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.

887 thoughts on “The Skeptics Wink and Nod.

  1. Flint:
    Poe’s Law strikes again. it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.

    Unfortunately for Flint, Ivermectin use is not an extreme view considering the number of people having Ivermectin being administered to them with measurable , successful results.

    As well, recorded and demonstrably extremely high incidences of severe adverse reactions to the mRNA shots is not an extreme view. Rather, its a poorly suppressed view.

    Put that in your Poe pipe.

  2. Corneel: Are you? Then you are off-topic. Where did you get the idea that evolution was involved?Evolution isn’t mentioned anywhere in the OP, nor in any of phoodoo’s comments nor was it mentioned in the video that was discussed. I can only assume that phoodoo used the “evolution” tag mistakingly. This OP is about atheists and their disgusting hidden messages that only ID creationists seem to be able to spot.

    Well actually no. It is not hard to spot the narrator using seemingly innocuous language to describe the activity in the cell when a virus enters. and the narrator obviously does believe that all of what we are witnessing in real time is truly the results of small step-wise changes occurring over deep time. It’s well honed evolutionary story telling; hard evidence too difficult to come by.

    The only game in town is who is more convincing, the design denier or the design affirmer. The design affirmer has a lot more tools to draw from so it really is an unfair fight.

    Step-wise change over time was a dreamy nail in the coffin until it wasn’t.

  3. Now back to the OP.

    I am curious why no evolutionist would do a demonstration of say 20 totally different biological shapes to show that the resultant product can be made useful by a virus or a cell. Now that would be a more meaningful demonstration of arbitrary, undirected activity leading to something useful to organisms. It seems the experimenters always start with something already in existence, which has not been demonstrated to have come together all on its own.

    What examples would lend credence to non-design? Can a capsid form in the environment without the presence of a virus with an RNA instruction string on hand for the capsid protein? Can a cell in an arbitrary organism, all on its own, without the presence of a needy virus, pump out an RNA string for a capsid protein that it doesnt need because of some unknown error in its cell machinery? These kinds of examples would go a long way to dispel the notion that design is required in nature.

    AFAIK, there is not one evolution story that doesn’t utilize a designed starter-kit to kick off any evolutionary activity. That is why evolution is in its essence a design tool, not evidence of non-design.

    Higher-order design appears so much like magic that skeptics can’t be blamed for scoffing at invisible phenomena driving designed biological entities. I am sure AI scientists aren’t scoffing at this notion. They are taking notes.

  4. Steve: Ha, that is so much bullshit. Uttar Pradesh will beg to differ. You promotion of false information will get people killed.Stop trying to misinform people.

    Right back atcha. Uttar Pradesh is not a counter to the clinical trials and metas that show no effect. They started using it (Aug 2020) way before the massive peak (Apr 2021), so it dint help much, did it? They have now stopped. Why, for such a dadblained effective medication?

    Also data from UP is very unreliable. Some regions have reported no deaths from any cause for months. Which is a tad unlikely.

    Ivermectin works big time.That why the push to stop doctors from prescribing it.

    Sure. Health authorities want effective medications blocked. Happens all the time. 🙄

    How many doctors in the States want to prescribe it but are being blocked?

    You tell me. How many consider the evidence weak? And counter to that, how many recommend vaccination? According to the AMA 96% are vaccinated themselves. So are they experts, or not?

    Your faux-vaccine pushing ways

    Hold up, who brought up vaccines? Why’s it an either/or? And you tell ME I’m costing lives?

    and the damage it is causingpeople’s bodies is being recorded. You (pl) will have to take ownership of the destruction you are causing in people’s lives.

    Oh shit, are there going to be show trials? That’s a good score on the crackpot index, right there.

    The are plenty of therapeutics out there that can handle the Co\/id flu.

    Don’t know about ‘plenty’. There is dexamethasone, like ivermectin out-of-patent, but unlike ivm, demonstrably effective. Fluvoxamine shows some promise, in a properly conducted RCT. Both cheap as chips.

    No need for poisonous mRNA shots to mess up people bodies just cuz you wanna see what happens.

    There are numerous alternative platforms in play. The ignorant seem to think there is only one; the one they’ve heard of.

    My daughter was a doctor on Respiratory when the first wave hit. She’s seen the worst of this first hand. She is now a Registrar, dealing with admissions. She is absolutely clear that vaccination has had a huge positive effect on illness and outcomes. One in 6 admissions to ICU now is an unvaccinated pregnant female, not through hesitancy, but because they were originally advised against. In ICU after ICU, the unvaccinated form a disproportionate proportion. They do get some hospitalisation due to vaccine reaction, but it’s rare.

