Upright BiPed has been proposing what he has called a “semiotic” theory of Intelligent Design, for a while, which I have found confusing, to say the least. However, he is honing his case, and asks Nick Matzke…
…these three pertinent questions regarding the existence of information within a material universe:
- In this material universe, is it even conceivably possible to record transferable information without utilizing an arrangement of matter in order to represent that information? (by what other means could it be done?)
- If 1 is true, then is it even conceivably possible to transfer that information without a second arrangement of matter (a protocol) to establish the relationship between representation and what it represents? (how could such a relationship be established in any other way?)
- If 1 and 2 are true, then is it even conceivably possible to functionally transfer information without the irreducibly complex system of these two arrangements of matter (representations and protocols) in operation?
… which I think clarify things a little.
I think I can answer them, but would anyone else like to have a go? (I’m out all day today).
But even so, it seems ultimately to rest on the assertion that it is “virtually intractable to purely material causation”, which is just another way of saying “I can’t believe this happened naturally.” Offers to demonstrate that it can were, of course, rejected.
Toronto, you are willfully ignoring the argument being made. Your equivocation of terms has been addressed at least three times on this thread, and at least one of those instances was directly to you. To “transfer information” is to transfer the information from its representational form to its effect – which includes two entirely distinct material processes: transcription and translation. The former can be achieved without a protocol, while the latter cannot. In other words, there is no protocol involved in a photon striking your eye, and no one has claimed that one is required. On the other hand, that photon striking your eye would have absolutely NO EFFECT unless you have the physical protocol required in order to bring an effect about.
Here is just a portion of what you willfully ignore:
– – – – – – – – – – –
And earlier in the conversation: “You are drawing a distinction between the physical processes of transcription versus translation. You are correct that transcription is reducible to its material properties. The pair bonding which exists in DNA and RNA control the arrangement of nucleotides which will be presented for translation, but neither pair bonding nor the arrangement of those nucleotides physically determines which amino acid will appear at the peptide binding site. The amino acid that appears there in not controlled by the physical arrangement of nucleotides, but by the physical arrangement of the protocol.”
Thanks for posting Barbieri. If you read MB, you’ll see that in his original article (as referenced) he provides these two postulates which he claims unified semiotic studies in the biological domain, allowing the further expansion of biosemiotic studies to go forth. The first postulate is that “life and semiosis are coexistent” (from Thomas Sebeok), meaning that semiosis was evident at the origin of life, i.e. the origin of organization stemming from symbolic (informational) control. When he offers this postulate, he gives some substance to it, i.e. that it differentiates the ideas of biosemiosis from pansemiosis and physiosemiosis. This basically separates biosemiosis from the dual ideas that a) inanimate objects demonstrate sign systems or b) that sign systems are purely anthropocentric in nature. These are distinctions which have a material basis and can be defended on material grounds. In the second postulate (which states that semiosis can have nothing to do with the inference to design) he provides no substance whatsoever. It is simply an arbitrary rule which biosemiosis studies must follow in order to be politically acceptable to the scientific establishment. There is no material basis for it whatsoever.
Congratulations on highlighting yet another example of pure ideology driving science. This second postulate forces biosemiosis into positing the same assumed conclusions which are evident in all materialist explanations of origins. In fact, MB, when addressing the origin of semiosis is left to dance incoherently on the head of those exact same empty assumptions:
In any case, thanks for posting it. You may also notice that (at least in one sense) the structure of the observations made here does a far more satisfying job of “unifying semiotic studies”, if for no other reason than it is based entirely on material observation. It is universally applicable.
You should have just accepted the compliment and left it alone. The first half of your response is no more than you re-asserting your invalided formulation (A->B does not describe the argument) and the second half is no more than you channeling Toronto’s willful and obvious equivocation of terms. You implied that you could demolish the semiotic argument, but you didn’t even make a dent. You tried to get an invalid formulation to stick and whined over my use of the word entailment, going so far as to admonish me for not realizing that these two were indeed the same argument. But then you had to concede that my use was valid after all. Just think of the number of times you’ve said that ID has no verifiable entailments, and have another grape
That’s an assertion, provided without justification of any kind. In fairness, why not explain what you mean so your reasoning can be examined?
