In geomorphology/geology, and in biology I discovered that forms of something are cl;aimed to have had different origins. In geomorphology, just three examples, are how great canyons were agreed to have been caused by a megaflood in one day, like the mIssoula flood and others, that completely mimic what other canyons look like but are said to have been created over great timelines even millions of years. Another case is how salt stagimites(sp) , created instantly in a day or so, look exactly like other stagimites , made of other elements, that are claimed to have taken large timelines, thousands of years, in caves to grow. then in meteorites they have found tiny tiny diamonds(I think in meteorites) that they conclude were created instantly, a moment, from great heat/pressure WHILE still saying regular bigger diamonds were created from long timelines, millions of years.In biology there is the famous convergent cases of marsupials looking spot on like non marsupials in forms like dogs, cats, mice.
I say that in all these cases its not just that having proven a origin for one form that allows us to say its the origin for any like form BUT that on a probability curve its very unlikely that the origin hypothesis for the forms, not proven/witnessed , are right. not just unneeded but very prompting they were wrong. they were speculations about long timelines that were used until modern investigation proved, for like firms ,were rapidly created.That in these cases real time math/probability really can correct errors that are in opposition to creationism.
the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.
An example of a mindless machine that can be described in terms of teleology is an autopilot or missile guidance system. “The purpose of an autopilot or guidance system is to drive the vehicle to its destination.” One does not immediately have to invoke non-material minds for this proximal description of the system. In fact, no one would say there is a non-material spirit inside a missile guidance system. For that reason, any system exhibiting purposeful behavior (or dare we say moral-like behavior) cannot by default be assumed to have non-material soul.
Conflating core ID and Creation Science with issues of materialism just adds confusion factors. IDists and Creationists can talk about notions of a non-material soul, even some quantum physicists have hinted at it, but such discussions should be compartmentalized outside of core ID and creation science arguments that are built on analysis of probability. Perhaps questions of soul should be compartmentalized to the realm of unprovable faith statements.
For many people, the idea of free will is bound up with the notion of “could have done otherwise”. By their lights, if only one future is possible for a person — that is, if the person cannot do otherwise — then free will is an illusion.
Philosopher Christian List — author of the recent book Why Free Will is Real — proposes an interesting species of free will based on the claim that while physics may be deterministic, behaviors at the agent level are not. Agents can do otherwise, according to List, and this is enough to ground free will even if physics is deterministic.
I think List is mistaken, but I’ll save my criticisms for the comment thread.
It’s Saturday night and you’re at a party. You drink too much and foolishly decide to drive home. On the way, you lose control of your car. Then one of two things happens:
There is no traffic around. Your out-of-control car careens across the left lane and into a ditch. It hits a fence post. The car is damaged, but you are unhurt. The police come and arrest you for driving under the influence.
A car is approaching. Your out-of-control car careens across the left lane and clips the oncoming car, which crashes into a tree. The driver and her two young children are killed. The police come and arrest you. You are charged with manslaughter.
The crucial difference between the two scenarios is sheer luck. In scenario A, you were simply lucky that no traffic was around. In scenario B, your luck wasn’t as good, and three people ended up dead.
You made the same irresponsible decision — to drink and drive — in both scenarios. Is your moral culpability greater in scenario B than in scenario A? If so, why?
The online intelligent-design journal, BIO-Complexity (Robert J. Marks II, editor-in-chief; Douglas Axe, managing editor), has revised at least one of its published articles without giving any indication of change. “A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information,” by George D. Montañez, states that it was published on December 14, 2018, and makes no note of having been revised since. However, the article presently has two more entries in the reference list than it did on December 17, 2018, when I downloaded it. The announcments page of the journal says nothing about the change.
BIO-Complexityclaims to be an archival publication. Thus the content should not change at all once it is released. The editors have given us reason to wonder how much of journal has silently morphed over the years. They should have required the author to submit an erratum or an addendum, no matter how benign the changes he wanted to make to the article.
I suspect, but cannot be sure, that Montañez changed the article merely to give credit to A. Milosavljević for a theorem, after learning of it from my post “Evo-Info 4: Non-Conservation of Algorithmic Specified Complexity.” If that is the case, then Montañez should have submitted an addendum explaining that he had learned of the theorem from me after his article was published. Changes to supposedly archival material are wrong even when announced, and are doubly wrong when unannounced.
It now behooves the editors of BIO-Complexity to make an announcement detailing the changes to Montañez’s article, and indicating whether any other articles have been modified since publication. If they have any sense at all, then they will announce also that they will never again change material that they represent as archival.
