Teleology in mindless BIBO stable cybernetic machines, compartmentalizing ID/Creation arguments

One definition I found for teleology:

the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.

An example of a mindless machine that can be described in terms of teleology is an autopilot or missile guidance system. “The purpose of an autopilot or guidance system is to drive the vehicle to its destination.” One does not immediately have to invoke non-material minds for this proximal description of the system. In fact, no one would say there is a non-material spirit inside a missile guidance system. For that reason, any system exhibiting purposeful behavior (or dare we say moral-like behavior) cannot by default be assumed to have non-material soul.

Conflating core ID and Creation Science with issues of materialism just adds confusion factors. IDists and Creationists can talk about notions of a non-material soul, even some quantum physicists have hinted at it, but such discussions should be compartmentalized outside of core ID and creation science arguments that are built on analysis of probability. Perhaps questions of soul should be compartmentalized to the realm of unprovable faith statements.

The problem of “mindless” teleology might be traced to mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener. Wiener is credited with pioneering the field of cybernetics. From wiki:

Cybernetics is a transdisciplinary approach for exploring regulatory systems—their structures, constraints, and possibilities. Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics in 1948 as “the scientific study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.” In other words, it is the scientific study of how humans, animals and machines control and communicate with each other.

I presume the word “cyberspace” comes from cybernetics. Additionally, from wiki:

Computational cybernetics is the integration of cybernetics and computational intelligence techniques. Though the term Cybernetics entered the technical lexicon in the 1940s and 1950s, it was first used informally as a popular noun in the 1960s, when it became associated with computers, robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Science fiction.

[I actually didn’t know until recently that people fancied Wiener as a philosopher. I actually encountered his work in a Digital Signal Processing class when I studied the Wiener Filter.]

But, back to mindless machines and systems that exhibit teleology…

Consider the case of ball released randomly into a bowl. By “randomly” I mean arbitrarily. In a sense, whatever random position the ball is placed in a bowl, it will eventually “navigate” to the same location. So this “navigation” can happen provided the initial position and velocity are within certain bounds, i.e. the ball doesn’t have so much potential energy and intitial velocity that it goes out of the bowl.

Electrical Engineers metaphorically relate many of their feedback control systems to this illustration of a ball in a bowl, and try to make their systems converge on a target in a manner comparable to the ball “navigating” to a place on the bottom. For a variety of reasons, they call such systems BIBO stable systems, where BIBO stands for Bounded Input, Bounded Output. The reason the term BIBO is used is to emphasize there easily could be a circumstance where the feed back control system could not adequately overcome an obstacle. For example, a storm could destroy a auto-piloted drone where the BIBO limits of the autopilot are simply over powered by an unexpected obstacle or disaster.

Many Electrical Engineering textbooks use the ball in the bowl diagram to illustrate BIBO stable systems and a ball on an upside down bowl to describe an BIBO unstable system.

One could start with the illustration of a simple ball in a bowl and use teleological descriptions such as “whatever random positions the ball is placed at in the bowl, the ball will propel itself to the same end” even though the description is not accurate since the ball is not making conscious choices. Principles of physics lead to an inevitable outcome without the ball making any sort of choices. The point is, we can inappropriately project our notions of purpose to something that is mindless and purposeless.

Likewise a thermostat system where random variations of outside temperature can be compensated by “guiding” a heat pump to manage the indoor temperature. The thermostat system illustrates where a goal is achieved despite unexpected obstacles. The obstacles, however, have to be within BIBO limits lest the system fails to achieve its goal.

One then could extend the idea to more complex systems that have built-in strategies to compensate for unexpected random events within BIBO limits — robots, autopilots, missiles, or any number of machines whose OPERATION (not initial manufacture) can be framed in terms of “purposeful” navigation to a certain outcome despite unexpected obstacles within BIBO limits of the system.

TLDR. My point is that purposeful-looking behavior does not immediately imply a non-material soul. Even if one concludes reality looks purposeful, it is hard deduce from that premise alone that there is some sort of non-Material Conscious God. Perhaps arguments such as those put forward by Barrow and Tipler from Quantum Mechanics are more appropriate for the claim of a non-material Conscious Intelligent God or Ultimate Designing Intelligence.

