A (repeated) challenge to Upright Biped

Upright Biped,

Before fleeing the discussion in July, you spent months here at TSZ discussing your “Semiotic Theory of ID”. During that time we all struggled with your vague prose, and you were repeatedly asked to clarify your argument and explain its connection to ID. I even summarized your argument no less than three times (!) and asked you to either confirm that my summary was accurate or to amend it accordingly. You failed to do so, and you also repeatedly refused to answer relevant, straightforward questions from other commenters here.

Here is my most recent attempt at a summary of your argument, from July 22nd:

X1. All irreducibly complex systems are designed.
X2. All semiotic systems are irreducibly complex.
X3. Therefore, all semiotic systems are designed.

Y1. A system involving representation(s) and protocol(s) is a semiotic system.
Y2. Protein synthesis involves a representation and a protocol.
Y3. Therefore, protein synthesis is a semiotic system.

Z1. All semiotic systems are designed (by X3).
Z2. Protein synthesis is a semiotic system (by Y3).
Z3. Therefore, the protein synthesis system is designed.

If you think this is an accurate summary, then tell us. If you don’t, then please make corrections while maintaining the explicit and concise format of the summary.

I reiterate the challenge, with special emphasis on the bolded part above. Note that since you claim that your argument is an argument for ID, it must lead to conclusion Z3 or something similar:

Z3. Therefore, the protein synthesis system is designed.

If it does not, then it fails as an argument for ID.

Also worth repeating are some observations I made earlier regarding your evasions:

Upright doesn’t realize how obvious his predicament is to the rest of us.

Suppose he had a strong argument (or at least thought that he did). Then he would have every reason to make his position clear and to answer questions forthrightly, secure in the knowledge that his argument would stand up to scrutiny and criticism. On the other hand, he would have no reason to evade or obfuscate, as doing so would only create the impression that his position was weak.

Now suppose that his argument is weak, and that Upright knows this. Clarifying his position in this case would be disastrous, as it would lay bare the flaws in his argument and render it vulnerable to decisive refutation. Evasion looks weak, but at least it allows him to pretend that his argument is strong and that the only problem is that people have failed to understand it properly.

So far Upright’s behavior matches the second scenario perfectly. We thus have every reason to believe that Upright’s argument is weak and that he knows it.

You can choose to evade and obfuscate, Upright, but be advised that we know exactly why you do it.

I invite you to prove me wrong. Either confirm that my summary above is correct, or amend it while maintaining its explicit and concise format so that it accurately represents your argument.

Clarify or evade. It’s your choice.

340 thoughts on “A (repeated) challenge to Upright Biped

  1. I noticed over on UD that UBP thinks he understands Howard H. Pattee’s article to which Reciprocating Bill linked.

    Allan Miller’s reference to Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall is hilariously apt in characterizing UBP. UBP understands none of it; none of the concepts, nor their history nor their context. UBP also carefully quote-mined that article to make it seem what it is not.

    Even funnier, Pattee is referencing many events and thought processes with which I am very familiar. If you read through that article, you will also note Pattee’s comments on the misconceptions about entropy and the second law. Many of these events were taking place during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when many of the confusions promulgated by the “scientific creationists” were becoming standard memes in the public mind. As Pattee notes, those misconceptions don’t work; and we have pointed this out many, many times on the threads here. The “scientific” creationists got it all wrong, and most of us in the physics community knew this but were fighting a well-organized political blitzkrieg that was affecting students and newly minted scientists of the time.

    During this time, the physics community was coming to grips with the complexities of living systems; and the subfields of biophysics and biochemistry were just starting to develop the tools to start grappling with these complexities. The discovery of the structure of DNA occurred during this time. Many of the tools being used today were being invented and developed by my generation.

    Much has happened since that time; and much of Pattee’s speculations about newer forms of language to express the complexities of living organisms have been superseded and refined. Semiotic language is not being used in the way UBP apparently thinks it is being used; although UPB’s ability to communicate is so primitive that nobody seems to be able to get him to clarify anything he asserts. Physicists and chemists have long been aware of the extremely rapid emergence of phenomena and properties in increasingly complex systems. I have mentioned that repeatedly here. Even the simplest compounds, such as sodium chloride, illustrate the point dramatically. We are all intimately familiar with the concept of emergent phenomena and soft-matter systems operating in narrow energy windows. UBP comprehends none of this.

