Betting on the Weasel

… with Mung.   In a recent comment Mung asserted that

If Darwinists had to put up their hard earned money they would soon go broke and Darwinism would be long dead. I have a standing $10,000 challenge here at TSZ that no one has ever taken me up on.

Now, I don’t have $10,000 to bet on anything, but it is worth exploring what bet Mung was making. Perhaps a bet of a lower amount could be negotiated, so it is worth trying to figure out what the issue was.

Mung’s original challenge will be found here.  It was in a thread in which I had proposed a bet of $100 that a Weasel program would do much better than random sampling.  When people there started talking about whether enough money could be found to take Mung up on the bet, they assumed that it was a simple raising of the stake for my bet.  But Mung said here:

You want to wager over something that was never in dispute?

Why not offer a meaningful wager?

So apparently Mung was offering a bet on something else.

I think I have a little insight on what was the “meaningful wager”, or at least on what issue.  It would lead us to a rather extraordinary bet.  Let me explain below the fold …

Mung accepted that Weasel programs reach their goal far faster than random sampling.  However Mung also said (here) that

Weasel programs perform better than blind search because they are guided. I didn’t think the performance was in dispute, nor why the performance was better.

and elsewhere characterized Weasels as succeeding because of “intelligence” as opposed to ignorance.

So let’s imagine what might happen if we took Mung up on the $10,000 bet.  We would bet that the Weasel would succeed, because of cumulative selection.  Mung would bet that (because of “intelligence” or being “guided”) the Weasel would succeed.  The stake would be held by a house of some sort, which would not take a commission.

The Weasel would be run.  It would succeed.  So the house would declare that we had all won.  The stake would be given to the bettors, in proportion to their bets.  But alas, no one actually bet against the Weasel.  So the winnings would be zero.  Everyone, Mung and the rest of us, would get their stake back, and that’s all.

To bet against Mung, we have to come up with some event that distinguishes cumulative selection from “intelligence” (or being “guided”).  That seems to be the issue on which Mung was offering a $10,000 bet, and declaring (here) us all to be “pretender[s]” because we would not put up or shut up.

So there it is.  We’re all betting on the same side, and no one will win or lose a penny.  Unless Mung can come up with some test that distinguished “intelligence” or being “guided” from cumulative selection.

Now I am possibly misunderstanding what the bet actually would be.  I hope that Mung will straighten us out on that, so that we can understand what test is proposed, and place our bets.

664 thoughts on “Betting on the Weasel

  1. Allan Miller: Hoyle not a Creationist – not even a biologist, indeed, had some deep misunderstandings.

    Did he now. So his book, Mathematics of Evolution, that was all wrong?

  2. Joe Felsenstein: One is tempted to say that absolutely no one here knows that.

    LoL. ok, but maybe Joe just isn’t paying attention. I’ve never been shy about what I believe or don’t believe or even about what I believe I don’t know.

    Usually all someone has to do is ask politely what i believe. It worked for hotshoe_, it works for Tom…

  3. Rumraket,

    In one post Mung thinks the success of Weasel is an argument for ID. In another post he thinks the Weasel is apparently silly and fails miserably.

    Weasel has kicked Mung’s ass yet again.

  4. You have to appreciate the amount of weaseling there is about Weasel amongst the proponents of the power of cumulative magic.

    It’s like real biology. It isn’t like real biology. Its use of fitness is no different than in real biology. It has nothing to do with how complex objects (like the eye) come about. Cumulative selection just is selection, but its not selection that accumulates, it’s something else that accumulates. Fitness accumulates, yeah, that must be it. Single-step selection is just like selection but without the cumulative part, because in single-step selection fitness doesn’t accumulate.

    The great thing about Weasel is that it exposes how evolutonists are all over the map.

    ETA: Weasel is natural selection. Weasel is artificial selection. Artificial selection is natural selection.

  5. keiths,

    One would think you would be more familiar with the concept of failing badly enough at your intended purpose to such an extent that you inadvertently achieve the opposite.

    You do it so often yourself, it seems you would at least recognize it.