PS

Barrow and Tipler argue that quantum mechanics and some formulations of classical mechanics (such as the Principle of Least Action) can be framed in final rather than first causes, and thus frames physics in teleological language and retro-causality. To resolve the regress issues of how quantum systems can experience wave-function collapse, Tipler postulated some Ultimate non-material cause. But strictly speaking, the claim of teleology is separate from questions of non-material causes in Barrow and Tipler’s formulation in their books.

Tipler especially, identifies this non-Material Intelligent Cause with the God of the Bible. Tipler also argues for the resurrection of the dead! Before Tipler, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner also tied consciousness as some essential non-material substance that makes reality possible. Even in 2005, a professor at my school, Richard Conn Henry, published an opinion essay in the prestigious scientific journal Nature where he argued from quantum mechanics alone that MIND is the ultimate reality, that material objects don’t have a reality of their own.

However, the above considerations of a non-material realm, are not core ID and creation arguments as they are hard to rigorously demonstrate to the exclusion of other descriptions. Not to mention they are very esoteric. And even if there is a non-Material God, and if men have non-material souls, it is hard to formally prove it. They might only be accepted ultimately on the basis of faith. Hence I suggest compartmentalizing out these ideas form the core ID/Creation Science arguments that are based on probability. Stephen Meyer and other argue for a “conscious intelligence,” but I think that is really a separate issue than basic probability arguments from natural expectation.

PPS

Some at UD took serious umbridge to me saying a mindless intelligence can make CSI or exhibit purposeful behavior. Now that I see gene regulatory networks that are nicely modeled by the language of mindless control systems in electrical engineering, I’m relatively certain, my detractors at UD were wrong. See this paper for example:

Linear Control Theory Gene Network Modelling

CSI can be made by mindless machines with AI at least for the simple reason that Dembski himself said there could be proxies (presumably mindless machines) that express the intentions of conscious intelligent agents. At the very least, an AI system could do such a good job that it would be hard to distinguish SOME of the products of an AI system from a human mind. The AI systems could at the very least be programmed to make the evaluation of CSI in a system so hard to determine as to make useless any CSI claims.

For example, to my knowledge, BIll Dembski didn’t calculate how much CSI was in the repetitive elements of DNA. There is a subtle dilemma in the calculation because repetitive elements don’t have high Kolmogorov coplexity. To say a repetitive elements don’t have much CSI would be to suggest that indeed the human genome is mostly junk, and therefore not designed. On the other hand, to claim repetitive elements have CSI, one would need some actual evidence which is not contained in the math of CSI! They’d have to go down to places like the NIH like I did, and interview researchers and read their papers on repetitive elements. Personally, in the process of me doing so, I found out the importance of CTCF zinc finger proteins and the exquisitely laid-out repetitive elements (like CTCF binding sites in Transposable Elements) used for creating the 4D Nucleome architecture of the human genome. The Design of such “junkDNA” was evident without any appeal to CSI, because without it, we’d be dead.

So that’s one of the many reasons I abandoned CSI altogether. I found the arguments of Tour, Sanford, Don Johnson and Behe (and some names not mentioned) much more accessible and defensible than those coming from the pro-CSI faction, and certainly from the 2nd Law faction.

I also pointed out at UD, that no one views the sperm and ovum egg as conscious mental agents. At what point do the sperm/egg/zygote/embryo/fetus/baby etc. possess a non-material mind? The causal history, as far as we can tell from the outside, is purely mechanistic! We can only accept by faith there is a non-material realm perhaps for the simple reason that no matter how complex a machine we can make, it can never truly experience pain and suffering the way a human soul can. I can’t imagine that even if I built a machine to mimic behaviors of anguish and suffering, that it really FEELS pain the way a conscious human soul can. For that simple child-like reason, I believe in non-material souls.

94 thoughts on “Teleology in mindless BIBO stable cybernetic machines, compartmentalizing ID/Creation arguments

  1. . My point is that purposeful-looking behavior does not immediately imply a non-material soul.

