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# Testing Intelligent Design Theory?

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posted on Jan, 17 2006 @ 09:21 PM
OK lets approach Dembski assessment of complexity.

If I have two packs of cards (104 individul cards), mix them and deal them out, probability of a particular order is about 1x10-166, which is above the UPB.

So if I expect a specified order then that is the probability of it occuring by chance. BUT ToE does not specify an endpoint, it is not aiming for a specific molecule/system, to suggest otherwise is teleogical, which is exactly what dembski does (he uses a specified complexity index CSI). He also only allows in his calcualtions certain methods of getting to that endpoint (which remember is not specified in ToE; i.e. climbing mount improbable)

Edit: and lets not forget, even for something in the region of the UPB it might take 3 times the age of the universe, or happen in the first months, that's probability.

[edit on 17-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 17-1-2006 by melatonin]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 09:04 AM

Originally posted by melatonin
So if I expect a specified order then that is the probability of it occuring by chance. BUT ToE does not specify an endpoint, it is not aiming for a specific molecule/system, to suggest otherwise is teleogical, which is exactly what dembski does (he uses a specified complexity index CSI).

This is not true entirely... yes it's true that ET doesn't have a 'goal' but the point is that of all possible combinations of x 'things' in n'positions' there's only a small fraction of combinations that work... in your card analogy... To suggest that 'any' combination of 'cards' or whatever is 'equal' is just not true, and I think you understand this.

He also only allows in his calcualtions certain methods of getting to that endpoint (which remember is not specified in ToE; i.e. climbing mount improbable)

You're going to have to expand on this idea... what methods... what endpoint, etc.

Edit: and lets not forget, even for something in the region of the UPB it might take 3 times the age of the universe, or happen in the first months, that's probability.

Okay... let's be a little bit more clear here. Probability of what specifically? Until we start talking specifics, none of this probability talk makes any sense. Quite simply... until we want to talk probabilities of speicific ideas we're not going to get anywhere.

Hey Matt, I'll try and answer you completely later. But just some evidence for and against homeopathy, the weight of evidence is against them in tightly controlled conditions....

Hey... I wasn't standing up for homeopathy... you asked what was a possible mechanism, and I tossed it up there. Just because I think ID has scientific merit doesn't make me a 'new-ager'
No offense intended towards new-agers of course... hey if homeopathy works for you... keep it up.

Some simple poorly designed anatomy...

Certain flatfish are born with an eye on both lateral sides of their body (i.e. one is beneath) and during growth the one eye moves to be in a more adaptive place on top of its body.

The uretha in human males passes close to the prostate gland resulting in 1/3 males needing surgery at sometime in their lives.

These type of arguments are not scientific... they're pseudotheological... also what these examples do, and the others you brought up is exactly what you accuse the ID community of doing. You accuse the ID community of saying , "We don't understand something, ID did it," which isn't true, but this is peripheral. What each of these arguments says is "This seems inefficient or otherwise unnecessary, it could be designed better."

In each case, a profession of ignorance or lack of understanding is made, followed by resolution which is not testable or provable.

Many of these types of examples are laughable anyway... in that other ref you posted for example, it's noteworthy that you left out mRNA processing. Could that be because that argument is shown to be totally false by alternative splicing.

The point about 'Unnecessary Waste' is absurd too.. The cell makes a choice... what's a more important pathway... energy synthesis or indole synthesis... I think this a great example of efficient allocation of resources...

The point about okazaki fragments is laughable too. How is this somehow less efficient... true the fragments have to be sealed up, but the strand has to be proofread anyway... it's not like okazaki fragments are the weak link slowing replication down.

The point about 'Duplicate pathways' is also absurd. Resources aren't distributed evenly through ecosystems, it's foolish to assume that enzymes and pathways that function in one ecological context will function in another. The relative concentrations of substrates and the enzymes affinity for substrates often appear to be fine tuned to the environment in which the organism thrives. Sometimes different solutions are needed for similar problems due to the context of the problem.

With respect to fatty acid oxidation "design[ing] the B12-requiring mutase to accept the diastereomer" would likely require redesigning the whole pathway that generates the B12 requiring mutase... I say this because the only reason the substrate doesn't fit is because of configuration at one position in a molecule..., the entire system would have to be reversed to acccomodate this one assymetric carbon. Why regenerate a whole pathway when something can be done with just a single enzyme.

Each of these could be argued from the design perspective too, but neither is a scientific argument

do you think it would be possible to improve on the flagella using our mere intelligence?

What do you mean by the word 'improve?'

I'm sorry Matt, maybe it's my lack of molecular biology knowledge, but I don't think you can convince me that you could ever have true positve evidence of IC, only show that ToE seems not to work in the conditions used.

Again, I insist you've not thought hard enough about it. The reason I say this is because you state that I can "only show that ToE seems not to work in the conditions used." This is distinctly not the purpose of what I've proposed. Again... the point is to correlate functionality, homology, and genetic change in allegedly IC systems.

Even if I can't convince you of what you state above. It seems we've made progress. To summarize:

1. IC is a inference made from observation.
2. Design theories can be parsimonious
3. Design theory is capable of making predictions
4. Testable, falsifiable hypotheses can be generated from the inference of design
5. Experiments from the above described hypotheses can be quantified and consistently produce positive results, ie: data (not positive evidence of ID, but quantifiable, describable data).
1. I further believe that said experiments are fully capable of yielding information re: the naturalistic mechanism by which allegedly IC systems can arise and become available for refinement and improvement via natural selection.

Seems to me like this has been a productive thread

The fact that Behe and Dembski seem unable to predict IC consolidates my opinion

Not sure what you mean by this. They have predicted IC systems. Whether or not IC systems exist, and whether or not there assessment is 100% accurate are both debatable.

Edit: aah I just read the edit on blood coag, apparently Miller asked Behe about this in a public debate, Behe had no issue with it not being part of the blood coag cascade. Then Miller brought up the dolphin study. Miller suggests this falsifies Blood Coag as IC, others may disagree.

Not sure what the point of this is... seems to confirm what I previously quote from page 86 of DBB.

Page 87 DBB: Because of the nature of a cascade, a new protein would immediately have to be regulated. From the beginning, a new step in the cascade would require both a proenzyme and also an activating enzyme to switch on the proenzyme at the correct time and place.Since each step necessarily requires several parts, not only is the entire blood-clotting system irreducibly complex, but so is each step in the pathway.

None of this changes that he clearly defined the ICore one page earlier... seems pretty clear to me. Especially if you read it all in the context of a chapter.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 11:03 AM
This has got to be one of the best ID conversations/debates we've had on ATS since i've been a member here.

I'd like to try and contribute here where i can... not a whole lotta where there, but i'll do what i can.

melatonin

My futuristic idea - how would we tell NS life on this planet from ID life on the planet we seeded?

I actually posed a similar theoretical question to Nygdan. What if we did design life (from the ground up so to speak) to evolve on another planet. If that organism eventually evolved into intelligent beings capable of scientifically exploring their origins would ID research be futile or pseudo-scientific? Now obviously in this scenario life was intelligently designed, but would these 'people' have any way of distinguishing the appearance of design from actual design? I never got a reply from anyone on that, but i thought it was an intriging thought exercise...

I can appreciate the position that we have no tools currently in science to make the distinction between appearance and actual design. But it seems to me that most opponents don't offer that argument ie., they're not saying life is/may be designed but we have no method to definately (scientifically) make that distinction. Instead most opponents say appearance of design in biology is deceptive and infact there was/is no designer (ala- Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker"). I realize that the ToE and OOL are supposed to be seperate, but most abiogenesis arguments from NDT'ers that i've read suppose that the protein structures (flagellum, ATP, DNA, etc..) or a system such as photosynthesis et al., are 'built' via a series of "succesive, slight modifications" (ala Darwin's Natural Selection). So which is it? You can't falsify that. The NDT'ers have not proposed what these series of succesive, slight modifications were. I hate to say it (ok not really
) but it seems you guys are throwing up your hands and saying "nature did it." The NDT logic re: origins seems paradoxial to me, how do you use NS (or the logic behind survival of the fittest) to explain abiogenesis when there's no DNA or any other mechanism in place to make that sensible or logical. I realize that's poorly worded but i hope i made my point.

Maybe i should ask it another way. What, in your opinion, does the most ancient cell have to look like, what components or mechanisms are in place directly following the 'abiogenesis event' that will allow evolution to take the ball and run with it - so to speak. What structures, mechanisms or systems do we need to have in place for evolution to work? If we're to seperate the ToE from OOL then where do we draw the line? I realize you can't explain how a protein structure gets constructed without instruction from the DNA or the RNA(?) to 'fold' it properly... but would those questions fall under the ToE or OOL research? Seems the current thinking or naturalistic angle of approach (methodology) to OOL research is all based on NDT principals (series of successive slight modifications.) But when an opponent points out the flaws in that approach they're told that you can't falsify a naturalistic abiogenesis 'event' by pointing out the inadequacy of NDT or the ToE because they're seperate issues... They seem married to me, what am i not getting or comprehending here?