    The chutzpa and arrogant condescension that comes out of the ID/creationist camp continues. UBP went so far as to scold people here for being too stupid to understand the “deep thoughts” he was presenting. He took umbrage at the questions about where “semiotics” takes over from physics and chemistry. He singled out protein synthesis as the result of the “semiotic theory of ID” but rejected nucleosynthesis in stars. And he did it angrily and with condescending chutzpa.

    UBP has no clue what he is talking about; and he has no clue what Pattee is talking about. Unfortunately for UBP, I know exactly what Pattee is talking about. All this was occurring during my career. UBP may like to think people from my generation are stupid nobodies; but he is still a feral child if he thinks ancient history was 10 years ago. There has been far more going on in science than he can possibly imagine.

  2. Joe: “The entire population needs evos to start providing positive evidence for their position but that ain’t happening. “

    How can you possibly say that when I’ve just asked you for positive evidence for *your* position and you’ve refused to give it?

    If I ask kairosfocus to give me a mechanism for “electronic oscillation”, he could do it, but I’m pretty sure he would NOT say, “Intelligent agency” and stop there and you can bet that no “onlooker” would be impressed if he did NOT provide a mechanism.

    You haven’t provided a mechanism, instead what you’ve essentially said is “There’s A Guy Who Can”.

    That’s not a scientific answer and it shows any readers that ID is not a scientific position to hold.

     

     

  3. Joe: “Obvioulsy you don’t know what a mechanism is and your position cannot provide anything beyond bald assertion for a mechanism. “

    Joe, if we see a construction worker digging a hole and I ask you what “mechanism” he is using to dig that hole, would you answer ” a shovel” or “Bob”?

  4. Upright Biped on the Pod Kopište/Pod Mrčaru lizards:

    Jerad, are you familiar with the Pod Kopiste lizards transported to Pod Mrcaru in 1971?

    After just a few generations on the island, the Pod Mrcaru lizards had developed cecal vales in their guts to help them digest nutrients from their new plant-laden diets, as well as changing their jaw structures, and social behaviors.

    Did they just get lucky?

    They were tested after 36 years. 100% genetic identity.

    He’s absolutely serious, folks. Seriously.

  5. To be fair, the Science Daily write-up says they are genetically identical. It also attributes the change in morphology to the change in diet.

    There’s a touch of discussion at the GrrlScientist blog. Needless to say, the more detail, the less support for UPB’s statement.

    But you already knew that.

  6. A single Google search would have disabused him of the “100% genetic identity” notion.  

    But why Google?  He already had the answer he wanted. 

  7. Upright:

    Actually I read R0b’s article over there a few days ago and he repeatedly used the word “arbitrary”. As crazy as it sounds, I didn’t see anyone asking what the heck he meant by “arbitrary”.

    Upright,

    That’s because R0b uses standard terms in the standard way, doesn’t try to redefine them mid-argument (cf ‘entailment’), and writes with clarity. We don’t have to ask him what he means. You won’t see him tossing this kind of word salad:

    If there is now an arrangement of matter which contains a representation of form as a consequence of its own material arrangement, then that arrangement must be necessarily arbitrary to the thing it represents. In other words, if one thing is to represent another thing within a system, then it must be separate from the thing it represents. And if it is separate from it, then it cannot be anything but materially arbitrary to it (i.e. they cannot be the same thing).

    I think I actually know what you intend by ‘arbitrary’, and ironically, it’s a standard meaning of the word. But I figured it out not from your opaque prose, but by reasoning backward from the conclusion I knew you were trying to reach. I certainly don’t blame onlooker or anyone else who can’t decode your gibberish, particularly given your habit of using words in strange and nonstandard ways.

    Example:

    It is not logically possible to transfer information (the form of a thing; a measured aspect, quality, or preference) in a material universe without using a representation instantiated in matter.

    On what English-speaking planet is ‘information’ defined as ‘the form of a thing’? A ‘preference’?

  8. UB:

    Reciprocating Bill has informed me that he has a question he wishes for me to answer. He wants to know ‘what class of thing’ I think can establish a semiotic state… *snip empty metacomments* … However I don’t want my answer to interfere with Onlooker’s ability to articulate the advertised flaw within the argument.