    And yet you (sing.) push for something for which there is NO good evidence? Just the fervent belief that it’ll saves you from the nasty vaccines.

  5. Steve: But to answer your question why have people like Rogan thrown the kitchen sink at it. Well, with all the scare mongering going on with Co\/id, you cant blame people.

    You mean 5 million dead people-that kind of scare mongering?

  6. Steve: Me: This OP is about atheists and their disgusting hidden messages that only ID creationists seem to be able to spot.

    Steve: Well actually no.

    Well actually, YES. Look, phoodoo has been saying so multiple times. It is right there in the OP:

    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!”

    This OP is about atheism. The fact that viral capsids self-assemble proves atheism! Are you going to tell me the actual author of the OP doesn’t know what he is talking about?

  7. Steve: Can a capsid form in the environment without the presence of a virus with an RNA instruction string on hand for the capsid protein?

    Why would it ever have to? Viral capsid proteins are not thought to have evolved in the absence of selfish nucleic acids to which they were useful in propagating said nucleic acids.

    Steve:
    Can a cell in an arbitrary organism, all on its own, without the presence of a needy virus, pump out an RNA string for a capsid protein that it doesnt need because of some unknown error in its cell machinery?

    Can a protein that would function as a capsid arise de novo from non-coding DNA, or by recombination/shuffling and fusion of fragments of other protein coding genes? I don’t see why not (after all, self-assembling proteins with other complex functions have been observed evolving), but if there is no polymer of nucleic acids to benefit from said capsid protein it’s not going to be selected for and hence won’t stick around.

    Self-assembly into larger oligomeric structures is a trivial change for many proteins. I recommend articles such as
    Garcia-Seisdedos H, Empereur-Mot C, Elad N, Levy ED. Proteins evolve on the edge of supramolecular self-assembly. Nature. 2017;548(7666):244-247. doi:10.1038/nature23320

    Zabel WJ, Hagner KP, Livesey BJ, et al. Evolution of protein interfaces in multimers and fibrils. J Chem Phys. 2019;150(22):225102. doi:10.1063/1.5086042

  8. Steve: AFAIK, there is not one evolution story that doesn’t utilize a designed starter-kit to kick off any evolutionary activity. That is why evolution is in its essence a design tool, not evidence of non-design.

    I find comments such as yours highly ironic, given that evolution is the only known intelligent designer. At all.

    Allow me to be enough of an arrogant asshole to quote myself at length. As I elaborated on in a couple of posts over on the peacefulscience forums:

    Rumraket: That’s because, if you think about it, design is actually an implementation of evolution. When you try to imagine designing something by reason, what is it that really occurs in your head? Suppose you are to build a load-bearing structure of some sort. What thoughts do you have? Well you sort of imagine how different structures behave when subject to the imagined forces they have to withstand. You think about where to put one thing in relation to another thing so as to support and strengthen each other, because you have a sort of intuitive simulation running about how that structure would behave under those conditions. In your head, you are “testing” the structure in the environment given your intuitive understanding of the laws of physics.

    You are literally designing by implementing evolution in your head. Your knowledge of the behavior of physics and building materials comes from previous learning and copying. It was learned by trial and error, and/or was copied from someone else. That was inheritance. And now you implement the inherited information in a simulated environment in your head to see if you can intuit the performance of the structure. You’re evolving the design in your head. The “knowing” how something behaves under physics is really just memory. Inheritance. The faithful copying and passing on of previous successful experiences.

    Then at some point your simulated design has to come into contact with the real world, and then another round of iterative trial and error has to occur, to see where the physics of the real world deviate from your simulated reality.

    The false contrast between intelligent design and evolution is one of life’s great ironies.

    Another one:

    Rumraket: Oh and when it comes to “minds” being able to solve things like “search problems” or overcome other such “probabilistic barriers”, it’s still only through trial and error. An evolution-like process of learning. A mind can’t just “know” where to find a workable solution in a large space of nonfunctional structures, otherwise “minds” could be used to solve things like directly guessing correctly long complex passwords. But no amount of intelligence is going to make you able to just know what a password to something is. You have to either have inherited information about what is likely to be among good candidate passwords before(obtained knowledge from prior research and studies of often used passwords), or do blind, brute-force sampling among trillions and trillions of password before you happen to guess the correct one by chance.