And on the issue of the DI and the alleged "creationism conspiracy" to use the ID debate to backdoor creationism in the schools. I read most of the ID related info posted on ATS and many, many members believe that this "conspiracy" is very real. Obviously what took place in Dover seems to fit and i would guess what took place there was indeed a ploy to get creationism in the public schools... but of all the rhetoric and info. posted by ID opponents they never mention the Thomas Moore Law Center(TMLC) but instead the DI is placed at the head of the conspiracy. When in fact the TMLC was looking to pick a fight and found what they were looking for in Dover, which was a school board filled with creationists (already trying to get creationism in their schools) who were more than happy to help. I'm not a scientist so the majority of my info on these issues come from the web (blogs, ID/ToE forums etc..) and from what i can gather the majority of the "ID community" was against what was taking place in Dover and especialy the strategy of the TMLC. There's even a thread in this forum that tries to make the argument for the 'ID is just stealth creationism' POV, admittedly the OP didn't do much research and based his entire argument on a 'Wiki' entry, but made no mention of TMLC what-so-ever.

I just think it's interesting to hear an ardent opponent of ID make such a spurrious allegation and find support for it and yet seems to have no knowledge of what took place in Dover and why it doesn't represent the opinion of the majority of the ID community. My rebuttal to that thread dealt only with DI and how it wasn't their stategy, and figured if somebody really wanted to know what went down and why they would come across this info rather easily... so i opted to not give 'em anymore ammo and instead only made the case that the OP was wrong or misinformed as to what involvement the DI had in Dover and why... as it has come up again i thought i should provide some links to Id'ers speaking on this. My point is, if you have issue with pushing ID in the public schools prematurely than your issue is with the TMLC and not the DI.

www.uncommondescent.com...

Last spring The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) hired me as an expert witness in the Dover area school district case regarding ID (Kitzmiller v. Dover). That case went to trial this week (26Sep05). Because the focus of that case and trial is a book titled Of Pandas and People and because I am the academic editor for the publisher of that book (i.e., The Foundation for Thought and Ethics [FTE]), when FTE tried to intervene in the case, TMLC decided to drop me as an expert witness, citing a conflict of interest. In any event, I did a lot of work on the case, including an expert witness report as well as a rebuttal of the opposing expert witness reports. Because these witnesses are currently testifying, my report and rebuttal may interest readers of this blog. I’ve posted them on my designinference.com website: go here and here.

Here's a good read from pandas thumb.org with alot of good relevant info. A good 'back and forth' in the comments section that you may appreciate as well.

www.pandasthumb.org...

The article [ Source ] goes on to note that there is a basic disagreement between the Discovery Institute, of which all three are fellows, and the Thomas More Law Center, over whether the Dover policy of mandating ID in classrooms is a good idea. The DI has taken the position that it should be allowed, but not mandated, while the TMLC is defending the board's policy of mandating that teaching. Both Dembski and Thompson tried to downplay those differences a bit in the article above, but I would maintain that they go a lot deeper than is being admitted.

...snip....

Fast forward to the Dover situation. The Dover school board adopts a policy to teach ID in science classrooms, but in doing so at least one member of the board makes it clear that this is being done for explicitly religious reasons. The DI immediately began to distance itself from the Dover policy largely for that reason, knowing that this isn't really the test case that they would want. They know that it's too soon to attempt to mandate the teaching of ID because, at this point, there really isn't any there there. As Dembski notes in the article cited above, "there is still a long way at hammering out ID as a full-fledged research program." Many other ID advocates, like Paul Nelson and Bruce Gordon, have said similar things. But the ACLU files suit on behalf of parents in the district and the TMLC comes riding in to defend them, and now the DI is in a bit of a bind.

Couple more links somewhat relevant to what took place in Dover but definately relevant to the discussion you and Matt are having.
"You Guys Lost: Is Design a Closed Issue?(from arn.org)

THE POSITIVE CASE FOR DESIGN (.pdf from arn.org)

This one from an ID opponent i thought was very interesting i'll C&P some of the 'highlights.'

Why Intelligent Design Theory Ought to be Taught even if you disagree with it (from arn.org)

Of the many reasons why intelligent design – an argument I reject – ought to be taught alongside evolution in our public schools, perhaps none is more compelling than the ignorance and demagoguery which is evident in our current national debate over the issue. Below are four myths you frequently come across while reading the political literature on the subject, followed by the facts.

Myth: The theory of intelligent design is a modern version of Creationism.

...snip....

Fact: The theory of intelligent design goes back at least as far as classical Greece and it has been debated in nearly every century since then.
Our century is no different. Those who advocate intelligent design are not “disguising” anything; they are not furtive men. They are offering for your consideration an idea that has intrigued the minds of everyone from Plato to Kant, an idea that possibly began when Socrates asked:
“With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of choice or design?”
Now, because the design argument can be found in Plato’s dialogues, we can deduce that the theory not only predates the theory of creationism – which was but one religious response to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) – it is also not wedded to Judeo-Christian scripture.
Krauthammer, Coyne and Dawkins are wrong here.

Myth: The theory of intelligent design claims that the designer is the God described in the Bible.

....snip...

Fact: It is a matter of formal logic, not deception, that allows one to consistently accept the intelligent design argument while utterly repudiating the theory of creationism as well as the Bible itself and its God.

Myth: Conservatives and Christians necessarily accept the intelligent design argument.

...snip...

Fact: You can consistently be a political conservative or a devout Christian and still totally reject the argument from intelligent design.
How many are aware that, of the many critics of the design argument, none were more formidable than a political conservative, on the one hand, and a Christian fundamentalist, on the other?

Myth: The theory of evolution and monotheism are logically at odds or, at least, inimical.

....snip...

Fact: You can consistently accept the theory of evolution and still be a monotheist, seeing the hand of God in the evolutionary workings of the universe.

Conclusion
The dispute between intelligent design versus a randomly ordered cosmos is age-old and fascinating and still unresolved. That smart and honest writers are now busy promulgating sheer fictions about this debate suggests that we are indeed in need of education on this topic. And that is a sufficient reason, in my opinion, for it to be taught in our schools, perhaps not in biology classes, but at least in mandatory philosophy classes, something our school systems do not demand to our national shame.

Ok now back to the (real) debate already in progress... keep up the good work guys.

(edit)Fixed quote tags re: new external quote policy.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by Rren]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 04:17 PM
hey guys, I will answer in more detail, but it'll likely be tomorrow. True, that if you specify an outcome and are hoping for it, but ToE does not do this, it is gradual process, it is also unfinished, it completely disregards that function change, co-opting etc can happen. Every week someone wins the lottery in the UK at odds of 14million to 1. Don't take my word for dembski's errors and poor conception of the issue....

"So what was Dembski's mistake? It was that he proposed that the design by necessity had to come from outside the living things, whereas it comes from within them and between the organism and its environment!

Normally this is called evolution by natural selection.

Dembski claimed that he could prove his thesis mathematically:

In this section I will present an in-principle mathematical argument for why natural causes are incapable of generating complex specified information." (page 150)
He shows that pure random chance cannot create information, and he shows how a simple smooth function (such as y = x2) cannot gain information. (Information could be lost by a function that cannot be mapped back uniquely: y = sine(x).) He concludes that there must be a designer to obtain CSI. However, natural selection has a branching mapping from one to many (replication) followed by pruning mapping of the many back down to a few (selection). These increasing and reductional mappings were not modeled by Dembski. In other words, Dembski "forgot" to model birth and death! It is amazing to see him spin pages and pages of math which are irrelevant because of these "oversights". Dembski's entire book, No Free Lunch, relies on this flawed argument, so the entire thesis of the book collapses. "
T. schneider
www.lecb.ncifcrf.gov...

"Another problem with Dembski?s arguments concerns the N.F.L. theorems. Recent work shows that these theorems don?t hold in the case of co-evolution, when two or more species evolve in response to one another. And most evolution is surely co-evolution. Organisms do not spend most of their time adapting to rocks; they are perpetually challenged by, and adapting to, a rapidly changing suite of viruses, parasites, predators, and prey. A theorem that doesn?t apply to these situations is a theorem whose relevance to biology is unclear. As it happens, David Wolpert, one of the authors of the N.F.L. theorems, recently denounced Dembski?s use of those theorems as ?fatally informal and imprecise.? Dembski?s apparent response has been a tactical retreat. In 2002, Dembski triumphantly proclaimed, ?The No Free Lunch theorems dash any hope of generating specified complexity via evolutionary algorithms.? Now he says, ?I certainly never argued that the N.F.L. theorems provide a direct refutation of Darwinism.?

www.newyorker.com...

"We cannot calculate the probability that an eye came about. We don't have the information to make the calculation"
W. Novak Harvard Professor of maths & evol biol
www.time.com...

