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Posted on Oct 7, 2010 7:47:09 AM PDT
Oh come on now...

I've asked and asked. Certainly one of you has a comment to make, after all, this is the central issue on the table:

- - - - -

" Surely one of you critical thinkers has an opinion of Prof. MacNeil's (an obvious ID opponent) observation that "meaningful information" exist inside the genome, and that "meaningful information" is necessarily the product of perception? "

- - - - -

Is MacNeil wrong, and if he is wrong, why is he wrong?
Why are there none of you materialists who wishes to discuss this?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 8:13:48 AM PDT
R. You're welcome. I think it's noble too, and IDolators has a better cachet than IDiots, don'tcha think?

Enjoy your time in the darkness, playing with words, refusing to clarify your perspectives, and shunning reality.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 9:32:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 9:32:55 AM PDT
Well, I continue to ask and ask.

So what can be taken from this is that the opposition will call ID proponents defamatory names, will insinuate stupidity, will imply deceptive motives, and will pendantically mock everything being said...BUT these self-appointed tycoons of intellect REFUSE to step in the ring and actually ENGAGE the ID argument being put forth.

Nice.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 9:42:10 AM PDT
Pardon me. I must have missed the "ID argument". All I've heard are arguments against evolution. I even asked if you had any hypothesis about any mechanisms whereby ID could be tested, and you ignored that.

What's the testable hypothesis that could allow us to obtain objective evidence FOR ID?

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 10:33:58 AM PDT
David, so do you have an opinion of the good Professor's observations? I have repeated them several times, so you should be familair with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 10:35:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 10:36:54 AM PDT
Gary S. Hurd says:
When we wrote Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism, we made it a point to make the science-like pretentions of ID our whole focus. The obviously religious motivation and content were not addressed.

A similar effort was John Brockman,
Intelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement (2006, New York: Vintage Press/Random House).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 11:08:40 AM PDT
Joaozinho says:
"So what can be taken from this is that the opposition will call ID proponents defamatory names, will insinuate stupidity, will imply deceptive motives, and will pendantically mock everything being said..."

You forgot the two most important ones:

1) will point out that there is not a single IDC proponent who is willing to empirically test an ID (not an evolutionary) hypothesis; and

2) will point out falsehoods about unequivocal facts put out by IDC proponents.

"BUT these self-appointed tycoons of intellect REFUSE to step in the ring and actually ENGAGE the ID argument being put forth."

News flash: science isn't about ENGAGING arguments. It's not high-school debate. Science is about TESTING HYPOTHESES, thereby PRODUCING NEW DATA. Not only does your side refuse to do the essence of science, it ACTIVELY MISLEADS the public about the DATA produced by those who DO.

Do the caps help you to understand these fundamental points?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 11:16:30 AM PDT
Two more chime in, and STILL no one will engage the argument.

Very odd indeed.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 11:29:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 11:34:21 AM PDT
UB

No, I have no opinion about the statements of one biologist. Science is not like theology; there are no ultimate authorities whom one can quote to settle arguments. That takes evidence, not words. BTW Allen is a lecturer (not a Professor), with a MA in science education as his terminal degree, as you could learn here (http://lsc.sas.cornell.edu/lscstaff.html). You guys never were keen on accuracy in the information you think you know. But you are good at inflating credentials; some people here even think Meyer is a biologist! LOL.

Furthermore the question is meaningless with regard to providing objective evidence FOR a designer. You can probably figure that out for yourself if you use those critical thinking skills that we hear so much about on this forum. But if you need me to explain it, just ask.

The complete uselessness of your question as an "ID argument" is why I asked my question, which you will, if history is any guide, ignore forever. But I'll try again, in the hopes of learning something new about ID.

What's a testable hypothesis that could allow us to obtain objective evidence FOR ID?

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 11:34:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 11:46:42 AM PDT
David, nice punt.

So I will ask you straight up...Does DNA contain meaningful information? And, I will also ask, is meaningful information the product of perception?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 11:41:57 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 11:44:28 AM PDT
And back at you David,

What was the test that confirmed the hypothesis that Life emerged as the result of unguided natural forces? How was the test conceived, where was it performed, and what were the results?

Once we have concluded that such a test has never been performed, but the claim is made by science on other grounds, then perhaps you can return to answer my question:

"Does DNA contain meaningful information? And, I will also ask, is meaningful information the product of percetion? "

At which point we we can allow your answers to provide some indication as to whether or not the question is "meaningless". Sureley you are convinced enough to allow your position to be examined aren't you?

