The Skeptics Wink and Nod.

Here is an informative little video by a guy named Steve Mould who does a lot of “science” videos on youtube.  Its all (ostensibly) about how simple little processes can make “meaningful” structures from stochastic processes-and he uses magnetic shaped little parts to show this.  Its a popular channeled followed by millions, and is often referenced by other famous people in the science community-and his fans love it.

And hey, it does show how meaningful structures CAN form from random processes.  Right?  So you can learn from this.  Wink, wink.  Nod, nod. And all the skeptics will know exactly what he is really saying.  Cause we are all part of the clique that knows this language-the language of the skeptic propagandist.  I mean, he almost hides it, the real message, it is just under the surface, and the less skeptically aware, the casualist, might even miss it.  The casualist might not learn as much about Steve Mould and what he is trying to say here-but the skeptic knows.  “See, atheism is true! Spread the word!” Steve has given the wink. The same wink used by DeGrasse Tyson, and Sean Carroll, Lawrence Krauss, Brian Greene, and on and on.  You know the one.

And for 95% of his viewers, whether they know it or not, they got his message.  I mean, look, its plain as day, right?  He just showed you, that is certainly a meaningful structure that arose from random processes, isn’t it?  Its defintely meaningful, its a, a, a , well, it’s shape that, we have a, a  name for…that’s kind of…anyway, defintely random, I mean other than the magnets and the precut shapes, and the little ball with nothing else inside, and the shaking only until its just right then stopping kind of way…That’s random kind of right???

But there are 5% percent of his viewers that spotted his little wink and nod, and said, hold on a second.  If you want us to believe that your little explanation about how simply life can form from nonsense without a plan, how blind exactly do you want us to be?  95%, they are hooked, you got them (Ryan StallardThere are so many creationist videos this obliterates. Especially 4:18.). But some likeGhryst VanGhod helpfully point out: “this is incorrect. the kinesin travels along fibres within the cell and takes the various molecules exactly where they need to be, they are not randomly “jumbling around in solution”. https://youtu.be/gbycQf1TbM0  ” and then you get to see a video that tells you just a few more of the things that are ACTUALLY happening which are even more amazing if you weren’t already skeptical (the real kind).

And if you go through some more of the comments you will notice a few more (real) skeptics, not the wink and nod kind, and you will start to notice why the wink nod propogandist skeptics everywhere you look in modern culture are a very puposefully designed cancer on knowledge and thought.

1,212 thoughts on “The Skeptics Wink and Nod.

  1. CharlieM,

    Yes, we all should! At that level there are no lumps of matter, only fields. Even the gross material world we see before us is our interpretation of fields which is provided by our senses. A piece of solid matter is a highly concentrated field.

    This awareness doesn’t stop you talking as if molecules are lumps of matter being shoved around by things non-material. Your enthusiastic embracing of my advice is at odds with the way you talk about molecular interactions.

  2. Alan Fox: Your mind-reading abilities are also unreliable.

    I am the best person to say if my mind reading abilities are reliable.

  3. Alan Fox: Why you think teleology or design is an issue in biology is a puzzle to me.

    Since we have seemingly agreed to use English as our common means of communicating, we need to stick with the rules and meaning of English. I am not going to use your own particular person of one’s language and meanings.

    As such, when you say you are puzzled by why i would think teleology or design is an issue in biology, I am going to use what that means in English. And what that means to everyone (except probably you) is that it is NOT an issue to you.

    Using this worldview of the English language, you are saying you accept that biology uses teleology, and its not an issue.

    Now, of course, having seen other interpretations of sentences you have tried to convey, you could actually be saying potatoes taste lovely with unicorn sprinklings in rainbow showers. I have no intentions of learning your language.

  4. phoodoo: I don’t really require a word for chemicals moving from a higher concentration to a lower one.