    Wait, are you telling me that if I see a flying drone, or a toilet float ball turning off water, this might not be a “non-material soul”! ?

    My heavens, all those folks who assumed it must have been a non-material soul (no one) are going to be so surprised.

  2. Some at UD took serious umbridge to me saying a mindless intelligence can make CSI or exhibit purposeful behavior.

    I think I know why!

    Because you can’t give one example of something that wasn’t designed by intelligence that exhibits purposeful behavior. Unless you mean a ball rolling inside a bowl. Which (again) no one considers purposeful behavior.

  3. An example of a mindless machine that can be described in terms of teleology is an autopilot or missile guidance system.

    Almost as if they were…DESIGNED!…or something.

  4. phoodoo: Because you can’t give one example of something that wasn’t designed by intelligence that exhibits purposeful behavior.

    Define “exhibits purposeful behavior”. How do I know that I see purposeful behavior? How will I recognize it when I see it?

  5. ‘Cybernetics’ is a more ‘eastern’ (for lack of a more accurate term) approach than western approach, though Wiener coined the term. The key journal was located in Kiev. Wiener was one of the few ‘westernized’ exceptions & his work partnered with others within the broader umbrella of ‘systems science’. The general trend in ‘the west’ was towards ‘systems science’, rather than ‘cybernetics,’ though it’s never disappeared. Cybernetics comes from the Greek, steersperson or guide (pilot). I don’t know a single ‘westerner’ who got a diploma or degree in ‘cybernetics’ specifically from university, though I’ve met people studying in cybernetics programs and who’ve graduated in cybernetics in Eastern Europe.

    The DI would have been all over cybernetics (in more than just a loose referential way) if it wouldn’t have at the same time required a collapse of their ‘paradigm’ in the face of better alternatives. Their ‘theorizing’ about ‘Intelligent Design’ came and went (little new that isn’t recycled) because it couldn’t answer simple questions asked by people they would normally like to see on ‘their side’. One would really need a ‘neo-intelligent design’ theory to start to make sense more coherently, but that theoretical alternative to IDT would be tainted by the negative name it has achieved among many people.

    The sociological aspects of this are fascinating, but I digress. If you want ‘cybernetic ID’ you look to Steve Fuller. There is no better (or worse) than Fuller on this topic. Check out Humanity 2.0 & his proactionary imperative. The problem is that DI is anti-transhumanism, while Fuller is pro-transhumanism, basically a neo-eugenicist, while at the same time criticizing neo-eugenics (as the DI vacillates between id & ID with a pricey PR mandate). IDists like to nod to Fuller & use his voluminous pen, while refusing him at the same time; he’s an allied conundrum to them of Nostradamus-like enigmatic reknown. And he’s the science studies, philosophy & sociology of science, cybernetician-theorist of the IDM!

    It’s a strange stretch to suggest engaging DI-style in probabilism reflects piety.

  6. In the context of ID, “BIBO” should stand for “Bible in, Bible out”.

  7. “We can only accept by faith there is a non-material realm perhaps for the simple reason that no matter how complex a machine we can make, it can never truly experience pain and suffering the way a human soul can. I can’t imagine that even if I built a machine to mimic behaviors of anguish and suffering, that it really FEELS pain the way a conscious human soul can. For that simple child-like reason, I believe in non-material souls”.

    If non-material souls feel the pain and suffering, what happens to the soul when someone is under the general anesthesia?
    The monitor signals indicate normal brain functions other than when patients lose consciousness…

  8. Rumraket: Define “exhibits purposeful behavior”. How do I know that I see purposeful behavior? How will I recognize it when I see it?

    Wasn’t it Aristotle who delineated the 4 causes, and considered “final cause” the most important? For the teleological thinker like Aristotle, you recognize purposeful behavior wherever you look. Of course the purpose of rain is to water plants, among other things. Why would there be rain if it had no purpose?

    Then again, if you don’t start by assuming everything that happens, happens for a purpose, you won’t see much purpose in things. All you’ll see is an infinity of interdependent variables interacting in chaotic and coincidental ways, with isolated incidents of organization and purpose due to well understood purposeful agencies (plus the law of unintended consequences).