...and if we can crticise Matzke for not being published, the same applies to all Dembski's work on CSI. It is arbitrary and meaningless, but as I said don't take my word for it.

There seem to be several examples which appear to contradict his claims. First of all, Tom Schneider's Evolution of biological information shows how a simple mutation selection algorithm can increase the information in the genome. Adami as well shows in Evolution of biological complexity how selection/mutation increases the information of the genome, but without violating any laws of thermodynamics. In fact, Dembski's argument applies to closed systems (sounds familiar 2nd law fans?) but of course it can apply to universe but does it apply for isolated life on this earth? we must take account of many variables in such calculation (changing environments, chemistry), unless we determine them it is relatively meaningless. He has already changed it once, the new form is no better (arbitrary for both functions).

Find out and read what is available about his failings, they are wide-ranging and his assertions are flawed.

On the design issue - yes it is the same argument, be ToE can explain why such "silly" designs happen. ID just jumps on the back of ToE, if we applied our "intelligence", we would not design it in that way, so if we invoke an external designer, he wasn't very good. Even the flagellum can be improved for efficiency.

EDIT: haha, I missed that bit - sorry Matt, but to criticise an observation I made about the design of an organsim is a bit silly, you are doing exacty the same thing but claim to be able to make a science out of it. You look at an organism/.process and think "that could not have evolved on it's own it must be designed". I'm looking at an organism and thinking - "I could have designed it better using my knowledge of biology and common sense" - but I don't claim for it to be testable or falsifiable.

Now this is the bone of contention, you claim IC is falsifiable and testable (ID is clearly not, unless that DNA-device is found, lol), I say yes, you can test an individual system you propose as IC and test and falsify, but it's still not testing/falsifying the concept of IC. That is unfalsifiable, as you admit, you'll simply move to the nexy hypothesised system and test that. There is no rhyme or reason, other than "that appears designed, therefore we'll test to show it appears designed" - now you claim you can quantify IC, or make some quantitative analysis, I look forward to seeing it published in the future (whether you can or not, I don't know, it's beyond my knowledge of MBiol - but good luck anyway
). If you can quantify and independently predict an IC system, then we might make a science out of ID yet (because dembski cannot)...

and the blood cascade, if his book says otherwise, its about time Behe clarified this issue then, because since the public debate he has not, and it a common claim amongst people who know this issue that it has been falsified. So I'll stick by their opinion, and Behe's claim that the ENTIRE blood coag. cascade is IC.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 06:34 PM

Originally posted by melatoninTrue, that if you specify an outcome and are hoping for it, but ToE does not do this,

The only person who has said anything about specifying an outcome thus far has been you. I haven't said outcomes are speicified. I did say that only a fraction of possibilities are productive, but this is true.

And again, NONE of this probablility talk makes any sense until we're talking about probabilities or something specific. As I said before this probablity discussion can't move forward until we have a specific system in mind.

So when we talk about probability in this thread, what exactly are we referring to?

This gradual process has to begin somewhere. That's what Dembski is concerned with. Evolution has to begin with something... the LUCA for all extant life. This what Dembski is interested in. He's not concerned with how information changes once in place... he's interested with the origin of biological information. These are distinct concepts. When you speak of the origin of something, it's not appropriate to say it comes from itself. You can't say that biological information comes from biological information as an Origins hypothesis.

t completely disregards that function change, co-opting etc can happen.

Okay... apparently we have to revisit this issue again. He doesn't ignore these things: they are not relevant in this context. Co-option and change don't happen to things that don't exist. Invoking these things in an Origins discussion is analogous to saying that books come from copies of other books.

Every week someone wins the lottery in the UK at odds of 14million to 1. Don't take my word for dembski's errors and poor conception of the issue....

This analogy is totally inappropriate, and I think you know this.

"So what was Dembski's mistake? It was that he proposed that the design by necessity had to come from outside the living things, whereas it comes from within them and between the organism and its environment!

It DOES have to come from outside of living things... by definition. If you're interested in the origin of biological information, you don't look to living things. You look outside of living things; this is the assumption of mainstream science, not Dembski. Mainstream science assumes that biological complexity did in fact, come from outside of living systems. There is no escaping this; this is what Leslie Orgel's entire research program is based on... biological design coming from outside of the realm of living things. Apparently, T. Schneider needs to read Dembski more carefully.

And who in the heck is T. Schneider anyway? I thought this discussion was between mattison, melatonin, and now Rren. Come on man, you're a candidate... let's hear some of your thoughts.

Have you actually read any of this Dembski stuff, or do you just read the refutations? It seems pretty clear to me that Dembski isn't writing in the context of pre-existing biological information... if he was he wouldn't be concerned with the origin of it.

Originally posted by melatonin, special emphasis by mattison0922
In this section I will present an in-principle mathematical argument for why natural causes are incapable of generating complex specified information." (page 150)
He shows that pure random chance cannot create information, and he shows how a simple smooth function (such as y = x2) cannot gain information. (Information could be lost by a function that cannot be mapped back uniquely: y = sine(x).) He concludes that there must be a designer to obtain CSI. However, natural selection has a branching mapping from one to many (replication) followed by pruning mapping of the many back down to a few (selection). These increasing and reductional mappings were not modeled by Dembski. In other words, Dembski "forgot" to model birth and death! It is amazing to see him spin pages and pages of math which are irrelevant because of these "oversights". Dembski's entire book, No Free Lunch, relies on this flawed argument, so the entire thesis of the book collapses. "
T. schneider

Again this just shows a serious misunderstanding or deliberate obfuscation of Dembski's stuff. Dembski didn't 'forget to model birth and death.' They were purposefully ignored. Birth and Death assumes a priori the existence of biological information. Again, you can't have an origins theory if you assume that what you are interested in was already in place. It's a serious logical fallacy. Same this goes for the statements about NS. NS assumes biological information is already in place. This guy is seriously misunderstanding or misrepresenting Dembski's work.

"Another problem with Dembski?s arguments concerns the N.F.L. theorems. Recent work shows that these theorems don?t hold in the case of co-evolution, when two or more species evolve in response to one another. And most evolution is surely co-evolution.

They don't have to... Again co-evolution assumes that biological info is already in place... this guy needs to re-read Dembski's stuff too.

Organisms do not spend most of their time adapting to rocks; they are perpetually challenged by, and adapting to, a rapidly changing suite of viruses, parasites, predators, and prey.

Organisms don't have to solve the problem of the origin of biological information either... by virtue of being organisms they're endowed with a full compliment.

A theorem that doesn?t apply to these situations is a theorem whose relevance to biology is unclear.

It's relevance is to Origins biology... very specifically.

As it happens, David Wolpert, one of the authors of the N.F.L. theorems, recently denounced Dembski?s use of those theorems as ?fatally informal and imprecise.?

If I were him, and they were my theories... you can bet I'd do that too. Grant money is tough enough to come by without having your reviewers be concerned over whether your work is going to be co-opted by a bunch of unscientific 'kooks.'

Wolpert is smart for not wanting to be associated with Dembski by proxy... the future or his research program likely depends on it.

Dembski?s apparent response has been a tactical retreat. In 2002, Dembski triumphantly proclaimed, ?The No Free Lunch theorems dash any hope of generating specified complexity via evolutionary algorithms.? Now he says, ?I certainly never argued that the N.F.L. theorems provide a direct refutation of Darwinism.?

Ummm... isn't that exactly what I've been saying... NFL theorems, in fact weren't devised to "provide a direct refutation of Darwinism." They were devised to explore the origin of biological information, something distinctly outside the realm of Darwinism. So... it's not so much of a retreat as it is the truth.

"We cannot calculate the probability that an eye came about. We don't have the information to make the calculation"
W. Novak Harvard Professor of maths & evol biol

True, that's why we don't try to do this. Dembski isn't doing this calculation, so why bring it up?

...and if we can crticise Matzke for not being published, the same applies to all Dembski's work on CSI. It is arbitrary and meaningless, but as I said don't take my word for it.

We don't criticize Matzke for being unpublished. For all I know he could be published... more than likely he is published in his chosen field...geography, I think. I criticized Matzke for ignoring what science says about SecIII and the flagellum simply so he can say "Behe says we don't have this, well here it is." I criticized Matzke's paper, not that he's unpublished. I have great deal of respect for Nygdan, and he's not published... at least to my knowledge. I criticize Matzke for knowingly writing something unpublishable, not for being unpublished. There is a HUGE difference.

Even if this paper does get published somewhere, doesn't change the fact that it's not well supported by the existing evidence. Yes... I acknowledge there is no 'existing' hard evidence of design, but this is for different reasons.

There seem to be several examples which appear to contradict his claims. First of all, Tom Schneider's Evolution of biological information shows how a simple mutation selection algorithm can increase the information in the genome.

Again, this analysis is not valid as genomes exist in extant biological organisms. The appropriate analogy again, is saying books come from other books, which is true in a certain context, but does nothing to address the origin of the information contained in the book.