    Perhaps not, but bacteria happen to be organisms. Bacteria like E. coli are able to move towards food sources by positive chemotaxis. They alternate between tumbling (which orients them in a random position) and swimming. Increases in the concentration of the attractans will result in longer swimming episodes than with decreasing concentrations. This results in a stochastic process (how fitting for this thread) that will nevertheless bring the bacterium ever closer to the food source.

    We both see purpose here. You see deliberate purpose (not from the bacterium, but its maker, I surmise). I see no deliberation whatsoever. Now, I’d like to have a word that describes what the bacterium does: having a goal without any conscious desire. If you won’t let me use “teleology”, then what word do I use?

  5. phoodoo: I am the best person to say if my mind reading abilities are reliable.

    That’s just silly, phoodoo. We compare what you claim people think against what they say they think.

  6. Corneel: having a goal without any conscious desire.

    I don’t know what you mean by having a goal here. If you believe they are doing so because there is a goal, namely food, then we have to ask how. That answer may well be because its is teleological, they desire to find food, and they “know” how to get it. In which case, yea, come on over, the design side welcomes you.

  7. phoodoo,
    If you’re not sure what I mean when I say something you can always ask me to clarify. But when discussing a phenomenon, what is observed is the reality (and for this universe there seems to be one universal set of regularities) so we can compare our descriptions of reality to actual reality. Choice of language is not the arbiter of reality.

  8. phoodoo: I don’t know what you mean by having a goal here.If you believe they are doing so because there is a goal, namely food, then we have to ask how.That answer may well be because its is teleological, they desire to find food, and they “know” how to get it. In which case, yea, come on over, the design side welcomes you.

    *chuckles*

    As I said in my last comment, what we observe is the reality. In this case, the aversion or attraction is chemical. “Run and tumble” is the simplest iteration of try-it-and-see that I know of.

  9. phoodoo: I don’t know what you mean by having a goal here. If you believe they are doing so because there is a goal, namely food, then we have to ask how. That answer may well be because its is teleological, they desire to find food, and they “know” how to get it. In which case, yea, come on over, the design side welcomes you.

    Yes, the purpose of bacterial chemotaxis is often reaching a food source, but do you really think bacteria feel desire? They do not appear to have much of an inner life if you ask me.
    If bacteria are Designed entities then is it not the Designer’s goal that we perceive, not that of the bacteria themselves? This is the way I understood the ID argument.

  10. Alan Fox: “Run and tumble” is the simplest iteration of try-it-and-see that I know of.

    Yep. It is another example of a stochastic process with a predictable outcome because of an in-built bias. For some strange reason these don’t go down so well here. Perhaps it has something to do with whether one has a statistical mindset?

  11. phoodoo:
    Have we found out what they weigh?

    Have you tried to see something without any light? Have you tried to listen with your ears insulated? Is light physical? Are sound waves physical? Do sound waves reach your ears physically? Does light reach your eyes physically?

  12. Entropy: Have you tried to see something without any light? Have you tried to listen with your ears insulated? Is light physical? Are sound waves physical? Do sound waves reach your ears physically? Does light reach your eyes physically?

    Oh, so you mean your argument is that perception is physical but it has no weight. Ok, then how do we measure it? Is it also unmeasurable?

  13. phoodoo: Oh, so you mean your argument is that perception is physical but it has no weight. Ok, then how do we measure it? Is it also unmeasurable?

    phoodoo, you have elided from a discussion of whether “perceptions” are physical to whether “perception” is physical. “Perceptions” are the plural of “a perception”, best considered as a type of (physical) event, whereas “perception” (without the article) is an abstract.
    Not that it matters, but I have determined that perceptions weigh 8.1 x 108 kg.

  14. phoodoo:
    Oh, so you mean your argument is that perception is physical but it has no weight.

    My point is that it doesn’t take much to realize that perception is physical. Yours seems to be that in order to be physical things have to be weighted, as if, for example, space, time, positions, and energy, were not physical. Do you also think that things stop being physical if there’s no gravitation giving them weight?

    phoodoo:
    Ok, then how do we measure it? Is it also unmeasurable?

