Pesky EleP(T|H)ant

Over at Uncommon Descent KirosFocus repeats the same old bignum arguments as always. He seems to enjoy the ‘needle in a haystack’ metaphor, but I’d like to counter by asking how does he know he’s not searching for a needle in a needle stack?

There is then of course much smugness and back-pating, along with “Notice some chirping crickets?”

Well, let’s see what happens in an environment where crickets aren’t moderated or banned…

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58 thoughts on “Pesky EleP(T|H)ant

  1. Ngur?

    Just what is the CSI/ FSCO/I concept trying to say to us?

    I wanted to make a humorous remark when I saw this head. But my brain just refused. Gave me the finger and packed up. Anybody?

    He seems to promote the theory of intelligent falling here. Something about 500 bits of FICOS/uh being enough for the solar system. Is that new? Am I misunderstanding this? Or was he always this weird?

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  2. Gralgrathor: Is that new?

    It’s not new. In essence a specific protein of N(long) length would take longer then the lifetime of the universe to find if proteins were generated randomly. Therefore it must have been designed.

    Or in other words, a tornado would never assemble a 747 if it went through a junkyard. 747’s are designed.

    There are many threads on this site talking about it, search for “CSI” and “EleP(T|H)ant”

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  3. Allan Miller: Oh, never mind …

    Yeah, not a native speaker, and not particularly bright, so I’m not getting anything beyond the Hoyle reference here…

    What I meant is that it’s a bit disappointing to read this from KF. It’s one thing to say that life looks designed. It’s another to actually replace a theory of gravity with a theory of intelligent falling. I was reading some KF’s long-winded fluff in the hopes of occasionally finding an interesting tidbit, something worth some minute amount of consideration. But now I can’t anymore. I am bereft.

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  4. Gralgrathor,

    Many have passed that way before you. You only need to read one KF post in your life. All others are the same, right down to the same phrases, over and over and over.

    [It was a pun – a shit one! – on the expression “old as the hills”. ]

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  5. KF’s argument boils down to a Behe-like argument.

    The argument of how difficult it is to find a particular protein is older than Hoyle’s, it goes back at least to the 1967 symposium volume “Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-darwinian Interpretation of Evolution”, edited by Moorhead and Brown and published by the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. The arguments there were presented by mathematicians Marcel-Paul Schutzenberger and Murray Eden. That volume was kept in print for many years by being touted by creationists and ID proponents.

    The “EleP(T|H)ant” argument is actually different — it is William Dembski’s CSI argument in its latest, and apparently proper, incarnation. Dembski’s argument apparently boils down to a quantity (Complex Specified Information), but you only compute that after you have already, by some other means unspecified [warning: pun], concluded that natural processes cannot produce the particular adaptation that you are considering. So in the end Dembski’s CSI is not the crucial quantity.

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  6. There is then of course much smugness and back-pating, along with “Notice some chirping crickets?”

    Well, let’s see what happens in an environment where crickets aren’t moderated or banned…

    Hmmmmmm.

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  7. What I find most bizzare in this universe where we can now look across almost back to the beginning of time is this.

    It’s just us. In a universe “designed for life”. If that’s the case you’d expect to see, um, life. Other then us.

    So seems like quite a wasteful design to me. But it convinces KF

    PS: Just think, a cosmos that sits at a very narrow operating point, with the first four elements being H, He, O and C; with N close. That’s stars, galaxies and the gateway to the periodic table. O brings in water, the wonder molecule . . . and with other elements a lot of rocks. C opens up the connector block space of organic chemistry. With N we are at the Amine group -NH2, O having enabled the carboxylic acid group -COOH, and we are looking at proteins already. The stage is set. And if one imagines this is forced by some super-law, that only pushes fine tuning back one step. If instead you think, winning the lottery in a multiverse lottery, ponder the tightness of the local “island” and then consider what is needed to search it out on sampling resources. That’s before we get a good answer on empirical evidence of such a multiverse. As to notions on getting a cosmos from nothing, the proper definition of nothing is non-being. Non-being simply cannot have causal powers.

    Yeah, whatever the universe is fine-tuned for it’s not to generate us, not if we consider the universe as a whole.

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  8. I like the idea that there is some sort of paradoxicality of “non-being” having “causal powers” but nothing weird about Zeus or (Hay Zeus) having them. It’s a classic burden shift.