Adami as well shows in Evolution of biological complexity how selection/mutation increases the information of the genome, but without violating any laws of thermodynamics.
This of course suffers from the same problem that every other argument you've posted does. It assumes that biological information already exists. You can't have an origins theory about something that already exists.

Dembski's theory is not applicable in the context of extant biological systems; it's concerned with what led to extant biological systems.

In fact, Dembski's argument applies to closed systems (sounds familiar 2nd law fans?) but of course it can apply to universe

No... not can apply... DOES apply to the universe. That is the closed system in question.

but does it apply for isolated life on this earth? we must take account of many variables in such calculation (changing environments, chemistry),

No... we've already discussed this...the chemistry portion at least. Changing environments aren't relevant because selective pressure isn't applied to non-living systems like changing environments. Chemistry, as we've already discussed, would lessen the probabilities Dembski's calculated even further, not increase them. Dembski's equation seems to have 'productive chemical reactions' built in. Again, to include chemistry concerns would decrease probabilties even further, by at least a factor of 10^-9, most probably more than this though, as this figure assumes maximum reaction rate and pretty much only substrate binding.

Find out and read what is available about his failings, they are wide-ranging and his assertions are flawed.

I am intimately familiar with many of the existing refutations of IDT. I make it my business to intimately understand both sides of the issue. My collection of anti-ID literature is probably more extensive than my collection of pro-ID literature, just by virtue of the fact that there is more anti-ID literature available.

My suggestion would be to read Dembski for yourself and make an informed decision, as opposed to just reading the refutations of Dembski.

On the design issue - yes it is the same argument, be ToE can explain why such "silly" designs happen.

1. These type of arguments are not scientific.
2. When offering these type of arguments, the ET crowd is doing exactly what they accuse the ID community of doing.
3. I didn't agree that the pathways were 'silly.' If anything I think the researchers are arrogant in their pedantic hubris. In fact, I offered very specific 'refutations' in some cases... so we are definitely not in agreement here.

ID just jumps on the back of ToE, if we applied our "intelligence", we would not design it in that way, so if we invoke an external designer, he wasn't very good.

So now we've resorted to completely unscientific, pseudo-theological assessments... Damn... we were doing so good for so long.

Even the flagellum can be improved for efficiency.

Oh really... how so? I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on ways that we could potentially improve one of the most efficient biological motors. This should be interesting.

I'll ask again... what do you mean by 'improve?'

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 06:55 PM
Matt, we are going round in circles here (bit like a tautology, lol). I have given you my thoughts but you just won't accept them, you will not change my mind on these issues - glad it made you think about mechansism etc (because you need them)

The idea of the lottery business is that it shows that even though the odds are massive, it happens every week to someone (p=1), i.e. it is not specified, if an individual specifies themselves then it is...

Schnieder is the guy who produced the Ev program, which is published and is yet to be shown to be incorrect, even though the ID people have it in there possession and have been told to play around. I thought if you actually had scientists who are experts in their fields criticising the CSI, then you may accept it. As I said, don't take my word for it, you cannot model a situation like he is - I have not specified the outcome, neither have you, but he does - he assesses the complexity of flagella (using base pairs I think - I'm not too sure, find out yourself, I'm spending too much time going round in circles, I do have a life, lol) as an endpoint of ToE and calculates how difficult it would be under his stated conditions (I've said this from the start) - but ToE does not have endpoint so the calculation is meaningless. Believe otherwise, not my problem.

Matzke may have many papers published, I was talking about you criticising the flagella paper and why it's not publishable - same goes for dembski.

You asked what these anatomy's and biochemical pathways were, I told you, and now you criticise me, haha

meh...

oh and again, good luck...

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 07:23 PM
Now this is interesting...

Originally posted by melatonin
Matt, we are going round in circles here (bit like a tautology, lol). I have given you my thoughts but you just won't accept them, you will not change my mind
on these issues

Hmmm... I thought we were discussing things; personally, I was having a good time... learned a couple of things too... sorry to hear you didn't .

I didn't know if I didn't change my mind you'd stop playing. I agree with you about going in circles... but it's not because I won't change my mind.

Hmmm... not sure how I should take this... feels vaguely like an ad hominem attack. You know nothing of my abilities or accomplishments as a mainstream scientist, yet you somehow feel it's okay to knock things like my methodology because I have strong feelings that stand in opposition to your own about ID.

Schnieder is the guy who produced the Ev program, which is published and is yet to be shown to be incorrect,

Ev Program? will probably look myself later, but it would make my life easier.

even though the ID people have it in there possession and have been told to play around. I thought if you actually had scientists who are experts in their fields criticising the CSI, then you may accept it.

Even if I feel that they've pretty much completely misunderstood the context of Dembski's work, which I pointed out very specifically... I should accept what experts say even when I disagree with them... like I should just go ahead and take antibiotics when I have a cold because my Dr. prescribes them for me in his expert opinion... knowing fully that it won't do my cold a bit of good... you mean sort of like that?

As I said, don't take my word for it,

I'm not... that's what I am saying... familiarity with the source.

but he does - he assesses the complexity of flagella (using base pairs I think - I'm not too sure, find out yourself,

Like I said... I am pretty familiar with his stuff... if you're familiar with this argument, as you profess to be, then hook me up and provide me with a ref.... I could be looking through books for days.

I'm spending too much time going round in circles, I do have a life, lol)

Not sure if I should take this as a personal attack either... but ummm... so do I, hell you're in science... I'm trying to get tenure if that's any description of my life... in my personal life... I cycle about 120 miles a week. I do this in between experiments, and like now... while waiting for dinner, or watching TV.

gotta go... time to eat.

You asked what these anatomy's and biochemical pathways were, I told you, and now you criticise me, haha

When did I criticize you? I didn't criticize you. What are you talking about? I addressed some of those arguments you posted, but I never criticized. Please point out very specifically where and how I criticized you.

Last I knew we were having a good discussion

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 10:03 PM

Originally posted by mattison0922
Now this is interesting...

Originally posted by melatonin
Matt, we are going round in circles here (bit like a tautology, lol). I have given you my thoughts but you just won't accept them, you will not change my mind
on these issues

Hmmm... I thought we were discussing things; personally, I was having a good time... learned a couple of things too... sorry to hear you didn't .

I didn't know if I didn't change my mind you'd stop playing. I agree with you about going in circles... but it's not because I won't change my mind.

Hmmm... not sure how I should take this... feels vaguely like an ad hominem attack. You know nothing of my abilities or accomplishments as a mainstream scientist, yet you somehow feel it's okay to knock things like my methodology because I have strong feelings that stand in opposition to your own about ID.

Schnieder is the guy who produced the Ev program, which is published and is yet to be shown to be incorrect,

Ev Program? will probably look myself later, but it would make my life easier.

even though the ID people have it in there possession and have been told to play around. I thought if you actually had scientists who are experts in their fields criticising the CSI, then you may accept it.

Even if I feel that they've pretty much completely misunderstood the context of Dembski's work, which I pointed out very specifically... I should accept what experts say even when I disagree with them... like I should just go ahead and take antibiotics when I have a cold because my Dr. prescribes them for me in his expert opinion... knowing fully that it won't do my cold a bit of good... you mean sort of like that?

As I said, don't take my word for it,

I'm not... that's what I am saying... familiarity with the source.

but he does - he assesses the complexity of flagella (using base pairs I think - I'm not too sure, find out yourself,

Like I said... I am pretty familiar with his stuff... if you're familiar with this argument, as you profess to be, then hook me up and provide me with a ref.... I could be looking through books for days.

I'm spending too much time going round in circles, I do have a life, lol)

Not sure if I should take this as a personal attack either... but ummm... so do I, hell you're in science... I'm trying to get tenure if that's any description of my life... in my personal life... I cycle about 120 miles a week. I do this in between experiments, and like now... while waiting for dinner, or watching TV.

gotta go... time to eat.

haha, honestly Matt I have had a good time

I've got my postdoc sorted for next year

I came here to provide some discussion and to learn. I've stated how I feel, but we just seem to be going into other areas, where I do not have enough knowledge, as you know. I'm not a mol. biologist, I would have to read the info. to be able to garner my own strong opinion on dembski's approach to calculating flagella probability, which would be a lot of effort. There was meant to be no personal attack. I've been writing parts of my thesis, so been on my lappy a lot, I start testing and teaching next week. Generally, I don't spend that much online and have a full life (I only signed up to make one post on neuroscience, lol)...sorry...

I was interested in how you would test and what this would mean. I've garnered the info from someone who has an interest in this issue and understands the science from an ID position (which is rare), which I do thank you for, I have learned what the science of this is about (rather than the political/social stuff on TV) and gave my opinion. I've suggested ways you could make the IC method more productive for science (predictability and mechanism - it is important), and even for ID. Overall, we've had a good discourse, but we are just pushing further away from the issue I am interested in, on which I have gave my opinions.