Information is form about something instantiated into a material medium by the use of representations. To have a functional effect (or, to be “interpreted”) requires a second arrangement of matter which can produce the specified effect from those representations. That second arrangement of matter can be a pattern instantiated in the neural cells in a living thing, or it can be the arrangement of electrical impulses in a CPU, or the arrangement of a chemosensory organ, or even the coordinated placement of tines in a music box. So my answer is that information cannot be “interpreted” (to use your word) without a material protocol. That is the conclusion that universal observation repeatedly verifies. You can falsify it with an observation to the contrary.
Firstly, if the letter “a” is not arbitrary to the “ahh” sound that humans make in speech, then the “ahh” sound that humans make in speech is what determined the letter “a”. Good luck with that.
Secondly, you offer nothing to demonstrate why the letter “a” cannot act as a symbol for the “ahh” sound while also being arbitrary to it. The only thing the letter “a” needs in order to be a symbol for the “ahh” sound is a material protocol required to establish their relationship. In humans (the source of the letter “a”) that protocol exists as a neural pattern(s) in the brains of those who are familiar with English language.
You sort of missed the point (again) don’t you think? Your lengthy response is no different that the guy on trial for strangling the shopkeeper to death with his bare hands and then running away into the woods. Eye witnesses to the crime are said to confirm it. When the prosecution is done with an emotionally stirring description of the dastardly deed, the defense attorney turns back to his client, and returns to the vital piece of evidence he presented during opening statements. He holds his outstretched palm towards his client and invites the judge and jury look upon him. He has no arms and no legs, and hasn’t had any for a dozen years.
You went through that entire speech and never touched the fact that “physical information” does not explain the observed reality of recorded information. You ignored the observed reality that they share nothing in their material action. One does not explain the other. You simply closed your eyes to that fact and kept talking. Nice job.
If one wants to witness “special pleading”, by all means, take note when you try to reconcile the anthropocentric insistence of “physical information” with the material reality of recorded information. If you ever get around to it, then perhaps your comments with be worth responding to.
Every time you open your mouth on this issue, you inevitably stick your foot in it. You think the record backs you up? Let us see:
You insist on redefining the term “protocol”.
Why is it important for you to redefine this one term?
A “protocol” is a predefined series of “exchanges” of “actions” between intelligent agents
Yet you use the term “protocol” when you describe a “process”, which requires no consent from any intelligent agent at all.
A photon striking my eye and “causing” X, whatever we define X to be, is a physical process.
I don’t get to say “No, I don’t want my eye and brain to accept that a photon has excited my sense of vision”.
A “protocol” however, gives me that option.
If I get a data packet with a bad CRC, I can NAK the packet and not accept the “information”.
Do you understand the difference?
Explain to me why a “process” and a “protocol” are equivalent.
If they are not equivalent, show me how I can disregard a photon striking my eye.
No, no, no, no……….., no.
If I send you an MP3 file, you will get the “information”, but you don’t have to play, (transcribe and translate) it, ….ever.
When you “transfer” information, you “transfer” it, you don’t use it unless you perform another step completely unrelated to its “transfer”.
You have now tried to redefine the term “transfer” to mean “transfer and use”.
Come up with your own term for this “process” and leave the existing one alone.
Snip the empty meta-comments, and what remains?
Sure it does. It correctly characterizes numerous claims you’ve made, all reflecting faulty logic. An early example:
Restated: As the four physical entailments are demonstrated in every form of information transfer known to exist (A -> B, in every known instance), satisfying each of the four physical entailments confirms the existence of recorded information transfer. (B, therefore A). Which fails.
A recent example, seasoned with a dash of assumed conclusion:
Which, as another instance of A -> B. B, therefore A, also fails. This remains unrebutted.
The dash of assumed conclusion?
“It is stated” by you. And you are simply stating an assumed conclusion.
