More Anti-Materialism at UD

The WEDGIES are at it again, this time talking about NDEs (last time it was dreams producing CSI)

Heres’s the link:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/guest-post-constancy-of-self-in-light-of-near-death-experiences-a-disproof-of-materialism/#comments

and the old one

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/are-dreams-incompatible-with-materialism/#comment-560350

Both posted by Barry Arrington on NKendall’s behalf.

This thread is for commentary for those of us who can’t participate there.

Evolutionary Search

If evolution is not a search, why is the term “evolutionary search” not an oxymoron?

Over at Uncommon Descent Elizabeth posted the following:

“…any “search” algorithm worthy of the name of “evolutionary search” comes with its own moderately smooth fitness landscape built in.”

So evolution is a search if it comes pre-built with its own moderately smooth fitness landscape built in?

What is a “major form”?

A long time commenter at UncommonDescent gives his opinion on ID’s position with regard to common descent:

The design inference is compatible with common descent and with universal common descent; a certain Michael Behe is a case in point on this. Common descent all the way up to universal common descent, is compatible with intelligently directed configuration of first life and of major forms thereafter including our own.

Yet in all my time learning about ID it’s never been clear to me, if that’s the case why are there not specific predictions from ID about what we will find in the fossil record?

Continue reading

Good UD post

Good guest post at Uncommon Descent by Aurelio Smith,

SIGNAL TO NOISE: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ACTIVE INFORMATION

For those who prefer to comment here, this is your thread!

For me, the argument by Ewert Dembski and Marks reminds me of poor old Zeno and his paradox.  They’ve over-thought the problem and come to a conclusion that appears mathematically valid, but actually makes no sense.  Trying to figure out just the manner in which it makes no sense isn’t that easy, though I don’t think we need to invent the equivalent of differential calculus to solve it in this case.  I think it’s a simple case of picking the wrong model.  Evolution is not a search for anything, and information is not the same as [im]probability, whether you take log2 of it or not.  Which means that you don’t need to add Active Information to an Evolutionary Search in order to find a Target, because there’s no Target, no search, and the Active Information is simply the increased probability of solving a problem if you have some sort of feedback for each attempt, and partial solutions are moderately similar to better ones.

Enjoy!

Intelligence Test: open thread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Intelligent Design proponents claim to be able to distinguish design from non-design. Here’s an easier task. Look at the inscription in the photograph. Is there any way to tell how old it is? I can tell you the stone turned up in an excavation in 1996 in the Pyrenees. Is there any way to tell if the marks are meaningful or gibberish?