Dembski's maths for UPB is meaningless - obviously, that is my opinion, and that of many others. This I do understand, I have enough knowledge of statistics/probabilities to tell that, and opinion of others supports this. I've said why on the issues I can talk about with confidence (physics/chem) and discussed this with others who know ToE. He changed his first approach for UPB, I stated why I thought the original was insufficent, and same for the second. They are valid, informed opinion. CSI determines a SPECIFIED endpoint, that is easy to understand, he specifies an endpoint from the complexity of the system.

anything else about his calculations I can't give a strong opinion of, because it is not an area I feel comfortable with (hence why I 'think' it's to do with base pairs). I'm not a molecular biologist, you are. I have had discussions in the past with people who do understand and they believe his approach is too simplistic and teleological, other expert opinion agrees.

If you want to discuss Dembski's exact approach to flagella probability then you'll need to find someone confident enough to do so. UPB I feel I can, it is also a fact he specifies an endpoint (the IC system).

Basically I let the facts/evidence speak for themselves. I weigh opinion, and form my own. Is that a bad approach?

EDIT: just seen your edit, you criticised me for being not being scientific in my approach to bad design, I wasn't trying to be, it was an observation...

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by melatonin]

posted on Jan, 18 2006 @ 10:10 PM

Originally posted by melatonin
haha, honestly Matt I have had a good time

Cool... me too.

I've got my postdoc sorted for next year

Great... good for you... normally I'd ask where, what, etc. but you know... anonymous online forums and all.

Basically I let the facts/evidence speak for themselves. I weigh opinion, and form my own. Is that a bad approach?

No, I wouldn't normally say this was a bad approach... This is my fault and I'm sorry. In case you can't tell, I am pretty much completely obsessed with origins science, and I really do make it my business to try and read all the literature and all the books and stuff that come out... I really do try to make objective judgements about this stuff, and I really do try to read everything. The problem is that in turn... I seem to expect the same of everyone I discuss this with. I know that this is unrealistic... people with a passing interest in origins are not going to try and read and comprehend Dembski's stuff, it's just not practical... I realize this too... I just have a hard time keeping it in check... my apologies. Cool?

Oh yeah... and I also have this problem of being obsessed with debating...

the only reason my wife permits me to spend this much time in online forums is because it's a good outlet for my tendency... When we first got together... I sent a couple of her friends home in tears, her too now that I think about it... and the worst part is... I don't even know how it happened.

But I've got it all under control now thanks to ATS.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 09:02 AM

Originally posted by mattison0922

Originally posted by melatonin
haha, honestly Matt I have had a good time

Cool... me too.

I've got my postdoc sorted for next year

Great... good for you... normally I'd ask where, what, etc. but you know... anonymous online forums and all.

Basically I let the facts/evidence speak for themselves. I weigh opinion, and form my own. Is that a bad approach?

No, I wouldn't normally say this was a bad approach... This is my fault and I'm sorry. In case you can't tell, I am pretty much completely obsessed with origins science, and I really do make it my business to try and read all the literature and all the books and stuff that come out... I really do try to make objective judgements about this stuff, and I really do try to read everything. The problem is that in turn... I seem to expect the same of everyone I discuss this with. I know that this is unrealistic... people with a passing interest in origins are not going to try and read and comprehend Dembski's stuff, it's just not practical... I realize this too... I just have a hard time keeping it in check... my apologies. Cool?

Oh yeah... and I also have this problem of being obsessed with debating...

the only reason my wife permits me to spend this much time in online forums is because it's a good outlet for my tendency... When we first got together... I sent a couple of her friends home in tears, her too now that I think about it... and the worst part is... I don't even know how it happened.

But I've got it all under control now thanks to ATS.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

[edit on 18-1-2006 by mattison0922]

well i'm neglecting things I need to do, lol

Have you heard Roger Penrose's recent hypothesis on the big-bang and the origin of the universe? Very interesting.

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 11:26 AM

Originally posted by Rren
This has got to be one of the best ID conversations/debates we've had on ATS since i've been a member here.

I'd like to try and contribute here where i can... not a whole lotta where there, but i'll do what i can.

melatonin

My futuristic idea - how would we tell NS life on this planet from ID life on the planet we seeded?

I actually posed a similar theoretical question to Nygdan. What if we did design life (from the ground up so to speak) to evolve on another planet. If that organism eventually evolved into intelligent beings capable of scientifically exploring their origins would ID research be futile or pseudo-scientific? Now obviously in this scenario life was intelligently designed, but would these 'people' have any way of distinguishing the appearance of design from actual design? I never got a reply from anyone on that, but i thought it was an intriging thought exercise...

I can appreciate the position that we have no tools currently in science to make the distinction between appearance and actual design. But it seems to me that most opponents don't offer that argument ie., they're not saying life is/may be designed but we have no method to definately (scientifically) make that distinction. Instead most opponents say appearance of design in biology is deceptive and infact there was/is no designer (ala- Dawkins' "Blind Watchmaker"). I realize that the ToE and OOL are supposed to be seperate, but most abiogenesis arguments from NDT'ers that i've read suppose that the protein structures (flagellum, ATP, DNA, etc..) or a system such as photosynthesis et al., are 'built' via a series of "succesive, slight modifications" (ala Darwin's Natural Selection). So which is it? You can't falsify that. The NDT'ers have not proposed what these series of succesive, slight modifications were. I hate to say it (ok not really
) but it seems you guys are throwing up your hands and saying "nature did it." The NDT logic re: origins seems paradoxial to me, how do you use NS (or the logic behind survival of the fittest) to explain abiogenesis when there's no DNA or any other mechanism in place to make that sensible or logical. I realize that's poorly worded but i hope i made my point.

Maybe i should ask it another way. What, in your opinion, does the most ancient cell have to look like, what components or mechanisms are in place directly following the 'abiogenesis event' that will allow evolution to take the ball and run with it - so to speak. What structures, mechanisms or systems do we need to have in place for evolution to work? If we're to seperate the ToE from OOL then where do we draw the line? I realize you can't explain how a protein structure gets constructed without instruction from the DNA or the RNA(?) to 'fold' it properly... but would those questions fall under the ToE or OOL research? Seems the current thinking or naturalistic angle of approach (methodology) to OOL research is all based on NDT principals (series of successive slight modifications.) But when an opponent points out the flaws in that approach they're told that you can't falsify a naturalistic abiogenesis 'event' by pointing out the inadequacy of NDT or the ToE because they're seperate issues... They seem married to me, what am i not getting or comprehending here?

And on the issue of the DI and the alleged "creationism conspiracy" to use the ID debate to backdoor creationism in the schools. I read most of the ID related info posted on ATS and many, many members believe that this "conspiracy" is very real. Obviously what took place in Dover seems to fit and i would guess what took place there was indeed a ploy to get creationism in the public schools... but of all the rhetoric and info. posted by ID opponents they never mention the Thomas Moore Law Center(TMLC) but instead the DI is placed at the head of the conspiracy. When in fact the TMLC was looking to pick a fight and found what they were looking for in Dover, which was a school board filled with creationists (already trying to get creationism in their schools) who were more than happy to help. I'm not a scientist so the majority of my info on these issues come from the web (blogs, ID/ToE forums etc..) and from what i can gather the majority of the "ID community" was against what was taking place in Dover and especialy the strategy of the TMLC. There's even a thread in this forum that tries to make the argument for the 'ID is just stealth creationism' POV, admittedly the OP didn't do much research and based his entire argument on a 'Wiki' entry, but made no mention of TMLC what-so-ever.

I just think it's interesting to hear an ardent opponent of ID make such a spurrious allegation and find support for it and yet seems to have no knowledge of what took place in Dover and why it doesn't represent the opinion of the majority of the ID community. My rebuttal to that thread dealt only with DI and how it wasn't their stategy, and figured if somebody really wanted to know what went down and why they would come across this info rather easily... so i opted to not give 'em anymore ammo and instead only made the case that the OP was wrong or misinformed as to what involvement the DI had in Dover and why... as it has come up again i thought i should provide some links to Id'ers speaking on this. My point is, if you have issue with pushing ID in the public schools prematurely than your issue is with the TMLC and not the DI.

www.uncommondescent.com...

Last spring The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) hired me as an expert witness in the Dover area school district case regarding ID (Kitzmiller v. Dover). That case went to trial this week (26Sep05). Because the focus of that case and trial is a book titled Of Pandas and People and because I am the academic editor for the publisher of that book (i.e., The Foundation for Thought and Ethics [FTE]), when FTE tried to intervene in the case, TMLC decided to drop me as an expert witness, citing a conflict of interest. In any event, I did a lot of work on the case, including an expert witness report as well as a rebuttal of the opposing expert witness reports. Because these witnesses are currently testifying, my report and rebuttal may interest readers of this blog. I?ve posted them on my designinference.com website: go here and here.

