."

      Scott: Apparently, Cornelius cannot recognize justificationism is an idea that is subject to criticism, as are all ideas.

      J: Scott, criticism, by definition, requires assumptions/grounds. Thus, it is patently false that all ideas could be subject to criticism by your view. The grounds that render your criteria of hypothesis rejection intelligible must, by your approach, be accepted as axioms--at least axioms in the sense of working hypotheses.

      But this is all theism is. It's a working hypothesis that can be falsified if rationality ceases to correspond with progress--i.e., an apparent tendency of rationally-grounded teleological choices to result in greater and greater long-term satisfaction. When this ceases to be apparent, benevolent/competent theism will no longer explain what it currently explains.

      Delete
    3. Jeff: Elizabeth, all it takes for CH to be right in his claim that there is no overwhelming evidence for UCA is that "chance" means "non-intended."

      I don't understand this. Can you rephrase?

      Delete
    4. IOW, Elizabeth, assume that's all CH meant. Now, what is evidence, and what constitutes evidence that an intention-free Precambrian earth served as necessary and sufficient conditions for all that you posit happened evolutionarily thereafter? I say nothing. But I'd love for you to give me a sensible definition of evidence such that you could actually make that case. No one else here has yet.

      Delete
    5. Jeff: Scott, criticism, by definition, requires assumptions/grounds. Thus, it is patently false that all ideas could be subject to criticism by your view.

      Again, I'm suggesting you're having difficulty recognizing that justificationism is an idea that is subject to criticism, as you keep projecting it on me. As such, you seem to be restating your epistemological position without explicitly mentioning justificationism, as if it is self evident and that you need not argue for it.

      For example, can't we rephrase the above as...

      "Scott, criticism, by definition [of justificationism], requires assumptions/grounds. Thus, it is patently false that all ideas could be subject to criticism by [my] view [, which is justificationism]."

      In the latter sentence, justificationism is your epistemological view. Yet, you implied it was mine.

      Jeff: The grounds that render your criteria of hypothesis rejection intelligible must, by your approach, be accepted as axioms--at least axioms in the sense of working hypotheses.

      An inability to use rational criticism without it *first* being justified is a form of justificationism.

      Jeff: But this is all theism is. It's a working hypothesis that can be falsified if rationality ceases to correspond with progress--i.e., an apparent tendency of rationally-grounded teleological choices to result in greater and greater long-term satisfaction. When this ceases to be apparent, benevolent/competent theism will no longer explain what it currently explains.

      First, you described a scenario where rationality ceasing to correspond to progress resulted in falsifying a theory, which is itself progress. So, it's unclear how your scenario could actually occur, in practice, as it seems to conflict with itself.

      Second, are you saying your explanation for our recent and exponential growth in human knowledge is, "That's just what God must have wanted."?

      Why do we no longer we explain specific changes in weather as, "That's just what God must have wanted"? Why don't we explain the movements of objects as, "That's just what God must have wanted"? Because they are bad explanations, which essentially explain nothing because they are convoluted elaborations of better explanations.

      You're suggesting that we cannot make progress on these issues because there can be no better explanations about if/now knowledge is created and the role it plays in the spheres of human knowledge and genes of biological organisms.

      For example, what happens when we change our preferences? We adopt new ideas about how the world works, which is knowledge. And we explain the grown of human knowledge through conjecture and refutation.

      Again, how else do you explain or relatively recent, exponential growth in human knowledge? For example, for nearly 200,000 years, people with essentially the same brain structure as our's made essentially no progress. From a individual's lifespan, almost nothing new was learned. Sure, they came up with different myths, which often contained essentially the same useful rules of thumb, but the ideas behind the marjory of those myths bear almost no resemblance to the reality we accept today.

      How do you explain this stagmentation? Why does it correlate with the specific progress we've made in epistemology? "That's just what God must have wanted", explains nothing.

      Delete
    6. Scott; "That's just what God must have wanted", explains nothing.

      What do I mean by this? It merely pushes the problem into some inexplicable realm.

      Delete
    7. Jeff May 18, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      IOW, Elizabeth, assume that's all CH meant. Now, what is evidence, and what constitutes evidence that an intention-free Precambrian earth served as necessary and sufficient conditions for all that you posit happened evolutionarily thereafter? I say nothing. But I'd love for you to give me a sensible definition of evidence such that you could actually make that case. No one else here has yet.


      We assume, as a working hypothesis, that conditions on the pre-Cambrian Earth were sufficient to support life because we have evidence of life then and during subsequent periods up until the present day. It's the more parsimonious explanation because there's no demonstrated need to invoke some additional entity, like an extraterrestrial intelligence, to account for it. If someone could show that the available time and resources would not have been sufficient, then we'd have to think again. Seems reasonable to me.

      Delete
    8. Ian: It's the more parsimonious explanation because there's no demonstrated need to invoke some additional entity, like an extraterrestrial intelligence, to account for it.

      J: It depends on what you mean by "no demonstrated need to invoke ..." If you insist that "laws of nature" currently supposed to be in operation were in play throughout earth history, then we don't even know if naturalistic UCA is even LOGICALLY possible. And that means we can't know it's an explanation.

      On the other hand, if you insist that all other physical and chemical theories bow down to the astronomically huge set of ad-hoc hypotheses required to render naturalistic UCA a hypothetico-deductive theory, then sure, it works by definition.

      But even then, you still haven't demonstrated that even AIG-style SA requires more ad-hoc hypotheses than naturalistic UCA. So again, no one has shown that naturalistic UCA is the best explanation in ANY conceivable sense.

      Delete
    9. That's not to say that naturalistic UCA is false. Indeed, it's thus far unfalsifiable. But the way we will render it probable, if we ever do, is by showing that the implied degree of plasticity for the time-frame is probable in terms of physical laws/tendencies or fossil evidence. That alone would rule out the SA views that are held for inductive reasons. Tree choice would require other kinds of evidence.

      Delete
    10. Scott: Again, how else do you explain or relatively recent, exponential growth in human knowledge?

      J: By your view, I don't think I have knowledge. Per inductivism, that "exponential growth" is easily to explain. But you deny inductive relative plausibility criteria.

      Scott, all rational people posit the occurrence of such things as false memories, etc. Only inductive relative plausibility criteria explains how we adjudicate in such a way to infer that actual memories constitute the vast majority of memories. I.e., we infer false memories when their "truth" would imply the falsehood of otherwise VERY inductively plausible explanatory theories, etc.

      You have yet to explain anything. You just keep asserting that you do. You can't make progress by guessing when you're up against an infinite set of possible errors.

      Induction begins with a criteria that limits things drastically, right off the bat. Because it builds of the obvious fact that even associations are at LEAST as effective as they are for other species. Reason just tweaks things towards greater specificity and coherence so we can make longer-term predictions with greater and greater accuracy. But even animals fare incredibly well with just association, instinct, etc.

      You talk as if none of these natural belief-generators constrain possibilities before reason ever gets going. But they do. We don't have the mental energy to start from absolute scratch and guess against an infinite set of errors. Nor do we have time. We have to act unto survival NOW.

      By your view, volitional thought is so effective against an infinite opponent, that we prevailed over it. That's non-sense. We have all kinds of natural adaptations to keep us going as a species without hardly any of what has been learned by Western science. Induction can help us to be more adapted. But because it constrains possibilities (by relative plausibility criteria) even more stringently than association does--criteria that SEEMINGLY fit how event sequences actually occur. We can't prove it of course. But the correlation of those criteria to our long-term satisfaction has yet to be shown false.

      Delete
    11. And Scott, if the anti-realist "quantum wierdness" consensi are right, it's not even true that knowledge has exploded exponentially. If they're right, virtually everything we thought we knew is wrong. To a large extent, the same is true of Einsteinian Relativity, since it eradicated the common-sensical principle of individuation for material entities. QW just eliminated material entities altogether. Now, per the consensi, we have to be solipsistic or idealist metaphysical phenomenalists. What naturalistic evolution even means per QW is admitted to be undefined by those who accept QW as the "truth."

      Delete
    12. Jeff: On the other hand, if you insist that all other physical and chemical theories bow down to the astronomically huge set of ad-hoc hypotheses required to render naturalistic UCA a hypothetico-deductive theory, then sure, it works by definition.

      If I do not "bow down" to God, this doesn't mean I have to "bow down" to something else. This would simply be exchanging one form of justificationism with another.