    This whole “mind” bs Bill is on about is a total fantasy that has no connection to reality, or our knowledge of how “minds” actually work. Minds aren’t supernatural, they’re just another material and physical process contingent on history and local circumstances. Notice how all the things you can do you had to learn first (the copying of information gained from previous generations of trial and error), and we have entire institutions called schools with people employed to copy and paste information into your brain. You have to learn either by memorization(inheritance, reproduction of information, essentially “common descent”), or by trial and error.

    The whole intelligent design thing is a fable, and a false dichotomy. Evolution is, at bottom, the only intelligent designer that exists.

  9. Rumraket,

    The whole intelligent design thing is a fable, and a false dichotomy. Evolution is, at bottom, the only intelligent designer that exists.

    I turns out that intelligent design is the only enabler of evolution that exists. The type of evolution that we can actually test which starts from intelligently designed living populations.

    Are you sure minds cannot create beyond trial and error?

  10. colewd:
    I turns out that intelligent design is the only enabler of evolution that exists. The type of evolution that we can actually test which starts from intelligently designed living populations.

    Intelligently designed by evolution.

    colewd:
    Are you sure minds cannot create beyond trial and error?

    Yes. You learn to do anything at all in part by copying from others what others learned by trial and error before you, and in part by trial and error. There is no other form of design.

    You can’t just “know” stuff by some sort of miracle. Given a complex problem to solve you either solve it by already having learned of highly similar problems before (copying useful information that brings you very closer to the solution already) and then from there on doing trial and error, or by having to just do trial and error from the beginning. Anything at all you’ve ever learned to do you essentially learned in this way.

    Again, think of the search space problem. You can’t just “know” how to design a functional protein. How do human researchers know how to create a functional protein de novo? They don’t, they had to first study proteins to understand how they function(put them to the test to understand what parts of them had what functional effects and under what conditions).
    And if they don’t have the opportunity to do that, to study proteins and learn from them, then they simply can’t create new functional proteins, and have to approach the subject by brute force sampling. Just blindly and randomly create proteins and keep going to find something functional, and then start by learning from there.

    There is only evolution. It’s so ironic. You’ve been railing against the very method you’re positing to replace it. Get over it.

  11. Rumraket,

    Alan wants to know, why do you care SO much about design. Tom also wants to know. Jock too. Kn also doesn’t understand your emotional attachment to how life develops, what does it matter if it’s random or designed. Flint also wants to know why it matters to you. Corneel also is confused by your obsession with how cells and life came to be. Tom doesn’t think there any atheists that care about such things at all, so you must not be atheist?

    If Graham was here he also would like to know what dose it matter? Every atheist on the planet wants to know why every other atheist thinks it matter. Because atheist never spend any time thinking about this.

    Please help Alan out and explain to him how you never even think about this, it’s not a religion to you, you never comment about it, you are not emotionally invested, actually this is the first you have ever heard of any of this…

  12. phoodoo: Alan wants to know, why do you care SO much about design.

    No, I don’t, phoodoo. I’m on record as wanting to reclaim the word from ID proponents. Evolution is environmental design.

    Remember the niche, phoodoo, remember the niche.

  13. Alan Fox: No, I don’t, phoodoo. I’m on record as wanting to reclaim the word from ID proponents. Evolution is environmental design.

    Well, no one should be surprised that not only do you not know what the word design means, you also don’t know what reclaim means. I suppose its safe to assume you also don’t know what niche means.

    You can’t reclaim a defintion that never existed except in your own twisted head.

    Design will continue to mean “A plan, or an arrangement of lines or shapes created to form a pattern…” A plan! Created TO FORM…

    I guess you firgure if Rumraket is going to make up words and defintions, you don’t want to miss that train. He seemed so proud of himself after all.

  14. phoodoo: Design will continue to mean “A plan, or an arrangement of lines or shapes created to form a pattern…” A plan! Created TO FORM…

    Evolution designs. Deal with it.

  15. phoodoo: Well, no one should be surprised that not only do you not know what the word design means, you also don’t know what reclaim means. I suppose its safe to assume you also don’t know what niche means.

    I don’t know what Intelligent Design means.

    Do you?

    If so, could you explain how/when/with what your intelligent designer designs?

    Is it possible the designer of life is a different designer to the deity you worship? How do you know one way or the other.

    etc.

  16. phoodoo: Please help Alan out and explain to him how you never even think about this, it’s not a religion to you, you never comment about it, you are not emotionally invested, actually this is the first you have ever heard of any of this…

    Take a break. Go for a walk. None of this is so important that you work yourself up into such a state. It’s just a bit of lunchtime fun for most people here.

  17. OMagain: Take a break,,,

    I’ll take that advice. Off to Portugal later today for family visit, sightseeing and sardines.