From the outset I have noted that your argument has the form A -> B. B, therefore A – unless you are simply assuming your conclusions by definition. Your more recent formulation affirms that you are. Specifically, your more recent approach is to claim (assume) that your “entailments” encompass necessary conditions for the transfer of recorded information/a semiotic state, then justify reasoning from them to the transfer of recorded information/a semiotic state thereby.
But this only works if we already know through independent means that your “entailments” represent necessary conditions for the transfer of recorded information/a semiotic state, of the sort that cannot have arisen by natural means (as you have made abundantly clear elsewhere, while evading such questions here). Hence it is useless inference, as it only tells you either what you already know to be true – or, in your case, assume to be true.
But that assumption won’t do, since it is exactly your assertion that the informational characteristics of DNA replication and transcription cannot have arisen by natural means that is at issue in this discussion.
None of this amounts to anything resembling empirical verification of your theoretical assertions, your fervent hopes notwithstanding, reflecting the fact that you don’t know how to use the concept of “entailment” to do meaningful empirical work.
The above remains unrebutted.
– Information contained in DNA is acquired through a templating process that does not satisfy your definition of “the transfer of recorded information.” During cell division DNA unwinds and, by means of non-arbitrary templating, duplicate strands are assembled containing the identical information. No protocols are involved in creating those duplicates, the materials involved are not physically separated and there is nothing arbitrary in the process.
– Therefore DNA does not contain “recorded information,” because there has been no “transfer of recorded information.”
– Therefore the transcription of DNA into amino acids/proteins cannot be an instance of “the transfer of recorded information” because no “recorded information” is present in DNA.
– The transcription of DNA into proteins itself therefore exemplifies a process that displays the claimed “entailments” of (necessary and sufficient conditions for) “the transfer of recorded information/a semiotic state,” yet there is no transfer of recored information.
It is notable that all transfer of information from generation to generation by means of the replication of DNA occurs by means of this process of templating, absent arbitrary relationships, absent protocols, and absent components that aren’t in direct contact with one another. Apparently, then, either “recorded information” with semiotic content can be transferred from generation to generation without those features, or DNA replication doesn’t contain “recorded information” as you define it, or by “transfer” you don’t mean “transfer.”
This also remains unrebutted.
As the purpose of your “compliment” was a backhand to many other participants in this discussion, I disregarded it as yet another empty meta-comment on their contributions.
A->B, B->A and “entailments”.
One down, one to go.
I understand the predicament you’re in. You go ahead. Repeat it all. Act as if nothing happened.
Reserving for yourself this use of “entailment” does nothing for your semiotic argument. In this single sentence you again express your embrace of assumed conclusions.
“Only exist under specific conditions” describes necessary conditions. But this only works if you already know through independent means that there are necessary conditions and what they are. In this instance, reasoning to your “listed entailments” because you claim/assume they are necessary conditions for semiosis therefore only tells you what you already assume.
This earlier exchange exemplifies your defense of the defective “A -> B. B, therefore A” through the use of assumed conclusions:
“There are many ways in which the ground could become wet, none of which has anything to do with rain…”
Correct. Which is why A -> B. B, therefore A is flawed logic.
Your defense of your use of a defective form of reasoning by means of assumed conclusions.
In the instance of DNA transcription, to state “in no circumstances did we ever find an single instance that did not occur as a result of…” is an assumed conclusion. As is “and we even understood why that it must be this way,” given that “we” understand no such thing in this instance. Rather, we think there are countless instances of systems that meet your entailments, yet arose through natural, unguided, non-semiotic processes, namely all instances of DNA transcription into proteins. Your use of “entailment” to connect observations to assumed conclusions does nothing to establish the accuracy of those assumed conclusions, or help decide this question. So your entire argument – that you have demonstrated that DNA transcription is a semiotic process that cannot have arisen by natural means/unguided processes – collapses once again.
That you have repeatedly attempted to rescue your use of “A -> B. B, therefore A” in this way shows that even you recognize your use of this faulty reasoning, and that it needs rescue.
That you attempted to do so by reasoning to and from assumed conclusions shows that you don’t know how to use the concept of “entailment” to do meaningful empirical work.