      You might believe we all know God exist "in our heart", but choose to "wrongly" worship something else and deny him his "rightful" worship. However, that's your belief, not mine, which you are projecting it others.

      For example, for the sake of argument, if I did knowingly deny God his worship by "bowing down" to an "astronomically huge set of ad-hoc hypotheses", wouldn't you consider that a transgression against God?

      Wouldn't I be "Worshiping the Creation", rather than the creator, which happens to be the subtitle of this post by Cornelius?

      It's unclear why theists here think these sort of religious overtones would go unnoticed.

      Delete
    13. There's nothing wrong with posting ad-hoc hypotheses when that's all one can do, Scott. It is wrong to lie by saying there's overwhelming evidence for naturalistic UCA when no one can even define what is meant by evidence in that case. You're utterly confused. Unless of course gratuitous lying is right or there is nothing right or wrong in the first place.

      Delete
    14. correction: not "posting ad-hoc ..." but positing ad-hoc ..."

      Delete
    15. Scott: Again, how else do you explain or relatively recent, exponential growth in human knowledge?

      Jeff: By your view, I don't think I have knowledge.

      We knew that already. I'm asking How to you explain it in *your* view.

      Jeff: Scott, all rational people posit the occurrence of such things as false memories, etc. Only inductive relative plausibility criteria explains how we adjudicate in such a way to infer that actual memories constitute the vast majority of memories. I.e., we infer false memories when their "truth" would imply the falsehood of otherwise VERY inductively plausible explanatory theories, etc.

      How does inductivism provide guidance in any sort of reliable way? In the absence of formulating a "principle of induction" in enough detail that we can reliably apply to actually problems, in practice, it's unclear what you mean by induction.

      Jeff: You have yet to explain anything. You just keep asserting that you do. You can't make progress by guessing when you're up against an infinite set of possible errors.

      That you cannot or refuse to comprehend any other explanation to the degree necessary to even remotely get my position correct, does not necessitate anyone else's acceptance of induction.

      Furthermore, I've already said we cannot use observations to prove anything is true. So, if by progress, you mean prove ideas are true or probable, then yes, I'm saying we cannot make progress in that way. Rather, we objectively make progress by becoming less wrong.

      Jeff: Induction begins with a criteria that limits things drastically, right off the bat. Because it builds of the obvious fact that even associations are at LEAST as effective as they are for other species.

      There are two kinds of knowledge. The first kind is knowledge created that is random in respect to any particular problem to solve. This is non-explanatory knowledge. The second kind of knowledge, which is unique to people, starts out with explanatory theories about how the world works that are intentionally conjectured to solve specific problems. This is explanatory knowledge.

      While we can create non-explanatory knowledge as well, only people can conceive of specific problems as we do and intentionally conjecture explanatory theories about how the world works in an attempt to solve them. Animals might have problems from our perspective, but they do not conceive of them as problems like we do. Nor do they conjecture explanatory theories about how the world works as we do. If they did, they would have made the leap to universality as we did.

      This explains the lack of Nobel prizes won by any other great apes than humans, etc.

      Note, I'm not suggesting that animals do not create knowledge, but that it takes the form of non-explanatory knowledge because they cannot create explanatory theories like we can.

      Jeff: You talk as if none of these natural belief-generators constrain possibilities before reason ever gets going. But they do. We don't have the mental energy to start from absolute scratch and guess against an infinite set of errors. Nor do we have time. We have to act unto survival NOW.

      Instinct is either due to useful rules of thumb or knowledge laden genes. Both represent the creation of non-explanatory knowledge.

      Biological Darwinism is the theory that the knowledge of how to build biological adaptations, as found in the genome of organisms, is created by the process of gene mutation that is random *to any specific problem to solve*, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. The result is non-explanatory knowledge. As such, Biological Darwinism falls under the umbrella of our current, best explanation for the universal creation of knowledge.

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    16. Jeff: By your view, volitional thought is so effective against an infinite opponent, that we prevailed over it.

      Your response suggest that no further progress can be made as you keep presenting straw men of my position and ignoring resources I've provided. For example, from the Wikipeida entry on Critical Rationalism...

      "By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought.

      Yet, you keep assuming I think knowledge and truth exist in the way you think it does. This sort of willful ignorance seems to suggest you're unable to recognize your own conception of human nowelege as an idea that would be subject to criticism.

      Jeff: And Scott, if the anti-realist "quantum wierdness" consensi are right, it's not even true that knowledge has exploded exponentially.

      The majority QM interpretation does not suggest that the wave function actually represents realty. Specifically, they think it's meaningless to ask if the wave-function is a useful fiction or not. This is known as instrumentalism.

      The Wikipedia entry on the same contains the following criticism By Karl Popper….

      Instrumentalism can be formulated as the thesis that scientific theories - the theories of the so-called "pure" sciences - are nothing but computational rules (or inference rules); of the same character, fundamentally, as the computation rules of the so-called "applied" sciences. (One might even formulate it as the thesis that "pure" science is a misnomer, and that all science is "applied".) Now my reply to instrumentalism consists in showing that there are profound differences between "pure" theories and technological computation rules, and that instrumentalism can give a perfect description of these rules but is quite unable to account for the difference between them and the theories. [2]"

      As for the "quantum weirdness" fringe, many make it painfully clear that they do not have a even a light grasp of QM to begin with.

      Furthermore, one could say the same thing about dinosaurs.

      For example, one could claim that dinosaurs are "so weird" that rational criticism doesn't apply to it, therefore the best explanation for specific fossils cannot be dinosaurs and we cannot make any progress on the matter. Claims that consciousness or QM are so weird that rational criticism doesn't apply to it, are using the same strategy. This is not to say that consciousness isn't still a hard problem, but this sort of thinking assumes we cannot make *any* progress on the subject because it's "too weird". This is a bad criticism because it could be applied to anything.

      Jeff: It is wrong to lie by saying there's overwhelming evidence for naturalistic UCA when no one can even define what is meant by evidence in that case. You're utterly confused. Unless of course gratuitous lying is right or there is nothing right or wrong in the first place

      I've already explained how evidence is used. Theories are tested by observations, not derived from them. Given that this represents the same false dilemma, it's unclear how further discussion would be fruitful.

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    17. Scott, to get less wrong against an infinite set of logically possible errors means our percent progress is always zero. Induction and association alone do WAY better than that. They limit possibilities that humans are willing to VOLITIONALLY spend effort over to a finite number, right out of the gate. No one consciously fights against an infinite set of errors, because association and inductive thought don't even contemplate that. Most people never even consider that infinite set of merely logical possibilities at all. They are typically considered whenever epistemological debates ensue.

      That set is only valuable to consider to see why non-inductive approaches never generate relative plausibility criteria, as you seem to admit.

      But then why do you care what other people believe if those beliefs, so long as they are coherent, are never knowably less plausible than other coherent beliefs? We don't know that naturalistic UCA is logically possible if it's also to be consistent with certain extant putative laws of physics. So what are you even in a wad about?

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    18. Apparently it bears repeating for the propagandists. CH isn't arguing against researching the degrees, modes and tempos of biological variation. He's protesting the continual false claim that there's overwhelming evidence for naturalistic UCA. Evidence is correlative with the concept of relative plausibility. If no hypothesis/theory is knowably more plausible than another by some knowable plausibility criteria, what sense does it make to say there is evidence for any of them?

      No one has yet explained how naturalistic UCA is MORE plausible than SA. Thus, no one has demonstrated in any conceivable sense that there is evidence for it. Rather, we just can't falsify it.

      V says he doesn't believe CH when he claims that he doesn't care whether UCA is true. But why wouldn't he believe him? There are plenty of Christians and non-Christian theists who are not committed to a more literal interpretation of Genesis and the SA history that interpretation would seem to imply. And once you're not committed to that interpretation, it matters not whether you choose successive creations or UCA. You have the same theodicy issues in either case. And no one has demonstrated which requires the most ad-hoc hypotheses.

      It's perfectly believable that he truly doesn't care. But he truly realizes there is no a priori reason to believe naturalistic UCA requires less ad-hoc hypotheses than other approaches. And no one has even attempted the count to my knowledge.

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    19. Scott: I've already explained how evidence is used. Theories are tested by observations, not derived from them. Given that this represents the same false dilemma, it's unclear how further discussion would be fruitful.