    So as soon as he gets around to it, or expresses his withdrawal, I’ll be happy to answer.

    Come out, come out, wherever you are.

  9. I was going to comment on that (the whole quote is UB, just to be clear).

    Of course, I wouldn’t be going for a cheap ‘gotcha’ by noting that there are 20 aaRSs.

    But … all aaRSs do is activate an amino acid using ATP, and attach it to the terminal adenine of a tRNA. That’s hardly a complete ‘protocol’. It is, however, sufficient to provide for uncoded protein synthesis – there does not need to be an anticodon in order for a ribosome to attach a tRNA’s acid to a peptide chain. Therefore an aaRS analogue (not, for obvious reasons, a ‘modern aaRS’) could serve as a complete ‘protocol’ for primitive, nonspecific, monotonous peptide bond formation.

    Nowadays, there is a lot more to it, and if UB is so doggedly insisting that the codon ‘represents’ the amino acid, it seems odd to say the physical chain DNA – mRNA – anticodon – acceptor stem – acid is not part of the ‘protocol’; only aaRS is.

  10. At UD, Upright blurts out another hollow declaration of victory.

    What’s interesting is that he also presents a summary of his argument that is surprisingly short and clear, by Upright Biped standards:

    The transfer of recorded information requires an irreducible core of two arrangements of matter; one which evokes an effect within a system by virtue of its arrangement (which is materially abitrary to the effect it evokes), and a second arrangement which must materially establish the otherwise non-existent relationship between the first arrangement and its effect.

    This observed reality indicates that the transfer of biological information is not only the oldest and most prodigious form of irreducible complexity on Earth, but is the very thing required for Darwinian evolution to even exist.

    He is still afraid of making an outright claim of design, but the implication is clear. He thinks:

    1. Evolution requires a mechanism for the transfer of recorded information.

    2. The transfer of recorded information depends in all cases on an irreducibly complex core.

    3. The core cannot be provided by evolution, because evolution cannot even begin unless the core is already present.

    4. The core cannot be provided by ‘chance and necessity’, because it is too complex.

    5. Therefore, the Designer did it.

    In reality, evolution can begin as soon as there is heritable variation with differential reproductive success. Molecules that self-replicate with imperfect fidelity fit the bill.

    Upright is not foolish enough to claim that self-replicating molecules are irreducibly complex, as far as I know. His only out, then, is to claim that self-replicating molecules can’t evolve because they don’t “transfer recorded information.”

    That is absurd for two reasons.

    First, it’s irrelevant whether Upright thinks that self-replicating molecules “transfer recorded information.” All that matters is that they satisfy the prerequisites of evolution: replication with heritable variation and differential reproductive success.

    Second, it’s silly to claim that self-replicating molecules cannot transfer recorded information, as I explained in an earlier comment:

    dr who,

    I’ve missed the chemistry that says that a self-replicating molecule cannot replicate with variations which would be subject to Darwinian selection (he [Upright] excludes such molecules from his definition of containing recorded information, on the basis that they represent themselves rather than something else).

    Is that what he’s claiming? If that’s Upright’s basis for excluding self-replicating molecules, then he’s screwed up yet again.

    Case 1: Suppose I encode a message into a molecule M0 and pass it to someone else who “reads” out the message from the molecule. Surely Upright would agree that “recorded information” has been transferred in the process, and that the information was contained in the molecule M0.

    Case 2: Now suppose I encode another message into a self-replicating molecule S0. I place S0 into a solution where it creates millions of copies of itself (S1, S2, … Sn). I then select one of the molecules at random (call it Sz) and send it to my partner, who reads out the message. Has “recorded information” been transferred in the process? Obviously, the answer is yes, and the information was contained in Sz.

    Yet if Upright claims that self-replicating molecules are truly incapable of “transferring recorded information” when they replicate, then his answer would have to be “it depends”. If the recipient happened to pick and decode the original molecule S0, then Upright would have to say that yes, recorded information was transferred. Why? Because this scenario is identical to Case 1: a message was encoded in a single molecule and read out from the same molecule. But if the message were read out from some other molecule Sz, with z not equal to 0, then he would have to answer that no, recorded information was not transferred, since self-replicating molecules don’t transfer “recorded information” when they replicate. The information was “locked” in S0 and could not be transferred by the process of replication.