    I would say that what’s important is which model produces more accurate predictions, more often.

  9. The problem with this sort of argument is that such behavior is not really teleological, since the next state is always fully specified (perhaps probabilistically) by the immediately prior state. True teleological behavior requires something like backward causality. Hence the fondness of the ID crowd for libertarian free will. So, AI/ML/control systems are only apparent teleology.

    That being said, apparent teleology is itself an instance of CSI, and thus requires true teleology to exist. So, apparent teleology, while itself not intelligent agency, is indicative of an intelligent agency that brought it into being.

    Finally, intelligent agency and an immaterial soul are not faith statements, since we can argue for such things on purely quantitative and empirical grounds, as I’ve done a number of times on this forum. I never appeal to any religious basis in my arguments, and if I had to I personally would not find them convincing, so I don’t bother.

    ID is essentially a kind of secular creationism, since it requires zero faith commitments (except in logic, math, science and an open mind) to proceed.

  10. Hi EricMH,

    Nice to see you. Thanks for you comment. Food for thought.

    Off topic — would you like to write a post to celebrate JohnnyB’s peer-reviewed publication on math? He’s too modest to do it himself. We have to give a celebration of sorts.

  11. EricMH,

    A bit over two weeks ago you posted an interesting OP on Correspondences between ID theory and mainstream theories In that discussion when I stated (in this comment)

    Is there a conservation law for specified information when the specification is held the same? No. It’s very easy to find counterexamples.

    You disagreed but then said (in this comment replying to mine)

    The specification can be changed by the stochastic process or stay the same, the conservation of information still applies. I don’t understand the problem you think this poses for Dembski’s COI. Maybe if you can include a very clear example of the problem in your explanation I’ll get it.

    And then, very soon after saying that, you signed off (in this comment)

    And with that I believe I’ve done my due diligence in replying to everyone’s comments. I didn’t really get much out of this interaction, just many recycled old arguments and poorly understood ID theory, and it’s taken up 2h of my scant free time. So, I’ll be taking a hiatus from this site, too.

    Well, naive as I was, I thought that perhaps, just perhaps, you would keep reading that thread and might see my answers to your questions. So I posted two comments (one here and one here), ones I think were very straightforward and clear and needed your reaction. Alas, there was no response.

    So I invite you to go to that thread (links above) and actually explain to me why my clear examples do not show that CSI can fail be conserved. It is, after all, your own thread, and my comments were in response to your invitation.

    I look forward to seeing your answers.

  12. EricMH:

    True teleological behavior requires something like backward causality. Hence the fondness of the ID crowd for libertarian free will.

    That makes no sense.

    I feel thirsty. I form the intent to get a drink from the fridge. I go to the fridge and get the drink. It all happens in order. Where’s the retrocausality in that?

  13. Hmmmm. The immaterial soul can not be proved by analysis on probability. Hmmm.
    I think it can. If the soul is real then it must be the source for human thought or a companion. SO it must be probability analysis THAT can show other ideas on the source for thinking are false.
    Something that is here and now and working must be leaving some tracks. We do have tracks for thinking so WHAT is the essence of the tracks?
    i say we can disprove any other option for the source of thinking people. SO by probability it leads to a immaterial soul.
    Not much different then seeing a creator behind our glorious complex universe or a creator behind finding a watch in a forest.

  14. Rumraket: Define “exhibits purposeful behavior”. How do I know that I see purposeful behavior? How will I recognize it when I see it?

    It can’t be done in the mathematical sense, I was trying to illustrate the problem with mindless control systems. Mindless control look purposeful in the intuitive sense, but from a mathematical standpoint, the notion of purpose doesn’t exist in the language of math. Only improbabilities can be stated in the language of math, not purpose.

    In control systems we have the “error” signal, but again, this is teleological language, but formally speaking the “error” signal is just numbers generated by machines that approximate formulas.