Here's a good read from pandas thumb.org with alot of good relevant info. A good 'back and forth' in the comments section that you may appreciate as well.

www.pandasthumb.org...

The article [ Source ] goes on to note that there is a basic disagreement between the Discovery Institute, of which all three are fellows, and the Thomas More Law Center, over whether the Dover policy of mandating ID in classrooms is a good idea. The DI has taken the position that it should be allowed, but not mandated, while the TMLC is defending the board's policy of mandating that teaching. Both Dembski and Thompson tried to downplay those differences a bit in the article above, but I would maintain that they go a lot deeper than is being admitted.

...snip....

Fast forward to the Dover situation. The Dover school board adopts a policy to teach ID in science classrooms, but in doing so at least one member of the board makes it clear that this is being done for explicitly religious reasons. The DI immediately began to distance itself from the Dover policy largely for that reason, knowing that this isn't really the test case that they would want. They know that it's too soon to attempt to mandate the teaching of ID because, at this point, there really isn't any there there. As Dembski notes in the article cited above, "there is still a long way at hammering out ID as a full-fledged research program." Many other ID advocates, like Paul Nelson and Bruce Gordon, have said similar things. But the ACLU files suit on behalf of parents in the district and the TMLC comes riding in to defend them, and now the DI is in a bit of a bind.

Couple more links somewhat relevant to what took place in Dover but definately relevant to the discussion you and Matt are having.
"You Guys Lost: Is Design a Closed Issue?(from arn.org)

THE POSITIVE CASE FOR DESIGN (.pdf from arn.org)

This one from an ID opponent i thought was very interesting i'll C&P some of the 'highlights.'

Why Intelligent Design Theory Ought to be Taught even if you disagree with it (from arn.org)

Of the many reasons why intelligent design ? an argument I reject ? ought to be taught alongside evolution in our public schools, perhaps none is more compelling than the ignorance and demagoguery which is evident in our current national debate over the issue. Below are four myths you frequently come across while reading the political literature on the subject, followed by the facts.

Myth: The theory of intelligent design is a modern version of Creationism.

...snip....

Fact: The theory of intelligent design goes back at least as far as classical Greece and it has been debated in nearly every century since then.
Our century is no different. Those who advocate intelligent design are not ?disguising? anything; they are not furtive men. They are offering for your consideration an idea that has intrigued the minds of everyone from Plato to Kant, an idea that possibly began when Socrates asked:
?With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of choice or design??
Now, because the design argument can be found in Plato?s dialogues, we can deduce that the theory not only predates the theory of creationism ? which was but one religious response to Darwin?s On the Origin of Species (1859) ? it is also not wedded to Judeo-Christian scripture.
Krauthammer, Coyne and Dawkins are wrong here.

Myth: The theory of intelligent design claims that the designer is the God described in the Bible.

....snip...

Fact: It is a matter of formal logic, not deception, that allows one to consistently accept the intelligent design argument while utterly repudiating the theory of creationism as well as the Bible itself and its God.

Myth: Conservatives and Christians necessarily accept the intelligent design argument.

...snip...

Fact: You can consistently be a political conservative or a devout Christian and still totally reject the argument from intelligent design.
How many are aware that, of the many critics of the design argument, none were more formidable than a political conservative, on the one hand, and a Christian fundamentalist, on the other?

Myth: The theory of evolution and monotheism are logically at odds or, at least, inimical.

....snip...

Fact: You can consistently accept the theory of evolution and still be a monotheist, seeing the hand of God in the evolutionary workings of the universe.

Conclusion
The dispute between intelligent design versus a randomly ordered cosmos is age-old and fascinating and still unresolved. That smart and honest writers are now busy promulgating sheer fictions about this debate suggests that we are indeed in need of education on this topic. And that is a sufficient reason, in my opinion, for it to be taught in our schools, perhaps not in biology classes, but at least in mandatory philosophy classes, something our school systems do not demand to our national shame.

Ok now back to the (real) debate already in progress... keep up the good work guys.

(edit)Fixed quote tags re: new external quote policy.

[edit on 18-1-2006 by Rren]

hi Rren, I promised I'd answer. I'll try and answer what I can now. Sorry if I miss a few issues, just restate them and I'll answer soon.

In all honesty, I see no place in a science classroom for ID. If we can't test if, we can't present it as science. Abiogenesis is not taught in schools (well it isn't in the UK anyway) but ToE is, it has evidence to support it and the scientific community behind it.

The political ID debate creates the problems for justifying any ID science, generally, politics alone does not direct science, it is apolitical and agnostic. And the scientific community will react to it. Behe and Dembski have presented their scientific opinion in books, not through the normal science process of peer-review - again this raises issues and claims of pseudoscience. That is why I do not agree with what is happening in the US, it's a political movement and has no place in science. It really doesn't bother me or effect me, my son had both religious education and proper science, we distinguish the two. What you all should be pushing for is some form of RE education in schools, I know your constitution does not allow it, but maybe you need to change it. Nothing should be written in stone but ID doesn't belong in a science classroom. We don't really teach science debate in schools, just commonly accepted knowledge (which does change - I was taught that only two natural forms of carbon exist, now we know there are three thanks to Harry Kroto).

As for the futuristic idea, this is the problem I see, we can never truly test for ID from looking at molecules and processes. We can only tell these things through historical evidence. If in the future we can test for the presence of a creator (I'll call it a creatometer this time, lol) then we can maybe assess it, but at the moment it's a moot point. But does it mean there is no ID? Well of course not. Even if we show that natural methods can result in replicating organisms, it will never falsify ID. It's always a possibility. ID could have happened at any stage in the origin of life, but we cannot test for this. As I admit, we can test each IC system and falsify, but we are not testing ID and we cannot flasify the concept of IC until we can adequately predict them (and not just observe and say "that is too complex". If we know anything in science, it's that it is not complete truth, just supported evidence. ToE and abiogenesis are distinct, NDT extends itself to abiogenesis. ToE only focuses on how life develop by processes of mutation and natural selection once it existed (in simplified form). Maybe NDT is not sufficient to apply to abiogenesis, but this doesn't suggest ID by default, otherwise we are using a "god of the gaps" argument.

It does make sense to separate the political and science issues of ID. I'm mainly interested in the science, but of course, like anyone, have an opinion on the politics. So I'm against the political movement to have it taught in the classrom, because ID is not science. However, there is some worth to the idea of IC in science, but I just see it as a way of approaching systems we don't understand and showing how we can explain them by naturalistic mechanisms, that is, because we can't explain them we should not invoke ID. This, as you suggest, has been the case throughout history - what is lightening? The anger of Thor etc etc

As I say, science should ask "is it possible for life to evolve from basic molecules into the replicating life forms we see today, within the laws of the universe?" - but even if the answer is - yes, it is possible - we cannot completely rule out ID (as we can't test it, and if we invoke supernatural, then all bets are off in every regard). If you ask my opinion, I think we will find that natural forces are sufficient. Now, if you ask me, "how did the universe come into existence?", then that's the place I see for ID/creator. But I'm agnostic on the issue, because......I just don't know, lol.

[edit on 19-1-2006 by melatonin]

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:14 PM

Originally posted by melatonin
I came here to provide some discussion and to learn

Me too... isn't that what we've been doing?

I've stated how I feel, but we just seem to be going into other areas, where I do not have enough knowledge, as you know. I'm not a mol. biologist,

We haven't really talked that much MolBio, have we?

I would have to read the info. to be able to garner my own strong opinion on dembski's approach to calculating flagella probability, which would be a lot of effort.

Ummm... yeah no one said learning new stuff is easy. But it's always interesting to me how so many people who've not read Dembski are willing to dismiss him, especially based on 2nd or 3rd hand info.

The point I was trying to make about all of those refutations of Dembski is that they seem to have missed his point about biological info entirely.

I only signed up to make one post on neuroscience, lol)...sorry...

Hey... no reason to apologize...

Dembski's maths for UPB is meaningless - obviously, that is my opinion,

This is of course... as you admit based on not having read Dembski.

This I do understand, I have enough knowledge of statistics/probabilities to tell that, and opinion of others supports this. I've said why on the issues I can talk about with confidence (physics/chem) and discussed this with others who know ToE.

My contention is still that ET has nothing to do with Dembski's theory... Dembski's theory is an Origins theory.

EDIT: just seen your edit, you criticised me for being not being scientific in my approach to bad design, I wasn't trying to be, it was an observation...

I wouldn't call it a criticism, as much of as an empirical statement. However, you could have noted that I did pretty much the same thing with my completely subjective an unsupported 'refutations' of these 'silly' designs.

Oh well.... I guess maybe I'll see you around the O & C and Science Forums... or maybe not...

It was fun while it lasted though...

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:25 PM
The notion of predicting an arbitrary figure like UPB is nothing new, Hoyle tried it as well.