    This is clearly absurd. The recipient obtains the same message regardless of which molecule is chosen. The information is present in all of the copies, which means that it was transferred by the process of self-replication.

  11. This observed reality indicates that the transfer of biological information is not only the oldest and most prodigious form of irreducible complexity on Earth, but is the very thing required for Darwinian evolution to even exist.

    Nope. OK, I’ll have another read. Nope; still bollocks. It is a core component of all descendants of LUCA. That’s as far back as you can take it. All surviving lineages have it. To declare (despite, as KF would say, repeated ‘correction’) that protein is essential for its own manufacture, and for replication, is simply unproven. It is indeed essential for modern life. Declaring it therefore essential for ANY life is an inference too far. The whole argument is akin to declaring that (if you knew nothing of the history of computers) computers are absolutely essential for making computers, because all modern computers involve an element of CAD and computer-controlled manufacturing process. (COMPUTERS ARE DESIGNED! GOTCHA!!!!).

    Ribosomes can perform peptide bond synthesis without either mRNA or the vast bulk of the tRNA molecule. aaRSs are ‘young’ proteins on phylogenetic analysis. Try (as an intellectual exercise that would surely be more satisfying than crowing self-declared ‘victories’ over random strangers on the Internet) working out how a core process making non-catalytic monotonous peptides could become a versatile ‘coded’ system, incorporating those facts. If that is beyond your grasp of the chemistry and biology of protein and nucleic acid … what does your ‘victory’ actually mean? Are you sure you know enough to correct the ‘experts’ (not even punters like me; people actually involved in the field)? You know enough to convince the UD crowd – but then, even Joe knows enough to do that.

  12. Mung: “2 + 2 = 4. Therefore, two plus two causes four. “

    I don’t know where Mung is going with this but it is a very bad analogy for “representation” and “invoking an effect”, whether for or against Upright BiPed’s “theory Of Semiotic Design”.

    Upright BiPed’s terms are used in a “model” he is trying to describe, but A+B=C is purely mathematical and does not describe an “action” that has occurred, it describes a relationship.

     

     

  13. Mung,

    Meyer:: “First, it creates a dilemma for scenarios…..

    Mung, let’s read this together.

    To paraphrase, “If someone comes up with a scenario which incorporates “it”, that scenario will have a dilemma to contend with”.

    It sounds like Meyer is “predicting” that a scenario which needs to address “it”, will have to face a dilemma.

    At this point we don’t need to know any specifics other than a dilemma will have to be faced.

     

  14. Upright BiPed: “A representation must operate in a “specific context” (i.e. in a specific system) in order to result in its effect. “

    Then why, if you meant “specific system”, did you say “specific context” instead.

    How long have you known this is what you meant, despite the fact the term doesn’t indicate that?

    In a “specific context” might be, at a certain temperature, when physically adjacent to some chemical, in a vacuum, under high pressure, etc., but still in the system under discussion.

    Why would anyone think you are describing “semiotic codes” or “representations” that aren’t valid for the very system you’re describing?

     

  15. UB acknowledges questions, but simply cannot bring himself to give answers. Another week passes.

    UB:

    Reciprocating Bill has informed me that he has a question he wishes for me to answer. He wants to know ‘what class of thing’ I think can establish a semiotic state.

    Actually, here’s what Bill wants to know:

    Upright Biped, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, assert is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Also, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, claim cannot create the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Given your emphasis upon “material observations,” provide empirical justification of those assertions in light of your semiotic theory.

    Lastly, if the entire output of your semiotic theory is, “it will therefore require a mechanism capable of establishing a semiotic state,” yet semiotic theory is silent on mechanism/causation – what good is it? 

  16. Upright Biped seems to be continuing with the “Ancient Mariner” approach to wedding guests Jerad and Kantian Naturalist.

    @ Upright Biped

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to publish a paper somewhere (Evolution News or Biocomplexity for example) than just sneaking up on random passing strangers at Uncommon descent?

    @ Jerad and Kantian Naturalist

    Might be worth having a look over threads at this site for the saga of UB, semiosis, why it has any relevance to biochemistry, and whether a theory of “Intelligent Design” may eventually emerge before getting in too deep!