You are <b>assuming</b> that your specific thing only exists under your specific conditions.
Absolutely. I suggest that anyone interested in the discussion first read this thread on Uncommon Descent where Lizzie tries repeatedly to get you to commit to operational definitions and a testable prediction. (By the way, did you see what I did there with that link? It allows people to check out the context of what you choose to quote. You should try it.)
After putting up with considerable discourteous behavior on your part, Lizzie finally recognized that getting that commitment from you was simply not possible. She still, however, invited you to continue the discussion here. In your final comment on that thread, you do make a slight concession towards agreeing on a definition, which Lizzie graciously agrees to consider in the future.
Absolutely nothing in that thread supports your statement that “You withdrew because the observed physical entailments of information transfer is beyond even a conceptual unguided process, and you know it.” An objective reading shows that you prevented any testing of your claims by refusing to define your terms rigorously.
So let’s see if I have this straight. First is the claim that DNA’s function, in practice, is semiotic. The argument against that claim is that it fails to meet the requirements of a semiotic process in every important respect. There is no recorded information, the process is not symbolic or abstract, and no protocols are involved according to the accepted meanng of a protocol.
Second is the argument that if we simply ASSUME the process is semiotic anyway by redefining the words “recorded” and “protocol” and “semiotic” to make them fit this biological process (a redefinition Lizzie was willing to swallow just to see where the argument went), therefore observing the results allows us to conclude that the process meets the definition of semiotic as redefined, and no other process could possibly produce such results.
So to summarize: The observed results do not qualify as semiotic unless we DEFINE “semiotic” as needed, and even with this redefinition, simply observing the results does not allow us to conclude that ONLY the redefined “semiosis” could possibly have produced them.
And so we have simply ASSERTED that A is what we say it is, and ASSUMED that it’s the only possible way to produce B. We observe B, so GIVEN both an unjustified assertion and an unwarranted assumption, we can make our desired conclusion come true!
Madbat: If the letter “a” (the representation) was indeed arbitrary to the “ahh” sound (the effect) then it could simply not function as a representation thereof.
Upright Biped: Firstly, if the letter “a” is not arbitrary to the “ahh” sound that humans make in speech, then the “ahh” sound that humans make in speech is what determined the letter “a”. Good luck with that.
No. You seem to think that the antonym to *arbitrary to* is *determined by*. That’s simply not the case. Please read the definition of the word arbitrary (here is a concise one out of many similar ones: *Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system*).
Thus, if the letter “a” were arbitrary to the “ahh” sound that humans make in speech, then, as I keep pointing out, it could simply not function as a representation thereof because writing of the letter would be based on random personal choice (and may thus be a completely different letter, or not a letter at all but an ice cream flavor, or a tea kettle, or whatever, to different people) and not be based on / connected to the former via any reason or system!
Upright Biped: Secondly, you offer nothing to demonstrate why the letter “a” cannot act as a symbol for the “ahh” sound while also being arbitrary to it. The only thing the letter “a” needs in order to be a symbol for the “ahh” sound is a material protocol required to establish their relationship. In humans (the source of the letter “a”) that protocol exists as a neural pattern(s) in the brains of those who are familiar with English language.
Of course I have offered several times why the why the letter “a” cannot act as a symbol for the “ahh” sound while also being arbitrary to it. I have just summarized it again above.
The neural pattern in the brain that establishes a relationship between the letter “a” and the “ahhh” sound is exactly that non-arbitrary system that makes the one function as a symbol of the other! That’s what I have been saying in many many posts now.
UB, in that thread:
A – > B. B, therefore A.
If I’m not mistaken, the term “arbitrary” in the genetic code means that there is little energy difference between different codons. Therefore chemistry doesn’t favor one over the other.
The favoring of one over another is done by selection, which UPB seems to have forgotten about.
You went through that entire speech and never touched the fact that “physical information” does not explain the observed reality of recorded information. You ignored the observed reality that they share nothing in their material action. One does not explain the other. You simply closed your eyes to that fact and kept talking. Nice job.