  6. Mung: LoL. ok, but maybe Joe just isn’t paying attention. I’ve never been shy about what I believe or don’t believe or even about what I believe I don’t know.

    Usually all someone has to do is ask politely what i believe. It worked for hotshoe_, it works for Tom…

    What do you believe? I’m asking politely… no sarcasm intended… 😉

  7. dazz: All of them?

    Must be all of them and in the fastest evolutionary process that the world has ever seen… otherwise there is not enough time in the history of the universe and life… new proteins must’a evolved in the blink of the eye…lol (sarcasm withheld, couldn’t help but laugh)

    Almost anything is possible (in your mind) if you really want to believe it … 😉 but it doesn’t make it true…

  8. Mung,

    Did he now. So his book, Mathematics of Evolution, that was all wrong?

    Better ask phoodoo about that. He may have some trenchant criticisms of the treatment of phitness.

  9. Mung,

    It’s like real biology.

    In some respects

    It isn’t like real biology.

    In others

    Its use of fitness is no different than in real biology.

    The role of fitness is no different, true – fitness and selection go hand in glove.

    It has nothing to do with how complex objects (like the eye) come about.

    If you say so.

    Cumulative selection just is selection, but its not selection that accumulates, it’s something else that accumulates.

    Why should selection accumulate? Bearing in mind that things can be cumulative without, themselves, accumulating.

    Fitness accumulates, yeah, that must be it.

    Increases would be a better word. Doesn’t it?

    Single-step selection is just like selection but without the cumulative part, because in single-step selection fitness doesn’t accumulate.

    Wrong. One round of selection biases the population that goes into the next.

    Masterly word-lawyering there, Mung. I await the routine accusation that, actually, it’s us.

  10. Mung:
    You have to appreciate the amount of weaseling there is about Weasel amongst the proponents of the power of cumulative magic.

    It’s like real biology. It isn’t like real biology. Its use of fitness is no different than in real biology. It has nothing to do with how complex objects (like the eye) come about. Cumulative selection just is selection, but its not selection that accumulates, it’s something else that accumulates. Fitness accumulates, yeah, that must be it. Single-step selection is just like selection but without the cumulative part, because in single-step selection fitness doesn’t accumulate.

    The great thing about Weasel is that it exposes how evolutonists are all over the map.

    ETA: Weasel is natural selection. Weasel is artificial selection. Artificial selection is natural selection.

    Looks like weasel was able to outrun the computer coder, all the expectations of evolutionists and more…It must have evolved! Damn! Creationism is screwed…

    Gotta look for new hobby… 🙁 Damn it! *

    P.S. Minimal sarcasm included…

  11. J-Mac: Must be all of them and in the fastest evolutionary process that the world has ever seen… otherwise there is not enough time in the history of the universe and life… new proteins must’a evolved in the blink of the eye

    Can you support that with some math or something?

  12. dazz: Can you support that with some math or something?

    I’ll support it with some math.

    2 + 2 = 4

    I’ll leave it to J-Mac to support it with something else.

  13. dazz: Can you support that with some math or something?

    I’m not as good at math as Mung is… but Lawrence Krauss is apparently really good at it…

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/F0oFXn2dxMk/hqdefault.jpg

    But I have an experimental evidence proving that proteins not only have not had enough time to evolve in all the time available in the history of the earth…they don’t even evolve at all…

    Would you believe it?

    This may shatter your faith…are you sure you are ready for it?

    When it come to the real math of population genetics, Joe Filistine is cooking it…Wait for it… You will see the real deal… (sarcasm suppressed to he minimum possible) 😉

  14. J-Mac: I’m not as good at math as Mung is… but Lawrence Krauss is apparently really good at it…

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/F0oFXn2dxMk/hqdefault.jpg

    But I have an experimental evidence proving that proteins not only have not had enough time to evolve in all the time available in the history of the earth…they don’t even evolve at all…

    Would you believe it?

    This may shatter your faith…are you sure you are ready for it?

