Barry Arrington doesn’t understand ID. KF talks about math and design detection but never does it. ID exists as an amorphous miasmic anti-evolutionary argument. It is the North Korea of the internet
Barry Arrington doesn’t understand ID.
in now epic thread Barry told us what would convince him ID was wrong:
The science bomb that will destroy my belief in ID: A single example of natural forces observed to have create Orgel’s CSI.
Now as IDists can’t actually measure CSI (they don’t appear to understand it at UD) this was troublesome, but a close examination of Dembski’s CSI contains the term P(T|H), which is described by him as
Moreover, H, here, is the relevant chance hypothesis that takes into account Darwinian and other material mechanisms.
So Barry wanted a demonstration of CSI being made by natural forces, whilst Dembski defines CSI as only to be ‘counted’ in the absence of them. Barry doesn’t understand CSI. I asked him if he thought that “CSI=FSC=FSCO/I”. He never responded.
KF talks about math and design detection but never does it
KF’s behavior is perhaps the most odious of the moderators there. Rather than have an actual discussion, he creates multiple one-off posts with closed comments, which means that associated critique is never attached to the post itself. This effectively allows him to perpetually reboot once destroyed arguments as if they are new and unassailable. This just shows us the strong connection between creationism and ID – creationists are still rolling out “2LoT” and “If we came from Monkeys” today.
All of KF’s posts are basically reformations of Hoyle’s tornado in a junkyard arguments: Complex things cannot spontaneously generate. Of course this has *nothing* to do with life and does not consider P(T|H). KF has yet to do any credible math pertaining to an evolutionary narrative. Sadly telling.
ID exists as an amorphous miasmic anti-evolutionary argument
The general trend at UD is for the IDists to tell us what they think evolution can’t do rather than what ID can do. It is gapism in its purest form. The target moves from PCD to abiogenesis to the first cell and they want a complete history of the evolution of life with pictures and an index of all the mutations as they happened. Given the ‘Jesus this’ and ‘God that’ that happens at UD, I wonder if they have the same high bar for other ‘historical’ events.
It is the North Korea of the internet
They silently ban, delete accounts, place in moderation, mark up others posts and post themselves with comments disabled. This degree of message control is a symptom of their arguments being completely noncompetitive when there is a free and fair exchange of ideas.
Phoodoo, he’s been invited here for a technical discussion many times. But whilst he’s peddling FIASCO, a metric unique to him and far less sophisticated then either of the 2 CSI variants proposed by Demsbki that we’ve discussed here at length, we’re looking at ASC which is the vanguard of ID. So he has some catching up to do (about 20 years). Also, we like “doing the math” rather than talking abstractly, which might make it too difficult for him.
KF is the poster child for what happens when you mistake the map for the territory.
Genomic sequences have discrete elements that can be called a digital code, so they are digital codes, and the consequences of mutation in an organism are directly comparable to the consequences of miscopying computer instructions. Forget chemistry. Long live isolated islands.
since KF is fond of poetry, I have some for him:
From the likes of you that is a compliment of the highest order.
making an ass of himselfmaking even more of an ass of himself in this new thread at UD.
He’s even put Zachriel in moderation for saying something that Barry considered to be “stupid”. (It wasn’t.)
Barry’s bitterness is palpable.
A hilarious new OP at UD:
Are Dreams Incompatible With Materialism?
Even Barry is distancing himself from the content:
The money quote:
Nick Matzke and eigenstate react:
Take that strawman materialism! Barry was stupid enough to post it. What an idiot.
Do androids dream of electric sheep? I guess that no, they don’t, at least according to Barry, as they are merely material.
Do dogs dream? We’ve all seen doggies sleeping on their side on a comfy rug, with their limbs twitching and faint growling heard.
But Barry might argue that those doggie imaginings can’t really be dreams because unlike people, dogs do not have “mind”, they do not live in the immaterial world that makes dreaming possible. Or something.
Nick, keiths, and eigenstate are right. This latest post by Barry is outrageously funny.
It’s a beautiful example of the homunculus fallacy.
According to nkendall, all of those pixels need to be assembled, correlated, and projected frame by frame onto the screen of the Cartesian theater.
Guess who falls for it hook, line, and sinker?
I love William. 🙂
During his reign Banny has lowered UD’s IQ by 20 points. Perhaps he was impressed the comment had ‘actual numbers’ in it and promoted it in case there was ‘some science’ in there?
I have to say that computer science has been guilty of over-hyping the possibility of mimicking brains in silicon.
I don’t accuse IDists of falling for a computational metaphor in brains. They did not invent the notion that neurons are transistors. I know people in AI research who are still optimistic about knowing how brains are wired.
I have been a pessimist for decades. I don’t doubt that brains are entirely physical. I just think they are not computers in any useful sense of that word.