  15. Physicist Paul Davies suggested the root of free will in in Godel’s incompleteness and Quantum Mechanics.

    Do we choose to see a photon as a particle or a wave? Our choice has retrocausal effects. That was the point of Wheeler’s quantum delayed choice experiments that were eventually carried out in optics labs in University of Maryland.

    The problem of what causes us to choose regresses all the way up to some ultimate free-will choice maker — God. That was the point of Tipler, Barrow, Richard Conn Henry, FJ Belinfante, etc. — all of whom are respected physicists.

    HOWEVER, that is NOT the same issue with BIBO feedback control systems looking purposeful. I’ve said, there is no mathematical definition of purpose. However, the “error” signal and is a nice metaphor for describing certain mathematical formulas in relation to a desired outcome. It’s hard to look at Electrical Engineering math and not see that certain mathematical constructions are VERY amenable to human metaphors such as auto-PILOT, CONTROL, NAVIGATION, etc.

    One will see Error Signal here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_theory

    Why do we choose that name for a math concept, “error signal” instead of “maxine waters”? Some metaphors seem to be more appropriate for certain mathematical formulas than others. Why is that?

    Retrocausality, strictly speaking doesn’t have to mean “purposeful”. But it’s hard not to think that two are interwined somehow.

  16. stcordova: Physicist Paul Davies suggested the root of free will in in Godel’s incompleteness and Quantum Mechanics.

    Ah, yes.

    (1) I don’t understand Gödel;
    (2) I don’t understand QM

    Therefore (3) those must explain everything else that I don’t understand.

    That seems to be the argument. And many people seem to use that argument.

  17. Neil Rickert: Ah, yes.

    (1) I don’t understand Gödel;
    (2) I don’t understand QM

    Therefore (3) those must explain everything else that I don’t understand.

    That seems to be the argument.And many people seem to use that argument.

    Many people may use that argument, but that isn’t my argument.

    There is something that was deeply disturbing about Godel and QM in as much as in LIMITED contexts, what we chose to accept as true, could make it so. Most of reality could be described deterministically, but there were aspects that couldn’t be described that way.

    If we chose to view a photon as a wave, it would behave like a wave. If we chose to view a photon as a particle it would behave as a particle. If we chose to accept certain mathematical axioms we get one kind of math, and other axioms, another kind of math.

    The photon example was especially disturbing because choices in the present appeared to affect its behavior in the past. That was the point of Wheeler’s delayed choice experiments. Schrodinger’s cat all the way down.

  18. stcordova: Do we choose to see a photon as a particle or a wave? Our choice has retrocausal effects.

    Sal,
    What if there is no time separating the 2 photons?
    Can you imagine 2 photons separated by space but not by time in “space-time”?

  19. stcordova: Physicist Paul Davies suggested the root of free will in in Godel’s incompleteness and Quantum Mechanics.

    Have you read his latest book ” The demon in the machine”?

    stcordova: Do we choose to see a photon as a particle or a wave?

    We can’t choose both? What stops us?

  20. J-Mac: Have you read his latest book ” The demon in the machine”?

    We can’t choose both? What stops us?

    You can choose “NOT to choose.” That leaves the system in a superposition (Shrodinger’s cat, being both simultaneously alive and dead), but this leads to the Reninger paradoxes mentioned in passing by Dr. Henry in the prestigious scientific journal Nature:

    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

  21. J-Mac: Have you read his latest book ” The demon in the machine”?

    I didn’t even know he had a new book! Have you read it?

  22. @Felsenstein, thanks for taking the time to clarify your arguments. I’ve responded over at the original thread, although I still feel I am having to repeat myself way too often.

    @scordova, sorry, don’t have time or knowledge to write up Jon’s accomplishment. It has been written up over at UD by Jon:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/is-standard-calculus-notation-wrong/

    While in some sense purpose cannot be defined mathematically, it can be detected mathematically by things like hypothesis testing, generalization bounds, concentration inequalities, randomness deficiencies, signal noise ratios, bayesian likelihood ratios, etc. All of these are names for Dembski’s explanatory filter.

  23. stcordova: Many people may use that argument, but that isn’t my argument.

    If that isn’t your argument, then why are you trying to connect Gödel with QM? They are not related, as best I can tell.