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:40 PM

Originally posted by melatonin

In all honesty, I see no place in a science classroom for ID. If we can't test if, we can't present it as science. Abiogenesis is not taught in schools (well it isn't in the UK anyway) but ToE is, it has evidence to support it and the scientific community behind it.

I believe the debate about methodology, especially as it pertains to the pre-supposition, that always seems to come up in a design versus chance origins discussion would be beneficial to high school science students. ID and the ToE and not mutually exclusive necessarily, especially considering that the ToE and OOL are supposed to be seperate issues. I'm not really too concerned about whether ID should be in a philosophy or a science class though. It's an interesting debate and i still don't see how you're supposed to learn about biological complexity, information theory and the like from a philosophy professor. Perhaps only students (college level of course) who are familiar with biology, cosmology, mathematics etc., would take the course. So long as the ideas are being discussed and peer-reviewed i'd be happy with that. Support from the scientific community will come when/if the ID theorists have some real data and models to be tested... the current climate has made any real progress almost impossible imho though. Are abiogenesis theories and ideas not taught to college biology students?

The political ID debate creates the problems for justifying any ID science, generally, politics alone does not direct science, it is apolitical and agnostic. And the scientific community will react to it. Behe and Dembski have presented their scientific opinion in books, not through the normal science process of peer-review - again this raises issues and claims of pseudoscience. That is why I do not agree with what is happening in the US, it's a political movement and has no place in science. It really doesn't bother me or effect me, my son had both religious education and proper science, we distinguish the two. What you all should be pushing for is some form of RE education in schools, I know your constitution does not allow it, but maybe you need to change it. Nothing should be written in stone but ID doesn't belong in a science classroom. We don't really teach science debate in schools, just commonly accepted knowledge (which does change - I was taught that only two natural forms of carbon exist, now we know there are three thanks to Harry Kroto).

To be perfectly honest with you i don't know that i could disagree with anything you've stated above. The "politics" of the design debate really annoy me. I don't think that the "talking heads" (non-scientists) accurately represent the ID community or what design theory hopes to one day contribute to our scientific understanding of the nature and origins of life. There is no theory out there for the origins of life or even the origins of DNA, NS or all these molecular machines, the 'fine-tuning' of the universe etc., etc. If design theory ends up being wrong they'll find that out when they model the evolutionary development of the flagellum (or whatever) in order to falsify the claim that it's IC. What would be so wrong with attacking the problem from a different presupposition, design not chance? If it's indeed a 'chance assemblage of parts' than that will be the result and the IDer who models it will go down in history. If it's a dead-end, so be it... won't be the first or the last failed hypothesis in scientific history. The folks who seem to think this had already been decided are who i take issue with.

As for the futuristic idea, this is the problem I see, we can never truly test for ID from looking at molecules and processes. We can only tell these things through historical evidence. If in the future we can test for the presence of a creator (I'll call it a creatometer this time, lol) then we can maybe assess it, but at the moment it's a moot point. But does it mean there is no ID? Well of course not. Even if we show that natural methods can result in replicating organisms, it will never falsify ID. It's always a possibility. ID could have happened at any stage in the origin of life, but we cannot test for this. As I admit, we can test each IC system and falsify, but we are not testing ID and we cannot flasify the concept of IC until we can adequately predict them (and not just observe and say "that is too complex".

So what you're saying, correct me if i'm wrong, is that even if a biological component or system is IC we will always be able to say that we just haven't discovered the step by step process of its development. Even though, in my hypothetical scenario here (ie., the component/system really is IC) there is no step by step chance assemblage of parts we can always just say we haven't found it yet. Seems like a cop-out argument to me.

If we say something is IC because we have absolutely no reason to think otherwise, then why not say it? Research towards an 'NDT syle' model would still go on... hell Newton made his discoveries working under a design presupposition as did Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Faraday, Kelvin, Leonardo da Vinci, Maxwell, Mendel and Pasteur to name a few. These men were all creationists and approached their work from a divine or design presupposition and yet still managed to do real science. There's a big difference between philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism... science should only favor the latter. And we ID proponents believe ID does operate within that methodological constaint... obviously that's still up for debate. But i do get your point.

If we know anything in science, it's that it is not complete truth, just supported evidence. ToE and abiogenesis are distinct, NDT extends itself to abiogenesis. ToE only focuses on how life develop by processes of mutation and natural selection once it existed (in simplified form). Maybe NDT is not sufficient to apply to abiogenesis, but this doesn't suggest ID by default, otherwise we are using a "god of the gaps" argument.

I agree that falsifing NDT as an origins theory doesn't prove a design argument by default... most IDer's believe this to my knowledge. My question was rooted in my own ignorance of micro-biology as it pertains to the ToE and OOL. ID theorists often say that ID is an origins theory but does the development of something like the flagellum fall under the ToE or abiogenesis? Or does it fall under the "we ain't sure yet" category?

It does make sense to separate the political and science issues of ID. I'm mainly interested in the science, but of course, like anyone, have an opinion on the politics. So I'm against the political movement to have it taught in the classrom, because ID is not science. However, there is some worth to the idea of IC in science, but I just see it as a way of approaching systems we don't understand and showing how we can explain them by naturalistic mechanisms, that is, because we can't explain them we should not invoke ID. This, as you suggest, has been the case throughout history - what is lightening? The anger of Thor etc etc

Good points, and while i don't think your giving design theory enough credit as a useful tool in hypothesis formation i can't say you're wildly off base with anything you've said above... there are some psuedo-philosophical issues where i think we have to just agree to disagree. If not i don't think we'd ever get anywhere with the issues which are truely relevant to science.

As I say, science should ask "is it possible for life to evolve from basic molecules into the replicating life forms we see today, within the laws of the universe?" - but even if the answer is - yes, it is possible - we cannot completely rule out ID (as we can't test it, and if we invoke supernatural, then all bets are off in every regard). If you ask my opinion, I think we will find that natural forces are sufficient. Now, if you ask me, "how did the universe come into existence?", then that's the place I see for ID/creator. But I'm agnostic on the issue, because......I just don't know, lol.

[edit on 19-1-2006 by melatonin]

Fair enough. I'm still reading the Dembski stuff you posted and some relevant links. Trying to even understand the basics of micro-biology as it pertains to ID and ToE is hard enough for a layman... but math, blah. I read alot of his stuff though and am familiar with the basics of his more 'controvercial' stuff, so i may be able to contribute something. FYI the "uncommon descent" link from my last post is Dembski's blog. I read it almost daily but those guys are out of my league so i've never even thought of posting. My point is that most of the stuff you bring up has been debated in some detail over there. Not sure if just anyone can register and post there, but if so, you may be able to get his feedback on some of the issues you've raised. Don't know how many mathematicians we have around ATS who are interested in ID stuff like his algorithmic information theory and the like... iow you may not get much feedback on it here. I'll try and study up some more and post something on it in the next couple days when i have more time.

(edit)shpelling...

[edit on 19-1-2006 by Rren]

posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 10:11 PM

Originally posted by Rren

(edit)shpelling...

Nice post!

Good to see you back around...

[edit on 19-1-2006 by mattison0922]

posted on Jan, 20 2006 @ 12:26 AM

Originally posted by Rren

Originally posted by melatonin

In all honesty, I see no place in a science classroom for ID. If we can't test if, we can't present it as science. Abiogenesis is not taught in schools (well it isn't in the UK anyway) but ToE is, it has evidence to support it and the scientific community behind it.

I believe the debate about methodology, especially as it pertains to the pre-supposition, that always seems to come up in a design versus chance origins discussion would be beneficial to high school science students. ID and the ToE and not mutually exclusive necessarily, especially considering that the ToE and OOL are supposed to be seperate issues. I'm not really too concerned about whether ID should be in a philosophy or a science class though. It's an interesting debate and i still don't see how you're supposed to learn about biological complexity, information theory and the like from a philosophy professor. Perhaps only students (college level of course) who are familiar with biology, cosmology, mathematics etc., would take the course. So long as the ideas are being discussed and peer-reviewed i'd be happy with that. Support from the scientific community will come when/if the ID theorists have some real data and models to be tested... the current climate has made any real progress almost impossible imho though. Are abiogenesis theories and ideas not taught to college biology students?

The political ID debate creates the problems for justifying any ID science, generally, politics alone does not direct science, it is apolitical and agnostic. And the scientific community will react to it. Behe and Dembski have presented their scientific opinion in books, not through the normal science process of peer-review - again this raises issues and claims of pseudoscience. That is why I do not agree with what is happening in the US, it's a political movement and has no place in science. It really doesn't bother me or effect me, my son had both religious education and proper science, we distinguish the two. What you all should be pushing for is some form of RE education in schools, I know your constitution does not allow it, but maybe you need to change it. Nothing should be written in stone but ID doesn't belong in a science classroom. We don't really teach science debate in schools, just commonly accepted knowledge (which does change - I was taught that only two natural forms of carbon exist, now we know there are three thanks to Harry Kroto).