  18. Alan Fox: I’ll take that advice. Off to Portugal later today for family visit, sightseeing and sardines.

    I can’t wait to travel! Have a great time.

  19. Rumraket,

    There is only evolution. It’s so ironic. You’ve been railing against the very method you’re positing to replace it. Get over it.

    Evolution is an incomplete explanation. You also are underestimating the power of minds. Minds can create blind and unguided processes cannot.

    How do you see learning in a blind and unguided process? How does a blind and unguided process recognize that a process using combinatorial mathematics is the optimized strategy? How does a blind and unguided process work through almost infinite mathematical space to find function? How does a blind and unguided process account for the origin of algorithmic processes that we are observing in the cell?

    The design in the universe is obvious and the only known mechanism powerful enough to explain this is a mind.

    The only real explanation you have for what we see is common descent. You contradict yourself by appealing to a highly deterministic process. The problem you have compounds itself as what you appeal to is also an incomplete explanation.

  20. colewd: Evolution is an incomplete explanation. You also are underestimating the power of minds.

    You are undervaluing evolution. Minds work the same way that evolution works — with trial and error.

  21. colewd: Evolution is an incomplete explanation.

    Then so much the worse for substituting in “mind” to replace it too, as minds are just another implementation of an evolutionary process.

    colewd:
    You also are underestimating the power of minds.

    No, I’m the only one of us who seems to actually understand how minds really work. Minds don’t just “know” stuff out of nowhere. They learn by copying and storing information that has been gathered (often by others) through trial and error, and by trial and error. Human beings got to where we are now by being good at, and improving the copy-and-paste process. Parents teach their children, children are good at storing what they’re taught, we eventually, after many many generations, also learned how to use technology to aid in storing information from previous generations. Language, speech, and eventually writing.
    You learn to move, initially, by pretty much randomly flailing around your limbs(blind guessing a direction, record result, random mutation and try again) and storing information about successful moves (selection). Later when you have learned to use your limbs better you can learn by watching others (copying information and storing it). Like learning to dance, and by testing the moves yourself with minor adjustments (tiny mutations) and repetition of successful moves (selection).

    Everything you know, everything you can do, everything you can create or have ever done, you’ve learned to do by following a recipe like that, in essence. That is what minds are – learning algorithms that use an evolutionary process to solve problems. You copy, mutate, and select information. And you discard a lot of it along the way.

    colewd:
    Minds can create blind and unguided processes cannot.

    Turns out minds create only and entirely through an evolutionary process.

    colewd:
    How do you see learning in a blind and unguided process?

    See above.

    colewd:
    How does a blind and unguided process recognize that a process using combinatorial mathematics is the optimized strategy?

    Word salad.

    colewd:
    How does a blind and unguided process work through almost infinite mathematical space to find function?

    It doesn’t, and neither do minds. First of all the entire space isn’t searched before something useful is found, and second if there’s only one or very few solutions in a very large space, “minds” can’t do any better than evolution.

    That’s why you can’t just “know” the solution a large complex password, no matter how intelligent you are. If you have no information about what is likely to be a successful password, then there is no other choice but random guessing, password by password, one after another, until you hit the right one.

    When and if “minds”(and evolution) can solve problems by searching the space it’s because useful ones are frequent enough to be found by random, blind guessing, and/or because information has been copied and stored about other useful solutions that are very nearby in the space already.

    Evolution can find solutions to complex problems by first evolving solutions to simpler problems. This is actually analogous to how human beings learn more complex concepts by first learning simpler ones. Think of how you first learned to do math. The first thing you learn is to count. Then you learn to recognize the symbols that represent numbers, and you learn to add and subtract. Then you build up the complexity of the concepts you learn basically gradually, with multiplication and division, negative numbers, geometry and algebra, etc. Imagine trying to learn how to multiply fractions, or the concept of a percentage, before you’ve even even learned to count. Sounds ridiculous. But there is a path from learning to count, to learning more complex things.

    Evolution finds complex solutions from simpler solutions in a similar way. Large multi-domain proteins with multiple functions are, well, multi-domain. They are combinations of smaller, simpler domains with individual functions, which themselves are combinations of even simpler structural units with even simpler biochemical functions, like being soluble in water or it fats, or simple ligand-binding activity. Things like hydrophobicity or hydrophilicity are the simple things like counting, and ligand-binding is like recognizing symbols. Enzymatic activity is analogously a step up, like performing abstract operations like multiplying numbers.

    colewd:
    How does a blind and unguided process account for the origin of algorithmic processes that we are observing in the cell?