    While there’s no need to get that technical to understand the point (it’s all a matter of whether you want to get the point), scientists have measured the energy required to elicit different receptors to “fire.” The energy required to transfer that information across neurones, the ions (those have measurable weights) moving back and forth, the energy expended while making sense of whatever hits our senses, etc.

    Weights, if you insist, can be obtained from energy measurements. It can be approximated from the amount of food degraded into CO2 and water, etc. However, I doubt any of it will help you out, if you already decided that they’re not physical if you cannot weight them yourself with a balance.

  15. If it isn’t physical, why the impressive temperature-dependence?
    Same goes for Charlie’s “mind”, of course…
    LOL

  16. DNA_Jock: Not that it matters, but I have determined that perceptions weigh 8.1 x 108 kg

    Happy, sad and tired all weigh the same? How do well tell them apart?

  17. phoodoo: Happy, sad and tired all weigh the same?How do well tell them apart?

    Of course not! What a silly idea. They all have different weights.

  18. phoodoo,

    Oh phoodoo, m’boy, you originally asked

    phoodoo: Have we found out what they weigh?

    And I have determined that they weigh 8.1 x 108 kg.
    Collectively.
    The individual ones are quite light; depends on the perception, of course.

  19. DNA_Jock: And I have determined that they weigh 8.1 x 108 kg.
    Collectively.

    Oh, so you mean there is a limted number of perceptions and they just keep getting reused.

    I knew you were Alan.

  20. phoodoo: Oh, so you mean there is a limted number of perceptions and they just keep getting reused.

    Does the designer perceive?

  21. Rumraket:
    CharlieM: From reading about them as here:

    “Ribosomes are responsible for decoding the information contained in messenger RNA to synthesize proteins used in all domains of life”

    And here,
    “Understanding the role of assembly factors in ribosome biogenesis has:

    “Ribosomes are massive macromolecular complexes composed of proteins and RNAs and perform one of the most fundamental processes in all living cells”

    Rumraket: That’s just the life we know of, which is not a good basis for thinking it is a fundamental requirement of all possible life. All currently known life shares common ancestry and inherited their ribosomes from the last universal common ancestor. That doesn’t make it a fundamental requirement for life.

    It’s good to know that you there may be more to life than “life we know of”. 🙂

    Can you propose a scenario where enough nucleotides or amino acids form and survive in sufficient quantities to form polymers and not only that but double up and then separate into complimentary copies?

    RNA is a fairly short lived unstable molecule.

    CharlieM: All known organisms use ribosomes to produce proteins. Do you know of any living creatures that do not use ribosomes?

    No but I also don’t believe I know of all possible living organisms. Do you know of all possible living organisms?

    No, but I know that no extant autonomous life is known below the level of the cell. But there are substances below the cellular level of life that are known to have come from life. Limestone and coal are examples.

    CharlieM: Hypotheses and speculations are not facts.

    Rumraket: That’s what the claim that ribosomes are fundamental to life is. Btw the conclusion that ribosomes are the product of evolution isn’t speculation, there really is evidence for it. You may call it a hypothesis, but it’s a hypothesis that generates testable predictions, some of which have been empirically tested and confirmed. It would simply not be reasonable to dismiss that as speculation

    Every single form of earthly life is the product of evolution. As is every single human being the product of development from a single cell. As far as anyone has discovered ribosomes are ubiquitous in living creatures. There may exist or might have existed ribosomes that are a fair bit simpler than any seen up until now, but they would still be ribosomes.

    And the RNA world scenario would require some sort of ribosome like complex to build polymers of RNA which would be required to have two functions. One as a linear template for replication and one as a folded ribozyme producing the RNA strings.

    So speculating that there had been a time when proteins did not yet exist and ribosomes consisted purely of RNA raises its own problems.