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 11:45:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 11:46:15 AM PDT
Does DNA contain "meaningful information"?

Is "meaningful information" the product of perception?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 12:02:22 PM PDT
Not a punt. I gave you an answer; I have no opinion. That's an answer, even if you don't like it. I'm a biologist, not an information scientist. Are you an expert in information science? What happened to your previous expertise in cosmology?

But if you are an expert, and expect anyone to answer your question, you'll need to define the terms. What is "meaningful information"? And, pray tell, how does its occurrence or non-occurence provide objective evidence FOR an intelligent designer?

And I'll answer your other question while I'm at it. You ask "What was the test that confirmed the hypothesis that Life emerged as the result of unguided natural forces?" That hypothesis has not been confirmed; it is the subject of a lot of research (the field is called abiogenesis) right now.

Your turn.

What's a testable hypothesis that could allow us to obtain objective evidence FOR ID? Any research going on there?

chirp chirp chirp

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 12:07:29 PM PDT
Oberon says:
David,

"BTW Allen is a lecturer (not a Professor), with a MA in science education as his terminal degree, as you could learn here (http://lsc.sas.cornell.edu/lscstaff.html). You guys never were keen on accuracy in the information you think you know. But you are good at inflating credentials; some people here even think Meyer is a biologist! LOL."

Here's what I found at: http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2006/06/detailed-syllabus-for-cornell_05.html

PROFESSOR: Allen D. MacNeill
G-24 Stimson Hall
255-3357
adm6@cornell.edu
http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/

Looks like the good lecturer has indeed evolved.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 12:18:51 PM PDT
Looks like you need to learn more about titles at universities. A title on a syllabus is not an official title. We have instructors with MA degrees too, and it's simply less confusing to students if the syllabus says "professor" even if that is not the official title of the instructor. Students (and folks like you, apparently) don't understand that, and it's not worth bothering them about. But for your future reference: Official titles are found in university directories, to wit.

http://vivo.cornell.edu/humanities/individual/vivo/individual7279

where you can read his title - Biology Senior Lecturer/Learning

BTW, this is in the Learning Strategies Center, which is not an academic department, and therefore wouldn't have anyone with the title of "professor".

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 12:56:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 12:57:08 PM PDT
I am more than happy to utilize the definition given by Claude Shannon in his famous work on Information Theory.

Examples of information that contain meaning are those which "refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities".

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 1:05:24 PM PDT
Oberon says:
Well, you are surely right. It is indeed confusing. His own blog says he is a "university professor" (http://www.blogger.com/profile/13692148273564872787). But then again, I'm not from the US. Where I live, a professor is a professor is a professor.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 1:11:48 PM PDT
Thanks, but... that definition (or is it an example?) makes no sense to me at all. What the heck does "refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities" even mean? Maybe that's why I'm not an information theorist? Are you? If so, can you make it clearer for a dumb biologist?

But I do know enough about information theory not to get too embroiled in discussions about it; I'll leave that to the experts. I'm still unclear (and you're still evasive) about why the occurrence or non-occurrence of information in DNA is evidence FOR the involvement of a teleological agent. Maybe you can address that in your comments after you give me answers to:

What's a testable hypothesis that could allow us to obtain objective evidence FOR ID? Any research going on there?

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 1:42:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 7, 2010 1:43:57 PM PDT
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Posted on Oct 7, 2010 2:24:07 PM PDT
UP - Talk about punting!

Your so-called hypothesis "Life arose from unguided forces" is, as I noted before, not confirmed and may never be confirmed. In every sense it is a poorly worded scientific hypothesis,and is also well outside of the realm of evolutionary theory. It is in another area of research called abiogenesis, which depends more strongly on cosmology and chemistry than on biology.

Furthermore I doubt that you can find very many places in the real scientific literature where the hypothesis is stated in exactly that manner. It certainly exists with that wording in creationist literature and on conservapedia. But, as written, it is a strawman. It's not a scientific hypothesis, and therefore I am not defending your version of it.

However, it can generate testable predictions if it is slimmed down and worded appropriately. For example, the hypothesis about RNA world ("a world filled with life based on ribonucleic acid (RNA) predates the current world of life based on DNA") is testable. If that is the hypothesis, one would predict that RNA would be able to participate in the synthesis of DNA and in the synthesis of protein. Both of those predictions have been confirmed, lending credence to the hypothesis that RNA was the first functional biomolecule. Another brick along the path to proving, or disproving, that life could have come about from simple chemistry and physics, without the intervention of a teleological agent.