    See above.

    colewd:
    The design in the universe is obvious and the only known mechanism powerful enough to explain this is a mind.

    The design you see in the universe is imaginary, and based on your total lack of understanding of what mind even is. This thing you call “mind”, which appears to be a sort of miraculous knowing-without-having-to-learn, combined with the imaginary ability to will something into coming-into-being-without-a-cause, is completely imaginary and exists nowhere. A form of magic that explains nothing and is, as best we can tell, completely impossible.

    There is ZERO evidence that anything has ever been created through this “just knowing by default and wishing into existence” thing you call “intelligent design and creation by a mind”. Which has nothing to do with either intelligent design as we humans undersand and know of the process, nor with the workings of any known mind.

    colewd:
    The only real explanation you have for what we see is common descent. You contradict yourself by appealing to a highly deterministic process.

    Now you’re just making shit up.

    colewd:
    The problem you have compounds itself as what you appeal to is also an incomplete explanation.

    No u.

  22. Now you’re just making shit up.

    The fairy tale here is you think you understand how a mind really works as it can plan create and produce unique algorithms. You don’t have a clue as no one does. Consciousness is poorly understood.

    The fairy tale is evolution as a designer. There is no evidence for this. All the credibility you gained by supporting your claims in the past is gone. You are now repeating unsupported claims.

    Is trying to indoctrinate the public in evolutionary theory worth your credibility?

  23. colewd: How does a blind and unguided process recognize that a process using combinatorial mathematics is the optimized strategy?

    This, as Rumraket noted, is word salad. But rather revealing word salad, nevertheless.
    It seems rather obvious that a “blind” process cannot “recognize” anything. It is also rather obvious that it doesn’t need to recognize an optimal strategy. Blind processes arrive at optimized solutions in insanely complicated combinatorial situations all the time… it’s called thermodynamics.
    I enjoy shaking a jar of coffee beans and watching them achieve a minimum of potential energy. Any idea how insanely complicated the math is for that?
    Bill somehow thinks that navigating a complex multidimensional landscape is difficult.These critters are just rolling downhill. They don’t need to understand how complicated Bill thinks the problem is. They just roll downhill.

  24. Neil Rickert,

    You are undervaluing evolution. Minds work the same way that evolution works — with trial and error.

    I don’t think you or Rum are doing anything but spewing misleading bald assertions at this point. Universal common descent is a myth.

  25. colewd: The fairy tale here is you think you understand how a mind really works as it can plan create and produce unique algorithms.

    By learning through evolution how to program algorithms. Nobody just “knows” how to “produce unique algorithms”. You have to learn, by being taught (copying information) and by trial and error.

    colewd:
    The fairy tale is evolution as a designer. There is no evidence for this.
    All the credibility you gained by supporting your claims in the past is gone. You are now repeating unsupported claims.

    Your assertions here are so vapid I am by now convinced, that you are convinced that I am right, and that you actually understand how I have completely undermined and exposed this vacuous appeal to “mind” you’ve been doing for so long, while also having completely destroyed ID-creationism.

    Isn’t that ironic, Bill? That you’ve spent so much time blowing smoke about this “mind” thing, and it turns out at bottom “mind” is just another learning algorithm like evolution, and that “mind” can’t solve problems by doing anything other than what evolution does.

    colewd:
    Is trying to indoctrinate the public in evolutionary theory worth your credibility?

    I will take that as you conceding the point. If you disagree, you can impress me by taking a stab at just knowing with your supernatural mind abilities what my password to this forum is. Maybe if you pray on it hard it will be revealed to you.

  26. colewd: I don’t think you or Rum are doing anything but spewing misleading bald assertions at this point.

    As a mathematician, I look at a problem. Maybe I try something. Maybe I try to look at it in a different way. But that’s all trial and error — try things out to see what works.

  27. colewd:

    The fairy tale is evolution as a designer.There is no evidence for this.

    This is the sort of assertion required when one starts by presuming some magical Designer as axiomatic, and is utterly unable to question this axiom. So we’re watching Morton’s Demon in action. Evolution cannot even be conceived, much less studied or understood, since it cannot derive from the axiom (AKA Absolute Truth).

    Again with Dawkins, “no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference.” Because all this evidence is in support of something that doesn’t exist, so how can it be evidence?

  28. colewd,

    Universal common descent is a myth.

    ‘Tis not. But how did you get from combinatorics to UCD?

    I’ve asked this many times, don’t recall your answer: at what taxonomic level does the inference of common descent break down, and why? What processes take place within that portion we can agree on that cause lineage change and divergence?