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  9. walto: paradoxicality

    Wowza, what a word. I’m going to name my next geocache Paradoxicality. A game of hide and seek is (metaphorically) a paradox. Look for me, but don’t find me. No, find me, or what would be the point? (No fun for the hider to be lost/unfound forever. Just as no fun to be found “too soon”.)

    I agree that the IDiots are trying a classic burden shift, but I’m not sure what you mean about the paradox here. If you’d like to explain more …

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  10. I take it this KF fellow finds some sort of paradox in the idea of the universe “coming from nothing” or always being there, but does not find anything strange either in “God” coming from nothing or in His (note the capital ‘H’) always being there. In addition, he doesn’t find it strange to use some bearded fellow or other–like Zeus (or Hay Zeus)–as an explanation for everything that is currently unexplained.

    Maybe he wouldn’t call any of this paradoxical, though. I don’t really know.

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  11. walto:
    I take it this KF fellow finds some sort of paradox in the idea of the universe “coming from nothing” or always being there, but does not find anything strange either in “God” coming from nothing or in His (note the capital ‘H’) always being there.In addition, he doesn’t find it strange to use some bearded fellow or other–like Zeus (or Hay Zeus)–as an explanation for everything that is currently unexplained.

    Maybe he wouldn’t call any of this paradoxical, though.I don’t really know.

    If you have an account at UD, please invite him here so we can discuss it. I for one promise to be on my best behavior.

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  12. Where I see the paradox in Kairosfocus’ thinking is we are supposed to be in grateful awe of the Creator god Designer which instantiated our universe such that

    … C opens up the connector block space of organic chemistry. With N we are at the Amine group -NH2, O having enabled the carboxylic acid group -COOH, and we are looking at proteins already. The stage is set.

    but also supposed to be in grateful awe of the Intelligent Designer which meddled (How? Dunno, don’t ask, but clearly It didn’t twiddle Its little fingers, since It doesn’t have anything so pedestrian as actual fingers) with that stage-set chemistry to spark an OoL. (Why? To lead to us, of course, eventually, and don’t worry your pretty little head about why we’re going to take almost 4 billion years to reach Its goal of our appearance.) And further meddled to separate “body plans” (see Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt, etc.) during the approximately 10-million-year span of the Cambrian Explosion, when the life It had already originated needed “more information”.

    Wait, why didn’t It get life all right the first time? Why the need to meddle, and meddle again, and again? How can any being Intelligent enough to intentionally create a universe with that awesome chemistry pre-suited for life be so stupid when it comes to creating actual life? Even granting that “God works in mysterious ways” how can Its designed life be so kludgey, hesitant, mistaken, at constant risk of extinction, constantly requiring re-design to add features which will be necessary for the next step in our later evolution?

    It’s a paradox if they think that one Mind/God/Designer was capable of creating – from eternal pure mind – our entire universe in one instant (that is, presumably KF and others like him think that the Big Bang was the instant of creation) while simultaneously think ing that same Mind was not capable (or at best unwilling) to create a modern life-form without billions of years of failed experimentation.

    I give them zero points for consistency.

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  13. hotshoe: Wait, why didn’t It get life all right the first time? Why the need to meddle, and meddle again, and again?

    Actually this is the tack I’ve been taking for some time now. Trying to divide them up into groups.

    The universe was fine tuned.
    The universe was fine tuned and the OOL was artificial.
    The universe was fine tuned and the OOL was artificial and proteins were created.
    The universe was fine tuned and the OOL was artificial and proteins were created and bodyplans were created.
    The universe was fine tuned and the OOL was artificial and proteins were created and bodyplans were created and what appears to be random mutations are in fact not random, but designed.
    The universe was fine tuned and the OOL was artificial and proteins were created and bodyplans were created and what appears to be random mutations are in fact not random, but designed and we’re naught but empty rag dolls with a disembodied spirit’s hand up our fundamental being.

    And so on. They really do range from “fine tuning only” to “everything that happens is designed” so no wonder they can’t get specific and band together and actually do some real work. It makes the conversations at UD vastly amusing, to me at least, as they dance around each other’s beliefs.

    They have all combinations of beliefs. When nothing is ruled out, everything and all combinations of everything are available.

    Lately they have been calling each out out more, mung for example. I guess anodyne agreement leading to nothing new except more posts at UD highlighting words like “unexpected” in press releases rather then actual findings from actual ID research get’s tiring eventually.

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  14. Patrick: If you have an account at UD, please invite him here so we can discuss it. I for one promise to be on my best behavior.