To be perfectly honest with you i don't know that i could disagree with anything you've stated above. The "politics" of the design debate really annoy me. I don't think that the "talking heads" (non-scientists) accurately represent the ID community or what design theory hopes to one day contribute to our scientific understanding of the nature and origins of life. There is no theory out there for the origins of life or even the origins of DNA, NS or all these molecular machines, the 'fine-tuning' of the universe etc., etc. If design theory ends up being wrong they'll find that out when they model the evolutionary development of the flagellum (or whatever) in order to falsify the claim that it's IC. What would be so wrong with attacking the problem from a different presupposition, design not chance? If it's indeed a 'chance assemblage of parts' than that will be the result and the IDer who models it will go down in history. If it's a dead-end, so be it... won't be the first or the last failed hypothesis in scientific history. The folks who seem to think this had already been decided are who i take issue with.

As for the futuristic idea, this is the problem I see, we can never truly test for ID from looking at molecules and processes. We can only tell these things through historical evidence. If in the future we can test for the presence of a creator (I'll call it a creatometer this time, lol) then we can maybe assess it, but at the moment it's a moot point. But does it mean there is no ID? Well of course not. Even if we show that natural methods can result in replicating organisms, it will never falsify ID. It's always a possibility. ID could have happened at any stage in the origin of life, but we cannot test for this. As I admit, we can test each IC system and falsify, but we are not testing ID and we cannot flasify the concept of IC until we can adequately predict them (and not just observe and say "that is too complex".

So what you're saying, correct me if i'm wrong, is that even if a biological component or system is IC we will always be able to say that we just haven't discovered the step by step process of its development. Even though, in my hypothetical scenario here (ie., the component/system really is IC) there is no step by step chance assemblage of parts we can always just say we haven't found it yet. Seems like a cop-out argument to me.

If we say something is IC because we have absolutely no reason to think otherwise, then why not say it? Research towards an 'NDT syle' model would still go on... hell Newton made his discoveries working under a design presupposition as did Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Pascal, Faraday, Kelvin, Leonardo da Vinci, Maxwell, Mendel and Pasteur to name a few. These men were all creationists and approached their work from a divine or design presupposition and yet still managed to do real science. There's a big difference between philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism... science should only favor the latter. And we ID proponents believe ID does operate within that methodological constaint... obviously that's still up for debate. But i do get your point.

If we know anything in science, it's that it is not complete truth, just supported evidence. ToE and abiogenesis are distinct, NDT extends itself to abiogenesis. ToE only focuses on how life develop by processes of mutation and natural selection once it existed (in simplified form). Maybe NDT is not sufficient to apply to abiogenesis, but this doesn't suggest ID by default, otherwise we are using a "god of the gaps" argument.

I agree that falsifing NDT as an origins theory doesn't prove a design argument by default... most IDer's believe this to my knowledge. My question was rooted in my own ignorance of micro-biology as it pertains to the ToE and OOL. ID theorists often say that ID is an origins theory but does the development of something like the flagellum fall under the ToE or abiogenesis? Or does it fall under the "we ain't sure yet" category?

It does make sense to separate the political and science issues of ID. I'm mainly interested in the science, but of course, like anyone, have an opinion on the politics. So I'm against the political movement to have it taught in the classrom, because ID is not science. However, there is some worth to the idea of IC in science, but I just see it as a way of approaching systems we don't understand and showing how we can explain them by naturalistic mechanisms, that is, because we can't explain them we should not invoke ID. This, as you suggest, has been the case throughout history - what is lightening? The anger of Thor etc etc

Good points, and while i don't think your giving design theory enough credit as a useful tool in hypothesis formation i can't say you're wildly off base with anything you've said above... there are some psuedo-philosophical issues where i think we have to just agree to disagree. If not i don't think we'd ever get anywhere with the issues which are truely relevant to science.

As I say, science should ask "is it possible for life to evolve from basic molecules into the replicating life forms we see today, within the laws of the universe?" - but even if the answer is - yes, it is possible - we cannot completely rule out ID (as we can't test it, and if we invoke supernatural, then all bets are off in every regard). If you ask my opinion, I think we will find that natural forces are sufficient. Now, if you ask me, "how did the universe come into existence?", then that's the place I see for ID/creator. But I'm agnostic on the issue, because......I just don't know, lol.

[edit on 19-1-2006 by melatonin]

Fair enough. I'm still reading the Dembski stuff you posted and some relevant links. Trying to even understand the basics of micro-biology as it pertains to ID and ToE is hard enough for a layman... but math, blah. I read alot of his stuff though and am familiar with the basics of his more 'controvercial' stuff, so i may be able to contribute something. FYI the "uncommon descent" link from my last post is Dembski's blog. I read it almost daily but those guys are out of my league so i've never even thought of posting. My point is that most of the stuff you bring up has been debated in some detail over there. Not sure if just anyone can register and post there, but if so, you may be able to get his feedback on some of the issues you've raised. Don't know how many mathematicians we have around ATS who are interested in ID stuff like his algorithmic information theory and the like... iow you may not get much feedback on it here. I'll try and study up some more and post something on it in the next couple days when i have more time.

(edit)shpelling...

[edit on 19-1-2006 by Rren]

Hey Rren,

I don't know much about what they teach in college for biology (Uk or US), I have no more biology than that taught at 14 myself, my biology only really focuses on psychobiology and neuroscience. So I couldn't answer that. I think they approach it in university in the UK (I guess Matt would be the one to ask), but there is not much evidence as we've only got as far as RNA (which is still a good accomplishment).

I don't think what I gave is a cop-out argument, just because we don't know the mechanism of gravity we don't invoke an "atlas" who moves planets or objects. It's a case of, we have to look for answers and mechanisms. If we can positively test for ID, then we can see IC it for what it is, otherwise other unknown mechanisms will always be possible, it may not be a forward step-by-step process to a particular system, if anything, we know indirect methods are common. If anything resorting to a design explanation without positively showing it to be, is a cop-out in science. The answer may not even be evolution as we know it, who knows? Nothing is written in stone in science, things do change, poor einstein went to his deathbed refusing to accept Quantum mechanics, and now it's accpeted knowledge.

There are many scientists now who have no problem doing science and having a faith, but to use a faith as a scientific argument these days is not really science (if we can't measure the supernatural, how can we use it in science? we can't say it doesn't exist, we just can't see it, feel it, or measure it). But as far as ID as science, the ball's in the ID'ers court to show the scientific community how this issue can be approached with scientific methodological rigour.

I would say, in my humble opinion, that flagella would fall under evolutionary theory, we are looking for mechanisms that focus on simpler systems, but again I guess Matt may be the guy to ask here. I would say there is a lot of science in all disciplines has areas that are yet to be explained. I guess that's science. But the design issue will never go away, if we show all the current IC systems to not be so, then it's easy to go to a lower level of analysis and raise the same argument ad infinitum. I just think we need more than observation, we need to be able to predict these systems in some way (just because it won't function if a part is removed is not enough, many systems fit this and are not IC), then we can falsify the concept, rather than an individual system. And again, the ball is in the ID'ers court. It is always possible that abiogenesis will show we can get to replicating DNA, but still never solve flagella. Again, who knows, this is science, it's unpredictable, it took over 300 years to solve Fermat's theorem.

Anyway, I hope you can see I don't have a visceral reaction to ID, I just see methodoligical issues with IC etc. It really is in the ID'ers court to get round these problems. As is said, you can't prove a negative, and thus far this is where we are.

I may peruse Dembski's site sometime, I did read his 2005 paper recently.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 02:37 AM
I don't believe the intelligent design theory should classify as science, I'm not saying its wrong or anything I just don't think its science. I can't believe they had a whole trial on intelligent design to decide whether it should be taught to children in science. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on this trial.
A trial that decides whether "intelligent design" a decidedly unscientific theory, taught in science.

Its not science. Saying something is irreducibly complex so therefore an invisible sky wizard had do to it isn't science.it is really the BEST idea to be raising a generation of dumb children who are trained to give up and attribute everything they can't explain to some mystic bearded guy in space. What happens when the god squad make their move on BIOLOGY classes? Do you want your doctors being as dumb as your children?
"Well I don't know what's wrong with you, but let's rub some holy water on it and hope your leg will grow back" Its sounds like something from the medieval period.
So, is the Goverment actually TRYING to move backwards? Is that what this is all about? Like your deathlike cling to the imperial system over metric?! Does it somehow calm you down that water freezes at 32 and boils at 212? Or maybe this is your way of establishing "US science", just like there's "US English" and "real English"
Doing things WRONG on PURPOSE isn't something you really want to advertise. "Hey, come study science in America! The world is flat, we need safety instructions on our cotton buds and we can't spell!"

(I thought I should tell you that this isn't intended to be offensive, to me everything I just typed seems funny and a joke, but I've noticed people here don't always sure my sense of humor so apologize now for offending anyone if I did.)

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