    There is something that was deeply disturbing about Godel and QM in as much as in LIMITED contexts, what we chose to accept as true, could make it so.

    Somehow, I am not disturbed. Perhaps that’s because I’m a pragmatist on truth. We humans invented truth to serve our pragmatic needs. So it isn’t surprising that we can find ways to extend our notion of truth.

    Most of reality could be described deterministically, but there were aspects that couldn’t be described that way.

    Yes, we describe reality deterministically. Yet reality does not seem to be deterministic. Therefore we should expect a mismatch between our descriptions and what we actually find. And QM weirdness appears to be that mismatch.

  24. EricMH: All of these are names for Dembski’s explanatory filter.

    With the minor difference that all those other things have actually got some utility whereas Dembski’s explanatory filter has never been used to filter, well, anything!

    Unless you of course know otherwise?

  25. stcordova: I didn’t even know he had a new book!Have you read it?

    Not yet. I’m about to… I’m hoping to find out more about the “shadow information” in the double helix he has been working on…
    He is agnostic, so he is braver in the challenging materialism and often refers to “quantum vitalism” than McFadden and Al-Khaili, indirectly though…

  26. J-Mac: so he is braver in the challenging materialism

    Do you think Uri Geller can bend spoons using the power of his mind alone?

    Or PSI in general? Or ghosts?

  27. stcordova:
    Great book by two physics professors:

    I’ve glanced at the book …
    I’m not happy with their quantum information interpretation vs quantum state in the wavefunction representing the information about the possible measurements of a physical system…
    It makes no sense to me…

    https://books.google.ca/books/about/Quantum_Enigma.html?id=KfJetAWVJJsC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=snippet&q=quantum%20information&f=false

  28. stcordova: You can choose “NOT to choose.”That leaves the system in a superposition (Shrodinger’s cat, being both simultaneously alive and dead), but this leads to the Reninger paradoxes mentioned in passing by Dr. Henry in the prestigious scientific journal Nature:

    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/The.mental.universe.pdf

    Unless there is something wrong with the way we view the “superposition”…
    Imagine a flexible stick with 2 photons located at each end of the stick…
    They are separated by space…Now imagine that on subatomic level the space separating the photons is replaced with time…
    Can you imagine that?
    Now imagine that you can bend the stick, so that the photons are touching each other because there is no such thing in quantum mechanics as time…

  29. No response from Eric to this:

    EricMH:

    True teleological behavior requires something like backward causality. Hence the fondness of the ID crowd for libertarian free will.

    keiths:

    That makes no sense.

    I feel thirsty. I form the intent to get a drink from the fridge. I go to the fridge and get the drink. It all happens in order. Where’s the retrocausality in that?

  30. keiths: I feel thirsty. I form the intent to get a drink from the fridge. I go to the fridge and get the drink. It all happens in order. Where’s the retrocausality in that?

    Your behavior is anticipatory. The cause is the drink.

    But the actual cause is your learning history, which created the anticipation.

  31. J-Mac: Now imagine that you can bend the stick, so that the photons are touching each other because there is no such thing in quantum mechanics as time…

    Or imagine the stick is a stick, imagine you can bend the stick so the photons touch each other because there is no such thing in quantum mechanics as a stick…

  32. petrushka,

    Your behavior is anticipatory. The cause is the drink.

    There’s a simple counterexample. Suppose I go to the fridge and end up not drinking anything because someone else drank the last Sprite. My drinking of the Sprite can’t be the cause of my going to the fridge, because there is no drinking of the Sprite.

  33. newton: Or imagine the stick is a stick, imagine you can bend the stick so the photons touch each other because there is no such thing in quantum mechanics as a stick…

    It’s a thought experiment…Get it? No, eh?
    I will see you in one week!

  34. J-Mac, to OMagain:

    I will see you in a week 😉

    J-Mac, to newton:

    I will see you in one week!

    Hey! How come they get a one-week break and I don’t?

  35. keiths:
    petrushka,

    There’s a simple counterexample.Suppose I go to the fridge and end up not drinking anything because someone else drank the last Sprite.My drinking of the Sprite can’t be the cause of my going to the fridge, because there is no drinking of the Sprite.