    In my experience I find they all avidly read this site, ATBC etc. There’s no need for a explicit invitation, he’s already read your comment!

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  15. OMagain: In my experience I find they all avidly read this site, ATBC etc. There’s no need for a explicit invitation, he’s already read your comment!

    That’s disconcerting.

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  16. Gralgrathor:
    Joe Felsenstein,

    Why don’t Behe and his lot just conclude that their god doesn’t want to be found and sit back and have a brewski?

    Because they want to poison children’s minds with their BS.

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  17. Patrick: That’s disconcerting.

    The original caption for that LOLcat was “Ceiling cat is watching you masturbate”.

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  18. JonF:

    [Patrick] That’s disconcerting.

    The original caption for that LOLcat was “Ceiling cat is watching you masturbate”.

    I don’t mind that 😛

    But I won’t go over to their place for their abuse unless I’m paid. The sad wankers at UD will just have to get themselves off without my help. Sorry, boys.

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  19. Joe Felsenstein,

    Good point Joe, my mistake. Its basically just a big numbers / winning hand argument. No actual math pertaining to this issue, though.

    It has been pointed out many times in many places (including here) that despite changing the acronym a few times, no one has ever calculated the CSI / FSCO/I / YMCA / Designedness of anything, so it is not an empirical hurdle but simply a placeholder for “looks designed to me”. So by all means let them declare victory in the pillowfort, everyone (including the IDisits) knows the idea isn’t competitive outside of the echo chamber that is UD.

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  20. Richardthughes,

    I’m not sure we are entirely on the same page here. dFSCO/I (or however it is spelled) is some kind of Behe-like argument which I don’t claim to follow. Presumably any critique of it would follow the same lines as a critique of Behe’s arguments. Giving it terminology similar to Dembski’s probably doesn’t help any.

    (I hope that folks here will be tolerant of me dragging this discussion off to my favorite territory, Dembski’s CSI. I know it is a bit OT for this thread, so allow me my obsession and maybe just ignore it).

    Dembski’s CSI is not calculable in real life, but that worries me a lot less than it does most of the rest of the folks here. In simple evolutionary models you can calculate it. One has some sort of fitness scale. With respect to some initial distribution, particularly one that random mutation (in the absence of natural selection) would produce, we could ask what fraction of the distribution would have higher fitness than the oberved genotype(s). Thus if we see an organism that is sufficiently highly adapted that less than 10-to-the-minus-150 of a random bunch of strings are as good or better, this is interesting. In effect it means that we would not expect to see that good an organism by pure (unselected) mutation even once in the whole history of the universe. And many adaptations of many organisms will be better than that bound.

    Thus it is convincingly implausible that pure mutation could have brought this such adaptations (again, in the absence of natural selection). This part of the argument isn’t silly, and is basically OK. So there I depart from most of you-all: the argument is cogent, as far as it goes.

    But … it doesn’t go far enough to rule out natural selection. It us fairly clear that there is no difficulty in principle in having natural selection act on a distribution of random genomes and get them that far out on the scale. I gave a model example in a post here back in 2010. There was a lot of upset in responses by ID types to that.

    At that point, it seemed to me, and also to most of Dembski’s friends, that what Dembski had done was to establish a Law of Conservation of Complex Specified Information that ruled out natural selection doing this. In fact, as I correct argued in my 2007 article in Reports of the National Center for Science Education, there is a flaw in Dembski’s argument that makes his conservation law unable to rule out the ability of natural selection to put CSI in the genome.

    But not so fast. Dembski had always had a clause in his argument saying that one had to rule out simple processes of “necessity” such as patterns like moss growing preferentially on the north side of tree trunks. In 2013 Winston Ewert, a Dembski co-author, objected that we were ignoring this. Invoking Dembski’s 2005 article Specification, the Pattern That Signifies Infelligence he argues that one needs to first rule out mechanisms of “necessity” including natural selection, and that this was always Dembski’s argument. (It was not clear to me, and I think not clear to many of Dembski’s co-thinkers, but OK, let’s accept that).

    So where does that leave CSI? I argue that in principle that we can imagine calculating it. Is it then the crucial quantity which shows that we can rule out natural selection? In some posts at Panda’s Thumb and here, I argued and Elizabeth Liddle argued that the use of CSI to rule out the action of natural selection ignored the problem of “belling the cat” (or ignored “The EleP(T|H)ant in the Room”). Namely, before one could even calculate CSI one had to already have ruled out that natural causes could have brought about the adaptation. Including natural selection! Thus CSI is not the critical quantity for ruling out natural evolutionary processes, because one has to rule those out before one even starts to calculate CSI!