      Jeff: Theories aren't implied by observations, if that's what you mean. But theories are constrained by them. And when multiple COHERENT explanations for a set of observations are conceivable, we choose the more parsimonious one, or the one that maintains the most over-all parsimony for our larger theoretical perspective. It is ridiculous to deny this.

      Now, you could say that criteria is a criteria for usefulness, not plausibility. The problem is, it still requires that we explain why we choose to accept the apparent memories we do. And there is NO explanation of THAT I've ever heard other than PARSIMONY. But if our idea of what problems to solve are based on arbitrarily chosen memories, we never even know, after the fact, whether they were even problems or not, or whether we solved them. Thus, we can never know, via volitional thought, whether progress is ever being made. But non-volitionally-derived beliefs are basically just different species of intuitive belief. They can't be argued with.

      IOW, there's no way around inductive relative plausibility criteria for volitionally-derived (discursively-inferred) beliefs. There is no explaining rational adjudication independent of its use.

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    20. Jeff: Scott, to get less wrong against an infinite set of logically possible errors means our percent progress is always zero.

      Apparently you've never heard of Hilbert's Hotel. Just because every room number is always close to the beginning of an infinite number of rooms, this doesn't mean that the hotel is empty.

      Jeff: Induction and association alone do WAY better than that.

      Then why am I still waiting on a "principle of induction" that one can reliably apply to receive guidance, in practice?

      Jeff: They limit possibilities that humans are willing to VOLITIONALLY spend effort over to a finite number, right out of the gate.

      Given that you cannot make an infinite number of observations, exactly how does induction it do that?

      Jeff: No one consciously fights against an infinite set of errors, because association and inductive thought don't even contemplate that.

      Where did I suggest this? Please be specific.

      Being finite, we cannot conceive of an infinite number of explanatory theories. Even then, we reject many ideas due to the lack an explanation as to how or why they might actually solve a problem.

      For example, it's unlikely anyone has actually spent effort testing the idea that eating a square meter of grass every day could cure cancer. Why? Is it because it's logical impossible? No. Is it because it's unfallsifiable? No, it would be trivial to test. Rather, it's unlikely because we lack a good explanation as to why eating a square meter of grass every day could cure cancer. As such, we discard it, just as we do with an infinite number of mere possible in every field of science.

      And we do so a priori, before making any empirical observations.

      Jeff: Most people never even consider that infinite set of merely logical possibilities at all. They are typically considered whenever epistemological debates ensue.

      We cannot consider an idea unless we conceive of it first. Nor can we test an un-conceived explanation because, well, it has yet to be conceived. Where would you even start looking for evidence that conflicts with an un-conceived explanation?

      Jeff: That set is only valuable to consider to see why non-inductive approaches never generate relative plausibility criteria, as you seem to admit.

      The set is consists of a finite number of *conceived* explanatory theories, which are conjectured ideas about how the world works. As such, there is no need to consider an infinite set, even if it were somehow possible.

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    21. Jeff: But then why do you care what other people believe if those beliefs, so long as they are coherent, are never knowably less plausible than other coherent beliefs?

      Which again, indicates that unless I embrace justificationism, then I must be a relativist, by nature of being a disappointed justificationist.

      Jeff: We don't know that naturalistic UCA is logically possible if it's also to be consistent with certain extant putative laws of physics. So what are you even in a wad about?

      Take consider all of the conceivable transformations of matter. In this group, there are transformation that are prohibited by the laws of physics, such as traveling faster than the speed of light, and those that are possible. Of the latter group there are two types: transformation that occur spontaneously, such as the formation of stars from gravity, hydrogen and other stellar materials and transformations that only occur when the requisite knowledge is present, such as the formation of air, water. etc., into plants.

      Biological Darwinism concerns itself with the latter kind of transformation.

      Specifically, biological adaptations represent transformations of matter. These adaptations occur only when the requisite knowledge of how to perform those transformations are present. The knowledge of how to perform those transformations exists in the genome. As such, the question is, what is the origin of this knowledge?

      The underlying explanation behind Biological Darwinism is that this knowledge was created using a form of conjecture and refutation. Specifically, conjecture, in the form of genetic variation that is random *to any specific problem to solve*, and refutation, in the form of natural selection. It is also part of our current, best explanation for the universal growth of knowledge. So, it's part of a unifying theory that explains knowledge found in genes, books and human brains.

      Now, it's your turn. Why don't you start out by presenting a better explanation as to how this same knowledge is created, then point out how biological Darwinism does not fit that explanation.

      Please be specific.

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    22. Scott: Now, it's your turn. Why don't you start out by presenting a better explanation as to how this same knowledge is created, then point out how biological Darwinism does not fit that explanation.

      J: There is no knowledge of naturalistic UCA created in the way you describe. There's a conjecture. But there's no way to rationally criticize it. Naturalistic UCA is unfalsifiable at this time. There's also no evidence for it in the sense that it's more plausible than certain SA scenarios. Thus, it's not knowledge at all. It's JUST conjecture.

      Someone could conjecture that biological history proceeded per SA's. So what? What critical criteria could render one more plausible than the other? Do that criticism for me with criticism that isn't grounded. It will be nothing but personal credulity/incredulity.

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    23. Scott: Where would you even start looking for evidence that conflicts with an un-conceived explanation?

      Jeff: Apparently you are unaware that lots of scientists have no problem positing uncaused events. Thus, we don't talk about mere explanations, we talk about historical accounts. These can include uncaused event sequences as well as caused ones. It's not hard at all to see how there's an infinite set of them. There are also Matrix-like scenarios. There are non-uniformitarian scenarios. Once you don't allow for intuitive axioms to constrain the possible histories, you easily run into easily conceived infinite sets of histories.

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    24. Jeff: Theories aren't implied by observations, if that's what you mean. But theories are constrained by them.

      Theories are constrained by observations, which are themselves testable theories about what happened, in really, in a specific time and location. As such, all observations are theory laden.

      Observations that my cupboards are empty doesn't positively indicate what I should fill them with. Yes, observations limit what will fit in my cupboard, but the idea that my cupboards are only capable of holding items of size X is also based on theory about specific time and location. So, I'm constrained by explanations for those observations, not those observations themselves.

      Specially, how to you explain the fact that we get out more than we put in?

      Jeff: And when multiple COHERENT explanations for a set of observations are conceivable, we choose the more parsimonious one, or the one that maintains the most over-all parsimony for our larger theoretical perspective. It is ridiculous to deny this.

      Again, kindly point out where I denied that parsimony is *one of many ways* we criticize ideas. Are you actually reading anything I write?

      If a theory dose not actually solve the target problem, it's not much use. And if it conflicts with other well criticized theories or other observations, then it's not much use either. We can say the same about a theory that does not actually add to the explanation. And if an expiation is both a solution and non-solution to a problem, how would one even go about applying it?

      We prefer good explanations that are based on multiple, independently formed chains of hard to vary explanations. This is contrast to shallow explanations that are easily varied. "God must have wanted it that way" is shallow and easily varied.

      Specifically God is related to creating rationality only through the claim itself. And it's easily varied because there is no hard to vary explanation about how how he did it, the origin of the knowledge he used to do it, why he picked that outcome over some other outcome, etc. It's a bad explanation.

      If your car stops working, the explanation that successfully solves your problem isn't improved by adding "That's just what God must have wanted". It doesn't provide additional guidance as how to better fix your car. Either *the explanation* of what was wrong with your car explains why it started working again, or it doesn't. Merely saying that the explanation worked because "God must have wanted it to" doesn't help solve the target problem.

      So, to the degree that we actually explain anything, adding "An incomprehensible being that exists in an incomprehensible realm must have wanted it that way." doesn't actually add to the explanation.

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    25. Scott: Specifically, biological adaptations represent transformations of matter. These adaptations occur only when the requisite *knowledge* of how to perform those transformations are present. The knowledge of how to perform those transformations exists in the genome. As such, the question is, what is the origin of this knowledge [found in the genome]?

      Jeff: There is no knowledge of naturalistic UCA created in the way you describe.

      I'm asking you to explain the origin of the knowege in the genome of biological organisms. not the origin of the knowledge of "naturalistic UCA" in human brains.

      Are you denying that biological adaptations are the result of transformations of matter? Or are you denying that this transformation occurs when the requisite knowledge of how to perform them are present? If we take the genome of our a cell, can it reproduce other cells?

      Or perhaps you're denying that this knowledge was created; rather the knowledge was simply moved from some inexplicable realm to the genomes of organisms? But this doesn't actually explain the origin of this knowledge.