There’s been no problem identified. If I scratch “HELP!” in huge letters on the beach on a desert island where I crashed my plane, I’m recording information. But every step I take back to my hut inland leaves recorded information, just as much. In one case, I’m deploying human language, the symbols for an English word. In the other case, I’m not using language, but in both cases, demonstrably and necessarily, I’m recording information, information that reflects my activities on that beach.
Human (or non-human) protocols are just one particular means of recording information, among innumerable others. Anything that causes a change in local state is “recorded”. Human recording with symbols “on purpose” does not create any new ontology, it’s just a form of recorded information that corresponds to other bits of recorded information — electrical patterns in the brains of others.
That’s as non-anthropocentric as it gets. ‘Recorded information’ includes my “HELP” scratched on the beach *and* my footprints walking away. The “wet line” on the sand records how far up the beach the last wave that just rolled in and receded went. Etc. Etc. Etc. Humans have their protocols, but these are all meta-protocols, stack on top of physics. Natural law is the fundamental protocol for information, physics the language that all physical interactions are expressed in. The photon that bounces off the water and into your eye gets that information to you by protocol, including the physics of refraction, the speed of light, etc. Your human language, or the biological indirections we find in RNA/DNA are just the top bit of frosting, the umpteenth layer of the protocol stack that is nature behaving naturally.
UB, in his most comprehensive summary of his semiotic theory to date (his presentation addressed to Dr. Moran), states the following:
In short: The “physical entailments” are a necessary result of recorded information transfer. Observing those entailments confirms the existence of actual information transfer.
A -> B. B, therefore A.
However, UB now claims “A->B does not describe the argument.” In response to exposure of the obvious logical defects in the above formulation (as presented to Moran and elsewhere), UB has taken (midstream) an entirely a different tack – and denied ever using entailment in the sense quoted above:
– In his missive to Moran, “These physical entailments are a necessary result of the existence of recorded information transfer.
– Here, his entailments “are the required material conditions for the existence of information transfer.”
UB, your “entailments” cannot both be a “necessary result” of and “the required material conditions” for the transfer of recorded information.
Yet, as documented by these quotes, it is UB who has wildly equivocated in his use of “entailment,” reflecting the muddle I have identified from the outset.
While I have no truck with UBP’s overall argument, there appears to me to be a misunderstanding here about the sense in which he means arbitrary. The letter “a” is arbitrary relative to the “ahhh” sound in the sense that the initial choice of the graphic symbol “a” to represent that sound was arbitrary. Whoever initially chose could have just as well chosen any of an infinite number of other graphic symbols to represent the “ahh” sound. There is no necessary causal link between the graphic symbol “a” and the “ahh” sound such that no other symbol could have been associated with that sound. Any physical associations between the two (such as neural patterns in a brain) are subsequent to, and contingent upon, the initial arbitrary choice. And they can be changed with no loss of meaning. I can create a simple secret code, as kids do, by shifting all the letters of the alphabet by one place. Then to me and those I share the code with, the symbol “b” is now associated with the “ahh” sound.
This can be contrasted with thinking of ACGT (the nucleotides, not the letters) as symbols. Whatever “message” the nucleotides convey about the structure and development of an organism stems from the necessary consequences of their chemical properties. Unlike the kid’s secret code, I’m not at liberty to shift the nucleotides by one and have the message remain the same
So to simplify even further,
1) Entailments are the results; then later
2) Entailments are the causes; then later
3) YOU have changed meanings!
I gotta love that word. Entailments as causes, cause themselves when they are results. Nothing circular here, move on along.
The germ of UB’s confusion is already present in his Moran essay. Dialing down upon the above quote: UB:
In the first sentence his “entailments” are “necessary results.” In the second, “requirements.” Both in the sense of physical causation (not just logical conditional): these are “physical entailments” and “material conditions.”
Hence even this single passage is hopelessly ambiguous and contradictory. Which is what I have responded to from the outset.
Then he accuses others of equivocating when they respond to the contradictory prongs of his confusion, without even the slightest hint of irony on his part.