    So CSI has now been declared, in effect, to not be the crucial quantity to compute to do a Design Inference, to use the Explanatory Filter. First we have to bell the cat, which no one knows how to do.

    So yes, CSI is calculable in simple models. But once calculated, it is not particularly useful for rejecting the role of natural selection in explaining adaptations, for to do that you have to have some other, prior, method of rejecting it.

    Again, apologies for dragging up this dead horse and flogging it again — that is one of the costs one pays for having me here.

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  21. Joe Felsenstein: — that is one of the costs one pays for having me here.

    I won’t call it a cost; you’re a benefit.

    And a little repetition is how we learn. Or, at least, how I do. So, “dead horses”, okay. You don’t do it too often.

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  22. Dembski’s argument is of course one against spontaneous generation, basically Hoyle revisited. Winning hands can be dealt or built by substituting cards, more often the latter.

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  23. Richardthughes,

    Substituting cards is more like mutation, with the decision whether to keep them being like natural selection. I assume you intended this and meant to point out that this way one can get around the rarity of highly-rated hands.

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  24. Looking at KFs post, a few points:

    1. As people have noted, he is basically arguing from the improbability of finding a viable solution. It would be improbable to find an efficiently-functioning protein. But people have often noted that a random polypeptide chain will have some low-level enzyme activity for many reactions. From there one could improve.

    2. Could natural selection do that? KF notes that Dawkins’ Weasel argument says yes. But then

    This was an intelligently targetted search that rewarded non-functional configurations for being an increment closer to the target phrase. That is, it inadvertently illustrated the power of intelligent design; though, it was — largely successfully — rhetorically presented as showing the opposite. (And, on closer inspection, Genetic Algorithm searches and the like turn out to be much the same, injecting a lot of active information that allows overwhelming the search challenge implied in the above. But the foresight that is implied is exactly what we cannot allow, and incremental hill-climbing is plainly WITHIN an island of function, it is not a good model of blindly searching for its shores.)

    Notice the concept of “active information”. In Dembski and Marks’s terminology (in their Search For a Search argument, “active information” is present whenever the fitness surface is smooth enough to enable a good solution to be found. In Dembski and Marks’s framework, our naive expectation is that there whenever we mutate a sequence, the fitness (or in this case level of “function”) is randomly chosen from all possible fitnesses. In short, a fitness surface with no “active information” is a “white noise” fitness function. There is then no correlation between the fitnesses of neighboring points. A single mutation (a single change of amino acid, for example) is then expected to be just as disastrous as mutating every position in the protein simultaneously.

    It should immediately be obvious that real proteins aren’t like that. Some amino acid positions are more likely than others to affect function. If the position that changes is one of the less important ones, the fitness is likely to be rather similar to the previous fitness. As long as two protein sequences that are one amino acid apart are nonrandomly similar in fitness (or function). This is “active information”, but it is not built into the fitness surface by any designer. “Active Information” can come from the ordinary laws of physics and chemistry. KF makes it sound as if active information can only come from a Designer.

    This does not entirely do away with KF’s argument that “islands of function” are isolated. But the presence of weak functions of many kinds in random proteins would certainly be worth exploring — it would argue that many random proteins are on the lower slopes of peaks of the fitness function. Are there, as KF says, “shores” of the “islands of function”? Or is the sea level extremely low?

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  25. Joe Felsenstein,

    KF’s just guessing. Biochemical function is found routinely in random libraries of both peptide and nucleic acid chains. It’s a standard technique, to mass-generate and see what drops out. And we can use selection to tune promising leads.

    If we can do lab-useful work of this kind, with a necessarily massively restricted sample of search space, I don’t see that this should be a prohibitive problem for Life, to locate and tune a particular reaction. There are only half a dozen fundamental enzyme-catalysed reactions, and vastly many configurations that can achieve them. A lot of the subtlety and variety comes in substrate specificity and kinetic adjustment, which involve adjusting the ‘wire-frame’ shape of the molecule, which is clearly something that can be done incrementally around the molecular surface.