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    26. Scott: Again, kindly point out where I denied that parsimony is *one of many ways* we criticize ideas. Are you actually reading anything I write?

      J: You imply it when you say criticism isn't grounded in beliefs we believe are warranted/justified. If nothing is justified/warranted as grounds for criticism, no progress is possible. For conclusions can only inherit the plausibility that already inhered in the grounds. Because even inductive reasoning is done in deductive form. Inductive reasoning is merely the application of certain relative plausibility criteria. This is done in deductive form. But no deductive conclusion has any plausibility if it's premises (grounds) are inherently a-plausible.

      Scott: I'm asking you to explain the origin of the knowege in the genome of biological organisms.

      Jeff: Humans can volitionally tweak DNA sequences that will still "function." Thus, there is no single explanation of it. Some of it can be natural. Some of it can be intentional. In fact, it is almost certain that scientists will get better at tweaking it. So there's no a priori or a posteriori way to know how all past DNA sequences arose. There's no theory that remotely explains it naturalistically in the posited time-frame. You seem to think that a conjecture is knowledge. If so, there's lots of knowledge that contradicts other knowledge. And that would make knowledge per se worthless.

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    27. I have to start long hours for several weeks starting tomorrow. I'll have time on the weekends to address your points. But if you want to continue, we'll need to pick one specific point at a time.

      I think the most pertinent point to discuss is the issue of reasoning as a discursive process that moves from grounds to inference/conclusion. Criticism cannot be rational AND ungrounded. That's my claim. How do you intelligibly define criticism as rational and deny that it depends on grounds? And if it depends on grounds, what makes one set of grounds more like what you call "knowledge" than some other set?

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    28. Scott: So, to the degree that we actually explain anything, adding "An incomprehensible being that exists in an incomprehensible realm must have wanted it that way." doesn't actually add to the explanation.

      Jeff: What a benevolent/competent designer explains is the adaptation of the human modes of inference TO an extra-solipsistic reality of event sequences that unfold according to a highly inductive/analogical order. When we explain things in ways that are most satisfying, we are essentially intentionally imposing upon an inferred extra-solipsistic reality an order suitable to us (because we can never test THAT). But if neither a designer of the inferred extra-solipsistic reality or that reality itself acts unto our satisfaction, we have no reason to believe THAT order exists. It would be mere wishful thinking to suppose it did. Because there's an infinite set of logically possible histories consistent with our believing what we believe such that what we believe is mostly false.

      E.g., it's a logically possible historical scenario that no events are caused. In that case, all explanations of events are necessarily false. Any correlation between explanation and events in that case is just pure coincidence. We can't know that scenario is false if we don't have an intuition that events are caused. In an infinite amount of time, who knows what kind of short-term coincidences might occur a-causally, including the un-caused "memories" which may or may not be only apparent? But it's so unsatisfying to us to believe this that we reject it out of hand, as if our ability to volitionally affect our long-term satisfaction, conditioned in this case by thinking according to our natural intuition about causality, is an obvious plausibility criteria for hypothesis rejection.

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    29. Jeff: If nothing is justified/warranted as grounds for criticism, no progress is possible. For conclusions can only inherit the plausibility that already inhered in the grounds.

      Which is impossible because this inheritance would result in an infinite regress.

      Jeff: Inductive reasoning is merely the application of certain relative plausibility criteria. This is done in deductive form. But no deductive conclusion has any plausibility if it's premises (grounds) are inherently a-plausible.

      And you're saying I'm confused?

      Again, no one has formulated a "principle of induction" that works, in practice. That's the criticism that Popper and others have presented.

      But we've made progress in the field of epistemology since then. Like empiricism helped promote empirical observations (but got it backwards) Hume's problem of induction help promote the problem of induction. Hume's "solution" was to accept induction anyway because he couldn't think of anything else, which doesn't really help solve the target problem.

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    30. Scott: I'm asking you to explain the origin of the [knowledge] in the genome of biological organisms.
      Jeff: Humans can volitionally tweak DNA sequences that will still "function." Thus, there is no single explanation of it.

      I'm asking for the explanation of the *origin* of that knowledge. You're merely saying it existed in humans and we put it in the genomes of organisms.

      Our current, best explanation for the grown off human knowledge is conjecture and refutation. We notice a problem (We want to make organisms that consume the crude oil spilled into of water and convert it into non toxic byproducts), we conjecture explanatory theories about how solve that problem (which specific genes to change that will result in the desired biological features, which will actually bring this about in reality), and then we criticize that theory in an attempt to find errors. This includes empirical tests.

      Furthermore, we can explain our preferences to tweak the genomes of these organisms in that we have adopted specific ideas about how the world works. Namely, the idea that crude oil is useful in limited specific applications, but it's presence outside that scope is not in our best interest.

      In addition, our ability to actually design organisms that eat crude oil appeared significantly *after* our "volition" to actually tweak them. We cannot build something until we first created the requisite knowledge of how, regardless of how much we might want to.

      Again…

      Scott: Of the latter group there are two types: transformation that occur spontaneously, such as the formation of stars from gravity, hydrogen and other stellar materials and transformations that only occur when the requisite knowledge is present, such as the formation of air, water. etc., into plants."

      The formation of organisms that eat crude oil do not fall under the type of transformation that occurs spontaneously. Rather, they are of the latter type, which only occurs when the when the requisite knowledge is present.

      So, in the above explanation, the knowledge in question is genuinely created, though a process of conjecture and refutation. Unless it was previous created by some earlier alien race on some other planet, in genuinely did not exist until then, which explains it's previous absence despite volition. As such, it's origin would be CR.

      You're suggesting that some ultimate designer put the knowledge of how to build the entire biosphere in each organism's genome. This merely says knowledge was moved from one place (in an inexplicable designer that exists in an inexplicable realm) to another place (the genomes of biological organisms)

      Specifically, some designer that "just was", compete with the knowledge of how to transform raw materials into the specific biological adaptations we observe, already present, doesn't serve an explanatory purpose. This is because one could more efficiently state that biological organisms, "just appeared" compete with the knowledge of how to transform raw materials into biological featues, already present in their genome. So adding a designer to the mix merely pushes the problem into a incomprehensible realm.

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    31. Jeff: What a benevolent/competent designer explains is the adaptation of the human modes of inference TO an extra-solipsistic reality of event sequences that unfold according to a highly inductive/analogical order.

      Let me rephrase to a specific subject….

      To the degree that we actually explain the growth of human knowledge (or lack there of), adding "An incomprehensible being that exists in an incomprehensible realm must have wanted it that way." doesn't actually add to the explanation.

      As such, it's a bad explanation, which explains nothing.

      Jeff: But if neither a designer of the inferred extra-solipsistic reality or that reality itself acts unto our satisfaction, we have no reason to believe THAT order exists.

      The idea that such a reality exists is an idea that we take seriously for the purpose of criticism. And we tentatively accept it because, up to this moment, it is the idea that has best survived criticism.

      Scott: Where would you even start looking for evidence that conflicts with an un-conceived explanation?

      Jeff: Apparently you are unaware that lots of scientists have no problem positing uncaused events.

      Uncaused != un-conceived.

      Do these events not start out as conceived conjectures about how the world works? Otherwise, how would you set up an experiment to test an *un-conceived* event? Where would you even start?

      Jeff: Thus, we don't talk about mere explanations, we talk about historical accounts. These can include uncaused event sequences as well as caused ones. It's not hard at all to see how there's an infinite set of them.

      Again, we rationality criticize conceived conjectured theories. We cannot criticize an infinite number of logical possibilities with an infinite number of possible events. You're still comparing oranges and apples.

      "By dissolving justificationism itself, the critical rationalist regards knowledge and rationality, reason and science, as neither foundational nor infallible, but nevertheless does not think we must therefore all be relativists. Knowledge and truth still exist, just not in the way we thought.

      You're still assuming that I, like you, think we can prove things are true or that we can make them probable. But this doesn't survive rational criticism.

      Note, I'm not saying that there isn't some objective, absolute reality out there at this very moment. Rather, I'm saying, due to the problem of induction, we cannot use observations to possibly make progress towards it. Rather, all we can do is become less wrong, which is still progress.

      On the other hand, you seem to assume we can make progress in a positive way, despite the lack of a "principle of induction" that actually works, in practice.