I’ve committed the unpardonable sin several times of criticizing other ID proponents publicly, but when I think claims or methods need to be challenged, I feel obligated to speak out because I find myself contesting certain ways the ID argument is presented when I make presentations about ID and/or special creation.
The conflicts are over the relevance of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, Information Theory, Specified Complexity, Conservation of Information, Framing Probability Arguments, and whether ID is science.
Granville Sewell has posted another Second Law screed over at ENV. The guy just won’t quit. He scratches and scratches, but the itch never goes away.
The article is mostly a rehash of Sewell’s confused fulminations against the compensation argument, with an added dash of tornados running backwards.
Then there’s this gem:
But while Behe and his critics are engaged in a lively debate as to whether or not the Darwinian scheme for violating the second law has ever been observed to result in any non-trivial increase in genetic information…
Ah, yes. Our scheme for violating the second law. It might have succeeded if it weren’t for that meddling Sewell.
Per Gregory and Dr. Felsenstein’s request, here is an off the top of my head listing of the major theories I can think of that are related to Dembski’s ID theory. There are many more connections I see to mainstream theory, but these are the most easily connected. I won’t provide links, at least in this draft, but the terms are easily googleable. I also may update this article as I think about it more.
First, fundamental elements of Dembski’s ID theory:
We can distinguish intelligent design from chance and necessity with complex specified information (CSI).
Chance and necessity cannot generate CSI due to the conservation of information (COI).
Intelligent agency can generate CSI.
Things like CSI:
Martin Löf test for randomness
Shannon mutual information
Algorithmic mutual information
Conservation of information theorems that apply to the previous list:
Data processing inequality (chance)
Chaitin’s incompleteness theorem (necessity)
Levin’s law of independence conservation (both chance and necessity addressed)
Theories of things that can violate the previous COI theorems:
As the news hammers home to us, young people are especially vulnerable to poisonous, Internet-mediated messages. That’s one reason Discovery Institute has teamed up with a gifted cinematographer who wanted to create a new video series, Science Uprising, that would be relevant to viewers in their thirties and younger. The series will launch on June 3, with new episodes to be released weekly through July 8.
An Edgier Style
The new series will have an edgier style than anything we have produced in the past. What does that mean? Take a look at the trailer…
Science Uprising is premised on the idea that a majority of us share a skepticism about the claims of materialism — the claims that people are just “robots made of meat, with a really sophisticated onboard guidance system,” lacking souls, lacking free will or moral responsibility, having emerged from the ancient mud without purpose or guidance. And yet, however skeptical we may be, the media labor intensively to correct our skepticism. Popular science spokesmen like Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson insist that people are anything but designed children of a loving, intelligent creator…
Each episode features a masked narrator. Why? Because much of the burden of resisting materialism falls to scientists and others in the universities who have been made to fear speaking out in favor of the design hypothesis.
Scientists and scholars who have spoken out, pulling the mask off materialist mythology, share the truth with viewers. From episode to episode, they include chemist James Tour, philosopher Jay Richards, neuroscientist Michael Egnor, biochemist Michael Behe, philosopher of science Stephen Meyer, psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, physicist Frank Tipler, and others.
Following Peterson’s advice, I write below what I believe to be true.
Our existence provides us with the potential to become free spirits. Nature has taken us up to the point where we then become responsible for our future development as individuals. Individual animals are constrained to follow the nature of the species to which they belong. Humans have moved beyond this restriction, over and above the species nature, we have formed tribes and societies which establish laws and custome designed to govern the behaviour of the individuals within. Modern societies make it possible for each person to express their individuality. They allow more freedom and give more rights to their individuals than are bestowed upon them by being members of the species.
The scent of lily of the valley cannot be easily bottled. For decades companies that make soap, lotions and perfumes have relied on a chemical called bourgeonal to imbue their products with the sweet smell of the little white flowers. A tiny drop can be extraordinarily intense.
If you can smell it at all, that is. For a small percentage of people, it fails to register as anything.
Similarly, the earthy compound 2-ethylfenchol, present in beets, is so powerful for some people that a small chunk of the root vegetable smells like a heap of dirt. For others, that same compound is as undetectable as the scent of bottled water.
These — and dozens of other differences in scent perception — are detailed in a new study, published this week in the journal PNAS. The work provides new evidence of how extraordinarily different one person’s “smellscape” may be from another’s. It’s not that some people are generally better smellers, like someone else may have better eyesight, it’s that any one person might experience certain scents more intensely than their peers…
The scientists who conducted the study looked for patterns in subjects’ genetic code that could explain these olfactory differences. They were surprised to find that a single genetic mutation was linked to differences in perception of the lily of the valley scent, beet’s earthiness, the intensity of whiskey’s smokiness along with dozens of other scents.