So it is possible, after all, to test hypotheses about possible one-time events that took place billions of years ago if you understand science and how hypotheses are worded. It is not possible to test your poorly worded strawman version.

Which leads, inevitably, to your evasiveness about the think-poof fairytale that you'd like to pretend has scientific merit. NB - I'm not asking you to defend my poorly worded version of a hypothesis. I'm giving you the chance to give me one, just one, testable hypothesis that could provide objective evidence FOR ID. Word it anyway you want, as long as it's a testable hypothesis that would generate evidence FOR ID. But you can't do it, claiming it's impossible based on a bogus argument about one-time events occurring billions of years ago. I agree that it's impossible. But it is impossible because of more basic scientific reasons. It's not science. It's theology.

As for more productive things, I can't imagine what would be more productive than having you, or anyone, generate the first-ever testable hypothesis that would provide objective evidence FOR ID. But we've established that it is impossible. So now we will eschew "productive", I suppose, and head back to your incomprehensible definition of information, and any clues you might have that would help me understand how that definition gets us anywhere along the road to evidence FOR ID.

Too bad this can't be productive.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 3:23:22 PM PDT
Oberon says:
I'm curious. You say the RNA world hypothesis is testable and produced a couple of predictions, but are those predictions unique? It could be said that this theory predicts RNA participation in DNA synthesis. On the other hand, what if RNA has always been involved in DNA synthesis, one could argue that it is part of a system that was designed to work that way and that you've only now discovered it. How do you test that at one time, only RNA existed? Alternatively, how can I test DNA and RNA have always co-existed? I'm not sure that I can.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 3:28:46 PM PDT
"We have documented the role of change in shaping the vast diversity of life. We have also chronicled the role of chance. Chance has affected the evolutionary process in the generation of genetic diversity through mutation. Chance has also played a role at every major milestone in the history of life. Before life began, over 3.5 billion years ago, the chance union of certain small organic molecules ignited a chain of events that led to the first genes." - Biology Concepts & Connections

Has this biology textbook account been confirmed David? Yes, or No? Has an account been documented where certain organic elements ignited a chain of events that led to the first gene? If so, please provide a reference.

- - - - - - - -

Boredom will surely set in soon. You can dance around the fact that your side promotes a position that is non-falsifiable (even to the point of putting these non-scientific claims into science textbooks), and I can continue (one after another) to post evidence of the blatant hypocrisy. Seems like a waste of time though.

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 3:52:39 PM PDT
Since David is demonstrating that he will not answer the question (as evidenced by the fact that he has yet to even engage the question), then perhaps some of the others here would like to engage the more difficult questions of information in the genome.

Are there any followers here who think as MacNelil does about meaningful information, or have a different position?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 4:01:35 PM PDT
Sorry to disappoint your expectations for dancing and boredom. You get neither.

No, it hasn't been confirmed. It is also not a hypothesis; it is an unwarranted conclusion. From a single author. Who is not infallible, like your sources. And, I'm sorry to break this to you, but biology textbooks are not scientific literature. You might think that they are the pinnacle of science, but they are not. Do you want me to quote from a creationist textbook? Porch and Batdorf, Biology for Christian Schools, Bob Jones University Press, 3/e, 2005 has an entire chapter devoted to "facts" about the Flood. Yet, amazingly, real scientists, publishing somewhere besides in a textbook, have abundant evidence that disproves the whole concept. Right here on this forum you were presented with quotes from Meyer which are factually wrong. I can quote wrongness from ID/creationist sources for a lot longer than you can, I'm pretty sure. So quoting something from a textbook is really feeble. And pointless.

Let's see something from a peer-reviewed paper, please. Show me where the words "Life arose from unguided forces" is put forth as a testable hypothesis in a scientific publication.

And then help me understand your cryptic "definition" of "meaningful information" and how it relates to any evidence for or against ID. Any testable hypotheses from the ID side as to how that "meaningful information" managed to find its way into DNA?

chirp chirp chirp

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 7, 2010 4:05:50 PM PDT
"he has yet to even engage the question"

That's not true, liar. I've engaged the question by asking for a definition. You gave me some words which make no sense, and I asked for clarification. I also asked you if this was part of any testable hypothesis that could provide objective evidence FOR ID. That's "engaging the question". You've so far refused to clarify, or answer my questions about hypotheses involving this mysterious entity you call "meaningful information".

Is there a commandment in your book about lying? Is it time for review?
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Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer (Hardcover - June 23, 2009)
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