I think this is a genuine conceptual muddle on UB’s part, something he hasn’t quite thought through.
Given the number of times he’s been corrected and the vehemence with which he resists such correction, I speculate that he suspects that if his “entailments” are NOT both their own cause and effect at the same time, if his argument were NOT circular, it would collapse.
He can’t allow his “result-entailments” to stand alone without admitting they might have multiple causes. He can’t allow his “cause-entailments” to stand alone without admitting that he must ASSUME they are both necessary and sufficient. Which means biology is either not semiotic at all, or not necessarily semiotic and can’t be assumed to be.
So he is really obliged to DEFINE his system as fitting his requirements, and then to CONCLUDE that his system fits his requirements by observation – but all he’s observing is his definition.
So once again, the argument boils down to “I see design because it’s there, and it’s there because I see it.”
Bill, you have now reached the point of pedantic nothingness.
Again, let us see:
With regard to “requirements”: The existence of a fuel, a heat source, and an oxidizing agent are requirements for the existence of a fire. In the instance of a fire, these elements will be involved in an exothermic reaction called combustion. These three elements, plus combustion, are the required material conditions of a fire.
With regard to “results”: I was presenting a list of observations which could be used to verify the existence of the transfer of recorded information. In other words, a test of what specific material conditions would be found as a result of such an instance occurring. If there was a genuine instance of recorded information transfer, then these material conditions would be found as a necessary result of that instance.
Bill, you’ve argued your case. Your objections ultimately didn’t stand up, and eventually you conceded the points against your attack (i.e. RB: “that would be a valid use…I take your point”). You were given the opportunity to just leave it at that, and were even complimented on your effort. However, you have chosen to traipse back through the argument in an effort to scramble together something anew to attack with. Unfortunately, your new line of attack is based upon nothing more than giving the argument the poorest “fair reading” you could give it. This is indicative of your position. Do you really want to spend another 10 or 20 pages pouring over the word “result”? Your attack on this front will require me to have assigned a “causal” significance to the word “result” in this instance, which is something I have already plainly stated that I do not give it. A fire requires certain things in order to exist, so if a fire has occurred, the existence of those certain things can be found as a necessary result of the fact that a fire has occurred. This does not indicate that the “certain things” were caused by the fire (i.e. a product of the fire) but only that the “certain things” are a necessary condition of the fire’s existence. If you choose to continue with this line of attack, I can assure you that I will start presenting copious examples of the word “result” used in this fashion. Each of them will be a legitimate use of the word. It will not be difficult to defeat your new argument. I am just wondering; given that you just completed a 111 day argument ending in concessions on both your lines of attack (“A->B,B->A” and “entailments”), how excited are you about losing yet another argument over the word “result”?
In those two sentences you once again commit the egregious logical error that you’ve been making, and that we’ve been pointing out, throughout the entire thread:
transfer of recorded information -> certain observations;
therefore certain observations -> transfer of recorded information.
A -> B;
therefore B -> A.
Your reasoning is invalid, and it will remain invalid even if you reiterate it a thousand times.
I looked at the context, and what Bill said was basically, “that would be a valid use IF AND ONLY IF you could demonstrate that your causes are both necessary and sufficient — that is, that no other set of causes can produce your entailments”. And you simply ignored that requirement, you continue to act as though Bill didn’t say it, you purposely omit it when quote-mining him, and you simply continue to pretend he conceded something he did not concede.
This is dishonest. Do you think nobody notices?
The logical formulation of “A->B, B->A” forces an inappropriate relational operator on the argument.
This has already been conceded:
I’ve tried to fight through all this verbiage, and as far as I can tell UB has spent countless long paragraphs arguing forcefully that the rain is wet, that it falls, that the wetness is transferred to the ground, that the mechanics by which rain wets the ground are fully understood, that the ground is really wet, that detailed examination unbiguously shows that the ground is wet, and that every known rainstorm has wet the ground without exception, and we know exactly how and why this happens in great detail.
And THEREFORE, wet ground means rain!
