Customer Discussions > Science forum

An Open Intelligent Design Challenge

This discussion has reached the maximum length permitted, and cannot accept new replies. Start a new discussion


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 176-200 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 10:44:02 PM PDT
Re Einsteins, 7-26 10:56 AM: "That DNA is such an example of course begs the question." Wrong question. The proper question is: Can you (or anyone) show that the purported design in DNA arises from any means other than natural selection? This is an existential question, which means that an affirmative answer can be determined by demonstration. But YOUR phrasing is effectively: Can you show that natural selection is insufficient to construct DNA, such that a "designer" must be posited? Which is a universal question, meaning that in general no answer is possible.

Bottom line: If you want to sell the idea of "intelligent design" with respect to DNA, you will have to demonstrate the source of the intelligence and the methods by which it was applied. Nothing short of this will suffice.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 10:52:23 PM PDT
Re MadFat, 7-26 2:14 PM: "there must be some way to find out, quantitatively, if something is the product of intelligence." A groundless assertion. We can recognize human intelligence when we see it, because we are used to its instantiations. Obviously, this does not apply to any other putative intelligence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 10:56:34 PM PDT
Re fazakas, 7-26 5:24 PM: "He wishes to be able to devise an objective measure for determining whether something in biology is the product of an external intelligence." This appears to be correct. And it is absolutely clear that neither he, nor anyone else, has a clue as to any way to do this. Which is hardly surprising, as it can be shown that it is impossible in principle to do so.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 10:59:42 PM PDT
Re kriske, 7-26 6:19 PM, on the quantum effects question: I am printing the cited paper now. Since it is 18 pages, it will take a while to digest it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:07:27 PM PDT
Physics Geek, surely you know that an actual infinite series does not exist....your monkeys do not have sufficient time to complete your assigned task... nice try though.

By the way, Physics Geek, didn't the universe come into existance at some finite point in the past... doesn't your best physics evidence say about 13.6 bil years ago. There isn't enough time for an infinite series of monkeys to generate any significant literary works...nor Complex Specific Information like we see in DNA for that matter.

The first such thought experiment that portrays the absurdity of an infinite series is that of Hilbert's Hotel. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilberts_hotel

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:08:14 PM PDT
Re Einsteins, 7-26 6:30 PM: "an inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences." No, it can't: we can look only for HUMAN design -- the aspects of design which people do and with which we are all familiar.

" Design theory is empirically falsifiable," No, it is NOT. That would require either specific criteria for what constitutes a design, or a prediction from the theory that could be tested. We have neither -- and cannot have them: as I pointed out earlier, we can only deal with HUMAN design, which is constrained by the nature of our bodies and minds. Your prospective designer can be subject to no known constraints, so neither design nor any other sort of information can be obtained from such a thesis. Remember: an irrefutable thesis can convey no information.

"Information Theory and DNA deal a crushing blow to Atheism, because the laws of physics and chemistry do not account for the existence of 'information'." But the theory of evolution does -- and it is both demonstrably valid and provably correct.

Give it up. You haven't a clue!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:15:42 PM PDT
Re kriske, 7-26 6:38 PM, on DNA sequencing: Looks interesting, and I am printing the thing so that I can scrutinize it in detail. I am not sure how relevant it is to the discussion here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:18:44 PM PDT
Re Physics Geek, 7-26 6:58 PM: Very nicely done.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2012 11:41:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2012 11:43:31 PM PDT
Robert Saunders, Please let us know how that paper digests. There seems to be an opinion by some of a Quantum Biology Conundrum... Do quantum mechanics play a role in biological systems, and if so how, and if not why not. Although..one might ask why one might ever expect a non-directed random process such as evolution to involve or not involve any physical energies or attributes... evolutionary dead-ends have the same 'value' as evolutionary changes that perpetuate the organism's progeny.

I suppose it is possible the answers to these questions regarding Quantum Biology Conundrum could be beyond our human cognitive capabilities to comprehend.... at which point as humans we may look forward to what some believe is a soon to emerge Technological Singularity.