    Of course, we then come to an ‘origins’ question – whether peptides-first is a plausible scenario. I don’t think it is, though Prof Moran and many others disagree. But if the peptide world was explored off the back of a precursor system, this changes matters substantially. There is then no requirement for early peptides to be catalytic at all. There are many other functions for protein besides catalysis. It shifts the problem onto something else – nucleic acid, probably – but viewing origins as a ‘protein question’ could be an error.

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  26. Allan Miller:

    There are only half a dozen fundamental enzyme-catalysed reactions, and vastly many configurations that can achieve them. A lot of the subtlety and variety comes in substrate specificity and kinetic adjustment, which involve adjusting the ‘wire-frame’ shape of the molecule, which is clearly something that can be done incrementally around the molecular surface.

    Of course, we then come to an ‘origins’ question – whether peptides-first is a plausible scenario. I don’t think it is, though Prof Moran and many others disagree. But if the peptide world was explored off the back of a precursor system, this changes matters substantially. There is then no requirement for early peptides to be catalytic at all. There are many other functions for protein besides catalysis. It shifts the problem onto something else – nucleic acid, probably – but viewing origins as a ‘protein question’ could be an error.

    One issue is whether KF is talking about origin-of-life or much later evolution. The name “origins” leaves that unclear. It also implies that there is some fundamental difference between “origins” and ordinary evolution. In fact, many antievolutionists consider every speciation to be an “origin”. When you try to focus on that process then they bring up the name “origins” and whiz off to the Origin Of Life, where we know much less.

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  27. Joe Felsenstein,

    I think that your average ID-er regards the origin of protein and the origin of life as contemporary events. Witness Upright Biped’s much-backslapped ‘semiotic’ theory, where he regards the translation system as an essential precursor to Life, and the many Hoyle-style scenarios that have amino acids bumping into each other in solution. They are right in one thing: that is very implausible as a start point.

    Almost invariably, when they get stumped in a post-OoL discussion, we are whisked back to the OoL and challenged to explain that. Or a ‘body plan’, or some feature – epigenetics, say. The notion of continuity seems hard to get through – everything (chronospecies, an organ, a particular enzyme etc) ‘must’ have a definitve start point, to them.

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  28. Joe Felsenstein: This does not entirely do away with KF’s argument that “islands of function” are isolated. But the presence of weak functions of many kinds in random proteins would certainly be worth exploring — it would argue that many random proteins are on the lower slopes of peaks of the fitness function. Are there, as KF says, “shores” of the “islands of function”? Or is the sea level extremely low?

    If the islands were isolated, there would be no varieties.

    New protein domains arise about every million years — give or take an order of magnitude. That’s looking at all of life on earth, which is mostly microbial. There’s a lot of parallel processing going on. Most protein invention was done by microbes.

    Most evolution in eukaryotes occurs by regulation. One should ask KF for some data on the isolation of regulatory islands.

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  29. KF: “The pivotal design issue is that FSCO/I is a highly empirically reliable, analytically plausible sign of design as cause.”

    Thank you.

    As we’re seen evolution create as close to CSI as they’ve been able to measure, design and evolution are not mutually exclusive, as long as ‘CSI / FSCO/I’ is the benchmark for design

    Also we MUST point out CSI / FSCO/I has no pedigree. It has not been scientifically investigated in a real world way. There are no credible CSI calculations AFAICT. There has been no efficacy testing on items we already know the design status of.

    IDists don’t want to do the work, they just want to have an argument.

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  30. Joe Felsenstein: Again, apologies for dragging up this dead horse and flogging it again — that is one of the costs one pays for having me here.

    We’re all grateful for your input, I’m sure. I know I am.

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  31. I have to say though that Kairosfocus’ ruminations don’t cause me much concern. It doesn’t seem that even the remnant of ID followers takes him seriously. I generally don’t bother to read anything at all by him and scroll past unless there’s something interesting that develops in the discussion and that’s an increasingly rare event.

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  32. Alan Fox: We’re all grateful for your input, I’m sure. I know I am.

    Absolutely. I also find CSI oddly compelling — it’s the one intelligent design creationist claim other than Behe’s refuted irreducible complexity that is potentially testable.

    Based on the previous EleP(T|H)ant threads here, CSI appears to be in tatters at best. I would be very interested in hearing Dembski’s response to those challenges. I suppose that’s too much to hope for, although if he does speak anywhere within 50 miles of me I’m willing to pay as much as $5.00 for the chance to get the mic during Q&A.

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  33. Patrick: I would be very interested in hearing Dembski’s response to those challenges.