    From this article

    In short, once you look at it closely, the RNA world raises as many questions as it answers. Even one of its chief advocates, Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute in California, suggested recently that it might be necessary to consider that the RNA world was preceded by ‘some other replicating, evolving molecule’ such as peptide-nucleic acid hybrids.2 That, of course, may simply defer some of the problems rather than solving them.

    Other scenarios have been proposed. Such as, in this report from Scientific American

    The study, published in Nature and conducted by John Sutherland of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, and his colleagues, further undermines the so-called RNA world hypothesis. This idea, long one of the most prominent in origins-of-life research, posits that RNA formed the basis of Earth’s biosphere long before DNA and other molecules important to life emerged. Yet to date, scant evidence has been found of chemical pathways to make the RNA-exclusive system that rigid versions of the idea adopt or that could lead to DNA. “People have tended to think of RNA as the parent of DNA,” Sutherland says. “This [paper] suggests that they are molecular siblings.”

    All of the conventional scenarios work on the assumption that life originated from simpler non-living matter. It could be argued that life, and even non-living matter, has come from life. Rather than matter somehow building itself into ever more complex forms I believe that the appearance of physical life is a process of condensation from a highly complex but much more subtle pre-existing form, similar to a crystallization process.

  22. Corneel:
    CharlieM: The formative forces are as natural as moving molecules in a similar way that electromagnetic forces are as natural as the movement of iron filings.

    Corneel: The meaning of this statement is clear to me in a similar way that mud is a useful material to make windows out of.

    Are you trying to tell me that you consider the etheric life principle to be a physical force?

    There was a time when “physical” and “material” were considered to be equivalent. Of course all that changed with Einstein and quantum mechanics. Now the meaning of “physical” has expanded to include fields and energy.

    In quantum field theory has come along and now matter as we know it is to be thought of as fundamentally fluctuations of fields. This is moving in the direction of the idea of the formative etheric field. The idea of the physical could be expanded further to include it but I prefer to think of it as giving the physical its form rather than as being physical itself.

    Unlike the outdated scientific theory of the ether which was proposed as the medium in which light waves propagated, the etheric field is not something separate from the physical matter. The etheric and the physical are just two aspects of the same thing.

  23. Allan Miller:
    CharlieM: There are no satisfactory demonstrations as to how all of these components just happened to have come together. 

    Allan Miller: Ah, if it’s demos we’re after, let’s see yours. Show these components not ‘just happening’ to come together, but nonetheless coming together.

    To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate. You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    Researchers use crystallization techniques to determine the shape of living molecules. But what they are looking at is dead matter. The reality of these molecules is in their dynamic mobility, not in their dead shapes.

    Physicists have moved on from the old mechanical conception of the universe, but biologists are a bit more slow on the uptake 🙂

    A favourite metaphor for molecular interactions is a lock and key, but a much more apt metaphor would be a vagina and penis or a hand grasping an object. (Don’t even think about it, you’ll go blind! 😉

  24. CharlieM: To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate. You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    OK so now demonstrate that process for “life essence” or whatever.

    No? Then it’s not a “similar process” at all is it?

  25. CharlieM: In quantum field theory has come along and now matter as we know it is to be thought of as fundamentally fluctuations of fields. This is moving in the direction of the idea of the formative etheric field.

    So after all your insistence that photons are merely mathematical expressions, you are now equating your “etheric field” to the quantum fields from theoretical physics?

    That sure makes my day.

  26. I just wanted to highlight more of the disingenous talk of DNA Jock, when he says that morphogenetic fields are just a normal part of everyday science, and basically nothing to see here (thus his attempt to seperate Sheldrake from the concepts of morphogentic fields-even though Sheldrake himself considers morphogenetic fields to be integral to his work on morphic resonance):

    Morphogenesis, the coming-into-being of living organisms, remains an enigma despite centuries of intense scrutiny and now constitutes one of the great challenges confronting modern biology. The morphogenic field was first articulated in the early decades of the 20th century and became an extremely useful concept by which to explain a wide range of developmental phenomena. Over several decades the field concept was elaborated and refined by embryologists who devised brilliant experiments to substantiate its existence. By the 1930s morphogenic fields were widely accepted among embryologists and had become the subject of textbooks. Originally embryology and genetics formed a unified discipline but during the 1930s and 1940s geneticists became progressively skeptical of the field notion and the two disciplines eventually pursued entirely different lines of inquiry. By the 1980s an increasing number of scientists began to critically reexamine the morphogenic field concept and it underwent a second renaissance.