Apparently, he means ‘non-confessional,’ since he actively pits ‘secular scientist’ over against ‘confessional scientist’ at ‘Peaceful Science.’
Swamidass’ chosen dichotomy may seem stark to some people, almost as a kind of ‘you’re with us or you’re against us’. Notably, it has achieved some success so far, mainly among natural scientists. In other words, you’re either with ‘mainstream science’ or you’re against it. Swamidass upholds ‘mainstream science,’ while at the same time promoting non-mainstream evangelical protestantism as a ‘confessionalist’ approach to the topic.
“The science we are putting forward here is solid. It does not require a religious point of view to accept. Even secular scientists endorse it.” – S. Joshua Swamidass
The devil is in the details when natural scientists write: “does not require.” This is the legacy Swamidass’ confused embrace of ‘methodological naturalism’ as if it were free from ideology.
So, for Swamidass, Michael Behe (who while both challenging and praising him, called his ‘hero,’ before removing it for supposedly ‘confusing people’, with a mere explanation of: “what can I say?”) must be labelled as a ‘confessional scientist,’ even though he’s not an evangelical like Swamidass. In other words, Swamidass is dividing people into 2 camps, those who ‘confess’ their religion on the internet in public and those who are ‘secular’ in doing science. This is why Swamidass is intent on asking people to ‘tell us about yourself’ and is actively now flirting with forcing people to reveal their IRL identity on PS in order to participate there.
I am curious to know if, based on your faith, you think it is possible for the human race to become utterly extinct. Does the free will we have been endowed with make even that awful fate possible, or do you think that, because of the particular interest God has in us (we being created in His image, for example) this is not something that would ever be allowed to happen? In a word, should we take steps to ensure that there will still be human life in 100 years, or (assuming–at least for the moment–that the apparent dangers to our continuance haven’t just been fabricated somehow) homo sapiens are safe in God’s hands. Continue reading →
In his final reply to my review of Michael Alter’s book, The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry, Professor McGrew takes issue with my claim that the story of Jesus’ burial is improbable at multiple points, accusing me of doing a priori history, of relying on doubtful assertions by Biblical scholars, of making too much of the argument from silence” (which he rejects in toto), of finding contradictions between the Gospel burial accounts where none exist, and of arrogantly alleging that the Gospel authors, who were far closer to the facts than we are today, must have fabricated details in their accounts, simply because they clash with our contemporary interpretation of Jewish law at that time. Am I guilty as charged? Or is it Professor McGrew whose understanding of history is faulty?
While reading Professor McGrew’s reply, it immediately struck me that there was one thing that he didn’t do: namely, quote from contemporary Biblical scholars who support his position. That’s because there are very few Biblical scholars who would agree with McGrew’s claim that the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ burial are internally consistent, free from contradictions, and free from historical inaccuracies. With the exception of Ehrman’s contentious claim (which I defended, but did not endorse) that Jesus’ body was probably left to hang on the Cross for several days before being dumped in a burial pit, all of the other assertions made in my review regarding Jesus’ burial fall squarely within the mainstream of Biblical scholarship. In setting himself in opposition to the conclusions reached in my review, Professor McGrew (who is a philosopher, not a historian) is arraying himself against an entire field of scholarship.
I‘ve always been a helix-turn-helix kinda guy. That’s the
way I roll.
My thesis research involved a couple of repressors –
homeodomain proteins—that bound to DNA via helix-turn-helix DNA-binding
domains. They controlled cell-type fates. Combinatorially.
(I also worked on HDAC-mediated transcriptional silencing, although at the time I was totally unaware that that was what I was working on. Awwwkward. That’s a story for another time.) For my post-doc , I was surrounded by people studying the co-operative binding and sequence-specificity of various helix-turn-helix proteins, and how they achieve transcriptional activation. There was some pretty seminal work done, to which I contributed precisely nothing. Not a productive post-doc, you could say.
Anyhoo, I never really paid much attention to Zinc fingers. Which was rather remiss of me, since the sort of modular DNA-binding activity that they have is pretty much ideal for building networks that regulate gene expression. But hey, grad students can be rather parochial.
Then our dearest Sal posted an OP here on Zinc fingers, playfully
entitled “Giving Evolutionary Biologists the Finger!”