    My understanding is tha Dembski’s Search for a Search is a response. I think the upshot is that if functional space is not comprised of isolated islands, the space itself must be designed.

    Sort of like saying the shape is a pyramid is designed, because it is the shape assumed by a pile of dropped objects.

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  34. petrushka: My understanding is tha Dembski’s Search for a Search is a response. I think the upshot is that if functional space is not comprised of isolated islands, the space itself must be designed.

    Sort of like saying the shape is a pyramid is designed, because it is the shape assumed by a pile of dropped objects.

    I’ve read that paper and it seems to me that Dembski is retreating to deism at best and the puddle fallacy at worst. In either case, it’s not a long term tenable position for him if he wants to continue to make money from his books. His target audience doesn’t want to hear about any of that theistic evolution heresy.

    With respect to the threads here, I don’t think that “Search for a Search” addresses the core issue highlighted by Lizzie et al., namely that CSI is useless as a metric because it requires demonstrating what it is intended to show before it can be used. I would find it mildly amusing to watch Dembski attempt to address that flaw in public.

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  35. Richardthughes:

    As we’re seen evolution create as close to CSI as they’ve been able to measure, design and evolution are not mutually exclusive, as long as ‘CSI / FSCO/I’ is the benchmark for design

    The old (mis?)understanding of CSI, that it measured how far out you were on a fitness-like scale, is something that natural selection can produce in simple
    population genetics models.

    The problem is that under the (revised?) definition CSI can’t be produced by natural selection. That is easily proven … because it is defined as only there if it can’t be produced by chance or “necessity”. So the issue is not whether natural selection can produce CSI — it can’t by definition — but how one assesses that.

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  36. Patrick: I’ve read that paper and it seems to me that Dembski is retreating to deism at best and the puddle fallacy at worst.In either case, it’s not a long term tenable position for him if he wants to continue to make money from his books.His target audience doesn’t want to hear about any of that theistic evolution heresy.

    Glenn Branch just called my attention to this new book by Dembski:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/06/the_fundamental087211.html

    It sounds like he is committing himself to “in the beginning was the bit”. The Table of Contents in the About tab of the book’s site shows three chapters on evolution, toward the end of the book. I am assuming that they will be the deistic Search-For-a-Search argument again, one which does not at all rule out the efficacy of natural selection. But he might mix in a little Behe too.

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  37. Joe Felsenstein: The problem is that under the (revised?) definition CSI can’t be produced by natural selection. That is easily proven … because it is defined as only there if it can’t be produced by chance or “necessity”. So the issue is not whether natural selection can produce CSI — it can’t by definition — but how one assesses that.

    But doesn’t that render it toothless and incalculable?

    http://frankston.com/public/?name=HolmesianFallacy

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  38. Richardthughes: But doesn’t that render it toothless and incalculable?

    Toothless, yes. The victim has to be already thoroughly bitten to death before CSI gets to gum it.

    But calculable, well maybe. If one could somehow eliminate the possibility of the adaptation being explained by natural selection, maybe one could calculate it. Although it being toothless, it’s not clear why anyone would want to bother calculating it.

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  39. petrushka: They say is is better to be eaten by tigers than pecked to death by ducks.

    Who says? Not someone who has been eaten by a tiger, presumably? Has anyone been pecked to death by a duck?

    ETA 🙂

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  40. @ Patrick

    Since Joe F claims to be able to calculate CSI, shouldn’t he get the Mathgrrl grilling?

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  41. Alan Fox:
    @ Patrick

    Since Joe F claims to be able to calculate CSI, shouldn’t he get the Mathgrrl grilling?

    Grill away! However it is in simple mathematical models of population genetics that I claim to be able to compute it.

    This of course would be the earlier version of CSI that computes the probability of a mutational process producing a genotype as fit, or more fit, than the one in question.

    Since then we have been told that one calculates it only after we can eliminate the possibility of natural selection producing the genotype. So now no one knows how to compute CSI.

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  42. Joe Felsenstein:

    Although it [CSI] being toothless, it’s not clear why anyone would want to bother calculating it.

    Gralgrathor: Yes it is. Abundantly so.

    Do explain. Aside from just needing it as a “mathy” mysterious calculation.

    Remember, we first have to know how to rule out chance and “necessity”, including all ordinary evolutionary forces. At which point, the case for Design is, according to these folks, already made.

    So what would the calculation of CSI, which comes after, add to this?

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