    In this paper I examine the development and evolution of the field concept, both experimentally and conceptually, and highlight the failure of genetic mechanisms to explain morphogenesis. In particular we examine key lines of evidence that have emerged in recent decades that conclusively substantiate the existence of such fields. I provide mechanisms by which such fields are generated and by which they assert their effects. We examine linchpin experiments reported in recent years showing that, contrary to assertions by genetically-oriented researchers, genes do not direct fetal development and, in fact, are regulated by the morphogenic field through the flow of energy currents into cells. The so-called genetic program, a pure contrivance of 20th century geneticists, is, in fact, organized entirely by field dynamics. To date, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that genes mediate the formation of organs and tissues or have any direct influence on the morphology of developing organisms.

    From: Morphogenic fields: A coming of age
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1550830721000781

    A couple of points of interest:

    We examine linchpin experiments reported in recent years showing that, contrary to assertions by genetically-oriented researchers, genes do not direct fetal development and, in fact, are regulated by the morphogenic field through the flow of energy currents into cells. The so-called genetic program, a pure contrivance of 20th century geneticists, is, in fact, organized entirely by field dynamics. To date, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that genes mediate the formation of organs and tissues or have any direct influence on the morphology of developing organisms

    NO plausible evidence that genes mediate the formation of organs…or have any influence on morphology! Just ordinary concepts of biology according to Jock. Nothing to see here. “Wait Darwin, where are you going, come back here! ”

    Also from the article:

    I provide three instances from the medical literature of developmental phenomena which are only explainable on the basis of morphogenic field dynamics and argue that the field concept must be readmitted into mainstream scientific discourse.

    Readmitted?? Why would the author say this, if it is part of ordinary biological discourse? Oh, I know,. Because it has NOT been! Because it introducing entirely new ideas about how biology works that isn’t Darwinian.

    Jock of course had no idea that Sheldrake finds this concept of interest and it is why he came up with his ideas of morphic resonance, because modern science doesn’t have a good explantion for the concepts of morphogenetic fields. Thus his ignorant claim that Sheldrake has nothing to do with morphogenetic fields and why would anyone mention the two.

    I recommend those wedded to their outdated Darwinian ideas to look at more of the recent research by people like Mark Levin, and the idea that cell networks make decisions without a brain.

    This article discusses an unconventional perspective: morphogenetic fields (information-bearing global patterns in chemicoelectrical properties that guide growth and form) as a profound unifying concept central to biology and medicine

    https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/full/10.2217/rme.11.69

  27. phoodoo: Why would the author say this, if it is part of ordinary biological discourse?

    Because he’s a frickking looney, perhaps?
    I mean:

    To date, there is no plausible evidence to suggest that genes mediate the formation of organs and tissues or have any direct influence on the morphology of developing organisms.

    Are you willing to attempt a defense of that obviously false statement?
    Morphogenetic fields are a concept in developmental biology that has been around for a long time. Thanks in large part to the work on drosophila, we no longer talk about them as an abstract concept, because we understand how they work.
    While Eric Wieschaus and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard were busy doing the experiments to demonstrate the role of genes in pattern formation, Sheldrake was busy coming up with a baseless pile of woo.
    Hey, phoodoo, let’s discuss the stats behind Sheldrake’s telepathy in emails research.
    Here’s my question: in these series of six or nine tests, were there always an equal number of emails sent by each potential sender, and why does this matter?
    Separately, does Sheldrake understand the “optional stopping” problem that he discusses in this paper? Do you?