    Link

  17. Keiths: He [Upright Biped] is still afraid of making an outright claim of design, but the implication is clear. He thinks:

    1. Evolution requires a mechanism for the transfer of recorded information.

    2. The transfer of recorded information depends in all cases on an irreducibly complex core.

    3. The core cannot be provided by evolution, because evolution cannot even begin unless the core is already present.

    4. The core cannot be provided by ‘chance and necessity’, because it is too complex.

    5. Therefore, the Designer did it.

    In reality, evolution can begin as soon as there is heritable variation with differential reproductive success. Molecules that self-replicate with imperfect fidelity fit the bill.

    Upright is not foolish enough to claim that self-replicating molecules are irreducibly complex, as far as I know. His only out, then, is to claim that self-replicating molecules can’t evolve because they don’t “transfer recorded information.”

    That is absurd for two reasons.

    First, it’s irrelevant whether Upright thinks that self-replicating molecules “transfer recorded information.” All that matters is that they satisfy the prerequisites of evolution: replication with heritable variation and differential reproductive success.

    Second, it’s silly to claim that self-replicating molecules cannot transfer recorded information, as I explained in an earlier comment:

    dr who,

    I’ve missed the chemistry that says that a self-replicating molecule cannot replicate with variations which would be subject to Darwinian selection (he [Upright] excludes such molecules from his definition of containing recorded information, on the basis that they represent themselves rather than something else).

    Is that what he’s claiming? If that’s Upright’s basis for excluding self-replicating molecules, then he’s screwed up yet again.

    Case 1: Suppose I encode a message into a molecule M0 and pass it to someone else who “reads” out the message from the molecule. Surely Upright would agree that “recorded information” has been transferred in the process, and that the information was contained in the molecule M0.

    Case 2: Now suppose I encode another message into a self-replicating molecule S0. I place S0 into a solution where it creates millions of copies of itself (S1, S2, … Sn). I then select one of the molecules at random (call it Sz) and send it to my partner, who reads out the message. Has “recorded information” been transferred in the process? Obviously, the answer is yes, and the information was contained in Sz.

    Yet if Upright claims that self-replicating molecules are truly incapable of “transferring recorded information” when they replicate, then his answer would have to be “it depends”. If the recipient happened to pick and decode the original molecule S0, then Upright would have to say that yes, recorded information was transferred. Why? Because this scenario is identical to Case 1: a message was encoded in a single molecule and read out from the same molecule. But if the message were read out from some other molecule Sz, with z not equal to 0, then he would have to answer that no, recorded information was not transferred, since self-replicating molecules don’t transfer “recorded information” when they replicate. The information was “locked” in S0 and could not be transferred by the process of replication.

    This is clearly absurd. The recipient obtains the same message regardless of which molecule is chosen. The information is present in all of the copies, which means that it was transferred by the process of self-replication.

    I’ve quoted Keiths’ whole post here because it’s spot on. Not only does UB not have a “Semiotic theory of I.D.”, he’s plain wrong in his claims. This is why I asked him about autocatalysts way back in my first post on the original thread. We can take his definition of recorded information, with its arbitrary (good word :)) exclusion of autocatalytic molecules, and call it “UB recorded information” (UBRI). His claim that Darwinian evolution cannot take place without UBRI is not only unsupported, it’s demonstrably false. Back in the 1990s, autocatalyctic molecules were discovered which replicated with variations which in turn self-replicated. These are certainly not “irreducibly complex”, and they would certainly be subject to natural selection.

    It’s also worth noting that there’s no reason why any chemical “semiotic systems”, or systems involving UBRI should be described as irreducibly complex either.

  18. Mung, UprightBiPed, “

    onlooker: Arbitrary: In one configuration of many possible configurations.

    Mung: FAIL

    What is wrong with this definition?

    1) Any code can only be one code at a time.

    2) The code can not be a code that is not possible in the system it resides in.

     

     

  19. Mung,

    Formalisms are governed by arbitrarily written rules, not by inescapable physicodynamic laws. The word “arbitrary” is often confused with “random.” In a cybernetic context, arbitrary refers to choice contingency in the sense that no selection is constrained by cause-and-effect determinism. Neither is it forced by external formal controls. The choice at any decision node is uncoerced by necessity. But it is not just contingent (could occur in multiple ways despite the orderliness described by the laws of physics).