    When it come to the real math of population genetics, Joe Filistine is cooking it…Wait for it… You will see the real deal… (sarcasm suppressed to he minimum possible)

    Felsenstein, Joe Felsenstein. Professor Joe Felsenstein

    Are you aware of the multiple discussions about proteins that took place here at TSZ? Did you know that there are only about 1300 distinct protein folds in all extant life?

    but sure, show us that faith threatening evidence of yours

  15. dazz: All of them?

    In ten million years, almost all current species will be extinct.

    But many, if not most, will have descendants.

  16. dazz: Felsenstein, Joe Felsenstein. Professor Joe Felsenstein

    Are you aware of the multiple discussions about proteins that took place here at TSZ? Did you know that there are only about 1300 distinct protein folds in all extant life?

    but sure, show us that faith threatening evidence of yours

    Oh… I’m more then aware about the discussions…and I’m more than aware about the lack of experimental evidence to support the idea that out of 1300 distinct protein folds or more that nobody has shown the experimental evidence for that they are evolving…
    By your own admission; if there are 10 billions species are on the earth today and all of them are evolving, don’t you think it should be easy to prove the it this point ?

    BTW: There is no evidence in this world that can change one’s mind even it threatens the faith… It takes more than evidence to do so…Trust me! I was there…

  17. J-Mac: BTW: There is no evidence in this world that can change one’s mind even it threatens it… It takes more than evidence to do so…trust me! I was there…

    That’s plain to see, creationists are immune to evidence. There’s tons of evidence of that.

  18. petrushka: In ten million years, almost all current species will be extinct.

    But many, if not most, will have descendants.

    Liar! if they have descendants, how could they have gone extinct? IOW, if we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

  19. dazz: That’s plain to see, creationists are immune to evidence. There’s tons of evidence of that.

    It applies to both sides…if they don’t want to get to the truth…because both sides tend to see or hear what they want to hear first, then what they want to believe, then there are other reasons not to hear or see… and then there is the truth…That’s why the majority dreads hearing it …(the truth).

  20. dazz: IOW

    I think you got it wrong too…

    Our direct ancestors, the we have supposedly descended from didn’t not survive…

    What’s damn luck! Population genetics can’t still figure it out why…

    Such an advanced monkey didn’t survive and chimps and other dumb monkeys did…Can you imagine what it would be if one of them was found somewhere hiding in the unexplored land?

    Not only they didn’t survive, there on real fossils of them either…

    Damn it! Such a good idea!

  21. J-Mac: Our direct ancestors, the we have supposedly descended from didn’t not survive…

    What’s damn luck! Population genetics can’t still figure it out why…

    Where are your great great great grandparents? Not alive?

    What a total mystery. Scientists are stumped! Grandparents are not immortal, so any day now evolutionism will come crashing down.

  22. J-Mac: I think you got it wrong too…

    I was mocking the classic creationist argument, I understand what petrushka meant

    J-Mac: Such an advanced monkey didn’t survive and chimps and other dumb monkeys did

    That’s just you being the typical self centric creationist who believes that we are the measure of all greatness. Dumber monkeys can be better adapted to their niches

  23. J-Mac: BTW: There is no evidence in this world that can change one’s mind even it threatens the faith… It takes more than evidence to do so…Trust me! I was there…

    Was?

  24. Rumraket: Where are your great great great grandparents? Not alive?

    What a total mystery. Scientists are stumped! Grandparents are not immortal, so any day now evolutionism will come crashing down.

    I was talking our monkey-like-ancestors that for no particular reason have not survived…;-)

  25. Rumraket: “no real fossils”.

    We have the same ones in the museum around the block… The only difference is that they are labeled as human fossils…who to believe?
    I guess whoever is the bully wins…for now…;-)

  26. J-Mac: We have the same ones in the museum around the block… The only difference is that they are labeled as human fossils…who to believe?

    Not you, since you’re either straight up lying, or it’s a creationist “museum”.