The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.

Proponents of the technological singularity typically state that an "intelligence explosion", where super-intelligences 'design' successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human - even me....

The term was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. The concept was popularized by futurists like Ray Kurzweil and it is expected by proponents to occur sometime in the 21st century, although estimates vary. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity for the ultimate deep dive into all concepts surrounding a Technological Singularity, see here http://singularityhypothesis.blogspot.com/

At this future point in time, we could suppose biological evolution 'leaps' forward aided by computer technology and advances in artificial intelligence ...

The future has all sorts of possibilites... I this a great life or what....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 12:33:24 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 27, 2012 5:25:51 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 12:35:33 AM PDT
As I was typing up my response to him, my fatigued eyes suddenly got it. Kevin is being more than slightly naughty. But I like the ethyl mercaptan comparison! Nicely done!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 12:54:13 AM PDT
Re Einsteins, 7-26 1:41 PM: I have looked at the paper in question; its title is "Quantum effects and genetic code: dynamics and information transfer in DNA replication." My conclusions:

Firstly, it is off point: it deals with replicating single-strand DNA to make double-strand, and has nothing whatever to do with the protein folding problem.

Secondly, its primary thesis is quantum-mechanical tunneling of protons. Now this is the first time I have heard of this in a chemical context; ordinarily, this phenomenon would be dealt with in high-energy physics. My gut impression is that it isn't likely to be important: the proton simply has too much mass. (Electron tunneling is much easier to play with, as the electron is so much lighter than the proton. I have built an electronic device which actually uses this effect.) So I plugged numbers into their formula (1) [top of page 5] to see whether the tunnelling coefficient was large enough to be interesting. Using a distance of 1 Angstrom, an energy difference of 0.2 electron volts, and the known constants, the thing evaluates to approximately 2.8E-9, which is pretty damned small.

Thirdly, it draws an analogy between DNA replication (searching for an appropriate base to couple in a particular position) and data base searching. Which is not totally far-fetched. But I think that there are physical mechanisms involved which are more workable than proton tunneling.

Minor quibbles: The authors are Russian, and English isn't their first language. The constant h-bar is described as Planck's constant; it is actually Planck's constant divided by 2 pi.

Bottom line: I don't put much stock in it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 4:17:00 AM PDT
REJN says:
tom kriske, after a personal attack on another poster, refers to:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.6233.pdf
******
This paper has nothing to do with where the original information came from.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 4:26:15 AM PDT
REJN says:
On July 26 2012 7:55:14 PM Physics Geek said:
"I claim that every finite literary work would be produced by an infinite number of mindless random events."
******
But Alan Guth has proven that universes cannot be infinite to the past.
So we don't have an infinite number of mindless random events. Also, there is no evidence for any universe other than our own, only speculation. Speculation without evidence isn't science.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 5:05:03 AM PDT
"Design detection" in I.D. does not exist. There is no validated way to distinguish between "designed" and "evolved" in biology. Dembski's efforts failed and no one else has been successful either. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 9:42:20 AM PDT
barbW says:
Hi Robert,
a code is simply a mapping from one set of symbols to another?

Then, are the electro-chemical memories in our brains codes?
Then, do crystals grow according to codes?
Then, do we respire and digest according to codes?
How about a code for photosynthesis?

To my thinking, DNA and these chemical processes are all the same. We know about the chemistry and its underlying physics.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 9:48:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2012 10:25:15 AM PDT
Doctor Who says:
"surely you know that an actual infinite series does not exist"

Try telling that to my math professor.

"your monkeys do not have sufficient time to complete your assigned task."

That is why they are hypothetical monkeys.

"There isn't enough time for an infinite series of monkeys to generate any significant literary works"

Actually if the series of monkeys is infinite I think it should take about 5 minutes. All they need to do is type one page each and every possible combination if letters will be produced.

"nor Complex Specific Information like we see in DNA for that matter."

Well, for starters the infinity monkeys really don't apply well here. The monkeys are totally random. Chemistry and evolution are not. Secondly, there is no evidence that it did not.