    David L. Abel

    gpuccio I think brought up that context is important.

    In this case we have a definition of “arbitrary” that only applies in a conceptual or virtual environment.

    In practice, only “possible” values for your specific context are allowed and this changes when you change context.

    Imagine a byte of data that is about to processed has the value “0xFE”.

    For most instructions that’s not a problem but what if the instruction is expecting a packed BCD byte?

    From the point of view of the RAM, any value that fits in 8 bits is acceptable, but the OP code is expecting only a subset of those values that can be expressed as BCD.

    We can’t use two different definitions of arbitrary, so we must select one that accepts constraints imposed on us by “context”.

    If you think context does not apply, argue with gpuccio.

     

     

     

  20. Mung,

    No laws of physics are violated in the programming of configurable switches. Yet the effects of the particular functional settings of these configurable switches cannot be reduced to laws and constraints.

    – David L. Able

    In a cybernetic context, arbitrary refers to choice contingency in the sense that no selection is constrained by cause-and-effect determinism.

    – David L. Able

    He specifically refers to “cybernetic context” here.

    Abel understands “context” but then tries to assert this holds in a “non-cybernetic context”, where the laws of physics have to be accomodated.

     

  21. Upright BiPed: ““The relationship between the representation and its material effect is context specific; not reducible to physical law (regardless of any mechanism proposed as the origin of the system)”.

    How is this a definition of arbitrary?

    Try this something like this:

    arbitrary:

    1) not mandated

    2) where X can assume any value in the set Y

    Something like the above that is clear and unambiguous.

    If you define terms simply, people will be able to follow your argument, even agree with some parts of it but also criticize it effectively.

    This is one of the issues our side has with yours and that is terminology.

    Be clear please.

     

     

  22. Upright BiPed: “1.  A representation is an arrangement of matter which evokes an effect within a system (e.g. written text, spoken words, pheromones, animal gestures, codes, sensory input, intracellular messengers, nucleotide sequences, etc, etc). “

    I and others would like to debate your position but it is difficult with descriptions like this.

    Try this:

    A “physical code” is an arrangement of matter which evokes an effect within a system.

    If you instead use “representation”, then your term is unclear when it comes to “passive” representations like a portrait, which is not seen as something that “evokes an effect within a system”.

  23. Upright Biped fled these questions months ago:

    Upright Biped, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, assert is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Also, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, claim cannot create the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Given your emphasis upon “material observations,” provide empirical justification of those assertions in light of your semiotic theory.

    Lastly, if the entire output of your semiotic theory is, “it will therefore require a mechanism capable of establishing a semiotic state,” yet semiotic theory is silent on mechanism/causation – what good is it

    He also declined to say what Semiotic theory has to do with intelligent design.

    But he has tiptoed up to the question of causality at UD:

    The simple fact remains that we have material evidence that points to a material event in the deep past (the onset of recorded information at the origin of life) and that event dictates the sufficient and necessary condition of recorded information, which intractably infers the act of an agent.

    UB, what in the tangled web you weave (semiotic theory) requires, hypothesizes, entails, or even alludes to the notion that the transfer of recorded information/a semiotic state, as you describe/define it, has agency among its necessary and sufficient conditions?

    So far as I can determine, semiotic theory as you have described it here and elsewhere is silent on the question of causality.

     And why do you infer, when you ought to imply?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/education/the-tsz-and-jerad-theread-iii-900-and-almost-800-comments-in-needing-a-new-thread/#comment-437658

  24. Reciprocating Bill:

    And why do you infer, when you ought to imply?

    Probably for the same reason he does so “intractably”. Let’s take up a collection and send him to writing school.

    But only after he answers your questions and responds to the rebuttals that Allan and I posted at the beginning of the month.

  25. Upright Biped:

    Gregory,

    I am not the one forced to jump from one subject to another while I ignore material evidence. Nor, when speaking of you, am I forced to invent the basis of my comments. At least you have the good sense not to take on the evidence on its front. If you ever feel otherwise, I am right here.

    Upright, if you ever decide to stop running away from criticism of your “semiotic theory”, we are right here.

    Questions for you to answer

    Rebuttals of your argument

  26. Mung:

    I love the gist of Upright BiPed’s argument though.