  27. dazz: I was mocking the classic creationist argument, I understand what petrushka meant

    That’s just you being the typical self centric creationist who believes that we are the measure of all greatness. Dumber monkeys can be better adapted to their niches

    The reason that can contemplate and do makes me way superior to any monkey or any other being that can’t or refuses to…whether you like it or not…

  28. J-Mac: The reason that cancontemplate and do makes me way superior to any monkey or any other being that can’t or refuses to…whether you like it or not…

    You do seem able to be wrong in so many more ways than your average monkey.

    I guess if you want to claim that as superiority, no one’s going to stop you.

    Glen Davidson

  29. J-Mac: The reason that cancontemplate and do makes me way superior to any monkey or any other being that can’t or refuses to…whether you like it or not…

    We are talking about evolution here, it doesn’t matter what you believe counts as superior or whether I like it or not.

    There’s evidence that those ancestors existed and they went extinct, whether you like it or not…

  30. Rumraket: Not you, since you’re either straight up lying, or it’s a creationist “museum”.

    It’s all subjective…If you were told something you want to believe in you are more likely to believe in even half-truths and lies.. That ‘s how this world works…It’s based on lies…it takes unbiased view to sift through the lies to find the truth…If you look to support preconceived ideas, you will find something but it doesn’t necessarily make your preconceived ideas true…

  31. dazz

    There’s evidence that those ancestors existed and they went extinct, whether you like it or not…

    This must be another mystery of evolution…how convenient…for those who want to believe it and those who make millions of dollars on pushing this convenient idea… There is so much proof it’s just extinct…Damn it!

  32. dazz,

    Evidence? As you see it? Truth? As you see it? Evolution? As you see it?
    Make sure you are not lying to yourself… because I have pinned down people who admitted that they didn’t mind lying to themselves as long as they didn’t have to believe in a God or creationism…

  33. J-Mac: It’s all subjective…If you were told something you want to believe in you are more likely to believe in even half-truths and lies.. That ‘s how this world works…It’s based on lies…it takes unbiased view to sift through the lies to find the truth…If you look to support preconceived ideas, you will find something but it doesn’t necessarily make your preconceived ideas true…

    Well it’s nice you’re here to set us straight then since this obviously doesn’t apply to you.

  34. J-Mac: This must be another mystery of evolution…how convenient…for those who want to believe it and those who make millions of dollars on pushing this convenient idea… There is so much proof it’s just extinct…Damn it!

    I guess it is just bad luck for science that it is not the default, it would save lots of money both research and experimentation. Though being the default would not eliminate the mysterious, as far as I can tell mysterious activity is the bread and butter of the default.

  35. J-Mac: It’s all subjective…

    So in fact you were lying and they’re not all called humans in your “just around the corner” museum. Glad we got that settled.

  36. Joe Felsenstein:
    Are we actually having that old groaner, the “why are there still monkeys” debate?

    I do not know about others but I’ve been waiting breathlessly for you to tell us how many of the 10 billion species on the earth are in the transition into another species…
    Did you cook up some math? What does the population genetic say about that?

    Don’t keep us in suspense!

  37. J-Mac: I do not know about others butI’ve been waiting breathlessly for you to tell us how many of the 10 billion species on the earth are in the transition into another species…
    Did you cook up some math? What does the population genetic say about that?

    Don’t keep us in suspense!

    all of them

  38. Rumraket: So in fact you were lying and they’re not all called humans in your “just around the corner” museum. Glad we got that settled.

    Lie? I wasn’t responsible for the Pitdown man hoax nor any of the creationists…

    I think it’s settled now…

  39. J-Mac: I do not know about others but I’ve been waiting breathlessly for you to tell us how many of the 10 billion species on the earth are in the transition into another species…
    Did you cook up some math? What does the population genetic say about that?

    Don’t keep us in suspense!

    I agree with dazz: all of them. Every species is busy changing, and if we wait long enough it will change enough that anyone will call it a different species.

  40. As far as I can see J-Mac’s argument is the old “why are there still monkeys” argument.

    This thread is for my post — I suggest J-Mac make a “Why are there still monkeys” post and discuss this there. It has nothing to do with the present post.

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