      So, what's the alternative? Divine revelation? You have faith that Induction works because "God wanted us to make progress via induction"?

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    32. Correction: I'm saying, due to the problem of induction, we cannot use observations to positively make progress towards it. Rather, all we can do is become less wrong, which is still progress.

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    33. Scott: Again, kindly point out where I denied that parsimony is *one of many ways* we criticize ideas. Are you actually reading anything I write?

      Jeff: You imply it when you say criticism isn't grounded in beliefs we believe are warranted/justified. If nothing is justified/warranted as grounds for criticism, no progress is possible.

      As I expected, you provided no such reference. This is yet another example of projecting your epistemological view on me. What else should we conclude other than you cannot recognize justificationsism as an idea that is subject to criticism?

      Parsimony is one of many ways we criticize ideas. However, justificationsism is impossible because eventually you will either run into a unjustified assumption, which itself cannot be justified, or an infinite regress, which is impossible.

      Given the above, it's unclear how anything can be justified in the sense you're implying, let alone parsimony.

      But, again, this doesn't mean I must be a relativist. Rather, it means that all ideas at all levels are subject to criticism.

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    34. Scott: Given the above, it's unclear how anything can be justified in the sense you're implying, let alone parsimony.

      Jeff: Justification is ultimately about satisfaction. Those NATURALLY-FORMED beliefs that seem to work unto our long-term satisfaction (which is all we could possibly mean by progress) when voluntarily applied as grounds (like parsimony) to discursive reasoning are "justified" in that sense. But even this is unintelligible apart from some beliefs being formed in the indicative mood. Such beliefs, by virtue of that indicative mood, are deemed as more or less plausible in terms of the more fundamental relation to long-term satisfaction.

      Scott: But, again, this doesn't mean I must be a relativist. Rather, it means that all ideas at all levels are subject to criticism.

      Jeff: If all you mean by that is that we can question whether we know much of anything, then yes. But at that point, no ARGUMENT with ANOTHER mind is going on. So long as an ARGUMENT with ANOTHER inferred mind is going on, there HAVE to be grounds that one accepts as givens. Else rational argument and, therefore, criticism is literally impossible. For if all grounds are deemed, right out of the gate, as arbitrary, then no progress is even distinguishable from the absence of progress. Inferences have no more plausibility than their grounds.

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    35. Scott: Rather, all we can do is become less wrong, which is still progress.

      Jeff: Without grounds that are accepted as givens, no progress is possible for the reason I explained above. E.g., if you don't accept as a given that some apparent memories aren't false memories, you can't make discernible progress at all. There would be no way to distinguish progress from the lack of it. If every apparent memory you posit to be actual, as opposed to false, is posited thus arbitrarily, you're hosed. Alternatively, you could assume all apparent memories are actual memories and accept, as true, all the contradictions implied by that approach. No progress is discernible either way.

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    36. Jeff: Justification is ultimately about satisfaction.

      So, rational criticism that indicates justification is impossible is irrelevant because justificationism satisfies you?

      Again, you cannot justify conclusions based on a chain of inherited plausibility because you eventually run into a link that isn't justified or an infinite regress. This is simply impossible.

      Note, I'm not saying that people are not making progress. That's your claim, not mine. Rather, we make progress by criticizing ideas. Popper has covered this subject at length in his book "The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

      Jeff: So long as an ARGUMENT with ANOTHER inferred mind is going on, there HAVE to be grounds that one accepts as givens.

      If justification is impossible then it's unclear how you could use it in reaching a conclusion. Rather, what's happening is that you have gone though a process of criticism which you're choosing to call justifications. That's all I'm saying here.

      Jeff: E.g., if you don't accept as a given that some apparent memories aren't false memories, you can't make discernible progress at all.

      Why do you keep making the same mistake over and over again? For example, I've already said I've adopted the idea that some apparent memories aren't false based on rational criticism.

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    37. Scott: Again, you cannot justify conclusions based on a chain of inherited plausibility because you eventually run into a link that isn't justified or an infinite regress. This is simply impossible.

      J: But foundationalists don't "justify" ALL naturally-formed beliefs by discursive reasoning (which is voluntary). Some of their naturally-formed beliefs are used as GROUNDS in that discursive process. In a sense, THAT an extra-solipsistic reality is governed by parsimony applied to our own naturally-formed beliefs is NOT a naturally-formed belief. It's our nature that compels us to seek the most parsimonious explanations for phenomena. We're not the kind of beings that waste time and energy. We're NATURAL time/energy savers. But once those most-parsimonious, discursively-derived explanations for our PAST experience is accepted, we apply it, via analogical-extrapolation (which is an inductive form of inference) to the FUTURE. But we do this tentatively, knowing that we could be wrong. What we DON'T do is give up an parsimony. That's compelled by our very nature.

      What's impossible is your approach. Because by your approach, we EITHER all keep ALL of our naturally-formed beliefs as grounds, even though they differ from person to person and even contradict one another, OR we pick some of them literally arbitrarily to be used as grounds. The latter means no beliefs are knowably more or less plausible than any other. And that means all teleological thought is UNINFORMED.

      What we actually SEEM to do is winnow our naturally-formed beliefs down with parsimony, keeping only those that are so categorical in nature that we couldn't reason at all without them. IOW, we keep those naturally-formed beliefs that serve as GROUNDS for deduction and induction.

      Scott: For example, I've already said I've adopted the idea that some apparent memories aren't false based on rational criticism.

      J: But on what ground do you decide which is which other than parsimony--i.e., INDUCTIVE CRITERIA?

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    38. J1: And that means all teleological thought is UNINFORMED.

      J2: The above basically means no teleological ajudication is ever going on. Teleological thought, by definition, requires a relative plausibility criteria by which to adjudicate in a way distinguishable from wild guessing, day-dreaming, dreaming, etc.

      Alternatively, one could deny the occurrence of teleological thought. That would be the denial of voluntary thought. And that would mean all belief is absolutely blind, because it would be not only natural, but UNcriticzed. Criticism IS voluntary reasoning. If even criticism is conceived of as natural thought formation, then there is no normativity to it whatsoever. No belief is, in that case, knowably better (with respect to satisfaction) or more plausible than any other.

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    39. J1: What we actually SEEM to do is winnow our naturally-formed beliefs down with parsimony, keeping only those that are so categorical in nature that we couldn't reason at all without them. IOW, we keep those naturally-formed beliefs that serve as GROUNDS for deduction and induction.

      J: Here, I'm talking about naturally-formed beliefs that render criticism possible. Obviously we don't reject apparent memories, etc, MERELY because they don't ground the rational criticism.

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    40. Jeff: But foundationalists don't "justify" ALL naturally-formed beliefs by discursive reasoning (which is voluntary).

      I'd again point out that we can have a foundational theory explains higher level theories without resorting to justificationism.

      A great majority of transformations of matter are currently untraceable. But the majority of problems that would prevent us from making progress due to this current untraceability are uninteresting to human beings. For example, I can solve the problem making tea despite the fact that the path of each water molecule will take when heated is currently untraceable. So, there is a class of phenomena that is quasi-antonomous, since they are nearly self-contained. Our ability to explain things at this higher, quasi-antonomous level is emergence.

      Jeff: In a sense, THAT an extra-solipsistic reality is governed by parsimony applied to our own naturally-formed beliefs is NOT a naturally-formed belief. It's our nature that compels us to seek the most parsimonious explanations for phenomena. We're not the kind of beings that waste time and energy.

      This is why I keep asking you to explain your theory of human knowledge and, specifically, our relatively recent and exponential growth of human knowledge in particular. Getting any remotely kind of detailed answer out of you has been like putting teeth. And what you have revealed doesn't withstand criticism.

      For example, if parsimony is in our nature they why did people with essentially the same brain structures as ours made virtually no progress for nearly 200,000 years? IOW, you're confusing wanting to solve problems with less resources and effort with the idea that the world actually works in a way that parsimony would be part of an effective suite of criticism. Parsimony in the epistemological sense is an idea that is subject to criticism. It represents progress we've made in epistemology.

      In the case of human beings, our preferences determine what we consider a waste of time and energy. However, if God exists and can do anything logically possible, then things like time and energy are irrelevant. Phenomena could happen as part of an arbitrarily complex Rube Goldberg machine or merely because God wills it that way moment by moment.