Not one thing he’s said about either rain or water or wetness or the ground or the rain process or the rain results is incorrect. So how can his conclusion be illogical? It can’t! and therefore pointing it out has “reached the point of pedantic nothingness.”
I think we’re seeing here a case where a foregone conclusion is so sincerely believed that nothing else can penetrate or make any sense. The logical fallacy is not correctable because it is not visible and can’t be made visible.
“A->B,B->A” has NOT been conceded!
What was conceded was your description of a physical relationship NOT a “logical” one.
Do you agree that if your child smiles when seeing a picture of Santa Claus, that you can conclude that every time he smiles, he must have seen a picture of Santa Claus?
It seems you believe exactly that.
Now, let’s read that quote carefully. I notice the third word is IF. Bill has said IF the necessary and sufficient conditions are present, then the relationship is valid. The IF is being ignored here as though it’s not even there.
Elsewhere Bill has written that it has not been shown that the necessary and sufficient conditions are present. Bill has even pointed out that they are NOT present, and uses the very example of protein formation as an example where those conditions are absent. UB’s logical error not only makes it possible for his conclusion to be false, it leads in practice directly to a false conclusion! And UB simply ignores and omits every bit of that.
Now, I can see that Bill made a tactical error here. Bill essentially said “IF a dog’s tail is a leg, THEN a dog as five legs. BUT it’s not a leg.” And UB continues to extract from this quote the excerpt “a dog has five legs”, and repeatedly reproduces this mined quote as though it were the whole context.
Maybe Bill lost sight of how creationists work?
Bill equivocated in his rebuttal by applying an inappropriate logical operator to my argument, while at the same time accepting appropriate relational operators in examples which are virtually identical to my argument. He then used that equivocation to repeatedly argue for the past 110+ days that “no evidence was even necessary” in order to defeat my argument. On the contrary, I have tried repeatedly to move the argument to the observable evidence for the simple reason that that is where its strength is. I have given the origin argument; I have presented the definitions of terms, provided the premises, and restated the argument in relation to the logical deduction of necessary and sufficient conditions.
Your implication that Bill is begging me to get around to the evidence doesn’t even pass the smell test.
There is no “protocol” involved in hearing, which is a “transfer of information”, while there are “processes” involved.
Please show me the differences between a “protocol” and a “process”.
Are there any?
Do you believe one of those terms are redundant?
Here aren’t you just saying that you are using the terms “transfer of recorded information” and “the use of representations and protocols” as synonyms?
This seems to be why everyone who has been following the discussion sees your argument as circular.
If these terms identify exactly the same real world referents, what purpose is served by using both? Why don’t you just make it clear that these are your definitions and proceed with making your argument?
Toronto, your continued equivocation of the terms used in the argument has already been dealt with at least four times. When people engage in debate, it is customary for one to ask the other to define their terms. Perhaps you’ve heard of the practice. This is done so that any refutations of the arguments can be seen as valid, as opposed to being a refutation of equivocated terms.
Well, I provided my definitions in purely material terms. You have thus far either ignored them, or complained about them because you cannot invalidate them on the material basis in which they are presented. Consequently, it doesn’t really seem that there is anything left to say.
Patrick, replace “information transfer” and “representations and protocols”, with “fire” and the “fire tetrahedron”.
Now ask yourself why we even need the word “fire”. Why not just replace it with “fire tetrahedron”?
– – – – – – – –
Of course, this objection was dealt with long ago on this thread, but don’t let that get in your way.
That’s why I am asking you for an answer.
It is you, not I, who are using the terms “protocol” and “process” as if they are equivalent.
Please show me the differences between a “protocol” and a “process”.
If you can’t, how can you claim a “protocol” instead of a “process”?
I’ll start off the description of the terms.
A “protocol” requires an intelligent agent at each end.
A “process” requires no intelligence at all.
So, if “information” is not transferred by “protocol”, there is no requirement for an intelligent designer and ID is not implied by the “transfer of information”.
I have never described the protocol as a process. I have only ever described it as a material object, i.e. an “arrangement of matter to establish the otherwise arbitrary relationship between the representation and its effect within the system”.
Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again….I have said the exact same thing.
Are you assured enough of yourself to simply admit that your claim about me describing the protocol as a process has no merit whatsoever, or will you continue to justify it in the face of my posts here which are 100% to the contrary?
No, thank you, I’d rather get an understanding of your actual argument than go down another analogy rat hole.
You made the following points about your terms “transfer of recorded information” and “the use of representations and protocols”:
Operationally, you are using these terms to mean exactly the same thing, as far as I can tell.
If “transfer of recorded information” is in any way different from “the use of representations and protocols”, please explain how. If there is nothing in your definition of these two terms to distinguish them, there is not only no need to use both, using both does not in any way advance your argument.
So, do these terms refer to different concepts or not?
The term “protocol”, as used by anyone else anywhere, does not refer to a material object.
You have tried to redefine the term.
A “protocol” is a set of predefined actions and responses agreed upon by one or more parties.
If during any debate I started to redefine terms to mean something completely different to their accepted usage, I would expect to be called on it.
My opposition might also fairly ask, why I was doing that.
So, why are you using the term “protocol” to mean something other than its commonly accepted usage?
Brazenly following up to my own comment, it occurs to me that an easy way to determine the difference between “transfer of recorded information” and “the use of representations and protocols”, if one exists, is to explain exactly how to measure each process.
How, exactly, would one determine that a “transfer of recorded information”, by your definition, has taken place? Similarly, how, exactly, would one determine that “the use of representations and protocols”, again by your definition, has taken place?
If the two measurement mechanisms are identical, those terms refer to the same concept.
Which is, by the way, exactly my earlier oft asked, never answered question:
What does “a semiotic state” entail that “the transfer of recorded information” does not? If something, then what? If nothing, then why invoke it?
(Don’t hold your breath.)
I have made no claim that you have described the “protocol” as a process.
What you have described in all your arguments regarding your semiotic theory of ID, are processes, not protocols.
You have however, redefined the term “protocol” to mean “an arrangement of matter”, a term no one else uses but you.
A process doesn’t need intelligence, while a protocol does.
Without an actual protocol, your semiotic theory of ID doesn’t need an intelligent designer.
there appears to me to be a misunderstanding here about the sense in which he means arbitrary.
No, I don’t think that I am misunderstanding the sense in which he uses the word arbitrary. I agree with you (and him) about the infinite number of other graphic symbols that may theoretically be chosen to represent the “ahh” sound. The important point is this (in your own words, emphasis mine):
Any physical associations between the two (such as neural patterns in a brain) are subsequent to, and contingent upon, the initial arbitrary choice.
Because the association between the two is contingent upon the symbol initially chosen (and the changes to this choice such as in a secret code), the letter is exactly in this context – i.e. in it’s function as a representation of the “ahh” sound – not arbitrary to it!
You are, of course, correct. I’ll have to look back to see when “semiotic state” evolved into “the use of representations and protocols.”
Regardless of the words used to denote the underlying concept, I do think that a clear description of how to identify or measure each process would quickly demonstrate whether or not the terms are synonyms, by Upright Biped’s definitions.
UB doesn’t agree that “A -> B. B, therefore A” characterizes his argument. He feels I derive this conclusion from an unsympathetic reading of his bafflegab.
Let us therefore look more carefully at his missive to Larry Moran. All quoted passages are UB, unless otherwise noted. I’ve occasionally interjected a clarification in brackets.
All forms of recorded information exhibit the entailments. (A -> B, in all instances, including those created by intelligence.)
We have a series of observations that find B in all observed As, regardless of origin. (A -> B.)
A series of observations enable us to generalize and compile B from many instances of A, regardless of source. (A -> B.)
(A – > B implicit from the above. B. Therefore A.)
B is observed in the translation of genetic information, as with all instances of recorded information. (B is found in the genome. All A -> B.)
(B is found in the genome. All A -> B.)
B confirms C, a semiotic state. (B, therefore C, out of left field.)
This is here only because UB is so utterly wrong, yet so confidently emphatic.