  29. Allan Miller,

    I’ve asked this many times, don’t recall your answer: at what taxonomic level does the inference of common descent break down, and why?

    Hi Allan
    It breaks down when you see clear innovative differences between species. Reproduction and associated variation alone are not innovative mechanisms. Start with the prokaryotic to eukaryotic transition. Then multicellular organisms especially vertebrates. There is no mathematical model that can account for this as only a mind is known to make functional sequences. Computer programing and written language are evidence that minds can do this. We have yet to discover if cells can do this. All current evidence shows cells are too limited to account for this type of innovation. The adaptive immune system is the closest to demonstrating this type of innovation but it falls far short of explaining innovations like the spliceosome, the nuclear pore complex and the ubiquitin system. In identifying these three innovations we are still 500 million years in the past 🙂

    Population genetic mathematics assume working populations as a starting point. There is a clear reason for this as there is no fundamental mathematical model for the formation of unique features at the molecular level. This is because new features require novel sequences and other arrangements. As far as we know novel sequences are the unique product of a mind. As are the functional arrangement of different parts.

    The math tells you that the starting point for evolutionary theory is working populations. Darwins failed inference is that it is all connected. If he lived another 100 years he may have realized this.

  30. Flint,

    Again with Dawkins, “no evidence, no matter how overwhelming, no matter how all-embracing, no matter how devastatingly convincing, can ever make any difference.” Because all this evidence is in support of something that doesn’t exist, so how can it be evidence?

    Page around 50 of the blind watchmaker is where Dawkins failed IMO. The weasel model demonstrated intelligent design. To find a complex sequence by algorithmic trial and error he needed the sequence in the model.

    The irony here is that even if this algorithm existed in cells it is not clear we could reconcile common descent due to the waiting time problem. Universal common descent while at one point an interesting idea, is now a failed hypothesis.

  31. colewd:
    Flint,

    Page around 50 of the blind watchmaker is where Dawkins failed IMO.The weasel model demonstrated intelligent design.To find a complex sequence by algorithmic trial and error he needed the sequence in the model.

    The irony here is that even if this algorithm existed in cells it is not clear we could reconcile common descent due to the waiting time problem.Universal common descent while at one point an interesting idea, is now a failed hypothesis.

    Hey Bill have you intelligently designed your way to my password to this forum yet?

    How about just making up a functional protein de novo without any research, can you just “know” the amino acid sequence it would take to solve a biochemical problem I put to you? Can any mind be demonstrated to be capable of that? No. No it can’t.

    There are no magical minds that just “know” stuff. The kind of ID you are proposing has nothing to do with mind as that is actually known and understood. Magical “just knowing” combined with magical “just making stuff come into existence through sheer will” are complete fabrications. A fable. A myth.

  32. colewd:
    Flint,

    Page around 50 of the blind watchmaker is where Dawkins failed IMO.The weasel model demonstrated intelligent design.To find a complex sequence by algorithmic trial and error he needed the sequence in the model.

    I thought by now this misrepresentation had been discussed to death, but apparently you simply ignored every discussion. So once again, the weasel model’s purpose was to contrast the effectiveness of selection with lack of selection, and to show that WITH selection, results could be achieved orders of magnitude faster than WIHOUT selection (if indeed without selection any results could EVER be achieved.)

    The weasel program was not intended to model evolution AT ALL, merely to illustrate the power of selection.

    Yeah, there are those who dismiss the weasel program because the goal was programmed in from the start. These folks cannot understand that the environment defines the goals out in the real world. An incalculable number of goals is provided, and we have many millions of wildly different organisms reaching them – and that the process of both creating new goals (the environment is not static) and finding them (because searches never stop) is and always will be ongoing. That’s how evolution works. And it works because it uses selection.

    As Rumraket has been saying here, trial and error is the most intelligent way (really, the only effective way) to design. I think Rumraket takes selection as part of trial and error (keep the trials that work!) so much for granted he doesn’t even bother to mention it. Or perhaps he understands that the seeds he sows fall on ground that isn’t just infertile, it’s actively toxic!

  33. Hey bill, remember when you were using the programming language “C” as one of your examples of something with no precursors?

    Then I made you admit that in fact “B” was it’s direct ancestor. So why are you still using this as an example?

    To find a complex sequence by algorithmic trial and error he needed the sequence in the model.

    bill, that you describe weasel like this shows how massively overblown it has become in the minds of the IDCs. You actually really think this point means something significant, that some significant victory has been won here.

    It’s like a child playing with it’s own shit who makes a shape of a dog and proudly shows it’s parents.