      Given that a parsimonious explanation isn't *necessary* for God, why parsimony? Why does parsimony in ID equate to an abstract designer that has no defined limitations, while parsimony in the case of changes in the weather include warm and cold fronts, jet streams, the orbit of the earth around the sun, the earth's tilt, that a spinning sphere retains its tilt, that surfaces tilted away from radiant heat sources are heated less, nuclear reactions in stars that explain star light, etc?

      Delete
    41. Jeff: But once those most-parsimonious, discursively-derived explanations for our PAST experience is accepted, we apply it, via analogical-extrapolation (which is an inductive form of inference) to the FUTURE. But we do this tentatively, knowing that we could be wrong.

      We continue to apply accepted conjectured explanations because, up to this moment, they have best withstood criticism. This is not induction.

      Jeff: What we DON'T do is give up an parsimony.

      Where did I say we did give up parsimony? Parsimony, as a part of a suite of human criticism, would be part of the sphere of human knowledge. The question is,"why don't we give up on parsimony?" This is why I keep asking for your explanation of human knowledge.

      Jeff: That's compelled by our very nature.

      What is the definition of justificationism?

      "Beliefs must be justified by an appeal to an authority of some kind, generally the source of the belief in question, and this justification makes the belief either rational, or if not rational at least valid for the person who holds it."

      Creationism and ID share the same conception of human knowledge. Specifically, knowledge in specific spheres comes to us from a supernatural, authoritative source. Do you deny believing that "our very nature" comes from such a supernatural source? Wouldn't that include the knowledge that we should use parsimony? And given the source of that knowledge, wouldn't you consider it beyond criticism?

      However, under critical rationalism, we do not give up on parsimony because it has, up to this moment, best withstood criticism.

      Jeff: What's impossible is your approach. Because by your approach, we EITHER all keep ALL of our naturally-formed beliefs as grounds, even though they differ from person to person and even contradict one another, OR we pick some of them literally arbitrarily to be used as grounds.

      What you call naturally-formed beliefs are actually conjectured ideas. If people cannot recognize their conceptions of human knowledge as ideas, they will not be criticized in the light of all of our competing ideas.

      Jeff: The latter means no beliefs are knowably more or less plausible than any other. And that means all teleological thought is UNINFORMED.

      It's only though this confusion that they are not ideas that you're assuming we'd have to accept them all. So, this is yet another false dilemma.

      Jeff: What we actually SEEM to do is winnow our naturally-formed beliefs down with parsimony, keeping only those that are so categorical in nature that we couldn't reason at all without them. IOW, we keep those naturally-formed beliefs that serve as GROUNDS for deduction and induction.

      That humans are capable of rational criticism is an idea we accept because, up to this moment, it has best withstood criticism.

      Scott: For example, I've already said I've adopted the idea that some apparent memories aren't false based on rational criticism.

      Jeff: But on what ground do you decide which is which other than parsimony--i.e., INDUCTIVE CRITERIA?

      First, we can "translate" this as: But how do you justify which is which without justifying it with parsimony?

      But, I'm not a justificationist.

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    42. Second, I've already responded to this question, in detail, in previous comments, and referenced these comments with links.

      From one of the linked comments…

      "Solipsists accept every observation that realists do. They just add the additional claim that these observations are merely facets of our internal self. This includes observations of objects obeying the laws of physics, people disagreeing with them about Solipsism, etc. If you asked a Solipsist why apple-like facets of my internal sell "fall down", he would say, "because that's how it would appear if realism were true." So we have one a theory about realty, Solipsism, that can be understood only in terms of another theory of reality, realism, that it contradicts, yet faithfully mimics.

      As such, Solipsism is a convoluted elaboration of realism."


      It doesn't solve the problem it purports to solve.

      Jeff: No belief is, in that case, knowably better (with respect to satisfaction) or more plausible than any other.

      If God does't exist to justify knowledge of how to criticize different beliefs, then no belief is better than any other. This is the false dilemma.

      This is the same kind of argument that claims If God doesn't exist, there can be no moral knowledge. etc. Both are ideas that are subject to criticism.

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    43. Scott: Solipsists accept every observation that realists do. They just add the additional claim that these observations are merely facets of our internal self. This includes observations of objects obeying the laws of physics, people disagreeing with them about Solipsism, etc. If you asked a Solipsist why apple-like facets of my internal sell "fall down", he would say, "because that's how it would appear if realism were true." So we have one a theory about realty, Solipsism, that can be understood only in terms of another theory of reality, realism, that it contradicts, yet faithfully mimics.

      As such, Solipsism is a convoluted elaboration of realism.

      Jeff: Solipsism is the view that only one's self exists. First, without a relative plausibility criteria, that view is no more or less plausible than any other coherent view. Second, there are some (if not most) physicists who interpret quantum wierdness just as anti-realist.

      Scott: It doesn't solve the problem it purports to solve.

      Jeff: What problem does it purport to solve?

      Scott: This is the same kind of argument that claims If God doesn't exist, there can be no moral knowledge. etc.

      Jeff: No, the argument is not that moral knowledge can't exist apart from God. The argument is that morality PER SE, as conceived of by most people who believe in some species of karma to render morality rational, is unintelligible if there is no just moral governor of the universe.

      Scott: Both are ideas that are subject to criticism.

      Jeff: OK, argue as to how that conception of morality and moral relations could exist if no just governor of the universe exists. Alternatively, argue THAT it doesn't exist such that that view is known to be more plausible.

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    44. In fact, Scott, I've heard some anti-realist quantum thinkers assume there's something physical after all, but not in the 3-D space that we can think in terms of. How could anyone know this approach is more parsimonious and, therefore, plausible than straight-up idealism? It's completely non-explanatory in terms of a hypothetico-deductive modeling of conceivable physical attributes.

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    45. Jeff: Solipsism is the view that only one's self exists. First, without a relative plausibility criteria, that view is no more or less plausible than any other coherent view. Second, there are some (if not most) physicists who interpret quantum wierdness just as anti-realist.

      Your argument is narrow in scope because you're ignoring important aspects of Solipsism. From Wikipedia...

      "Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not exist outside the mind. As a metaphysical position, solipsism goes further to the conclusion that the world and other minds do not exist. As such it is the only epistemological position that, by its own postulate, is both irrefutable and yet indefensible in the same manner."

      Solipsism isn't an explanation, it's a logical possibility based on the supposed existence of a specific boundary where human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass (one's own mind / human experience)

      Furthermore, we can vary Solipsism to accept an external reality but not the existence of other conscious beings. Since I cannot access your experience, I cannot prove that you actually exhibit consciousness as well. As such, you could merely a very convincing zombie that only appears to be conscious, etc. This simply moves the boundary where human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass from one's own mind to other instances of conscious experience in an external reality.

      At the other end of the spectrum, we have the "universe created five seconds ago" idea, which is also based on something else we cannot positively prove. Namely, we cannot prove that some supernatural designer didn't choose to create the universe we observe all at once, five seconds ago, complete with the appearance of age, implanted false memories, etc. In this case, the boundary that human reasoning and problem solving cannot pass is how said designer chose to create the universe we observe.

      All of these variations are based on the same objection: that we cannot make progress past a specific boundary due to our inability to positively prove something is true or false.

      You're claiming we cannot make progress in the field of epistemology beyond induction and justificationiosm. Specifically, you're placed the boundary at rational criticism, as we cannot positively prove humans are capable of rational criticism. As such, you claim we cannot use it unless it is justified by some authoritative source. Human reasoning and problem solving cannot make progress on this issue.

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    46. Scott: [Solipsism] doesn't solve the problem it purports to solve.

      Jeff: What problem does it purport to solve?

      What is Solipsism if not supposedly an explanation for what we observe / experience? A logical possibility? But we discard an infinite number of logical possibilities in every field of, every day. Why should Solipsism be any different?

      Again, if we take Solipsism seriously, for the purpose of rational criticism, solipsists accept every observation that realists do. They just add the additional claim that these observations are merely facets of our internal self. This includes observations of objects obeying the laws of physics, people disagreeing with themselves about Solipsism, etc. If you asked a Solipsist to explain why apple-like facets of my internal self "fall down", he would say, "because that's how it would appear if realism were true." So we have one a theory about realty, Solipsism, that can be understood only in terms of another theory of reality, realism, that it contradicts, yet faithfully mimics.

      We can say the same about the other end of the spectrum.