  28. DNA_Jock,

    Who has better credentials, you or Sheldrake? Oh OK, you no longer care about credentials. What a relief. Want to talk about cigarette cancer studies since you are in a mood to deflect?

    No? OK, so K E Thorp is another crank. What about Mark Levin, is he a crank too ?

  29. phoodoo,

    If you mean Michael Levin, might be interesting to discuss the “morphogenetic field” paper. Do you have a link to the full text?

  30. From the abstract of the paper by Thorp:

    I provide three instances from the medical literature of developmental phenomena which are only explainable on the basis of morphogenic field dynamics and argue that the field concept must be readmitted into mainstream scientific discourse.

    But the paper is paywalled.

  31. Before I spend more time seeing if I can find full text of Thorp’s paper, I have a couple of questions for phoodoo (anyone can answer).

    1. Mr Thorp works in the radiology department of a teaching hospital but there is no information about his professional qualifications or experience. Any details on Mr/Dr Thorp?

    ETA never mind

    https://www.sparrow.org/physician/kenneth-e-thorp

    2. What is the connection between Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance” and “morphogenetic fields” apart from the root “morph”?

  32. CharlieM: To demonstrate a similar process take a salt solution and let it evaporate. You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    This is so nineteenth century. Your incredulity is not universal.

    ETA Just wondering, would Charlie like to tell me how many sodium and chlorine atoms constitute a molecule of salt?

  33. DNA_Jock,

    Ah, I see DNA_Jock is also asking phoodoo what connects “morphogenetic fields” with Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance”.

  34. Allan Miller: Ah, if it’s demos we’re after, let’s see yours. Show these components not ‘just happening’ to come together, but nonetheless coming together.

    CharlieM: You will see the salt crystals forming but there was no visible salt to begin with. Just because it could not be seen does not mean that it wasn’t there all along.

    So your demonstration of the formative fields is you telling us that the formative fields cannot be observed at all?

    Incidentally, are you aware of this sophisticated method of detecting salt in solution by exploiting the fact that salty water has a very characteristic taste?

  35. Corneel,

    In one of my school practical exams in chemistry , I got to the end of the exam and tasted the sample (I suspected we would not be given poisonous compounds to analyse). The salty taste caused me to repeat a flame test and get the correct result. I passed without mentioning my method.

  36. Alan Fox:
    DNA_Jock,

    Ah, I see DNA_Jock is also asking phoodoo what connects “morphogenetic fields” with Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance”.

    He would only ask this question if he can’t or won’t read.

  37. @ phoodoo

    What about Kenneth Thorp MD and his one published paper? Doesn’t seem to have made much impact so far.

  38. Alan Fox:
    phoodoo,

    And?

    The connection between “morphogenetic fields” and “morphic resonance” is…

    ?

    I already answered this.

    It began a litany of obfuscation from Jock and you. Sheldrake thought of his concepts while contemplating morphogenteic fields and how they work. And its why he named it that. And yet you two still try to deflect.

  39. So the connection is that there is no connection other then Sheldrake named it with a similar name.

    What a waste of time.

  40. Allan Miller:
    CharlieM: Yes, we all should! At that level there are no lumps of matter, only fields. Even the gross material world we see before us is our interpretation of fields which is provided by our senses. A piece of solid matter is a highly concentrated field.

    Allan Miller: This awareness doesn’t stop you talking as if molecules are lumps of matter being shoved around by things non-material. Your enthusiastic embracing of my advice is at odds with the way you talk about molecular interactions.

    You are still thinking of the etheric and the material as being somehow separate. They are just different aspects of a unified whole.

    I don’t think of living molecular complexes as being lumps of matter. I think of them as somewhere in the range between solid, liquid and gas as the case fits. For instance chromosomes condense to a more solid-like state during cell division.

    Regarding our bodies, I’d say we are more liquid than solid., but we are composed of the full range extending from the solid.

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