Meaning, I don’t think brains will be well mimicked any time soon. Perhaps about the time we solve the fusion power problem.
I think there’s no question that the brain computes, so that isn’t why I find nkendall’s OP (or WJM’s affirmation) so laughable.
The laughable part is that they think that in order to dream, the brain has to compute individual pixels, frame by frame, and project them onto the screen of the Cartesian theater.
I’m unaware of any researcher in the field who thinks that neurons are transistors. Some of them are modeling synapses as transistors, but that’s a far cry from claiming that neurons as a whole are like transistors.
The question is not whether the brain is a physical object that has some components that vaguely look like computer components in their behavior. The question is whether We can accurately model brains. Even simple ones.
I don’t think so. There are parts of the sensory systems that are reasonably well modeled, and we have things like cochlear implants and experimental retinal implants.
I assume we will continue making progress, but I have thought for several decades that the missing part of the computing metaphor will be analog. Brains appear (to me) to be a hybrid digital/analog computer. That’s really going to be difficult to emulate.
Poor walto is still bitter:
He drums himself out of TSZ, and we’re childish?
Mark Frank, to WJM:
No, the primary question is whether brains have to compute individual pixels, frame by frame, in order to produce dreams. I hope you agree that nkendall is wrong on that score.
The secondary question is whether the “computational metaphor” is a mistake. Earlier you seemed to be saying that it was:
Now you seem to be saying the opposite:
Jeez, if brains were figured out, it might be possible to build them. I’m a monist and physicalist, but I think brains have not been figured out. When I say the computation model is inadequate, that’s all I mean. It is inadequate.
I think the metaphor of digital computer is just wrong. My opinion. Not worth a lot. But I have been thinking digital/analog hybrid for at least 30 years, and my expectations of progress in the field of AI have been closer to reality than most science fiction, and closer to reality that most qualified pundits. It’s a damn hard problem.
Neurons obviously change during learning, but within the last month a debate has renewed as to whether the change is in the body of the neuron or the synapse, or whatever. Not to mention the contribution of glial cells.. It strikes me that we are just a bit north of where Darwin was regarding inheritance. Lacking a clear model.
We can’t yet build a brain, but that hardly means that the computational metaphor is incorrect or inadequate.
By saying this…
…you are affirming, not denying, the computational metaphor.
So I’m puzzled that you were originally saying this:
If you think that the brain is a hybrid digital/analog computer, then how would the IDers be “falling” for a computational metaphor?
“Anderson, don’t talk out loud, you lower the IQ of the whole street.”
I’m seeing a similarity to Arrington.
Pretty much the same thing others have said here. the notion that dream vision must be computed via the same kind of programming as used in CGI.
My ideas are not worthy of being called a theory or hypothesis. They are just an intuition based on the energy efficiency of brains vs silicon machines attempting to emulate the output of brains. Perhaps it’s a difference in the implementation of the program. Perhaps brains are hive computers in the sense that social insects produce complex outcomes with minimal rules.
At any rate, IDists constantly attack the notion that error can be useful and can produce useful outcomes. They analogize mutations to errors in the code of digital computers. With traditional programming, computation is sequential, and any error can cause rapid departure from the intended outcome. But we know that populations survive mutations, hives survive the loss of individuals, and brains survive loss of cells. But IBM’s Deep Thought might not survive a coding error in its operating system.
So there is something about the structure and behavior of brains that is different from emulations of brains. At least current attempts.
Okay, now I’m really confused. Earlier you said this:
Now you’re saying that they are doing exactly that.
Keiths, I’m just daydreaming. I’m neither a philosopher nor an AI expert. I don’t care about being perfectly consistent, because speculation about how the brain works is 99 percent bullshit. I’m sorry if my sloppiness offends you.
I mean, we can watch the wheels spin, but trying to make a brain is — at the moment — cargo cult science. We can emulate the wheels, but the emulation fails at a pretty low level.
But that hasn’t prevented some very bright people from asserting that the Singularity is nigh, and that some of us may not taste death.
I fault IDist for many things, but not for interpreting AI optimism as an assertion by science that brains are just computers, as in garden variety computers running typical hardware and operating systems.
I’m not offended. I’m just trying to make sense of your contradictory statements.
try not to focus on the denotation and try to imagine what I am trying to convey.
If that is impossible, then I admit being a hopeless writer and thinker.
But please answer a couple of questions.
Do you deny that there is a rather persistent meme in both science fiction and in popular science writing that we are close to having something like artificial humans. Or that human consciousness is downloadable, and might be within the span of currently living people?
Do you think we are really close to that goal?
I have to go by what you write. What else is there to go on?