      Let's take a "universe created five seconds ago" seriously, for the purpose of criticism. Also, let's hypothetically assume its proponents also accept every observation that old universe proponents do. They just add the additional claim that none of these things existed earlier than five seconds ago. This includes parts of this comment I would have wrote five seconds earlier, an in flight jet full of passengers already in progress, all works of art, the growth of human knowledge, the births and deaths of loved ones, friends, acquaintances, etc.

      If you asked this hypothetically "universe created five seconds ago" proponent to actually *explain* specific observations, such why a NY to Paris flight appears to have already been in the air for eight hours 34 minutes and 55 seconds, he would say "because that's how it would appear if the universe had existed not only in the near term, in the form of the enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the work of aeronautical engineers, just to name a few, but that the universe had existed far in the distant past as well, including the existence of dinosaurs that eventually turn into fossil fuels, which ate plant and animals for food, which existed on a planet which received energy from a main sequence star, etc." So we have one theory about realty, "universe created five seconds ago", that can be understood only in terms of another theory of reality, a very old universe, that it contradicts, yet faithfully mimics.

      This is what I mean when I say knowledge grows by guesses controlled by taking ideas seriously for the purpose of rational criticism. So, explanations are a integral part of rational criticism. Mere logical possibilities are not explanations.

      On the other hand, the "criticism" of evolutionary theory made by CH and company isn't made with the goal of making scientific progress, it's a strategy to deny that progress has already been made in more ways than one.

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    47. Scott: This is the same kind of argument that claims If God doesn't exist, there can be no moral knowledge. etc.

      Jeff: No, the argument is not that moral knowledge can't exist apart from God. The argument is that morality PER SE, as conceived of by most people who believe in some species of karma to render morality rational, is unintelligible if there is no just moral governor of the universe.

      Again, I'm referring to the specific, pre-enlightenment conception of human knowledge where knowledge in specific spheres, such as moral knowledge, is dictated in some way by an authoritative source. In your case, it's a supernatural moral governor of the universe.

      In the case of both creationism and ID, that sphere includes the knowledge of how to transform matter info specific adaptations of biological organisms, which is also "dictated" by an authoritative source. In creationism, the source is explicitly a supernatural authoritative source. In the case of ID, it is an abstract authoritative source with no defined limitations, which conveniently leaves a hole big enough to drive one's preferred supernatural authoritative source.

      Both of these positions share the same pre-enlightement conception of human knowledge.

      Scott: [Conceptions that knowledge in these spheres are "dictated" by authoritative sources] are ideas that are subject to criticism.

      Jeff: OK, argue as to how that conception of morality and moral relations could exist if no just governor of the universe exists. Alternatively, argue THAT it doesn't exist such that that view is known to be more plausible.

      That's just it, Jeff. Under that conception of knowledge, moral knowledge in cannot exist because it only comes from authoritative sources. That's my entire point. No authoritative source, no knowledge in that sphere. Person X can say it is morally wrong to do Y, but you would not consider that knowledge to be in the same sphere unless it came from an authoritative source. As far as you're concerned, that knowledge is in the same sphere as blue being their favorite color.

      Again, Cornelius keeps saying that I must think adaptations of organisms are completely random unless I think they were designed by an authoritative designer. We keep saying otherwise, yet he keeps repeating the same mistake over and over again.

      I'm explaining this habitual mistake in that Cornelius thinks the instructions used to build biological adaptations in an organism's genome cannot be knowledge unless it came from an authoritative source. It's not in the same sphere, so it must be random. And he's projecting that on others.

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    48. Scott: Again, I'm referring to the specific, pre-enlightenment conception of human knowledge where knowledge in specific spheres, such as moral knowledge, is dictated in some way by an authoritative source.

      J: You're missing the relevant point. One can't get specifics about what a designer intends until one sees DESIGN as the seemingly more parsimonioius (alternatively, less ad-hoc) explanation of certain features of what one infers to be "reality."

      Scott: In the case of both creationism and ID, that sphere includes the knowledge of how to transform matter info specific adaptations of biological organisms,

      J: I don't even know what it means to say a designer "dictates" his/her "knowledge of how to transform matter into specific adaptations." We do it all the time in the case of machines. In what sense are we DICTATING our knowledge to ourselves in doing that?

      Scott: In creationism, the source is explicitly a supernatural authoritative source.

      J: It's only inferred to be "authoritative" if one infers that the designer is the only conceivable ground of a rational moral order that one can't resist inferring for INDUCTIVE reasons. There are deists who see the explanatory nature of a designer for non-moral aspects of their inferred reality without inferring it's an authority in any sense whatsoever.

      Scott: In the case of ID, it is an abstract authoritative source with no defined limitations, which conveniently leaves a hole big enough to drive one's preferred supernatural authoritative source.

      J: Actually, ID only infers what is implied by the inferred design itself. Nothing more, nothing less. For example, if I infer something is an automobile, and if I also infer that automobiles are designed for certain functions/purposes/ends, then I also, by implication, infer that the designer(s) was/were competent to design the automobile and that they had those purposes/intentions FOR it.

      Scott: [Conceptions that knowledge in these spheres are "dictated" by authoritative sources] are ideas that are subject to criticism.

      Jeff: To the extent that they make specific claims that are contradictory to highly-plausible inductive inferences, yes. But that has nothing to do with whether there is A designer. That just rules out (seemingly, per induction) that particular view of the designer.

      Scott: As far as you're concerned, that knowledge is in the same sphere as blue being their favorite color.

      Jeff: You're confused. The sense in which the atheist view of morality is like one's personal taste for colors or food is the sense in which reality, apart from post-mortem accountability, is clearly NOT just. And there is no RATIONAL basis, on the recognition of that fact, to not maximize one's own greatest self-interest with no regard for whether it conflicts with the interests of others. Altruism apart from moral accountability is a-rational in that sense.

      Scott: Again, Cornelius keeps saying that I must think adaptations of organisms are completely random unless I think they were designed by an authoritative designer. We keep saying otherwise, yet he keeps repeating the same mistake over and over again.

      J: He's only saying it's random in the sense of being a-teleological and utterly UNexplained by any observed event regularities that imply they would occur.

      Scott: I'm explaining this habitual mistake in that Cornelius thinks the instructions used to build biological adaptations in an organism's genome cannot be knowledge unless it came from an authoritative source.

      Jeff: That's sheer non-sense. There is nothing we know that renders naturalistic UCA even SEEMINGLY possible. It may BE possible. But nothing we know indicates it is. Rather, teleology is rejected a priori, and naturalistic UCA then SEEMS plausible in the mere sense that it's genealogical. But once you reject something a priori without rational criticism, you've become arbitrary and, therefore, irrational or a-rational.

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  7. Cornelius Hunter

    It is intuitively obvious that insect wings, such as these shown from the desert locust, did not evolve from random chance events as evolutionists insist they did,


    Time to recycle this old musty lie again so soon CH? The "evos say everything evolved just by chance" canard?

    I guess when there are only a few Creationist lie "arrows" in your DI "wedge plan" quiver you have to reuse them over and over and over.

    You need to find some new, creative ways to make Creationists look like willfully ignorant fools.

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    1. So thornton I read the first paper you linked, two threads back. The research documented new function evolving and, to use a term that everyone here can grasp, 250~300 "random mutations" required to generate a new function, plus a way to measure the "fitness" improvement acquired. Then they "prove" that each mutation increases fitness by an amount represented simply as a quotient. This calculation is a triumph of "evolutionary biology"? Now how about statistical correlation among the progression of these acquired mutations? Never discussed in the paper if I recall correctly. You want to discuss correlation with high school students? You ready to prove that the probability 196th mutation occurring is uncorrelated to the probability of the 57th? You want to get into this with high schoolers or even us? No I don't think so, you prefer the just by chance meme for simpletons. To admit the correlation problem would open up a can of worms for you guys, meaning you would have to join up with the microbiologists exploring causal nexus connections and looking beyond the casual tossing around of the words "random" and "chance".

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    2. LOL! Tell you what MSEE. If you're so convinced evolutionary theory has the huge problem with correlation that all scientists everywhere missed yet you with your engineering genius spotted right away, why don't you do something about it?

      Go ahead and write up your critique and submit it to the appropriate professional scientific journals. Be sure to mention what a genius engineer you are, that always impresses the technical peer review panels too.

      Let us know when this paradigm-changing work will be published, OK?

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  8. Hi Mr. Fox and hi Thornton,

    I agree that the whole "by chance" stance (epic rhyme skills I know) is a very incomplete representation of evolution by natural selection as it omits the selection part.