    They will never understand.

    Thus, after months we see that while explicit latching was credibly not used in Weasel c 1986, implicit latching is a possible explanation of the showcased runs of Weasel c 1986, and that quasi-latched runs (ratcheting with occasional slips) are likely to predominate in the population of runs of the program.

    nor change their mind in the face of any evidence whatsoever.

  34. colewd:
    Allan Miller,

    Hi Allan
    It breaks down when you see clear innovative differences between species.Reproduction and associated variation alone are not innovative mechanisms.Start with the prokaryotic to eukaryotic transition.

    OK, so you’re saying it’s not there.

    Then multicellular organisms especially vertebrates.

    Or there.

    The adaptive immune system is the closest to demonstrating this type of innovation but it falls far short of explaining innovations like the spliceosome, the nuclear pore complex and the ubiquitin system. In identifying these three innovations we are still 500 million years in the past 🙂

    Or there.

    So we’ve established where you think UCD breaks down. But there must be a taxonomic level at which CD doesn’t break down. Mustn’t there? Rats and mice? Common and Spotted Sandpipers? Cichlids in Lake Victoria?

  35. Allan Miller: Awww. Stick a comma in, that would melt the hardest heart!

    Yes, Help Alan. Please explain to Allan how atheists just don’t care about such things. They are not interested if there or God’s or not, they don’t care if life is chaotic or designed. They don’t care about others religious believes, they don’t mind if intelligent design is taught in schools, because they really have no stake in the matter. It’s all fine with them. Please help to explain this to Allan. He is living this illusion like atheists care.

  36. I think Rummy’s post is the funniest here yet. Intelligence is just trial and error. I mean isn’t it obvious!

    It’s how people learn to eat. They eat dirt and cactus and rocks, and then one day they eat a carrot, and they figure out it gives them more energy than a rock. They also slam their noses into the side trees, until one day they learn, it doesn’t help them to smell better.

    And who hasn’t learned to not fly by jumping out trees? I actually learned to build a computer by first building a mountain of dog crap. What insight!

    Don’t think this incredible theory of intelligence has gotten past Alan. It’s how he learned the niche!

  37. Dr. Wilder Penfield was a neurosurgeon who put the method of trial and error to very good use.

    But due to the nature of his work he had to be very careful in ensuring that the trial and error was very carefully directed and thought out before performing surgery on the brain. He was a pioneer in mapping several regions of the brain.

    In one experiment he was able to get a patients hand to rise by stimulating one part of the brain. He asked the patient to raise his hand and then lower it, which the patient did. Penfield then stimulated one part of the brain and the hand raised up once more. He asked the patient, “did you move your hand?”, to which the patient replied, “No, you did”.

    If we think about what had happened here we can see that in both cases the brain was activated to move the hand. In the first instance it was instigated by Dr. Penfield and in the second though the will of the patient. The brain was an essential link in the chain of events but it was not the initiator.

    In his book The Mystery of the Mind : A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain there is a forward by Charles W. Hendel, Professor of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics, Emeritus, Yale University Here Hendel quotes himself making a suggestion to Penfield:

    You become more and more convinced that the mind is something in its own right, that it did things with the mechanisms at hand in its own way, that it had an ‘energy’ of its own. You offer only suggestions. You discuss fairly the questions however that arise if they are taken as hypotheses. You end aligning yourself with the prophets and poets, and the philosophers who have emphasized the spiritual element in man…

    that you make it plainer to the reader that this piece of writing gives the autobiographical sequence of your development. Yours is a story of ‘how I came to take seriously, even to believe, that the consciousness of man, the mind, is something not to be reduced to brain-mechanism.

    Wilder was a practical man of science who began by believing that the mind was a product of the brain but during forty years of experience of working on the brain came to believe that this could not be the case.

  38. CharlieM: Wilder was a practical man of science who began by believing that the mind was a product of the brain but during forty years of experience of working on the brain came to believe that this could not be the case.

    And yet the quoted anecdote does not support any such inference. At most it would indicate that the seat of “the will” to move the hand is not (or at least not exclusively located) in the part of the brain that controls the hand, and could just as well be either localized elsewhere, or more widely distributed.

    And of course, conscious experience, the fact of having a first-person experience of your body acting involuntarily, is not necessarily (nor in any way obviously) identical with the intent(volition) to do something, nor is the experience of having intent necessarily identical with the explanatory or originating cause of a physical action of the body. Experiencing intent, or volition, to do something, could be an epiphenomenon. Something that comes along with the physical cause your body acting a certain way.