"The first such thought experiment that portrays the absurdity of an infinite series is that of Hilbert's Hotel." Now you are just throwing out famous ideas about infinity and hoping no one knows what it is. Actually Hilbert's Hotel deals with carnality of sets, and it is not a paradox in the traditional sense. It is rather complected to explain, but you can map every room in the hotel to the natural numbers using a bijection. Since the natural numbers are countable the number of rooms is countable, and there is always room for more. I would advise you not to try to play with infinities until you learn how. They are strange beasts. (yes, there is more than one infinity).

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 9:49:21 AM PDT
Doctor Who says:
Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 9:57:09 AM PDT
Doctor Who says:
No, this is a mathematical proof. It does not deal directly with the reality of "monkeys" typing. It answers the question "what would happen if you could take a 'monkey' and have it type on a typewriter for an infinite amount of time?" In other words, it is a mathematical proof, not a statement of reality.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:08:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 27, 2012 10:17:45 AM PDT
John Donohue says:
Einstein >>Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) .. yes, hold your laughter please .... SETI does have reputable scientists who are experts in Signal detection Theory working for it.<<

Every example you produce except SETI involves people searching for *Human* causes of events with the sure knowledge that there are, indeed, *Humans* in existence and whose products are well known and largely understood. SETI is invariably invoked by creationists (who pretend to be IDers) because they think that it shows that scientists secretly believe that there are signals that would indicate intelligence.

But this is not true. Any signal that SETI might postulate as being from intelligence would be open to a load of objections and such a signal would have to have some unique properties to be unambiguously interpreted as being from people from outer space. I personally doubt that we will ever find such a signal.

But this is exactly what is wrong with you so-called IDers: every so-called signal that you raise as evidence for a designer is much more easily explained by a natural process. Moreover, you never theorize (in public) about the nature and intentions of your "designer" or explain why he/she/it produced such crappy designs in much of nature.

As more than one person has noted, you do nothing more than argue "I don't understand this so god must have done it" - argument from ignorance and incredulity.

Btw -- what kind of science training have you had -- you forgot to mention that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:10:17 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
Still running and hiding from the question you're scared to answer, eh Haynes? Too bad it's not going to work. Here it is again:

"So basically, every sighting of a UFO, dragon, ghost, Superman, sharks with lasers, or any other outrageous claim made by someone actually DID happen because, after all, they observed it happening, right?"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:11:35 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
"before Dembski started talking about ID, everybody loved his work. He was quite successful."

Yes, and before Newton wandered off into astrology and angel anatomy, he did a lot of useful work in physics and math. It's sad when great minds get bogged down in nonsense, isn't it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:13:11 AM PDT
John Donohue says:
Einstein >>
EB says: You missed the mark entirely. ID makes no assertion regarding a 'god'. This is rather a scientifically testable statement. You only need to produce one example of 'Information' being generated by a natural process. only one.<<

Here is "information produced by a natural process": the configuration of the water molecule. This configuration can be interpreted by the molecule NaCl such that it combines into a solution; it can be interpreted by organisms as simple as viruses or as complex as dogs and human beings. So, are we clear about naturally occurring information?

Your utter lack of any science or mathematics might make it hard for you to understand this, I am aware.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:16:42 AM PDT
John Donohue says:
>>werranth413 says:
Hi Robert,
a code is simply a mapping from one set of symbols to another?

Then, are the electro-chemical memories in our brains codes? [Yes]
Then, do crystals grow according to codes? [Yes]
Then, do we respire and digest according to codes? [Yes]
How about a code for photosynthesis? [Well no ONE code but a myriad of codes]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2012 10:18:58 AM PDT
John Donohue says:
Brian Curtis >>Yes, and before Newton wandered off into astrology and angel anatomy, he did a lot of useful work in physics and math. It's sad when great minds get bogged down in nonsense, isn't it?<<

As a mathematician who has read Dembski I bridle at the possible implication that Dembski is a "great mind."
Discussion locked

 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  120
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  Jul 23, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 5, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 11 customers

Search Customer Discussions