    He’s talking about material facts. And logic.

    If you are going to transfer information in a material system certain things must be true.

    Upright’s claim is false.

    Darwinism presupposes that system and therefore cannot explain it. The Darwinists have no answer. None.

    Actually we do, but Upright is afraid to confront it.

  27. If you are going to transfer information in a material system certain things must be true.

    I’d like to see an example of information transfer in a non-material system, or from it to a material one. This is the apparent solution to the perceived problem of the origin of ‘material semiosis’.

    Darwinism presupposes that system and therefore cannot explain it. The Darwinists have no answer. None.

    ‘Darwinism’ is not in the business of explaining it. Evolutionary theory is about explaining how diversity and change arises from it (and by “it”, I mean a replicating system, not protein translation). ID presupposes the existence of a designer and therefore cannot explain it. Nor anything else about its interaction with matter and its ability to transfer information and ‘record’ it somewhere (presumably, it has a memory?).

    keith: Upright is afraid to confront it.

    I don’t think UBP is so much afraid, as genuinely mystified as to why we don’t find his logic as watertight as he does. Or perhaps, simply dismissive of objections as emerging from our ‘a priori committment to materialism’. Which is a feeble defence of an argument based on ‘material facts and logic’.

  28. Upright BiPed: “In comment #899 I posted a dozen or so examples from the 2,370,000 instances of the word “arbitrary” being used in the scholarly papers searchable within the Google Scholar database. “

    The problem started with your use of the term “materially arbitrary” which suggests “arbitrary” is being used in a specific context that implies a different meaning that simply using the word “arbitrary”, would convey on its own.

    As an example, everyone knows what the word passive means , but my use of it in the next sentence should be confusing to any rational person that reads it.

    The suspect was behaving in a very “aggressively passive” manner.

    Do you think my meaning of the term “passive” is shared by everyone else?

    When you use the term “materially arbitrary”, you are begging the reader to ask for clarification.

    Instead of millions of examples, just state what “you” mean when “you” use the word.

    Instead of hundreds of comments where you don’t define the term, you could have written just one that did.

     

     

  29. Upright BiPed: ” Mung, the truly astonishing thing is that for the illustrious members of the peanut gallery at TSZ, this silly front put up by Onlooker actually passes for a valid engagement of the argument.

    Wallowing in “arbitrary” is their sufficient response to material evidence.”

    No UPB, what is astonishing that you have again typed more words than you would have had to type to simply define a term you are using! 🙂

    Do you actually have material evidence of the designer putting together a semiotic code and inserting it into a living cell?

    Show everybody how that is done.

  30. Biped:

    Mung, the truly astonishing thing is that for the illustrious members of the peanut gallery at TSZ, this silly front put up by Onlooker actually passes for a valid engagement of the argument.

    No, Biped, what is astonishing is that you remain in hiding from the following, posed to you at TSZ months ago, yet make statements like the above.

    Upright Biped, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, assert is required to create (result in, cause) the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Also, please tell us what class of mechanisms you, or semiotic theory, claim cannot create the entailments/the TRI/a semiotic state.

    Given your emphasis upon “material observations,” provide empirical justification of those assertions in light of your semiotic theory.

    Lastly, if the entire output of your semiotic theory is, “it will therefore require a mechanism capable of establishing a semiotic state,” yet semiotic theory is silent on mechanism/causation – what good is it? 

    If those are too much for you, try taking up the actual (and obvious) intent of keiths restatement of your argument, which is an invitation for you to state your argument equally concisely. 

     

  31. “There is no flaw in my logic”.

    “Yes there is: this bit here.”.

    “That is not a flaw in my logic”.

    “Well, there’s also this … ”

    “That is not a flaw in my logic either. You still haven’t refuted me. Material observations confirm that everything currently alive uses translational protein synthesis, therefore protein synthesis in the modern manner is essential to life. There is no conceivable defect in that reasoning. Material observations also confirm that all recorded information can only be recorded in matter and transferred by systems put in place by intentional designers. No, I don’t know if they exist in a material substrate themselves, nor how they remember stuff and interact with matter. Why do you ask?…”.

    I’d be a little more impressed – though still not convinced – if he was endorsed by someone who knows a bit about biochemistry. If only there was such an individual on the ID side … a professor of biochemistry … somewhere …

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