    (the rest is not addressed to you 2 at all but more for anyone)

    That said you must at least be able to see a little bit where Cornelius and other intelligent design (not a fan of that phase) folks are coming from.

    Serious question now, have you ever (and I really mean ever) thought that something you have seen might not purely be the work of currently understood natural forces. Even the tiniest hint of questioning? Or is it all clear as day for you?

    Is there ever a point, when time after time after time when we see natures intricate solutions to problems that you start to think - wow this almost unbelievable given what I know of the world! (by that I mean current our understandings of biology,chemistry and physics).

    I can grasp trial and error and selection of the best for the current job, no problem. As a programmer I could write simulations of this no problem. My main gripe is that fact that the depth of many of nature's solutions require so very many trials. And should one of these trials lead to an advantage that was not optimal but an advantage nonetheless - the optimal solution may never be found,

    Par example, mutations are busy trying out different wing structures. They would probably have to be small at first so as not to hinder the insect and make it easy prey. If during the contiguous development of this appendage imagine (and we have to do a lot of this) that for whatever reason the wing changed slightly, in a way that meant it could never end up being a flight capable animal but had an advantage over its peers. I would suggest that in the vast number of stages, between no wing and elegant flight bearing wing, there are countless adaptations that would offer and advantage whilst rule out the possibility of any offspring ever getting that perfect wing.

    They really are nifty things too! Some fun trivia to reward anyone that read though all my drivel:

    "A pound of fruit-fly wings laid end to end would stretch about 500 miles, a very low mass per unit length--a steel wire to go so far would have about the same diameter as a red blood cell. Yet in each second of flight the tip of a wing moves several meters and reverses direction four hundred times."

    A nice picture of dragonfly wings:
    http://www.ornithopter.de/english/images/wings/dragonfly.jpg
    I find insect photographs fascinating!

    Quick summary:
    Things can adapt and change for the better - no doubt about it. On the other hand some end points (natures final solutions - such as dragonfly wings, but there are of course so many others, I just chose those as we know they have been around for millions of years unchanged so that is final in my books) would have to have run a huge course/gauntlet of other alternatives that could have been beneficial and selected for but written of that final solution that ALWAYS seems to get acquired.

    Final note:
    While freedom of speech is great I find the condescending tone of some folks on here rather embarrassing so I apologize to the more well behaved ones on their behalf, I don't know why civility seems so hard for some.

    bw

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    1. bw: "I can grasp trial and error and selection of the best for the current job, no problem. As a programmer I could write simulations of this no problem. My main gripe is that fact that the depth of many of nature's solutions require so very many trials. And should one of these trials lead to an advantage that was not optimal but an advantage nonetheless - the optimal solution may never be found,"

      bw, have you ever done Monte Carlo simulations or similar optimization procedures? If you have then you should appreciate the role of positive feedback. Evolution has no trouble optimizing structures just like a droplet of water has no problem acquiring a spherical shape that minimizes the surface area at a constant volume. Hunter has complete disregard for such things and present evolution as an entirely random process. Which it is not.

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    2. Hi Oleg,
      Thanks for the response, yes I am familiar with the Monte Carlo methods and while don't often (never so far) use that sort of thing in my line of work I appreciate their value.
      However, that said random sampling can still fall for a red herrings unless you explicitly program it not to.
      If you are performing random sampling and hit upon a successful solution you can very easily miss other more optimal solutions by focusing here. Which is what evolution will usually do - grab the first improved solution. It cannot easily back track. The first solution to any given problem may be better than current methods but at the same time rule out ever finding the best solution.
      I hope I have made sense of that.. i.e. with random sampling it is all to easy to focus on the 1st result that looks positive even if in the long run it eliminates better solutions.
      If I am still unclear I apologize - articulation is not my thing.
      A water droplet is perhaps a bad example as it has no options, physics determine the shape it forms, no trial and error.
      Yes evolution can and DOES optimize but my point is optimization naturally will jump on the first improvement time and time again and this can lead to the ruling out of the best overall solution, which in my opinion is what we see a great deal of in nature.
      Again I could be very wrong on this, just my observation so don't sweat it at all if you think I have it totally wrong.

      b

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  9. Things can adapt and change for the better - no doubt about it.

    Indeed.

    On the other hand some end points... ... would have to have run a huge course/gauntlet of other alternatives that could have been beneficial and selected for but written of that final solution that ALWAYS seems to get acquired.

    If evolutionary theory is true (which I don't ask you to believe) then every organism alive today can trace a lineage back to the last universal common ancestor. That would appear to be a bigger stretch than you realise.

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  10. I really enjoy reading articles like this as it provides more knowledge and appreciation for the Designer. To think this is a result of a semi random process, to me, just seems completely absurd. How about the knowledge the locust needs to utilize those beautifully designed wings. Whether the wings evolved slowly or spontaneously, quickly, but not spontaneously, or anything in between, it still needs the information to put them to use. I wonder, how could that information evolve? It seems much more logical to believe the Creator made it with a purpose in mind.

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  11. Cornelius, you seem to be using very idiosyncratic definitions of "realism" and "anti-realism". In fact, it doesn't even really make sense to say a theory is realist/anti-realist. People are those things, according to their philosophical preferences. And I don't think there are a whole lot of instrumentalists amongst evolutionary biologists. I'm pretty sure most of them think the theory refers, however imperfectly, to how reality actually is.

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  12. It seems to me that trial and error by intelligent agents s a little different than trial and error by random mutations. Intelligent know not to repeat an erroneous trial. If it didn't work out, it won;t be tried again. Evolution has no way of making sure that a bad trial won't happen again.

    And in a case of an adaptation that requires a number of mutations in sequence, how does the organism know not to mutate backwards during the process? Fro example the adaptation requires mutations that go A>B>C>D. What is stopping it from going from D back to C?

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    1. natschuster

      For example the adaptation requires mutations that go A>B>C>D. What is stopping it from going from D back to C?

      Selection pressure. The same selection pressure that drove the population from C>D will tend to keep it at D. Some individuals in each generation will certainly randomly head back towards C but those will tend to be selected against. Remember that populations evolve, not individuals.

      If the selection pressure changes there's nothing to stop the population from losing features and reverting to its earlier form i.e D>C. In theory it can happen multiple times. Indeed, that scenario was actually documented for the first time in a real world case about 10 years ago. Genetic and fossil evidence shows that the family of 'walking stick' insects evolved then lost then re-evolved flight at least twice in their long evolutionary history.

      Walking sticks regained flight after 50 million years of winglessness, ‘Nature’ study shows

      "A Brigham Young University researcher has demonstrated that members of a certain group of insects lost the ability to fly and then re-evolved it 50 million years later – a conclusion that means the theory of evolution itself must continue to change.

      Integrative biology professor Michael F. Whiting and his collaborators analyzed the DNA sequences of 35 species of walking sticks, aptly named insects that mimic twigs to stay hidden from predators, to decipher which evolved first. Their findings, reported in the cover article in the Jan. 16 edition of "Nature," showed that some species of walking sticks without wings existed before their winged descendants, the first time any organism has been shown to do what scientists previously thought impossible – re-evolve a complex trait."

      The paper is here

      Loss and recovery of wings in stick insects

      "Trial and error" is a rather high level metaphor for evolutionary processes. It's more like "trial and retain what works best, use it as the starting point for the next trial".

      Delete
    2. Thorton, That was an interesting paper. It seems that once the wings evolved, the information was conserved in the genome but not always expressed. Is that correct?

      Delete
    3. Marcus

      Thorton, That was an interesting paper. It seems that once the wings evolved, the information was conserved in the genome but not always expressed. Is that correct?


      Yes, that appears to be the case with the stick insects. There are lots of documented examples of animals where features have been lost due to the non-expression of certain genes while the genes themselves are conserved. Cetaceans for example still retain the genes for hind limb development but the regulatory genes were deactivated.

      How Ancient Whales Lost Their Legs, Got Sleek And Conquered The Oceans

      That's why we occasionally see atavisms, where an individual will have a mutation that turns part of the unexpressed genes back on.

      The unique thing about the stick insects was that's the first example of a whole population re-evolving the ability to begin expressing the genes again.

      Delete
    4. Absolutely the surest method to scare away the Creationists from a thread - post a scientific paper, ask them to give their explanation for the data.

      Delete
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