    For a contrary point of view you can also find examples from the medical literature where people’s brains were physically or chemically stimulated in a way that caused their body to react, and the patients would provide post-facto justifications for acting that way(making up the intent to do so) despite the physical cause originating outside of themselves.

  39. Rumraket,

    So there have been movements in the area of matter designated Rumraket prompted by (I assume) images entering the eyes. These movements resulted in a reply appearing on my screen. Where does the thinking and decision making of Rumraket fit into all of this material activity? The brain receives all these inputs. Where is all this incoming data combined into a meaningful whole? Is Rumraket just the incidental froth of matter in motion?

  40. CharlieM: Is Rumraket just the incidental froth of matter in motion?

    CharlieM can’t see the forest for the trees.

    From here, it is looking more and more as if CharlieM is incidental froth.

  41. Phoodoo,

    There’s a lot wrong with your OP, and someone probably told you already (sorry folks, I just saw this, hopefully I’m not repeating everything you said).

    1. Atheism is not the claim that everything formed randomly. It’s just being unconvinced that there’s gods. Any gods, not just yours.

    2. Scientists, not all of them atheists, even if that prevails, do not claim that everything formed from mere randomness. If that were so, we would not be studying all kinds of predictable, often quite directional, or, for the word godists love: deterministic, and everything in between. Scientists describe phenomena in many terms, often in between random and deterministic, semirandom, etc.

    3. For atheists who care about how things work, and with scientific inclinations, the explanations are not “it’s all random”, but, rather, a result of a combination the way nature words, whether it’s somewhat random, or completely deterministic doesn’t matter. It’s about how nature works, not about making it all about mere randomness.

    4. That movements of objects that interact by the non-random properties of magnetism, given some shapes, etc, when shaken and left to self-distribute can have interesting results doesn’t “prove” atheism. It just proves that combinations of random and non-random phenomena can explain the formation of some complex structures with interesting properties. That no gods are involved, or at least not detected, in the experiments, doesn’t prove atheism. It juts shows interesting phenomena leading to some interesting conclusions about how complex structures can arise. That’s all.

    I’m not an atheist because nature works the way it works, or because natural phenomena are more than enough for us to deal with, while attempting to get explanations about our immediate surroundings, all the way to the universe. I’m not an atheist because I know how everything works. I certainly don’t know how everything works. Far from it.

    I’m an atheist because all gods I’ve heard about so far don’t make sense. They look a lot like fantasies, and not good ones. Knowledge that nature works in somewhat predictable ways, sometimes not so much, is a bonus for my curious mind, but not a necessary precondition for my disbelief.

    Gods, even back when I believed they existed, were a disappointment in terms of “explanation.” “God did it” wasn’t a happy ending. I gained no understanding of anything by believing that. I prefer ignorance to that false sense of “knowledge.” But, to each their own. I guess you love thinking that some magical being did it. Good for you.

  42. Entropy: 1. Atheism is not the claim that everything formed randomly. It’s just being unconvinced that there’s gods. Any gods, not just yours.

    I don’t know if this formulation of atheism predates Dawkins’s fatuous “one god further” remark, but it’s very badly mistaken. To reject the God of Scripture as philosophically elaborated in Abrahamic theologies is nothing at all like rejecting myths about Thor, Apollo, Ganesha, or Quetzalcoatl.

    This is because Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theology have been shaped by centuries of engagement with the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle, and they take as their point of departure the critique of myth that began with Xenophanes and Parmenides.

    This doesn’t matter to a discussion about Intelligent Design, since ID can’t take us any further than a belief in a Demiurge, but I thought it worth a tangential remark.

  43. Kantian Naturalist: I don’t know if this formulation of atheism predates Dawkins’s fatuous “one god further” remark, but it’s very badly mistaken. To reject the God of Scripture as philosophically elaborated in Abrahamic theologies is nothing at all like rejecting myths about Thor, Apollo, Ganesha, or Quetzalcoatl.

    Forgive the ignorance of those who haven’t spent their lives immersed in your specialty. My reading has been that there is considerable “scripture” and philosophical underpinning for each of those gods you mention. Granted, that underpinning does not rest on or result from the same Greek traditions propounded by the worthies you mentioned, but why doesn’t it count?

    Anyway, my attitude towards any and all of these gods exactly mirrors entropy’s. I am not convinced there are any gods, Abrahamic or otherwise. Labeling this lack of conviction as “very badly mistaken” because that’s not what Greek philosophers wrote about, is at least arrogant. Western philosophical traditions have nothing to do with whether there are any gods.

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