First you indicated that the computational metaphor was wrong, but that IDers weren’t “falling for” it. Then you said that they were falling for it. Then you said that the brain was a hybrid digital/analog computer, which presumably means that you are “falling for” it — unless you’ve changed your mind and don’t think it’s an error anymore!
If I give precedence to your latest statements over your earlier ones, then it appears that you agree with me that the computation metaphor is fine, but that nkendall screwed up by thinking that the brain would have to compute individual pixels, frame by frame. But if that’s your position, I can’t figure out why you are disagreeing with me at all.
I wasn’t trying to disagree with you. My point was I do not think the IDists are dishonestly attacking a straw man. I think many science supporters have suggested that brains are just really powerful versions of currently existing computers.
If you think brains are just really powerful versions of computers having the current dominant architecture, than I disagree with you. I do not think current architectures will ever support a good mimic of human brains.
But they are. Materialists don’t believe that dream sequences are generated in high definition, pixel by pixel and frame by frame. nkendall is attacking a straw man.
I disagree about the straw man part. That implies dishonesty and not just confusion about what experts believe. I think it’s quite reasonable to infer from common writing about AI that vision is like a digital camera.
And, in fact, attempts to build artificial retinas reinforce this. It may be wrong, but I think it is a reasonable layman’s inference.
I don’t know of any AI folks who think that vision is like a digital camera.
Besides, we’re not talking about vision — we’re talking about dreaming. The idea that the brain has to generate each pixel of a high-resolution dream sequence, as nkendall and William suggest, is just goofy.
What is the physical brain activity difference between vision while awake and vision while dreaming?
Activity in the lower parts of the visual system (retina through V1) is suppressed during dreams. Activity in some parts of V2 is also suppressed, but higher order processing remains active.
Meanwhile, nkendall is arguing as if the brain were responsible for synthesizing entire images and injecting them into (or just behind) the retina, where they could then be processed by the entire visual system.
That’s just goofy.
Going back and reading this post is funny now. Is it really controversial that they censor at Wikipedia (controversial to who) and UD makes it clear from the beginning that it is not a site where anything goes. Is that a criticism of UD? I think not.
As Lizzie says, this site was never intended to be polite.
Barry tackles stratigraphy, with predictable results:
Which suggests that the Precambrian (Ediacaran, etc.) and Ordovician both have rabbit fossils in them.
Where would science be without Barry?
A little bit further ahead?
Happily, probably not, since science is smart enough to ignore ilk involving Barry, as well as Barry himself.
I think the Arrington quote keiths put above is interesting for the simplistic binary thinking so typical of ID. Well, design is just what you have when you lack evolution, or crystallization, or other “natural process” proposed to explain order. Evolution is just the denial of design, just a version of Epicurianism, rather than the only reasonable conclusion from the evidence that it really is.
So of course the Cambrian is primarily called that because of the absence of rabbit fossils. It wouldn’t be defined by position and the sets of fossils that it actually contains, because that’s science and not a part of Barry’s world. No, atheism is the absence of his God, evolution is the absence of “obvious design,” and the Cambrian is the absence of rabbits.
Science is just too hard. Or actually, it’s really just plain foreign to almost all IDists who begin with Truth (I was raised a creationist, so I’m not just guessing), and to your average reactive IDist that’s exactly how it should be, since they already know that evolution (& geology for YECs) is essentially opposed to Truth.
With regard to my first point:
Larry MoranMay 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm
For someone who purports to have an understanding of ID solid enough to critique it, you display a remarkable inability to articulate its basic claims.
I am absolutely certain that I am able to articulate ID’s real claims better than you. I know this because I read your posts.”
As corrected, probably so.
I am unable to find any post matching this.
Thank you. I notice it has gone unanswered for several hours.
Larry is correct. He has been quite respectful with Michael Behe’s claims, and is one of the few evolution bloggers that take Behe seriously.
Now we see DEM saying that Dembski’s argument depends absolutely on Behe.
So when Moran argues against Behe, he is not simply brushing him off. And in arguing against Behe, he argues against the foundational statement of ID.
Watching UD denizens wrestle with Larry Moran is a bit like watching gerbils wrestle with a python.
Hah! But gerbils can’t ban a python.
Casey Luskin forgives you for that.
I’m noticing a diminished frequency of posting by the big guns. Arrington, VJT.
I’m going home to make some popcorn.
Banny has overplayed his hand. I expect a ‘friendlier’ UD soon, for a while.
This from Errington is pretty good:
Oh, so true. But you can hope that the dim bulbs at UD, and creationists in general, won’t notice, and, mostly, your hopes are realized.
But oh yeah, people notice. That’s one reason why ID maintains the image of being the discredited apologetics that it has (nearly) always been.
So make him pay. Don’t go back. Laugh at his frustration.