    The actual cause is in the past: your learning history.

    But a superficial analysis shows the “reward” as causing the behavior.

    I’m always curious how people try to argue against behavioral analysis. I’d be happy see someone try.

    What keeps AI and robots from successfully emulation animals and humans is not some physical law or some mystical soul, but the primitiveness of the hardware and software.

  36. petrushka:

    The actual cause is in the past: your learning history.

    Right.

    But a superficial analysis shows the “reward” as causing the behavior.

    Yes, and my counterexample shows why that cannot be the case.

  37. keiths: I feel thirsty. I form the intent to get a drink from the fridge. I go to the fridge and get the drink. It all happens in order. Where’s the retrocausality in that?

    A good question.

    The retrocausality occurs when you form the intent. While there is some forward causality in the motivation, there is retrocausality in the decision on how to satisfy the motivation with the ultimate goal. The rest of the behavior follows from this initial teleological decision.

  38. Eric,

    The retrocausality occurs when you form the intent. While there is some forward causality in the motivation, there is retrocausality in the decision on how to satisfy the motivation with the ultimate goal. The rest of the behavior follows from this initial teleological decision.

    I already presented a counterargument to that:

    There’s a simple counterexample. Suppose I go to the fridge and end up not drinking anything because someone else drank the last Sprite. My drinking of the Sprite can’t be the cause of my going to the fridge, because there is no drinking of the Sprite.

  39. OMagain: With the minor difference that all those other things have actually got some utility whereas Dembski’s explanatory filter has never been used to filter, well, anything!

    Using Dembski’s CSI specifically Winston has a neat paper on applying ASC to the game of life:
    https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=6872591

    Prior art almost identical to ASC, documented here at TSZ by Tom English, is used to detect non-random patterns in the genetic code.

    In general, Dembski’s metric is used whenever the other metrics are used, which is quite often. A large portion of scientific studies use hypothesis testing, for instance. Machine learning is automated hypothesis testing, and that’s all the rage nowadays.

    So, one reason why ID theory is not more widely used is because it is almost completely pervasive in all the relevant fields. Just like how everyone already acted and invented in accord with the law of gravity before formalized by Newton. Everyone already uses ID theory, and Dembski is merely formalizing what is already well recognized.

    You might then ask, what’s the point? Well, same as with gravity or any other physical law. Formalization allows us to better reason about and utilize the described phenomenon.

  40. keiths: There’s a simple counterexample. Suppose I go to the fridge and end up not drinking anything because someone else drank the last Sprite. My drinking of the Sprite can’t be the cause of my going to the fridge, because there is no drinking of the Sprite.

    Which makes the retrocausality even more transcendent, because it is the retrocausality of a counter factual.

  41. EricMH: In general, Dembski’s metric is used whenever the other metrics are used, which is quite often.

    And were those users aware they were using “Dembski’s metric” or like the mormons are wont to do, were they blessed after the fact?

    EricMH: A large portion of scientific studies use hypothesis testing, for instance. Machine learning is automated hypothesis testing, and that’s all the rage nowadays.

    You are not implying that all that had its origin in something Dembski did are you?

    EricMH: So, one reason why ID theory is not more widely used is because it is almost completely pervasive in all the relevant fields.

    Yes, a noted ID scholar at UD makes a similar claim, that ID does not need to perform experiments as all experiments performed are already ID experiments.

  42. EricMH:

    Which makes the retrocausality even more transcendent, because it is the retrocausality of a counter factual.

    That’s a joke, right?

    The scenario is easily explained without retrocausality:

    1. I’ve had previous experience being thirsty, and previous experience slaking my thirst by drinking something.

    2. I know, again from experience, that the fridge typically contains things to drink.

    3. I begin to feel thirst and desire to slake it.

    4. I put #1 and #2 together and deduce that if I walk to the fridge, I might find something inside that I can drink.

    5. I form the intent to walk to the fridge.

    6. I walk to the fridge and get a drink.

    All in order. No retrocausality needed.

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